May Recap

In addition to reading a bunch of books, may has been somewhat creatively productive. I finished my long term WIP “dresser socks”. I finished my Wide Garter Stripe Shawl (#3). I started and REstarted my “PlumBody to Love” top (I’m about to start the front neckline!). I am also working on a hat pattern for release (constructing a cable chart is tedious work)- its entered the test knitting phase now! I may be on my way to completing my 3rd version of the hat (since May 19th). Funny how our best intentions get derailed! And no crochet projects this past month. June will be different, I’ve got IDEAS for more (crochet) blankets and (crochet) hats rattling around in my brain!

So despite being SO excited about my sweater at the beginning of the month, I’m feeling all the love for my new hat pattern. Its got a wide and interesting to work cable. It has different textures. Its UNISEX in its styling!! Which I love, because hats make awesome gifts. And most guys I know will wear a hat but NOT a scarf!

Unassuming Hat version 1. I’m going to slap a pom-pom on this babe too!

The original idea was born from a yarn I purchased at Christmas 2019. Being 30% Alpaca (and therefore prone to stretching) I made sure I knit it at a tight gauge (like my Quigley hat which has worn PERFECTLY). My second version is fingering held double- WHICH IS MY FAVORITE. My 3rd version is made of Lion Brand Wool-Ease, which has the smallest gauge of all three versions. Before I’m through making this hat, I will likely attempt a 100% acrylic version. I like knowing how different fiber contents will affect the final product. I know everyone is working within a different budget- designing with the expectation that every hat SHOULD use a $30 yarn is super elitist. Also- totally impractical if you do a lot of charity crafting.

I’ve used the same old, inexpensive Susan Bates 16″ circular needles for each iteration. The joins are smooth, the aluminum is slippery- why replace something that works. Even if it DOES have a persistent kink in the middle of the cable. I’ve noticed the newer Susan Bates needles aren’t nearly as nice, which is disappointing. When the join finally does give way (they all do eventually- regardless of price point) I’ll likely replace them with Chiaogoo red. I’ve been really digging those lately, even if the cable does have a bit of drag to it; the tips are worth the trade. What I’m NOT loving is my cable needle. I prefer the wood ones, like these. But I seem to have misplaced my two smallest from the Brittany set. So I’ve been using the one pictured. I curse how its not QUITE right and that I want my wood one back. And yes, I COULD use a DPN, I find them too long for this kind of cable. Next time I need yarn, I’ll purchase another set. But for now, I’m making due with what I have.

Pending test completion, my release goal for the Unassuming Hat is June 10th- Stay Tuned! I’m really excited to share this super fun project with all of you!

My Life in Books.

I’m reading. Go Away.

Long before I was a knitter, I was a voracious reader. My earliest memories are trying to read my Richard Scary Busy World Book. Mine was a hand-me-down with a busted binding with out of order pages that I never tired of trying to make sense out of. Once I was in elementary school and had the fundamentals down, I would read ANYTHING I could get my hands on. This continued through for years. I would finish the assigned books in a couple of afternoons. I plowed through the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, the Babysitters Club (I wanted to be the artsy fashionista Claudia!). In middle school I transitioned to (way age inappropriate) Anne Rice novels. High School lead me to Vonnegut and Faulkner- both of which I devoured with reckless abandon. College brought reading solstice- Murakami namely with Kafka, Kundera, Nabakov, Tolstoy, and Dostoyevsky thrown in for good measure. When I needed something easy, I read through most of the Forgotten Realms novels (my partner at the time was really into D&D novels). After college, the amusing joy of Prachett. Along the way I discovered how much I LOVE non-fiction. Namely single source non-fiction. I’ve read books on Twinkies, Salt, Cod, and Wood to name a few.

I’m “well read”. But my reading life was shockingly lacking of women authors.

Last year (2019) I made the decision to read more women authors. My bookshelf has a few: Banana Yoshimoto, Mary Roach, and Zora Neale Hurston. But not enough.

