A Kit To Brighten The Day!

Sometimes you get it right first try.

Other times you knock it out of the ballpark the second attempt.

I gotta say, Ikaika nailed it both times!

You all met Ikaika a bit ago HERE. She was knit with two strands of Helix held together for a comfortable cardigan with playful asymmetrical vibes.


Now I am pleased to share Ikaika 2.0 as she has been lovingly dubbed. Knit in 1 strand of Helix and 1 strand of Penumbra, the cardigan has a fresh feel for springtime knitting—and wearing!

The soft fabric created with the strand of wool paired with the strand of mohair blend is almost indescribable, but let me borrow the model’s reaction to wearing it in the shoot: “It is so light! I love the softness!”

The drape of the revamp really had me stoked. Think gentle, contouring, fluid. No extra bulk. Not a stiff stitch to be found…

And the HALO! 

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The glowing aura around this knit isn’t the fuzzy-wuzzy, “look at all this hairy-hair” kind. It is that subtle halo that you catch in just the right light, the kind that has you lightly running your palm over the fronts, it adds to the overall feel of the sweater as it gentles the switch definition ever so slightly.

The revamp includes new yarn duo, new gauge info., patterning detail additions, thoughts on sleeves, and closure options. I share how adding a wee button *here* and *there* can give you what you are looking for!

And speaking of the most adorable buttons e v e r… meet the new kit!


This kit is  •b e y o n d•  awesome!


  • all the hand-painted Penumbra & Helix yarn you’ll need to complete the project – 1600 yards in all/800 of each
  • My favourite 10 / 6 mm x 80 cm bamboo circular needle
  • Two beautiful brocade pouches to store knitting notions and supplies
  • The most perfect of accents: Hand-tied Chinese ball buttons to compliment your yarn choice
  • metal stitch markers in three colors
  • a yarn needle
  • a kilt pin in case you choose the sans button version (use those buttons for something else!)
  • The printed Ikaika pattern and a downloadable version with the original and updated versions
  • A two-color pattern-marking pencil
  • AND MY FAVE:  a brocade-covered notebook!

You all know how I feel about journaling. I love it! Journaling about knitting projects, sketching out future dream knits, recording thoughts of the day just finished…anything at all can go inside this beautiful notebook.

To grab your limited edition kit in the new version or original Head Here!

•Be sure to use the “withmel” code at checkout for an extra treat!•

Hoping you see your Monday as a chance to re-do another adventure this week! Revamps aren’t just for knitting patterns!

Peace, Aloha & Happiknits to You,


By the way: subscribers to the With∞Mel newsletter are in for a treat this month! Want in? Sign up for our newsletter by heading here! 

patterns, yarn info

One Bird Is Not Like Another: Substitution of Sparrow for Chickadee


Wings, feathers, beaks. Songs, colours, sizes. Big, small, darting, swooping.

All give opportunity to pause, enjoy and learn.

The two birds I want to share today take shape in yarn. One wool, one linen. Both delightful, unique and perfect.

Pomaika’i was originally knit in Chickadee, a sport/dk weight 100% American wool yarn. I knit this pattern twice and I know how the yarn and pattern work together, a point to remember later in this post. It is fluffy and light, but warms and fills spaces between stitches with so much energy.

As I searched from my Quince and Co. hoard collection, I kept being drawn to my favourite of Quince’s offerings: sweet lovely Sparrow. This yarn is 100% organic linen and though it starts off as a crisp bit of knitting it relaxes in to itself and mellows, softens, delights.

But there are things to notice and consider when substituting one for another! I plan to share a bit deeper in days ahead how and what affects substitution of Sparrow for Chickadee yields.

Today I want to just get YOU thinking! I am a firm believer that if you tell me something important I might remember it. If you share with me ways to discover something important and then leave me to it I will remember it always.


I find using a good hydrating salve non-negotiable when knitting with linen. Instead of feeling dryness, there is a reminder to pamper hard working hands!








Here is Chickadee on the left. Good old trusted Chickadee that knit up 22 sts and 46 rows = 4″ [10 cm] in garter stitch, after blocking on US 5 [3.75 mm] for Pomaika’i.


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And here is Sparrow on the right. Simple in content. Complex in behaviour. Perfect to me in all ways. Sparrow’s tag shared that she will work up 6 sts per inch on US 3 [3.25 mm].

So, should one knit per recommended gauge for Sparrow or attempt to try bigger needles as per the pattern? What do you think? Not rhetorical, DO SHARE your thoughts in the comments!

Why not join me in an adventure in substitution either by doing Pomaika’i in the yarn weight and fiber content suggested to trying it in the lighter alternative of linen? Grab the pattern here. Investigate the yarn here. And let us discover the incredible possibilities we can find from one pattern. We start with Pomaika’i and then we GO BIGGER!


learn, Uncategorized, words

Substitution in Knitting

This topic is a far reaching as there are colours of yarn with which to knit! And the possibilities only begin with colour! But colour does make a HUGE difference in the vibe your knitting gives. Just look at the two different versions of the Pomaika’i shawl. Same yarns, different colors. Completely different moods.

Substitution in knitting matters. I have been preparing for some time for a class I am teaching at the Carolina Fiber Frolic on this very subject.

There are so many reasons to knit a pattern in the yarn recommended. The designer often has a host of thoughts and insight for pairing the pattern with the yarn. Obviously they make a great team.

When you dig in to the reasoning behind that and understand the yarn to pattern relationship it really frees your creativity to twirl and leap and dance…without falling off the stage in to the orchestra pit. Have you been there? Are you feeling me? Yeah buddy! That has been me so many times. (Ever substituted faux fur or eyelash  for wool? I know I can’t be the only one who thought that would be a great idea….)

Perhaps you haven’t made alterations to a pattern before, except the colour of your yarn. Or maybe you switched brands but kept the fiber content identical not feeling that taking that big leap was something you were prepared to do. Or it could just be you haven’t had the need or seen a reason to substitute.

I want to learn together, experiment alongside you, if you are interested. No pressure, just a bit of learning at our own pace.

And then maybe later you’ll join me for a bit of stretching and leaping…maybe? For now lets just enjoy learning a bit together.

Let’s start the conversation, here and on Ravelry.

For here, let’s try a poll! (I know! I know! POLLS! But they are fun to make and quick to get an overview from and so I made one up below!) It is just 2 quick questions, so let your voice be heard!

And once you are done with that, head over to the Ravelry group! There are some fun things to share on the forum thread marked Some New Fun: Substitution in Knitting.

As always, thanks for dropping by and Aloha Friday!


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