Sunday, 3 February 2013

Swap Shop Eat

So, I'm officially addicted to swaps.

I've participated in three so far, and have to tell you - they are so much fun!

The latest was with my local knitting group - we decided back in September to do a swap, and have been working away at it ever since. We are a group of about five ladies, and have gotten to know each other quite well over the past couple of years. We're all on Ravelry, and all share our favourite yarns, patterns, ideas etc at our bi-weekly knit nights. We decided to have our swap coincide with Chinese New Year so we would have hopefully jumped over the Christmas rush. We planned a downtown date - brunch at my favourite French bistro, Bonjour Brioche (812 Queen St E) and then off for some yarn shopping at the Purple Purl (1162 Queen St E). 

On my way to swap day!

My swap partner likes coral colours and natural fibres, and doesn't like knitting with chunky yarns herself - so I had a pretty good idea of what I was going to make her. This came with it's fair share of hiccups, though. I initially was going to knit her the Gaptastic Cowl (find the pattern on Ravelry). It is an extra chunky infinity scarf in a seed stitch pattern. I thought it would have been perfect for her - until she showed up at a knit night wearing it! Her daughter had made one in a lovely Raspberry chunky yarn, and it looked wonderful on her. I was about a month away from the swap deadline - and beginning to panic.

I decided to knit her the Clara cowl (also a free pattern on Ravelry) by designer Gretchen Ronnevic. It's a giant cable, and ends up looking like a braid. There is an option to double up and make it an infinity scarf, but I thought the beauty of the detail would have been lost, so I stuck to the original pattern dimensions. I used Diamond Brand Baby Alpaca Sport in a Chunky weight. Here's the finished project below:

Clara Cowl in Coral Alpaca

Clara Cowl in Coral Alpaca

I included the Ravelry anniversary project bag and Closely Knit by Hannah Fattig (who I found out, is my swap partners favourite designer!). I also gave her some extra yarn (about a full skein minus a few yards) so she could make a matching headband or fingerless mitts. Thank goodness she liked the gift (she wouldn't take the cowl off!) and I was in awe of what I received.

The first thing I opened was the book - The Knitter's Life List by Gwen Steege. This book is like a bucket list for knitters - yarns, patterns, ideas etc. It is a crucial step in any knitter's path to becoming a capital-K Knitter. Next was Americo Copito Medio yarn (think "Thick & Thin" but way more luxurious) in a gorgeous eggplant/plum colourway. It came with a hat pattern, which is perfect since I need a hat! I save the best for last...she knit me "Celebrating Azzu's Shawl" by Emma Fassio. The shawl was born out of two friends brought together by knitting - PERFECT! It was knit with Madeline Tosh Tosh Lace in Composition Book Grey. Everything about this shawl is perfect - the idea and thought behind it, colourway, superwash, detail, and love put into every knit, purl and YO.

Celebrating Azzu's Shawl
Swap day is here!
Perfection. I am in love with everything!
To close, I hope everyone reading this has an opportunity at one point in their knitting lives to participate in a swap. Giving something you made to someone else who appreciates all the work and love you put into it is priceless. Receiving something directly related to your knitting passion is wonderful, but most of all - sharing the experience with close friends is incomparable.

Happy swapping and of course, happy knitting!

With love,

Little Miss Cowl Co

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