Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Journey with Hemp

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 05/15/2017 - 11:00

Original Pattern: Journey Knitter Extraordinaire: Carol (Ravelry ID) Mods: Changed the pullover into a cardigan, adjusted the length, and substituted the main cable from the pattern with the Plaid Lattice pattern from “A Treasury of Knitting Patterns” by Barbara G. Walker. Details on Carol’s cardigan project can be found here. What Makes This Awesome: I’m not surprised so

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May Indie Dyer Feature~ Ruataniwha Dye Studio

My Sister's Knitter - Sun, 05/14/2017 - 13:32
Happy Sunday! It is that time of the month where I have the pleasure of featuring another wonderful indie dyer. This month we are chatting with Ruataniwha Dye Studio! Who wouldn't want to know more about a company that describes themselves as~ "Ruataniwha Dye Studio is the colour collaboration between... Andi
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Knitter's Choice

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 05/14/2017 - 12:30
Designers in designing mode tend to gravitate to two types of yarn: Desirable evergreens or newly released yarns.

This makes sense.

Evergreens have gained popularity due to their sustained performance over time. New releases are fresh and current, which creates buzz and appeals to knitters, publishers, producers and yarn store owners. In both cases, patterns written for a particular yarn boost the chances the design and yarn will attract attention, capture a following and be promoted across more venues. This is a very good thing, whether you're a designer, yarn producer or yarn seller.

Naturally, I've taken a slightly different approach. My patterns identify the yarns used, but they're deliberately written to accommodate the yarn of your choice, along with easy modifications if you want to adapt the pattern.
To me this makes the most sense, because it gives you the maximum flexibility. It's frustrating, both as a knitter and designer, to see how quickly many lovely yarns are discontinued, but with knitter's choice, you can work from stash, invest in something new or do a combination of both.

If you're a relatively new knitter, you're probably thinking, What's the big deal?

If you're a long-time knitter, you intuitively understand my point. Back in the day, the universal assumption was every knitter would use the specified yarn and work the pattern precisely as written. This viewpoint was so pervasive, producers knew demand would skyrocket and manufactured massive quantities of the pattern's featured yarns in the colors shown.

Many of us have always bucked this mindset, choosing yarns and modifying patterns to suit our preferences, an approach that used to earn quizzical looks from fellow knitters and puzzled LYS owners alike.

Today, thanks to bloggers, designers and Ravelry, independent inclinations aren't merely accepted, they're actively encouraged. This is a welcome advancement, producing a crafting environment that's fluid, flexible and accommodating, just like the knitted pieces we love so much.

No judgments here, but I'm curious: Do you use the yarn recommended in the pattern? Make your own choice? Do a mix of both?

Have a happy Mother's Day!

Connecting with the linkups in the sidebar.
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Knit Faster

Yarn Harlot - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 22:00

Our little man Elliot is bigger by the moment.  I see him every few days, and every time I pick up his little body it has a greater heft. He’s gaining so well, absolutely thriving on his mother’s milk.  I suppose you would expect nothing less from a babe who’s grandmother was an IBCLC, and from a mum who went to La Leche League meetings in my arms. I was a Leader back then, and it all seems to have come together nicely. They got off to a grand start, and with very little trouble or fanfare, have stepped neatly around the pitfalls that make it so hard for so many mums and wee ones. (As an aside, it helps that parental/maternity leave in Canada is one year – paid. It’s so hard to nurse a little sweetie if you’re gearing up to be parted out of financial necessity.) He is fat, and glorious and his cheeks are a thing to behold.

Here, I assure you he is smiling – you just can’t tell because his cheeks are a bit much to heft.  He was born just about five weeks ago at 7lbs 3oz,  and now tops the scales at a spectacular 9lbs 10oz.  He is brilliant, and his mum is too. He is probably smiling in that picture because he is about to spit up on his brand new sweater.

Nice – right? He looks right fetching – and we haven’t even begun with his wee feet.  I made him a pair of booties before he was born, but they’re too big (unbelievably) so I whipped out another pair – but those were seeing hard duty. It’s still very cool here in Toronto and a little guy needs his woolies. So…

Voila.  Pirate booties.  Knit from bits and pieces of fingering weight hanging around the house – which downsized them nicely from the 3-6 month size they’re written for.  I did them on 2.25mm needles, and they suit just fine.

