Rules for Feeding the Stash

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

WIP: White Garter Stitch

Great Northern

Before I talk about my boring white garter stitch, I'd like to encourage you all to check out the Kickstarter for Great Northern. I love this whole collection so much, and I can see where every sweater would fit in my wardrobe (I've been making grabby hands at Too Dreamy for weeks, and I could easily wear My Log Does Not Judge with leggings for a week and be perfectly happy). If you see just one pattern you like, I encourage you to preorder it with a $5 pledge (or higher, if you can, and if you like the whole collection), because I think it's important to support projects like this.

But onward to my own project: this is a secret project-the recipient doesn't know I'm making them something. So all I'm going to say for now is that someone I care about just had something happen in their lives that I feel is deserving of something nice being knit, so I am knitting it.

I can't wait to tell you more about this once the recipient has it (they see this blog, so I'm being a little careful). For now, I can tell you that it's several feet of garter stitch. "Several" meaning taller than an average (or even above average) man. I think. I'm kind of flying by the seat of my pants here. However much it is, it's an awful lot.

This yarn is delicious. For reasons that will become clear when the veil of secrecy is lifted, I'm using Peace Silk, which has been a lot of fun to play with, but has the downfall of being snaggy and uneven. I'm rolling with it though, and I'm loving the effect of this yarn in the garter stitch. It's exactly as I'm imagining it so far, and I'd be a lot happier with it if it wasn't just feet upon feet of garter stitch in fingering-weight yarn on US5 needles. But then I get to squish that lovely silk garter stitch in my hands, and that makes it all the more bearable.

Hopefully this will be done next week-I was hoping to get it finished in September, but the thing with ridiculous self-imposed deadlines is that sometimes you end up biting off more than you can chew and the deadlines whoosh by. It happens.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Progress: Rocky Coast

Well, there has been quite a bit of progress on this knit, and now I've hit a roadblock. I finished the body, and was ready to start the sleeves when I realized that I didn't have the right size needle. So I started working on the collar, because I knew it was going to take forever, and if I get it done now, then the whole thing will be done as soon as I bang out the sleeves.

The collar took a while-I got about two rows in before I started hating it. Those are some really long collar rows, and you need twenty of them! It was really bad. I finally brought it to knitting group on Saturday and pounded out six of the rows, then when I got home I churned through the rest and the bind off. But I still don't have the sleeve needle yet.

So voila-one sweater, sans sleeves. I had mum try it on, since I have a bit of a history of knitting her sweaters that don't fit, and it's looking good. I just need to get my act together and order the needle that I need for the sleeves. Since, you know, I promised this sweater would be done for fall, and it's fall already. Daughter of the year, right here.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Stash Enhancement: NCFF Edition!

I totally failed to mention any of my acquisitions from NCFF in my recap post! I showed some admirable restraint, and only got a few things, but they're pretty fantastic things. So without further ado, here's some pretty yarn!

I got two skeins from Roundabout Yarn. They're both in her Podium base, which is a 75/25 SW Merino/Nylon blend. And at a generous 463yds per 100g, I'm hoping to get some really pretty knits out of them. The colorways up there are "Smokey Granite" and "Bonfire," but it was really hard to choose from all of the gorgeous skeins at that booth.

I also picked up some mini skeins from The Dyeing Arts. I started knitting up my sock leftovers into a blanket, and I decided it would be fun to get some new yarns to throw in it as well. The colors I grabbed are "Rose Rust," "Desert Flower," "All That Glitters," "Smaller On the Outside," and "Scottish Thistle." I can't wait to see how they all knit up, but I should probably wait and spread them throughout my blanket a bit. Or not-we'll see how it goes :) 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

NCFF Recap

I had such a great time at NCFF this year. This was my first time going for the whole fair-three years ago I went for Saturday only, but this year I decided I needed a real break and went for all three days. It was so worth it-I had an amazing cabin site, I met some incredible people, and I saw some fantastic vendors.

My cabin was on a lake just a few miles from the fair. It was a nice little getaway in the middle of the country, and the perfect place to stay for a few days. I was right on the lake, so I got to hear fish surfacing all weekend, and I had a phenomenal view from my porch.

