Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Monday, December 14, 2015
Rhinebeck is so much more than yarn and fiber - well, it is a lot of yarn and fiber, but for me, it's an opportunity to escape the frantic daily pace and reconnect with people I really care about but rarely get to see. We get to stay together, knit, reconnect, and generally be merry. I came home with only a handful of goodies, but lots of happy memories.
Monday, December 7, 2015
I had to whip up a little gift for a handmade swap and came up with this adorable little ornament.
Gather up your sock yarn scraps!
- US1 or US2 double-pointed needles (gauge is not important)
- Scraps of sock weight yarn (shown here: Toil & Trouble Classic in Persephone)
- Darning needle
- K: Knit
- P: Purl
- PM: Place marker
- SM: Slip marker
Round 23: SSK, K3, K2tog, SSK, K3, K2tog (decreased 4 stitches)
Round 24: SSK, K1, K2tog, SSK, K1, K2tog (decreased 4 stitches)
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Phew, Baby Sophisticate all done! I used Cascade 128 from stash and the yardage ended up much tighter than expected. Also, I just validated all my yarn scrap hoarding impulses. I finished the sweater with 3 inches left of the white, and had to go fishing in my bin of random scraps to find enough odds and ends for the sleeves. This is definitely a one of a kind sweater! As much as playing yarn chicken can be stressful, working with constraints can really push us to come up with something completely unexpected.
Now to sew on the buttons and package it up!
Monday, November 23, 2015
There's a very proud dad and a new 16 day old baby around here, so I did a little stash diving and need to quickly knit up a baby sweater with some creative striping. Time to whip up a little Baby Sophisticate! After that, maybe I'll have some time to play with these new beads. The bead store here in Salem is closing for good this week after a very sudden announcement, so I had to pay them a last visit. It's always sad to lose another small, creative business. I have no idea what I am going to do with acid green fish beads, but they just couldn't be left behind.
The last batches of limited edition Halloween yarn are going out this week, phew! Thank you everyone for the truly amazing response!
Monday, November 16, 2015
Monday, November 9, 2015
By the time I left the bookstore with a bag of new goodies for my overflowing shelves, I caught myself smiling. My phone buzzed, with a list of "14 Two-Sentence Horror Stories Guaranteed to Terrify Introverts." Number 5 said, "She bought a strange book from an old bookstore. When she opened it up to read it strangers came up to her thinking it was a conversation starter." I chuckled to myself and hugged my books. Now back to those dye pots, the yarn isn't going to dye itself! As for those socks, finishing and publishing that pattern is definitely on the to-do list.
Friday, October 30, 2015
This year, I have three colorways for Halloween, available on my website through November 15th! I wanted to approach the Halloween colors in a non-traditional way, to get away from the expected combinations. The results are: Seance, Rusty Coffin Nail, and Wednesday Addam's Thigh Highs! (EDITED: Due to the overwhelming response, I may be taking these down sooner that November 15th, so make sure to grab yours!)
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
I had two trunk shows, one at Mind's Eye Yarns, and one down on Cape Cod at Sage Yarn, where I also taught Portuguese Knitting. Now I am getting a little bit of a breather before the next big, and currently secret, project. I did also celebrate my birthday in the midst of the chaos of constant dyeing. After admiring Oh, Albatross' beautiful handsewn creatures for months, I treated myself to a gorgeous little fox.
Monday, October 5, 2015
So where does the yarn come in? One of the protagonists in the story is Olivia Presteign. She is visually impaired - she can't see what is considered the visible light spectrum, but can see in the infrared spectrum. This colorway, named Olivia P., is how I imagined her world, with explosions of warm reds and oranges. There are a couple of ready to ship skeins up for grabs!
Monday, September 14, 2015
This is not an easy book to read. As a woman kept in captivity by terrorists, she endures horrible torture and tragedy. Her story speaks of the resiliency of people in extreme situations, but it also makes one think about the circumstances that lead people to such violent action. Amanda's capture happens in Somalia, then considered the "most dangerous country on earth." Despite everything her captors put her through, in the end Amanda speaks of them with a certain amount of sympathy and understanding. Ultimately, this book is a harsh reminder of how varied life is around the world, and the degrees of suffering some people experience. It is brutal and graphic, but very educational. Nigel Brennan and his sister wrote their own account of his captivity in The Price of Life, which I haven't read.
Have you read A house in the Sky? I haven't had a chance to discuss it with anyone else yet, so I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Monday, September 7, 2015
My newest pattern is a simple set of fingerless mitts, a perfect one skein project for a skein of variegated sock yarn. As a nod to the All Souls Trilogy, which I really enjoyed, this pattern is named after the Bodleian Library. After all, they are perfect for curling up with a good book and warm drink. The Bodleian Mitts pattern is available on Ravelry, and the sample mitts are knit in Toil & Trouble Classic in Fairy Queen Jubilee.
With the Greater Boston Yarn Crawl less than two weeks away, I am busily working on some new goodies. Here is a sneak peek of some gradient cakes. They can be knitted from the inside and outside for matching socks, or knit continuously for fraternal socks.
And the rattan dyeing experiment continues. I can't wait for this weekend's basket weaving class!
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
The week after Harriet's class is the Greater Boston Yarn Crawl! I'll be hosting a trunk show at Mind's Eye Yarns in Cambridge on Saturday, September 19th. I am busily dyeing some favorites and working on new colorways, so I hope you'll come visit!
Monday, August 17, 2015
Jacob, the protagonist, is a 16 year old boy struggling with the death of his grandfather. As a child, his grandfather used to show him old photos of strange children he claimed were from his past. In the present, a mysterious letter leads him to travel to Europe, where he meets the children from the photos. These "Peculiar" children, who have supernatural abilities, live in hiding on a remote Welsh island. Danger forces the children out of hiding, and Jacob sets off with them in an effort to restore them to safety.
Only two books in the trilogy are available so far: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, and Hollow City. The first book ends with a pretty big cliff hanger, and the second one ended with an unexpected twist. Library of Souls should be out this fall, and I'll be ordering it. Have you read these books? What did you think?
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Monday, August 3, 2015
The All Souls Trilogy includes A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and The Book of Life. The protagonist is Diana Bishop, fictitious descendant of factual Bridget Bishop, who was executed during the Salem Witch Trials. Diana is a present-day historian, and the books follow her as she comes to terms with being a witch and solves the mystery of an old manuscript. The author's interpretation of supernatural lore is very interesting, as she brings a scientific approach to it. The books also take an interesting path into historical fiction and introduces some great characters along the way.
Each of the books is quite long, but I ended the trilogy wishing there was more. I definitely recommend these books. There's much more I could say about the story, but I won't to avoid spoilers. If you've read it, leave a comment, I would love to know your thoughts.