Posts Tagged ‘ravelry’

Autumn Colours Baby Sweater

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

I wasn’t really sure what I’d end up making when I picked up this ball of handspun.  I was pretty sure that I’d be making something that didn’t come in pairs, since I had no way of knowing how the stripes or colours would distribute themselves across the ball.  So…socks and mittens were out of the question.

I knew that there’d be stripes of some kind–with handspun from painted roving, you can’t really escape it!  I decided to try knitting Laila (ravelink), a baby sweater that I created for friend’s of mine when their little Laila was born.  It is a top-down, placket neck, raglan sleeve, seamless sweater, knit in the round.  I love it because it requires very little finishing, and shows off stripes really well.

I also wouldn’t have to worry about the front and back being two very different colours (some of this yarn is very orange, and some is very green).

Being swatchless has its advantages–I knit, and make things, and usually they turn out the right size for someone….the problems arise when I try to make baby clothes.   I don’t have access to many babies, so I’m at a loss as to their proportions.  To this end, I brought the sweater to my mom–a fairly conventional knitter who works to gauge, from patterns that have sizes on them.  She measured what I had against some of her 6 month sized sweaters.  This one seems about right for a 6 month old.  The neck opening is very stretchy, and so is the body.  I left the sleeves wide until the cuff, decreasing only 4 stitches over the entire arm.

I had wanted to do garter stitch at the sleeves and around the body just like I did at the neck.  Garter stitch is so much more brainless to knit than ribbing…but I found that the bottom edge of the sweater started to flip up when it was edged in garter stitch.  I ripped back, did a few rows of K2, P2, ribbing, and it seems to lay flat now.  I’m not sure if the flipping up is due to the garter stitch, or the twist in my spinning–it was not a balanced skein, but with me, it rarely is!

All that remains for this sweater is to pick out the most adorable little buttons.  I’m thinking that I might go for wooden buttons, or black buttons, or maybe three different coloured buttons….there are so many options….I’ll bring it along to the fabric store and see what speaks to me.

And now….I’ll have to wait for a knitter to have a baby sometime in the spring or summer….I don’t think a non-knitter would fully appreciate all the work that has gone into this creation!

Thanks to slimchicken (etsy) for dyeing the roving.  It’s lovely!

Pattern: Butterfly Hat and Mittens

Monday, August 2nd, 2010


Buy the pattern for this cozy set for $4.00 CAD

August brings with it the threat of some chilly evenings, specially for those out camping.  This hat and mitts set were designed for a quick end of summer knit.  Toss them in with your camping gear, and be toasty warm all night.

Knit in the round with a garter stitch border, they are decorated with butterfly stitch.  Knit the hat in cotton and enjoy it as a summer beanie.  Knit it in wool or alpaca it will warm you all winter long, and you will be forever remembering the beautiful butterflies of summer.

This pattern is suited to someone who is an intermediate knitter or beyond; it is a great way to practice knitting in the round, and add a new stitch to your repertoire.

Skills:  Cast on, Knit, Purl, Knitting in the Round, Increasing, Decreasing

Size: Adult Small
Yarn: worsted weight yarn
Needles: 4 mm DPNs or circular for hat
Gauge: 4.5 sts per inch, 6 rows per inch in stockinette stitch

Buy your .pdf copy of the Butterfly Hat and Mittens pattern now for only $4.00 CAD

Get out there and enjoy your chilly autumn nights in style!

If you like this pattern, you may also enjoy some of my others.

Post Storm Knitting

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

After the harrowing canoeing adventure on Wednesday, I decided to stay on land for most of the day on Thursday.  I spent part of rest hour watching over the children as they relaxed under the trees and I finished up some i-cord ties.  I am thankful that my camera revived itself enough to take several photos.  I think the water has ruined some of the electrical workings on the insides.  I can’t turn the flash on or off anymore.

Pattern:  Top Down Bonnet (Ravelink) by A. Bizilia (blog).
Yarn: Cotton Supreme Batik (which I now adore!)

I noticed that the colourway “summer camp” seems to match the paint at Camp Hyanto perfectly.  I love the combination of these natural colours, the colours of the beach on a sunny day.

Camp is certainly a peaceful place to be when the sun shines.

Sock Inspiration

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

I’m having fun searching for inspiration on Ravelry now…but when the new search features kick in, I’m ready to have my socks knocked off!

I usually get excited about fiddly colour work or interesting lace patterns, but today I was looking for something extra creative and colourful.  Here are some of the fabulous socks I’ve found in my search today.  May you be equally inspired!

