Portuguese Shores

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Have you ever visited a place and been overwhelmed by a feeling of "right"? This is the right place for me, this feels right, I'm all right here, better then all-right.
I was overcome with these feelings this summer when we visited Portugal. I loved everything about it, the food, the views, the culture, the people, the atmosphere, and of course the wool. 

Portugal has a rich history of wool and fibre, beautifully showcased by the Retrosaria Rosa Pomar yarn shop. I've already written about my visit to the shop and the first project I made using the yarn I purchased there. I have now found what I believe to be the perfect pattern for the Beiroa yarn I also brought home from Lisbon.

Once again Instagram served as a catalyst for this idea. Not too long ago a fellow knitter with a lovely feed threw out the idea of starting a Portuguese inspired KAL. Whether it'd be portuguese wool, a portuguese pattern, or a project inspired by Portugal, the possibilities are endless. This proposal instantly made me think of the Beiroa yarn I have in my stash. A bit of research led me to decide on "Shore" as my choice of pattern. 

A lot of resource information has already been  shared on the Ravelry thread and I can't wait to learn more, read more about Portugal's knitting history. 

A curious gap

Sunday, February 12, 2017

A knitter’s “career” goes through different stages. There are certain knits that I believe signal a certain rite of passage. I started off with the basics, stockinette, simple construction, then colourwork, some lace, more intricate constructions for garments, but to this day I am yet to attempt making mitts or socks. Crazy, right? 

Mitts were never really on my radar, I never felt that I MUST knit myself a pair of mitts, but lately my Instagram feed was flooded with beautiful images of mitts thanks to Leighsideknits prompt and challenge #leighsidemittskal2017 . And these pictures sparked something. I am not setting the bar quite as high, I won’t attempt colourwork mitts as a first experience (even though a bit of a challenge never hurt anyone, right?). I am going to start with a more basic, reasonable pattern. I have set my sights on the “Ossify” pattern by Stone Wool.

The pattern has enough texture to keep things interesting and is what seems a pretty basic construction. What I also came to realize in researching patterns is that mitts are a wonderful way to use up those lonely skeins of worsted weight wool that you may have lying around at the bottom of your stash somewhere.  My choice for this pair is a skein of Plucky Knitter’s Scholar in Lonesome Highway ( a great name isn’t it??)

I have just started knitting these up, but I am loving it so far and would like to line up a few more patterns to try. Tell me, what are your favorite mitt patterns? Complicated or simple, what else should I try?

Hurray for Baby Knits

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

It’s been a while since our circle of friends has welcomed a baby into the mix, but there’s another on the way, so I was delighted to delve into my list of favorite baby knits to find the right one to cast on for.

I settled on the Little Coffee Bean Cardigan by Elizabeth Smith. It is a classic raglan cardigan, and I feel that any baby deserves such a staple knit in their wardrobe. Yes he’ll grow out of it quickly, yes, it’ll be drooled on, but let’s be honest, is there anything cuter than a baby dressed in hand-knits?

My choice of color was dictated by the mom’s preference and once again, it’s a classic, a beautiful blue for a long awaited baby boy. I’ve been looking forward to this knit, as it should whip up quickly, and I need a satisfying knit at the moment. I’ve been working away on a design of my own for a bit, and it’s proven to be quite the exercise in patience, so a straight-forward, uncomplicated knitting experience is just what I need right now.

I have made a slight modification to the pattern in that instead of making it in plain stockinette I chose to add a bit of texture to the cardigan. I am using the twisted purl stitch to accomplish that. Easy enough I thought to myself, right? Well, as it turns out any "little" change can have a big impact. Yes, it looks lovely, however it turns out that this stitch pattern does not exactly work in the round. That stumped me for a moment, but then to my relief I remembered this genius post by Karen Templer , which saved my project for a reason not even mentioned in her list of benefits!

I am well on my way to finish this cardigan, just one time for the baby's imminent arrival!