Category Archives: spring

Groovy in Sparrow Revisited

Groovy

We made this wrap a few years ago, but I’ve been working on my photography skills and while I had the camera out I figured I try taking some new photos. Little did I know that it would make love to the camera! Or maybe the camera loved it. Either way, beauty is abundant!

Groovy is an uncomplicated pattern, well suited to intermediate to advanced beginners, and more experienced knitters who need something simple to work on. We used Quince and Co Sparrow and 3.75mm/US5 needles, a 100% organic linen, and the drape is just INCREDIBLE. Plus blocking is a dream – machine wash in a delicate bad, dry on low for 15 minutes, lay flat to dry. The fabric comes out silky and has a drape like no other fabric you’ve ever seen.

Materials

  • Quince and Co Sparrow: 4 skeins (the colour is citron, but I have not colour corrected these photos, and the most accurate version of the colour is on our website)
  • 3.75mm/US5 – 29″ circular needles (or longer)
  • tapestry needle
  • Pattern: Groovy

PROJECT-SPIRATION Kalaloch Pullover

Kalaloch Pullover

I don’t know if you caught this pattern on Ravelry a few weeks ago, but I filed it away somewhere in the middle of my mind. It’s made with BC Garn Bio Balance, a gorgeous spring/summer weight yarn made from a blend of organic wool & cotton. We’ve worked up a sample shawl with it and it was delightful to work with and wear. When you work with it, it kind of moves like a soft wool with a bit of texture and grab to it, you don’t really feel the cotton. But when its knitted, the fabric doesn’t feel like wool at all, it feels like a blended plant fibre you’d find in a commercial garment. It’s interesting, and really nice!

Anyway, I love the combination of texture and oversized ease in this sweater. It’ll be extremely comfortable and breathable, perfect for slouching around the cottage, the house and the city. I don’t love the colour they chose, I don’t know about you but I have a hard time visualizing myself in a dark green summer sweater! Good thing BC Garn Bio Balance comes in a bunch of pretty colours for warmer seasons (they have a medium green that is beautiful). If you want to cast on right away, here are your best bets (if you have your heart set on another colour that we don’t have in stock let us know and we can get that for you):

Needle Hack: Interchangeables ROCK!

The body and sleeves are worked in the round from the bottom up to the yoke, then the pieces are joined for working the circular yoke. If skipped ahead to the materials, you’ll notice that the pattern calls for a bunch of needles in different lengths – if you have been thinking about buying yourself a set of interchangeable needles this might be a good opportunity. If not, I’d buy individual interchangeable tips and cords: for the circulars I’d get Knitter’s Pride Interchangeable Tips 3.5mm-4.5″, 3.5mm-3.5″, and 3mm-4.5″ (to sub for the 2.75mm), and corresponding Knitter’s Pride Interchangeable Cords/Cables in 16″, 24″ and 40″. For the double pointed needles you can get them in 3mm & 3.5mm, or use your 40″ cord for the magic loop technique.

If you already have an interchangeable set check to see if it comes with the 3mm tips – most do not, but Knitter’s Pride makes them as individual pairs in the metal “nova platina” (chrome plated brass).

Pattern Hack: Libraries ROCK!

We no longer carry Interweave Knits, but you can still find the paper edition in grocery stores, drug stores, and online as an e-publication through Interweave. But there is a fourth option: the public library! Check your public library to see if they provide digital magazines. Interweave Knits is available from the Toronto Public Library though the RB Digital service, which is a FREE service – all you need is a library card (also FREE) and a digital device (smart phone, tablet or computer). If you don’t have a device you can go to the library and use one of their computers and printers – you can even ask the librarian for help if you are having trouble, helping people access information is their calling. You can also ask a librarian for help if you have a portable device but you don’t know how to use the digital system to access the magazine. Librarians ROCK!

These are screenshots of the magazine, that I downloaded to my i-Phone through my public library’s website.

Size 

  • 42 (48, 54, 60, 66)“ circumference at underarm.
  • Pullover shown measures 48”; modeled with 15” of positive ease.

