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Introducing Capitol Hills Wrap

For the first time in a long time, I’m happy to announce the launch of a new pattern!

This one is a pretty lace number that’s perfect for spring and summer wear, and it’s called the Capitol Hills Wrap.

Over one shoulder smiling front

I’m very lucky to live in a great neighbourhood (Capitol Hill, here in Calgary) with an incredibly high proportion of fibre artists. We recently started up a Fibre Arts Club at our community association that’s drawing a surprisingly large crowd of crafters who knit, crochet, Tunisian crochet, cross stitch, embroider, sew, and dye yarn!

around the neck looking off into the distance whistfully

One of those crafters is Jenn, the incredibly talented dyer behind Fibre Goddess, who happens to live just a few blocks from me (our kids even go to the same school). When I got my hands on her Artemis yarn, a silk and linen blend, I knew it could be something special.

Draped over both shoulders

I wanted a shawl that I could wear every day. I sometimes struggle to find a good way to wear triangular or semicircular shawls, so I decided to go with a simple rectangle instead. I also wanted to utilize the beautiful drape of the yarn, so I made it nice and hole-y. I found a geometric wallpaper pattern I really liked on Pinterest, and converted it to knits, purls, and yarn-overs, because that’s the way my brain works. And because I wanted it to finish with points on either end, I started it from the middle and worked outwards.
Holding open

Construction starts at the middle of the wrap with a provisional cast on, and a narrow band is then worked in opposite directions to form the horizontal centre panel. Then stitches are picked up along one side, and a broad chevron pattern is worked vertically in one direction, ending with a peaked edging. The process is repeated in the opposite direction to complete the wrap.

I’m so happy with how it worked out! The yarn is scrumptious, and the wrap is something I can wear every day, which is pretty much all I’m ever looking for in a knitted piece.

You can buy the pattern (which is $2.00 off until end of day April 19th) on Ravelry by clicking the button below.

Or come visit Jenn and I at the Fibre Shindig at the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association on Saturday, April 13th, from 10am – 4pm. We will both have kits at our booths that will include 2 skeins of Artemis as well as a hard and digital copy of the pattern (at its discounted price).

This collaboration is all about great neighbours and lively neighbourhoods, which I’m so grateful to have!

Travel Knits Download Code Fixed

This is just a quick update to let you know that there had been an error with the download codes found in books purchased from Etsy or The Loop, and that error has now been fixed. If you follow the link on the sticker in your book and enter your code you should now get the digital copy with no problem.

I’m so sorry for this mix up and any frustration it may have caused!

Oops

Journey

I’m so excited to finally share my Journey blanket with you. This was the first project I finished for the book and I feel like I’ve been waiting forever to introduce it to the world.¬†TKFTF 9 web

First, let’s talk about the technical aspects of the blanket. It’s knit in squares, from the centre out. The motif is surprisingly easy to work, as it’s done with stripes, slipped stitches, and cables. You only ever work one colour at a time, so it’s easy to do but results in something spectacular.

TKFTF 10 web

The pattern gives options for finishing, as I know people have strong opinions about how they like to do things. You can either leave the stitches of each square on scrap yarn and then graft them together, or you can bind off your stitches and seam them together as you prefer. The whole thing is then finished off with a few rows of garter stitch border.

TKFTF 27 web

For the sample I used Vahva Pirkkalanka by Pirkanmaan Kotityo, a beautiful Finnish 100% wool yarn, in 5 contrast colours and 1 main colour. The yarn is carried by Midwinter Yarns in the UK, and they ship internationally, if you’d like to replicate the blanket exactly. You can also substitute other durable worsted to aran weight yarns as you’d prefer, I really think they world is your oyster with this one.

TKFTF 15 web

As I said above, this blanket ties the whole concept of Travel Knits for the Family together for me. It is the perfect project for travel knitting since you only ever work a square at a time. It’s easy to stuff two skeins of yarn in a bag and work away on it as you sit in plains, trains, and automobiles. It’s also great for packing – for a week-long trip I would take two skeins of the main colour and a skein of contrast colour and have enough yarn to knock out 3 squares.

I also love the idea of making this blanket out of souvenir yarns. Maybe pick a neutral main colour yarn and then pick up a skein of contrast colour on your journeys and knit your memories into your blanket.

Our time living in the UK was an incredible experience. We knew when we moved there that it was temporary, so we tried to make the most of every minute we could. We decided that we wouldn’t save any money in those two years, and we also wouldn’t buy a car. We took any extra money we had and spent it on traveling, and I’m so glad we did.

For me, this sample holds a lot of really special memories because I worked on it on a lot of those trips. Our trip to Sri Lanka to visit my husband’s family. Our safari in South Africa, which was the trip of a lifetime. Visiting Greece, where we felt like we had traveled back in time.