The fair itself was the complete opposite of my reclusive getaway: there were tons of fellow crafters and vendors and instructors. I took just one class-Saori Weaving on Saturday afternoon. It was a lot of fun-Saori Weaving is "freestyle weaving" and focuses on the human and the imperfect, so we basically got to play with looms for three hours. I've been toying with the idea of getting a loom for a few years now, and now I'm definitely in favor of having one in the house.

There were plenty of animals in the barn as well-two pens of sheep, plus two alpacas. They were so much fun-and so fluffy! I also got to talk to an alpaca farmer, and I am sorely tempted to the way of the fiber farm. I'm definitely not ready for it yet, but I would not be surprised if in twenty years I start collecting fluffy animal friends.

I also had the surreal experience of seeing one of my patterns out in the wild. The Dyeing Arts' booth had kits for Nelumbo, and while it was totally cool to see it at a fiber fair and to have people expressing interest in it, it was also pretty intimidating. But mostly cool. I'm still processing it all.

Monday, September 21, 2015

FO: Ptarmigan

This is a really old FO-I knit this cowl for Anemone back in May for graduation, and we only just got around to getting photos a couple weeks ago. I decided to knit her something approximately 4 days before graduation, because hey, finishing college is a big freaking deal.

I had gotten this yarn in a swap-Anemone really liked mint, so I was planning on making her something with it, but I didn't really know what. There was just one ball of the stuff, and I only had a couple of days to make something special. After some Ravelry crawling, I came across Ptarmigan. I love the finished result-the pattern and color are both perfect for her, and the cowl was really enjoyable to knit. It only took two days, which was perfect.

Of course, I had to give it to her right as summer was starting, but it will start to get cooler again pretty soon. This project really was a charming little instant-gratification knit, and I'm enormously pleased with the end result.

Ravelry Page: Ptarmigan
Pattern: Ptarmigan by Jared Flood
Yarn: Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport "Arctic Moss"

Friday, September 18, 2015

Headed to NCFF!

I'm getting ready to hit the road for NCFF in just a few hours-I've got a cabin for the weekend, and I can't wait to get away for a few days. I haven't made it to NCFF the last two years, so I'm excited to see all the vendors (and animals!) again. I'm also really looking forward to just have some quiet time at my cabin. My dad has shown me how to use the camp stove, so I'm reasonably confident that I will not blow myself up trying to make coffee in the great outdoors.

I'm not coming back home until Monday afternoon, but fortunately I still have an old FO to share with you then, and Wednesday I'll be able to regale you with tales of sheep, collies, the camel (!!), my weaving class, and my first solo camping trip (hopefully it's more "Kat knits peacefully by the lake" and less "Kat sets everything on fire").

I have some great knitting planned-I'll be bringing the Top Sekrit I mentioned the other day, as well as Lupine for when I need to mix it up a little bit. I'm so excited-I've been looking forward to this trip for weeks and it could not come at a better time.

Hope you all have something fun planned for this weekend too!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Planning: Stockholm Scarf

Sometime last summer, I came across four skeins of Cascade Highland Duo in Espresso in the clearance room at Athena Fibers, and I scooped up all four skeins. I had in my mind some vague idea about coming up for a design for it, but nothing ever really took root.

One of the problems I ran into was that this yarn is very dark, and it's a single ply. So there isn't much stitch definition, and while I love how warm and soft it is, and while it's super enjoyable to knit, I was struggling to find something that would work for it that 1. wasn't plain and boring, and 2. didn't require great stitch definition.

I knit one of the skeins up into my Tidal Flatts last winter, and while the yarn was fantastic for the pattern, and I am crazy about this hat, I really don't need four dark brown alpaca blend hats. So the other three skeins sat on the "to be knit soon" shelf of my bookcase, and I kind of just...buried them under other yarns.

In my hundredth crawl through the Ravelry pattern database, I suddenly thought of Julie's Stockholm Scarf. I knit a ton of these my senior year in college-one for me (which is still one of my favorite scarves ever), and five more for women I worked with, plus a classmate's mum. (Sorry for the crap pictures-they were taken in my aggressively blue dorm room with a cheap webcam-how far I've come!)

I get a little obsessive, clearly. But I loved this pattern, and it's definitely one I wouldn't mind knitting again. And with three skeins of yarn, I'm going to end up with a nice GIANT scarf!

