Covid Lockdown Knitting 2020

You know that old platitude, “When life gives you lemons…”, Well, I decided that the period of restricted outside activity and yarn store closures was an excellent time to delve into my considerable yarn stash and make good use of the supplies already in the house. So far, I am happy with the amount I have produced but, I must say, the quantity of yarn just doesn’t appear to be dwindling!!

Pattern: Cheeky
Designer: Rachel C. Brown
Yarn: Universal Yarn Deluxe Tweed DK Superwash
Colour: 411
Needles: Circular – 3.5 mm
Size: 12 month

Pattern: Stripes Baby Raglan Jumper
Designer: Gabriela Widmer-Hanke
Yarn: Mineville Wool Project DK in colours Rust and Peggy’s Cove
Universal Yarn Deluxe Tweed DK Superwash in colour 411
Needles: Circular – 3.5 mm and 3.75 mm
Size: 12 month

Pattern: K3,P1 Ribbing
Yarn: Garnstudio DROPS Fabel Uni
Colour – 300 brown
Yarn: Opal Uni Solid 4 ply
Colour: Turquoise
Needles: Circular – 2.5 mm
Size: Child – 48 stitch cast on

Pattern: K3,P1 Ribbing
Yarn: Regia 3 Fadig
Colour – 00444 Charcoal
Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Solid
Colour: Natural
Needles: Circular – 2.25 mm
Size: 64 stitch cast on

Pattern: Simple Skyp Socks
Designer: Adrienne Ku
Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Solemate
Colour: Jeans
Needles: Circular -2.25 mm
Size: 64 stitch cast on

Pattern: K3,P1 Ribbing
Yarn: Leftover bits and bobs of sock yarn from other projects
Needles: Circular – 2.5 mm
Size: Child – 48 stitch cast on

Pattern: K2,P2 Ribbing
Yarn: Many different odds and ends from other sock projects
Needles: Circular – 2.50 mm
Size: Child – 48 stitch cast on

Pattern: Strand Up Hat
Designer: Cheryl Chow
Yarn: Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport
Colours: Navy, 720 Ash, 225 Brick Road, 308 Sunburst Gold
Needles: Circular – 3.5 mm and 3.75 mm
Size: Adult Large

This was a fun project to knit. It would be a good pattern for someone wanting to try stranded knitting for the first time. It was a quick knit and one I would like to do a few more times in various colour combinations.

Be Careful What You Wish For

I thought 2019 would never end. While it wasn’t as bad as the Queen’s annus horribilus, it was highlighted by three deaths in the family, a broken foot bone that resulted in clumping around in a fracture boot for seven weeks, the arrival of an eight week old pup at the same time as the fracture boot, and a damaged trapezius muscle that resulted in a pinched nerve and a great deal of pain
Both daughters were sidelined with injuries. Number One got some relief with physiotherapy and massage therapy. Number Two is still a work in progress!
I told myself that January 1st, 2020 would not be a magic day – just a day with hope for a better year ahead.
Well, we got Covid-19. Enough said.

Knitting Projects 2019

Pattern: Ólafur Hat by DROPS design
Yarn: Beroco Ultra Alpaca
Colour: 6245 Pitch Black
Yarn: Ella Rae Classic Solids, Heathers and Marls
Colour: White
Other Yarns: Leftover bits of Cascade 220 in grey and turquoise
Needles: Circulars – 3.0 mm and 4.00 mm

This is a good hat pattern to get the urge to do stranded knitting out of your system – quick and easy.

Pattern: Herringbone Hat
Designer: Anne Mizoguchi
Yarn: Patons North America Classic Wool DK Superwash
Colours: 12008 Aran and 1205 Red
Needles: Circulars – 3.5 mm and 4.0 mm

Pattern: Luffe Mittens
Designer: Lone Kjeldsen
Yarn: Mineville Wool Project DK
Colour: Cumulus
Lining Yarn: Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport
Color: 730S Natural
Needles: Circular – 3.25 mm

This is – pardon the pun – hands down my favourite mitten pattern. It is a relatively quick knit, even with the lining, and the fit on the hand, with what appears to be a slightly offset thumb, is the best I have ever had in a mitten. The lining makes them warm and toasty. I find when I make stranded mittens, despite the additional wool yarn being carried across each row, that I still have the need, at least in our climate, for glove liners underneath.
Not so with Luffe.

