Hey guys! Thanks so much for your interest in test knitting the GREEN FLAME! cowl. I’ve collected the names of many lovely knitters who I will be contacting about this test knit but do not need more at the moment! If you’d like to be notified by email about future test knitting opportunities, fill out the form here.
Help a gal out and knit this awesome GREEN FLAME! cowl while giving me feedback about your experience. You’ll get the pattern for free, plus any updates in the future.
I will need knitters with colorwork experience and the ability to get this cowl done within 2-3 weeks. I am looking for patient knitters who will be available for answering questions, giving feedback, and have the ability to take some nice photos to post to Ravelry!
Knitted circumference approx. 20.5in / 52cm.
26 sts x 35 rows = 4in / 10cm
2.75mm (US 2) 16in circulars — or size to obtain gauge
3 stitch markers (1 unique to mark round)
DK-weight wool in 3 colors, approximate lengths:
104yd / 95m of lime green
38yd / 35m of dark green
60yd / 55m of gray
Are you in?
Sign up below and I’ll contact you within the next few weeks to let you know if I’ll be needing your help! Unfortunately, I can only handle so many test knitters, so you may not be chosen, but I greatly appreciate your interest and hope you’ll still knit your own GREEN FLAME! cowl when it’s released!
This weekend, the gals and I are getting together for another Lost Projects Club. So I’m took out my WIPs (works-in-progress) to get a good idea of what I might want to work on while sipping tea and chatting.
I have 9… and then I walked out of the room to get some coffee and noticed another one not organized with my stash of WIPs.
So I’m wondering “When do I give these up and use the yarn for something else?”, “Why haven’t I finished these when I obviously felt like I wanted to knit them in the first place?”, and “What can I do to spark some interest in these again?”.
One thing I’m noticing here is that 3 of the projects that I’ve stopped working on are scarves. I think it’s because it’s hard to keep my knitting mojo up for a garment that I will only get to wear when we go on vacation. Or I go on a walk at 5am in January. Maybe.
That jewel-toned, striped scarf at the top is my weather scarf, started in 2013! The scarf is already 8 feet long and I think I was a little over halfway done with it. For as much time as I spent on this, I could have created a Doctor Who scarf! It’s time to cast this one off and just call it finished.
There are two cross stitch WIPs there too. I stopped cross stitching because I feel like I’m not very good at it. I didn’t think there would be much technique to making neat Xs with thread, but there is! It seems like I end up splitting my thread with each stitch. But my new motto is “Done is better than perfect!” so I’m going to finish these. Plus, I have 4 more cross stitch kits waiting to be made after these!
Because it’s not entirely enthralling, I’m not going to give a synopsis of every WIP, but I have figured out whether or not I want to keep each one by answering a set of questions.
Do you have a ton of WIPs collecting dust? Want to do something about them?
Get them all out. Notice what types of projects they are, what kind of yarn you’re using, even what needles/hooks you’re using and ask yourself:
Is there a certain garment I always quit working on? Why?
Try ripping out your yarn and use it for something you think you’ll use. Or get someone in mind for the current project – think of how happy they’ll be to receive your item and start working for them!
Is there a certain type of yarn I quit working with? Is it too soft? Scratchy? Thin?
Maybe give this yarn to someone else and try your project with something new and more exciting!
Do those needles, that crochet hook, or whatever tools you’re using just suck?
Maybe it’s something as simple as a stitch marker that just kept getting caught on your work, annoying you to no end. You’re gonna hate me, but dammit, go splurge on some awesome tools! Treat yourself and get excited about your project again!
Is it the stitch pattern?
Do you find it too difficult? Try a new pattern with a more TV-friendly stitch pattern. Too boring? Get some lace on those needles!
Has it been 10 years since you started the project?
