Though She Be But Little, She is Fierce Shawlette

Though She Be But Little, She Is Fierce Shawlette modeled by Caitlin ffrench.

I am so happy that I finally have a new release to share with you today. My Though She Be But Little, She Is Fierce Shawlette is now live on Ravelry, and soon to be released on my Etsy site too. Here are a couple more photos:

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3 wider small

The Though She Be But Little, She is Fierce Shawlette is a splash of colour and eyelets fit for any season. Not too large, the shawlette fits comfortably around the neck worn as a kerchief. Your imagination is the limit when it comes to styling this versatile shawlette.

This pattern is suitable for advanced beginners using the following techniques: circular needles, long tail cast on, knit st, yo, placing st markers, eyelets, worked flat, garter st fabric, bind off, weaving in ends. Everything you need to know to make this shawlette is inside the pattern.

Technical Editor: Katherine Vaughan. This pattern has also been test knitted by my generous Ravelry test knitters.

Models: Caitlin ffrench and Rena Varsakis.

Photography: Rena Varsakis.

I have a special offer on right now for this pattern – if you purchase the pattern before 15 August 2013, you will automatically receive 25% off at checkout.

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2 small

What do you think?

x Rena

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Project-itis Relapse

symphony fireworks

Project-itis resolutions go pop in the night like fireworks over the symphony in the park recently.

It’s easy to make resolutions. It’s even easier to break them. I may or may not have lasted 24 hours with my declaration to have a moratorium on all projects. It’s a project-itis relapse already.

It started with the textile illustration. This was justified in the following manner: it’ll only take an hour. And it did. But it was a gateway drug. This led to sewing a tote, including making the fake leather handles (!) from scratch. Oops.

Well, maybe sewing projects weren’t included in the moratorium on all new projects. Right?

Feeling virtuous, I took up one of my many WIPs that’s on my summer knitting project list. Yes, I have a list – it makes me feel organized. Or OCD. Whatever. That’s when I encountered a raft of issues with my project, and guess what? I needed to start over. Does that count as a new project? I’d like to think not. Just part of continuing work on an existing project. The project can take multiple forms, I tell myself. No problem.

So I’ve restarted the project and told myself no more sewing for now. I hope that this lapse is over!

x Rena

Textile Illustration

‘Love Me’ (2013). Woman in a summer dress.

Lately, I’ve become obsessed with freehand embroidery illustration and textile art. Naturally, me being me, I thought to give it a go myself. I didn’t draw anything out before hand – I went straight to sketching with needle and thread. I used grey felt as my base, cotton and silk thread and cotton fabric scraps for the dress, all of which I had in my sewing stash. I think I like the way it turned out! The final work measures approximately 8″ x 10″.

x Rena

Project-itis

Project-itis: when there is a wall of projects higher than you can shake a stick at, and yet you want to start more projects.

Project-itis: when there is a wall of projects higher than you can shake a stick at, and yet you want to start more projects.

I have the -itis. Project-itis, that is. It’s a knitter’s affliction where you have way too many works-in-progress (WIPs). I’m not sure what a respectable number is – two, perhaps three. I bet you, though, it’s not 10. Or more. Which is probably what I have going on.

In self defense, or in an attempt to justify the quantity of existing projects, I will say it’s because they’re in various stages of design. Not because I’m a project addict, of course. They’re not all huge projects. After all, there is only so much budget for yarn. Although there is an awful lot of stash yarn available for smaller projects. There’s also enough yarn to make at least 3 sweaters. I should probably list left over project yarn, unused skeins, for sale on Ravelry or somewhere, but that’s probably a post for another time.

I’m not sure where the -itis comes from. A flurry of ideas, for sure, and an impatience to see them come to light. But there are only so many knitting hours in a day and they can linger in various stages of completion for a long, long time. Like knitting purgatory. I like to have different projects in different gauges to help mix it up for my wrists. That’s another justification.

And then another key symptom of the -itis is the nearly unstoppable desire to start more projects. No, I tell myself firmly. Again and again. It’s working, barely. For now. I tell myself that there’s at least two sweaters in the works that need finishing, and a myriad array of smaller projects.

I’m having a flare-up of the -itis because I just finished a sweater. Oh boy, I think gleefully, I can start something else! Damn you, -itis. You’ve got me again. No.

So I am trying to steel my resolve and focus on completing something. I admit I did have a bit of a slip up the other day and started a hat. I couldn’t help it. It was just little, after all, and it would only take a couple of days to complete, right? What’s the harm in that?

I might have a problem.

Do you suffer from project-itis? Or do you exercise more self-discipline than I do?

x Rena

Unknitting

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Yesterday I spent waaaay more time unknitting than knitting, which served as a reminder that in designing, sometimes you need to go backward in order to go forward. Even so, I was amazed at how long it took. I undid a long edge that had already been bound off, using a tubular cast off, which was much more time consuming than doing the bind off in the first place. What really helped was using my tapestry needle to help find the woven in ends and loosen bind off stitches as I went.

IMG_1254After a long time, I made it to the stockinette fabric. I had alternated skeins, so I needed to frog a couple of rows, then switch, and frog with the second skein. Whee. This also took way longer than I thought it would. But I got to where I needed to go, and knitted once more. Which I thought initially was going well, until I realized I was knitting the wrong pattern. Ha. So then I had to do some proper unknitting using my needles. Without twisting my stitches. Tricky. Yet again, I did get to where I needed to go. Third time lucky, everything seems okay now. But really, my shenanigans took the better part of a day and I was happy that I could work on my project out on the patio. Which kind of looks like this:

Rena in the garden 2013

…except with piles of knitting all around me, which I bet you can imagine what that looks like.

And guess what I get to do today? We meet again, tubular bind off. I’ll be out there soon, concentrating very hard.

x Rena

Birthday Sale!

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Happy birthday to me and happy birthday savings for you for the next 24 hours. I admit I’m a couple of days late, what with all of the festivities and all. The offer is 36% off all patterns on Ravelry from The Red Fox and Gown. Now go, quickly, because this won’t happen again till next year! Use birthday36 at checkout.

Now, for another slice of ice cream cake in this 33 C heat wave. And happy Canada Day to the Canadians out there too!

x Rena