Pattern: BFF Socks
Designer: Cookie A
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Heritage Solids
Colour: 5659 Primavera
Needles: Circulars – 2.25 mm

BFF, designed by the amazingly talented Cookie A, is one of my favourite sock patterns. And Cascade Heritage is one of my favourite sock yarns. It performs well and comes in such a marvellous range of solid colours. I made these socks for Lucy Darling, who wanted this particular shade of green.

Pattern: Thuja Socks
Designer: Bobby Ziegler
Yarn: Log House Cottage Squishy Sock
Colour: Pink
Needles: Circular – 2.25 mm

Thuja is a go to pattern when you want to put a slightly different spin on ribbed socks.

Pattern: Korrigan
Designer:Solenn Couix-Loarer
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock Yarn
Colour: Lettuce
Needles: Circular – 3.0 mm

Korrigan is a great pattern to knit for those parents who don’t necessarily want a traditional baby sweater in traditional colours. I have done this pattern a few times, always in strong colours, and I think it makes a stunning
gift. Completing the yoke section requires attention and concentration but it is well worth the effort.

Every once in a while, I tackle my seemingly never-ending supply of leftover sock yarn and knit up a few pairs of socks for children. These socks were all either 40 stitch or 48 stitch cast ons and were fun to do.

Pattern: K3,P1 Ribbing
Yarn: Opal Glitter Mit Silbereffekt
Colour: 9671 Sparkle
Needles: Circular – 2.25 mm

I call these Lucy’s Darling’s Sparkle Socks. She is getting so tall that, soon, she will be wearing a larger size than me!

Pattern: Aeolian Shawl
Designer: Elizabeth Freeman
Yarn: JaggerSpun Zephyr Wool-Silk 2/18
Colour: White
Needles: Circular 3.75 mm

I have knit the Aeolian Shawl a few times and although each time I added additional sections, it never seemed quite large enough. Well, I had to get it out of my system and have one more crack at a truly full size shawl and I am very happy with the result.
It is like knitting a butterfly – for hours, an ever-growing cocoon-like clump of fine knitted yarn sits in your lap until at last you are finished. Soak it, spread the blocking pads on the dining room table, block and pin the shawl as aggressively as you dare and – Voila! A beautiful butterfly appears!
I prefer to knit lace shawls with a yarn that is either silk or part silk as I really like the sheen the silk brings to the garment.

Pattern: Herringbone Mittens
Designer: Elli Stubenrauch
Yarn: Cascade 200
Colours: 8401 Silver Grey and 8505 White
Needles: Circulars – 3.25 mm and 4.0 mm

Pattern: Seamless Yoked Sweater
Designer Carole Barenys
Yarn: Mineville Wool Project DK
Colour: Pink
Needles: Circular – 3.5 mm

This is one of my go-to baby patterns. I love the soft, feminine look. It is a very easy top-down knit and looks great in solid or variegated yarns.

Neave’s First Year

Neave is from the same breeder as Nora – GoldPaws Goldens in Timmens, Ontario

Neave goes to Puppy Class

Neave’s First Bath

The Gruesome Twosome – Neave and Nora

The Gardens 2019

Astilbe Way

Rhododendron Roseum Elegans

Rhododendron Jane Law

Front Walkway

Clematis Proteus – This lovely clematis has huge double blooms late spring/early summer. Later in the summer, it produces single blooms.

Japanese Maple – Acer Shirasawanum Aureum
The lime green of this maple is positively fluorescent on a dark, grey day. It is like a beacon of light. A friend once remarked that we could never move house because we would be leaving this maple behind!

Rosa Pink Cupcake

Hosta The Full Monty

The Back Walkway

Rhododendron Percy Wiseman

Cross Stitch 2018

I did cross stitching for many years before I went back to knitting upon the birth of our first grandchild. I drifted away from it but, after seeing the beautiful cross stitching and particularly hardanger being done in my stitching groups, I had the desire to pick it up again.

Debbie Bremner, the leader of one of the stitching groups, Community Stitchers, organizes a Christmas ornament exchange each year. The ornaments, done in any form of needlework, are put on display. Later in the morning, they are placed in individual brown paper bags. Each stitcher may choose the same number of bags as the ornaments she entered in the exchange.

Now, this is my cup of tea! I want to devote the majority of my needlework time to knitting and I have many projects in mind. But a special cross stitch project or two each year is an enjoyable break from knitting and purling.

Having said that, I have, in the past couple of years, managed to cross stitch several extra ornaments for the Christmas tree.

