Sunday, November 30, 2014

Bring it On Old Man Winter - Mama Has a New Sweater!

I just realized it's been almost two months since I last posted here.  How time flies!  I thought I'd sit down and write a bit of an update while I drink my gingerbread latte! (Mmmm! So tasty! I just found my old recipe for it this morning!)

We've spent the fall battling one illness after another (the joys of having a child in kindergarten bringing home all sorts of germs to us!) and once I had a bit of energy return I plunged headlong into the super secret / can't tell you about it kind of holiday crafting.

But in amongst all that I did finish a new cardigan for myself that I've finally just got buttons on earlier this past week.  I did wear it for several weeks buttonless because I couldn't find the buttons I wanted out here and had to wait until I could make a trip to Fabricland in the city.  I didn't want to miss out any wearing time of this cozy cardi for the minor sake of the fact I had no way of doing it up!

I signed on to test Hay Cove for designer Laura Aylor.  It was a fantastic pattern from her new Northward Collection - knit top down with set in sleeves with worsted weight yarn it's fast on the needles too!  I learned a few new tricks with this pattern.  Laura has a really great way of doing the sleeve caps.  I think her own variation of Barbara Walker's simultaneous set in sleeves has beat out my previous favourite method of sleeve caps that I'd been learning to perfect on my last few cardi's from Andi Satterlund.  I found, for myself anyways, who always struggles to make my picked up stitches look neat and tidy, that Laura's method eliminated that problem and makes a really smooth sleeve cap.  I highly recommend trying out her patterns that utilize the method.
Working on the new to me sleeve cap technique
I also learned a new method for buttonholes that I'm really liking.  It makes tight, stable buttonholes, which is something else I often find a problem - especially on a garment that requires very little to none or negative ease.  I think I will make these buttonholes my go to in the future.  They were so simple too!

For my version of Hay Cove I decided to use just two colours of Canadian made Briggs and Little Regal yarn that has been hanging out in my stash for quite a few years.  B&L gets a bad rap sometimes due to it's rustic nature - but as long as you don't mind pulling out bits of grass and hay (some balls I think I may find the actual sheep grazing  in there too they're so full of veggie matter) it's a great yarn for warmth and durability, and it softens up a lot with a good bath. Plus as a bonus it's not going to break the bank - you really can't beat the price of about $6.00 Cdn for a 272 yard skein.  The yarn I used had been gifted to me so even more of a bargain, but I used only five skeins in total for my size! Not too many yarns out there that allow you to knit an adult sized cardigan for around $30!

Just needing buttons and blocking!
I'm really happy with how my sweater turned out.  The fit is great, it blocked to perfection for me (which almost NEVER happens for me! LOL!).  I've been living in it since the weather got cold.

You'll have to excuse the somewhat less that fabulous picture (and my "hat hair") - I got Baby Boy to take a photo on my phone for me when we came in from shovelling the walkways the other morning.

Cozy, warm and perfect for a Canadian winter!
So that's what I've been up to in the last two months!  Now my coffee has grown cold, the boys are itching to do a festive craft and I have to go see what I can take out of the freezer for supper tonight so I'd better dash!