"Imagine getting a box brimming with beautiful, specialty yarn delivered straight to your doorstep--a box of yarn that you didn't pay for....."
So began the (almost) too-good-to-be-true Instagram post seeking sample knitters for @woolandhoney.
Yeah, pretty much my dream job. And, yeah, I was 99.9% certain I didn't have a chance. They'll get a bazillion applicants. They'll never choose you. Why would they choose you? You don't have enough social media followers. You're Canadian; they won't want to deal with shipping logistics. And on and on went that irritating little voice in my head.
However, since making stuff with sticks and string is kinda what I do, I decided to ignore that little buzz-kill of a voice, and went straight to work preparing my knitty resume.
And then, a few weeks later, wait for it...
They picked me. THEY PICKED ME!!! OMG OMG OMG!!!
And let me tell ya', once I picked myself up off the floor, I was pretty damn ecstatic!
My first sample was the #treadhat by fellow Canadian @soveryshannon, knit using a gorgeous skein of light and lofty Stone Wool from Twig & Horn. 'Twas like I'd died and gone to knitty heaven.
Between the super-soft wool and the addictive pattern, I churned this baby out in no time...like less than a day. Then, I kinda wished I hadn't. I mean, I know the whole point of sample knitting is to be quick (and accurate, obvs), but when I pulled that tail through the final loop, it was actually kind of a let down. What do you mean it's over already?! :(
Luckily the two bodacious fibre bosses behind Wool & Honey, Melissa & Liz, have graciously invited me to knit another sample. But what will it be? What WILL it be??? Dear readers, the moment I know, you'll know, but until then I guess the suspense will have to kill us together!!!
Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
You can now get an extra helping of cold comfort, in OML Make Book, Volume 2, the latest and greatest publication from Our Maker Life.
When the @ourmakerlife dream team of Kelly (@knitbrooks) and Jewell (@northknits) approached me to be part of this inspirational project, it was a no-brainer. I was thrilled to contribute a pattern, and even more thrilled to be included alongside some of the most talented makers I already faithfully followed and loved. What an honour!
The book features 30 Top Makers, and is divided into three sections, Maker Stories, Visual Lifestyle, and Patterns. Inside these inspiring pages, you'll find stories of creativity, perseverance, and sooooo much love for fibre crafts. If you're looking for the perfect book to kick back and relax with this summer, look no further my friends!
Naturally, all the makers were approached about the book long before it's final publication date. At the time I found it SO hard to choose a pattern to contribute--I'm a Libra; decision-making isn't exactly a 'strength'. Ultimately, I chose The Trafalgar Hat, and am I ever glad I did!
The OML Make Book, Volume 2 began in the Summer of 2017. In October 2017, I published The Trafalgar Hat on Ravelry...where it went on to become my most popular pattern to date! 5000+ knitters can't be wrong ;)
Now you can get the pattern, PLUS SO MUCH EXTRA FIBRE-Y GOODNESS, in this amazing book. Yay!
I'm very excited to announce that my newest pattern, The Water Shawl, is now available on Ravelry. Hooray for easy, breezy summertime knitting!!!
If you read my last post, you'll know that this shawl was designed to be a relaxing knit, a calming project to help escape life's stresses.
The inspiration for The Water Shawl came to me earlier this spring, during a walk along the shores of a cold and churned up Lake Ontario. Life was throwing me some curveballs at the time, in the form of moving stress, purging and packing. SO. MUCH. PACKING.
The thought of being without my yarn, even for a short time, was also pretty stressful--yet inevitable. But wait, it didn't ALL have to be packed, right? Surely I could save a few skeins from cardboard box hell, right? Right!
Honestly, it felt like Sophie's Choice at the time, yet somehow I managed to select four lucky skeins, and then quickly pack away the rest of my yarn babies, reassuring them (and myself) that it was only goodbye for now, not goodbye forever.
In retrospect, I'm not sure why I had such a tough time selecting those beautiful skeins from the stash. Alpaca + linen + silk + local + hand dyed = no brainer. I mean, seriously, what was there to think about???
