Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Dude Sweater COMPLETE!

I wrote a poem to my hope of completing this in time. That was for Christmas last year.
But, I DID get it done for Christmas THIS year!

Pattern: The Dude Sweater by Andrea Rangel
Yarn: Cascade Eco Wool

I was petrified by the prospect of sewing in the zipper on this. As it happens, it was no problem at all. I will repeat that for those of you who may be facing a similar trepidatious endeavour: it was no problem at all.

All I did was hand-baste in the zipper and use a regular sewing machine foot to stitch the zipper in. I perhaps should have used a zipper foot, but I'm already a bit concerned that the knit edges are too close to the zipper teeth, raising the danger of the fabric getting caught while zipping up the sweater. I set the stitch length to be as wide as it would let me. It remains to be seen if this is sturdy enough. If not, I'm at least no longer worried about sewing zippers into knits!

Tonight is New Year's Eve. I hope you all have a fantastic last day of 2014, and I'm looking forward to a great 2015 with you all!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Pony Parade

It's safe.
These gifts have been delivered to their new homes, so I can share the pics with you.

I mentioned on the podcast that I'd been working on these, but had to withhold details.
And yes, even though these are the newest generation of My Little Pony, they've still got  me feeling nostalgic.

I purchased three blank ponies from Amazon; shortly afterwards, I discovered slightly cheaper avenues. Namely, the MLP site itself.

Anyhow, this was a whole lotta fun. I gave these to two of my best friends (those I had the MLP nostalgically-indulgent party with earlier this year). They take inspiration from each lady and morph them into their pony form. Favourite colours and symbols of their personalities, plus a bit of acrylic paint and a lot of nail polish brought these into being.
One thing that was too much work was dyeing their hair. I tried, I really did. I googled around to no avail. The only options that came up were ones that were incredible time-intensive, and out of my pony-modding league.
So I just tried a bit of food colouring on the orange one. It slightly tinted her mane and tail.
And since I had a very limited food-colouring palette at my disposal, I chose to leave the blue pony's hair white. I like it! I think it works.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Indie Designer Revisit

Designer: Nina Machlin Dayton
Blog: Ninaknits's Blog
Rav ID: ninaknits
Some Great Designs: ninaknits' Rav Designer Page
Original Indie Designer Post: December 10, 2010

The first time I featured ninaknits I focused on her hats; for this revisit, we'll look at some of her great, quick knits that are perfect for this time of year. Treat yourself to one of these beautiful cowls!

The Cantare Cowl has fantastic texture, something that you'll see throughout all of ninaknits' designs. This is a piece that you can experiment with. It's something of a stitch sampler, allowing you to see your chosen yarn in a variety of patterns.

Her Chesterfield Neckwarmer is a close-fitting cowl, with a great flipped edge created through short rows. Buttons running up the side ensure it'll keep all chills away.

And the Teardrop Cowl features beautiful beadwork and lace. It has a great, delicate use of picot edging.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Sweet December: De-stress Baking

The usual cookie-making-machine that is my holiday kitchen has slowed considerably this year. The above photos is a demonstration of the paltry few recipes I've done in 2014 (unlike 2013, 2011, and 2009).

I've shamefacedly admitted this to my cookie recipients; they usually comment that "it's so much work".Which got me thinking: baking cookies isn't really "work" to me. It's one of those things that slows me down, gets me to focus, and relax.

So, it's not that I've been avoiding cookies this year through a disdain for the work; it's just that this year, for the first time in living memory, I just haven't been in the holiday mood. The holidays have snuck right up on me!

How about you? Is baking a relaxing activity?

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Vana Shrug

© Knitscene/Harper Point Photography
It might be mid-winter, but Knitscene is brightening up our knitting with their Spring 2015 issue. And I've very happy to announce that I have a pattern featured in this issue!
See it on Ravelry.

The Vana Shrug is in the Gold Dust woman theme.
When the call for proposals went out, and I saw that there was an entire theme dedicated to one of my favourite colours, I knew I had to submit a few ideas!

© Knitscene/Harper Point Photography

Vana grew from my love of shrugs and the Oriel Lace pattern. It's such a pretty one, with a deep repeat and well-placed increases and decreases which form little peaks. Blocking out the lace collar was so much fun!
© Knitscene/Harper Point Photography

I imagined that the lace would look fantastic as a wide, draping element that reached up and around the wearer's neck, complemented by cascades of stockinette in the body.
Get in some golden yellow yarn and roll around!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Cristina Ghirlanda
Blog: Minimi Knit Design
Rav ID: minimi
Some Great Designs: minimi's Rav Designer Page

Luscious cables, beautiful texture, and bold, graphic elements are hallmarks of this designer's style.

Her Libellula (pictured) shows off that boldness and texture. This pattern is also seamless, easily adjustable, and a fantastically-relaxing exercise in the glories of stockinette.

The Phase Pullover has a very interesting shape: it's oversized everywhere except at the hip. This lends the garment a fitted look with the advantage of comfortable ease, a cozy look, and generous sleeves. Check it out: it's a look that I think is quite flattering, and unlike most sweater patterns out there.

Fiori di Cuore shows what she can do with touches of openwork on a long sleeved sweater. I really like the sleeve details and the super deep neckline.

Delicious cables abound in the Minimissimi Sweater Coat. They swirl across and visually pop out of this very cozy and attractive garment, playing with length, shape, and stitches.

And just to give you a taste of her accessory design: there's the cabled loveliness of the Polonaise Cowl and the roving pom pomed scarf Tintinnio (I super love this one!).

