Friday, August 18, 2017

A Garter Stitch Shawl

Apparently I'm in a mood for garter stitch lately. I really love it- it's calm and meditative, I can do it anywhere, any time, and the finished fabric is squishy and homey. I hated garter stitch for a couple of years, after I first learned how to knit. My first project was a garter stitch scarf, which never made it to the halfway point, and was consigned to the rubbish bin several years ago. I'd seen friends try their hands at knitting, stalling out at garter stitch scarves, and I got it into my head that garter stitch was amateurish and untidy.

Fortunately, that was just a stage, and I've since come back around to garter stitch. Just because something is easy doesn't mean that it's not also beautiful, and garter stitch has a great utilitarian elegance to it. Garter stitch will stretch to wrap you in warmth or squish into the bottom of your bag, garter stitch forgives accidental increases and decreases. It might not be as flashy as some other stitches, but garter stitch is both humble and proud, it's not above being used as an emergency hot pad, and there's nothing like a garter stitch afghan casually draped across the back of your couch.

Garter stitch always makes me think of fall and winter. It's easy and cozy, and as soon as I can hear the faintest calls of colder weather (university students move back this weekend for fall classes) I reach for that warm familiarity, the very roots of my knitting experience. As with all things, I'll get my temporary fill of garter stitch eventually, and be drawn back to stockinette, or cables, or lace, but I've been in a garter stitch state of mind for a couple of weeks now, and it's not slowing down yet.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017


Right now I'm not really making great progress on anything, because I keep juggling half a dozen different projects around. After a summer of monogamous knitting though, it feels pretty nice to be fickle for a change. I'm a little over halfway through the front of my Easy A sweater, and I'm planning on paying some more attention to it the next few days in an attempt to get this piece done. I've been wondering if I should have gotten a third skein of this yarn, and I have to be in the city on Monday, so I want to get to a good measuring point before I swing by the yarn store.

The past couple of days here have been grey and rainy, and it's really just what we needed. We've been better off than most of the state in terms of drought, but things were still getting pretty dry. Plus, there's nothing better than sitting down to watch the rain and knitting. It could only be better if our living room was put back together and the sofa was usable, but maybe we'll finish the floors this weekend, if we're lucky.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Slow Sweatering

My Jean Pullover is coming along- I've got four more rows before I can start the diamond lace pattern for the upper back. I worked on my Easy A sweater some during the fair last week, but there's still a ways to go on the back piece of that. I didn't work too much on the sweaters over the weekend, because I started a new shawl design and I wanted to get a good chunk on that done.

The house is pretty chaotic right now- we're putting new flooring in on the first floor, so the living room is empty, the den is full of everything from the living room, and the poor dogs are just confused by everything. I helped my mum in the garden a little bit yesterday, but mostly I've been hiding up in my room for the past few days. Hopefully the floors will be done soon- the parts that are done look amazing, but it'd be really nice to have the first floor back.

Linking up with Crafting On

Friday, August 11, 2017


Pic heavy post today! The fair is in full swing, and I had a great time wandering around last night. My knits did pretty well overall, which is always a great feeling. Last night was also the Lawnmower Obstacle Course, which was just as enjoyable as it sounds.

I was a little bummed that my crochet octopus only placed second in its lot, but it was up against that adorable crochet unicorn, so I really can't get upset. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Sweatering and Fair Time

Stripey is blocking (we've had a bit of a damp cold front lately, so it's taking a while), and I got buttons sewn on my Hetty. Hopefully I'll get good photos of both sweaters this weekend so I can share them with you, because they're fantastic. I'm alternating working on my Jean Pullover and my Easy A sample right now, and I'm about halfway done the back pieces of each.

This week/weekend is the fair. I entered some knitting into Open Class for the first time- in the past, I've always been away for work during the submission time- and it'd be really nice to place something. I'm not sure which day we'll wander over to look at the other entries, but I know some great quilts were entered while I was there, so I can't wait to see what else people have submitted.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Just a Few More Stripes

This weekend went by way too fast, I definitely could have used another day! It turns out that I sprained my ankle on Thursday, so Saturday was a mix of resting it and cleaning the house. Yesterday was the zoo day, and it was absolutely delightful. It was just overcast and cool enough to be comfortable, and we got to see everything. The koalas, of course, are the main attraction right now, but I also made friends with a goat in the hands-on farm area.

