FO: Vintage Lace Socks

Earlier this year, my friend Carla launched Georgian Bay Fibre Company, a hand-dyed yarn company that dyes exclusively BFL and BFL blends, and takes its inspiration from the beautiful scenery of Georgian Bay.

Her sister, Christina, also a long time friend, was designing some patterns for her (my favourite kind: socks!) and asked if I’d be so kind as to test knit for her.  The first one I tested was a knit and purl design called Squadron Socks; it was a lovely pattern but that pair never got completed as I made a very poor choice in yarn and it really didn’t suit.  I plan to knit them again in a semi solid, when I get a chance.

Her second design was a much bigger success for me, and (because?) this time I chose to knit it in Carla’s Kilcoursie Fingering yarn.  The colourway I chose was her 2014 Colour of the Year, called Wakefield Lilac, and I could not have been happier with how they turned out.


Vintage Lace Socks have a lovely delicate lace panel down the outside of the foot, front and back, and the result is beautifully feminine.  It was a nice relaxing knit, once I was able to memorize the lace pattern.  (I don’t immediately see past the single YOs and SSKs to see what the pattern is doing and until then, I rely heavily on the chart!)  I did have a heck of a time with the YOs….at least a couple of times a repeat I found myself having to pick up a missed YO…a hazard when one knits lace in front of the TV, I guess 🙂  And the colour is totally reminiscent of the lilacs that grew every spring in my grandmother’s yard.


I always like knitting socks in the summer because it means that come autumn, I have new socks to wear when the weather turns cool 🙂  I am really excited to have these ready to go for September.


Pattern: Vintage Lace Socks by Christina Bossart

Yarn: Georgian Bay Fibre Company’s Kilcoursie Fingering (BFL/nylon blend) in Wakefield Lilac

Who Was It Made For?  Test knit/Me

Were There Changes Made To The Pattern?  I did make the toe a little wider (the pattern says to stop when there are 8 stitches on each needle, but the top of my foot is somewhat square so I stopped at 10)

Did I Learn Anything New?  No

Anything Else?  Not that I recall.

Would I Make Another?:  Yes

(Photos courtesy of Shireen, over at the Blue Brick!)

FO: Winter Birch

Occasionally, I will be surfing Ravelry or Twitter and I will come across a photo of a new (or not-so-new) pattern and the strangest thing happens.  I become utterly and completely obsessed with the item in question and I have to knit it right. this. second.

So starts the story of how I ended up knitting a Winter Birch in a weekend.

Someone on my Twitter feed posted that they were having a KAL of the scarf and while I didn’t have the yarn required to participate, I did have a stunning silver-grey skein of Illimani Silky Baby Llama that I had picked up on a recent trip to a yarn shop in Kitchener.  It was the right weight and the right size skein, and I was completely in love with the pattern so I cast on on a Friday evening.

It was ridiculously simple to memorize; I think I had it totally committed to memory by the end of the first repeat.

~Photo by Shireen Nadir

~Photo by Shireen Nadir

I found the repeats to be like potato chips…”just one more”.  Within a couple of days, voila!  A gorgeous and soft creation, just the right length for tucking into the front of a coat.

It was already pretty enough, but then my friend Shireen came over, armed with her camera, and took some lovely pics for me.  Someday I am going to finish my Craftsy “Shoot It!” class, I swear!

~Photo by Shireen Nadir

~Photo by Shireen Nadir

I am extremely happy with how it turned out, and considering how quickly I was able to churn it out, the pattern is definitely going to stay at the top of my list for gifting possibilities.

Pattern:  Winter Birch by Debbie Stone

Yarn: Illimani Silky Baby Llama in the ever-so-descriptive colourway “1804”

Who Was It Made For?  Me?  Not entirely sure if it will get gifted elsewhere.

Were There Changes Made To The Pattern?  Only in the sense that I knit and knit until I was out of yarn and thus ended up with extra repeats.

Did I Learn Anything New?  No

Anything Else?  Not that I recall.

Would I Make Another?:  I already have it queued for a skein of Handmaiden Great Big Sea.

Knowing When to Say “I Give”

In the summer of 2011, the indigodragonfly group on Ravelry hosted a summer KAL.  It was a lot of fun for me as I was a mostly new knitter and had never done one before.  I didn’t win the prize for “Most Overcommitted” but I did win the prize for “Best Enabler”.  In addition to enabling others, I managed to squeeze in some time to knit a few things for myself, although admittedly far fewer than I had planned.

One of them was a lovely cowl from MCN Sport, a most lovely and squooshy DK weight yarn that I have adored ever since, using a Chrissy Prange pattern called “It’s Only Geometry”.  I had purchased two skeins of a gorgeous burgundy red called “When I Bit Into Him, I Could Hear The Ocean” (fans of the TV show, “Angel”, will recognize that as a Drusilla quote from the Season 2 episode, “Darla”), and used most of one skein for the cowl.

