I’m currently enjoying a lazy morning in Vancouver, hanging out with my dog and catching up on what I should be listening to with the help of Winnie Cooper.
Last Saturday, however, I woke up in a forest, by the water.
While in Sechelt last weekend I made a stop at Sew Easy. I’d been to the shop before but had managed to get myself out after only browsing. On this trip I did a bit of reconnaissance, and returned the next day for some purchases.
I really like the shop, and they have a great selection of vegan options (including some stand-up acrylics), which is something that is often lacking in Vancouver. The shop owner was very knowledgeable in pointing out vegan yarns, and even warned me about a yarn that contained casein, something I had never thought to worry about before (and which lead me to find this informative post – 100 pounds of milk for 3 pounds of fibre, yee gads).
I’m off to start my day, and I’ll leave you with a fitting song by Wake Owl. I managed to sneak in while the band’s first album was available as a pay-what-you-can on their website, but it will be available on iTunes in the new year.
This is the hat! It is knit warmly in a heavy worsted wool, and it has a nice bit of slouch to it.
Pattern: 131 – 30 a – “Sweetie”
Yarn: Araucania Nature Solids
Needle: I’ll bet it was about a 4.5
The hat’s great selling point (and point of controversy with those who have viewed it) is the pom. When I first saw the pattern I thought, “Whoa! What a pom!” and indeed it is. I have gotten some statements of support and some statements of “seriously, that pom is a bit much.” But (let’s be frank), it is still about half the size of the pom on the pattern.
Even though my pom is not the suggested size of huge, I admit to experiencing a little bit of pom anxiety with this hat (is it TOO big?). Thankfully Lolo asked someone in the know for his opinion, and he thought the pom was fine.
What a relief.
I am spending the weekend in Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast – it is all trees, and ocean, and goodness. My last retreat here was in March, and it’s nice to be back with less head pain and a greater ability to read.
I’ll post pictures of this trip soon, but for now I’m going to take the opportunity to blog a hat that I finished ages ago. Back in February I had a plan to knit everything I needed to stay warm during my trip in Japan. This (ultimately unsuccessful) plan meant that I spent much of the train ride from Nagano to Yudanaka frantically knitting a toque. When the train pulled into Yudanaka Station it was clear that a) I would not finish the toque in time, and b) I really needed a toque.
The good thing about arriving at Yudanka with not enough warm clothing is that it is a town that capitalizes on its proximity to natural hotsprings. At Shibu Onsen I took my inspiration from the local snow monkeys, and spent the evening and morning travelling from one scalding hot bath to another. Each bath had its own unique medicinal properties – if I was ever at risk of gout, I am now well protected against it.
Yudanaka and Shibu Onsen were wonderful, and it was very enjoyable to spend a quiet day or two there enjoying the winter scenery after the hectic pace of Tokyo.
The hat is now finished, and while it wasn’t ready for a debut in Japan, it is set to keep me warm through this winter in Canada. Here it is perched (appropriately) next to the Buddha gracing my Sechelt stoop.
Hibernation is the state I have been in, apparently – not when it comes to knitting, but definitely when it comes to this blog. I am very behind on posting and updating projects on Ravelry, which usually means I am way behind on the blog. This month I plan to open my eyes, shake off the blog-silence and return to the online world.
December is going to be a knitting month, which helps. Christmas tends to be a yearly motivator, and while I don’t have anything too ambitious planned, that may change as the month progresses. The weather is the other motivator – Vancouver, after a lovely fall, has finally turned into its chilly and rainy winter self.
November this year was not spent knitting, but rather focusing on something else that was good fun:
While I don’t yet have a fully completed novel, I do have a 50,096 word start, which is good enough for me.
That is all for now. More, I hope, will follow.
Oh Christmas. This year I was determined to complete two pairs of socks in a month, one for my grandma and one for my grandpa. For the pattern I wanted something classic and simple, and went for the fair isle socks designed by Sarah Dallas in Rowan’s book Scottish Highland Knits. On the advice of the wonderful folks at Three Bags Full I went withRowan’s Felted Tweed, which ended up looking divine. I was at 3 socks on Christmas morning (and thank goodness my recently-concussed brain only had to deal with brief bits of fair isle), but all four are done now.
Pattern: Fair Isle Socks
Designer: Sarah Dallas
Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed
These socks were great. I don’t knit socks very often, but these were very straightforward and the result was really pleasing.
I do this thing where I get very excited about a show at the last minute, and assume that it hasn’t sold out, and of course by the time I’m ready to commit it has. Today the source of my unrequited longing is Gotye, playing at the Vogue tonight. If you’d like to share my sadness, here are some options. The first one has been getting a ton of radio time and is absurdly popular, but come on – the song and the video are brilliant.
Sometimes I go through weird colour phases, and the other day I realized that right now, strangely, I have three projects in Malabrigo on the go:
I finished this last project the other day, and was a total delight to knit. It was made in Rios, and the colours were fantastic.
Project: Baby Sophisticate
Designer: Linden Down
Needles: 5.0 mm
Yarn: Malabrigo Rios
Sophisticated? I think so! Just like baby Kian, who I had the pleasure of meeting just this week. He is a darling.
The other two projects are neck-related, and I’ll share them soon!