Archive for March, 2015

Premium Product: Spud & Chloë Stripey Fine

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Despite a few less than stellar days, it has been starting to feel like Spring here in Vancouver (er, sorry to those of you who live elsewhere.. it will get better?), and the fine folks at Spud & Chloë had the excellent foresight to send us some properly Springy yarn!


This is the new Spud & Chloë Stripey Fine – the same base Fine yarn that we all love, done up in some really bright, cheery variegated colourways. I’ve long been a fan of the superwash 80% wool/20% silk blend, and have used it in countless cowls, shawls, scarfs, socks, and other accessories. These new colours just add such a cheerful twist!


Below (left to right), there is Tootie Fruitie, Cherry Sundae, Neopolitan, and Orange Cream…

And Blueberry Cheesecake, Mint Chip, and Grape Freeze.

Aren’t the colours (and the names) just delicious?


Designing a sweater: Part 4

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Since my last post a few weeks ago, things have been pretty busy. Some knitting, sure, but a lot of finishing grad school, so bear with me if this post is littered with mistakes…

After swatching, the next step is knitting! For this particular sweater, I decided to work the body to the underarms, and then the arms, before joining for the yoke. Now, I know that body-first can be risky, and if energy fails, the project is liable to turn into a vest. In this case, however, I hadn’t actually designed the sleeve motifs yet, so body it was!


And since all my swatching had gone according to plan, it was a breeze! I could just follow along from my charts. You can even make out the waves, some trees, foothills clad in fog, and soaring mountains!

Body done, I moved onto the first sleeve.


Not bad, eh? I really like how the geometric pattern came together. Let’s even have one more shot of that.


So good! I plowed on through most of the second sleeve.

But then.

Disaster struck.


I messed up the colouwork. On the second sleeve, I transitioned colours too early, and now the sleeves don’t match. And to be completely honest, the sweater has been in time-out in the knitting bag ever since (this was a few weeks ago). With school ramping up, and other things going on, I just couldn’t stomach ripping out a whole bunch of colourwork.

I’ll come back to it soon, once I can have some breathing room from it.

Naturally, I cast on something else to keep busy with in the meantime.


This is Neon Beast, by Veera Välimäki (one of my knitting icons), in Madelinetosh Tosh Sock. And yes, it is just zooming along. Nothing like garter stitch to fall in love with knitting again.

Spring is in the air

Monday, March 9th, 2015

Hi all, spring is definitely in the air….literally, the streets of Vancouver are in full bloom with cherry blossoms and wonderful smells. This is when Vancouver truly shines- the sun is out, it is getting warmer, the mountains look gorgeous, all the flowers are budding, everyone is enjoying the outdoors, patios filling, while everywhere else in Canada and especially the East coast are still berried in snow!!!

I love this time of year as it means the rain/snow SHOULD be over (I hope that I didn’t just jinx myself). I love all of the flowers, the smiling faces and especially all of the colours.

So I thought that I would share with you the Patone colours of Spring 2015 and as you will notice this filters down to the yarn world too. Most yarn brands follow these trends and you will see this reflected in new and fresh colour ways that follow the seasons.


The Spring 2015 Patone colours.


Reflected in the Fashion world.

Here is how the executive director of the Pantone Colour Institute describes this seasons shades:

“This season there is a move toward the cooler and softer side of the color spectrum. An eclectic, ethereal mix of understated brights, pale pastels and nature-like neutrals take center stage as designers draw from daydreams of simpler times. Remembrances of retro delights, folkloric and floral art, and the magical worlds of tropical landscapes restore a sense of well-being as we head into warmer months.
“Many feel compelled to be connected around the clock because we are afraid we’ll miss something important. There is a growing movement to step out and create ‘quiet zones’ to disconnect from technology and unwind, giving ourselves time to stop and be still. Color choices follow the same minimalistic, ‘en plein air’ theme, taking a cue from nature rather than being reinvented or mechanically manipulated. Soft, cool hues blend with subtle warm tones to create a soothing escape from the everyday hustle and bustle.”
Leatrice Eiseman

Now let’s see how this shows up in the yarn world, here are a few examples from the shop.


Habu yarns.




Blue Sky Alpaca.



Rowan All Seasons Cotton.

Lets take a cue from Leatrice Eiseman and tap into our “quiet zones” with knitting. Enjoy the still time with soft, subtle and warm hues of spring inspired by the nature that surrounds us:)

Designing a sweater: Part 3

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Where did we leave off last time? I think I had shared a bit about my first swatch and then left you with a nice teaser that today we would be talking about motif and design.

You may recall from any conversation with me ever that swatching is kind of important. It is a playground for experimentation through trial and error. I keep most of my swatches, whether successful or disastrous, because they are always learning experiences.

Before I get ahead of myself, here is a coloured sketch of the general sweater idea (this is the back of the sweater). You can more or less make out the waves, trees, and mountains rising from the lower edge of the sweater, and transitioning into… something. I didn’t quite get around to planning every detail yet.

Sweater 14

With that, and after some extensive colour-mapping, I got to work.

Sweater 15

And wound up with a pretty decent swatch!


I did make some changes to the design as I went, but this kind of planning allowed me to re-check my gauge, and helped give me a willingness to modify motifs on the fly, since I had a pretty solid grasp of how the fabric would alter.

I’m going to leave you with a few more photos of my sketches for the time being, because I really do have to get back to work… Next time I promise I will have an actual progress update on the knitting of the sweater itself! (Hint: It’s not done yet… there are rocky seas ahead).

Sweater 16