Safe at Homeis my “it grew on me” pattern this week. When I first looked at it my negativity bias kicked in immediately, I came up with a bunch of reasons why it was a terrible project to recommend. I thought; “It’s too hard, it’s too much work, there’s too much seaming, the yarn is something objectionable …” etc, etc. But it’s really pretty so I looked closer and told my dumb mammalian brain to take a break and let my frontal lobe carry some of the load … as I slowed down and took it all in I realized it’s a project with a lot of potential!
First off, its knit with worsted weight yarn, which everybody has in their stash. To supplement (’cause lets not kid ourselves, you’re going to need more yarn, a project like this always requires more yarn) there are really affordable options with great colour choices, like Berroco Vintageand Cascade 220 Superwash. Because the design is already so patchworky, I love the idea of mixing different yarns of the same tension and creating slight textural variances. I think it would be so cool for different parts of the houses to have different textures. The pattern calls for 12 colours, but you can use as many as you like.
The skill level is advanced beginner to intermediate, but I think that’s ok, it’s good to push ourselves to grow and try new things (or revisit old things we haven’t done in. a while). Plus, if not now, then when? There also isn’t as much seaming as I expected, the little houses are knit in rows, and it’s all worked in garter stitch which is easy to seam.
Finally, the theme has grown on me. It’s a lovely metaphor that EVERYTHING is connected. When my mammalian brain does what it was designed to do and wanders off into selfness, I think it would be nice to have a happy reminder to help bring me back into balance.
Does anything say Canada to Canadians more than the iconic Hudson Bay Blanket? It’s simple design is timeless and a hand-knit version would make for a super-special baby gift. The pattern is beginner friendly (it’s just straight knitting), and makes a great low-brain activity, summer project. And it’s FREE, so that’s a bonus too!
The Hudson Bay Inspired Baby Blanket is made with worsted weight yarn, so you’ve got several great options to choose from! I’ve colour combined and art-directed the colours, so you don’t have to worry about which shades match and balance together – I’ve got you covered! Working with the palates available from each yarn line, I tired to create as many combinations that looked good as possible. I also tried to go for different aesthetics, the classics are closest to the iconic blankets sold by the Hudson Bay Company, and feature clearer, brighter colours. The subdued combos are a more modern, grown-up take on the hues, and are darker.
Cascade 220 Superwash is an affordably priced, machine washable Peruvian wool yarn. It’s soft enough for baby garments and blankets, knits easily, and has been a staple around here for a LONG time. If you aren’t into synthetics this is a great choice!
classic colours: six skeins of 817 Aran, and one skein each of 251 Evergreen, 809 Really Red, 877 Golden, 1924 Midnight Heather
slightly darker colours: six skeins of 817 Aran, and one skein each of 1950 Hunter Green, 893 Ruby, 877 Golden, 854 Navy.
Berroco Vintage is a super soft, machine washable blend of wool, acrylic and nylon. It’s easy on the hands and the pocketbook, and is another very popular choice for babies and kids. This yarn is also a longstanding resident around here.
classic colours: six skeins of 5101 Mochi, and one skein each of 5152 Mistletoe, 5151 Cardinal, 5121 Sunny, 51182 Indigo Heather.
somewhat subdued colours: six skeins of 5101 Mochi, and one skein each of 5193 Yukon Green, 51181 Ruby Heather, 5127 Butternut, 51182 Indigo Heather.
grown-up heathered colours: six skeins of 5101 Mochi, and one skein each of 5177 Douglas Fir Heather, 5181 Black Currant Heather, 5192 Chana Dal Heather, 51182 Indigo Heather.
FYI, we were supposed to do the 25km ride, but we just kept going and scored ourselves an extra 25km … I’m a little tender in the posterior, but I totally earned my donations this year! If you wanted to donate but didn’t get around to it it isn’t too late – my brother is only $12 ahead of me, I think that needs to be rectified …
Me & my father at the half-way point on a particularly wet & cold Ride for Heart.
