If this isn't the cashmere of local giveaways I don't know what is (does that work?lol)!
Go here to learn how to enter to win 2 skeins of Sweetgeorgia Tough Love Sock yarn, A copy of Strange Brew by Tin Can Knits and a copy of Alterknit Stitch Dictionary by Andrea Rangel. Be sure to enter in all three of their Instagram accounts to triple your chances.
Giveaway ends December 7th! Good Luck!
A guest post from Jenny Faifel of Sweater Freak Knits
Every holiday season, I like to run a little mystery KAL, sometimes it's a hat or a cowlette. This year I came up with something truly special - a cowl that is styled like a shawl but it doesn't have seams (like many other cowls that fit like a shawl do!).
It took a bit of tinkering and thinking, but it all worked out at the end just like I envisioned and I am pleased as peach!!!!
The first clue drops Dec 6th and the pattern is now on sale for 50% off at 3USD (no code needed!) till then. Get the pattern here and don't forget to visit the MKAL Chat thread to show us the yarn you plan to use! You can find all the details such as yarn info and dates on the pattern page.
Also, when you purchase the pattern, you get a 20% off coupon for the yarn pictured above - the very same yarn I used for my sample - naturally dyed Alpaca/Merino mix from Everlea Yarn. The code is valid till Dec 15th.
Hope to see you there!
Here's the wee video I made about fun times at Knit City this year. Below are link to the yarns, designs and people who are in the video in the order they appear.
The Grocery Girls
Tin Can Knits designs
Jane Stafford Textiles
Jane Richmond Climb socks
Pip n Pin designs
Gauge Dyeworks yarn
Woven Wood looms
Lucy Poskitt weavings
Amanda Kaffka of the Crafty Jackalope
Hinterland Textiles yarn
Andrea Rangel signing her newest book
Sylvia McFadden's Gentle Armour
School of Sweetgeorgia
Fibre Art Studio (and yes, Stephen West bought some of their bucle)
Cloche Hats book by Abbye Dhal
Veronika by Shannon Cook
Sometimes when I have a knitting project in the queue but don't have the correct yarn for the job I'll resort to combining two strands of a fingering or lace weight yarn to arrive at an aran or DK weight. And I've seen other knitters knit with two strands to achieve a marled effect, too. Until recently I only ever did this out of pure necessity but the results have so many pros that I'm definitely going to take it into consideration when planning projects from now on.
Here's what I like about it:
- The yarns lay next to each other, so your gauge remains in tact but the fabric you knit is actually thinner than if you used a yarn that is as thick as it is wide (ie round). It's like knitting with tape yarn. And because the two strands move to wherever they fit the most comfortably the twists and turns that occur during knitting don't create as much bulk and dimension as a tape yarn would. I have found that I really appreciate this thinner fabric for a spring or summer knit like the Gemini I'm wearing under my cardigan in the photo above.
The biggest pro in my experience has been the drape of the fabric (ie. how it behaves and looks when it hangs or moves). I'm particularly happy with the drape in this Gemini shirt which is a result of my first point about achieving a thinner fabric. The drape that this Sweetgeorgia Silk Merino Lace achieves in a double strand is just killer! Definitely something to consider (ie swatch) if you're humming and hawing between a double stranded fingering vs single strand of DK or light worsted - or any substitution using this technique. I have to confess I'm more of a 'start knitting and see how it goes' kinda gal - but swatching is never a bad idea.
Lastly, if you're knitting with a hand dyed yarn you can knit with two stands of a finer yarn to arrive at a bulkier weight and avoid pooling by joining the two strands at different points in the colourway (Not to say there aren't ways to do this when knitting with a single strand.) Last month I test knit this Moonstone Cloche by Abbye Dhal in two strands of Malabrigo sock yarn. There are greens, reds and purples in this colourway and there was no pooling to be seen - although I was less on top of where the two strands joined when I picked up stitches for the crown.
