liberty tova

There's nothing like a surge in temperature and a ray or two of sunshine to start analysing one's wardrobe. There was a time when I wore only dresses but lately I have been favouring trousers which, as luck would have it, means I have a bona fide excuse to sew some tops. Let's face it, there are only so many dresses one can really justify, I think.

I've been talking about dusting down the sewing machine for months now and finally, with the advent of Spring, not to mention a good dose of Vitamin D pouring through the windows, I cut into some prized Liberty fabric. I bought this last summer when we were back in the UK but now can't find a link to its name anywhere. I love it for the very British print with lion, griffin, roses and chariot and if anyone out there can identify it, I'd love you to say.

Isn't sewing a much faster fix than knitting? Once I set my mind to it, I had this made in two very short days. Oh, I haven't told you about the pattern yet .. it's the ubiquitous Tova by Wiksten. I made a Winter version two and a half years ago so I knew it was going to be a successful project but partnered with the tana lawn, it is even better. I must confess I had forgotten about how tricky the placket can be but, taken slowly and with great care, the pieces all work!

This one is a fair bit shorter than the pattern calls for and I also made a larger size than I would normally do. I find this pattern runs a little small across the shoulders and besides, I dislike snug fitting tops. I also dispensed with the collar this time, in favour of simple bias binding around the neckline. Despite being quick to choose the fabric and my pattern, one thing I couldn't decide on throughout the entire project was whether to add buttons to the placket or not. My Winter Tova gapes at the neckline you see. So far, this one is fine (although the weight of buttons could possibly change that) but the deciding factor was that the fuse in my voltage transformer blew before I could get the buttonhole foot out of its box .. fate, I guess. So no buttons!

Are you enjoying some sunshine in your part of the world? Let's hope so!



I'm not going to apologise for my absence this time. There really is no point because I'll probably go and do it again. Not that I mean to, of course .. but that's life for you. You know how it is, it has a habit of getting in the way.

I have a new favourite knit to show you and even this has taken me a while to finish, such are my days at the moment. This is Lila, by Carrie Bostik Hoge of Madder, and I've just realised she is my first jumper knitted in the round. Both Luka and Kaari were created on straight needles (wow, they haven't been used in a while!) and the rest have all been cardigans. Oh, and there's the yarn I must mention, too. Wowee, Swan's Island is just the most heavenly worsted ever. Satisfyingly organic and feeling as blissful as cashmere, it is pure and undyed 85% merino, 15% alpaca goodness.

I loved seeing my Lila develop from a band of garter stitch to gorgeous garment, which I'll need to wear as much as I can because Vancouver is positively bursting with Spring life, sunshine and warmth right now. Details and heaps more pics of Lila are on my Ravelry page, right here.

Well, what to do next? I'm contemplating getting the sewing machine out but as far as knitting goes, let's see. In my favourites right now and contending for the circulars are -

Whispers top
Saco Stripes linen tank
Lola shawl
Brisha shawl

And you? What are you planning for the Springtime? Knitting? Sewing? I'd love to hear ..


sea to sky revisited

I've been on that Sea to Sky Highway again! No, not really but I have knitted up another version of my new Sea to Sky hat pattern. Firstly I wanted to triple (and then some) check my pattern writing but also to see how it looks in a different colour way, with a different yarn. You can never go wrong with Madelinetosh and this Pashmina Worsted, in Silver Fox, is proving itself perfect for the job. It really shows off the stitch definition to the max. Can you see the motion of the sea and the birds flocking between the ocean and mountain range? I am so excited to say the pattern is now live in my Ravelry store so please, do check it out and let me know what you think?

Ooh, before I forget. Are you knitty/yarny types aware of Unwind Brighton? In case you aren't, you really need to know this. Dani of Lioness Arts is organising a knitting festival over the weekend of 12-13 July. She has put together the most amazing set of classes to be taught by a prestige selection of designers, there will be talks to attend and a 'marketplace' (note to start saving the pennies). I am so excited about this because it so happens I shall be in the UK then and have just booked myself onto a couple of the classes. Do let me know if you're planning on being in Brighton that weekend, it would be fun to catch up with you!

Now, what else to tell. Ah well, to be honest life is pretty sedate at the moment and not much activity has occurred so far this year. I have only just managed to shake off the lurgy that has bothered me since Christmas and now, unfortunately, the Model has succumbed. That's exciting isn't it? So go on then, what are you up to?



