• Knitting

    A Star Afghan of My Very Own

    Star Afghan

    Last summer I was bemoaning the fact that I really wanted to knit another Star Afghan but that I had no babies to knit for these days. Lorajean quickly pointed out that I could just knit a larger version of the blanket for myself and my jaw dropped as I realised that she was right: I could definitely knit one for me. (I love my friends who are quick to point out the obvious when I’m stuck.) And so, armed with six skeins of my favourite HerStory colourway of 2020, I cast on last September and got nearly halfway done before the blanket became unwieldy and I got distracted. (Even more so than usual, last year had me beginning all kinds of projects as I looked to alleviate some of the monotony that consumed me.) Earlier this month, it became apparent that I needed to finish some of my in-progress…

  • Knitting

    Peach Tree Shawl: Garter Stitch Stripes Forever

    Peach Tree Shawl

    There is something very calming about garter stitch — endless rows of knitting without needing to count stitches or constantly check my progress against a pattern is ideal when I’m trying to multitask (say, helping with Leah with math or listening to Adam read me paragraphs of his English essay). At some point, though, the knitting threatens to move from calming to monotonous, and at that time I’m grateful for the sections of two-row stripes, which break up the boring swaths of a single colour and force me to pay a little more attention. Peach Tree is a fantastic pattern for pairing two single skeins — the variegated Purple Finch colourway was a bit busy on its own but I love the way it’s muted somewhat by the very dark grey. While I’d had this pattern saved in my favourites for a while, I kept putting it off because I…

  • Camp,  Scouting

    Super Hero Camp, Zoom Style

    Kimberly and Leah

    When some of my fellow Scouters broached the idea of another virtual camp, I was pretty reluctant to spend a weekend attending one Zoom session after another, no matter how invested I might be in Scouting. Despite everyone’s best efforts, there’s no way to truly recreate the camp experience when we’re all logging in from our sofas. And that might actually be the key: virtual camp is an entirely different undertaking that shouldn’t be compared to a weekend of traditional Scout camping. To begin with, rather than finding the perfect site on which to pitch a tent, Leah decided which corner of her room would be the ideal place to set up her super hero lair. Of course, Leah felt that her DC Super Hero Girls should be honorary members of her newly formed team (along with the purple caticorn, for reasons she didn’t want to share). I will happily…

  • Knitting

    February Socks

    Plain Socks

    This month’s mission has been to figure out how to make the Fish Lips Kiss Heel to fit well… and I’m happy to report: Mission accomplished! After several false starts and a couple ill-fitting pairs of socks, I think I’ve finally tweaked the pattern sufficiently to fit perfectly. I really love the way that short row heels look (particularly when they don’t disrupt the patterning of the yarn) but it’s been tricky getting them to fit properly. My experiments paid off, though, as I eventually determined exactly what I needed to do in order to take the fit from okay to perfect. The pattern instructions suggest adding a few stitches across the heel to allow for some extra room, but that just created a weirdly loose-fitting heel. Instead, four rounds before beginning the heel, I worked the following gusset: Round 1: k1, m1L, knit to 1 stitch before last instep…

  • Adoption,  Holidays

    Adam Day 2021

    Adam

    Fifteen years ago, Todd and I were living the carefree life of a dual-income, no-kids couple (well, as carefree as two moderately Type A, not-at-all-spontaneous people can manage). Then Adam was placed in our arms and everything changed. A decade-and-a-half later, I still occasionally wake up overwhelmed by the magnitude of what happened that day. Armed with formula, diapers, and a 784-page tome simply entitled The Baby Book, we were horribly unprepared for what lay ahead. Thankfully Adam, in all his six-month-old wisdom, let a lot of things slide. As long as we kept the bottles coming, he was a pretty happy baby. Of course, taking care of a child’s basic needs is hardly sufficient and even an endless supply of formula isn’t going to cut it long-term. As Adam has grown, we’ve had a lot of (very difficult) discussions around adoption and what it means for him and for…

  • Knitting

    January Socks

    Longjohn Socks

    I’ve been so caught up in knitting all the shawls (and starting a long-term crochet project) that I only managed to knit two pairs of socks this month. First up is a pair of Longjohn Socks — I love the texture of the pattern and the four-row repeat is super engaging so I was finished the pair almost before I knew it. The colourway is Lava, January’s HerStory skein from Knitted Wit, and while it’s inspired by Vigdís Finnbogadóttir and the lava fields of Iceland, Leah has renamed it Mint Chip and is hoping to get a matching pair of socks for herself. Pattern: Longjohn Socks by Anne HansonYarn: Lava on Sock from Knitted WitView Project Details on Ravelry I also cranked out this pair of striped socks that makes my heart sing whenever I wear them — there’s nothing like bright stripes to lift your spirits during grey, overcast days. This skein had been…

  • Knitting

    Puget Sound Shawl: A Study in Meditative Lace

    Puget Sound Shawl

    My love for relatively mindless projects knows no bounds these days, as evidenced by the number of simple shawls, hats, blankets, and socks currently in progress. (Also in evidence: my ability to focus on a single project is practically nil as I bounce from shawl to socks and back again.) Still working with Single Fingering from Knitted Wit, this time I opted to double up the yarn and knit this amazing shawl designed by Shannon Squire: Puget Sound. I’d checked out this pattern ages ago but didn’t give it much thought because I didn’t want to bother with weighing my yarn to determine when to start decreasing (which would form a symmetrical triangle shape). I did love the lace pattern, though, so I checked with Shannon about just continuing the increases to create an asymmetrical triangle — and she was super enthusiastic about my knitting plans. (So enthusiastic, in fact,…

  • Knitting

    Grotine: Somewhere Between a Scarf and a Shawl

    Grotine Shawl

    I’m a sucker for mindless knitting projects. Don’t get me wrong: I love patterns that are complex and use all of my brain cells, but right now I’m drawn towards things that I can knit while multitasking. Enter Grotine, a one-skein shawl (well, really more like a scarf, I think) that makes the most of a single skein of variegated yarn. Linen stitch is one of my favourite stitch patterns, and the ever-increasing stitch count limits the possibility of unfortunate colour pooling. Lorajean (of Knitted Wit) sent me a few skeins of Single Fingering earlier this month to turn into fabulous projects that would really highlight the yarn base (and the colourways that will be available this spring). I was immediately enamoured with the green and teal in Metallic Sweat Bee and since Grotine had been on my must-knit list for eons, I was keeping my fingers crossed that would…

  • Crocheting,  Cross Stitching,  Knitting,  Quilting

    Making Nine in 2021

    Mug of Coffee, Blanket Squares, Knitting in Progress

    Happy New Year! If this past year has taught me anything it’s that any plans that are made need to be super flexible and that I shouldn’t get too attached to things going a particular way. So my crafting plans for this year are being devised in a similar spirit, as I sit here with a much-loved mug filled with coffee and a pile of blanket squares. I love the annual Make Nine Challenge, even if I never manage to make everything on my list. The inspiration is what matters most. Some years I come closer to completing my challenge than others, but even when I take serious detours, I’m generally able to look back on a year of making with a huge sense of accomplishment. This year’s list feels pretty good (and mostly achievable). So here is my #makenine for 2021 (all knitting and crocheting projects are Ravelry links):…