Indie Design GAL – last day for the discount!

As promised yesterday, here are my last picks from among the many many patterns eligible for the 25% off sale on Ravelry today (code giftalong2016). In some cases it was the texture that caught my eye, while in others it was the colours or the shape. If you don’t find something here that you love & must have, there are always the other thousands to go through yourself (on Ravelry (in a searchable bundle) or Pinterest).

It’s been fun to imagine that I’ve got the time to knit whatever I want. Perhaps I’ll finish up my current round of deadline knitting in time to participate in the KAL. Remember, you’ve got until the end of the year to knit any paid pattern from any of the 300+ participating designers to participate. Head on over to the Indie Design GAL Ravelry group to see what’s going on.

Here are the last few picks:

Vodograi by Natalie Pelykh

Vodograi by Pelykh Natalie

The Knitbots baby blanket by Vikki Bird

The Knitbots baby blanket by Vikki Bird

Winter Sunset by Gabrielle Danskknit

Winter Sunset by Gabrielle Danskknit

Snowflake Bracelet and Necklace Set by Natalie Kononova (crochet)Snowflake Bracelet and Necklace Set by Natalie Kononova (crochet)

Guillemins by Anneh Fletcher

Guillemins by Anneh Fletcher

Mullioned Cowl by Katy H. Carroll

Mullioned Cowl by Katy H. Carroll

Henrietta Silverdale by Teresa Morey

Henrietta Silverdale by Teresa Morey

Ranka by Emmy Petersson

Ranka by Emmy Petersson

Con Brio by Bonnie Sennott

Con Brio by Bonnie Sennott

Short Circuit by Jo Torr

Short Circuit by Jo Torr

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Indie Design Gift Along – more great patterns

Last week I told you that it was the start of the Indie Design Gift Along. I’d hoped to have a few more posts featuring patterns before the sale ended, but I got hit with a nasty sinus cold. I’ll pack the rest of my favourites into one post today & one post tomorrow.

Remember, these patterns are all 25% off with the coupon “giftalong2016″ until end of day Nov. 30 (Eastern).

I’ll start it off with some stunning sweaters:

Dancing Dragons Coat by Heike Campbell

Dancing Dragons

Sand Snake by Paige ReisenfeldSand Snake by Paige Reisenfeld

The Frost Fairy by Anna Rauf

The Frost Fairy by Anna Rauf

Tracery by Kathleen Sperling

Tracery by Kathleen Sperling

Courtyard Tiles Afghan by Julie Yeager (crochet)Courtyard Tiles Afghan by Julie Yeager

Endless Roses Christmas Stocking by Denise BalvanzEndless Roses Christmas Stocking by Denise Balvanz

Elan Hat by Triona Murphy

Elan Hat by Triona Murphy

Lakeview Hat by Danielle ChalsonLakeview Hat by Danielle Chalson

Mendia Hat by Ambah O’BrienMendia Hat by Ambah O’Brien

Wengwings by Kirsten McTeer, for my penguin-loving boy:

Wengwings by Kirsten McTeer

I’ll be back tomorrow morning with a final set of patterns in the amazing sale.

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Indie Design Gift Along – shawls

It’s time for some knitting fun! There are over 300 designers on Ravelry participating in the Indie Design Gift Along (Indie GAL), which is all about a gigantic sale and an even more gigantic knit along.

Part 1: 25% off thousands of patterns from now through Nov. 30th all with the same code: giftalong2016.

Part 2: KAL with games and prizes from now until Dec. 31st in the Indie Design GAL group on Ravelry. While only some of my patterns are available in the Indie GAL sale, knitting & completing any of my paid patterns during the GAL counts…and the same goes for the other 300+ designers!

I’ve picked out a few interesting shawl patterns today that are part of the GAL. If you want an easy way to scope out your favourites, head on over to the Indie GAL Pinterest page. They’ve pinned all of the available patterns onto boards by the type of object being knit. Be warned: this could take  a while. Here are my shawl picks:

Estuarine by Stephannie Tallent


Estival by Marnie MacLean


Pink Pirate by Elena Fedotova (yes, it’s crochet)

Pink Pirate

Odalie by Toby Roxane Barna


Mist & Spray by Simone Kereit

Mist & Spray

Rock the Kasbah by Cindy Garland


Line Art by Jennifer Dassau

Line Art

Illumine by Nim Teasdale


La Dame Blanche by Barbara Benson

La Dame Blanche

Maribou by Kino Knits



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Cosmic Dust

Cosmic Dust is my latest new pattern with beads. It’s a completely reversible skinny triangular shawl and it takes advantage of the fact that the yarn gradually changes from one colour to another.

Cosmic Dust by Natalie Servant

This idea was inspired by this colour-changing yarn itself. I used Shirley Brian Yarns 100% 4 Ply Cotton. I wanted the yellow beads to look like they were spreading out of the yellow section and getting stuck each time the colour changed, sprinkling into the next section. They’re subtle at the beginning and gradually more & more obvious the more blue the yarn gets. They also add a wonderful weight to the shawl.