Materials

  • BC Garn Bio Balance: 6 (7, 8, 8, 9) skeins.
  • 2.75 mm/US2 – 40″ circular needles
  • 2.75 mm/US2 double pointed needles
  • 3.5 mm/US4- 40” circular needles
  • 3.5 mm/US4 double pointed needles
  • 3.5 mm/US4 – 16” and 24” circular needles
  • stitch markers
  • Pattern

NEW PROJECT Day Blossom

Day Blossom

When we make projects for the store, I choose them with you in mind. You’ll can probably figure out which things I like to make for myself – mostly sweaters with simple silhouettes, accessories for the family, and quirky little things (mohair tissue box covers, decorative mini-sweaters, tea cozies with limbs growing out of them, etc). Day Blossom is kind of a crossover – I came across it while looking for a store project, and figured I’d take a chance on it. I fell in love with the texture, I love texture and playing with texture. It combines two weights of Quince’s linen yarns, one thicker and one thinner. In the pictures the yellow is the thicker yarn (Quince & Co Kestrel) and the neutral colour is the thinner (Quince & Co Sparrow).

I kind of like the little fringes, they reiterate the changes in the textile and create a bit of visual interest, but you don’t have to make them if you don’t want to. The size is nice too, it’s very comfortable as a scarf and as a shoulder cover. The linen is cool and comfortable, all drape. After a long winter and cold spring it’s nice to wear a garment that’s feels different. Linen and wool are kind of binary opposites; wool is all about warmth, air and body, while linen is cool, dense and drapey.

I like knitting linen with wood needles, but Liane said it drove her up the wall. When I made my first sweater with Quince & Co Sparrow I swatched quite a bit to make sure I got tension, and I tried both bamboo and brass needles. At first I didn’t like the wood, then I tried the brass, and after that I went back to the wood and preferred them. In the end, the needles weren’t really the factor I expected them to be, but getting used to working with the linen was the important part. Once I was accustomed to the fibre I was happy with my regular needles. As for all those swatches, Sparrow is super soft and machine washes beautifully so I use them around the house and the store. They’ve replaced disposable tissues for removing makeup, washing my face, and cleaning up little messes. To my mind, that’s a big bonus – the less I have to send to landfill the better!

The colours shown in the original pattern are Quince & Co Sparrow in Moon (a grey with a blueish cast) and Quince & Co Kestrel in Minos (purple). Their colours are STUNNING, I love them, and for a bit I had a hard time thinking outside of that box. But it’s been such a cold & dreary spring here that I felt I owed it to everyone to come up with something brighter, happier, more optimistic. To pull myself out of that blank mental space I pulled all of the colours off the shelf and shuffled them around on the table. I’m glad I did, the colour combo I came up with is sunny, it has just enough colour to brighten things up without being “HI, NICE TO MEET YOU! I’M YELLOW!” You can’t go wrong with the combo of a colour on a neutral, you just have to make sure that the tones in both shades are complimentary.

Materials

NEW One-Skein Clapo-Ktus Wrap/Scarf

clapo-ktus shawl/wrap in handmaiden flyss

Clapo-Ktus Wrap

I just finished this Clapo-Ktus wrap and it came out beautifully! I was itching to work with some of the Handmaiden Flyss on our shelves, a Canadian hand-dyed blend of Silk and Linen, and I was looking for a one-skein project that wouldn’t take too long and would show off the textile – I think totally NAILED IT.

The Pattern

Clapo-Ktus (terrible name, but the pattern is free) is actually a combination of two popular patterns, the Clapotis scarf/wrap, which involves dropped stitches, and the Baktus scarf, which is knit from side to side. The dropped stitches are gorgeous and make great use of the yarn’s natural drape (linen and silk are both fibres that are ALL drape, and have zero body). The Baktus part of the design give it a triangular shape, and allows you to use exactly as much yarn as you have on hand (hence a one-skein project).

The Finished Product

I wasn’t initially sure the one skein would be enough, but as I dropped the stitches it expanded beautifully, and after blocking it was magnificent. If you are interested, I would definitely also recommend making a Clapotis with this yarn, it would be a stunner! I originally envisioned this project as a wrap for the spring and summer, and I think it will hold it’s own in this department, but when it was finished and I tried it on I actually ADORED wearing it as a spring scarf. The fabric isn’t heavy or dense, and the textile is soft but has just enough texture to make it interesting. The Handmaiden Flyss is definitely knit-worthy, I’d like to make a sweater with it next!

