Author Archives: Lily

A Guide to Yarn Weights

Lace yarn (or: fingering, thread, or cobweb)

US 000 to 1

1.5 to 2.25 millimetres

Super fine yarn (or: sock, fingering, or baby)

US 1 to 3

2.25 to 3.5 millimetres

Fine yarn (or: sport or baby)

US 3 to 5

3.5 to 4.5 millimetres

Light yarn (or: DK or light worsted)

US 3 to 5

3.5 to 4.5 millimetres

Medium yarn (or: worsted, afghan, or aran)

US 7 to 9

4.5 to 5.5 millimetres

Bulky yarn (or: chunky, craft, or rug)

US 9 to 11

5.5 to 8 millimetres

Super bulky yarn (or: roving)

US 11 to 17

8 to 12.75 millimetres

Sunday Picnic Sweater

This is the simplest sweater I’ve knitted. It’s also the third sweater I’ve knitted, and the only one I haven’t unravelled. The pattern is by Angeline Webb on Ravelry. I used KnitPicks Wool of the Andes worsted yarn in Peacoat for the sleeves and back, and an undyed skein my mother gave me for my birthday last year.

This sweater is knit flat, even the sleeves, and then seamed together after being blocked. The first two sweaters I tried were knit in the round. One had cables, and the other had colour work. I think I have this problem where I try too much too quickly, because I get overexcited and forget that I’m still relatively new at knitting. Now I’m a little more experienced, but when I made my first sweater I could definitely have used more practice before attempting intermediate techniques.

Lily wearing the Sunday Picnic Sweater

One of the things I love about knitting is that even if you make hundreds of mistakes, all is not lost. You can reuse yarn for new projects, backtrack to fix dropped stitches or wrong stitches. And even if you don’t catch a mistake until you’ve washed your project, woven in the ends, and folded it away into your closet, it’s okay. The point of any hand-made thing is to be perfect because it was made by you, not because it’s free of errors.

When I wear hand-knit sweaters I don’t care that I accidentally knitted instead of purled a couple of stitches, and I really doubt anyone else cares either. I remember how it felt when I wore the first sweater I made. It was warm and heavy. It smelled like coffee and vanilla hand lotion and wool wash and my cats’ fur. I was proud of myself. Even though that sweater doesn’t exist anymore and its yarn is going into a new pattern, I don’t think about the mistakes I made more than I think about how excited I was that I had taught myself how to knit.

Let’s Twist Socks

This is the Let’s Twist sock pattern by Raquel Gaskell on Ravelry. They are the first pair of socks I’ve knitted.

find the pattern here!

This was a great pattern for a beginner sock knitter, although I would recommend knowing how to do cables beforehand.

A pair of yellow knitted socks on a beige carpet.

I used a beautiful yellow hand-dyed yarn with specks of green and purple. It was a Christmas present from my mother that I’ve been hesitant to knit up, because I want to do it justice. But I’ve realized that yarn, though beautiful as a skein, is meant to be used. This pattern used a little less than a 100g skein for two socks.

A person's feet wearing yellow knitted socks on a light blue wool blanket.

One issue I ran into was making the decreases for the heel even. When I followed the pattern instructions for turning the heel exactly, I ended up with an uneven number of stitches on each side. So, rather than just p2tog and turn at the end of row 4, I decided to p2tog, p1, then turn. I found that in doing this, my decreases were even and didn’t slant to one side as they had before.

I enjoyed knitting these socks so much that I bought Laine’s 52 Weeks of Socks, so I would always have a pattern to use. I’m indecisive and impatient. My least favourite part of knitting is finding a pattern, I just want to cast on already!. But when I found this book I liked every pattern inside, and now I won’t have to search for another sock pattern for at least a year! I’ve just started working on the Boyland socks, the pattern for week 17, by Caitlin Hunter.

Now I just need to find some shoes that match well with knitted socks- I don’t think New Balance runners, usually my shoe of choice, work well with bright yellow hand-knit woollen socks that reach above my ankles.

Cinnamon Hot Chocolate

My favourite type of hot chocolate is thick, spiced, and not very sweet. I make some of this hot chocolate for my family once in a while, usually after a stressful week.

Hot chocolate is fairly simple, the way I like to make it. 

Grab a pot. Heat up some milk, about one cup for each serving you want to make.

A small copper pot filled halfway with milk is sitting on a stovetop over a gas burner

Add some cocoa powder- I usually do a generous tablespoon per cup of milk. Add some honey, maybe another half tablespoon.

A blue ceramic honey pot and a brown paper bag of cocoa powder are sitting on a brown countertop

Whisk for about a century until all of the clumps of cocoa powder are dispersed. 

Add some chocolate chips once the milk has some bubbles and steam coming up from the surface. I like semisweet or dark chocolate. I never adhere to chocolate chip measurements, but let’s say one to two tablespoons. Add about half a teaspoon of cinnamon. Mix everything together until smooth. Taste it now, to see if it’s sweet enough or chocolatey enough.

Pour into some mugs.

One hand is holding a mug next to a copper pot and another hand is pouring hot chocolate from a ladle into the mug

Whipped cream is very important, put a lot on top. If you’d like, sprinkle some nutmeg on the whipped cream. 

Change up the amounts depending on how you prefer it. It goes very well with shortbread cookies!

I first made a cup of this for my mum when she pulled her back and was stuck on the couch for a day, which is about as long as she can go without ‘doing something productive’. She always tells me she feels guilty for resting, because there are so many things she could be doing. I think it’s very important to do absolutely nothing for a few minutes every day. Make something that tastes good, and drink it slowly.