Category Archives: Patternfinder

I really don’t know clouds at all


We ferried over to Salt Spring to visit a friend this last weekend. The island is small with a couple windy roads that take you through the moss covered forests to the bays and inlet villages.  The island is cultivated in a way that reminds me of the British countryside with the same idyllic farm life and prolific lichen but with an intense creative side. The island is full of artists of all kinds and it appears that whatever a Salt Springer chooses to do, they do with beauty in mind.

Ultimately it is an ideal mini-holiday for someone with my interests: Good food, inspiring art, a killer back massage, and the best damn coffee I have ever had.  There is no sacrificing for the country life on Salt Spring – expect perhaps the bright lights and hussle and bussle of the city.  To take it to the next level I bought a Joni Mitchell CD for the car. Awww yissss.

To top it off  my friend has a wood burning fireplace to knit by, complete with two extremely fluffy Persian cats. Knit in paradise much?  While shopping in Ganges I stopped at Elderberry Yarns and picked up all the things I had been looking for and didn’t find anywhere else.  It’s like they were all waiting for me in an adorable sea side knitting shop. I found tiny and cheap wooden buttons and even some cape clasps. The luck continued when my friend volunteered to model some of my finished projects.


Kaya back tall 1

kaya tall 2

I’ve knitted two Claire’s Capelets by Shelly Wescott so far but they are so fun to make I know there will be a third. Especially now that I have cape clasps.  If you love Outlander you may have noticed this capelet on Claire as she runs around the Scottish countryside. Knitters watching the show certainly did and I am surprised there are only 27 projects currently listed on Ravelry for Shelly’s pattern as it is a perfect dupe for the TV version.  My next Shelly Westcott pattern will be the Moto Vest.

Also pictured are the Vancouver Fog gloves I adore knitting. These blue ones are the shorter version of the red pair I knitted in the fall.



Thanks for a beautiful weekend in your beautiful company my friend!


A Tale of Two Cabled Hats

Here is the picture my friend Ariel gave me as inspiration for a hat she wanted, and I said I would whip her up a cabled hat tout suite… and that was about 2 years ago.


I went searching for a matching pattern and found something so very close, but the 1×1 ribbing versus 2×2 ribbing really vexed me. I never did find a way around adjusting the pattern despite attempting a few times. I completed the One-Ball Chunky Cabled Hat  as written in the end, and I love the look of the braided cables. It’s the grey hat pictured below.

I added some length to the ribbing as the fit looked small to me but I think that lead to my failure to recreate the hat as pictured.  It doesn’t look like the picture as much as I thought it would, and after all this time I didn’t want to give Ariel a flop. I thought I would try again with the November Cabled Hat.  This hat was an insanely fast knit. I finished it, weaved in the ends, soaked it, and blocked within two evenings. The fit is perfect, and the antler-like cables are simple yet look more intricate than they are.  It’s a great pattern that deserves more popularity. The fit is more like the picture, although neither hat is the dupe I was hoping for. But I tried Ariel! I really did.

Here they are on my super cute co-workers:

I had to fight the urge to try again, when I remembered my list, and the other projects in the queue. So I am back to the Lucy Hat, and attempting to understand the short rows in the brim. So far all my cries for help with this pattern have gone unheard. C’mon internet, send wisdom.

The 70s, Diaries, and Crochet


Bel Powley as Minnie in Diary of a Teenage Girl

I had a diary when I was a young girl that had a flimsy key and lock built onto the covers. It was a birthday gift and the concept had to be explained to me that I may want to write down my thoughts and have them remain a secret. I have no idea what I wrote in it, but it was read by either my mother or my brother (who I am sure would have been more interested in breaking it’s security system than accessing my thoughts), and I learned early to never keep a written record of my goings-on. I also love the quote, credited to Tallulah Bankhead;  “Good girls keep diaries. Bad girls never have the time.” Suffice to say I was busy in my youth. And if you happen to have a letter I wrote you, please burn it.

I went to see a screening of Diary of a Teenage Girl last week. I really enjoyed it for a few reasons (great acting, loved the animation, a touching story) but I don’t want to write a movie review. I want to talk seventies knits.


Kristen Wiig as Charlotte in Diary of a Teenage Girl

Maybe I shouldn’t say knits, because I think it’s really crochet that stands out.  There is a scene in the movie where silhouettes dance in front of a beach sunset, and I couldn’t help but notice the netted long fringed poncho playing in the light. I tried really hard to find the exact pattern on Ravelry but came up short.  I found so much more though, and really any search for seventies ponchos will be entertaining at the very least.

Side note: While I was browsing I came across a knitted pattern called the Painted Desert  that is so my jam that I get a feeling I can only describe as a blend of Christmas morning combined with a triple shot espresso and diving into a pile of warm laundry from the dryer when looking at it.  The one drawback is I’m sure this project is a bit beyond my skill level, so it remains an illusive dream.

Painted Desert by Carol Sunday

© Sunday Knits

Minnie, said teenage girl, makes progressively better choices in clothing (and men) as the movie moves along. Riding that line of ‘cool and funky’ and ‘far-out and funky’ can be a bit tricky. During the seventies, more was definitely more, and you could pair that bell sleeved chunky cardigan with a fringe boot and beaded glitter purse. I’m imagining Sissy Hanshaw-esque aesthetics from  “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues” by Tom Robbins here, but Minnie is definitely punk, and not of the love festival aesthetic you may be imagining. The more I think of it, the art direction in Diary of a Teenage Girl is amazing.