Last year I read a few books by women:

Pride and Prejudice.
Their Eyes Were Watching God
How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents
Longitude (NF)
The Sixth Extinction (NF)
My Dear Hamilton
Before We Were Yours
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (NF)
Beloved
Frankenstein.

This year, I’m off to a good start, once I took advantage of my local library’s partnership with Hoopla.
2020:

Make Your Home Among Strangers (Capó Crucet)
Remembering Shanghai (Chao, NF)
House of the Spirits (Allende)
Yellow House (Broom, NF)
Girl, Woman, Other (Evaristo)
Books and Islands in Ojibwe County (Erdrich, NF)
Afterlife (Alvarez)
Vanishing Fleece (Parkes, NF)
Lady Killers (Telfer, NF)

I try and pick (and design) projects that are easy enough to read and knit. Honestly, I’m not good enough at crochet to be able to do them both at once. But practice makes proficient! So if you notice my propensity for “simple”, this is why. I don’t want to choose between fiber arts and reading.

I digress. Impetus for this post was my reading of Vanishing Fleece (disclaimer: this is an affiliated link) a couple weeks ago (this book is available on Hoopla). It was a non-fiction intersection of my great loves: fiber arts and single focus consumable goods. I enjoyed the insight into domestic fiber production, milling, and the various dye processes. I even discovered that the Kraemer Mill was a short drive (like an hour) from my parent’s house. All these years I could have been getting local yarns! I know some people think non-fiction is dry, but this book was a really fun read. It didn’t change my life, but it did give me some insight to a niche industry that is so dear to me. I am inspired to seek out yarns that support local farmers and domestic mills- simply because I don’t want variety to disappear. Differences in breed and spin make creating interesting!

What good books have you read lately? Do you create and read, or are they separate activities?



Totally Tubular!

I don’t know about you, but I’m a creature of habit. I start most of my projects with a long-tail cast-on. I know there are DOZENS of cast-ons and their variations, but for most applications long-tail is good enough. With that said, today I decided I wanted to learn a new cast-on. Specifically, the Tubular Cast-on.

You see, I’ve decided to start a new hat. I needed something quick to break-up the disappointment of having to re-do 2/3 of my “PlumBody to Love” tee/sweater. I had some pretty big ideas about a single wide cable hat flanked by sections of reverse stockinette and another section of stockinette. All topped with a pom-pom, because why not?

It seems to be taking quite a bit longer this time.

Back at Christmas, I encouraged my spouse to stop at the Flying Needles in Williamsburg, VA on our way to the in-laws. I choose a couple of skeins that, one being from The Copper Corgi, Jones Street Worsted in Moria. I wanted to make a cabled hat with a pom-pom, which I also picked up that day. A darling fluffy powder blue and black puff. Its WAY nicer than all the inexpensive ones I purchased from my local big box craft store; fluffier AND lighter in weight! It really pulls the blue in my dark yarn.

But I digress; the Tubular Cast-on. I wanted a very finished edge to this hat, something that my trusty long-tail isn’t known for. I did a quick google search and came up with THIS video from the Mason-Dixon Knitting site. Its a tubular cast-on with waste yarn.

My Tubular with Waste Yarn Cast-on set up.

My first attempt was 2×2, which I messed up by trying to remember what I watched instead of writing it down or following along. But my 1×1: FRIJOLES!! It worked like a charm and it looks MAGICAL. Although, clipping the waste yarn out with scissors gave me some pause. But I did it any way! In the future, I will definitely try some of the other tubular variations.

I can’t wait to share this pattern with all of you!
Do you have a favorite cast-on? A new technique that you were pleasantly surprised by?

Reflections

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate marketing links. I make a small commission for purchases made from the like contained herein with no cost to you.

This past week has flown by. I guess that’s the blessing and curse of losing all sense of actual days. I spend so much time in proximity of my computer (keeping my kid on track for distance learning), that actually USING it to work loses all appeal. I started a post about my reading project this year. But only was able to finish half of it before I was too tired to write anything that made sense (I’ll come back to it, PROMISE).

