Summer Doings (and Future Plans)

Summer Doings (and Future Plans)

I’ve been a bit of a madwoman lately. In between bouts of rain, I’ve been outside as much as possible, tending the (extremely late) garden. I’ve been standing over bubbling pots, further testing my skills at natural dyeing. I’ve been knitting and prepping like crazy a whole bunch of patterns that will be coming out starting in October. I’ve been spinning and making farm visits, I’ve been weaving on my new rigid heddle loom.

I’ve also been enjoying the best my city has to offer in summer, which is when Edmonton really shines in my book.

Summer is my favourite time, it seems like everything I love most about the year is in summer. Except Halloween – which is kind of my send-off to summer. Although by that time of year summer is long over, it’s usually our last snow-free day until April (or May).

All of this is to say – summer is a flurry of activity. Summer it outside time. Summer is less about sitting inside and writing blog posts (sorry!). But that doesn’t mean there isn’t activity.

Tour de Fleece spinning included this lovely skein that I spun up right at the end.

The patterns I’ve been working on will be coming out starting in October. The first round is my eBook which is being released through Knotions. I’m extremely excited about this eBook. It contains some knits I have been working on for a very long time, and went through several iterations before they were complete. Those of you who are familiar with Inis Oirr can look to that as a hint of what will be coming out in October.

The testing phase is almost complete for those projects, then we’ll be finalizing everything and doing layout. These patterns very much feel like my babies that I’m finally releasing into the world. When I said I’ve been working on these patterns for a while, I meant years. Which seems kind of crazy when I think about it, but there was a lot of ripping out and swatching and figuring out exactly how I wanted these pieces to look. I’m so looking forward to finally getting these out into the world.

And then there’s some smaller projects I’ve been working on, other releases coming out after the eBook – three more patterns to be exact that will come out between October and the end of the year.

This is all to say – I’m finding myself really looking forward to knitting some other people’s patterns, and soon.

I usually take some time in December to do some truly just for fun knitting. While I love designing and figuring out all the technical aspects of that, I also really love knitting from other people’s patterns. It’s a real palette cleanser, and honestly, it’s nice not to have to think and problem solve all the time while I’m knitting. I have just one or two more minor aspects to finish up on all these patterns I have going right now, but after that I’m going to (mostly) sign off with designing time for the rest of the year. I’m going to take a few months to just sit and knit, discover some new patterns and designers.

Dyed Merino/Romney yarn for Darkwater

I do have plans already. One of the things I’ve been doing the past few weeks is dyeing up my Tour de Fleece 2017 spin so I can knit Darkwater by Jennifer Steingass. I love her sweaters, but I haven’t had the opportunity to knit one yet – but this is the year. Last year I made my first completely raw to finish sweater (using Ash’s juniper as my pattern), and I loved this process more than I can accurately put into words.

I love the idea of taking a whole year to make a sweater. I wrote a bit on my Dominion Fleece blog about it, and I want to make it a yearly event for myself. I start in spring by picking the fleece, process it, spin it over summer, dye it (if necessary), then knit it up during my quieter time in December.

While I didn’t spin for a sweater this year (I actually spun for a large hap, also on the docket for this winter), I knew I had my TdF 2017 wool, and I think Darkwater will be the perfect excuse for me to finally knit with this yarn.

Part of making a sweater in a year has been me taking a good long look at my stash. I want to be a lot more intentional with not only the commercial yarn I acquire, but also the fibre and yarn I spin. I don’t want my yarn sitting in bins, going unused. So the next year will be a lot of looking at what I have and thinking long and hard about that. As I formulate those ideas in my head, I may end up writing another blog post about that.

With summer coming to a close (noooooo!), I plan to be a lot more regular with these blog posts. Not just with announcing things like pattern releases, but talking about the yarn, fibre, and process of knitting more. I look forward to sharing some of those thoughts with you as they solidify in my own head over the next few months.

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