For the moment. though the little fatty will likely have outgrown them by Monday.

It’s all a grandmother can do to keep up, I tell you. I’ve called a brief hiatus to the baby knitting while I wait for some yarn to come in the mail – we’ve another family baby due here shortly, I’ll be an auntie again, as Joe’s brother Chris and his wife Robyn get ready to welcome their second. The blanket yarn is back-ordered though, so I’m back to knitting for me – until Monday. Then if it still hasn’t shipped, I’m going to freak out. If needed. I don’t want to waste any energy.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

The familiarity cure

Knitting to Stay Sane - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 14:46
In my travels at the end of April, not only did I treat myself to a new sweater project to cast on, but I also started a new pair of socks. My Pi Shawl is getting close enough to being done that it is not really very portable any more, so that meant it was […]
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Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 11:00

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week How did I miss this fantastic trick for when I’m worrying too much? Trying to figure out what the heck is going on with all this ‘unicorn food’? Here you go! This does not surprise me in the lest – apparently almost half of moms throw away, re-gift,

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Book Review: Margeau Blanc

Knitted Bliss - Thu, 05/11/2017 - 11:00

This is a collection that I’m really surprised more people aren’t talking about, although it is a fairly new release.  Margeau Blanc: A New Perspective on Winter White Knits is the sort of collection that is perfect for knitters who want to knit classic wardrobe basics. And if you are a knitter who wants to knit

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Categories: Knitting Feeds


Yarn Harlot - Wed, 05/10/2017 - 20:02

That’s what a friend said when I texted them this picture:

It’s a sweet little BSJ, knit out of my handspun, seen here doing the manta ray impression this sweater always does, right before it’s folded like origami, and presto-chango, you have a sweater.

It’s a trick I’ve always rather liked, and beyond being a fancy party trick for a knitter, they fit pretty well too.  My copy of the pattern is from The Opinionated Knitter (there’s a title that’s always resonated rather well – and there’s so much to love in that one) but there’s a new book out  – The Complete Surprise, that gives me mixed feelings.

I’ve always been completely been entirely satisfied by this pattern in its original incarnation (I love working from Elizabeth Zimmermann’s handwriting. It makes me feel proper as a knitter) and I’ve never felt the need to alter a single stitch from the way she wrote it (except that’s a lie, I only do the buttonholes on one side, no matter what flavour baby presents – on account of my feelings about buttonholes) but this new book?

An urge to knit a baby surprise suit is suddenly born within me.

After I finish these booties. (I swear they are booties. There’s just a lot of sewing to be done. Then he’ll be a perfect wee pirate.)

Categories: Knitting Feeds

In the Pink

Knitting | Work in Progress - Wed, 05/10/2017 - 10:30
At one time, I had a fair amount of pink yarn safely ensconced in stash. Some still remains, but as I was casting on a quick pair of mitts destined for the ombres and gradient series, I realized how limited my current options had become.

Naturally, I began to wonder what had happened to all those pink, rose and fuchsia skeins, and this is what I discovered.


Colsie Mitts Rose Gradient

Dojeling Blackberry


Breidan Baby

Breidan Berry

Color Check

Drumlin Bright

Lucben Rose

Tikkyn Rainbow

Rainbow Vivid


Graefen Bright

Sweet Hearts & Soft Spots

That's a fairly respectable lineup, and there are even more examples for which I don't have photos. They range from countless charity hats, scarves and blanket squares to coasters, cloths and a lovely rose gradient sweater for my dog, Stella, which I managed to shrink in the wash, so it's long gone.

Back to the present day. Longer than I care to admit, I've been struggling to find a suitable project for this lovely assortment of wool-silk lace weight and rayon metallic yarn.

I've come up with yet another plan, and if it works, I'll once again be in the pink.

