Giveaway | Happy Canada Day!

 

To celebrate Canada Day in a yarny way, I've decided to host a giveaway! Up for grabs is one of two skeins of the highly coveted Heirloom in Ina's Red (named after a friend and fellow Canadian of mine). This luxurious blend of silk and cashmere is incredibly soft and is perfect for next to the skin knits.

To enter, leave a comment on this blog post about something you love about Canada. For a second entry, leave a similar comment on this Instagram post. Easy, yes? The two winners will be chosen and posted below by the end of July 3rd. Winners will be chosen by two random draws, one from the blog comments and one from the Instagram comments. Though you can enter twice, you may only win once. This contest is open to everyone.

 

Happy Canada Day!

 

Winner 1: HEATHER BAYLIS

Winner 2: @AMYMERCER

Congratulations winners! Please send me an email at info@sweetfiberyarns to claim your prize!

 

All of your responses have been amazing! I've enjoyed reading through them these past couple of days, a big thank you to everyone who participated. I thought I'd highlight a few of my favourites below:

 

@louposkitt - Swimming in an perfectly chilled lake, stillness in our wild spaces and the smell of the forest in the gulf islands!

@amandafalson - I love how many incredible small indie hand dyed yarn companies there are from Canada! I guess it makes sense with the climate but I just keep discovering more gorgeous hand dyed yarn from Canada!

@silverilix - The birdsong, it's the best thing to hear through the year.

@trishington - I love Canada because it is a free and democratic country where diversity is celebrated, where you can breathe the air and live without fear of war. And the yarn is pretty good here too. :) Thanks for a great giveaway - that is a gorgeous colour!

@rosemariejewellery - What I love about Canada is the environment itself. It is peaceful and serene. Coming from another country, I can simply appreciate everything from the flowing water, to the flowers, the trees. It is quite beautiful.

@joaneygirl - I love that we have four distinct seasons. And I can knit for each one!

Fiona - I've been fortunate enough to live for extended periods in other countries, but I chose to make Canada my home, knowing that it would be a great place to raise my children. Fresh air, clean water, beautiful scenery, friendly people - these are just some of the many reasons why it is the best place on earth.

Susan Stone - I love the beauty and people of our vast country. From the east coast with it's gaelic/french history to the west coast and it's unique and undescribable beauty. The prairies are the perfect sandwich filling in this vast land. We have such wonderful freedoms, are respectful to all walks of life and as we sing, are the "true north strong and free" No matter where I go I am so proud to be Canadian.

Angela H - One thing I love about Canada is that we encourage people not to give up their traditions. Seeing all the flags during this World Cup has been so much fun, and I love that we're a country people can be proud to live in without giving up pride in where they've come from.

 

Five Things | May 7 2014


Five Things I'm lusting over this week in no particular order. 


1. GREY ABBEY by Elizabeth Olwen

This modern take on vintage fabric is perfection - the colours, the flower motifs, that name! Elizabeth Olwen is a Toronto based surface designer inspired by pastoral beauty, nature, folklore and romance. I'm usually pretty good at resisting fabric temptations but I might just have some of this on its way to me. And by might, I mean most definitely. 


2. This AMAZING watercolour book 

Created in 1692, this 800 page book illustrates how to create different hues and tones by mixing colours and adding water. The ENTIRE book is available for viewing here in high resolution. Never have I missed art school so much.


3. HOMEMADE Grapefruit Mint Poppyseed Soap

The ladies over at A Beautiful Mess have put together a delicious recipe for homemade soap using a pre-mixed goats milk soap base and fresh ingredients. I'm looking forward to trying it out later this month for part of an upcoming wedding shower gift. 


4. POMPOM Quarterly | Summer 2014

It hasn't even arrived yet and I'm already drooling over the designs in Pompom Summer 2014. Beautiful designs aside, my favourite thing about Pompom Magazine is the quality of the production. From concept to form, photographed, printed and in your hands, each Pompom reads like a small book. It's such a refreshing change from the cheap, rushed, glossy paged magazines we are so accustomed to today.


5. FREE Knitting Printable from VERY SHANNON

Check out this new printable by Shannon Cook. Perfect for keeping track of your million knitting projects and the notes you wish you kept for them. Now there's no excuse not to!


