Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Sale!!


 Big sale!  All my patterns on  Ravelry and on Payhip are on sale!

The sale starts today, November 30th, at 9pm ET and ends at midnight ET on December 6th.  Use this coupon code to get 25% off!
FO2021
Also, please feel free to join in with the Fasten Off YAL to chat on discord, earn prizes, and more!  This is an accessible event, which is why you can gain access to the whole sale and event without using Ravelry, it offers lots of accessible patterns and web options, too.
Enjoy! (And I would be so grateful if you wanted to check out my designs, we just replaced our boiler cause uhh, the old one died, we needed heat and winter is here!  Every download counts!)

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Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Lattice Embrace


I'm excited to report -- I'm finally getting back to publishing knitting designs.  Or maybe, to be clear, two designs. The first has been launched today and is an asymmetrical cardigan called “Lattice Embrace.” It's a bulky, easy knit, and yes, it's a way for me to send 'a hug' to knitters!  That's how this sweater feels to me. I knit it and took notes while remote schooling twins last year, and now that they are back in school in person, I've been able to focus on writing it up.

This design’s now available for download on RavelryPayhip and Lovecrafts.com.  

Note: If you’re looking for a Low Vision Accessible version of the pattern, that's available on Payhip and Ravelry.

Just making this leap back into focused work has been exciting. I found I lost concentration when it came to helping 4th graders and couldn't do the math needed to grade sizes while juggling everything during the pandemic. This sweater includes sizing from 36-64” and that is a lot of spreadsheet work!  I'm looking forward to seeing how this design makes its way into the world. I love seeing knitters’ work and interpretations of these designs.

I'll also be participating again in the Fasten Off Yarn-Along this year.  This event starts at the end of November and includes a hefty discount for the first week for those buying patterns.  I will pass along the secret code closer to the time.  

If you happen to worry about wool moths, my article on that appears in the Winter 21/22 issue of Vogue Knitting! (I was pretty stoked to be included in an issue with such a famous knitter on the cover.) I also continue to write a column here for the Vancouver Jewish Independent as well…but it’s not always on knitting or fibre arts topics… That’s most of the news for now!  

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Thursday, November 04, 2021

Transitions

 Note, I am posting from a different device, format may be wonky!

What’s happening here? We had a longer warm period than usual, but alas, all good things come to an end.  We harvested our last herbs and greens, and the frost came.  All of us got used to life spent indoors, although we are still outside a lot.  Temperatures below freezing do not keep us home bound! Sadie the dog is here, on the steps, asking about her walk.

I continue to spin through deep stash.  This is some Polwarth that came originally from Australia, but I bought it in a fiber arts business retirement sale.  It is well aged!  That said, it is spinning up beautifully on my Quebec wheel.

Every fall, a kid or two gets a sweater.  This year, I made another one out of Icelandic plotulopi (unspun.). It is light and warm, if not the hardest wearing.  We were aiming for colour blocking here, but then my kid asked if I could knit the original early 20th century tile pattern from our bathroom into his sweater.  Of course!  I sent him into the bathroom with his iPad and then I knit it from the photo.  I did imagine doing those rows in the bathroom, just to see the tile in person, but thought better of it!
To keep cheerful clothing around, I also made myself another jumper using the 100 acts of sewing pattern and Rifle Paper Company print.  My biology professor husband (currently on strike at the U of Manitoba, but that is another story) suggests I am now dressing like a herbaceous border. I ignored him. I like it!

Last, but not least, our heroic boiler had finally died and we are in the process of getting a new one installed.  So, for now, no central heat, and a lot of toys to tidy in the basement so the new one can be put in.  I am excited about this, although it is an expensive home repair while my professor is on strike…because, well, in Canada, heat is life!  We are doing ok with running two gas fireplaces, a little radiator space heater, and of course, I am wearing a lot of wool…

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Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Still here

I recently got an email asking me if someone could monetize my blog and post homesteading articles.  Obviously time to get back to writing on the blog!  (and --just no-- unless you consider twins and a dog on a city street homesteading?  Huh?)  
So where have I been?  I've been supervising kids' summer time play while I spin and knit.  This is destined to be a kid sweater made out of plotulopi yarn from Icelandic.  Lightweight, warm, but a little delicate to knit.  Ideal for sitting still and knitting, but not for carrying around too much, in my experience.
Kids went back to school this past week and I was tasked with making more exciting, new masks.  Unicorn, horse, octopus, and soda pop patterns seem to be a hit...we have plenty of masks, of course, but these are the fancy new "back to school" ones.  We're grateful for the mask mandate but since our kids aren't old enough yet to be vaccinated, a bit wary about how long this 'in-school' stuff will last.  Delta variant is real. Making a masks is a good way to cope with the mom worry!  
I've also been busy putting up food.  Plum apple chutney, apple chips for school lunches, applesauce, and more. Having food on the shelf in the winter is great, but I don't think it makes me a homesteader?  (Please, give me more land for gardening and some sheep, as well as access to take out food options...that would be a heck of a farm.)