Also, I suspect that there might be an economic benefit to knitting some yarns in this way in terms of gaining yardage or avoiding buying too many skeins ie. if you know you'll have half a skien left over when knitting your garment with a DK weight yarn you can eliminate the "waste" (I have so many unused half-skeins!!!) by buying one skein of fingering weight yarn to divide into two and knit in a double strand (instead of two full skeins).
Okay now for the CONS...
For me there is only one CON, but it is kind of a big one. I find that I have to really pay attention to make sure that I'm always knitting in both strands. A pointy knitting needle will help with this, but the knitting is a bit less mindless when knitting with a double strand. When I do miss a strand it appears as though there is a hole in my knitting and I end up having to 'repair' them with duplicate stitch if I don't catch them while I'm knitting. The duplicate stitch does the trick, though, so at least there's an alternative to frogging or dropping back to that stitch.
Okay, I lied! I have one more thing to add that might be considered a con. My one point against using a double strand for structural things like hats is that the thinner fabric may take away from the structure of it, which I did find with the crown of this cloche hat. The body of the hat is knit in linen stitch which is super dense due to all the slip stitches, so I did not find it made a fabric that is too floppy, but I could see that being the case for other hats in regular knit and purl stitches.
Do you ever knit in a double strand? What do you like/dislike about it?
Seriously?! Snow in March?! I don't think I've seen this much snow here since one winter in '99 or so, and that was the most snow I'd ever since in my lifetime here BC. This reoccurring snowfall over multiple months, and into March(!!), is just bazaar.
Anyways, I thought I'd pop in and share a bit of the March newsletter (below), since a monthly newsletter is new for us and you might not know what you're missing. Sign up for upcoming newsletters which includes my pick of the upcoming workshops in town, a rundown of what we're aware of events-wise for the next month or so, our featured Instagram and Pintrest posts, and a classifieds section.
March 1st, 2017,
After 10 months of small town living I'm finally settling into it. Hilariously, without even seeing the connection, this fall I decided to cozy up and begin binge-watching Gilmour Girls for the first time (I wanted to catch up and watch the new season along with everyone else). Turns out Stars Hollow is not unlike my own small town, so watching the hilarity ensue on Gilmour Girls definitely helped me navigate and appreciate life in the boonies of the Sunshine Coast. So far my favourite personal small-town story is when Santa Claus made an appearance on Halloween night, gave my son a bucket of candy and then proceeded to the bonfire to smoke a fat joint, lol.
Actually, amazing moments occur on the regular to the point now where when they happen I secretly sing the Gilmour Girls' 'lah lah la-la-la lah lah lah', How To Dream score in my head (and have seriously considered starting an Instagram Story series inspired by that personal ritual). Even as I write I'm sitting in my local cafe semi-enjoying the sounds of a local base player jamming over a drum machine because (and I only just discovered this) Thursday afternoon jam is about to commence. So awesome. But okay, where am I going to work now? This is the only decent cafe around.
This month I have two finished objects off my knitting needles. My Tin Can Knits Flax Light pullover in infant size (above), and Shannon Cook's Deiecke hat in Maiwa's new silk/wool worsted weight yarn. Did you know thatMaiwa is making their own naturally dyed yarns now? I'll be posting on the blog about it soon.
Last week I said hello in a studio visit podcast-style video over on the Mirrix blog where I share a bit about mine and Katie Earle's project Everlea Textiles, as well as what's on my tapestry loom and why I'm weaving my next tapestry sideways.
Vancouver is rocking it in this new book, Garter Stitch Revival by Interweave Press. It includes an adorable flapper-style hat by local designer Megan Nodecker, a pair of mitts knit up in Sweetgeorgia Yarns an oversized cowl as well as a gorgeous long cardigan by Holli Yeoh, who also writes the forward. The book is on its way to me and I can't wait to knit up Megan's hat in an emerald green for my sister-in-law's September birthday (planning on getting all my gift knitting done early this year!)
