April Show and Share

Laura shared a few of her recently finished projects – first up, Warriston by Kate Davies, knit in emerald green Malibrigo worsted.

 

Warriston, photo via TwinOaksFarmFibre, Ravelry

Here’s Spindrift, by Helen Stewart, knit in Laura’s own Twin Oaks Farm fingering yarn

Spindrift, photo via TwinOaksFarmFibre, Ravlery

And for a spot of colourwork, how about this Merrie Dancers Toorie by Elizabeth Johnston, knit in Uradale Shetland DK?

Merrie Dancers, photo via TwinOaksFarmFibre, Ravelry

Liz brought in her Highway 61 Pullover, pattern designed by Jennifer Owens. She knit hers in Berroco Blackstone Tweed, and shared with us that the cables were a bit of slog, but she was happy with the finished item.

Highway 61 Pullover, photo via Interweave/Harper Point Photography, Ravelry

Liz also shared her finished Building Blocks Shawl, a mystery knit-along by Stephen West. She knit hers in Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles. Liz didn’t love this project, but we all agreed it was a beautiful finished piece!

Building Blocks Shawl, photo via westknits, Ravelry

Cheryl shared her Pavonis cardigan, featuring some delicate bead work. Robynn Weldon is the designer, and Cheryl knit her version in ColourMart Cashmere/Silk.

Pavonis, photo via Cheryl21, Ravelry

Jean brought in a darling stuffed toy, Puppy Love by Lorraine Pistorio. Her version including a knitted bowtie (which conveniently covered the seaming!). She knit her puppy in Vanna’s Choice for an easy-care toy.

Puppy Love, photo via Lorraine Pistorio, Ravelry

Jean also shared her Eleanor Cowl, a pattern by Audrey Knight, knit in Cascade Sport Superwash.

Eleanor Cowl, photo via AudKnits, Ravelry

Bogna shared her Iðunn sweater, by Ragga Eiríksdóttir. She knit hers in Lettlopi.

Iðunn, photo via Bogworks, Ravelry

Remember back in October when Mindy from Raven Knit Designs came to talk to us about shawls? I LOVED this talk, and I immediately went home to search for a “house shawl” pattern that I could wrap around me as an extra layer when I’m bumming around the house. The shawl I chose is Daybreak, by Stephen West, and I just finished it in March. The yarns I used are Georgian Bay Fibres Bayfield Fingering for the main colour and a gradient mini skein pack from Frabjous Fibres for the shades of green. I wear this shawl almost every day.

Daybreak, photo via vrock, Ravelry

I also shared the details about a neat little shawl pin I bought specifically for wearing with this shawl. Mindy spoke about penannular shawl pins during her talk, and the idea haunted me for months. As soon as my shawl was off the needles, I scoured Etsy for the perfect handmade shawl pin. The pin I bought is from QuirkySue’s on Etsy.

Handforged Copper Penannular Shawl Pin,  | Copper Cloak Pin | Celtic Penannular Brooch | Metal Scarf Pin or Strap Fastener. Small Size.Handforged copper penannular shawl pin, photo via QuirkySues, Etsy

Happy knitting,

Victoria

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coriand3r knits April talk

It was a nice change to have a guest speaker at Yarn Club this month, and Chantelle from coriand3r knits was a perfect burst of COLOUR at our spring meeting with her long colour change gradients. Chantelle broke her talk into two parts, discussing social media for fibre enthusiasts in the first part, and details about her business and dying techniques in part two.

One of the best pointers Chantelle shared about social media was using it as a way to support your favourite small businesses. Speaking as an indie-dyer, Chantelle LOVES when her customers tag photos of things they’ve made with her yarn. What a wonderful way to let a business know your support them and love what they do. Don’t be shy about tagging a business in your next Instagram post; they get the notifications and it can help build their business.

