Monday, May 27, 2013

A Love of Linen

I've been going through a bit of a knitting slump in the last little while.  This usually happens to me a few times a year; not that I stop thinking about all the knitting that I want to do, but just that the actual knitting time in my day falls short.  Up to a couple of days ago, we were enjoying blissfully warm and sunny weather around here so my afternoons and early evenings were spent in the backyard soaking it all up.  Combine this with the my most recent project's snag (more on that in a later post) and and I've been reluctant to pick up the needles.  That is, until I saw this...


Quince & Co did a wonderful job building anticipation of the Knitbot Linen collection by Hannah Fettig.  This picture above, makes me swoon - the colours are beautiful and you can almost feel the softness of the yarn as you look at this stack of Q & Co's Sparrow, a beautiful fingering weight yarn in organic linen.

A few days later, this arrived on my newsfeed and I was sold:


This most recent collection of Fettig's patterns makes me happy on so many levels.  They are simple and classic yet the pattern and yarn combination gives them interesting drape and an overall gorgeous look.

Now, just to decide on what I will knit from this collection.  My plan is to make this a 'road trip project' as our family is headed out to the east coast at the beginning of our summer vacation this year.  After knitting many projects for others, this special knit will be just for me.  I'm really drawn towards the two cardigan patterns - something to cover up a sleeveless summer dress or keep my arms warm on a breezy summer evening.




The Lineal and Brise cardigans are both beautiful.  The lightness of Lineal would finish off a great layered look and the more substantial Brise would be so casual and comfortable, yet still modern and chic.  As you can see, I'm still on the fence.  What do you think? Suggestions for colour choice are welcome too!

Here's a shot from my backyard, with a little of what's been distracting me from my knitting over the last couple of weeks.  Can you blame me?



                                                                                            -- Christy

Thursday, May 16, 2013

One of Those Days (Weeks?)

That's been the kind of week it's seemed like around here for me.  I'm sure each of you have had them too.  No one thing is going completely wrong, but it seems that 50 different smaller issues are about to implode, or at least that's how it seems to me.  

At home we're getting ready to move, so there are boxes to be packed and so many things to be organized, purged, stored, and cleaned.  Plans for the place to which we're moving keep changing here and there too, and it's starting to make my enthusiasm wane.  I know when moving day comes and once we're settled it will all make sense I'm sure, but in the mean time my mind does a little inward gasp each time I start thinking too much about everything that has to get done. 

Then at work things are messy too -- I work for a non-profit and there are crazy things happening here at the administrative level that leave a lot of questions from the staff (me included) unanswered.  Most of us are confused and more than a little nervous about how things will all shake out over the next months and weeks.  

All these goings on make me want to hide my head under the covers a little bit.  Can't I just come out when it's over?  But then I stop and remind myself of the little pockets of joy around me too:

     -my 3 girls and the time I get to spend with them
     -my supportive and loving partner Patrick and his ability to listen to and encourage me tirelessly
     -the beautiful weather that we are finally getting 
     -flowers everywhere now that spring is here
     -the fun of this blog to write and share stuff
     -lots of knitting for me to do
     
There's lots more I'm not even thinking of, I know, but that's enough to help me stay afloat for now.  

Oh and also there are yummy things like this Grilled Peanut Butter, Nutella and Banana Sandwich from ohsweetbasil.com:  


  
If this doesn't coax me out of a sour mood, I don't know what will.  

                                                                                          -- Hilary

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wool People 5 is Here

This pattern collection was released yesterday, but I didn't get a chance to mention it in my previous post.  As I've said before, I always feel a special sort of glee when Brooklyn Tweed releases something new, and the look book for Wool People 5 Spring/Summer 2013 is so worth the wait.  The collection of cowls, shawls and sweaters is just beautiful and features top-notch designers.  On top of the patterns, the photography in the look book is to die for -- absolutely gorgeous.  I really got lost in those pages for a little while yesterday morning.   

A special shout-out to the multi-talented Montreal designer and yarn producer, Tanis Lavallee, whose cardigan, Reverb, is featured in this collection. (No surprise that it is number 1 in Ravelry's 'What's Hot Right Now' section today!)  In addition to making some of the most luxurious and lovely yarn I've ever used, Tanis became a new mum last month to a beautiful baby boy, Rowan.  So congratulations to Tanis on this new pattern, and a very happy 1st mother's day to you as well!    

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Spring Fever


For the last 4 or 5 days, our weather forecast here in most of Ontario has shown nothing but sun, sun, sun. After a long, cold and, at least for me, not-so-great, winter, you can feel an almost audible sigh of relief as we all put the chilly months behind us and embrace the warmth that we will enjoy for the next, oh, three-and-a-half months or so.  (Altogether too short a time, imho.)

There are moments in almost every winter here in Eastern Ontario when it is so cold outside and the snow is so deep that it becomes impossible to believe that it can ever be swelteringly hot here.  The idea of being able to feel a warm breeze, lie out in a bathing suit, or smell freshly cut grass and sweet springtime lilacs blooming seems like a fairy tale, or a vivid dream that you just can't forget.  So when spring finally commits itself to us in May (usually after a couple of false starts in March and April) I find myself feeling hopeful, much lighter of spirit, and energized for the many activities and adventures awaiting us in the summer.  Except for the mosquitos -- I could do without them. 

The winter blahs hit me hard after losing my father in February, and have dogged me on and off in the months since.  This has had a most definite impact on my knitting and my writing.  Sad to say, I still have projects on the needles that ought to have been finished over the March break, and the gaps between my posts here have been too long.  The sunshine this past week has definitely helped to lift my mood, and I've made significant progress on sewing Bridget's cardigan.  I just have the button band left to knit, and then to pick said buttons, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel now: it will, mercifully, get finished.  

Then it will be on to the man-scarf on the raw silk, which has also been sitting idle.  It's been going well, and I'm pleased, I think, with the overall look.  I have a feeling however that it will be one of those projects that will look remarkably different once blocked -- in a good way, I'm hopeful.  

With all my thoughts happy meandering off towards the summer months, I wanted to post three lovely summer-inspired things.  Two are knits, one is something other.  



What I'd Like to Wear: this light breezy tank is Kit Camisole by Bristol Ivy.  I've been aching to make myself one for the last 2 summers, and I think this year might be the year.  (...if I ever finish my current projects, lol.)  I love the simple stocking stitch in the body which beautifully sets off the simple texture in the top section.  I even love this colour -- but I think against my extremely pale Irish complexion, I might look a little ghostly.  I welcome suggestions.



Free is always good: this sweet little sweater is a free pattern from the wonderful peeps at Espace Tricot in Montreal.  The pattern is called L├ęger, which is the French for 'light'. It's knit in linen DK weight yarn in the round from the bottom up, and the pattern includes directions for 11 sizes.  In addition, it's very simple to make changes to both body and sleeve length to make it exactly the way you'd like it.  This pullover says Saturday shopping to me: a pair of capris and some flip flops, sunglasses, a big canvas tote, and a few girlfriends and you're all set.



Soft White Bed Linens: Once the weather starts to warm up, one of the changes I always like to bring into my bedroom is white bed linens.  These ones are from West Elm.  There is something about the combination of the white duvet cover and the longer light each day that just makes the entire room seem airier and more relaxed.  I love the pairing here of the chevron-patterned pillow against the white, but I also love being able to add a pop of colour -- a bright yellow or green, or even a hot pink -- with a pillow or throw blanket to give the room a little extra energy.  What are your go-to home pick-me-ups for spring?