Friday, March 30, 2012


It's a new season with a fresh round of fiber events right around the corner.  In an effort to keeps things interesting there will be plenty of new samples.  The latest addition . . . 

Brooklet by Cecily Glowik MacDonald.

This looped scarf is versatile.  

It can be worn as a long cowl, doubled up around the neck or folded and looped through.

Brooklet uses two colors and is worked in the round.

The inside, stockinette section is worked in one color.  The outside is worked in the second color with a lace design.  Brooklet is a good introduction to lace knitting and uses a provisional cast on and three needle bind off.

The yarn is Dirty Water DyeWorks Mavis, colorways Splash and Chocolate Mousse.

This merino / silk blend makes a luxurious, cozy scarf.  Brooklet will be available as a kit with several color combinations.  Look for it at the spring shows and on the website.

The birch tree is my favorite tree.  Standing so tall and straight birch trees remind me of lonely sentinels.  Birch trees . . . my color inspiration for the week.

The beauty of black and white.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Life has conspired against me the last couple of days, and I'm trying to roll with it.  The pictures I had planned for today will have to wait for another post.

In other news . . . spring is officially here.  I've been working on scheduling and confirming show dates for the next three months.  I'm happy to report that the calendar is full.  Travels this spring will take me to Rhode Island (twice), Connecticut, Maine and New Hampshire (twice). The full list including links is in the sidebar to the right.  The Events page on the website has also been updated with the current schedule information.

I admire yarn bombing on many levels - the creativity, the energy, the inspiration.  Yarn bombing knitters are both clever and artistic.  While I still contemplate something on a small scale to brighten my street, a knitter in Saltburn has created a yarn bombing masterpiece - a display of Olympic figures.  Go ahead and check it out.  Knitted figures engaged in Olympic sports.  This is a yarn bombing installment that required an enormous amount of thought and planning - hours and hours of work.  The detailed figures are truly incredible.  An air of mystery surrounds these carefully knitted athletes.  No one knows who is responsible for the display.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Seeking Balance

For the past week or so I've been working on Gray Garden.  I'm loving this shawl.  I've been taking it everywhere, but over the weekend we had a bit of a falling out.  Not the falling out where I cast it aside and don't look at it for weeks.  Instead I came to the realization that this project is not traveling well any more.  It's become big and bulky. Juggling the long rows and pages of charts has become too cumbersome.  Gray Garden has been reclassified as a stay-at-home project.

I don't have much else on the needles right now, so of course I had to start something new to be my on-the-go project.  For the past month or so I've been mulling over new project ideas - more booth samples, a fun kit, a new sweater.  On Saturday I contemplated yarns and colors for all of these ideas.  I tried different color combinations, but nothing grabbed me.  I tried different lighting - still no luck.  In the end I decided that these ideas need to marinate for a while longer.

For my new project I turned to an old standby.

A sock.  

Lighthouse Gansey Sock has been in my pattern pile for a while now.  

I cast on, and everything fell into place.  This is the perfect project for me to lug around.  Gray Garden will still get plenty of attention; the new projects will sort themselves out.  And when I'm out and about I have a new sock to keep me company.

Friday, March 23, 2012


After promising a new addition to the website I put my nose to the grindstone.  Mavis is live!

This fingering weight yarn is a blend of 80% Superwash Merino and 20% Tussah Silk.  The silk adds an elegant shimmer, creating rich colorways with depth.  Delightful and luxurious.

Mavis has already been featured in a couple of booth samples.

Miss Doolittle in colorway Cedar.

Belle Nuit in colorway Perplexed.

And there are more samples on the way.  I'm even contemplating a sweater.

Springtime weather has arrived early in New England.  The parade of colors can't be far behind.  Just the other day I spotted this vivid growth - a spark of color in the surrounding earth tones and my color inspiration for the week.

Brilliant red.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Knitting from charts or written instructions.  The pros and cons of both are often debated among knitters.  Some people have a strong preference and will use only one or the other.  I can use either, and it never seemed to matter much to me - until the latest incident, that is.

I've been cruising along on my current lace project.  The pattern is well-written and includes both written and charted instructions.  I was working row by row from the chart and had finished one chart.  Before starting the next chart I had to work a series of transitional rows.  The transitional rows were written out but not charted.

