autumn crafting

It’s been so warm, it doesn’t feel like autumn at all! But the leaves are still slowly changing, the gardening is almost done, and I’m looking forward to pulling a few sweaters out.

The tomato plants got very, very tall – way over my head! But we put them in late, the weather was crappy, and I think our yard just isn’t sunny enough for them. We’ve gotten a few cherry tomatoes, enough for snacking and a couple of salads, but not nearly what I was hoping. There are still quite a few green ones on the plants, but at this point it might be a batch of green tomato relish.

We had a fair harvest of green/purple/yellow beans, and a couple of cucumbers. Everything else either didn’t grow or was eaten by bugs. They ate the marigolds down to nothing! What the heck. No basil, leafy veg, or eggplant survived.

I’m not sure what we’ll do for next summer – maybe relocate the tomatoes to a different part of the yard and try a smaller, deeper bed. Maybe growing in containers in the yard? I’d be afraid that the raccoons will just come and dig them up or knock them over, like they did with our patio containers this year.

The nasturtiums didn’t do anything until about the end of August, but at least we got a couple of pretty flowers.

I’ve been having elbow issues so I’m trying to limit my knitting to work, but I still need something to make as a hobby! I definitely want to sew a few things for winter but I don’t have a lot of room to work in at the moment.

With the weather (kinda, sorta) turning, I wanted to replenish my candle supply for the winter. I’ve never made them before but why not try? I ordered beeswax and wicks and poured just a few jars to try it out.

Glad I did, because these wicks were clearly not thick enough for this size of container! When I burned it, the wax pool was only about 1″ across and it melted straight down. I also knew they were going to crack because I didn’t let them cool slowly enough. But I learned a lot and promptly ordered more wicks to test. I’m not much for scented candles, but I might add a bit of essential oil to the mix next time, probably lavender and peppermint.

I went looking on Etsy for some not too expensive, natural stone and non-metal necklaces without clasps (my skin gets angry quickly) to jazz up my rather boring t-shirt-dress wardrobe, but couldn’t really find what I was envisioning in my head.

So – you guessed it – I had to make it myself!

I wanted to use silk thread but the ones I ordered were too small for the bead hole size (oops). Waxed cotton worked great though! It also comes in lots of colours and is pretty inexpensive. This one is black onyx and it is heavy, but I like that!

I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t one day get caught in a necklace-falling-apart-and-beads-going-everywhere situation (why yes, this has happened to me), so I decided to knot between the beads. It’s harder than it appears, but I think I’ve gotten the hang of it. The waxed cotton is WAY easier than silk for these knots.

Dale got a necklace well – we made it from a piece of beach glass we picked up on our lake excursions.

Knitting? Well yes, I couldn’t completely stay away from it! After sending off a work sample sweater last week I cast on with a skein of Lichen and Lace worsted in ‘pressed flowers’ – this skein is especially green and vibrant!

I worked up a really quick triangular shawlette, it was loads of fun.

So now I’m knitting another, but with a different final shape in mind. I’ll definitely write up this pattern as soon as I can, so keep an eye out!

One last thing, my pattern Habanero came out in the 15th anniversary deep fall issue of Knitty a couple weeks ago! This long cardigan is worked seamlessly from the top down in chunky Lorna’s Laces yarn, with triangular lace insets on the sides paired with a flared shape.

I’m going to be living in this one this winter!

New Miss Babs Patterns

Today’s two new pattern releases are with the inimitable Miss Babs! I love the subtle variation and intense colours of Miss Babs yarn, and I think these two sweaters turned out great.

Hibiscus Cardigan is a seamless raglan knit from the bottom up. The body features a knit/purl chevron pattern that’s easy to keep track of, and the long sleeves are worked in 1×1 rib for a stretchy, comfy fabric. Hibiscus is worked in Yummy 3-ply, a lovely densely spun superwash merino that really shows off the stitches.

Buy, queue and fave Hibiscus on Ravelry!

Punchwork Cardigan is also worked seamlessly from the bottom up, but is great for warmer weather with elbow-length sleeves and a cropped, lacy body. Miss Babs Kiera is a heavy fingering weight yarn that comes in huge skeins – 560 yards per skein! So you only need a few to create this pretty topper that would look great over a dress or tunic this spring.

Buy, queue and fave Punchwork on Ravelry!

Springy Things

The weather was beautiful this long weekend – mild and sunny! On Saturday we took a walk down at Woodbine Beach, where they were setting up for Winter Stations.

I’m sure winter weather will be back with a vengeance soon, but for now I’m enjoying the sunshine! I have a bunch of new knitting patterns out for spring, too.

With Swans Island, two light-as-air sweaters knit with their beautiful lace weight merino silk.

Ashland is a simple boxy pullover with a slipped-stitch mock cable on the sleeves. The body is knit in the round to the underarm then split for the front and back; the sleeves are worked in the round as well. Special thanks to Denny for knitting the sample!

Buy, fave, and queue Ashland on Ravelry!

Pembroke is a seamed cardigan with a slightly A-line shape and twisted rib details, including this back neck triangle!

Buy, fave, and queue Pembroke on Ravelry

With Louet I have three tops worked in their classic Euroflax linen.

Delphinium is a sleeveless top with garter stitch gussets for a nicely swingy shape. Worked seamlessly in the round.

Buy, fave, and queue Delphinium on Ravelry

Violeta features a bias-knit asymmetrical hem and longer length. Another knit-by-Denny sample ;)

Buy, fave, and queue Violeta on Ravelry

Cardo is my favourite of these three designs, I think! Worked in 2 identical pieces from side to side – you cast on for half a sleeve, work across the body, then the second sleeve. The body is seamed along the shoulders, sleeves and body sides. The centre front and back feature a set of tucks created with short rows.

Buy, fave, and queue Cardo on Ravelry

What’s in your spring knitting queue?