Tag: scarf

The Closest Thing I Know To Being Pregnant • The Cobbler Cowl Pattern Release

I feel like I’ve been pregnant these past few months. I was creating something special. There were days when I felt stressed and frustrated. Sometimes, I felt worried. But other days, a strange bout of confidence and euphoria would take over! These last few days felt like the final hours in the hospital bed. I wanted to scream and pull my hair out. I wanted those who were supporting me to be close, and yet I could feel myself squeezing their hands. Today, my baby is welcomed into the world. Today is The Cobbler Cowl pattern release day. Congratulations, it’s a…cowl?

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I began this concept back in January, out of the fed up-ness of trying to make things for other people. I wanted to make something for myself. Strangely enough, not a lot of planning went into the original version. I just started knitting. I liked it, and other people liked it too. While I do alright with likes on Instagram, I started noticing more people leaving comments. Strangers in public who normally minded their own business began asking questions. It felt like a winner, thus it was destined to be shared.

So, I drafted up the pattern. I edited, and I revised. I scrapped entire documents to start over multiple times. My yarn friend Kate was supportive enough to not only test knit the pattern in its early stages of being constructed (mostly through math and visualization), but chose a wonderful colour combination of her yarn and allowed me to use it as the sample for the official pattern. It has certainly been a dream to be collaborating on a project like this, as if releasing my own pattern wasn’t thrilling enough.

I managed to recruit a few more test knitters to test the math on the other sizes. Lucky me somehow drew the interest of another fairly popular yarn dyer. She was a fantastic tester. She chose amazing hand dyed yarns and posted well-crafted photos with captions and comments that generously promoted me. I later found out she won’t even get to wear the cowl because it’s not cold enough where she lives! Seems like she’s using it as a display piece to showcase her yarn however, which again works out in my favour.

Alas, I present to you, The Cobbler Cowl. Now available in the shop and on Ravelry at a discounted rate for the first week only! Furthermore, the first 25 buyers will receive a 20% off coupon code for Fidley Dyeworks yarn!

Get the pattern on Ravelry, or in the WWK Shop.

And, don’t forget your yarn!

Make sure to Instagram your projects with #wintersweatherknits and tag me @wintersweatherknits so I can see them!

 

“That’s the beauty of it. You’ve got the rest of your life to knit them all.” • Pay It Forward Shawl

The days are getting longer, and I’m beginning to wake up to sunshine. Looking out the window, you could assume Spring is here. Only the keen observer would notice that the trees are bare, and the dew on the grass was frost just a few hours earlier. What exactly does one do in this rather confusing situation? Well, you make a Spring-inspired shawl, of course!

A little while ago, I got my hands on a skein of merino sock yarn with this lovely pink and green speckle, and a skein of tonal army green to match. Looking at them in my stash gave me butterflies (and not just because of the Spring colours)! I browsed so many amazing patterns, but struggled to commit to just one. I sought reassurance from Kate and received an unexpectedly wise response: “That’s the beauty of it. You’ve got the rest of your life to knit them all.”

Alas, I settled on Pay It Forward, designed by one of my favourite local designers, Wolf and Faun Knits. While I had originally planned to knit a shawl with open lace and floral designs, this was the pattern I could imagine knit up with my yarn. The majority of the shawl is a simple garter stitch, with the occasional row of eyelets. The uniqueness comes from the asymmetrical drape and the picot edging.

Of course, I gave the shawl my own WWK twist. I used needles 2 sizes up from the recommended size in order to achieve more drape. Also, I wanted to maximize the use of my yarn, so about halfway through I went rogue on the pattern and made up some extra rows of striping. I believe my final product is a fair bit larger than the pattern intended. It turned out beautifully though, and I still get butterflies when I look at it. More so, it’s lovely to support local in the both yarn and pattern departments.

I’m going to be rocking this shawl everywhere while the weather is in this perfect Winter-Spring transition state!

((On a frustrated and grumpy sidenote, I’m so upset that the quality of the pictures I have been uploading for the blog is so terrible! They look beautiful when I export them, but the minute they get uploaded they turn blurry and gray. I have been trying so hard to figure out why and modify appropriately, but nothing is working so far. So, sorry. Even Instagram is maintaining the quality of my photos better, so most likely I’ll be uploading more photos there and reducing the number of photos included in the blogs. If anyone has suggestions, please share.))

