Monthly Archives: September 2013

Mixed Bag

I’ve been working on a little of this, and a little of that, and whole lot of organizing.

I’ve completed a few pairs of mock moccasins. They are super fun and quick to make. I did a couple in the pattern size, and then tried sizing up with my own modifications.  They are so cute, but I’m guessing easy to kick off now that the cuff has a greater diameter. I’m trying to get it right. I like the shape, and the idea of slippers or booties as fall gifts for babies keeps me looking through ravelry designs for the next baby shoe to try. I made some baby fingerless mitts too, but forgot to take pictures. Drat.

socks1 socks2

I’ve been busy with my new Juicer!  I love making fresh juice everyday, and stocked up on a huge pile of organic veggies to try new combinations. I tend to like anything with ginger added, so it’s been a delicious experiment. Admittedly almost every glass has had apples and beets in it too. I’ve also gone vegan, mostly raw, caffeine free, and grain, soy and dairy free too. You’d be surprised at how much variation a diet like this accommodates.  Although I imagine I will add these items back in to varying degrees, I feel very inspired by the new recipes I am learning, and by vegetables themselves. Just being able to omit coffee for a week felt like an accomplishment.


While I’ve been here in Montreal I realize I might not always get the french sense of humour. This cafe, currently covered by construction scaffolding, is close to a park I walk in quite often. The title means “The Cow Who Farts”  or perhaps “The Farting Cow”. They serve coffee and pastries. Is this name quip, ironic, or cute? I can’t tell and it’s driving me crazy.


This bird was having a great nap next to the pond until I stopped to take it’s picture.  I love Parc La Fontaine. In the winter the large pond turns into a beautiful ice rink, but when the water isn’t frozen I enjoy walking around the pond, sometimes while the old lamps are lit up. It’s a large park, and people in our neighbourhood come to sit on blankets, play games, or watch the water, and the people. There are bike paths, and meandering pathways for promenading. The very best thing about this park is that there is an older gentlemen who sits at the end of the pond on a park bench, and plays old Parisian sounding, or local folk songs on his accordion.  He smiles so much while doing so too. It gets to me every time.

I’m taking more time for walks through the city now that the leaves have just turned. It’s not red and orange everywhere, but some trees have a clear head start. I still love all the sunshine here, and at this time of year it comes without the humidity.

old montrealWe walked around the old port of Montreal today. The weather was perfect; sunny, but brisk enough that you could keep walking forever. I bought myself a new scarf to keep the breeze out of my jacket along the way, and we went for lunch on a patio. I had lobster… so clearly I have swayed from my all veggies diet, but it was worth it. We also went into some interesting shops. These wooden carvings, below, had me discussing my absolute paralyzing fear of snakes. I’ve had people recommend options for overcoming my fear, but part of me keeps telling myself that it’s wise to stay scared.


I’m slowly adding more fruit bags, but the production has slowed. I’m trying to figure out a few hood and hat designs, and since I have had less time for knitting, nothing besides teeny tiny baby accessories are being made. This was my last upload to my etsy shop.

bananas1Have a wonderful day!


Sailor Vest

I made this vest for a cousin who is expecting a baby boy this winter. I used the Pebble vest pattern, but changed the garter stitch to ribbing.  I tried two new techniques with this project, which always makes things more interesting (or do I mean difficult?).

Duplicate stitch is something I just learned about. It’s an embroidery technique that mimics intarsia. The technique is very basic, and the steps are easy, but I actually had to try it several times before I was okay with the result. It’s still on the rough side, but I’m happy with it.

Because I decided to use ribbing instead of the garter borders, the edging wasn’t as polished as I wanted. To help the vest look more finished I decided to try crocheting an edge around the neck. This was also something that took a few tries, but after awhile it became really fun. I’m slowly feeling more encouraged to try crocheting again.  Crocheting edges seems like an invaluable technique, and I am just as excited as when I learned how to create an i-cord bind-off.



I was also able to improvise a loop an add a last button that looped to the back. It’s unnecessary detail, but helped smooth out the button hole spacing, and honestly, helped me hide a mistake with the cast-on edge.


When I was done the vest I had a small amount of yarn left over. I knitted the hat with the very last remnants of yarn. I needed every millimetre to close it up, but the vest seems so much cuter with this little hat.

