The knitting adventures of a French Canadian girl in exile

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Devil's mistress shawl

My latest shawl, Devil’s mistress, is a top-down small shawl with a garter stitch body and a very easy lace portion. The name of this shawl is a conjunction of 2 things: the lace portion of the shawl is based on a stitch pattern named ‘Point de Diable’ or Devil’s stitch, and comes from my favorite old French stitchionary. The second thing is that I actually worked on this whole shawl watching the 4 episodes of ‘The Devil’s mistress’, an English Civil War mini-series. I was really in love with this historic mini-series and I decided to give it the name of the shawl, particularly with the idea that the 2 options makes a bit of the dichotomous way the main character lead her life: a rich looking version with a lace edging and a rough, rustic looking version with the picot bind off.

The design features 2 options: the first one is a ruffly picot bind off and the second one is a beautiful vintage attached edging that looks more complicated than it really is (pictured above). 
The picot bind off option of the design requires less yardage than the attached edging and can be made out of most 100gr (about 420yds) skeins of fingering weight yarn. It is also perfect to showcase the beauty of variegated yarns, and was the first sample I made of this particular design.


I needed to find a suitable project for this particular skein I had of Knitpicks Stroll Hand Painted in color 'Playtime'. As my usual design process often start with the yarn, I found myself putting this lovely skein of yarn on my 'to design with' pile. It did stay there for quite a long time, was thrown back into my shawl yarn box, retrieved from the box, thrown back in, and so on for a few months until I decided I needed a new shawl for this upcoming Fall 2012.

Playtime - now discontinued!

After working the picot bind off version of Devil's mistress, I had the idea of working the same body but with a vintage lace edging attached to the bottom of the shawl. I love how these attached edging are 'eating' up the live stitches while adding a very delicate touch to the bottom of the shawl. In this particular case, because the lace portion of the shawl has more dramatic increases that the garter stitch body, the large lace edging takes a beautiful rounded shape that makes for a very nice face-framing neckwear.

The attached edging is large and dainty with pointy claws and large double yarnovers. A slip stitch border defines it well from the body of the shawl and the overall effect is both refined and extremely feminine (in my humble opinion!).

The attached edging is also quite simple, and would make for an excellent first time use of the technique, which I describe in the pattern. The attached edging version requires more yardage than the picot bind off option, about 460 yds of fingering weight yarn.


For the attached edging option of this design, I chose to work in a solid color luxurious yarn, Knitpicks Capretta, a merino and cashmere blend in a rich dark brown color. I truly loved working with this yarn and I dream about wrapping my neck in this amazing softness!

Knitpicks Capretta - color 'Topaz'

Click this link to see other projects made of this design:  

The Devil's mistress is now available in my Ravelry shop :

In my Craftsy shop, here

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Adagio is the third open front cardigan from my series started with Allegro, then Andante. Following the series, it worked seamlessly from the top down.

For this cardigan, I chose to work with Knitpicks Wool of the Andes Tweed, a nice, budget friendly, Peruvian wool tweed yarn that works up quickly and is makes for a beautiful tweed fabric that shows texture and lacework very well.

This cardigan is the most feminine of the series and has a beautiful classic diamond lace on the back, and the tweed yarn was perfect to add just the right touch of rusticity to the classic look of the diamond lace.

It makes for a fast and rewarding project, using worsted weight wool and US 7 (4.5mm) needles, an easy top down construction that allows you to try it as you knit (worth the time and effort: you are sure your cardigan will fit you perfectly!). 

It is very flattering for a wide range of figures and the lace on the back gives it a little touch of feminity that is just perfect to dress up any ensemble.The hem, collar and cuffs are worked in a ripple pattern, for an original finish to a classic cardigan. 

Overall, this cardigan follows the spirit of the series to create a classic wardrobe staple that is sure to be well loved over the years.

Useful links for this pattern:

KRL increase : Knitting Help has an excellent video about making a KRL increase.

Adagio is now on the Knitpicks Website, here.

Adagio can be purchased at my Craftsy Store, here.

Or from Ravelry 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Champs Fleuris

So, it has been quite some time since my last pattern publication. I have to say for myself that I have been much occupied with more complex designs than before, and this one is certainly my most complex to date. I have to say that it is also my best, at least in my own opinion!

You can buy Champs Fleuris from my Ravelry:


Or my Craftsy shop. Champs Fleuris is also the sixth and final design of my collection: It's so FLUFFY!, available on Ravelry.

