Knitting Bingo cards

Knitting BINGO!

Last week I took a sock knitting class at my LYS, and the instructor introduced me to a new idea: Knitting BINGO! Anyone can make their own BINGO card – a 5×5 grid, 3×3, whatever works for you. You put a goal in each square of the grid, such as knit a hat, use stash yarn, or learn a new technique. Sylvia, the sock class instructor, made a beautiful “card” on fabric, and she’s embroidering each square as she completes it! Check it out here on Instagram.Free Knitting Bingo Card

I decided to go a more computer-y route – I used Excel to create my grid, then added cute graphics. My Bingo card with my goals for this year is on the right. You can also see the half-a-sock progress that I’ve made towards my goals!  (Sadly, no, that’s not stash yarn. I bought it just for this knitting project).

Barents Hat KAL

Hey everyone, I feel like I’m STILL recovering from Christmas holidays! It’s partly because the kids don’t go back to school until Monday :/  I know I’ve been pretty absent lately, but the good news is because I was spending time with family, and I haven’t been spending as much time on my devices! It’s definitely a step in a good direction, and the break very good for me 🙂 I’m feeling recharged and ready to go!

Erin's Barents hat knit up in Morehouse Featherlight: Geranium
Erin’s Barents hat knit up in Morehouse Featherlight: Geranium

On that note, I’m so excited about the Knit-a-long (KAL) that I’m collaborating with Morehouse Farm on! I met Erin when she test knit the Barents Hat for me: she was interested in offering the pattern as a kit with her family farm’s yarn, and since I had been admiring the yarn she used to knit her hat, I obviously agreed.  Her family’s farm raises Merino sheep, and their yarn looks spectacular (I should have some in my hands later this month, and I’ll be sure to let you know what it’s like!).

Call for Testers: Barents Hat and Cowl Set

Barents Hat & Cowl

This summer I was accepted as a Yarn Ambassador from The Fibre Co., for which they sent me four skeins of delicious Tundra yarn in their new colours. I had never used Tundra before, but immediately fell in love with the soft and airy texture of this bulky weight yarn. I immediately knew that I wanted to create something I could cuddle up in, and keep close to my skin. It took a few tries, but I finally created a cowl that is soft, cozy and so very warm! It is inspired by the colorway names themselves (Blue Lagoon and Barents Sea) – the stitch pattern reminds me of waves in a choppy and icy sea, and the colors complement that perfectly.

Because of the high percentage of baby alpaca and the bit of silk in this yarn, it is quite drapey (and so soft!). I’ve used a tighter gauge than recommended to create a cowl with some structure to it. I also finish the cowl off with ribbing that is designed to tuck inside for a 2-layer cowl design that helps to show off the stitch pattern on the outside of the cowl, and helps keep it close to your neck for extra warmth (a must in our Canadian winters!).

The hat uses the same stitch pattern, and has a slight slouch. It’s quite warm due to the fibre content of the Tundra yarn, despite it’s somewhat lacy appearance.


Cowl design

This hat and cowl set is nearly ready for testing. It will be tech edited before you receive it to ensure a mostly painless testing experience. This set is a quick knit perfect for last-minute gifts as it’s knit in a bulky weight yarn. I used The Fibre Co.’s Tundra yarn, and I can’t recommend it enough. It is soft and luscious (a blend of baby alpaca, merino and silk is hard to beat!), and I absolutely love their commitment to sustainable and ethical processes throughout their creation process. I recommend using Tundra if you can get it, but I understand that’s not always possible – just let me know what yarn you plan to use for the test knit!

If you’re interested in testing, just send me a message to Sarah@KnitaBitofWhimsy.com and tell me about yourself! In particular, let me know what if you would like to make the hat and/or the cowl, and leave your social media links (including Ravelry) so I can say hello and see what you’re up to!

picture of Sarah wearing the Barents Cowl

 

Deadlines:

  • Testers chosen Nov 26, 2017.
  • You will receive the pattern Nov 27, 2017.
  •  Test knit is due Dec 11, 2017.

 

Needles Required:

Cowl:

  • Size US 7 (4.5 mm) 24” (60cm) circular needles

Hat:

  • Size US10 (6mm) 16” (40cm) circular needles
  • Size US10 (6mm) Set of 5 Double Pointed Needles (or a longer circular to use the Magic Loop method)

 

Yarn Required: 

note: in the samples shown, the Main Colour (MC), and Contrasting Colour (CC) are reversed in the hat and the cowl.

Cowl:

  • Main Colour:  approx 120 yards bulky weight yarn.
  • Contrast Colour: approximately 60 yards bulky weight yarn.

Hat:

  • Main Colour: approximately 87 yards of bulky weight yarn
  • Contrast Colour: approximately 22 yards of bulky weight yarn

Barents hat

Requirements for testers:
  • Let me know what yarn you will be using for the test.
  • Specify if you would prefer to test the hat or the cowl.
  • Provide a progress update once a week in the testing thread on Facebook.
  • Create a Ravelry project page for the test knit.
  •  Give feedback on the pattern and knitting experience, and if tutorials or extra features would be helpful (super important!).
  •  Only sign up if you can meet the deadline!