Connecting with the linkups in the sidebar.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Bronze Age & Steel Rails Cardigan

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 05/08/2017 - 11:00

Original Patterns: Gramps and Hay Cove Knitter Extraordinaire: Coryna (Ravelry ID, blog) Mods: Combined the Gramps Cardigan and Hay Cove cardigans into one, and used her own hand-dyed yarn for some of it! Details can be found on her project page, here. What Makes This Awesome: Coryna planned to make Hay Cove, but decided to then incorporate

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Slow motion knitting...

My Sister's Knitter - Sun, 05/07/2017 - 16:44
Happy Sunday! Hello there! How was your week? Did it feel like eternity like mine or was it just right? Maybe mine felt like eternity because everything I have done in the last week has felt like it has been going at a snail's pace. Then again, I can just... Andi
Categories: Knitting Feeds


Autumn Geisha - Sun, 05/07/2017 - 15:06
Happy May everyone! I hope that it's starting out bright and sunny for you. I had a little mini-craftcation this past week and was able to finish some longstanding WIP's. Just have to block and take some pics. The weather has been sunny and warm so we've been hanging out at one of our favorite local beaches, Matapeake Beach which is free and opened to the public. Care to take a peak?

this is the fabulous clubhouse
and here's the view of the Chesapeake Bay heading towards the beach
and here's my new blanket obsession & constant beach knitting companion

Now I know why these scrappy sock mitered square blankets are all the rage. They are totally addictive and fun to knit on! It's also nice to have an easy, relaxing and long-term project on the needles to pick up when the mood strikes. This weekend is Maryland Sheep and Wool which I'm bummed to have to miss. I had to work yesterday and we have last minute out of town guests coming today. On the bright side, I'll have more time to knit on my new blanket :) Have a great Sunday!
Categories: Knitting Feeds

FO | Plumberry Gradient Mitts & Scarf

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 05/07/2017 - 12:30
Recently, I wrote about how odd it may seem to still be wallowing in wool now that spring has arrived, but what can I say? It's part practicality and part pleasure.

This past week is a good example. It's been decidedly chilly with temps falling into the 30s and high winds to make it feel even colder, so working with and wearing wool was the only smart thing to do.
Now that the rainbow afghan is off the needles, it was time to tackle smaller projects that deserved some attention. These fingerless mitts, for instance, feature yarn so light and luscious, it's a true joy to knit and a joy to wear. Technically, I suppose it's not classified as wool since it's a blend of cashmere and silk, but let's not nitpick.

As simple as they are, these mitts represent that elusive achievement, the knitting trifecta. They:
  • Are made with shrine of precious yarn, which I've vowed to knit with this year. (I buy it because it's scrumptious, then it lingers in stash because it's too delectable to knit.) 
  • Illustrate a six-stage gradient.
  • Complement my beloved Plumberry scarf and turn a lone accessory into a coordinated set.

Plumberry was featured in How to Create a 3-Stage Gradient, but somehow it never made it into an FO post, so let's give it one moment in the spotlight:

Both the scarf and mitts are fully reversible, but because they feature different gradients and slipped stitches, they don't match. This was a conscious choice and overall I think the look works.  In view of our cool, rainy weather, I may have a chance to test that premise before they're packed away for summer.

Plumberry Gradient Mitts & Scarf
Patterns: In development
Yarn: Richesse et Soie (Knit1 Crochet 2)
Weight: Fingering
Needles: US 7 (4.5 mm)
Mitts: ~95 yards
Scarf: ~300 yards

Meanwhile, there are several patterns in development, two new afghans in the works and countless concept swatches on the needles, so the choice is obvious: Focus and finish, right?

Well, that would be the mature, disciplined thing to do. Instead, because shawls and mitts are getting such a workout, my rebellious inner knitter keeps whispering we need another shawl ... and more mitts!

So, I'm going to ignore what may be the subtle signs of startitis, cast on a shawl and focus on the fact that shawls and mitts are the ideal way to turn shrine of precious yarn into something pretty and practical. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. 

What has your inner knitter been whispering in your ear?

