PROJECT Orion

orion combo 1

orion combo 2

Orion

I love this new scarfy/wrappy pattern, Orion, from Nick Davis. I adore the simple but elegant welted ribs – they always give a simple air of style to a basic knit. Plus, it’s made with one of my favourite yarns, Malabrigo Rios. Rios is a hand dyed, super soft, machine washable merino wool made in Uruguay by a family owned company that supports local development environmental sustainability (plus they’re really nice, I met them at a trade show last summer and we chatted for a bit). If you want to substitute another yarn, you can use any worsted weight yarn.

The pattern uses basic short-row shaping to create the asymmetrical ribs (something else I love). If short-rows are a technique you don’t already know you don’t need to be afraid, they aren’t difficult and are definitely worth learning. There are LOTS of tutorials online, there’s a good one with photos and video HERE.

Mini Short-Row Knit-Hack

It’s easy to lose track of where you are in most knitting projects, but if you start with a consistent system your chance of success goes up exponentially! The most important thing about how to make short rows successful and fun is to keep track of what you are doing and where you are:

  1. Put a locking stitch marker in your wraps to mark them. Everything is easier when you can see it clearly!
  2. Keep track of your rows as you go. Your system doesn’t have to be fancy,  I usually just use paper and pencil to track where I am in the pattern, and I often tick off my progress right on my pattern. Plus, I’m a big fan of pencils, because if I have to rip back my work I can erase and adjust my notes without making a mess that will inevitably confuse me later.

Materials

Shop Online Button Turquoise 250w

 

orion combo 3

 

PROJECT Nightshift


Photos: Andrea Mowry

Nightshift

Andrea Mowry came out this super pretty new shawl pattern recently and I thought it would be totally gorgeous made with Cascade’s new marled-ombre yarn, Cascade 220 Superwash Wave!  It’s knit on 5mm needles, so it won’t take forever to finish this project, and it will be nice and cozy for the cold winter. The pattern calls for 6 colours but 5 of the Cascade is plenty to make your wrap, and you won’t suffer for lack of colour (the pattern is easy to change up, the designer wrote this into the instructions). I took a picture of a couple of colour combos I thought would look pretty (see below). Plus, Cascade 220 Superwash Wave is very reasonably priced your the project won’t break the bank.

Shop Online Button Turquoise 250w

NIghtshift Cascade 220 Wave Cool Colours 1

NIghtshift Cascade 220 Wave Warm Colours 1

 

Nightshift Combo 2

PROJECT Alpaca Braided Cable Hat

Diamond Alpaca Lopi Braided Hat

Baby Alpaca Braided Cable Hat

I made this Braided Cable Hat with super soft, super pretty Diamond Luxury Baby Alpaca Sport, and I have NO REGRETS! The baby alpaca looks sensational, it’s super soft, super fluffy and airy, and of course, it’s warm. The cables are simple, great for any skill level, and the pattern is a freebie, so that’s always a bonus too.

I topped it with a Raccoon Fur Pompom (size 16cm) – they’re my favourite because they are so light and fluffy, and don’t weigh down the hat too much. If you aren’t a fan of fur you can go with a faux-fur pom-pom,  or go classic and make your own pom-pom – I swear by the Clover Pom-Pom Makers, they make BEAUTIFUL pom-poms! Whatever you choose, we sell them all and you can get everything in one place.

Overall, I’m super pleased with this project – it looks like a $200 hat, which isn’t bad for $20 worth of yarn. But beware, once you make one everyone you know will start putting in requests for one of their own!

Materials

 

Snowbird Sale!

Snowbird Sale BLOG

Not everyone sticks around for the cold weather, so take 20% Off all of our Spring & Summer cotton and linen yarns (dishcloth cotton excluded) before you jet down south. Plus, the yarns that were already on sale are double discounted an extra 20%! All yarns are available in-store and online, but only while supplies last.

