Camilla Pullover

It's been a very long time since I've knitted a pullover for myself. According to my Ravelry notebook it was 2008 and the sweater was called "Cableicious". Since then I've opted to make cardigans, vests and a whole lot of accessories.

Camilla

I'm not quite sure what it was that made me want to cast on Camilla. I think the fact that I had yarn in my stash just collecting dust was probably what did it. The yarn was purchased for a Phildar Sweater (which I still love and hope to make someday). Many of the balls hadn't been used. However, I stated in my last post, I impatentienly used the already knitted yarn and thankfully it did block out!  So knitters out there – should ye be as impatient as me, all will be alright! However, I pre-blocked the rest of the yarn before using. While I know now that it worked out, I don't think I would put myself through that type of stress again!

I heart Garter stitch

Pattern: Camilla Pullover by Carrie Bostick Hoge
Yarn: Karbella Aurora 8, 8 balls used
Needles: US 10 circulars
Size Made: 37

Modifcations: In using the yarn that I did I had to go down a needle size.  I was also getting about 8 sts to the inch before blocking and therefore decided to go up a pattern size to compensate for that change. (I typically make things that are 32-34) It  did block out a bit after washing. When I first took it out of it's Soak bath I became a little scared because it was stretching way beyond it's dimensions. But a little smoosh here and a little tuck there and it's just about perfect. Garter stitch really grows so I wasn't shy about a few rows shorter than necessary. 

Camilla

I love the front panel motif. It was easy to memorize and thus provided me the opportunity to knit it anywhere without having to check the pattern every few rows. It was knit in a rediculous amount of time. In an effort of full disclosure, I began this on Sunday and am wearing it out to Patricia's today. Granted, I know I am nuts when it comes to knitting and therefore need to pay some bills and kiss my husband.

Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving! I am so thankful for you coming here and reading about my little knitty life.  Holiday knitting, here we come!!

Oh Camilla!

Have you ever had a knit that you just couldn't shake?  You buy the pattern and realize you have the perfect yarn in your stash.  You nearly fumble your needles rushing to cast on.

Camilla

You find yourself at work wanting to sneak in a row or two here or there.  You go home and neglect to cook yourself a decent dinner.  Opting instead for two heaping bowls of cereal because the time it would take you to make dinner would minimize your knitting time. Lastly, that "perfect yarn in your stash" is actually yarn that was already knitted in to part of a sweater.  You decide to not get the kniks out of the yarn before using - it would just take Too Much Time.

Camilla

Dear Camilla, just what have you done to me? 

In a fit to use the yarn I have (besides the obvious of not blocking it out first)  I went down a needle size and therefore am getting a tighter gauge than what the pattern calls for. I started very Zimmerman-like on a sleeve to see if I liked the way the yarn and new gauge worked. Can you tell I am fully pleased?  I am a woman on a Camilla mission. 

Now the real question is, will I allow myself time to make some pumpkin cookies? Happy Thanksgiving!

Orla

Just in time for the giving season!

Orla

Orla (queue it up!)

Size: To fit average head
Materials: 1 ball – MC – worsted weight,Spud & Chloe Sweater [55% superwash wool, 45% organic cotton] 164 yards, color Ice cream and 1 ball – CC – Lorna's Laces Shepherd Multi [100% wool] 225 yrds, color Fresh (one ball of the CC will be more than enough for two hats!)
Needles: US 5 (3.75mm) & US 7 (4.5mm) 16 in. circular needles and US 7 (4.5mm) Double Pointed Needles
Other Materials: Stitch Marker, Tapestry Needle 

$5.00  

Thank you to everyone who has supported me in taking the "next step" in designing my own patterns. It's been such a pleasure for me to share with you this hat and hope you will enjoy making it.  Pattern has been test knitted and reviewed by many eyes.

Happy Knitting!

Gifting

Baby Set

Tis the season of giving and I'm starting early with this baby set.  One of my brother's closest friends in London gave birth to a baby boy early this November and I'm shipping this out to them to keep the lil' man warm during those cold London nights.  

When I started knitting my brother had long since moved over the pond and only came home every so often.  During one of his first trips home he was with a co-worker who immediately fell in love with one of my first knitted hats.  Her enthusiasm surprised and flattered me so much so that I gifted her that hat (an Odessa!) on the spot.  She was one of the first people that made me feel like what I was doing was a fabulous thing.

Booties!

I had a chance to see her and her pregnant belly this summer at my brother's wedding.  You could tell that she couldn't wait to meet her lil' man. Now that he's here I couldn't wait to make him something.

Koigu Hat

The booties are the Docker pattern from the Rowan Babies book which is currently out of print.  It's one of the more popular bootie patterns at my LYS as it's easy to make and baby tested and approved!

