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A Yarn Story

I Wish I was an Octopus: Spring Flings May 19 2017

I don't about you but I feel like there is a plethora of amazing designs out there at the moment and I want to knit them ALL. And I mean all of them. I haven't written a post in the "I Wish I was an Octopus" serious in a while so I thought it was time to talk about some of the many patterns inspiring me at the moment.

Who hasn't been totally caught up in the "fading" craze? The talented Andrea Mowry captured our imaginations with her Find your Fade shawl at the beginning of the year (I do have one of these on the needles but more on that at a later date) and then last month she released the So Faded sweater pattern in both an adult version and a pint sized version. And just look how amazing her and her daughter look in their sweaters? Lots of great fading versions have been created already and it is just a great little summer sweater. 

The yet to arrive second Issue of Laine Magazine is full of gorgeous patterns including another shawl pattern by Andrea called Bird of  Feather. But that's not the pattern I'm clambering to start knitting, no it's Morning Fog by Laine co-founder Jonna Hietala which is an elegant light weight cardigan knit in Shibui Knits Silk Cloud. This cardi just looks so cozy and relaxed and would just be the perfect item to dress up my summer uniform of jeans, a tank top and sandals. It will work well into the autumn and winter as well as a light layer. I can't wait to see more pics and dig into the pattern when the magazine arrives next week.

Have you seen the Pom Pom Quarterly Summer 2017 preview on Ravelry yet? It's full of cute patterns and I love the bright cheerful photographs they've taken for this milestone 5th Anniversary edition. The magazine should be arriving in the shop next week, which means I could in theory cast-on the Bash hat by Linda Dubec. I love everything about this hat, the geometric design, the colors used (though I have been playing around with altering that so that I could replace the yellow with pink)  and the yarn. I love working with The Fibre Co. Cumbria Fingering yarn and a hat is a reasonably sized project that I may even manage to complete in the nearish future. Maybe even in time for Pomfest in July, watch this space...

I came across this adorable kids pattern in a friend's Ravelry favorites the other day; it's the Teddy Bear Sweater by PetiteKnit and it's just so darn cute. It's a simple top down raglan sweater with some cleverly placed embroidery on the front. I have lots of friends with young kids at the moment and I'd love to make this for at least one of them. 

And last but not least for this edition of "I Wish I was an Ocotopus" is a shawl pattern by Melanie Berg. Melanie will be here teaching in June and I'd love to knit another of her designs before she arrives and I'd love the chance to use Shibui Knits newest yarn Lunar which makes Whiteout the perfect choice. Melanie used Pollen and Ivory which is a stunning combo but not a color combo I can wear. I've been playing around with color choices all week and I might so for a darker version in Abyss and Imperial. 

Let's see how many of these, if any I manage to get on the needles. I'm trying to finish up several projects at the moment including a pair of Dave socks for my Dad, the Enso sweater I started for myself last Spring, the Joji Locatelli MKAL and at least five other projects I can't think of at the moment. 

-Carmen


I Wish I Was an Octopus: Chunky Knits December 01 2016 1 Comment

As usual there are so very many things out there that I want to knit and only two hands with which to do this. The saving grace this time of year though is chunky yarn. Chunky yarn creates beautiful, quick knits that will keep you cozy warm during these frosty winter months.

I finished off my Sonder Shawl by Helen Stewart a couple of weeks ago which I have been wearing non-stop since. This was the last pattern in her Shawl Society collection and it's knit using The Fibre Co. Tundra and I just love it. It's actually the only pattern in the collection that I've managed to knit so far despite having yarn set aside for at least two of the other patterns. I am inspired to knit up another of these shawls, as Dani of the Little Bobbins podcast knit up her Sonder Shawl and then attached TOFT alpaca pom poms instead of tassles to her shawl! Now I need a version like this, so I'm thinking Petrel with black pom poms. Totally doable in the next week of so, yay!

