WIP Wednesday: March, April and May

It feels like time for another WIP Wednesday post, considering my last one was over three months ago. And much has happened, both on and off the needles, since then!

Now let’s see if I can manage to summarize the last three months in one short and concise blog post, partially based on my Instagram feed :).

Here goes.

March: Casting On

In March, I planned on knitting these three projects:

Out of the three, the colorful wedges made the most progress of them all. I guess it’s not surprising, considering it is such a mindless garter stitch knit, requiring very little attention span other than keeping track of the location of the short rows!

The Ramble Shawl made a fair bit of progress as well, another mindless knit. I was reluctant to get too far ahead on this one, however, as I knew that the brioche section would soon come. A task that I didn’t feel quite up to just yet.

The Cadeautje Slippers were cast on, and soon forgotten. I barely made any progress at all on these since then. They have instead been cast aside, into the pile of the forgotten WIP’s. This is partly because they were (or should I say are), meant as a gift for my dear brother who recently moved across the world with his family to live in Australia. I guess I just couldn’t wrap my head around how (or why) he would ever come to need a pair of slippers while living in this hot and dry country. So that pretty much dropped my motivation to knit these to zero, as we all know there is nothing worse than a knitted gift that never gets used. Instead, I will continue to brainstorm useful knit gifts for men who live in tropical countries. This is a tricky topic, as I can’t imagine him wearing some type of mesh tank, its just not his style. Any suggestions?

March was also the start of Knit Nights! The first event had a total of three people show up (to be perfectly fair, one of the three was myself, and the other was a friend I dragged along, but still …). Although the online community of knitters is super supportive and encouraging, it’s another experience entirely to sit down face-to-face with other knitters and chat about WIPs and frogging dilemmas in person.

April: Knitting Hiatus and Annapurla

April was an interesting month that was full of surprises. I ended up getting sent to Nunavut, a cold and dry Canadian territory in the Arctic. I brought my Colorful Wedges baby blanket project to work on, but didn’t get much done, as my days were mostly filled with working, eating and sleeping on repeat for two full weeks.

I also devoted a lot of time to finishing up the Annapurla hat pattern. It went through the full tech editing process with Tiny Island Textiles. I am so, so glad I made the decision to “go all the way” with my knitting patterns and get it tech edited and test knit, because the finished product will be something I am much more happier with and proud of! Although this did require a significant amount of frogging and reknitting. The pattern is currently in it’s test knitting stages. I’m debating if I should release it as soon as it’s finished (June), or wait until September. What are your thoughts?

This is V2 of the Annapurla hat pattern. I made it slouchier, before finally deciding I didn’t like the look of the slouch and tweaked it once more! Now I’m super happy with the final product. I’ll release the latest photos of the hat once the pattern is published!

Knit nights continued to grow, and the last event had over 8 people show up (although there were likely more that ended up knitting at another venue as the pub was hosting a work party with live music the very same night – for those of you who missed that, sorry about the miscommunication!).

May: Splurges and Shinrin-Yoku

May marked the arrival of many online splurges to my doorstep. I ended up purchasing a multitude of colours from Beaverslide, and also caved in and treated myself to a set of Lykke circular needles, after ogling them for so long.

A few sunny days led me to venture more and more outside. I hiked up Westwood Ridge, then Mount Benson. I also tried commuting to work on my bicycle, although during my second time I managed to get hit by a vehicle! Luckily, it was only scrapes and bruises – but it also means that for now I am putting off my cycling commute until I can find a less busy route.

May also lent me some time for reflections, and on how spending time outdoors and in nature is such an important part of my well-being. If I don’t go for a hike during my weekend and just spend my time indoors, I go back to work on Monday significantly more depressed than if I had spent the weekend immersed in nature. I researched a bit of this concept, and came across two interesting terms.

Shinrin-Yoku and Friluftsliv. Two foreign terms that embody the experience of immersing yourself in the great outdoors.

Shinrin-Yoku

Shinrin-Yoku is a Japanese term that can literally be translated to mean “forest-bathing”. I can’t think of a better way to describe the experience of being completely surrounded by nature.

For a bit of a scientific background on the proven health benefits of shinrin-yoku, check out this article.

Friluftsliv

Friluftsliv is a Norwegian term that translates to “free-air life”. Another concept that I feel is something our North American culture is severely lacking. For an outsider’s perspective on the impact of Friluftsliv, read this article.

