Sparklers

Four years ago this summer, I purchased my first copy of Pom Pom Quarterly. At this time I was designing and selling my finished knits through boutiques and craft fairs but wasn’t seriously thinking about publishing my designs as patterns. However, I’m so happy that this has all changed and has now become my primary focus. I’m creating new designs every month now and have Pom Pom Quarterly to thank, along with the kind and supportive knitters who have shown interest in my work. Pom Pom published my first pattern, Take Heart, in 2013. After that I felt confident to continue to pursue inspiration for new designs.

It’s been a learning curve but still an incredibly fun journey these past four years. I’m thrilled to have taken many steps of that journey alongside Pom Pom Quarterly. After a move to London, an internship, many cups of tea, my first book and a move home, I am very honoured to have worked with the Pom Pom team and to also be able to call them my friends. 

I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of their anniversary issue and am thrilled to be featured alongside many creative women whom I admire. "Summery" items aren’t my forte so I was thankful when I heard this issue wasn’t particularly seasonal and that they were looking for quintessential Pom Pom designs. I personally love designing and knitting hats and I thought it would be fitting since my first design with Pom Pom was a hat.

I’ve been working with some simple and repeating knit and purl textures and wanted to bring that into this piece. I was paired up with Kettle Yarn Co and super excited to work with Linda Lencovic's gorgeous blends again. I previously had used her Islington DK for my Ketch Harbour shawl, in my Take Heart book. This time, I used her Beyul blend, a gorgeous combination of merino, silk and baby yak… yeah, that’s right, baby yak. It’s available in different weights, DK, 4 ply and lace. I decided on the 4 ply to create a lightweight beanie.

Photography by Nicole Mlakar.

Photography by Nicole Mlakar.

Photography by Nicole Mlakar.

Photography by Nicole Mlakar.

So here’s Sparklers, I hope you will enjoy it! This project is knit with Kettle Yarn Co’s Beyul 4 ply, one skein of each Electric Amaranth and Yurt. Reverse the colourway and you’ll have enough for a matching hat, one for you and one for your BFF! Linda is now offering kits and has other fantastic colour ways listed in her shop. I highly recommend trying this blend. It’s so lovely to knit with and the pompoms it creates are just precious!

Photography by Nicole Mlakar.

Photography by Nicole Mlakar.

Photography by Nicole Mlakar.

Photography by Nicole Mlakar.

Photography by Nicole Mlakar.

Photography by Nicole Mlakar.

Photography by Nicole Mlakar. 

Photography by Nicole Mlakar. 

This issue is packed with fifteen other designs and the usual articles, illustrations and recipe. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy, especially with that rose gold logo! Congratulations to the Pom Pom team and everyone else involved in this issue. I can’t wait to see what's next for this group of creatives.

Photography by Nicole Mlakar.

Photography by Nicole Mlakar.

Looking Back // April

I'm shocked that it's only been three months since my last post. It feels a lot longer with the amount of work I've been up to. Since I don't normally post about my "in progress" designs, till they are released, I feel it ends up looking like I haven't been doing too much. Since January, it has been quite the opposite. I've completed four new patterns including my first two sweaters patterns. Plus, I now have another six new designs underway at the moment. Six! So "busy" sums up my current state. Most of these new designs won't be released until the autumn but I thought I would share some photos of what I get up to in between knitting project and talk about some of the yarn I'm currently using.

At the very end of March I ended up sick just as the most gorgeous mountain of Hinterland yarn arrived. The beginning of April started with some simple swatching as I recovered in bed. I'm currently working with Hinterland's Range, with the pile above showing their colours Ash, Honey and a single skein of Snow. It's beautiful, hearty yet an incredible soft blend of 50% Canadian Rambouillet and 50% of their home-grown alpaca. I have one sweater in this yarn and I honestly lived in it this winter. I hope to add more to my wardrobe soon. 

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My second yarn delivery in April came all the way from Paris! This is La Bien Aimée's Merino DK in Ash and Pom Pom. I was really excited to finally get acquainted with their yarn and fabulous colours. It was my first time using a speckled yarn. I tend to stick to heathers or semi-solid colours. However, it was a nice change to be working with something as fun as Pom Pom. I'm just about ready to ship this new design to its final destination. I've paired these two colours together and you'll be seeing the final piece in the autumn!

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The past two months I've also tried to find time for other crafts that I enjoy. As much as I love knitting, it gets a little tedious when it's your job and past time. Plus, I need to be kinder to my hands and wrists and make sure I avoid repetitive strain injury. I completed these two small embriodery projects last month. The succulent and mandarins were my own designs, each one created from a photo. They're only about 10 cm in diameter and  were sent off to London, UK, for friends' birthdays.  

Besides embroidery, I've also started to sew again. I did study textiles and fashion when I attended the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University but haven't officially sewn a garment since graduating in 2011. Back in March, I did take a dress making workshop at  Patch, a local fabric store in Halifax. This was a great way to ease myself back into sewing and get reacquainted with putting a commercial pattern together. The workshop was based on the Farrow Dress by Grainline Studio. I also did manage to make myself the Camber Dress by Merchant & Mills. I purchased a few dress patterns and fabric from Merchant & Mills years back at the Knitting & Stitching show in London and it felt really good to finally find the time to make them. 

The shot above is my pair of Ninni Culottes, design by Named Clothing. I think these were my first pants I ever put together besides samples in school. I wanted a pair that were easy to sew up but still a little challenging. I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out. I used a lightweight indigo fabric from Patch. Now I just need the warmer weather to wear them!

Even though I'm super pleased with my new creations, my favourite discovery last month was at No. 9 Coffee Bar in Lunenburg, NS. Gluten free doughnuts! It might sound a little ridiculous but I believe this was my first gluten free doughnut ever and it was amazing. Whenever I'm down to visit The Mariner's Daughter, Lunenburg's local yarn shop, I stop by No. 9 to grab a tea for the road. That's when I discovered these delectable little treats!

I'm hoping to recap more often since it gives me an opportunity to talk about other things besides knitting all the time. I'll be sharing my next pattern which was just recently released. It looks like May is off to a good start!  

Helsinki Polaroids

I recently returned home from spending two and a half weeks in Helsinki, Finland. I brought my Polaroid camera with me and snapped a few photos throughout my stay. I love the unexpected quality of the photos and the moody colours they captured. 

Sibelius Monument, Töölö.

Sibelius Monument, Töölö.

Grey Day in Porvoo.

Grey Day in Porvoo.

Christmas Eve in Lauttausaari. 

Christmas Eve in Lauttausaari. 

Kotiharjun Sauna, Kallio. 

Kotiharjun Sauna, Kallio. 

Pink Building, Kallio.

Pink Building, Kallio.

Sauna Session, Lauttasaari. 

Sauna Session, Lauttasaari. 

Sunsent in Lauttasaari. 

Sunsent in Lauttasaari. 

HIFK Lads. 

HIFK Lads. 

Rooftops, Ullanlinna.  

Rooftops, Ullanlinna.  

Cake at Rupla, Kallio.

Cake at Rupla, Kallio.