Have a great day!

InStyle Magazine to Ravelry, Matchmaker Vol 3 – Sweaters

For this volume I went looking for sweaters with cables, and vintage inspired patterns that had more room than the 50’s sweater would have allowed. The combination of a sweater and skirt is very cute, and I love that the tops have more positive ease. I found what I could that matched, and will also venture a few patterns that combine or exemplify the menswear trend, looser fits, traditional cables, and modern shapes. There are lots of pattern ideas and suggestions here though. Vol 3 may be the longest.

SweaterGirls_1From left to right, a puffed sleeved cable sweater, a tunic length navy cabled sweater, a teal 50’s inspired sweater, an embellished basic raglan, and a barely cropped stockinette turtleneck.

Cables were featured in most of the editorials. I’ve grouped all my cable finds in one spot. These sweaters have cables, and either a longer looser tunic shape, puffed sleeves, or a turtleneck:

High Neck Cable by Kim Hamlin

Inisheer by Martin Storey

Fresh by Martin Storey

Clove sweater by Jo Storie

Blue Bird by Susan Crawford

#12 Texture Turtleneckby Lori Steinberg

#10 Cabled Turtleneck by Lang Yarns

Lattice Knit Sweater (W210) by Susie Bonell

These sweaters below don’t have the exact attributes as the InStyle images, but I think they hold the same look; the higher neck, the longer and looser shaping:

Through the Dales by Ruth Garcia-Alcantud © Practical Publishing

117-21 Tunic with raglan sleeves and rib in ”Eskimo” by DROPS design

The neutral turtleneck with a cropped feel is gorgeous (farthest right). I found a few designs that have some of those features: turtleneck, cropped to waist length, with stockinette stitching.

Cropped Turtleneck by Lion Brand Yarn

#15 Cropped Pullover by Lori Steinberg

Cropped Boatneck Sweater by Vi Bui at


From left to right we have, again, a cabled turtleneck sweater, a uniquely shaped bulky weight raglan sweater with exaggerated cuffs, a striped turtleneck, a mesh sweater, and a combination leather with high pile yarn. I didn’t include patterns for the leather and knit combo – there wasn’t alot there to be found truthfully. Stripe pattern ideas will be under the next editorial.

Since we covered cables, I’m add the Dad’s Thick Sweater pattern below. It’s menswear inspired, with an oversize fit, and matching yarn weight. There are no cables but the heavy rib gives it the same rustic feel. It’s very classic. One of my favourites for this post:

Dad’s Thick Sweater by Britt-Marie Christoffersson

This oversize t-shirt is exceptionally beautiful:

Oversized T-Shirt by Mari Lynn Patrick

The next sweater is the uniquely shaped raglan with extremely exaggerated sleeve cuffs. The sweater below has close resemblance to the more subtle raglan shaping in the editorial. I think this pattern, with elongated sleeves and body modification is probably the closest match:

Raglan Pullover by Bernat Design Studio

This pattern is runner-up, due to the cuff shaping that could be easily extended. The cowl neck would need to be omitted, but I also think it works as is:

Raglan Cowl Pullover by Patons

This simple raglan sweater does not have elongated cuffs, or unique shaping, but perhaps it’s a more wearable version of the pictured design. This seems very versatile, and something you would wear for years:

Simple Sweater by Kris Percival

Mesh sweaters are everywhere lately, and there are many to chose from in Ravlery. You have have your choice of neckline and construction really. Here is my pick to match the editorial:

1892 – Ladies Openwork Sweater by Christelle Ledoux

Runner-up list:

Prairie by Lisa Richardson

This mesh tunic has a longer fit, and would look amazing in linen, with skinny jeans:

#28 Oasis by Verena Design Team


From left to right: a fair isle sweater, houndstooth tunic, ombre stripes, heart flecked raglan, and fuzzy ribbed. The fuzzy ribbed sweater is more about the yarn choice, so I didn’t include it in my matches.

