Wednesday, April 30, 2014


For the last couple days I've been focused on one and only one knitting project.  I've made up my mind.  I'm not stopping until I finish this shawl.

I'm in the homestretch, but my attention has started to wander. I've calculated when this shawl is going to be off the needles and on the blocking wires.  And I've calculated when I'll be free to cast on a new project.

My affection for the project under construction hasn't diminished.  The color changes and emerging lace pattern have been entertaining.  I've thoroughly enjoyed it.  

I become attached to some projects and don't want them to end. 

But inevitably they do, and it's time to start anew.

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Silky Start

I spent my Saturday in Connecticut.

As you can see it was wet.  Add raw to the mix and you have perfect wool weather.  Over the last several years we've been spoiled with exceptional weather at this event, so everyone had to make a few adjustments this time around.  In spite of the rain, it was a fun day. Thanks to everyone who came out.  By the time we were loading up, the rain had stopped, and the sun was peeking out.  Sometimes Mother Nature's timing is off.

After a quick recovery yesterday, I'm back at it today.  I have a full week of dyeing ahead of me, and these two are at the top of my list.

Silk.  What a nice way to start the week.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Yes, You Should

It was the end of a long morning appointment.  I was waiting and knitting, waiting and knitting.  A woman walked by and commented on my knitting and the beautiful colors.  "Do you knit?" I asked her.

She explained that she used to knit but that she hadn't done it in a long time.  She went on to say that she had recently been thinking she should start again.  I gave her the advice any good knitter would give. Yes, you should.

It's time to wrap up the week and the month with another giveaway. Leave a comment and let us know what's recently captured your interest - a good book, gardening, the Stanley Cup playoffs.  I garden vicariously through others, so I love to hear what you're growing.  And yes, of course, feel free to include your current knitting projects.

The winner, chosen at random, will receive a skein of yarn from Dirty Water DyeWorks - winner's choice.  The contest closes on Friday, May 2, 2014.

My color inspiration this week is a color combo freshly dyed and on the drying rack.  I've made a mental note to revisit these two with a project in mind.

A jolt of color.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Color Solution

On Monday I commented on the overabundance of green projects on my needles.  It didn't take me long to remedy that situation.

I've immersed myself in purple with two shades on the go and a third one waiting in the wings.  I'm fascinated with this little project and can't seem to put it down.  

This is all very bad timing as I need to focus on weekend travel and a show.  In some weird, twisted way, I've convinced myself I'm ahead of schedule.  That never happens to me - I'm always scrambling until the very end.  So to prove that I'm ahead of the game (or, more likely, disprove it), I'm going to update my to-do list.  While I'm at it, I might have to knit a few rows.

Monday, April 21, 2014


I've noticed a trend with my recent knitting projects.  I seem to be fixated on one color.  Socks, sweater, shawl . . . all green.  Don't get me wrong.  I do like green, but I'm ready for a color change.

That's probably why I was extra delighted to get this off the needles.


This shawl is worked from the bottom up.  It starts with the ruffle border.  From there, the body stitches are picked up.  The design uses a slip-stitch pattern, so there's never more than one color in use on any row.  

The pattern consists of a 10-row repeat.  The two colors are alternated with every repeat creating a lively visual effect.  The knitted fabric almost looks like it's woven.  

I enjoyed watching this design unfold.  Since it's worked from the bottom up, the rows got shorter and shorter.  The last several repeats were the equivalent of a knitting sprint.

The yarn is Lillian, colorways Ribbit and Gooseberry.

This is a great project to experiment with different color combinations - everything from subtle to shocking.  There are endless possibilities. And now it's time for a new project.  I'm not sure where this will lead me, but I've already determined it's not going to be green.

Friday, April 18, 2014


Recently I read an online discussion about lists and reminders - how people in business keep track of everything that needs to get done.   The discussion included electronic notes, apps, voice memos, pencil and paper.  People have interesting and creative ways to manage lists.  The bottom line is what works well for one person might not work well for another.

Over the last year I've used a hybrid list system that includes everything from post-its to electronic alerts to voice memos.  I've been managing, but there are definitely holes in my system.  The other night I woke up and remembered a special order that had fallen off my radar, and then I started racking my brain for other things that might have fallen through the cracks. 

So today it's back to basics.  I'm transferring everything to paper . . at least for now.  I have a recent dyeing experiment to keep me company.  Just another thing to sort out.

These beauties caught my eye the other day and are my color inspiration for the week.

Subtle shifting colors.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mistakes Happen

I've been thinking a lot about knitting mistakes.  They are an inevitable fact of every knitter's life.  No matter how hard we strive to knit to perfection, mistakes manage to creep in, but it's important to put them in perspective.

I teach classes for new knitters, and mistakes are abundant.  Some of the students work to achieve perfection with the very first row they knit.  They rip out repeatedly until they get it just right.  Others are more casual and knit on through all sorts of mistakes.  Eventually they get the hang of it.  Students have different learning styles.