Golden Pear

 
goldenpear.JPG

Golden Pear is a sweet little baby hat I put together for a friend after being inspired by the colours currently in my knitting basket. As I knit samples for our booth at the upcoming Stitches West show I’ve noticed I’ve been on a bit of a colour theme. Lately I haven’t been able to get enough of the crisp greens, golden yellows and spicy oranges. Golden Pear will be on display throughout Stitches West in our booth (#1041 & 1043).

I hope you enjoy this free pattern and I look forward to seeing the many colour combinations you’re sure to come up with.

S U P P L I E S

Yarn

Sweet Fiber Cashmerino Worsted (Colour 1: Moss, Colour 2: Ecru, Colour 3: Spanish Coin)

You will need 3 colours of a worsted weight yarn. I used leftovers for mine, when finished the hat weighs approximately 30 grams. That works out to be about 50 meters / 55 yards in total divided over the three colours with more for colours 1 & 3 and less for colour 2.

Gauge

20 sts and 28 rows over 4 inches / 10 cm in Stockinette stitch in the round using larger needles, lightly blocked.

Size

To fit: 11.5 inch / 29 cm to 14 inch / 36 cm head circumferences

Finished Measurements: 11.5 inch / 29 cm circumference, 5 1/4 inch / 13cm long

If you would like to adjust the size of the hat, do so in multiples of 8 stitches.

Needles

4mm / US 6 circular needle (16 inch) or DPNS

4.5mm / US 7 circular needle (16 inch) and DPNS

Notions

1 stitch marker

darning needle

Techniques

Colour stranding (Knitty tutorial & more information)

Icord (Purl Bee tutorial)

I N S T R U C T I O N S

RIBBING

Using colour 1 and smaller needles cast on 64 sts. Place marker and join in round.

Ribbing: [K1, P1] repeat to end of round.

Repeat Ribbing until piece measures 1 inch / 2.5cm from cast on edge.

BODY

Change to larger needles.

Section One:

Using colour 1 knit 4 rounds in stockinette stitch (approx 1/2 inch / 1.25cm).

Section Two:

Round 1: [K1 with colour 2, K1 with colour 1] repeat to end of round.

Round 2: [K1 with colour 1, K1 with colour 2] repeat to end of round.

Repeat Rounds 1 & 2 a total of 2 times.

Section Three:

Using colour 2 knit 4 rounds in stockinette stitch (approx 1/2 inch / 1.25cm).

Section Four:

Round 1: [K1 with colour 2, K1 with colour 3] repeat to end of round.

Round 2: [K1 with colour 3, K1 with colour 2] repeat to end of round.

Repeat Rounds 1 & 2 a total of 2 times.

Section Five:

Using colour 3 knit 4 rounds in stockinette stitch (approx 1/2 inch / 1.25cm).

DECREASES

If using a circular needle change to dpns when there are too few stitches to continue.

Round 1: [K6, K2tog] repeat to end of round. (56 sts)

Rounds 2,4,6,8,10,12: Knit all stitches.

Round 3: [K5, K2tog] repeat to end of round. (48 sts)

Round 5: [K4, K2tog] repeat to end of round. (40 sts)

Round 7: [K3, K2tog] repeat to end of round. (32 sts)

Round 9: [K2, K2tog] repeat to end of round. (24 sts)

Round 11: [K1, K2tog] repeat to end of round. (16 sts)

Round 13: [K2tog] repeat to end of round. (8 sts)

Round 14: [K2tog] repeat to end of round. (4 sts)

Using the 4 remaining stitches knit an icord that measures approximately 3 inches / 7.5cm in length (if using the Purl Bee tutorial the 4 sts would be your “cast on”). Once complete clip yarn leaving an 8 inch / 20.5 cm tail, using a darning needle thread tail through the remaining 4 stitches and pull tight. Thread the tail through the base of the icord so that the yarn is now on the wrong side, pull tight (this will cause your icord to form a loop) and secure on the wrong side of the hat.

If you wish not to make an icord loop: clip yarn and thread the tail through the remaining 4 stitches, pull tight and secure on the wrong side of the hat.