Well, it's not like I don't have enough WIPs already (19 at last count, including something Top Sekrit that I just started and need to have done by the 26th!!), but let's see if I can't get this done before the first snowfall (so, mid-October). Because really, what's the fun of knitting if you don't get ridiculous self-imposed deadlines, amirite?

Monday, September 14, 2015

FO: Camas

I finished my Yellow Camas back during play rehearsal, and it's just been sitting in my room, waiting for pictures and a blog! I love it so much-it came out almost exactly how I imagined, and it fits like a dream. It's so cheerful and light-the yarn knit up beautifully, and the lace and garter stitch really shows off the color variegation.

This is such a delightful little hat, and it was such a fun little knit. A hat was definitely what I needed-I've had so many bigger projects on the needles this summer, and juggling them all makes me feel like they'll never get done. A quick instant-gratification project was definitely what the doctor ordered.

Ravelry Page: Yellow Camas
Pattern: Camas, by Cory Ellen Boberg
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Worsted, solar dyed by me with dandelion and tumeric

Friday, September 11, 2015

Taking a Breath, and Lupine

Wow, it's been such an intense month so far! I knew September was going to be full of wonderful things, but it's really flying by! The collection release took up a lot of my time and energy, but I'm so proud of it, and I'm so grateful for everyone's positive reactions! And then it was my birthday, and now I feel like I'm finally getting a chance to breathe (right before a weekend that I've booked full of knit group, art workshops, our town's car/music/BBQ festival, and Anemone's half-marathon).

I've also been starting to feel a bit burned out from the summer, so I'm trying to be aware of that and take things easy. On top of the play, almost all my summer knitting was design work-mostly the collection, but also a couple of things for later this fall. Creative exhaustion is definitely a thing, and I don't want to hit full burnout, so I've been focusing on just pleasure knitting this week. Last weekend I churned out a bunch of my mum's sweater- it's just ten long collar rows away from a complete body, but I need to order the right size needle for the sleeves.

I also started a Lupine on my birthday-I thought it would be nice to have something fresh and new, and this hit the spot. Cory's patterns are always just a joy to knit, and this pattern is just perfect for this yarn. The yarn is by my friend Tara-The Dyeing Arts Splendiferious, so this whole project is a wonderful reminder of what amazing, talented, and hardworking friends I have in this community.

Hope you all have a magnificent weekend!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Pattern: Portsmouth

****The Collection Giveaway winner is comment number 8, Heather! Congratulations! 
I'll be sending you a copy of the collection on Ravelry later today.
Thank you to everyone who entered!****

Today is my birthday: I am officially a quarter-century old. I love my birthday. It's one of my favorite days of the year. I get a special birthday latte, go to a special birthday lunch, make a special birthday carrot cake, and eat delicious birthday enchiladas for dinner. But before I get started with all that, I have one more hat pattern from my collection to share with you all.

The final pattern in my collection is Portsmouth. I knew pretty early on that I wanted to design a hat inspired by Portsmouth, but it took a while to figure out what exactly it would look like. In fact, this was the only hat in the collection that changed drastically from conception-I had three different sketches before I settled on one, and then two swatches before I settled on one, and then I changed my mind again as I was knitting the sample! It all worked out though-I'm so happy with how the final design turned out, and it has the exact feel I was going for.

Portsmouth is another New England coastal town, and one of the things I remember most about it is all of the bricks. There were only a few brick houses in my hometown, so I was always excited to go see the gorgeous brick buildings and sidewalks. As a young child, Portsmouth seemed to have a sort of timeless magic, and as I continued to visit summer after summer I never stopped being charmed by the place. In that spirit, I wanted a charming hat-one that would stand up to time, like the town that inspired it, and the textured body of the hat is reminiscent of the brickwork that made such an impression on me as a child.

***Remember that today is the final day of my Birthday Sale
Use coupon code "HB25!" to get 20% off everything in my Ravelry Store-but remember, 
the code is only good through midnight US Central time tonight!***

Monday, September 7, 2015

Pattern: Odiorne

For several months I'd been toying with the idea of a hat just covered in nupps. I did some sketching, some swatching, and while I was always charmed by the results it didn't really go anywhere until I started planning this collection. Gorham and Hampton were really easy to plan, and I was toying with what other towns I wanted to include when the idea of a nupp-covered hat popped into my head again. This time, I realized that it felt just like how I remembered Odiorne Point State Park-pebbles, barnacles, and seashells everywhere, little snails clinging to every rock, and tide pools filled with mussels.

