Category Archives: Life, The Universe, And Everything

S is for Socks, Sorrow, and Solace.

I make it a point to keep this blog focused on knitting, fiber arts and other fun and interesting subjects–nothing downbeat or depressing or personal. I’m going to deviate from my rule this one time, because sometimes life punches you in the throat, and all you can do is vent, and pray for a sympathetic ear.

I lost my my mother and my Aunt Joan one month and one day apart from each other. They both passed in the past couple of months, during Lent; my Mom passed on Good Friday. This Sunday is my first Mother’s Day without my mom, and the aunt i considered my second mom. My mother had been battling liver disease caused by cancer for a few years, so her passing, painful as it was, wasn’t unexpected. My aunt, however, was diagnosed suddenly with esophogeal cancer around Christmas. Four days after Valentine’s Day, my entire family drove her to the hospice she chose to enter. Three weeks after that, my Mom was in the ICU. We knew it was the end.

My mother was clearly deteriorating while we visited my aunt daily. She needed a wheelchair. My aunt, of course, knew my mother was ill, but Mom insisted on leaving the wheelchair outside my aunt’s room, just out of her view, so my aunt wouldn’t worry, or know how much sicker Mom was by then. My mom always worried about other people before herself.

In mid-February, I began to stockpile sock yarn as though it were canned food destined for a fallout shelter. A couple of times, driving home from the hospice, I stopped off at a local store and grabbed skeins of yarn. I felt guilty for going shopping, it seemed so tacky and shallow. But I needed my knitting to get me through what I knew was going to be a rough patch. It ended up being a lot rougher than I expected.

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I drowned my sorrow in sock yarn. I stashed Crazy Zauberball, well, like crazy. I wanted bright, bold colors. I bought sock yarn brands that I’ve never knit with before, choosing simply by colors I wanted to knit with.

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Sometimes my hands shook while casting on. I couldn’t sleep, so I stayed up in front of the TV so I could keep working on my socks. I don’t have to tell you how knitting centers and calms a person; after a while my hands would stop shaking and I produced endless rounds of lovely stockinette stitches.

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I stuck to plain knit socks. I wanted some mindless knitting to keep me occupied and calm.

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When I realized Crazy Zauberball is dyed to not match, I gave up trying to line up the second sock just like the first and let the mismatching stripes form.

Day to day life seems normal on the outside, but it’s not.  I get up and go to work, but sometimes I wake up shaking like a leaf. I pull my knitting out when I get home, clinging to it like a lifeline, which, truth be told, it is. Knitting is familiar, a huge part of my life, and comforting.  I’ve been knitting for years. I will continue to knit for the rest of my life.

My Aunt Joan taught me how to knit–twice. Once when I was nine, and again when I was 14. When I was eight, she gave my sister and I each a beautiful doll for Christmas. This doll had a ton of clothing made for her, and my aunt bought several outfits as part of the gift. She also handknit several tiny sweaters and skirts for these dolls, with little faux mother-of-pearl buttons. I didn’t know she could knit before then, and she never knit again after that. She and my mom both knit when they were in college in the 1950s. They both dropped it soon after they got their first jobs. I dropped it soon after each of my aunt’s attempts to teach me. But I picked it up for good in my thirties, with some pink yarn and a little book. When some of the diagrams of knit stitches confused me, muscle memory took over and I slipped the stitch off the needle like a pro, thanks to my aunt’s early lessons.

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Yesterday I cast on for the Firefly pattern in The Knitter’s Book of Socks.  I think the pattern looks best in solid colored yarn, so I bought some Knit Picks Palette in the color Turmeric. I don’t choose yellow very often, but I love the rich, autumnal color of this shade. These socks are working up very quickly. I love cabling.

Before this past February, I had never been in a hospice or an Intensive Care Unit before. Despite the fear, uncertainty and pain, there was one positive thing that I experienced first hand in these places: the selflessness and generosity of other knitters and crafters.

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It’s hard to see because of the light pink yarn, but there’s a cross in the middle of this square. This is a comfort square. The hospice chapel had a box of them for people to take if they needed comfort. There was also a design with a heart in the middle. All were knit by local knitters. The chaplains also provided my aunt and all the other patients with a beautiful hand-quilted prayer square, made by local parishioners and blessed by a priest. My brother has the quilt mounted on his bedroom wall.

