Categories
Knitflix and Chill

Halloween Knitflix Guide

Halloween is just around the corner, are you ready to get into a spooky mood?

I love Fall, I love Halloween, I love scary movies…and I love knitting of course! Here’s a list of some of my favourite spooky movies and series for a Halloween Knitflix!

I’ve given them all a jack-o-lattern emoji rating 🎃 from one: not scary at all, to five: bonechillingly terrifying. And I’m a huge baby so you can count on those ratings to be generous towards the terrifying side! 

Scream 🎃🎃🎃

Image Credit: IMDb

Rating: R

Let’s start off with a classic! This movie is great for knitflixing if you’ve seen it 1,000 times like I have. Scream is mandatory Halloween viewing in my opinion so if you haven’t seen it then grab your project and press play. 

This movie is not too scary, it’s just scary enough, and you’ll have your knitting on hand to distract you from the gory scenes. If you’re in the mood for a marathon you can watch all 4 of the Scream movies in a row. 

With all that knitflixing not only will you be in the Halloween spirit you’ll make a lot of progress on your knitting. So pull out that large project you haven’t touched in a year and get to work! 

Nightmare Before Christmas 🎃

Image Credit: IMDb

Rating: PG

Now there is some debate on if this is a Halloween or Christmas movie. But the movie’s director Henry Selick settled this debate saying that it is indeed a Halloween movie

The easy to follow plot means you won’t lose your place while you work on your WIP (work in progress). 

The best thing about the Nightmare Before Christmas, in my opinion – remember I said I’m a huge baby – is that, despite its name, it will put you in the Halloween spirit without giving you nightmares! Dynamic characters, catchy songs and some dark humour make this a great pick for your Halloween Knitflix marathon. 

The Haunting of Hill House and/or The Haunting of Bly Manor 🎃🎃

Image credit: IMDb Image credit: IMDb

Rating: TV-MA

I’m lumping these two series together and giving them an average of a 2 jack-o-lantern scare rating. However, Haunting of Hill House is closer to a 3 while Bly Manor is closer to a 1, or maybe 2, depending how easily scared you are. 

These are two entirely independent stories so you can watch only one or both and watch them in whichever order you like! The Haunting of Hill House is a truly chilling tale and much closer to a horror movie in a series with plenty of jump scares. While The Haunting of Bly Manor is a bit slower, less startlingly scary and has more of a creepy vibe rather than horror. 

The Fourth Kind 🎃🎃🎃🎃

Image Credit: IMDb

Rating: PG-13

Okay, now for a scary one! I would have given this five jack-o-latterns, but when I saw the rating it made me feel like a huge scaredy cat that it’s PG-13!

This alien mystery thriller left me with that creeped out feeling for DAYS after watching it for the first time. That being said, I really enjoyed this movie. It’s filmed in the “this is a true story” style which adds to the scare factor. 

This movie is well suited to knitflixing, it’s a bit of a slow burn plot-wise. But by no means boring, you’ll definitely be able to get in a few rows. And you’ll have something on hand to distract you when things really get going! 

Unsolved Mysteries (Netflix Reboot) 🎃🎃

Image credit: IMDb

Rating: TV-MA

Here’s one for the documentary lovers who like a real life true crime/scary story. Netflix just dropped the second collection of episodes for their Unsolved Mysteries reboot that came out earlier this year. 

Depending how scared you get by true crime this could be a 1 or a 2 (or even a 3) for you. And it’s all in the name these are unsolved cases which adds to the creep factor for me. 

I haven’t watched the second collection yet, but I binge watched the first season in one day when it was released. With a WIP in hand of course!

If you want to watch the OG Unsolved Mysteries it’s streaming on Amazon Prime. 

Halloweentown 🎃

Image Credit: IMDb

Rating: G

Here’s a classic everyone in the family can enjoy! Just because this movie is a one jack-o-lattern rating doesn’t mean it’s boring.

There’s the coming of age plot line, magic, and some great costumes. This movie is perfect for knitflixing because the plot is easy to follow so you won’t lose track of the movie or your knitting. And it’s not super scary so it’s just right to get you in the spooky spirit without spending the whole time with a blanket over your eyes!

Halloweentown is also a series, there’s four of them, so if you’re working on a big project plan a movie marathon!

Ratched 🎃🎃

Image credit: IMDb

Rating: TV-MA

Here’s another creepy series for Halloween knitflixing. Full disclosure at the time of writing this post I haven’t finished watching this series, I’m half-way through the eight episodes. 

