The Selfish Sweater KAL 2017

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The Selfish Sweater KAL always feels like the perfect remedy for post-holiday blues and dark, winter blahs, and I’m happy to announce that I will be running it for the third year in a row! The Selfish Sweater KAL will start Boxing Day and run until Valentine’s Day, December 26th to February 14th. The idea behind the Selfish Sweater KAL is to knit yourself a treat after you’ve finished all of your holiday gift knitting. This year we’ll be knitting cardigans again. Any cardigan pattern designed by me is eligible for the KAL, and you can find the full list on Ravelry. All individual Untangling Knots cardigan patterns that can be used in the KAL are 20% off until the KAL begins on the 26th. Just use the coupon code SSKAL2017 when you check out on Ravelry, and come join us in the Untangling Knots group on Ravelry for the fun chit-chat and full details.

From A to Z Viva

I really want to knit myself a new From A to Z cardigan during the KAL. I love my old one, but it’s on the beat up side, and I think a darker main color would look nicer with my newer blonde hair. Which cardigan will you knit?

P.S. Please use the tag #sskal2017 to share on Instagram.

Wainthropp – A New Cardigan Pattern

Wainthropp_Buttoned2

I’m really happy about finally being able to share Wainthropp, my new cardigan pattern, with you because the release date for this poor cardigan kept getting moved around! I had been planning on taking photos of it in October, but the remnants of a tsunami hit western Washington the weekend I was going to take pictures at a beach house, and everything got cancelled because of the storm. So I didn’t even bother sewing on the buttons when I found out that was going to happen because I wanted to keep looking for better buttons (that I never found), and into the finishing pile it went! I finally added the original buttons I picked out so it’d be ready for photos, but it continued to be stormy every time I planned a shoot. That’s the downside to living in Seattle. In the end, I took it with me to visit my parents in Northern California over Thanksgiving, and the pattern is finally here!

Wainthropp_back

My inspiration for Wainthropp was a little bit of nostalgia for early- and mid-2000s knitting patterns that were so quirky and crafty. I loved how freeing that period of crafting was because there wasn’t pressure to make everything polished and indistinguishable from store-bought clothing. I wanted to design something that was cute but obviously homemade. Details like reverse stockinette ridges, garter stitch button bands, and extra long sleeves make Wainthropp adorably unpolished. The combination of different textures and lace stripes aren’t just about the final look; they also keep the knitting process interesting

Wainthropp_Pick

Like most of my cropped cardigan patterns, Wainthropp is knit seamlessly from the top down. The body is knit first, and then sleeves are picked up around the armholes and shaped using short rows. The construction will be familiar if you’ve knit my patterns before, which will allow you to focus on the lace and textures. Then pattern comes in seven sizes, ranging from 29.5 in to 53 in finished bust circumferences. You should choose a size with 1-4 in of negative ease through the bust for the best fit. You can find Wainthropp on Ravelry or in the Untangling Knots pattern shop.

Henriette Blocked and with Buttons

I had this whole mopey post about how I lost interest in finishing sweaters unless I have pattern pictures to take and blah blah blah, but it all feels really silly now, so I’m going to summarize, okay?
Right after I finished knitting my Blaster cardigan for the KAL, my coworker at my part-time job asked me, “So when are you going to wear it to work?”
I replied, “It still needs buttons.”
And she said, “Oh, are you going to put those on soon?”
I then laughed a lot and told her, “I run this Fall KAL every year, and I still haven’t put buttons on last year’s sweater, so who knows! Actually, I have five sweaters sitting around that either need buttons, or to be blocked, or to have ends woven in, so odds of it happening soon aren’t looking good.”
I spent a while pondering why I haven’t finished any of my personal knitting projects in almost an entire year, and then I sat down, quit contemplating, and started finishing my knits. My Henriette from last year’s Selfish Sweater KAL was the first to get in wearable condition because I had already woven in the ends and blocked it. I just hadn’t added the buttons or blogged about it!

Henriette_SSK_FO_Buttoned

From the start I had been planning on putting big, black buttons on this cardigan. I love black and baby pink together, so that was an easy choice, but I had a hard time settling on shiny, sparkly, matte, etc. When I sat down to sew on the buttons, I had two sets that I had bought specifically for this project, but my attention got pulled to a similarly-sized set of black leather buttons I bought on impulse at the Fremont Vintage Market. I had just the right number of leather buttons, so it seemed like they were meant to be.

Henriette_SSK_FO_Unbuttoned

I’ve already worn this cardigan three or four times since I added the buttons, so I feel silly about having procrastinated on it for so long. This particular shade of pink, Neighborhood Fiber Co.’s Victorian Village on the Studio Chunky base, goes with a lot of my wardrobe, and I think it works well with my new-ish blonde hair.

Henriette_SSK_FO_Back

Expect more finished sweaters in the near future because I have a pile of them! As of today, I’ve just got one left that needs buttons still, and that’s my Blaster from the KAL.

We’re Better Together

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I had a blog post about my recent personal-knitting slump lined up, but once again this year, I’m finding it difficult to write about crafts as if nothing else is going on. I can’t just chat about knitting like everything is normal because everything is not normal. My country elected an openly-bigoted man with no political experience to be Chief of State. That’s not normal, and it shouldn’t be acceptable. The hateful, sexist, racist, homophobic, and xenophobic rhetoric used by our soon-to-be leaders cannot be normalized.

I want to make it abundantly clear that I will do everything I can to ensure that my corner of the knitting community is a welcoming place for knitters of all colors, genders, sexualities, and abilities, and I hope you’ll do that same. It’s important to do more beyond that, but making sure that our community stays welcoming is a good starting place.

Not only is it the kind, compassionate thing to do, but it also benefits the community as a whole. Creativity thrives with diversity. Crafts, fashion, music, and arts have a long tradition of borrowing from a variety of sources of inspiration for exactly that reason, and diverse creators bring new perspectives that benefit everyone. We are better for our diversity, so do everything you can to push back against hateful people who try to make anyone feel unwelcome simply because of who they are and politicians who try to legislate diversity away.

Krampus

MHM

Halloween is a few days away, and after that is the beginning of Christmas madness, which fits perfectly with my last evil toy movie, Krampus.

After being taunted by his cousins at an unpleasant family dinner, a little boy accidentally brings the curse of Krampus onto his family, and things turn dark. Some of Krampus’s minions are evil elves but the best are twisted versions of classic toys, like an evil teddy bear with rows of sharp teeth and a jack-in-the-box that eats children like a snake. The creature design is so fun, and this movie has a nice balance of spooky and silly. Plus, there are some great knits.