Monday, November 30, 2015

Recharged and Ready

The Monday after a long, holiday weekend can be a tough transition. On Saturday I heard rumblings that the leftovers were almost gone - a sure sign that the party's over.

I didn't take the whole weekend off, but I did change the workflow a little.  That's all I needed to recharge my battery.

This is how my weekend photo shoot ended.

I got a bit distracted and started playing around with different color combinations.  I'm tempted to keep this one.

Today is the last day for the Shop Small® discount. 

You'll find all the details on the website.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Shop Small®

After an enjoyable holiday yesterday, I'm slowly easing into Friday with pie breakfast and coffee.  I sense a cold lurking in the background, but I'm ready to tackle another day.

Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday.  This is a good opportunity for shoppers to support small, local businesses.  I'm participating again this year by offering 10% off all online orders.  See the website for details.  Note:  This offer does not include Yarn Knot subscriptions or gift certificates.

In-between all the grocery shopping, cooking and general merriment, I squeezed in some time for knitting.

And so it grows.  I'm still not sure I have enough yarn for this project. 
I need to knit a little more to determine if my calculations were way off base or spot on.  I have my fingers crossed and am curious to see how it's all going to unfold.  For now, I'll keep on knitting.

I'm still enjoying the late fall colors, and this one one took me by surprise.  This week's color inspiration . . . 

Pinks with a splash of orange.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


The Thanksgiving holiday is upon us.  People are rushing, and tempers are short.  Traffic is worse than usual, and I've lost count of how many accidents and near accidents I've seen this week.  Last night I thought a dispute at the rotary between two drivers would turn into a brawl.  

It's time to hit the pause button and reflect.  The world is a crazy place, and it seems even more so these days.  There are challenges around every corner, and peace is even further from our grasp.

In spite of all the evil in the world, it's important to remember the 
good . . . family, friends, health, community.

While I bake and cook, I'll be focusing on the good.  Grateful . . . today and every day.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Monday Magic

Monday is hitting me hard . . . a mad dash to get ready for Thanksgiving.  I'm cooking and that involves shopping for groceries. 
I only have potatoes and squash on hand, so I have a long way to go.

Usually I'm more organized and don't have to go near a store the week of the holiday.  I don't know how it happened, but my planning skills failed me this time around.  I'm off to forage and deal with packed parking lots and crabby clerks.

I leave you with this to brighten your Monday.

The magic of minis.

Friday, November 20, 2015

In Defense of Designers

Warning:  Today I'm getting on my soapbox.  Designers have to be paid for their work.  This seems like an obvious statement, but for some reason it gets lost in translation out there in the world of commerce.

I sell patterns in my booth as a courtesy to customers who want to walk away with yarn and pattern in hand - a complete project package. I buy patterns and sell them to customers for the same price they would pay online.  I make very little on pattern sales, and it's hardly worth the effort, but I do it for customer service.

"Is the pattern free?"  I can't tell you how many times customers have asked me that question.  No, the pattern isn't free.  I buy the 
patterns - each and every copy.  I don't just print them out from a single PDF.  If you want a copy, you can buy it from me.  Or you can go online and buy it.

"That booth over there has free patterns."  If the pattern is their design and they want to offer it for free, that's their choice.  But if the rights to that pattern belong to someone else, I hope they paid for each and every copy they're giving away.

"Can you just email the pattern to me?"  Sorry.  No, I can't do that either.  The designer doesn't get paid if I email you a PDF.

All of this banter seems rather absurd when someone is spending over $100 on yarn and is quibbling over a few more dollars for the pattern.

We live in a knitting world full of patterns.  Ravelry is bursting with ideas, inspiration and creativity.  The notion that we have to pay for all the work it takes to document those ideas should be a no-brainer.  If we want to encourage that creativity, we need to pay for it.  

And yet, I hear variations on this theme time and time again.  "I just spent $200 on yarn. And I got the pattern for free."  That's cheating the designer out of hard-earned compensation . . . not something to brag about.

My sense is that most designers aren't getting rich on patterns.  They do it for the love of designing.  And for all their hard work and effort, they need to be compensated.  I think about this issue a lot.  Often it's simmering on the back burner, and every once in a while it boils over. I've gotten so exasperated with the concept of "free" patterns that I'm considering not offering patterns any more.  But that won't solve the issue.  Designers have to be paid, and knitters are the ones to do it. Rant over.

Since I'm talking about designers, do you know about Indie Design Gift-A-Long 2015?  Over 300 designers have banded together to offer discounts on select patterns through November 27.  Just in time for holiday knitting.  There are also games and prizes . . . see the link for details.

Thanks to some strong wind most of the trees are naked.  Fall is winding down, but I spotted this the other day . . . this week's color inspiration.

Remnants of summer.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wednesday Confession

It was bound to happen.

I've been working away on the project I started late last week.  I've made some progress, but it's not as much as I could have made.

No, instead I got a bit distracted with this.

I've started another project and have pulled yarn for at least one more. When I was making the round of festivals this fall, I gathered so many new project ideas.  That's both a blessing and a curse.  My travel schedule has calmed down now, and I'm going in several different directions at once.  I want to cast on everything . . . right now.

I'm going to let myself roll with this for a few more days.  The project frenzy is bound to peter out.  In the meantime there's a lot of gray in that pile, and I know just what I need to balance it out.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Snapshots from Montpelier

Over the weekend I made a quick trip to Montpelier, Vermont.