Helen has several great quick knit pattern in Tundra, including the Ice River Hat and Cowl from her Knitvent collection last year. Or if you want something a bit different I love Julie Weisenberg's Stranded Cowl. I made a version of this using Tundra and Knightsbridge last winter, then made one for my sister as well. There are several version on Ravelry using Malabrigo Rasta as well. Then there is the einter Nordlándda collection by Rachel C. Brown. Super cute cable hats that will knit up quickly and make great gifts for either yourself or loved ones. 

We've just added Mrs. Moon Plump Superchunky to the shop, which is a soft, smooshy chunky yarn. Great for a cute bobble hat for kids or adults. My plan was not to knit any Christmas presents this year but now I'm tempted to whip up some hats for my little cousins as I could make something from Tilly's Hat Snood and Mitts Set. I'd also really like to get better at crochet (one of my personal goals for 2017) and Mrs. Moon has some great crochet patterns for this yarn. Hmmm...

Malabrigo Rasta is the ultimate of the chunky yarns. It's a Super Bulky, 100% merino hand dyed in both some lovely semi-solids and some crazy variegated colourways. I've made a Red Rasta Cowl in this yarn already and I love it but I've been eyeing up the Bushwick hat pattern as I really want a big warm funky hat for the winter. Maybe in Baya Electric and Whale's Road? or Laguna Negra and Plomo? So many choices, how is a girl to choose!?! Or what about the cheeky Julie Weisenberg pattern Smitten - it's a two handed single mitten design so you and your loved one can hold hands and stay warm. 

 Ok and totally not on the chunky front but something I want to cast on immediately nonetheless is from the Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life revival that Netflix released last weekend. I don't know about you but I was quite excited to sit in my jammies with my knitting and binge all four episodes. I was then blown away by a couple of the scarves featured on Paris and Rory in the first episode and even more blown away when I found out they were handknit in The Fibre Co. yarns and the patterns are available on Ravlery! Paris wears Eponymuff in Road to China Light while Rory is wearing Dots n Dashes knit Knightsbridge. What colors to use? I've got a few ideas, so I'll at least stash some yarn for these and then hopefully find some time to knit one over the Christmas holiday.

As usual too many awesome things I want to knit and too few hands and too little time, though I do have a glimmer of hope in getting some of this accomplished this month as it is mostly chunky projects.

Happy Making!

-Carmen


I Wish I Was an Octopus: decisions, decisions October 13 2015

I recently finished off two rather large projects, In Stillness by Alicia Plummer in The Uncommon Thread Everyday Worsted and Garter Goodness by Stephen West which used Hedgehog Fibres, Life in the Long Grass and The Uncommon Thread. They both took quite a bit of knitting, so I have been working on a couple of quick and easy hats as a little palette cleanser if you will. I whipped up Puck by Dani Sunshine as a little birthday gift for my niece and a super simple hat in the custom colourway Lupi from Hedgehog Fibres as per request by Ian. Now, big decisions to make - what to knit next!?!

I've been queuing and favoriting on Ravelry like a mad woman and now it's time to decide what to actually cast-on. I have been eyeing up Leonie by Cocoknits for a while and have been going back and forth on yarn choice for this garment. There are a lot of yarn possibilities for this pattern but I saw a version of it last weekend at the Cocoknits booth at the Knitting & Stitching show using Shibui Knits Staccato and Silk Cloud held together and I think we have a winner. Now, shall I knit it in the stunning new color Cove or go with the more wear-with-everything Tar? Or perhaps Ivory?

As I'm on a bit of a hat kick at the moment I have Spire by Shellie Anderson high on the list. Shibui Knits Maai and Staccato held double should be a nice quick knit and this has got to be in Suit for me (if my sister's lucky she might get a version in Tango for Christmas). Rachel Coopey has a new book out, Toasty Volume Two, and I'd love to knit Hartwith in baa ram ewe Titus in Bramley Baths with an Endeavour pom-pom on top. A bit of texture in both of these patterns, great yarn and a small project, that ticks a lot of boxes.