I made a mental shift and navigated the string of brackets and parentheses to complete a couple of rows.  At one point I remember thinking I didn't do enough repeats (I didn't actually stop to count them), but everything came out even at the end of the row so it must be right. Nevermind the fact that I was at knit night, I was helping someone turn the heel of a sock and there was a lot of lively discussion.

When I got home, I picked up my knitting to start another row.  I looked at the written instructions, and suddenly it clicked.  I hadn't been doing enough repeats because I had misinterpreted the instructions.  Yes it all worked out even at the end of the row, but I needed to do more repeats over fewer stitches.  Instead of knitting when I got home, I ripped out.

While this incident hasn't put me in the knitting-from-charts-only camp, it has made me think that maybe I shouldn't work on lace at knit night. Two weeks in a row I've had to rip out lace that I worked on while knitting with friends.

In other news . . . fundraising for the new magazine, By Hand, is wrapping up in a couple of days.  If you're so inclined, follow the link to make a contribution.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Day Trip

Somehow in the crazy madness of juggling family schedules I found myself taking a day trip to Maine over the weekend.  I knew there would be plenty of waiting time.  Waiting time is good for knitting, but to break up all that knitting time I did what any self-respecting knitter would do.  I made a stop at the local yarn store.

I've been meaning to stop in and visit KnitWit, but I always seem to be driving through Portland in a hurry, on my way to someplace else. This weekend I didn't have any excuses.

KnitWit is the flagship store for Quince & Co. This is the place to go for all things Quince & Co. - samples, patterns and yarn.  There was a sock class in progress when I was there.  It was great to see so many knitters enthusiastic about knitting socks.  

While I was tempted by several skeins of Quince & Co., this yarn caught my eye and I couldn't leave without it.  Bright green and yellow for the changing seasons.

It was a beautiful day in Maine with time to spend walking along the river.

The seagulls were out in full force.

It was a beautiful day in Maine to sit outside and knit.

Forward progress on Gray Garden continues.  

Friday, March 16, 2012

Keeping Me Company

This has been a week of long days with extra running around.  I don't usually carry lace knitting as my on-the-go project.  Charts and pages of instruction aren't as handy when it comes to standing in line or knitting discreetly in a meeting.  But I've made an exception the last few days.

I started Gray Garden and can't put it down.  For the most part it has traveled well.

I stumbled a bit at knit night.  Talking while knitting lace should not be attempted in a sleep deprived state.  I had to rip out a couple of rows to right the ship, but it's been smooth sailing ever since.

Right now this looks like a mish-mish of knitting, but in the end it will be transformed by the magic of blocking.  My schedule for the next couple of days includes more traipsing around.  Gray Garden will be my companion.

Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day - the day for all things green.  From tee shirts to hair to cupcakes to beer - the wearing and the eating of the green.  It's only fitting that my color inspiration for the week continues that theme.

A variety of greens.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

While I've Been Busy . . .

During the winter I spend a lot of time on decision making, planning and dyeing.  It's a time to confirm show dates, select new yarns and patterns, restock inventory and add new colorways.   

The spring show season is right around the corner, and the pieces are coming together.  I've mentioned before that I have some wonderful friends who pitch in and knit booth samples.  They work like knitting elves, and they've been busy. 

Belle Nuit is the latest addition to the collection.

I've wanted to add a beaded shawl for quite some time.

I considered several options but couldn't make a decision.

Then I turned to Sivia Harding, the queen of beads and knitting.

Belle Nuit caught my eye.  I took a break to let the idea marinate, but I kept coming back to it.  The decision was made.

This shawl is knit with Mavis, colorway Perplexed.

Mavis is a blend of Superwash Merino and Tussah Silk.  It will be listed on the website soon.

Belle Nuit will be available as a kit this spring.

Beads, silk, elegance.

Monday, March 12, 2012


It's Monday morning, and I'm reflecting on FiberCamp.  There are so many components to this event.  I wish someone had captured the whole weekend on video.  

FiberCamp is sponsored by Common Cod Fiber Guild.

On Friday night Pamela Wynne's talk kicked off the weekend with an historical perspective on knitting history and feminism.  She pointed out that the history of knitting is long, complicated and political.  Her talk sparked a lot of group discussion and gave us food for thought.

This event is an unconference where attendees offer to present sessions on various fiber related topics.

The schedule board.  On Saturday and Sunday the sessions included everything from steeking to double knitting to choosing a fleece to social media for craft businesses.

