Wednesday, December 28, 2016


Sometimes detours are inevitable . . . or out of my control.  I had a bit of a knitting plan for this week, but I had to make an adjustment.

There's been another hat emergency in the family, and I didn't have the heart to say no.  Or yes, but you'll have to wait.  Instead I set aside my other projects and cast on a hat.

It's another Rikke Hat - this time a darker gray.  This pattern is great when you need a hat in a hurry.  I'll start decreasing in a few more rounds, and the hat will be off the needles later today.  This detour wasn't too long and involved - more like pulling off the road for a scenic overlook.  I'll be back to my regularly scheduled knitting soon enough.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Holiday Recovery

This year the holiday calendar came equipped with a built-in recovery day, and I need it.  Since today is a day off for many businesses, I don't feel compelled to be overly productive. Instead I'll probably cast on a new project or three . . . maybe even catch up on some of the holiday movies I haven't watched this year.

Our plans were a little shaky heading into the weekend.

The cooking and baking list was long, and that final run to the grocery store for "just a couple things" took an entire afternoon.

Even more uncertain was the final tally of who was going to be here. How many significant others would make an appearance and when? Such is life with young adult children.

This year I said no to the gingerbread house, but my daughters overruled me.

I can't tell you how many times we've bought a gingerbread house and then never assembled it.  This year it was a success.

And I might have grabbed these chocolate samplers on that final store run just because of the knitting-inspired packaging.

With strategic delegating on my part and an extra glass of wine or two, everything came together just in the nick of time.  After all the fuss, it was a relaxing, enjoyable holiday for us.  

This is going to be one of those wacky weeks where I can't remember what day of the week it is.  That's OK.  I'll knit my way through it.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Searching for Simple

Yesterday was supposed to be a baking day, but, due to no fault of my own, I got off to a late start.  Then the 1.5 hours I spent on a phone call didn't help matters any.  When I had finally disentangled myself from a bureaucratic web and had hung up the phone, I realized that baking cookies wasn't going to happen that day.

Instead it was more important to spend time with a dear friend.  It's hard to resist an afternoon designated for drinking coffee and 
knitting . . . and starting a pair of mitts my son requested.

They won't be finished in time for the holidays, and that's fine.  I know he'll appreciate them and use them when they're done.  That's what counts.

The world is a crazy place these days.  My one goal for the holidays is to keep it simple.  We'll decorate the tree later today and maybe even bake a few cookies.  But in the end, the important thing is spending time with family and friends.  Cherish the moments.

This week's color inspiration . . . 

Light in the midst of darkness.

If you're celebrating this weekend, may your festivities be merry and bright.  And may we all find solace and peace.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

It's Just a Thumb

Last night at knit night I finished a mitten . . . almost.  All it needed was the thumb.  When I got home, I thought my batteries were still charged so I decided to quickly knit it up.  How long can it take to knit a thumb? Shortly after getting the thumb stitches situated, I ran out of power and called it a day.  

This is where I'm at this morning.  Not only is the thumb still on the needles, I'm out of coffee.  Maybe all of the holiday preparations are catching up with me.  How did I run out of coffee?!?  Surely I can finish a measly thumb today, but first I need some coffee.

Monday, December 19, 2016

A Backward Day

Yesterday I had a busy day at the Handmade Holiday Market in Cambridge.  Thanks to everyone who stopped by.  It was a fun, festive event.  Usually the day after an event I cut myself a little 
slack . . . sleep in a little later, ease into the day with knitting and coffee.  I don't take the whole day off, but it's definitely more relaxed.  

Not so today.  Friday we had a birthday celebration, and there's another one on the calendar for today.  The Friday party was fun and everything went smoothly until we hit a bit of a snag with the cake. That's what I'm calling it when my friend's foolproof cake recipe wasn't foolproof for me.  In all fairness I should have tested the cake before debuting it at a birthday dinner, but we survived the ordeal with a quick run for an ice cream cake.

I definitely didn't want to risk another cake catastrophe today.  I was out the door early to run an errand with my daughter and then on to the grocery store.  I hate any kind of store this time of year - even the grocery store - but I needed food for dinner.  It turns out the grocery store is more manageable first thing in the morning.  I won't make it a habit, but that early forage for food was probably one of my better decisions today.

I really shouldn't even worry about dessert for tonight because technically it's not a cake.  

