WIP Wednesday

I have a couple of fibery endeavours too ok share with you in this week’s WIP Wednesday post.

My fibre friend, Amanda of Red Island Fibre, surprised me with a luscious batt of llama fibre recently. This fibre comes from Maple River Farm in Nova Scotia that raises llamas for fibre, fun, and fertilizer.

I don’t have a ton of experience with llama and it is such a treat that I decided it really needed to be spun on a drop spindle.

There is something very relaxing and peaceful about sitting quietly and spinning on a spindle. I so enjoy the process and don’t do it as much as I would like.

And speaking of things I don’t get to do as often as I would like, I also decided to wash and prep some of my stash of Iceland wool for spinning.

This Icelandic comes from Blomidon Farm, a farm on PEI that centres on their herd of Icelandic sheep. Pictured above is the wool pre-wash. I was completely blown away by how clean it is. There is essentially zero veggie matter which made cleaning it a breeze. Such a treat!

Normally, Simpkin would be all over helping me with the raw fleece but he was outside, busy doing cat things. He did, however, leave Gingersnap in charge. So thoughtful! 😸

Here is a quick shot of the washed wool laying out to dry. How beautiful is that? Hopefully it won’t take too long to dry and I can get to hand carding it.

What are you working on this week? Are you up to your usual or trying something new? Revisiting something you love and don’t get to do as often as you would like? I’d love to hear.

Maker’s Dozen in 2022

In January of 2022, I saw an Instagram post by @Hadabashery suggesting a MAL called the Maker’s Dozen. The guidelines were simple …. Use existing stash to complete 12 projects throughout the year and/or finishing long neglected WIPs. Sounds like a great plan, right?

In my case, it was a huge success. I ended up completing 21 projects of varying size …. 3 hats, 7 pairs of socks, 3 cowls, 4 sweaters, and 4 shawls … to be precise and it was all from stash yarn!

If you are a long time follower of my fibre adventures, you’ll know that I don’t have a massive stash. I tend to keep it fairly small so I was surprised with what I was able to squeeze out project-wise.

While I kept good notes on my Maker’s Dozen projects, I wasn’t always diligent about taking photos. Some of the projects below won’t have any because they were gifted before taking a photo even occurred to me. Regardless, prepare for a bit of a photobomb 🥴

Foraois Hat by Heather Nolan in Fleece and Harmony Heatherdale Lopi and Itex Alafosslopi
Gotland socks in handspun Gotland from Good Fibrations and Fleece and Harmony Point Prim Sock
La Manche by Jennifer Beale in Belfast Mini Mills Island Collection Worsted
Paper Dolls by Kate Davies Designs in Red Island Fibre
Hazel Neck by Petite Knit in Fleece and Harmony Hearth Collection
Fox’s Day Out by Stone Knits in Nerds With Needles Cashmere sock and Belfast Mini Mills Specialty Sock
Into The Woods by Melody Hoffman in Fleece and Harmony Point Prim Sock and Lichen and Lace Rustic Heather Sport
Nightshift Shawl by Andrea Mowry in handspun yarn
Geimreadh Sweater by Heather Nolan in Fleece and Harmony Selkirk Worsted
I Just Wanna Go Home Socks by Winter’s Weather Knits in West Coast Color Home Grown
Earth Magic Socks in Nerds With Needles Cashmere Silk, Belfast Mini Mills Specialty Sock, and Rowan Kid Silk Haze

Lost in Time Shawl by Mijo Crochet in Hobbii Dolce Cashmere (gifted before photo)

Wilona Shawl by Expressions Fiber Arts in handspun (gifted before photo )

Wilona Shawl by Expressions Fiber Arts in Fleece and Harmony Point Prim Sock and Purl Soho Linen Quill
Freddy Beach Socks by Nancy Wheeler in Fleece and Harmony Point Prim Sock
By The Shore Socks by Nancy Wheeler in Fleece and Harmony Point Prim Sock
Astragal by Kate Davies Designs in Knit Picks Palette
Wild Posy (Luna) by Melody Hoffman in Briggs and Little Country Roving
Verso by The Petite Knitter in Fleece and Harmony Selkirk Worsted
Bandana Cowl by Purl Soho in handspun fibre from Melly Knits
Bandana Cowl by Purl Soho in handspun art yarn

If you’re still with me after all of those photos, thanks for hanging in there!

As you can see, 2022 was a very productive stash-busting year and I plan to continue with that in 2023. I still have my Half and Half Wrap to finish and I’m closing in on my Exploits Valley Hap. I also have a fair bit of handspun that I would like to transform into knitted and, possibly woven, goods.

