Knitting Feeds

Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 05/13/2022 - 13:29

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My Favourite Articles This Week I have been thinking a lot about this quote on kindness this week. Turns out, male and female brains are actually the same. This was a fascinating talk on knitting and it’s relation to the history of spycraft – part of the Toronto Knitter’s Frolic talk series last month. An

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

A New Modification Monday: Adapted Kaffe Fassett Circles

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 05/09/2022 - 14:57

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Anet so kindly sent in this amazing mod, and I had to showcase it! Original Pattern: Floating Circles Sweater Knitter Extraordinaire: Anet (Ravelry) Mods: Anet took the circle pattern from the original sweater, used jus the centers of those circles, and incorporated it into a pretty detail at the hem, cuffs, and neckline. Details can

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Knitter, know thyself

Yarn Harlot - Wed, 05/04/2022 - 22:05

Last week something happened. That alone is the start of an interesting post because – well, not much has been happening around here for a year or two. The thing was that I got on my bike and rode across town to Ken’s house, and I had dinner on his porch. We had a lovely time and shared food and wine and then I rode my bike home and when I got there, I realized that I’d left the fun rainbow coloured socks I was knitting behind. Ken rescued them and then said that since I was going back to his house in a few days for a Bike Rally thing, that I could get them then. This made absolute sense. I’d be reunited with my socks in 48 hours and goodness knows that I have a million WIPs here that I can turn to in my time of need, but it still didn’t sit right, you know what I mean?

I looked around the living room to see what was nearby and sure enough another sock project was within my grasp. It was a pair of socks I’ve been working on for months, in fact I cast them on for Joe last year and had every intention of finishing in time for Christmas but I didn’t and now I have been slogging away on them for what feels like eons. (It is worth noting that while Joe has terrifically large feet and the socks are patterned, it is actually not possible for a knitter of my experience to be working on a pair of socks for months. It just isn’t. If socks are are still on my needles after this long, then you should know that I am using the word “working” to mean that I look at them often and feel bad but opt for something more fun.) They’re nice yarn, it’s a super cool pattern, there is nothing at all to account for my uncommitted nature except for (well see the name of the blog) and the fact that the big men’s socks in plain colours just… well, they do go on, don’t they?

In this moment though – with my “real” knitting stuck at Ken’s, I picked up those socks and beavered away on them, and do you know, they only took a few hours to finish?

Yarn: Too old to know. Maybe Into the Whirled? Pattern: Colsie

Now, you would think that there is a lesson here, and you would be right. It would be a good idea to learn it too, because a little while ago I made a commitment to myself that I was going to tackle the bigger socks earlier this year so that I didn’t get stuck with them at the end when my commitment is low. Now – Now I tell you, now in the cheerful spring and soon in the bright colourful summer – these are the times to be knitting enormous socks in bland colours, not in November when the world’s nothing but bland itself.

So like I said, there is a lesson here, and I should learn it. You would think that maybe the lesson is that determination, commitment and perseverance are good traits to cultivate, and that if you do manage to summon up that trifecta of character gold – the rewards are immediate and many, and that the work is never as hard as you think it’s going to be.

You would think that, but instead I think I’ve learned that I’m only going to knit boring socks if they’re the only things on the needles and I shouldn’t have a temptation pair within reach. I will knit the boring socks if they are the only socks.

I’m plowing into another pair now, and they’re (almost) the only socks on the needles. (Ignore the colourful self striping in the background. I’m just having a look at it.)

PS. I know I said that originally those brown socks were for Joe for Christmas, and you would think that would mean that they would be in his possession now, what with being almost five months late, but you would be wrong. I’m considering myself ahead a pair for this year.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Frolic 2022: Brand New Things!

Knitted Bliss - Sat, 04/23/2022 - 01:36

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This weekend is the Toronto Knitter’s Frolic, and it’s  ALL online this year. To celebrate, I’ve got a few brand new things to share with all of you! First up, I’ve collaborated on an amazing mitten kit with Emily C Gillies, a local yarn dyer. Check it out! I am SO PUMPED with how it

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Rip Tide

Yarn Harlot - Mon, 04/11/2022 - 15:17

I love to swim, and I am a very good swimmer. The whole family is the same, there’s not a one of us that isn’t happiest in the water, no matter what kind of water it is. We’re strong and confident in and on the water.