It’s Okay

This week’s post is just a short PSA that IT’S OKAY NOT TO BE OKAY.

Small business owners will say you should always be positive on your social media. However, I think it’s important to be real, and the reality is, we all have bad days. Heck, I’ve had bad months.

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Have Hope.

I went to a pop punk concert the other night and got this bracelet, made by an organization called Hope For The Day. They do great work in suicide prevention and mental health education. Over the years, I have learned to recognize and accept when I am not okay. I find solace in knitting and music, and that’s what gets me through. I k1p1 to the sound of screaming and banging on drums until I regain the mental energy to deal. It’s better to be open about it than to suffer in silence. Have hope that you’ll be able to ride out the bad and make it to better days.

As part of our effort to support those who are not okay, every item purchased = one item donated. If you’re not into that, it’s okay too.

Let’s Talk

Let’s talk honestly for a moment. (I know I missed Let’s Talk Day, but it’s always a good time to be open).

Since this year began, I haven’t felt quite right. I felt a lot of pressure trying to create unique items to have ready for the shop. It was like a race against Winter, which seemed to be passing by so quickly. I came up with idea upon idea that excited me initially, then seemed to lose its charm.

Last week, I finally decided that I had to stop thinking like a business woman and get back to who I am, a maker. This was never supposed to be a job. It’s a creative outlet for me, and a channel through which to fundraise for my community.

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I treated myself to a new set of Lykke Interchangeable Needles, and pulled a couple of baby alpaca skeins from my stash, ready to make something just for me. Immediately, I felt something switch in my brain that reignited a spark in me. The ideas kept flowing, and I felt myself envisioning designs that all serendipitously came together (like, seriously…do the multiples and stitch counts for different patterns ever all just match?!). Even though I had to frog numerous rows, numerous times, I didn’t feel discouraged at all. I powered through, and somehow ended up with something incredible!

All this to say I’m returning to designing knitting patterns, and I am anticipating releasing a pattern for this lovely textured cowl, fondly known as The Cobbler Cowl, in the near future! I also plan to make some slight modifications to turn it into a hat, and eventually, a cardigan. Currently looking for people willing to test the cowl pattern, if anyone is interested!

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I always share my creations with my mom (@onebearceramics), hoping for approval, but expecting a shrug or an eyebrow raise. She’s a pretty tough critic. This time however, I saw the same light behind my eyes flicker in hers. She ooh-ed and ahh-ed, and asked for a sweater version of my design.

I think I’m going to stick to designing for awhile, as I have ideas swimming around in my head, and I can feel a strong passion for this aspect of knitting. I’m also open to custom orders via DM, because I find these more fun to do. As always, send me a message with whatever’s on your mind! And stay tuned for a new WWK pattern!

Hello? Everyone Still Here?

Happy New Year!

I’m back! Website-ing is hard, and it took me longer than I anticipated to get everything set up. I like to think I’m pretty good at technology but this is a whole new level of skill. So many times I just wished I could go back to simply knitting.

BUT, all the hard work has paid off! I’m ready to start 2018 off with a shop launch and new crafting goals. This website is full of new features beyond the blog now. I encourage you to click around on all the new tabs and links. The WWK shop is officially open with a few cozy knitted items available for purchase. 3 styles, 3 colours, only one of each! Treat yourself to something nice to start off the year, why don’cha?

I’ve also converted what was formerly known as The Sidewalk Sock Project into Winter’s Weather Knits Gives Back, in order to encompass more knitted gifts and incorporate my charity work into my sales. You can read about that on the WWKGB tab.

Other fun plans for the year include:

  • Tons of new pattern ideas waiting to be shared.
  • Fun new fibres to play with.
  • Collaborations with new maker friends.
  • More blog posts, including what you’ve missed over the last few months of 2017!

Social media links are at the bottom of all the pages so you can keep up with everything that’s in store for this year!

2018. Let’s go.

Knit City 2017

Knit City 2017

Last weekend was my first ever Knit City!

