Peacock Knits

Just knit. And maybe purl two.

Author: heatheroconnell (page 1 of 2)

A very special Rye hack

This just in! Check out Modification Monday: A Very Special Rye Hack with Knitted Bliss!

For Christmas 2016, I decided to knit my mother a special pair of socks. She taught me to knit, and I’ll always treasure that gift. She’s such an amazing person.  Around the same time, Tin Can Knits was hosting a hackathon, where knitters were encouraged to take any TCK pattern, and personalize it with some kind of “hack”. I was already planning on using the Rye pattern anyway, so I said “hey why not?!” and submitted my final knitted socks into the hackathon.

The socks

It wasn’t a difficult hack, all things considered. Primarily, I adjusted the gauge to knit the socks in fingering weight instead of worsted (as the original pattern called for). Sticking to standard sock construction for 56 sts, almost no math was involved, apart from determining how many stitches I needed for the garter panel.

As for the heel, I used a Fair Isle snowflake pattern that fit within a 23-stitch square. This became my heel flap. I ensured proper yarn management to eliminate any lengthy floats, which also ensured the heel would be durable. I paid close attention to my tension so the snowflake wouldn’t be too tight or uncomfortable as a heel flap!

Apart from the heel flap and stitch count, I followed the pattern as written.

And the yarn? OMG you guys. I’ll be posting a yarn review soon, but you should really check out @knitleyroad on Instagram, or visit Knitley Road on Etsy. She was so generous to gift me this yarn as part of #getyouryarnwishesgranted which takes place on Instagram during the holiday season, and the colours just spoke to me. It was a delight to work with. Check back soon for a yarn review!

The results

1: Honourable Mention in the TCK Hackathon! You can find these socks, and all the other winners, on TCK’s #TCKhackathon2016 Roundup blog post! I just loved seeing everyone’s hacks.

2: Modification Monday selection with Knitted Bliss! I love this blog, and Julie always finds such neat mods to highlight each week. Don’t follow her? You should!

3. Most importantly, I loved making these for my mother, and I hope she loves them. I think she did. Giving her something special and handmade was my #1 goal. Everything else is gravy. Delicious, awesome gravy, but you know what I mean.

Thanks for following along on this hack adventure! I wonder where else these socks will go? I love you Mom!

 

 

Knit all the things!

I have far too many projects on the go. I’m sure some have more, some have less, but let’s be real. This baby comes in six weeks, and for each and every one of these projects, I have proclaimed aloud “I need to finish this before the baby comes, otherwise it will never get done!”. I have six weeks left. There is no WAY I’ll get it all done.

Project #1: 28Thirty by Sarah Moore

This is an amazing sweater being knit with Fleece Artist River. I put this down in November 2016 after re-knitting one sleeve. I prefer a fitted sleeve so had to do some math *gah*, and then I put it down with one sleeve to go. How silly! Pick up that sweater, girl, and finish it! I could even wear it this spring with a new baby in tow. Orrrrrr it can sit in a project bag. Whatev.

Project #2: Vertices Unite by Stephen West

This shawl is so exciting. I picked-out all five colours, which involved going through my stash, putting things side by side, hand-drawing and colouring sketches, and acquiring what was missing. Now I just need to sit down and knit it! It’s such a relaxing knit right now, and I have a brand new Lykke fixed circular to do the job. Go knitting go!

Project #3: Petit Jardin Bunting by Holli Yeoh

Ok, now THIS I really need to finish before baby comes. It’s going in his room! If it’s not done, I’ll be totally boned. And it will sit in a box and never see the light of day again. Efffff. Gotta finish that one.

Project #4: Vintage Fairy Lights by Helen Stewart

I fell in love with this sock pattern the moment I saw it, and I knew exactly which yarn I would use. The minute I cast-off one pair of socks, these went right on the needles! I’m only past the “fairy lights” segment on the first sock but I am ADDICTED. This pattern is fab and easy to memorize. Buuuuut. I just acquired a new ball of self-striping and have another pair of socks in mind. To cast-on or not, that is the question.

Anywhoodle, short post for today, but more to come!!! Bye for now 🙂

The most amazing FibreShare partner

Did you know I’m the luckiest person who ever existed? I’ll keep the chit chat short for this post, since the videos speak for themselves. It’s all about the parcel, its contents, and my wonderful FibreShare partner.

