Holiday season is upon us, and I'm starting to think warm cozy thoughts. I've been knitting like a crazy person, and have nearly completed all of my knitted gifts already! I am now accepting requests for small custom items like hats, mittens, leg warmers, cowls, and fingerless gloves. I have a very solid stash of pure local alpaca yarn to pick from, or you can go to A to Z Alpacas and pick out your favourite skein for me to create with. I LOVE knitting with the alpaca yarn, it's incredibly soft (think baby bunnies in a cloud), and comes in the most beautiful hand dyed or natural colours. That being said, I can source out whatever it is you need with plenty of time to spare for the holidays. This is going to be a first come first serve thing, so please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your requests and we can start designing that perfect custom piece.
I have a confession... since starting to knit with natural fibres last year I have become obsessed with high quality natural yarns. I prefer locally sourced, but it's not easy to find. My favourite is A to Z Alpaca's Hand dyed chunky weight yarns. They are a small family run farm located in Southern Alberta, and the yarn is 100% Canadian made. The skeins are soft, supple, and a massive 200 grams. I have, however, begun looking into other sources for other fibers, like Merino wool and Silk. I have found the Malabrigo yarns to be amazing to knit, with beautifully soft Merino wool. They are a small family owned company from Uruguay, that works with a cooperative of women to produce these stunning yarns. So not local, but certainly a small business worth supporting. So my latest batch of items is dedicated to experimenting with new fibres, and sources. FUN!
This hat is made using Malabrigo Rasta yarn in Plomo. The pattern is free on Ravelry, and is called 'An Unoriginal Hat'. It's soft, thick, and super warm.
This hat is a pattern that is a modification of a YouTube tutorial that I used to first learn how to crochet. After crocheting most of the beanie, I picked up all of the stitches with 4mm circular needles (92st) and knit in a 2x2 rib to get the brim. The yarn is Noro Haniwa (50% silk, 20% wool, 20% nylon) which knit more closely to a cotton than a wool fabric.
I named these mittens my Utility Mitts. I needed to accomplish a couple of things with these: 1. I wanted to use some of the handspun yarn my Grandma gave me when she quit knitting (arthritis is evil). 2. I needed a pair of wool mitts for managing the cool, crisp fall weather. So I cast on 24 to a pair of size 8 circular needles, and after a 2x2 rib cuff, stockinette the rest of the way. I didn't have enough handspun to do both mitts, so I added in the teal stripe (Patons wool) to extend the length. I always do an afterthought thumb, because I find Gusset thumbs to be a little ugly. Overall the mitts are thick and warm, but a little snug, I would cast on more the next time, but they will grow with wear being a natural fibre, so I'm not too worried.
Kids Fall Knitted Projects
With the weather cooling, and the leaves changing colour, it was time to go through our stash of mittens and hats. A fair number of last years knits will not fit Lauren this year, so it's time to knit up some cold weather items for the kid. After trolling through Ravelry, I decided to just go with what I had already knew worked (didn't feel like experimenting with new patterns). So Lauren got a 'Pony Hat' which was the 'My Mohawk Hat' pattern with modifications to make it more pony-esque. She also got another set of spring/fall mittens, made out of random scraps of my gorgeous alpaca yarn (pattern based on the 'Stashbuster Charity Kids Mittens'). Two tried and true patterns, and now the kid is ready for sn.... hmmm let's not say the word yet. Ready to play!
The weather is cooling, and I finally finished my squishy soft alpaca cardigan on September 1st. Time to think about Christmas knitting! I have been scouring Ravelry patterns (a little obsessively, I'll admit) and came across one called 'The Hurricane Hat', and I just happened to have a hand-dyed skein of alpaca called 'Thundercloud'. A match made in heaven I think.