Spring is in the air I can feel it, but it is definitely not time to pack up the winter knits. It is crisp, cool and freezing in some parts of Canada! I personally love a chunky cowl all year around to keep me well heated bundled up in my puffy down jacket or keep me toasty in my leather or jean jacket as it starts to warm up or keep me stylish in a t-shirt just before summer hits. I designed the Mega Chunky Cowl with all that in mind- fashion and functionality!
For spring/summer I revamped the Jenny Wrap adding a little stripe action for fun and knit it out of Rowan’s Creative Linen, a cotton/linen blend. Easy to knit, easy to wear and now you can make it for all season!
About a year ago I designed a mini Canadian collection: Canadian Trapper Hat (which is a version of my original Top Down Trapper hat).
The Canadian Slouchy Toque.
Canadian fingerless Gloves.
I use Canadian hand dyers for 2 of the designs: The Trapper Hat which I used Sweet Georgia’s Superwash Worsted from Vancouver and the Slouchy Toque which I used Fleece Artist’s Africa from Nova Scotia. And, I use Miski from Mirasol for the fingerless gloves. Although Mirasol is not a Canadian based yarn their story is quite unique and a great yarn company to support. They created the Mirasol Project which helps disadvantaged children in Peru improve their future.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged canadian Slouchy Toque. Canadian Fingerless Gloves, Canadian Top Down Trapper Hat, Fleece Artist, Mega Chunky Cowl, Mirasol, Superwash Worsted, Sweet Georgia, The Jenny Wrap Stripe Style | 1 Comment »
It is pretty rare that I knit the same thing twice, but there are those exceptions. oh my bear! by Tiny Owl Knits was one of those. I knit it for myself and then for a friend. It is in a chunky weight yarn (Berroco Peruvia Quick) and a fun pattern to make. I love the shape of this pattern- I could imagine making it again with a different motif on the front like a cat with a big bow tie?
Watershed Vest by Amy Swenson was another
pattern I repeated twice. This one I originally made for a friend out of Sweet
Georgia Worsted Weight yarn in Black Plum and then again for me in the original
yarn the pattern called for Heichi by Shibui in Canal.
And then of course for some reason I have made a gazillion (OK, only 4) Jenny Wraps They are just so easy, fast and cozy yet sophisticated to wear. I designed the alpaca and mohair version first, and then replaced the mohair with sequins for some serious bling, and then last summer I designed the Jenny Wrap Stripe Style which I knit out of Rowan Creative Linen (50% cotton & 50% linen) held doubled.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Amy Swenson, Berroc Peruvia Quick, Jenny wrap, Jenny Wrap Stripe Style, oh my bear!, Rowan Creative Linen, Shibui Heichi, Sweet Georgia Worsted Weight, Tiny Owl Knits, Watershed Vest | Leave a Comment »
It’s been close to a year since my last post…so you know what that means- I have a lot of projects to share! I never stopped knitting since I last posted, if you were wondering; I still have a very bad case of startitis; and if anything, my knitting obsession has gotten worse!
Sadly we took our Christmas tree down last week. I think this is the first year it came down before February. It was pretty crispy and felt a bit crowed by the end, so I guess it was time. I don’t knit gifts for Christmas since there would be a long line up of friends and family to knit for all at once, and in true “Amanda Style” I would leave it to the last minute = stress! So, occasionally I knit for birthdays.
A few birthdays ago I knit my mom the Ptarmigan cowl by Jared Flood in Filatura Di Crosa Superior held double in Muskrat colour. This cashmere blend was of course a delight to work with! Cashmere is truly my favorite fiber to work with and wear! I am also a huge fan of Jared Flood and the Wool People patterns. They are always written out well, and the fashion is rustic, simple and stylish!
This year I surprised my mom with the Houndstooth Bandana. I originally knit this as a sample for the shop but as soon as I could I wrapped it up and gifted it! It was knit from the beautiful Aslan Trends King Baby Llama & Mulberry Silk yarn. I enjoyed knitting with the smooth yarn and was super pleased with the outcome!
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Aslan Trends King Baby Llama & Mulberry Silk yarn, Filatura Di Crosa Superior, Houndstooth Bandana, Ptarmigan cowl by Jared Flood | 1 Comment »
Let’s add some colour to this blog in celebration of the first day of spring! It was a beautiful day here in sunny Vancouver. The air was crisp, the ground and flora was greener and the sky bright blue.
As my knitting skills grow, so does my clientele. I knit for a few special people whom I get to know and can appreciate the craft. This hot pink wrap was a custom knit. It is based on the pattern #02 Pompom capelet by Kazekobo from Vogue Knitting Magazine early autumn 2011. I did not do as many cables and omitted the pompoms. I used 1 skein of Mini Maiden 1-ply silk yarn from Hand Maiden Yarns. It was a long delightful knit and the colour was inspiring.