While my daughter works, I am limited by the tasks I can accomplish. I need to be close by to keep her on task, she’s 6, and help explain instructions and concepts that she isn’t grasping. I can knit or crochet, read, pop into the kitchen to do the dishes and other tasks that I can complete in 5 minutes or less. I spent a LOT of time knitting this week. Thursday I finished my 3rd Wide Garter Stitch Shawl. This one was MASSIVE. I plan on using it more like a blanket than a shawl.

My old man cat was not ready for his close-up.

I used the same needle size and gauge, just used more yarn to complete additional section repeats. I had 5 balls of Lion Brand’s Re-Tweed that weren’t going to work for the original intents. The yarn is a bit RUSTIC in feel. I haven’t washed it yet, so my opinion may change. Its not itchy, but it isn’t soft. When we FINALLY get to go camping, I’m bringing it along. It screams drink-coffee-outdoors-while-wearing-me-on-a-brisk-morning and bring-me-to-the-camp-fire. Maybe I need to build a fire pit in my back yarn this year, ya know, because my knitwear told me to? I don’t think its prohibited per my HOA guidelines.

Another high quality filter free image!

Don’t worry if you hate the outdoors (bugs, the sun), it works equally well indoors.

I frogged my PlumBody to Love top yesterday and have restarted the body. I have a couple versions I’m thinking about. The acrylic one (which is NOT good for eyelets), a cotton one, and one in a linen blend. The acrylic one will be solid and cotton and linen will have a lace panel option.

I’m also taking part in a “Basket Dash” with one of my Ravelry groups, Stash Knit Down. I have 5 projects I want to complete between May 1 and July 15. Three of them are pattern design (!!!) one is an old WIP, and the last was my shawl I just finished. Oddly, none are crochet. I can just throw in a crochet project whenever I want!
I’m not as active in online communities as I feel I should be. I have knitting/crocheting and reading and parenting and life to do.

Time Out!!

About where I need to rip back to. *sob*

Last Saturday I started on a new design. Let me say, it did not work out as per my original vision. I didn’t realize this until yesterday when I went to split the front and back. 500 yards into the project I discovered that I needed to REDO how the eyelets are done on the flat section and that I possibly cast-on entirely too many sleeve stitches because the 50″ body is swimming on me and I don’t really want the sleeves to reach my elbows. I wanted it to be oversized, with 5″-10″ of positive ease; so 50″ would put me in the 7″ over full bust measurement range.

Now my “PlumBody to Love” AKA I-didn’t-want-to-get-dressed-today-but-here-we-are is in time out until I can figure out exactly what I’m going to do with it. The idea of ripping out 10 inches (oh and I made it too short by an inch) and picking up 250 stitches makes me twitchy right now. And its Mother’s Day, “my day”. I plan on keeping the fold-over hem intact because that is the only thing that HAS worked out as planned!

My frustration point. The eyelets too busy, the pattern frequency not sustainable.

My redo will include a lace panel up the front center of the body, which will only make the lace on the knit side of the flat section. Or perhaps an off-center lace panel that will not be effected by the neckline and run un-interrupted to the shoulder seam. Travel diagonally? I have given myself 24 hours to decide.

My favorite part: the folded hem!

In the mean time, I have picked up my Round Yoke “Cute Fight” sweater. I’m about to divide off the sleeves. This sweater will never be a pattern unfortunately; I’m winging it and haven’t taken very accurate notes. But it will be a killer sweater that I will wear once fall rolls around.

About where I’ve been since November 2019 on this project.

The Lost Knits File Part Four

My finished socks.

Its been quite some time since I’ve worked on an old WIP. With all the baby blanket crocheting and pattern designing, I’ve had busy hands. Sometimes in the evenings, while my spouse is reading the kids a bedtime story, I work on an easy project that lives in my bedroom. This particular pair of socks were pulled out of hibernation back in 2019 when I found and finished my “Cabled Alaska Socks”.

