Got gauge?

What kind of needles do you use? I have a whole collection of different types made of different materials. My current favourites are metal Addi turbos because they are so smooth and light. But I also have bamboo (Takumi) and resin sets (Denise interchangeables, sadly missing one 5mm tip) which I also use from time to time.

The only type of needles I never use are aluminium, because my yarn always slips off and they make a terrible sound when they rub together.

I noticed a subtle difference in the knitted fabric I got from various needles, but never really paid a lot of attention to it. Until now.

This article by Alexis Winslow (KnitDarling) is an eye-opener. If you’re having trouble getting gauge, it might not be the size of needles you’re using, but the material!

Knit-Darling-Needles-Gauge-01
used with permission – click on the image to see the original post

Alexis also wrote a post on circular vs. flat swatches, which is also very helpful. And super interesting. You should read it.

 

Fun at Urban Yarns

What a great book launch / anniversary party at Urban Yarns last night! It was lovely to meet all the designers (many of whom I’d only met by email up til yesterday). We missed having our awesome editor Shelley join us, but it would have been a long trek from snowy Edmonton.

storewindow
My “Yaletown” hoodie in the shop window, December 5, 2014
party
Thanks to everyone who came!
party2
Me, with model husband Paul (left) and friend Lowell (centre)

Perfect Ten

I’m so excited to announce that a huge project I’ve been working on since the spring is now almost ready! In celebration of their tenth anniversary, Urban Yarns is releasing Perfect Ten, a 64-page book including 16 new knitting patterns by designers who have some sort of connection to the shop, along with drink pairings for each pattern (why not have fun while you’re knitting?) and interesting stories from Urban Yarns customers. You can pre-order your copy here. You should also come to the book launch at the shop on December 5th!

I have two brand new sweater patterns in the book, plus a new twist on an old favourite. The Yaletown hoodie (below, left) is a stylish and straightforward project in affordable Cascade Eco, and the Hacker pullover (right) is a fun project in gorgeous Harrisville WATERshed.

The Yaletown hoodie (left) and Hacker pullover (right).

My patterns will be available to purchase separately through my Ravelry pattern store on December 5th.

It was so much fun to work with Anina and Jan at Urban Yarns, as well as fellow Vancouver designers Sylvannah Baugh, Sandra Dunkin, Anina Hansen, Ruth Hawke, Karen Holden, Alison Holley, Amanda Kaffka, Sylvie Lui, Deanna Krushinsky, Julia Sharpe & Michael Wynne on this book. Our editor Shelley Reichelt deserves a round of applause as well.

What’s your best Urban Yarn?

IMG_4449When I was starting to knit for real (in 2004), I discovered Urban Yarns. I bought my first needles and yarn there, got loads of encouragement on my first (somewhat dubious) projects, and learned a ton from the friendly and helpful staff.

I can’t believe that was ten years ago! Urban Yarns is celebrating their 10th anniversary, and I’m helping. Since the spring, I’ve been working with a great group of designers to create a book of new patterns, all by people who have some kind of connection to Urban Yarns: we’ve shopped there or worked there, and we all feel like it’s our knitting home.

IMG_4421We want to include some other stories in the book as well, so the shop is having a contest: tell them your best Urban Yarns story in 250 words or less, and you could win a copy of the new book, plus a gift card to the shop. Check out all the details here. And stay tuned for more details about the new book.

The deadline is this Friday (October 10th) so don’t procrastinate!

Make your own hat day!

Did you know that yesterday, September 15th, was Make Your Own Hat Day? I didn’t. Well, not until just before bedtime, when it was kind of late to start making my own hat. So we’re a day late to the party, but why not start a new hat today? Here are four hat patterns you might like:

winsome
Winsome
bellota2
Bellota
sprout5sm
Sprout
zissou-front
Zissou (free pattern)

Summer knitting

Are you knitting this summer? For the first time ever, I’m working on a winter design in the summer heat. But even though I’m using a chunky 100% wool, it hasn’t been as bad as I was expecting. I’m just not taking the project to the beach with me.

Some of my knitter friends work on small projects in the summer. I think socks would be nice and portable for picnics or sitting in the shade under a tree looking enjoying the view. I had fun winding some sock yarn for Jocelyn recently.
jocelyn's sock yarn
Click here to see my mesmerizing video!

That’s a lot

So, I was looking at Ravelry this morning, and discovered that there are over 20,000 pairs of Fetching fingerless gloves out there.

Normally I’m not inspired to do math before coffee, but . . . if you took all those gloves and laid them end to end, they would stretch for 6.64 km (4.12 miles). That’s taller than Mt. McKinley in Alaska, which is the highest peak in North America.

And if you added in all the Dashing mitts on top, we would be taller than Mt. Everest–the tallest peak in the world!

What do you think of that?

Introducing Sweet Jane

I’m excited to finally introduce my latest pattern, Sweet Jane.

Sweet Jane is a simple pullover with a ton of style. It gets its modern styling from colour blocking, side slits and a step hem. Wear it with your favourite t-shirt and jeans for a casual weekend look or dress it up for work over an oxford and pencil skirt. Made from a warm, heathery wool/hemp blend that is lovely to knit, this sweater is a quick and satisfying project.
The pattern is available as a 4-page PDF .