Cotton

Cotton is great for projects for babies and kids, and all of our offerings are machine washable. Cascade Ultra Pima is the yarn of choice for making Knitted Knockers. Cascade Avalon is especially lovely for soft baby blankets and garments.  Cascade Ultra Pima and Cascade Ultra Pima Fine are soft as silk and crochet like a dream!

Linen

Linen makes for sumptuous sweaters and wraps that will keep you cool when the weather isn’t. Our Quince & Co linens are machine washable so it can do double duty for a kids’ jumper or dress. Handmaiden Flyss is a stunning blend of linen and silk that will make a wrap or a tank you’ll cherish!

SHOP ONLINE

SOCK LAB: Week 1 Update

Sock Lab Week 1 finished & toe & ball

Sock Lab: Week 1

Last night was our first week of SOCK LAB and it was super fun! Sandra brought a half-finished sock, Liane brought something in progress (she’s prodigious and always has a pair of socks on the go), Jonathan started something new with a very sheepy yarn, and Judy and her friend were trying their hands at their first sock EVER. Shelna is a total sock knitter, but she forgot to bring hers because she’s pretty focused on chemo hats right now. Remy from Les Sheependales was working on a gorgeous mystery knit-a-long shawl, and I think Nicole is deep into a blanket. And as for me, I hauled out a long-neglected, half-finished sock project and inadvertently ‘cheated’ (it’s not a contest)  and finished the FIRST sock of Sock Lab!

The Back Story

Now, to start, you should know that I am not a sock knitter. Some people love knitting socks, others can take it or leave it – I fall into the latter group. Don’t get me wrong, I love love love wearing my handknit socks, they’re the best thing EVER, but making them isn’t really my groove.

Flash back to a couple of years ago, I started a pair of knee socks, completed one sock, and promptly lost interest. I do this, I suffer from Second Sock Syndrome, I totally own it. I also have no issue with letting projects lay fallow; I’m very human and feel shame about lots of things, but this is not one of them. So, for Sock Lab, I pulled out my estranged sock project. Sock Lab is about collective support, which I clearly needed to finish this shock. I unsealed the ziplock, stuck my nose in, and pulled out all the component parts (many mislaid accessories and needles were recovered), and evaluated the situation.

Sock Lab Week 1 Sock Surgery

I tried on my sock, remembered how much I love the feel of hand-knit wool socks, and then also recalled that I no longer enjoy wearing hand knit knee socks. This must be why I dropped the project. The prospect of making a second knee sock definitely did NOT fill me with joy, but the prospect of wearing a pair of regular socks was motivating. So I changed the project! I decided to make these socks something that I *would* wear, and performed a little surgery.

How I Did It

Surgery isn’t necessarily hard, it just requires good light and a bit of uninterrupted free time:

  • I cut the sock about 4 or 5 rows above the place I wanted to pick up the live stitches. Cutting knitting makes a deliciously crunchy sound and feeling, it was very satisfying.
  • I ripped back to the row above the one I wanted to put the needles in.
  • One by one, I took out the last row of stitches and put them back on the needles.
  • I re-knit the cuff.

Sock Lab Week 1 toe & ball

Having finished the first sock of Sock Lab, I gloated a little and moved on to the second sock … which I had conveniently already started!

