Well my Squishers,I have decided to try and blog to keep a tab on my personal progress with the goals I have set for myself this year, if you were with me last year you will know that I had pretty much landed with a thump Into the world of yarn dying and also into the world of knitting. I would say I still class myself as a beginner knitter and someone who ultimately just seeks all the ways to make my work vibrant and something I didn't ever expect to make...........like this awesome Mustard skein of 100,s n 1000's .........I have never really used yellow on its own before........turns out I love it!
When I first began dying yarn, I wondered what it would feel like a year down the line, or two or even more, if I would feel the same or less passionate about what I do. It turns out, I have found that dying yarn is the most all consuming thing I have ever done and I am more passionate and excited about what the potential of yarn could be than I ever imagined. I read and talk a lot to other creative people about how to keep the fire burning and how they stay inspired, as it has been my top priority to workout and understand what makes me tick and the kinds of things that make me stay awake until 2am knitting to finish a pattern. you may know that I knit a lot of socks, lots and lots actually and they never match, which is kinda of my thing. I hate being told what to do and the though of having to make a matching one 'just because' (insert my mothers voice here, she hates mismatches socks....... I think I do it to wind her up!!haha!!) just doesn't work for me, it also means I never ever ever get second sock syndrome. its the first sock every time! when I first began lusting over socks they looked so complicated and there was a lot of math and pointy needles and I had babies and no time and I was like a walking zombie (which I'm pretty sure anyone who has had small people will know the feeling!) so I would just look at all the beautiful socks on Instagram and wonder...........would I ever just get a grip and make one.
well,.......... I did! but, I never read a pattern. I am a kinaesthetic learner so watching and doing is the way my brain absorbs information so I watched videos on afterthought heels until I could get my head a round it but I wasn't happy with how holy my heels looked, I just couldn't ever find the time to insert a heel before knitting the rest and the toes........well.......... lets just say by the end of last year I probably had about 20 individual socks that were either missing a toe, a heel or both. I do have a very happy ending story for these socks though, which I will tell you about in the furture. I have made a little talk with myself about accepting help, that help can mean that instead of me doing everything all the time and maybe not getting it finished that accepting help will let me focus more on what my big dream goals are and stay sane at the same time. well that the idea anyway! so my unfinished socks have been whisked away for some 'help' and will be returning soon.
So where is all this going you ask, well, when I think about what I have done over the last year its pretty crazy and a bit like childbirth...........I have very little memory of it! last year I learned how to knit socks and this year I have been seriously designing my own. So, I wanted to keep my blog as more of a joiurnal for me to reflect back on and see what I have actually been doing rather than what I think I did. which you will know is often vastly different from the reality,and as this year has kind of set off like a rocket I just wanted somewhere to reflect, which means I hope to be blogging more often as you tube videos are great but finding quality time without the little ones around is always tricky, this way I can track my squish life during the dark hours of the evenings!
For starters, at the beginning of the year I never expected to designing wrist warmers, or socks. I just thought I would be dying yarn but it turns out my creativity is seeking additional outlets and my mind, no longer clouded by the utter exhaustion of small people seems to have allowed extra space for extra things. like these wrist warmers up here. where did they come from! I didn't design them on paper before hand, I have an idea of what would make for an addictive pattern but I take it from there as even when I have written an idea down, by the time I have started knitting it has already changed......... I don't even like being told by myself what to do.......I take this with a bit of humour as it helps me find better ways of getting the most out of myself. like just going with the feeling, it works better for me. however, these wrist warmers will also become socks, and then I realised that if I created 4 designs in one week........ I need to have plan for what happens if I do that next week and the week after. suddenly I am now venturing into the world of knit designing, which I think is a little crazy, but I feel that maybe I am too......... did you meet Gloria in my last post?!
The knitting bug set in when I made the sock that matches this wrist warmer, which is when I realised I could just knit tubes all day long and they would act like a mini canvas and a sample of what I could make a sock out of. it was so exciting. Finally finding my knitting identity. Im pretty sure that its not a surprise to any of you that it was spots.....with red! so I feel head over heels (hahaha) for the potential possibilities that pattern designing could offer me in terms of advancing my dying technique and style. I have already dyed up a solid Mustard and Teal so that they can act as backdrops to the patterns. its so cool to be able to create your own colours for your own ideas for your own knits, even if Im the only one to knit them. however, I decided to get this pattern written up, which took ages because I have small people, but I did and its currently being tested as we speak ahead of my launch for the release which will be on my birthday this month, the 30th of April. Yaaaaaay!!!!
All of my patterns are really designed for you to mix and match them, make one in one colour and not suffer second sock or wrist warmer syndrome and cast on a new one so that you too can push your expectations of colour blending and maybe you too will choose a colour that wasnt your 'thing' and really make it your own. it goes without saying its much safer to be brave with lots of small things rather that a garment which requires more consideration, but my ambition is that by Christmas that I will have 40 patterns. yep. I'm going from 0-40. totally possible right!?
I would love for at least one of them to be a garment, I would like to knit more for my girls as its good to capitalise on the home made clothes thing when your small people are young enough not to care if their mum is a crazy knitting lady and you have crazy knitted clothes n stuff, although I could be surprised and they may grow up with a liking for my knitting, by then I will be. knitting whizz ( laugh out loud moment! ).
for now I will stay with things that are knitted on the round, that are maybe sock size. I realised today that I haven't made any socks for Minnie! so I'm going to cast on a little sock tonight and see where that takes me.
there is also this bag shaped elephant that has appeared in my life. yep, I made another one. there is a bigger theme going on around this bag and that is that I am slowly becoming obsessed with organising. Everything. I have been consumed with space utilisation since Christmas, mostly it began as a way of creating a clear divide between work and home, which, as you can imagine, for a knitter thats kind of hard to separate your yarn life from your yarn life, but there were parts of the squish business all through the house and after lots of moving we finally moved everything, bar the actual dyeing, into one room. since then, everything, every cupboard, every bag and even the attic has been receiving the 'use it, gift it, throw it' mantra that is taking over my life. I must say, it has not only brought a lot of calm to the house, I actually feel better knowing that I know where things are. I have a life time of all the things I have hoarded over the years so it has been so good to lighten not just the load of my house, but my mind. it has created some valuable space for my most favourite things, like yarn and knitting!
anyway......back to the bag! as you may imagine, when your in the business of yarn, theres always a lot around, but I rarely use a whole skein but I do gift myself all the scrappy babies........ they are all mine, until of course I get over run and then I offer them to you guys. I have been so into my scrappy socks at the moment that my stash bag just got fuller and fuller as I wanted to have all of the ones I may use with me at all times.......... as you do........but the bag wouldn't accommodate all my stash and my project and I didn't want to separate them because that would be a real pain. So I thought about all the things that would make my life easier and decided a bigger one, tab closures and room for me to reach my knitting and be able to knit straight from the bag.
so far it is perfect, and it is so quick to close up I can even do it with one hand! there is a little video of it on my Instagram.
oddly, even though they are both giant dots that are closed with a drawstring, the difference between them is huge, so is the capacity. I only ever use 9" circulars so I keep them in that little spotty pouch with my little mini ball winding tool. I won't lie, I think I can see bags in my future, but for now I will settle with completely organising everything that lives in a bag because nothing creates the sense of frustration that arrises when you can find that thing you know is in your bag.
Taking of squish, of course there is always a lot of squish here, Minnie has become very skilled at naming them, its almost like nature watching, I show her some colours and ask what they are and she just knows! she will even tell me that I need to make certain ones, its no lie that my girls are inspiring to be around and I am always asked about making things. I sure I may appear like one of those elves that overnight make the shoe makers shoes, as some evenings before bed Minnie will ask me for something and the next morning I am able to show her progress. she really enjoys this bit and she will often tell me I am doing a good job and I am often left with further requests! Rainbow Dash and all the Ponies are Minnie's requests, so was the Gruffalo set!
Minnies favourites by far has to be the mini's! they are also mine too, they are mini versions of big skeins and as every mini is hand wound from a full 100gram Skein then you will always have a good idea of what my colour ways look like. These vibrant minis have just been added to my 'Ready to Ship' section, I will have some Scrappy Sock kits heading this way very soon so keep your eyes peeled for those, they have lots pop new colours to try out.
I have been dyeing so many Trolls these last two weeks that I even listen to the soundtrack whilst in dyeing the squish, makes it far more atmospheric!! This one here is Poppy on Glitter DK which Minnie asked for, not sure what to make with it yet, the glitter just makes me want to stroke it rather than knit with it but I will get this on my needles soon.
But here is the latest WIP that has come off my needles, mustard 100's n 1000's with Bubble Gum pink, Liquorice and bare naked yarn! I am having so much fun playing around with a few simple patterns, seeing how they work up and having ideas of what to do next. I particularly love the way these spots stand out from the Mustard.
and finally, after creating her months ago my Red Rainbow is finally in the shop. I think this year I will be bringing lots more red into my knitting, so starting my year off with a Red Rainbow sounded perfect! I will be releasing my simple sock recipe which I use for all of my socks. now and also my simple wrist warmer pattern for those of you who want to work up to trying a little bit of colour work, but its also a great confidence builder if you ever want to try socks............if you can do the ribbed cuff and a tube you are half way to making a sock!!
Keeping it simple is all I am about, which is probably why I enjoy making colour ways that create visual interest like stripes or speckles, sometimes with colour overload, like this Strawberry Split, I never thought Id be a Red on Pink and all the other colours you could find kind a gal.
well I guess this enough waffle for now, have the most fabulous day and if you want to find out about my updates, pattern release or news about whats happening at Kate Selene HQ (thats my house by the way hehehe) then you can sign up to my newsletter, until then,