Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen... We Have, A Winner!

It's not all that often that I win something based strictly on luck. I know that we all say that... but it's true. I have never won the lottery. I have never won at the Bingo hall. I have never won a door prize at an event, and I have yet to win a cruise via telephone where they blast that horn in your ear.

I have had the odd bit of beginners luck here and there (there was that one time at the Black Jack table at The Flamingo in Vegas), but other than that... nada.

That is... until March 2013 rolled around.

My mom and I were in Baltimore for the Yarn Market News conference, and we were sitting around a large, circular table with six other yarn shop owners, about to eat lunch.

At each place setting, was a cute little ball of yarn that looked a little something like this. 

So, being the obedient lunch guest that I am, I did as I was told and unravelled.

While all of my lunch dates had a beautiful stitch marker in the centre of their little ball of yarn, I found myself with a note that said "You have won your choice of a bag of yarn, courtesy of Classic Elite Yarns". 

Well I'll be darned... if I didn't just win something right there!

So shocked was I, that I didn't even think to take a picture post-unravel. (Apologies for that. I know that pictures make a post way more fun).

After returning home and adjusting back to regular life, post-big-win, I went about choosing which bag of yarn I would like, all whilst giving it way more thought than it probably deserved... but I just couldn't help but "revel in my unravel"!

After much consideration, the yarn I ended up with was the beautiful Fresco. A yarn comprised of the perfect blend of merino, alpaca and angora. Oh swoon... 

So, how did I chose that particular yarn? You ask. I simply said to them "What is your best selling yarn?" And there were two answers to that question.

1- Liberty Wool A fabulous yarn that we have stocked in the shop for ages and I have knit with here and there. But I didn't need more... I have a whole shelf full of it at my place of work!

2- Fresco Well, well...

We stocked Fresco years ago at the shop, but it didn't ever do much for us. Of course... having a sample would have helped (something we just never got around to), and we blamed the sort-of/kind-of steep price point. We cleared it... and that was that.

Fast forward a few years however and I must say... now that I have knit with it. It is truly no surprise why this is one of their best selling yarns! So soft between the fingers, with a beautiful halo both on the skein AND the finished product. It's pure heaven on my needles.

I am kicking myself for not having had a sample for all of you fine customers to ogle all those years ago. 

And not just any sample, THIS sample. Because really, I can say as many good things about this pattern as I can about the yarn. 

Yarn- 9 skeins of Fresco, in shade 5350
Needles- 4mm Addi Turbo (what else!?!?!?)
The pattern is the "Lightweight Pullover" by Hannah Fetig, and it's not much more than some beautiful, clean stocking stitch, knit in the round with some deeply ribbed cuffs and waistband to keep everything where it should be.

Isn't it amazing when such simple elements can come together like this in one garment to create the most perfect, cozy sweater EVER?!?!

I made the cowl neck a tad longer than the pattern called for, as we all know how much I love to have my neck all cozy and warm. And as it turns out, this modification did exactly what I wanted it to do.

Which is a very good thing... because it apparently snows in this part of the world in mid-April.

This was just last week... I kid you not. 

To which I say "Thank the high heavens for my hand knits".

Stay warm dear friends!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Baby Boom

Whoa. I disappeared again there for a bit. Between just general busy-ness and an ill behaved laptop, things got a little hairy there for a while. Looks like I'm back in business however. So let's get caught up. Shall we?

Another (really good) reason for my online absence as of late, are all of the beautiful babes being born these days! Between my mom and I, we know fourteen little ones due over the next two months. Four of those babies arrived over the span of three days a few weeks back. So naturally, I got knitting...

Knitting striped hats for everyone!

And while I know that these are far too large for most newborn babes to wear right now (because sadly... they still need hats in mid-April in Canada it would seem...), I have been calling them their "Back to School" hats. Possibly in September, they will be able to yank this down over their little bald heads and stay warm throughout the chillier months that follow. 

And besides... even if they are too young to go to school, I still believe that everyone is entitled to a new outfit to kick off the fresh school year. 

Wouldn't you agree?

So, striped hats for one and all, using up all of my bits and pieces of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino.

Knitting with this beautiful yarn, in very addictive little stripes has been simply heavenly.

And so are all of the beautiful little people that have just landed here on earth.

Yarn? Odds and ends of some Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino.
Needles? 3.25mm double pointed.
Pattern? From the Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino Book 2. I love that book... dearly. But I did modify both the socks and the hat so that they are seamless. No one wants a seam in their sock! Come on Debbie!

So on this snowy April day... I leave you with this.

The Flower Shop at Liberty in London

Happy Spring everyone.