Category Archives: Yarn

Coming Soon: Wayfinder Mitts

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A while back I started playing around with arrow motifs and incorporating them into my knitting. The Wayfinder Mitts were originally envisioned as a pair of grey stockinette fingerless mitts with an orangey-red arrow down the back of the hands, either knit using intarsia or possibly duplicate stitched on afterwards. After a while that idea started to feel too plain and I tried to think of a way to make them more interesting. I came up with an interesting stitch pattern for the cuffs that also featured directional arrows, but then I fell in love with the cuff idea more than the original idea and decided to file that particular stitch pattern away for something bigger and better. Another issue I had with the idea of doing a stockinette mitt is the fit. I wanted something that was fitted– not slouchy, so I knit a prototype that decreased towards the wrist and increased for the hand. Unfortunately when wearing the mitts, they would bunch awkwardly when you rotated your hands at the wrist, so I went back to the drawing board. Some of the best-fitting fingerless mitts I’ve ever worn have had ribbing on the wrist portion, so I went with a 2×2 rib for the arm and wrist and stockinette for the hand and added a two stitch traveling cable to the back of each hand for the visual interest. I really like the way these mitts turned out and the ribbing makes them easily stretch to fit most ladies’ hands nicely. This pair was knit in Madelinetosh Tosh DK, but they could also be knit in a heavy worsted or aran weight in a more rustic wool for a pair of manlier mitts. The pattern is being tech edited now and I’ll be releasing it very soon!

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Back in the Saddle

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I’m a lazy knitter. Not the kind of lazy knitter that makes mistakes and doesn’t bother to fix them— (I may be lazy, but I’m still a perfectionist). No, I mean the lazy kind of knitter that will set a project aside if there’s a section coming up that I need to devote my full attention to like calculating increases or looking up a particularly stretchy bind off. That is exactly what happened to me recently and it spiraled into an entire month of no knitting.

I’m slowly slogging away at a design idea (perfecting it, actually) and I was getting near the end of a ribbed edge where I wanted to try out a tubular bind off. I set the project aside, planning to research the best method of doing the tubular bind off, and then a crazy insane December happened and I kept thinking I didn’t have time to do it properly so it just sat there. For a whole month. Not a stitch knit.

Fortunately, my knitting mojo has returned post-holidays and I found some time to pick it back up over the weekend. The first thing I noticed was that all the ribbing I had knitted back in the insane days of December was worked in the wrong needle size. (What kind of burnout makes mistakes knitting their own pattern? Further proof that December was just a crazy month that I’m glad to see the end of). So instead of spending a nice hour or so knitting a beautiful tubular bind off and feeling the satisfaction of completing something that’s been on my mind for a month, I had to rip back quite a bit of ribbing and then start over with the correct needle size. All of that and I’m still not ready to tackle that dang tubular bind off.

The good news is that even though this design is taking me FOREVER (I’m not even going to talk about how I’ve got a whole second piece to REKNIT after this one….) it’s going to be a really killer design so it will be worth all the trouble. AND I’ve recently brushed off another design that has been waiting in the wings since summer time and all it needs is a quick tech edit and some photos, so I should have something to release fairly soon.

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Insta November

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November started out with Joey still out on tour and me adjusting back to home life after my trip to visit him.  The band played the Iceland Airwaves festival in Reykjavik and Joey brought me back some lopi wool as a souvenir. This leg of the tour ended with the guys playing two shows opening for Pearl Jam in Dallas and Oklahoma City and I went along for those shows.  It was a good time and it was really fun to get to watch the guys play in front of such large crowds.  I spent a little time working on charts for a cabled knitting pattern I’ve been working on, and decided I wanted to make a few tweaks to the cables I have been using.  The design is going to be a really good one and I’m glad I went back and made the changes, but that also means I have to reknit an entire piece of the design and with the small amounts of knitting time I’ve had lately, it seems to be very slow going at the moment.  I’ve also been enjoying having Joey back home for a few days before he heads out again until Christmas.  Henry sure hates it when he leaves, so we make sure to spend lots of time snuggling and watching movies in bed when he’s away.  We also got to spend a couple of nice days with family for Thanksgiving, which is always a good way to move into the month of December.

