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Knit City Acquisitions

Hello my dears! I've been trying to get some blog posts down for ages, but life... it gets in the way. I've taken a position on our housing co-operative's board of directors, and I'm still re-adjusting my work/life balance. Also the Christmas knitting. Oh the knitting. And sewing. And embroidering. I'm screwed.

Anyway, my purchases on Knit City weekend ranged from pretty damned restrained to all sorts of splurgey. I was faced with so much beautiful yarn that desperately wanted to come home with me, but I've been experiencing some yarn-stash-size guilt lately and I resisted. I nearly went crazy in the Indigo Dragonfly booth, but in the end I was able to escape. I did indulge in some fibre though!

These pretty white batts from Caliope's Fibre look like sparkly decorative Christmas snow, and they have some interesting wools in them. Wensleydale! Whitefaced Woodland! I'm sensing some lace or sock weight. In their future.

I indulged in another single batt from Caliope's Fibre as well, probably for corespinning. I'm a textiles geek, and this batt has Ramie in it! Cool! Also she has a discount for sets of three, and I'm a sucker for a sale.

My only other market purchase was a little more luxurious, but oh my was it worth it! I bought 200g of 50/50 merino/yak fibre from Sweet Georgia, in this fall's sumptuous Tapestry colourway. It's almost immeasurably soft and I plan to do something really special with it. I'm thinking of separating the colours into a gradient and spinning a laceweight for the Evenstar shawl. Wouldn't that be spectacular?

My true splurge though? I went to the Fluevog store in Gastown. And I bought something. And I have never regretted a large purchase less than these gorgeous, gorgeous ankle boots. They're luscious, wonderfully comfy considering they're the highest heel I've owned that I can actually stand in (hush, I know they're not that high, but I'm unbelievably clumsy and I loathe shoe pain), and have the perfect style combination of western, equestrian, and motorcycle chic. Also I have no other black shoes. My only worry is that I've begun a very expensive shoe addiction. The service in the Gastown location was phenomenal. Go see them.

There you have it folks! Now I must resist purchases for a few months! I'm going to guess I trip up around Black Friday, but I'll do my best. Wish me luck!

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Cascadia is Almost Here!!

I have hinted and suggested and pretty much outright said that I had a yarny hand in a book, and now said book is just about to launch!

Cascadia

is a collection of patterns inspired by our beloved west coast and curated by Amanda and Fiona of

Knit Social

. The designers and yarn producers are all local, and I have to say this area is as abundant with creativity as it is with beautiful landscapes and flora. I can't think of a better theme for a book of knitwear designs.

I contributed the yarn for the Redcedar lace stole, designed by Emily Wessel of Tin Can Knits fame. It's a gorgeous, wearable scarf in two sizes (my yarn is shown in the fingering weight version, but there's an aran weight as well!). The pattern is a stunning woodgrain lace that is both hipster and grandmother approved. I am really looking forward to making one myself!

I should add that the pattern is the cover shot for the book! Woot! The yarn is my scrumptious Kashmir Sock and the colourway is Havana Club. If you want to make your own Redcedar, I'm happy to take custom orders in any yarn weight!

Cascadia

will be available in digital and print form from Co-operative Press. Look for the ebook late this month, and the print book late in October! If you're coming to

Knit City

on October 26th and 27th in Vancouver BC, I bet you can get a copy! Think how many contributors will be there to meet and visit with!

I bet if you bought the book you'd also see a picture of me modelling Redcedar! Yes, I really am arrogant enough to think you'll buy the book because I'm in it. No I'm not. But buy it anyway!

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Enabling: Maria Elena Bliss Needle Case

I won this adorable needle case from the

Knit Girllls

podcast this summer, and I wanted to show you all how cute it is!

The case came from

Maria Elena Bliss

, who has a sweet little shop on Etsy. It's hand made, and is sturdy as heck.

