Tuesday, 31 May 2016

emotional creature

today it's rainy and gray and cold, which in my mind is the perfect time to escape to the woods. instead, i'm in the city with paperwork and deadlines up to my eyeballs, so i'm in a bit of a cranky mood. it'll shift (probably when the sun appears again - i've realized in the past six months or so that the weather severely affects my base mood, which is interesting and sometimes annoying). it's the perfect excuse to share my emotional creature mini-collection, which i released last week. take advantage of the crank in some way, i figure!

crybaby on the left, feminist killjoy on the right.
crybaby and feminist killjoy (which i'm actually wearing today, along with a new wiksten dress) were designed with hedgehog fibres' skinny singles. it's actually all thanks to beata and her team coming up with their new crybaby colourway. as soon as i saw it, i knew i wanted to design a shawl with it. there's a running joke (which is also just true) that i'm a crybaby, and i thought, what better excuse to design a huge and cozy shawl? both shawls feature garter stitch and simple eyelet stripes, because sometimes you just can't and you need something easy and soothing to knit, as well as teardrops shaped with short rows. because short rows are the best! and we should be able to wear all the feels all the time too. 

nope.


crybaby is the crescent-shaped version of the pair. it's long and drapey and perfect for wrapping around your neck like a piece of squishy armour. 

chilling with my favourite bone.
feminist killjoy is the triangular version. it's huge and deep and my new favourite shawl to wear. it's also a bit of a fortuitous accident, because i got a couple of skeins of hedgehog's construct colourway  at the same time as the crybaby ones and it's totally my colour - purple-grey with undertones of rust. beata is the queen of speckles as far as i'm concerned, and the layers of colour in her yarns are so much richer for it. 



you can get both shawls and get an automatic 25% off, or get whichever one you prefer now (and grab the other at a later date hehe). 

Sunday, 29 May 2016

stash dash 2016

a sweater's worth of yoth father!
one of my instagram friends, sarah, got me onto a fabulous initiative by the knit girllls - stash dash! between may 27th and august 21st, you work through your yarn stash and aim for hitting 3k, 5k, 7k, 10k, and 15k levels. that's literally thousands and thousands of...metres. for people who don't work with yarn, if we textilians (a word my friend liz uses) tried to explain the thousands of stitches and metres that go into a project, we'd probably blow their minds. like, hello, nice to see you, that sweater you're wearing is the equivalent amount of yardage to running a mile. hope you like it, because my hands sure were sore afterwards.

julie asselin, yoth, and lichen & lace. i love indie dyers so much!

i have a ridiculous amount of work to do with yarn over the three months. between knitting designs and my neurocraft weaving, i know i'll have no problem hitting the 5k mark. because i don't actually know how many metres will be needed for each weaving i'll be making (beyond that the main large ones will be two metres in length with 216 warp threads each, so 432 metres just in warp yarn times however many weavings i have to make), i don't really want to factor them in for now. it'll just stress me out. but i do know that i have one shirt, two sweaters, a pair of handshoes, and four shawls that for sure need to get done, so that's going to be over 5,000 metres alone. i think it's entirely possible that i could hit the 15k mark, but i'm going to start aiming low and see how it goes. 

mermaid hair for another double scoop and my new silk/linen base that will be used in some weavings.
similar to the tttkal, i love these very open challenges. i can use them as incentive to get work i already had planned done with a deadline outside of my own head, and enjoy the supportive atmosphere of the challenges without getting completely stressed out by them. i'm all over it!

working on a new small version of double scoop for this summer's pattern facelift.
p.s. do you love my new basket as much as i do? my darling friend kristie, who made the baskets we used in the when nature fought back photoshoot last fall, has been making oodles of these fantastic rope vessels. i finally bought myself a foraging basket this weekend, as well as a smaller bowl for a gift, then i went back and bought myself a bowl too because they are the absolute perfect yarn bowls. the rope doesn't catch or snag, and the size and shape is perfect. 

Saturday, 28 May 2016

patreon perks 3/3 - batik silk scarves

i've added a new perk to my patreon campaign for those of you who are not quite as knitting-focused - naturally dyed silk scarves! there are a dozen of them (EDIT - now 11!) and they are all available by clicking on this perk. you can see them all in my facebook album, and i'm also sharing them here for you, split according to dyeing technique - shibori, batik, and ecoprinting. you can call dibs on your favourite by shooting me a message when you grab your perk! 

yikes, i fell behind on posting this final batch of scarves because i got sick again and then was doing a bunch of other stuff (like publishing crybaby and feminist killjoy - there will be a blog post up about them soon!). here are the final five scarves in my patreon campaign. they were dyed using a handpainted batik resist method, which is basically painting wax onto the scarf, dyeing it, repeat those steps as often as desired, and then boiling off  the wax to reveal the underlayers of colour. the thing that's fascinating to me is that, because natural dyes are so heat and ph sensitive, the boiling process actually really affects the colours you end up with. for example, i had a very rich shade of fuchsia from a cochineal bath, then batiked it and dipped it in my indigo vat. after boiling off the wax, the cochineal was almost stripped away, but had this lovely faded shade. definitely not a technique if you're looking for a specific end result, but then again, i never really aim for that with natural dyes because you can never predict them 100%. that's the fun of them!

scarf #4.

scarf #5.

scarf #6.

scarf #7.

scarf #8.