It was basically your typical craft fair/marketplace with only fibre art related vendors. There were also tons of classes and lectures going on in other rooms. Unfortunately I didn’t get to attend any of those this year, but maybe Knit City 2018!

I’m no stranger to craft fairs, but I find that those tend to lack cohesiveness and community. By that I mean that because there are such a wide range of booths and craft types, you don’t interact with very many people who share your enthusiasm for something apart from the very general liking of art. The Knit City atmosphere was completely different from any similar event I’ve been to before. Right from the get-go you could see groups of people “squee”ing from excitement over a knitting pattern or yarn colour. Everyone was dressed up in colourful knits and rocking it. Strangers were approaching me to tell me they liked my shawl (some even reaching out to touch me). I knew other people attending the event, which also made the social aspect of the fair much more enjoyable. These people introduced me to more people, all of whom were ridiculously friendly and talented. All of our conversations started at 10 and escalated to 100 as we fangirled over the love of knitting. I’m pretty sure my eyes were wide open with delight the entire time I was in the building.

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I brought my sister along with me even though she’s not a crazy yarn lady like most of the people there. I paid for her entry so she got to have a 10 minute massage!

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As if things couldn’t get even more exciting, my sister (who was ever so generous as to come with me to a granny convention) won a gift bag at the raffle! Since she’s not a knitter, I got to take home most of the swag for myself, which included some beautiful natural wools, a pattern book, and a set of glittery EXTREME knitting needles. I also treated myself a little a bought a leather wrist-ruler (for the times I sit down to knit and don’t want to get up when I need to measure something) and 4 skeins of a merino alpaca worsted weight.

As we hopped around from booth to booth, I could feel the inspiration just welling up inside of me. New ideas came to mind, and I gained a sense of confidence that I could make things that people would want to buy. In the past week I’ve already spent tons of money in preparation for launching an online shop. I have seriously committed to doing it and there’s no turning back now!

What a great, adrenaline-filled day. Next up, Fibres West 2018!

I Won Yarn Chicken

I Won Yarn Chicken

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Once upon a time, Joey went to work as per usual and was surprised to find a little ball of hand-dyed superwash merino waiting for her when she entered the room. With only said unidentified one-of-a-kind ball, she really wasn’t sure what to make, but settled on Life is Cozy’s Stormy Sky Shawl.

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And so, the game of yarn chicken began. As the triangle got bigger and the ball got smaller, she wondered if she would really end up with a shawl, or rather, a large handkerchief. Still, she refused to turn back, and the anticipation of finding out if she would succeed made her needles move faster. In just a couple of days, the yarn had been reduced to a ping-pong ball sized lump, and she began her bind off. As the last loop was pulled through she had just enough to make two tassels, leaving one tiny thread to trim off.

Feeling defeated, she looked at the little triangle lace scarf in her hands and sighed.

BUT WAIT!

The scarf may have been ever so slightly too small, but it still needed to be blocked! She quickly ran a warm water bath and pulled a towel from the linen closet. As she stretched and pinned a glimmer of hope ignited inside of her. She watched as the lace opened up and the triangle got bigger.

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When it was dry, she pulled out the pins and held the garment between her fingers. With both hands, she draped the shawl around her neck and…IT WAS PERFECT!

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Alas, she had won the game of yarn chicken by a hair. Her next competitor…summer! If only winter would hurry up and come around so she could wear it.

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The summer heat didn’t stop her. She wore wool in the 30 degree weather like a champ.

The end.

Thought I would write this post in the form of a story for a change. For some reason it felt very medieval. Just as a little note to add, the lovely yarn was given to me by a lady who hand-dyes them with the hopes of selling them later on. She is currently in the process of testing and choosing her colors, but this was one of her “rejects” that didn’t come out the way she wanted. I don’t know what she originally had in mind, but I LOVE it! I think it looks so unique and amazing. 100% my style. I will be sure to share all her links when she is ready to unleash her art into the world. You are not ready.

The 2-Year Scarf

The 2-Year Scarf

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Two years ago I set out to make myself a scarf. I had every component planned out. It would be a blanket scarf, made from Loops & Threads Woolike, using the diagonal basketweave stitch. I had this very clearly established when I started, and it was meant to be a brainless knitting project I could work on during my down time. However, what became apparent to me early on in the project was that knitting with such finely weighted yarn was a slow process, and after hours and hours of knitting I had very little to show for it. I got swept up in other projects and new ideas that piqued my interest. This one went into the knitting bag and sat there while others developed.

