Wednesday, 28 September 2016

stash goals

so, i've been spending a large chunk of 2016 working on culling my stash and making it more useful. that's meant destashing in the form of supplying yarn to others, doing trades, using up more yarn in designs, creating designs specifically for stashbusting...also not buying as much yarn, but honestly, i feel like as soon as i clear out space in my stash i replace it with new stuff almost immediately. and i'm getting better at replacing it with more useful stuff, but still. it feels like it never quite goes down. take, for example, four of my upcoming designs. literally all of them have been made with yarn purchased or provided this year. same with all but two for my winter collection. sigh. i'm imposing a yarn diet after fibre fest and not buying any more yarn through at least the winter. although i don't actually believe in diets, so we'll see how that goes...

this represents about 1/20th of my fingering weight stash...
i'm getting furniture from my nanny and poppy's house, which is going to replace most of my current storage options. it includes several really beautiful glass door curio cabinets, so my entire stash is going to be pulled out of its various hiding places and shifted into places where it can always be seen. which is slightly daunting, but it also means that i'll be able to more accurately determine where my deficits are (sport, dk, having more than 3 sets of sweater quantities, too much fingering weight...), and hopefully will mean that i work from it in a smarter way. and maybe feel pressure to use it more often before getting new stuff. i dunno. we'll see how it goes.

the weirdest not-so-little bundle of yellows. i think it'd make a great baby blanket though.

for this, i've been looking at my fingering weight stash especially. i have so much of it, and a lot is in partial skeins (remnants from projects past) or single skeins, and i tend to not do many single skein projects in that weight. why? because i love huge shawls, and i really really really love fingering weight shawls. but for obvious reasons (it's fingering weight), they take a while to design and make. and then they leave me with 20 or 30 or 50 grams of random skeins, and then what do i do?

i designed a stashbusting blanket earlier this summer, but the throw-sized version has yet to be made...

i've pulled a bunch of them together, and have determined that i have substantial quantities in a literal rainbow of colours, plus a very lovely pile of neutrals. so, my plan is to do some more stashbusting designs. i did two for flotsam & jetsam (flotsam and jetsam, in fact), and i've got another blanket design that's in the process of getting rid of more of them. blankets are great, but i think i'll also do maybe some more shawls too. freer designs, that don't require lots of math or thinking or planning of colours and specific amounts. just pick your yarns and go. we'll see how they do, since realistically i have a bunch of other projects that i still need to deal with between now and the spring at the very least. my moon femme collection is going to be keeping me busy through the early winter and then i'll need to play a bit of catch-up for the yoth collection, which still has oodles of time before i need everything ready, but i don't want to be stuck scrambling and/or going mia like i was with flotsam & jetsam. balance is a fickle creature in my life. eventually though, i will do some major stashbusting, and it's going to feel so great. and possibly terrifying ha.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

slow fashion october prep

i have two weeks left in the (primarily very enjoyable) hell that is my september this year. between the book launch, fibre fest, and neurocraft, i haven't had much time to look at other making projects. when i do procrastiknit, i'm working on the patterns for my winter collection, because the first pattern will be released at the end of next month and i need the pattern and sample ready by the first week of october to be fair to my tech editor and test knitters. normally i sew myself a new outfit to wear for upcoming events, but given my current situation, i doubt i'll get a chance to even whip up another wiksten before neurocraft, and i for sure don't have time to make anything before the book launch on wednesday. all of that being said, it's almost time again for slow fashion october, and i do have a few goals to try and squeeze into next month if i'm able.

from ohhh lulu sews.

first up, undies. i need to make a bunch of new ones. i actually just caved and bought a new bra, because those can be finicky and i'm still not totally confident in my ability to deal with all those tiny details. but undies are easy, and i've made them before, and i have literally metres of lace in my fabric stash, and the cost of a new pair just seems foolish when i could make a new one for pennies and a couple hours' work. i really love ohhh lulu's patterns, and the hipsters are my go-to when i need to make new undies, so that's my plan. they're a great blank slate for playing around with fabric scraps.

next, i need to replace my stowe bag. i'll get my other bag back eventually, and i'm in no rush to get it (beyond demanding that it be returned in person, and i do love seeing dear ones, so sooner would be nicer than later, but it's not a necessity by any means). but i've got some big projects on the go at the moment, including a sweater (which will not be done in time for the sskal, but that's ok) and a 7-skein chunky yarn pattern for the winter collection. i'm going on the road for a week in november, which means lots of potential knitting hours on the bus, so i'll be wanting a new stowe bag by that point at least to shove a few projects into instead of taking up my entire duffle bag.