I’ve made a friend a million miles away in the South West of France! You guys. She curated the most perfect parcel, just for me! She got all my preferences bang on. And the generosity. I have no words.

The parcel

I’m sure I missed some things. I’m not gonna lie… An edit to this post may follow! But ahead of watching some unboxing videos, here’s a sneak peek of what to expect!!!

Tréliz: Two beautiful skeins of fingering/sock yarn

Peace and Wool: A selection of yarns and goodies from this lovely French Shop

Noro Yarns: Three squishy skeins of Silk Garden

Alexmade: Unique treasures from this Fiber Artist in Australia

Miss Knit Yarns: Another treat for the senses out of Australia

Hedgehog Fibers: The elusive and sought-after Hedgehog. Skeins in DK and skinny singles! I received some of their surprise and non-repeatable colours!

BettaKnit: Three skeins of “Love my Jeans”, a recycled denim from Italy

Other treasures:

  • Lace-weight yarn in mustard: Two skeins from a French shop.
  • Alpaca from local farms: One handspun skein, two commercially spun, but both straight from the farm.
  • Gorgeous handknit bag using spaghetti yarn
  • KnitPro needles: One set of DPNs, One fixed circular. Both AWESOME.
  • Fabric and buttons from a market, scissors, cards, notions, more and more and more
  • My favourite. A selection of Maxim’s chocolate (OMG yes) and other tasty treats including meringues and candy.
  • “Girly Time” package with nail polish, hand cream and soap.
  • Handmade sachets filled with pine and lavender from her garden. The whole box smells amazing
  • Handknits. Loads of handknits! A hat for Declan, fingerless gloves and a headband for me, and three pairs of baby booties.
  • Lots of love.

Unboxing videos!

I’ll just leave these here 😉 There are three of them since I ran out of storage on my phone (sigh. Too excited to plan) but maybe it’s a good thing…. At least it’s broken down into reasonable chunks for you. All I can say is Thank You Déborah, Thank you <3

Unboxing Part One

Unboxing Part Two

Unboxing Part 3 – The Finale!

I hope you enjoyed my little videos! There are mistakes, but whatev. Yay! FibreShare! Follow all the excitement about #FibreShare on Instagram.

So I won a giveaway!

Guys. I won something! Doesn’t usually happen to me, BUT, this time it did.

Check it out! The amazing master dyer Valentina Consalvi of SnailYarn is sending me a five-skein gradient kit, and I’m so excited I can’t stand it. It’s her 100% superwash merino single ply. For the colour, I chose Slate, which looks like a cool blue. I’m also being gifted the pattern to make the Dip In Blue shawl by the oh-so-clever Beata Kaptur. The texture is awesome, and I think it will wear really well as a cowl. Could I be more lucky?!?

I’ll post a review once it arrives and once I start working-up the shawl. Stay tuned!

It is finally time to pick a winner for #dipinblueshawl gradient yarn kit! I’ve used a random number generator, and the lucky winner is @heather.o.connell congratulations! ☺ Please send me your mail address and your color choice (you can see the colors available on Etsy) via DM or mail me at info@snailyarn.com, together with your Ravelry ID so that Beata @beakaptur can send you the copy of the pattern. I hope you’ll enjoy! To all the lovely people who joined the giveaway, thank you so much! The yarn kit are available on Etsy, and I’ll have a small sale during this weekend, to celebrate my birthday, so check back if you don’t want to miss it! 😉 #SnailYarn #handdyedyarn #yarn #handdyed #dyerslife #indiedyer #indiedyerbusiness #indieyarn #knitting #tricot #strikking #yarnlove #knittersofinstagram #knitstagram #dyersofinstagram #yarnaddict #knitaddict #yarnofinstagram #knit #yarnporn #knitlove #yarninspiration #knittinginspiration #beakapturdesign #newdesign #yarngiveaway