Mitt-Worthy Shawls & Wraps
Ombres & Gradients: 5 Ways to Create Your Own

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Something had to give

Yarn Harlot - Fri, 05/05/2017 - 23:05

This morning I got up and went downstairs to make the coffee, and I stood there looking around at the complete chaos, and decided that today is the day I am getting it together. Now, this isn’t an unfamiliar thing to say to myself. My trigger threshold for cleaning the house isn’t super high – I like a tidy house, and I like to be organized, but I’m still me, and that means that mostly I wish it was tidy, and knit while I think about that and things slip farther out of control,  but today I realized that I’ve got to get a grip.  This happens all the time. I go to bed pretty regularly having decided that when the sun shines again in the morning I’ll be a completely different person. One who manages her time well, and cleans up messes as soon as they happen and throws in loads of laundry a long time before they’re wearing weird outfits because they didn’t, and is miraculously able to answer all her email and never runs out of tea, and I’m used to the disappointment of still being me at the end of the next day, but this time I really meant it.

Then I went and knit for a while.  Then I went to snuggle the baby and (rather ironically) wash Meg’s dishes and fold her laundry.

I know what’s happened here. I’m spending about 15 hours a week “grandmothering” (as my own mother so lovingly calls it.) it involves buying nursing pads and dropping off dinners and holding the baby and answering texts about his tiny fingernails and the way he likes to suck in his bottom lip when he nurses, and going to and fro from our house to his, and there is absolutely zero chance I am not doing even one of those things. He’s only going to be tiny for a little while, and I can see no universe in which me wearing a shirt that doesn’t have baby puke on it is worth missing any of that.

Also, I have a job, and I like to knit, and I’m pretty committed to the Bike Rally Steering Committee and Joe’s working long hours and should be able to snuggle a baby if he has a minute and … so something had to give and it was cleaning up, or doing laundry, or organizing anything at all, and now we live in a pit. There is not a single room that is acceptable. My entire nod to cleanliness has been to hang up towels after we use them so that we can go a week without laundry, I unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher yesterday – and I think Joe gave the toilet a swipe and took out the compost. He must have, because it’s gone.  (I suppose it’s possible the cat ate it as a signal of neglect.) You would struggle to find a clear spot on the coffee table to put down a coffee, there’s yarn everywhere, and the house is littered with post-it notes that say things like “BUY SOAP” or “10 MINUTES LAUNDRY.” (They have had little effect.)

I thought about all of that while I worked on another sweater for Elliot.  Not that one pictured above, that one didn’t work out. I wanted to knit him a little Baby Surprise Jacket out of the leftovers from my cowl because it’s super soft and cozy, but the gauge was wrong and I don’t have enough and I was lying to myself for about 12 rows before I had to accept the truth.  I swished through the stash and found some stripey handspun I’ve been waiting to use, and now that’s on the needles.

Working out fine, I still might not have enough, but I’m going to worry about that later. Much later, because something’s got to give, and it’s me. I’m going to start with the kitchen. Maybe after one more row.


Categories: Knitting Feeds

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 05/05/2017 - 11:47

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week If you read only one of these links, make it this one! It clearly explains why, no matter what our political affiliations or beliefs may be, it is extremely difficult to change our minds even when presented with well-researched and objective facts. Plus, it’s written like a comic and

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Turns out travel knitting is the right answer

Knitting to Stay Sane - Thu, 05/04/2017 - 20:18
Well friends, after a late winter phase of Not Loving My Knitting All That Much, I had been hoping that spending the last week of April travelling would give me the deadline I needed to finish things and then start new things for my trip. As it turns out, I did not finish the things […]
Categories: Knitting Feeds


Knitting | Work in Progress - Thu, 05/04/2017 - 11:00
In theory this site is searchable, but in reality, sometimes the search function works and sometimes it doesn't. The Google overlords routinely change search algorithms, which often has a direct, surprising effect on the results even the simplest search will produce.
(They also routinely alter formatting algorithms, so blog posts have an annoying interesting tendency to reformat themselves and suddenly appear different from one day to the next. But that's a topic for another day.)

Back to searchability. There are more than 300 blog posts on the Knitting | Work in Progress (KWIP) site, so if you're looking for something specific, here are some tips. 