The pattern is the Weasley Homestead sock, a free pattern available on Ravelry. The first sock and most of the cuff of the second sock were complete. I even KNEW which pattern it was and POSSESSED the pattern, no searching in vain and making it up necessary (unlike my Cabled Alaska Socks). So I did the obvious, I set the socks on my dresser (on a small tray) to encourage me to pick them back up and finish them in a reasonable amount of time.

Obviously this didn’t happen. For almost a year these socks were VISIBLE, just sitting on my dresser mocking me. Recently, I picked them up started the task of finishing them. Not arduous. This week, after I finished the Randclaw Blanket, I worked on my “dresser” socks in earnest. I finished the sock beyond the gusset in 3 days. I guess they match well enough, the gauge isn’t completely the same between the two. Nothing particularly noticable, perhaps the difference of one resting for 6 years and the

The yarn is Patons Stretch Sock, a blend of cotton, wool, nylon, and elastic. The fabric has a nubby hand. Pre-wash it is difficult to determine how much additional stretch the sock actually has. The socks are a little roomier than I prefer, and I didn’t really line them up well to snap these pictures this afternoon. The heel is a modified eye-of-partridge flap with a gusset- not my preferred method of heel.

Tonight I have plans to cast-on/design my “I-didn’t-want-to-actually-get-dressed-today, yet-here-we-are” top. Its going to be PURPLE with eyelets. Stay tuned for more exciting updates on that design process.

Free Pattern: the Randclaw Blanket

A beginner friendly crochet throw.

All folded up and ready to ship.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate marketing links. I make a small commission for purchases made from links contained herein, at no cost to you.

My college friends are so dear to me, they are the people who became adults with me. When I think of the defining moments in my life that make me who I am today, frequently one of them is part of those moments. I love them all so much, and even though we live in different states and are all busy adulting, I laugh at our inside jokes almost daily. In case you are wondering, 20 year old inside jokes age WONDERFULLY.

When life events occur for my “college friends” I love to shower them with my affection via handmade gifts. Blankets, matching his and hers aprons, baby sweaters and hats. If I love you, I’ll create things for you.

This blanket was created as a baby blanket for one of my treasured college friends (and his wife). An oversize baby blanket that will last well into childhood. Or… big enough to enjoy a warm beverage alone on the couch if you don’t have a baby to crochet for right now. I’m REALLY bad at gauging how big a baby blanket should be, this one was a generous 42″x46″ upon completion. I wanted a blanket that would light weight, flexible, textured, easy to construct but not boring, durable, and with very few holes for little fingers and toes to make trouble with.

The stitch pattern is one row, two alternating stitches. You begin and end every row with a SC. It was incredibly easy to maintain the proper stitch count. The edges were so straight, I felt the blanket didn’t need an edging to feel finished!

For this blanket I choose to use Lion Brand’s DK Cake in Lakeside, an 80% Acrylic, 20% Wool blend. Easy care, drape, durability, and affordability were factors in choosing this yarn. This blanket uses approximately 2000 yards (5 cakes/skeins), be certain your dye lots match! Mine did not and I had to do some creative maneuvering to ensure the finished blanket would be harmonious. If you choose to use a worsted weight yarn and a larger hook, your final project will be larger.
If money and the ability to machine dry were no object, I may have choose Manos del Uruguay’s Feliz in Stellar instead.

Randclaw Blanket

Before Weaving in the ends. Shown Folded.

By Cinnamon of Miscellaneous Design Studio

For Babies and Beyond

Wrap your precious little one up against the elements (or overly air conditioned spaces) in a beautiful blanket suitable for crocheters of any skill level.

Acrylic, Acrylic Blends, and Machine-Washable Wool Recommended

Skills: Chain, Double Crochet, Single Crochet

Finished Dimensions: 42″ x 46″

Gauge: gauge for this project is not vital, but to obtain a finished product of the approximate size with the approximate yardage given in this pattern use the listed gauge as a guideline:
4 sts/in

Yarn: You can use any DK (size 3) weight yarn of your choice. Acrylic or Machine-Washable Wool, and their blends are recommended for drape, weight, and washability. You will need approximately 2000 yards depending on the size you wish to make and your native gauge. Smaller blankets will use less yarn, larger blankets will use more yarn.