The hat is copied from a baby hat that Patricia made her daughter, Grace.  A simple little beanie using two strands of KPPPM held together. The pattern was pretty much improvised.  Raveled here.

I've got a lot more knitted gifts on their way…  to be honest it's a regular WIP-plosion over here.  Lots more to come :-) 

WIP mania

Pinterest

I have just been introduced to a wonderful new site by Lolly and I cannot get enough!  

Pinterest is like a new form of Google Notebook (which perished not too long ago, tear). You can search the internets for your favorite things, "pin them" on your pinboard and then share them! I am a completely visual person and find that it's somewhat sensory overload but amazing! There is just so much good stuff out there. Go now and join!

View Margaux's Pins on Pinterest

I'm off to find more knitting inspiration! 

Orla – reinvented.

The trilogy of the fair isle hats ends with a beginning. After the workshop I began to think about the other fair isle knits I've done.  My Flora hat has been a pretty popular knit on Ravelry.  It was one of the first patterns I published here. I remember sitting at my desk and drawing all those vines and leaves and being so excited at how they emerged in my knitting.  The pattern I've noticed has a mistake (it says to work chart 3x but it's really 4) but for a first time try it wasn't too shabby!   It's been made into 248 hats, a few cowls and even a little girl's dress! 

Orla

But before Flora there was another fair isle hat that has sat long lost in my WIP pile. That is my dear Orla.  I am majorly obsessed with the designer Orla Kiely.  When she had products being sold in Target I nearly bought out the closest 3 near my home. I especially love her signature repeating leaf pattern and thought about how that would translate to a hat. I remember knitting like a demon on it but running out of yarn just as I was decreasing for the crown. The original hat had a fold in hem and was knit out of two solid colors. While I knew I could have just bought another ball and finish the hat, I decided to rip that sucker out and start over with new yarn.

Orla

Pattern: Orla (my own!)
Yarn: Spud&Chloe Sweater, 1ball and Lorna's Laces Shepherd Multi, color Fresh
Needles: US 5 & 7s 

I am so proud of this pattern and hope you will enjoy making it!  It's easily memorized and will lend itself to any solid or variegated worsted weight.

Orla

I am making some final touches to the PDF and will be publishing it both here and as a Ravelry download very soon!

Roll credits! 😉

Sweet Sixteen

Ok, I know what you're thinking – another hat so soon!?  Where do you have the time to knit all this!? To be fair this hat was casted on way before my Meritursas workshop. I had been doing so much swatching and pattern scheming that I had needed a mental break. There was only so much calculating this little wine hungry brain could do. It was time to pour the Noir and let someone else boss me around. Enter the Sixteen Cable Hat – a pattern that had sat way to long in my Ravelry library.

Sweet Sixteen

Pattern: Sixteen Cable Hat by Circé Belles Boucles
Yarn: Kumara, 2 balls
Needles: US 6 & 8
Raveled

Kumara is a new yarn at Patricia's this fall and I already know I will be going back to it several times this winter.  Made from Merino Wool and Camel, the yarn is incredibly soft and warm with excellent stitch definition.

Sixteen Cable Hat

The 16 cable hat is a simple and straightforward pattern but you do have to dig out a cable needle! Those 16 stitch cables are no friend to the cable without a cable needle technique. (Knitting PSA!! If you haven't learned to do that yet – CLICK HERE – right now – sing it with me: the more you know!). I did block lightly to allow the cables to settle and did find that it helps to close up the gaps between the cable jumps.

I'm enjoying a quiet night at home after a fun filled day in Hoboken.  I began the day eating Pumpkin Pancakes with my friends Heather and Mia. Mia is one of the fastest knitters I know and she graciously has been helping me test knit my patterns.  She's not too shabby in the kitchen either – those pumpkin pancakes were delicious!! I may have to make them every weekend for the rest of the year.

I have one more hat up my sleeve.  It's what they say, right?  Good things happen in threes.  I hope you won't be disappointed cause next one's for you!

Meritursas

Meritursas from Above

I'm not sure what I love better – this gorgeous hat or the way Courtney Kelley says "Meritursas."

Pattern: Meritursas
Yarn: Fibre Co. Canopy Worsted, 2 balls
Needles: US 5 & 7 
Raveled 

I had the pleasure of taking a Fair Isle workshop with Courtney and Kate from Kelboune Woolens at Patricia's Yarns last Saturday. While I do know how to fair isle, I knew I could learn a thing or two from these amazing knitwear designers.

