I am really loving my classes at KnitCity. In addition to Fair Isle Techniques with MJ Mucklestone yesterday, I took Combining Creativity and Culture with Francoise Danoy from Aroha Knits. I enjoyed learning about Maori culture and her design process. I asked her about cultural appropriation. She said she only shares Maori symbols that are okay for anyone to wear, and since she is of Maori descent, she feels supporting her with a purchase of her designs that feature Maori motifs is cultural appreciation, not appropriation, I appreciated her response to that, as it is a topic that comes up a lot in fair trade. I also fell in love with her Ocean Pathways Cowl (Ravelry link) which I’m going to add to my queue.
The happy hour with The Grocery Girls, GG Made It, and La Bien Aimee had over 500 participants! It was a lot of fun, and I think they did a good job trying to make sure everyone felt welcome and had a good time.
Yesterday was Sheep School with Anna Hunter and Shetland Hap Overview with Gudrun Johnson. I learned a lot in both classes. I’m going to start my Hansel Hap soon, and maybe start my farm life in a year or two with chickens, which Anna calls “the gateway animal”. I also took a natural dye garden class with Caitlin Ffrench, and I learned I can use apple tree bark for pink – which I didn’t know – and our black walnut hulls and leaves in dyeing, which I knew but haven’t started collecting. These will be fun things to try that are already growing here. We’ve got a lot of work ahead already just clearing the woods and getting the garden ready for planting.
Today my classes are 5 Steps in Choosing Colors in Fair Isle Knitting with MJ Mucklestone and Wool Traceability with Anna Hunter. I’m sure they will be great. I’ve been really impressed with this event, the teachers, the content, and the professionalism of the event organizers and platform. Maybe some day I’ll be able to attend a Knit City in person!
Note to future Alissa: maybe take less classes next time? They are great but I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. Today I may attend in PJs with the camera off.
I took a wonderful Breed Specific Knitting workshop from Longway Homestead yesterday. It was a gift from Bob for Christmas. I learned about breeds and wool and crimp and staple length and microns. Conclusion: I want to raise Shetland sheep.
I’ve updated my YOP list. I also rearranged the order to try to reflect a chronology. I will probably continue to do that as I make my way through the list. There’s not much else to say other than look at my beautiful Moondrake Advent Litmus Cowl! It’s knitting up fast. Knitting stripes is fun!
It’s a long weekend so I’m going to frame “Hay for Days,” start “Blue Moon,” and dye some fiber.
I received my first Noodle Club subscription yarn from Ramen Needles. It’s super fun. It also glows under a black light. Now I’m looking for a black light. I’m not sure what to do with it, so I will stash it away and percolate on it. It’s single ply merino and silk. Might make a nice Pembroke Scarf (Ravelry link).
I received my first breed specific yarn of the month from Longway Homestead. It’s soft, but not soft enough for neck wear. I’m thinking mittens or hat. I’m going to wait until I take the Breed Specific Knitting workshop before I decide, though. I think it will have nice drape. Can you smell the lanolin? Mmm… schmeepy. I’ve always wanted to try Finnsheep wool.
Speaking of grown in Canada, after yesterday, Bob was ready to make a run for the border.
We are deep in the throws of winter, under 8-12 inches of snow here. And my feet cannot get warm! I adore these snowflake slippers and I think they are just the thing to wear over hand knit wool socks for a double layer of wooly warmness. Uppsala Slippers by Fibrely (Ravelry link)
Year of Projects Update
I’m going to dye some fiber this week while I’m off work — blue and green — and finish the stitching on Hay for Days.
I’m making good progress on Franca, mistletoe kisses socks, and puttering on my Aurora Borealis cowl. I’m going to cast on a Litmus Cowl with my Advent yarn. Liz is my Advent yarn guru, and she posted it today. It’s just what I need: mindless. I will randomly pull colors out and knit them with a section of the big skein in between. Yay. Litmus Cowl Ravelry Link
I’m going to spend some time with my video class this week while I’m off.