I always have a store sample on the go. This time I chose a crazy sunny colour- totally out of the box bright yellow! This pattern was a top down sweater from Blue Sky Alpacas: Thea’s Pullover. I used the new Techno Yarn, again from BSA. The yarn is made up of alpaca fibers threaded through a silk mesh tube; the advantage is non-pilling, less hot, super soft with a surprisingly minimal halo. A little understated on the skein, this yarn was unpredictably great to work with and I like how it looks as a fabric.
Like everyone else in the knitting world, I too got on the Honey Cowl bandwagon. I chose an electric blue Madelinetosh yarn: Tosh Merino DK colour # fathom. This project was a relaxing no-brainer that kept my interest the whole way through- I could almost make a few more!
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged #02 Pompom capelet by Kazekobo, Vogue Knitting Magazine early autumn 2011, Mini Maiden, Hand Maiden, Blue Sky Alpacas, Thea's pullover, Techno, Madelinetosh, Tosh Merino DK, fathom, Honey Cowl | 1 Comment »
And I am baaaaaack! Woosh that was a long span of non-blogging and a lot of knitting! Suddenly September (2011) arrived and I got caught up in teaching, repairing broken sweaters and knitting and now, not only is it February but February 2012! You must be wondering if I ever finished knitting all the projects I started in 2010 at least by last month. Well, truth be told, I have a few left over & unfinished; the Feather Sweater, Kitty Mittens and the Big felted bag…that is not too bad- 3.
But you know the reason for not finishing the last 3 was because of all the projects I started in 2011! Since my last blog I have knitted/completed 17 or so projects and cast-on/incomplete 6. For the next couple of weeks I will post all these projects and I am sure start new ones!
After knitting the BSA Ida’s vest I started working with Mohair Bouclé from a company we love to support, Be Sweet. I find Bouclé can either look fantastic with the right pattern and needle or become a terrible disaster and be extra tacky. I was intrigued by the yarn in its ball form for quite some time and when I spotted the pattern Bouclé Cocoon by Hilary Carr
I knew this would be great to knit and I was willing to take my chances on the look of the final outcome! I am happy how this turned out in the end. I ended up adding a white strip to the back and around the edging adding a belt to match because I ran out of grey yarn. A design feature by default and I like it!
I used 4 balls (100 yards each) in Grey and one in White and used 8mm needles
Did I tell you I was trying to teach myself to crochet? I never would peg myself as a crochetter however, like knitting it does have an addictive quality to it and I do enjoy it now-and-then. Nevertheless, much like the Bouclé, it is essential to find the right pattern or it too can look terribly tacky, in my opinion.
I cannot tell you how many times I started and restarted this pattern. The lingo for crochet pattern reading is much wordier than a typical knitting pattern which surprisingly really threw me off. Not to mention this pattern might have been too advanced for a novice crochetter.
I used a really pretty, grey sparkly yarn from Louisa Harding called Jasmine. Using 5 balls for a total of 535 yards and 5mm crochet hook I finally finished this Crystalline Snood by Jennifer Hansen with the skills to crochet!
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Be Sweet, Bouclé Cocoon, Crystalline Snood by Jennifer Hansen, Hilary Carr, Jasmine by Louisa Harding, Mohair Bouclé | 2 Comments »
I confess last weekend I casted on at least 5 more new knitting projects…ahhhh call me crazy. Either I am super creative, addicted to knitting or I am filling my life up to the brim with knitting to keep myself sane; I think it is a combo of all 3. I seem to go through fazes when I cast on a ton of projects in a short period of time so I have about a dozen or more on the go at once- a bit overwhelming at times! How can I possibly finish all these? But I love the thrill of continually learning new patterns, trying new yarns and designing. I get excited easily over knitting and can’t wait to try new things!
So far I am doing pretty good- I seem to be rotating through projects in a calm and manageable way!
Recently I have been trying to break knitting down and understand why I am so addicted to it- what makes it so therapeutic for me? So, lately when I knit I try to catch myself thinking to be aware of my thought process. I now know if a pattern is especially complex or has a lot of layers I am usually counting in my head or thinking about the stitches, the way they fall on the needles, how fast or slow my knitting project is growing and wondering how many repetitions it will take for me to memorize a pattern. If I am designing, I am thinking about how I want the design to look, hoping it will work out, and thinking about how I should write out the pattern, what I should change or if I need to start over. If it is a simple project I tend to either think of nothing significant at all or I work through tough obstacles in my life. The fascinating thing I observed whether I am counting, zoning out or thinking of major things going on I still feel a sense of calm and I never feel negative even if my thoughts are based from negative topics.
I love knitting and I am creatively crazy about it!
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged needle felting bird | 6 Comments »