Fair isle is not hard to find on Ravelry, and at first thought posting anything might ruin the adventure of finding the fair isle of your dreams. There are so many beautiful versions! This is my absolute favourite:

Fair Isle Yoke by Susan Crawford

Houndstooth is the pattern du jour, non? I’ve already posted two houndstooth capes, and a houndstooth cap in Vol 1. There are also some beautiful coats for both knitters and crocheters on Ravelry too. I’ve posted a vest below, along with wrist-warmers, and a houndstooth sweater:

Marshmallow Houndstooth by Aileen Cahill

#10 Houndstooth Tank by Ann McDonald Kelly

Houndstooth Handwarmers by Ellen Gill

I was trying to find a roughly faded stripe effect in sweaters but didn’t quite hit that mark. The patterns listed below have either an ombre effect, or other elements that made them feel ‘now’ like garter stitching, a cropped turtleneck shape, and cables:

Beth by Marie Wallin

Gradient Pullover by Amy Miller

Flore by Julie Hoover

Kabler by Marianne Isager

Initially I thought the flecked sweater would be an easy match, but I came up with nothing. If you know of a project that uses these heart shaped colour flecks I would love to know about it. I also skipped over the embellished sweaters. These designs look quite basic, relatively, and there are so many choices in both yarn and sewn embellishments that you can add. In my local Montreal yarn store I noticed they featured a few yarns with interspersed fibres and weaved in pieces this season. I’ve stayed away from what I consider novelty yarns in the past, but seeing these sweaters has changed my mind.

I hope the matchmaking helped some one out there find a project that inspires them. I had so much fun trying to make the matches these last few days. Thanks for taking a look!

InStyle Magazine to Ravelry, Matchmaker Vol 2 – Capes and Plaid

Vol 2 is all capes and plaid. Along with the pictures of sweaters in the September issue of InStyle magazine were the photos of tartan and capes. I love both, so it was incredible fun to search for applicable knits. It was also very easy to find matches in both attribute and style. Yesterday’s matches were a stretch in some cases, but I think I nailed it today.


plaid 2

#13 Plaid Turtleneck by Rebecca Rosen

Checks and Balances by Boadicea Binnerts

Ceilidh by Jean Moss

Camus by Norah Gaughan, photo courtesy of Berroco

Rapt by Betsy Farquhar

Tartan Cowl by Caryl Pierre

The capes pictured below are not knits, but why stop at sweaters?


There are so many beautiful capes on Revelry. I’ve wanted one for years. I flip between a large poncho style to something like the first pictured cape below that falls mid torso. Jackets, capes and ponchos seem like great knitting projects because these items you can wear year after year, and they’re meant for warmth (unlike knitted lingerie for instance). I’m hoping this wave of cape love lasts for a long time.

Feast your eyes on these lovelies:

Dhurrie by Lisa Richardson

Cabled Fall Celebration Cape by Willa Schrlau

Noelle Capelet by Martin Storey

Hawthorn Cape by Marie Wallin

#04 Houndstooth Cape by Inge Spungen

Reykjavik – Cape by Dora Stephensen

Triquetra Capelet by Sara Morris

Winter by Kim Hargreaves

Warmth by Erika Knight

Cape 021 – T9 – 025 by Phildar Design Team

#06 Houndstooth Capelet by Mari Lynn Patrick

Vol 3 will be all about sweaters. Stay tuned tomorrow. And feel free to post your favourites too!

InStyle Magazine to Ravlery MatchMaker Vol. 1

I was browsing the September issue of Instyle Magazine, and for the first time contemplated trying to create something I saw on the pages. I thought it might be a fun challenge to try to find patterns in Ravelry’s mammoth database that could mimic Instyle’s editorials and ads.  For some reason I thought, “It has to exist already.”  I love some of the inspiration, and I am tempted by some of the designs and possibilities, but the challenge was mostly about trying to find it, out there, in Ravelry.

Some of the items I think I nailed. Some I didn’t even know how to search for. Sometimes the story really is about the yarn, but a more experienced knitter would be required to tell that story, and make those matches.

There are many pictures of sweaters in any fall fashion magazine, so I’ll release these in a few posts. This one is the ads I found in my iPad version of Instyle’s September issue. The next volume will include their “Sweater Girls” article and spread.

This was the first sweater I saw in the magazine that I wanted to actually own. I really love the colours, and the print.  (The black, red, and tan Navajo print sweater that is, and not the man’s sweater with the Chaps logo).


