45 year old woman holding lacy, indigo sweater yoke in front of her body
[ Creating a Life You Love ][ Knitting ]

Summer Knitting & What’s Next for Henlia Handmade

Today I am sharing my current knitting, my summer knitting plans, and what to expect from Henlia Handmade over the upcoming summer months.

If you’d prefer to watch the full yarn unboxing video, please click the button above.

My children have four more weeks of school and then they’re going to be home for the summer. So I want to share more about what my plans are because if you’ve been with Henlia Handmade for a while, you will know that consistency in my business has been difficult when my kids are around more often.

I will share more about that after I talk a bit about my knitting because I think it’s good to sometimes step back from the more intense blog posts about the tools, the unboxing, and the more educational things that I try to share such as sustainable knitting and being eco-friendly. Sometimes it’s fun to step back and just talk about what we really love-the actual knitting!

This is my current summer knitting sweater project I’m working on.

It’s called Laia and was designed by Isabell Kraemer. It’s coming along maybe a little bit more slowly than I was expecting it to, but it is a fingering/sock weight sweater after all and I always knit for pure enjoyment. I try really hard not to set deadlines for myself because I want to continue to love knitting as I have loved it for so many years. Since I’m doing this for summer knitting fun, I’m not going to put pressure on myself.

I’m using some Noro yarn that I picked up at my local yarn shop, Wool Town Bend, and I have thoughts on it. Boy, do I have thoughts on it! This was my first experience using Noro yarn, and I was expecting to fall completely in love with it because I know so many people absolutely love it. It is a cotton/viscose/silk blend called Sonata. I’m using the colorway “Deep Sea”. Anyway, I think it’s worth doing a full review once I’ve finished my sweater to share about the yarn and the sweater pattern.

It’s coming right along now. I have separated for the sleeves, so hopefully the body will knit up pretty quickly. Notice I have the sleeves on my Knit Keeper Cords. I’ve mentioned them before in my favorite tools post. I’m hoping that I will be able to wear this sweater sometime this summer, but we’ll see.

I live in Central Oregon, in the high desert where it gets very cold at night even in the summer. The mornings are usually quite cool too. One of my favorite things to do in the summertime is to sit on my porch with my morning cup of tea and knit. Many times I need a light layer, a light sweater. I have some blankets that are lightweight muslin blankets that I use out on my porch as well during the summer, but using handknit sweaters to keep the chill off is always a favorite!

Niyat Pullover by Kavitha Raman

Just because I don’t have any set deadline for that sweater doesn’t mean I don’t have more summer knitting plans.

I had originally planned on making this next project before I started on my Noro sweater, but I decided to knit it first because it was a cotton blend and I might be able to finish it for the summer. I probably set unrealistic expectations for myself when it comes to my knitting projects-ha! 

Before I got distracted by Laia, I had another fingering weight sweater planned. When I saw this sweater pattern come out by one of my favorite knitwear designers, Kavitha of Craftdoodling Designs, I knew I had to knit it. She generously did a collaboration with me in 2020 when Henlia Handmade was brand new. She designed the beautiful Sard shawl with Henlia Handmade yarn. More recently, she came out with a very clever sweater design, Niyat Pullover.

The cool thing about this sweater is that she has designed it to have sleeve sizes. You can choose the body length of course, but then also based on your arm circumference, you choose your sleeve size. This is always an issue for me with sweater patterns. I’ve noticed that my sleeve length-and I’ve talked about
this more than you probably care to hear-but my sleeve length always ends up shrinking as I wear my sweaters. I think the reason for this is that the width of my upper arms kind of sucks up the yarn. Does that make any sense? As the stitches have to stretch in circumference to accommodate my arm, it shrinks up the length of my sleeves. It’s not uncomfortable so I haven’t tried changing my stitch count for my sleeves, but I do add quite a bit of length to them. Anyway, sleeves are always the biggest issue for me when I’m knitting sweaters, so Kavitha has designed this sweater to help combat this issue. Well, I believe that was her reasoning. You choose which sleeve circumference to knit. I’m super curious to get this started. It has some really beautiful lace details and some bobbles. It looks like just a beautiful sweater.

