Whoops – time to get this project up on the blog; Alexa beat me to it and it’s already up on the Urban Yarns blog! What a generous post, I’m very flattered. I’ll just give a few more details:

I saw a Duck Soup sample at another yarn shop a few years ago, and have been trying to get to it since. I think this is an ingenious design: it’s a jacket or sweater, depending on the size. Because babies grow so quickly, you’re meant to make it a couple sizes too large, rolling the hood and sleeves for a good jacket fit. Once baby is larger, unroll those sleeves and it’s a sweater. A cozy, handknit sweater! Economy, meet luxury. Brilliant.

I still have not had the pleasure of meeting Neko, the jacket’s recipient, but I hope it’s a gift that he & mom get a lot of use from. The frog closures were fiddly but fun, and they really made the project. It was a clever pattern, knit from the top of the hood down. The hood was kitchenered up the centre and the knot tied last.

Pattern: Duck Soup by annypurls (ravelry link here)
Yarn: Spud & Chlöe Sweater (55% wool, 45% cotton) in Moonlight
Mods: Frog closures – did 3 stitch i-cords in the same yarn (instead of sock yarn), but made them each about an inch longer than recommended

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I completed some knitting for a deadline recently, and had the usual shock you get from coming to a full stop. I tried to take a break. And I did, a bit: barbecuing anything that wouldn’t fall through the grill, taking photos with my birthday Diana Mini, and getting outside. But I couldn’t just sit around not knitting, could I? Because there are things I’ve been wanting to make but couldn’t…they’ve been calling to me.

Yesterday I cast on a shrug for a store sample – it should be finished quickly, so stop by Urban Yarns to have a look if you’re in the neighbourhood.

I switched up the yarn I was using for a Honey Cowl, and there’s a pile of toffee-coloured Madelinetosh yarn ready for a Dark and Stormy cardigan. I brought home a ball of Rowan Drift for a hat. I really haven’t had a problem starting things.

But I also feel stuck on what to do next. I have so many ideas for my own designs that I’m not sure where to start them. I think I need an originality holiday, just to let ideas simmer and develop on their own – which is ok. There are so many amazing patterns out there that, for now, I’m happy to let other clever designers do the thinking for me.

 

 

Here’s a little jacket, finished except for the frog-style buttons and closures. It’s called Duck Soup. A few years back, I was inspired by the Duck Soup blogged by Three Bags Full and, well, some things I don’t forget (you know, the really important things, like sweater patterns). Once it’s been buttoned and gifted, hopefully there will be some gratuitous cute baby shots.

A little round up of beautiful things; although I don’t usually do posts like this, these are so summery and happy:

Patricia Brown’s knit sea urchins
Smelling like a rose
Dreaming of Marrakesh
And a camera to take there
A graphic design workshop in Italy
Grilled pizzas for dinner, then grilled mango and pineapple for dessert
A crocheted top called Esme from an oldish Rowan magazine

Maybe you can tell how excited I am about a project by the amount of time it takes me to blog about it. Usually, I finish something and I’m so thrilled that I have to get a photo right away and post it.

My Damson shawl was finished back in May, and you might recall that I was lukewarm about the colour from the start. By the time I had finished and blocked, the colour had grown on me. But it turns out my real gripe is that it’s tiny* and I found myself adjusting it every 20 minutes so that it doesn’t fall off. A shawl pin would help…I think I’ll have kinder feelings towards Damson once fall weather rolls around.

The yarn, on the other hand, was so soft and springy; I enjoyed working with it, despite what I’ve recently learned about the superwash process. Are you reading, madelinetosh? I’d love it if you offered more non-superwash yarns…

Pattern: Damson by Ysolda Teague (Ravelry link here)
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Earl Grey

* Not sure if tininess is the problem, or if it’s more of a length vs. depth issue. The top edge of Damson has increases on both sides, not just the right side as with other shawls I’ve knit. This gives it a deep v-shape at the neck, yet the ‘arms’ still aren’t long enough to get a good wrap-around. Get it?

Window displays are an art – there are a several shops in town whose displays I often admire. They change with regularity (every few weeks, or every few months) and often combine unique props with their own store goods. They have a theme that’s usually seasonal or event-related. And they’re always beautiful to look at.

There’s a lovely flower shop in Kits called Garden Party. I could hardly wait to get down there last week to see Lisa’s window display.

I contributed the crocheted vase holders that Lisa paired with the shop’s amazing flowers. Peonies and sweet peas just happen to be two of my favourites, and I love the light and summery feel of the whole display.

Despite bringing a polarizing filter for my camera lens, it was tough to shoot through the windows…until twilight. Which seems appropriate, since there’s a bit of a Midsummer Night’s Dream thing going on. I love it, and I love that crochet and flowers are together at long last!

Pattern: Vase/Pot Holder by Marie Wallin (ravelry link here)
Yarn: Rowan Handknit Cotton (100% cotton) in Seafoam (green) and Atlantic (blue); Rowan All Seasons Cotton (60% cotton, 40% acrylic) in Cassis (pink)

Lisa and I are working on a floral/crochet collaboration. That’s all I’ll say for now, but I’ve got my portion of the work packed up and ready to deliver. I’m very excited – let’s say, more excited than I am about my poor Rock Island shawl. It’s been languishing for weeks.

Just a few quick notes on our camping/hiking trip on the Sunshine Coast –

There are lots of artists here, including Yvonne Stowell, a fibre artist and the woman behind the FibreWorks Studio & Gallery. In a series of yurts! It was too dark to take photos inside, but trust me: one of the yurts was stuffed full of beautiful handspun yarns.

There’s a bit of hiking, and lots of kayaking and diving. The view of Pender Harbour from the top of Mt. Daniel shows what a maze of land and water it is.

Wish I’d bought this at the Sechelt Farmers Market, but it’s kind of hard when you’re camping. I’ve never eaten sea asparagus and I’d like to try it. I bet it’s insanely good for you. And salty…mmm.

More things for sale at the farmers market. Garlic greens, flowers, and lovely bottles/vases by Miyuki Shinkai. I love the sense of community and relaxed, quiet pace here. I’ll just go ahead and say it: little towns kick city ass any day!

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