Sunday, December 03, 2023

The End of an Era?

I want to thank those of you who have been reading my blog, some since the very early days. I started blogging at the very tail end of 2004 and over the years blogged about anything creative I was up to. Back then it was a way of keeping records for my own recollection. 

Now, with Ravelry, that sort of record keeping is not as pertinent for me. Blogs are no longer read with the fervor that they once were either. We creative types have other ways of staying in touch with each other.

As you may have noticed my posts here have become fewer and farther between. I know blogging is less common these days, and to tell the truth most days I just don't have enough to say to make a wordy post. My creative endeavors continue, I'm just less inclined to post in depth about it. 

If you've missed me at all you are welcome to follow me on Instagram where I have started posting photos of my projects along with other little snippets of life. My explanations of the photos will be brief and to the point. I may still pop in here from time to time, but for the most part you'll find me on Instagram and at Ravelry. In both places my username is still wovenflame. On Ravelry my username is capitalized Wovenflame. See you there?

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Startitis Castonugus

 Have you ever worked away industriously on a project only to miss the busy-ness terribly when it is finished? 


That's the way it's been with this one. Knowing that the start of the West Knits MKAL 2023 was coming up on October 5th I have been diligently working on this handspun hand knit sweater for at least a couple of hours every day so that my time and needles are clear for the launch day.

I love love LOVE the sweater and have been wearing it constantly since it came off the needles --- but I miss it as a project. Within minutes of finishing I had a bad case of Startitis Castonugus and dug through my handspun stash in search of a small project to tide me over until I, along with thousands of other knitters, can get going on what will no doubt be another epic shawl. 

This is the hand dyed roving I started with.

I purchased it from West Coast Colour at FibresWest 2023. I estimated that to be safe I needed 9 of the 100g bundles, but 9 of the exact same colour run were not available. I did my best to create a gradient by plying singles from each colourway together with others in a way that progressed through all the colours.

The fade through the colours isn't perfect, but I'm happy with it anyway. The sweater is so comfortable! I find the Targhee wool is an interesting mix of woolly feeling, yet next to the skin soft. It also seems to keep me at a comfortable temperature. I've been wearing it a lot and haven't been too hot or too cold, despite changes in the weather and the temperature in our home. 

I'm very happy with the sizing. I designed the sweater myself using Elizabeth Zimmerman's Percentage System to work out the increase and decrease rates and it fits very well. 

I love the simple textured stitch pattern I worked out. It's a slip stitch column over a reverse stockinette background. I did some calculating so that the columns of slip stitch came together neatly at the Central Double Decreases that make up the raglan shaping. 

This next photo isn't the greatest picture of some of the neat little finishing details, but I want to mention them. I went to the extra time and work to do a tubular cast on at the hem and the cuffs and a matching tubular bind off at the neckline. I also made sure that the 1x1 ribbing of the hem and cuff flowed straight into the columns of slipped stitches in the main body and sleeves. I think it's a nice touch.

Very pleased with this project. I miss having it on my needles. 

Saturday, July 08, 2023


Some projects are just pure pleasure, right from the get go. This little handspun baby sweater is one of them. I'm knitting it in my own 3 ply merino/kid-mohair/silk handspun. The fibre was hand dyed by Jude of Ewesful Creations. It spun up very soft and, combined with the stitch pattern, makes a lovely squishy, bouncy fabric.

The pattern is "Purl Textured Cardigan" by Jacqueline Gibb. It's only available in the newborn to 3 month size but I like it so much I may try to work out an adult version for myself some time in the future.

Is there a new baby expected in the family? Nope. Just felt like knitting something that would tick a few boxes. My criteria were:
1. Requires no purchases other than the pattern. 
2. Uses some of my growing stash of handspun. 
3. Fits a category for submission at the Chilliwack Fair in August. 
4. Can be sold at the Chilliwack Christmas Craft Fair in November.

The pattern didn't call for it, but I've gone to the extra work of starting the 1x1 ribbing with a tubular cast on. Fussy and time consuming, but so worth it. I love the way the ribbing runs right up to the edge. So polished looking!

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Sophie X2

I've been watching Podcasts each morning while Teddy, our dog, naps for two hours. It's nice to have that quiet crafting time to look forward to on a daily basis. While watching/listening I've completed two Sophie Scarves, not so much because I need them, but just to keep my hands busy with an easy, mindless project. 

