gifts exchanged

Teabird and I have been exchanging handmade gifts and handwritten letters for years now. She fell in love with the Synchronicity Collection by Andi Smith and I asked her if there was anything I could knit for her as I really loved the designs.

There was. She also had the most perfect yarn she wanted me to use. The yarn arrived and I knitted a White Pond Cowl.

Isn’t it lovely? The yarn is Holiday Yarns FlockSock in Vanilla and Bruised ego.

In turn she asked if she could knit me a pair of socks.

I confess I couldn’t say yes fast enough. My sock drawer is looking a little lean these days. I still wear wool socks with the same frequency as I always have but I don’t have as much sock knitting time as I used to, especially as you can now find me behind the wheel. While I do mend my socks, adding to the rotation helps.

We talked a bit about fit preferences and all I was told was I would love the colourway. The package arrived this afternoon.


Yes. I have not seen such a perfectly Penny colourway in a while. It is the November colourway and yes, it’s very much November and the colours I gravitate to with browns and greys and hints of deep rich gold. They fit perfect and I am in love.

In the letter, she said there were two cat toys. I was quite confused because I found a second pair of socks. They had apparently felted and no longer fit her.


The thing is, they fit me. Perfectly. They are barely felted compared to many of the socks in rotation. The new plan is I’ll wear them for a while and then I’ll turn them into bright happy cat toys.

She also included a few partial skeins of sock yarn to turn into cat toys. I will be talking more about that project and the types of items I’m looking for soon.

Thank you Teabird!

a finished sweater!

Grey is my favourite colour. It’s very versatile for clothing, perfect for me as I try to keep a minimalish wardrobe.

Another sign that grey is my favourite? This is the 6th grey sweater I’ve knitted!

IMG_20141026_140759Meet The Jumble Sale Kimono for the Widow Mayhew’s Daughter designed by Andi Smith and published in What (else) Would Madame Defarge Knit?.

The pattern is now available as a separate PDF for those who aren’t interested in the entire book (I’m obviously biased for all of it).

I started this sweater in May 2013, to go along with a KAL. I finally finished it last Saturday night, a week too late for Rhinebeck. I swatched for this sweater, by knitting the sleeves. Why did I knit my sleeve instead of a normal swatch? I struggle to actually knit swatches because it bothers me that after I block and measure them, they mostly just sit around ignored in my swatch box. I am impatient and could foresee not wanting to knit the second sleeve and then turning it into a vest! It would have been a pain to rip out the sleeve if it didn’t work out, but I knew if I made gauge (which I did) then I would be a sleeve ahead.

Swatching was essential for this project to answer two questions: 1) would my yarn substitution work? The yarn I used (now discontinued) is structurally different from the suggested Fiber Optic Kashmir. 2) I also wanted to see if my idea to knit on the lace edge would work, its designed to be sewn on later. The answer was yes and sort of. After making gauge, I decided to forge ahead with this yarn anyway. Knitting on the lace worked perfectly, but because it’s a dark charcoal grey sweater, the lace detail is lost.

This sweater was knitted in fits and starts and when I finally finished the second sleeve at the end of August I knew I had to make some changes so I would actually finish it. I wound three balls off the cone and knit the back and both fronts at the same time. I thought about knitting mostly seamless, but I wanted to practice my seaming so I forced myself to knit it flat. It got to be a tangle at times, but I think it worked out overall. I went into the seaming knowing that the lengths were equal and that helped.

I then needed to make a decision if I was going to knit the lace and cable edging or not. For the bottom I knew I didn’t want the motif. This is the same yarn I knitted the Whisper Cardigan out of, and I knew that it really likes to roll. So I knitted a hem and faced it with some green in the same yarn. I was going to knit the collar in brioche, but due to needle choice ended up doing a 1×1 rib instead, knitting it directly onto the fronts. I like the understated effect, though wish I had remembered to increase the stitch count once I made the switch from brioche to ribbing as it’s a bit narrow. I ended the ribbing with a tubular bindoff and that little detail makes me very happy. More notes about my design modifications can be found on my ravelry project page.

I’ve worn this sweater every day this week, it’s now my favourite sweater!