Last Friday was my Ph.D. defense. After a bit of a major anxiety freak out the week before, I actually went into the defense not feeling completely out of my mind with nerves (although I did wake up around 6am the morning of, but it meant I got some knitting in before I had to head to campus). Once the actual event got going, the nerves melted away and science brain kicked in. So I can now proudly declare that I am Dr. Brandy Velten, Ph.D. I still have a strong impulse to call up every agency that sends me physical mail and change my salutation to Dr., but I haven’t. Yet.
Since earning my freedom from the academic grind house that is graduate school, I’ve been diving back into my knitting and dyeing.
I’ve got a new shawl design on the needles that I’m really enjoying at the moment. A nice simple background with a pop of color and texture that makes it a fun tv-watching knit with some bits of intrigue thrown in to look forward to every few rows. And because my shawl collection isn’t reaching outrageous proportions as it is, I’m anxious to get this one off the needles to accompany me on our evening walks with Rufus as the temperatures are (kinda, sorta, just a bit) getting cooler in these parts.
A little while back, I couldn’t help myself from dying up a few Halloween-inspired colorways for the Long Dog Yarn shop. One particularly caught my fancy, so I had to steal a skein of Boo! for myself to knit up a pair of festive Halloween socks. The medium length color changes in the skein make up some striping stripes that I’m totally digging. I’m really looking forward to some mindless knitting time on these beauties!
Linking up with KCCO and Ginny.
For many, spring signals the start of shawl season, and while we still have temperatures in 30’s here in Canada (Fahrenheit, of course – you can take the girl out of the US but you can’t take Fahrenheit out of the girl), I’m so so so ready for spring. So to celebrate it’s arrival, I’m releasing the pattern for my Feyre shawl, which is now available on Ravelry.
Feyre is named for the main protagonist in Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses series. It is a take on the Beauty and the Beast story interworven with fairy lore – what’s not to love? Feyre is a tough girl with a soft side, dreaming of one day being a painter, when she is taken away to the Spring Court of the Fae, where love and adventure ensues. So it seems perfect to celebrate her with a bright, colorful striped shawl with a lace border that reminds me of spring blossoms.
I knit Feyre in some delicious Knitted Wit fingering single yarn I picked up when I was visiting Portland in January. I’ve made it a habit to pick up some yarn my local dyers whenever I visit a new place, and the beautiful, bold colors in the Knitted Wit yarns just called out to me. You know I can’t resist a speckle-dyed yarn, but I tried to go a little out of my comfort zone when choosing a coordinating color and went with a golden-hued shade of green. I can’t wait to get another chance to work with this beautiful yarn again.
Hope you are enjoying some beautiful weather in your neck of the woods. What are you looking forward to casting on this spring?
I have been meaning to blog this project for the longest time, but life keeps on getting in my way. Lately, that seems to be happening to me more often than not… but let’s get on to the fun knitting stuff.
I knit the Puaka shawlette for my mother-in-law for Christmas using a skein of Madelinetosh tosh merino light (colorway Cousteau) that I had been hoarding in my stash for over a year. It had come to the point where I would open up the bin with the skein of yarn, squish it to my face, and just put it away again. I had been saving it for something special for so long, but it needed to be loved outside the skein. And the Puaka shawlette was the perfect one-skein project to highlight and enjoy it.
The pattern was straight forward and easy to follow. I especially love the textural stitch used on the body of the shawl – it is an easy stitch to work that produces a really beautiful result that almost looks like cables. The lace border is also very beautiful, but did require my attention to avoid errors (I’m not entirely convinced I avoided them all together, but it all worked out in the end, so it’s all good by me).
Overall, Puaka is a beautiful little shawl with just a hint of a romantic touch. And it worked up relatively quickly, which is always appreciated around the holidays, when hand knit gifts can begin to feel a bit overwhelming. And you can learn more about Francoise, the designer of the Puaka shawlette, in my Designer Spotlight feature.
Speaking of overwhelming, it feels like it’s been ages since I shared any knitting here, but by no means have my needles been idle. I have actually been working recently to finish up several knitting projects with strict deadlines for some third-party publishers. I can’t share any more details quite yet, but there are lots of exciting things lined up for this year that I can’t wait for you all to see (check back in March for more details on the first of these patterns). While these secret projects have eaten up most of my knitting time recently, I also do hope to have a few new shawl designs of my own self-published on Ravelry in the next few months. It’s going to be an exciting year of change and growth – I’m really looking forward to all the new adventures.