From the very beginning I warn all my students that mistakes will happen.  They are part of the process.  But I also tell them that mistakes are the best teacher.  Learning how you made a knitting mistake teaches you how to do it correctly and reinforces your skills. Back tracking to figure out what went wrong leads you down a path to do it right.

Seasoned knitters also make plenty of mistakes, and some are easier to live with than others.  I can be as much of a perfectionist as the next knitter.  There's a certain satisfaction that comes with doing it just right.  But keep in mind that unless you point out your mistake, chances are no one else will notice it.  

Even more important, instead of focusing on that one little mistake, look at all the good knitting it's surrounded by.  So often we dwell on a few seconds and one little blip and ignore the hours and hours spent on perfect knitting.  Give yourself a pat on the back.

Recognize your mistake and fix it if you must, but don't be too hard on yourself.  And don't forget to give yourself credit for all your error-free knitting.  Focus on the positive and look forward to more knitting challenges ahead.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sunday Snapshots

After a delightful Sunday road trip to Rhode Island, Monday is proving to be full of potholes.  I blame in on the impending full moon.  I'm off to unload my truck, but I leave you with a glimpse of the Great Rhody Yarn Crawl Marketplace at Mount Hope Farm.

The spinning tent.  

Don't ask me about this mirror.  It was outside along the barn wall and toward the back.  Everyone had already left, so I couldn't get the story, but I am curious. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Trio

It's a gray day here, so I'm trying to brighten it up by releasing a handful of new colorways.

Beach Bum, Minty Mix and Salmon in Lillian.  I'm always compelled to celebrate new colorways by casting on a new project, but I'm trying to stay focused on the projects already under construction . . . at least for today.  Who knows what will happen over the weekend.

My color inspiration this week is full of hope.  All we need is sunshine and warmer temps.

Buds shifting from brown to green.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


It's only Wednesday, but it's been a long week . . . so long that yesterday should have been the weekend already.  Notice I said it's been a long week, not a productive week.

If I do nothing else today, I'm going to regroup and get back on track. The next 8 weeks are action-packed, and I'm going to need a higher level of organization if I plan to come out on the other side in one piece.

First up for today is dealing with this colorful pile.

Silk hankies ready for packaging.

Now if you have a little time to spare, hop over to Indie Untangled to view new offerings from several yarn and fiber vendors.  Full disclosure:  I have a posting on this site.  Indie Untangled is updated regularly, so with one stop you can see the latest from participating vendors.  Have fun browsing! 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Now for the Fun

Sometimes I find myself working on a knitting project that has a tedious part - a section or detail that takes longer than anticipated to complete.  It's either awkward or repetitive or just plain boring.  It takes an extra bit of resolve to get through a monotonous section, but I know that once I get past the rough patch, there will be fun knitting times ahead.  

And so I slog on . . . which is what I was doing over the weekend with my Biellese.  I was bound and determined to finish the border with its 100 ruffle ridges.  I set short goals for myself.  Work 10 more ridges and you're entitled to a fresh cup of coffee.  Or, work 5 more ridges and you can browse Ravelry for 20 minutes.

In the end all the cajoling paid off.

Ruffle border finished, 303 stitches picked up.  And now it's on to the slip-stitch pattern.  This is what I was waiting for.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Since It's Spring . . .

The spring theme has spilled over into my knitting.  This lovely little shawl was off the needles, waiting patiently to be blocked.

Leonarda Shawl.

This is the most recent Yarn Knot installment.  I finished it several days ago and then promptly set it aside until I could find time to block it.

Yesterday I spotted it on top of the pile and decided to make time to block it.

I've been craving a splash of color, and this shawl definitely fits the bill.

This design uses elongated garter stitch throughout the body followed by a drop-stitch border.  This was my on-the-go project for a while . . . simple yet entertaining.  The yarn is Bertha, a blend with a bit of cashmere.  This shawl is perfect for our still-chilly spring days.

This week I've been looking outside for colorful signs of spring, but I've heard the plants are behind schedule in blooming.  I found this week's color inspiration on a recent trip to the store. 

A taste of spring, packaged and ready to go.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

It's Official

I know the calendar has said spring for a while now, but it's starting to feel like we've turned the corner with the shifting seasons.  Yesterday we passed the anniversary of the April Fool's Day blizzard without incident.  That's always a personal marker for me.  I'm catching up on projects, and I've started some spring cleaning . . . nothing too serious where I turn the house upside down, but bits and pieces here and there.

For the first time in many weeks I can see the wooden surface of my desk.  I had forgotten how nice it looks.  I shipped a big project ahead of schedule.  It's always an accomplishment when I beat a deadline.

And now my workroom awaits me.  

There are baskets and piles full of random assortments like this.  It's time for me to sift and sort.  Who knows?  Maybe I'll find some pleasant surprises along the way.

Thanks to everyone who left a comment for the March contest.  The winner, chosen at random, is Elena.  I can't find contact information for you, Elena.  Click on "About Me" at the right and leave a note.  We'll work out the details.  

Follow along.  We'll be doing the same thing later this month.