When I said I’d still been making a lot of things, I totally meant it. I’ve been keeping up with my 7.5 pounds in 2015 spinning challenge. Because I’ve been travelling a lot less, it’s been easier to spin daily, which makes stuff fly off the wheel! I try to fit in at least 10 minutes a day, but most days it ends up being about a half hour.

In March I finished some more of my Indigodragonfly club fluff, which spun up into this gorgeous, insanely soft DK weight skein. It’s Merino/Yak/Silk, and C stole it almost immediately after I showed it to her.

Indigodragonfly Fibre Club

I also spun some Into The Whirled braids – the first one is called “Eleventh Hour,” and it’s a BFL/Nylon blend. I spun it specifically as the finest 3-ply I could, with an eye to making sock yarn.

I definitely succeeded at making a nice, firm, fingering-weight yarn. The yardage is not stellar, but I think I can work with it – I got about 225m, which should be enough for some shortish socks, or longer ones if I use commercial yarn for the heels & toes.

ITW BFL/nylon

I also spun cheviot for the first time! This is ITW “Second Spring,” which reminds me a lot of carrots. I spun this for a fingering weight sock yarn as well, but tried for a traditional 3-ply that barberpoled instead of a chain-plied yarn. I love how the colours play with each other in this skein, and I love the hand of this cheviot – it’s sheepy without being hairy, and the crimp and bounce is so fun.

ITW


I haven’t been writing very much, lately – although if you follow along on Instagram I’ve been updating there. We got news about C’s work last month, and that news involves a pretty big move to the Western side of the country. This has been something to adjust to, for sure. It’s going to be an exciting change, but I really have loved living where we are, and I’m going to miss a lot of things about it.

So while I’ve still been crafting, photos and blogging have fallen by the wayside for a while. In part, that’s been because I’ve been busy with other things – looking for apartments & researching how I am going to replace all of my little sweet neighbourhood haunts and finding a job for myself and plotting all of the paperwork that sort of thing involves. Some of that stuff is starting to wind down, as things fall into place, and hopefully I’ll be around here more regularly.

Last weekend, we went out for a visit, and I found the time to take photos of my newest sweater finish.

sulphur mountain

sulphur mountain

sulphur mountain

(Okay, okay. This is the view from the top of Sulphur Mountain, and obviously we are not living there, but the photos were too pretty to resist.)
Empire Sweater / Traveller's End

Empire Sweater / Traveller's End

This is my latest Empire sweater – the one I started way back in November. The pattern is actually Traveller’s End, from Carol Feller, but I have been calling this my Empire sweater in my head the whole time after the name of the yarn – this is one of the famous Jill Draper mega-skeins.

The original pattern has a big cable running down the back, and matching ones along the button band. Worked as written, I would have been short on yardage for my size. I skipped the cables entirely, and ended up finishing with 50g to spare.

Empire Sweater / Traveller's End

Empire Sweater / Traveller's End

The other modification I made for this sweater was pockets! I am really, really proud of challenging myself to do this and actually following through. (Although, the pockets were the rate-limiting step in finishing this up. I had all the knitting done at the beginning of February, and languished on finishing until just before we left for this trip.) I added five-stitch steeks on either side of the front, just for the height of each pocket opening. Then, after the sweater was finished, I cut the steeks and picked up for pockets knit in the round.

It was a bit of extra work, but I think worth it for this sweater. The Empire is gorgeous but pretty heavy – I can’t imagine knitting it on anything smaller than a 5mm needle – and this sweater is way too warm to wear indoors. It’s going to be more of a sweater-coat, and I like my jackets to have at least enough pocket space for my phone and keys. It does add bulk to the fronts, but because of how I’ll be wearing it, I really don’t mind.

Overall, I’m really, really pleased to have this sweater done and ready to put into regular rotation for spring. And while I’m not yet fully excited to be moving out west, having places like this to take sweater photos within driving distance is kind of a neat thing.


Last week, I went to go visit my friend Flora in Vermont. We have known each other like, forever. Long enough that if our friendship were a person, it would be close to starting middle school (which, in the scheme of adult friendships, is not that long I suppose, but it feels amazing that it’s been that long since second year of university). She moved back to the States a couple of years ago, but we’ve stayed close through Skype & occasional visits.

I knew that when I made the the trek to visit her, I wanted to do something special for it. Flora is a really tough person, but she had a heck of a 2014. There was a lot of life stuff that, as her friend, I couldn’t really fix.

But I can make stuff.

So, I made her a quilt.

Donuts for Flora

This has been a good six months of scheming in the making, and it has been so hard to keep it mostly off of social media. (Not that I worried she would know I was making a quilt for her, but I wanted it to be a surprise.) I started browsing for fabrics once I got the idea on the fall, and ended up deciding on a collection of really cutesy, silly Japanese prints that made me think of her, with some more grown-up fabrics to balance things out.

I chose Donuts! as a pattern, for a couple of reasons – one, I’ve made it before, and two, it’s a really simple pattern that shows off special fat quarters nicely. It also lends itself to remaking – it’s really fun. I sort of want to make another one for myself.

All the fabric arrived in late November, and I started cutting & piecing in January.

Donuts for Flora

Donuts for Flora

I had plans to quilt this on my machine, but I’ve never done that before, and wasn’t sure I’d have time to quilt it twice if I made a mistake. So I handquilted using big, sashiko-style stitches – around each donut & center, double lines in the sashing at the top and bottom, and then a grid between donuts. It took about a month and a half to get done, but most of that was not dedicated work – in terms of actual quilting hours, I probably could have finished quilting and binding in a week if I’d focused only on this project.

Donuts for Flora

Donuts for Flora

I just finished before I was supposed to leave – I sewed the last of the binding on Thursday, and my flight left on the Saturday – and gave it to her on the weekend.

This is not a quilt that is technically perfect, but it’s a good quilt, and it’s a snuggly quilt, and it’s got a lot of love in it. Looking at it in these photos (I photographed it straight out of the dryer, before tossing it immediately in my suitcase as I was leaving the next day) I can see lots of stuff that I wish looked neater. But it’s a well made piece, and I trust my handquilting to hold up and keep everything where it’s supposed to be, and the technical stuff isn’t what’s important for this sort of quilt. The important thing about this quilt is showing my friend that I care about her, and I want her to stay warm, and that I picked out these prints that made me think of her so that she can think of me when she uses it. And on those terms, it’s absolutely a success.

She started using it right away, and I’m so happy to have made it for her and given it away. I know it’s where it’s supposed to be, and I hope it’ll keep her warm.


More Posts


gradient therapy
9 February, 2015

gradient therapy

handspun of 2015
2 February, 2015

handspun of 2015

2015 Plans
10 January, 2015

2015 Plans

2014 finish: handspun sweater project yarn
3 January, 2015

2014 finish: handspun sweater project yarn

empire!!!!
19 December, 2014

empire!!!!