Thursday, 29 May 2014

coo-coo for cocoa…kals?

i dunno what i was going for with that title. in my mind, it was terribly clever. in real life, well, you can decide and judge me accordingly. i'll be fine. i still think it's kind of funny. that's probably the lack of tea in my system, of course.

so i seem to have gone from never actually participating in kals (although signing up for them constantly), to booking myself into several at a time, whether by doubling up a project (and usually shortening my knitting time significantly from the original kal's deadline) or doing multiple kals with multiple projects. which seems to be the current state of affairs. one of the kals i'm participating in is stephen west's summer shawl kal. i'm stashbusting for this one (a lot of stephen's patterns are great for that), and am working on the lumpy space shawl. (i'm sure there are a bunch of you who catch the reference!) it's actually the perfect one for this skein of juno fibre arts alice that i've had since paris last year. i loved the colour and name because it reminded me of the dress in alice in wonderland, but it's a single skein that's too precious for something less than stunning and also not superwash, so i didn't want to pair it with an everyday knit (i'm tough on my clothes). it's perfect for this though, and there should be loads leftover. i'm also using the wee bit of malabrigo sock in candombe that i had left from two other projects, the tussah tweed i used for this tank, and my remaining skein of tanis fiber arts' purple label in ballet slipper.

and then tanis announced a shawl kal for the month of june! i'm ridiculous, i know. but a) one can never have too many shawls and b) i can technically use my lumpy space since it's using tfa purple label. if i can fit it in though, this is also a great excuse for me to knit up my voetpad and use that super sexy madtosh dandelion with the same skein of ballet slipper. it will be the softest shawl of life, guaranteed.

annnnd, pom pom quarterly is hosting their summer kal. i'm being a total twat and entering my winterberry shawl that i started before xmas. yup. it's been sitting dormant on my needles for half a year now because i didn't have a long enough cable needle for ages, and then by the time i got one, i had other projects on the go. so i'm mostly doing this to finally finish it off. i just have the border to go, so it should be a not-completely-overwhelming addition to the active wip pile. i would love to cast on another pom pom pattern as well, but i think i'm probably biting off more than i can chew already.

um, i also need to find time somewhere in all that knitting to design a shawl for the manitoba fibre fest  contest that wolseley wool is hosting. and knit a sample for both sizes of my design. the smaller size is coming along pretty well so far. the pattern will be revealed in august (before i leave for my residency). okay, maybe i'm going a teensy bit overboard with the shawls right now, but really, it's fine. i will have a cozy neck all of the time, and maybe there will be a kal featuring one of my designs that you can join yourself. that would be kind of cool, right?

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

in under the wire

i finished my vasa just in the nick of time!

for those of you participating in the vasalong, don't worry. you still have until june 6 to finish. i was doubling up my kals with this project though, and shannon's tops, tees, & tanks knit-a-long ends today. i don't know where the month of may went, but it certainly snuck past me. suddenly i had less than a week to finish this shirt, and i still needed to deal with paperwork, fill undie orders, and read a theory book! the one thing that i was worried wouldn't get done in time was the blocking, but my fingers worked overtime and i had a day and night to block and dry.

so as you can see, i messed around a bit with the striping, which was because i had less of the blue than called for (i have another three skeins truthfully, but they're earmarked for a cardigan, as was about 100 yards of this skein). i love that about this pattern though - it's essentially a blank slate. i already have plans in my head for more vasas with different designs and colours, and maybe a v-neck.

i dunno what's up with the colours in this one. the centre photo is more accurate.
the deets:
pattern: vasa by dianna walla
yarn: the uncommon thread's silky merino fingering in ink blot; old maiden aunt's superwash merino 4ply in bean nighe
mods: besides the striping changes, i knit top-down with provisional long-tail cast-on in order to live graft the shoulders for an invisible seam, and after knitting flat far enough for the armholes, joined the back and front and knit in the round for the rest of the shirt.

today's bonus photo is of a gift set i'm knitting for a very special friend out east. i won't say much more than that yet, because i want the present to be a surprise. once the gift has arrived at its destination though, i'll share more with you. stay tuned...

