Hello September!

Knitters, start your engines!

The grass is brown, there’s a nip in the air, and Halloween candy has appeared at the grocery store. Yes, that’s right, the season for knitted accessories has begun.

The beauty of the fall is that hats and scarves and mitts are still largely optional.   You can go for a nice walk along the water completely un-accessorized and not worry about it too much.  We’ve still got a couple months before winter hits and knits become, if not  a life-and-death necessity, then at least a convenient way to keep your ears from freezing and falling off.

The point is that at this time of year, people are wearing the hand knits because they want to.  They are wearing that slouchy toque because it makes them look cool, or that scarf because it is the perfect shade of blue, or those colourwork mitts because they get so many compliments.

Knitters, take a moment to bask in your own amazingness when you see those hand knits coming out of storage; enjoy the subtle hints about Christmas knits that start coming your way; and definitely, definitely finish those last ten rows on the gorgeous shawl you started in May so that you can start wearing it.

So hello September! It’s good to see you again.

Posted in knitting | Tagged , | 1 Comment

And now for something completely different…

Image

 

Carnivorous plant. Omnomnomnomnom.

Posted in knitting

Fibrations

ImageI had a great time last weekend at my local fibre festival, Fibrations.  Loads of weavers, spinners dyers, and more. There was even a booth demonstrating how to turn flax into linen. Neato.

I showed great restraint and only came away with one new skein of wool. It is a lovely lace weight from Everything Old that was so inspiring I’ve already cast on for Laminaria.

The beautifully variegated yellows drew me in right away, but do you know what really sold it for me?  The name of the colour way.  That may seem like a ridiculous reason to buy a particular yarn, but stick with me for a moment.  It is not “saffron” or “dandelion” or even “adventure” or “pizzazz”.  No, the name of this colour is “sad trombone”.

Sad trombone. Seriously. Say it out loud. It gets better every time. Sad trombone.

If that doesn’t make you want to smile and then cast on for an Estonian shawl, I don’t know what does.

Posted in knitting | Tagged , , ,

On the Craftsy bandwagon

Image

If there’s one thing I have learned from Blogland, it is that excellent photographers have perfect lives. Their houses are always clean, their babies are always sleeping peacefully, their dinners are always healthy and full of vegetables,  their sweaters always fit perfectly, and their gardens are always in bloom.

I want to be like them.

I know, of course, that it’s an illusion. There’s got to be a pile of laundry, a take-out container and a dust bunny sitting just outside the frame.  But maybe that’s the point: great photographers can choose which moments to capture.  Simple, wonderful moments that are in focus and nobody got awkwardly chopped off at the forehead.

I want to be like them.

So I signed up for the Craftsy class Shoot It with Caro Sheridan.  It’s really a class on product of FO photography, but the principles apply to just about anything. Think about colour, composition, and what story you are telling with each shot.  I’ve already learned so much. You’ll know it’s working if I seem to be eating a lot more kale.

Posted in knitting | Tagged , ,

Oh look, more socks!

Image

I don’t want to brag, but I believe I have knit the greatest socks of all time.

That sounds crazy, I know, and you probably have a pretty great pair of socks on the needles too, but I just can’t believe that any socks in the world could be better than these. Great pattern, great fit, beautiful yarn.

But what really clinched it for me, what made these socks rise above all others I’ve knit – and I think this gives you a glimpse of who I truly am deep down – is that they were educational, too.

First, a vikkel braid, then a Dutch heel, and finishing off with an English toe. All new to me and all beautifully and simply explained by the great Nancy Bush.

The vikkel braid* in particular blew my mind. I’d seen them before – a horizontal line of stitches across a vertical piece of knitting – and just sort of dismissed it with a shrug and “oh, those crazy Estonians”. I don’t know what type of magic I thought was involved, but it certainly didn’t occur to me that it’s just, y’know, knitting.  As it turns out, it is exactly what it looks like: you simultaneously knit a row and cast off a row at the same time.

<insert sound effect of my mind being blown**>

Image

Finally, the heel.  I saw the instructions, looked at a few pictures on Ravelry, and thought it seemed a bit goofy. Not bad, per se, but just a less elegant version of my usual, standard sock heel. But I figured I should try it at least once before dismissing it completely, and so I knit it up as directed and ended up with this narrow little cube of a heel.  Which, it turned out, were an exact, perfect, meant-to-be fit for my narrow little cube heels.

Greatest socks ever.

Image* And yet, no picture. I know, I know. Photographing dark objects is not my specialty.

** Probably less of an impressive bang and more of a low, soggy whump.

Posted in knitting | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Wanida

Image

The yarn is Tanis Fiber Arts blue label, colourway from this year’s fibre club. Lovely stuff.

The socks are Wanida by Cookie A.  Such clever construction, but simple to knit up. Every second round is a knit round which means they work up quickly and I have half as many chances to make mistakes. Beautiful.

Posted in knitting | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

60-yard sock

Image

…and the yarn jumped on to my needles and became one wee sock.

Self-striping yarn with no pattern repeats.  Time to dye: 30 min. Time to untangle the giant mess I created with my striping method: 1 hour.

Totally worth it.

It’s hard to tell on the sock, and even harder to tell in the photo, but there are six different colours – purple, green, blue, orange, pink, red. My favourite part is the little line of pink between the purple and green stripes at the top.  Which was totally on purpose, of course.

Posted in knitting | Tagged , , , ,