The lead character of this series, played by Sarah Paulson, is based on Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. I’ve never seen or read it so I can safely say it is not a prerequisite for watching Ratched the series. 

This show is not necessarily scary, it has more of a creepy feel, but it certainly is gorey and has some disturbing moments. I was watching it last night and found myself saying “oh my god, that’s messed up” except messed is not the word that I used 😉.

The Conjuring 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

Image Credit: IMDb

Rating: R

I love The Conjuring, and all of the movies in the franchise actually – they’re so well made, but I will not lie it scares the pants off me every time! 

Having a WIP on hand while watching this movie helps distract me from the total terror that is taking place on the screen. And gives me something to do with my hands other than hide my face! 

It’s also nice to be able to get some rows done during the lighter plot points. 

Are you planning to watch any of these movies this weekend? Leave a comment to let me know and give me your spooky rating 🎃! 

Categories
Musings

Finally Fall

I’m so glad it’s finally Fall! Through August my knitting mojo was seriously suffering, and my motivation for pretty much anything was also suffering. I was stuck in a loop of work, plopping on the couch, going to sleep, and more work. My guess is that this is the typical COVID-19 lockdown cycle for most people! 

Doing nothing certainly can be draining. 

But the cool weather has brought me a dose of extra energy and excitement. I love Fall and if you ready my post from last week you know this and all of the reasons why!

One of the reasons I love this season is sweater weather and really just weather for knitwear in general. It’s time to pull out the shawls, hats and sweaters that have been packed up all summer long. 

As I’m getting all my knitwear ready for the season I thought it would be fun to give you a round-up of some of my favourite knit patterns for Fall. 

Hacked Hat 

A young white woman wearing glasses and a grey knit hat smiles at the camera
Put on your new hat! And don’t forget to share a photo on social media

This is one of mine, hope you don’t mind a little self-promotion (this is not the only one in the list LOL) but this had is great for Fall when you just want a simple light hat to cover up your ears on chilly days, without overheating. 

Find the free pattern here

Coffee Shop Wrap

This cozy shawl by Two of Wands is perfect for cuddling up in on a cool day. I knit mine with a Caron Big Cake and let the yarn do all the striping for me!

I keep mine at work, which means I haven’t seen it in a while and don’t have any recent pictures. Oh well!

You can find this pattern for free (amazing!) here or you can buy a downloadable version from Two of Wands. 

Halloween Heart Sweater

This sweater is designed by Meghan Regan of Bad Wolf Girl Studios.

Full disclosure – I haven’t knit this, but it’s been on my “want to knit” list for forever! I really thought 2020 would be the year I knit this for Halloween, but sadly I don’t think it’s going to happen. 

This sweater is so perfect for Fall because it’s got all things Halloween in the colourwork yoke, and Halloween is one of the reasons that Fall is so great. 

You can see the pattern here on Ravelry.

Twister Mitts

Fingerless mitts are so versatile, you can wear them when you’re out and about or even inside if your hands get chilly like mine. They’re perfect for chilly offices or other workplaces because you can still have full use of your fingers for typing or other tasks. 

A white woman holds her hand on her chest showing knit fingerless mitts
These mitts have been my favourite accessory for the transition from Winter to Spring.

This is another Knits of Steele original. I’ve already worn these a few times, without even leaving home. My home office while I’m working from home is in our our bedroom and it’s been a bit chilly. I’ve kept my Twister Mitts in my desk drawer and pull them out if my hands ever get cold. 

Find the pattern here on Ravelry.

Trickster Hat

It’s another one of my designs, but I couldn’t resist including it here because it’s one of my favourites.

Young white woman wearing an orange knit hat poses in front of trees with yellow leaves
Let’s be friends!

This is one of my first knit designs and I still love it so much. The squishy faux cables are great for Fall and who can resist a giant pom pom?!

It hasn’t been quite cold enough here in Toronto yet to need a hat this heavy, but the time is coming to take this knit out of the closet. 

I think this hat is especially great for Fall because of the colour I knit my sample in, Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick in Spice

This is just a quick look at some of my fave knitting patterns for Fall. There are so many more than would fit in one post! What are your favourites?

Categories
Musings

Why Fall is the Best Season

Happy first day of Fall friends 🙂

If you’re here, you are probably a fan of the cozy life like me, you’re probably a knitter and Fall is probably your favourite season. Am I right?

