Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The Temple of Sacred Yarn

I have more than a few yarns that I've collected over the years that I am terrified to touch. No pattern seems good enough, and my knitting prowess is never strong enough for me to wind up a skein or two of these yarns and cast on.

Case in point: The Fiber Company Terra in Henna colourway.

I fell hard for this yarn. The orangey purply tweediness made up of merino, baby alpaca and silk was too much for me and after a serious blow to the credit card (still on a student budget back then), I brought it home to found my very own Temple of Sacred Yarn.

A quick look through the yarn log tells me that I bought this yarn on or about August 12th.....2006. That's right just shy of 5 years ago!!! 

After much sketching, plotting, sifting through pattern books, and patterns on Ravelry without success, I had almost given up the hope that I would ever use this yarn. Finally I went to my LYS and just bought a simple wrap sweater pattern on a whim. I brought it home and started glancing through my yarn shelf until my eyes landed on the Terra and I realized they it was a perfect match.

The sweater is simple enough to show off the beautiful colours of the yarn. The garter stitch neckband and hems provide the perfect amount to texture to add a light rustic touch that really ties into the slightly thick thin character of this one-ply yarn. Also the back and forth knitting (knit row, then purl) ensures that the yarn doesn't bias the knitted fabric. Finally, the seamless top-down construction allows for yarn economy and also means that this sweater might actually get finished eventually since I won't be left with any finishing once the actual knitting has been completed.

So far, so good. Knit on!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Bags and bags and bags of fun

It all started innocently enough...I figured it would be fun to make a cute bag. There would be no pesky fitting issues, I would learn some new things, and most importantly, I could customize it using my three most favourite fabrics.

I chose some more "utilitarian" fabrics for the outside thinking the bag would be more versatile that way. Then I picked a gorgeous lining fabric to make things a little more interesting.

Now there is one thing you have to understand. My personal work ethic is one where I do things right but I only do them once. I'm a perfectionist with limited time who is surrounded by endless inspiration.

I'll read ever single word in a book (including forwards, dedications, author bios) but I never re-read even my most favourite books. I'll rip my knitting back to nothing as many times as it takes to get it just right but I will never re-knit even the most satisfying pattern.

Nonetheless, I have managed to make four iterations of Amy Butler's Birdie Sling Bag since mid-January.

All with beautiful linings!

More amazing still is the fact that there are plans for a fifth bag currently in the works.

I am really enjoying this pattern. The last step where you magically pull a gorgeous bag from the sewing equivalent of a misshapen, thread covered pile of rubble is so exciting for me that it seems to propel me head-first into the next bag.

I have loved making these bags so much that they have actually motivated me to pick up long lost half-finished sewing projects and shove them either towards or over the finish line. They have also motivated me to carefully construct a completely unreasonable plan for an entirely new spring/summer wardrobe.

I suppose the big question is whether the thrill will wear off before number 5 gets sees the light of day.