When Knitters Crochet

After learning how to knit, almost a decade ago now, I thought, “crochet looks like fun. I’d like to crochet too!” And so I asked my grandmother to teach me how to crochet. Instead she gave me a book and a hook and told me to “have at’er.”

And that is how I learned how to crochet.

Knitting is my main passion, but every once in a while a very good friend gets married and I think they deserve an afghan – something best served crocheted – or I find a pattern that I just can’t resist. The Tannery Falls pattern in the newest Pom Pom Quarterly issue (in reality I want to do every pattern in this book) was just what I needed for this summer.

And lo and behold, this happened:

IMG_3736
knit *cough* crocheted *cough* in Punta Yarns Montoya Beach light in white and Quince & Co’s Sparrow in nannyberry

That, my friends, is an almost completed Tannery Falls body all in crochet. Victory is mine! I did have to rip back about 5 rows because mysteriously one edge was starting to go on a diagonal….but since then it’s been pretty smooth sailing.

There’s that old myth that you can only like one: Star Wars or Star Trek, the Beatles or the Rolling Stones. I mean, yeah, I do have a preference for Star Wars, but I also enjoy Star Trek, and the Beatles will always win my heart over the Stones but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy Get Off of My Cloud. When it comes to knitting and crocheting though, I will have to admit that some people are just meant to be knitters, and some are meant to be crocheters.

I enjoy crochet every once and a while but it definitely doesn’t give me the same satisfaction and inner calm that knitting does. However, my sister for example, does not like knitting – finds it tedious and when I tried teaching her one day, at the end of the row she exclaimed, “what do you mean you just do the same thing on the way back!?” But wouldn’t you know it, she’s now a crocheter and loves it. Who knows why the crafting gods decide what they do.

Either way, I’m about 1.5 rows away from the body edging, which then means I can soon sew up the seam and then pick up for the yoke. So exciting! Something about this summer, guys, it’s an adventure in summer handmades.

Now if only I can stay focused enough – now that I’m back, the madelinetosh fingering I left behind in June keeps calling to me to be wound and made into a Sunwalker shawl.

You don’t need a new shawl right now, Victoria, you don’t, you don’t, you don’t!

 

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When Knitters Crochet

Alpaca and the Road

So we have just completed our fourth day of our cross-country trip and so far I have:

  • Spilled on myself twice
  • Eaten 1 and a half bags of Veggie Straws to myself (among other copious things)
  • Had about a gazillion inner monologues with myself
  • Sang along to about 450 songs
  • Listened to 1.25 Harry Potter audio books
  • Contemplated life, the habits of moose and what the best set of matching tattoos for myself and my bestie are
  • Internally strangled Husband for inadvertently telling me the drive from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste. Marie is only 7 hours, when really it turned out to be 9
  • Made friends with an alpaca

Wait, what?

Oh yes, you read me. Just about an hour outside of Thunder Bay sits a wee little alpaca farm with a bunch of alpacas and, you guessed it, homespun yarn for sale.

On the left we have a pure alpaca yarn named “Rocky” after the alpaca it was sheared from; on the right an alpaca and sheep blend (all the brown is alpaca from an unknown alpaca, and all the white is sheep). I’m really terribly excited about these, and it makes me giggle at the fact their brand is “Old School Alpaca” (although very hip sounding, I’m pretty sure it’s actually because they’re located on Old School Road…).

On a final note Jasper has been handling the travelling life very well. A regular Jack Kerouac, if I do say so myself.

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Alpaca and the Road

How To Pack When You’re a Knitter

When moving all the contents of your home, and especially when you know a lot of your belongings will be put into storage for a long while, the second thing you must do (the first being getting rid of anything you don’t want or need anymore – but that’s not what we’re here to talk about today) is go through your WIPs and stash.

Step 1: Collect up all WIPs into a safe area to be transported with you in your car so that during your journey, and when you arrive at your destination, you will have things readily at hand to start working on right away. This step also includes all your needles and accessories needed (ie. ball winder, tapestry needles, measuring tape, you get the idea)

Step 2: Pick out patterns that you had thought about starting soon, and think that once a WIP or two is done (oh, who are we kidding, even if we don’t finish a WIP first…) a new project will be great, put them aside and a. go through your stash to find any yarn that would work well for that project, or b. use this time to stock up at your favourite LYS on local yarn – since you will never see them ever, ever again. Once yarn is picked, put it aside with the patterns for easy navigation.