Chantelle spoke to us about her experience with Instagram as the voice of the promotional campaign for the 2017 KW Knitters’ Fair as well as for her own business. She spoke about using hashtags to make your posts searchable, and to join in on trends on social media. Think of hashtags as tags for your posts, and make note of any ‘official’ hashtags for events so you can be part of the feed of searchable tags.

Part two of Chantelle’s talk was about her dying process, which was originally inspired by her long search for red an black variegated yarn. Frustrated with the search, she set out to make her own! Her original introduction to dying was at Dye Camp by Indigodragonfly, and she hasn’t looked back since. Chantelle was very open to discussing her dyeing process and techniques, and shared loads of pictures. My favourite details from her talk were her recent investment in an employee – a electric ball winder – and the Nina Soft Sping Dryer she uses to spin almost all of the water out of her skeins before drying.

Connect with Chantelle at a number of upcoming fibre festivals and events this year, details about her scheduled shows can be found on her website.

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Cineprismatic Shawl Errata

For copies of patterns downloaded or purchased in hard copy before April 15th, 2018, Rows 7 & 15 in Section 1 – Mini Coloured Honeycomb should read as follows:

Row 7: K2 MC, P1 MC, P2 CC, P1 MC, *Sl M, P2 MC, P2 CC, P1 MC, rep from * 4 more times, K2 MC.

Row 15: K2 MC, P1 MC, P2 CC, P2 MC, P2 CC, P1 MC, *Sl M, [P2 MC, P2 CC] twice, P1 MC, rep from * 4 more times, K2 MC.

Pattern files on Ravelry and Phibersmith.com have been updated.

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March Show and Share Recap

It was a lovely roundup of knitted beauties this month. Yarn Club members turned out in droves (with a few new members and guests!) for the talk on fixing your knitting mistakes, and you brought some delightful finished projects to share.

Jo brought in her Veronika Cardigan, by Shannon Cook, knit in Berroco Ultra Alpaca (she used colour number 62176).

Veronika Cardigan, photo via K Good Photography, Ravelry

Bogna shared a heavy shawl, Decemberist by Melanie Berg. She made her version in Mary Maxim Northland (which is a discontinued yarn, sorry).

Decemberist, photo via bogworks, Ravelry

Cindy shared her BlueSand Cardigan, a pattern by La Maison Rililie Designs. My favourite part was the colourful pockets – who doesn’t love a garment with pockets?! Cindy made her version with Berroco Remix Light, made from 100% recycled fibres.

BlueSand Cardigan, photo via LaMaisonRililie Designs, Ravelry

Alexis debuted a new pattern and shared her sample with the group, here’s the Comforati Hat! Her versions features an INTERCHANGEABLE faux fur pom pom, which has a snap attachment rather than being sewn onto the hat. Change your pom pom to match your outfit or your mood. The hat is knit in Debbie Bliss BFL Aran (sadly, also discontinued).

Comforati Hat, photo via Alexis Hoy, Ravelry

Roxann shared one of her own designs for a dual lucet braided hat. Roxann used two strands braided at a time to create the hat, and used the large prongs of the lucet for the loose braid over the hat body, and the smal prings for the dense braid at the hat brim. The yarn she used is from G n’ R Alpaca Farm in Lisle Ontario.

Thanks for sharing your finished projects!

Happy knitting,

Victoria

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Fixing Our Own Knitting Mistakes

Our March meeting was a talk all about fixing your own knitting mistakes, or starting down the path to understanding what’s going on with your knitting oopsies. This discussion cannot happen without some knowledge of how to read your knitting. Alexis covered this topic nicely last year, and summarized her notes in a handy blog post – check it out here. This post references another great resource which I used when creating my talk this month, a great series of blog posts from Telana Winters:

Reading Your Knitting Part 1

Reading Your Knitting Part 2

Reading Your Knitting Part 3

Seriously, read them. If you’re at all unsure about what your knitting is telling you, and you find yourself unable to spot what went wrong in your knitting, give them a read.