My son requested apple strudel.

This is my mother's recipe, and I've made it a million times.  Surely nothing could go wrong.

And it didn't.  I would hate to lose my credibility in the kitchen.

This has turned out to be one of those backward days.  Since I missed my morning knitting session, I've set aside some knitting time for later in the day.

Friday, December 16, 2016

All but the Blocking

My Tool Box Cowl is off the needles and will be ready to roll after a quick blocking.

The pattern includes two sizes, and I made the bigger version with one Lucia 28 Bundle. They aren't on the website yet, but I'll have the sample and the bundles available this Sunday at the Handmade Holiday Market.  This cowl was so much fun to make - and now there are matching mitts.  Since I don't wear booth samples for personal use, I'll just have to make another one.

In other news, we're getting ready to start another round of Yarn Knot Socks.

The first club installment ships next week, and there's still room if you want to get in on the fun.  Follow the link for signup information.

Cold weather has hit New England and with it comes a blue sky.  This week's color inspiration . . . 

Crystal clear.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Kindness and More

I don't know how we landed on Wednesday already, but here we are. It's that time of year when the to-do lists are long, and the days are a blur.  

Just a quick update today.  This Sunday I'll be vending at the Handmade Holiday Market hosted by gather here.  

This festive event brings together a diverse mix of talented vendors. Click on the link for details.  If you're in the area and are still working on your holiday shopping list, stop by for some fresh ideas.  This is the perfect opportunity to shop local.

I've opened up a new thread in the Ravelry group - More Kindness. The world is in a crazy, chaotic place right now, and acts of 
kindness - no matter how big or small - are essential.  Follow the link for details.  There's a giveaway involved, but more important it's about the hope and encouragement we need to face the challenges and be the change the world needs.

Now, back to your holiday preparations . . . 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Third Time's a Charm

Well I made the most of my weekend bonus knitting time.  I've been struggling with a pair of mittens for the Hand Along running in my knitting group.  I need new mittens so motivation isn't the issue, but I'm not crazy about the pattern I chose.  I ripped it out once because I didn't like the color and started again with a different color. 

I was making decent progress until I tried it on this weekend.  I debated about this pattern in the first place.  There were some red flags in the notes on the Ravelry pattern page, but I ignored them.  I convinced myself I would like the fit.  Well, I don't.  It took one more try-on for me to admit I wasn't going to wear these mittens.  I pulled out the needles and ripped it all out.

Without wasting any time, I found a different pattern and cast on with the same yarn.

Frost Farm Mittens.  I miss the beautiful cables from the other pattern, but these mitts are a better fit.  And that's the important part.

Friday, December 9, 2016

A Quiet Weekend

This weekend the tables are turned.  Half of my family is traveling, and for once I'm the one who gets to stay home.  Someone has to take care of the dog.  

I won't be home alone, but it will be considerably quieter without as much cooking and overall activity.  I've somehow convinced myself there will be a surplus of time and have created a mental list of things I could do.  The holiday season brings never-ending errands that need attention, but high on that list is uninterrupted knitting time.

This has been my mantra for quite some time, and it's especially appropriate now.  I will knit on.

Winter is settling in.  This week we had a nice dose of mixed precipitation, and it created this lovely color inspiration.

Icy frosting.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A Knitting Emergency

The other day I had an emergency request.  My son is getting ready for a big trip, and he thought it would be nice to have a new hat.  "Mom, do you think you can get it done in time?"  Of course.  He didn't ask for a Doctor Who Scarf or a sweater - just a simple hat.  No problem.

My rule for holiday knitting is that I'm only knitting for those who make a specific request.  My son's request is pre-holiday, but otherwise it fits my rule to a T.  Since the request came with a time constraint, I put my other projects aside and got busy.

My son leaves today, so yesterday he checked in on the progress of his hat.  "You're not going to get it done in time, are you."  I assured him I didn't have that much knitting left, and there was still plenty of time.  Never underestimate the power of late-night knitting.  Yes, the hat would be ready.

And it is.  

This morning I completed the decrease rounds, cinched up the top and wove in the ends.  The pattern is Rikke Hat - soft, cushy garter with an easy fitting style.  The yarn is Marie, colorway Slate.  This gray color matches the day and picture taking was a challenge, but you get the general idea.  Later today my son and his new hat will be off on an international adventure.