A photo posted by Valentina Consalvi (@snailyarn) on

CLOSED – winner announced tomorrow! It's Giveaway Time!! – 'Dip in Blue' is a new beautiful shawl designed by Beata @beakaptur with #snailyarn Gradient yarn. It is available to purchase on Ravelry right now!! – I want to give away a gradient yarn set to knit this lovely shawl! The set will include 5*50grams skein, 250 grams and 1000 yards of yarn goodness!! And the winner will chiose the colourway!! And will receive a free copy of the pattern on Ravelry from Beata! – To join the giveaway just – repost this picture – use hashtag #dipinblueshawl by Tuesday 8th at midnight Rome time! Follow both me @snailyarn and Beata @beakaptur is not essential, but we both would appreciate your support! ❤😊 – Thanks and enjoy! #SnailYarn #handdyedyarn #yarn #handdyed #dyerslife #indiedyer #indiedyerbusiness #indieyarn #knitting #tricot #strikking #yarnlove #knittersofinstagram #knitstagram #dyersofinstagram #yarnaddict #knitaddict #yarnofinstagram #knit #yarnporn #knitlove #yarninspiration #knittinginspiration #beakapturdesign #newdesign #yarngiveaway

A photo posted by Valentina Consalvi (@snailyarn) on

I’m so excited. I signed-up for FibreShare! Apparently I’ve been living under a rock, and the first one took place in 2015, but better late than never.

I won’t bother recreating web content when clearly you can just checkout the FibreShare website yourself, but here’s the premise in a nutshell:

  1. Sign-up (check!)
  2. Wait patiently impatiently.
  3. Get matched with a stranger from anywhere in the world. Apparently there were fibre-sharers from 24 countries last time.
  4. Curate a parcel for this stranger. The parcel must have at least 200g of fibre, and then, what else? Notions? Nicknacks? Treats? What to choose?! In turn, another stranger will make a parcel for me!
  5. Ship.
  6. Wait.
  7. Receive something lovely in the mail by late November/early December 2016 (yasssss).

So that’s it. Nothing more to add this time! Stay tuned as I curate a parcel for a stranger.

yarnbowl


Follow #fibreshare:

 

 

 

The bus

I have a problem. It’s called the bus. Yeah, I know I could just drive and be another single-occupant vehicle on the highway, but I just don’t trust myself to knit and drive at the same time. (Baha, just kidding! Of course I can. HAHA, just kidding again.)

But all lame-jokes-you’ve-never-heard-before aside, I do prefer to just relax to some jams or my favourite podcast, and just knit the commute away. I can have a hot coffee, cozy-up, and tune-out. All simple pleasures in this #momlife. It’s not all fun and purls though! Let’s take a closer look:

  1. People problems: I don’t need much space to knit, and of course, I’ll always to my best to keep everything contained in my little corner. But the countless people-related distractions are the worst, whether or not you knit. Like the food. For heaven’s sake, don’t eat that shawarma on the bus you fool!
    #busbanana

    #busbanana

    Or sometimes I’m just waiting for that bowl of cereal with milk to go flying on the next sharp curve. One time a lady used her earring to pick her teeth (ew). There’s another person in front of me who decided to use an entire bottle of perfume that morning. Some guy listens to beatz at max volume through his earbuds. Then there’s the make-up appliers, the hair brushers, and the nail clippers. All these distractions! I mean, I’m just a person with some elbows and pointy sticks trying to share your space. Sheesh! #judgy

  2. The actual bus: I don’t refer to it as “the bus”. I prefer to call it “needle stealer” or “ball thrower”. Actually I don’t, but we can pretend! Especially when knitting socks, a dropped needle is truly gone forever it seems.
    Baby #busknits

    Baby #busknits

    I’ve written it off. It’s either fallen in the deepest crevice, too far for human fingers to reach. Or it’s fallen to the floor, where once dropped, has been swallowed-up by a disgusting black hole. Only once did I swallow my pride and crawl under a seat, and only because it was my Knitters Pride Karbonz, and I reaaaaaaaaally wanted to close my toe on the way home. That, and I’m cheap. Not sure if you’ve dropped a ball on the floor before, but that’s a real treat. It certainly helps reinforce the idea that knitting is a completely acceptable practice on the bus.