I'm juggling quite a few sweater projects right now, but last night after I got home I turned my focus to my Stripey- it's so close to finished, and it'll be great to have it off the needles. There are just a couple more sleeve stripes for me to finish today, and the seams, so with any luck it'll be blocking later this week! My OAL Hetty is also blocked, and just waiting for buttons right now. Hopefully I'll get those put on tonight as well, but we'll see how the day goes.

I don't know if my OAL dress is salvageable (there are...flaps...where the bodice meets the skirt, and that oughtn't have happened). I've almost worked up the courage to try to fix it- either I'll get a wearable dress, or it'll be a great sewing exercise.

Linking up with Crafting On

Friday, August 4, 2017

Sweaters and Zoo Plans!

My Easy A sweater is progressing nicely. I finished the bottom ribbing and am into a nice long stretch of garter stitch. Tonight some people from the library are getting together for drinks with a coworker who's leaving in a few days, so I'll get a couple of hours of bar knitting in. Considering that I first conceived the plan for this sweater in a bar, it feels appropriate.

I'm also working on the sleeves for my Stripey Bosom- I know I haven't really shared that one with you yet, but I really love it. I spent three hours weaving in all the ends from the body, and I'm four stripes into the first sleeve. I haven't decided for sure yet how long I want the sleeves to be, but it's an aran-weight sweater on US9 needles, so I know they'll be done quickly!

This weekend some friends and I are going to the zoo! Our zoo has some koalas through Labor Day, and we've been wanting to go see them since they arrived. I absolutely love koalas, ever since I was a kid- they're sleepy, hungry, cuddly, grouchy little marsupials, what's not to love?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Summer Sweater KAL

It's time for the Summer Sweater KAL from Very Shannon, and since I've done the Tops, Tees, and Tanks KAL for two years now, I thought it was about time to jump in with a sweater. I have a few WIPs floating around from the beginning of the summer that have been sitting on my bookshelf since I started working on the Scrubland Collection, but since wrapping up that project (and binding off my OAL Hetty), I've been looking for some direction.

I'm still planning on finishing up some of my WIPs- I have my Zinone and a Cancun Boxy Lace Top that I'd love to finish and wear at least once before fall, and the SSKAL is laid back enough that I'll definitely be able to get those done as well. I have two sweater projects I'd like to get done for the KAL, and last night I cast on for the first one.

This is going to be a super easy, cozy pullover. Ever since I started designing, one of the projects that got in my head was a sweater that is easy enough to knit in a bar, with my friends, after a few too many. This sweater has everything going for it to make it the easiest garment I'll ever knit- garter stitch, stockinette in the round, big gauge. It's going to be my ultimate snuggle sweater, and I can't wait for it!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Scrubland Collection: Briar

As much as I love playing with cables and lace in summer, sometimes I just need simple. Briar is understated, with just a hint of interest at the shoulders and upper back, and is easily at home on a hiking trail, in a porch swing, or at date night.

Briar is worked in two pieces from the bottom and seamed. Stitches are picked up for sleeves and neckband, which are worked in the round.

The finished garment measures 31(34, 37, 40, 43, 46, 49, 52, 55, 58, 61, 64)in/78.25 (86.25, 94, 101.5, 109.25, 116.75, 124.5, 132, 139.75, 147.25, 155, 162.5)cm at bust and measures 24in/61cm from shoulder to hem.

Briar is available in my Ravelry store now!

Linking up with Crafting On

Friday, July 28, 2017


There's no reason to panic. There's three whole days left in the OAL, and two of them are weekend days, so that's like 40 hours of crafting time right there, right? So it's no problem that your second sleeve has eight repeats to go, plus ribbing, and you still need to pick back your bind off to add more ribbing to the body, oh, and button bands, can't forget those, and a collar, and wait, you haven't even thought about buttons yet??

I mean, it's not like you haven't even cut out your dress yet- wait, what? Oh, well, it's a quick dress, and as long as you're not doing something stupid like using one of the shiftiest fabrics known to man- oh, come on, are you serious? Well, how long can it really take to sew a dress, right?

Well, at least you don't have anything to do this weekend, so you can just sit and focus on finishing your outfit. You don't need groceries, I'm sure there are some stale crackers lying around. And the dogs can walk themselves, dogs have cared for themselves for millions of years and they're fine.  And as long as your hands don't cramp up or get tingly, you can keep going, right? Right?

Guys, I might be in trouble.