Cosmic Dust by Natalie Servant

What I’d love to do now is to try this again with a mini skein set, or a double set of colour-changing cotton and work from the outside in. Or to try this pattern in neutrals with metallic beads. So many ideas, so little time! What would you use?

Cosmic Dust is $4USD regularly, but it’s on sale for $3 until end of day Nov. 21, 2016.


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Beach Pebbles

Beach Pebbles is a shawl idea I’ve had in mind since a trip to PEI in the summer of 2015.


Watching the waves bring in pebbles and shells was very calming, and I loved the little V’s of water that appeared when the water went back down the beach. I knew that I wanted to use beads.

Pebbles on the beach with water

While I was in PEI I made one yarn purchase: 2 skeins of Briggs & Little Lite ‘n’ Fancy Softspun in a beachy kind of colour. It’s not the red of some of the beaches in PEI, but I still think it’s perfect. It’s a sport weight yarn, so I paired it with an assortment of largish wooden beads in a variety of sizes and colours. I cast on before a family trip and set off *without a pattern*. This was a bit of a stretch for me, because I’m usually all about symmetry and planning, but I wanted the feel of the beach.

Beach Pebbles Shawl by Natalie Servant

In my wanderings on the beach, I noted that you sometimes see pebbles and shells on their own, spaced out, and then when there is a ridge, there is a whole row of them clumped together. I wanted to emulate that, so I started off putting beads far away from each other – mostly. Then near the bottom there’s a few lines of beads. I’ve included this bead layout in the pattern.

For people who prefer a little more regularity in their knitting, I whipped up a fingering weight version with 1 skein of Wollmeise Pure. Since the pattern is increasing on the edges every row and since Wollmeise comes in 150g skeins, it works out to a nice medium size. I’ve still used a watery colour, but the silver beads give this version a completely different look. Instructions for this version are also in the pattern.

Beach Pebbles by Natalie ServantBeach Pebbles is on sale for 25% off (automatic discount) until end of day Nov. 9 ($5 USD afterwards):


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Dragon Cuffs

I am pleased to be able to share my newest little pattern with you. Dragon Cuffs are a quick whimsical knit. They look great, they keep you warm, and they work up quickly with a small amount of worsted weight yarn.

Dragon Cuffs by Natalie Servant

The bling comes from the small anodized aluminum scales. I picked mine up from I created a range of sizes to accommodate most wrists, because why should the small people have all the fun? The unstretched circumference ranges from 6.5″ to 8.75″ (16.5 – 22cm).

Dragon Cuffs by Natalie Servant

Only the top of the cuff has the scales. The bottom is ribbed so that they’re stretchy and easy to put on and take off.

Quick! They’re on sale for $1.50 USD until the end of Friday Nov. 4 (then they’re $2 USD).

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Rhinebeck 2016

I have been lucky enough to attend my 7th New York Sheep & Wool Festival in a row. Sarah & I drove down to Red Hook on Friday and found our accommodations: a little carriage house and met Steve, the landlord. Here’s the sliding door: Red Hook rental

We were able to make it over to the Indie Untangled show and even got a parking spot! Although it was great to catch up with some folks there, neither of us bought a thing. I guess that’s what happens when your stash is already super-sized!

Saturday at the show was wonderful. I whipped around merrily buying according to plan and within 2 hours I’d already got most of what I came for. Then I started running into folks I knew, which is the best part of the event for me. I ran into the Savvy Girls in the food building & Melanie showed me her winning (and non-winning) photos.

Natalie with the Savvy Girls

I chatted with my friend Anna Dalvi, who lives 20 minutes away from me. Really. Yes, Anna Dalvi of Knit & Knag. We’ve hatched a bit of a plan to meet up somewhere that isn’t a 7 hour drive away and sooner than next Rhinebeck.

Natalie with Anna Dalvi

I met up with Danielle Chalson, her husband & her lovely boy. I don’t have pics of Danielle’s fabulous toddler, but he was adorable, I assure you. In fact this picture is Danielle’s because the one I took was too horrible to post.

Natalie & Danielle Chalson (Makewise Deisgns)

Oh, and here are the gang from Southern Ontario. Hope Sarah didn’t cause any trouble crossing back over the border with all those questions about why she moved when she was a baby.

Ontarians at Rhinebeck

Someone did take a great photo of me at Rhinebeck in my Rhinebeck sweater (Serra by Laura Aylor). This used the 3 lovely skeins of Briar Rose Fourth of July from my first time at Rhinebeck.

Natalie wearing her Serra by Laura Aylor

Sunday was more of the same, but included a careful tour of all the barns to meet animals and time for a few more fun purchases that I’d missed on day 1. It’s always a long drive back to Ottawa on the Sunday afternoon, but it all went smoothly.

