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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

(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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

Copenhagen

It’s time to introduce Copenhagen, the third pattern from Travel Knits for the Family.

TKFTF 14 web

There were a few times in our travels when our accommodations were a bit on the chilly side – usually in little old British country cottages. We started to bring slippers along on those trips and they were always much appreciated. These little foot warmers are nice and compact to fit into your suitcase without taking up too much space (more room for knitting projects!)

TKFTF 12 web

These slippers are almost as much fun to knit as they are to wear. They are worked in 4 sections, seamlessly, using a variety of techniques to achieve a great fit and a great look.

TKFTF 11 web

Our trip to Copenhagen was quick and lovely. We checked out lots of Copenhagen, but didn’t take a lot of photos because it was pretty cold. We took a boat tour of the harbour, which was a great way to see lots of the city. We ate lots of open-faced sandwiches. And we met friends who lived there and visited the National Museum of Denmark together.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

Oslo

The next pattern in Travel Knits for the Family is named after the beautiful city of Oslo, Norway.

kate6522-e1525969790683.jpg

The pattern is for some very versatile mittens. They feature the same cable and rib pattern as the Bergen hat, but in mitten form. And for those who are more adventurous and need some extra warmth, the pattern has optional thrums worked into the centre of the cables. If this is your first time working thrums, there is a handy photo tutorial at the back of the book to walk you through it.

14-A37Y6333

The magic of the pattern is that it comes with lots of variations. Make them fingerless, full mittens, or flip-top. And you also have the choice to make them with thrums or not. For my family we ended up with two pairs of thrummed mittens – one flip-top and one full mitten – and two pairs without thrums – one fingerless and one full mitten.

18-A37Y6529

We visited Oslo in the Fall of 2017. We spent a day and a half in the city, exploring the abundant museums, the opera house, and the harbour area. The highlight of the trip though was the train ride from Oslo to Bergen. It’s actually billed as one of the top train journeys in the world, with good reason. It leaves from Oslo and winds its way through forests, lakes, and fields up to snow-capped mountains and rushing streams, and then back down through beautiful fjords on the way to Bergen. I tried to take lots of photos through the train windows, but in the end I decided to just enjoy the view.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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