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.

Introducing Jodi’s Sweater

Hello! Today I’d like to introduce you to Jodi’s Sweater, a cosy and fun twist on the oversized top.

Possible Hero1 (2)

This piece was inspired by my friend Jodi and this top she had with a twist on the front. As soon as I saw that twist ideas started swirling around in my head about how to make it work as a knitting pattern. The front needed to be reversible, and it had to have some visual interest without being busy. I wanted horizontal stripes, but something that was loose and drapey. I tried lots of different textures and stitch patterns – I mean lots. About a year and a half later it struck me that 2-colour brioche might be just the trick. A few swatches later, lo and behold, that was the one!

Teaser

Once I had the fabric figured out, I needed to tackle construction. There were a few iterations and extensive trial and error, before I came up with the solution. The front is knit first, sideways, starting with a provisional CO. Then the back is worked from the bottom up, and then seamed with the front. Sleeve stitches are picked up around the armholes, and the rest is easy peasy.

Back2 (5)

This sweater is all about the details that make it work. And although there are lots of techniques involved that might be new to you – crochet provisional cast on (to start the front), tubular cast on (to start the back), tubular bind off  (to finish the sleeves), 2-colour brioche, Latvian braid (in a sneaky little place), I-cord bind off (back neckline) – the instructions are clearly written to help you through. The pattern also includes photo tutorials for some of these special techniques.

Front Open (3)

I really hope you like Jodi’s Sweater and find it an enjoyable project. It’s been a long time coming to fruition and I’m really proud of it.

Click here here to go to the Ravelry page, or simply hit this handy    button to go directly to check out.

Powder Day Sneak Peek!!!

I’m so darned excited to be putting together my very first collection of patterns, and can’t wait to tell everyone about it.

As you can tell by the name, the Powder Day collection is inspired by those epic days of deep, fresh snow. You know, when a couple very lucky people are the first ones to the top of the hill after a big dump, and they get to make fresh tracks. If those skiers are going for extra cheesy, they can make tracks that look just like this…

figure eights inspiration

I wanted to mimic those figure-eight lines in the snow with a cool cable pattern, so I did. Then I fell in love with the cable and wanted to put it on everything. So I did! Fingerless mitts, a hat, full mitts, and a sweater.

It’s tricky to photograph something with a snow and ski theme when you’re limited to being in the city in October. But that’s what we tried to do this morning. I enlisted the help of 4 beautiful ski buddies, those very same ladies I used to ski with before we all had kids*. We gathered up some vintage skis, hot coffee and warm knits and headed down to an old barn in the middle of the city. I was hoping to pull off an apres ski feel, a bunch of friends hanging out at the lodge and warming up after a great day on the hill.

I will be releasing the patterns one-by-one over the next few months and will eventually group them all together in an e-book when they’re all out. For now, here’s a look at what’s to come.

Group Shot

* We called ourselves BOS back then – Bitches On Skis.

Atticus Pullover

It’s knitting season again! I know, it’s really hot now, but fall is just around the corner. Now is the time to start that new sweater so that it’s ready for when those crisp days set in. With fall comes school, which calls for back to school clothes. So let me ever-so-modestly suggest you knit your little ones an Atticus Pullover to keep them warm at the bus stop this year.

A Mother’s Side Note: I’m so excited that I can finally share these pictures of Atticus. He’s so freakin’ cute in them it kills me!

Hero

My boy likes a lot of colour, and would be quite happy to wear the whole rainbow all the time. This is my toned-down version of his vision, lots of colour but not so much that your eyes cross.
The sweater is very simple but the stripe pattern makes it lots of fun. The piece is designed with generous ease to fit over a shirt and to grow with the child.

Other great front picture

The sample was knit in Cascade 220, a worsted-weight, 100% wool yarn. The pattern is written in 8 sizes, from 2 to 16, and fits with about 4″ of ease.

Close up

Thanks goes out again to Eleanor Dixon for Technical Editing, and to all my wonderful testers! I hope you all enjoy this new pattern as much as I do!

Back

The pattern is $6.00 US, but is on sale for $3.00 until midnight MST on August 17th.

Sneak Peeks

You may have already figured out by my lack of posting much lately, but my knitting and designing mojo all but disappeared in the new year. After such a busy and crazy push leading up to the holidays I decided to take a bit of a break, but then it was really hard to get back into it.

This is not to say I haven’t been puttering here and there. I did finish a new design, which is just now finishing up testing and getting the last look-over from my editor. Look for its release early next week.

Close-up on Beach

I also got some motivation to come up with something new when my kids’ preschool requested some items for a silent auction. I fiddled around with some colourwork and landed upon something I’m kinda excited about. The hat pattern is mostly written but it’s not exactly the right season to release anything wintery so I’m going to hold onto that one until fall.  Until then, here is a sneak peek, working on it in my new favourite place to knit…

Hanalei beach shot

Finally, I’ve just finished writing up a pattern for a striped pullover in kids’ sizes. The Atticus sweater is off to the editor for the first round of revisions and will be in testing soon. Here’s a quick look for now…

Stripe close-up

So, even though it’s been a little slow around here lately, I think I’ve finally got back into the swing of things. I’ll be posting some more in the next few days about some other exciting goings-on around the land of Cowtown Knits.