Just one caveat – I ended up with these weird open stitches on one side, where the dropped stitches were initially created (you can see them in the picture below with the hanger). I thought I followed the pattern, so I’m not sure what went wrong or how I ended up with this. With all the dropped stitches in the fabric I don’t think it’s a big deal or unsightly, but if you have any idea what I’ve done please leave a comment!

clapo-ktus shawl/wrap in handmaiden flyss

Materials

clapo-ktus shawl/wrap in handmaiden flyss
clapo-ktus shawl/wrap in handmaiden flyss
clapo-ktus shawl/wrap in handmaiden flyss

clapo-ktus shawl/wrap in handmaiden flyss

NEW Bio Balance Wrap

Grrovy shawl/wrap in BC Garn Bio Balance

Groovy in BC Garn Bio Balance

We just finished another Groovy wrap (when something works well, I tend to go with it). The last time we made it was a few years ago with Quince & Co Sparrow, and I wanted to try it with a different textile, to see how the fibre behaved.

The pattern isn’t free, but it’s a good pattern, the kind you’ll go back to over and over when you have random skeins you don’t know what to do with, and the price is nominal. It doesn’t take a lot of brain power (which is nice in warm weather), and is accessible to newer knitters. Basically, it falls into the “some things are worth paying for” category.

The pattern isn’t free, but it’s a good pattern, the kind you’ll go back to over and over when you have random skeins you don’t know what to do with, and the price is nominal. It doesn’t take a lot of brain power (which is nice in warm weather), and is accessible to newer knitters. Basically, it falls into the “some things are worth paying for” category.

This time we used a new yarn, BC Garn Bio Balance. It’s a deliciously soft blend of organic cotton and organic wool, an all year yarn that’s especially great for people who run warm. The company is Danish, the yarn is milled in Turkey, and the fibres are from Argentina. It’s definitely an idea yarn for wraps, sweaters, baby and child garments, etc. The fabric turned out soft, light, and cozy, and pretty, and our wrap is a perfect little something to throw on in spring and summer. Not too big and not too small, you wan wear it around your neck or your shoulders. If you want to make one larger, just get an extra skein and keep knitting. I loved this dark blue, it’s very denimy (without feeling or knitting like denim), but now that all of our stock of BC Garn Bio Balance has arrived I’ve re-confirmed that all the colours are delicious!

Materials

NEW FREE PATTERN Beach Wrap

Beach Wrap

This wrap was created with accessibility in mind – I wanted it to be simple to knit, and incredibly wearable. It’s made with Quince & Co. Kestrel, a 100% organic linen that’s easy to knit with, comfortable to wear, and super easy to wash (throw it in the machine in a delicate bag). The linen is heavy enough to keep you warm on spring and summer nights, but will never leave you sweating.

The simple welted texture is random, completely reversible, and creates a classic, timeless look. The pattern is knitted on the bias, increasing in width as you go, so you can make it any size you like and you never have to worry about running out of yarn. We’ve written the pattern with a line-by-line chart, to help you keep track of your rows (a beneficial thing for everyone, but especially helpful for people with learning disabilities). And the final bonus – it’s a FAST knit on 6mm/US10 to 7mm/US10.75 needles (think quick mother’s day gift)!

Size

  • 82”/205cm long (from tip to tip)
  • 20”/50cm deep (at longest point)

Materials

PROJECT Spring Quaker Yarn Stretcher

Quaker Yarn Stretcher

I loved out first version of the Quaker Yarn Stretcher that we made a second in a lighter, springier colour. We used the same yarn, one skein of Handmaiden Maiden Hair, but we tried some larger (7mm/US10.75) needles this time and got an even lighter, airier effect. It still makes a great, light-as-air scarf, but you can see in the pictures below it’s a perfect wrap for cool summer evenings and chilly wedding halls everywhere. Or just drape it on things around your hose and enjoy the prettiness all year (I seriously used to have a friend who did this – she used to art-direct her apartment long before blogging and the internet. Her for-display-only yarn basket was what got me into knitting).

The yarn, Handmaiden Maiden Hair, is just gorgeous, I absolutely adore working with it before, during, and after the project. Apparently you do to, so we have ordered more in some springier colours and it is on it’s way!

Notes

  • We accidentally changed the pattern and worked e rows of garter stitch instead of reverse-stocking stitch, but it isn’t highly noticeable (see modifications below)
  • I splurged and got myself a second set of Knitter’s Pride Knit Blockers, because I absolutely freakin’ LOVE THEM. Blocking the shawl was a dream with them, they are my favourite new thing.

Modifications

  • R 1 to 12: Work Rows 1 to 12 as written in pattern
  • R13 to 18: Repeat Rows 1 & 6 three times

Materials

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