and then, clothes would be nice. i picked up the merchant & mills workbook in toronto and want to make the heron top and bantam tank. i'm also thinking of remaking a couple of deer & doe patterns i have, including the chardon skirt. i have some lovely brown linen, and i think a slightly longer version would be perfect for the fall. especially because it has great pockets. maybe i'll just get lazy and make another wiksten. i do actually want to make one with a faux button placket, so maybe i'll make a slightly fancier one. it's for sure my default pattern when i want to make a new dress.

so, there you have it. my sewing goals for next month's slow fashion practices. they're lovely dreams, to be sure. for now, i need to do more building for my neurocraft installation and do some dishes and maybe eat something. and maybe even eventually go to bed at a decent time for once.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

"flotsam & jetsam" book launch!

it's finally happening! flotsam & jetsam's book launch is one week from tomorrow! perfect timing, because the books are being picked up tomorrow afternoon.

it'll be at wolseley wool from 7-9pm on september 21st, and it will be so much fun! i'll be there signing books, there'll be snacks to eat and samples to try on, and there will be prizes! great prizes, featuring stuff from yoth yarns, longway homestead's anna hunter, velvet plume, sunflower knit yarn and notions, and more! i'll also be selling limited amounts of the sunflower knit yarns used in the book (mermaid hair, five of hearts, and dappled). i really hope you can come and join me for the festivities!

the e-version of the book will be made available after the launch, so if you're not local and you miss out on the hard copies, you'll be able to get the pdf at that point. i'll also be sending signed copies of the book off to baaad anna's for knit city and be bringing more to manitoba fibre festival.

yay! things are finally happening!

Friday, 9 September 2016


i just spent the weekend along the bay of fundy, where i went to attend my poppy's funeral. it was a good death, one that i hope i can do similarly when i reach his point in life, and was a true celebration of him. i was glad to go, and to spend time with family, and to return to the part of nova scotia that really does home my heart. there are many things i could say about the whole experience, like how the last time i was there my heart was breaking for so many reasons, and how i managed to catch one of his last good periods of time before he started a slowish road to where he ended, and how i am so grateful to have had samson capture so much of that visit and now i need to figure out how to incorporate some of that material into a project i need to have finished in four weeks without it feeling weird and wrong. but instead, i will focus on this. i will focus on intentionality.

the concept of home is one that travels with me and in me and around me constantly. i've analyzed and studied and practiced it in various ways over the past several years. i am certainly a creature who needs roots, and a place to return to, and a safe space at all moments. i've been learning how to create that safe space in myself instead of relying on others, and when it is ok to rely on others, and how to identify those others, and also how to create that space in physical spaces. as i delve further into my witchcraft practices (which are quite casual, and not at all religious, and barely spiritual, but definitely important for my health and wellbeing), i have been thinking more and more about altars. i have many not-quite-altars in my house, where i place items because it feels like that spot is their home, and i acknowledge them in different ways at different points. but i have no central altar. that is something i am slowly starting to build, with a consciousness of what items and tools will grace it, and what area i want it to take home in, and what pieces i am still missing for it.

last week, a dear old friend came through and left me with a beautiful piece of amethyst that she and her girlfriend mined themselves. amethysts are my main safety stone. they have been all my life. so the appearance of this particular piece, timed so perfectly with my thought bubbles rolling around in my head about altars, felt significant. and then i went to the ocean, and found so many pieces of flotsam, and family heirloom textiles that i will dye. and then i came home to find a healthy harvest of lichen from nunavut from my darling grace, and these things from have company, that just solidify everything.

i rarely move things once they find a home, particularly large things. i hate moving furniture, or clearing out too many things at once, or just the concept of minimalism in general (which is incredibly classist, so much of the time - check out anna maltz's really great article about this in the spring 2015 edition of pompom). but right now feels like a time i am meant to be settling more into my home, and making it into a proper safe space, and so i am thinking about rearranging my room, and shuffling around some furniture in the studio and back room, and moving my bed so it's not just tucked in the corner. right now feels heavy, in a good way. and i would love to have more time to nestle into it a little more fully on a daily basis, but i have some very large projects to get out of the way this month. so i will chip away at it all, slowly and intentionally and bit by bit, until i have time to really sit back and look at it. and maybe by then, it will be almost all done anyway. it feels good.