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The chaplain at the hospital gave my mother a prayer blanket. The chaplain was a registered nurse, and she and other volunteers knit the blankets.

Prayers were said over these items as they were made; prayers for complete strangers whom the knitters and quilters would never meet. That kindness, as well as the handmade items themselves. do bring me some comfort. They’re a reminder of something sad and awful, but they’re also a reminder of the generosity of spirit and the best of intentions given by kind souls for those who are grieving. I am motivated now to make some blankets to donate. In time I’m sure I’ll be up to knitting something for someone else who’s grieving. But for now, I’m going to be a bit selfish. I need some more socks.

Thanks for listening. I hope I didn’t bring anyone down too much. I promise to resume the happy knitting chat with my next post. Peace to you all, and Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers, grandmothers, and aunts, whether they are on this Earth or not.

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Conversations In Newburyport

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Yesterday I spent the day in Newburyport. The humidity has let up for the time being and I figured the temperature would be nice and cool down by the waterfront, so my sister and I drove up for a day. It was the perfect day to eat, shop and relax by the Merrimack River. We shopped, walked through some of the older streets to view the beautiful 18th- and 19th-century houses, and we ate popsicles on a bench overlooking the river. Newburyport is one of my favorite places to spend the day, and I mention it frequently on this blog. Yesterday  I didn’t have any particular goals in mind other than stopping into Newburyport’s LYS, A Loom With A View, for some sock yarn.  It turned out to be a day filled with, to say the least, unexpected fibery finds.

Our first stop was the antiques warehouse Oldies, which is never dull and always full of surprises. There is a vintage clothing section that often has a lot of old sewing and knitting things on the shelves, so I ventured into that room first. There were several pairs of old steel knitting needles, small cones of thread, and a lot of darning eggs. There were also three nearly identical rough wooden Russian-style support spindles.

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Has anyone ever seen a spindle like this? It’s very plain, and it’s certainly seen some use.

They were $5 each. I picked out the one I wanted and gave it a twirl on a countertop. It had a pretty decent spin. Satisfied, I decided I would buy it.  A nearby dealer was watching me.

Seller:  Have you figured out what that is?  I thought it was some sort of knitting needle.

Me: I believe it’s a support spindle for spinning yarn.

Seller: You could be right. The vendor put her initials and the price on it but didn’t tell us what it is.

I give it another twirl

Seller: Whatever it is, it’s only five dollars.

Me:  O.K. I’ll take it home and try to spin yarn with it and see what happens.

Seller: That-a girl!

I really do love the salespeople at Oldies because they’re lovely people, and they love what they do.  The lady at the register called it a “spool” for making yarn.

Let’s take a look at it:

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It actually has a nice, tapered top, the better to grip it in order to spin the spindle. I think that’s pretty clever!  It’s not fancy, but the little ball and disk detailing above the tip is a nice little touch. It’s definitely hand carved. The wood is aged but still smooth. The saleslady couldn’t say for sure how old it was, but her best guess was that it, along with the darning egg, was from the 1940s or 1950s. Here’s a close up of the tip:

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I’m no expert but I think the spindle might be older than that, because t’s so plain and utilitarian, like someone literally did not care what it looked like because they just needed it to function. It’s hand-carved. It looks very aged to me. This is a tool, and no one obsessed over what kind of wood they wanted, or what color stone or crystal to put above the tip. We’re so spoiled for choice these days, when we are spinning for fun, and not for a do-or-die need to put clothes on our backs. And people certainly didn’t pounce on spindle makers as soon as their shops opened because the newly made spindles were going to sell out in a ridiculously short amount of time. Man, how times have changed. I bet the woman who used this spindle would laugh and shake her head if she saw what some of us go through today when we stalk online shops for a chance to buy a handmade spindle or join a hand-dyed fiber club!

It’s going to be awhile before I get some usable yarn from this spindle. I’m still trying to get the hang of support spindling, and I need a lot of practice. But I look forward to using this spindle in my efforts. I like the idea of using an antique tool for an ancient process.

According to the saleslady, the darning egg is also from the 1940s or 1950s. Again, I’m no expert, but I would believe that. The egg seems a little more sophisticated than the spindle, which adds to my belief that the spindle may be older.

