Home again, home again

 

Here we are, back in Birmingham. After a day of sleep and a day of running errands (including replacing my phone, lost, presumed stolen, in the wilds of Toronto), I’m ready to tackle Mount Laundry, put the luggage away, and get back to work. Though I moved away so long ago, Toronto still feels like home to me: my big city face and fast-walking feet snapped into place like they were just waiting to come out and play. Still, it’s nice to be back where things move more slowly, in the place where I keep my tea things and my knitting chair and my cats and my deck full of plants and my own bathroom with a shower that doesn’t require a pilot’s license to operate. (Seriously, y’all should’ve seen the shower at the last place we stayed.)

In between family time and wedding chuppah-holding and birthdaying (the day after one sister’s wedding was the other sister’s birthday) and such, I managed to visit a few yarn shops, exhibiting admirable restraint (in my humble opinion), at least until the end. Unfortunately, that restraint extended to taking photos, for which I’m kicking myself now. However, here’s the rundown, in the order visited: Continue reading

No sooner am I home…

…than I’m off again. It feels like I just got back from DC (wait, I did just get back—I’ve only been home a week), and I’m packing to head up to Toronto. This trip is for fun: my sister, who lives up in the T dot, is getting married to a lovely man, and the clan is gathering for the event. My other sister has rented a cottage, so there will be city time and lake time and family time and time with old friends from the punk rock stompin’ around town years. Many of my internet friends are gathering while we’re there (for another wedding—apparently it’s the thing to do right now), so there will also be time with old friends I’ve never met in real life. And there will be knitting. I got shockingly little knitting done during TNNA, and hooboy, am I going to make up for that in the next couple of weeks. (See above re: lake time: there’s a whole nine glorious days of it.) Of course, most of it will be work knitting, but that’s my favourite kind of work, so I don’t mind one bit.  Continue reading

Hybrid Vigour: Continuing Adventures in Socks

Some of you may remember the Great Handspun Sock Blowout of this past winter, in which my two pairs of handspun socks developed a cascade of failure points, resisting all attempts to save them from an untimely demise. At the time, I decided to rethink how I was spinning sock yarn, and relegated the yarn already spun to other projects. The one exception — a cabled Romney yarn — repaid my trust by becoming a sturdy (if somewhat fuzzy) pair of warm, comfortable, and durable socks. (So far. Knock on wood. With fingers crossed.)

These are exactly as cozy as they look.
These are exactly as cozy as they look.

(If you’re interested, the pattern is Kalajoki by Tiina Seppälä. It’s top-down, which I don’t normally do, but I fell in love with the waves down the leg and the rather ingenious anatomical toe.) Continue reading

Just because you can, it doesn’t mean you should (or will).

Some time ago (a timespan measured in years), my sister had a big birthday. Big enough that I offered to make her something special for it. More than anything, she wanted a shawl. A square, lace shawl. A square, lace shawl in black. Coincidentally, I was in the mood to make just such a shawl, so I was delighted. We chose a pattern; I ordered the yarn; the shawl was all but made. Right?

This shawl is not black.
This shawl is not black.

Continue reading

Blanxiety

It seemed like such a great idea: a simple, beautiful pattern, combined with some luscious yarn from the stash, would inevitably result in a very special blanket for my sister’s new baby. Perhaps the yarn was a bit too luscious for a baby blanket, but hey, it was machine washable and it was languishing in a storage bin, so what else was I going to do with it? It’s not like they’ve stopped making yarn. Besides, the colour was just too gorgeous to keep in the dark.

Now I’m not so sure. Continue reading

Not on your nelly

It’s that time again.

Every August (or even July), the emails begin: “It’s not too late to start your Christmas knitting!” “Five Quick Gifts You Can Make in Your Sleep!” “A Totally Not-Crazy Plan to Make a Fairisle Stocking for Everyone On Your List!” Every year, I resist. Through the chill of autumn, through the holiday gift posts and knitting magazines, I stand firm. Then, sometime in November, I lose my damned mind. “Just a couple of things for the kids,” I tell myself, “and maybe a nice hat for someone. Just a few small things.” I know this is a bad idea, and so I stop myself, and the pressure builds in that small, nagging part of my brain that thinks there are 48 hours in a day and that the whole needing sleep thing is Illuminati propaganda to keep us weak.

This really is a bad idea, though. Continue reading

Mawata Colossus: the Peephole block

Being part 3 of a series of tutorials for the Mawata Colossus project. The first part explains how to knit with mawata or silk hankies, and the second gives a recipe for the Picture Window block. Because mawata don’t come in a standard yarn weight and you may have your own preferences for the gauge and size of your blocks, these posts describe how I make the blocks and give guidelines on making your own. They’re more sort of recipes, rather than proper tested, tech edited patterns. Continue reading

Great expectations

Tomorrow, we head out on another road trip, this time to visit a good friend in Asheville, NC. I’m excited for all sorts of reasons: I haven’t seen this friend in a couple of years; it’s a chance to see a whole new swathe of the South (anything east of Atlanta on this trip will be new to me); my friend knits, and knows where to go in Asheville for local yarn and fibre (woo!); and the drive is about 6 hours each way. That’s twelve whole hours in the car. That’s some serious knitting time, folks. So right now, my brain looks something like this:

Jumbled and slightly askew.

Continue reading