Élizabeth, my baby girl, came to the world on December 18, after an endless delivery (40 hours of active labor!) but overall uneventful. She was weighing 6 lbs 1 oz, measuring 19" and she was and still is in perfect health. Since then, she is at the heart of my little happy and loving universe. I do miss my knitting community a lot, and I also miss designing and even knitting. Time is flying so fast and my days are busy like they have never been before, my nights are sleepless, my house is messy but my heart is filled with so much love! I knew what was coming, but I never could really imagine how much of a loving mama bear I would become. Nothing matters to me anymore, except for those big blue eyes that are looking at me like I am her whole world, and so she is mine. Today, I'm releasing a pattern that I call Betty's Blanket. It's a very sentimental pattern for me as I knit this blanket while pregnant with my little love. I finished knitting it just a few days before she was born and she's now spending her first winter wrapped up in it. The pattern is meant to be warm, cuddly and colorful. My sample required 5 colors of DK weight yarn but it can easily be modified to use more or less colors. For example, you could use one main color and a different color for each row of bubbles, making a great use for all those leftover yarns from other projects. You will find the pattern at r bit.ly/bettysblanket [gallery link="file" ids="2048,2049,2034,2033,2032,2030" orderby="rand"]abc
in collaboration with Lolo Did It Cupcake Shawl is a two colors crescent shawl, meant to be knit with a variegated yarn and a contrasting solid or semi-solid color. Its size is fully adaptable and the lace top and border are gorgeous and fun to knit. The pictured shawl was made using Lolo Did It Everyday Socks in the colorways Pretty Young Thing and Blue Tourmaline. It was very exciting to collaborate with Lauren on this project, she's lovely and so is her yarn! I enjoyed knitting with her yarn so much that I just couldn't resist ordering a second set to knit a second Cupcake Shawl...! [gallery link="file" ids="1976,1977,1978,1979,1980,1981"]abc
Today, I'm reviewing a very fun yarn I've been trying lately. I must say I went out of my comfort zone with this one. It's nice sometimes to be pushed to explore new things, isn't it? I probably would never have tried it if I hadn't been kindly asked by yarncanada.ca to review it with honesty... and I'm so happy I got to discover it! So here are my thoughts about Red Heart's Scrubby. First thoughts So, this is a yarn meant to knit dishies? I was really curious about it. But it's not love at first sight for me, it's such a different yarn from what I'm used to knit with! It's not really cute and it's not really soft. If I ever saw it in a store, it's so far from my taste that I probably passed my way without even noticing it. It's 100% polyester and there are little twists of fibers coming out of the main strand. It's not itchy at all and even if I wouldn't say it's soft, it's quite pleasant to touch. I have a very sensitive skin but I can picture myself washing one full week of dirty dishes with it without any problems (other than thinking hubby is not doing his job). And when you touch it, you can tell it's a very sturdy yarn meant to go through things no other yarns ever went through! [caption id="attachment_1943" align="aligncenter" width="350"] Red Heart's Scrubby in the colorway Duckie[/caption] The colors I got are gorgeous! I got Duckie, Lime and Ocean. They are joyful, oversaturated colors and I really like how bold they are. I want to find a way to knit them together, they are pretty separately but I like them even more all together. Knitting with Scrubby It's not a walk in the park to knit with this yarn. I wouldn't recommend it to a beginner. It's hard to recognize the stitches on the needle and they don't slide easily, even on metal needles smaller than the recommended size (I used 4.5 mm / US 7 instead of the recommended 5 mm / US 8). On the other hand, it's meant to be knit loosely so it's knitting up quickly even if my pace with this yarn is slower than usual. Unexpected result While knitting my first, plain dishcloth, I was amazed to see the fabric it was creating. It was so interesting that I couldn't resist rubbing it against my skin. I rubbed a small section of my foot where there was a bit of corn and dead skins and it became perfectly soft in seconds! I'm not a fan of loofah and other rubbing gloves because they are too harsh for my skin but this dishie washcloth is PERFECT! And just like that, I became addicted to this yarn. [caption id="attachment_1944" align="aligncenter" width="350"] My first plain dishie, in the colorway Ocean[/caption] Color knitting I should have known it wouldn't be the best choice for a mosaic stitch pattern but I wanted to try it out. The result is fun but the pattern is not really showing. It's no surprise as this yarn is not meant to have a good stitch definition. However, the stripes are really showing and they create a funky result compared to a plain dishie. It could also be a good choice for bolder color techniques such as intarsia or large blocks of Fair Isle. [caption id="attachment_1941" align="aligncenter" width="350"] My second dishie combines stripes and a mosaic pattern (colorways: Duckie and Lime).[/caption] Comments from non-knitters As usual, I've been knitting it at the dog park and I never had so many comments about my yarn! It's been a conversation starter that night, everyone had a comment to make about this yarn! - Wow, that's a funny yarn! - What are you knitting? Dishcloths? Now that's the perfect yarn for this! - I would wash my back with it! - It's pretty, it reminds me of fluffy yarns, I would wear it as a sweater over a small layer! I'm thinking about making a washcloth to all my closest dog-park friends, I'm sure they'd be thrilled to get one! I'm also adding these easy project to my Christmas gift ideas list. You can buy Red Heart's Scrubby on Yarn Canada website for $5.95 CAD for a 100g ball.abc
