Monday, December 31, 2018

Ready for 2019


It's almost 2019! I, for one, am ready to put 2018 behind me. There was quite a bit of good stuff, but overall the year was busy and overwhelming, and I'm sitting here at the end of it feeling a bit out of sorts. I haven't picked a word for the year before, but going into 2019 I think I'm going to start, and my word is "Balance."

I did some great things in 2018. I published some great patterns, I wrote some great poems and stories, and I did some great theater projects. I'm very proud of all of that, but I'm not proud of how "all or nothing" my progress felt like, or how exhausted I felt at times, or how I'd get something cool done at the expense of everything else in my life. I don't necessarily want to scale back any of what I'm working on, but I know there has to be a better way for me to go about doing it all, and I hope 2019 is the year I figure it out.

Tomorrow is the start of the 2019 Wayward KAL, and I can't wait to cast on. I've decided to knit Old Harry, but I'm going to skip the colorblocked yoke and sleeve caps. Instead, I'm going to hold together these two strands of fingering weight to get an allover marled effect. I think it's going to look great, and I can't wait to see what everyone else knits up over the next two months. We're chatting away in my Ravelry Group, so feel free to come join in! 

Friday, December 21, 2018

2018 in Review


Well, this year has been pretty non-stop, and it's not looking like it's going to wind down too much in this last week and a half. I didn't get as much knitting done this year as I have in years past, but I also moved into my apartment, which completely ate up my life for almost three months, and I got nothing else done during that time.


I finished nine garments this year (ten, if you count the fact that one of them had to be completely reknit after blocking). I still have two sweaters that I haven't shared with you yet because they only have half their buttons sewn on, oops! I finished eleven accessories (hopefully that number will go up by New Year's—I have my mum's xmas present still on the needles, and a couple quick accessories for myself on the needles that I might be able to bang out once that's done).


I released eleven patterns this year, including a couple shawls that I'd been working on and fighting with for quite a while, and I'm ultimately very pleased with how they came out. I also hosted the Easy A-long, and it was so much fun that we're doing another sweater KAL starting January 1st! 


This year I was in three plays, and my writing started taking off. I wrote over one hundred poems, four short stories, and I wrote 25k words on the first draft of my novel. I had a poem published and a story included in a collection.


As much as 2018 felt like a constant whirlwind, it was also a pretty good year. I made some great new friends and I got my apartment all set up (and I cannot stress how wonderful it is to have a space all my own, with all the things I love in it!). I already know that 2019 is going to be kind of a tough year in a few ways, but I strongly believe that it's going to be a year of intense growth, and I really can't wait to see what direction things take. 


Monday, December 17, 2018

Time to Catch Up


Boy howdy, has it been a weekend. I did pretty much nothing all weekend other than the play and sleep, although last night I did manage to squeeze in a couple hours of catching up on xmas knitting. I'm still behind, and I don't know how I'm going to get everything done this week, but every year it all comes together somehow.

The play went really well, and we had nearly sold-out houses every night. I brought along this little orange cowl to work on in the dressing room, and while I only managed to get one or two round done all weekend, it was nice to know I had it with me.

This week, I'm looking forward to watching a lot of GBBO, getting xmas presents finished, and drinking lots of hot beverages. You?

Linking up with Crafting On

Friday, December 14, 2018

Not Much to Show

I've been feeling like a terrible blogger lately, because I don't really have much to share with you. All my knitting time right now has been dedicated to gifts, and I can't blog those yet since their recipients read the blog.

I'm actually quite a bit further behind on gifts right now than I'd like to be, but once the play is done I should hopefully have time to crank them all out. We open tonight, and it's been a wild ride. I've definitely been missing my quiet evenings at home, and I'm looking forward to having them back next week.

I do miss you all, and I hope I'll have something to share with you next week—I might even find some time this weekend between shows to do a little selfish knitting! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

2019 Wayward KAL



I know I’ve been swamped with December activities and gift knitting, and I’m looking forward to some selfish knitting!