To be fair, I have a lot of pretty yarn. Still, I'm embarrassed to admit that these beauties from Yarn Indulgences had been languishing in my stash for over a year! But with summer coming, and a big move in progress, I was sure these 437-yard lovelies were the skeins to guarantee my survival.
And I was right. Oh man, was I right. The yarn was positively sublime to knit with. Soft, silky, soothing, natural, earthy, drapey, and ga-ga-ga-gorgeous!
Of course, one of the perks of being a knitwear designer is being able to create patterns that meet your own specific goals. I designed The Water Shawl to be engaging, so my fingers could stay interested, yet repetitive, so I could relax into the rhythm of the needles. Thanks to the silky-soft fingering-weight yarn, the portability requirement took care of itself.
In addition, The Water Shawl was intended to be big. Like big BIG. I wanted a project I could rely on to be there any time I wanted (NEEDED) to get in a few calming rows.
Now, I know this probably won't come as a surprise to most of you--although it took me a while to figure out! But it seems that the patterns I design for my own personal knitting enjoyment also end up being the patterns my fellow knitters enjoy the most. Well fancy that.
If you would like to knit The Water Shawl yourself, good news! The pattern is on sale on Ravelry until the of May! Simply add the pattern to your basket, then use promo code LOVEWATER20 during checkout to Save 20%. Happy knitting!
PS: I love seeing your cold comfort WIPs and FOs on social media. Use the tags #thewatershawl and/or #coldcomfortknits and let the whole world admire your beautiful knits!
Guilty. Totally guilty.
It's been 2 months since my last blog post, and it seems like F O R E V E R.
They say "Life is what happens while you're making other plans", and I'm inclined to agree. While I was making plans for blogging, life was keeping me busy with, um, not-blogging.
If you follow me on Instagram (@coldcomfortknits) you probably know that I recently went through one of life's most stressful events; moving. Ugh. And downsizing. Double-ugh.
My yarn and needles were destined to be packed away....the thought of which caused a not-so-mild sense of panic. What do you mean I have to put my yarn (my life) in a box for a month (might as well be a year)?! It was just too much to ask. I would opt out. Yes, that's what I'd do.
And for a while, in my own way, I did exactly that. Until finally one day it hit me: No amount of escape-sleeping, potato-chip-eating, or frantic-denial-knitting would make the move come any faster, be over any sooner, or not happen at all.
And in that space--that logical, mindful, zen kind of space--radical acceptance happened, ie. the adult in my brain gave the child in my brain a good talking to, and we all calmed the f down. I made a conscious decision to make the best of a bad situation, and make the best of it I damn well did. Evidence, The Water Shawl.
If you'll allow me to digress for a sec, I think that moving is so stressful because it's so protracted. It's not a job interview or minor medical procedure you can psych yourself up for--painful, but over fast. No, instead moving is this crazy-long process. Listing, staging, selling, buying, packing, moving, unpacking, adjusting--sometimes it seems like it will never end. And let's not forget all the ridiculous and unforeseen stuff. If you follow me on IG you're probably aware that a wind storm caused a giant tree to fall on the house, three weeks before closing. Good times. Good times.
Anyways, part of the point of this lengthy blog post is to let y'all know that I'm sorry for being ABWOL (Absent from Blog WithOut Leave) for so long. The other part is to demonstrate that beautiful things can happen when we choose to accept the situations in our lives for what they are, not what we want them to be.
I chose to accept that my life would packed up in boxes for a couple of months, that I would feel uncomfortable about it, AND that I could do something to positive despite it all. That something positive was The Water Shawl.
Since this post is now on the verge of becoming a dissertation, I'll wrap up by saying that the move is now over, all my yarn babies have been freed from their cardboard box hell, and me? I'm more convinced than ever that knitting is a legit survival skill!
I'm Alexis, the knitter/designer behind cold comfort knits. My favourite animal is a sheep (obvi). My primary knitting fuel is coffee. And my inner child is actually an inner senior-citizen.