Concoction

You folks are, on the whole, an astonishingly clever and creative bunch. There is every possibility that you have come up with something cooler or cuter to do with the cap off of your orange juice bottle, that expired credit card in your desk drawer, the empty chapstick tube in your purse, the dried out nailpolish bottle in your bathroom, or the spool of thread you just finished off. Though sweet crispy crackers if you did, I want to see it.

Because this is pretty damn clever and cute.

I mean, not notably practical. There are a limited array of practical uses for teeny tiny knitted potion bottles (not none mind you, but relatively few). But awfully cute and clever.

The pattern includes instructions for lots and lots of different bottle shapes (I made a dozen for the pictures, and I only stopped because it was getting a bit obsessive), they are a perfect scrap yarn project, and each bottle only takes an hour or two to knit. All of which means that once you start, you’re probably not going to stop for a while. But really, that’s not a bad problem to have!

The pattern is called Concoction, it’s up on ravelry and payhip, and you can take 10% off for the first few days it’s out with the code POTION.

Just wait, it’s coming

This? Um, I fully realize it doesn’t necessarily look like it quiet yet, but this is the most joyful thing I’ve knit in quite some time. Because you see, we’re just about to the spot where the yarn starts doing Secret Fancy Tricks. And once the yarn starts doing Secret Fancy Tricks, then I start following you around like a six year old with an art project going look what I did, look what I did. Because wow is it about to do cool things. ⁠

Sit tight…lemme do a tiny bit more then I’ll show you how it works!⁠

Yarn is from Gauge Dye Works for a super secret (I mean…ish…it’s not all that secret if you’re posting about it online) project. And someone always asks, so the needles are super duper long dpns (like 12ish inches) that I love dearly but, alas, cannot point you to a reliable online source for because they’re just damn hard to find. But if you’re generally a fan of dpns, I recommend trying out the long ones if you ever get the chance, they’re great for hats/cowls.

Early days

So, I’m going to show you this project a little sooner than I usually would, because there’s going to be a point in the project where at least some of you are going to go I Want To Make That, and I want to give you time to get the fancy pants magic yarn in time for the pattern to come out.⁠

And we’ll talk about that at some length when that time gets closer. I super duper promise we will. But we’re not there quite yet (but seriously, go start lowkey haunting Gauge Dye Works‘ page so you hear when we finalize our sneaky plans).⁠

So right now I’ll just say ‘oh look, a hat brim’ and then go back to knitting. Because I know where this is going, and I just want to knit and knit and knit and not do anything else at all until it’s done.

Mailorder happiness

Remember that thing I said about how having good mail waiting for you in the post when you get back from a terrible trip can save the day? Yeah, well this is extremely good mail. No really, this is wind it up, cast it on, and let it take all your troubles away yarn. ⁠

It’s the only thing I’ve felt like knitting on in weeks, and I cannot wait to show you what it does (no, seriously, the yarn knows tricks…I can’t say any more than that quite yet, but it’s astonishingly clever yarn and you’re going to love what it does).⁠

You should go obsessively stalk Gauge Dyeworks (by which I mean follow them and admire their yarn, not show up in the bushes outside their workspace, just for the record) and revel in the glorious things they create!

Emergency countermeasures

Look, it’s possible that you woke up this morning in a totally spotless house, having enjoyed nine full hours of deep and restorative sleep, ate a delicious and healthy breakfast, noticed, as you glanced in the mirror, that you are looking particularly radiant these days, and then settled into your work day and are absolutely smashing your to do list for the week. ⁠

And if that’s you, that’s great. I’m truly glad to know things are going that well for someone in the world. ⁠

But if you maybe awoke, sweaty and confused, to the sound of a cat doing something unspeakable on the hall rug, broke a nail cleaning up after said cat, realized the milk was off only after pouring it on the last of the cereal, and are now waiting on hold with the fourth appliance repair shop you’ve spoken to today in a desperate bid to find someone to deal with that weird noise the stove is making some time before Thanksgiving? ⁠

Well. Let’s just say I sympathize. Deeply.⁠

I am officially declaring that my plan is to cope by playing with toys. By which I mean I’m damn well getting out all my little fall-feeling nonsense and distracting myself from the big scary world out there by making the world in here feel soft and cozy and safe.⁠

If you want to do the same, three of my fall favorites are on sale for 25% off with the code COZY for the next few days. That will work on Nestled (that’s the little leaf buddies up there), Foraged (those are the mushrooms), and Hoard (those are the acorns). ⁠

They’re all available on both ravelry (those links above will take you to each of the individual patterns) or payhip. ⁠

And seriously, if you’re having one of those days…the ones where you would dearly like to go back to bed but really very much can’t, I hope they help. There’s absolutely no practical reason they should. But sometimes, somehow they kind of do!⁠

Good mail

Look, sometimes the best thing about a trip is opening your mail when you get home. Especially if you had the excellent forethought to arrange to have THIS arriving in the mail while you were gone. Because really, have you ever seen anything so lovely?⁠

It’s one of Seven Sisters Arts‘ Flower Power quintets, plus a skein of Celaeno to to with it. And no, I do not quite know exactly what I’ll do with it (though I suspect brioche will be involved), but when has that ever stopped me from getting yarn when it’s this gorgeous!