Project Deets

  • The stripey yarn I used is some iteration of Lang Jawoll Colour that has since been discontinued. Lang is a Swiss company, and their Jawoll sock yarn is a conventional, long-wearing, Teutonic sock yarn, very similar to Regia. If you are now jonesing for a stripey sock I highly recommend the Urth Uneek Sock Kits – they’re GORGEOUS and come with three different patterns that work perfectly for the yarn. If I’d started with the Urth I doubt that I would have put the project down!
  • The grey yarn is a solid from Regia (I enjoy the aesthetic of having the toes and heels in a contrasting colour. Sock yarn technology has come along since I started my sock, and Regia now makes sock yarns with the contrast colour built-in! Both Regia Pairfect Design Line and Wool & The Gang/Regia Kinda Magic Sock have got all the patterning sorted out for you.
  • If you’re wondering about the pins in the sock, they mark increases I made. I leave them in as a guide until the very end of the project as a kind of guide (because I have the memory of a goldfish and constantly lose things like little pieces of paper where I have written down notes). Read more about this hack HERE. Why did I increase? I have narrow feet and I can’t stand the feel of loose socks, so I start with a narrow toe and increase around the ball of the foot and as I inch towards the instep (this is the beauty of making yourself socks – you can try them on as you go and tailor them completely).
  • FYI: I knit these socks toe-up, with a short row toe. The heel is a toe-up gusseted heel, I used the Toe-Up Slip Stitch Heel Sock Formula for this.

In Conclusion

So, not bad for the first week, no? So much drama: trying to remember things from a few years ago, feeling feelings, making decisions, cutting, picking up stitches, re-knitting, feeling different feelings …. it feels a little like the Nickelodeon tween sitcoms my niece watches. Drink it in, because I don’t think my socksperience will get interesting again until I have to remember how I did the heel.

See ya next week!

 

RESTOCKED Soft Donegal Tweed

Studio Donegal Display Colour BLOG

Studio Donegal Display Neutral BLOG

Studio Donegal Soft Donegal

Studio Donegal Soft Donegal is one of our favourite yarns, especially for colourwork and cables. It’s a classic Irish tweed made with super soft merino – so basically everything you always wanted in a tweed to be! Wonderful for hats, mitts, scarves, cowls, sweaters, blankets, pillows – you name it, your project will be BEAUTIFUL.

  • 100% Merino Wool
  • 100g/190m 9210 yds)
  • worsted weight to aran weight
  • 4.5mm/US7 needles
  • 20 sts & 26 rows = 4″ (10cm)
  • Made in Ireland
  • See yarn on Ravelry.com
  • Read a review of this yarn on Knitter’s Review

Shop Online Button Turquoise 250w

Studio Donegal Soft Donegal combo BLOG.png

EVENT Sock Lab!

Sock Lab Sock Puppet .jpg

Sock Lab

Wednesdays 5 to 8 pm, Oct 17 – Dec 14

Co-Hosted with Jonathan from ‘Your Fibre Intake

After a successful first knitting lab earlier this year, we are co-hosting with Your Fibre Intake a second edition, this time targeting socks!

Most people who participated to the first edition had a lot of battle stories about socks: they don’t fit, don’t like how the toe box feels, hate picking up stitches, fear knitting with fingering weight yarn, second sock syndrome, the list goes on. We think this kind of project is perfect for a collective lab: it’s more motivating when other people join in!

Bring your yarn and needles (or buy some at the store), a pattern (we’ll have a few for inspiration during the first few sessions). You can start a new project or bring in something you’ve been working on for a while, it’s up to you. We’ll be your cheerleaders, provide support, encouragement and fun! Join in person or online — commenting here or on Instagram, and make sure to share your progress and especially lessons learned!

Sock lab is different than a class – it’ a collective experience, a support group, a grass-roots exchange of ideas and motivation. If you need extra instruction you can hire one of our pros for $5/15 minutes. If you’re a beginner and want to take a full-on class with hands-on instruction, we offer those as a workshop or in private lessons.

This event is drop-in, there is no sign up in advance, there is no cost to join, and coincides with our weekly knit night. All you have to do is show up, introduce yourself, and have fun!

WHEN: Drop-In, Wednesdays from 5 pm to 8 pm, October 17 to December 14, 2018

WHERE: Knit-O-Matic, 1382 Bathurst Street

HOW MUCH: FREE to attend (one-on-one instruction is available for $5/15 minutes)

NOTE: If possible, we request anyone attending our social events please refrain from wearing perfume and bringing foods containing peanuts, as they are common allergens.