Lately, I've been extra tired, sick and not so well in general and I've been seeing myself doing only the bare minimum. I worked just enough to fill my clients' requests and I posted some pictures on Instagram but not as many as I'm used to. I haven't even been able to knit much! But don't worry for me, the truth is that I'm actually doing very well despites those little health problems and that my energy is slowly coming back. I have many projects coming soon, all more awesome than the others, including a few very thrilling collaborations! Stay tuned! And today, I'm releasing a new pattern, YAY! This is one of those awesome collaborations! Rainy Night Shawl pattern was made using Red Umbrella Yarns Champ de Mars in the colorway Storm Cloud, big thanks to Megan who generously offered me a skein of her lovely yarn to create a pattern. Champ de Mars is a soft and sturdy fingering weight and it was so perfectly hand-dyed. It was a charm to work with this yarn! It inspired me a delicate shawl pattern, with a body featuring a leafy stitch pattern and a lacy border reminding raindrops. It's worked top-down and ends with a i-cord bind-off for an easy wearing. It is fully adaptable as the charts can be repeated as many times as desired, making it the perfect choice for any yarn and yardage. The pattern is now available on Ravelry if you want to take a look at it! Talk to you very soon! [gallery link="file" ids="1901,1904,1903,1902"]abc
Spring is the best season for knitting and wearing shawls! Who's up for a knit-along? Let's sum it up:
- Choose a shawl pattern from the ones listed here. You can work from a pattern you already have if it's on the list, from the free pattern available there or get one for 20% off using the coupon code ShawlKAL2016 (it will work during all of the KAL period).
- Go to my Ravelry group and say hi in the KAL thread.
- Until June 13, knit your shawl, post pictures of your progress, cheer and chat in the chat thread.
- When you are done, create a project page on Ravelry and share a final picture in the FO thread.
I am happy to be the designer of April's Classic Yarnbox! I must say Yarnbox is one of my favorite businesses in the yarn industry and I was thrilled to collaborate with them on this project. They are awesome. Inglenook Shawl was made using Kollage Yarns Happiness DK in the colorway Lapis. I loved working with this yarn, it is squishy and soft and everything I like. I used an interesting textural stitch pattern for the body of the shawl, followed by a simple garter stitch border and ending with a picot binding. I love DK weight shawls because they are so warm and enveloping, but I made sure the pattern was fully adaptable so you can use any weight and any yardage. As of today, the pattern is available on Ravelry! ...and it's 20% off for a limited time with coupon code ShawlKAL2016 [gallery ids="1872,1873,1874,1875"]abc
I just finished knitting some very warm mittens! They are made in Fair Isle, with a double layer ribbing at wrist and they are filled with thrums made of wool roving. They are called the Icy Trails Mittens and the pattern is available on Ravelry if you like them! I love thrummed projects. They are easy to make, soft, and create a very warm fabric. This is one of my favorite ways of getting my knit accessories to another level of warmth! To share this awesome technique with you, here's a little tutorial on how to make thrums with wool roving. First, take some roving. You can get some in any color you fancy from brick and mortars or online shops. You can also dye your own! The roving I use for this tutorial comes from KnitPicks. Take out a strand of roving. You should never have to cut the wool. By softly pulling in the fiber direction, you'll get tinier bits. It doesn't need to be a precise lenght or thickness, but I like using roving strands of about 6" long by 1/2" wide. You can experience to find your favorite size. Hold the middle of the strand of roving between your thumb and index and roll it between your fingers, so the middle part becomes slimmer and harder. Wrap one end of the strand around your index and hold it between your middle finger and thumb. Then, wrap the other end around your middle finger and with your other hand, hold the part that's between your fingers. Get all the tiny strands that are poping out into the middle part by rubbing and rolling it between your fingers. Keep on rubbing the midddle part until it becomes dense enough so you are confident it won't loose out. This part is the one that will go on the needle so it will be easier to knit if it looks and feel like yarn! Then... the knitting part! Get to the stitch where you want to add a thrum. Wrap your yarn around the needle and place the thrumb of the left side of the yarn, around the needle. When you release the stitch, you'll have a strand of yarn immediately followed by a thrum on your right needle. On the next row, when you get to the thrum, you will knit together the thrum and the yarn. If you're working in the round, the yarn will be first on the needle and the thrum will be next. If you're working in rows, the thrum will be first and the yarn will be next (pictured). The thrum will hang on the wrong side of the knitting. Pull on the loops to secure them, making sure both loops are hanging on the wrong side. Et voilà! You made it! abc
