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. 


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!


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!  


My knowledge of Muhu was very limited before traveling to this small island. All of my information about Muhu and its culture came solely from the various Estonian knitting books Loop stocks. During down time in the shop, I've flipped through the pages and gazed over the photos of some of the most colourful and intricate patterns I've seen of traditional knitwear. So, when Eero and I talked about the possibility of traveling to Estonia, I asked about the chances of visiting Muhu. I really have him to thank for indulging my curiosity and putting this trip together and also to his family friends for lending us their summer cottage, conveniently located on Muhu!

We stayed in their restored Estonian farmhouse, the perfect place to settle in for the weekend and explore Muhu and Saaremaa. Unfortunately for us, the weather was the only thing not co-operating and it rained the whole weekend. We even lost power a few times due to the strong winds from a storm brewing over the Baltic Sea. One morning, when we thought we had regained power, we traveled to the Muhu Muuseum only to find they were without power too. We stayed to explore the dark homes and farmhouses which are a part of their open air museum. 

Since there was no power this meant their exhibition of Muhu's national textiles and costumes was completely in the dark. However, I'm still happy to have had a quick glimpse of these examples I had gotten to know through books such as Designs and Patterns from Muhu Island and Estonian Knitting. I feel very fortunate to have visited this quiet and understated place because I know many knitting enthusiasts would not have the opportunity to visit this remote island. 

The next few photos were taken at Lõngapood Kuressaare, a small craft supply shop I stumbled across on the main street in Kuressaare. A pleasant find was the DIY embroidery outlines to get you started on your own piece inspired by traditional Estonian floral motifs. I brought home a handful of colours and few outlines to try myself when I can find the time. 

Another souvenir I brought back was this knitting book, Parimusluksus: Luxury in Tradition by Estonian designer and author, Heli Väärtnõu-Järv. I admire how she's combined century old techniques and Estonian folk art as inspiration for modern day garments. I also love the addition of her paintings throughout the book. When I begin the designing process for a new piece I often start with a drawing of what I hope to create. Some of these drawings can be found in my book Take Heart. However, I would love to add a fine art element to some future designs.