Friday, 23 May 2014

mossy mohair

it's done, it's done, it's done! 

this is my "oh god, we went from freezing to +30 without an adjustment period and now i'm melting" face.

i finally finished the lonely tree shawl for mum's friend. the leaf lace design showed up much more than i was expecting with the mohair, and the finished fabric is kind of springy. like walking on moss. i like it. but please please please, don't make me knit with mohair again! the pattern was quick to knit whenever i had the brain power to focus on it, but any time i was too tired or stressed, i couldn't deal with the combination of lace and fuzzy fibre. if i'd been using a plied superwash merino, for example, this would have flown off the needles. actually, that might not be a bad idea. i'd definitely knit this pattern again. anyway, this one is done, and i think its owner will be pleasantly surprised with her finished shawl.

the deets:
pattern: the lonely tree shawl by silvia bo bilvia
yarn: 60g fleece artist baby kid in unknown colourway, on 4.5mm needles
mods: added extra rows of garter stitch plus a yarn-over row between the first 8 garters  and the picot bind-off. i was concerned that the mohair wouldn't block out as big as a less felts-as-soon-as-it-touches-itself yarn.

and here's a little bonus photo of the progress of my vasa. it's coming along pretty well, and i have a couple of tops and shawls in my queue once it's finished (it's due in less than a week, yikes!). plus market prep, of course. and gifts! i have some knit gifts that will find their way onto here after they've found their way to their recipients. 

since summer has finally shown its face (we basically skipped spring this year), i've moved my "office" into the sunporch. it's much nicer with the fresh air and my bullfrog friend, franklin, serenading me. the projects over in the corner are undie panels for tanis (dyer extraordinaire) and mel (genius behind hana hou and camp aloha friends!). they both got double herringbone by chance, which i thought was pretty funny. it also happens to be my favourite of the lace designs, so y'know. great minds think alike!

Thursday, 22 May 2014

dreams for bums

you can completely customize your undies, starting with the lace design and moving onto colours. there are ten options to choose from, each of which is a different lace design. choose which lace you like best, then use the drop-down options to choose your yarn colour. because the fabrics i use change based on what's available to me, there is no drop-down choice for that bit. however, once you've placed your order, i'll send you a message with what i have in stock so that you can choose from them. they will always be either cotton knits or bamboo knits, so it's really more a matter of colour. easy peasy lemon squeezy!

the sexy and brilliant collage idea came from my darling samson

so far, i've only made them with stretch lace, but i feel like fold-over elastic would work fine as well. if you'd like fold-over rather than lace, hold off on ordering until i make up some pairs. as soon as i've got them figured out, i'll let y'all know and make it an option when you're ordering. but maybe wait until then, if you really don't want the stretch lace (i'm into it, but i'm also pretty damn femme and love lace, so i get that other folks might prefer the plainer option).

the fit runs over 4 sizes (from 35" hip to 42" hip), but if you need another size, just send me a message on etsy and we'll sort something out. i can grade my template up or down to a degree, and i would much rather spend some time fiddling with the design than you not get a pair of awesome undies. all bums deserve fun undies, especially when they're fun and comfortable. (i rarely subscribe to the idea of beauty equaling pain. usually, pain with clothing means it's a poor fit or crappy materials. so screw that.)

at some point, i may add in ready-made undies to the shop, but for now, they're being saved for market season. i'll let you all know when those markets are happening so you can pop by if you're in the vicinity and say hi (and maybe grab a pair of undies).

here are the winning undies from the lace contest! i love the colours and design that cathy chose for them (faun's eye stitch in jewel). cathy, these cuties will be in the mail tomorrow.

i haven't added in an option for non-lace undies yet, but i will eventually. i'm playing with the idea of stamping or screenprinting simple designs on them so they're not so bland (not that bland is a bad thing). after i've experimented a bit, i may add them in. if you would like a pair of non-lace/non-stamped undies, email me at ash.sunflowerknit[at]gmail[dot]com and we can arrange that. i'm not opposed to custom orders for them, i just don't plan on making them a priority otherwise at the moment.