Weave in ends, block hat as desired and clip ends.

InstaCowl

 

As the cold weather quickly approaches here on the Canadian west coast I find myself craving colourful chunky knits. Being an avid knitter of Malabrigo yarns I often collect pairs of beautiful skeins in irresistible colourways. Rasta has been no exception. The way this yarn takes colour is incredible and the luscious softness of the finished item makes it perfect for against the skin. With InstaCowl the simplicity of garter stitch and genius of Malabrigo’s colours come together  in an effortlessly beautiful quick knit. Easily completed in less than a weekend this project makes a perfect last minute gift or wardrobe addition for the cold months ahead.

Supplies: 2 skeins of Malabrigo Rasta (82m/90y per one 150gram skein – 100% Merino) Shown in Azules (blue), Zarzamora (purple/green) & Abril (blue/pink).

Gauge: 8sts/4″ in garter stitch

Needles: 10mm/15us 24″ circular needle. A larger needle to cast off with (I used a 12mm/17us).

Size: One size infinity cowl, approximately 7″ wide and 26″ long measured flat or 52″ around. It might feel a bit snug at first, but it will relax and stretch with time as cowls often do.

Here’s what I did:

Set up:

Using the long tail cast on, or cast on method of your choice, cast on 100 stitches. (Make sure your cast on isn’t too tight! The long tail cast on is nice and stretchy, if using a different method you may wish to cast on using a larger needle.)

Place marker and join in the round.

Purl one round.

Main:

Repeat the following 2 rounds until you’re almost out of yarn, being sure to leave enough to cast off with. (I continued on until I had about 15 garter stitch ridges before casting off.)

Row 1: Knit to end of round.

Row 2: Purl to end of round.

Finishing:

Using a larger needle cast off knit-wise. Sew in ends and enjoy! Block if desired. (Mine were left unblocked – the yarn is already very soft and I enjoy the plumpness of it.)

A Tweed Hat

 

As the rain quickly melts last week’s snow away the promise of more still lingers. For future cold days I designed Jason a thick and chunky hat with a folded brim for extra warmth. He works outside at a local airport near the water where he wears the simple blue hat I made for him last winter. It’s becoming rather worn and only half covers his ears so I thought it was time to make another.

There’s something beautiful about a Berroco Blackstone Tweed hand knit. The subtle flecks of tweed and a soft angora bloom makes for a perfect cozy winter hat.

Supplies: 2.5 balls of Berroco Blackstone Tweed Chunky in Steamers # 6602 (50m/66y per 50g ball – 65% wool 25% mohair & 10% angora)

Gauge: 13sts/4″ in stockinette

Needles: 5mm/8us (brim)& 6mm/10us 16″ Circular needles & double pointed needles

Size: To fit a man’s 24 inch head (this can be easily adjusted to fit a smaller head by either choosing a lighter weight of yarn or casting on less stitches. Just be sure to adjust your rib count and needle sizes accordingly).

Here’s what I did:

Cast on 70 stitches with smaller needles and join in the round.

Knit 5, Purl 5 to end of round. Repeat until brim measures 3 inches from cast on edge.

Switch to larger needles, knit until it measures 8 or so inches from cast on edge. (If making it for a smaller head I would suggest stopping a bit sooner.)

Decreases: (switch to double pointed needles when necessary)

Round 1: (K 8, K2tog) repeat to end of round.

Round 2: Knit.

Round 3: (K 7, K2tog) repeat to end of round.

Round 4: Knit.

Round 5: (K 6, K2tog) repeat to end of round.

Round 6: Knit.

Round 7: (K 5, K2tog) repeat to end of round.

Round 8: Knit.

Round 9: (K 4, K2tog) repeat to end of round.

Round 10: Knit.

Round 11: (K 3, K2tog) repeat to end of round.

Round 12: Knit.

Round 13: (K 2, K2tog) repeat to end of round.

Round 14: Knit.

Round 15: (K 1, K2tog) repeat to end of round.

Round 16: (K2tog) repeat to end of round.

Finishing:

Cut yarn leaving an 8 inch tail. Thread the yarn through the remaining stitches, pulling tight and securing in place on the wrong side. Weave in ends. Block if desired.