Advent Knitting

Back in 2017 I was seeing Advent Knitting packs being shown all over the internet/instagram and I was intrigued.

So in 2018 I found Dingo Dyeworks, an Australian wool dyer in Perth and Sweet Georgia Yarns in the USA who are only a two of the many of producers of Advent Kits around the world.

I also realised that Ambah O’Brien, (knitwear designer) designed a wrap for the Advent Kits in 2018, so I signed up for Ambah’s Newsletter and fell into the rabbit hole of the Advent boards in her group on Ravelry.

In July Ambah O’Brien opened up a board in her group “ADVENTurer KAL 2018” which shared links to all the Advents Kits that were available and I ended up purchasing two kits –

Dingo Dyeworks

which I emptied out of the box it came in into a nice cane basket I had at home.

Sweet Georgia Yarns

Ambah had also designed the ADVENTurer Scarf & Wrap pattern so I purchased this and decided to use the Dingo Dyeworks kit first.

It was fun to open a box each day, but my knitting wasn’t as quick, but I did manage to cast-on on 1 December and do a few rows.

by 4 December I had only started my Day 2’s colour.

It was interesting to see the new colours each day and I finally finished knitting it on 4 January 2019.

but I didn’t get a chance to block it until 13 January where Katniss decided to help.

Here it is draped along the front fence.

I haven’t had a chance to wear it yet and I am not 100% certain about the colours, only time will tell if it will get worn when the weather cools down.

The Sweet Georgia Advent kit is still waiting for me but first I have a couple of the knitting projects I need to finish.

The 2019 pre-orders for this years kits is up already on Ambah’s page.  I am trying not to look!!

Copilot cowl

Last year I went to the Bendigo Wool and Sheep Festival and purchased a skein of Dyed By Hand Yarns wool in a colour called  Gorgon’s Head Coral and then found a pattern in Ravelry by Dominique Trad called Copilot.

I started this soon after and not long after I realised I had twisted the stitches when I joined it in the round.  I decided to leave it this way and so far it hasn’t bothered me at all.

It was a good travelling project.

I enjoy wearing it and it is a great pop of colour in this dull winter weather,

and I find it quite comfortable worn doubled-up for extra warmth, particularly when I have my coat on.

One of the things I was hoping to improve with this pattern was my speed with YO, K2TOG in Continental Knitting (there is quite a lot of it) but so far I am still not quite there so will keep working on it.

The best thing about this pattern is that you can keep knitting until you no longer want to play “yarn chicken“, and this is the small amount of yarn I had left, very happy.

Industry Shawl

I can’t remember how I found Libby from Truly Myrtle but I am so glad I did.

Libby is from New Zealand and I really do like the way she encompasses knitting, sewing and jewellery making in her life and the fact that she designs knitting patterns is a plus.

There is an active Truly Myrtle group on Raverly and I have just finished listening to all her podcasts, up to the last few in the car whilst driving to and from work.  Back in March Libby went back to video podcasts and I found that watching/listening to the video podcast make the filing at work quite enjoyable for a change and as I am in the office alone a lot of the time, this is not a problem.

Libby held a Knit Along! Spring Shawl, Wrap up KAL and I had this gorgeous SweetGeorgia Tough Love Sock Yarn purchased from Skein Sisters back in October 2017.

Part of the Knit Along was to use one of Libby’s patterns and as I only had 1 Skein of yarn and I wanted an easy public travel knitting project I chose the Industry Shawl and carried it around in my knitting bag I made back in April 2016.

Libby uses a very catchy song on her podcast by Mr Roberelli “Casting On”  and one of the lines is “Cause you can do it standing and you can do it sitting” so I’ve been having some fun knitting standing when waiting for my bus to arrive.

The weekend before the knitalong finished I managed to block the shawl, and it was one of the rare weekends of rain, I set it up in the office with the heater blowing gently across it.

Tomba wants to know why I am up a ladder!

I’m not sure if I will wear the shawl as a shawl

as the front is a bit more difficult to get looking right

so I prefer to wear it more bandana like

which I can then position to fill the gap in the front of my cardigans, as my back is already covered,

the wrap around at the back keeps my neck warm.

I am thoroughly enjoying wearing this shawl and the pop of colour is perfect for the grey days.

Charlie’s Cardigan

I am so happy with my new cardigan for a couple of reasons.

Firstly I found out about Amy Herzog a few years ago over at Stitcher’s Guild and have since purchased her 3 books as well as her Craftsy classes.

As soon as I started to read and listen to Amy I loved the way she spoke about Fabric, body shapes and styles to suit your body all based on your knitting.  In fact Franklin Habit from Mason-Dixon Knitting wrote a great post about Amy’s 3 books.

