Friday, May 17, 2013

It's cold outside. Go knit a sweater. Or two.

Last year, I wasn't a garment knitter. I was all about the socks and mitts and hats. 2012 was also the year of shawls for me.

Then this year? Bam! I got hit by the garment hammer of Cast On All The Things!
I can kind of see what it is. When I started as a knitter, I could only afford single skeins of anything.  You can make a whole project out of one skein of exquisitely beautiful sock yarn. Your investment was much smaller.
Even if you screwed it up, you hadn't invested a lot of time or money.
Instant gratification.

But really, how many shawls can one girl need? Especially with the weather we're having.
I love shawls, don't get me wrong, but I might have reached shawl saturation. For now.

Side note: I still don't have enough socks.

So I was going to try it. A nice transitional pullover, knit out of cotton. I fell in love with the way Sazerac was modeled, and I had to have it. So I made one. And I love it. It's fabulous, and the cotton yarn is fingering weight, light enough to not be bent out of shape yet.

Then I made another cotton pullover, this time short-sleeved.
Then a Wollmeise cardigan. Then one with all-over lace. And a mystery sweater. And a lace cardigan.

Then I cast on a big, cushy pullover out of Tails DK, the squishy, cloud-like singles yarn I stock in my shop, in a colour I've been trying to create fora  while, a deep red with black overtones.

And then I cast on Sambuca, my latest obsession. It crept up on me. I bought the yarn in the backroom of Bendigo Woollen Mills, just to play with it. It's just a grey DK wool, non-superwash, how good could it be?
Pretty great, actually. I love everything about this wool. I'm going to add Noro to this project, because knitting with Noro pretty much guarantees I will love this pullover forever.
I'm even adding some shaping to it.

How will all of this turn out? Who knows? But I'm loving the journey.

Are you a garment knitter? Or do you prefer accessories? Or something else?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

World Traveller Club: April

By now, everyone in the World Traveller Club should have received their April shipment, and the may shipments are well on their way.

I had great fun picking the theme for the inaugural trip. After all, the first trip will set the tone for your entire voyage!

So for our first trip together, I wanted to take everyone to a region close by that is near and dear to my heart: The Australia Alps.
We're getting ready for our wintersport season, such as it is, so this area has been on my mind.

The Australian Alps consists of two biogeographic subregions: the Snowy Mountains including the Brindabella Ranges, located in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory; and the Victorian Alps, located in Victoria. The latter region is also known as the "High Country", particularly within a cultural or historical context.
While I mainly visit the alpine region in winter, there are many gorgeous things to do there in summer. It's dry and has a stark beauty all of its own. but that dryness comes with an ever-present danger: Bushfires.
In 2009, the bushfires were so devastating and widespread, they are now known as the Black Saturday fires.

Just this summer, fires raged around the mountains almost all the way to the peaks. The images from those fires were striking. I was planning the club colours during that time and I could smell the smoke. I wanted to do something that reflected what was reality in our area.

The variegated colourway for this month was inspired by photos of yellow and orange fires and billowing blue-grey smoke against a deep blue sky.

The tonal colour is inspired by the Pygmy Possum, a tiny marsupial native to only the Victorian Alps, and whose already small habitat was vastly decreased due to the fires.

And there you have it. Our April trip. May travellers will be going somewhere different, and then it's time for our April travellers to pack their bags and hop on a virtual plane to somewhere completely different.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Some time last year, I had this idea for a hat. I wanted something slouchy and slightly lacy. Something out of thin yarn I could wear for the in-between months of the year.
Something more cute than functional, but still useful.

Thus, Tramontane was born. You can get it on Ravelry here! And until the end of May, you can get it for free with coupon code "first-free".
Tramontane combines an asymmetrical brim with playful lace and smooth crown decreases. You can make it more or less slouchy, depending on your needs and wants.
I love this hat and wear it all the time! In summer, I scoot it back for more of a face-framing accessory, while in spring and autumn, I pull it forward for a loose-fitting beanie-beret cross.

What's your favourite hat of the moment?

Shop Update 8/5/13

I only just realised none of my shop update blog posts have made it through this month.
Today's shop update is live.
There are some exciting self-striping sock yarns to feed your addiction, as well as some lovely tonals and highly variegated yarns.

But the most exciting news of them all? Minis are back! Many of you have asked when mini skeins are making a comeback, and they're finally here! You can choose to subscribe on a monthly basis by theme, or get a longer subscription at a discount.
There's no greater way to keep on hexipuffing, set up your own stripes, or try out some bases with teeny projects.
How do you use your minis?