How are those resolutions coming along?

Hello!

I may have mentioned this once or twice (or at every opportunity); last year’s New Year’s resolutions were uniquely successful, and I was super keen when the time came to set this year’s resolutions. My key resolution for this year was all about participating more. Finding my people is a particularly important aspect for not only for my business, but also for my mental well-being. It is all too easy for me to sit on the sidelines–just read the conversations without taking part and just admire the photos without letting people know I appreciate them.

To that end, I made an active effort to take part in Ravelry forums and on Instagram, which has apparently become my social media of choice. Although I still feel awkward, I do think it has been working–I do feel as if I am more connected to both people I have never met, and those I have, but don’t see as often as I would like.

There were specific bits of participation I wanted to embrace, such as my first KAL: The Fringe Co.’s Hat Along, giving me the rare excuse to knit someone else’s design: Cirilia Rose’s L’Arbre hat, which I love.

 L'Arbre Hat by Cirilia Rose

And then there was my slightly less successful attempt to multitask: I tried to take part in 3 make-alongs at once:the Curious Handmade Wardrobe Challenge, Truly Myrtle’s Selfish Make Along and the Double Knit Podcast Cardi Party. The result was that I did actually finish my Endless Summer Tunic by A Verb for Making Warm, which definitely wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been trying to play along.

endless summer tunic

My cardigan-based offering didn’t quite work out though, as I mentioned last week...
summer tunic dress

The Ravelry boards and blog post comments were really lively, and although it was difficult to keep up, it was really rewarding to see the other participants chatting and encouraging each other.

Participation is more than the virtual contact to me. Maybe I am just a throw back to the pre-internet dark ages, but I need to meet people in a face to face kind of way. I did get a chance to do that thanks to Linda of Kettle Yarn Co. who let me hang around her stand at various and wonderful fibre festivals, such as the I Knit Fandango…

I knit fandango

And I taught some workshops, which is perhaps the most rewarding and the most stressful kind of connection I can make.

ELK teaches knit techniques

In the end, I think it was a successful resolution. I am really pleased I made the effort, and am already thinking about how I can expand on the participation for next year. I have a few ideas, but making more connections with my knitting community and reinforcing the old ones are absolutely the ways forward.

Speaking of participation, the Klee Collection KAL is warming up. Please do join us over on the forum to knit along, get help and win lovely prizes!

Happy holidays and I will see you in the New Year!

R.

Tolt Yarn and Wool

Travels

Hello!

With all the excitement about the Klee Collection and fibre-y goings on, I am a little behind on the blogging I meant to do about my travels in the Autumn. There was my annual pilgrimage to Tolt Yarn and Wool during my visit to Seattle. I am a lucky lady. Living in London, I have several wonderful local yarn shops easily within reach. Visiting my family in Seattle, Tolt is my local yarn store, and a wonderful LYS it is too.

I have blogged about it before, so this year, I will only mention the swag.

Yoth Yarn

I was unable to leave the store without a couple of skeins of Yarn On the House‘s Little Brother fingering weight yarn. Every time I come across these yarns in my stash, I have to resist the urge to throw all WIPs aside and cast on some intricate lace pattern. This will happen very soon in the new year. The yarn is begging for it!

I also purchased a cardi-quantity of Quince and Co. Kestrel worsted-weight linen. I was pretty excited about this one too as I have never knit with linen, although I have been meaning to for ages. The yarn is an interesting chain-ply construction and it’s a flat tape, which I have also never hand-knit with.

Quince and Co. Yarn

The Curious Handmade Wardrobe Challenge motivated me to get knitting with it, as did a trip to Mexico, where all woolly yarn was in danger of felting in my hands as I worked. I did find the yarn a bit challenging to work with as it twists as I knit it and I can’t resist the urge to stop and untwist every now and then. It is a yarn that benefits from a slightly duller needle than I usually work with because it is easy to snag the individual linen fibres with a sharp needle.

knitting with linen linen knitting

Instagram tells me these pictures were taken 6 (!) weeks ago. I just got the cardigan out and I see that I haven’t made it much further… which is disappointing as my imagination had it nearly finished! Someday this will be finished cardigan. Someday after that, this will be a published pattern…

I hope you holiday knitting is going well!

R.

Introducing: Elkko!

Hello!

Winter Knitty is out and I am in it with a sweater pattern, available for free! Whoop!

Elkko Sweater pattern

Elkko is a top-down sweater with stripes and lace-details in the yoke. It is worked in a gorgeous aran-weight wool from Kettle Yarn Co. and features short rows, compound raglan increases and waist shaping to make this easy-to-wear sweater a great fit.

Elkko sweater pattern

I mean, just look at how much fun it is to wear this!

If all photo shoots involved swings, I wouldn’t be so reluctant to take part.  There were, in fact, several photo shoots for this sweater, including one featuring tiny ponies.

Elkko Sweater Pattern by Renée Callahan

And then there were some alpacas…

Small Elkko by Renée Callahan

And also some Christmas wrapping selfies…Elkko Sweater Pattern by Renée Callahan

Please do have a look at the page here and it would be wonderful if you could give the pattern some love by favouriting and commenting on Ravelry!

In other news, the Klee Collection Knit Along is underway. Please join us in the Ravelry group and take part to win some beautiful yarny prizes. Although I have started the KAL in December, at the height of present-knitting season, I think it is really suited to the selfish knitter and so it runs through until February 2016.

Happy knitting,

R.

Let the KAL begin!

Hello!

Today the Klee Collection knit along begins and I am really pleased to discuss the first of the sponsors, who, not coincidentally, were also the wonderful sources of yarn for my collection:

ELK KAL prizes

Blacker YarnsWalkCollection and The Uncommon Thread have all generously contributed to the prize pots, as have I with some gorgeous yarn from the ‘give away’ stash and surprises to be announced. There will be prizes for finished garments and finished accessories, both randomly selected, as well as a social media participation prize and a prize for my favourite finished object.

The rules:

  • Join us over at the EastLondonKnit Ravelry Group.
  • Cast on any of the Klee Collection designs. (Those cast on before 1 Dec are also allowed)
  • Bind off on or before 1 February 2016.
  • Post a beautiful of your finished object in the Finished Object Thread of Joy.
  • Tag your project with ‘KleeCollectionKAL‘ on Ravelry or #KleeCollectionKAL on Instgram or Twitter.

Exciting times, eh?

This weekend the Klee Collection received a lovely review on A Playful Day’s podcast!

a playful day podcast

I began listening to Kate’s podcast many years ago, and was super pleased to hear my work mentioned in her dulcet tones! Please do have a listen🙂

I will be guest posting on her blog as well as partaking in a give away! Watch this space….

Happy knitting,

R.