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!  

Take Heart Anniversary

This autumn was overwhelmingly busy with the various knitting festivals I got to attend. After a quick break, I moved into knitting and making a few plans for this winter.  Many new projects have been on and off the needles which hopefully I can share in the new year. I still plan to recap my trips to Vancouver's Knit City and Rhinebeck's Wool and Sheep Festival with a few photos soon. One of my goals lately has been to stay active and social on Instagram. Two weeks ago I had a lot of fun doing an Instagram Take Over for Pom Pom Quarterly to kick off some special celebrations. I can't believe a full year has gone by since releasing Take Heart: A Transatlantic Knitting Journey. We're celebrating the first anniversary by hosting a Take Heart KAL which is happening now on Ravelry. Head over there to see the details on how to join. It's running till January 2nd, 2017 so there's still plenty of time to participate! 

I thought I'd share my photos from the Take Over on here as well. You can always find Pom Pom on Instagram at @pompommag and my personal account at @fiona_alice_. I am so pleased I could share a little bit of my home, Nova Scotia, with Pom Pom's followers. Thanks for lovely comments! 

Hello Pomcats! I'm Fiona Alice and welcome to Nova Scotia! I'll be taking over the Pom Pom Instagram feed this weekend as Pom Pom and I are getting ready to celebrate the first anniversary of my book Take Heart: A Transatlantic Knitting Journey, which was inspired by both the Canadian and British landscapes. Nova Scotia is known for its varying coastlines so here's one of my favourite places, Duncan's Cove. Make sure you join in with our Take Heart knit along and tag your posts #takeheartkal and stay tuned for more pics from me @fiona_alice_. 

Hi it's @fiona_alice_  again with my #takehearttakeover of the Pom Pom account this weekend. Be prepared to see a lot of grey over Pom Pom's Instagram feed this weekend; it's my favourite colour whether natural or dyed. Luckily there's a never ending supply of beautiful greys along this rugged coastline, and Nova Scotia's overcast and rainy grey days make the perfect excuse for staying indoors to knit.

If you have a copy of #PPQ18you might recognise this design. Here's Kaali from this year's autumn issue. I couldn't resist using more of Elisabeth Beverley's Plant Dyed Cashmere, grey of course. Plus a few golden threads by Temaricious to match Nova Scotia's late autumn palette. The temperature is starting to drop here so the cozy cashmere is inviting to slip on cold hands. Stay tuned this weekend for posts from me @fiona_alice_ as I share more of my photos.

This is Fergus, my cat, knitting companion and biggest distraction. He constantly competes to be the softest grey item in my hands. To give him a run for his money I dug out some of @toft_uk Aran Alpaca which has been sitting in my stash for the past three years. Fergus loves alpaca and approves this yarn choice so I'll be casting on, just in time for the #takeheartkal. I feel like there is only one project this yarn is destined to become. 

Putting my @toft_uk Aran Alpaca to use and slowly working on #takehearthat. This pattern was originally launched 3 years ago in Issue 7, Pom Pom's Winter 2013 Issue. It's still one of my favourite patterns, and I love to see it knit up by others. I'm selfishly knitting this one for myself.

You can often find me knitting or with my laptop, here at Seven Bays Cafe in Halifax's North End. Thanks for letting me share a little piece of my knitting world with you this weekend. It's wild to think one whole year has gone by since releasing Take Heart: A Transatlantic Knitting Journey. I would not have been able to do this without your support. I can't wait to see where my next knitting journey will take me! Please keep sharing your projects with me, #takeheartkal - I love to see them. Signing off with much love, Fiona Alice.


Since Christmas is around the corner, Pom Pom put some very exciting knitting kits together. The Border Mill has graciously released a special yardage of their Alpaca Tweed for this. There's enough to make the Chester Basin hat and mitten set. Head over to the Pom Pom Shop to see the gorgeous colour combinations! I definitely wish I had more of this yarn in my stash. 

Photography: Pom Pom Quarterly 

Photography: Pom Pom Quarterly 

I was also lucky to be invited back as a guest on the Pomcast last week. You can listen to Sophie and I catch up and discuss what has happened since releasing Take Heart. It has been an amazing year that just flew by but I'm getting excited about new plans to come in 2017. Here's my newly finished Take Heart hat, the project that started this all and just in time for the snow! I love seeing the project photos that knitters choose to share, please continue! I'll have a little treat for my followers here on the blog this week, a little thank-you for your love and support.