Here’s the loot:


I *LOVE* the Van Gogh bag from Andi. Beside it is an autographed copy of Modern Lopi from Lars. Above that two little remnants of yarn from Briar Rose. Then the batt from Into the Whirled that practically leaped into my arms while I was buying braids for a friend. Mmm, Maple Cottton Candy. There’s a bottle of Soak in there too. And my 5 lovely skeins of O-Wool O-Wash Fingering are flanked by Red Maple Sportswear socks (alpaca) and my extravagant socks from The Buffalo Wool Co. – so comfy.

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Labour day finale

I’ve walked you through some of the museum sights I saw on my Labour Day trip to Toronto. At the end of all that there was just enough time for me to make a trek to an Art Deco building I have been hoping to get to for a while.

I hopped the subway down to the train station and then decided I could walk. It was hotter than I’d expected. There was a food event along the way, so I grabbed a popsicle and kept going. When I finally reached my destination, I took out the heavy camera I’d been lugging around for the whole day.

The Tip Top Tailors building has been added to, but it retains all of the details I was keen to see. I snapped to my heart’s content and then took a hot & even sweatier ride back to the train station on a streetcar. I think it was totally worth it:

Tip Top Tailors lofts, Toronto

Tip Top Tailors lofts, Toronto

Tip Top Tailors lofts, Toronto

Tip Top Tailors lofts, Toronto

Tip Top Tailors lofts, Toronto

Tip Top Tailors lofts, Toronto

Tip Top Tailors lofts, Toronto

That was the end of my day by myself in Toronto. The day was a success and I’ve got lots of memories and pictures to provide inspiration in the months ahead. I’ve been ridiculously lucky with the weather on my forays to Montreal and Toronto.

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Toronto museums, part 2

Last time I showed you some of the pictures from my visit to the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Textile Museum of Canada. I still had two more museums on my list that day! I moved on to the Gardiner Museum. I love ceramics, and I arrived just in time for a brief public tour. We started off looking at this example from Mexico and talking about all of the details on this statue:

Mexican ceramic statue

After the whirlwind tour through the ages with the guide, I went off and found a couple more things that interested me. As a spinner, I couldn’t resist a picture of spindle whorls:

ceramic spindle whorls


And then I found this gorgeous plate:



Time was marching on, so I moved across the road to the ROM, and purchased a ticket for the Chihuly exhibit:

Chihuly exhibit

Chihuly exhibit


And then I dove off into the ancient stuff and was captivated by the Egyptian jewelry:

Egyptian necklaces at the ROM

Egyptian necklaces at the ROM

At this point I was getting a little tired, but I had one more place to visit and just enough time to do it. Next time I’ll show you the Art Deco building I’ve been hoping to see for a while.






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Fall is here

I had every intention of blogging in September, but that month just kicked me in the pants. At the beginning of the month I couldn’t find the energy and then at the end of the month all of my energy was consumed elsewhere. My father had a heart attack a week ago while in Montréal and quickly had a new stent put in. My parents don’t live in Montréal. My siblings and I all went to Montréal to help out. I’m happy to report that my parents are now back at home and figuring out a recovery regime for Dad.

Also last week my web site went for a little nap, but has now been resurrected.

Meanwhile, suddenly fall is here. I noticed the colours of the leaves changing a few weeks ago, but then this morning there were piles of leaves on the ground. Rhinebeck is in two weeks, and for the first time I’ll actually have my very own sweater to wear. I still haven’t got proper pictures of it, but I’m loving the sweater. I made Laura Aylor’s Serra.

What I meant to talk about in September is a fun trip I took on Labour Day. I went to Toronto on a museum-filled day of inspiration. I took the early train by myself and arrived in town at 10:30am.

The first stop was the main reason for my visit. I really wanted to catch The Idea of North – the Lawren Harris exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario before it ended. Harris has always seemed to me to be the most Art Deco-ish of the Group of Seven. I arrived in plenty of time for a look around the gallery’s exhibits, including other paintings from the Group of Seven:

Group of Seven at the AGO

and the Henry Moore sculpture collection:

Henry Moore collection at AGO

Finally, it was time to see the exhibition. I liked this one: Miners’ Houses, Glace Bay.

Miners' Houses, Glace Bay, Lawren Harris

There were many wonderful paintings, but North Shore, Lake Superior stole my heart. I visited it a few times before I finally left.

North Shore, Lake Superior, by Lawren Harris

Next up was the Textile Museum, which had a beaded exhibition, including this vest from Borneo:

Beaded vest from Borneo

There were more stunning pieces in a garden-based exhibition. This wedding shirt from Pakistan:

Wedding Shirt from Pakistan

A piece of William Morris cloth:

William Morris cloth

And this amazing embroidered throne cover from China:

Throne Cover from China

There were 2 more museums to go that day, as well as an awesome Art Deco building, but I’ll tell you about that later on. Fingers crossed that I make it back to the computer a little more quickly next time!

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