Bob felt bad that I didn’t have much to open on Christmas morning, but he did very well. I received a breed specific fiber yarn club subscription and breed specific knitting workshop from Longway Homestead! It doesn’t get much better than that. I also got a sweary knitting mug from ChristineParkerCo and some silver snowflake earrings that are toodling their way here in the post. They are a replacement for a pair I lost hiking a few years ago. My oldest kid sent us original music on the winter solstice. My sister gave me a gift card to The Woolly Thistle and surprised me with a Faerie Knitting book. My Mom sent us cash, and I immediately spent my portion on yarn for a blue Turtledove. (Image above. Apparently I want to make whatever Liz is making.) Bob’s Mom sent us cash, and I ordered a warm robe and PJs, which I need. I also received a handmade bud vase, a hand painted card, yarn! and other goodies in the mail from friends. I feel positively spoiled! I re-embraced card sending this year. I needed it in 2020. I also Skyped and Facetimed with family on the day, which was the best gift. I hope you had a good Christmas, too!
Merry Christmas! If you are really into gnomes, you can knit a hat, mittens, and pullover with these super adorable yard fellows, as I am now calling them. This is a free pattern by Sarah Schira. (Knitty website link) I would probably not knit them in red and blue, as they are looking too All-American for me. I think I would go red and green because, hey, you might as well go big or go gnome for Christmas. What color would you knit your gnomes?
Meep was a big hit with JoJo. Now we are waiting for the child to awaken so we can open presents. I made cranberry orange waffles for breakfast. Later we can FaceTime with the other kids.
I have to admit I feel a little overwhelmed by my choice of advent pattern and how to organize the colors. I almost wish I had just knit them in the order I opened them so I didn’t have to think about it. Any suggestions?
“And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap” — from A Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement Clarke Moore
Whenever I see a stocking cap, I think of this poem, and Ebenezer being visited in his nightgown and cap, and elves, tomten, and nisse too, of course. This worsted weight stocking cap is a free pattern. Jolly Stocking Cap by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas (Website link)
Skeindeer Knits has her own Nisselue stocking cap pattern in fingering weight that is also free. (Ravelry link) I really like the idea of knitting a stocking cap in self striping sock yarn.
This led me to the Wikipedia entry on Nisse, which is a fun read. I’m going to start calling our gnome Pete our “tunkall” or “yard fellow.”
Because I took French in middle school and high school, around the holidays I sometimes randomly break into chanson française. My favorite is “Un Flambeau, Jeannette, Isabella”. I regret I can no longer speak French, but at least I can sing a song fluently… even though I may not know the meaning of the words anymore. Aren’t these Noel socks charming? I think holly is my favorite Christmas motif. Noël d’antan pattern by Elyse D’Amours Designs (Ravelry link)
During the holiday season, I listen to a lot of Kitka’s Wintersongs. This year in December they are releasing a YouTube video each day. Although I love the music the most, yesterday’s video was a sweet little story. Here’s a video with two of my favorites, which you may recognize.
If you like Celtic music, tonight at 6PM EST, Celtic Colours will have a live Christmas performance on their YouTube and Facebook channels. Bob and I are going to tune in.
Today’s HoliDaily pattern share is Needled by Hunter Hammersen (Ravelry link) These would be fun and festive to knit up with scraps, and I particularly love the addition of the beads. I’m still trying to figure out what kinds of holiday decorations I would like to knit, but I’m getting some ideas!
I love the golds with these pinks. I think I’d make an entire sweater out of this! It’s such an unlikely combination but it really works.
I made a new wintry project bag to celebrate the winter solstice.
It’s quilting cotton lined with linen.
I didn’t have much ribbon to choose from, and although I would have liked something gold or silver, this ribbon has sheep. If you look closely at this pic you will see a sewing error. I didn’t notice it until I finished sewing the lining in. I decided to leave it since it’s just for me. I still love it, and of course I will know to check that seam next time when I assemble the pieces.
Project Bag sewing pattern is Drawstring Bag (Etsy link)
But what’s in the project bag, you may ask? And I’m glad you did.
Today’s Winter Solstice HoliDaily share is Norrland by Sarah Huntington Birch. (Ravelry link) If you could turn the Winter Solstice into a hat, I think this is it. I’ve shared this pattern before as I love to look at it. But I think if I were going to knit something this extraordinary, I would hang it on my wall. In fact, I might do that.
I’m almost to the toe of my first Christmas sock! I think Santa approves.
Moondrake Yarn Advent Day 21. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to work our twinkly twilightly icicle lights into a photo since December 1! I finally did it it. Happy Winter Solstice!