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The patterns have either come from old Leisure Arts Christmas cross stitch books, friends,  or from Pinterest.

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This beautiful harbinger ornament was gifted to me this year by Debbie Bremner. Debbie learned how to stitch hardanger on a visit to Norway a number of years ago and has been devoted to it ever since.

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I have always loved vintage Santas and I am constantly on the look out for more of these patterns. AbeBooks is an excellent source for out of print books and I have acquired a few of the old Christmas cross stitch editions at a very reasonable price. Plus it is a great website for sitting with a hot drink and whiling a stormy day!

Remainder of Knitting Projects 2018

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Pattern: K3,P1 ribbing
Yarn: Opal Rainforest4 – 4 ply
Colour: 9457
Needles: Circular – 2.25 mm

Opal is at the top of my list for sock yarns. After wearing hand knit socks for over ten years now, it is easily the yarn that has held up best with lots of wear and lots of laundering!

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Pattern: Baby Raglan Sweater
Designer: Carole Barenys
Yarn: Mineville Wool Project Merino DK Single
Colour: Cumulus
Needles: Circular – 3.25 mm and 3.5 mm

I love Mineville Wool Project yarns! And this colour – Cumulus – is my favourite.

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Pattern: K3,P1 ribbing
Yarn: Regia Perfect Design Line by Arne & Carlos
Colour: 9137
Needles: Circular – 2.25 mm

I was a little disappointed in the way this yarn knit up. Matching the socks was no problem but I feel there was too little of the pattern section on the foot and far too much of what should have been just the toe colour! Knitting a smaller size might have corrected the problem somewhat but I don’t want to purchase a yarn that prevents me from making a man’s size! I do like the colours very much.

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Pattern: Buttons Cardigan #606
Yarn: Naturally Loyal Tweed
Colour: 1004
Needles: Circular – 3.5 mm

This is one of my go-to patterns for a baby. It is knit from the top down and can look a little more sophisticated in a colour like this (commissioned for a baby named Henry and very fitting for a very young professor!) or more lighthearted in a lighter or variegated yarn.

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Pattern: K3,P1
Yarn: Regia Pairfect
Colour: 01341
Needles: Circular – 2.25 mm

I love striped socks and as soon as I saw this yarn, I knew it was meant to be for Daughter #2!

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Pattern: Jason’s Cashmere Hat
Designer: Melissa Thomson
Yarn: Ella Rae Classic Solids
Colour: 172
Needles: Circular – 4.0 mm and 4.5 mm

This is now one of my favourite hat patterns. The ribbing and cables give it flexibility and a great fit and the cables add just enough density to make it feel more cosy than many other hat designs.

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Pattern: Luffe Mittens
Designer: Lone Kjeldsen
Yarn: Sandes Garn Perfect
Colours: 4219 and 1042
Lining Yarn: Henry’s Attic Kona Superwash Sport
Colour: My own hand dyed colour using Wilton’s food colouring!

I belong to a stitching group in Hackett’s Cove made up of a couple dozen very talented needleworkers. I watched two of them knit these mittens last year and they looked so warm and cosy, I couldn’t resist giving the pattern a try.
Although the pattern calls for the same weight yarn for both mittens and lining, I feel it fits better when the lining is a lighter weight.
The offset thumb looks peculiar but feels marvellous on the hand!

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Pattern: Luuk
Designer: Annis Jones
Yarn: Various colours of leftover worsted weight yarn
Needles: Circular – 5.0 mm

Luuk is such a fun hat to knit and comes in a wide variety of sizes – from preemie to adult large.
January is always the month when I look over the knitting stash and attempt to use leftover partial balls of yarn in a variety of projects.

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Pattern: Basic Baby Hat
Designer: Heather Tucker
Yarn: Naturally Loyal Tweed
Colour: 1004
Needles: Circular – 3.5 mm

This hat was also commissioned for Baby Henry, a bouncing baby boy (10 pounds plus!) who recently made his appearance in central Canada.

Odessa

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 Pattern: Odessa
Designer: Grumperina
Yarn: Mineville Wool Project Merino DK Single
Colour: Peggy’s Cove
Needles: Circular – 3.5mm and 4.0mm

I love all the yarns that come from Fleece Artist of Nova Scotia. Mineville Wool Project yarns are just one group that they produce. Their colours are stunning. We can all be proud of this Canadian company.

I have knit the Odessa pattern in the past. It is easy, lends itself to solid or variegated yarns, and always results in a good fit. I am particularly fond of this colour!