Tag Archives: Lit Knits

First things first

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Before I say anything else, let me just say that fall has arrived. At least in Toronto. Today is one of those glorious fall days with a wide open, deep blue sky and a true crispness in the air. It’s definitely chilly enough in the morning and in the evenings to wear a warm sweater and wish for mittens. It’s Toronto, so we probably (hopefully) haven’t seen the end of warm days for year, but still, it’s nice to be excited about the temperature dropping.

I was never this excited about cooler weather until I started knitting. It’s exciting.

DownTheRabbitHole4

Down the Rabbit Hole mittens, photo Audry Nicklin, from Ravelry

Also exciting: Kimberly Wepplo (commenter #11) is the winner of the Lit Knits giveaway! Congratulations Kimberly! Please let me know how to get in touch with you so I can pass your contact info on to Audrey. You’ll have to let us know what you cast on for first.

This was my first giveaway and I just wanted to thank you all for your enthusiasm! Your comments about the book and its patterns were so much fun to read, and I especially liked that you encouraged each other to try patterns you liked that were a little out of your comfort zone. Audry has put together a gorgeous book, and if you would like your very own copy of Lit Knits, you can buy it either on her website or on Ravelry. There’s still time to get the sweet pre-order deal, that includes both a print and an e-book version – it’s only available until Sept. 25, so now is the time to scoop it up. (There are also still giveaways you can get in on. The blog tour list is here.)

In other news, Burrard is in its final stages, which is perfect, because I could really use a big cozy sweater right now. I blocked the body on the weekend while I was finishing up the arms, which I blocked yesterday. Now I’m sewing in my sleeve caps. These are my first set in sleeves, so I did a lot of reading about how to ease them in, how to seam, etc. If you too are wondering about seaming and/or setting in sleeves, the best resources I found were this Vogue guide to seaming (which covers a ton of different seams, with illustrations) and this Berroco video, which Cassy linked to a few weeks ago. My seams aren’t perfect, but you know what, they aren’t bad.

Half-seamed set-in sleeve. So far so good, I think.

Half-seamed set-in sleeve. So far so good, I think.

I’m hoping to finish the sleeve caps and get started on seaming the body tonight, but even once all the seaming is done, I’ll have the button band and shawl collar to pick up and knit. I was all set to pull this one out in time for the SSKAL deadline, but then I realized that we’re going camping this weekend (backwoods, canoe-in camping) and since there’s no way I’m bringing an unfinished sweater with me, I may have to resign myself to finishing a few days after the deadline. Since this still means I get a finished sweater by the end of next week, I’m not devastated, but it would be nice to make the deadline. Maybe if I don’t sleep quite as much? We’ll see.

So, any tips on seaming or setting in sleeves? Do you see a horrible error in my photo that my novice eyes didn’t catch? Please tell me! I promise a photo of a fully-seamed sweater later this week.

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Lit Knits Giveaway

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Oh my, am I excited about today. I am a knitter, there’s no question about that, but long before I ever picked up a knitting needle, I was a reader. I was the kid who would rather sit and read than do most other things and would often go through multiple books on holidays and camping trips (something that caused me a lot of anxiety when packing because, what if I ran out of books!?).

Lit Knits by Audry Nicklin

Lit Knits by Audry Nicklin

When it came time to go to university, studying English was a no-brainer, and I remain a voracious reader, and while I’m discerning, I’m not a total snob. I read a lot of new books, but one of my favourite things is to go back and reread books I loved as a kid, and thanks to Audry Nicklin’s new collection Lit Knits, I have added 10 classics to my bedside to-(re)read pile.

Deep Sea Wanderer, photo by Audry Nicklin, from Ravelry

Deep Sea Wanderer, photo by Audry Nicklin, from Ravelry

Chances are, you recognize Audry’s name, either because you read her blog or because you’ve seen her designs pop up on Ravelry (among many other things, she designed those incredible pie-shawl star maps, Celestarium and Southern Skies). Her latest collection is ten designs, each inspired by a classic children’s novel – including Alice’s Adventures in WonderlandAnne of Green Gables and Wind in the Willows. Clearly, Audry and I had similar childhoods, because with the exception of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, I’ve read (or been read) all of her inspirations.

Sail to Treasure Island, photo by Audry Nicklin, from Ravelry

Sail to Treasure Island, photo by Audry Nicklin, from Ravelry

Knitwear inspired by literature is growing genre, but Audry’s take on it is different. Rather than creating garments that are mentioned in the novels, or intended for a specific character, she is inspired by the novels, which makes her designs stories in themselves. For example, Sail to Treasure Island is a blanket that is also a map to the treasure. The border is the ocean, followed by the beach, the forest, and the mountains, and in the middle, X marks the spot. This is the kind of design I imagine wrapping around a child right before bedtime stories. Of course, I also imagine it knit in a lighter weight yarn and wearing it as a shawl while curled up in a chair reading. It’s a beautiful and versatile design, full of thoughtful details that would make it both interesting to knit and a pleasure to wear.

Motoring Madness, photo by Audry Nicklin, from Ravelry.

Motoring Madness, photo by Audry Nicklin, from Ravelry.

I also love the Motoring Madness fingerless mitts, inspired by Toad’s awful driving in Wind in the Willows. I have been meaning to make myself a pair of fingerless mitts for over a year now (every fall and every spring I wish I had a pair) and these are perfect. Simple enough to be a quick knit, but still stylish and fun. I even have some Acadia yarn in my stash, so it’s clearly meant to be.

Lit Knits is a really comprehensive collection, including socks, shawls, a scarf, a cowl, mittens, a blanket, and an incredible hoodie (that most of these designs are unisex just adds to the possibilities). But not only is there breadth in patterns, there is also a range of design elements. Audry uses lace, cables, twisted stitches and stranded colourwork, offering up a little of everything. Even better, she includes detailed technical instructions, which makes Lit Knits a great collection for knitters looking to expand their skills as well as more experienced knitters. It is so good.

Black Beauty Rides On, photo by Audry Nicklin, from Ravelry

Black Beauty Rides On, photo by Audry Nicklin, from Ravelry

Lit Knits is available in both e-book and print versions, but from now until Sept. 25, if you pre-order the print book you’ll also get a download code for the e-book. I love having both a physical copy of a book to flip through and a digital copy for easy chart printing, so clearly I chose this option. Both versions of the book are available on Audry’s website, and through Ravelry.

As a bonus, Audry has offered to give away an e-book copy of Lit Knits to one of my readers! This is an incredibly generous offer given how much work and time Audry has put into this book, and I think it’s awesome. To win, just leave a comment telling me what your favourite pattern in Lit Knits is (bonus points if you’ve read the source material) by noon EST on Monday, Sept. 16. I’ll post the winner next Tuesday! (edited to add: please include your Rav ID of another way for me to contact you in your comment.)

Avonlea, photo by Audry Nicklin, from Ravelry

Avonlea, photo by Audry Nicklin, from Ravelry

To read more about the inspiration behind each pattern, head over to Audry’s blog – she’s doing an excellent series of posts with photos from the book (and photos that didn’t make it into the book) and stories about each pattern.

So, what would you knit from Lit Knits?