            Sample: 5 cakes/skeins Wool-Ease DK Cake (80% Acrylic, 20% Wool, 393 yards) in Lakeside by Lion Brand Yarns

Notions: Yarn needle for weaving in ends

 Hooks:  H/5mm

Tips: You can easily make this project larger or smaller. Vary the gauge or the number of the starting chain (multiple of 2) or the number of total rows worked.

Abbreviations are in US terminology:

            CH: Chain

            DC: Double Crochet

            SC: Single Crochet

Pattern Stitches:

Chain: Yarn-over, pull through the loop

Double Crochet: wrap yarn around the hook, insert hook into the next stitch of the previous row, yarn-over, draw up the loop, yarn-over pull through two loops, yarn-over pull through the remaining 2 loops on hook.

Single Crochet: insert hook into the next stitch of the previous row, yarn-over, draw up the loop, yarn-over pull through the2 loops on hook.

Pattern Instructions:

Chain 162

Set-up row: Into the second chain from the hook, SC. *DC into next stitch, SC into next stitch* repeat across chain. You will end with a SC.

Row 1: Chain 1 (does not count as a stitch). SC into first SC, *DC into the next stitch, SC into the next stitch* across the row. You will end with a SC.

Check Yourself: You will be SC into the SC of the row below and DC into the DC of the row below.

Continue to work ROW 1 every row until you run out of yarn, or the blanket is as long as you want it to be. Fasten off

Finishing:

Weave in ends. Block.

Go grab a coffee, you deserve it!

Suitable for one average sized adult (5’7″, women’s large). Photo credit: My Kindergartner.

Notes for using different weights

Light Worsted: Size I/5.5mm: projected gauge: 3.5 stitches per inch. Estimated finished width: 46 inches.

Worsted: Size J/6mm hook:projected gauge 3 stitches per inch. Estimated finished width: 53 inches.

Free Project: Yarn-on-a-Stick

One of the finished projects. It now hangs above my desk/studio.

I’m engaged in a constant quest to use up odds and ends of yarn and subtly get my kids into fiber arts. We read “10-Minute Yarn Projects” by Sarah L. Schutte and were inspired by the “Stick To It!” project. We accessed the e-book via my daughter’s elementary school library and their partnership with Capstone.

Yesterday was a beautiful day. My daughter and I took a little walk in the neighborhood to find good sticks to use for the project. She initially wanted to make some kind of room divider for her little reading nook. Her room isn’t all that big. But you don’t want to discourage kids from executing their creative dreams. I let her choose her own stick. I choose smaller sticks for mine and my son’s projects; approximately 12-15″ . When we returned home we dove into my leftover yarn scrap bin and made our new Yarn-on-a-stick hangers! (See below for a tutorial!)

That’s one way to use the old baby monitor mount! “It looks like the jellyfish is underwater”!
We trimmed the yarn to an appropriate length after mounting it to a preexisting ceiling hook.

Tutorial

Supplies

Stick
Yarn
Scissors
Glue (Optional)
Beads (Optional)
Crochet Hook (Optional)
Yarn Needle (Optional with use of Beads)

Get a Stick

It doesn’t even need to be a real stick. A dowel, a discarded knitting needle, a piece of re-bar, an embroidery hoop, a curtain rod. Use your imagination: any object that you can wrap yarn around and hang up is all you need. I recommend a length between 12-30″. But this is your project, it can be as large or small as you want. For this tutorial I’m using a size 19 wooden needle. Its raining today, and I didn’t want to go fetch a wet stick.

The basics. “Stick”, Yarn, Scissors.

Yarn

I’m using some scraps of Lion Brand Thick and Quick for these photos a Super Bulky weight yarn. In the original projects, we used Worsted/Medium weight yarn.

You can either cut all of your lenghts at once, or cut them as you need them. We’ve done it both ways. Neither is a superior method.

