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.
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.
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.
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.
Pattern: Zest Hat (unpublished)
Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers, River Rock (0.4 skeins)
Needles: US 8 / 5 mm
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.
Yet another test knit, this time a neck warmer design by Maja Jokanovic.
Pattern: Terra Neck-Warmer
Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers, River Rock
Needles: US 7 / 4.5 mm
It was fast and fun, and came together fabulously with some very cheap yet gorgeous buttons. Positioning and sewing buttons is not one of my favourite tasks in the world, but with a garter stitch button band, it was easy. Just count 6 ridges between rows and you’re in the right spot.
Maja was great to work with! I’m very new at testing patterns for knitwear designers, and she made it an easy and pleasant experience.
Pattern: Shoulder Shrug
Yarn: Briggs & Little Heritage, Grey
Needles: US 8 / 5.0 mm
Although this project quickly ushered me into a major case of redundancy, I’m really happy with how it turned out. Where it’s 100% wool, it’s very helpful in dealing with our cold Canadian winter days.
I had knit it to the specified length, but then had to rip back quite a few inches once I realized it would wrap around me and then some. I recommend knitting until it reaches around you comfortably – not too tight, not too loose.
I also didn’t knit the ribbed neck section as long as the pattern stated. This meant only needing 3 skeins.
As to how you wear such a thing with a coat, I simply have it up off of my shoulders, basically wearing it as a cowl, with the bulk of it draped in the front. It looks fine and is very protective against chilly weather!
It’s a fun pattern, even with having to rip back several inches after goofing up the cabling once or twice!
Although this design is called “Favourite Cardigan”, and it’s not technically my fav, I’m quite pleased with how this little number turned out.
I adore top down raglan sleeve knits!
I didn’t end up with the intended 3/4 length sleeves, even though I followed the pattern. I had a brain freeze and forgot to even check and see if I liked the length before I did the ribbing and bind off. Even so, I wasn’t displeased enough to change that!
I found some very cheap but very appropriate buttons at the local fabric store, and reinforced the buttonhole band with ribbon.
Pattern: Favourite Cardigan, out of “Custom Knits” by Wendy Bernard
Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers, colour #2429
Needles: US 8 / 5.0 mm
Modifications: Made it full length as opposed to being cropped
Were I to make it again: The design is supposed to end up off the shoulders, but in no way does this happen if the pattern is followed as written. Next time I would cast on more stitches and start the body sooner.