If you want to:
  • Buy patterns, click on the Patterns tab (above).
  • Read about patterns, go to the Browse category in the sidebar, scroll down the list and click on Patterns.
  • Find a post about a particular topic, go to the Browse category in the sidebar, scroll through the list and click the appropriate tag, such as Ombres & Gradients.
  • Find an earlier blog post, use the Search box and enter a keyword, such as afghan, mitts, rainbow, etc.
  • Locate something specific, enter it in the Search box with quote marks, such as "Tikkyn afghan" or "Christmas trees" or "Might Could List."
  • Read a post from a particular timeframe, go to the Archive list in the sidebar, select the correct option and it will display everything posted that month, e.g., March 2017.
I'm evaluating the pros and cons of moving the blog to a different platform that offers more layout options, better search functionality and greater flexibility. Until that happens, I'm soldiering on here and hope the suggestions above will help make it easier for you to more quickly find what interests you.

If you have feedback or a specific search-related question, just let me know, and I'll do my best to address it.

Connecting with the linkups in the sidebar.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Mr Excitement

Yarn Harlot - Tue, 05/02/2017 - 22:26

It would seem that Elliot has taken to modelling knitwear as a duck takes to water. He’s absolutely a natural.

He remains sweet tempered and easygoing, thus making him more like his father than any McPhee alive.  He’s seen here wearing a simple little garter sweater I banged out for him, because it’s still very chilly here in Toronto, and I am helpless not to swath him in great bales of wool for fear that he’s ever even a little bit cool for even one moment.  You would think that I didn’t know about central heat, the way I’m acting.

Yarn: One yummy little skein of Meadowcroft Dyeworks Rockshelter worsted in a colour ironically named Skinny Dipping, which is the only thing that Elliot doesn’t like.  Knit up on 4mm needles (I faked the pattern) and embellished with three little porcelain buttons from Round Rabbit. They’re perfect.

When I finished that, I got out a Habu Jacket that I’ve been meaning to knit myself, but I’m not sure it’s going to take.  I think Elliot needs more bootees. Or a hat. Or maybe another sweater. He’s bigger every day, and I’m going to have trouble keeping up with him.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: My own Take on Sunshine

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 05/01/2017 - 11:00

Original Pattern: Sunshine  Knitter Extraordinaire: Melinda (Ravelry ID) Mods: Changed out the lace placket at the neckline for a modified V-neck/shawl collar. Details can be found on Melinda’s project page, here. What Makes This Awesome: Melinda’s beautiful sweater is as much about process as a lovely finished result. She had seen a couple of modified versions of

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

FO | Not-So-Scrappy Rainbow

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 04/30/2017 - 12:30
The last time you saw my not-so-scrappy rainbow scrapghan, it was something of a jumbled mess. I was weaving ends and the borders were curling like crazy.

Luckily, blocking worked its transformative power, and now the borders lie flat, the stitches have relaxed and the rumples have disappeared.

For me, this project was all about color, so I kept everything else quite simple, from the triangular banners to the crossed stockinette stitch that creates a subtle texture on the front and plush texture on the back.

The ever-growing pile of Cotton Fleece partials and leftovers from past projects made the yarn choice obvious. Picking the right mix of rainbow shades and placement was a challenge, so I spent many enjoyable hours auditioning different combinations, until I landed on this one:
  • Top row: Cherry Moon, Tropical Coral, Sunny Yellow
  • Middle row: Mint, New Age Teal, Caribbean Sea
  • Bottom row: Lapis, Raging Purple, Berry

To streamline colorwork and keep the project compact and portable, I used a strip strategy, then framed the piece with a plain, solid border. In these angled shots, the banner sizes and shapes seem to be different, but I assure you they're all the same size and shape.

Not-So-Scrappy Rainbow Afghan
Pattern: In development
Yarn: Cotton Fleece (Brown Sheep)
Needles: US 8 (5 mm), US 9 (5.5 mm)
Size: Small
Dimensions: 24 x 36 ins
Yardage: ~650 yards

I confess I'm rather taken with the end result, so I can't decide whether to put it into the afghan rotation or hang it on the wall for decoration. What do you think? 

Meanwhile, I'm eager to cast on another, and for better or worse, the stash holds plenty of partials and leftovers, so options abound. Undoubtedly, this will lead to countless hours playing with color combinations and arrangements, but for me, this is part of the pleasure of knitting.

Connecting with the linkups in the sidebar.

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