knitting · personal knitting

Brionay Scarf Test Knit

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Yup, another test knit. I love doing test knits for other designers as it forces you to produce an FO (you have a deadline). It’s great for practicing the art of knitting. Finally, as an aspiring designer who has a few patterns under her belt, it gets you better aquainted with all the aspects of producing a pattern that will work well for other knitters. I never used test knitters for my 5 or so patterns, and thankfully I’ve never had any problems, but now I see it’s benefits!

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Pattern: Brionay Scarf
YarnCascade Eco +
Needles:
 US 7 / 4.5mm, US 10 1/2 / 6.5 mm

I feel ultra silly for blogging about a definite winter accessory, but it is what it is. I’ll appreciate it’s existence about 7 months from now!

The design is very simple and yet has a great effect. It’s done in a bulky weight yarn and I chose Cascade Eco+ because it’s a LOT of yardage in one skein. I didn’t have a lot of colours to choose from at my LYS, but seeing as I have a thing for green, and this was one of “my” greens, it was an easy choice.

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Paprika Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Soup

On one of the blogs I follow, there was a tantilizing post for Paprika Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Soup. Last night I made it and let me tell you, its a keeper! It calls for roasting the vegetables in the oven with oil, but since I avoid using processed oils, I used vegetable broth instead. Worked just dandy.

freshly roasted veggies

veggies added to broth then simmered

voila!

Since we still have our fair share of chilly days here on the east coast, it’s a welcome dish!

knitting · personal knitting

Haworth Hot Water Bottle Cozy

I had determined to cut back on my volunteering to do test knits. It had become a sort of addiction, hunting and beating other potential knitters at getting in on the typically short list of testers requested. Once I saw this though, I was on it like mud to a yellow rubber boot. Three testers were requested and I was number two!! The designer, Julie, was bombarded with immediate excited feedback, so I’m glad I was in the right place at the right time.

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Pattern: Haworth Hot Water Bottle Cozy
Yarn: MacAusland’s Woolen Mills, Aran, (less than 1 skein)
Needles:
 US 7 / 4.5mm, US 8 / 5 mm

I’ll say right out that I’m not thrilled with my yarn choice on this sweet project, because something much softer (like Cascade 220 or Berroco Vintage) would have been better than the rough and scruffy wool I used.  Still, despite that, this pattern was a joy to work up.  The design and execution is flawless.  Everything worked as it should, so I’d say I scored on getting in on the testing.

It was my first time knitting from a chart, and I gotta say I’m hooked!  I can check “conquer my fear of knitting charts” off my list of things to accomplish.

This would make a great gift for next Christmas, or as part of a care package for a cold fighting friend.

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Here’s the link for the Julie’s project page on Ravelry.  The pattern is still in the testing phase but will be released shortly.

knitting · personal knitting

Comfort Cowl Test Knit

Yes, spring is beginning to rear it’s lovely head here on the east coast, but I’m knitting up a fine collection for fall/winter 2012. Blame it on some great test knits too tempting to resist!

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Pattern: Comfort Cowl
YarnCascade 220 Heathers, Aspen (2 skeins)
Needles:
 US 8 / 5 mm

Meet Comfort Cowl, the newly released pattern from Madeleine, aka Yarn Madness on Ravelry. Here in Canada, you can’t have too many warm and cozy accessories for your neck.

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This is essentially an infinity scarf and I love how it wraps around you twice to give you that much needed cozy warm feeling. It’s definitely named well!

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I’ve worn it a few times already and I can attest to it’s comfort!  Would make a great gift for someone next Christmas. 🙂

knitting · personal knitting

Zest Hat ~ Test Knit Times Two

Simple and sweet is how I’d describe this hat design. I test knit it for Jessica, who has a really sweet blog, you should check it out! I enjoyed knitting this hat so much that I made two. It was also my first time cabling without a needle because you only deal with 2 stitches at a time. Combining that plus lace makes for a perfect hat for future autumns.

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Pattern: Zest Hat (unpublished)
YarnCascade 220 Heathers, River Rock (0.4 skeins)
Needles:
 US 8 / 5 mm

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This version below is knit from New Zealand wool that I bought off ebay years ago for making my felted bags. It’s very scratchy, but it’s in one of my favourites colours. I soaked the hat in wool wash with added hair conditioner, but alas, it didn’t improve it’s feel. Oh well.

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