I've also continued to work as I can.  Part of the reason why there have been fewer blog posts is that I decided this past year to narrow my focus.  It was very important but also a lot to manage, having my kids home to do remote schooling/home learning for 11 months.
I optimized my time...I kept writing a regular column for this Vancouver paper.  I also have had occasional pieces run in other publications.  All my knitting patterns (around 80!) are still available on RavelryLovecrafts.com and Payhip.  
However, I realized that if a gig wasn't paying much, or might take a lot of time or risk exposing kids to COVID?  It just wasn't worth it. I'm considering my options now about what work will look like for me in the future. I miss the teaching I used to do, and the collegiality of editing for someone on a daily basis, too...but for now, I want to find ways to ensure I'm both available if kids need me and earning something for my writing, editing, designing and teaching.  People talk about work being satisfying (and that's important to me!) but work is also valuable.  My experience, skills and time should be worth something, too. 
In the meanwhile, we'll be exploring outside while the weather holds and eating lots of delicious stuff as we cruise through the fall holidays. That's an apple cinnamon challah I made.  It was a hit!

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Thursday, July 29, 2021

weaving-a new article!

Exciting news!  I've just had an article come out in Digits & Threads magazine on the tradition of weaving tallitot (Jewish prayer shawls) in Winnipeg.  It was a tradition in my family in Virginia too...shown here is a photo of my dad, weaving my youngest brother's tallit for his bar mitzvah. Also-clear proof of my family's maker/DIY history: this black and white photo was likely developed in my dad's dark room, and the Winnie the Pooh play room curtains behind my father were sewn by my mom. In later years, (cough cough) I ...may...have cut up some of that Winnie the Pooh fabric to make myself a pair of shorts--Which I then wore out and about in junior high and high school. Yes, I have always had a quirky fashion sense, excluding my handwoven tallit, of course! 

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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Recalibrating

I recently had an article run that explained more about where I've been.  As the pandemic has been a constant, (nothing's back to "normal" for us yet)  I've worked and written at night when I can, but there's been a lot of time spent on other things.  Here is a link to the article: Recalibrating our life route 
This summer is another freeform one, where twins spend a lot of time on creative play in the yard, reading, making stuff and even doing a little learning...with outings to pick berries, swim at a lake for a day trip, etc. I mostly have stayed home with Sadie the dog while the professor does the out of town offerings.  I seem to be Mom in charge of playgrounds, farmer's market, wading pools, and long dog walks.
I've done some spinning, knitting, and lots of sewing....made my own version of MC Hammer pants...and even a brand new bag, with zippers... for taking care of business on those dog walks.
I've canned some jam (natural outcome after all that berry picking!) and, despite our hot summer, managed to make a pie recently after a kind neighbour gifted us with an entire quart bag of pitted sour cherries.  She pitted them for us!  This, of course, is neighbourliness and treasure beyond measure in our household...local fresh fruit and the gift of her time!
The tricky bit? We love many of our longtime neighbours but the infill and a recent construction in our area - also more generally targeted as part of Winnipeg's densification efforts- has caused our house's walls to be damaged. The noise and construction is hard to live through.  We also live along a very busy road. The increased traffic that returns, post-pandemic, from the nearby restaurant patios and their drunk clientele, the high schoolers going out for lunch, increased bus traffic, etc. - it gets to be a lot of noise. 

Anyway, due to the disruptions near us and the third wave of the pandemic in Manitoba... (and likely, a fourth wave coming for those who aren't vaccinated...)
--this summer has been different than planned. Whew.  Now, the professor has a grant due, our kids are too young to get vaccinated yet, and we still can't see any of our relatives across the border.  (They're vaccinated, we're vaccinated, but the delta variant, the travelling, health issues, and kids too young to be vaccinated yet--make this too complicated at present.)
So, in the meanwhile, here are some lightweight organic crinkle cotton pants that I made!  Here are some jars of jam!
Here's to the summer that got away from me.  Now, like those GPS things in the car, we're recalibrating--and readjusting our summer route.

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Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Knitting for kids-a new article

It's been a long time since I've posted...but this is a good one, I hope (...whew, it's been a long few months.)  Like most moms with kids in remote school, I had to cut back on -everything else- to manage our lives during the third wave here in Manitoba.  Even so, I wrote at night, and when I thought everyone could manage...and today, one of those long awaited pieces came out!
This article, Why I Value Making Clothes for Kids, is in the new online publication Digits & Threads is about why I knit for (my) kids and why, if we makers value 'me made" wardrobes and slow fashion, we should be offering that, when we can manage, to our kids, too.  It has some fun photos of my favourite knitwear models, at different ages, and some thoughts on why everyone in our household values handknits.

(It seems ridiculous to be writing this as Winnipeg faces a heatwave, again, but...obviously, from October to May, we wear a lot of sweaters around here!)
Digits & Threads features Canadian textiles and fibre arts, and it's the only Canadian publication of its kind--well worth checking it out. 
Now that school's finally out, kids are spending a lot more time playing in the shade while I spin or read or knit, so that's a plus, too!--We adults have gotten vaccinated -hurray!-but nothing's available for kids under 12 yet, so we'll be doing lots of playing in the yard, on our own, a while longer.

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