Wednesday, 26 April 2017


As mentioned previously, I'm following "A Year of Techniques" using patterns and yarn from my library and stash.  I finished my cowl with intarsia and LOVE it.  Love the colour, loved knitting the pattern, love the yarn, love it.  I think it will be perfect for spring, when the wind can be cool despite the sun (which I hear will shine again soon).  I used a new cast-on, learned intarsia with garter stitch (easy!) and grafted the ends together with garter Kitchener stitch (new skill) so really this was 3 new techniques on one go.  I also knit it ahead of my deadline (May 1st) so I'm very proud of myself for following through with my commitment to finish KALs at or near the deadline.

Pattern:  Ice Maiden Cowl by Sybil R (on Ravelry)
Yarn:  Malabrigo Arroyo (variegated) and Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light (burgundy)

Next technique involves sock yarn.  I've never knit socks (aside from a worsted pair of house socks) so I'm hoping to learn something new.  I rarely pay much attention to sock patterns that come my way (in magazines, in books, on websites) so I will have to think about what I can reasonably knit.  For now, I'll wear my new cowl and hope for a breezy, sunny but cool day!

Thursday, 13 April 2017

a year of techniques

Mason Dixon Knitting and Arnall-Culliford Knitwear have launched a year-long project and (eventual) book called A Year of Techniques.  The premise:  each month starting in March 2017, a new technique and pattern are launched.  Purchasing the book gives you access to each pattern via pdf, with a printed copy (or digital) available for shipping at the end. 

Exciting?  Yes!  Affordable? ... not for me.  With the Canadian dollar and shipping from England factored in, the book alone will cost $33.00 plus shipping (so likely closer to $60).  I would love to own the book but am also mindful of all of the other patterns I already own and the accompanying stash of yarn I seem to have accumulated.  Instead, I am going to do a 'shadow' year of techniques, selecting patterns I already own that incorporate the technique of the month.  If I don't have a pattern with the specific technique, then I will choose one that can be modified to incorporate it. 

First up was 'helical stripes' - essentially one stripe chases the other, never catching up to eliminate jogs or seams.  The pattern is for arm warmers, so I cast on using gauge for fingering weight yarn and knit up some generic armwarmers with a thumb gusset and ribbing at top and bottom.  Yarn is Noro Silk Garden sock.

April's technique is intarsia, with a gorgeous shawl by Bristol Ivy, Brambling Shawl.  I have a pattern for a garter stitch cowl called Ice Maiden.    Mine will be less icy and more 'red wine', but garter and intarsia together is fun!

I am using stash yarn for this - Malabrigo Arroyo and Ultra Alpaca Light.  Feels good to dig into the stash and try new things at the same time.

I also have a cardigan on the go for a Baby Cocktails KAL.  It's Rye, knit with Ultra Alpaca Tonal.  I love the stitch pattern and it's going quite quickly.  One sleeve done, another about a third of the way.  Great tv knitting with a 4-row pattern that's easy to memorize and 'read' on the needles.
 Also hoping to finish last year's summer tee - started about a year ago.  Lots on the go, but I am hoping to finish all by mid May, just in time to start the next technique!