Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Can you have too many sweaters?

While I knit one more sweater, I have time to think about my obsession with them.

I like sweaters! No, a better way to put it would be to say I love sweaters! I love knitting them, I love wearing them (and I do wear them a lot!) and I love giving them to those I love!

I love many kinds of sweaters, in many kinds of yarn but I have a preference for cold weather sweaters.

I can never have too many, so I go on knitting away! It's also a great way to put a dent in my stash... ;-)

Here's the latest warm addition to my winter wardrobe.

It's a short cropped sweater (cute with a skirt or skinny jeans) that I adapted slightly from a Norah Gaughan pattern in Vogue Knitting, Fall 2000 . I haven't seen it on Ravelry, so, I took a picture of the original to show you what it looked like and I'll try to put it on Ravelry. I haven't found out how to do it yet... Update! I've put the pattern on Ravelry!

I added a big turtleneck to make it warmer and because I thought it would be more practical considering the climate around here.

It was a quick, easy and satisfying pullover to knit. Chunky yarn and an easy pattern= almost instant gratification! Who doesn't need that once in a while?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The absolute best knitting bag???

My knitting bag (an old repurposed messenger bag) is too small for my needs. It doesn't have enough inside pockets, it doesn't stand upright on its own, the zipper is now broken beyond repair and I've never been satisfied with it.. I need a new one!!!

I've been looking at luggage, book bags, diaper bags, photography bags, you name it...

Of course I've also looked at real knitting bags, but mostly online...

I've read blog posts and forums on the subject and they made me feel completely inadequate since I only have ONE knitting bag! But, truthfully, I don't need more than one, if it's big enough for one big project and a small one. I never carry more than 2 hand knit (or crochet) projects because I'm never away from home for very long and, if I am, it gives me a good excuse to go shopping for yarn! :-)

My dream knitting bag would be lined, it would have a wide sturdy strap or two, be big enough for a sweater's worth of yarn, have a ton of zippered pockets, at least 2 sections for different projects, a special space for needles, be in a classic and "go with everything" colour and it would be able to stay upright, a bit like those old knitting bags with a foldable frame... I would also like it to be easy to keep clean.

I still haven't found THE bag, the closest I've come is the JanetBasket Eco Bag, there's a great discussion about it here on Ravelry, with pictures of what the bag looks like inside. It's almost perfect but it's been very popular since that discussion started and now, the colours I like are sold out!!!

Do you have or know of a great knitting bag I might fall in love with?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A whole lot of knitting going on!

Well, even though the days are getting longer, it's still winter in these parts and spring is not just around the corner... Far from it...

So, I'm knitting warm stuff and since I have a lot of yarn (that's a bit of an understatement) I just have to go through my stash to find out what I'm going to knit next.

So let me show you what came off my needles yesterday!

A very quick to knit turtleneck.

The stranded pattern is from an old european magazine. I only kept the graph (in an ill-avised bout of streamlining my pattern addiction) so I don't know which magazine it is, I only know the instructions are in french. I made it short because I didn't have enough wool to make it longer (I told you I was shopping my stash) and boxy to allow me to wear another turtleneck underneath to make it even warmer!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Inga mittens!

I knit the Inga Hat before Christmas. I thought a pair of matching mittens would be cute, so I removed a few stitches from each side of the pattern to make it mitten size, added after thought thumbs and ribbed cuffs for added warmth! Here is the result:

I know, the lighting isn't great... It was snowing when I took the pictures and that's the best I could do...

I put the Inga pattern on the front only. I chose to make a plain red palm with a small motif on the wrist.

Won't they look cute together?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Remembering Lillehammer!!!

O.K. It's been cold and very windy, so... I've been knitting like a maniac!

Here's what I've come up with this time:

A Lillehammer Winter Olympics inspired knit! Absolutely the best Olympics to spot great sweaters!!!

I took the picture while it was still a little damp, that's why it's flat on its back.

I already had the clasps and I only needed something to sew them on...

Once again, I mixed a few cards and a few colours...

A few hearts never hurt, especially in february...

There's nothing like new clothes to make winter bearable! ;-)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

What's hiding behind?

Following my last post, Sheryl asked what the reverse side of double knit jacquard looks like and Tom asked if I could show the cards I used to knit the norwegian inspired sweater. Well, ask and you shall receive!

Let's start with the reverse side (I used technique A, bird's eye double jacquard):

As you can see, the it's very neat and tidy. It has no long floats (in fact, it has no floats at all) and since the stitches are doubled, it makes a very warm fabric.

Now, on to the cards I used.

As you can see, before I punched the cards, I drew some motifs which I then modified. That explains the faint blue circles... ;-)

Now, because it's still very cold and I still feel very "nordic", let me tease you with a glimpse of what I'm working on...

... and the main card I'm using. Card #163 from the "Deco patterns 101-330" book. I used that card for a sweater last year...

I made a few mistakes (trying to go too fast) while punching it, that's why there are a few pieces of transparent tape on it. They do a perfect job at repairing dumb blunders, which is a very good thing since I'm down to my very last blank card! I must remember to order some...

P.S: These are Passap cards, so they're 40 stitches across.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Anything to keep warm!

It was cold last week, so cold that the cat didn't even want to go outside, so cold that the sea smoke over the Saint-Lawrence was like an opaque wall over fifty feet tall!

How cold, you ask? The coldest it got was -40 (that's where farenheit and celsius meet). The warmest was around -25 celsius, -13 farenheit without the wind chill factor... It's very windy here!

It was that cold for over a week, long enough to test a whole lot of gloves and mittens. Well, even though I'm really well equipped for that kind of temperature, I've come to the realization that I don't have anything that keeps my fingertips warm in that kind of cold... None of my mittens or lined leather gloves did the job. My fingers froze in a few minutes every time I went outside.

Since the cold season isn't over and I hate having frozen fingers (it hurts!), this week I'm testing ways to knit super duper hot mittens. The main plan is to try felted, thrummed and lined. I'll keep you posted, I might even need to combine two methods together...

In the meantime, for those nice winter days when you can go cross country skiing, I finished the SnawPaws for my daughter.

To go with the SnawHeid,

The colours don't look the same because of the lighting, but, they are! :-)

I also managed to make good progress on a mitten adaptation of the Inga hat.


On the Passap machine knitting front, I made a scandinavian inspired wool sweater in double knit jacquard for my son:


I made it by combining a few existing cards with some I drew and punched myself.

The snow and cold always inspire me to go with those kinds of knits! ;-)