Did you participate in a stash-down last year? How did it go? Maybe it is a goal of yours for 2023. I’d love to hear about any stash-down experiences you’ve had.

Ravishing

Guess who has some snazzy new socks?

I put the finishing touches (aka sewed in the ends and blocked) my Ravishing Socks by Nancy Wheeler and I couldn’t be happier!

The pattern was (as all of Nancy’s patterns are) very well written, easy to follow, and the stitch pattern was quickly memorizable. There were a pleasure to knit!

These took me a lot longer than usual to knit simply because I was a naughty knitter and neglected this project (we all do it sometimes !) to work on several other large projects that took a lot of time and brain space. When I got down to focusing on this project, the socks practically flew off my needles. There was zero second sock syndrome because I knit the second sock in only a day.

The yarn I chose for this project was Eco Processed Merino in “Mellow Yellow” colorway by Red Island Fibre.

I’m so lucky to have a fibre pal like Amanda! I wanted to order some of her sock yarn and was feeling in a bit of color rut so I just asked her to surprise me with the colorway. When she arrived with this lovely colorway for me I was immediately smitten. She knew just the color I needed for a pick-me-up! And the feel of this yarn is dreamy ….. smooth and buttery soft … it was such a treat to knit with. I’m already looking forward to working with this again.

So now my knitting needles are cleared of socks so I need to cast on a new pair and I have plans for some handspun socks next.

Are you a sock knitter? Do you always have to have a pair of socks on the go? I’d love to hear!

New Pattern Release: Iditarod Mittens

Inspiration is a funny thing. I’ve wanted to create this pattern since I released the matching hat and cowl patterns several years ago but just never got around to it.

When I popped in to visit Fleece and Harmony and Ken brought Wildwinds 2 ply out for me to see and squish I knew exactly what that yarn wanted to be …. A pair of Iditarod Mittens. It had the texture and feel I had been wanting and once I got knitting, it had the stitch definition that was craving for colorwork mittens. Plus, it is a natural wool which will keep hands warmer.

Of the three natural color choices, I decided upon black and grey but these mittens will also work very well in the Fleece and Harmony Point Prim Sock yarn, if you are craving a wider range of colors.

I’m really happy with how these mittens turn out and I hope that others enjoy them as well.


Pattern Specifics

These mittens are a brand new companion pattern to my Iditarod Hat and Cowl patterns.

Yarn: 165 yards of fingering weight yarn in background color (BC) 125 yards of fingering weight yarn in contrast color (CC)

Pictured in Fleece and Harmony Wildwinds 2 Ply in Black (BC) and Grey (CC)

Needles: 2.75mm double pointed needles

Or sizes necessary to achieve gauge. Please be sure to knit a gauge swatch.

Gauge: 29 sts x 30 rows = 4” in stranded colorwork when blocked.

Finished Size: Mittens are 8” in circumference and 11” in length, when blocked.

Notions: Waste yarn or a stitch holder for holding thumb stitches and a tapestry needle for sewing in ends.

Skill level: Intermediate.

Skills required: knit, purl, reading charts, and stranded knitting.


For anyone who might be interested in knitting their own pair of Iditarod Mittens, I’ve made the pattern available on Ravelry and Etsy.

That’s all for today friends. Happy crafting!

WIP Wednesday – Exploits Valley Hap

This week I am over-the-moon excited to share with you the progress on my Exploits Valley Hap by Jennifer Beale.

I have finished joining all three centre contrast color lace panels with their main color lace panels. To me, when it is spread out, it looks like a Blue Morpho butterfly 🦋

All the outside stitches are now picked up and I’m working on the knitted on lace border.

I’ve knit quite a few shawls over the years and I have to say that knitted on lace edging is one of my favourite and one of the most fun techniques out there. Plus, it makes the edges of the shawl look extra special.

Do you have any techniques that you really love included in patterns? Are there special edges you prefer? I’d love to hear!

WIP Wednesday – Exploits Valley Hap

I’ve been inspired to do a little work work on a long standing work-in-progress this week.

I started working on the beautiful Exploits Valley Hap by Jennifer Beale in December of 2020 and have been savouring the project ever since. I knit a few rows and then put it away for a bit and then take it out for a few more …. It is my treat knitting and I’m very much enjoying quietly and consciously working on this project.

So far, I have the three main lace panels knit, the colorwork borders are completed, and I’ve joined two panels together and have turned the corner.

Even though I’ve been working on this project for over two years, I’ll almost be sad to fully finish it. It helps me to slow down, to be quiet, and to enjoy that beautiful Rowan Fine Lace slipping through my fingers and knitting into a delicate spidery fabric. It will be absolutely beautiful when it is finished.

