FO: Regency Blouse

It’s finished! It’s blocked! It’s been worn about town and deemed wearable! I’m still awash in shiny-new-FO love despite it being about two weeks old. It’s lasting a long time… normally I’m consider myself a process knitter and I really enjoyed the process of knitting this, but I fell in love a bit with the final product.
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I swear I love it, despite my awkward modelling…

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The neckline is a touch wider after blocking than I thought it would be, but it doesn’t slip off my shoulders so it works! I bought at least 1200 yards to make it but it took about 600 at most. Lots left over for a shawl in the future! I love the yarn – NBK l superwash merino in lavandula (great colourway name…) It’s a great summer top – warm enough for all but the warmest of days.

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I swapped out the picot bind off for a picot hem, which still lies flat and matches with the pattern but is a little more subtle. Other than that I didn’t change the pattern in any way. It’s the first project on Ravelry beyond the original one published in Jane Austen Knits, and I hope more people decide to make it. It’s a wonderfully clear pattern and the lace is surprisingly easy once you’ve done one repeat. If it’s your style, or someone in your life, I highly recommend making it!

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The Calla sweater pattern is up!

I finished my lace cardigan test knit a few weeks ago, but I’ve been delaying this post until the actual launch of the pattern! I tested the cropped version in a size small and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results. Thanks to MKL for a wonderful first-test knitting experience, it was a lovely pattern and there was lots of support along the way (particularly when I didn’t understand the concept of congruent set-in sleeves…). So without further ado…here it is!

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I once considered joining the fronts, but I actually liked the lines in the end. I’m a touch self conscious of looking too skinny these days, so it sort of evens me out a little bit.

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The picot hem is a personal addition, that was easy to add into the pattern and I preferred it to the rolled sleeve.

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Once I got going with the lace it actually is very hypnotic. But, as I’ve posted about before mistakes were punished. Fortunately I made it to the end with my knitting sanity well intact and all the yarn overs in all the right places.

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It makes a nice way to wear my knitting in the summer, and so far it’s proven pretty popular with my friends. Mum even says she wants one over her own, which I’ve learned by now is actually the ultimate compliment from her on anything I make. It’s light, it’s cute, it’s feminizing, which I don’t really have in my wardrobe as much as I’d like, so that’s a plus. I imagine it would go nicely over a sundress. Of course…I’d have to own a sundress first…

Okay, time to get down to brass tacts:

Specifications!

Pattern: Calla by MKdesigns. Live today – go check it out!

Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Tea Rose, 335 yards.

Needles: Knit flat on 40″ circulars, 3.5 mm & 4 mm. In the end I really enjoyed working with the cotton, so I guess it’s a “getting used to it” thing. In fact, I think there may even be more cotton in my future. 🙂

I modified the sleeves to include a picot hem. Instructions for the modification are as follows:

Sleeve mod: Short rowed picot hem
When armpit depth is 7” end with WS row facing.
*Work in pattern to marker, sm, k to marker,
turn (RS facing) k to marker,
turn (WS facing) p to marker,
turn (RS facing) k2tog, yo repeat until 2 stitches before marker, k2tog
turn (WS facing) facing p to marker,
turn (RS facing) k to marker,
turn (WS facing) bind off as purl stitches, do NOT cut yarn and pull through final loop. Leave that stitch on the working needle, pick up and purl three stitches along short row edge. Remove marker
Repeat from * once more
Work in pattern until the end of the WS row.
Next round (RS facing) *Work in lace pattern to marker. Pick up and knit three stitches along short row edge, remove maker.
Repeat from * once more
Work remaining stitches in lace pattern.

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Pretty in Pink

My lace cardigan…it’s done, it’s blocked, it’s been modelled and photographed. Proper FO post to come when the pattern is launched, but for now just a sneak peek of it on the blocking board…

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The weather is finally turned nice and spring like, so there has been an explosion of pink in Toronto – mostly thanks to the cherry blossoms.

