I’ve had a glorious summer, and I hope all of you have as well!
Last week, I was sitting with a friend, and she asked me “do you read blogs anymore?” and it made me think about my blog reading habits and my blog writing habits.
My reading habits: I read some blogs casually, mostly when I see them pop up in a Facebook feed. But, there aren’t any that I subscribe to and read religiously. I’ve become more accustomed to listening to podcasts on my commute and getting short snippets on Instagram. I will also turn to blog information if I need to learn a new technique, and one of the google results happens to be a blog.
My Writing Habits: I’ve found myself writing blogs about things that I don’t necessarily go to blogs for. I tend to write about current projects, yarn acquisitions, and other fiber related stuff. I enjoy exploring the political aspects of crafting and making, but that can only provide so much content.
My Question for readers: How often do you read craft-related blogs? Why do you read them? Would you be more interested in the type of content that I offer in another format (podcast, just IG or FB)? Would you be interested in more instructional content (e.g. sharing techniques that work/don’t work for me)? I don’t think I’m ready to let this space go completely, but I think I am ready for it to take on a new shape.
And now, just a few photos of some of the things I’ve been up to this summer:
I’ve been knitting shawls, I’ve taught myself to embroider and crochet, and I’m diving into more weaving. Lots of exciting things!
Last week was the LYS Tour in the Puget Sound. I didn’t make it to as many shops as I had hoped, but I stopped at some of my favorites. I tried to show restraint, but some yarn and fiber was just too lovely to resist.
Tolt Yarn and Wool
Fiber from Homestead Hobbyist (Mad Cow Yarn)
From Weaving Works for a small weaving project.
I also managed to start a few new things and get some yarn finished over the weekend.
Dyed yellow and gray braid for my Etsy shop.
Doing a little knitting in the sunshine and my new mug from Spincycle Yarns.
New handspun shawl on the needles. The pattern is the Quaker Yarn Stretcher by Susan Ashcroft.
3-ply natural gray Finn yarn. 150 yards, 2.9oz. This was super lovely spin, and it made a really smooth, dense yarn. Also available in my Etsy shop.
My brain is going in a lot of different directions this week. I’m feeling a rush of excitement to finish things and start new ones.
My Hitchhiker Beyond Shawl/scarf is growing! I’m a little worried that I’ll be playing yarn chicken, but what’s life without a little risk? I’m knitting this out of handspun, and I couldn’t be more excited about how it is knitting up. The colors scare and excite me all at the same time!
As a fun, quick project, I’m making some hats that’ll be going with a local mill-owner to our local farmers market. (No pictures yet…)
I’m also planning a lot more natural during in the coming days/weeks. I’ve added a few books to my library, and I’m so excited to dig into them. Next on the dyeing schedule is nettle-dyed roving and yarn.
Keep an eye on my Etsy shop for updates (in the past week, I’ve added in a skein of madder-dyed yarn and some recycled yarn).
I’ve also re-started a Facebook page for my sites, so you can find me there if you’re interested, as well!
Yarn BOB Facebook
Spring was in the air in the PNW this weekend, so I decided a little natural dyeing was in order. I have some extracts on order and plants growing in the garden, so I’m anticipating doing a lot more dyeing in the coming months.
I love the yellow that onion skins give, so I dyed up a few skeins using onion skins that I had been saving.
I also experimented with using avocado pits to dye a skein. It is a more subtle color, but I love that this is what results from them.
Both of the onion skin dyed skeins are listed in my Etsy shop, and the avocado pit dyed skein will be available after it has had a wash and is dried.
If you’re interested in trying natural dyes on your own, CreativeBug has a few classes available on their site.
I’ve finished quite a lot over the past few weeks. This, seemingly, never-ending winter has done wonders for my knitting mojo. It is feeling more like spring this week, but I’ve got lots in the works still, too.
Wildberry Shawl – I couldn’t be happier with this baby. I love the yarn and the pattern. I might have to knit another.
Gumshoe Cowl – This is a pattern by the ladies of Spincycle Yarns, and it was pretty well-suited to handspun. This is some yarn that I spun using a mixed BFL dyed by Port Fiber and some natural dark brown from Abundant Earth Fiber. This was my first two-color brioche project, so I’m pretty pleased with it.