Do you have any long term projects you’ve been working on? What is your longest standing WIP? I’d love to hear!

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men

Sometimes, even with careful planning, color choices, ect. our crafting plans flop.

I decided to spin for a Metamorphic pullover and started my spinning with Tour de Fleece in July. I chose beautiful colors …. colors which I felt complimented each other, allowed for a bit of a pop, and still remained within my comfort range. The spinning went very well and the finished yarns are everything I hoped they would be.

Today, I excitedly decided, would be the day I knit my swatch for this beautiful new sweater. I balled up the yarn and set to. Gauge was working up nicely, the fabric was soft and bouncy and exactly what I wanted but ….. the colors, while beautiful on their own and side by side, were getting lost in each other.

I sampled different parts of the fractal, all in the hopes that it would improve my gut feeling. After a few tries I had to admit that my gut was, indeed, correct and these two are not destined to be in a Metamorphic pullover together.

Instead of forcing it and powering through with the project “because I spun for this!” I’m choosing to let the yarns rest and wait until inspiration strikes pattern-wise. I would rather spend time on a project that I know deep in my bones I will love and get lots of wear from than knit what I had planned and never wear the sweater.

So, while this project is off the table for now, I WILL spin for a Metamorphic with MORE color contrast and these yarns will eventually become well loved garments or accessories that I will wear with pride.

Have you ever had crafting plan flop despite your meticulous planning? Did you adapt and overcome or pivot to a new plan? I’d love to hear about your experiences!

Finished Object Friday – Wild Posy, Verso, and a Spin

I had the pleasure of accomplishing some dream knitting this week. Wild Posy Luna by Melody Hoffman has been on my to-knit list since late autumn 2021. I fell completely in love with the textured yoke and knew that I needed to add this pullover to my hand knits collection.

I chose Briggs & Little Country Roving as my unspun yarn because I adore the bounce, warmth, and sheepiness of it. Plus, it is made of good solid Canadian wool and I just gets softer and softer the more you wear it. I knit my Aito shawl in Country Roving and, now that the weather is cooler, it rarely leaves my shoulders when I’m at home and it lives on the back of my knitting/spinning chair otherwise so it is within easy reach. I love when I find a new favourite wool!

For the knitting of my Wild Posy Luna, I used the recommended needles and held two strands of Country Roving together throughout. The resulting fabric is so cozy! I knit the smallest size and didn’t make modifications to the pattern with the exception of using the same needles for the body and hem ribbing.

All said and told, the pullover flew right off my needles. It was completed within four days of casting on. I was a little nervous about wether I would have enough Country Roving to complete the project (I used two 8oz bumps) but I finished with some to spare. I already know that I’m going to get a lot of wear from this pullover and it will be perfect for the colder winter days.

Next up was a very spontaneous cast on. Verso by The Petite Knitter came across my Instagram feed and I just knew it was going to be the perfect hat!

I have several winter hats but I needed one that wouldn’t ride up when I’m wearing my headlamp. For those of you who don’t know, I’m an avid hiker and walker and prefer to get my outdoor time in early. It means that I get to see lots of beautiful sunrises and quite a variety of wildlife but this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere it is quite dark. So, a hat that stays put with my head on is a must!

The yarn I chose for this project was Fleece and Harmony Selkirk Worsted in “Autumn Birch” and “Haunted Woods” colorways. Selkirk worsted is one of my all time favourite worsted weight yarns and it suited his project perfectly.

It was my first time doing double knitting and once I got the rhythm down (it only took a couple of rounds), it was intuitive and very satisfying. The pattern is extremely well written and illustrated. I had no previous experience with double knitting and was able to complete the project with ease. If double knitting is on your to-learn list, I highly recommend this pattern! Plus, the finished project is comfortable and looks pretty cool in my book!

My last finished project to share with you this week is some dreamy Gotland dyed in Autumn colors by Good Fibrations.

I chose to spin this braid up as a two ply DK weight fractal with the intention of knitting some more socks (handspun Gotland socks are my FAVOURITE!) and wouldn’t you know it? Nancy Wheeler of Knit Sip Happy has JUST release a new pattern for DK weight socks! They’re called the Sliptastic Socks and you know I’m going to knit them in my handspun Gotland!

What are your most recent finished projects? Have you been doing any dream knitting? I’d love to hear all about it!.

Happy crafting everyone! 🧦 🧶 🐑

Thick and Quick Álafosslopi Mittens

Sometimes, lost mittens happen. Because of this, I’ve created speedy pattern in bulky weight yarn to help remedy the lost mitten situation.