Starting January 1, 2019, come hang out and knit a sweater with us! The official patterns are Old Harry and Delwyn, so choose your favorite (or be ambitious and knit both!) and join in. The KAL will run through February 28, 2019, leaving you with plenty of winter to wear your new sweater!

Three winners will be chosen at random once the KAL is over to select two patterns from my Ravelry store.

I’m looking forward to knitting along with you all!


Friday, December 7, 2018

On Being Busy, and Painting


Sorry for disappearing this week! I've been crazy busy with music and theater rehearsals, but I just need to get through the next nine days, and then everything will be better.

(No it won't. Then it will be the solstice, and then xmas, and I'm going to be trying to finish up gifts and doing more baking than I have time for. It will not be better.)

Wednesday night I was feeling a bit overwhelmed—for the past couple of months, I've been working nearly nonstop on design work and drafting my novel, and once you add in my day job at the library, dance classes, and music and theater rehearsals, it's been a lot. It's all things I enjoy doing, but they have all been weighing me down as well.

So I painted.

I used to be a pretty serious painter, and it's something I love doing, and it felt so good to do something just for me. No pressure, no expectations, no deadlines, just doing something because I wanted to do it.

Friends, it felt so good. I haven't painted in ages, and it turns out that I missed it desperately. It's been so long since I took an hour to do something that just makes me happy, with no other expectations.

I really hope that I can hold onto this feeling and remember to make time for painting more regularly. I keep getting swept up in the feeling that I need to constantly be producing work—that if I'm not knitting a sample or polishing a poem or knocking out five thousand words on my novel—and if I'm not, I'm somehow not enough. Which is bullshit, and I know it, but it makes it difficult to say "I'm taking this weekend to just do things I like to do, with no pressure," and I need to remember that taking that time is important and healthy.


Friday, November 30, 2018

Counting Down

Hi friends!

I decided to try something new this year! As a gift to you all, I'm going to put one of my Ravelry patterns or collections on sale every day from December 1st through the 24th for 50% off with the code 24days.

The daily sales will end at 11:59pm (US Central Time) each night. I'll share the sale pattern (or  collection!) on Instagram, on Twitter, and in my Ravelry Group.

I've chosen a mix of older patterns and some more recent ones, and I really hope you find some that you love! 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

My GAL Plans

This year for the GAL, I may have bitten off more than I can chew, and I'm trying to complete a project in each of the 8 GAL categories. This is, of course, an entirely reasonable goal, given that I'm trying to finish Currituck Sound, and I work full-time in the library, and I have choir and bell ensemble rehearsals, and dance class, and I'm drafting a novel, and I have rehearsals for A Christmas Carol.

Eight projects by New Year's is definitely not a stretch.

One of my projects is Top Sekrit, as it's for my mum, but the rest I can share here! In the Hats/Head category, I'm going to be knitting Billo, by Ambah O'Brien.


In Hands/Arms I'm planning on knitting Birch Bark Mittens, by Abbye Dahl. I fell in love with these mittens last year, but never got them knitted. Hoping that 2018 is the year for these!


In Feet/Legs I'm going to be knitting Ex Nine Socks, by Kristen Jancuk.


In Baby I'm going to knit Gidday by Georgie Nicolson. My cousin is having another baby later this winter, and I fell hard for the yoke stripes on this cardigan.


In the Garments category, I'm planning to knit Carrollton Top, by Faye Kennington.


In the Neck category, I'm going to knit Enchanted Cowl, by Shannon Squire.


And, finally, in Toys/Home/Other I'm planning to knit The Perfect Little Pillow Cover, by Denise Voie de Vie.


It's definitely a lot of knitting, even if I wasn't already swamped with other activities, but I'm willing to give it a shot. At the very least, I'll have some great WIPs to wrangle in 2019!


