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Beach Knitting

 

This May long weekend I took part in a knitting retreat of sorts. We rented a pair of beach houses in Oceanside, Oregon where we met up on Friday afternoon and commenced an epic knitting weekend getaway. There were 18 knitters in total, many of whom I had only chatted with on Ravelry or met briefly at Stitches West.

There’s something to be said about both the inspiration and motivation that arises from having so many creative and like-minded people staying together in one place. And for that place to be on the beach? It’s an amazing experience that won’t soon be forgotten. Until next time ladies!

 

The Knitter’s Frolic, Toronto ON

During the last week of April Jason & I attended the 15th annual Knitter’s Frolic with Sweet Fiber Yarns. The one day marketplace event was full of fun, fibre and lots of knitters. After the show we had the opportunity to stay downtown for a few days before catching our flight back to BC. It’s incredible how different things are there than here, or anywhere else I have been. A friend of mine summed it up best when she referred to it as a concrete jungle. And I must admit that I found myself longing for a glimpse of a mountain from time to time. On the other hand, the architecture in Toronto is amazing. Throughout the city you can find old buildings literally mixed with new ones. And every once and awhile you come across a busy city block with a quiet church on the corner that was built in an entirely different century than everything around it.

Instagram Roll:

Unfortunately I didn’t knit much during this trip, but I did get to visit many fantastic yarn shops and I did buy some gorgeous yarn (big surprise!). Here’s what I brought home with me:

1. Zen Yarn Garden - Serenity 20 from Lettuce Knit (Mother’s Day present)

2. Tanis Fiber Arts – Green Label Aran Weight from The Purple Purl

3. Classic Elite – Solstice from The Purple Purl

4. Turtle Purl Yarns – Striped Turtle Toes from The Purple Purl (Mother’s Day present)

5. Handmade Walnut Shell Buttons from Romni Wools

On My Way: Knitter’s Frolic 2013

Today I’m leaving for Toronto to take part in the Knitter’s Frolic as a vendor. I can’t believe it has already been two months since I left for Stitches West. Where has the time gone?! Between wholesale orders, fibre show prep and many secret projects I’ve been buried deep in yarn (fun) and lots of administrative duties (not so fun). I’m definitely looking forward to a few months off before my next stop on the fibre show list which isn’t until October.

Unfortunately I don’t have much to show for all my hard work at this point. I do fully expect to have tons of colourful pictures from the Knitter’s Frolic and Toronto to share with you next week. And the other exciting things won’t be revealed until Fall.

Above is a picture of one of our apple trees budding this spring. We’ve had a couple stretches of beautiful weather and I haven’t been able to resist taking pictures around the yard in the radiant sunlight.

And below is one of the secret projects I’ve been working on. For now, the pictures are your only hints.. except if you spot me in YVR or YYZ or around downtown Toronto knitting with it, then I might let you feel it.

With Winter in Mind

 

I know it’s almost spring, but here I am thinking about next winter. As I work on my first large independent design project my mind belongs to thoughts of chilly mornings and the chance of snow. Today I can’t help but  see cable patterns in tree trunks and textured cowls in the clouds. But as the sun begins to stay up longer and the flowers begin to blossom I know my winter daydreams will be difficult to sustain. Don’t be mistaken, I very much love and enjoy the warm weather months. But when it comes to knitting, I knit for winter.

Stitches West, Stash & a KAL

I have a confession to make, I didn’t knit a single stitch at Stitches West. And it wasn’t until the end of the day on Friday that I realized I hadn’t bought anything yet either. The Sweet Fiber booth was busier than I could have hoped for or could have imagined. Next year I’ll be back with a bigger booth and much more help.

I did manage to get some shopping in Saturday morning before the market place opened as well as on Sunday when the market place was quieter than the previous three days. In a marketplace full of fabulous yarns and tempting notions my lack of time to shop proved to be a great way to stay on budget.

