Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Find

The other day my daughter and I were in a local store, and she persuaded me to take a look at the Christmas aisle.  You know which aisle I mean.  The aisle full of all things Christmas from candy to candles to lawn ornaments.  The aisle with enough lights to light up Times Square.

We strolled down the aisle, laughing at some of the silly things designed to celebrate the season.  We decided that all we needed were some lights when my daughter made a discovery.  

She found a bit of magic tucked away at the back of a shelf.   Ice skaters.  Ice skaters wearing handknits.

A girl.

And a boy.

Ice skaters all warm and cozy in woolly sweaters and hats.  They made my day.  These skaters are meant to be tree ornaments, but for now they'll be keeping me company at my desk.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday Is For Mitts

I had a plan for this past weekend - a plan that included a lot of knitting time.  Instead it turned out to be a work weekend.  In the long run all that work will make the coming week easier to swallow, so I'm OK with it

I managed to start this.

The first of a pair.

By the end of the weekend I had knit just enough to see the pattern.

Diamondback Mitts.  Two colors, slipped stitches and a wee cable - enough action to hold my attention without driving me crazy.

In the spirit of knitting on-the-go I leave you today with a story from Toronto on knitting in public.  Always be prepared - don't leave home without it.

Friday, November 25, 2011


The Thanksgiving holiday.  There was a flurry of activity the last couple of days.  Kitchen activity.

Traditional turkey.

Traditional sides. 

More than enough.

And the highlight of the feast.

The pie selection.

Plus one.

The designated breakfast pie for Thanksgiving morning.  Swedish apple, in case you're wondering.

Time spent with family and friends.  An opportunity to reflect.  We have so much to be thankful for.  

My color inspiration for the week comes from our holiday bouquet.

Red surrounded by golden rust.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Missing Mitt

I have a fall tradition of losing my fingerless mitts.  Every year I have a pair that I take with me as I travel around New England.  They go with me to every sheep and wool festival, every fiber event.  They keep my hands warm when I'm setting up, packing up and in between. The tradition is that somewhere along the way I lose them.

This year I added a new twist to the tradition.  I lost only one of the fingerless mitts.  I've searched high and low, rummaged through boxes and bins.  Somewhere out there one of my mitts is lost and lonely.

I make my fingerless mitts from the same pattern - Maine Morning Mitts by Clara Parkes.  I love this practical and quick knit, but I've come to the unscientific conclusion that maybe the pattern is the reason I keep losing my mitts.  So to test that theory I'm going to make a new pair of mitts using a different pattern.

I'm in the process of choosing.

I need a combination of two colors.

I'll contemplate the choices while I do this.

My youngest christened this day years ago.  Today is pie baking day.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Fiber Trunk Show

Yesterday I had the pleasure of setting up a display and hanging out at Gather Here, an inviting fabric and yarn shop in Cambridge.

It was the Fiber Trunk Show, a first-time event for the shop.  Virginia, owner of Gather Here, knows how to put on an event.

I was in good company yesterday.

There was Adrian from KnittinK and Stacie from njstacie*made.

Shannon from The Spun Monkey Fiber Shoppe made the trek from Vermont with her fun wares, and Debbie from Tanuki Dyeworks was on hand with beautiful fiber.  The trunk show added a lot of color and activity to the bustling shop.  

I think there's something in the air at Gather Here.  The shop is all about creativity and fun.  Beware if you are there for any length of time.  Let's just say I made more than one trip to the fabric cutting table.  Thanks to Virginia and her friendly staff for a great afternoon!

Not that anyone noticed, but I was wearing a new pair of handknit socks yesterday.

Flatiron Clog Socks.  

I love this modified rib pattern.  It's stretchy and oh, so comfy.  

The yarn is Dirty Water DyeWorks Lucia, colorway Pixie.

Last week I vowed to work on these socks and only these socks until they were finished.

It's time for a new project.  Endless possibilities await.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Update

I have just enough time for a quick update.  I'm putting the finishing touches on my display for the Gather Here Fiber Trunk Show on Sunday.  If you want to read additional information about the featured vendors, be sure to check out the Gather Here blog.

With any luck and a little bit of knitting time I'll be wearing these socks on Sunday.

I made a pact with myself so be faithful to these socks, to see them through to completion before starting something new.  Now that I'm on the straightaway to the toes, I've started to contemplate my next project.  I may have even taken a few minutes for Ravelry.  While my mind flits from an owl trimmed shawl to a new sweater, I realize that the gift giving season is upon us and I should probably focus my attention on that.  But that doesn't stop me from dreaming.

This time of year is characterized by gray days and diminished light. Sometimes even the dismal, dreary days are loaded with color.  My color inspiration for the week.

