Friday, November 29, 2013

Pattern Review: Opera Gloves

I've come to realize that I am terrible at posting about finished projects when they're things I'm making for myself. I started these gloves back in May 2012, and picked them back up last summer. I did actually finish them by the end of the summer, but never got around to taking photos. They're my go-to gloves this season.


Pattern: Opera Gloves by Mac and Me
Yarn: Toil & Trouble Merino/Nylon Sock in Sun Also Rises
Needles: US 1

The owner of Mac and Me, Leslie, is a local designer who also lives on the North Shore. I didn't know her when I first bought the pattern, but I've had the good fortune of getting to know her this year. She is super sweet and I definitely recommend checking out her patterns.


I really enjoyed this pattern and I love my finished gloves. I knit the size small, and made them full length. They are quite long, so I think they would still work if they were a couple of inches shorter. I admit I did not do a gauge swatch, but my gauge turned out to be right when I checked after finishing the first hand (note: I do not recommend this irresponsible knitting behavior!).

I did make a few modifications to the pattern. Rather than knitting in the front and back loops for the thumb increases, I opted for "make one left" and "make one right" increases. I prefer this type of increase aesthetically. I also modified the index finger. The fingers are knit without any shaping, except for the decreases at the very top. I found the index finger to be a bit too baggy, so I ripped back and added some shaping throughout.

Overall, I loved the pattern and I highly recommend it. It is a great project for variegated yarn.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Holiday Knitting Saga, Part 1

The holiday gift knitting continues, snuck in here and there in between making piles of cowls, hats, and mittens for craft shows. I am lucky that my family doesn't really get the whole blogging thing, so they're unlikely to see these sneak peeks.


Pattern: Mountain of Light
Yarn: Shibui Cima
Needle Size: I honestly don't remember. I finished this shawl a while back, but just got around to blocking it.

I really love how this came out. The yarn is laceweight, so it's not a quick knit, but the result is simple yet elegant. I had a brief moment of "feeling too attached" to gift it, but I think the recipient will love it. The yarn is 70% Alpaca, 30% Merino, so it's very light and soft. The pattern is pretty straight forward, with the cute elongated stitch detail where the two colors meet. It's a good introduction to intarsia if you've never tried it.



Pattern: Potholder with Textured Heart
Yarn: Lion Brand Nature's Choice Organic Cotton(had been sitting in my stash for at least 3 years)
Needle Size: US 8

Tonight is the Holiday Potholder Exchange at Seed Stitch, so I whipped up this little guy. I considered skipping it in favor of staying in and frantically knitting more hats and cowls, but I realized it's healthy for me to go interact with people. Now I just need to find the motivation to put on "real people clothes" in the next few hours. Locals, hope to see you there!


This is not knitting related, but I've also been enjoying getting to know my new Wild Unknown Tarot deck. I've been collecting tarot decks for about 20 years. I first heard about this deck from Tara when she came to visit, and then Alena, one of my favorite artists, started posting pictures of hers. I couldn't resist, and now I'm totally captivated by the imagery.

Are you making holiday gifts this year? Have you come across any projects you really love? I'm always looking for inspiration!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Knitting On

I am still learning what my "new normal" is after so many changes in the last couple of months. My head has been spinning, and I've been unintentionally neglecting this blog as I figure out how to structure being self-employed. I've also been busy teaching lots of knitting classes. Now, all of a sudden, it's late November, and having to get ready for holiday shows is forcing me to let go of the hurt of the last few weeks and focus on knitting.


If you follow me on Instagram, you know I've been stock-piling hats. This is a variation of my Transitive Property Super Slouch - same design, but a more traditional amount of slouch. I am having lots of fun experimenting with color combinations.


Yarn: Toil & Trouble Merino/Nylon Sock in Typhoid Mary
Pattern: Modified from Indi Girl Sock Pattern Generator

I am also sneaking in tiny bits of non-work knitting, since I would like to give more handmade gifts this year. I always buy gifts from other artists and artisans (which obviously counts as handmade), but I'd like to make more gifts myself. This might turn out to be an unreasonable goal, but I am remaining delusional positive at this point.

If you're wondering where to find me this season, I am doing two holiday shows:

Alchemy Initiative in Pittsfield, MA on December 8th and 9th


SOWA Holiday Market, Saturday December 14th only

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

In Which Things Change Rapidly

Another hard to write post. When I was finally feeling like my life was back in some state of equilibrium, it turned completely upside down.

Many of you knew I was managing a new studio community on the North Shore. As of two weeks ago, I am no longer involved with this project. After ongoing immoral and illegal behavior by the landlord, I left, along with about half of the artists. I wish those who stayed behind the best of luck, as they are great people. This has been a painful and heartbreaking process. I put in 5 months of very hard work, as a volunteer, to bring a community to life, and walked away in less than ideal circumstances. I have no intention of airing grievances publicly, so this is all I will say on the matter. I am happy to answer any questions you may have privately.

I've allowed myself time to grieve over what happened, and now I'm dusting myself off and moving on. For the time being, I'll be working out of my home studio. I am teaching a variety of classes at Seed Stitch Fine Yarn, so I can still be found out and about.

Thank you to those of you who have been supporting me during this difficult time.