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Despite its age, the egg is still in great shape and very pretty to look at. It’s very smooth and pleasing to handle. it’s also very glossy. Look at the beautiful grain. The Forties or Fifties makes more sense to me for the egg because, apart from hobbyists, I don’t know how common it was at that point for women to still be spinning yarn on hand spindles. But women were definitely still hand knitting (and repairing) socks–especially during the war. Sock-darning is an as-yet untried experience for me, but it’s a skill I want to learn. The egg was $12, and is in excellent condition.

My next stop was my favorite bookstore, Jabberwocky Books. Their crafts section is tiny but the few craft books they stock are always thoughtfully chosen. I was surprised to see four books on spinning, and almost bought the Tiny Owls Woodland Knit book, but I put it back for another day. Because you can’t beat this price:

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Now compare it to the original price:

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I can’t believe no one wanted this book, and that makes me sad. But on the other hand, markdown! Woo-hoo for me! I took it to the cashier.

Me: I can’t believe no one wanted this book.

Salesguy: You want that book.

Me. This is true. I’ve been meaning to buy it for a long time.

Salesguy: And now it’s yours for $7.98! Do you know how to spin?

Me: Yes.

Salesguy: Good for you!

Clearly this was the tone of the day. *eyeroll*

I also picked up the most adorable knitting reference book ever!

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It’s 4″ x 6″ and costs $7.99. It’s thin and light and perfectly portable.

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Wait! What’s that bright green bag next to the ball of Zauberball? Why, that’s Loom With A View’s signature green, of course.

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I went into LWAV with the specific goal of buying some pink and brown sock yarn. I saw some socks on Ravelry in this colorway and wanted to make some, too. Pink and brown together is one of my favorite color combinations. I didn’t know which yarn companies made this colorway, but I thought to myself, “It would be nice if I could find it in Zauberball.”  There was a nice variety of Zauberball, but I didn’t see my colorway. I didn’t know if it existed but I was determined to look through every color just to make sure. I reached out to the very back of the cubby when lo and behold, I pulled out a ball of pink and brown! In Zauberball. Like I imagined in my head. Something I imagined but wasn’t sure existed, existed exactly as i imagined. Spooky, right?! Chalk it up to one expected fibery find!

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Now let me share with you the most surprising fibery find of the day: a sheep hanging out in the middle of town. My sister and I were walking through the beautiful waterfront park when my sister points towards the distance and says to me, “That lady is walking a sheep on a leash!” As you can imagine, I asked her to repeat that. She did. I really wanted to see a sheep on a leash, so we walked towards it. There were two ladies sitting on the grass. There was a big black dog, maybe a Great Dane, on one leash, and, sure enough, a sheep on the other. I approached the lady holding the leash.

Me: Do you keep your sheep as a pet or for the fleece?

Sheepmom: Both!

Me: What breed is she?

Sheepmom: She’s three-quarter Leicester and one-quarter Romney.

Me: Can I take her picture?

Sheepmom  Sure. You can pet her if you want.

I did want to pet her. She let me, and gave a contented little Baa-aaa when I patted her on the head!

 

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But she put her head down and went back to grazing when I took her picture!

Later, my sister and I spotted this sheep and her entourage crossing State Street in the middle of downtown. They were in a pedestrian crossing with a city bus waiting for them. I bet the bus driver got a bit of a shock.

I could see people stopping and snapping pictures with their phones (not one person was taking a picture with a camera).

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It just goes to show you: people love sheep. See the dog and the sheep together? They appeared to get along. I wonder if the dog thinks the sheep is just another dog, and the sheep thinks the dog is just another sheep.

Then the sheep began eating the flowers out of the restaurant’s flowerbox.

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Everybody laughed, and that was when I realized that the crowd around them had grown, full of people eager to take a look at a sheep being walked on a leash in the middle of town, and to take her picture.

I bet that happens to them a lot.

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Best street name ever!

Seaside Happiness

Today I’m taking a break from photos of knitting  to bring you a little travelogue about one of my favorite places to spend the day: Rockport, Massachusetts. Rockport is a pretty New England seaside village that’s right on the Atlantic Ocean. It’s about an hour north of Boston by car or train. It’s a popular day trip destination for tourists since it’s so close to Boston. It’s been a popular destination with artists for over a century thanks to the natural beauty of the ocean and the old New England houses and fishing huts.

I snapped a few photos a couple of weeks ago after my last stop on the yarn crawl. Most of Rockport’s shops and restaurants are seasonal so a lot of them were closed, but there were plenty of places that were open. Such as Tuck’s Candies, because I need my fudge and salt water taffy fix when I’m in town!  There were a lot of people out as well, even though it was a little chilly.

