Off the Needles | Settler and some news...

I have an FO and something else fun to share with you today... First, as you may know, I adore Truly Myrtle and after featuring her design Reminisce as our June Simple Knits Knitalong project, I couldn't stop thinking about casting on one of her shawls. I didn't know if I would actually find time to cast on in the near future since things have been a little hectic, but then Libby decided to host a Knitalong featuring her designs in July. It was obviously meant to be, so I cast on. 

I chose Settler as my shawl to knit for the KAL and used Julie Asselin's Milis in the Feathers colorway, it's a gorgeous yarn from Firefly Fibers that I've really been wanting to knit with. I think it was a good pairing...


I cast on during our vacation in Door County earlier this month (I know, I know... I still owe you details on that) and started binding off on Saturday night in the car on our way to see Dave Matthews (more on that toward the end of this post). 

I used flexible lace wires for blocking because of Settler's horseshoe shape and I highly recommend them. I'm a long time supporter of blocking in general and blocking wires make a huge difference with some projects - this is definitely one of them. Just look at how much I was able to stretch this puppy and open up those criss-cross sections...


I'm frequently asked if blocking makes "that much" of a difference and my answer is always emphatically, "YES"! Blocking matters. A lot. Just think about it... your project is shoved into, and pulled out of a project bag numerous times during the HOURS you're knitting on it. After that, any project is going to have some 'bed head' and need to be refreshed. *wink*

If you've never washed or blocked a shawl, Libby has a 2 part 'how to' on her blog (Part 1 & Part 2) that walks you through each step of the process. She also shows another way to block Settler for a slightly different finished edge and it's also really pretty. If you're intimidated by blocking, just remember that you can always re-block if something turns out wonky the first time. It's kind of like just washing and restyling your hair. 

I've got my mind set on casting on another Truly Myrtle shawl and using one of these lovely Julie Asselin Gradient Sets:

If you participated in the Truly Myrtle Knitalong, there are some pretty fabulous prizes that Libby will be giving away, including one of these lovelies courtesy of Firefly Fibers. Maybe we can cast on together?

So, that's my big FO news for the week. I'm almost done finalizing the Fall Class Schedule for the shop and I can't wait to share what's on there - it should be ready in the next week or two. 

In the meantime... I have something else that's pretty fun. Mr. Yarnista has been wanting to do a podcast for quite some time. Really, he's been not-so-subtly hinting for what's been a year or more (maybe two) and in a moment of weakness, I gave in and it's finally happened... there is now an Alisa the Yarnista Podcast! In episode 1 we chat a bit about some fun stuff, including our weekend adventure to Alpine Valley to see one of my all time faves, Dave Matthews (it's really quite the story).

So, we hope you'll enjoy our maiden voyage and we'll let you know as soon as Apple approves things in iTunes and it's available there. *squee* I've never done anything like this and it was actually pretty fun, so stay tuned because I think we'll do it again soon. 


Simple Knits | Simply Knitting

I decided this month that I was going to get going on the May Simple Knits Knitalong project early in the month because, even though I've been finishing on time, it's been just barely on time and I really just want to simply knit and enjoy the process and the project.

For this month's project, Reminisce by Truly Myrtle, I was torn between 2 yarns and the Blue Sky Alpacas Suri Merino in the Dusk colorway was the winner for this version. Psst... I say "this version" because the second yarn is still queued up since I'm hopelessly optimistic that I can knit all of the things. 

So... when my amazing hubby gave me a day off earlier this week - in the true spirit of our knitalong - I made time that day to cast on between errands and other "day off duties" and... to be completely honest, I can barely put this lovely hat down. Seriously, it's been a "just one more round" project since I cast on. Libby's design has a wonderful flow and combining that with the deliciously luxurious Blue Sky Alpacas Suri Merino, it's destined to be a gorgeous FO in the very near future!  

So, I'm about halfway through the body of the hat and there's no telling how much more progress will be made before the day is up. Not only am I excited to try a second yarn for Reminisce, I also have my sights set on a Truly Myrtle shawl for a shop sample. Conveniently, I already have the perfect shawl yarn wound. It's meant to be, right?! 

Are you knitting along this month? If you are, or plan to, and haven't picked up the Reminisce pattern yet, be sure to pop on over to Ravelry for Libby's special for our Knitalong'ers... 

20% OFF the Reminisce pattern through Sunday, May 17th! Just pop on over to Ravelry to purchase the pattern here and enter the coupon code 'SIMPLEKNITSKAL'.  

I'm off to do work things, you know... order yarn, knit a round on Reminisce, reply to emails, knit a round, pay bills, knit a round, plan classes, knit a round... oh, and finish building the new Firefly Fibers website. And between all of that, I've been getting a fair amount of knitting done. It's busy around here!