Several years ago I was on a trip to Mexico with my mother and I went down to the beach for a swim. I went by myself, though there were lots of people around, though none of them were a lifeguard. This didn’t bother me because… see above. I swam out and made my way through the shorebreak, the spot where the waves are dumping and breaking near the shore – and started to swim along. Next – to be honest I’m not sure what happened next, except that I broke a rule (never turn your back on the sea) and a huge wave I didn’t see coming broke right on top of me as I was coming up for a breath. It shoved me under the water and rolled me around a bit, and then released me and I popped and grabbed another breath as another big one broke on top of me again. This one pushed me way down under the water and then I could feel it pulling me fiercely, pulling me away from the shore. I didn’t panic because I am indeed strong and confident in the water, and besides letting the ocean have its way with you is usually safer than fighting, and when I popped up again I could see that I was in deeper than before.

“Crap” I thought to myself, just as another wave the size of a Subaru smashed me under and dragged me further out again. I came up, took a deep breath and wham – under again. As the water pulled me down and under, I started to realize I could be in trouble, and that I needed to figure a way out of this in a really big hurry. I reached for the surface and didn’t find it, and in that moment I remember thinking really, really calmly “Oh wow, I think I’m drowning.”

I didn’t. I mean, obviously since I’m writing this to you now, but it was a near thing, and I only got out of it because I saw what was happening and right away used every self-rescue technique I have ever known. I let the ocean take me for as long as I needed to in order to get control, I took a breath when I was able, I didn’t fight the current and I rested floating on my back whenever I could, and I slowly made my way sideways across the current and waves until I was finally able to wade up on the shore where I sat exhausted on the beach and goggled at how near a miss it had been. If I’d have lost my cool I… well. I wouldn’t be writing about it.

Another story about the ocean. My sister and I were in the ocean, playing around and swimming, and my mum was making her way into the water. She waded in where the waves were small, then deeper and deeper and the waves grew bigger, and mum gave a little hop with each one to keep it from bashing her about. She was about that deep, maybe hip deep when she got distracted by something on the shore, I can’t remember what it was. Mum was standing there, hands on her hips, looking off along the shoreline, and Erin and I suddenly saw a mammoth wave headed right for her. We started waving and shouting and finally got her attention just as the wave reached her. Mum turned to see us madly waving our arms in the air shouting “Wave! WAVE!” and at that exact moment, it crashed into her. Suddenly Mum is gone and all we can see is a jumble of limbs. The wave tumbles her under and over and into the bottom and we see an arm go by, and then a leg, and then the wave starts to recede and mum stands up, bedraggled, soaked, covered in sand, and most spectacularly – the wave has rolled her strapless bathing suit clear to her waist.

Mum staggers for a second, then reaches a hand up to smooth her hair, and completely unaware that she’s absolutely topless – gathers herself to her full height (5’1″) whacks a smile on her face and calmly shouts to us “It’s all right, I’m just fine.”

For most of the pandemic (and more properly, since Charlotte’s death, though the two things happened at the same time and are hard to separate for us) I have been like my mum, I think. Standing there bashed up after every wave, but on the whole cheerfully ready to go on. These last few months though – I don’t know what happened, but I woke up one morning and realized that if I wasn’t didn’t immediately do something I was going to drown.

The anniversary of Charlotte’s birth and death were upon us, and any way you want to slice it it has been a very, very long winter. Joe’s broken arm (still not quite healed and driving us both mad) has meant that anything we’ve tried to do has been frustrating or difficult (and most of the time both) and this last wave(s) of the pandemic really got me down. It was hard enough when we were all in this together, but this phase where low-risk people charge about having parties and vacations while vulnerable people stay home and hope for the best has been the wave where I can see we’re not all in this together anymore. (Also, low-risk people treating high risk people like they are bananas is super not helpful so please quit that.) I can’t stress enough that I haven’t been drowning these last weeks, I just saw the big waves headed for me and decided to do whatever it took to keep my head above water.