If I am right, then you don’t need any convincing you can probably skip this one! Or enjoy my round up of all the best Fall things. But if you do need some convincing here is the official Knits of Steele list of proof that Fall is the best season. 

I did consider calling this post “The Official Knits of Steele List of Reasons Fall is the Best Season” but it seemed a little long for blog writing best practice…

The Weather

Listen, I’m a summer baby born in August and even I hate the heat! But freezing Winter, it’s not terrible but all that snow and slush…it gets a person down after a while. Spring is just a bit too wet and mushy with all the melt, and let’s face it no one likes finding all the trash that’s been hidden under snow for months, thawed out dog poop anyone? No thanks!

But Fall? Fall weather is just right, I’m like Goldilocks looking through the bear’s house, but with the seasons. And Fall is my version of Baby Bear’s bed. It’s just cool enough to cozy up in a sweater and a hat and blankets but it’s warm enough that you don’t need to bundle up until you resemble the abominable snowman. 

The leaves….of course

Ok so of course everyone’s favourite thing about Fall is the leaves and the colours. I’m just going to gloss on over this one because we all know it – but it had to be on the list. 

Thanksgiving 

I mean, a holiday dedicated to eating! Jk we all know the real meaning of Thanksgiving which is to be thankful and get together with family and then eating. But there is nothing like a nice turkey, (I mean I hate turkey, but I know I’ll get hate messages if I say ham so…) some creamy mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, green beans and of course everyone’s favourite – pie! Gotta have both apple and pumpkin of course. 

Halloween

I love love love Halloween! I’m not much of a horror movie fan but for Halloween I’ll watch a couple. And a whole holiday about candy – count me in! 

Apple picking 

Fall is harvest season and a trip to the farm to pick apples is perfect! Put on some leggings and plaid and a nice knit hat and get some cute pics on the hay wagon. Pick some juicy apples and grab an apple pie on the way out – what’s not to love!?

There is so much more that makes Fall the best but this is my roundup of favourites. If this hasn’t convinced you I’m not sure what will – you’re a lost cause at this point!

Extra motivation

I don’t know if it’s the reminders of being a student going back to school, but September and the cool weather always make me feel extra motivated. 

For example my blog! I haven’t had much inspiration for the last month or so, but now I’m feeling really motivated to write blog posts and I’ve already pre-written a few for the coming weeks. So if you missed my regular updates don’t worry there is more Knits of Steele content coming your way in the months ahead.

Knitwear

I saved the best for last!

For knitters like me, #sweaterweather is obviously a huge reason why Fall is the best. But in addition to sweaters it’s also time to pull out hats, scarves, wool socks and amazing shawls.

Packing up my sweaters for the season at the end of Spring is like saying goodbye to old friends, but pulling them out again in Fall…it’s like a reunion! As soon as there’s a bit of chill in the air you’ll find me reaching for a knit sweater, even if it is still a bit too warm. 

I’m always the person to get weird looks on the train for wearing a hat before it’s even dropped into single digits…at least I was in pre-COVID times when I rode the train to work. 

What do you love about Fall? Or what’s your favourite season? Let me know in the comments!

Categories
FO Spotlight

FO Spotlight: Campside Cardi

Today I want to share some more information about my Campside Cardi.

Warning, please read: Some of the links in this post are to Ravelry. If you have experienced negative effects from their new webdesign or you are at risk of negative effects from the new webdesign, please exercise caution following these links.

I had this pattern in my queue for a long time when I saw that Purl Together was hosting a Campside Cardi Knit-a-long! I had some Cotlin DK from KnitPicks left in my stash from my Daybreak tee, but I was a bit short on yardage.

I decided that I would go ahead and make the Campside Cardi out of this yarn and figured I’d just do short sleeves. But as it turns out I didn’t have to because I managed a full length sleeve and I still have about 300 yds left.

I’m not sure how that magic happened, but I’m happy that I was able to complete the full cardigan. A short sleeve version would have been nice, but the long sleeves make this a great layering piece for chilly summer nights.

This pomegranate colour is a bit out of character for me, I don’t really gravitate towards red. I was gifted a sweater’s quantity of this yarn from a friend who was de-stashing. And I’ve managed to get two garments out of it!

I’m not sure what I’ll do with the remaining yardage, maybe it’s enough for a My Little Secret Crop (that would be my third one!).

The Campside Cardi is part of a whole pattern line by Alicia Plummer. Each of the patterns includes this stunning eyelet lace pattern.

Sometimes I struggle with lace, but I found this project was a joy to knit and I love how the different lace sections come together to form the finished piece.