During a lull in my creative pursuits, I pulled it out again. Getting back into the diagonal basketweave captured my interest for a little while, but as that became dull once again, I decided to throw in a second color. Some color blocking and striping happened, but still my impatience forced me into binding off earlier than I should have.

Around this one-year mark, I discovered my new favorite stitch–the linen stitch. I picked up stitches along the length of my scarf and decided to work this stitch outwards in order to make the scarf bigger and more blanket-y. I told myself I would give this scarf a funky-patterned, color-blocked, eccentric look. And after all, if I maintained the color scheme, nothing could really go wrong once it was bunched up around my neck anyway!

I had seen a cute two-colored linen stitch pattern online but with no written instructions. I tried it out anyway and ended up with a striping pattern instead of cute little dots as I had wanted. I ran with it, but after a little while I gave it another shot and discovered I needed to throw in an extra ball of the main color in order to get my desired design. Happy with this and not wanting to undo all my previous work, I just switched over and kept going. This too got boring eventually, and I wanted to see how else I could expand on the design. I was still many rows away from getting to the completed size of my scarf anyway. I ended up creating a slight gradient effect as I continued, until I finally gave up and was eager to stop knitting and start wearing the scarf. I gave it a quick reverse single crochet edging, blocked it, and have been wearing it ever since!

This whole process took me two years, thus it has become known as the 2-year scarf. Regretfully, it still isn’t as big as I would like it, and its dimensions are a little off. It makes a much better wrap/shawl than a blanket scarf. There are also little flaws in my stitches that you would notice if looking closely, but I’m going to accept that as part of the eccentric charm and go with it! (Excuses, excuses…)

The next one will be better…check back in 2 years!

To Infinity and Beyond!

dsc01691…Infinity scarves, that is.

These are my favorite type of neck accessory. There’s so much versatility for different styles and varying weather conditions.

I made the green one back when I was really into sewing. I remember being out shopping with my mom when we came across an infinity scarf made of t-shirt fabric that was so wonderfully cozy but ridiculously priced. We went to a fabric store and bought metres of similar fabric (on sale, no less) and sewed our own for a much more affordable price. Since then, this scarf has been a staple in my winter closet! Super cozy, and it naturally creates its own beautiful textures when wrapped around your neck.

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The blue one was my attempt to re-create the green scarf, but with knitting. It is seed stitch on one side, and stockinette on the other, then sewed together to form a tube. I made this one with the intention of having a scarf that sat snug to the neck, because often infinity scarves are too big that the cold air gets in from the top. However, I wish I had made it a teeny bit larger, as when it’s doubled up, it’s a little tight. It’s ideal for venturing out into the biting cold or just hung around the neck once though.

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Most recently, I made the beige scarf, using only one layer. I got this pattern from one of those free tearaway packs at Michaels. It’s basically garter stitch, with an increase on one end and decrease on the other end so when joined in a circle, the lines actually end up going diagonally. While not as warm, this one is much more comfortable and pairable with many outfits.

With all the snow we were graced with in Vancouver this year, I’m glad I’ve got a good stash of knits to keep me warm.

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Mom: “I think I like triangle scarves.”

Me: “Oh yeah?”

Mom: “You know they are in fashion this season…everyone is wearing them.”

Me: “I think they’ve always been in fashion…I remember wearing triangle scarves a few years ago. In fact, I thought they were in fashion then…are you sure they’re still in fashion now?”

Mom: “Of course!!! Remember how I wore my scarves when we were in California? I think I’ve gotten over cowls. I like the triangle shape now.”

Me: “I still like cowls…but triangles are nice too!”

Mom: “Yeah, I don’t want to wear cowls anymore.”

Me: “Okay, I’ll make you a triangle scarf.”

This is one of my better quality projects. I used this pattern from Ravelry and had my first experience with eyelets (and knitting a triangle…from the middle of an edge?! Blasphemy.).

Momsy’s happy. Joey’s happy. Win-win. (: