Seasonally appropriate knitting

It's winter here in Australia. That means I get to knit lovely, warm, woolen things. The recent launch of Rowan 54 didn't leave me whimpering in the heat: I could get started right away on knitting those gorgeous mohair colourwork sweaters. I could, yeah – once I'm done the five other projects i have on the needles.

When a huge envelope from Brooklyn Tweed arrived at my desk, though, I couldn't wait to cast on. Indeed, I started winding the yarn at my desk, while reviewing article submissions. By the time I got home, I already envisioned the gorgeous red stripes that were just a few hours away.

Hours, yes, because this sweater (Breton) is knit in Brooklyn Tweed LOFT, a delicate, woolen-spun 4-ply yarn. This is my second project with LOFT (more on that in a future post), and the first nearly ended in tears as I broke the yarn midway through a lacy row. I'm being very cautious this time, unwinding a few metres of yarn at a time.

Transient

I'm really bad at crochet

This was  going to be a post about the stack of crochet dish rags I made over the weekend... but alas, I am even worse at crochet now than I was when I first learned, seven or eight years ago. Hopeless. 

Crochet is meant to be quick! Easy! Quicker and easier than knitting, though it does eat up more yarn. My crochet squares were sad, crooked, with loops sticking out. I didn't even bother taking a photo. 

Chinese Waves dishcloths

Chinese Waves dishcloths

Instead, I made a short stack of these: sturdy, square, in a colour often described as petrol blue . The yarn is horrible (turns out it's very hard to find cheap 100% cotton yarn in Melbourne; all I could find was Panda Cotton Blend, which is blended with... acrylic, of course. 50% acrylic. Bleh. 

No matter: I doubled the yarn and knit a bunch of Chinese Wave dishcloths. The pattern is lovely, giving a thick, textured fabric. I already have tentative plans for a sweater in this stitch... 

Can't... stop... embroidering.

Instagram: a very good way to mitigate the effects of my living room's horrible lighting.

Instagram: a very good way to mitigate the effects of my living room's horrible lighting.

Help me. I can't seem to put down this embroidery project. 

It started on a trip to Hobart, Tasmania, where I stumbled upon The Needlewoman, a patchwork and embroidery shop. I left with this ridiculously beautiful book, a fat quarter of linen, and some navy blue DMC embroidery thread. 

I haven't stopped embroidering since. i've done nine squares, each about three inches. 

My favourite of the bunch.

My favourite of the bunch.

I don't see myself stopping until I have enough to stitch into a quilt top. Definitely not good for the half-dozen UFOs I'm currently ignoring...

I'm scared of UFOs.

I'm not talking about flying saucers and blinking lights in the night sky. This is about the number of Un-Finished Objects floating around my house. I think I have a problem. 

I thought I'd kicked the habit of putting down one project and taking up another one when I left my enormous stash of yarn (a legacy of a college job at a yarn shop) in Montreal and vowed to be monogamous, project-wise. 

Nope. I'm currently working on a large embroidery/quilting project, a dress, a sweater, a pair of socks, a lace scarf, and there are three nearly-completed projects that need their ends woven in and their buttons stitched on. 

Let's first celebrate a success, shall we? I'll show off the successes-in-progress later.

No, I didn't make the sunnies. 

No, I didn't make the sunnies. 

I made this canvas tote bag to replace a worn-out white and turquoise version with a large coffee stain on the front. This one is large enough to hold gym clothes, a knitting project, a laptop, a book, and, at last count, half a dozen lipsticks in the front pocket.

I might add a top closure later on (there was an embarrassing incident at a pub involving that half-dozen lipsticks, as well as assorted coins and cards, crashing to the ground), and a longer strap so I can wear it cross-body on my bike.