I have knit a lot over the last while. I’ve cried quite a bit too – though it is unlike me. Mostly, I practiced a lot of self-rescue techniques. I’ve rested when I needed to, I’ve let the ocean take me when it must, I’ve grabbed a breath when I’m able, and all of this has helped keep me well afloat – just sort of tired, with a lot of yarn lying around.

I’ll try and show you a bunch of knitting over the next bit but let’s start here. Elliot in his birthday sweater -a whole five years old. (The kid, not the sweater.)

Sweater pattern is the always reliable Flax Light, and the yarn’s Targhee/Nylon Sock in “Electric Heel” from Indigodragonfly. (This was from a SQWID box a while back, but they’re always doing more.)

Meg and I knit some shawls too, and show you those – for now, consider this post the internet equivalent of proof of life- me flailing by, all arms and legs in a crashing wave of the ocean, and then coming up topless.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 04/08/2022 - 11:00

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My Favourite Articles This Week How the letter Z so quickly came to become a new symbol for Russian totalitarianism. Getting back to socializing and need some new conversation starts? Here is a brilliant list. These stunning photos of abandoned churches in Italy are pure visual poetry. Here’s a great tip for keeping cut tulips

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 03/25/2022 - 11:00

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My Favourite Articles This Week The power of going for a bike ride. A fascinating look at bulk book buying for decor – far more interesting than I would have thought. The Nordic way to stop bullying. A brilliant response to “am I setting myself up for failure?” My Favourite Links This Week This one

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Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 03/11/2022 - 15:49

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My Favourite Articles This Week Have you heard about the ‘tech bros’ that bought the domain knitting.com and are aiming to revolutionize the online knitting world, like we haven’t all been here this entire time? Read all about the drama! Why book banning is back (in America). How to combat disinformation and misinformation online –

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 03/04/2022 - 11:00

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My Favourite Articles This Week How to stop doomscrolling the news. Honestly, I  needed this for myself. I want to say I don’t know where the week went, but I do- it went to doomscrolling. I loved this piece on how a book is made. Why success doesn’t always feel like it. Why journaling isn’t

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 02/25/2022 - 11:00

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My Favourite Articles This Week How to be lucky. This is a wonderful essay by actress Emma Thompson on the female body and ageing, as she lives with her daughter and her mother during Covid. So beautiful. I loved this piece on hot water bottles through history, and how they are pretty fantastic. I adore

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 02/11/2022 - 17:56

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My Favourite Articles This Week A fascinating read at the earlier generations that were students during the first wave of school shootings, who are now in their 30s and 40s. 7 questions that rewire your brain for success. This stunning mural needs the water to really make make it work, and it’s amazing. Vitamin C

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Still Kinda Itchy

Yarn Harlot - Sat, 02/05/2022 - 21:08

February isn’t my favourite month. I know that at least in theory it’s got a few decent attributes and is nice and short and I understand that a lot of people like it because it is simply not January, but I just don’t care for it, and this year… even less. There’s no Madrona to see my friends at, there’s still an International Travel advisory, Joe’s arm is still broken, Elliot’s not yet eligible for a vaccine, and it is really, really cold and just keeps snowing and snowing and snowing.

I had a bit of a think about that, and decided that no matter what February’s intentions for gloom are, I am not buying a ticket on its dreary train. It can snow all it wants, I am planning beautiful dinners and buying flowers and pushing back against this abbreviated annoyance of a month and also? I am knitting whatever the hell I want and embracing the little seed of startitis that’s lurking around, and I’m just going to cast on whatever I want. Why not. It makes me happy and I have lots of needles.

I finished Elliot’s sweater – as a matter of fact I finished it two and a half times. The first time I almost finished it I had the body done and one sleeve, and I popped it over his head for a quick check, and it was too short in the body and the arms. I took it off, pulled back the ribbing on the sleeve and the body and added another few centimeters. During this time his mother and I both measured him multiple times and were completely reassured that it would fit, which… it did not. It was still way too short in the sleeves, so I can only assume he grew faster than I could knit, which is a shocking thought. The whole thing was way too nice a sweater to be unhappy with it, so I pulled back the ribbing again and added a nice generous amount, and finally… success. It’s warm and cozy but lightweight enough for everyday, and Ellie chose the button himself. (Not shown, but it’s yellow.)