Now, back to my regularly scheduled knitting.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Blame the Knitting

My inbox is a disaster, and the list of emails I need to send keeps growing.  I can think of plenty of excuses - the holiday season, family obligations and birthdays, extra cooking and baking.  But the real culprit is this.

My Tool Box Cowl.  I shot this outside for decent light and captured our first taste of winter in the process.  I love the winter white.

I'm ready to add my fourth color.  It's a cozy, snowy morning, and I could easily keep knitting.  Instead I'm going to be responsible and put this project down.  After I make a dent in my inbox, I'll pick it up 
again . . . just to get that fourth color started.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Slow and Steady

I'm making progress on Kiko's mitts, but it's in fits and starts.  After texting back and forth on color options, he selected the dark gray. 
Easy enough.  I had leftover gray from another project.  It seemed like a fairly big ball, but just as I was getting ready to cast on I decided to play it safe and weigh the yarn.  Looks can be deceiving, and the ball of yarn that appeared to be so big was only 40+ grams.  Not enough for these mitts.  I found a full skein of the same gray.  Problem solved.

With a full skein in hand, I debated my options for winding.  My umbrella swift made its final turns a couple weeks ago, and I haven't had time to replace it.  I thought about putting the skein on the back of a chair and winding it that way.  It's time consuming, but it works.  Then I remembered this.

My table top swift.  Another problem solved.  

I'm still winding by hand because my ball winder is attached to a work table, and there's isn't room for this 4-dowel contraption.  This winding process is a good mental exercise, and I'm trying to appreciate the slower pace.  And it definitely beats the back of a chair.

I found this week's color inspiration during an outing by the ocean.  The world is full of loud noises and bright colors.  Every minute of every day is a cacophony of information.  During these tumultuous, troubling times, it's essential to take a break and step back.

Peace, quiet, soothing solitude.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

My Strategy

The last couple years I've adopted a new strategy when it comes to holiday knitting.  Instead of knitting something for everyone in the family and trying to keep it all secret, they can each make specific requests.  If someone doesn't want anything, that's fine.  

The idea is that those who ask for a handknit will in fact wear it, and I won't spend time making something that won't get put to good use. And it takes the pressure off knitting in secret.  My knitting follows me around the house, and it's really hard to keep a secret that way.

This morning I consulted my list and decided to tackle the fingerless mitts my son, Kiko, wants.  When he made his request, we had discussed colors but hadn't settled on one.  In an attempt to be efficient, I sent Kiko a text. 

Now I'm waiting.  Sometimes texting doesn't produce immediate answers.  I think I'll get more coffee while I wait.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Back to Work

Whoosh!  I made it to the other side of a busy holiday weekend. Friends and family have come and gone, and the leftovers have been eaten.  All the work I had scheduled for the weekend didn't get done, but sometimes it's more important to savor the moment.  It's good for the soul to linger over lunch with friends I see only once a year.

The 15% off discount for Small Business Saturday runs through today. You'll find all the details on the website.  Check it out.

Now it's time to get busy.

The dye pots are on, and I have this little project to keep me entertained.

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Weekend Ahead

I hope everyone who was celebrating yesterday had a good holiday. After spending a crazy amount of time cooking and baking, I'm ready to stay out of the kitchen for the rest of the weekend.  With any luck the leftovers will get us through to Monday.

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, the holiday preparations can begin in earnest.  To get things rolling we're participating in Small Business Saturday.  Orders placed between Saturday, November 26 (tomorrow) and Monday, November 28 will receive a 15% discount. Enter code SmallBiz16 in the comment section and the discount amount will be refunded to you.  Please note this offer does not include Yarn Knot Subscriptions and gift certificates.

As you'd expect I'm ready to settle in for some extended knitting time.

I have a project brewing with these 6 colors . . . I'm still plotting and planning.  During this winding session my swift crapped out and is beyond repair, so the rest of the skeins will have to be wound the old fashioned way.  More time to consider my project options.

Finally, the fun people at Hansen Crafts produced this adorable spinning video.  


I make a point to add some color to the holidays with fresh flowers. This week's color inspiration . . . 

A little bit of everything.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Before the Baking

Holiday preparations are well underway here.  I finished the grocery shopping - the worst part is over.  Cooking and baking are easy. Congested parking lots, crowded aisles and crabby cashiers . . . that's the challenging part.