With some of the basics of understanding what your knitting is telling you covered, we can move on to actually fixing our mistakes. Let’s start with some of the tools you need:

These are great things to keep handy in your knitting bag. I’m guilty of never having a crochet hook around when I need one, and I’d like to point out that all of the techniques mentioned below can be done with a knitting needle (and sometimes a helpful set of fingers to assist). A crochet hook makes it a heck of a lot easier, so it might be worth it to keep one in your bag, or get one of those handy keychain ones.

Our first fixing option is unknitting, literally undoing a stitch in the exact opposite way it was made. One. Stitch. At. A. Time. As you can probably guess, this is great for a mistake a few stitches back, MAYBE even a few rows back, but not for one that you realized you made at the very beginning of the project.


Not at all tricky, and gets the job done. But what about mistakes that are farther back? Well, we can drop a stitch on purpose to travel back to the mistake vertically, and then work our way back up to the current row. If you’re newer to knitting, dropping a stitch is likely your number one fear, but it’s really nothing to worry about. You’re in control here, and your friendly neighbourhood crochet hook gets you back to where you were quickly.


The particulars about working back up to your current row depend on whether you’re recreating knit or purl stitches:

YouTube will help you a lot here if you want a visual guide. Here are the videos I showed during the talk:

Creating Knit Stitches

Creating Purl Stitches

If the level of your mistake calls for something more drastic, you’re looking at ripping out the whole thing. Steps can be taken to make this a little less awful, including picking up the stitches below your error BEFORE you rip out the stitches.

Don’t fret if you just ripped your needle out before thinking about how you would get those stitches back on the needle. You can fix any wonky stitch orientation after you get the stitches on the needle. Here’s a lovely video that shows the mechanics of doing this.

Alexis shared a great technique for unknitting a few rows at a time, rather than having to rip out your work. This technique involves putting your needle into the stitch two or three stitches below the current row, and following the same process described above for unknitting the stitch. The trickiest part to deal with is the “ladder” of yarn that starts to appear as you work your way through the round/row. But once you’re back to the beginning of the round, all the ladders let go and are simply your working yarn again.

A few particular situations were focused on when it comes to fixing errors; miscrossed cables, placing a lifeline (great for lacework!), and mistakes in colourwork.

This one follows the same methods as ladder down to fix a stitch, except recreating the stitches as you ladder back up involves re-cabling the stitches to correct the error. Keep in mind that if your cable has travelled away from the original set of 4 or 6 (or more) stitches in the cable, you need to ladder down from where the stitches have traveled.


Placing a lifeline can be done as you knit a round, or placed in after the fact. Cheryl shared a great tip she’s used, she attaches a sewing thread to the small hole in her interchangeable needles and knits the next round of knitting. The thread comes along for the ride and adds the needed lifeline without the bulk of a strand of yarn and without the extra effort of threading it through each stitch by hand.

This final section was my favourite one of the talk, where it started out being about using duplicate stitch to create faux stitches to cover your mistakes, and turned into a nice little segue on mending and darning your knitting.


Duplicate stitch is a legitimate way to fix your mistakes. Mistake in your colourwork pattern? Duplicate stitch the correct colour later! Miscrossed cable? Duplicate stitch some faux stitches going the correct way!

And my favourite thing from this talk – darning! I love darning, and I didn’t realize there were different ways to darn. I tested out all these techniques on some mittens that needed a patch job.

For more detailed instructions on all of these techniques, check out the resources below.

How to Fix Knitting Mistakes: 3 Stress-Free Solutions to Any Problem

http://knitty.com/ISSUEwinter03/FEATwin03TT.html

http://www.twistcollective.com/collection/35-articles/features/1673-darn-it-all

Cubley, K. (ed.) Free Guide to Fixing Knitting Mistakes for All Knitters. Knitting Daily.