It's that time of year when I start thinking about mittens, I really like knitting mittens and there are some great options. I mentioned Karie Westermann's Skovtur last week and those might very well be on the needles some time next week during the Midwinter Yarns Pop-up. Ysolda Teague's new pattern Kaerlig are a great pair fingerless mitts too. They are done in a fingering weight yarn, so lots of options and maybe a good way to use up some leftover yarn from stash. This is a pattern from Ysolda's new collection Knitworthy 2 and so far only four of the eight patterns have been released, so I can't wait to see what is still to come.

And if I had all the time in the world I would start Whippet (long) by Ankestrick. A lovely customer did a version of this and used the Walk Collection Linea Fingering and it is stunning. It's something that helped me choose this particular yarn for the shop as it's a fibre combination that maybe isn't as obviously beautiful on paper but in person, it's fabulous!

So those are just a few of the things I've been eyeing up recently. So many beautiful things to knit, so little time. What would you be knitting if you were an octopus?

-Carmen


New Series: I Wish I Was An Octopus... April 20 2015 2 Comments

I made mention of starting a series of blog posts called "I wish I was an octopus" at the start of the year and well, I've finally gotten around to it. This is going to be a monthly series in which I talk about the projects on my needles and the projects I wish I had on my needles. As is probably the case with many of you, there are a hundred beautiful projects out there I want to knit and I only have two arms. But see, if I were an octopus it would be a whole other story.

On my active needles at the moment, (I say "active" because I have at least 4 WIPs in a basket in my office) is the simple but gorgeous In Stillness by Alicia Plummer, which I am knitting up in The Uncommon Thread Everday Worsted in Pontus. I can't take the credit for finding this pattern, it was a customer who sent me a photo (the one I used below) of her finished sweater and I instantly fell in love. I love things that aren't too fussy, that are simple and elegant in design but with a little something special. This ticks all those boxes. Alicia designed the pattern in Everyday Worsted and it is a perfect match. The stitch definition is incredible and of course the colors are amazing too. I'm hoping to whip this up pretty quickly so I can get on to one of these other projects.

I have been searching around for a baby blanket pattern for a while now as good freinds of mine are about to have their second. I have done a few baby blanket gifts in recently and while I am happy to repeat a pattern I loved, I was looking for something new and hadn't been finding anything that inspired me. That is until last week when this was in my instagram feed:

How great is this blanket!?! It's the latest release from Tin Can Knits and it's called Fly Away which is part of their new book Max & Bodhi's Wardrobe. I have yet to decide what yarn to use but I'll let you know when I do. It's going to be a belated gift as the baby is due in a couple of weeks and there is no way I'll get it done before then.

I have also been drooling over several versions of Stephen West's pattern Dotted Rays. I love both the single color versions and the super-multicolored ones. If I went single color it would have to be Sweet Georgia Yarns Tough Love Sock in Sapphire. It is just the most goreous blue and such a great yarn to work with. It would make a great Dotted Rays. If I went multi-colored route, then I would dig out some leftovers from my stash, as the cresents at the start of the shawl don't use much yardage it'd be a great way to use up some stash that will otherwise not find a home very quickly. Add in some Hedgehog Fibres Sock in Teacup and Skein Top Drawer Sock in Smokestack Lightning. (I'm having a bit of a blue/teal obsession at the moment if you haven't noticed.) 

Last on my list of things I wish I was knitting is Belle by Coco Knits. A perfect pattern for Shibui Knits Linen, a great summer sweater that could be thrown on over a tank top, a bikini or a dress. It's a super flattering shape and only requires 3 skeins for the small and medium while the large only needs 4. I've been eyeing the Fjord colourway for a while now but Cascade has started to speak to me as well, so I just don't know.

Belle

Let's recap for a moment, shall we? I am knitting a sweater, I want to be knitting a blanket, another sweater and a rather large shawl... I'm going to have to pick some smaller projects soon. And I'm definetly on a bit of a blue kick at the moment, all shades of blue. 

I want to say a quick thank you to my friend Dominique for her beautiful illustration, which is the official mascot for this blog series. You'll be seeing more of the octopus in the near future, so watch this space.

Until the next edition, happy knitting.

-Carmen