The length you need depends on how long you want your hanger to be. We will be folding each piece of yarn in HALF when we attach it. So your cut length will be twice your desired hang plus double the circumference of your “stick”.
The length in the tutorial is approximately 27″ long . The one over my desk, those lengths were about 22″ long. For the largest one, approximately 6 feet for each length (trimmed after installation). Go ahead and test a couple lengths out before you commit, err on the side of too long. You can always trim at the end, but you cannot reasonably add length at the end.

My cut lengths.

Assembly

Step 1: Fold each piece of yarn in half, with the loop facing up, the tails facing down. Place it behind the stick.

Fold each piece of yarn in half, with the loop facing up. Place it behind the stick.

Step 2: Pull the loop over the top of your stick with the tails between the loop.

Pull the loop over the top of your stick with the tails between the loop.

Step 3: Pull the yarn tails through the loop.

Pull the yarn tails through the loop.

Step 4: Pull the tails down to tighten the yarn around the stick.

Pull the tails down to tighten the yarn around the stick.

Repeat Step 4 until the desired amount of fullness is achieved. You can use as much or as little as you want.

This is how full I wanted mine.

Finishing

You will need to add a hanger. I choose to crochet a chain for aesthetic reasons, but you can simply knot a length of yarn to each end for hanging. My hangers are between 20 and 36 inches. If you are unsure of your knot skills or just desire additional stability, please feel free to glue the hanger knots to the stick (optional). If you are using glue, please allow the glue to dry completely before hanging!

At this point you may desire to trim the tails of your Yarn-on-a-Stick hanger. You can make them even, or irregular, or angled.

If you want to get extra fancy, add some beads to your project (also optional)! I used random beads we had in the bead box. I threaded a yarn needle (a large eyed needle) with the yarn tail, pulled through the hole in the bead and made a knot to secure. If the hole in your bead is particularly large, you may need to make a knot AROUND your bead, this will prevent the tail from hanging completely flat.

Hang Your Project and Admire!

Please choose a hanger appropriate for the finished weight of your project! All of our Yarn-on-a-Stick projects were relatively light. A command hook, a push-pin, a ceiling hook, and a mounting for a baby monitor were all sufficient to hold the weights of our hangers. You may need to anchor your project into a wall stud depending on the weight of your finished project (if your project is particularly large or you’ve used re-bar or some kind of metal rod).

No amount of filters could get me a good picture.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and will share your own Yarn-on-a-Stick projects to Instagram using #yarnonastick.

Finishing, Finally!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate marketing links. I make a small commission for purchases made from links contained herein; at no cost to you.

For months I have been working on baby blankets. AND FINALLY, I’m nearing the end of my epic baby blanket crochet-fest!

Since late February, I’ve started 4 blankets. Frogged one, finished two, and will finish the final blanket tomorrow. All of the blankets were finished by the baby’s DUE dates…. But babies do what they want and ALL of them were EARLY!

The Failed Bobbles

The Bobbles Blanket

I had dreams of designing/creating a super textured bobble blanket for the twins. From the beginning, I had difficulty maintaining my stitch count. Even in my swatch I lost a stitch. But for whatever reason, I carried on and worked on it for over a month. It was SO heavy, used SO MUCH YARN (because of the bobbles) and they edges were a wreck. I could fudge a couple lost stitches, but not 8. No edging on the planet could have saved it. Plus the weight alone would have crushed a small child. I needed the yarn to complete both blankets, so I frogged as I worked the C2C blankets that ultimately were created.

Fraternal Stripe C2C

I wrote a post a couple of weeks about learning a new skill under a deadline, C2C crochet. Here are the results! Both blankets measure approximately 36″ (91 cm) square. I used some stash yarns: the light blue, the cream, the taupe. And purchased the navy and the light green. My gauge is different between the two blankets; therefore I needed to add additional rows to the 2nd (blue cornered) to make them even. The borders are single crochet. I wanted something simple and unifying to avoid the focus being removed from the stripe pattern.
Both blankets are reasonably weighted and large enough to carry to boys through early childhood. I finished the two blankets between 4/5-21, about 2.5 weeks. I only have a few hours a day to dedicate to fiber arts, with the largest block of time in the evenings after the kids go to sleep.