i'm so happy the undies are finally available! i've got a bunch of other projects on my needles, ranging from custom orders to gifts to selfish knits to more market items. there will be photos of everything eventually, rest assured. and my indiegogo campaign is running along too. go check it out and help out if you can. xo

Monday, 19 May 2014

about creative life and being freelance as fuck

i would like to talk a little bit about being a creative type and working freelance, or at least my experience of it at this point. partly to help myself process it a bit, and also because i feel like if you don't live this life, you really don't get it and can't get it to a large extent, and so relating to a creative freelancer can get strained. and also because i desperately want to live on my own, without any other humans - familial, roommates, or otherwise - so that my anxiety related to living like this can ease a bit, but since i'm freelancing and have no regular dependable income to pay the bills right now, i have no idea when that will happen. and so perhaps this will help me at least verbally vomit some of that anxiety out, or process it better, or something. i don't know.

freelance work sucks. yes, yes, being your own boss and doing work you care about is great, but realistically, a lot of the time it's actually you having a bunch of different bosses and you don't really have the option of choosing only contracts that you care about because you have fucking bills to pay and you need to eat and goddammit, that contract you don't really want will let you do at least one of those things and you're tired of just eating rice. it's unstable, and unreliable, and because you have no fixed 9-5, the whole "choose your own/most productive time to work" often results in you working all the time. there is no turning off. and if you do decide, i'm going to take a break now, you feel guilty the whole time and so you end up back at your project half-working on it while you shovel food in your mouth and also feeling shitty because you should be relaxing. if a boss or manager in the normal workplace ran you the way that you run yourself as a freelancer, chances are there would be union intervention kicking in. 

and because the freelance work you do is ultimately still related to things you do care about (i.e. i knit to relax and also knit for pay, or i'm on my computer to procrastinate on pinterest but often that also coincides with brainstorming a new show design/blogging/dealing with emails/my whole damn life revolves around my computer), when someone else encounters you, they assume you must be relaxing/not really working because, hey, that's what you like to do so you couldn't possibly be working. which either results in some sort of resentment on their side, or your imagined resentment on their side results in anxiety on your end, or they interrupt you while you're trying to deal with a deadline and you're stuck with either needing to be rude and anti-social because you need to work or being social and not working (except you're not really being social because you spend most of that visit/chat/whatever mentally stressing over how much longer will this take i really need to get back to work i still have so much left to do why do i always leave these things so late i should learn how to manage my time better circle circle circle what'd they just say?). 

also, it's often really lonely work. if you're working from home rather than coming into whatever workplace for a contract, it can seem nice to start off with, but that quickly loses its charm. yes, you can work in your pjs, but actually getting up and having a shower and dressing to go out can be very good for a) your mental health and b) your productivity. having your living space double as your workspace can get messy, and not just in the physical sense of projects strewn everywhere. when i lived in easy bussing/walking distance of cafes, i used to make a point of finding a cafe to plunk myself down at. wifi is sometimes great, sometimes distracting. the endless(ish) supply of caffeine is great until the anxiety kicks in, but generally being out wears that more into a productive buzz than into anxiety. plus you can always switch to tea. the hum of other people is comforting without being too distracting. and if you're in a city like halifax, which is chock-full of students and creative types, the vast majority of cafes are totally cool with you plonking yourself down at a table for hours with your various stacks of books, computer plugged in, and shoes off. i even had a place in halifax where i used to eat my packed lunch/snacks at, although that was usually when i was spending 6-8 hours there and i was buying a few drinks over the course of the day. and everyone working there was a poor student/activist/artist who understood that while buying a few coffees was justifiable, spending ten dollars on lunch as well was pushing the budget a bit too far. there was one time i actually bought a box of tea because it was the most budget-friendly option - about the cost of a latte and a half, and gave me 12 cups of steaminess. 