Step 3: Go through your stash again, and this time just pick out all the yarn that you just can’t bare to part with right now, or that could potentially find its way to a pattern sometime between the packers and your new place, but before they could be dug out of storage. This is essential, however, if you forget to do this step, or to do it well, this is just an excuse for you to check out all your new LYS.

Step 4: Cry over the fact that you forget to put aside your yarn bowl and the packers got to it first.

Step 5: Keep all current WIPs together in an easily accessible bag(s), and use extra yarn as padding for other objects. This helps increase their efficiency so when your husband asks you why you need to pack so much yarn it’s not just because you may or may not have an addiction, but for efficiency’s sake. Look how much better protected this mug is now!

And that, friends, is my Knitter’s Guide to Packing.

 

How To Pack When You’re a Knitter

Wishlist Wednesday

As a knitter, I love love looooove knitting sweaters and cardigans. They are usually my favourite thing to knit, and there is nothing I love better than cozening up in a hand knit when I’m cold. But now that summer is upon us, I came to the stark realisation that while I have many sweaters that do wonders in the winter time, I really don’t have many lightweight sweaters/cardigans that I can wear in the summer when the sun is hot but the AC is freezing. Gah!

On a knitting sidenote, on Sunday I finished my Lake Diamond tank top, and it is blocked and ready to go….if only the weather would permit a tank top. Le sigh.

And so, a wishlist of light cardigans perfect for layering and the spring/summertime:

Grace by Jane Richmond

Grace is on the top of my list for cardigans. I recently bought this pattern and think it would be a perfect project to shop for when I go on my “last yarn trip in Calgary” to get some yarns that I just can’t in Ontario.

Heartfelt by Veera Välimäki

Heartfelt is part of the Interpretations Vol. 3 collection by Veera and Joji Locatelli. My cousin recently shared this book with me and I pretty much want to knit everything in it, including this beauty.

Lineal Cardigan by Hannah Fettig

This would be a really cute cardigan to pair with a sundress, and the linen yarn would be bliss in the summertime.

Whippet by ANKESTRiCK

I love the subtle texture of the eyelets on the body AND the sleeves. There is something about good detailing on a sleeve that I just can’t resist.

Summer Festival by Georgie Nicolson

This pattern was literally designed with summer in mind! Need I say more?

Sunnyside by Tanis Lavallee

Ok, so not really a cardigan that would fit YOU (well, unless you love it so much you’re willing to do some intense math…) but I can’t help it, this pattern is on my mind right now as a good friend just had a baby and Baby M. needs a cardigan too!

Do you have a favourite summertime cardigan or sweater you love?

Wishlist Wednesday

Oh Canada!

So as I’m sure most of you have figured out by now, I’m a Canadian. And in case you are also on top of what day it is (I, for one, have been having trouble this week keeping track of what day it is), it is also July 1st, AKA Canada Day. ‘Tis a day of wearing red & white, waving around things with maple leaves on them, and celebrating our independence.

To celebrate Canada Day (and since this week has been so hectic that I have nothing to report from this end knitting-wise), I’ve compiled a couple Canadian-themed knitting patterns for your enjoyment.

  1. Hudson Bay Inspired Crib Blanket by Purl Soho
     For those who aren’t familiar with Hudson’s Bay, it’s essentially our Macy’s.

  2. Majestic Moose by Andi Satterlund
    Because what is Canada without a moose?

  3. Burton Bear Cowl by Heidi May
    Or a bear, really?

  4. O Canada Mitts by Vicky Taylor-Hood
    For those of a more traditional Canadiana mindset

  5. Flying North by Maria Montzka
    For those of you who’d like something a little more subtle in your Canadian pride, try these socks that mimic the shape of flying geese.

  6. 504 King West by The Knit Cafe Toronto
    Because how I could I write a post about Canada-themed patterns without an ode to Toronto?

  7.  Alberta Bound by Kate Bostwick
    Or a pattern inspired by the fields in Alberta? Oh, Alberta, how I’ll miss you.

Happy Canada Day all!

Oh Canada!