I tend to take photos of the same things over and over when I visit, and I’ve probably posted some of them on this blog in the past. Forgive me for being so repetitive.

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This is Bearskin Neck from a distance, It’s a peninsula, so there are great ocean views from either side. It’s thin but crammed with shops, restaurants and houses that are so close to each other, if one neighbor wanted to borrow a cup of sugar from their next-door neighbor all they’d have to do is lean out their windows.  I love that giant tree that towers over everything.

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Here’s a shot of some of the buildings along the ocean, with the beach in front. These are all shops, eateries, residences, a motel, and a new performing arts center. Fun fact: Rockport was a dry town until a few years ago. No alcohol was available for sale so if diners wanted some with their meal they had to bring it in to the restaurant with them. (Presumably it was purchased in Gloucester, the next town over.)

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I love this little gazebo, it looks like a mini fortress tower overlooking the sea. It was accessible to the public until about four years ago, when someone bought the open field in front of it and built a giant mansion. It’s too bad because people used to take their wedding party photos in there. The movie The Love Letter was filmed here in 1999. For anyone who’s seen it, the Fourth of July fireworks scene was filmed on this land when it was just a big grass field, pre McMansion days.

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Yep, Rockport rocks.

Before you know it summer will be here and I’ll be able to go back and spend a day here and there while the weather’s good. Where do you like to go to relax and be happy? Discuss!

The Knittin’ O’ The Green

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! It’s 20 degrees out today, more like 8 with the wind chill factor. Hopefully spring will arrive soon. I’m sick of the snow and the low temperatures, even though winter means more time to knit warm articles of clothing.  Everyone’s wearing green today; they’ve been wearing it and imbibing celebrating St. Paddy’s Day all weekend, as a matter of fact. Believe it or not, it’s a mere coincidence that everything I’m knitting currently happens to be green. My green sweater has nothing to do with St. Patrick’s day, since I started knitting it around Christmas. But to tell you the truth, I was hoping I’d have it finished to wear on St. Patrick’s Day.  Once again, the best laid plans…

I have two projects on the needles. I am still knitting Armande. I always linger on the larger projects. I start with a burst of activity, knit hell for leather for a few weeks, and then put it down. I worked on it during the run-up to Christmas; I worked on it while hosting relatives during Christmas. Knitting is a great distraction when graciously allowing houseguests full control over your TV set when their taste in programming isn’t your cup of tea. I was able to avoid a lot of bad movies for a week thanks to this sweater (Steven Segall’s The Glimmer Man, I’m talking to you in particular).

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I plowed past the ingenious method of sewing down the pockets as you knit the sweater and I’m now on the body of the garment, with all its buttonholes, making my way up to the sleeves and neckline.

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It’s a lot of stockinette, but that’s what i like about this project. It’s mostly basic knitting with some shaping here and there, with a great collar at the finish.  This will be an amazing piece to wear when I’m done. In the meantime, I’ve started a quick cowl project, which, coincidentally, also happens to feature green.

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Even the new Knitters Pride circulars I picked up are green. Enough already! This is the Tangier Cowl.  I got the pattern for free during the weekend North Shore Yarn Crawl. It takes one skein of Cascade 220’s Tangier yarn. The yarn is made out of silk, cotton, acrylic and viscose. Tangier seems to be Cascade’s take on Noro. It’s similar to Noro in two ways: 1. it has the same mesmerizing color changes, and 2. it’s kind of rough and knotty. Some people may use words like “tweedy” and “slubby” but I stand by “rough” and “knotty.” Casting on was a little difficult and I didn’t like the way the yarn felt as I cast on. Fortunately, the yarn became much softer once there was some fabric between my hands, and it feels rather nice now that I’m halfway through.

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This is color 10, which contains green, brown and mustard shades. The green looked dominant in the skein when I bought it but as I’m knitting with it, the browns are taking over. In these photos, though, the mustard color is taking over. I think its serendipitous that i’m using this color on St. Patrick’s Day; the colors remind me of the patchwork fields of Ireland, with green grass, brown earth and plowed fields, and golden flowers.

It was very sunny when I took my photos so the colors on both projects look a little washed out.