Pattern: Anker’s Shirt, Yarn – Holst Garn Supersoft in “Ember” leftovers from Ken’s sweater.

I finished Alex’s socks too, but handed them over without taking a picture, I’ll get one soon. The only thing I didn’t finish before I decided to scratch my startitis itch any way I want to, was Joe’s socks, but I did start them and that’s good… right?

Yarn: well aged stash – maybe Into the Whirled? Pattern is Colsie

Once I felt like I had done my duty (sorry Joe, but in my defence I have literally been your right hand for a month) I turned me and every little whim I had free on the stash. In my first attempt to bring joy to February – I got out a kit that I bought at the Knitter’s Frolic years ago – for Shorescape. I spent a good chunk of time arranging the gradient skeins to amuse myself, and then cast on.

It’s beautiful and I love it and it’s knit on 2.75mm needles and for some crazy reason, that didn’t quite do it for me, so after a little bit…

Lichen and Lace 1ply merino and marsh mohair in “Rhubarb”

I found some other yarn in the stash and it was so pretty and so spring-like and so I cast that on for a Rock It Tee– and started knitting the heck out of it until I sort of started to wonder about a mohair summer knit and if that and menopause are really a thing? Anyway, I decided the answer to that question was rather inexplicably more, not less, so I ordered more of that yarn and I’ll give it 3/4 length sleeves but that didn’t seem pressing anymore, I mean… I don’t even have all the yarn so…

Indiogodragonfly Targhee nylon sock in “Electric Heel”

The last time Meg and I were at Indigodragonfly, I saw these two skeins of robin’s egg blue yarn with fun sprinkles on it, and knew it had to be a sweater for Ellie. Soft, cozy.. it’s destined to be a Flax Light.

Then suddenly last night I was knitting along on that, and looking at the mohair and thinking about the cardigan and noticing Joe’s socks and an urge came over me, I put down all four of those projects and sighed deeply in their general direction, then got an idea, and made this.

Love and Light

Suddenly, I felt like I have a purpose for February. I’ve ordered more lights.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 01/28/2022 - 16:50

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My Favourite Articles This Week The perfect no-fuss guide to regularly hosting dinner parties. Love the standard menu idea! 10 micro habits for lasting, positive change. A great list. Oh my gosh, I love this true story about how stray cats saved a restaurant in Osaka, Japan. I want to go there! How to feel

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Randomly on a Wednesday

Yarn Harlot - Wed, 01/26/2022 - 21:07
  1. I had this bonkers idea that I could get everything from before Christmas off the needles by the end of January so that I could start a big new project as a midwinter treat. (I use the word treat here to mean “a reason to keep going on as the snow keeps falling as though it could bury our tattered hearts in the lassitude of our second covid winter. Loosely speaking.)
  2. This is a very motivating thought – starting a big new…. something. I don’t even know what the something might be, but I do like the idea of it and its shiny newness.
  3. Unfortunately, I have a sweater and two pairs of socks to finish if I am going to put a bow on this month. I’m not sure why they aren’t all done anyway, because I have been so diligent all month.
  4. That is a lie.
  5. I have been knitting rather a lot of mittens. While I do not regret this choice for a moment because mitten knitting is one of the true joys left to us in this world, I do kinda wish I had applied myself to the other projects sometime before this afternoon because I am cutting it a little close, ya feel me?
  6. Technically, I came very close to finishing Elliot’s sweater, but that tricky wee beast must have grown while I was making it because even though his mum and I both measured him multiple times, because when I popped it on him it was too small. I ripped out the bottom ribbing and added a bunch, and the same with the finished sleeve. The audacity of some children, I tell you that.
Pattern: Anker’s Shirt

7. I have no excuse (except mittens) for why Alex’s socks aren’t done (except his feet as as big as Joe’s which scarcely seems fair) but I feel like there is hope.

8. Joe’s sock’s….

9. Perhaps we must assume I have other charms that bind him yet.

10. What should the something be?

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