Monday, November 26, 2018

Currituck Sounding


I hope all my USian friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I managed plenty of baking: I made cinnamon rolls for breakfast, a crustless pumpkin pie for myself, and an orange-cranberry pound cake that everyone has asked to have as a repeat bake. As usual, we went all out on food, despite there being only five of us, and my mum's fridge is still full of leftovers (even after making a Thanksgiving Leftovers Casserole to have next weekend!).

I've been focusing on my Currituck Sound over the past few days—I'm super excited for the GAL, and I'v already cast on my first project, but I set Currituck Sound aside while I focused on getting Delwyn ready for release and preparing for Thanksgiving. I really love this knit, and the KAL ends on December 3rd, so I figure I can try to bang the rest of the shawl out this week. (I have several KAL projects that have been left unfinished and have been hibernating for different lengths of time, I don't need to add another!)

The shawl is ready for the last two sections now, so I should be able to bang the rest of it out quickly, and then all of my attention will go toward GAL projects. December is always a busy month for me, and it'll be even busier this year with A Christmas Carol coming up, so i'm going to take this last week or two I have of normalcy and enjoy them!

Linking up with Crafting On

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

2018 Indie Designer Giftalong!


It's that time again, when thousands of knitters gather together for six weeks to knit as much as possible (ostensibly for gifts, but I know I'm not the only one knitting selfishly during this time).

It's Indie Designer GAL time! Running from November 23rd (at 8pm US Eastern time) through December 31st, the Giftalong is a GIANT knit- and crochet-along with games, prizes, and some really great company.

From November 23rd (at 8pm US Eastern time) through November 29th, hundreds of participating designers are putting patterns on sale for 25% off! Each participating designer has a bundle with 10-20 of their patterns that they're putting on sale for the Giftalong, and the fantastic GAL organizers will also make a massive bundle of all the sale patterns that you can browse and search as well.

Use the code giftalong2018 at checkout to save 25% on all your sale patterns! (My bundle is here, and all the bundles—including the massive one—will be live at 8pm US Eastern time tonight!)

The sale is great, but I really love the next five weeks. Every year there's been a great group of knitters participating, and it's a great place to check in when the holiday stress is getting to you. Even if you don't buy anything during the sale (hey, times are tight, I get it!), any pattern by any participating designer is eligible for GAL prizes!

There's tons of details and a lot of conversation already in the official Indie Designer GAL group on Ravelry. Hope to see you there!

Monday, November 19, 2018

New Pattern: Delwyn


Delwyn is the sweater of my stripy dreams. Colorblocking on the yoke makes way to stripes for days, and coordinating sleeves feature striped cuffs.


Delwyn is worked seamlessly from the top down. The upper back is knit first, then placed on hold while stitches are picked up at the shoulders to knit the front. The body is joined at the underarms and knit in the round with waist shaping. Sleeve stitches are picked up from the body and sleeve caps are shaped using short rows.


Delwyn is intended to be worn with 0-4 inches/0-10 cm of positive ease. Sample shown is size 45in/114.5cm. Model is 5’ 4” tall and has a 44in/114175cm bust.


Sizes: 33 (36, 39, 42, 45, 48, 51, 54, 57, 60, 63, 66)in/84 (91.5, 99, 106.5, 114.5, 122, 129.5, 137, 145, 152.5, 160, 168)cm at bust, to be worn with 0-4 inches/0-10 cm of positive ease


Delwyn is available on Ravelry and is 20% off through Friday, November 23rd! 

Friday, November 16, 2018

Stripes on Stripes on Stripes


I am making excellent progress on my striped sweater, despite having an incredibly busy week. We're getting ready to order costumes at the dance studio, and I've measured well over 200 dancers in the past four days. We're finally done, now, and I'm definitely looking forward to the weekend. 

