Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Gift for a Friend

Our sister Irene was always looking for something special with peacocks on it for her sister-in-law; Teena loves peacocks and are quite meaningful for her. Irene always had a good eye for hunting down something unique for Teena, so when I saw some yarn the Yarn Enabler dyed in a colourway she named "Peacock." I knew I had to get some to make something for Teena.

Then Yarn Enabler brought a couple of skeins of the "Peacock" yarn to Knit Night at our local yarn store. She had dyed a couple of different yarn bases and they were both beautiful but slightly different. It is amazing how different each yarn base affects how the dyes absorb. The woman who had ordered the colour originally bought the ones she wanted . . . but there was one left that she didn't want. It was 75% Superwash merino and 25% nylon sock yarn! Soft and squishy! So I said "Sold!"

Now that I had a skein I had to find a pattern to do this gorgeous colour justice. Baadeck Yarns posted a free pattern that intrigued me. I looked it up on Ravelry and thought it a perfect match for this yarn and for Teena. The pattern is Seaglass by Jessamyn Leigh.

The pattern is written for using DK weight yarn and I was using sock weight. I knit it up to the initial specifications of the pattern just to get a feel for it. I loved how this pattern and yarn look together, but it was way too small. I frogged it after weighing the finished scarf, then figuring out how much to adjust the cast-on to make the scarf.

Once I made the pattern adjustments, the scarf knit up quickly. I worked on it while away on holidays: knitting in the car, by the pool, or just when having a quiet evening back at the room.

Back home, I took it to Knit Night and they loved how it turned out, including Yarn Enabler. But more importantly, Teena loved it!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Fashion Friday - Three Ways to Wear a Knit Shawl

For today's Fashion Friday, we're talking shawls. While not quite the same as ponchos, which are everywhere this season, shawls are truly versatile accessories. These mid-size triangles can be worn multiple ways. First up: two ways to wear your shawl for that funky and comfortable "boho" look.

To start your boho look, wear a sheer top over a tank or long-sleeved T-shirt. Worn with tights, ballet flats and a leather tote, your shawl can either be worn traditionally (shown above, over both shoulders, point down the back) or “rolled” to a narrow shape and tied (see below). This look would be great for running around or, better yet, for travelling. The rolled shawl is a nice accessory as you move through platforms or gates; then, once seated, unroll and throw over your shoulders to keep you warm.

The final look takes traditional accessories and amps them up for a fun look with your LBD. How about wearing your pearl necklace twisted around your wrist as a bracelet? Then add a funky cocktail ring and pearl-studded clutch to really make your look vintage. And we always we need a wrap, so why not keep the vintage look with a colourful shawl? While everything is vintage, this really ain't your grandma's look!

So there you have it: a shawl provides function, style, warmth.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Margaret's Green Sunray Shawl

It's finished! You may recall I started working on this project back in April. Yikes! Back then I named it the "Spring Greens" shawl because it seemed so timely. Now that I've completed this project, though, it's simply a green Sunray Shawl. No matter the name, I'm delighted with how it turned out.

While working on this project I came across this excerpt from "Answer to a Child's Question" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

But green leaves, and blossoms, and sunny warm weather,
And singing, and loving -- all come back together.
But the lark is so brimful of gladness and love,
The green fields below him, the blue sky above,
That he sings, and he sings; and for ever sings he--
"I love my Love, and my Love loves me!"

These few words really resonated with me because of knitting this shawl in April and seeing everything "green up" throughout the month. And the sentiment of this piece is just so . . . perfect. This shawl is exactly like Spring: green and bright and warming, both physically and to the heart. 

No matter the season, green is such an inviting and calm colour. It's great to surround yourself with green, sitting in the garden or wrapped in a shawl. Green allows you to be "brimful of gladness and love."


Friday, October 9, 2015

Fashion Friday - How to Wear an Orange Cowl

Welcome to a new feature of our blog! In Fashion Friday posts, we'll take one item from our shop and show how you can wear it in a couple of different ways. We'll use items from our own closets because we think we have pieces most women would have.

For our first post, we'll show you how to wear the "Mean Tangerine" cowl. We know orange isn't a colour for everyone. But this time of year—Autumn in southern Ontario—we are seeing a lot of it in nature: leaves are changing; mums are in bloom; and pumpkins are everywhere. And this year orange is being seen in fashion magazines as a hot colour trend. So why not add a touch to your wardrobe? Here's how:

First, how about wearing this for a night out with the girls? We've paired this bright cowl with a couple this Fall's trends: an animal print topped with a black leather jacket. Accessories include black pumps and a black clutch. Sure, you will be seen. But an orange cowl will ensure you'll be noticed

Here's a completely different look with the exact same cowl. 

Our other look is much more casual, kind of a meeting-friends-for-coffee-after-running-errands look. Jeans, a long-sleeved gray T-shirt, and a gray boyfriend cardigan accessorized by a brown fringe bag and hiking boots. The orange cowl adds a pop of colour to a neutral wardrobe and is just the right size to keep you warm without getting too hot. Perfect!