Ride for Heart
Some of you already know that every year I do a charity bike ride with my father. This year I managed to drag my BROTHER along, so all three of us are riding 25km up, and then back down the Don Valley Parkway (a local highway).
Anyway, the purpose of the even, besides getting out of the house and getting some exercise, is to rise funds for the Canadian Heart and Stroke association, who does A LOT of important work helping EVERYONE improve their cardiac health (after all, scientific research has no borders). According to an article in the news yesterday women are TWICE as likely to die from a heart attack than men. This is NOT GOOD, because I know from computery data stuff that 95% of the people reading this are WOMEN! Sure, I’ve got a vested interested in keeping you alive, many of you reading this are my clients, but I also feel strongly that the world needs women, as many as it can get. And as women, we deserve to be strong, healthy, and happy.
P.S. They symptoms of heart attack in women are often different than those seen in men. Women can have chest symptoms (the ‘Hollywood’ clutching of the chest & sweating), or any of the following:
profound nausea and vomiting with palpitations
discomfort in the neck, jaw, shoulder, arms or back
Since I’ve been talking about women’s health, who better to invoke than the head amazon herself, Wonder Woman. I’ve actually seen this hat in the wild, on some dude in the subway, and it was AWESOME. Sure, you can still wear your Pussy Hat to protests, but sometimes you want something a bit dressier for your day-to-day lady needs. The pattern isn’t free, but it’s only $3, which I don’t begrudge to have someone else do the work of charting the symbol.
To make things easier, I’ve pulled all the suitable colours off the shelf and come up with colour combinations that work well together (you can never really tell online which shades are actually going to look good). I personally like a darker, more sombre colour combo with a dark red, gold and blue, but I know that everyone has different Wonder Woman Toque needs, so I chose colours that were both thematically on cue and look great together. By the way, if this project appeals to you, you might want to bookmark or Pinterest this post for future reference – you’ll want to revisit the colour numbers!
Since this is such a cool project, and it is in honour of a charitable fundraising endeavour, we’re offering a one time discount of 10% Off Online orders of the yarns we think will work best (discount is applicable to all colours, you can have your order shipped or choose to order online and pick-up your order in store): Use code WONDERHAT at checkout.
Cascade 220 Superwash is a soft, machine washable, 100% Peruvian wool, it comes in a bunch of colours, and the price is very reasonable. You’ll need 1 skein in each colour plus optional 1 ball for pom-pom in colour 817 Aran:
Berrocco Vintage is a super soft, machine washable blend of wool and synthetic, and the price is right at $9.97/skein. You’ll need 1 skein in each colour, plus optional 1 skein for pom-pom in colour 5101 Mochi:
Clear Colours Combo: 5150 Berries, 5121 Sunny, 5143 Dark Denim
Medium Combo: 5181 Black Cherry Heather, 5127 Butternut, 5143 Dark Denim
Dark Combo: 5181 Black Cherry Heather, 5192 Chana Dal Heather, 51182 Indigo Heather
Malabrigo Rios is a hand dyed, SUPER soft, machine washable merino wool, and while the price point is higher at $23.97/skein, comparable hand dyed merino yarns tend to run north of $30/skein. You’ll need 1 skein in each colour, plus optional 1 skein of off-white for pom-pom in Manos Alegria Grande in AG2800:
Brighter Combo: 611 Ravelry Red, 96 Sunset, 415 Matisse Blue
Medium Combo: 611 Ravelry Red, 96 Sunset, 150 Azul Profundo
Dark Combo: 33 Cereza, 96 Sunset, 150 Azul Profundo (the dye lot of 33 is darker than the picture)
I stumbled across this fun little stash-bustable blanket pattern and thought it was extremely shareable. It’s worked completely in garter stitch, which means it’s a great primer for anyone who’s up for learning short rows (intermediate beginner level) and knitting that’s easy on the grey matter. The yarn is Cascade 220 Superwash, which is great because it’s soft, easy to work with, washable, and it comes in a zillion different colours. yarn, you can also opt for Berroco Vintage. If you want a sturdier The pattern isn’t a freebie, but it’s very affordable and the proceeds of sales go to refugee relocation organizations (details are in the pattern notes, but there’s also some moving information on this subject in the comments).