Still the snow doesn't come and our views of the mountains are as beautiful as ever, yet sadly green. We have an impatient boy child on our hands, desperate to be reunited with his skis so we've had to make do with the skating rink instead. The husband is becoming pretty keen actually .. I think he may be turning a bit Canadian on us, and making good progress with that if the hockey app on his phone is anything to go by. Every time there's a match in progress, his phone sounds to let him know when a goal has scored. It's just unfortunate the Vancouver Canucks aren't doing the right stuff at the moment!

But it couldn't be more aptly named, this latest cardigan of mine .. it truly is cosy. I adore the relaxed style and fit of Cosy (me) and as for the yarn, I am in love. Pure French organic merino wool from here and not such an extravagance really, despite the fact I had it sent from France. Just the waiting that was the killer. You know what it's like, when you want to start something? You don't want to have to wait, you need to start it NOW! Here's the link to Ravelry for more details and pics.

Hmm, what to start next. I have my eyes on all these goodies -

Lila jumper
Uniform cardigan
Lumen shawl
Kelpie shawl
Color Affection shawl

and wish to goodness I could knit faster!

What are you up to, I wonder?


sea to sky

Highway 99 in British Columbia has a variety of other names but the area between Vancouver and Whistler, a stretch of around 100 km, is known as The Sea to Sky Highway. It truly is a trip to savour because, unlike most main roads, the views are out of this world. The senses are rewarded by a huge expanse of ocean with mountains beyond and a vast open sky that blend together so effortlessly. Up in that sky you will often see bald eagles soaring high up on the thermals and down on the sea, passenger ferries that, although we know are so huge, appear comically tiny against the impressive backdrop. You cannot fail to be inspired by such a feast for the eyes.

This hat came out of one such trip. A flock of seabirds soaring over an undulating sea, mountains ever present and majestic and it was on the verge of twilight when the last remnant of sunset glimmered on the water below.

The yarn is local to BC too. Lovely hand dyed Sweet Fiber, springy, beautifully coloured goodness that knits and blocks like a dream. More details here on Ravelry.

So yet again we are reeling from one of Millie Mittens disappearing acts, this time an all-nighter. Oh boy, did I had a fitful night last night, not to mention a pit in the stomach, wondering where on earth she could be this time. I have to say that despite the raised stress levels, searching for a lost pet is a great way to meet the local residents, several of whom insisted on searching with us last night. My hopes were still buoyant, though, because we know all about her tree climbing escapades, she may be great at going up .. but coming down is an entirely separate matter.  Sure enough, this morning I found her high up in a different set of branches, adamant as ever that she would not come down unaided. Hurrah for neighbours with extra long ladders. Early to bed tonight!

Have a great week, everyone!



Merry Christmas everyone, I hope Santa has been good to you today!

PS. Can you see me on the tree? haha!


warm the cockles

Oh my word I am feeling this cold, are you? Only if you are in the Northern Hemisphere, it goes without saying, but I tell you it is a bone chilling temperature here and my neck cries out to be warmed. Whilst we are, in truth, in plus degree conditions and have friends living in Calgary where it is -28 (good grief), I am still suffering.

One good thing about this weather is it's the perfect excuse to sit and knit and I have so many ideas in my head for knitting patterns I want to write down. Warm the Cockles* is one that has been circulating in the grey matter for a long long time. Every so often practicality and functionality must take precedence over the delicate and pretty and this most definitely falls into that category. Now, I do love a good scarf but unless it is tied around the neck securely, it is wont to flop away, causing the wearer to flick it back upwards time and time again in a bid to stay warm. Ah, but tuck it into a little gully and pull it downwards (however much you care to), this little baby is going to stay right where it is and never be bothersome again. I'm heading for trouble though, I know it ... my man has his beady eyes on my scarf right now!

I've got to tell you about this yarn. Malabrigo's Mecha, oh my giddy aunt have you come across this before? It is springy, it is squishy and it is really rather luxurious. With a richness in colour and a pleasing bulky weight my husband and I are well and truly in business for the even colder weather that is undoubtedly coming our way!! More details and pics can be found right here on Ravelry and I'm thinking about putting the pattern up on there too**. Will keep you posted.

Goodness, is it really only two more sleeps? We have excited children in the house who keep reminding us of that. So here's wishing you the happiest of preparations. Are you organised?

* 'warm the cockles' is an old English saying which means to give one a comforting glow of pleasure or sentimental contentment. It is unclear from where and when the phrase originated, however Charles Darwin wrote in 1858, "I have just had the innermost cockles of my heart rejoiced by a letter from Lyell."

Update : This pattern is now available for purchase on Ravelry. You may also buy the pattern for £2 GBP here by clicking on the link below. Once you have completed payment I will then email the pattern pdf over to you. Please don't forget to complete your email address details in the box below ..

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