I'm quite a bit behind on my NaNoWriMo novel, as I've pushed it to the back burner while I've been re-knitting this sweater, but I'm hoping to catch up some over the weekend and next week. I've completely given up on the idea of a NaKniSweMo sweater, so my Linney is going to sit on the bookshelf for a few weeks while I focus more on my Currituck Sound (which is very behind) and my Great Northern KAL project. I want to have both of these done soon, but the Indie GAL starts after US Thanksgiving, and I do have quite a bit of giftmas crafting to start.

My plans for this weekend are to rest and to not knit too much! This sweater should be finished tonight (since this photo was taken, I've passed the halfway point on the second sleeve), and I think once it's blocking I might take out some fabric to sew a top for myself. I've been knitting at least six hours a day for the past nine days, so I'm ready for a bit of a change! 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Re-Knitting


So, it has been a while since I posted. Friends, I was ashamed. I had finished my striped sweater, after over a month of work. I lovingly wove in the end and laid it out to block, all the while ignoring the niggling voice in the back of my mind saying it looked a bit large.

And then I tried it on.

Oh, kittens, it was awful. Due to some incredibly strange arithmetic on my part, I knit two sizes larger than what I needed, and the result was a very woolly sack. It would have been a lovely sweater for someone larger than me, but alas, I cannot change my size. I tried to think of ways to fix it quickly, but I realized pretty much immediately that I needed to rip it out and re-knit it.

So, in a week, I've knit a sweater body and half a sleeve. I am too exhausted to be mad at myself, but I'm hoping to have this pattern ready for release over the weekend. I haven't really had time to process how upsetting this is yet, because I've been so focused on re-knitting it, but based on the reactions from many of my knitting friends I will probably be weeping in a corner eating chocolates for a week once this is done.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Some Progress, and a Minor Setback


So, yesterday I managed to do something that threw out my wrist. I'm not sure if it's a nerve issue this time or if it's a tendinitis flareup, but I'm back in a brace. It's slowing me down, but I can still knit, which is about the only thing keeping me sane right now.

I had play practice last night, and it went pretty well. Our Scrooge is out of town right now, so we focused on some background scenes and ensemble work. After I got home, I pretty much ignored everything else in favor of watching election results come in. South Dakota is still completely red (disappointing, but unsurprising), but I feel like I can breathe a bit after seeing most of the nationwide results. I want to live in a country that is compassionate and welcoming, where sick and disabled people aren't at risk of bankruptcy and homelessness, where immigrants are welcomed and embraced, and where religious minorities can worship freely, and I like to hope that this country took a couple small steps in that direction last night.

As you can see, my Linney for NaKniSweMo is barely any bigger than it was on Monday. The twisted rib is really kicking my butt, but I have handbell and choir rehearsal tonight, and I can usually bang out quite a few rows there, so fingers crossed for a productive evening! 

Monday, November 5, 2018

Weekends


Happy Monday, kittens. I hope you all had a good weekend. Mine was pretty darn good: I finished the striped sweater (it's blocking now, and the pattern is with my TE), I took a very long and well-deserved nap, and I had lunch AND dinner with my mum yesterday. I also started my Linney for NaKniSweMo, and after three hours of work, I have...the pocket linings and almost an inch of twisted rib. Friends, there is SO MUCH twisted rib in this sweater, and it takes SO LONG and it hurts my hands and I HATE IT, but it will look SO GOOD when it's done. That is, if I ever finish it.

Saturday was the annual holiday bazaar at the Lutheran church up in the city. We've been going to the bazaar for seven or eight years now, and it's definitely the start of the holiday season for us. I made out really well this year—for a total of $14 I got: a decorative plate with a rooster on it, a cast-iron biscuit pan (heart shaped!!), a skein of Lamb's Pride for slippers, most of a Norwegian sweater (the front and back are done, and there's most of a sleeve, and yarn to knit the other one, but I haven't decided yet if I'm going to rip out the sleeve and do them both from scratch yet), a painting, four books (a facsimile of Shakespeare's First Folio, Eleven Plays by Ibsen, Knitting Without Tears, and the Reader's Digest Guide to Houseplants), a spool holder for my studio, some cloth napkins, and a geranium.

