...knocking softly at the door.
It's only the end of August, but there's a gentle chill in the morning air. Summer's been a short and scrappy affair up here in Edinburgh, but there's a certain feeling of gratitude for the cooler air and the promise of lots of Necessary Knitting. This is traditionally the season where we all get geared up for a few months of long, dark evenings and plenty of excuses to stay indoors.
We are planners. We have lists. Our lists have lists...
(On that note, everything for EYF 2016 is going on behind the scenes — class timetables, marketplace layouts, not to mention all the 'extras' that make EYF special! You can sign up for our newsletter here if you haven't already done so — we send out everything you need to know.)
...Anyway, what's on our autumn 2015 knitting lists? It has been hard paring things down to a manageable amount of knitting. There are SO many great patterns, so many great yarns now, that we could all make beautiful things until the end of time and still not be done. (Good for us, right?) But it was a good exercise in focus!
Scroll through to see our plans and suggestions:
The BIG thing
Sometimes you just gotta go BIG. This is a simple "keep-me-sane-when-stressed" project. 10mm needles and 2 skeins of Brown Sheep Burly Spun. It's a beautiful charcoal and I love the simplicity of it. No pattern. I cast on 18 st and will knit until finished. Possibly add some colourful tassels at the end. Perfect mindless knitting.
The friend thing
This is some of my left-over hand-dyed yarn, destined to become a Honey Cowl for my friend Kerstin back in Germany. She's a summer person in spirit and always craves warm weather and sunshine. This will be ideal antidote to gloomy winter days and hopefully cheer her up.
The baby thing
In an exciting development, my BFF Julia announced that she is pregnant. Most of my close friends either have older or grown-up kids, so I'm pretty excited to be able to knit for a baby. Antler by TinCanKnits (from Pacific Knits) will be my first item in what will no doubt be a long list of baby knits. TinCanKnits patterns come in ALL the sizes and having the book made this an easy choice.
The repeat offender thing
Once I find a pattern I like, there's no stopping me. Meet Kathleen by Jane Richmond. Last year I made 4 of these hats and gave away 3 of them as gifts. I'm on a bit of a blue-trip at the moment, so I'll turn this skein of Madelinetosh (Colour: Stovetop) into my new hat for autumn.
The intricate colourwork thing
I love that stranded colourwork knits up so fast. These have been in my queue almost right from their release date - and I've had the yarn for 2 years (oh dear...)! Does that count as Deep Stashdown? Almost? Burnham Mitts by Leila Raabe for Brooklyntweed, to be knitted in Isager Strik Tweed.
The big sweater thing
This is my own design, and I am so looking forward to throwing it on over a shirt and jeans. Not long to go now; most of the work is done. The yarn is Pirkkalanka worsted-weight in Stonewashed, bought at EYF2015 and seriously nice to knit with.
The crochet thing
Somehow crochet just doesn't gel for me, but I know it's practice and not ability. So I've vowed to take on a project and make it work. This is Acer Shawl by Joanne Scrace, who designs seriously beautiful crochet patterns. Not sure which yarn to use yet - probably something on the bigger side so I can make progress quickly. John Arbon Viola is top candidate for the position right now. UPDATE: Jo's Acer on Ravelry. I did it!
The endless knitting thing
My 'pick it up and put it down again' project will be Non Troppo by the lovely Åsa Tricosa. Hers is made in heavier and lighter lace weight but I just do not have that sort of staying power! So this will be worsted and fingering and we'll see how it goes. Malabrigo Rios (top) and some hand-dyed 4-ply delight from Ripples Crafts (bottom).
The baby thing
I would like to say thanks to my brother-in-law and his wife for being about to have a new baby in December. You couldn't have timed it better. (Summer babies are great and all that, but not much use to a knitter.) I've actually already made an Antler cardigan - great minds, Mica - and all it needs is a proper finishing session and a quick blocking. Great pattern.
The gift thing
I've flirted with spindle spinning (very relaxing, especially when it 'flows') and have a fibre stash that's embarrassing for someone who hasn't twiddled a spindle in over two years. I've also got a niece and a son who will love Ysolda's Cadeautje slippers - a perfect Christmas gift. They're like putting your feet inside a cloud!
And this is just for autumn. Knittery productivity goes down a bit in the first part of the year as we get to grip with the Festival planning — though you could argue that we need it more as a calming therapy then!
We'd love to see what you're planning - especially if you're using (up) yarn you bought at EYF 2015. We're on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram (links below) and you can always leave a comment here too.
Stay warm this autumn!
xxMica & Jo