Well, that’s a bit more like it! I firmly believe that February in Maine is supposed to be snowy. I’ve stockpiled hot cocoa mix, dug out all my winter gear, and even got a brand new pair of snow shoes. My cross-country skis have been shooting me reproachful glances from beneath a thin coat of dust. There are some sheepskin slippers calling my name, and I’m halfway through a new TV show. Yes, indeed — I’m heading home shortly to enjoy this winter weather.
My Sharpie yarn came out a little lighter and more pastel-colored than I had hoped, but I still like it. It makes me think of unicorns, and I’m tempted to pair it with a strand of sparkle yarn for some true rainbow-unicorn fabulousness. Next time, I’m going to go all-out with the Sharpies, and really put some pigment into the yarn. I still have some experimenting to do, but it was a fun learning experience, and way easier than mixing boiling vats of dye on my tiny kitchen stove. This is the kind of crafty project you can do with the kids on a Sunday afternoon (but definitely with ventilation for those marker fumes, folks!).
The Azel Pullover really is a fast knit, I swear. However, mine is taking FOREVER, because I only ever manage one row here and there. Between calling my senators, reading news reports, and hiding under my bed because it’s all just too much, I haven’t been knitting as diligently as I should. That’s why I’m going to layer up and trudge home right now. I’m going to make a mug of Bixby & Co. hot chocolate, put on my slippers, and knit up a storm. I will not log onto social media. I will not turn on the news. I’m just going to make the world’s coziest poncho. And then I’m going to wear it.
I’ve been seeing the word “hygge” everywhere lately, and I found myself intrigued by the concept. Hygge, pronounced “hooga”, is a Danish word that seems to be all about coziness, warmth, and mindfulness. Visitdenmark.com says, “In essence, hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people”. Doesn’t that sound lovely? It seems to me that the concept of hygge is perfectly suited to a fiber lifestyle, especially here in Maine. Over The Rainbow Yarn’s Stitch ‘n’ Spin groups are pretty much the embodiment of hygge — lovely people sitting around a table, working on soft and cozy projects, and forming new friendships. Sometimes there’s even chocolate.
Winters in Maine can be long and dark, and I occasionally start to wonder whether spring will ever arrive. Remember when it stayed light out after 6 pm? Me neither. But now that I know about hygge, it’s almost as if I’ve been given permission to hunker down, don my wooliest socks, and knit the winter away. (In this scene I’m also picturing myself in front of a woodstove, with a mug of mulled cider and a kitten. Hey, we’re all entitled to our own hygge fantasies.) I think that the happiest country in the world is onto something here, and I intend to explore this concept further for you, loyal readers.
The scarf you can see in the background of that photo (behind a candle and my mug of tea) is our version of Pink Fluffy, a wonderfully simple garter stitch scarf by Andra Asars, and possibly the most hygge item in the shop. I also have to say that I think my Caribou Cowl is pretty hygge too. It’s soft, cozy, and very meditative to knit. This month, you can download it for free from our website!
I have a printed copy of an internet meme hanging on my whiteboard above my desk at work, and another copy stuck to my fridge at home. On days when I’m struggling with procrastination, or mornings when I’m feeling sluggish and uninspired, it gives me a boost. What is this magical motivational poster, you ask? Well, it looks like this:
Now you know what gets me moving. It came from the internet. The fact that the shark hat is crocheted makes it even better, because I know that someone out there took the time to make a shark hat for their kitty (or sure, for a baby, but let’s be honest, cats in hats are pretty amazing).
This weekend, I definitely felt like a powerful Great White Shark — I finally finished repairing Brooks’ dad’s sweater! I wound in the final ends, checked everything over, and packaged it up. Success! An item checked off the knit list! Fellow crafters, you know the satisfaction I felt when I officially declared it done. Is there any better feeling?
Now I get to cast on my capeletfigure out what to make for a baby that is due in early September. I want it to be something fun but also practical, because this is a Maine baby. With that in mind, this is one of the potential items:
Is this not one of the cutest things you’ve ever seen? Possibly even cuter than a cat wearing a shark hat? This is the Baby Duck Booties pattern from Quince & Co., and it makes me want to just squeal with delight. The toddler size (which I would have to make, because I knit slowly and babies grow so quickly) uses Chickadee, a sport weight yarn. I think I’d change up the color of the sole, because white would get dirty really quickly, but we’ve got plenty of colors to choose from in the store. I have also pondered trying to size this up to make a cozy pair of slippers for myself, perhaps using plushy, aran weight Osprey. (Non-slip paint or a suede sole would be a necessary safety feature.)
I’ve also considered a blanket for the heirloom factor, and because the sizing is less crucial (ditto for the gauge — score!). But there are so. many. baby blankets out there. Ravelry offered me 168 PAGES of knitted blanket patterns when I searched. After enjoying working on the ZickZack Scarf, I’m tempted to tackle the Chevron Baby Blanket by Espace Tricot, though probably in Berroco Vintage instead of cotton, because this is a fall/winter baby. However, if I continue procrastinating on this project, I may end up needing to choose Softcotton Chunky for a quick knit summer blankie!
Of course, there’s always the sweater option. I think I’ve already mentioned that I love designs by Tin Can Knits, and they don’t make it easy to choose. I’m torn between two patterns: Old Growth and Goldfish. Which one do you prefer?
And this is Goldfish — adorable, fun, quirky, and also seamless. With a slightly tonal yarn for the main color… this could be the one.
What do you think, readers? Booties, blanket, or sweater? What’s your go-to item to knit when someone is expecting? As soon as I have a pattern, I’ve got to channel my inner shark and attack the project!