I’m really happy to have finished my Treit pullover.

Treit (Ravelry link) is a lovely design by Kate Davies. The original pattern design is cropped and slightly boxy and looks great as a layering piece over a blouse. I choose to knit it with a linen blend, so in my head it took on a summer tee vibe rather than an autumn layer vibe. (Which makes it terribly inconvenient that I have finished it in October instead of May!)

The yarn is a wool and linen blend by Karin Öberg, called Kalinka 21, which I purchased from Ginger Twist Studio. It is 55% linen and 45% wool, sportweight blend that comes in some fantastic, bright shades. (This one is called Lime.) A 100 gram skein has 350 metres; I bought 3 skeins but knitted this tee with only two skeins! That makes this tee a super bargain! And see how beautifully it takes lace:

As with all of Kate’s designs, the pattern is beautifully written and edited with a great eye for the finest detail. The lace pattern is really pretty. It is a super fast knit. It took me exactly 4 weeks to knit this – and then another 4 weeks in which it hung around in a pile somewhere waiting for me to take the half hour necessary to graft the underarm stitches and weave in the ends.

I made the following adjustments:

1. I made it longer. This one measures 13.5 inches from the hem to the underarm, which adds 3 inches to the length.

2. I added waist shaping. I put in three sets of paired decreases and increases to add some shape at the waist.

3. I added fewer decreases at the neckline. The pattern in this size called for 108 stitches for the neck ribbing; I thought that would bring the neckline in too far, so on the last set of decreases, I made fewer of them, bringing the number of stitches down to 120 for the neck ribbing.

4. I knitted it with negative ease. I was a little under gauge, so I knitted the size 41 to get 39 inches at the chest, which gives 3 inches of negative ease.

These adjustments give it a more curvy shape instead of a short and boxy shape.

While waiting for Doug to fiddle with camera settings, I threw on a cowl to keep warm and sat down with my knitting to knock out a row. Doug snapped a shot:

I realised that I was wearing a Kate Davies-designed tee with a Kate Davies-designed cowl (knitted in Kate Davies wool), while knitting another Kate Davies design. Do you sense a theme, here? (I blogged about the lovely cowl here.)

Wishing you a lovely weekend and some peaceful knitting!

New stuff and some cool projects

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a cooperative effort between seven small independent yarn shops – iKnit7.  I made purchases at three of the shops during their week-long extravaganza and now have some new stuff to show you.  Here it is:


I decided to try two new-to-me yarns.  The yellow yarn is John Arbon Knit by numbers, a DK wool, in the shade KBN53.  There are 5 of these skeins, the rest are wrapped up in the polka-dot wrapping.  I plan to use this to knit a cute little cardi to wear with summer dresses.  The pattern, Vodka Lemonade, is designed by Thea Colman:


© 2012 Caro Sheridan

The yarn is totally lovely – very soft and plump and cushy with great definition.  Here is my swatch:


I bought the John Arbon yarn and three sets of KnitPro Zing DPNs from A Yarn Story in Bath.  They also sent me a cute project bag.

The green yarn is Kalinka 21, a blend of 55% linen, 45% wool, produced in Sweden, and purchased from Ginger Twist Studio, a small yarn shop in Edinburgh.  I was intrigued by the idea of a wool-linen blend, and loved this spring-y green.  I plan to use it to knit Tulpe, a pullover designed by Lisa Hannes:

Tulpe_Top_L_01_s_medium2 (1)

by maliha

I was also sent some lovely gifts by Ginger Twist – a project bag, two balls of yarn (the brown and beige), and some cool ceramic buttons.

From the third shop, Knit with Attitude, a bought three sets of Knit Pro Zing circulars, and a fantastic project bag from Kelly Connor designs.  The bag is big; large enough to accomodate a big project.  Here it is with the whole kit and kaboodle from the first photo stashed inside, and room to boot:


I’m really happy with my new stuff, and particularly pleased to support small shops during this difficult time.  It is also fun to have new yarns to work with and a few new projects on my needles.

A cooperative yarn venture

The yarn community is full of many small vendors who are particularly vulnerable to the current situation.  You might think that this would lead to a cut-throat approach to marketing; they are, after all, in competition for spending dollars in a time of great economic uncertainty.   What I have seen is very different, with a number of incredibly supportive and cooperative ventures that have sprung up among small vendors and producers, whose goal is not just to survive in this chaos, but to help the entire community weather the storm.  By helping the community, they help each other.

You may be aware of any number of examples of this community spirit, but I am going to point out one that has captured my attention.  iknit7 is a cooperative venture among seven small independent yarn shops in the UK and Ireland – A Yarn Story, Emily Foulds, Ginger Twist Studio, Knit with Attitude, This is Knit, Tribe Yarns, and Wild and Woolly.  They say: “We know that the best way to survive and thrive in the face of crazy unprecedented odds is to work together. When all of the madness kicked off and we were confronting circumstances beyond our wildest worst-case scenarios we banded together for support, ideas and way forward.”  They have organised an event – Virtual Yarn Extravaganza – from the 25th -30th of May, with discounts, prizes, gifts, and a chance to virtually experience these small shops, meet their owners, and discover what makes them unique.

It is this last point which really struck me – each of these shops has a personality and the collaboration so far seems to be a celebration of the unique character of each shop, presented with such good cheer and honest enthusiasm, its left me very impressed.  I especially loved their video – iknit7 Who We Are – Pass the Mic, in which they each told why they loved another’s shop.

I already know four of these shops, although only one in person.  Anna, of Wild and Wooly in Hackney, London, fielded multiple phone calls and emails and was a fantastic sounding board when she helped me to pick out the yarns for Leah’s Snow Flower.  I bought the yarn for this sweater from Knit with Attititude, who were especially helpful when I had to totally re-envision the project and introduce a second colour of yarn.  I heard Carmen, from A Yarn Story, speak at a yarn festival, and then admired her beautiful stand and bought a range of haberdashery from her.  (I am also signed up to attend a knitting retreat with her in October!)  Doug and I have visited Tribe Yarns in Richmond, London, both in their old digs and their brand new digs.  The owner, Milli, convinced me to buy the gorgeous yarn I used in my Cool Boots shawl (the neutral version).  She also gave us great advice on where to eat and shop and wander locally.  The other three shops look very cool.  I will seek them out when travelling is allowed again, and until then, I plan to enjoy this event.  (And likely buy some yarn.)

When the world gets crazy, its nice to see the yarn community getting together, supporting each other, and being creative.  I know there is a lot of virtual knitting goodness going on world-wide; I hope that you have had a chance to participate in some.  Keep knitting and stay safe.