Making Update #5: Designing Amid a Natural Disaster

These last couple weeks have been insane. First, school started back up, and then – surprise! – Hurricane Harvey dumped 27 trillion gallons of water over southeast Texas, flooding my city and stranding me in the spider-filled island that my family's home became for 3 days. Water slowly rose to the point that it was literally 2 inches away from our threshold. We were sure we would flood. But then the city released water from some nearby reservoirs, the rain slowed down, and we escaped extensive property damage and potential evacuation by the skin of our teeth. I was late delivering my Koigu collab project, and I missed schoolwork, but my family and I were very, very fortunate to have weathered the storm with minimal damage to our property (only a few inches of water in our storage shed and my dad's office) and none to our home or loved ones.

This is my sister standing in what used to be the edge of our driveway.

This is my sister standing in what used to be the edge of our driveway.


Even though we were very lucky, so many Houstonians have been displaced by the unprecedented levels of flooding our city saw. For reference, we saw 50 inches of rain in just a few days. That's our average annual rainfall – and Houston sees a lot of rain every year. The whole city was essentially under water, and much still is. The awful thing about this storm is how disastrously widespread its effects have been. You can't throw a stone in the Houston area – or, really, in southeast Texas – and not hit someone who was affected by the water. For days, wherever you went, you were greeted with, "Are you okay?" Whether you knew the person or not. Thousands have had to evacuate, and even though the rain has stopped, the rebuild is going to take a very long time. I'm hurting for my city and for my state. I have donated to the local food bank already, and when I have new patterns up, I will start donating weekly proceeds to other hurricane relief efforts. It's a small thing, but it's something.

All the time indoors led to some pretty serious marathon knitting. I finished up some projects and got started planning for a few others. So I'll move on to talking about that now, since that's what this blog post is for. But before I do, I want to urge anyone who can to donate something – even if it's a very small something – to the relief efforts going on in Texas. The storm is over, but the effects are going to be hanging around for months, even years. Every little bit counts. Here is a great guide on how you can help and where you can donate!

finished projects

The Fourth Wall Throw

I spent several days bundled up under my Koigu collab throw while the rain and wind tossed around outside, and it was a significant comfort in a pretty scary time. I am super excited to share that I finished up this lovely, textured throw using Koigu's Othello yarn. This was my first design collab with a yarn company, and I really enjoyed the experience. Koigu will be photographing and publishing this pattern soon, and I'll definitely let you guys know when it's available for purchase through them. But for now, if you'd like to read more about my experience with Koigu (and – bonus – my very nerdy love of Shakespeare) check out my Fourth Wall blog post here.

Yarn:  Koigu Othello  Pattern:  Fourth Wall Throw (original, forthcoming)

Yarn: Koigu Othello
Pattern: Fourth Wall Throw (original, forthcoming)


Sneffels Shawl Pattern

Technically I already announced having finished this shawl last week, but now the pattern is finished and in the hands of some wonderful testers! The whole testing process is time consuming and a little tedious, but I think it's really important to creating a quality pattern that people will be excited to work with. Plus, I've really enjoyed seeing the color combinations that my testers are coming up with, and I love watching them create beautiful, cozy things using something I wrote. That feeling really never gets old for me. Also, fun fact, this is my first ever knit pattern! So I'm pretty excited to get this one out into the world.

Yarn : Madelinetosh TOSH Light in Calligraphy, Gold Rush, and Modern Fair Isle  Pattern : Sneffels Shawl (original, coming soon!)

Yarn: Madelinetosh TOSH Light in Calligraphy, Gold Rush, and Modern Fair Isle
Pattern: Sneffels Shawl (original, coming soon!)

Sneffels-3 (1).jpg

works in progress

Bonfire Scarf

I got started on a fresh new design (is there any better feeling?) using Purl Soho's Worsted Twist yarn in this yummy copper color. Once, a friend of mine told me that my aura is this color. I think it's mostly because it matches my hair, but I seriously can't have enough copper in my life, or my wardrobe. This scarf is inspired by those crisp autumn evenings that are just around the corner, and also by the fall scented candles I have been burning in my apartment nonstop for like two weeks. To borrow from L.M. Montgomery, I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers (and Septembers, and Novembers, and Decembers, really). I've been curling up with this design and warm cups of coffee and it makes it okay that it's still hot as hell out and way too warm to think about bundling up with anything.

Yarn : Purl Soho Worsted Twist in Copper Penny  Pattern : Bonfire Wrap (forthcoming)

Yarn: Purl Soho Worsted Twist in Copper Penny
Pattern: Bonfire Wrap (forthcoming)


Hayride Wrap

Keeping in the autumnal theme, I'm at the very beginning of another cozy design, this time using gorgeous fall-inspired fingering weight yarn from Noble Character Crafts. I'm envisioning a uniquely shaped but simply constructed wrap in bright fall colors with some simple lace detail. It's going to be great, and I can't wait to see how the colors I've chosen work up together!

Yarn:  Noble Character Crafts Pitter Patter in Harvest and Life Giving  Pattern:  Hayride Wrap (original, forthcoming)

Yarn: Noble Character Crafts Pitter Patter in Harvest and Life Giving
Pattern: Hayride Wrap (original, forthcoming)


future projects

Scarves, Wraps & Blankets

I have some seriously lovely yarn ready to get onto my needles and become beautiful, cozy fall knitwear pieces and warm, comfy blankets. I really loved the idea of having a single, big fall pattern release, but I think what's going to happen is that my patterns for fall and winter are going to get released slowly, as I have time to work on and publish them. So it might be a slow process, but I have solid design plans for quite a few exciting things! Currently in the works are: 1 cowl, 1 shawl, 2 blankets, and an extra special exciting project I'm going to keep to myself for now, but I'll give you a hint: it may or may not be full-fledged knitwear! Squee! Can you tell cooler weather is getting me all eager and excited?

yarn acquisitions

Yarn in:
3 x Autumn & Indigo sport yarn

Yarn out:
10 x Koigu Othello Yarn (Fourth Wall Throw)