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Draperie and Linsey Woolsey SALE

One of the perks to subscribing to the Canary Knits newsletter is coupons.
From now until Saturday, my latest two designs, Linsey Woolsey and Draperie, are on sale for 50% off!

Want a coupon code? Just sign up for the Canary Knits newsletter.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Capsule Wardrobe: The Fabric and Patterns

I've been planning my capsule wardrobe for Spring/Summer 2015.

  • I started by going through both my favourites/queued on Ravelry, and my extensive sewing pattern collection and fabric stash.
  • I made a list that was much more sewing heavy than knitting, which I suppose makes sense, Spring/Summer not being the heartland of knitwear wearing!
  • I drew out the silhouettes of the dresses, skirts, and shirts that I was thinking of sewing, making sure there was a bit of variety in shape and style.

  • I was then realistic about what I really wanted to get to: I did have shorts and rompers on my list, but with the number of dresses I was eyeing up I thought it best to get through them before I tried to tackle those other garments.
  • Selecting the fabrics to go with the patterns was a great bit of fun: I've invested heavily in cute cotton prints, which should keep me covered for the adorable bespoke dress for quite some time.
  • The colour palette was, in essence, already selected for me. I did have some leeway in making sure everything wasn't just blue! But one of my motivations for this wardrobe is to use the materials I have, and so my hands were somewhat tied in the colour-palette regard.
  • I also tried to make sure I had a mix of patterns I had worked with before, and ones that were new to me. I get excited about new patterns, but they're of course untested, and so having some old-reliables on hand is a nice fall back in case the newbies are frustrating.

Are YOU interested in creating a capsule wardrobe for yourself?
Join the capsule wardrobe fun on the Canary Knits Ravelry group.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Linsey Woolsey

Linsey Woolsey: so named because of its stitch and fibre.

This bonnet uses all over linen stitch in the soft, warm, worsted Dream in Color Classy, and you'll love it because:

  • the linen stitch gives the bonnet great structure
  • short rows at each front panel add steep triangles of fabric that can be worn flat or folded back
  • the density of the fabric gives extra protection from the cold
  • TASSELS, people. It's got tassels.

Linsey Woolsey is sized for an adult head; 20-22” / 51-56 cm circumference.

Dream in Color Classy, 100% superwash merino, 250 y / 229 m per 100 g hank, Karma Chamelion, 1 hank
4.5 mm (US 7) circulars or straights or size to obtain gauge
24 sts and 44 rows = 4” / 10 cm in linen stitch
short rows, creating tassels, i-cord

Friday, December 12, 2014

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Nunzia Diglio
Blog: ND Studio
Rav ID: NDStudio
Some Great Designs: NDStudio's Rav Designer Page

NDStudio does the knitted/crocheted bag like an art form. Leather straps, rivets, clasps; a variety of shapes, sizes and textures that are appealing as project as well as finished items.

In particular, check out Minturno, Passion, and Bauletto Cross.

But if bags aren't your thing, there's still so much to see in her design portfolio!
Vaniglia e Cannella (pictured) is a dual-coloured cardigan that's relaxed and fluid, shaped with short rows, and able to be worn in multiple ways.

Bat is a jacket/poncho that features some fantastic texture and a layered, cozy feel.

And Hippy is a free crocheted shawl, with some fantastically generous fringe!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Bonnet Peek

Sneak peek day!

This is Linsey Woolsey, a suuuuper cute bonnet that's nearly ready to be published. It's my new favourite thing. Can't wait for you all to see it!

Details to come soon.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Canary Knits Blog 2015

I want to hear from you!

A new year is coming, and I'm keen to make Canary Knits a blog that you love coming to. So, I'm looking for some feedback on what you like to see, what you'd like to see MORE of, and any suggestions you might have for the Canary Knits blog in 2015.


Thanks to you all for your input!

Friday, December 05, 2014

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Yuki Ueda
Blog: カッテキママなモノづくりの記録
Rav ID: yuki77
Some Great Designs: yuki77's Rav Designer Page

Pretty things ahead!

First up, a couple of accessories.

Her Banana Leaf Shawl is an irregularly shaped piece that plays with textural stitches to create a simple yet dramatic look.

The Goldfish Shawl makes use of watery-themed stitches to create a flowing, traditional triangular shawl: Bubble, Waterweed, and Fishtail edging.

And second, some whimsy!

Peanuts. No joke. It's realistic and adorable!

And you know there's NO way I could leave out her little palm-sized, bird-shaped pouch, Canary. SO CUTE! I love him.  Go see him now. Go on. I'll wait.... Yep. Did you see?! So cute, and made in one piece from beak to tail!

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Geo Delight Sale Continues!; And, I Make a Video!

Geo Delight's been on sale this week for only $4!

I thought I'd make a video to show you how the vest moves, and also how I've been wearing it for the colder weather.

So if you'd like to pick up Geo Delight for only $4, hurry! Sale ends on Saturday!

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Knitter's WIP: Rock Quarry

Ravelry offers so many fantastic features. For a designer, it gives you the ability to very easily scope out people's projects from your patterns, which I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear I check out daily. It's fun! Seeing FOs is one of my favourite parts of designing.

So a few days ago I was perusing this list, and my attention was caught by these stunning photos of Rock Quarry.

The talented knitter is Eularay, and the photographer is her husband. They've done a great job making this stole look at home in the mountains!

You can get your copy of Rock Quarry from Interweave Knits Fall 2014 issue.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Geo Delight SALE!

Hear ye, hear ye!

Geo Delight is on sale!
Pick up this versatile vest for only $4 this week.