So, here I present Champs Fleuris, a bottom up shawl with pleats, lace and textured flowers. It is an extremely feminine design, all in ruffles and flowers and perfect to warm up your spirit when the weather forces you to pull on your warmest coat.

It is available in 2 sizes: a kerchief size, using only one skein of fingering weight yarn (blue sample, using Cascade Yarns Heritage silk) and full scale shawl using 2 skeins of fingering weight yarn (pink sample, using Madelinetosh Tosh Light).

Champs Fleuris is started at the ruffles, by casting on a large number of stitches. My suggestion is to place a marker every 50 to 100 stitches as well as a marker to locate the center stitch. This should save you some time and frustration! Also, don't make the mistake of going with the long tail cast on here: you will hate running out of yarn!

Visit my techniques page for a tutorial on how to make the pleats correctly, if you have any doubts!

The next section is a pretty pictorial lace representing a daisy flower, repeated in a single row. This section is charted only, but is fairly easy if you know how to work lace from a chart. The daisies are framed by 2 Vikkel Braids, for which you can have good links in my Techniques page.

Next and main section if the Paquerette stitch body, a very nice textured flower stitch I found in one of my dearest French stitchionary, dating from the early 70's. The flower motif is offered in two option, an aligned option with the flowers aligned with the spine of the shawl (blue sample) and a scattered version (pink sample).

This section is a delicate one to perform, not because of the inner difficulty of the technique, which is quite simple, but because it is a little unusual and may confuse some knitters at first. I do strongly encourage you to try out the motif on some scrap yarn before you start it.

You may also simply opt to place a lot of markers: one for every time you repeat the bracket, to make sure your flowers stay in line. This way, you will ensure you did not forget a p2tog somewhere along the way! I am also providing you with a little visual aid in the form of this small chart, representing a flower motif over the 5 rows it actually takes place over.

In this little chart started from the WS, the dot represent the stitch you use to draw the stitches from, the arrows are the added sts drawn trough the fabric and the p2tog are placed so the drawn sts are placed before the sts they are purled with. The total flower motif takes 5 stitches, and if you do not count the added stitches drawn trough the fabric to create the flower, those stitches do not change.

This all makes for a shawl you should be extremely proud to wear, in the spring and summer over your favorite dress or in the Fall and Winter to brighten up your woolen coat.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Gentleman hat

This hat is the result of my search for a fast and easy hat for my little boy for Fall. I wanted it to be simple and yet have an interesting twist to it.

I had the idea of turning this beautiful stitch pattern from my Barbara Walker treasury into a hat for quite a while and when I finally went stash diving, I found I had some Valley Yarns Valley Superwash DK in this nice shade of blue:

I decided to go on with this idea, and whipped this nice little hat for my son.

I love the all around ribbing, making it an almost brainless knit that is only broken by the twisted stitches to keep it interesting. This is exactly the kind of hat both my son and husband will wear, and I can easily imagine making one for myself as well, it is totally unisex!

 I made the pattern in 3 sizes, child (women, men) or 16 (19, 22.5) inches circumference. Feel free to experiment with yarn weight, make it slouchy by adding repeats or simple make it as the pattern suggest!

Pattern is available for free on Ravelry and Craftsy.

Please note this pattern is available for free, but the copyright remains the same and this pattern cannot be used to create items for resale or used in any other commercial purpose without my written consent. Thanks for respecting my copyright!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Fluvial is the fifth design in my collection : It's so FLUFFY!. It is a most beautiful wrap, worked with 2 skeins of a luxurious yarn, Malabrigo sock.

Now, Malabrigo is one of the softess, most wonderful yarn I had the pleasure to knit with. And I don't say this because I am paid for, because I am not! I used the colorway 'Persia', a mix of earth and water tones that are so appealing to me.

This particular colorway was an instant appeal to me and reminded me instantly and the beautiful scenery around the Saint-Laurent river back home in Quebec, and all the joyous memory we have as a family on it's rocky shores.

Fluvial is a simple wrap, worked in one piece with the edging and flanked by 2 gorgeous lace and cable patterns. The ruffle edge is shaped with short rows and worked with the body up to the top were it is attached to the live stitches.

This wrap is both elegant and simple and will make a wardrobe staple that will become one of your classic in no time!

Fluvial can be purchased here on Ravelry:

Or as part of my ebook: It's so FLUFFY!

More pictures? Here we go!