Normally I consider myself to be an early riser. I am, in fact, the only early riser in my household. I like to be in bed around 10:30, and wake around 6:30. However, even though I am a native Washingtonian (such a rare breed these days), November is a difficult month for me. I am fat and sleepy. I’ve been a vegan for over a decade and I know that many people think that we are all emaciated anemics, but those types clearly don’t have my awesome inherited metabolism which hoards every calorie, like a greedy dragon sitting on a big, round, bulging pile of jewels. I have been on enough diets to know that I can’t lose anything unless I’m eating 1000 calories or less per day (15-20 points on the ol’ weight watchers system) which I am clearly not doing, but dang it! I’m hungry! It is cold outside and I just want to eat soup and bread all day. Even when the bread is gluten free, and I’m topping it with Earth’s Balance organic vegan margarine, and even when the soup is basically fat free…somehow I’m still managing to round up.
But let me tell you….when the system collapses, my people will still be healthy while my husband’s tribe, the 5000+ calorie a day type, perish within weeks. My people are savers.
So I’m hungry, and I’m tired. I am dragging myself out of bed at 8:30, which wouldn’t be so bad except that I WENT TO BED AT 7:30. Seriously. It is just so darn dreary in November.
A few years back, we had some visitors who were thinking of moving to our farm. One was originally from Israel, and the other from California. They asked me “Some friends told us that you can’t see the sun here for months at a time, is it true?” I sputtered and told them of course we could see the sun! I didn’t know where their friends got the information but they were clearly misinformed. A few overcast days later, it occurred to me that I was thinking of northern Alaska weather, with their months of darkness. I asked the visitors “Do you mean can we see the actual sun? Like actually the orb in the sky, not just the light from it? Oh. No, we totally can’t see that.” We get about 97 inches of rainfall per year in my little microclimate, and about 1/6 of that (12+ inches) happens in November. Although Seattle is behind several other major US cities in terms of rainfall…we are hours from the city and it’s a heck of a lot wetter in this neck of the woods.
I’ll stop bellyaching about the darn weather, and get back to the good stuff.
The weather (and bowls of hot soup) officially signify the beginning of knitting season. I am spinning and knitting my days away, and gearing up for a couple of big shows in December…not to mention my biggest sale of the year. What? You forgot? Mark it on your calendars!!!!
- November 28th –Dec 1st SALE-free US shipping from all three of my Etsy shops. For international customers, I will subtract and refund the cost of US shipping from your order.
- Additionally, you may use a coupon code for 10% off nearly everything in the store-no discount on bulk pricing listings or membership/yarn clubs although you may use it on gift certificates. This coupon is good in all three of my Etsy shops. With free shipping and 10% off, this is my largest sale of 2013. The coupon code is: BUYNOTHINGBUTETSY
- I will still be offering my Buy 6 Get 1 Free promotion, and the coupon code may be used for that as well. This only happens once a year!!!
- For those of you shopping other times throughout the month, please feel free to use this coupon code for free shipping: WINTERSHIPPING
- Drawings! I like to offer some customer appreciation around this time of year—with each Etsy order, new blog subscriber, new Facebook follower, or new Ravelry project through Dec 15th, your name will be entered into a drawing. I’ll be giving away three $25 gift certificates on Dec 16th.
- Speaking of gift certificates, I can offer them in any dollar amount. These make fabulous gifts, as do my yarn club membership packages. You may want to add these to your holiday wish or gift giving list!
- Event schedule:Belling ham Farmer’s Market on Saturdays, Urban Craft Uprising in Seattle Dec 7th and 8th, and Crafty Wonderland in Portland Dec 14th and 15th.
- SHOP EARLY FOR THE BEST SELECTION! I have SO many upcoming events, don’t wait until the last moment!
I’m serious about those yarn club memberships making great gifts. Don’t forget to put it on your wish list! I have them in 3, 6, and 12 month increments, you can get handspun or sock yarn or a combination of both. You can upgrade any of them to a deluxe membership which includes luxury fibers and art yarns…oh the possibilities! I have had several customers use their membership to make a sweater or wrap–I chose themed colors (fall, jewel tones, etc) and each month was a new and wonderful addition to their growing project.
Speaking of projects, I have a couple to share. The first is a lovely lace cowl made with 1/3 of a skein of sock yarn-the pattern is free on Ravelry here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/horseshoe-lace-cowl
I didn’t make this one myself, I did a trade with a wonderful woman on Ravelry…but I think I’d better start knitting because I can make three of these babies from one skein and they’ll make excellent gifts!
The next one is a cowl I made a couple of years ago. The pattern was on my blog, but I can’t seem to locate it. It is super easy, a great use of art yarn, and uses less than one skein. Plus, it can be used as a cowl or headband…what’s not to love?
This pattern uses Yarnarchy art yarn, made with uncarded locks of kid mohair. I find the woven look of the seed stitch to look great with the contrast of the unruly locks. The photos feature the Haint colorway, made with handpainted roving in smoky charcoal and ebony paired with bright sulphur yellow mohair locks. You’ll need about 80 yards of yarn (heavy worsted, about 2.8 oz per 100 yards), and size 7 or 8 needles.
Cast on 22 stitches.
Row 1: K1, P1 to end
Row 2: P1, K1 to end
Continue in this manner until the cowl measures about 20-22 inches in length (depending on head /neck size and desired fit). Beginning with a row 1, K,P,K,P Bind Off 1, continue to end. You should have 17 stitches on your needle, with a bound off stitch on every 3rd stitch.
On the next row, begin with the P1, K1 pattern but cast on one stitch in each place where one was bound off previously. This should return you to 22 stitches on your needle, and 5 small evenly placed button holes across the edge. Knit 1 row, then bind off next row.
If you want to use larger buttons, you can bind off two and adjust spacing to include 4 buttonholes. I generally prefer to make tighter buttonholes as they have a tendency to grow over time. I rarely if ever unbutton my cowl, preferring to slide it over my head. This means the buttonholes can be fairly tight.
Sew 7/8” or 1” buttons on the opposite end and you’re ready to go!
If the locks are not popping out as you’d like, take a small crochet hook to pull the ends through to the right side of the fabric.