The Knit Knack's Blog

my handspinning, knitting, natural dye, weaving fibre home


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Happy Halloween!

Handcarved pumpkin with tea light on a formica countertop
Ty’s design: Boo!

Happy chilly morning of Halloween! Going out with Spark this morning, I had to wear my longer, warmer coat for the -3C temperature.

It’s been an exhausting lead into this Halloween. The start to this virtual academic year (by choice in our Province) with the same school/new administration was intense.

As if that were not enough we had news that put a new light on our parenting journey. The summary of a 14-month process that then had to be put to other people.

Multicolour handwoven cotton loop potholder with favourite dinosaurs and transformer toys birthday present
For Dad with love

We just completed week 6 of instruction. I would be lying if I were to now flood TKK with the collection of images & sing Halloween from the crafter’s songbook.

It might be nice to paper over the trouble a Mom has when yes:

  • I have projects on the go, some lovely;
  • last year’s advocacy gave refreshing results;
  • the new folks seem dedicated; and
  • we have a better bead on inclusion virtually, sort-of.

Here is where that would be a lie: I am still going into week 7 pushing for invisible differences. No law to date requires Ontario boards of education to develop policies & guidelines for those differences.

Oh, and everybody is bone tired.

We said goodbye to technical difficulties with virtual school Halloween for a better plan.

Instead of whipping up an illusion, here is what I am proud of. If the Mighty Wolf gets dressed with what’s on her warp beam, I may tell that tale later too. Let’s skip that & the onion skin dye job & everything else.

Perhaps you have pandemic brain too, a post.

Double Doodle in car coming home from first grooming visit
Spark gets his first grooming visit & barks at a man

We celebrated Spark’s first birthday on September 9th. He is a Very Fine Pet & stays in touch with his mouthy side. This stocky Double Doodle is 2′ from paw to shoulder (hey, breeders lie, surprise!)

A lot of good comes of improving on 1 concrete thing. Shaggy, over-heating Double Doodle comes out of a pet store’s service all fancy & look! I got an idea!

Set-up rows of a Freesia shawl on circular Addi lace click needle resting on clipboard with pattern.  The yarn is handspun Polwarth silk by irieknit.
Garter stitch is my love language I guess

These 2 things were definitely linked. Naturally, Melvin wanted in on the action from time-to-time. He too is a Very Fine Pet after all.

Domestic short haired black and white cat occupying shawl knitting time by resting on work-in-progress handspun Freesia shawl by irieknit. The yarn is aqua and shades of blue handdyed.
He thinks nothing of interrupting but is the best cat

Neither N nor T really gets this shawl. They are right, it does (sort-of) look like others I have knit but don’t tell them I said that.

Wearing new blocked Freesia shawl in handspun Polwarth silk by irieknit.  The combed top fibre was handdyed by Sheepy Time Knits.
Making more than a thing

This asymmetrical shawl pattern is by Annie Baker Designs, the Freesia Shawl. Their website is here.

Back view of wearing knitted Freesia shawl in handspun Polwarth/silk yarn by irieknit.  The yarn is turquoise and blue with combed top fibre handdyed by Sheepy Time Knits.
The rows get very long as you go

For some reason the yardage requirement kept me from knitting this for a long time. The spinning side was a quick few days this past May.

The fibre is 85% Polwarth wool/ 15% Tussah silk combed top handdyed by Sheepy Time Knits. It is a beautiful base for Mandie’s Mermaid colourway, and I had 8 oz.

The yarn was spun (quickly!) on my Watson Martha spinning wheel in double drive. Yield was 615 yds (i.e. a cool 1,230 yds per pound.

Side view of wearing knit Freesia shawl in handspun Polwarth/Silk yarn by irieknit.  The turquoise and blues combed top was dyed by Sheepy Time Knits.
[ignore the mess] Parent advocate

Please bear with less posting – there are no extra hands on deck now & the laptop has a new life for online learning + video conferencing.

I am still using Twitter, and post more images on instagram. You can find me in both spaces as irieknit.

Handmade cloth sure does come in handy (sourdough cozy idea)

Welcome, if you are a new follower! I smile each time a TKK notification comes through.


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Weaving the weaving in – Swedish Anna cotton towels

Handwoven cotton Swedish Anna towels by irieknit with yellow hem in 4-shaft crystal twill

Woven with love, hemmed in the fullness of time

The simple idea to keep weaving after the handspun scarf brought the second Joanne Hall designed kit off my shelf & onto the Mighty Wolf’s beams.  One is in our kitchen, and these 2 are shipped to loved ones.

Handwoven Swedish Anna cotton tea towel in 4-shaft Herringbone twill by irieknit as gift

For Keisha and she says that it matches their kitchen

This kit was expertly wound, tied and had a 3×3 cross that cannot be blamed for my threading error in a mid-yellow stripe!  Herringbone over 12 threads, and at 24 ends per inch.

Yellow wildflowers and creek in morning light by irieknit

At the relaxed stage of a walk

Through spring, and now the beginning of summer, I went in for longer-than-usual morning walks.  Life this school year took a very troubling turn, and the walks are after Ty starts his day; while I need to order mine in some peace.

Morning light through a park tree by irieknit

Best light

One right step after another, I began to see the days differently, choose new ways, and wonder why I ever rushed home via the shortcut in the first place.

Three skeins of handspun Masham wool yarn dyed by Sheepy Time Knits and spun by irieknit

Minerva Masham awaits her end use

The spindles’ WIP jar is noticeably clearer now but knits have fallen by the wayside.  These are heavy topics that I feel in my body – something had to give.

Harrisville Designs potholder loom with plain weave in progress

Ty’s first loom dressed with all the colours!

As I set about weaving a retirement gift for Mom (only about 3 design rounds with her!) we have a new weaver in the house.  This is a Harrisville Designs Potholder Loom, and Ty is closing his eyes to choose a loop for each pick to meet his well thought-out warp.

Single flax bloom from potted plant

Flax for the garden

A gem from the local farmer’s market, yesterday:  flax.  If only for the beautiful blooms but I am going to enjoy every second with this single plant!

In keeping with those walks, I am trying new ways of doing things.  It is a watershed year.  The good news is that support is coming.  One professional told me last week that I am ahead of others at the same point.  I scoffed and then took it back, thanking her for a compliment.

The Tour de Fleece is coming up now, and I am riding with Team Spindlers.  It is good to participate again and I will be going gently with myself.

Handdyed fibre by Sheepy Times Knits Female Heroes Club 2019 and Tabachek holly whorl drop spindle

Elizabeth Bennet, I have plans for you

The spindle plying work is all well and good but my Tabachek Holly spindle really does need to see some Female Heroes club love, don’t you think?  The label has the most wonderful run of words together: merino/alpaca/camel/silk.

This and WIPs will round out my Tour plans.  The wheels are also busy but one team is all I can manage this summer.