I couldn’t find an exact match but I found a couple with similar elements. I actually like all three of these, and could see myself knitting all of them:


Navajo Cardigan

Snood Bicolore Navajo

The next find was also something that caught my eye – probably because I actually shop there.


The Shapely Boyfriend sweater is made of a thicker yarn, but the style is a perfect match.

Shapely Boyfriend by Stefanie Japel

Tommy Hilfiger had several pages of ads to browse. Lots of knits in those spreads, but these caps and the dress below looked appealing to me. You basically could knit anything in navy blue and be stylish.  The Brimmed Cap by Lionbrand is crocheted, and matches the braided strands of the Tommy Hilfiger cap more closely. The others are newsboy caps that would need some shaping adjustments, but doable I think.  The houndstooth newsboy is more hip than Tommy’s (imo) but the colour work could be omitted.


© Lion Brand Yarn, © KnotAHooker, © shegeman, © NirAntae Brimmed Cap #80777 by Lion Brand Yarn

Newsboy Cap by Mai Wyn Schantz

Hound’s-Tooth Cap by Lipp Holmfeld

Tommy Hilfiger navy cabled dress:

cable dressI may be missing the finer points of what makes this version of a cabled dress more fashionable than the ones posted below, but I think you could knit them in navy for the same look.

Cable Dress by Patons

Cabled Tunic by Simona Merchant-Dest

I love the Allegheny! (below)

Allegheny by Thea Colman

A cabled dress seems pretty classic. This one is from the 60’s:

The Tralee Aran Dress by Sears Roebuck and Co.

This Nic+Zoe ad is obviously a machine knit, but I was determined to try anyway. I’m going to guess and say this might be a linen blend.

NicZOe_LinenI actually found a match! Although, not every sweater is modelled by a model, especially one that looks like Kate Moss (or, is that Kate Moss? I’m a bit out of touch).  If you imagine this linen sweater below on some one squeezing their shoulders forward I think you will agree that it’s a darn close match!

Sally’s Favorite Summer Sweater by Sally Melville

The sweater below is worn by someone who is modelling jeans, but it still counts. The shape and texture are modern, and the boxed and cropped shape is something I’ve seen in so many places. Some of the patterns I list below are clearly not exact matches, but I think in the same vein. I was hoping to find something to match the construction, but what came closest in construction missed the modern mark, but I included it at the end.


Jeanne D’Arc by Maria Olsson

Boxed Pullover by Norah Gaughan

Boxy by Joji Locatelli

This sweater has similar construction, and perhaps yarn, without the ruffles:

Gypsy Dolman by Laura Gebhardt

The Jessica Simpson sweater has elements I found in separate patterns, but not all together. This oversize, garter stitch sweater has dropped sleeves that could be dolman shaped, and what I think is cable detail on the front. The real draw is the yarn and colour mix. I wasn’t able to come close to a match which I found odd considering the vast selection of gartered, raglan, and cabled sweaters.  The sweaters listed below would need to be morphed.


The garter stitch and sizing of the oversized sweater below:

Mammas hjemmestrikkede genser! “Skappelgenseren” by Dorthe Skappel, photo © raptwithfiber

With the sleeve construction of this boatneck raglan pullover:

Boatneck Raglan Pullover by Joann Rogers

I really searched for this beautiful sweater. It’s another example of beautiful yarn, paired with beautiful stitching. The colour pallette looks like a bulky weight Noro to me. ghghghg It’s less a sweater, and more a wrap jacket, or long coat. My constant searching and perusing wrap jackets has left me coveting this sweater a little. The construction is minimal: no collar, no pockets, and no hood. It’s edged in ribbing, and the stitch looks like it could be eyelet, or possibly cabled, but due to the pile of the yarn it fades the lines. I love the colours too. It also reminds me of a Tiny Owl Knits design. I could see this in Stephanie Dosen’s design sphere.

I thought perhaps the stitch pattern was close to this coat:

06 Long Jacket with Eyelet Pattern by Rebecca Design Team

But in a size close to this, without the hood.

2153 Hooded Coat by Schachenmayr

The next posts matches Ravelry patterns to a “Sweater Girls” article. I’ll have those up by tomorrow.

If you find a better match please list those in the comments!