May FO’s and WIP’s

I finished my Colorful Wedges Baby Blanket by Purl Soho just in time for Mother’s Day. It was a perfect gift for my cousin and her 5-week old baby!

Finally finished! Although it didn’t come out as a perfect square. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to block it before gifting it to my dear cousin for Mother’s Day.

My Ramble Shawl didn’t make much progress – I made it up to the brioche section before putting it on hold. I will probably try swatching this section first before trying it on the actual pattern, as I expect there to be much frogging.

Still haven’t worked the courage to delve into the brioche portion of this shawl! Although I did manage to bake some floral cupcakes in the meantime 🙂

To Sew or Not to Sew, that is the question

And let’s not forget my sewing WIP (for the full story, click here). I ended up purchasing this pattern, which I will sew a mock-up of in some old bedsheets (thanks to my  mother for this great idea!). I also need to invest in some equipment to begin natural dyeing – I can’t wait! Part of this inspiration to begin experimenting with natural dyes stems from Oysters and Purls who has just released her third collection this year! 

Distractions, distractions, distractions …

With so many different things going on, it can be hard to stay focused. To counter this, I decided to join the #getshitdonechallenge hosted by Hanna Lisa Haferkamp. So far, it’s made me realize the importance of picking small and achievable projects, writing things down, and sticking to them! All things that I need to work on. But really, with so many interesting things in this great big online world of ours, is it no wonder that I find it difficult to get stuff done while sitting at my computer?

I mean, how can I not read Fringe Association’s latest Slow Fashion Citizen post?

Or cling to every line of Oyster and Purl’s post on the Struggles of a Maker?

Or ogle the latest beautiful pattern from Boyl and Knit Works?

You get my point, right?

Now, its off for a May long weekend of camping to restore my friluftsliv and immerse myself in some shinrin-yoku. No distractions allowed.

What do you get distracted most by? Let me know in the comments below!

Psssst! Today is the last day to enter the Maker Spotlight Gift of Knitting Pattern Giveaway!

Deadline for entries is Wednesday, May 17 at 11:59pm EST

You have two ways to enter:

  1. Leave a comment on the Maker Spotlight post with the pattern you wish to win along with your Ravelry username.
  2. Leave a comment on this Instagram post including the pattern you wish to win and tag two friends.

That’s all there is to it! The winners will be announced on Thursday at 7am PST / 10am EST!

6 Comment

  1. Hey! Way to get that blanket done-it looks rather large. I hear ya with over-estimating knitting potential. It’s really quite a challenge to keep motivation alive when there are so many new wonderful things to knit. I’ve got three projects promised and have made no movements towards getting started on them. Guess I better get on that. Good thing we’ve got a long weekend coming up, eh? Theyre calling for snow too, so perhaps its just what I need to amp up my knitsperation!

    1. Haha, thank you! I hope your long weekend was very fruitful in getting started on your knitting projects ;). On my end, I went camping, but knit way less than expected – I’m having a bit of knitter’s block at the moment as all my current knitting projects require focus – something I don’t seem to have much of these days…;)

  2. Am says: Reply

    Oh my goodness! First of all, thank you so much for mentioning our yarn and blog, I feel so honored! Also, I really enjoyed this post, especially the part about spending time outdoors in nature. I feel the same way, and living in the city is making me feel so claustrophobic at times. Thankfully, I go to the nearby park almost every day with my daughter (if and when it’s nice out)! I’m so impressed with your sewing project. It is so brave of you to make your own bridesmaid dress, and I’m so looking forward to the natural dyeing! I’m here to help if you need anything 🙂
    I get distracted by Instagram, my daughter, Ravelry, Fringe…Wooly Venture 🙂

    1. I’m so glad you liked the post, Am! And yes, parks can definitely be a great escape from city life, good on you for taking the time to get outside! Oh man … I’m not sure if it was the most wise decision to sew my own bridesmaid dress – I still have so much work to do!! I think I’m going to have to just carve out a weekend and do nothing but sew – this is a project that will require much focus! And unlike knitting, it won’t be quite as easy to put it down and just pick it up again :-/

  3. Cool post, except for the bike accident !! On your second day..! Sounds like you’re ready for a really short bike trip 😛
    Your cupcakes look delicious too !

  4. Alina says: Reply

    You’ve been so busy with all your projects! Wow! I would wait until August with the hat – it’d perfect for first Fall chills.

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