After all the excitement on Saturday, yesterday was mostly a rest day for me. I hung out with my dogs, caught up on laundry, and watched a ton of GBBO, which was just what I needed. This week is going to be pretty busy—I didn't get any writing done on my NaNo novel over the weekend, and I'd like to catch up, plus I have play practice, dance class, and choir rehearsals, some sewing to do for the dance studio, and on Saturday we're helping my sister move into her new house! I'm definitely glad I took a lazy day when I could!

Linking up with Crafting On

Friday, November 2, 2018

Novembering


And now it is November, also known as the month where Kat loses her mind.

I'm currently juggling three design projects in various stages of development/completion, and I'm already participating in the Great Northern KAL and the Currituck Sound NMKAL, so of course I decided to jump into NaNoWriMo and NaKniSweMo.

I haven't started my sweater yet—I'm going to knit Linney, and I know I have very little chance of finishing it. My plan so far is to pick four to six days over the course of the month and try to just bang most of it out in a few marathon sessions. We'll see how that goes.

Oh! And I'm in another play! We're doing a dinner theater of A Christmas Carol in mid-December, and rehearsals just started for that. I'll be playing Marley's Ghost as well as a few ensemble roles, and I'm really excited to see how the play turns out.

Between novel writing, three KALs, design work, and play practice, I'm not sure if I'll have time to even breathe this month, but I'm hoping to get as much done as possible. I am well stocked-up on coffee, so I really just need to get comfy and knit and type until I can't do either anymore!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

New Pattern: Brie


Named after one of my most fashionable friends, Brie is the perfect addition to your fall wardrobe.


Brie is a fun and cozy hat with tons of texture. Featuring shrinking horseshoe cables against a background of moss stitch, Brie is an interesting knit perfect for both variegated and solid color yarns.


Pattern includes both written and charted instructions.


Brie is 20% off on Ravelry through Monday, November 5th!


Monday, October 29, 2018

Slowly


It was a really hard weekend for me. The shooting at Tree of Life really affected me, and I'm struggling with a bunch of feelings and a general feeling of powerlessness. This week I'm donating all my pattern sales to HIAS in honor of Jerry Rabinowitz, David and Cecil Rosenthal, Rose Mallinger, Bernice and Sylvan Simon, Daniel Stein, Joyce Fienberg, Richard Gottfried, Melvin Wax, and Irving Younger. May their memory be a blessing.

I spent most of the weekend at home, knitting and reading. Yesterday I had auditions for the winter dinner theater. I've finished the first sleeve on my striped sweater, and I'm working on the back decreases on my Not-So-Lonely Unicorns. The second clue of the Currituck Sound NMKAL comes out today, but I still have a few more rows left on clue one. On top of all of this, I'm debating starting another sweater for NaKniSweMo. I mean, what's one more project? 

Friday, October 26, 2018

New Pattern: Aurelie


Aurelie is a pair of light lace legwarmers, perfect for layering over tight or leggings when temperatures start to dip. Knit in a bright color, Aurelie is the perfect accessory to cheer up the grey days of fall and winter.


Aurelie is worked in the round from the bottom up.

Lace pattern is both charted and written out.

Aurelie is 20% off on Ravelry through Monday, October 29th! 


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

A Break and a Trilobite


Oh man, it feels like it's been ages since I've visited with you all! I took a quick mini break over the weekend—I had appointments in the city on Thursday and Monday, so I took Friday off as well and made it a little vacation.

Things are going pretty well on the knitting front. Fullerton is finished, but for buttons, and I'm just a few rows away from binding off the body on my striped pullover. I cast on my Not-So-Lonely Unicorns for the Great Northern KAL, and I'm about halfway through the first clue on the Currituck Sound NMKAL.