  3. Other crafters: Actually, I lied. There is no problem. I’ve met some pretty cool folks into fiber arts and needlecraft who’ve had some interesting things to share. One lovely woman clued me to a knitting group in my area that I’m planning on checking out. (She’s currently crocheting a Star Wars death star! She has my vote.) Someone else showed me their needlepoint and we happily shared the space, elbows and all. I sometimes see the odd person knitting as well, and then it’s a secret competition to see who’s knitting the fastest. It’s so secret, they probably don’t even know it’s a race. That’s how I guarantee a win, hehe. Crafters unite, and let every day be Knit in Public Day.

Let me tell you a little story. It starts with the bus and my knitting.

On this occasion, I didn’t have a pair of socks on the go (that was my first mistake) so in a rush I grabbed my 28thirty WIP sweater and headed out the door. I grudgingly accepted a seat in the worst location, being the back of the lower floor on a double-decker. Those seats are terrible. You are forced to sit face-to-face with strangers with your legs intertwined, and if you need to get out, you can either make someone move or grope them on the way out. But I was determined to enjoy my commute. I figured I had juuuust enough personal space so as not to be a bother, and pulled-out my sweater.

Scored this bad boy off Ravelry!

Scored this bad boy off Ravelry!

I was very excited about my fiber choice, being the now-discontinued Fleece Artist River in Peridot.

I didn’t mean to, buuuut…..I forgot about the Alpaca. I could not have paid it to shed more. And the gentle breeze from an open window started to circulate all these soft green and grey hairs through the air, into the laps and faces and outfits of the other commuters. Sigh. I had become one of *those* people. The problem people. I was what people problems are made of. So I knit five stitches and promptly put it away, never to see the light of the bus again. The next day I made sure I had socks.

Well, rant over. There you have it. The bus. Can’t live with it, can’t find an alternate route of transportation in Ottawa. See you on the 38!

Check out some of my #busknits on Instagram.

A Hedgehog on my needles

So, what’s on my needles? Hedgehog. It’s beautiful. I can’t stop. Luckily for me (and my budget) it’s rarely available at my LYS, but sometimes… just sometimes… a fresh order comes in. I then proceed to throw all my dollars at the clerk in exchange for my new pet. The other week such an event happened, the only difference being that I politely handed the clerk my debit card, and literally ran away before I bought more than one hank.

I’m currently making some socks, and I can only say that everyone in my family is lucky they are getting any attention given how lovely they are turning out to be.

Yarn: Hedgehog Fibres Sock

Colourway: Oracle

Pattern: Basic sock pattern from memory. I often reference the Vanilla Latte Socks pattern by Virginia Rose-Jeanes if I’m feeling lost. For the leg, I used a Knit 4, Purl 1 spiral in Cecelia Campochiaro’s Sequence Knitting book. I just felt like something simple for my morning bus commute 🙂

Needles: Knit Picks 5″ double-pointed needles in size 1 US/2.25mm

I’m in love with this yarn line so much, It took forever for me to pick a texture for the leg. I wanted something that would really show-off the pops of colour, and would complement the beautiful dye job. And if we’re having real talk, I hate stockinette. So here’s some pics! What’s on your needles?

On the bus

On the bus

IMG_8361

Closing the toe

dog and sock

Sparta approves

Lovin' this colour

Lovin’ this colour

Un-Shrink it. A Review

I love trying new products. This particular one received an endorsement from Shark Tank too, to which my advertising-susceptibility caused me to jump at the chance to try it. In my previous post, I recounted the sad tale of Ryan’s Sweater. Today I’ll give you my review of the product that in part, saved my sanity: Unshrinkit.

How is it supposed to work? Dump the bottle in a gallon of warm water, and leave your item(s) to soak for 30 minutes. Rinse. Stretch back to shape. Block it and lay flat to dry. That’s it! I was very skeptical, but I shelled-out $25 to give it a try. (I must also give my sister Cheryl full credit, since I had never even heard of this miracle worker until she mentioned it.)

I followed the instructions word for word. It worked! Sort of.

The results

Before

Before

Before using Unshrinkit, Ryan’s Sweater measured just under 30” long. After using UnShrinkit, the sweater was nearly 32”. That’s two full inches of sweater I didn’t have to re-knit! That doesn’t sound like much, but 2” makes a big difference for a sweater of this size.

