Wovember

I have a talent for only hearing about these various hashtag festivities well after the fact, but I managed to catch the #wovember / #wearwoolforwovember business before the whole blasted month is over.  So I’m totally using it as a little prompt to go digging in the woollies and wear something other than just what’s still in my coat pocket as I go out and take a walk!

So far so good.

I mean I am fairly well stocked in the hat department.

I don’t think I quite have enough in the current bin to do a different one every month.

But that’s probably more because I’m prone to giving hats away, not because I haven’t knit a month’s worth (I’m a little scared to count how many hats I’ve knit..that would be a bit staggering).  Though now I’m curious to see how long I can keep it up without repeating one…

You can see these day by day (at least as long as I keep it up) over on my instagram account.  And I suspect I may pop in and do blog post round ups every few days (if I manage to stick with it). Anybody else playing along?  I’m finding it more fun than it really should be.  Oh, and if you’re wondering about any of the hats, clicking the pics will take you to their rav pages!

Vagaries (plus giveaway)

From time to time I have one of those days where I very much want to knit…maybe even need to knit…but I absolutely do not have the extra brain cycles to knit anything more complicated than plain stockinette in the round.  On those days, a pattern like Vagaries can be just the thing.

The vast majority of this really is just stockinette in the round.  But somehow those adorable little welts and the contrast color stripes provide just enough distraction to keep it interesting.  I’m pretty sure the secret is picking a yarn you really like (this is Kunlun by Miss Babs, and it is awfully easy to like) and just letting it carry you away!

And then there’s the fun of picking the color for your stripes.  Now…of course you could very easily make this all in one color.  But a tiny stripe of something special is oh so much more fun.  Work it in that color you dearly love but are afraid you can’t quite pull off (though really…if it makes you happy, you can pull it off…happy looks good on you).  Work it with the little bit of leftover yarn that was too fancy to part with (each stripe takes about a dozen yards, you almost certainly have enough).  Work it with that little ball of handspun you made in a class (it’s fine if it’s a little thicker or a little thinner than your background yarn…this pattern is seriously flexible).  Work it in your team colors or your house colors or make a set for the whole family and match the stripes to everyone’s winter coats.  There really are an awful lot of options (and you can even add in more welts and stripes if you’re having too much fun to stop).

And yes the pattern for the little wrist warmers is tucked in there too.  I wanted to take step-by-step photos to show you exactly how to make the welts (they’re easy, I promise), and it seemed like more fun to use wrist warmers for the photos than to show you on a swatch.  And yes…yes I do know exactly how cute these would be as boot toppers!

Now, like I said, the secret to really enjoying this pattern is being sure you’re working with a yarn that mellows you out.  For me, that was Kunlun in a lovely calm gray (it’s called Fieldmouse) with a little hit of green for the contrast (that one’s Hops).  The good folks at Miss Babs want to help one of you achieve a similar state of woolly bliss, so they’re going to send someone a skein of Kunlun in their choice of color (just pretty please pick one of the in stock colors…it’s show season, and sticking with the in stock colors keeps it all more streamlined for them).  All you have to do to enter is leave a comment with the name of your favorite of their colorways.

And to spread the love around a little, they’ve also set up the code code KUNLUNHATS to take 10% off all their Kunlun online through November 20th (just remember, that’s online only).  I have a sneaking suspicion I may be taking advantage of that myself here shortly…I promise to leave at least some for you too though!

And in case you need something to do with all that awesome new yarn, the code STRIPES will let you take 10% off the Vagaries pattern on ravelry between now and Friday.  Just put Vagaries in your ravelry cart, click on the ‘use a coupon code’ button, and type in the code STRIPES.  You’ll see the change in price reflected right away.

There’s not too much in the way of fine print.  Comments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Friday, October 27, 2017 will be entered to win.  I’ll pick a winner, contact them to get their addresses, and arrange to send yarn their way (they’ll need to pick a colorway that’s in stock when they’re notified).  Be sure to use a real email address so I can contact you if you’ve won (I won’t do anything with those email addresses besides notify the winner).  If I do email you, I need to hear back from you within 72 hours or I will pick a new winner and contact them.

Vestige (plus giveaway)

So I do this thing where I find a yarn base I really like, buy a bunch of it in different colors for various projects, and then end up with lots of little bits and pieces left over.  It’s happened with Madeline Tosh, and it’s happened with Quince & Company, and it’s happened with Malabrigo.  Vestige is the perfect set to make use of some of those leftover bits!

I had a whole skein of the purple floating around (the color is called Sabiduria), and some bits and pieces of pink (Archangel), and decided they should hang out together and make something fun.

Now I went ahead and just used two colors, and kept the same one as background in both pieces, but if you had more bits and pieces, this would lend itself perfectly to something a bit more adventurous.  You could swap contrast and main between the hat and the mitts.  Or it would look great if you used one contrast color for the rolled edges and another for the slip stitch bands.  And the hat would be just about too cute to be allowed if you did each stripe in a different shade (think rainbow or gradient).

All you’ll want to do is try to use contrast colors that are about the same weight/thickness as your main color (that’s where having lots of leftovers from the same base comes in handy).  And you really don’t need much of the contrast color (especially if you’re using more than one).  This is a perfect excuse to go raiding your leftover bin or to play with some of those mini skein packs that everyone loves so much.  And the textured bands are a perfect place to use some heavily variegated yarn (the slipped stitch breaks up any crazy pooling, and the small doses mean even the most exuberant yarns look great).

And as for the knitting itself, it’s about as mellow as it comes.  It’s mostly stockinette with just a few textured bands thrown in to show off the contrast yarn (it’s all slipped stitches, nothing hard…if you can work in the round, knit, purl, and decrease, you can make this set).   I’ve heard a rumor some of you are starting to think about holiday knitting (who said it’s allowed to be September?) and these might be just the thing to get a jump on that (I just know someone is going to do a whole family’s worth where everyone has the same background color and the contrast colors are everyone’s favorite colors)!

The good folks at Malabrigo are letting me send two skeins of Rios to one of you.  All you have to do is pick your two favorite colors and leave them in a comment over on this post on instagram (this is a little different than usual, only comments on that instagram post count as entries).

And, for everyone I can’t send yarn to, I’ve got a coupon for Vestige.  You can use the code PAIRING to get 10% off between now and Friday.  Just put Vestige in your ravelry cart, click on the ‘use a coupon code’ button, and type in the code PAIRING.  You’ll see the change in price reflected right away.

Comments left on the instagram post between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Friday, September 8, 2017 will be entered to win.  I’ll pick a winner, contact them via DM on instagram to get their addresses, and arrange to send yarn their way.  If I do message you, I need to hear back from you within 72 hours or I will pick a new winner and contact them.

All this stockinette

I know.  I’m as surprised as you are.  Normally getting me to knit stockinette is like getting me to deep clean the basement (only under duress, and only if I have something else I’m trying really hard to put off).  But lately?  Lately I’m starting to see the appeal.

I think it’s because things are a tiny bit frantic around here (book next week, move next month…more details about both coming shortly), and stockinette is awfully soothing.

And well, well I can use soothing right now!

This totally fits the bill, and the little welts and stripes are just enough to make me feel like it’s not hideously basic.

Yarn is Kunlun by Miss Babs in fieldmouse (gray) and hops (green), and it is also helping with the nice soothing vibe.

I got distracted

I had the best of intentions.  I really did.  The green hat was on the needles and chugging along just fine.  But then I had a different idea.

And then there was this.

And this.

Oh and this.

And now we’re over here.

These things happen…it’s unavoidable.  And I promise there’s a plan and this will be quite nifty in a few minutes!