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Swatch: Stash Day
My lovely friend Natalie has commissioned me to make a baby blanket for someone special in her family. I am so touched that she trusts me with this very special gift, one that I know she hopes will serve as a family heirloom (what, nervous? me?). We had a great talk about how much hand-made gifts mean to us and how we can’t help but feel extra special knowing that someone took that extra time to make it.
As someone who is constantly knitting and crocheting FOs that I then give away as gifts, I do think a lot about the person I’m making the piece for as I’m working. I imagine them getting the package (in the mail or in person), opening it up, and feeling the texture of the yarn, soaking in the color. It’s such a great feeling.
I shared some ideas with Natalie and after poring over many samples (too many, probably), she settled on a stitch that has real personal meaning to her. Right then and there I thought about how choosing the right stitch, pattern, color, and yarn is all about what personally moves us. When I look around and see what other great knitters are queing up to work on, I’m always curious as to what caught their eye about that pattern or when I’m in a yarn store and I see other knitters’ purchases, I’m always wondering what drew them to that color.
Norfolk Shells spoke to Natalie right away … she managed to single it out among hundreds of other beautiful patterns and it was clear that this gift is as much about the giver as it is about the receiver.
This is an intricate crochet stitch, and I find it pretty challenging. Each row requires counting, skipping, and different types of crochet stitches so I’m going to be on my toes. But I’ll confess and say that I’m actually loving the feeling of being pushed.
I’m only at the swatch stage but over the next month, I’ll be working on this commission and am really excited to contribute to Natalie’s vision of love and family.
While I’m always looking for new patterns and stitches, there’s something really comforting about returning to a beloved pattern that I can trust will be soothing to knit and beautiful enough to give as gifts. I’m a huge fan of cowls — there’s something satisfying about knitting in the round. Circles are meditative and the repetitiveness of cowl patterns never seem to bore me. Since finding this cowl, I’ve made it multiple times (most recently for my lovely friend Susan for her winter birthday). Hi Susan!
It’s easy to knit up, and I can typically make one in just a couple of sittings. But what’s more important is that it’s super cozy, and when I think of my friends wearing theirs, it makes me happy.
Hmmm … in writing this, I realized that I’ve never made one for myself. I’ll have to remedy that soon although I really mustn’t add yet another WIP to my ever-growing stash. Would love to hear about favorite “go to” patterns that you return to again and again. Please share.
There is nothing more inspiring to me than traveling and getting out of my regular surroundings. Don’t get me wrong — I love being home but, every now and then, I get a fierce itch to see new sights, smell new smells, and eat new food! I’m a serious home cook and, as a family, we rarely eat out. I just prefer making a home-cooked meal and bringing together beautiful ingredients. But when I travel, I’m always excited to experience the local flavors and see what makes each place unique.
Traveling also gets my creative juices flowing and sparks my brain (and hands) to make things! Our recent trip to St. Lucia was no exception. The lushness and variety of the botanicals were magnificent, and I kept thinking about all the colors I wanted to try and capture in knitting or crochet.
Some of the best yarn companies are the small ones making batches of colorways that reflect the maker’s vision. I love that and am inspired by them. While I was roaming the beautiful Diamond Waterfalls and Botanical Gardens in Soufriere, I couldn’t help but think about how the small yarn companies that I admire really take their cue from nature. So for my next project, I’m planning to draw from nature and choose some beautiful yarns from folks like Tanis Fiber Arts, Shelter, Avalon Springs, or Blue Moon Fiber Arts and create something that will remind me of my stay in the islands. I’ll be sure to share that new project with you soon so look out for it.
Swatch: Stash Day
Revisiting the Cobblestone Stitch
A couple of Fridays ago, I shared the cobblestone stitch with you and promised that I would be posting a FO that was made in this impressive and unique-looking stitch. So, here it is….
I’ll be honest and tell you that it was an intimidating pattern to make at first. I wasn’t positive that I could pull it off — working the two colors every eight rows and also between each cobblestone — but once I got the hang of it, it went quickly and smoothly. It actually was a lot of fun watching the cobblestones develop.
I used Patons Classic Wool in currant and chestnut brown, not two colors I would have typically thought to put together, but I think it works especially as a scarf. This little object now belongs to my niece Kristina, and I like the idea of her wearing it with her vintage fashions.
It’s great as a scarf, but I’m thinking of trying this stitch in a cowl and maybe even a skirt! Will keep you posted….