1.  These socks are remarkable.  I’m not sure how people come up with this kind of completely different idea.  The pattern is called Hexagons and it is by Kirsten Hall (blog).  I’m thinking of having a look at the book Think Outside the Sox (the source of this and many other inspirational sock designs).

Image source: Ravelry Pattern: Hexagons by Kirsten Hall

2. These socks inspire me because they are so cute, and the idea could be transformed to many other different kinds of animals.  The yarn she used is Opal in the colourway Tiger.  The pattern isn’t available yet, but there are notes so you could do it yourself….I think I might have to try it sometime!  Thanks so much to Marlene (blog) for her creativity and inspiration.

Image Source: Ravelry Pattern: Wovenflame's Tiger Toes Socks

3. These are a pair of knee socks (pattern) knit by someone who doesn’t usually make or wear socks.  Kelly (blog) sure did a lot of knitting!!  I am impressed by how they match, and that she dyed some of the yarn herself.  Really cool project.  They’d brighten up my day for sure.  I’d wear them with my rubber boots!

Image Source: Ravelry Pattern: Knee Socks by Diana Parrington

4.  The next pair of socks are totally different from anything I’ve seen before, or even imagined.  They are knit first, and painted later!  What’s cooler is that they look just like bananas–Who would have thought of that?!  Brigitte from Germany (blog–in German)–Here are the pattern notes for these socks.

Image Source: Ravelry

5.  Another great pattern from Think Outside the Sox, is the Lonely Socks Club:Entrelac Sock by Natalia VasilievaKirsten (blog) knit these lovely socks.  I’ve never tried the Entrelac knitting technique, but I really like how it looks.  These socks are unique because the entrelac part goes all over the heel and toe too!  Pretty amazing design work.

Image Source: Ravelry

What patterns inspire you?

Adapted Top Down Bonnet

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Ever since I saw the Top Down Bonnet pattern on Ravelry by Adrian Bizilia (helloyarn) I was smitten!  I made the original bonnet with the anime face on it, and sent it to a friend in Japan.  The ears aren’t sticking up, but they are there!

I’ve also made it without ears, and with stripes, for another friend’s baby.

Today I worked up another little variation.  I added some lace…

This is the lace pattern that I used.  Since I worked it in the round, row 2 and 4 are knit.  If this were worked flat, row 2 and 4 would be purl rows.

Row 1: (K1, K2tog, YO, K1, YO, SSK) repeat

Row 2: knit

Row 3: K2tog (YO, K3, YO, Slip 1, K2tog, pas the slip stitch over *this decreases 2 stitches*) repeat

Row 4: knit

After working 12 rows of lace, I cast off knitwise.  The edge kept rolling, so I added another border.  I will not admit to crocheting, because I didn’t actually use a hook.  This is my process:

Pick up a stitch through the cast off edge.  Work a chain of single crochet 2 times then crochet through the border again 2 stitches away from the first stitch.  Continue this (or something like it) around the edge of the bonnet.  It helped the border stay flat, and I think it makes it extra cute.

What do you do to spice up your regular patterns?

Search Party!

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

Well, ya never know what’s around the corner…I flipped to Ravelry yesterday to find an announcement to a party–a SEARCH PARTY!

The motivation was to have knitters/crocheters classify all the patterns on Ravelry,  and I guess to cull the pages with dead links.  They are getting ready to release a new search tool that will allow us to search based on many different attributes, from construction technique to the texture of the fabric.

Of course, knowing Ravelry, there are great incentives for us to comb through the patterns–a prize draw for some gorgeous prize packages. (photo credits:

I spent quite a bit of time online classifying things, I think I got 217 patterns done before they ran out of patterns to sort.

Knitters are truly amazing people–there are no limits to what a group of us can do!

Stop by and classify some patterns if you have a moment.  It’s gonna help keep Ravelry awesome!

Planning A Fiber Friendly Summer Vacation

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

What is the most important thing to do when you plan a vacation? Well, after figuring out where to go, who to go with, and where to sleep, my mind started wandering to where I can find good roving and yarn.  (I MAY have a bit of a problem!)

If you are traveling with another knitter or spinner, then you are set!  If you are traveling with non-knitters, you might need to disguise your itinerary a little.  Get your groceries at a farmers market that just so happens to sell wool too.  Go to a farm (that sells fleece and roving) to see the animals sheep and goats.  Find a good restaurant that might be across the street from a yarn store.  All of this takes quite a bit of planning…

Here’s my approach

Step 1:  Check on Ravelry to find local yarn stores near where you are staying.  Search the “people” section for people from the area, and ask them where they get the best quality yarn.

Step 2:  Search for local farms.  I found to be very helpful.  Search by the product (veggies, honey, roving etc), or search by the town.  Maps and websites and farmers market details are all listed.

