It always feels great to come to the end of a knitting project. That feeling is amplified when completing coincides with the new year – it sets the year off on the right foot and is a sign of more knits to come, I think. In that spirit, two recent FOs:
Cartridge belt ribbed scarf
I completed the purple cartridge-belt ribbed scarf and shipped it to its new home. It was happily received in the first week of January. I declare it my first finished object of 2017!
At 60” in length, it is the longest scarf I’ve ever knit. The worsted Paton’s Classic wool was a joy to work with, yielding lustrous, light-catching bright purple fabric with nice stitch definition.
Before sending it off, I couldn’t resist attaching a handmade materials- and care-label. Adding a little drawing to my knit is the veritable cherry on top of the knitting sundae – a continuation of the handmade love in another form (also, the thought of yarn made from purple sheep was too delightful to pass up).
My second finished object of the new year is a ‘knit helmet’ – a gift for my father completed on January 9th. With Canadian winters being what they are, knitting something like this for him has long been on my bucket-list. Worked in the round in 2 x 2 rib, this project knit up quicker than I expected as I took to my size 7 circulars on streetcar and subway commutes across the city. The ‘slit’ for the face is worked by casting off a number of stitches mid-round, completing the round, then using the backwards loop cast on to work a new set of stitches directly above the ones that were cast off, introducing a gap. The new stitches are then worked in-pattern.
The yarn – Cascade 220 Heathers – was purchased at the The Purple Purl (1162 Queen St. E) in Toronto’s Leslieville neighbourhood. I still remember my first visit to the store two Thursdays ago. With that night’s temperatures dipping down to -16 C, I bundled up, took the eastbound 501 streetcar to Queen and Jones, and walked into this small, purple-painted yarn shop. Stepping in, I was immediately flooded by fields of colour and softness which worked an instant thawing effect. A knitting table sat in the center of the space where the shop’s knitting and crochet workshops are also held. While perusing some superwash merino hanks, I overheard a seasoned knitter speaking heatedly with staff about finding the absolute right yarn for the sweater she was planning while another employee, donning a baby blue hand-knit cap, wound hanks into cakes on a wooden umbrella swift. Another shopper soon entered the store and said that, while her stash was already voluminous, she couldn’t resist coming in “just to look. I always need to have a look.” The man standing at the register carefully worked a fine, marled grey sock on DPNs, and I was comforted by hearing the question come up repeatedly in the surrounding chit chat: What are you making? – that earnest invitation to some knitter’s shop-talk. With the temperatures steadily dropping outside, I was thoroughly warmed by this cozy yarn haven in Toronto’s east end.
But I digress. Back to the helmet. I chose this pattern for its versatility. The helmet is wonderfully dual purpose and incredibly practical: it can be worn as is, as a balaclava, or can be conveniently rolled up into a beanie. This flexibility makes this knit ideal for multi-weather wear. I just love this thing.
This pattern is taken from The Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) website (but is also on Ravelry) as part of the SCI’s Christmas at Sea program. A New York-based organization for maritime workers – “North America’s largest mariners’ service agency” – the SCI makes available a list of maritime garment knitting projects which interested knitters can donate, along with a personal holiday greeting. Donated garments and greetings are collected year round, and are sent to maritime workers stationed away from their families during the holidays. For more maritime patterns, or to donate to the Christmas at Sea program, visit here.
My wi-fi access has been spotty as of late, but I look forward to catching up and reading (with relish!) about your wonderful comings and goings, dear bloggers. In the meantime, wishing you a very happy Monday from Toronto’s Harbourfront.