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My walks around the city now include a pretty excellent impromptu flower show, so while I wait for the official release of the pattern (hint: it may or may not be May 25th) to show you the cardigan in all it’s pink glory, have a picture of the bleeding hearts growing near Casa Loma:

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When I start to see flowers like these, I’m sure the snow is gone for good. While I enjoy a good cold winter, there is something absolutely glorious about the spring that comes after.

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FO: Heathered Headband & Matching Lacefield Mitts

After successful completion of my Burberry Inspired Cowl in Mineral Heather I was left over with about 100 yards of yarn and nothing to do with it. Eventually I settled on a bulky lace headband entitled Blue Leaf Headband from Neeka Knits. It promised a quick and easy project, but also one that was also cute and very functional.

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I absolutely LOVE it. It’s warm and interesting and it knit up surprisingly fast. Possibly best of all it’s washable thanks to the 100% superwash wool. In these two pictures you really get a sense of the variation in the yarn, which was surprisingly difficult to photograph. It is a very subtle mix of blues and purples and grey.

I repeated the lace pattern 11 times and then started the decrease rows, adding a button hole before casting off. Then all it needed was a leaf-inspired button!

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It won’t stand up to serious -20 degree weather, but it will do for a while. It also took up very little yarn, which was actually a downside this time…I was trying to use UP the yarn I had left over.

Final Specs for Heathered Headband:

Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Superwash Bulky in Mineral Heather, approximately 50 meters.

Pattern: Blue Leaf Headband from Neeka Knits. 5/5 stars for excellent, clear instructions.

Needles: 6 mm, circular but knit flat

So that is all well and good, but what of the yarn remaining? Almost half a ball, which I couldn’t let it go to waste! Fortunately this headband has a sister pattern: Lacefield Mitts. They, too, are worked flat and then bound off using a three needle bind off that leaves a gap for the thumb holes

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Just before binding off!

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The leaf lace pattern is worked so that the leaves flow inwards or outwards depending on which one you put on which hand. They barely cover my knuckles, but they are pretty warm for working indoors. I’m cold all the time now, so these might see some use.

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Even if that use is primarily tea consumption. (Can you spot the cowl?)

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Better than no gloves at all!

Final Specs for Lacefield Mitts

Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Superwash Bulky in Mineral Heather, approximately 32 yards for the pair.

Pattern: Lacefield Mitts from Neeka Knits. 5/5 stars again for excellent, clear instructions.

Needles: 6 mm circular, but knit flat

After the cowl, the headband and the mitts I had a tiny bit of yarn left. Just 18 meters total.

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Now what could one make with just 18 m of bulky yarn…time to search the Ravelry Database…

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Success

I am officially a high school graduate.

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See? Proof. I made it. In four years despite the neurologists and guidance counsellors that told me I would have to do it in at least five or six or never. I took all the courses I wanted to and I made it. A very big thank you is owed to all of my friends, family and teachers who believed I could and who helped me get there thank you thank you thank you.

But enough of that. What is really awesome about graduation is this:

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Yeah. Finished in time 🙂 Dispite the fact that it was alpaca I didn’t fry (anymore than anyone else) in our boiling auditorium.

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Start date March 1st 2009

End date June 26th 2009

800 yards of handpainted lace weight baby alpaca, one nightgown (yes the underdress is a night gown.) and some dark blue thread. (Thanks Mom for helping me sew that by the way or it would have been an utter disaster.)

I could not even hazard a guess as to how many hours of my life this took. Upwards of 65 for the knitting at least. many more for ripping back and re-knitting. Several for blocking, weaving in, pinning and sewing it. Several more for the designing and re-designing of the dress in the first place. In short, a lot. I am very pleased with it though I feel a little rattled and I have no idea what to knit now. I’ve done this and only this for so long I feel a little disoriented in the land of knitting and have no idea what project to work on next…..

Fortunately I’m off to camp tomorrow to start my job as a summer camp counsellor. I will pop back occasionally with tales of my adventures but in my absence Cassie has agreed to write some pieces to keep the blog going. More on that in the next post. Cheers everyone!

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