“Make us a crazy-bright, Mexican-inspired blanket!” they said.
“I think I can do that,” I said. “I think that might be fun!”
It was. It really, really was.
…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
I’ve got one last scarf pattern for this season, and it’s something a bit different: a generous scarf with a slipped stitch texture, knit sideways to allow for lovely, long stripes.
As a fan of woolly wool, I really like Brooklyn Tweed‘s yarns. I’ve noodled around with Shelter and Loft, and just love the light, spongy, cohesive fabric these woolen-spun yarns create, and the wide range of lovely, heathered colours are a colourwork fan’s dream. It pleases me that these beautiful yarns are made sheep to skein here in North America. (I love the house yarns by the mill they use, Harrisville Designs, for all the same reasons.) So when Brooklyn Tweed released Quarry late last year, just as I was finishing the next round of samples for photography, I had to try it. A bulky weight yarn at 200 yds/100g? I could get a hat out of that in no time at all, and have one more sample ready to go. When the skein arrived, I played around with stitch patterns to see what it could do, and it turned out that what Quarry does really well is texture. Ribs and cables turned out beautifully. I didn’t want to stop knitting with it: I wanted a big, generous scarf out of this stuff. Not the most practical thing for the South, but fie on that. Sometimes you just have to go where the inspiration takes you. I ordered more skeins, and knit. And knit. And very soon I had a scarf. And it was exactly what I’d pictured. It’s warm and cozy and the pattern reminded me of runnels of melting ice water, so I called it Meltwater.
I’ve been a fan of Twist Collective since they started out in 2008. An online-only knitting magazine, Twist Collective has always been about treating their designers and writers well while producing a magazine that people will enjoy reading from the first virtual page to the last. The result is a beautiful publication with a reputation for excellent writing and interesting, high quality knitting patterns.
When I started designing, one of my goals was to get a piece published in Twist Collective. ‘This one might be Twist-worthy’ became shorthand in our home for a design idea I found especially pleasing. Then, last spring, they put out a call for submissions that fit perfectly with an idea I’d been working on. I thought this design might be Twist-worthy, and it turns out that they agreed with me: my latest design, the Ready Steady Go set, is in the new edition of Twist Collective. You get all three patterns together for $6 USD, which is a pretty good deal, no? Continue reading
Well, SAFF was wonderful. Of course. I only tasted a bit of it, because I didn’t get it together to book classes and my non-fibre-obsessed friend had taken the weekend off for my visit, so I mostly wandered around on Friday and took everything in and got a feel for the thing. The thing, let me tell you, can be pretty overwhelming. A lot of the classes looked amazing, though: the schedule’s gone from the site now, but I remember seeing spinning instructors like Abby Franquemont and Judith MacKenzie, and a colour theory class with Franklin Habit, so that should give you some idea of the lineup. Fortunately, the fleece judging was open to all attendees, so I spent a very happy hour watching Judith MacKenzie walk us through many, many primitive breed fleeces.
The Tour de Fleece* has come around again, and I’m sort of participating, in a half-assed kind of way. There’s a lot going on Chez Cusser, including eleventy dozen shelves to finish and put up, a pile of designs to get out for the fall/winter season, and an ongoing search for ways to use the ridiculous amounts of fruit & veg I keep bringing home from the farmers market. (It’s as though I forget there are only two of us, and himself is not a huge consumer of produce. No matter how good and healthy it is, I cannot eat every fruit and vegetable produced within a 50 mile radius of this city, and I should probably stop trying.)
Given the general crush of things that need doing, and the fact that I’ve had enough stress in the last year without adding to it voluntarily, thank you, I’ve decided that this year will be the Tour de Slack. My sort-of-goal is to spin this Shetland top for a blanket.
As you may have noticed, I’ve been collecting fleeces. You may also have noticed a dearth of projects made from said fleece. Okay, there was the hat, but what about the other eleventy pounds? Am I opening a fleece museum? Had I run out of places to sit? No, though now that you mention it…wait. No. That would be silly.