From shades of purple to reddish yellow and earth tones.  It's all here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Unfinished Business

Sometimes circumstances force you to tend to unfinished business. Or in this case an unfinished knitting project.  

Now I'm sure if we were all honest with ourselves, we would fess up to having an unfinished project or six.  I admit I have a few lingering projects that need attention, so the other day I really had no business even thinking of starting something new. And I didn't, but not because I was virtuous and diligently pulled a project out of the basket that holds all those unfinished projects.  No, I didn't start a new project because one of the DPN needles I needed for the new project went missing.  And there wasn't a replacement readily available.

That trend continued into the next day when I was out and about.  As luck would have it I had some waiting time on my hands.  Prime knitting time.  I reached into my bag.  There was only one knitting project.  How did that happen?  Usually I have a selection of at least a couple of projects with me - that way I have a choice depending on the situation.  If I'm sitting and settled in the doctor's office, I can pull out a chart.  If I'm waiting in line at the Post Office, a simple sock is better.

It seems the powers that be want me to focus on one project and only one project.

And I have been.  This is the second of the Flatiron Clog Socks - a project that I started probably in late summer.  I give in.  I won't even consider another project until this is done.  That's fine - I need another pair of socks.  

Besides I should focus my attention on this rather than the distraction of a new project.

The Gather Here Fiber Trunk Show is this coming Sunday.  It's going to be a fun time.  If you're in the Boston / Cambridge area, stop by and check out all the fiber goodies.  With any luck I'll be wearing a new pair of socks.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Creative Crafts

Another weekend, another event.  I've had a string of booked weekends this fall, and this past weekend was no exception.  This was a weekend for the kids and their annual craft fair.

There were so many clever, creative items on display.  

Handmade beeswax candles.

And more candles.

This one is so beautiful.  I may not be able to burn it.

An adorable gnome family.

Complete with a mushroom.

A colorful fairy.

You can't see it here, but she has wild, woolly hair.

Small, detailed felting.

A mitten pin for my winter coat.

Late in the day I stumbled across some knitting.

Small scale knitting.  

And to top it all off . . . 

. . . a knitter for the dollhouse.  See that basket of yarn?  She even has her own stash.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Last week I mentioned a new mitten kit in passing.  Today I have a full report.

Pinstripe Double Knit Mittens Kit.

Stripes on the top.

Stripes on the bottom.  Stripes all around.

This design uses double knitting - a clever technique that creates a two-sided fabric.  Double knitting has the potential for all sorts of colorwork options.

And it's reversible.  This kit uses Dirty Water DyeWorks Bertha, a blend of Superwash Merino, Cashmere and Nylon.  Bertha makes a cozy, luxurious mitten.

The Pinstripe design includes two cuff options.

This is the gauntlet option.  The other choice is a traditional ribbed cuff.

You can find the Pinstripe Double Knit Mittens Kit here.  Scroll down a bit for the mittens.

This kit provides an opportunity to learn a new technique and is available in three different color combinations.

Every fall I'm amazed and entertained with the color transformation from green to reds, yellows and browns.  The full fall spectrum is represented here in my color inspiration for the week.

Lingering leaves.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Show And Tell

I like to share photos of my booth samples on the blog.  For those readers who never get a chance to see the booth, it's a way of staying in the loop.  And for those readers who do get to see the booth, it's a nice preview.  I often hear customers say, "I saw that sample on the blog." 

This sample joined the booth at Rhinebeck.

Ginkgo Shoulderette Shawl.

A friend whipped up this sample for me.

The yarn is Dirty Water DyeWorks Bertha, colorway Dahlia.  Dahlia is a recent addition and will be available on the website soon.

Bertha has a bit of cashmere - soft, cozy and comfortable.

It's nice to treat yourself to a bit of luxury.

Ginkgo Shoulderette is a relatively quick knit and takes only one skein.

Something to keep in mind as the gift giving season approaches.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The End Of The Road

The fall fiber festival season came to an end this past weekend with Fiber Festival of New England.

This was the second year for this event, and those who came out were not disappointed.  For many it was a bright spot in a week filled with an early snowstorm, downed trees and days without power.

There was felting.

Bird houses from New England Felting Supply.

Star ornaments from Sunshine Daydream Farm and Gardens.

And this trio from Tall Grass Farm.


Mittens for little hands from Robin's Hoods.


Beautiful wood from Hearthwise, makers of drop spindles and nostepinnes.

Sheep candles.

From Bartlettyarns.  Too cute to burn.

Sheep wearing sweaters.

Greeters at Pinestar Studio.

Of course there were animals.

Real sheep.

An alpaca posing with help from a steady hand.

It was a wonderful fall festival season - a chance to make new fiber friends, a reason to connect with longtime fiber buddies.  Weeks and weeks of fiber fun.  Thanks to all who came out!  Until next time . . .