On Rock Shows and Knitterati in London

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I arrived in London while Joey and the band were at the BBC recording an interview.  I made my way to the venue for that night’s show, where the tour bus was parked and unloaded my bags.  I decided to venture down Upper Street, knowing that Loop wasn’t too far away.  While I was window shopping, I got a text from Joey saying that he was just a couple of blocks away so I headed back in his direction and spotted him quickly.  We must have love-radar because he spotted me at almost the exact same moment.  We had one of those movie-scene greetings, where time stands still and you’re hugging and kissing in the middle of a busy street in a fabulous city- it was pretty magical.  Hand in hand, we strolled down towards Loop and popped in.  I got to finally meet Meghan Fernandes and Lydia Gluck of the wonderful Pom Pom Quarterly, and Meghan helped me pick out a British yarn. (I snagged that gorgeous skein of hand-dyed BFL sock yarn from The Uncommon Thread shown above).  Meghan also told me that Stephen West was knitting in their upstairs room, so we headed up to meet him as well.   Stephen was very nice, knitting away as we all talked about music- it turned out he would be attending the Iceland Airwaves festival that Joey would be playing soon.  We left the shop with my skein of beautiful British yarn and, sadly no pics with Meghan and Lydia or Stephen.  (I blame the jet lag for not thinking to snap an iphone pic at least).  Meghan and Lydia came to the show that night and I had a great time hanging out with them.  It was so lovely to meet them both and I hope to work with them again soon.

 

It’s-a-small-knitterly-world-post-script:

Since I was unable to stay on tour with the band through their Iceland show, I sent Joey with the sole purpose of making sure to snag me some Lopi yarn while he was there.  This  morning he popped into a coffee shop to ask where he could buy some yarn, and who else was there but Stephen West, knitting away with the WestKnits Fun Squad?  I now have a sweater’s worth of Lopi on its way home to the states with my wonderful knitwear-loving husband.

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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

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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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A Crafty Saturday

The Autumnal Equinox arrived this weekend, and here in Texas we finally felt the first break from our 90+ degree heat. Saturday was such a lovely day with temps in the 60s in the morning and peaking in the mid 80s in the afternoon. I met up with some lady friends for a nice brunch and all around crafty day.

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We stopped by The DIME Store, a brick and mortar store born out of the Etsy Denton collective. DIME (Denton Independent Maker Exchange) opened up shop this spring and I have been really wanting to visit and take a peek at their handmade wares.

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These burlap pillows by Home Again were really cute, and even though the “I heart US” is surely referring to the United States, I really loved the idea of a pillow that says “I love Us” referring to the identity of a couple.

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There were some really adorable bags and clutches made by Rachel Elise that I was too busy drooling over to get a picture of and these cute little knitted baby hats by Cassie Arnold Art.

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Afterwards, we went back to my friend Felicia’s house for a little bit of knitting ourselves. Felicia cast on for a Hill Country Hat, and Bri started up a slightly modded version of my Infinity Cowl pattern, having given the one she previously knit away to a good friend.

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We had such a good time talking knitting all day and I look forward to seeing their finished knits.

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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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On Summer, Swatching & Unconventional Yarn Holders

What was it I said at the end of May– something about looking forward to summertime? Oh yes, summer is in full effect here in Texas.  So much that there has been an insanely negligible amount of knitting to show.  I knitted a small swatch for a colorwork hat idea I’m working on, but the stranded method I had originally planned didn’t look very good as the floats were way too long, and duplicate stitching the color sections made it way too bulky, so I’m trying a different approach.

Have you ever tried intarsia in the round?  I watched a video of someone doing it the other day and it blew my mind.  I had no idea it was done with wraps and turns and knitting back and forth while the rest of the piece is worked circularly.  Hopefully I will have more success with this method of adding some color to my knitting, because as of right now this hat is looking like a total snooze-fest.

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Also, who needs a yarn bowl when you have a sleepy old basset?  Five minutes after I took this picture he was wagging his tail and barking in his sleep.  Oh Henry, you melt my heart with your sweetness.

Saturday Swatching

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Coffee and Quince & Co.

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