I also FINALLY got pictures of my Trilobite hat, which is probably one of the most charming things I have ever knit. I love paleontology so much, and it was one of my first passions. I've wanted to knit this hat almost since I started knitting, and I'm so glad I finally got around to it.

The yarn is from my friend Annika; it's an old skein of Mal Rios, but the color tag is long gone, and I couldn't tell from looking on Ravelry which grey it is, but it was absolutely perfect for this hat.


Ravelry Page: Trilobite
Pattern: Trilobite by Hannah Mason

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

New Pattern: Sledge


Sledge is a cozy, double-layer cowl. One side is plain stockinette, but inside (or outside!) is clean ribbing in a contrasting color.


Sledge is knit in the round and seamed to finish and it requires 220yds/201m each of Main Color and Contrast Color.


Sledge is available on Ravelry now and is 20% off all week!


Monday, October 15, 2018

Making Progress


This was a pretty good weekend, knitting-wise. I'm almost finished with the waist decreases on my striped sweater, and I got the button band and first sleeve done on Fullerton. Considering I didn't get any knitting done on Saturday, I'm pretty darn pleased with how things are going. 

I had a couple of hours to kill on Saturday morning after dropping the dogs at the groomers and before meeting Matt for brunch, so I brought my laptop along and set up shop at one of my favorite coffee shops in the city. I had intended to just get the written instructions for the charts on two upcoming patterns done, but I ended up getting one whole pattern written (for a hat I haven't shown you yet). 

Yesterday I had hyperglycemia and was feeling quite ill, so just before noon I went to my mum's house and we watched the first season of Rosemary and Thyme. I ended up staying for dinner, and we roasted carrots and parsnips and asparagus, which were just what I needed after a long day of waiting for my blood sugar to come down! 

Linking up with Crafting On

Friday, October 12, 2018

Sweater Time


I've mentioned having a Fullerton Cardigan on the needles, but I haven't actually shared it here yet. This photo is from a couple of days ago, but it so perfectly encapsulates my happy place: in my armchair, legs crossed, with my knitting in my lap.

I started Fullerton right before NCFF last month so I'd have something mindless to work on while sitting at the information desk. I have the body finished now, and the button band is half picked up. I'm hoping to get that finished and get through a good chunk of the first sleeve over the weekend so I can start wearing this and be able to focus my knitting time on my KAL projects.

Does anybody have fun plans this weekend? I'm bringing the dogs up to the city for their grooming and meeting my friend Matt for brunch tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Weekending


I'm so glad I had a four-day weekend, because I really needed it. Saturday and Sunday were both crazy busy days, so I basically ended up spending half of Monday still in bed. My brother had the lead in the high school play, and he did a great job. The university homecoming parade was on Saturday morning, and it was a lot of fun, as usual (and I got to pet SO MANY DOGS!).

Despite feeling like I was constantly running around, I actually managed to get quite a bit done! I assembled my quilt top and got my quilt sandwich all layered and ready to go and then realized that the sheet I'd been planning on using as backing fabric is two inches too narrow! I'm going to go get a bigger sheet later this week to use instead; I'm not thrilled with the delay, but I'd rather have a quilt that I'm pleased with. Plus, I have a smaller vintage quilt top I got from the church bazaar a few years ago, and this sheet should be the perfect size to use as backing for that.

I also managed to finish my Finn! It's blocking now, and I'm hoping I'll be able to wear it yet this week. It's pretty chilly out now, so things are taking longer to dry after blocking, but another day or two should do it. I still don't have buttons for Finn yet, but that's never stopped me before. As you can see above, I made a lot of progress on this sweater sample. I'm starting two KALs this month (Great Northern starts today and Media Peruana starts on the 22nd), and I definitely want this pattern out by the end of the month, so I'm going to have to clock some major knitting hours!

Linking up with Crafting On