Compensation:

  •  You will be given a copy of both the hat and cowl final patterns upon release.
  • You will also receive a coupon code allowing you to download an additional pattern from my Ravelry store once your project is linked to the pattern (once pattern is published). This code won’t expire.

 

 

Title image: Abandoned cowl

The Abandoned Cowl

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook  you may have seen my most recent creation, a lovely blue cowl.

The inspiration for this cowl was the yarn sent to me from The Fibre Co. I was chosen as a yarn ambassador for them in August, and they sent me two of their latest colorways: Barents Sea and Blue Lagoon on their Tundra base (it’s absolutely lovely – I’ve written about it once already here).

A close up of Tundra yarn

Tundra yarn with a swift

The yarn cried out to become a cowl – it’s so soft I wanted to keep it next-to-skin close! With the colorway names, I immediately thought about water, oceans, and waves. I found the perfect stitch pattern, and cast on immediately.

Knit cowl - first edition

In the first version, I tried to combine the two colorways, but didn’t love the result – just a bit too messy, and it was a little too long, too.  So I cast on again, and was so, so, SO excited about the result! Simple, but pretty, soft and squishy. I loved it, and squeezed it, and blocked it lightly. And went on my way browsing Pinterest for the next big idea.

But that’s when it happened.

There was my cowl. In a different color. Published almost 10 years ago. WHAAAAT?!?!

Yep, turns out great minds really do think alike! We even cast on the same number of stitches! I was pretty bummed for a while, but as I’ve shared my story, I’ve learned that it totally happens, and I’ve realized it would be MUCH more embarrassing to have published it, THEN found the pattern (or heard from the original designer 😮 ). It’s a part of designing, and while we *try* not to create the same thing as someone else, it’s impossible to know every pattern that’s ever been published … especially when we call the patterns different things 😉

So for now it’s abandoned, and I won’t be sending out a call for knitters. But I do love the lace pattern, so I *may* have just cast on a hat 😉

 

Cowl knit with Tundra yarn from the Fibre Co.

Pin for the Abandoned Cowl

Yarn review of Tundra by Knit a Bit of Whimsy

On My Needles …

Today I’ve got some super squishy Tundra yarn from The Fibre Co on my needles.  It’s a mix of baby alpaca, merino and silk, and oh my goodness, is it soft and awesome! Note: I received 4 skeins of yarn in return for sharing  photos on social media; my opinions are entirely my own. 

Photo of Tundra Yarn

What I love even more than the luxury feel of this yarn, is the story behind it. The Fibre Co uses natural fibres in all their yarns, they don’t use superwash processes, and they focus on sustainability. They know where their raw materials come from, and work closely with everyone through the yarn-making process from shepherds and mills to the yarn shops that sell their yarns and designers who use their yarns.

Kitten with Yarn
Mittens the Kitten approves of this yarn!

I’ve done a little swatching with the yarn I received, and I’m very pleased with how it works up. It holds its shape nicely, shows both cables and lace well (as much as you can create lace with Bulky yarn!), and might be even softer after knitting than it was in the skein! I think I’ve got an idea for a cowl using some of this squishy goodness 🙂

Overall, I’m completely sold on this yarn! It’s soft and lofty, sustainably produced, and it comes in a range of 20 colours (including the brand new Berents Sea and Blue Lagoon that they sent me). And I’ve always been partial to bulky yarns – they work up so quickly!

You can learn more about the Fibre Co. here: www.thefibreco.com/ 

And check out all their new colours on their instagram page: www.instagram.com/thefibrecompany/ or browse the hashtags #tfcbrights and #tfcneutrals. I was one of 12 yarn ambassadors chosen to share photos of their new colours! There are some beautiful things happening ❤

And while you’re at it, check out their contest – you could win 3 skeins of yarn in one of the new colours! www.thefibreco.com/competition/

Three things …

Hi there! I’m so glad you could join my in my inaugural blog post. I was having trouble coming up with what to write, so I thought first things first: introductions!

My About page, Etsy page, etc, all have the major details: I’m a knitter, I sell my items on Etsy, but now I’m gonna be a pattern designer! (Haha, that makes me feel like a small town girl showing up in LA to become an actress. I AM from a very small town, so it might be accurate… ). Here are a few things you might not have heard yet.

3 things you might not know about me:
  1. I have a MSc (and 2 years of a PhD!) in Psychology, but quit because I decided I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life working evenings and weekends as a professor. I didn’t have a plan in place, but we decided to move back to our home province (closer to family), and figure things out … 5 years later, here I am!
  2. I have 2 kids (my daughter is 7, and my son is 5), and just went from no pets to getting a puppy and a kitten almost at the same time. Apparently I had been feeling too relaxed, so had to increase my level of responsibility exponentially.
  3. I’m a Pisces, a Dreamer Fibre Muse, and an Innocent Archetype. That means I’ve got more ideas roaming around in my head than I can ever get down on paper; I’m messy, my husband thinks I’m crazy, and I love creating things! At the same time I crave safety, simplicity and natural products. Sometimes it all works well together 😉

 

So that’s me! What about you? Care to play along? Or hey, go take one of the tests I linked to above, and tell me what your archetype or fibre muse personality is 🙂