The wind was howling . . . a blustery November day.

Complete with a few snow flurries.

My destination . . . 

Yarn.  This shop had been on my list of potential field trips for a while, so I was delighted with the invitation to have a trunk show.

Yarn has a charming space with a well-rounded selection of fiber goodies.

And they have an enthusiastic bunch of knitters.

ZickZack Scarf.

The Mitten Advent Calendar under construction.  When it's finished, it will be on display in the shop.

Jane's Provence Shawl.  Isn't it lovely?  The flowers alone took hours and hours. 

Thanks to everyone who came out.  I enjoyed the 
conversation - sharing ideas and inspiration.  It was a wonderful afternoon.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Change of Plans

The other day I had yarn and a pattern and was ready to start a new project.  I had a little extra time on my hands, so before I actually cast on, I decided to poke around on Ravelry for a bit.  I had an idea for a completely different project and wanted to check out the details.

It didn't take much time to find the information I was looking for, but, as so often happens, one click led to another and before long I was considering a different pattern for the yarn in front of me.  If I had cast on before I had opened up Ravelry, I probably wouldn't have considered switching patterns.  But since my needles were still empty, I had just enough wiggle room to contemplate something else.

My dilemma was compounded by the fact that I might not have enough yarn for the new pattern.  I would definitely have to make it shorter than the pattern suggested, so I would save some yardage there.  And I could make the pockets out of contrasting yarn or not make them at all - more yardage saved.  I did more calculations and went back and forth umpteen times.

In the end I decided to try the new pattern.  After all that number crunching, this pattern would nag me.  I'm just getting started, so I don't know yet if my numbers are lying.  If they are, I can always rip it out.  

My color inspiration for this week . . . 

Perfect pink.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Several of my work projects are stalled, so it's nice to balance things with a finished knitting project.


I'm smitten with this hat.  That means I'll have to keep an eye on it so it doesn't go missing.  My daughters have a habit of borrowing.  

Wurm is similar in style to my Rikke Hat . . . slouchy, comfortable, easy to wear.

The brim is hemmed . . . a detail that I love.  The yarn is Bertha Sport, colorway IPA.  There's been a run on this yarn and supplies are low. As soon as I restock, I'll post it to the website.

It's a raw, rainy day here.  I think it might be time for a new knitting project.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Snapshots from Fiber Festival of New England

I'm in a fog this morning . . . must be a fiber hangover.  I had a whirlwind weekend at Fiber Festival of New England.  Here's a peek.

Every time I see bobbin lace in production, I marvel that it's not a massive tangle of thread.  It's always interesting to hear the backstory.  The woman working on this piece was a potter.  She took up bobbin lace because she wanted a craft that didn't require a whole room full of equipment.

Gradient packs from Romney Ridge Farm.

A unicorn from A Fistful of Felt stopped by to visit the booth.  

And then there were buttons from Jane Quimby.

I have a real weakness for buttons and could have gone missing for a couple hours.  It's a good thing I only had a few minutes to browse.

Thanks to everyone who turned out.  I appreciate all the show and tell items that people brought to the booth and enjoyed chatting with each and every one of you.  It was a lovely weekend.

One final note.  If you're planning to attend Knitting Weekend in January, this is the last week for early bird rates.  See the website for details.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Before I Hit the Road . . .

If you're headed to Fiber Festival of New England this weekend, here's a peek at one of the new fall samples I'll have on display.  Even if you can't make it to the show, maybe you'll be inspired.  

Duane Park Triangle.  

Several months ago a shop owner mentioned this pattern and commented that she had made more than one.  Any pattern that's called up for a repeat performance deserves a look, so I checked it out.

Combining colors . . . the possibilities are endless.  Different combinations have different effects.  I didn't knit this sample, but I'm tempted to make one of my own.

The yarn is Lucia, colorways Juniper and March Sky.  These colors and many more will be available this weekend in my booth - 432/33 East.

Fall is the season for root vegetables . . . my color inspiration for this week.

A basket of beets.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Midweek Update

I'm ramping up for another road trip later this week, and that means I'm working my way through a series of lists.  In the midst of this and that, I can usually squeeze in a little knitting as long as it's not too involved. That's what this project is all about.

Wurm.  I haven't promised myself a new hat by the weekend, but you never know.

Speaking of travels, I've updated my events list for the rest of the year.  See the right sidebar.

If you've been considering Yarn Knot, there's still time to jump on board.  I'm getting ready to ship the November installment, and I still have a few openings.  Follow the link for details.

Monday, November 2, 2015

At the Finish Line

After a jam-packed weekend, I'm actually looking forward to Monday and my crazy work schedule.  From Halloween to Day of the Dead, it was a party weekend.

Estrella was our official greeter on Halloween night.  That's not a
mask - it's all makeup.  We didn't have enough trick or treaters, or maybe we just bought too much candy.  Anyway now the kids are working through the leftovers.  

On Sunday we celebrated Day of the Dead with our traditional family meal.  From tacos to apple strudel we covered all the bases.  The conversation turned to family trees, and before long my son was poking around online . . . hours of entertainment digging up long lost relatives and piecing together bits and pieces of family history.

To add to the mix, Estrella also scheduled back-to-back half marathons on Saturday and Sunday.

That meant I had a lot of waiting knitting time on my hands.  

I crossed my own finish line with another project.

Leaving Cowl.

If you're looking ahead to the holidays, you might want to put this little number on your list of quick and easy gift ideas.