It may just be time to let it go…
Maybe none of these issues applies – you still love the pattern, the yarn, the needles are fine… but you just put down your project and you’re not sure why. My best advice to spark your interest in the project again would be to go on Ravelry and look for other finished projects using the pattern you’re using. Get jealous of what others have completed and tell yourself, “Self, I don’t have to be jealous! I can kick butt and finish this project so I too can have this garment (or whatever)!” Find the inspiration that led you to start the project in the first place, keep it fresh in your mind, and pick that project back up.
I hope these questions help you figure out what to do with your old WIPs. If you have any advice for what you usually do with WIPs, I’d love to hear them!
For your knitting pleasure, let me introduce my newest pattern, Nice Cuppa!
This is a stranded colorwork beanie, knit up in primary colors, with a bit of vintage style that was inspired by a friend and her teacup. Read about my inspiration here.
I used O-Wool’s O-Wash Fingering yarn because the primary colors are deep, the yarn is organically processed to be a superwash wool, and O-Wool produces their yarns with a concern for animal welfare and the environment. The big bonus is that they also sell their fingering weight yarn in smaller mini-skeins, which is perfect for colorwork!
The hat is made to fit adult heads with some wiggle room. I’ve included measurements for the pattern repeats so that you can alter the circumference and the height if you need or want to.
Designing and knitting a sample for a magazine within a month was a little hectic… As seen below, you can see how stressed I am, filling every second of my day with knitting.
Saturday Afternoon Armwarmers were inspired by ‘slow moments’. I imagined sitting in my favorite arm chair, knitting a project with the softest yarn on a chilly, spring afternoon (which don’t exist here in Florida, but I tried). Oversized, snuggly arm warmers came to mind. I sketched them up, made a swatch, and the rest is history!
I sometimes dream of putting on an outfit that brings out my inner hippy. I love the white lace that always seems to be front and center in so many bohemian outfits. It’s also the only style I know of that has so much crochet!
I went on a hunt for knitting and crochet patterns that feel bohemian and free-spirited to me.
I think I may have gasped when I saw this and then to see that the pattern is free…! I love that this is knitted, as it has a different look than a lot of the boho tops you see (crocheted in white). Super cute, though I couldn’t get away with wearing a crop top.
I can imagine so many different color combinations with this bracelet, or maybe making it a bit smaller using thinner yarn and a smaller crochet hook. Also, sitting at a computer all day, I find hard bracelets to be a bit cumbersome, so a soft bracelet like this seems like it would be rather comfortable.
Felicia’s latest post, Craft as “a little space to collect oneself”, on The Craft Sessions hit me today. I wrote a comment in response, but I realized as I posted it that it probably would have made for a better blog post than a comment.
In a nutshell, her post is about having lost a private, physical space to craft in and how it’s affected her. There are more interruptions to her craft time because she’s out in the open and available. And sometimes she feels guilty about taking craft breaks since everyone can see her taking a break. She’s basically lost all craft time because she lost the privacy.
My circumstances are a bit different than Felicia’s. While I’ve never had a private space for crafting, I do have private time. It’s me that’s holding myself back from taking time out to craft, not someone else. This is what resonated with me from Felicia’s post:
“I may be voicing a universal longing for enough space to breathe and put things in perspective…… More and more we’re challenged and unsettled by it in part because I think we’re more and more addicted to our busyness. ”
— Pico Iyer – Dumbo Feather Issue 46
And Felicia’s feelings of guilt for not filling her time with busy things…
“But thinking about it I’m not even sure the judgement I’m trying to avoid is external. I have the feeling some of it, might be coming from me. My feelings around what I should be doing.”
I have been struggling with this lately. I don’t have a full time job anymore, which clears up so much space. I had hoped to make room for crafting and design as a freelance career, but it seems that I have filled every nook and cranny with my old job (web design), just on a freelance basis. I think I’ve done this because I swear that everyone around me thinks I’m sitting at home just drinking a cup of tea. (They really don’t. If anything, they imagine me doing magic with two wands as I knit up a project, since most people I know don’t know how to knit and think they never could.)