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But I also worked on that blanket during our everyday life in London, which was special too. Lots of train and bus rides getting around the city. Sitting outside at the pub while Pippa was at gymnastics. Watching the festivities at school sports days. During lots and lots of swimming lessons. Showing visitors around. Attending cricket matches, and even watching the tennis at Wimbledon.

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Now that I’m feeling all teary and sentimental – I’m going to say thank you for reading about our Journey, and for your interest in Travel Knits for the Family. This book has been a labour of love for me. I’m so very proud of this project. And I’m proud of all the women who have worked so hard to make it a beautiful thing.

The book is now available for order in my Etsy shop, and directly from Amazon. To read more about the book itself, it’s all here.

Dublin

Welcome to Dublin – the penultimate pattern in Travel Knits for the Family, and a city in Ireland.

TKFTF 28 web

The pattern is for a versatile cardigan to throw in your bag to keep you warm when those travel days get cold. It features a leaf lace pattern than flows from the shoulders down the sleeves and is integrated into the ribbing at the cuffs. The same ribbing and leaf lace pattern is repeated at the bottom of the body as well.

TKFTF 30 web

It’s designed with generous ease and no shaping to make it easy to layer on over anything. That being said, the body is a blank canvas to add shaping if you’d like to modify it.

TKFTF 31 web

The pattern is worked from the top down, seamlessly, beginning with the lace shoulders. After the shoulders are worked, the back is worked to the underarm, followed by each front. Then the body is joined and worked to the bottom. The lace pattern is continued down the sleeves as they are worked from the top down, with short-row sleeve caps. The collar is worked, followed finally by the button bands. The lace pattern is provided as both charted and written instructions.

TKFTF 33 web

For this pattern I was so lucky to get my hands on Travelknitter’s new DK weight Blue Faced Leicester yarn. This yarn was a dream to work with, and of course the colour is outstanding, as are all the Travelknitter colourways (really, every single one). You can check them out at the Travelknitter online shop when it’s open and stocked. But if you’re lucky enough to be heading to Woollinn Dublin this weekend, you can grab the yarn and the book at the Travelknitter booth. Larissa will have a limited number of Travel Knits for the Family books for purchase at her booth, and I believe you’ll also be able to check out a second sample of the Dublin cardigan there as well.

I wish I was going to be in Dublin for the festival this weekend as well (though that would mean missing the launch party at The Loop here in Calgary, so maybe not). We visited Dublin for a quick weekend trip at the end of the summer of 2016. We strolled around St. Stephen’s Green, learning about the Easter Uprising. We visited the National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology, as well as The Old Library and the Book of Kells at Trinity College. We took the best bus tour I’d ever been on – the driver provided the commentary, which was equal parts hilarious and educational, all while winding us through the narrow streets of Dublin. We finished off the weekend with a pub lunch along the river Liffey while listening to Irish folk tunes while it drizzled outside, which was perfection. Our main regret for that trip was that we didn’t get to see any of the rest of Ireland – so we’ll have to go back!

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(PS. I included the photo where Atticus is hanging his head to show that traveling with kids isn’t always a party. They were both really cranky that day, which happens. It can make it really hard to enjoy, but it’s rarely what we remember from a trip.)

For more information about Travel Knits for the Family, get all the details here.

Edinburgh

Let me introduce you to Edinburgh, the cardigan. In theory, this is a men’s sweater, but in reality, I’m planning to wear this sample a lot when my husband isn’t.

TKFTF 25 web

The cardigan is knit flat in pieces, with an all-over cable and rib pattern, and seamed together afterwards. I know lots of knitters prefer seamless garments, but one with this kind of weight is greatly benefited by the structure that the seams provide.

This piece is all about the details – from the hidden pockets and edgings in a contrast colour, to the shawl collar and ribbing that flows beautifully into the stitch pattern.

TKFTF 17 web

For this pattern I used Sweet Georgia Yarns Superwash Worsted as the main colour, and their Superwash Sport for the contrast. This yarn was beautifully soft and squishy to work with, and its bouncy round texture provided lovely stitch definition for the cables. I chose the sport weight yarn of the same composition to make the pocket linings not so bulky, and holding it double allowed me to make contrasting cast-ons and bind-offs for a bit of pizzazz (because I have a hard time working with just one colour).

I love Edinburgh the city so much. Unfortunately, I’ve not seen nearly as much of it as I’d like to on my two trips there for Edinburgh Yarn Fest. My family, on the other hand, spent a lovely 4 days in the city exploring all the nooks and crannies while I immersed myself in the yarn fumes of the festival (and met Stephen West!). Looking at their pictures makes me very jealous, and I can see us making a point of returning some time in the future to take in even more of what Scotland has to offer.

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For more information about Travel Knits for the Family, get all the details here.