I can't wait to see your version of Reminisce!


Simple Knits | Marvelous May

Our May Simple Knits Knitalong project is by a designer that loves handmaking, has a wonderful blog, designs beautiful things, sews lovely projects, and shares gorgeous photos that - quite simply - inspire creativity and grow the art of making.

Say hello to... 

I'm a long-time follower of Truly Myrtle and, this year things have really taken off with the addition of a video podcast and monthly newsletter - as if I need more enabling. *wink* 

I reached out to Libby about featuring one of her beautiful designs as a Simple Knits Knitalong project and she not only enthusiastically said "yes", but also offered to share a bit about herself and do a little something extra for our Knitalong'ers. Yay! 

So, before we get into the project details... I'd like you to meet Libby:

"Hi everyone! I'm Libby and I write the Truly Myrtle blog, podcast and design knitting patterns. I live in rural New Zealand with my husband, four small children, a big vege garden and a gaggle of chickens.

Truly Myrtle is all about fibre, fabric and celebrating handmade. I love to try my hand at a bunch of crafts and take lots of photos. I'm passionate about creating a handmade wardrobe and I knit and sew many of my clothes. Lately I've been really enjoying publishing my knitwear designs so you can create your own beautiful handmade wardrobe too and I've got lots of ideas for many more designs in the works! Truly Myrtle patterns are modern, feminine and wearable designs. I design things that I love to wear and work hard to make my patterns as simple to use as possible.

I am an "everyday" knitter. I have lots of projects on the go and knit anywhere and everywhere! I love knitting while i'm chatting to friends although I'm careful to only work on simple things then! Some of my favourite places to knit are in bed on a weekend morning or in the evenings on the sofa. I really look forward to that time of the day, curled up and cosy, needles in my hand. Mr Myrtle is very good at finding shows for me to watch while I knit and lately I've been loving Poldark, Outlander and Offspring (an Australian show that has sadly just come to an end). We don't have a tv so we tend to binge watch shows on our computer when we find a good one and I have a tendency to stay up far to late with Mr Myrtle while we watch "just one more episode" ...

I'm so thrilled that some of you are going to knit my Reminisce hat! I love mine and have been wearing it a lot lately now the weather is turning cooler down here in New Zealand. Happy knitting!"


In keeping with our "simple" theme, Reminisce is our May project:

photo courtesy of Truly Myrtle

Isn't this a stunning hat? I've had several Truly Myrtle Designs on my knitting wish list for awhile, but - as you know - there are only so many hours in the day. So, I thought our Simple Knits Knitalong would be a perfect opportunity to finally knit one.

Picture a smouldering fire, good company, lively conversation and laughter late
into the night. Reminisce celebrates dear friends and happy memories. Knitted
in the round from the bottom up this deliciously textured hat is one to treasure,
just like great times with darling people. Featuring an all over “block” pattern
and gorgeous trailing cable panel, Reminisce warms our hearts and our heads.
The “shallow slouch” shape, a blend between a slouchy hat and beret, is
feminine & flattering. Reminisce is an entertaining knit including written &
charted instructions. Ideal for experienced knitters and adventurous beginners.

photo courtesy of Truly Myrtle

I'm excited to cast on and I know several knitters that probably are, too. And, of course, I have a few Firefly Fibers yarns in mind - Blue Sky's Suri Merino, Fibre Co. Acadia, Malabrigo Silky Merino and Julie Asselin Leizu DK. I'll be finalizing my yarn selection and casting on this weekend.

Do you want to join the knitalong fun this month? 

If so, I mentioned that Libby has a little something for our Knitalong'ers and it's 20% OFF the Reminisce pattern through Sunday, May 17th! Just pop on over to Ravelry to purchase the pattern here and enter the coupon code 'SIMPLEKNITSKAL'.  

You can find Libby here: Blog | Facebook | Pinterest | Ravelry | Instagram, I assure you that you won't be disappointed. Also, while you're at it, be sure to subscribe to Truly Myrtle's Handmade Newsletter - it's always full inspiration and handmaking advice and you may even see a couple tips in there from yours truly. 

Many thanks to Libby for taking time to be a part of our wee Knitalong and I can't wait to see your Reminisce!


PS - if you're looking for the shows that Libby mentioned, I searched for those of us in the US and here's what I came up with:

  • Poldark - available on Netflix on DVD
  • Offspring - 5 seasons available on Hulu (added to our queue)
  • Outlander - now available on Amazon on DVD and Instant Video (I have an Amazon gift card burning a hole in my pocket, so I may be purchasing this one).