I was not dissapointed! Kate was fabulous at explaining her technique and why she did the things she did in this fabulous hat. As a process knitter she really examines why the stitches are the way they are. She shared her thoughts on Fair Isle and why holding one yarn over the other was important. I had read many blog posts on the idea of dominant yarn placement but found that her careful explanation finally give me the "aha! moment".

Meritursas

Being the end result knitter that I am, I thought back to when I was making the flora hat and realized I didn't really pay attention to how I was knitting. I only wanted the end result. Now that I know, I will be revisiting that popular hat, rewriting it a bit to a beret and re-publishing the pattern.

I also had the chance to hang out with both Courtney and Kate before our workshop began. I had been a huge fan of Kate's blog and her herringbone sweater and enjoyed talking to her about knitting, her dogs and her current lack of wooden panels in her bedroom.  Courtney was also just as sweet and I enjoyed watching her hold Patricia's baby Grace and showing us the FABULOUS costume of Max from Where the Wild Things she made for her adorable son for Halloween. 

Both Courtney and Kate are truly inspiring knitwear designers and people. I will never hesitate to support their company knowing that it's backed by these two wonderful people! If this picture doesn't sum up how awesome they are, I don't know what will.

Kate and court w sheep

All it takes is a stitch.

Knitting for Peace

Walking the hallways late one afternoon, I noticed a flyer for a new student group devoted to knitting. My heart lifted at the idea of the students coming together and sharing the craft that I loved so much. I expected the group to be a HS version of my regular Stitch n Bitch. There we would be working on our knitting and chitchatting about HS drama while I offered my sage adult guidance. 

The afternoon came for the first meeting and I excitedly took out my project bag and skipped off to meet the group. I imagined finding a small group of girls sitting together working on their various projects. I was half expecting them to light up with surprise to see me join them.  How far off the mark my imagination was!

As I turned the corner into the cafeteria, I saw not 10, not 20 but 30 girls shoulder to shoulder crowded around two tables.  Each were holding a set of needles and a ball of yarn waiting for direction. Standing over them were the two sisters who organized the group and their mother (the moderator). They looked surprised but very enthusiastic about the abundance of knitters and crocheters. 

I quickly learned that the group's purpose is to produce enough 8 x 8 squares to send to the Knit A Square program, which makes blankets for orphans living with HIV and AIDS in Africa. The girls around the table buzzed at the excitement of getting started. I could tell that several were experienced, while it was obvious others had never picked up a needle in their lives. I tucked away my project bag and made my way over to the sisters offering my help.

Knitting for Peace

I was given the job of teaching some of the beginners. As a knitting instructor for my Local Yarn Shop, I have come across my fair share of new knitters. There are those who only need to one example and become immediate pros and others who need a lot of patience and attention.  It came as no surprise that my students were more of the Immediate Pro type.  Only a few repeats of the knit stitch and they were off and knitting.

It was when I had the chance to stop and look around that I began to realize what I was a part of. I saw girls from all walks of my school; athletes, musicians, studious types, some outgoing, some painfully shy, all holding needles and yarn, helping each other create. It's been a little over a month and the group has produced over 30 squares.  Some are coming out every size and shape but that's not really the point in my eyes.  The point is that the girls came together, despite all of their seeming differences, over a simple craft. There were no barriers there, just knitting.

I grew deeper in appreciation for my craft that afternoon. It's power to make a difference in people's lives was so evident.  All it took was a pair of needles and some yarn.

Swatching

I hardly, if ever, just take out yarn and knit "just to knit". Most people, like myself, are very end result driven.  We don't want to take the time to see how the yarn plays out on the needles before we cast on, we just want to make that hat, sweater, cowl, (insert knit here), rightthisveryinstant.  Or if we do swatch we end up making the teeniest little square and once we feel like we get gauge we're off and running with the sweater. Sadly, many of us who do this later find that the body of our sweater stretched way beyond the point of our liking and all because that 2×2 inch swatch wasn't really good enough.

Swatching...

Swatching is so easy too.  It takes only a moment to cast on a few stitches and work a 5 x 5 square. I am laughing as I write this because I preach to my middle school students that the only way to see if a school is the right fit for them is to try it out by spending the day.  Now, hmm, wouldn't that just be good advice to follow on a knit level.

I know, like me, maybe you don't have the patience to swatch and to be honest, I only truly get it now because I am swatching for things that don't have a pattern yet. I get why having a nice full blueprint will help any project.  It's truly been such a "duh" moment that I'm just having a full blown confessional here.

I've gone full swatch.

So there, go swatch, I promise you won't be let down.

Yarn above: Purple Tweed – Tara Tweed by Tahki Stacy Charles, Grey Yarn – Lornas Laces Shepard Worsted, Brownish Yarn, Green Mountain Spinnery