Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Happy Birthday Canada

I know, I am a bit early with my birthday wishes for Canada, but I just finished my Maple Leaf Shawl.
Knit in   Briggs & Little Sport weight in a bright red colour, what could be more perfect for my 'Canada 150' project than a shawl in the shape of the iconic Maple Leaf, knit in Mountie Scarlet, with yarn produced at the Canada's oldest  mill?

Hopefully, our cool spring weather will be with us still on July 1st and I will be able to wear my shawl to show off my true north Canadian spirit.

Pattern: Maple Leaf Shawl
Needles: 5.5mm
Yarn:  Briggs & Little Sport weight.  Colour -  Scarlet
Mods:  None.  The pattern tells the knitter to pick their favourite edge stitch and use it whenever the pattern says ES (Edge stitch). I chose to slip the first stitch of every row.  That produced a very nice chain effect along all the points.

After knitting, I soaked the shawl in Eucolan then tossed it in the dryer for 7 minutes. Thanks B&L for your tough yarn that does not exhibit  extreme felting properties.  The dryer simply tightened up the stitches so they are all neat and tidy.  To finish the drying, I pinned the shawl to the blocking board, paying particular attention to all the points.
They now sit very sharply - just the look I wanted.

This is not a shawl I see myself wearing much, but I am glad I knit it.  It was fun to do and will make a  yearly appearance on Canada Day.

Monday, June 5, 2017

For Florida

Many times in my knitting life   -  and my  non-knitting life too, come to think of it  -   I have heard ladies say that the shawl, the shorts, or the sun hat they are wearing was purchased with Florida in mind. Usually older ladies.  Retired ladies with the time and the funds to head south in the winter. Now, seems as if  I am one of them.

One of our winter rituals, while in Florida,  is to head to the movies on Fridays.  Dinner and a movie. Only in  reverse order as we go to matinee followed by dinner. No matter the temperature outdoors, the movie theater often seems to be chilly.  As do the restaurants.  My Florida friend, Ruby, is always prepared for those cooler temperatures.  Slung over her arm or  carried in her purse, she comes prepared with a shawl.  Something to slip over her shoulders to protect her from the manufactured breeze when the A.C. kicks in. Percolating in my mind last winter was the thought that "I want me one of those."

Back home,  one rainy, cool,  April day a friend and I headed over to Hanover  to check out a new yarn store.  Lama Laine.  There on the first set of shelves inside the door was a great display of Baby Bamboo.  With glorious  Florida colours.   A Florida shawl waiting to happen.  I picked up two balls - one blue and one green  - that to me,  said FLORIDA!

Back home I canvassed Ravelry for  the perfect pattern.  I wanted either triangular or semi-circular.  Not a rectangle.  Mostly because I didn't want to have to pin it on.  My vision was of a shawl that would stay put without a shawl pin, because of it's shaping.  The Kindness Shawl caught my eye and although my yarn was much thicker than the Fingering weight called for in the pattern, I felt it was do-able with the DK weight.

As luck would have it, I had one complete skein of White Sunseeker left over from my recently-completed Vonica.  With 217 Metres of the white and about one hundred each of the Bamboo, I have a perfectly-sized shawl.  With a perfect, crescent shape that sits just beautifully on the shoulders and doesn't slip off.

When the winds howl and snow flies next fall,  some might be thinking of flannel PJs and woolen toques, but

I'll be thinking Florida shawl.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Vonica In White

Vonica is just as nice in white as it is in black.

 Having  finished the black one in mid April, almost immediately, I cast on for a  white one.  While the motivation to speed knit  lessened with Vonica number two, still today, May 24, my white Vonica  is enjoying it's inaugural wear.

The yarn used this time is Cascade Sunseeker, a 50/50 cotton acrylic blend.  It was warm across my lap while knitting and it occurred to me that the acrylic content might make it  too warm for a hot weather wear.  I sure hope not because when else would one wear a white lacy sweater but in hot weather?

Again, the only modification I made was to use 2x2 ribbing vs the 1x1 called for in the pattern.

As I mentioned after finishing my black Vonica  - and as has been born out with each of it's  many, many wearings -   Vonica is  an easy pattern to knit; a comfortable sweater to wear; - and one that garners compliments galore.  

I have begun to wonder if it would be 'weird' to have a sweater collection that contained only Vonicas?  Perhaps to a non-knitter, yes.  But this knitter is considering it.

PS.  I am having a much better day that my photo in these pics might suggest.

PS #2 Bonne Marie from Chicknits has publicly announced on Ravelry that she is suffering from Colon Cancer.  Hop on over to the Chicknits forum and wish her well.