These blankets were also a commission, something I rarely undertake. But they were for a close friend and I had creative control so it wasn’t too restrictive of a project. I challenged myself to do “random” striping. I did OK in that aspect. I enjoy regularity and strict pattern; randomness is chaos in my brain. I will definitely do another C2C blanket in the future, I have some yarn that I plan on using for said project. Since both of these blankets are square, I may venture into rectangular C2C. You know, to grow my skills set.

Preemie/NICU Octopus

I hadn’t really heard about these until a week and a half ago. Amigurumi isn’t really my thing, because of the tight stitches. Yet when the situation arises, one must rise to meet it. It took me about 5 hours to work this guy out. I ripped out my first attempt because I wasn’t thinking and out too many stitches into the beginning magic loop. I used Sugar and Cream cotton worsted weight yarn. I only kind of followed a pattern mainly for the tentacles. I couldn’t find my small hooks, so I used a G/4mm and purposely tugged my stitches tight. I was feeling unsure that my gauge would be sufficient enough to hold in the stuffing through washing and use, so I stuffed the poly-fil into a new “knee high” to keep everything in order. I think it’ll survive the hot wash intact! I also embroidered a little face on it- no buttons, safety eyes. But I forgot to snap another picture before I put it in the box and shipped it off to my friends. My embroidery skills are rubbish. Add to my long list of skills building I guess.

Despite all my kvetching, I’m thrilled with the completed project. However, my fingers ached from the super tight gauge with cotton yarn. If I ever need to make another one, I will in a heartbeat. But I don’t think making these will become my new passion, they made my left hand ache.

Ranclaw Blanket

All that remains to be completed.

I’m so close to completing this blanket! Its been a labor of love since late February. I’ll give it its own post and the (free) PATTERN upon completion. I cannot wait to send it off to its new family. Two amazing people who have been blessed with their first child.

Quarantine Dye Job

No make-up, no filter selfie.

I always color my own hair, so my dye job isn’t outside of my wheelhouse. But it is the first time since college that I’ve dyed my hair a crazy color. My blonde hair needs to be toned occasionally. I can’t just pop over to the beauty supply store and grab a bottle of Wella T-18 toner, so I decided to play the long game. Enter my (temporary) purple hair! By the time we are free to move about the community, it will have faded to an ashy blonde. I think. My kids are tickled by my current purple hair.

The Past

An Ode to Nostalgia

A friend, from my first job out of college, sent me these pictures last week. She was going through her “old” knitting stuff and found this gem. The pattern is for a hat, knit flat then seamed up the back. It was a gift for her father.

I have so many memories wrapped into nearly two decades of knitting (and teaching my friends to knit, and designing projects). The two are intertwined to the point where my life and my craft have become one and the same. Knitting on through anguish and joy, grief and happiness, through all the stages of my adulthood. Projects that can transport me to different places and times of my life; seeing life through my own eyes all over again.

Closed: but not forgotten. The start of an obsession.

The basement yarn store, Rosie’s Yarn Cellar, where I purchased my first yarn and needles- I can feel in my mind walking down the steep stairs and being transported into that new world of knitting. I remember how nervous I was that cold January day, I was afraid the ladies in the shop would laugh at me and how I knew NOTHING about knitting (just that I wanted to learn).

How campus looked when I was a student (1999-2003)

Knitting on the train, the bus, the subway. In Physics lecture. Outside the office of the Geology Department: 4 of us just knitting and laughing and enjoying life.
I remember sitting in a cafe reading all afternoon knitting a pair of too chunky cabled mittens with thumbs that look like a closed bud.
The feeling of being overwhelmed by all the yarn, people, and scents the first time I attended MD Sheep and Wool.

Family: Circa 2014

All the items that I’ve knit for my family, lovingly preserved in photographs.

I’m reminded of friends I’ve made and lost touch with over the years. Knitting groups formed and dissolved and left, the never ending passage of time. With my yarn, my needles, my hook as my constant companion.

I look forward to all the new memories my yarn and I will make in the coming decades.

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