all complaining aside, freelancing is great for the one thing that we always end up doing it for - we give so many fucks for the work we're doing/field we're working in, it's almost worth all the headaches and instability that come along with it. no one in their right mind (whatever that may look like) would choose such a fragile life if they didn't care about the work with every fibre of their being. when things are going well and you have enough contracts coming through to pay the bills without tipping you over into overdrive, it's amazing. it's so rewarding to be in whatever field(s) you're in and making work and seeing it out there in the world and also be able to feed yourself more than rice. 

so i guess that what i'm saying, is that i'm over it. kind of. i would like a full-time (or really reasonable part-time) contract that paid my bills every month, routinely, so that i could count on it, and pay me at my degree level, and maybe even eventually let me qualify for benefits. that would be something. because at the end of the day, a full-time job is only 40 hours a week, and when you've spent the past decade doing a full day at whatever level of schooling, followed by homework/essays//projects/rehearsals in the evening (and often rehearsals in the wee hours of the morning too), and then also worked part-time and run societies/been involved in activist causes/volunteered for different organizations, a 40-hour week that ends at 40 hours is pretty sweet. and leaves a lot of time for your own projects, while also structuring your life a little bit nicer than if you were to try to structure yourself. 

ok, i think that's all i want to say about it right now. sorry if today was whiny, i just needed to get this off my chest. it's been running around in my brain for a while, which doesn't leave a lot of room for the actual work i need to do. back to sewing the undies (they should be ready by mid-week), and then i have some database entry to do, and then reworking paperwork. and the shawl commission is almost done. that'll be my downtime tonight, i think. and i want to make another video for the indiegogo campaign. that'll happen probably on the weekend though. stay tuned...

Friday, 16 May 2014

a little bit of everything

warning: there are a lot of swears in today's post. like, a fuckload. so maybe don't read any further if you care about shit like that. otherwise, carry on! it's pretty great, i think.

all of the things.

the undies are still being made (i'm pushing their launch to next week to give myself some breathing space), and i'm still doing database entry, and i'm still chugging away on my vasa (which is growing slower than i'd like/anticipated, but i'm trying to accept that), and the fucking mohair is still a wip, mostly because lately i haven't been able to commit the focus it requires (which is why the slowly growing vasa is great as a diversion). i've also been dealing with extra anxiety, no doubt partly due to the amount of coffee i've been drinking. oops.

but but but…

life is pretty sweet. i attended mental health first aid training this week as part of the preparation for curiouser's down the rabbit hole tour, which will be happening this upcoming school year (dates and locations are being determined, and will be more of a priority after i get some other shit out of the way).  it's fascinating, and also basically what i've been doing for years for myself and loved ones and as a support person at various organizations anyway, which is nice to know. it's good to find out that i've been doing things pretty well in line with proven policies and techniques, with certain obvious exceptions to the rule (usually involving my own mental health and that of a few people who were too entangled in my life to keep the necessary separation of your shit versus my shit). 

of course, going in-depth into mental health anything can be triggering when you live with various mental health issues. it's great and important and necessary in so many ways, but it's still triggering. so the fact that i was training half a block away from a local yarn store was pretty damn convenient. after the first day, i meandered over and poked around. there was nothing that jumped out at me for projects in my queue, but then i noticed one of the mannequins. it sported this awesome tunic. now normally, i don't do variegated yarns. it's too much. my rising dawn shawl was/is a huge exception to that rule. but the design of the tunic is so clever, and the shape so me, and the way that the colours work out is amazing. plus, noro yarns have always fascinated me (but i've never used them because of the whole variegation thing). so, i grabbed the (free!) pattern and the two skeins it will take. i'm excited to get started on it. i probably won't be able to for a while, but i'll keep you all updated on its status once i do. hurrah for therapy shopping!

ANNNNNNNND, curiouser got our research grant from nova scotia public interest research group (aka nspirg, aka the most awesome radical group besides south house, which i am biased towards because i've been with them for so long, but they both work together all the time and support each other's projects, so basically they're the same group of rad folks). some of the money covers my mental health first aid training, and the rest will be going towards theatre for living training that i'm doing with a dear talented handsome here. we (we being curiouser) want the workshops we offer during the tour to be fun and creative, but also safe and inspiring for critical thought and action around mental health and its stigma in society. so training is vital to that, because it makes us more knowledgable and responsible artists and activists. and getting the financial support to help with that is amazing. thank you, lovely pirg :)

an image from sharon bajer's short shot, in which two 5-year-olds play chess. i snorted for about ten minutes straight.

also, i went to the carol shield's festival of new works launch last night. it was breathtaking, and hilarious, and hopeful, and truthful, and gorgeous, and inspiring, and reminded me yet again why i do what i do. there were many things i loved for a variety of reasons, but the most impactful part of the evening for me was local artist extraordinaire debbie patterson's keynote speech. oh my god, she articulated every reason why i so passionately believe i and others need to make art, and how we should make it (not in terms of style or form, but in terms of telling the truth and bearing witness to ourselves and others and our shared world). it was just incredible to watch this talented artist so masterfully articulate all of the things about art and making art that i so often fail to put into words. not because i don't have the vocabulary for it, but because i care about it so much my tongue often gets stuck. as debbie put it, it's a matter of "find(ing) the passion to lose the words." it's those noises we make, the little gasps and exhales and musical grunts, when we get so worked up we can't find the words to say, "this is so important, and here's why." so we make noises instead, and use gestures, and our eyes spark with the possibility of it all. i love it.

isn't it pretty?
and finally, i bought a beautiful secondhand spinning wheel from a friend of a friend. it's going to be living in halifax with a dear one until i can bring it back to the prairies, but i'm happy with its babysitter (wheelsitter?), because they are as much of a fibre nut as i am and they will take good care/make good use of it in the meantime. i also have mum's old spinning wheel here (it's not as pretty and is a different model), so it's not like i'm in a huge rush to get the new-to-me one across the country. i'm excited at the prospect of having two though, partly because i'm fascinated to see what the difference will be like with the way they both spin, and partly because it means that i'm already set up for the future. the future, in case you were wondering, involves a community space where a communal spinning wheel hangs out for people to use if they can't afford their own/want to learn/want to spin while hanging out with friends/whatever. and then another wheel at home so i can spin regardless of where i am. this is obviously the far future, but being prepared is never a bad thing.

and, as always, don't forget about my indiegogo campaign to help get me to the white rabbit arts open air festival & residency! me, the woods, a tent, a bunch of other artists, the ocean, love notes for you...

so there you go. a long-winded and slightly scattered post about all of the many many projects going on in my life right now. hope you enjoyed/made it this far!

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

cheeky sneak peek

i have too many imminent deadlines right now to write a long blog post, but i don't want you to think i'm ignoring you. i'm finishing off the undies and there will be a nice long post about them later in the week, but for now, here's a sneak peek at the sample panels. the blue and charcoal panels are still blocking. don't worry, there will be a full rainbow and greyscale available. (obviously, there are ends to be buried at the moment.)

a particularly scrummy photo, in my opinion.
three of my favourites: arrow in jewel, double herringbone in spearmint, and wheat in the wind in sand.

and don't forget about my indiegogo campaign! there are some sweet perks, mostly involving love notes with the help of the woods from yours truly. those love notes can be for you, or you can request they go to someone else. magical gifties from the forest that will be a fun surprise for your loved ones.

Friday, 9 May 2014

never a dull moment

well, now that i've finally finished off those other projects and launched the indiegogo campaign, i suppose it's time to start on my vasalong, right?

messing around with the striping a wee bit. the green is more green and less turquoise in real life.
i'm being cheeky and adding this into shannon's annual spring tops, tanks, & tees kal too. the deadline is a bit shorter than dianna's vasalong (by a week), so that should be good for keeping me on target. i haven't even come close to finishing it and so don't know what it will look like when worn, but i'm already planning other designs using the same shape. so many wonderful options...

you can sort of see the lace design, but it will be much nicer once blocked. i can feel it in my bones.

i also cast on the lonely tree shawl. it's growing pretty quickly, although that's not super surprising given that it's a worsted weight yarn. that being said, knitting with brushed mohair is definitely slower than less fuzzy fibres. you have to be really careful not to catch on a piece and risk a tear in the yarn. to be honest, i don't really get the appeal of mohair. i've been pleasantly surprised with how much stitch definition i've been getting for the lace design, but i definitely wouldn't make a point of knitting with it unless it was a commission and the person was dead-set on the yarn. i just remember all the customers at the yarn shop i worked at before who loooooooved the brushed mohair yarns, and now i'm knitting with it and thinking, good god, your patience and eyesight are way better than mine. i love the pattern, by the way. i'd happily cast it on again, with another yarn.

an example of why blocking is vital for lace. also, that purple is doing all sorts of weird things. it's hard to photograph.

aaaaaaand, here are some undie panels. i've been chugging away at them, trying to keep them at a not-quite-so-crazy pace so that i don't hate them by the time i launch the etsy options. i've been staggering them out, although missed a few days and so need to play catch up to stay on target for next week's launch. it's a nice way to break up my longer projects, actually. i have to make more tags from my old template though. tagging them as soon as they're finished is the easiest way for me to keep track of sizes. 

i have actual contract work to do right now as well, so i'd best get back to that. and picked up some shifts at my old theatre school, which is delightful but requires that i schedule my time a bit better. and the wedding social is tonight! never a dull moment, as they say! (i think "they" refers to mum's side of the family in this case, but maybe other folks say it too.)

don't forget about my indiegogo campaign! if you missed my last post, check it out for more details, and otherwise please support in any way that you can. it's an exciting opportunity for theatre and fibre projects for me, and you can get some nice stuff from the crowdfunder perks. 

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

indiegogo campaign for white rabbit residency!

i have some exciting news! i've been accepted to the white rabbit arts open air festival & residency this august in beautiful rural nova scotia. i get to spend a week camping out on a farm along the bay of fundy with a bunch of other artists, collaborating and playing and learning and getting some dedicated time to work on my own projects. 

check out White Rabbit from Anne Macmillan on Vimeo.

i could not be more excited about this incredible opportunity. the main personal project that i'll be working on is recording sounds from the local environment to create a soundscape for the next curiouser theatre show. the show itself is under wraps, but my hope is that the soundscape will be able to play a large role in influencing the collaborative devising process once we get into the studio.

that's awesome, ash! so what's with the indiegogo campaign?

i've been back in canada for just enough (re: not enough) time to interfere with residence requirements for grant applications, and i also don't have enough material outside of work i did during my times as a student to qualify as a professional artist yet (which would make sense, given that the past 6 years of my life have been spent at university learning to make theatre). 

my little video for the campaign.

so, to help cover my costs, i'm running an indiegogo fundraising campaign. check it out! please donate if you can (there are some fun perks!), and spread the word even if you can't. reaching my goal means i'll be able to pay for travel costs and the residency fee, plus it means indiegogo will take a lower percentage of my funds raised. even if i don't reach the goal, i'll use whatever money is raised to go towards the travel and residency costs. every little bit helps! 

fun fact: i filmed the video in my backyard and garden with my iphone, with editing courtesy of imovie. the residency will be a little bit more high-tech, but this was fun to play with in the meantime. it's amazing what you can do with a phone nowadays. remember when they were just for making calls?

here's an example of the love note perk. obviously i didn't come up with this particular little gem, but your love notes will be personalized little poems from my very own brain.

p.s. i've linked to curiouser's twitter and facebook page for now rather than our website. we're currently updating it, so stayed tuned for version 2.0! same goes for my website, in fact. spring cleaning, interwebs-style.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

last minute creation

i knit another shawl (one can never have too many shawls!) for my friend's wedding social, this time for the auction. it's inspired by stephen west's samen shawl from the dear amsterdam collection (which i will eventually knit for myself), but because of the random yarn quantities i had, i wasn't actually able to follow the pattern. or any pattern. so i made up my own, and just knit as the yarn allowed. 

it was a pretty solid stashbuster, so that means i can buy more yarn, right? i had the following remnants:
a - uncommon thread silky merino fingering in ink blot 
b - socktopus sokkusu o in slice of orange 
c - tanis fiber arts cosmic blue label in shadow 
d - malabrigo sock in indiecita 
e - malabrigo sock in candombe 
f - koigu kpppm in p703 154 
g - tanis fiber arts purple label in ballet slipper 
h - sweetgeorgia tough love sock in stella

and then made the sections like this:
ab (garter) 
bc (stockinette) 
cd (garter) 
de (stockinette) 
ef (garter) 
fg (stockinette) 
gg (held double, garter) 
gh (picot bind off)

of course, before i used up the remainder of each skein, i had to make sure i had at least one hexipuff made to add to my beekeeper's quilt. i'm planning on doing that with all of my fingering-weight skeins, at least from my personal stash. it's nice to see larger projects and adventures reflected in the quilt.

om nom nom! (the long edge reminds me of cotton candy…)

if you're attending the social, you'll be able to bid on the shawl. if you'd like your own, give me a shout. i could always use an excuse to refill my stash.

Friday, 2 May 2014

stitches and stripes

mwah ha! ripping back will not deter me. although grey days may impede my photography skills, which are minimal at best. but anyway, back to knits.

i finished mumsy's birthday gift with about a week to go, and i'm sharing it with you all now because the chances of her seeing it online are next to nil. she already saw it while i was burying ends in anyway, but doesn't know it's for her, so shhh... originally, i was very unsure of my colour combination (i was stash busting with this one), but now that it's done, i think it's pretty great. the colours are very much her, as well, li'l maritimer that she is. i actually checked with her at one point to see how she felt about the palette, and she referred to it as "casual elegance." so i feel like that's a good sign.

i would love to knit another one of these shawls for myself eventually. it has endless colour combination options, and it's a super quick knit since it's all garter stitch and short row shaping (minus the six hours lost to a single stitch…). i would probably stick with two yarns though, or maybe one solid and one gradient if i wanted a colour shift in the stripes. i cut the ends after each stripe rather than carrying them up to keep the tension unhindered for blocking, and weaving in all those ends was kind of a pain in the ass.

the blurriness was the norm today. i blame the lack of sun.

the deets:
yarn: the uncommon thread's silky merino fingering in ink blot; malabrigo sock in ochre and indiecita; socktopus sokkusu o in midsomer

and finally, pics of my ease sweater! i finished this in under a week. i did that thing again where i decided i wanted the project done for an arbitrary outing (a short meeting with a friend), and then pushed myself to finish it in time. luckily, it wasn't a horrendous deadline, and this sweater didn't actually need blocking. win-win. 

gah, i love it so much. especially with the modification to add the thumbholes. it's the coziest thing of life. and this is actually the sweater on backwards, which i did by accident the first time. i like the extra neck exposure, plus the collarbones are still visible in front. best.

i used to be notorious for only wearing greys and dusty purples. and my studio blacks. look at me now! (maybe don't check out the rest of my wardrobe, because it's still 80% that…)

the deets:
pattern: ease by alicia plummer, scoop neck option
yarn: tanis fiber arts' green label aran in mallard
modifications: added in thumbholes

a wee little bonus: pompom quarterly has released the preview for their summer 2014 edition. there are some lovely shawls, and some very vintage-y knits (not totally my style, but i can appreciate the construction), but my favourite is definitely the sombra pullover by elanor king. 

subscribe today! the books are lovely, and full of wonderful extras. plus lydia and meghan are great, so you should support them. they're at tnna right now, so if you're lucky enough to be there, drop by and say hi.