I would spend hours exploring-I filled buckets with all the rocks and shells I picked up, and I never tired of seeing a rock encrusted with barnacles and snails. In a similar spirit, this hat embodies all the little joys in life-small collectibles picked up during everyday adventures, the spirit of exploration, and the excitement of finding something new in a familiar landscape. This is a hat for observing the special moments in an ordinary day, and for finding fun wherever you may be.

*Remember to enter the collection giveaway!  Leave a comment on the official release post and let me know which hat is your favorite by midnight on September 8, and on September 9 I'll announce the winner. Be sure to link to an email or leave your Ravelry ID so I can get a hold of you.*

***Also remember to take advantage of my Birthday Sale! 
Use coupon code "HB25!" to get 20% off everything in my Ravelry Store-but remember, 
the code is only good through midnight on September 9.***

Friday, September 4, 2015

Pattern: Hampton

Hampton is the second hat in my collection, and while Gorham started the whole project, Hampton was the one that started making it feel like a cohesive group. I went to Hampton Beach so many times when I was a kid-at least two or three times a summer, usually significantly more. We went a couple times just with the summer rec program every year, and then there would be family trips and parties with friends thrown in as well. Nine times out of ten, if I was going to a beach, it would be this one.

The scalloped rib border and circular lace motif both evoke the nautical feel of the coast at Hampton. No matter where you are, Hampton is reminiscent of charming, breezy days by the water, and everyday adventures with friends.

*Remember to enter the collection giveaway!  Leave a comment on the official release post and let me know which hat is your favorite by midnight on September 8, and on September 9 I'll announce the winner. Be sure to link to an email or leave your Ravelry ID so I can get a hold of you.*

***Also remember to take advantage of my Birthday Sale! 
Use coupon code "HB25!" to get 20% off everything in my Ravelry Store-but remember, 
the code is only good through midnight on September 9.***

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Pattern: Gorham

Gorham is the first pattern in my collection, and it was the pattern that started the whole project. I had this stitch pattern stuck in my head, and it reminded me of the summer camp I went to for many years in Gorham, NH. This stitch pattern reminded me of mountains and pine trees, and the mix of ribbing and lace would definitely make this a perfect hat to wear at summer camp.

This hat is meant to bring back your fondest camp memories-old friends, new friends, campfires, stargazing, blisters, scraped knees, toilet paper fights, and the unspeakable peace that comes from being completely disconnected from the world for a week or two. Gorham’s ribbed lace pattern is meant to evoke the mountains and pine trees of my own camp memories, and the hat is meant to be perfect for any activity-either at camp or in your daily life.

*Remember to enter the collection giveaway!  Leave a comment on the official release post and let me know which hat is your favorite by midnight on September 8, and on September 9 I'll announce the winner. Be sure to link to an email or leave your Ravelry ID so I can get a hold of you.*

***Also remember to take advantage of my Birthday Sale! 
Use coupon code "HB25!" to get 20% off everything in my Ravelry Store-but remember, 
the code is only good through midnight on September 9.***

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Granite: Four Hats for Any Adventure

I am so excited to announce the release of my mini collection! Over the next week or so I'll go a little bit in depth about each pattern, but for now here is  the collection in it's entirety.

I am so pleased with these patterns, and with the collection as a whole. These hats were all inspired by different places in New Hampshire, the state where I grew up, and so each pattern is very much rooted in a specific sense of time and place for me.

The patterns are available individually or as an ebook, both here and in my Ravelry Store. And, since this is all so exciting, I want to give one copy of the ebook to one of you fantastic readers! Leave a comment on this post and let me know which hat is your favorite by midnight on September 8, and on September 9 I'll announce the winner (chosen by a random generator). Be sure to link to an email or leave your Ravelry ID so I can get a hold of you.
***Also remember that today is the first day of my Birthday Sale! 
Use coupon code "HB25!" to get 20% off everything in my Ravelry Store-but remember, 
the code is only good through midnight on September 9.***