knitting

Almost 1 year in lockdown

Hi there,

It’s been almost 1 year in lockdown. We went into this 11 months ago, we are all tired and it’s been a slog. I have been battling some mental health issues with depression and general executive function issues stemming from that. I hold it together for work but it uses all my spoons and after that it’s hard to turn my focus to things like food, cleaning and self care. I just want this over so I can have somewhat of a sense of normalcy. Being autistic I love my routines and being at home all the times makes the day just seem completely unstructured and it’s hard to get motivation to get through it. I also have a hard time making my own structure, I can’t seem to figure out where to begin and how to make it happen. This is hard for me to write.

I have been putting off writing a blog post mostly because I have had a lot of soul searching going on in my mind. Being in lockdown gives you a lot of time to be in your own head. I have been examining my relationship to veganism and how that figures into my life. I have been using insect based products (honey and the like) for years because I always never fully believed the argument for insects. I have been knitting quite a lot in the pandemic and I also follow sustainability and historical fashion channels on youtube. Sustainability has led me to that vegan is not always the most sustainable and plastic is a problem in our clothes. I also remember reading the book Veganomics quite a number of years ago and remembered that clothing and non-food consumables are quite a small part of the impact in animal suffering. People don’t consume as much animal products that way and over 90% of the impact of a vegan is diet alone. After that the law of diminishing returns takes effect. Between vegans and ovo-lacto vegetarians it is a difference of about 10% compared relative to a non-vegetarian for animal suffering (ovo-lacto sitting at about 80% less suffering than a non-vegetarian).

In short, I have gone back to using animal based fibres (wool, silk, alpaca etc). I am also ok with secondhand leather, the leather is already in the world, lasts a lot longer than plastic and buying it second hand does not increase demand for new leather. I’m not sweating small amounts of egg or milk in food, I was sensitive to those foods before being vegan so I will be avoiding them anyways to avoid digestive upset. I don’t know what label that is, it’s not vegan that’s for sure I would say some sort of vegetarian but honestly labels are confusing anyways and people get confused by just the vegan label anyways. I made this decision quite a while ago, around September.

Now to some lighter stuff. I haven’t posted in many months and I have been knitting and crocheting up a storm. According to Ravelry I have completed 26 projects since my last post up to the end of 2020. 7 pairs of socks, 6 scarves/cowls, 5 hats, 2 sets of coasters, 2 washcloths, one pair of fingerless gloves, one cat toy, one robe and finished a blanket that had been on my needles for about 7 to 8 years. According to Ravelry my finished projects in 2020 totalled 12,407 meters. So far in 2021 I have completed 10 projects. I’ve been on a bit of a washcloth and coaster kick and have done 7 of those. I also completed a pair of fingerless gloves a hat as well as a shawl I had on my needles since December. I have knit 1,128 meters of yarn in 2021 so far.

Currently on my needles/hooks I have 1 sweater, 1 tank top, 1 doily, 1 lap size afghan, a pair of socks and a some fair isle lavender sachets that I need to seam and finish the trim on. Between knitting, work and youtube that is what is keeping me doing ok right now.

I had a lot to say today, thanks for reading this far.

TTYL

knitting

I survived

Hi there,

So I caught the coronavirus last week and I survived. I am thanking my luck and my youth that it was a relatively mild case and that it didn’t hit my lungs really at all. I couldn’t get a test but I am pretty sure it was COVID-19 because I had a rash and a fever and there are not many rash/fever combos out there that are not Chicken Pox and I already had that. It was also pretty brutal. Anyone saying this is just like the flu and not that serious doesn’t have any idea. It wiped me out pretty hard and I had a MILD case with no respiratory symptoms. Practice social distancing and stay safe out there. I am still under quarantine until next weekend so hopefully, I don’t go too stir crazy being locked in my apartment.

In other news, I picked up my knitting and crochet again instead of sewing. I have been finding it more relaxing and easier to pass the time while being locked inside. There is a meditative aspect and it’s something where I can check my mind and focus on the repetitiveness of the movement. As much as I love sewing it is a very active process and I need something where I don’t have to think too hard right now. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is real, I just don’t have the mental space to think out a sewing pattern.

So what have I been working on?

I picked up my Hue Shift Afghan again. I got it as a Christmas gift a long while ago. It is such an easy knit with garter stitch mitred squares. I do love modular knits because in an hour you can complete a section and you feel so accomplished.

I finished my Pioneer Gloves in Knit Picks Comfy fingering in Lilac. I had started them a year ago and finally got to finishing them 2 weeks ago.

Next I did some dishcloths:

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This is the candleberry dishcloth in Knit Picks Shine Sport in Grapefruit. This one was an interesting knit because it is done from the centre outwards. It has a slightly tricky lace pattern with nupps. Nupps and I have never gotten along well.

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Next up a beaded rib dishcloth in Knit Picks Dishie in Honeydew, can you tell I am a knit picks fan… This was an easy knit and purl pattern that once you got in the rhythm knit up fairly quickly. I actually got almost finished with this pattern when I decided my needles were too big, went down a size and finished the dishcloth again. My gauge likes 4.5mm needles with this yarn for knit and purl patterns.

I also started a pair of socks.

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This is the Vanilla Latte socks in Comfy Fingering in Peapod. I forgot how much I love sock knitting. I did three speed sock knitting competitions when I was in University. When I went vegan and decided to no longer use animal fibres in knitting I thought sock knitting was out of the picture forever. Lately, I have been finding many awesome sock weight yarns that are also vegan and I am starting to experiment with those. This sock is a cotton acrylic blend so it should still be breathable, sturdy and stretchy enough to stay up. I figured this rib pattern with also help keep the socks having a good recovery. I started the socks on Wednesday and I am halfway down the foot of the sock at the end of Sunday. Nowhere near my personal record of 1 pair of socks in 24 hours, but honestly that is probably my limit and my wrists won’t like me for it.

For crochet, I finished up one project and did one from start to finish. I did the Yes Yes Shawl in a cotton bamboo blend yarn from King Cole. I started this one almost 2 years ago and I was only a couple rows from being done.

My other project was the Tiffany Scarf in Knit Picks Lindy Chain in Honey. This was such a cute scarf but just not my colour. I am hoping to gift this to someone else.

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Well, I had a lot to say today.

TTYL

 

knitting · Sewing · Weight Loss

Weight Loss Progress

Hi there,

So as the title suggests I have made progress in the weight loss front. I measured myself yesterday and I have lost 3 inches from my waist and 1/2 inch from my hips. Amazing!

I noticed it on Monday when a skirt I made around this time last year was almost falling down at work. Luckily my shirt was long that day so there was no inappropriateness.

This is kinda bittersweet because I liked that skirt and I put a fair amount of work into it, but on the other hand, I did want to become slimmer. It’s an interesting dilemma when a large portion of my clothing is me-made but I want to change in a way that it will all no longer fit. I need to keep in mind that this is for my health and wellness and it’s important to keep going with this, but it is quite sad that I have to say goodbye to some favourite pieces.

I guess that just means more sewing in the future. 😀

In other news, last weekend I did a big tidy of my apartment, (much thanks to Mom for helping). I have so much fabric that it is not fitting into the 2 designated shelves for fabric, which means I am not only on a food diet but a fabric diet as well. I have lots in my stash to choose from so it’s not like I’ll be running short anytime soon.

I am very wary about letting my stash get out of control. My late grandmother was notorious for the stash in the basement of her house. The entire basement seemed like one large fabric/yarn pile. It was always so sad because she bought so many nice pieces of fabric and yarn but had nowhere near enough time left in her life to use them all. I just would keep thinking of all the work that went into producing all that material and get very sad for all the workers and farmers that put their time into making it. I want to make sure I honour the people who made the fabric and yarn I buy by actually making it into something and trying not to waste it.

I hope my grandmother is resting peacefully if there was an afterlife I think she would be in one giant yarn/fabric pile where ever that would be. Whenever I craft I feel like I am honouring her memory, even though she wasn’t the easiest person to get on with. In fact, I see a lot of myself in her and gained an understanding of how she was on a personal level. I see a woman who went through a lot of the same psychological struggles I am but didn’t have anywhere near the same supports.

Great, now I made myself cry…

TTYL

knitting · Sewing

Soft Harmony is together!

Hi There,

It’s been a bit crazy the last few days. Mostly just work business so nothing out of the normal, don’t worry. When stuff like that gets busy it’s so helpful to take some time to relax. For me, that’s working on some projects.

This morning I completed the sweater I talked about here. It looks great! It is just the right weight for a summer/spring sweater.

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It’s a little loose, I think my tension was a little looser than specified in the pattern. I was worried while knitting the sleeves that they would be too short, but now that it’s together I see it is a bit of a dropped shoulder situation.

I also completed the tap pants from here. I don’t think they are my best work. I still have to figure out how not to let rayon challis grow out of size one me. Probably didn’t help that the pieces were draped over my iron board for a while. Oh well, it still is comfy and it’s pyjamas so that’s what counts. I still have to cut my bias tape for the cami, I find bias tape a little fiddly so I am definitely procrastinating on that one.

TTYL

 

 

knitting

My Soft Harmony Sweater

Hi there,

In addition to my sewing, I also knit. Right now I am knitting a Soft Harmony sweater from the February issue of Fashion Style. Fashion Style is the German translation of Knipmode, but they include a different knitting pattern in there from the knitting magazine Sabrina.

The Soft Harmony sweater is a boat neck sweater with half length sleeves that have a slit in the bottom. The knitting is done in a lace pattern that adds a slight scallop texture to the hem.

 

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The bottom part of a sleeve in progress

 

 

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One of the back/front pieces completed.

As you can see from the pictures I am using the Wendy Supreme DK yarn in 100% mercerized cotton. I always choose plant-based or synthetic fibres for my crafting because I am vegan. My veganism spans beyond my diet and goes to my crafting and general consumption habits as well.

I am enjoying knitting this yarn. Sometimes cotton can hurt my hands because it has no give, but this yarn I am having less of an issue with.

The needles I am using are my KnitPicks interchangeable Harmony needles. I have had these for about 8 years now and I still love them. They are just the right amount of grabby for this yarn and the points are perfect on these 5 mm needles. I find the taper of the point on these needles varies significantly between sizes but the 5 mm have a nice balance of pointiness and taper length. The only issue I have with my particular set in the 5 mm is that one of them like to become unscrewed from the cord. Nothing a quick twist can’t fix but it’s still annoying.

I’m playing chicken with the amount of yarn I have right now. Based on my current tension and how the back and front played out I should have just enough yarn to complete it. I am debating with myself whether to go back to the yarn store and see if they have another ball in this dye lot. I may see where I am at when I start the second sleeve. I have enough thread tails I might be able to salvage for the remaining knitting and the crochet around the neckline.

TTYL