Category Archives: designing

Insta October

Insta october

October was a really great month.  I always love it because the change in seasons feels fresh and exhilarating but also because its my wedding anniversary month.  I was feeling a little sad when I first realized months ago that Joey would be out on tour during our anniversary, but what better excuse for me to go on a trip to Europe than to celebrate 12 years of marriage with my love?  I spent 7 days traveling with the band on the tour bus and had the most amazing time.  Some of my favorite parts of the trip were just watching the guys doing their thing and playing some really wonderful music.  I squeezed in a bit of knitting backstage and on the bus (the knitting pic above was taken while sitting in the artist’s lounge at the BBC!), but I mostly just soaked up all the sights and enjoyed some quality time with Joey.

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Cold Snap

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I just lost an entire week to a cold. I was sick back in March with bronchitis and a sinus infection that had started out as an innocent little cold just like this one, so I tried to take it easy this time and get lots of rest. One night, Joey made me a spectacular hot toddy with ginger that warmed me up and soothed my sore throat. I tried to get lots of knitting done, but my cold medicine haze (and perhaps the whiskey from the toddy) had an undesirable effect on my knitting. I’ve now had to rip back a weeks’ worth of work because it just wasn’t right. Let this be a lesson to us knitters: never design under the influence. I’m back on track with my health and my knitting now and I think this design is going to be awesome.

We’ve also had our first real cold snap with lots of rain and temps in the low 50s. Joey and I were out and about this weekend and got caught in a downpour without an umbrella. We got so drenched running to our car and I came thisclose to slipping in a giant mud puddle. When we finally got in the car and slammed the doors shut, we just looked at each other and laughed. We went home and I made warm potato soup for dinner which was just perfect. Chilly weather, warm soup, knitting wooly things, and laughter with my love. I’m glad that fall is here.

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Insta September

Insta september

Wow. I can’t believe it’s almost OCTOBER. Looking back at some of my Instagram snaps from September, I can see why the month passed by so quickly. Joey and Midlake are gearing up for the release of their new album* and just completed a mini-tour of the Southwest which ended with a two-night-stand of performances in our hometown. We also received a test vinyl pressing of the album and sat down with a glass of wine and listened to it in its entirety. It was a nice way to celebrate the end results of a lot of hard work. The band also has a feature article in the October issue of MOJO Magazine and proud wife that I am, I kept harassing the poor people at Barnes and Noble by calling them almost every day to ask if they’d gotten it in stock yet. It has finally arrived and I snagged a copy this week.

Knitting and design-wise I’ve been squeezing in a bit of stitching whenever I can, during my lunches at work and early on Saturday mornings with my coffee. I’m working on the Rekaviður hat pattern by Bristol Ivy and its coming out really nice. I also spent a day knitting with a couple of my lady friends, getting them both up and running on some fun fall knitting projects. I’m looking forward to a couple of calm days where I can work on a new design using some lovely Quince and Co Owl and all I can say is that THERE WILL BE CABLES.

I’ve really been enjoying the change of the seasons lately, even though its a rather slight change here in Texas. The skies are darker and darker every morning as I’m leaving for work and the evenings have a bit of a cool breeze wafting about. I’m very excited for fall to get here, and I’ll be clicking my needles making something warm and wooly when it arrives.

(*Antiphon is out in the US via ATO Records on November 5th and in the UK via BellaUnion on November 4th. You can pre-order it here and I highly recommend you check it out. It’s AMAZING and BEAUTIFUL.)

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Fuzzy, Wooly, Alpaca-y

I’m usually not a multi-project sort of girl but I’ve recently started knitting a hat, Rekaviður by Bristol Ivy. I am knitting it with Classic Elite Mountaintop Vista, which is a natural undyed yarn that’s 50/50 wool/alpaca which is just lovely.

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I cast on last weekend with my morning coffee and then spent a little time Saturday afternoon knitting away while I waited on an oil change for my car. I did get a few strange looks at the auto shop, but what else are you going to do while stuck there for two and a half hours?

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I recently got a shipment of a few gorgeous skeins of Quince and Co. Owl, which I will be using for a new design. The colorway I chose is Tawny which is one of their natural shades, and is also 50/50 wool/alpaca. I may be a bit obsessed with these natural wool and alpaca yarns!

