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First post of 2017!

So, um, I’ve been a bit bad about keeping this blog up-to-date. Oops. I didn’t mean to abandon it, but this fall was crazy-busy with knitting work, and that meant something had to give. Apparently, it was this.

But, new year, new intentions, right? And, now that I’m finally over the horrible cold I caught at Christmas, I’m back at work, making making making!

So, what’s in store for 2017?

Heritage and rare breed yarns! I attended the Cowichan Fleece and Fibre Fair back in October, and came home with some Shetland handspun, some GORGEOUS Cotswold DK weight yarn and some Cotswold/bamboo fingering from Pender Island Farm, and sent away a Romney lamb fleece from Horizon Heritage Farm for custom spinning. Plus, I got my hands on some amazing Border Leicester yarn from the Doulton Flock. Getting my hands on these wonderful heritage breed yarns has lit a real fire, and so I’m planning to do some posts about knitting with these yarns. Merino is lovely – it’s hard to beat its softness, but it just isn’t that hard wearing. It’s wonderful for items intended for delicate wear, but the moment it encounters friction (like what you’d get when a sleeve rubs against a body, or in an arm pit gusset), it pills. I’m already quite in love with Blue Face Leicester yarn, so it feels natural to extend that love to other heritage breeds. Plus, it’s important to support farmers who work so hard to preserve heritage breeds and farming diversity. I’d love to do what I can to help.

So, I’ve been swatching away, and plan to post about the properties of these great yarns so that knitters can feel informed about other less common sheep breeds. I’m very excited about this – I hope you are, too!

Dyeing! At the moment, I’ve got a set of Ciba acid dyes and Maiwa’s natural dyeing kit sitting in my laundry room, waiting for me. I’ve yet to summon the courage to try them, but today may be the day. I’ve been so lucky to work with some amazing indie dyers – Laura at Crooked Kitchen Yarns, for example – but since I can source some heritage breed yarns locally, it makes sense to learn to dye them myself. However, since those yarns aren’t superwash, I won’t be starting with them. Instead, I’ve got some good ol’ merino/nylon sock yarn to dabble with – I’m not likely to use it for anything, so it’s a good one to play with and, hopefully, not ruin.

Sweaters! I’ve gotten the hang of designing shawls and hats, and I’ve bee working on mittens, so it’s time to start with the garments that are in my head. This is a scary thing, too. A shawl doesn’t need to fit in the same way a sweater does – a shawl is seldom too long. Nor is it likely to have a gaping neckline, misshapened sleeves, or too-tight armscythes. It doesn’t have to fit a particular bust size, or shoulders, or waists, or hips. A sweater does. Or, at least, it would be nice if it did! I know a lot of people who don’t wear sweaters because they don’t fit, and I’d like to offer sweater patterns that can be customized to allow for the fact that we’re all different shapes. That may be a long term dream, though – I’ve still got a lot to learn. But, I’ve got to start somewhere, so I’ve got a little open-style cardigan in the works, which should be a quick knit. Plus, because it’s designed to be worn open, I shouldn’t have to work about bust shaping too much. Today is cast-on day for it – fingers crossed!

Assorted and sundry – I’ve still got to figure out what to do about this website. WordPress has worked for the last while, but I admit, it isn’t particularly professional. Plus, I’m going to need a proper logo, both for my designs and for, potentially, yarn sales. Trying to get all of this done has been a challenge, because I’m learning as I go. Though I ran my own music studio for years, that didn’t require quite as much business-related stuff as what I’m now doing. I already know that I’m probably going to need a virtual assistant soonish. How soonish will depend on when I’ve got funds that are steady enough to pay someone. Until then, I will continue to struggle with organization – that’s never been my strong suit, but I’m working on it!

Now, while I was on my bloggin hiatus, new designs happened! To see all of them, because there’s quite a few, pop on over to the knitting patterns section. But, here’s a couple to entice you!

The Tundra Toque, which just came out today…

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The Fires of Beltaine shawl, one of my favourite designs…

 

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And, the Verdigris cowl…

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And, with that, it’s back to the needles for me!

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