The outside is quilted, which gives the case lots of body and helps make it feel like it can put up with my abuses. It has loads of clear vinyl slots for interchangeable needle tips, or in my case, DPN's. My entire DPN collection fits in this thing! I also have my fixed circular needles and a needle gauge in the zipper pocket.

There are two loops to hold things that attach to loops... I don't know, scissors or something? Anyway, they're nicely in there and have snaps.

There are just so many cute details in this case - look at that wee zipper pull!

I think my only complaint about the bag is that the pockets in the vinyl aren't in ascending size order. They're close, but the bag is handmade, so there are little imperfections in the sewing. Meh. It's adorable and that more than makes up for it.

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More KAL Success: My Summer Snowflake

I've been having lots of fun (and only stressing myself out a little bit) doing several Knit Alongs. The first was the luvinthemommyhood Tops Tanks and Tees KAL (which I posted about a few weeks ago). Yesterday I finished my project for both of the sweater KALs hosted by the Knitgirllls Podcast and the Must Stash Podcast. I'm still playing along in the Fat Squirrel Speaks Podcast orange KAL, the Knitgirllls Stash Dash, and the Just One More Row Podcast self striping KAL. In other news, I love podcasts and KALs and you should too.

So, my sweater!

Apparently my default styling option for any outfit is "wear my duo boots and it will be awesome"

I knit a modified version of Snowflake, by Emily Wessel of the Tin Can Knits duo. I truly can not say too many nice things about this pattern. Here's a wee list:

  • It is sized for babies all the way to a 58" bust (I'm pleasingly plump at a 47" bust and epic hips, and I love that my bigger knitting gals can make this thing too).
  • The pattern is written clearly and concisely, and the layout and formatting is clear.
  • There are several photos, a schematic, a size chart, and a picture of the lace yoke being blocked flat before the rest of the sweater is added.
  • It's a simple top-down raglan, made special with lace details.
  • The models are adorable, both in the adult's and children's sizes.
  • The pattern was free because Tin Can Knits did an amazing holiday promo and gave a free pattern to everybody on the internet. Generosity and good marketing are a great pair.
  • There are instructions for optional waist shaping (which tell you how much you'll be reducing the circumference by) and optional sleeve changes.
  • Their patterns are supported by a great blog, and friendly designers who are full of web savvy.

I used my Boo! limited edition bamboo/merino blend fingering weight yarn in the Thunderhead colourway - a yummy silvery purple. I adored working with this yarn, and am happy to say that I have about 800 yards left from the dye lot to play with. I don't normally keep sweaters' worth of my own products, but this one really is a limited edition, and I absolutely can't get more. There is some in the shop still, so if you like it, get it!

I knew I wanted to do this pattern, but I really didn't need a Christmas sweater in May, so I made several modifications. I didn't do the colour block detail - instead I used a fingering weight yarn held single in the lace yoke and double in the body (to achieve the required DK weight). I knit it at a looser gauge to get the fabric I wanted for summer, and therefore had to modify for size and row gauge. I knit short sleeves and modified the neckline closure with some pyramid studs instead of buttons and button holes..

I love pyramid studs, they remind me of the days I thought I was a badass.

The fit is great, it's soft and light, and the style is perfect for summer. I am so smug. Did I mention I knit it in exactly 2 weeks? Supersmug.

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Fibres West

I know it was two weeks ago, but I swear I'm still recovering from all the awesomeness that was Fibres West. It was a fun, well organized show and a pleasure to attend both as a vendor and a shopper. We had beautiful weather for travel:

Island life is sooooo hard :P

And the booth was cozy but cute and super full of pretty things:

And the shopping was really really good:

Cherry and Ebony Tibetan, from http://ancientartsfibre.com/

Handmade WPI gauge, from Buttons by Kees

Suffolk/Southdown from http://www.hummingbeefarm.webs.com/

Kid Mohair from http://www.hummingbeefarm.webs.com/

Handspun from my booth neighbour http://facebook.com/HannahminsFibre

I'm pretty pleased with the whole thing. Thank you all for coming to see me!

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