Now I struggle with maths, whether it is drafting a pattern or working out how to increase or decrease my stitches for my knitting it just gets me so flustered that I choose not to do it.

This is where Amy’s CustomFit has come to my rescue.

There are a number of steps, in no particular order.

Essentially you and a friend take all your measurements, which I found to be more comprehensive than what I have previously done for sewing.  The measurement are entered into the CustomFit site (once you have joined).

Then you decided on what wool you want to use, yes you can choose any wool, linen, cotton that you have and that you want to knit a garment with.  You knit a swatch of at least 30 stithces by 15 cm (6 inches) and work out your stitch and row gauge and then this information is entered into CustomFit.

Thankfully my knitting stash is not as large as my fabric stash but I had purchased this Bendigo Woollen Mills 8ply Rustic in Sienna back in May 2015 and decided to use this for my first CustomfFit cardigan.

Here is my 3rd swatch, I wanted fabric that I liked the feel of and it was achieved with 4.75mm needles.

Amy Herzog has a huge amount of information on swatching

Next you choose a pattern, add your swatch information and then your measurements are combined and you have a pattern made just for you.

My pattern page.

You are not limited to the Customfit patterns, there is a whole board over at Ravelry on how to Customfit non CustomFit sweaters.

The other reason I am so happy with this cardigan is as you know I have changed my knitting style to Continental and was completely blown away that I could knit this cardigan in 7 weeks!!  Normally it takes me at least a year to knit the pieces!

But then it did take me another 7 months to finish it as life got in the way and this was my first button band and then summer was upon us.  I finally got motivated to do the neckband and button bands which I also stablised with Panda Petersham purchased from Torb & Reiner in Melbourne.

and it was finally ready for the cooling weather.

The only change I know I need to make to my measurements is the sleeve length for long sleeves, these could be longer but are quite wearable as they are.

Expect to see a lot more CustomFit knitting!

Hitchhiker by Martina Behm

Remember the wool I purchased at Puyallup?

It was 2 skeins of Fancy Image Hand-dyed Yarn with the name of Tiger.

At the same time I also purchased the pattern Hitchhiker by Martina Behm that looks amazing in the variegated wool above.

I wanted to keep practising my Continental knitting so I thought this shawlette would be the perfect project to keep me busy whilst we were travelling.

I had only taken 2 pairs of interchangeable knitting needles with me and the smaller of these were 4.5mm and the pattern did call for 3mm.  As I didn’t want to purchase any more interchangeable knitting needles (as I had the full set at home), it did mean that I probably wouldn’t get the 42 teeth although this is not critical to the finished shawlette.

So by the time we left Puyallup I had the first 8 rows knitted and was then happy to continue knitting on our road trip north to Canada.

This is a very clever pattern, you start with 2 stitches and there are only 8 rows to the pattern, so once you get into a rhythm, it is easy to pick up and put down.

I had knitted 14 points before we got on the plane to come home.

I continued to knit this on our flights home and quite a few hours snatched here and there when we got home to finish this shawlette.

I am very happy that I did manage to get 38 teeth for my Hitchhiker shawlette

This is the best colour of the shawlette

and have this tiny amount of wool left over!

I am still sewing and the jacket is coming along slowly!

Mint with choc chips Miette

I fell in love with Carolyn’s Hunter Miette and had already downloaded the free downloadable pattern by Andi Satterland just waiting for its turn to be made.

It wasn’t until January 2014 that I finally got around to purchasing the wonderful Morris Woollahra  wool in Celadon 1116 from Morris & Sons in York Street, Sydney.

At the same time I found Gail’s wonderful Miette Knitalong posts.  This information is so detailed it let me knit my cardigan with a lot more confidence than if I had been doing it on my own, especially as I wanted to add length but working out the lace pattern by myself would have done my head in.

You can probably gather that I am not the fastest knitter, but the cardigan was up to taking the sleeves off (this is a top down cardigan) when we started our trip and by the time we got home I only had the button and neck band to do!  I am so thankful that you can take your knitting on the plane now, it does help with the long flights.

I knitted a size 38 and:

  • added an extra lace repeat in the length
  • didn’t change down to a smaller needle for the bottom band
  • and also just knitted 2 pearl and 2 plain as I didn’t want it to pull in too tight.

and you did see it being worn during Me Made May 2014, however when I saw the lace pattern at the centre front in this photo the decision to start again was made.

The other issue that you can’t see in this photo is the bust shaping for the size 38 gave me a very a large curve of fabric off to the side when I left the cardigan open, not a look that I wanted.

The one positive was that I love the buttons that I purchased from All Buttons Great and Small at Newton on the way home from work one Thursday night!

So I have been slowly re-knitting this cardigan starting with a size 36 this time and again added the 2 lace repeats in the length.