Based on the fact that math is real, there is no denying: the product works. Buuuut, there’s a couple of things to tell you about it:

  • #1 Pro: As promised, it does relax the fibers. After it has soaked, your knitted garment should stretch out much more easily than before! Before using UnShrink it, I had tried to stretch Ryan’s sweater to no avail. I certainly didn’t get 2” of my life back.

    After

    After

  • #1 Con: It smells bad. I don’t know if it was a reaction with the fiber or the dye in my sweater, or if it’s a personal thing, but I legitimately loathed the smell. I can’t even describe it, other than 100 old socks maybe, or like I accidentally let a variety of wet pets into the steam bath. There also appears to be an attempt to cover the smell with some sort of “clean laundry” scent, but alas, they were unsuccessful. Again, you might be all like: “This is lovely. Can I buy this in air freshener form?” But if this is you, we really can’t be friends.

So in the end, I recommend it. It worked enough on Ryan’s sweater, and it was easy to use. I also believe it would work better on a sweater that has simply shrunk, instead of one that had utterly felted. Despite my issues with the smelly stuff, if it saves your garment, it’s a win. Now go forth and Unshrink your stuff!

Note: I was not paid to endorse or promote Unshrinkit. These opinions are my own. If it does not work for you, I will not be held accountable! The review above was based off a singular event, and no attempt has been made to repeat my success.

Ryan’s Sweater

Preamble: Some of my dearest friends already lived through the saga of Ryan’s sweater, so this story will not be new to them. However, the visual progression of the same sweater may still provide some amusement. I first cast-on in 2012. I finished in December 2015. This is my story.

Ryan’s Sweater

It’s age-old advice to never knit your man a sweater (unless you’re married…which makes no sense to me, but anyway…). In fact, I have a book of this same title, all based on the fact that your knitted garment may outlast the relationship. Well here I am, and I’m rather lucky that I’m still married given my unfortunate judgment when it comes to handknit sweaters. Poor Ryan.

 

Sweater #1

The year was 2012. It will be fun, I said. He’ll love it, I said. I’ll handwash it forever, I said.

Well, he did love it. For exactly two seconds.

I poured over patterns, thinking, dreaming, researching, finally choosing this Raglan-Sleeved Henley. I also spared no expense (he’s worth it, right?) splurging on some Mirasol Nuna, and I even swatched. I had high hopes. I started the sweater with great zest, and began to knit. Did I forget to mention? Ryan is a 2X… Nuna is fingering weight. Ya. It took FOREVER. I was literally knitting forever. Not even figuratively. I mean FOREVER. Knit knit knit knit knit knit knit FOREVER.

It’s actually a great pattern, and I had very little trouble other than figuring out Ryan’s custom arm size (which I must have re-knit about three times), but can you imagine my exhilaration when it was done a year later?

It. Looked. Awesome.

Sweater1

I felt liberated. Not only was it finally finished, but I had accomplished something, and he actually really liked it. I felt so confident in fact, that when it came to wash it, I put it right in the washing machine.

Uh, wait. Did I say the washing machine? Yup. No joke.

I blame it on the fact that I was pregnant, but COME ON. Silk? Wool? Bamboo? WTF. The good news is that it’s now an amazing outdoor cropped sweater for Me! I love it! It’s now my go-to fall piece. So warm and cozy, and it looks great.

But wait a minute, wasn’t this supposed to be a sweater for Ryan? Er, oh yeah. Let’s do it again!

 

Sweater #2

So, scratch that first mistake. It’s 2014 and a whole new year is on the horizon! Hello 2015, I’m ready for you.

This time I picked Knit Picks Gloss. Still grey, but a definitely less finicky. And I opted to make the same damn sweater. I mean, by this time I was an expert, so let’s just go for gold.

Knitknitknitknitknitknitknitknitknitknit FOREVER.

Then, in less than a year, it was done!

It. Looked. Awesome.

ryan1

We brought our matching sweaters to Newfoundland on vacation and had a fabulous time. I feel right at home there! Despite the summer season, it was freezing so we got lots of use out of those sweaters. I was so proud of my comeback! But there was one naggy thing I just couldn’t stop thinking about. That sweater. Didn’t it look a bit too big? I mean it’s definitely too long. I really didn’t want to hem it.