 

 

Happy knitting,

Victoria

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February Show and Share

Alexis shared her recently completed set of three hooded cardigans for her boys (and none of them have outgrown them yet!). The pattern is Sibling Revelry by Meghan Jones, published in Little NutMeg Productions. She used Patons DK Superwash (in colours selected by the kiddos) for the body of each sweater, with a coordinating variegated yarn for the hood from Kat’s Riverside Studio.

Sibling Revelry, photo via Meghan Jones, Ravelry

Roxann let us know that the newest issue of Piecework magazine (January/February 2018) has a great feature about socks. This is the magazine’s historical knitting issue, and the article focuses on handknitted socks and stockings from around the world.

Liz shared her #21 Oversized Cardigan, a pattern by Cathy Payson. She knit her version in Noro Silk Garden.

#21 Oversized Cardigan, photo via SoHo Publishing, Ravelry

Sandy showed a WIP project, her Wolkig cowl, by Martina Behm. Her version uses Wellington Fibres‘s Canadian Shield colourway in a 2-ply.

Canadian Shield Cowl, photo via SandhillCrane, Ravelry

And without even realizing it, I brought along my recently finished Broken Seed Stitch Socks for Show and Share, and they got to double as convenient demonstration items for the blocking talk. I was totally mesmerized by watching the crinkly and stubborn heel section of my socks lay flat and become smooth when I steamed them. Just like magic!

The pattern is really more of a basic set of instructions with the stitch pattern, so this would not be an ideal sock pattern for a new knitter. Broken Seed Stitch Socks by Hanna Levaniemi.

Broken Seed Stitch Socks, photo via handepande, Ravelry.

Happy knitting,

Victoria

 

 

 

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Block Party Revisited

After a few unexpected changes to our planned February meeting, Alexis swooped in to rescue the program for the night with her Block Party talk from December 2016. It turns out many of you hadn’t heard the talk already, so it was a perfect fit to share some new information with the group.

I’m not going to rewrite the lovely work Alexis already did in 2016 to recap her original talk, so click here to go straight to that blog post. There you will find comprehensive information about blocking, why you should do it (it makes your knitting look better!), and a handy set of blocking instructions to match to your blocking needs. No longer will you be left in the dark to figure out the best way to finish your piece when the pattern only tells you to “block”.

During the talk this time around, we had a full crowd in attendance, and some great tips and ideas were shared from the group. Here are some of my favourite “pro tips” from your fellow Yarn Club members:

  • Using a bed or couch or towel to block? That’s cool, but the moisture from your knitted item is going to soak into the surface it’s sitting on, which then causes the whole process to take even longer to dry. Solution: block on top of a garbage bag on the soft surface. Water can’t soak into it, so it only needs to evaporate out of the knitted item.
  • Skip the knitting-specific blocking boards and the price that goes along with them – buy a thin piece of upholstery foam and some 1″ grid/checkerboard fabric. Cover the foam with the fabric and you’ve got yourself a surface you can pin directly onto, with handy and easy to count squares for measuring.
  • Superwash on the label is not necessarily a green light to throw that knitted item in the washer and dryer. Treat your swatch the same way you’ll treat your finished item to be sure you’re OK with the results. Superwash wool might develop a bloom or fuzzy haze after coming out of the dryer (all those wee little fibres get loosened up in the dryer and sprout out). If you’re happier to have the easy washing care of the item and don’t care about the less-than-pristine look of the item over time, this might be a fine solution for you.
  • And I’ll add in my own tip that I forgot to mention at the meeting. If you’re wet blocking, rather than using towels to soak the excess water out of the item, get a dedicated salad spinner for your knitted items. I bought one that I use only for my knits, it lives in my laundry room, and it’s great for getting extra water out if I don’t have a towel handy.

Happy knitting,

Victoria

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January Show and Share

You did not disappoint me in early January, Yarn Clubbies. First of all, I wasn’t expecting such a great turnout for our January 4th meeting, while many folks were still lounging in PJs and enjoying some time off work. And second, you hadn’t given away all your lovely recently finished objects over Christmas, so you were able to bring them to Yarn Club. Thank you on both counts.

