Tuesday, 26 May 2015

tops, tanks, & tees 2015

it's time for one of my favourite annual knit-a-longs, very shannon's tops, tanks & tees kal! last year, i did a selfish knit, dianna walla's vasa tee, which i modified slightly due to yardage issues. my photo ended up being the most popular one, which was a bit of a shock considering i found out ages later because i don't really pay attention to those things. the kal is fun, there are prizes to be won, you can finish off a wip if you want to, and the best part is that you can make any short-sleeved top you like! unlike a lot of other kals that get very specific with their eligible patterns, the tttkal is more about "make what you like to make" rather than "make what we want you to make."

photo from very shannon's blog

this year, the kal is running from may 13th until june 3rd (that's next week). three weeks total, which is the perfect amount of time to churn out a top (although there is always the possibility of an extension anyway). i'm aiming to keep myself in that time limit, ideally finishing by the end of the month to have blocking done for the 3rd and to fit in the project as one of my hogwarts' homework assignments. i'm actually doing quite well at this point - hopefully will have this first one ready for blocking later today, and then i'm going to try to knit the smallest size between now and the 3rd. katie introduced me to what is hands-down the nerdiest harry potter-themed ravelry group of all time, and i'm joining in to feed both my personal nerdiness and to use the homework assignments as external deadlines to keep me on track with when nature fought back.

last year's tttkal project.

i swatched prior to the start of the kal with shibui knits' linen, and i've been designing a tank top over the course of the three weeks. the fo photo for the end of the kal will hopefully function as my test knitters' call-out. expect that in the first week or so of june! it will be my first full-sized garment design, including grading for different sizes (currently for chest measurements of 30-52"!), so that is both terrifying and exhilarating. and means i definitely need some top-notch test knitters to make sure i don't totally bugger up the pattern.

sunday's knittng. i've moved past this point significantly by now. 

this is my first time knitting with linen, and it's make for some interesting work! i've worked with rough silk before, but even the swatch made me aware of how different linen is as a fibre. i'm loving the drape of the fabric! once the top is done, i will finally be able to move on to the yoth big sister that has been waiting patiently in my stash for its time on the needles. there is a lot of math i need to work out for its design, which is why i've been holding off on getting started. but june will be the month for it, i can feel it in my bones. 

Sunday, 10 May 2015

show time!

i had the most incredible time over the past few days at tara davis studio boutique, with my first ever trunk show! my pop-up shop coincided with the exchange shop hop, and i was set up thursday through saturday. the gradient cakes were definitely the big seller of the weekend, so i'll be focusing more on dyeing those when i do my next update. i'm switching my bases supplier, so it may take a bit of time before i'm able to do that, but i'm really hoping to have some local manitoban farmers as my suppliers for at least some bases. i'll keep you all updated, obviously.

i'll be uploading the remaining yarns and fibre to etsy later today. keep an eye on instagram for the announcement when the listings go live. i'm happy to ship anywhere, and can also upgrade shipping if you need anything expedited/tracked internationally. there will just be an extra shipping charge for those options. i have some paperwork to do first though (yay, grant writing and show applications!), and need to catch up on chores and errands now that the show is over. but i will get the yarns uploaded somehow, i promise. 

next weekend, i'm running theatre workshops at ├ęgale's national gsa summit, OUTshine 2015. things don't really slow down around here. i have some exciting knitting news to share with you all later this week, so check back around midweek for that. 

alright, back to grant applications! thanks to tara for hosting me this weekend, and to all of you who made it out to the show. it was really, really great to see friends, finally meet online friends in real life, and meet new people too. i had a great time, and can't wait to do another show! 

Wednesday, 6 May 2015


one last design before the trunk show tomorrow - meet costae, an easy and quick knit that let's you showcase those gorgeous gradient and hand-dyed yarns, and that can be worn by pretty much everyone. 

costae was designed to show off the colour shifts in my naturally dyed gradient cakes. it's kerchief-sized, which means it can sit around the neck either by wrapping the ends around or by tying them in a smart little knot.

costae is also the latin word for ribs, which is where the textual interest comes into play. there's a fair amount of personal freedom in this design, which makes it perfect for both new knitters, experienced knitters looking for a bit of a break, and those knitters looking for a bit of an easing into knit design. the garter rows down an otherwise stockinette body run halfway or so across each wedge, similar to a ribcage. my sample has twelve sets of garter rows, which is the number of pairs in a human skeleton, but you can do more or less as you desire.

once again, this pattern is part of the when nature fought back collection. i've released a lot of shawls for this collection, which is lovely (one can always use more shawls!) and results in some relatively quick turnaround pattern-wise. but there needs to be more to this particular collection than just shawls and the occasional hat, so expect a slightly longer period between designs in the next little while. i'll also be looking for test knitters for garments in the coming months, so if you're interested, keep an eye on my instagram feed!

because i'm a nut, i decided after making a tunic on the weekend that i needed a shawl to go with it. unfortunately, the vast majority of my shawls were already freshly blocked as samples for the show, so obviously that meant knitting a brand new shawl. i grabbed a skein of tanis fiber arts blue label in sand from my stash and cast on shortly before midnight on sunday night. i knew i needed it blocking by wednesday morning to be ready for the show. i ended up taking the advice of friends and choosing sleep instead, but it's almost done anyway, and i'll finish it off at tara's while i hang out with the show. had i pulled an all-nighter and/or not had to work 9-5 on monday and tuesday, though, my bleached ribs version would be done already. this design is really, really, really great for those last-minute projects and/or precious single skeins.

costae is available now for download from my rav store, and the gradient cakes will be available at tara davis studio boutique in winnipeg tomorrow through saturday!

thanks to lily for joining me for a hang-out date and photo shoot before the rain arrived!