I do love this size, shape, and style of scarf. I made a similar one last winter and, in the cooler months, I found it to be just right for keeping the chill from my neck on our morning dog walks. The small size means there are no ends dangling annoyingly. It can be wrapped twice and tied, and if it is not wrapped and tied, the modest length allows it to be tucked neatly into a coat. 

I knit these two in "Colorina" from, which is a soft 80% acrylic/20% wool blend. Each scarf took a little less than one entire ball, though due to the finer gauge I knitted until the increases brought the width to 41 stitches rather than the number called for in the pattern.

The red/orange one is knit with colourway 12 Sweet Secret and the black was knit with colourway 15 Silhouette

It's a popular pattern and has been knitted 9758 times on Ravelry alone!

Monday, June 19, 2023

DRK Everyday Cowl

A relaxing and enjoyable knit. The pattern is the DRK Everyday Cowl by Andrea Mowry and the yarn is my own 3ply handspun, a merino/kid mohair/silk blend.

It was about 6 mornings of mindless knitting while watching Podcasts. The knitting was repetitive enough to be relaxing, but the pattern had enough unusual shaping to keep it interesting. 

Thinking that a scarf/cowl doesn't need exact fitting I foolishly did not do a gauge swatch. Nearing completion I realized that, as is, it was not going to fit over my head once seamed. I decided to just pick up stitches along the short slip stitched edge to knit a little rectangle of garter stitch to extend the neck opening.

Ta Da! my fix worked. I love the result. So comfortable and easy to wear.

 Turns out my 3ply handspun was more like a fingering weight yarn than the DK the pattern calls for. The thing is, I LIKE this weight! I don't think I'd want it to be heavier. I may make more cowls from this pattern in the future, but I'll work out the math so that I can keep the lighter weight.

Friday, June 16, 2023

Hosta and Froggy

Have I introduced this little monster? No?

How about this character?
No, not Froggy either?

Hmmm, it seems I've been a little remiss lately, working away on projects but then forgetting to blog about them after they are completed. Both had their debut as Show and Tell at guild meetings, but then got tucked away and forgotten.

This little handspun one-eyed "Imaginarium Monster" was completed in April. She was crocheted to fulfill a challenge for the guild's spin-in coming up this fall. Last year each person who came to the spin-in was given a skein of yarn from a former guild member's estate and asked to "do something" with it for the following year. Mine was a skein of rather scratchy natural coloured handspun.

The yarn was too coarse for anything that might be worn close to the skin, and in it's natural colour was rather uninspiring, so it sat forlornly wondering if I would attend the Spin-In without it. Then one day while overdyeing a shawl with black dye I decided to exhaust the extra dye in the pot by throwing the unloved estate-challenge skein in to sop up what remained. The skein turned out a satisfactory charcoal colour. That over-dyed estate-challenge skein made it most of the way through the pattern but I had to supplement with my own handspun yarn to complete the arms and leaf-hands. I look forward to bringing "Hosta" to the Spin-In.

This little guy some of you might recognize as he seems to be popping up all over the internet in various forms. He is from a pattern by Claire Garland called simply, "Frog". I've seen some renditions of the finished frog selling for US-$125! I initially thought that that seemed a lot for such a small project. I thought perhaps I'd make a half dozen or so to sell at the Christmas Craft Market. 🤣

Um -- NO. Make that a HELL NO! Way way too fiddly and too much work for me to make over and over again. No fear of there being a plague of frogs coming off MY needles! And after all those shaping decreases and increases there is no way I am going to cover up all that work with a little handknit sweater like I see many of the frogs wearing.

I've got a couple more finished projects to show, but they can wait for another day. 

Thursday, June 08, 2023

Teddy's Big Adventure

Teddy had a whole new experience today -- his first ever kayaking trip. Because it would be Teddy's first trip out on water we wanted to keep the trip short and close to home. We chose the Hope River Slough, only minutes from home, in case it didn't go well. 

Teddy did VERY well though. He was a great little boater.

There were a few moments, right at the beginning, where Teddy wasn't sure what was expected of him. 

After a reassuring kiss from Momma and some repositioning of seating arrangements,

Everything was all sorted out and we were on our way.

Papa came along too, as Teddy's official "Papa-razzi".

The weather was great but the water was murky and launching was a challenge due to a strong back eddy in the launch area. 

I was glad I put a dog bed pad in the bottom of the kayak because it wasn't long before Teddy's boredom --

And the warm sunshine made Teddy sleepy.

The bottom of a gently rocking kayak is a great place for a fresh air nap.