I’ve used this pattern a * just a few * times myself while reciting a modified version of The Three Little Knittens but subbing “kittens” for “teenagers” and “you shall have no pie” for “you shall be off The Knit List.” 🤣

It is only written for one size (because we all wear approximately the same size mittens in this house) but could be easily adjusted to suit your needs. Please keep in mind that it will change the amount of yardage used.

I find that I can knit a pair of these mittens in only a morning. I really love the dense fabric of the Álafosslopi and how it softens with wear. They are good sturdy mittens to handle whatever late Autumn and Winter might throw at you.



Pattern particulars are as follows:

Yarn: 1 ball of Álafosslopi 100m/109 yards

I found that I could knit one pair in this sizes with approximately 5 meters of yarn leftover. If your gauge is different than mine or if you don’t enjoy playing yarn chicken, I would suggest either buying two balls (just to be safe) or knitting the cuffs in a different color to save on yardage.

Needles: 4.0mm for ribbing

5.0mm for rest of mitten

I like using the magic loop for knitting these mittens. If you prefer small circumference circulars, you will need double pointed needles to close the fingertips.

Gauge: 14 sts x 20 rows = 10cm/4” in stockinette stitch using 5.0mm needles

Finished size: approximately 30.5cm/12” in length and 20cm/8” in circumference around the palm above the thumb

Notions: a removable stitch marker, scrap yarn or a stitch holder, and a tapestry needle for sewing in ends

Notes:

M1R: make your favourite right leaning increase

M1L: make your favourite left leaning increase

BOR Marker: beginning of round marker

PM: place marker

PUK: pick up and knit


Pattern


Using 4.0mm needles and your favourite stretchy cast on method (I like German Twisted), cast on 28 sts. Place BOR marker. Join for working in the round, being careful not to twist.

K1, P1 around for 10cm/4”

Switch to 5mm needles and knit 3 rounds even.


Thumb gusset

Set up round: M1R, K1, M1L, PM, knit to end of round.

Rounds 1 & 2: knit

Round 3 (inc): M1R, knit to marker, M1L, slip marker, knit to end of round. (2 sts inc)

Repeat these 3 rounds until there are 11 stitches between the BOR marker and the second marker, ending with an increase round. (38 sts total on needles)

Knit 1 round.

On next round, place 11 sts from BOR to second marker on scrap yarn or a stitch holder. Cast on 1 stitch using backwards E cast on, and knit to end of round. (28 sts)

Continue knitting even in the round until the mitten measures 10cm/4” from backwards E thumb stitch cast on or 4cm/1.5” less than desired length.

Setup round: knit 14 sts place marker, knit to end of round.

Decrease round: K1, SSK, knit to 3 sets before next marker, K2TOG, K1. Repeats a second time. (4 sts dec)

Repeat the decrease round until you have a total of 8 sts remaining. Break yarn leaving a 15cm/6” tail. Thread through remaining 8 sts, pull the gap closed and sew in ends.


Thumb

PUK 11 sts from holder or scrap yarn and PUK 3 sts from inside of thumb. Arrange sts evenly across your needles (whether magic loop or DPNs). (14 sts total)

Set up round: K1, SSK, knit to last 3 sts, K2TOG, K1. (2 sts dec – 12 sts remain)

Knit evenly in the round until you thumb measures 5cm/2” or 1cm/0.25” less than desired length.

K2TOG around (6 sts remaining)

Break yarn leaving a 15cm/6” tail. Thread through remaining 6 sts, pull the gap closed and sew in all remaining ends.

Repeat for the second mitten.



I hope that this helps you out of any sticky, lost-mitten situation you might have.

Meow, meow, meow, meow, meow now we shall have some pie …. Is 5 AM too early for pie? 🥧

Daydreaming of Faery Spaces

With temperatures dipping below freezing and the sun staying abed until approximately 7:20 AM, winters is definitely marching toward us.

We were out hiking early, well before sunrise, and accidentally startled a huge flock of Canada Geese with our headlamps. There was such a large number of them taking to flight that it sounded like high winds rushing through trees or a large fire burning. I’ve never heard anything like it. Sorry goose friends! We didn’t mean to wake you.

Sundays are always our days for longer hikes. We don’t usually have plans or anywhere pressing to be so we take full advantage. Today was a 3 hour excursion exploring frozen ponds, abandoned lanes, heritage roads, listening to bird song and identifying species (I’m still very much a novice at bird identification!), and such. The terrain was rougher but totally worth it.

When the sun came up, we were treated to a magical golden light through maples that were still clinging to a few of their leaves. We both agreed that there places would most certainly by the spots where faeries could be found. It is my hope that you, also, had the opportunity to spend some quiet time outdoors today enjoying the magic of nature. Until next time …. 🍃🍁🍂🧚‍♂️