How are you doing on your New Year’s resolutions? Did you make any? Did you break any? This year, I didn’t want to do anything so heavy as make resolutions but instead, I decided to just try something and see how it feels. Just to try something.
And that something is how I start my mornings. Most days, I rush headlong into all the Stuff That Needs To Be Done. I have my tea or coffee, sure. I sit down and make my lists, sure. And while that time looks quiet from the outside, on the inside, my brain is already rushing and getting stressed. So I decided, starting last week, to start my mornings with some mental stillness. I have been knitting, first thing in the morning (I’ve never done that much before); I’ve been sitting in my favourite chair and reading my book; I’ve been getting out my journal and reflecting (not lists! just reflections). And I’ve been taking a little time contemplate what I’d like my day to look like, instead of just rushing into it and then being surprised how it’s turned out.
Usually, by now, my resolutions are goners — all broken several times over and feeling tainted. So far, this year, it feels different. I’m not pressuring myself, I’m not building it up into anything as big as a resolution. I’m just trying something… and trying it every day.
So far, so good. How’s your new year going? What have you resolved… or not resolved… or are just trying?
This is important: we all know that wool is an (almost) magical fiber and we cheer every time manufacturers chooses its wonderful natural properties over synthetic substitutes but, as demand has increased, the price of wool has been rising rapidly in the world markets. And that is beginning to have an effect on every industry that uses it, from clothing to housewares to Allbirds to, yes, yarn for knitting and crocheting. This article from the Wall Street Journal (Wool Is Cool Again and Prices Are Shear Madness)l explains the key details (and includes this most excellent quote: “… the sailors demanded merino. ‘It’s the only thing that doesn’t smell after two weeks at sea.’”)
And if you read that article above and don’t know what merino-rich Allbirds are, this article covers the rise of this “curiously fashionable footwear”, along with (my all-time, never-off-my-feet-in-summer favourites) Birkenstocks (above).
I love how often the fiber arts community comes together to do really good things. This month, Knitters Against Malaria is raising money for one of the most effective ways to prevent the disease: by providing mosquito nets to those most at risk. Every $2-3 finances a net that lasts 3-4 years and protects two people on average, and the campaign runs until Jan 31. Click here to join your fellow knitters and support this great cause.
If you ask an obvious question, you get an obvious answer. So why are these goats wearing sweaters? Because they’re cold, of course! But they look so adorable in them (my favourite is the one in the 80s throwback jeans jacket!) that they’re now the stars of their own pin-up calendar.
The SpaceMonster Club is Open (but only until Monday)
Take a look at the yarn below — it’s the SpaceMonster colourway that we sent out in October and maybe on first glance, you just see bright berry shade. But look a little closer… can you see how complex the colours are? And can you spot that we’ve included a lot of moodier, muted elements to offset the bright and add sophisticatoin? It’s the kind of wonderful yarn that will keep changing in your hands as you work with it, altering gently from stitch to stitch.
The truth is, there’s something really, really special about dyeing for the folks who join our clubs. They’ve on a colour adventure with us and I want to share with them all the love and excitement we put into each colourway. To me, that’s an amazing honour!
Would you like to join me on this colour adventure? The SpaceMonster Club is our worsted and bulky weight club, because big squishy yarns are smooshy and soft and so much fun to work with (they’re so quick!). I mean, they’re what got me started knitting in the first place (you too?). If you feel the same way I do, and you love colour like I do, click here to join us in all this lovely squishy yarny fun!
Feb 23 — Indie Knit & Spin at the Ace Hotel in Pittsburgh PA
March 15-17 — The Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Greentree PA
Tea With Liz by Corrine Walcher
This time of year, my feet are cold all. the. time. Warm woollen socks go a long way to keeping them warm but when the socks have cables, somehow that feels extra toasty. These come in three sizes so you’re sure to get a good fit. Try them in SpaceCadet Oriana in Feather or Frigia
image © Corrine Walcher, used with permission
Irulan by Barbara Benson
But maybe you don’t live someplace as cold as Pittsburgh is right now…? Lucky you! In that case, I’m loving this delicate shawl that lets the simplest of stitchwork create an oversized motif that’s deceptively eye-catching. Try it in SpaceCadet Oriana in either Breathless or Crisp.
image © Barbara Benson , used with permission
Crisp Cables Hat by Lindsey Stephens
I think the thing I like most about this hat is that, when you look at it from the front, it’s all about those distinctive raised cables that look like the they’ve almost been etched onto the surface but then, from the back, they frame a most beautiful crown (have a look at my Instagram feed to see it). Designed in SpaceCadet Aurora, it’d look fabulous in either Blood Moon or Headstrong.
image © Stephanie Alford, and I gave myself permission
Well, as much as I like starting my day quietly, I think it’s time to get the started. First, I’m prepping yarn for a couple of designers we’re collaborating with and then a bunch of photos to do (so fun!). I hope you have just as lovely a day planned and, until next time, all my best!