Oooof

Ooof. No really. Ooof is pretty much all I can manage right this second.⁠

You see, I went away last week on what was supposed to be a lovely, calm, relaxing, refreshing, restorative trip. The sort of trip where you hang out somewhere pretty and take nice walks and eat good meals and sleep and just generally unplug for the week and maybe see if your exhausted, overwhelmed brain can kinda piece itself back together again into something resembling a functional human being.⁠

And instead, it was filthy and dangerous and just generally awful in ways I am not going to go into. I’ll just say it was the worst travel experience of my life and the first time I’ve actually seriously looked into getting a helicopter to come get me and take me away from where I was because there was literally no other way to leave. ⁠

And while I had prepared a constant stream of posts to go up while I was gone, I sort of figured that this week, when I got back, I’d be all refreshed and ready to go, and so hadn’t prepared stuff for this week.⁠

And instead I came back more exhausted than when I left and sort of need a little bit of time at home to try and claw my way back to mostly functional. So posting will be light for the next little while. But these wee little potion bottles are ready to go, and should be out this month (I’m truly not sure if that will be next Tuesday or the one after that, but either way it’s not long to wait). There’s a blog post up that will help you prepare if you want to make some of your own when they come out. ⁠

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I might just go back to bed and see if I can work on convincing myself that the whole trip was just a very very very very very bad dream.

Over the top

Sometimes? Sometimes a person simply has to give in and embrace the nonsense and just do the thing.

And if the thing happens to be using a wood burning tool to decorate a scrap of leather to affix to a knitted potion bottle? Well then that doesn’t seem like it hurts anyone so sure, why not.

Nothing to see here

Don’t mind me, I’m just wandering around my house (and yard…and over to the beach…and possibly other slightly trespassy places) to collect some treasures and make a little tableau for some knitted potion bottles. That’s perfectly normal right? Yes, uh huh, perfectly normal.⁠

And yes, yes I know it looks like a hot mess right now, I super duper pinky swear it will look cool (for some values of) by the time I’m done with it. This is not the weirdest thing I’ve done for a photo.

Innards

Ok, let’s talk about the guts of these.⁠

There are two basic ways to make knitted fabric have shape. Either you do it with increases & decreases (or other fabric manipulation), or you do it with a teeny tiny bit of brute force. For the potion bottles, we’re doing a bit of both. You give the fabric more or less the right shape (round vs square) to start, then you rely on a little bit of help to shape it from the inside.⁠

That means you need something you can shove in your bottle. Which sounds a bit daunting and vague! How can we possibly know if we have the same stuff sitting around to shove in our knitting? But I promise, it’s easier than you might think to find something. All you really need is something small, smooth, lightweight, and waterproof! ⁠

Really, you can use an astonishing array of things you would normally throw away. Your easiest bet is the lid/cap off a jar/bottle, but you’ve got options.⁠

Here are a whole bunch of examples. I literally found these on a quick wander through my kitchen/bathroom/office, and I promise you could find five different lids that would work in any decent sized gas station convenience store. ⁠

Starting at the top red one and moving more or less clockwise you’ve got the lid off a can of cooking spray, a wooden building block, a yellow hand lotion container, the blue, purple, and clear lids off of a bunch of hair and skin products, a pink candy tin, a purple floss container, the black lid off a candy container, a green juice bottle lid, a yellow nail polish bottle lid, a lip balm container, a condiment cup, an empty spool of thread, a green easter egg, a wooden block, another condiment container, and some nailpolish/skinstuff bottles there in the middle. ANY of that stuff would work, as would pretty much any substantial lid off a bottle of water or juice. I’d bet money you throw away or recycle something that would work every single week.⁠

Seriously, everything I put in a bottle is something I had sitting around the house, and most of it is stuff that would have gone in the trash. Have a wander through your house and tell me what you find, I bet you’ll be surprised how easy it is!

The only thing you might need to buy is the corks (though honestly, I had a bunch in various spice and mustard and vinegar jars I’d accumulated over the years, and I suspect some of you do too).  But if you want to buy them, the variety packs are super useful. This is the one I used (amazon links are affiliate links, which I feel weird saying, but it’s sort of the law, so I do, even if basically no one else seems to bother…), and it has enough for dozens and dozens of bottles!

And, as always, if you want to hear when the pattern comes out, the mailing list is the best way to do that!