Improvised stripey hats: a rough guide.

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know that I’m on a bit of a stripey hat kick. I find these hats to be just the right combination of mindless knitting and creative play: they use up all kinds of leftovers and little skeins, and I get to play around with colour without worrying whether it’ll look good in sample photos or the stripes are perfect or the colours are maybe a bit weird.

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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 a cowl: a big, generous cowl in a soft, lush yarn that would be as much of a pleasure to knit as it would be to wear. This design would be simple without being boring: a design to work on a lazy weekend, in stolen minutes during the day, or whenever you feel like knitting something satisfying and are not in the mood for a challenge.

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Fauxtarsia Wave swatchorama

Fauxtarsia Wave detail photo showing colour and texture contrast.

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.

Fauxtarsia Wave swatches in different yarns

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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 small and will keep my bare feet off the hotel carpet.

Now, this is not my first last-minute-travel-project rodeo, and though I was tempted to also spin the yarn for these things, I knew that that way lay madness. Besides, that’s much of the point of a stash, surely: to have exactly the right yarn when inspiration strikes, just waiting for you to pull it out and get knitting. So I did. I found some worsted weight from Imperial Yarn in a heathery bottle green, and off I went.*

Last Minute Travel Slippers in progress Continue reading

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.

Slouch 1 three quarters web
Slouch 1: The first half of the brim is worked in Shibui Knits Pebble held double. Pebble is not a bouncy yarn at all, yet see how nicely the tubular cast on stretches?

I’ve tried several different tubular cast on methods; this is the one I currently prefer. I won’t say it’s the Best Method Ever—that’s subjective, and I’m fickle. It’s the one I used for these samples, and it worked well for me. Here’s how you do it: Continue reading

Saltmeadow + Shibui Knits: a giveaway

Yeah, I know, this is a promotional post, which I’ve said I’ll keep to a minimum here on the blog. BUT! This giveaway is pretty sweet, and I didn’t want you to miss out. So:

Last week, I released Saltmeadow, a new shawl pattern in Shibui Knits Reed and Lunar. I’m pretty pleased with how this one turned out: lovely, drapey, lineny goodness, perfect for summer knitting, with a shot of glowing merino/silk at the edges.

Saltmeadow back draped web

The people at Shibui liked Saltmeadow so much, they asked if I’d like to do a giveaway for the design on Instagram, and here we are: the #mySaltmeadow yarn + pattern giveaway. One lucky knitter will win the yarn to make their own Saltmeadow—that’s 7 skeins of Reed and 1 skein of Lunar, in your choice of colours—and a PDF copy of the pattern. Plus, Shibui Knits has kindly said they’ll ship the yarn to you even if you don’t live in the US, so international entries are welcome! Here’s how you enter: Continue reading

Well, that was a long gap.

I think I’ve discovered the problem with keeping new release announcements and promotions to my newsletter, and only posting personal projects and the like here on the blog: 99.999% of my projects are work-related, I don’t often get time to spin, and so there’s not much to say a lot of the time. (Also, to be frank, the current political climate has knocked some of the stuffing out of me, and I don’t want to add to the noise, and it feels like there’s a lot of noise to go around right now.) And lo, seven months have gone by, tumbleweeds are blowing through here, and still loquacity eludes me. But!

I do have a new project I’m excited about, and it’s not a pattern sample (though it may evolve into a pattern eventually), and this right here is just the place to share it.

Remember this?


It’s some 60/40 Bond/Silk that I spun a while ago as part of the Discworld spinalong over on Ravelry. I’ve finally come up with an idea for it: Continue reading