In no particular order here’s what stood out for me in the Stitches West 2013 marketplace:

Erin Lane Bag

This is one of my favourite purchases. Erin Lane Bags are made in the USA with gorgeous fabrics and knitters in mind. The draw strings pull snug and don’t losen up until you open your bag yourself. They come in a variety of sizes, from minis to big ones that will hold your sweaters in progress.

Ribbon Street Large Cosmetic Bag

I fell in love with the many gorgeous bags made with Japanese import prints at the Ribbon Street booth. This one is made with a cotton linen blend and the inside has a similar print that is laminated.

WSK Sequoia Superwash Worsted in Rust

Western Sky Knits is a collaboration between several wonderful ladies. I had the pleasure of meeting Kim and Heather in person for the first time this year when they stopped by the Sweet Fiber booth. All weekend I was admiring their yarns and colours through the clear bags people carried around the market place. By the time I finally made it to their booth most of the colours I lean towards were either sold out in the bases I love or they only had one or two left. I did however manage to snag this gorgeous skein of Sequoia Superwash Worsted in Rust.

Cephalopod Traveller in Ferry Bar Park

I made my first ever Cephalopod purchase at Stitches West this year. I think the colour here speaks for itself. It’s beautiful!

Bar-Maids Lo-Lo Bar in Lemongrass

This moisturizing bar smells absolutely divine. I’ve been using it every day since I bought it and I can’t wait to try some other scents. What I really like about this company is that they only use natural ingredients (sometimes artificial ingredients and fragrances can really bother my skin and my nose). Bar-Maids use only natural moisturizers and their products are free of paraben, petroleum and propylene glycol. They are also cruelty free and handcrafted in the USA. Did I mention their products smell amazing?

Namaste Devin Wristlet & Jemma Pouch

When I saw these smaller items at the Namaste booth I couldn’t resist, especially in the beautiful turquoise green. Ever since my back injury I’ve stopped using large shoulder bags and purses as they tend to make matters worse. The Devin Wristlet is a bit bigger than most wristlets and can fit both a wallet and a small knitting project  And the Jemma Pouch? I’ll admit it, I bought it because it matches so nicely.

Blue Moon Socks that Rock Lightweight in Handsome Man & SasSwatch

My mom and I are big fans of Blue Moon Fiber Arts. Whenever they’re at a show I always make sure to stop by their booth and admire their sock yarns. They’re fun, witty and always colourful. I brought my mom home a Handsome Man and myself a SasSwatch.

Here’s a couple of pictures of our booth set up before student preview night. More can be found here on the Sweet Fiber Yarns website. Gosh, I still can’t get over how busy it was! For comparison check out this picture we took on the last day.

Though I didn’t get to knit a stitch while at Stitches West I am making up for it now. This month I cast on Life on Sundays by Veera Valimaki for a knit a long over at the 88 Stitches Ravelry group (you’re welcome to join in too!) I’m using a heavier yarn (Sweet Fiber Merino Twist Worsted in Hippolyta and Verve) to make my shawl warmer and a bit bigger too.

Santa Cruz

This morning Jason & I woke up extra early so we’d have the chance to visit a nearby beach during our stay in California for Stitches West. We picked Santa Cruz. It was a bit chilly but we didn’t mind, considering it was more like a Canadian spring and a lot less like a Canadian February.

After spending the morning walking around the beautiful ocean front paths and boardwalk we headed over to the Santa Clara Convention center to start setting up the Sweet Fiber booth. Right now we’re neck-deep in controlled chaos, with stacks and piles of yarn everywhere as we sort through the boxes. Tomorrow we’ll make it pretty, pictures to follow!

Golden Pear

Golden Pear is a sweet little baby hat I put together for a friend after being inspired by the colours currently in my knitting basket. As I knit samples for our booth at the upcoming Stitches West show I’ve noticed I’ve been on a bit of a colour theme. Lately I haven’t been able to get enough of the crisp greens, golden yellows and spicy oranges. Golden Pear will be on display throughout Stitches West in our booth (#1041 & 1043).