2015 is now behind us. For me, it's been a year rich in creations, projects, ideas, dreams and realities. Here's my summary! I ended the year with 1 big bronchitis. No cool. I spit my lungs during a month and a half including Christmas and the New Year celebrations, while I've been given all the caring comments (but quite heavy) saying "you're-gonna-die-if-you-don't-take-antibiotics" and so I had to explain again and again (between two coughing attacks) that antibiotics are useless against a degenerated virus. To say the truth, it really was a dirty virus but my antibodies won! Hooray for the white cells and ginger tea! I did 2 trips. The first one was in Seattle where I spend a week with my best friend who's been living there for a few years. The second trip was in Corsica, far far away from home, where I really enjoyed the change of scenery. I survived major heat waves in 3 countries, for a total of 6 consecutive weeks of temperatures between 95 and 115°F... And I'm the kind of people who's confortable only between 72 and 78°! I published 13 new patterns, including one in the magazine Interweave Knits Summer 2015. I started and ended the year by publishing shawl patterns that seem to be quite loved already (Country Song Shawl and Roads of Corsica). I participated in the 100 days project, for which I published a daily photo on Instagram during 100 days... I caught the bug, and I ended up publishing... 295 photos in 2015! I like it soooooo much! And I ended the year with... Over 4000 followers! I am completely amazed! I never thought for a single second that my knittings could be liked by so many people! It gives me an incredible push to keep doing it in 2016. And honestly, I love this idea! To end up this beautiful year, here's a mosaic of my new patterns. And I'm already working on many nice things for 2016! [gallery link="file" ids="1833,1834,1835,1321,1692,1430,1837,1838,1839,1691,1840,1841"] abc
I have a nice active summer. I'm knitting, working, walking and traveling a lot. I'm in love with my husband, my pets, my family and my friends; my knitting, my garden, my walks to the park. This is great. I don't remember being that much happy and I try to taste every sweet bite of my present life. I love my knitting activities. I love the small community growing around my designs, I love every single person who takes part of it in any way. I am so motivated to create more and more designs as I get the feeling I'm not alone in my adventure. I released two new patterns in the last few weeks, and more are coming soon! The first one is a shawl named the Storm Shawl. It's inspired by the weather, starting with rain that becomes small snowflakes and then large snowflakes, and ends up being a snowbank at the bottom of the shawl. The second one is a sweater called Grain of Sand. It's made with worsted weight and oversized needles, so it's very light and easy to carry around on summer nights. I'm offering 20% off these two patterns along with Country Song Shawl and Silky Fairy Shawl until July 27th, just to share my happiness :-) I really hope I'll see some projects popping on Ravelry!abc
These days, I'm working with some super fancy yarn named Rimu by Zealana. Believe it or not, this yarn is made of possum fur! My love for animals being so overwhelming, the first questions that pop in my head when I work with animal fibers are "how is it taken from the animal?", "does the animal dies before giving its fur?" and on top of all, "is it an ethic product?" I made some searching to understand how that yarn have been made and to get answer to my questions. Zealana is a company for who sustainability of the flora and fauna is the priority. So yes, the possums are dying, but I found out that this is by no means a problem in this case. In some part of New Zealand, non-native possums that were introduced by fur traders in the late 19th century are now a nuisance to the echosystem. There are too many, they eat everything and some native bird species are in critical condition at the moment because of possums invading their nests. While controlling the possum population, Zealana uses the fur and makes lovely yarn. Possums are cuties and my heart melt when I think they must die but my reason is stronger than my heart - that company is the perfect example of why ethic actions are sometimes hard to take. About the yarn... well... it's delicious! It's a 60% fine merino and 40% brushtail possum blend. It's very soft, warm, a little fuzzy and has a beautiful drape. I've been working a cable pattern with this yarn and the definition is perfect, it creates a dense yet soft fabric. It's machine washable and based on the comments from the lady at the yarn store, it gets even prettier and softer after a good wash. I can say it's a very luxurious yarn, sturdy, well made, well dyed, with all the greatest care. Talking about the dye, the colorway I got is a deep red with a hint of pink. If they'd ask me, I'd call it "raspberry" but it's only labeled as R11. While knitting, I noticed some very short black hair blending in the color. It's subtle but it adds a nice touch reminding heathered yarns. About the price, well, it's a luxurious yarn! I haven't found the retail price, but it's around $16-19 US for a 50g ball on all the online shops I looked up. At my local yarn store though, I got it for $13.95 CAD which is the best price I saw (and I think I'll go get all the balls they have!) If you're ready to pay $300 and over, I think this yarn would make the perfect sweater or cardigan. I'm pretty sure it would last virtually forever, without pilling, stretching, losing it's shape and all those fatalities that happen everyday to knitted sweaters. For a more realistic yarn budget, I think it's perfect for all kind of accessories - warm socks, mittens, hats, etc. I decided to do a headband with my skein and even my overly sensitive skin agrees with that idea. I made it my spring headband and I love it, but I can't wait for the headband season to be long gone...! abc