I’ve set aside three skeins of Henlia Handmade in Green Goblin for this knit. This yarn was part of my late fall/early winter collection and I set these aside for myself because I really wanted to make a sweater with them. I’m excited to try this green colorway, so I set this aside specifically for this sweater project when I saw it come out, I think at the beginning of January 2023.

green and yellow-green tonal fingering/sock weight yarn on white background
Henlia Handmade Green Goblin in fingering/sock weight

Because two fingering/sock weight sweaters aren’t enough, my other summer knitting project is finishing my Reed Shawl.

This shawl happens to also be by Kavitha of CraftDoodling Designs. It is the shawl that I started knitting for my last collection, the Desert Bloom collection, to show what the colorway, Monkeyflower, looks like when knitted. I was going to swatch a standard square and then I thought, why knit a swatch when I can just start a shawl?

So that’s my other summer knitting project. I haven’t gotten any further than when I took the pictures to show how this was knitting up. I set it aside to finish my Weekender Light sweater and then immediately cast on my Laia sweater. However, I really would like to finish it. It’s too easy for me to start projects for the sake of showing a colorway and then not finishing it. So I’d like to finish it!

woman holding small triangular start of a shawl in a colorway with a blue background and speckles in yellow, purple and pink.
Reed Shawl in Monkeyflower on fingering/sock weight

Now let’s talk about Henlia Handmade and what to expect during the summer months.

As I mentioned earlier, when my children are around, it’s harder for me to do the business things that I need to do to keep Henlia Handmade running. I’m trying out some new systems so that I can be more consistent, but my family always comes first. You have been so incredibly supportive of that and I really, really appreciate it. With that said though, I still do want to do a summer yarn launch. Maybe a mini-launch, or maybe a full summer lunch and a mini-launch. I have a few colorways in mind, some ideas that I really want to get put onto yarn and out into the world for you. So I’ll be releasing some new colorways and you can look forward to at least some new yarn from Henlia Handmade this summer. Yay!

Lastly, I want to mention Henlia Handmade’s anniversary. I will be celebrating Henlia Handmade’s anniversary in August. It’s the 4th anniversary of when I opened Henlia Handmade. In 2020, I did a fun anniversary party because I wanted to celebrate that Henlia Handmade had been open for business for a full year. I’m still definitely in the early planning stages for this, but I’m throwing it out here to keep me accountable because it was so much fun. I am trying to really lean into the aspects of this business that I find so life-giving, such as the Mother’s Day boxes. And the 2020 party was just as wonderful. If you were around for that it won’t be exactly the same but, I’m working on it. I’m excited about what I have going so far and we’ll see how it develops. I will definitely keep you in the loop and let you know more as I know more.

Oops. This is the last thing I wanted to mention today. Do you have any interest in me doing some garden-related posts? I don’t profess to be a great gardener. In fact, I’ve very much a beginner gardener, especially with our short growing season in Central Oregon. And SO many pests, so many garden pests that I haven’t had huge successes in the past. However, I’m working to get more dye plants in my garden this year. If you are interested in that at all, do let me know in the comments down below.

Thank you for taking some time to read my rambling thoughts today. I appreciate you so very much! Please let me know your thoughts about garden updates and do tell me, what summer knitting do you have planned?

If you’d like to check out my selection of naturally dyed U.S. yarn, you can do that here.

If you’re new to Henlia Handmade, I’d love to give you 20% off to give naturally dyed yarn a try. Click here for 20% off.

And if you’re looking to join the kindest, most friendly group of knitters, I’d love for you to join the Knit Many Together Community. It’s only $5 and helps keep Henlia Handmade running and helps me produce posts such as this one. Find out more by clicking here.

Thanks again for being here. Happy knitting!

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Mindy Kingery

When I'm not dyeing, designing or dreaming of yarn, you can find me painting, digging in my garden, hiking with my family or working on one of my many, many WIPs.

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