Sunday, May 22, 2011

Rainy Days

Usually, I'm a great person for rainy days. Give me a good book, a big cup of tea, a spinning wheel, and a napping cat, and I'm happy. But we've had a spate of more than a week of grey skies here recently, and yeah, I'm about done. My friend Rachel was feeling the same way this past weekend, so we buzzed down to the last day of the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival on a whim. In a word? Rejuvenation.






Now I just need another fiber festival this weekend to do the same thing!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

In the Quiet Times

I am coming to the tail-end of a two-week knitting moratorium. After having knit two sample garments for Quince and two samples garments for myself in the space of a month and a half, my wrists were in dire need of a break. At first, I was unsure of what to do with myself while watching Netflix at night (by the way, Downton Abbey? Oh my goodness). But my mom reminded me of the hurried and breathless question I got to ask Neil Gaiman in the signing line in Wellington this time last year--if one is working for one's self, what does one do when the phone isn't ringing? What do you do in the down times? He said that that was the best time for exploration, for trying new things, for making messes and not having a deadline to clean them up by. So, in the last two weeks, I have:
  • made progress on my quilt
  • finished writing two patterns
  • listened to good music
  • hung out with friends
  • got my hands thoroughly covered in dye with the best knitting group in the world, as wonderfully documented by Leah and Aimee
  • read some old favorites
  • spun some frog-hair silk for my knitolution
  • cooked yummy food
  • I even made time to detangle skeins of yarn, one of my favorite guilty pleasures
  • and naps! How could I forget the naps?
So, all in all, it was a good, if knitting-less, couple of weeks! However, duty calls, and there are a few more samples calling my name. How would you spend two weeks without knitting?

Friday, May 6, 2011


The weather is getting warmer here in Maine; the grass is a vivid, emerald green (thanks to the rain of the last few days), the spring flowers are popping up everywhere, and, in hope, I have begun wearing sandals every day (even if I really shouldn't). But, even though we're moving towards spring, my crafting dreams recently have been about the perfect things for a midwinter night: bulky, colorful knit blankets, and jewel-toned handmade quilts.

When the Mitered Cross Blanket pattern came out, I loved it, but was initially dubious about the amount of Noro it needed. While I love Noro, the stuff ain't the cheapest, and a blanket's worth seemed a little extravagant. So the pattern sat on the backburner for a while, until I remembered the yarn I had dyed using Leethal's long-stripe dyeing with recycled yarn idea, where, instead of unraveling the thrifted sweater and then dyeing it, you dye it in stripes while it's still in pieces, like a sock blank.


I'm planning on pairing it with a deep cocoa-colored natural Irish yarn from the erstwhile Irish Ewe. Of course, it may be a long time until I actually get around to knitting it. . .

The other project I'm actually working on is a quilt based on the color scheme and lay-out of this pattern:

(from imagingermonkey on Flickr)

I grew up in a quilter's household, surrounded by my mom's fabric stash and tools, so it was a delight to come back to that world. About half the fabric in my quilt is actually from my mom's stash, and it feels wonderful to put all the eclectic pieces together into something beautiful.


I spent a great day over at Leah's house this past weekend working on it and hogging the ironing board, and while there's still a lot to get done, it's amazing to get back into this world and play.

As for things that I'm actually getting done, rather than just dreaming about, here's a sneak peek of the cowl pattern that will be coming out in September:


Stay tuned! In the meantime, I'll keep nesting and dreaming of chilly days, scented by woodsmoke, where I'll get to wrap up in my cozy quilt and blanket with a cup of tea and daydream.