There were spinning wheels.  Small and compact.

The Sidekick, the traveling wheel from Schacht.

Big and bulky.

An old, well-preserved great wheel.

The wheel maker's signature.  This wheel was made by Solomon Plant of Connecticut and is almost 200 years old.

Someone was recycling an old sweater, and the great wheel was put to work to facilitate the process.

Reclaiming vibrant red silk.

There were vendors on hand for the weekend.

Lucy from Mind's Eye Yarns had a nice selection of yarn, fiber, tools and spinning wheels.

Dirty Water DyeWorks had an array of yarn, knitting kits and fiber.

The atmosphere at FiberCamp is relaxed - a wonderful opportunity to hang out, work on projects and share ideas with other fiber enthusiasts.  Thanks to the organizers and attendees who made this wonderful weekend possible.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Miss Doolittle

When we last left Miss Doolittle, the two sections of this scarf were finished.  All that remained was the grafting.  After a few minutes of focused time with tapestry needle in hand Miss Doolittle was off the needles.

Since I'm taking this scarf across town for the weekend, I didn't waste any time in bathing and blocking it.

Water, wire and pins worked their magic.

The yarn is Dirty Water DyeWorks Mavis, colorway Cedar.

Mavis is 80% Superwash Merino and 20% Tussah Silk.

This fingering weight yarn isn't on the website yet.

Coming soon.

Mavis and Miss Doolittle will both be at FiberCamp Boston this weekend.

I'm looking forward to a weekend of fiber fun and inspiration.

For quite a while now I've been stuck on gray paired with either yellow or orange.  My color inspiration for the week continues that trend.

Yellow, orange and gray all rolled into one.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Meeting In The Middle

The end is in sight for Miss Doolittle.

This lovely little lace scarf is knit in two sections and is grafted in the middle.  Somewhere along the way I decided I was going to work the scarf until the yarn was all gone.  I worked one section and then worked the other section the same number of repeats.  I still had leftover yarn, so I worked a couple more repeats on each section. Now I'm at the point where I don't have enough yarn to complete two more repeats, so it's time to call it quits.

Knitting lace involves some mental gymnastics.  You repeat a series of rows over and over.  At first the repeats are like a foreign language, and you stumble blindly from one row to the next.  As with so many things in life practice makes all the difference.  After numerous repeats you learn the rhythm of the rows and can work them without as much effort.  But it always seems that as soon as you have the rows memorized and are really in the groove, the project is finished and it's time to move on. 

This bit of lace looks rather nondescript.  What it needs is a bath and a good blocking.  I can't wait to see the transformation.

In other news Susan Gibbs from Juniper Moon Farm has launched another new project.  Take a minute to read about her latest venture, By Hand.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Prepping For Camp

FiberCamp Boston is this coming weekend, and I can hardly wait.  The weekend is hosted by Common Cod Fiber Guild and starts on Friday night with a talk by Pamela Wynne.  Saturday and Sunday are filled with a variety of sessions.  

FiberCamp is an unconference where the attendees set the agenda. Participants offer to give demos and workshops on various knitting and fiber related techniques and topics. For instance last year there was a workshop on making a dress form out of duct tape.  How cool is that?  The list of topics is always interesting.  Sometimes people offer to demonstrate something on the spur-of-the-moment so the conference is a very spontaneous, evolving event.

Dirty Water DyeWorks will be one of the vendors for the weekend.  I'm looking forward to hanging out and absorbing some of the creative energy that this event fosters.  If you're in the Boston area, be sure to check it out.

I've been doing a bit of dyeing to prepare for the weekend.

There will be several fresh Paula colorways and a new merino / silk blend that isn't on the website yet.  It's only Monday, but I'm already looking forward to weekend fun.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Rewarded With Pints

Between rearranging my office space and scaling mountains of paperwork I've had one of those weeks where I feel I've earned a reward - a knitting reward.  Instead of investing in cashmere or qiviut I started a new project.

Mittens With Pints On by SpillyJane.

I've had this project in my queue for quite some time.  I went around in circles with several color options and finally made some decisions.

I finished one round of pints.  It's only fitting that I was working on these pints into the wee hours, but I couldn't stop until the first round was complete.  I must say I've become a bit enamored of the cute little pints poured to perfection.  I'm looking forward to my second round.

This week a friend gifted me with a splash of color - my color inspiration for the week.

A harbinger of things to come.