Monday, 18 January 2016

Finished object file: Sawmill River Hat | Brooklyn Tweed Loft

I finished this hat about a week ago but with the busyness of kids at home on summer holidays I haven't had much time to think about blogging.

This Sawmill River Hat by Bonnie Sennott was a spot of selfish knitting that gave me the opportunity to have a play with Brooklyn Tweed's Loft (fingering weight) yarn. Just before Christmas, Yarn + Co., a LYS in Melbourne got in a shipment of BT and to my knowledge they are the only Australian stockists of this much sought after yarn. I was quite beside myself with excitement and didn't hesitate to pick up a few skeins as a Christmas present for myself.

When it came to picking a pattern for this gorgeous yarn I wanted a single skein project and something with cables. Bonnie Sennott's hat pattern fit the bill exactly I even went with the sample colour, Hayloft.

When swatching with the loft the yarn broken as I was casting on with the long tail method. I had read that this yarn due to it's woollen spun nature was very delicate and this break just confirmed that. So my first few rows were knit quite gingerly for fear of breaking the yarn again. Once I got going I was more confident and familiar with the feel of the yarn in my hand so that nervousness disappated.

In my hand the yarn felt rustic but not itchy. It is a lovely tweedy yarn spun from  American grown Targhee-Columbia wool. I don't know much about this breed but I must say the wool is a delight to wear against the skin. At first touch it may not feel very appealing especially to knitters who are mostly merino users. It does not have that same squishiness of merino wool but when you look closely at the strand it is clear that it is undoubtedly soft, lofty and delicate. 

Shortly after I cast on this project I was browsing around Bonnie's Ravelry group page and noticed that she was hosting a 'Selfish knitting KAL'. My project met the requirements of the KAL; being a new project cast on in the new year, it was one of Bonnie's patterns and I was knitting it for myself. I joined in the chatter and was quite excited that I was ticking off my goal of attempting more KALs this year. I finished well ahead of the cut off date and I just enjoy watching and commenting on my fellow knitters' progress now. There is also a pretty good prize on offer but I don't think my chances of winning it are pretty high.

Such well defined cables from the BT Loft.

I did make a few modifications to the pattern and you can read my project notes from my Ravelry page here.

I liked knitting with the BT Loft and I really enjoyed the cables of the pattern. I am happy that I have another soft and snuggly hat ready for me in the winter and now that I've experienced this highly talked about yarn, I'm dreaming of more projects that I can make with it.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

2016, another year of making

New projects in the new year. I cast on a Sawmill River Hat with some yummy Brooklyn Tweed Loft that I have been so keen to try for so long.

Now that we have flipped over to the new year I wanted to share my making goals for 2016. I'm not going to be as specific as last year's post that listed what I aimed to make each month over the course of the year. I do have similar goals this year based on when the birthdays of family members fall but I think there's no need to write them out again.

My general making goals for 2016 are:
  • To stash less and to knit my stash.
  • To continue to try new things especially more colourwork. 
  • To continue to build my handmade wardrobe and the kids' wardrobes.
  • To participate in more KALs and even try a MKAL*.
  • To always have a pair of socks in progress because socks make good travel knitting.
Stash less
I have been thinking about this goal a lot and I have come up with a plan to help me stash less. My aim is to select the yarn that I wish to work with and to cast on the project that I had set it aside for. I have usually been a person who finds a pattern and then tries to match yarn for it and often I feel like the yarn in my stash is not suitable because I have either already intended it for something else or I don't think it is the right yarn for the project. Then I start looking for some new yarn and of course we know how the story goes. Therefore, by committing myself to knit the beautiful fibres that I already own I get to not only stash bust but also to make those patterns that I have been queueing for so long.

New techniques
As a maker there are always new things to learn and I am still such a newbie at knitting and sewing. Everything that I attempt with the sewing is new for me so in this area I won't find it hard to broaded my skill set. With knitting I want to try more colourwork, especially stranded colourwork techniques and possibly attempt a fair isle styled project. I will also hopefully develop more confidence with pairing colours together to make pleasing and attractive garments.

Handmade wardrobe
This will involve attempting to make those jumpers that I have been dreaming of, not only for myself but also for my children and husband. I have also been building a bit of a fabric stash so I really need to get onto the sewing machine and smash out some tops, dresses and shorts for myself and the kids. The new machine that my darling Hubs gave me for Christmas will definitely help with achieving this goal. Such gifts show me that I am truly blessed to be known and loved.

KALs and MKALs
There is such a buzz when you are making something socially. There is the joy of chatting about pattern and yarn selection and the kudos you get when you actually finish the object and post it in the forums. I'd like to try a mystery knit too because it sounds like a fun and interesting challenge to take on.

I have already cast on a pair of toe up socks and I'm knitting two at a time on magic loop. There are surprisingly so many aspects to sock knitting and so many different techniques and styles. Just working on socks will be helping me to learn new things and they make great projects to take along everywhere.

I predict that throughout the year I will be making for my family and friends as usual but I hope that there will also be a fair bit more 'me' knitting in the months to come.

What are your goals for the year? Wishing you all a happy new year and I look forward to seeing your making in the year to come.

*MKAL = Mystery Knit a long.