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Insta August

Insta august

August brought me a little bit of downtime to finish up a design that I’m very pleased with and time to start plotting my next few designs.  I’ve been looking at lots of yarns online and trying to keep myself from always picking heather greys, though they are my favorites.  Joey had a two week trip to Europe with the band and I got to watch one of his shows that was live streaming online.  I watched it with another of the band wives and we clapped and cheered and even snapped a few pics of our husbands onscreen looking like badasses and it was almost like we were there.   I even snagged one of Joey’s instagrams to share here—just look at that crowd!   Once he was back home we had a couple of lazy days together, strolling around town after a nice brunch and later him puttering around in the studio while I sat within earshot knitting.  I’m hoping for a similar couple of days this weekend!

Cuff Chuffed

I’ve been keeping my knitting a little behind-the-scenes lately. The truth is, I’m planning a collection of knitting patterns and I don’t want to give all my secrets away before its even finished, but today I have a little peek at something I wanted to share.

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This cuff has been a little bit of a learning process for me over the past few months. It all started out with a pretty basic idea for a pair of fingerless mitts with 1×1 twisted ribbing. Twisted ribbing is one of my favorite cuff/hem treatments, as I think it looks much neater than regular 1×1 ribbing. I started out working the mitt idea that was in my head and halfway through I ripped it back, knowing that I wanted to revise my stitch counts, but also because I became convinced that my design needed a little reworking. The idea was super cute but also super simple, and didn’t have enough “wow” factor that I felt it would entice people to purchase the pattern.

I needed to add an extra little kick to the design, so I started playing around with traveling twisted stitches and came out with the cuff you see above. In the end, this version of the mitt has been scrapped for with something totally different that I think works better, but I’m still in love with these traveling twisted stitches. I’m pretty sure this idea will work itself into another design soon, though maybe not on a pair of fingerless mitts.

 

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Insta July

Insta july

July brought the birth of our nephew Healy, who was promptly snuggled in a handknit wool blankie and has been bringing us all love and happiness nonstop ever since. I’ve also been spending lots of time with Joey as he gets ready to start touring with Midlake again soon. There have been lots of stolen moments between his rehearsals and my work schedule to get in as much time together as we can before he leaves. I was able to catch one of their production rehearsals the other day and I was blown away… I welled up with emotion and pride at how beautiful everything sounds and how hard these guys have been working to get this album to fruition, and its almost time! There’s even been a little bit of knitting and crafting in the wee hours before I go to sleep. I have some secret knitty-type things I’m planning that I’m super excited about but I just need to find a little more time to get them going. And of course I can always count on Henry’s silly antics. He’s such a ridiculously sweet and goofy dog and he just makes us laugh and smile every single day.

Gusseted

I spent the better part of my Sunday afternoon battling with a thumb gusset for a fingerless mitt I’m working on.  On my first sad attempt, I was increasing too rapidly and the stitches were all bunched up.  I probably shouldn’t even tell you the part about how my working yarn was clearly in the wrong spot when it was time to put the stitches on a holder…..

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiip!

Take two is looking much more like an actual thumb gusset, thank goodness!

B&W thumb gusset

 

When All Else Fails, Knit Stripes

The intarsia was a big fail.  Just a few rounds in, I had 15 different strands of yarn hanging from the work, getting so tangled I couldn’t take it.  I ripped it back for probably the twentieth time and just called it a loss.  The awesomely cute colorwork hat idea I had will just have to wait on the back burner for a while.  After a few weeks of knit frustration where the only project I would let myself work on was this colorwork idea and nothing to show for it, I snapped.  All I wanted to do was just KNIT SOMETHING.  And so I knit stripes.  Simple, soothing, stockinette stripes.

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Yes I realize the pic is dark and grainy, and you can barely see the stripes, but have you ever tried snapping a one-armed selfie while standing next to your kitchen window hoping to get the few last rays of sunlight at 8:45pm before your poor neglected blog readers have to go yet another day without any knitting pictures, all the while trying to garner a demure smile?

Phew.  I think I need to knit a few more “soothing” stockinette hats.

Insta June

Insta june

And just like that, June has come to a close. Any spare moment I had these past few weeks was spent seeking sun and fun or a bit of relaxation and conversation with good friends. I was inspired by a message to ‘walk in beauty,’ and so I took the time to savor the sounds of beautiful music made by people I love and adore, the splendor of heart stopping sunrises, the wonderful feel of squishy soft American-made wool in my hands and on my knitting needles, and the unexpected delight from discovering a tiny little cactus blossom sprouting from a cutting I planted at the end of last summer.

Walk in beauty, indeed.