I hope you enjoy this free pattern and I look forward to seeing the many colour combinations you’re sure to come up with.

S U P P L I E S

Yarn

Sweet Fiber Cashmerino Worsted (Colour 1: Moss, Colour 2: Ecru, Colour 3: Spanish Coin)

You will need 3 colours of a worsted weight yarn. I used leftovers for mine, when finished the hat weighs approximately 30 grams. That works out to be about 50 meters / 55 yards in total divided over the three colours with more for colours 1 & 3 and less for colour 2.

Gauge

20 sts and 28 rows over 4 inches / 10 cm in Stockinette stitch in the round using larger needles, lightly blocked.

Size

To fit: 11.5 inch / 29 cm to 14 inch / 36 cm head circumferences

Finished Measurements: 11.5 inch / 29 cm circumference, 5 1/4 inch / 13cm long

If you would like to adjust the size of the hat, do so in multiples of 8 stitches.

Needles

4mm / US 6 circular needle (16 inch) or DPNS

4.5mm / US 7 circular needle (16 inch) and DPNS

Notions

1 stitch marker

darning needle

Techniques

Colour stranding (Knitty tutorial & more information)

Icord (Purl Bee tutorial)



I N S T R U C T I O N S

RIBBING

Using colour 1 and smaller needles cast on 64 sts. Place marker and join in round.

Ribbing: [K1, P1] repeat to end of round.

Repeat Ribbing until piece measures 1 inch / 2.5cm from cast on edge.

BODY

Change to larger needles.

Section One:

Using colour 1 knit 4 rounds in stockinette stitch (approx 1/2 inch / 1.25cm).

Section Two:

Round 1: [K1 with colour 2, K1 with colour 1] repeat to end of round.

Round 2: [K1 with colour 1, K1 with colour 2] repeat to end of round.

Repeat Rounds 1 & 2 a total of 2 times.

Section Three:

Using colour 2 knit 4 rounds in stockinette stitch (approx 1/2 inch / 1.25cm).

Section Four:

Round 1: [K1 with colour 2, K1 with colour 3] repeat to end of round.

Round 2: [K1 with colour 3, K1 with colour 2] repeat to end of round.

Repeat Rounds 1 & 2 a total of 2 times.

Section Five:

Using colour 3 knit 4 rounds in stockinette stitch (approx 1/2 inch / 1.25cm).

DECREASES

If using a circular needle change to dpns when there are too few stitches to continue.

Round 1: [K6, K2tog] repeat to end of round. (56 sts)

Rounds 2,4,6,8,10,12: Knit all stitches.

Round 3: [K5, K2tog] repeat to end of round. (48 sts)

Round 5: [K4, K2tog] repeat to end of round. (40 sts)

Round 7: [K3, K2tog] repeat to end of round. (32 sts)

Round 9: [K2, K2tog] repeat to end of round. (24 sts)

Round 11: [K1, K2tog] repeat to end of round. (16 sts)

Round 13: [K2tog] repeat to end of round. (8 sts)

Round 14: [K2tog] repeat to end of round. (4 sts)

Using the 4 remaining stitches knit an icord that measures approximately 3 inches / 7.5cm in length (if using the Purl Bee tutorial the 4 sts would be your “cast on”). Once complete clip yarn leaving an 8 inch / 20.5 cm tail, using a darning needle thread tail through the remaining 4 stitches and pull tight. Thread the tail through the base of the icord so that the yarn is now on the wrong side, pull tight (this will cause your icord to form a loop) and secure on the wrong side of the hat.

If you wish not to make an icord loop: clip yarn and thread the tail through the remaining 4 stitches, pull tight and secure on the wrong side of the hat.

Weave in ends, block hat as desired and clip ends.

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