Without being able to find the netted poncho from the movie I went on a search for patterns that made me think of “Diary of a Teenage Girl” as a whole, as well as my own childhood – which is more late seventies to early eighties to be honest. The strong trends seem to blend through the decades anyhow. Three’s Company was one of my favourite sitcoms as a kid.  Check out these sweaters and socks with crochet detail on Priscilla Barnes and Joyce DeWitt circa 1982.

Threes Company

There is so much to share from Ravelry I got a bit overwhlemed so I only picked a few favourites to show you, but I would *love* to see your classic seventies pattern picks. What would you knit today, and what brings back the memories?

This cowl neck poncho is quintessential for me. The rainbow of colours against ecru, a big cowl neckline, and the chunky knitted fringe. Yes, quintessential.

Cowl Neck poncho

This oversize granny square vest  is a great example of seventies aesthetic, with modern styling. The pattern is called Floating Net. I think it could look ultra modern in the right yarn, but it has the ability to go both ways. I find much of the seventies style revolved around authentic hand crafts – the opposite of the cookie cutter fashion of present day- and I find that so appealing.

Floating Net

This chunky lace poncho is a perfect modernization of the seventies crochet pattern for me. Modern, but has that macramé feel. I really love it.

© Annelies Baes (Vicarno)

My mom had a silk top with a crocheted and fringed trim in teh early eighties that I remember well. It seemed so exotic and the dark colours looked beautiful with her pale skin and dark hair. I really liked the top pictured below but it`s from an out of print Japanese book. Actually, most of the crochet patterns I was drawn to are from modern Japanese publications, which I thought was interesting. I wish these books/patterns were available in English! (and that I could crochet!)


by OlgaR Flickr

Fringed crochet shawls!

Gradient Shawl


Q: Shawl by Yumiko Kawaji (川路 ゆみこ)


Party Time by Barbara Warner © Twilleys of Stamford


U. Rose-patterned shawl バラ模様のショール by Jun Shibata(柴田淳) © PetitesChoses

Peace Out Home Free (that’s seventies lingo for “Goodbye Friend”).

Get yer Mom to build a rock wall, and then dress like Charlize is your BFF

My mom came over early Saturday morning. She is probably the best person to call if you ever have a project you need to get done ASAP. If moms had a tagline, my mom’s would be something like, “Why wait to do work you can do right now?”  I like to casually mention any big project plans to Mom in advance that may require some mastery and stamina. Things like sewing curtains, making atriums, repairing furniture, painting, and gardening – she did all the cool stuff in the seventies before the hipsters knew about it.  I have yet to present an idea to my mom she hasn’t tried before. This weekend after a trip to the plant store (I wanted all the things!!) she suggested we build a small rock wall to help reinforce the flower garden along the side of the house. It was a job I knew would eventually have to be done, but perhaps another day?  When the dust settled we had a small rock wall to reinforce the soil along the side of the house, and all my plants were in the ground. I love my new flower garden, and most of the great things about it were my mom’s suggestion.  I am so excited for everything to start growing.

Besides gardening, my other obsession the last two weeks was Mad Max. I loved Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa! The movie was something I might not have anticipated loving so much, but the action was so intense that my heart ran fast for the entire movie, and the fact that the kick-ass hero was a woman really won me over.  If Charlize was kick-ass, her stunt double blows my mind.  Check out this article about Dayna Grant, who did all the dangerous stuff, plus met her husband during filming.  Inspired by so much awesomeness, I thought that in the same spirit as my earlier posts matching InStyle editorials with Ravelry patterns I would list some knitting designs that may have fit into the movie. I have always felt knitting was a post apocalyptic life skill so this seems right on a few levels.

I have followed Morphe Knitwear on instagram for some time and these designs were the first thing I thought of when contemplating designers. The Nix Vest pattern is available on Ravelry, or through the Morphe Knitwear site. Check out the lookbook style collection photos on the site too, like: Ash, Blood, and Bone. Really gorgeous designs, with more cool factor than I could ever hope to pull off, but I really like the whole aesthetic. The garments are made with holes, and I think probably the best fit for a Mad Max clothing item that wasn’t leather. Admittedly, nothing posted here will save you from road burn. You’ll have to stay off the war rigs in these.


Nix Vest from Morphe Knitwear

I actually found a whole book of knitting patterns called “Doomsday Knits: Projects for the Apocalypse and After” edited by Alex Tinsley. I especially like the Oh Bondage! cowl, and the Rattlebone gloves, but the book is so well executed! The cover image gives you an idea about how committed the book is, but all the patterns are very wearable. I think these designs could easily fit into other dystopian movie costume sets as well. I can see the Hunger Games and Divergent in the styling. Perhaps it would be more Mad Max-esque if you sprinkled lots of dust on them, but this is the best collection of dystopian future knits I could find.

AlexTinsley Oh Bondage

Oh Bondage! © Vivian Aubrey


Rattlebone © Vivian Aubrey


Oxygenate © Vivian Aubrey

Alex Tinsley has more of her designs on her website dull roar. This Sharona Redux scarf got me thinking about actual Mad Max fibre recommendations. “Glazed Pecan” by Madeline Tosh might be the perfect Mad Max colourway. Perhaps mixing in some “Graphite” for balance?

Other links: