Sunday, 27 July 2014

falling into place

i'm experiencing a wide range of emotions these days, but a lot of them have been really positive because things in my life are shifting into place. my best friend of ten years and i have made the decision to move in together. it's such a natural move, really, that there was no hesitation in the decision. we live well together, and on my end at least i live healthier with her around. it's also easing a lot of my anxieties about living alone, and i don't have any of the anxieties/concerns i normally have when moving in with roommates (i've done that for six years and most of those have ended on a scale of not so great to total shit). i'm excited for us to move into our new place (we signed the lease already!) and make it into a cozy home. it will likely be filled with the smell of delicious food and beautiful things all the time, and our yoga mats will probably be out for a good chunk of it too. so happy right now. i want to get on making quilts though, so we have a cozy quilt for when we move in. september nights are meant for cuddling under quilts with warm drinks, i think. on the porch or the couch doesn't matter.

an image from VERIKA, my favourite fringe show this year.
work is still exhausting (physically and emotionally), but it's always so rewarding by the end of the week when the kids share their work with their family and friends. and fringe, while making my days significantly longer, has also gone well, with the exception of a couple of duds. i get an okay amount of knitting done between shows, and running into friends/having food or drink dates in between rushing off to venues has proven more lovely than tiring. it's also really exciting to see so many of my friends, many of whom are new-ish to me, doing their art. i have such talented lovelies in my life. last saturday was a day completely filled with wonderful shows, random run-ins with multiple friends, attractive people all over the streets, and ended with a lovely level of just-drunk-enough to be happy and comfortable and appreciating everything around me right before an absolutely gorgeous dance show. i cried a lot, in a beautiful way. the way that you hope art would make you cry. it was the perfect end to a wonderful day that reaffirmed (again) why i do what i do, and why so many of my friends do what they do as well. 

one time my dear one and i went on a yarn road trip around nova scotia. we came home with so much fibre...
another exciting thing is that i'm getting fresh ink soon! i go home for my residency in less than two weeks (so soon! i have so much prep to be doing! what knitting project(s) should i bring for the ten days?), and while i'm there, a dear one and i are getting matching tattoos. which normally i'd be completely against, because i think matching tattoos are often a questionable idea (although there are many sweet ones out there), but we are a pair where it works. i'm planning mine for my forearm and will eventually build it into a forearm sleeve, but for now, i think it will be sweet enough on its own. with its twin on my dear one's skin, of course. i'll keep it a secret until it's done, but maybe i will have photos for you next month of some new ink. that would make me very happy.

and to round off the lovely things happening in my life right now, tanis featured oh my glob in her kal round-up post! thanks! and i have other VERY exciting knitting news for you, but it's a secret for another few days. i made some funny noises at work when i found out the news though, so you know it's gonna be good...

Saturday, 19 July 2014

merry fringemas and a happy knit year

i dropped off my shawls and pattern at wolseley wool! the contest winner will be announced in a couple of weeks, and i can't wait to see what design will be featured for the kal leading up to fibre fest! i'll be making the pattern available after the announcement, so you have to be just a wee more patient...

i picked up the fall knitscene while i was at the shop. what convenient timing! i'll be knitting up a pair of the glenveagh mitts, it's just a question of whether it's sooner or later based on how chilly the evenings get. my poor fingers don't fare well in the cold, as the ache tends to set in quickly. cold fingers take priority over deadlines, merely because i won't be able to meet deadlines if my hands ache too much to knit at a decent pace.

this lovely stack is comprised of the prototype for my wolseley wool shawl, the small and large size samples, and another design i've knit up and will be releasing later this summer. i'm looking for test knitters right now for both that shawl and a hat i'm working on, so if you're interested in testing for me, give me a shout in the comments, via email or facebook. i'll be looking for test knitters quite a bit in the coming months as i work out designs for the fashion show, mostly for accessories, so if you'd like to be kept up to date, let me know about that as well. i'm blessed to have a number of friends who are able to test knit for me, but the number of upcoming projects will be too much for the handful of them, i suspect.

oh instagram. this was a pre-coffee-waiting-for-the-bus pic that also happens to give a sneak peek of my hat design.
it's fringe time here in winnipeg, which means half the staff at the theatre school are running on negative amounts of sleep, and all of us are trying to sort out work schedules to hit up at least some of our friends' shows and maybe one or two shows that look amazing but where we don't know anyone involved (gasp! shock! they must be international touring artists…). luckily, all those shows and pre- and post-show drinks count as social time, so we only have to feel guilty about ignoring our non-theatre/dance friends for the next couple of weeks. if you're interested in catching up with me/getting inside my weird brain a little more, you may run into me at any of the following shows (i've already seen some of them, but you can still hunt me down at others, and you should still definitely check these out):

or you can just keep an eye out in the exchange district in the evenings and saturdays. i'll be around for a decent amount of it. i'll be the one knitting in the queue. (with my advance tickets! because i prefer removing a significant layer of anxiety for myself in terms of getting tickets for shows that start buzzing over having a full "normal" fringe experience. i still have to deal with queuing for a good seat, so i'm counting that as being close enough to proper fringing.)

i have other exciting news to share, but that will come later. perhaps tomorrow, perhaps later in the week. stay tuned!

Sunday, 13 July 2014

a smattering of things to knit

i'm still adjusting right now to working full work weeks outside of my house and not in pjs/lounge clothes. it's wonderful and i love it, because i love where i work and what i do there, but it's definitely a switch for my body to be waking at 6:30 and on the bus before 8, then coming home around 6 again. and obviously, i don't get as much knitting done during the weekdays.

guess what came in thursday? yup, the tanis fiber arts' ooak etsy sale stuff. i realize i kind of have a similar colour palette going on with this order, minus the olive aurora which i got for someone else. it's fine. maybe after the fashion show, i'll design a collection inspired by dried flowers with what's left. that's what a lot of these remind me of, and i like it.

i know i'd said that i would use this dandelion with another tfa purple label for voetpad, but i just can't get over how beautifully these two compliment each other. they bring out the brilliance and subtleties in each skein without muddying or overshadowing either one. i have no idea what they'll be, beyond probably a shawl (both single ply, pretty luxurious, need some gentle care and a large enough project to showcase each yarn) and probably some good-sized stripes. maybe my own design, maybe someone else's. who knows at this point. but i do want them together.

retrospect on red label. it's my favourite in terms of the skeins just on their own. i don't have a plan for it yet though. it's just the prettiest muted rainbow.
i now have two huge tupperware tubs for my stash. i've split them into just normal stash and stash that has specifically been earmarked for the fashion show, which is further split (via ziploc bags) into specific looks/projects.

i've decided to pass on finishing off my winterberry for now. which means pulling out of pom pom's kal, but i can always join next year when i don't have a fashion show to deal with. i also signed on to test knit for holli yeoh on one of her tempest collection designs for sweetgeorgia. which will take longer than finishing the shawl, but shhhhhh. i'm using this leftover tanis fiber arts green label in mallard (remember this pullover?) with cascade 220 heathers in a dark grey. and i need to finish off the baby sweater and a hat design i started recently. the design is done, but i need to finish the sample before i send it off to test knitters. i would love to have these three things done before i head out east for my residency next month, and maybe accompanying handshoes for the hat. but we'll see how it goes. i did finally get the larger shawl for wolseley wool done and it's now blocking. i'll release the pattern sometime next month. the exact details for that will depend on the contest outcome, but it will definitely be made available regardless of who wins. exciting times!

Sunday, 6 July 2014

a peek at the stash and a plan

mum went out east recently to visit family (i'm jealous, but i'll be there next month, so i can deal). lucky li'l me, she brought back 90% of my stash that's been stored out there! as well as some other crafting supplies and sewing stuff. i'm quite pleased.

in my defence, a lot of this yarn - well, about a third of it - was gifted to me by friends (whom i love to bits) who were moving or decluttering or whatever and who weren't yarn snobs like me. by which i mean, there're some massive balls of acrylic stored in there. i am a massive fibre snob, in case you haven't already picked up on that fact, so i wouldn't use acrylic even in a costume sense. but i've been toying with the idea of/been asked to be a few people to teach them to knit, so i could wind little mini cakes and use it as training stuff. if people were going to bring their own materials, i would definitely tell them to just grab any well-plied superwash 100% wool in a bright, clear colour. but for people who maybe aren't ready to commit and just want to give it a try, it's a way for me to clear the acrylic out of my stash. that or maybe i'll donate it. a lot of people don't mind acrylic, and at the rate i'm going, i could probably use the extra space. speaking of which…

goat sock, silk cloud, and merino singles.

ok, i honestly didn't go to wolseley wool with the intention of buying anything, especially after placing my order with tanis earlier in the week. but they'd just brought in northbound knitting, and shibui silk cloud, and their own hand dyed, so…i bought some of each. i know, i'm ridiculous. but three of the skeins are for the fashion show. the green and rust one is for me though. i don't know what i'm going to make with it, but the colour was just too perfect to leave behind. i'm actually really excited about the shibui and other northbound skein. i have a fun little plan for them…after i get these shawls off my needles. i still have to finish off my winterberry shawl before the end of the month too, although i'm not so sure i'll get to that. i'm craving projects that are smaller than shawls, considering that most of what i've been knitting for the past several weeks has been them. finishing off a project isn't necessarily a bad idea, of course. i also need to finish the baby sweater for my cousin very soon. so perhaps shawls, clear a couple of projects out of the semi-active wip pile, and then get on to more of the fashion show designs. i have dyeing adventures to take care of too, and a wedding quilt to sew. and i head out east in about a month! this summer feels like it's going to fly by already.

but really, how gorgeous is that green and rust?

on the note of making all of the things, i have a semi-formed plan. for those of you in the social media (especially instagram) loop, you already know about these longer term photography projects that trend, like #100happydays (sort of a kick depression thing, although people who do seem just genuinely happy all the time also obviously do it) or #yearofmaking. the thing is, i really like and am attracted to aspects of both of these hashtags/concepts. but sometimes, i like to be sad. it's great for my creativity. and i don't think that depression necessarily needs to be avoided or suppressed. in fact, i'd argue that trying to suppress it can be more unhealthy than riding it sometimes. and a year is a long time to commit to making and showcasing something new daily, especially when i've committed myself to a pretty huge knitwear project that involves keeping a lot of things under wraps, including wips, which essentially nullifies any process pics. 

wolseley wool shawl wip, sample, and prototype. i haven't decided whether i want to reblock the samples or not...

so i've come up with the idea of #summerofmaking. making things is what makes me happy, and has always been my most effective method for helping maintain positive mental health. so the two projects go hand-in-hand for me anyway. i'll start with the summer and see how it goes, and maybe extend it. but i think that maybe this is manageable, and will work for me. one thing is that i'm not going to stress myself out with daily pics. because what's the point of things like #100happydays or #yearofmaking if it makes you stressed out and miserable? you can follow the experiment on instagram, and feel free to join in yourself!

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

happy canada day!

happy canada day!

the past few days have not been the most ideal for photography, because we've been having random rain deluges for several days. ridiculous and sometimes delightful, but the potted plants have been brought indoors so they don't lose all their petals in the wind. camp started yesterday, but with the holiday today, we get a day off before getting back at it tomorrow. there are celebrations going on all over the city, but between the weather and my dislike/anxiety with large groups of people, i've opted for spending the day at home with knitting. assuming the sky clears up a bit this evening, i should be able to see fireworks through the upstairs window, which works for me. and this morning, i took part in my first etsy flash sale. tanis listed a whole bunch of ooak colours on different bases, and i managed to scoop up 7 skeins. i made a list last night and was ready right when the listings went live, and still lost 3 choices to cart jacking. a bit sad, but all part of the experience. there were only two lace options left less than an hour later! i know for upcoming ones to keep with my method of a long list of single skeins, ready to go, and not completely married to any specific one in order to avoid true disappointment.

overdyes of the same base on tanis's red label. i grabbed a skein of the colour on the right.

i'm not a fan of the whole ├╝ber-national side of canada day, or any national holiday really. canada has a pretty messed up history of genocide, racism, questionable environmental decisions, and, among other things, a terrible voting system that calls a 39% vote (of those who did bother to vote) a "majority." which has left us with a current governing party who cut programs for basically every disenfranchised group as well as environmental rights with zero regard for what citizens actually want or need. 

my bedtime reading for the past couple of nights.

that being said, canada is a beautiful country with incredible creatures living in it, and having spent a fair amount of time living outside of it, i never want to move again. travel, yes, and short residencies elsewhere (hello, iceland), absolutely. but to live and have citizenship and maybe someday raise little spawn, i wouldn't want to do it anywhere else. i like the amount of open space, i like the ability to escape to the woods/water/tundra regardless of where you are, and i love the diversity. so i will continue to celebrate canada day. not the canada that harper's government has in mind, nor the one which has allowed atrocities time and again against its own peoples and lands, but the one of the artists, the queers, the immigrants new and old, the first nations, the awkward anxious creatures, the workers' unions, the scientists, the hippies and punks, and everyone else who provide this country with a strong beating heart. minus harper and his cronies. if any other country would like some manipulative, self-serving politicians, feel free to take them. i'll even throw in a bottle of maple syrup. we make great maple syrup.