Step 3:  Ask on Twitter to see if anyone has recommendations of area farms to visit, markets or sheep and wool festivals to go to, or local yarn stores that are not to be missed.

Step 4:  Put all the locations on a Google map.  It is a great way to keep all the information in one place.  Link to websites, keep track of business hours or market days.  Use streetview where available so you know what the yarn store looks like when you “stumble upon it by chance”.

So far my plans include visiting alpacas on Martha’s Vineyard, pygora goats near Providence Rhode Island, llamas at Journey’s End Ranch in Middleboro MA, and sheep at River Valley Farm in Lennox MA.

If you know of anywhere in the Cape Cod Area that’s worth a visit, let me know.

Tour De Fleece

Friday, June 25th, 2010

The training begins tomorrow.  A strict regimen of ankle stretching, and fleece carding every day for the entire week should be ample preparation!

You see, I’ve just signed up for a really big challenge this July.  I just joined the Tour De Fleece, for Team Canada, and as such I vow to spin every day that the Tour De France riders are on their bikes.

That’s from Saturday July 3rd to Sunday July 25th, 2010.  I aim to get part way through this bag….but we’ll see how that goes.  I imagine that a lot of it will end up as sport weight yarn that I can use to make mittens this winter.  I’m thinking that some creative dyeing may be needed, because that’s a LOT of white fleece! 

I know, there’s lots of fun to be had in July….cottages, beach days, camp outs, and many other adventures.  Good thing spindles are portable!

If you are tempted crazy enough to join in, sign up on ravelry, here are some of the guidelines (not RULES):

  1. Spin every day the Tour rides, if possible. Saturday July 3rd through Sunday July 25th. Days of rest: Monday July 12th, Wednesday July 21st. (Just like the actual tour)
  2. Spin something challenging Thursday July 22nd. (The Tour’s toughest mountain stage from Pau up the legendary Col du Tourmalet)
  3. Wear yellow on Sunday July 25th to announce victory. Why not wear yellow on any day you feel particularly successful? (Yellow is the color of the race leader in the Tour – but here we are all ‘race leaders’)

Teams: Join one, or many, or none.

  • Rookies (first years)
  • Sprinters (fast and/or high mileage like lace)
  • Climbers (conquer mountains, big personal challenges)
  • Breakaway (Art yarns)
  • Peloton (The main group. Everyone is in the peloton at some point)
  • Lantern rouge (You will participate as much as possible but you may skip days here and there. Cheerleaders welcome.)
  • Wildcards (This is for people who want to form their own team. This includes sponsored teams, like those affiliated with a specific fiber shop or people who live in the same town, etc.)


Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

What are you doing between now and the 30th?  I’m not sure I have time to read the book AND knit these cool socks, but I’m looking forward to a night out to see the movie with some friends.  I’ll check the stash, and see if I have enough to knit up a pair.  It’s June, it’s rainy, my brain is tired, and I’m ready to knit something fairly simple.  Maybe I can get it done in time.

photo souce: Julie P. Miller's Flickr

Check out the pattern here [Ravelry].  It is a free download!

If you are looking for a smaller project to complete between now and the movie opener, check out these ipod/mp3 player socks.  These are also a free [Ravelry] download.

Image source Nancy Fry's Ravelry

For a blast from the past…check out these Twilight Cover Socks/mittens/gauntlets.  They are also a free [Ravelry] download.

Image Source: Chelsea21 (a buddy of mine)

A great stash-buster, and quick project for all your vampire obsessed friends….A coffee sleeve (or wrist band) with “Be Safe” on it.  It is available for free here.  [Ravelry]

Image Source: MyFairKatie's Flickr

Image Source: MyFairKatie's Flickr

Black Sheep

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

I had a very interesting day at Wooly Acres a few years back, when I got to visit the sheep, meet the sheep dogs, and buy a fleece and some roving.  I had a bump of black shetland roving that was calling out to me from my big bin of fiber stash.  It’s hard to find black sheep….did ya know that?

I spun up a bobbin full, then Navajo plied it to form a bulky 3-ply yarn.  I’m looking forward to knitting a hat, but I don’t think there’s enough black to knit an entire hat… now I need a contrasting colour.  Maybe I’ll spin up some more shetland–I have a fleece that is a nice tan/golden brown.

I was searching through Ravelry today, and found a really cute hat.  So, now my plan is to make a Botanic hat (pattern by Stephen West).  It is a reversible beanie, which looks awesome either way you wear it.

I’m pretty sure I’ll need to modify things slightly for my bulky spinning, but I now feel inspired!