Tread Hat – This is from the Within Collection by Jane Richmond and Shannon Cook. The yarn is Woolfolk Far. The yarn is unique and super soft. I was playing a little bit of yarn chicken with this one (it was a 50 gram skein), so next time I think I’ll get an additional skein to make it a little slouchier.
Quill Hat – I was so excited to knit this hat! I had the yarn, but had to spend a bit of time waiting for my issue of Taproot to arrive. It was worth the wait; I love it. The yarn is a 60/40 Rambouillet/dehaired llama blend milled at Abundant Earth Fiber. I will definitely be knitting this hat again.
I’m really inspired by the number of knitwear designers and yarn dyers who have developed products to raise money for causes that they believe in. Here are some patterns and yarns that might be interesting for some of you who are looking to funnel some of their craft dollars to good causes (while also feeding your stash). Feel free to link to more that you’ve found in the comments.
Knitted Witt Love is Love Colorway 10% of sales go to organizations that support the LGBTQ community.
Infinite Twist Love Still Wins Kit $5 from each sale goes to the Lambda Legal organization, which seeks to achieve “full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people, and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education, and public policy.”
The Sight Is Life collection is a pattern collection that funds eye surgeries in the Congo. It features a bunch of wonderful designers and patterns.
The Peace de Resistance Mittens by Bristol Ivy. Bristol Ivy is donating proceeds from the pattern sale to a rotating list of charities. There are also several yarn companies providing kits for the pattern, and they are also donating to local and national charities.
Tin Can Knits most recent collection Heart on My Sleeve is a collection of sweater patterns by different designers, and part of the proceeds are going to the Against Malaria Foundation.
There are countless others who are, similarly, putting portions of their proceeds toward causes that matter to them.
It’s been a little while since I’ve made an FO post. It’s not for lack of FOs, really, but more a lack of things to say about them.
I finished my Oats cowl. I needed some basics, so this is the first piece of some everyday scarves and cowls I’m adding to my wardrobe. The yarn is Malabrigo Rios. It took me quite a while to finish, but it was an easy project to pick up and put down.
I finished some fiber that I was hoarding for spinning on my new wheel. This is 4.9oz of a BFL in the Hummingbird colorway. It was a nice spin (although a bit of a slog toward the end), and I am pretty pleased with the result. My plan is to use it with some dark brown handspun for a brioche project.
I also finished a few hats for some friends and others who are participating in some marches that are coming up.
I’ve got quite a few more projects in progress and lots of goodies to work with, so hopefully I’ll have a lot more to share in the coming weeks.
I’ve been seeing quite a few of these little tapestry/wall-hangings on Instagram lately. Initially, I wasn’t quite sure about them, but I was finding myself compelled to make one. My last Fibre Share partner sent me this tiny loom, so I decided to give it a try. Thankfully, I also found a set of quick classes on Creativebug that explained several of the techniques that are helpful for getting started, adding the fancy bits, and for finishing off the project. I would highly recommend this class for beginners, like me, or for someone who is interested in dabbling in a new fiber craft.
This little project was so much fun, I decided to order a slightly larger frame loom. I think this is going to be a great way to use up the scraps that I just can’t seem to throw away.
I have officially been bitten by the brioche-bug! After successfully finishing a hat, I decided that I would try a two-color project. I decided on the Marley shawl by Andrea Mowry (who I happen to be pretty obsessed with; her patterns are gorgeous). It took a few tries for me to get the increases right, and early on, I made some mistakes that I decided I couldn’t live with, so I ripped out a few times. Now, I am starting to get the flow a little more, and I am happy with how it is working up. There is one area where I contemplated tinking back, but the mistake is high up in the shawl, so it’ll be pretty bunched up once it is on, and it is only noticeable from one side. It is bothering me a tad, but I am using it as an opportunity for growth. In all, working with two colors is far simpler than I thought it would be. I am working with KnitPicks Palette yarn, which is an inexpensive 100% wool fingering weight yarn.
If you are looking to explore brioche more, take a look at Craftsy; I found the class I signed up for to be really helpful for both the two and single-color techniques. Most people mention the class by Nancy Merchant, but I actually preferred the look of the projects offered with this class a little more.
Does anyone else have any favorite brioche projects or resources for knitting in brioche?