Monday, 16 May 2016

patreon perks 2/3 - ecoprinted silk scarves

i've added a new perk to my patreon campaign for those of you who are not quite as knitting-focused - naturally dyed silk scarves! there are a dozen of them (EDIT - now 11!) and they are all available by clicking on this perk. you can see them all in my facebook album, and i'm also sharing them here for you, split according to dyeing technique - shibori, batik, and ecoprinting. you can call dibs on your favourite by shooting me a message when you grab your perk! 


next up, four scarves featuring my favourite printing technique - eco-prints! they are more subtle than most of the other scarves, and always so incredibly satisfying in their unpredictability. although staring at these photos right now, i'm reminded once again that i really need to invest in getting lightroom and learning how to use it...i have some vacation days coming up. maybe i'll earmark a couple to learning that software. because, y'know, i have nothing better to be doing.

scarf #12.
scarf #11.
scarf #10.
scarf #9.


stay tuned tomorrow for the last instalment, featuring the final five scarves! 

Sunday, 15 May 2016

patreon perks 1/3 - shibori dyed silk scarves

i've added a new perk to my patreon campaign for those of you who are not quite as knitting-focused - naturally dyed silk scarves! there are a dozen of them and they are all available by clicking on this perk. you can see them all in my facebook album, and i'm also sharing them here for you, split according to dyeing technique - shibori, batik, and ecoprinting. you can call dibs on your favourite by shooting me a message when you grab your perk! 

up first, the three scarves dyed in my indigo vat using the shibori technique of folding and tying to create dye resists.

scarf #1.

scarf #2.

scarf #3.

stay tuned over the first half of this week to see the rest of the scarves!

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

dye pots and fiddlehead poisoning

prior to being sick, i managed some late afternoon photos of my latest me made may outfit...
i've spent a lot of time with my dye pots recently. i've also spent a lot of time in bed, after accidentally giving myself fiddlehead poisoning on the weekend. fiddleheads, which used to be my favourite (give it a few years for the emotional scars to go away), are baby ferns which can be eaten - if you cook them properly. i.e. boil them and kill all the gross little organisms hanging out in their furls. forget to boil them, like i did, and you'll find yourself in bed/hugging the toilet within as little as half an hour. it was the most unpleasant food-related sickness i've endured. i won't go into details, but i did find the whole process kind of fascinating in a bizarre and slightly masochistic way. 


anyway, i'm back on my feet now and mostly recovered, and my dye pots helped pull me through the post-barf exhaustion. unfortunately, the dress that i was so excited about making and was planning on wearing to a party on sunday night had to be shelved. or closeted, i suppose. i wore it for a whole ten minutes during an errand i ran over at wolseley wool, then came home and changed into the equivalent of pyjamas. i love this dress though! it's vogue 1410. i think if i make it again, i'll go down a size because it's a little looser than i would normally like around the armholes. other than that, i'm totally in love.

the photo is fuzzier than usual, but you get the idea. 
the fabric is a 30/70 blend of silk and cotton, which i scoured, pre-mordanted with a bunch of acorns for their tannin, dyed with madder, hand-batiked with beeswax, and then overdyed with indigo. it was a labour-intensive process, but completely worth it! the spot on the back of the dress is a total fluke! i love the unpredictability of natural dyes. it's so incredible satisfying, especially when you go into the process without any major expectations.


speaking of unpredictability with natural dyes, i am stoked to let you all know that i have a new perk that will be added soon to my patreon campaign - naturally dyed silk scarves! i have a dozen silk scarves, each 29" square, that i'm dyeing and either hand batiking (with beeswax, of course), eco-printing, or shibori dyeing. there are even some solar dyes in there now that the sun is coming out to play a bit more!

the first completed scarf - logwood with marigold, onion skin, and carrot top ecoprints!


each scarf will be completely unique and one-of-a-kind, and they'll be paired up with a signed copy of the book for the patreon perk. i'll announce when they're available (likely this weekend), and figure out some way of posting the individual photos so you can choose which scarf you'd prefer. once they're gone, they're gone, so don't miss out! i'm sorely tempted to keep one for myself, but the upcoming deadline of publishing flotsam & jetsam reminds me that i should be smart and make them all available to you...sigh.