Sue brought her Benon Headband, designed by Hazel Tindall. Her version was knit in Brooklyn Tweed Loft.

Benon Headband, photo via Hazel Tindall, Ravelry

Gillian shared her Advent MKAL 2017, which is Janevi by Monie Ebner. She knit her luscious version in Crooked Kitchen Yarns sport weight

Advent MKAL 2017, photo via knitknot56, Ravelry

Liz brought in her Shoreline Vest, by Carrie Bostick Hoge, knit in Patons DK Superwash (and might I add, you can’t go wrong with this yarn, such a classic).

Shoreline Vest, photo via carrie bostick hoge, Ravelry

Roxann’s Twiddle Muff was a big hit with everyone at the meeting, what a lovely idea for dementia patients. The idea behind the quirky item is to provide dementia patients with something to twiddle with their hands to help ease anxiety. Here’s Roxann’s version, which she made using odds and ends from her stash:

Twiddle Muff, photo via beadaddictroxy, Ravelry

Not quite identical, these socks are fraternal! Kris shared her Hiiumaa Mismatched Mates socks by Nancy Bush, a nice simple knit. She used Briggs & Little Durasport

Fraternal Socks, photo via Kristoemily, Ravelry

Looking forward to seeing you January creations at the February meeting, and don’t forget to bring along something the could use a little blocking assistance as we revisit Alexis’s Block Party talk.

Happy knitting,

Victoria

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January Meeting Ravelry Recap

As promised, we carried on from the December introduction to Ravelry with a more in-depth view on some features of everyone’s favourite yarn and pattern database. Catherine started us off with some demonstrations of more advanced search features on the Patterns tab.

Do you find yourself searching by the same criteria again and again in your pattern searches? For example, you’re always scrolling down the page to check off the 5-star rating criteria, so your search results will only include the highest reviewed patterns? Well, stop scrolling! You can click and drag the search attribute boxes in a new order. If the pattern rating, or fiber type, or yardage is always what you use first to narrow down your search, considering rearranging the attribute boxes to suit your needs.

How about when you’re deep in a search for the perfect pattern and you can’t remember all the stellar ideas you saw 5 minutes ago in your search? ‘Remember and compare’ will be your new best friend. When viewing the search results, click the small triangle at the bottom right corner of the project image (called ‘Pattern Options’ if you hover over it without clicking). Click Remember and Compare, and that pattern is automatically added to a handy new page where you can quickly see your top picks from your recent search for the perfect pattern. Don’t forget to clear this when you’re done or you’ll end up with a new massive database of all your favourites to search through!

Have a yarn in your stash that you’re dying to use? Have the pattern search help match it to the perfect pattern! Use the attributes for yarn to narrow down the search – yardage, fibre type, maybe by how many colours are used in the pattern – and voila!

Don’t forget to view the projects made with a particular yarn if you’re on the fence about what the best project for that yarn will be. See what others have done with that exact same yarn, or even that exact same colourway, to help make your decision. Maybe the lovely variegated yarn you have just isn’t destined to be a sock, because, oh man, look at the colour pooling in the project that so-and-so made. Use the community of Ravelry to help you avoid mistakes, especially ones that will feel like a waste of a yarn you really love.

Speaking of projects, Catherine showed us some tips and tricks to help when adding new projects to your notebook. One of the quick little things that will help out the Ravelry community is to link the yarn you used and the shop where you purchased it. When you think back to the example above about seeing projects made with the same yarn, this wouldn’t be possible if Ravelry users skipped this step on their project page.

One of the big requests Catherine received while preparing her talk was for a demo on adding photos to Ravelry. This process has changed a lot since Ravelry first started, where you needed a Flickr account to link to Ravelry to add pictures. I can tell you I only created a Flickr account to be able to add my pictures to Ravelry. It’s great that this isn’t so limited now – you can add photos from your phone, and adding images from your computer is easier than ever with a handy drag-and-drop feature. Simply locate your pictures on your computer (I keep folders on my computer for knitting projects completed by year), and then drag the image to the photo uploader space on your photos page on Ravelry.