I tried out a new bind off technique for this project. The pattern recommends using a stretchy bind off, I wanted to make sure my collar and bottom edge weren’t scrunching up so I looked up the instructions for a stretchy bind off.

I ended up following this tutorial from Very Pink. It was so simple and I’ll definitely use this technique again when I need a stretchy bind off, especially for 2×2 ribbing.

I even used this bind off on the sleeves, I would typically do a tubular bind off on my sleeves, but I didn’t feel like doing the set up for 2×2 ribbing. I do feel that on the sleeves it’s a bit too loose and they flare out a bit. If I were to make this again I would do a regular bind off on the sleeves.

The Campside Cardi is a raglan construction, and I think I’m beginning to learn that I don’t love a raglan construction for a cardigan…this is my second raglan cardigan, I knit Harvest by Tin Can Knits about a year ago. I always had issues with my Harvest slipping down off of my shoulders and I just figured it was because it was heavy cotton and also it’s a bit too big. But I’m finding the Campside Cardi does the same, especially if I wear a tank top underneath.

But at least the slipping is not so bad with a t-shirt because of the friction, it’s actually much much better with a t-shirt. It’s a bit of a shame because I like to layer with tank tops, but that’s okay. I still love this sweater.

Cardigans are one of my favourite wardrobe pieces, they’re so cost and versatile. And I’m definitely putting a cardigan with set-in sleeves on my queue! Any suggestions?

Categories
Musings

My Great Toronto Yarn Hop 2020 (virtual) Haul

The Great Toronto Yarn Hop is an annual event that takes fibre artists on a tour of Toronto’s yarn stores. In a usual year, you buy a ticket to be part of a certain tour group and take the TTC around the city to a handful of stores – each group is a different tour route. And at the end everyone congregates at a restaurant to socialize.

I always want to attend, but I never have because I feel a little shy about not knowing anyone. This year The Great Toronto Yarn Hop went virtual, which was the perfect opportunity to dip my toes in!

I bought my “passport” ticket and some extra raffle tickets and eagerly awaiting the event. This year passport had one week to shop from the participating stores and take advantage of the discounts they were offering.

This event was so great because I’ve only ever visited one local yarn store before even though we have so many here in Toronto. It was a great opportunity to get to know them, at least through their online sites.

Now that you know all about the event, we’ll get to the reason we’re here. My Yarn Hop Haul. It’s pretty modest I didn’t want to go overboard, especially because I’m supposed to be stashing down this year. So, I made just three purchases.

Warning, please read: Some of the links in this post are to Ravelry. If you have experienced negative effects from their new webdesign or you are at risk of negative effects from the new webdesign, please exercise caution following these links.

#1

I have had my eye on this Cocoknits stitch marker set for ages! I knew that The Purple Purl carried them so I fully intended to order them for my birthday. But The Great Toronto Yarn Hop came along and so I got my birthday gift early!

I put these to use right away on my current WIP the Simone Pullover I’ve been using one for my beginning of round and I LOVE the little spiral ones for progress keepers and to track measurements.

#2

A sweater’s quantity of Berroco Vintage DK from Knit-o-matic. This yarn is for the For Fox Sake sweater by Maxim Cyr. It’s been on my queue since it came out!

This was one of the sweaters I had in mind when I put doing more colourwork, and more colourful knitting, on my 2020 goals list. I knew I wanted to do a purple body on this sweater, but I was initially thinking a darker plum colour. But this fuchsia caught my eye.

It’s definitely outside of my comfort zone, but I can’t wait to see how it works up.

#3

This purchase is a two-in-one I ordered two skeins of sock yarns from The Knitting Loft!

I knew that I wanted to add some self-striping to my stash so I picked up this Biscotte Yarns skein of Bis-sock in the colourway Lighthouse. I love it!! This is definitely going to be a pair of a socks with a fun contrasting heel.

I also grabbed this hot pink skein of Artfil Belle sock yarn, this colour is called Bubblegum.

If you don’t know I absolutely love pink, especially hot pink. I have been wanted to knit a pair of hot pink Shag Carpet Shorties, so I’m going to hold this double to make them.

That’s it for my purchases, I showed a lot of self-restraint – LOL!

I did look at all of the participating stores, so these three purchases are just the beginning! I took note of all the yarns and notions that I would go back and purchase later. I really loved participating in this event, especially because it was an opportunity to support our local Toronto yarn shops during this challenging time.