Geometry Bites

Geometry Bites

I kept the remaining skein, promising myself I would make gloves from it to go with the cowl.  I dutifully put the cowl away in a drawer, so that when the gloves were done, the cowl would be pristine and I could wear them as a pretty set.

Fast forward approximately two and a half years…you have three guesses where that second skein of yarn is.  Yep…still right where I left it, in my stash.  This morning, I felt like wearing red in honour of Chinese New Year, so I went into my drawer and hauled out the cowl and wore it.  The yarn has been queued for months now for a pair of fingerless mitts, but maybe I will use it to design my own “matching” pair of mitts.

Or maybe, this time next year…the yarn will still be sitting in stash.  Yep…that seems a lot more likely.

FO: Hofner Socks

One day in August, I received a very flattering email from one of my knitting idols.  The wonderfully clever Kate Atherley emailed to tell me she and Kim of indigodragonfly were in cahoots on a pattern collection, and might I be interested in knitting a sample for them?  Gee, let me see, one of my favourite designers paired up with one of my favourite indie dyers…how could I possibly resist?

The collection included a hat, a shawl, fingerless mitts and lacy socks, all interesting, but still easy to knit.  Kate asked if I might be up for the socks.  I picked up the yarn from Kim at her annual Fibre Fling that weekend (Merino Nylon Sock in a heavenly orange called “Safety Pin or Safety Pint: Discuss”) and cast on before the weekend was out.

The one catch?  The whole project was sooper seekrit so my morning Starbucks ritual of tweeting my WIPs was out.  No progress pics posted to Rav…nada.

As a result, pics like this one taken at 30,000 feet got tweeted:


Flying the friendly skies…in seekrit!

As with all of Kate’s patterns, it was easy to follow and I encountered no issues.  Once they were completed, I was in love!

Completed Hofners!

Completed Hofners!

Awesome colour…adorable heart-shaped lace pattern down the outside of each sock.  People stopped me when I knit it public and asked to see them.  It pained me to turn them over to Kate when I was done.  I am seriously considering another pair in a skein of the same base I have in a special edition, charity colourway called “Canoe Up To The Beer Store”.

The rest of the Rock ‘n Roll Collection is great as well.   I have at least one other item planned from that collection.  So many things to knit…so little time.

Pattern:  Hofner Socks by Kate Atherley

Yarn:  indigodragonfly Merino Nylon Sock in “Safety Pin or Safety Pint: Discuss”

Who Was It Made For?  Sample for Kate

Were There Changes Made To The Pattern?  None – that would defeat the purpose of a sample knit.

Did I Learn Anything New?  No

Anything Else?  Not that I recall.

Would I Make Another?:  Definitely…finding the time is another story.

FO: Baudelaire

Wow…two posts in one day!  I realized that in my blog-absence, it seems I have completed quite a number of FOs and have not blogged any of them.  Thought I’d play catch up so there’s a chance these posts might be shorter that previous ones.  We’ll see.

Early this spring, my friend Liz had some friends over to lunch and opened her stash up for perusal.  I ran across a couple of skeins/wound balls of yarn I loved, and the ever-generous Liz said “If you will use them before I will, take them!”.  Since then, of the four I left with that day, three of them have been knit up.  This project was made with a partial skein of Colinette Jitterbug, a yarn I had always wanted to try.  Because the skein was a partial, and had some 265 yards according to my calculations, I decided that socks would be the project, but that they’d need to be toe-up, because let’s face it, who wants to get to the toe of a second sock only to discover you are a few yards short?

As the beautiful cherry red yarn was staring at me from my wound stash collection, the Sock Knitter’s Anonymous group was hosting Cookie A month, and I inadvertently ran across one of her very few toe-up sock patterns, a Knitty pattern called Baudelaire.  Since I had knit precisely one pair of toe-up socks in my life, I hesitated somewhat, before deciding “it’s only yarn” and diving in.

I did these two at a time, on two separate needles, and that was the best idea I ever had, because it meant I learned Judy’s Magic Cast on once, and cast on both toes on the same day.  It also meant I didn’t run out of steam at the end of the first sock.  It’s strange; I seem to be okay doing simple socks one after the other, but if it’s at all complex, I seem to prefer doing them two at once.  Maybe it’s because I don’t forget things in the interim between the first sock and its mate.

I absolutely adore how these turned out, despite their somewhat short legs.


The yarn was super-dense, but a pleasure to knit with and just about impossible to split.  And the colour is spectacular.  I love the pattern, with its lace front and adorable little cables up the sides.  I very well might knit these again.

Pattern:  Baudelaire by Cookie A.

Yarn: Colinette Jitterbug in (I think) Morello Mash

Who Was It Made For?  Me

Were There Changes Made To The Pattern?  Cast on 12 stitches on each needle instead of 8…I really don’t love sharp toes as they look odd and don’t fit me.  Also shortened legs due to limited yardage.

Did I Learn Anything New?  Re-learned toe-up socks.

Anything Else?  Not that I recall.

Would I Make Another?:  Absolutely.  I really love them.