So, when we got home, I started to do all the laundry and the sweater came up for its turn.

I looked at the sweater. It looked at me. I looked at the sweater. I looked at the washing machine. Then enter a brief and rational internal conversation about whether I should maybe wash it for 5-10 minutes on delicate, juuuuuuust so it might shrink a teeny tiny bit.

I really don’t need to go into much more detail here, except that if you haven’t guessed it by now, apparently I can’t be trusted with my own handknits. I mean who…WHO labours over something for years, just to spend the next half hour ruining it all?

I didn’t leave it in for just five minutes. Sigh.

Same thing. Same sweater. UGH.

 

Sweater 2.5

Now, my only saving grace was that the sleeves were indeed ruined, but the body of the sweater was surprisingly intact (minus an inch or two). So I hatched a plan cut the sleeves off and  re-knit them. So I did! Of course the texture would need to be resolved, but here is the process I underwent:

Felted on the left, unfelted on the right.

Felted on the left, unfelted on the right.

  • Step 1: Cut sleeves.
  • Step 2: Order more yarn.
  • Step 3: Pickup stitches and re-knit sleeves.
  • Step 4: Use Unshrinkit in an attempt to — surprise — unshrink the sweater. (Check out my review of this product)
  • Step 5: Cut hem and add new mock rib hem, adding a tad of additional length.
  • Step 6: Hand-felt sleeves to match body texture. Use tons of lotion to replace damaged skin on bare hands. Go cry.
  • Step 7: Handwash and hang to dry. DO NOT PUT IN THE WASHING MACHINE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE.

It. Looked… Awesome 🙂

final

So, the moral of the story is, knit your man a sweater. Knit him a sweater anytime. But wash it according to the instructions. It’s not that hard. Just be smarter than me.

(If you’re up for a laugh, you’re also welcome to check out Knit Picks Podcast 248: Handmade Holiday, in which I tell the tale of my sad sweater #1. The whole episode is gold, but my moment of podcast fame is at timestamp 13:20)

Holiday gifting (fail)

Happy Holidays! I do hope 2015 was good to you. And if it wasn’t, then good riddance, and welcome 2016!

You know, I had huge plans this year. Huge crafty gifting plans. I normally try, and sometimes succeed, but usually I end up with far fewer completed projects than planned. I wish I had a better excuse, but it really boils down to nothing but poor time management. In other words, being an adult and actually (gasp) managing your time.

This time I was pretty confident I wouldn’t fail. Here I went, bragging around the office that I was totally ready and had all  my materials prepped and ready to go. But Dec 2 turned into Dec 9. Insert a nasty cold I caught that essentially turned me into a wandering pile of mush. Enter December 22. Um, how did this happen exactly? If it hadn’t been for the fact that I also traditionally overbuy at this time of year, my family would all have a bunch of beautiful IOUs to start off 2016. Sigh.

So I hung my head in shame, and arrived at my family Christmas events with a pleasant selection of mass-produced treasures that I was still pretty excited about. We had a wonderful Christmas, but it wasn’t until I got home that I truly realized the irony of it all. I have three sisters and a sister-in-law, and each and every one had something thoughtful and handmade to give. I was the odd man out. Apparently I missed the memo: 2015 was the year of everything handmade. Seriously.

  • My wonderful sister-in-law crocheted a cozy tuque that I just love, and makes me wish I could crochet.
  • One sister gave homemade canisters of Beer Bread mix. Just add a beer and you’re done! Including the loaf pan? Sister, you really planned this shit out.
  • Another gave out homemade fudge. FUDGE! And in several flavours! What the heck?! So organized and thoughtful. (Not pictured. Om Nom Nom.)
  • The last gifted the most beautiful mittens. One pair for each sister! Ummm, wut. I’ve barely taken them off, except maybe to read my new subscription to PomPom magazine *drool on the cover*.

In addition, my coworker knit an ornament for (get this….) every single person on our team. And I couldn’t even get one gift out the door. Just a bunch of half-completed nonsense around my home.

BeerMitts

HatOrnamentThere is a silver lining to all of this. I can now say I’m ahead of the curve for birthdays this year. Yesssssss.

Older posts

© 2017 Peacock Knits

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