Yep, the whole month makes me happy. It’s the one time of year where everybody else is as into spooky stuff as I am. I love Halloween. I love it more than any other holiday (even Christmas where, you know, I get presents). I love Halloween so much, we even celebrate “Spooky Christmas” in my house (which involves all manner of Halloween decorations transplanted into Christmas). I love horror movies, and ghost stories, and spooky nights. And I love it when everybody else loves it as much as I do. While fall is never my go-to for favourite time of year (summer is over, damnit), I love everybody else getting into the spirit of things as much as I am the rest of the year.
There is this weird shop in a little shopping district not far from where I live – while the district used to be full of punks and music stores, it’s now (to my great dismay) gentrified quite a bit over the past 15 years. And while it’s no longer the street I used to bum around in high school, it does still hold little vestiges of its past. One of these is a store, up above another with next to no signage. Up there is a jumble of games, second hand clothing, and (my favourite section) taxidermy and skeleton bits. On Friday I came across Pauly – a weasel skull that I had to add to my collection. He’s very small, and he now lives with my other collection of bones that I’ve known to pick up at odd places (all pre-cleaned, I don’t have the stomach to do that part myself).
But the second part to what makes me happy about this, is the fellow that owns it takes special care to make sure anything he buys or sells is ethically sourced, by either being part of an old collection, or the animal died due to old age or misadventure. Of great sadness to me is people buying taxidermy bats, not realizing they’re being killed en masse in Asia for that purpose, decimating the population (I really, really like bats). So, in addition to Pauly this week, it makes me happy to know there’s an ethical dealer that I can purchase items from close to my neighbourhood.
Going through a burst of ideas is walking the razor’s edge. On the one hand, you get a bunch of ideas and you’re super excited to try them all right now. On the other hand, for me at least, I can get frustrated because my fingers can’t work as fast as the ideas come. Especially when one of those ideas doesn’t go as easily as I hoped, I spend a lot of time on it, and still it doesn’t work the exact way I want.
I think part of the reason that I’ve had a flurry of ideas lately (which I’m all really excited about) is because I’m in a bit of a lull. I have four patterns in varying states – two currently in testing, and two just waiting for the yarn to arrive so I can cast on. I have another that I’m still stubbornly trying to figure out the math on, and two more that are in the drafting stages (one’s going better than the other). That’s a lot of things up in the air, and quite a few patterns (for me anyway) in the drafting stage at one time. I have nothing to actually knit and work on, so my mind is freed up a bit to think more about possibilities than hard concrete projects that are in process.
So, it’s a double edged sword – lots of ideas, but nothing that I’m actually knitting, which makes me feel slightly antsy. Which is why I’ve been a swatching machine lately.
I actually quite enjoy swatching. I get to see how a yarn will react with a particular pattern before I cast on, and I can work out ideas beforehand and see if they need adjusting so I don’t have to do it while I’m making the finished piece (I hate ripping things out, and will avoid it at all costs). It’s nice to finish a swatch too and have a tiny finished piece that didn’t take a lot of time, but still gives me the satisfaction of doing something.
Some day I’ll make the most epic (and possibly ugly) blanket out of all these swatches I have lying around.
Dappled Shade is now live!
I live for spring and summer. Despite my love of warm comfy cables (which are just not conducive to wearing when it’s 30C outside), spring and summer are really my time to shine. I am outside in my large veggie patch every day (an average of 40 different types of tomatoes is not out of the norm for me), digging in the dirt, watching the bees do their thing, and watching the wind move my plants around, creating constantly changing shapes in the shadows.
I named this pattern dappled shade because it has that strong link to my garden for me – the light falling through the lace incorporated into this pattern very much remind me of those dancing shadows I find in my garden.
It’s knit on the bias, with two different lace stitches, along with a smaller eyelet panel, all of which create varying shapes and forms the whole length down this shawl or scarf.
I for one plan on wearing it as much as I can through the fall and winter to keep me connected to that deep feeling of calm I find in my garden, and having it remind me that soon this winter will pass, and I will be out there again.
You can see more about the pattern here, or view the Ravelry page here where it is available for purchase.
Did you visit Lael & Larry of Hearthside Fibers at the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival? If you did, pull out the card you got from their booth and receive 30% off the pattern price upon checkout!
Are you going to the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival this weekend? Be sure to look up Hearthside Fibers, the yarn sponsor for Dappled Shade, and get a card with a special discount code for the pattern when it’s released!
This coupon code will give you 30% off the price of the pattern, and will only be available to those who visit Lael & Larry at their booth, so be sure to stop by, check them out, and get some of their gorgeous yarn for yourself (seriously, the Champagne Lace is to die for).
This upcoming pattern is the embodiment of my garden to me. This time of year is a little bittersweet, because while I’m looking forward to the things that fall bring (mostly warm knits and a house that isn’t sweltering), in my neck of the woods autumn is a relatively small part of the year, and it means the onslaught of winter is coming. Not to be all Game of Thrones about it, but winter can be pretty brutal around these parts.
I made Dappled Shade so I could keep something that reminded me of summer all year round. I’m a big gardener, have been for many years, and I love the play of light that falls through the foliage of my plants. It changes second to second, constantly creating new patterns and shapes, and I wanted something that translated that interplay of light into something wearable. So I came up with Dappled Shade.
It’s a stole/shawl/scarf (a common theme with me for something to be more than one use), and it’s equally lovely as an every day scarf, or a stole for special occasions. It’s knit on a bias, and features two different lace stitches with garter stitch highlights.
I’m planning on keeping it close through the coming winter months, so I can feel like I have a little bit of my garden with me. The count down to gardening season begins as soon as the first frost hits.
The pattern page is located here, and it’ll be updated as soon as the pattern goes live on September 22nd.
Side note: I now have a newsletter! It’ll be low-volume (once every two months, going up to potentially once a month at the most), and your email will be secure and never sold. I’ll have early upcoming previews, interesting tidbits, and special discounts on patterns for subscribers. Scroll to the bottom of any page, or sign up via the form to the right.