I can’t believe tomorrow is Thanksgiving! It is absolutely my most favourite holiday of the year because it’s got all the best things about a holiday (family and great food and downtime) without all the things that make me feel stressed (all those decorations and, oh!, the pressure to find the perfect gift).
This year, for a number of reasons and for the first time since I moved here, Thanksgiving for the entire family will be at my house. And I am super-excited to have everyone round except for two things: 1) the flu is gone but I am still so easily exhausted that cooking is going to be a challange and 2) being so sick for three weeks, I haven’t been able to fully prep our Black Friday weekend events, so it’s going to be a scramble of taking photos and prepping yarn… while we’re also cooking a turkey and all the trimmings. It should be fine, right?
(Side note: many many years ago, when I was still living in the UK, I cooked an entire Thanksgiving dinner on my own for friends coming round after work that evening. But I also decided that, as I’d taken the whole day off work, it would also be the perfect time to try dyeing with indigo for the first time. Oh yes I did! And it didn’t occur to me that this was a Really Bad Idea until I had everything going at once: the indigo vat on the porch and all the dishes half-prepped in the kitchen, with me running back and forth and back and forth between the two and thinking, “Don’t get indigo fingerprints on the turkey! Don’t get indigo fingerprints on the turkey!” I didn’t, and both the dyeing and the dinner turned out great, but it was seriously one of the most ridiculous ideas I’ve ever had!)
Ok, enough of that. It’s not Thanksgiving yet, so grab a cup of tea or coffee and let’s dive into this week’s fibery news…
I picked up a surprise parcel from the post office this week and was delighted to find it contained a copy of Kate Atherley’s awesome new book, Knit Mitts, an easy to understand and comprehensive guide to knitting mitts, mittens, and gloves. I was so inspired that I cast on a pair immediately (and hope to have them bound off today — yay warm hands!). If you like warm hands too (or have someone on your gift list who does), you’ll want to get a copy of it. Oh, and why did I get a surprise copy? Because that’s SpaceCadet Aurora in the Holdsworth gloves pattern on page 81. Thank you, Kate, for including our yarn in your beautiful book!
If you’re cooking the dinner on Thanksgiving day, you’ll probably be too busy for this and can just skip on to the next item but, if you’ll be curled up on the couch watching the parade or football and need something productive to do with your hands, I love the idea of whipping out these adorable little crocheted turkey drumsticks. They’re so tiny, you can have half a dozen ready by dinner time and add a crocheted i-cord and you have instant seasonal napkin rings! The question is, will that be a good enough excuse for not being the kitchen helping to wrestle the turkey?
On the surface, knitting and crochet are all about design but, underneath, they’re really all about the math. And few mathematical formulas produce more beautiful designs than the Fibonacci sequence. I enjoyed this round-up of patterns that use that famous tool to dazzling effect.
Now that the weather has turned colder, I find myself falling back in love with everything cabled (I don’t know about you, but cables seem like such a perfect cold-weather motif… do you feel that way too?). But cables can be tricky: they change your gauge and can cause the edges of your work to flare out. I loved this article from Interweave with great tips for combating that flare. Read it before you cast on your next cabled masterpiece.
Every week, when I send out this newsletter, I receive a bunch of out-of-office emails from readers who are away that week. And while I always secretly cheer for those lucky folks away on vacation (yay vacation!), it’s interesting how varied the messages are: some give practically no details and some tell me absolutely everything. So I couldn’t help but notice this article outlining the best options for wording your out-of-office notice. If you’re about to put one together for the upcoming holiday weekend, it’s worth a look.
Put These Dates on Your Calendar
- Black Friday Special! Because I’ve been so sick, I haven’t been able to get the photos to show you (guess what I’ll be doing on Thanksgiving day?), but we’ve got a great holiday special to share with you. Ok, want a little hint? Here’s a sneak peek inside the dyepots. There are three themes: blues, rusts, and greens — and let me tell you, the results are gorgeous. If you’re intrigued, watch your inbox on Black Friday!
- Cyber Monday: Another Holiday Special! The same restriction as before — I haven’t been able to take photos yet — but if you’re looking for something filled with yarny fun, watch this space.
- Friday Dec 8: The SpaceMonster Mega Yarn Club opens. I love this club — all about the smooshiest of yarns. Click here for all the details and get on the list to get first dibs!
Tacit by Hunter Hammersen
For obvious reasons (see the first item in Orbiting the Fiber Universe, above), mitts have been on my mind this week. And I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a pair as pretty as these. And for as complicated as they look, Hunter says, “It’s just cables. No really, I promise! I know it looks like there is some sort of fancy magic going on there, but it really is just cables.” And, as she’s an absolutely excellent pattern writer (and person!), I believe her. I might just cast on a pair of these next, in luxurious Aurora in either Frigia or Drizzle.
Study Break Shawl by Emily Connell
I gave you a little teaser about this pattern last week because I was just so excited to see it come to life at last. And when it was released on Saturday, I just couldn’t be more thrilled with the result! Designed in SpaceCadet Capella and Vega, it combines a gradient flow (from rust into red into oxblood into magenta), stranded colourwork, Latvian braids, and steeking, into a truly beautiful design. And what’s more, it’s free, included in November’s issue of Knotions magazine.
Christmas Tree Wrap by handmade by SMINÉ
Why yes, it is that time of year (or, at least, it will be come Friday) and, with the holiday spirit on the ascent, I absolutely adore this sweet and clever design. Do you see a Christmas tree garland? I see a shooting star! Either way, it’s an adorable knit for a season filled whimsy and fun and twinkling stars. Designed in two colours of either fingering or DK, it’s absolutely perfect for your stash of Mini-Skeins (make sure you use sparkly Lucina for the star!) or for two skeins of Celeste, Lucina, or Astrid. Here are four of my favourite colour combos to try…
Ok, it’s been lovely sharing all of this with you, but we’ve both got work to do before this busy holiday weekend. So I am going to go tie up some skeins for dyeing (because I can sit down while I tie them and not get too tired!) and try to remember what I am forgetting for tomorrow (there’s always something, right?). If you live in the US, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with much to be thankful for. And, until next time, all my best!