I’ve been buying the Knitters Pride needles for a while now and I’m really impressed with them. Each size comes in a different color, which makes collecting their needles fun. They’re reasonably priced. The US9 24″ circulars I’m using on the cowl cost $9.50. The bright green needles and the black cable are stylin’. The needles are very smooth, which allows me to knit fast. It’s like using Addi Turbos. Most of my local shops carry them now, and some of the stores that used to carry brands like Brittany now carry Knitters Pride instead.

All of the yarn shops along the local North Shore (of Boston) crawl are fabulous, but one of my favorite stops is Yarns In The Farms, in Beverly Farms, MA. YITF has a devoted local following thanks to its quirky joie de vivre atmosphere, eclectic selection of local and art yarns, as well as its official mascot, guest greeter, and sometime in-house model:

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This is Chucho (the one on the right!) and he stole the show on Saturday (and probably all the other days of the Crawl as well). He jumped up onto the couch and perched there the whole time I was in the shop. He let people fuss over him and pet him. He sat patiently for photographs. Isn’t he adorable?

I brought home a nice selection of items from the crawl without going too nuts this year. I bought three projects home: two one-skein cowls and enough sock yarn for one pair of socks (pattern to be determined). I’ll take pictures of the fun and interesting items in my next post. For now, I’d better hit the Publish button because I only have 34 minutes left to publish my St. Patrick’s Day post before St. Patrick’s Day is over. Till next time!

Does your area host a yarn crawl? Where is it? Do you attend regularly? Let me know!

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

Today I’ll be sharing some of my favorite knitting things. Some are old favorites, some are new favorites.  These are things that help me in my knitting, enlighten me, turn me on to new techniques, and just plain make me smile. Share some of your favorites with me in the comments!

Go-To Reference Books:

knitspeakKnitspeak by Andrea Berman Price. My sister gave this to me for Christmas several years ago and it’s rarely out of my sight. This little pink book is packed with information on knitting techniques. Unlike many other instructional books, this one is small and compact and fits easily into a bag with your project, while the hard cover insures your book won’t get mangled, bent or torn while carrying it around. It may be small in size but it doesn’t skimp on information in the alphabetically listed techniques. I refer to this book all the time because I can never remember the difference between a Make 1 left increase and a Make 1 Right Increase. I have a 3 Needle Bind Off coming up soon and I’m counting on Knitspeak to walk me through it. Indispensable!

annbuddThe Handy Book Of Patterns by Ann Budd. Beginners learn from Ann Budd as she teaches the basics of garment construction. Experienced knitters can also benefit from the basic patterns as a jumping-off point for improvising and designing to the next level.  This book covers gloves, mittens, hats and sweaters. Each pattern gives you information, gauge and measurements for several yarn weights and needle sizes, allowing the knitter to choose the type of yarn they prefer or to work with what they already have on hand. This book taught me how to knit mittens and gloves and I haven’t looked back since. Educational!

Tools:

knitpicksKnit Picks’ Caspian Needles  I  knit socks. A lot of socks. if you’re not a sock knitter, you should try it. Just once. Trust me, once you put on a pair of handknit socks you’ll never go back to store bought. I’ve been known to use Addi’s size Us#1 DPNs for sock knitting but overall I prefer wood needles. I’ve long been a very vocal fan of Knit Picks’s yarn and tools, and lately, it’s like they’ve been reading my mind. Last month they released Caspian, a new line of needles in beautiful deep blue and green mixed colors. They had me at blue.  I purchased the set of 6″ DPNs that come in the usual sock-knitting sizes, from 0 to 3. There are 2 sets of US #1s–one is 2.25 mm and one is 2.50 mm–and two sets of US #2 (2.75mm and 3.0 mm). Now I know to check my sock patterns for the Metric measurement behind the American measurement! I’ve knit a few rows of leftover yarn with these just to feel them in my hand. Serious sock knitting will resume after I complete some of the things I’m working on now.  it will. I’ve already bought more sock yarn. Useful!

I got a little bizzay once the Christmas tree went up:sock2

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The Internet:

New-to-me blogs and podcasts:

1. Yarning Over The Days Constance does a lot of knitting…a lot of knitting I’m extremely jealous of. Plus, she has a killer fashion sense. She’s currently knitting bunnies to donate to children. If you want to be dazzled, look no further than her work on Andi Satterlund’s Hortencia sweater. Inspirational!