Short Row Hack
Mark your short row turns by putting a Locking Stitch Marker or Calabash Pin in the turning stitch – it is SO MUCH EASIER to find that little stitch when there’s a plastic thingy hanging off it.
40″ x 40″, but the size is completely and easily adaptable.
Ok, this is jumping ahead by a month, but I came across this FREEBIE and it seemed like a great option for a casual cardigan, especially for beginner knitters (the only shaping is in the arms, the back and fronts are perfect rectangles). It’s designed with a basic worsted weight yarn, so you’ve got lots of options, depending on your budget and the aesthetic you want. I think it would look STUNNING knit up in a long ombre colourway like Cascade 220 Superwash Wave, it would create a very Missoni aesthetic. It would also be gorgeous made with hand dyed Malabrigo Rios, you can’t go wrong with hand dyed, super soft merino. And of course, I think everything looks better worked up with a standard heathered colour yarn, like Berroco Vintage or Cascade 220 Superwash. Either way, I think this oversized sweater will fit like a BIG HUG!
Cascade 220 Superwash Wave is a great new self-striping, ombre yarn. It’s made with the same great machine washable Peruvian wool as Cascade’s staple Cascade 220 Superwash, but it knits up in a long, “pixelated” colourway. The yardage is the same, one skein is enough for an adult hat or mitts, 2 for a scarf, 4 for a baby blanket (approx 30″ x 30″), 5+ for an adult sweater (depends on your size).
Oy vey, how pretty is this cabled hat?! I think it would look amazing in a simple yarn like Cascade 220 Superwash (the heathered colours would be especially fetching), but any worsted weight solid, semi-solid, heathered or tweed yarn would look amazing! Be sure to wash your hat and lay it flat to dry to settle the cables.
Cozy sockies make great gifts, especially when they are knitted with worsted weight yarn. This FREE pattern from Tincan Knits has great instructions and ranges in size from Baby to Adult Large. The other great thing is that you have a lot of yarn options when you work with a worsted, ranging from pretty hand paints like Manos Alegria Grande or Malabrigo Rios, to budget friendly options like Cascade 220 Superwash and Berroco Vintage, or Berroco Comfort Print. The most important thing about your yarn choice is make sure it’s machine washable!
Is it going to be warm? Is it going to be cold? I can’t tell anymore! I’ve been wearing shawls around the store lately, but I feel like I’d like something with a *touch* more structure, a little more style. After an exhaustive search, I’ve settled on Maeve, a shrug with a modern cable detail and little sleevettes.
The pattern calls for a worsted weight yarn, but after looking at the tension, needle size and finished projects I’d say it’s more like a DK weight like Mineville Merino DK or Cascade 220 Superwash Sport. If you want to go up to a light worsted weight yarn like Cascade 220, Cascade 220 Superwash, or Malabrigo Rios, go up a needle size to a 4mm/US6 or 4.5mm/US7 needle (test your tension and see how you like the fabric). I think I just want something simple and heathered, I’ll probably just use
I like heathers and tweeds, and since my Maeve will be worn a lot I need it to wear well. I think I’ll use a basic staple yarn like Cascade 220 Heathers – sometimes it’s best to keep things simple and not overthink it. I’ll probably make a smaller size, it;s a very unstructured garment and the dimensions of this type of style are generous.
Mini Knit Hack
Sometimes I like the feel of a yarn once the project has been blocked, but not so much in the skein when it’s straight off the shelf. If you don’t love the feel of your yarn in the skein, you can soften it up by washing it before you start knitting.
If your yarn is not already in a skein wind it up around the backs of a couple of chairs, or on a swift (if you have one).
With scrap yarn, secure the skeins in at least 4 sections (to keep the yarn from getting tangled while being washed).
Wash skeined yarn inEucalan no-rinse delicate wash (it is very easy, see instructions on the bottle/youtube/their website). Add a quarter cup of white vinegar to the water to stabilize the colour.