Also, the awesome Tin Can Knits ladies organised the release of an 8 pattern collection called Heart on my Sleeve, by themselves and 7 other designers including Canadian designers Shannon Cook, Tanis Lavallee and Jane Richmond. It's $18 and 100% of the profit goes to the Against Malaria Foundation. How amazing is that?!
oh, and I have to mention that I laughed my butt off reading this summertime blog post by former Baaad Anna's owner, Anna Hunter's husband about the escape of their new Llama from their new farm in Manitoba.
SEE THE REST HERE
AND SIGN UP HERE
In addition to the Hinterland book that I wrote about last week, four new books have hit my radar - and they're all by some of the most celebrated designers in the Vancouver textile scene. I'm excited - and totally caught off guard! But, it is autumn after all, and these women never disappoint, so I shouldn't be surprised that they're kicking ass another year in a row.
Caitlin Ffrench has released a new series of incredible patterns in her book The Darkness Fell - I'm in love with that circle shawl!!!
Jane Richmond and Shannon Cook have a book of patterns called Within coming out on October 5th. Plus, Jane released a single pattern yesterday, the West Coast Cardigan, which will definitely be in my queue soon.
Amanda Kafka AKA The Crafty Jackalope released her first volume of patterns. This woman knows how to design a neck piece - I can't wait to caste on the Bandana Rocks cowl.
And the wonderful Felicia Lo of Sweetgeorgia Yarns is releasing a book called Dyeing to Spin and Knit!
I'm know there will be at the very least previews and samples in their respective booths at Knit City this weekend - for sure Caitlin will have her book there and by the looks of her Instagram she is making knitting kits, too. For now enjoy these pictures from the artists' Instagram accounts and here are some links to where you can purchase all the books:
Purchase The Darkness Fell by Caitlin Ffrench on ravelry
Buy Within by Jane Richmond and Shannon Cook online and in stores on October 5th (here's Jane's West Coast Cardi)
Buy The Crafty Jackalope Vol 1 online here
Preorder Dyeing to Spin and Knit by Felicia Lo on Amazon
Knit City is approaching quickly - it's only two weekends away!
Over the past six years living between MontreaI and New York my partner and I have both been students, so every year I'd try to coordinate being in Vancouver in the fall but I could never swing it. So, this will be my first year attending Knit City - I can't believe it took me five years!
I've heard so many awesome things about Fiona and Amanda, the awesome women over at Knit Social who run the event, and I hear nothing but good things, and how much fun people have between the classes, lectures and marketplace. Every year I oogle over all the Instagram pictures and this year I can actually take notes and make my rounds - I'm so stoked. Some things I'm excited about are the Hinterland Straits collection of patterns from Hinterland Textiles featuring local designers Jane Richmond, Shannon Cook, Andrea Rangel and Lindsay Inouye of Standard Knits and seeing some locally made yarn that I'm constantly drooling over online but are not the easiest to browse in person (ie, they're mostly available online) like Rain City Knits, Hinterland Textiles and Sweet Fibre among others.
I'll be teaching a full-day tapestry weaving class on the Saturday (which is sold out! Yay!) and then giving a free tapestry loom demonstration on Sunday October 2nd at 11:30. Come to the demonstration to learn about various ways that you can make and use tapestry looms as well as a demonstration of a Mirrix Loom and electric treadle (my favourite portable commercial tapestry loom). Other than that I'll be hanging out in the Unwind Knit & Fibre Lounge booth with Kim. Looking forward to seeing some familiar faces!
See you there,
I randomly chose the winner of our giveaway of ISLAND, and congrats to Penny! Thanks a bunch to everyone else who came by the blog and entered the contest. You all still have a chance to win a copy you know! Below is Jane Richmond's ISLAND blog tour line up and you can enter to win a copy at all of these stops :) Good luck!
J A N U A R Y
8th - Vancouver Yarn
10th - KD Quilts
14th - Canadian Living
17th - Celtic Cast On
22nd - Canary Knits
24th - Hey Jen Renee
29th - The Yarniad
31st - Knitted Bliss
F E B R U A R Y
5th - French Press Knits
7th - Truly Myrtle
12th - Noodlehead
14th - Miso Crafty Knits
19th - SweetGeorgia
21st - A Playful Day