Hello. It’s been a little while since I’ve had the time to write here, which is a shame. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you’ll know that life has been pretty busy, lately, and it’s only recently that I’ve felt settled enough to get back to the blog.
The last time I posted was in the middle of May, and here’s what I’ve been up to since then:
1) Went on a trip: C and I visited Belgium, England and Scotland for two weeks, which was lovely. Everything edible was delicious, I picked up some choice knitting and sewing souvenirs, and we tasted a lot of really lovely Belgian beers, and fell in love with Scottish gin.
2) Packed everything: I’ve mentioned this before, but C is starting a new work/school program that required a huuuuuge cross-country move. Once we got back from our trip, we had two weeks to pack everything up and hand it over to the movers. This was really tough, partly because packing is the worst, but also because it involved a lot of saying goodbye to really special places and people.
3) Drove across the country: The next step in the moving process was bringing ourselves and our car and our cats to Calgary. We packed the cats up in the backseat (ask me about that, sometime. One of them (the one not in this post) was super not a fan of driving) and did the four-day car trip to our new apartment. Google tells me we travelled 4002km, which is 2487 miles.
4) Waited: the moving company gives a date range of when things will arrive, and it’s not always exactly the amount of time it takes to get from Location A to Location B. We spent a good week and a half living out of suitcases in our new apartment, waiting for the call from the moving company. There was a lot of IKEA furniture assembly in this period.
Our truck arrived last week, and now we are 90% unpacked and sleeping on a real bed again, which is a huge relief. My new job starts in a little while, and we’ve mostly figured out stuff like where to get coffee and groceries and comic books.
I made a lot of things through the past couple of months, as well. Knitting has always been what I do with my hands in times of stress, and I definitely needed it through parts of the last few months (oh god, that car trip). I started and finished a sweater, which I’m excited to talk about, and finished a pair of socks. I’ll get to the backlog in time, but for now, here are some photos of what I’ve been working on lately.
I finally have a finished knit to share! It feels like it’s been a while since I had one of those.
This is Driftwood, a giant triangle made out of the best. Yarn. Ever. It’s Blue Moon BFL Sport, and it is sooo dreamy. It’s a lovely woolen-spun two-ply, which gives it the best squoosh and airiness. It’s a little sheepier than merino, for sure, but I still have no problems wearing it around my neck. It comes in huuuuge, 250g megaskeins, so one was all I needed for this shawl.
The colourway is called “Valkyrie,” which is a lovely deep purple with orange and purple notes. I was watching a lot of Lost Girl when I cast on, so I’ve been calling it my Tamsin shawl, after my favourite valkyrie from that series.
The pattern itself is pretty straightforward – it’s one of those variations on a triangle, but the alternating garter stitch and stockinette sections give it a little interest. I added a bit of extra length, because I wanted to finish off the skein entirely, and I love the finished size.
This was a really meditative knit – I love having something in garter stitch on the go, to pick up whenever I’m in the mood for that. This is also a yarn that is absolutely begging to be garter stitch – it makes that squoosh factor even more pronounced. I kept telling my friends to pet my shawl while I was knitting it so that I could show off how cuddly it was going to be!
It’s definitely a pretty huge finished piece – when I wrap it around my neck like a scarf, it is a Statement, for sure – but I sort of love it like that. I’ve got some travel coming up in the next little while, and it’ll be perfect for airplanes and car rides when I want to take a sneaky blanket with me.
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.
(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.)
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.
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.