Catherine finished out the talk with information about commenting and sharing with others on Ravelry. Inspired by the project from a fellow crocheter on Ravelry? Maybe their project notes or photos helped you decide what to do with that, ahem, colourful variegated yarn you bought on a whim. Tell them! Send that Ravelry user a message or a comment and be part of your fibre community! You can direct message them, using the built-in mail system in Ravelry, or publicly comment on the project so others can see your kudos.

I have a feeling we only scratched the surface of Ravelry features this month, so please keep your Ravelry questions coming. I bet we can put together another talk all about Ravelry again soon.

Happy knitting,

Victoria

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November and December Show and Share

The Show and Share slips for the last two months got shuffled together, so forgive us for combining them into one summary post. It still means you can find the patterns and yarn details for all those lovely things you saw at Yarn Club, so I’m calling this a win.

Catherine shared some challenges she encountered while using up yarn scraps to make a pair of mittens. Something didn’t sound quite right about a mitten that is only 5″ long, but it works for her as she has very dainty hands. The pattern is The World’s Simplest Mittens by Tin Can Knits.

The World’s Simplest Mittens, photo via Tin Can Knits, Ravelry

Roxanne shared another one of her designs for a shawl, this one featuring Georgian Bay Fibres in the “Henrietta’s Pie” colourway.

“Amelia” Flying with One Wing, photo by beadaddictroxy, Ravelry

Valerie shared her stunning Oscar Rectangular Shawl, knit in Madeline Tosh Merino Light, the colourway is “Blood Runs Cold”

Oscar Rectangular Shawl, photo via RioBioBio, Ravelry

Liz brought in her Emma Version C  by Julie Weisenberger, knit in Estelle Yarns Big Alpaca Bulky. Love that pop of colour from the pocket!

Emma Version C, photo via Cocoknits 2017, Ravelry

Gillian brought in a few lovely finished items:

Arboreal by Jennifer Steingass, knit in Madeline Tosh DK Twist in Saffron and Dr. Zhivago S Sky.

Leafy Yoke, photo via Knitknot56, Ravelry

3 Colour Cashmere Cowl by Joji Locatelli, knit in The Plucky Knitter Primo Sport, in Flannel, Wintry Mix, and Lincoln.

3 Colour Cashmere Cowl, photo via Knitknot56, Ravelry

Rolling in the Deep, a test knit for SweaterFreak Knits. Knit in The Plucky Knitter Plucky Rustic in Lonesome Highway. If memory serves me right, this was a beautiful reversible cardigan.

Rolling in the Deep, photo via Knitknot56, Ravelry

And finally, I shared a few of my gift knits for this year:

Teddy Sweater by Terri Kruse, knit in Cascade 220 Sport for my wee nephew Benjamin

Teddy Sweater, photo via Terri Kruse, Ravelry

Everglade by Wooly Wormhead, knit in Loop Alpaca Tweed (Loop London). Great slouchy hat, with a nice long brim that can be work folded up for a toque-style hat.

Everglade, photo via Wooly Wormhead, Ravelry

Bough Set by Leila Raabe, knit in Berroco Vintage DK, with a matching pair of mittens I made using the chart from the Bough hat, following the general pattern and shaping from the Druid Mittens by Jared Flood.

Bough, photo via Brooklyn Tweed/Jared Flood, Ravelry

And while I didn’t share it at the December meeting because I hadn’t even started it yet, I have since finished a lovely little knitted dress/tunic for my baby neice. The pattern is Anikka by Vivian Aubrey, and I knit my version in Berroco Vintage.

Anikka, photo via Vivian Aubrey, Ravelry

P.S. I made the sweet little baby legwarmers too.

Happy knitting!

Victoria

 

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