I have to admit, as much as love all the holiday events that happen this time of year, I hold a very special place in my heart for the winter solstice, the point when the northern hemisphere is tilted its furtherst from the sun, marking midwinter and giving us the longest night of the year. To brighten that long, dark night, we light candles, moving the flame from wick to wick until the whole world seems to glow again. And warmed by their light and wrapped up in blankets, there is something delightfully cosy about arriving at the depth of the season and, at the same time, something so hopeful about knowing that we now begin the long, slow journey back to the light of summer. I have always taken a little time on the twenty-first of December to slow down and reflect on the astronomical change that day brings.
And with the solstice just around the corner, on a whim we decided to dye a special colourway to celebrate. Something that would be perfect to cast on in that moment of quiet reflection and inspired by the light of those lovely candles. The result is Luminary, dyed in the golden yellows of the flame, the gentle orange glow of the wick, and the creamy wax of the candlestick, on three bases: our sparkly Lucina, beautifully smooth Ester, and wonderfully squishy single-ply Capella.
Now, because it was entirely spontanious, there are very limited quantities — only enough of each base for a sweater or two — and when they are gone, they are gone. But then, just like candles on midwinter’s eve, their beauty might just be in their brevity. These skeins are dyed and ready to ship. Click here today at noon (eastern) and, with a little luck, the post office will deliver them to you in time for the solstice!
But there’s a few hours between now and then, and I’ve got a nice hot cup of tea and lot of fiber news to share, so why don’t you grab a cuppa too? Find a nice spot to curl up and let’s dive in…
If someone in your life isn’t quite sure what to get you for the holidays, let me suggest something from Hannah’s Ideas in Wood. We met Hannah at TNNA and fell in love with her beautiful creations. Personally, I’d squeal if I found one of her yarn boxes (above) under the tree — it features a built in needle sizer, a swatch ruler, and acts like a yarn bowl, all in one! And her lovely phone stands (below) hold your device upright so you can read your pattern or a book while you work on your project, and then come apart and fold flat to go in your bag. All while looking just gorgeous.
If you are thinking of ways to celebrate the season in style without creating extra waste, I love the idea of adopting furoshiki, the Japanese art of wrapping gifts in fabric. Crafty types like you and me always have spare fabric (or lots of spare fabric?) around the house, and your gifts are sure to stand out from all the rest. This article will guide you with video tutorials, including several no-sew methods (hooray!).
I was intrigued as soon as I saw the title of this art exhibit: Crafting Democracy: Fiber Arts and Activism. Hosted at The Sculpture Center in Cleveland OH, the exhibit “seeks to highlight examples of contemporary craft activism that have recently soared, placing them into conversation with their historical precedents.” Open now through Jan 10.
Someday, when I have a crafting room all of my own (Santa, are you listening?… all of my own), I’ll have these super-cool knitting and crochet knowledge posters on my wall.
Perfect Holiday Gift: Bespeckle Hat Kits
In stock and ready to ship!
Our Black Friday OOAK Bespeckle Kits sold out super-fast but, if you missed out, there’s good news: we’ve dyed more of these fun kits in our beautiful standard colours too. Including the first one below, which is allllll about our home city of Pittsburgh (here in the studio, we’ve been calling them our “yinzer kits”… hands up if you know why!)
They make perfect holiday gifts because they’re quick to knit up for the non-knitters on your list but so sweetly packaged in their little zippered pouches that they’re ready-to-go gifts for the knitters in your life as well. Click here to check them out!
Each kit contains:
• one 100g skein of Capella in a hand-dyed semi-solid main colourway
• one 50g skein of Capella in a beautiful variegated contrast colourway for the speckles and pom-pom
• a pom-pom tool to make things super easy!
• a toggle set to make your pom-pom removeable
• a download code for the Bespeckle pattern by Hunter Hammersen(a $7.45 value!), with her wonderfully detailed step-by-step photo tutorials on making the pom-poms and placing the speckles
• all packaged in a sweet reusable zipped pouch
Honeydew Cloche by AbbyeKnits
I am such a sucker for a beatifully worked crown and so I fell in love with this hat the minute I saw it. In fact, as I sit here looking at the picture, I keep trying to think of other things to mention about it — maybe the colour or the rest of the design — but I’m coming up blank because, really, it’s all about that crown! The pattern includes a photo tutorial on the easy slip stitch that creates the lattice pattern, and I think it will definitely look best in a lighter hue to show off the stitchwork, something like Thrive, Drizzle, Gentle, Nine Stones, or Breathless.
Bronwyn Shawl by Toni Lipsey
Creating big, cushy crocheted stripes in beautifully coordinated colours is always a winner. What I love most about this shawl (besides how darned gorgeous it looks) is that how airy the stitchwork is without looking too lacey for winter, and then that lovely wide panel that changes the balace of the colour pairing completely. Such a beautiful design! I’d make it in Molten Cool with Yes Dear, Vortex with Sage, or Windswept with Sliver. It’s available in a printable pdf version here and on Ravelry, you can also find it for free here.
Latticework by handmade by SMINÉ
All this week, I’ve been craving cosy cosy cosy knits, and I can think of nothing better than a double-layer cowl with an intriguing design that creates plenty of air pockets to hold in the warmth! And the thing that really made me fall in love with this design is that it’s also available in a crocheted version. Designed in dk, I’d work it up in the blue-on-blue pairing of Frigia and Feather, the sublime combination of rust and neutrals in Headstrong and Nine Stones, or a more graphic look of Drizzle and Life Was Better in Black and White.
pattern images © the respective designers, used with permission
Well, my cup of tea is empty and there’s orders to be packed, so I’d better get a move on. I hope you have a lovely day planned as well, filled with smooshy yarn and a little downtime to enjoy it. And, until next time, all my best!