2. Prairie Girls Knit And Spin Dani and Susie, the self-styled prairie girls, live in Nebraska and co-host a podcast on knitting, spinning, In between they talk about life, husbands, fiber festivals and all sorts of yarny topics. Listening to this podcast is a joy because of the rapport the two ladies share. Feeling guilty about buying more yarn? They’ve been there, done that. Knitting project bumming you out? They can relate. We all can, and that’s part of the fun. They also have a group on Ravelry. Hysterical!

Old Favorites:

1. Prick Your Finger I’ve been following Rachael Matthews’s zany and unique blog for a few years now, and she never disappoints. Prick Your Finger is the name of her London yarn shop and textile collaborative that specializes in British wool, teaching and empowering people, and community efforts. Start reading and you’ll soon realize what a free spirit she is, and her blog is full of joie de vivre! I wish I could visit her shop. If I’m ever able to take another trip to London, Prick Your Finger is going to be my first stop. Whimsical!

…when I’m feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things

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and then I don’t feel so bad.

A Picture-less Post (because it’s been a while.)

HI! How are all of you? I hope you’re warm and dry and happily stitching away at something fabulous. It started snowing in these parts about an hour ago.

I know. Long time, no write. it’s also been long time, no knit around here. I never did post part 2 of my Fiber Revival report. I have some nice photos I didn’t post yet so I do want to share them with everyone at some point. But that some point won’t be before Christmas! I really admire the bloggers who post regularly!

There have been a lot of knitting starts and stops since August. The cloche hat project I picked up at Fiber Revival is still sitting in the kawaii sushi bag that I also picked up at Fiber Revival. The brim is proving unexpectedly irritating so I banished the hat for a while. It’s not a permanent ban, but I figured it’s silly to wait to knit something else until I finish it.  So I decided I wanted a pair of mittens for winter.  While shopping with Knit Picks I came across a free pattern for mittens with a braided cuff. The pair takes one ball of Wool of The Andes and one ball of Shamrock. Shamrock has been discontinued for a while, but guess what?? I had two balls of it in my stash!! I also had several balls of WOTA in there as well! More than enough to make a pair. This is the first time I’ve successfully shopped from my stash and had exactly what I needed to start a project. So I have one mitten that’s almost done, I just need to do the thumb. I couldn’t get exact gauge so I went a little large. My handknit mittens usually felt a little as they are exposed to rain, snow and ice. A couple of times cleaning snow off of my car and they’ll be nice and snug!

I’m currently hard at work on this little number. The Armande cardigan. I love the unashamedly retro styling and I share designer Andi Satterlund’s love of period movies and clothing. This was calling out to me to knit it, so who am I to ignore the call of the knit?!  I know, I’m always whining about never finishing a sweater. Although this pattern has earned a Tangy rating on Knitty, I’m confident that I can do it this time.  The construction is seamless, so, you know, Yay. I don’t even have to stitch down the pockets! The pockets are knit with separate needles and a new ball of yarn, then placed on holders. The end stitches are slipped, then picked up and knitted along with the next stitch on the needle as you come to it, attaching the pocket to the main body fabric. How cool is that?

Another plus for this pattern: it uses Cascade 220, my favorite reasonably priced yarn. I needed 6 hanks but I bought one extra just in case. If I don’t use it, it will look good as a warm winter hat. My only problem so far with this project was choosing a color. The Heather colorways are all so pretty. I was impatient to start it so I didn’t want to order the yarn online if I could find 7 balls in a LYS. I chose a dark green heather, which is lovely and vintage-looking. I am very picky about wearing green because I have red hair, but this is a dark, classic color and it’s perfect.

I have a question for all you knitters and crocheters out there. Does your dog stare intently at you while you knit? Mine does. Spike, my Chiweenie, sits next to me on the couch, with his face really close to my knitting, and just stares at it. Sometimes he whines a little, like my knitting is making him anxious. It’s been suggested that he’s miffed because I haven’t knit him a sweater yet. Several years ago my mom had a dog who would also stare at me while I knit whenever I came home for Christmas. She would sit in front of me on the floor and just watch me knit. Shannon was a very gentle soul and my mother volunteered at a local nursing home by attending a sort of “obedience school” class that all the residents could watch. The dogs would then visit with all the residents, going from person to person. The lady who ran the classes would sometimes crochet while her husband did the training, and my mom always told me how Shannon would sit by her and watch her crochet! Can anyone relate? Let me know!

Happy stitching to you all!