I thought I had finished it, and did wear it for Me Made May 2015 but again made the decision that long sleeves where necessary.  This wool is too warm to wear in summer and the rest of the year I want my arms covered.

29 May 2015

This is why I made my Me Made May 2016 Challenge about lengthening the sleeves so I could finally get to wear this cardigan in comfort in winter.

So here is my mint with choc chips Miette with long sleeves.

This is a snug fitting cardigan but that is the way is has been drafted.

New knitting bag

When I can’t sew I take my knitting and have been using a large knitting bag for many years.

Besides it looking very tired it was too large for my trip overseas so when Andi Satterlund from Untangling Knots posted about Knitting at Parties, she shared a link for the perfect little knitting bag.

The Reversible Sock Knitting Project Bag  by Very Shannon.

I have quite a bit of the Vera Bradley fabric in my “bag stash” and have used it previously making a Spice of Life bag which unfortunately stays in the cupboard.  I’ve realised that even though I love the fabric I will enjoy it a lot more making accessories for my knitting.

I have used both the large floral and added the large border to add some interest to the side of the bag.

For the lining I used the smaller patterned fabric.

I cut a strip of the large floral and used the smallest Fasturn tube to make the cord.

This was the perfect size bag for my trip.  I did take the cotton facecloth that I was knitting and a skein of wool as well as 2 pairs of interchangeable needles for my circular needles for the knitting class I did at the Sewing & Stitchery Expo

The facecloth is now finished and although not perfect I am feeling a lot more comfortable with the “continental style” of knitting.

2016 Stash Out: 3.4 m
2016 Stash In: 15 m

Wineberry Cowl

So what does a girl do when she has to spend 3 days away from her sewing machine, break out the knitting needles again.

Ravelry is a great site for inspiration and free patterns, and this one is by Jen Geigley and is called the GAP-tastic Cowl.

I did take this pattern with me on our trip and managed to find a few knitting shops but I didn’t manage to find any wool that really appealed to me or that I couldn’t purchase at home.  One of the things I was really after was a soft snuggly yarn as this would be worn around my neck.

It wasn’t until I got back home and saw Heidi’s post from Sewing Daisies about her Honey Cable Cowl and the gorgeous Morris & Sons Maya 14ply 100% Baby Alpaca that I knew this was the wool that I was looking for.

Inspiration from Heidi

This is a very simple cowl to knit, it is 130 stitches on a circular needle, joined in the round and then you knit 1, purl 1 until you reach your desired width.

The pattern does suggest a width of 15″ but I thought this would be far too wide for my frame, so my cowl is 9″ wide and this sits comfortably around my neck.

I purchased 7 balls of wool and have 3 and a bit left over, now to work out if I want a matching beret!

I cast on the stitches on Friday afternoon and cast off on Monday on the way home in the car!

This is the full length and I don’t think I will wear it like this.

This is how I  will wear it the most, looped over my head twice and I can’t wait to mix it with my print tops!

And for those cold days have it looped over my head 3 times.  Perfect for when you need your coat and something to keep your neck warm this is definitely the way to go!

Slouchy beret

During May whilst trying to find a hat to wear, I tried on a few slouchy berets and quite liked the style but couldn’t find any in a colour that I liked, so I headed over to Ravelry to see what patterns were available.

This pattern is a free download and has been designed by Natalie Larson and it is called “Star Crossed Slouchy Beret”.

This was a pretty quick knit as I cast on last Thursday night and finished it at lunchtime on Sunday.

I used Morris Empire Superwash Merino 8ply wool, Clove and it took just over 1 skein.

I’m very happy with this beret and can see it getting quite a bit of wear now the days are getting quite cool.

Don’t you just love being able to see something in the shops or on the internet and be able to go home and make it yourself, in the colour you like and even the fit – it really does make me smile!

Shona Vest

I picked up the Trendsetter Yarns Shona Vest and Mitered Skirt knitting pattern and wool whilst I was visiting Puyallup last year and I did start to knit it during our trip especially during the long flights.

I finished knitting the vest late last year and then realised I had forgotten the buttonholes (this is my first knitted garment that includes buttonholes and seeing the notes for the buttonholes were by themselves at the end of the pattern, I thought like a sewer, you do them at the end, how wrong was I).  I wasn’t going to undo all those cables for some buttonholes, so I had to work out another way to close the vest.
Then the instructions told me to block the vest.  This was another first, I have knitted a few garments but I realised with all the cables that this vest would need to be blocked and of course this made me delay even further, and when I did bite the bullet and block it I couldn’t figure out why I was so reluctant!
I purchased the buttons separately directly from Jane Slicer-Smith when I saw her at one the Craft Shows in Darling Harbour and for the button loops I plaited 3 strands of wool together.

I am very happy how this vest has turned out and will work quite well into my wardrobe.