Blog

I love it when a plan comes together

Three weeks ago I was in Whitehorse, up in the Yukon, visiting my sister. She took me to her local yarn shop, because she knows me. They had qiviut yarn, because it’s the North. My sister saw the way I kept looking at that yarn. She insisted that I take some home. We pooled our funds, and lo, I found myself in possession of 190 yds of gorgeousness from Nunavut Qiviut.* I cast on on the flight back to Calgary. A cowl. A small cowl. In lace, both to make the most of the yardage, and because (as my sister…

Spadina Avenue

A while back, I started playing around with purl ridges and came up with a simple stitch pattern that I really love. What is it about this texture that grabs me so? I have no idea, but I find these graduated purl ridges deeply satisfying, no matter how many times I work them (and you are going to see them a lot in the next few releases). While noodling around with the ridges, I tried drawing a column of slipped knit stitches through them, and I liked that version, too. I looked at the result and could picture it as…

Tutorial: Judy’s Magic Cast On

This is my usual cast on for toe up socks and slippers. I came across it years ago in Wendy D. Johnson’s book Toe Up Socks for Every Body, and it worked well for me, so I’ve stuck with it. I’m not going to tell you it’s the Best Cast On Ever, or even that it’s better or worse than any other toe up cast on out there, just that it works well for me and I kind of like the flippy motions of slinging the yarn around the needles like a very minimalist Cat’s Cradle. It’s the cast on…

Fauxtarsia Wave detail photo showing colour and texture contrast.

Fauxtarsia Wave swatchorama

Since releasing Fauxtarsia Wave I’ve had a few questions about yarn substitution: would other yarns work in this design? What kind of yarns would work best? What about yarns with more contrast? How about a variegated + a solid or semi-solid? While the short answers are “Absolutely!” and the ever-relevant “Swatch and see!” I really want to encourage knitters to experiment with this design, so I did a bit of swatching myself to show some of the possibilities.

Last Minute Travel Slippers

It started in May. I had a week to go before my road trip to Maryland Sheep & Wool, and the itch set in. The itch to make something for this trip. I can make something in a week, surely. It’s not like I have anything else to do. (I had a lot else to do.) I know: I’ll make some slippers! My beloved old moccasins are looking pretty beat up, and they take up a fair bit of room in the suitcase, and I bet I can whip out a pair of ballet-ish slippers that look nice and pack…

The little things

It’s Thanksgiving up in Canuckia today, and my far-flung siblings and their children gathered in Vancouver this weekend to celebrate. Thanksgiving isn’t quite the huge deal back home that it is in the US—I mean, it’s a fairly big deal, but in my experience, at least, December is when people really pull out the stops to get to where their family is—but this Thanksgiving’s a special one. This year, there’s a brand new Elliott to be thankful for. (And Werb. She is half Werb, and that’s a good thing to be, too.) My sadness at not being there is somewhat…

selfish knitting on the dock

On car horns and clouds and online spaces

I ran away to the lake this week, and I did something I haven’t done in years: I went offline. I set up a vacation auto-reply on my business email and resisted the urge to say “I will check my email occasionally, so…” or “I’ll be responding more slowly than usual, but…” With surprising difficulty, I left it at “I will be away and offline until Thursday.” I did use a bird identification app* a few times, which seemed like an okay thing to do as there were so many birds and I wanted to know what they were.

Tubular Cast On: my current favourite method

I do adore the tubular cast on. It’s tidy, and stretchy, and in fine gauge yarns before some ribbing it looks positively professional. It’s particularly helpful when you want to get a stretchy rib from a yarn without much memory of its own, which is why it’s the key to a good brim in Slouch 1, 2, and 3. (The Slouches Collection samples, along with Line and Shadow, Tempered, and a new design coming out next week, are on their way to The Yarnery in Saint Paul, Minnesota for a trunk show. If you’re in the area, stop by their shop…

German Short Rows and how to do them

I do like an illustrated tutorial. I like the simplicity of the pictures, I like their imperfect hand-drawnness, and as it turns out, I rather enjoy making them. I’ve done a couple of tutorials for my new accessory collection*, and now that they’ve been editor-approved, I thought I’d share them here. Today: How to do German Short Rows.

The storm has passed; the recovery begins.

When I started my pattern sale fundraiser to help with Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, it came from a feeling of helplessness and heartache and a desire to do something, anything, that was genuinely helpful, even if only in a small way. Then you turned up. So many of you. You spread the word and you bought patterns and you took this little thing and made it a bigger thing and other generous fibre arts people put their backs into it* and instead of feeling helpless on my own, I feel like together we really did something. You all came to…