Today is a big day, and I’m feeling pretty anxious. We’re getting ready for a soft launch of our webstore, and some kind people will be beta testing it for us tonight. Between now and then, we’re frantically thoroughly checking it for issues, and making sure all of the pieces work. With any luck, we’ll be ready to make it public very shortly. Then, when you can’t sleep, you can head to the webstore for some yarn therapy!
This project has been in the works for a loooong time (I’m embarrassed to tell you just how long). I feel a bit like Dr. Frankenstein, anxiously watching the clouds gathering, hoping for a lightning bolt to jolt our creation to life. How will this experiement go? Will it tap dance and sing “Puttin’ on the Ritz”? Or will it end with a pitchfork-wielding mob? Only time will tell!
If you’ve been keeping up with our newsletter, you will have noticed that I have been working on intricately detailed coloring pages for you to enjoy! They’re some of the first illustrations I’ve put this much effort and planning into in a very long while, but they aren’t always so pretty in the sketch phases. In fact, a lot of the time they change from one idea to a completely different one! Here are a few pages from the sketchbook I’m working in of the pages that have been released so far, and a scribbled mess of a window into what the next one might look like. If you can interpret it, that is.
…If Ican interpret it…
PS. Can you tell I love sketching in ballpoint pen?
I started out as a one-project-at-a-time knitter. No starting a new one until I finished what was on my needles. As you can imagine, that resolution quickly fell by the wayside after I started working at the shop. One project became two, and two became three (“One simple, one complicated, and a travel-sized item!”), and it grew from there. We won’t even talk about how long my “to-knit” list is. Suffice it to say, Ravelry has been both a blessing and a curse. As a result of my cast-on-itis, some items take longer than I’d like to finish. Some items have even celebrated multiple birthdays on the needles. One item, in particular, is roughly the same age as my favorite toddler — and he’s growing faster than my project!
Toddler sweater! (Pattern is “gramps” by Tin Can Knits)
(Note for clarification: not MY child, the child of a friend. She deals with the day-to-day challenges, and I knit cute things and get sticky hugs and high-fives.)
This poor, neglected project, approaching its third birthday, is a beautiful cowl-to-be, knit out of hand-dyed mawata. I hadn’t heard of mawata until Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (aka “The Yarn Harlot”) taught a class on knitting with it here at the shop. Mawata is also called “silk hankies”, and is the result of evicting silk worms from their cocoons (sorry, silk worms!). To knit with it, you lift one whisper-thin sheet of mawata, stick your thumbs through the center of the square, and pull until it is stretched as thinly as you’d like. You then break the loop, and cast on. Mawata creates lovely, soft and lightweight items, and is ultra warm — perfect for our Maine winters!
(before & after)
Who on earth would be patient enough to wait almost three years for a cowl? Well, that would be my mother. With the patience of a saint, my mother has watched me periodically pick up and put down this cowl; she’s seen a baby sweater and multiple hats be cast on after (and be completed before) her “Christmas” gift. Yes, indeed, this is a Christmas present from 2013. In my defense, I had no idea how much yardage I would get from 25g of mawata. Let me tell you, it goes a loooooong way.
I’m enjoying knitting with it, but it’s time to wrap it up. That’s why I’m telling all of you about it — to hold myself accountable. This cowl will be done in time for Christmas 2016! (Mom, thanks for not guilt-tripping me on this. Also, could you please pretend to be surprised when you open the wrapping paper?)