The process of crafting from scratch is slow. Web design is much faster, so I think I’ve filled my time with it as a way to show those around me that I’m being productive. I’ve been saying “Yes” to so many things I don’t even really want to do! I’ve been valuing my worth by how many ‘things’ I’ve accomplished.
As Paco said, I seem to be addicted to how busy I am. Ticking off small, quick items on my to-do list. Forgetting about the bigger goals, like becoming a knitwear designer. (Well, not forgetting… More like anguishing about it while I do other things that aren’t moving me toward my goal.)
I feel like I have to earn my time to craft.
It’s good to consider how well we’re treating ourselves. We’re not robots. To me, life isn’t about how hard we work, it’s about family, friends, compassion, growing, enjoyment…
How do you give yourself permission to do what you really want to do, even when it doesn’t pay? Even when you already have enough money?
Emma Mitchell touched on this during her interview on A Playful Day. She quit a well-paying, high-power job to craft because it felt better. It’s a great interview, give it a listen!
I’m going to get a little Buddhist here, but I think it has to do with remembering that our human lives are precious. Yes, we need money for food and shelter, but if you’ve got that covered, it may help to remember that you’re lucky to be here, alive, as a human.
In Buddhist views, you could have been born a cat, doomed to nap all day! No thumbs to knit with!
The fact that you’re able to craft should be celebrated! Take the time for yourself to do what makes you feel alive. Everyone and everything else can wait 5 minutes. (Or 30!)
I may make something practical, to be worn or used…
Or maybe I’ll just make something for the sake of looking pretty.
There’s also something about doing things the slow way that is extremely satisfying to me. Like the time I collected acorns and simmered them for a day, then roasted them for an hour.
Or picking and shelling pigeon peas for days…
It seems that people don’t know much about how things are made anymore. Because we don’t need to make from scratch, a lot of us don’t.
Knitting seems like voodoo to some that watch me. Planting a garden and keeping it alive (not even thriving) seems like a major feat (when in reality, I probably visit my garden every other week sometimes and it seems to do quite fine without me). Seeing my friends turn flat fabric into a garment blows my mind. When I realized that I could create yarn with my own two hands from fleece, I was amazed. There is always something to learn and most crafts, even if they seem impossible, are within reach with a bit (or a lot) of practice.
Yes, making is a slow process but it is so satisfying to make something from scratch — mindfully — yourself. To know every step from raw material to end product has made me appreciate the conveniences available to me. Most of all, it teaches me patience.
As an animal lover and earth enthusiast, I try to be conscious of what I’m buying, where I’m buying it from, and what implications that purchase has on our environment. Until recently, I had not given much thought to where my yarn was coming from, aside from when I purchased local yarn while traveling.
With a new knit design in mind, I went on a search for a line of yarns that is environmentally-friendly, animal-friendly, has a good set of colors and could be cost-effective for colorwork.
O-Wool is run by Jocelyn J. Tunney, who seems to work hard to source humane, organic wool, cotton and alpaca. (And if you’re wondering how wool might not be humane, Google the term ‘museled’. The sheep that provide wool to O-Wool are not museled.)
She also tries to keep things as local to her as possible: the wool is dyed, spun, and skeined locally to her in Philadelphia.
I’ve never ordered a shade card before, but it’s a great way to compare colors in a line of yarn and I didn’t even have to leave the house!
O-Wool’s “O-Wash” is machine washable, using an organic compound that stops the wool from felting.
O-Wash uses a GOTS certified organic compound to create machine-washability. The compound holds the fibers still during washing so the scales cannot interlock and felt. Conventional “superwash” processes burn the scales off the fiber with an acid bath, or coat the fiber in a resin, or both. O-Wash both has its scales and uses a certified organic compound!
O-Wash Sport has some very vivid colors and a nice sheen. At the time of this post, one skein is $15.99/336 yards. A little pricy for colorwork, since I wouldn’t need the whole skein, but a good price for what you’re getting.