Today is pie day, but before I get too deep into flour and fillings, I'm going to take a few minutes for coffee and knitting.

Just a few rounds to finish the thumb gusset.

If you're celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow, enjoy your holiday.  Savor the time with family and friends.

Monday, November 21, 2016

On the Couch

A nagging bug has been flirting with me for a while now, but I was fighting the good fight to ward it off.  At some point last week I lost the battle. Over the weekend I surrendered and gave in to the worst cold I've had in a long time.  

I often rate the severity of a cold by how it affects my knitting.  If it confines me to the couch and I can still knit, it's not so bad.  I consider that bonus knitting time.  If it confines me to the couch and I'm struggling to keep my eyes open, it's bad.  That means all I can do is think about knitting and nothing is actually getting done.

I was almost on the bad end of the spectrum this weekend.  I sent my daughter to the store, and she came back with cold medicine for my severe, multi-symptom condition.  Normally I'm reluctant to take anything heavy duty for a cold, and my daughter knows this.  She stood over me and refused to leave until I had swallowed a couple horse pills.

Over the weekend I let go of any thoughts of cooking, cleaning or holiday prep, and today I'm still on the mend.  The pills allowed me to function at a low level of activity, and I did get a little knitting done.

Cables are not my preferred project when I'm sick, but believe it or not I didn't have anything else on the needles.  And I wasn't in any condition to start something new.  

My to-do list for the week is looming large.  Maybe I'll knit a few rounds while I ponder my strategy for catching up.

Friday, November 18, 2016


With so many pending projects lingering, it felt good to finish something.  It didn't have to be a complex, intricate project to give me a sense of satisfaction.

A simple ribbed hat for my son did the trick.  

I didn't follow a particular pattern.  With 2.75mm needles I cast on 144 stitches.  I used the double knot cast on for a stretchy edge.  I won't give you step-by-step instructions.  Follow the link for details.  I worked in K2, P2 ribbing and added a couple stripes.  When I reached the length my son requested, I decreased following the instructions in the Tri Koigu pattern.  Easy-peasy.

The yarn is Lillian March Sky with a smidge of Sea Breeze thrown in for stripes.  There's a chill in the air, and I feel a hat binge coming on. I've already highlighted a couple patterns.

I had one requirement for this week's color inspiration.  It had to be something to brighten my day and cheer me up.  These lanterns fit the bill.  

Colorful, creative, one of a kind.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


I interrupted my knitting for one more quick sample.  It was a mad dash, but I finished in time to make the shipment for the Trunk Show Extravaganza this weekend at Woolyn.  Just a warning.  Yesterday was rainy, dark and gray.  Taking pictures was a challenge.  


This is a sweet little cowl.  

The design uses smock stitch.  I love to smock and am always attracted to patterns that use this textured stitch.

The yarn is Lillian Luxe, From the Bog.  This Merino Silk blend will be at Woolyn along with Bertha Sport and Coastal Gradient Kits.

Now, back to my regularly scheduled knitting . . . 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Event Update

I did a little tidying over the weekend.  It didn't involve the vacuum cleaner or a mop although those are noble pursuits and are somewhere on my to-do list.  Instead I spent my time updating the blog.  The event list has been refreshed - just in time for this coming weekend.

If you're in New York City, Woolyn has joined forces with Indie Untangled to host the Trunk Show Extravaganza.  The trunk show is running for two weekends, and they're kicking it off with a party.  If you want to get in on the fun, follow the link for details.

I'll have a selection of goods on hand including this new sample.


This one skein shawl was a fun knit . . . garter stitch with lace sections thrown in to keep it interesting.

The yarn is Lillian Luxe . . . a Merino Silk blend that hasn't hit the website just yet.  That's the next thing I need to update, but I should probably do the vacuuming first.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Deadlines Don't Wait

I've been in a fog this week - listening to the dissection of the election from every which way.  The numbers fascinate me and my inner statistician has been digging deep, but yesterday when I started talking back to the radio, I decided it was time to unplug . . . at least for the day.

I have pending deadlines, so I turned my attention to the task at hand.

I made good progress, and I plan a repeat performance today.

Speaking of today it's Veterans Day - Remembrance Day in other parts of the world.  The knitters and crocheters of Thirsk, England got together for a remarkable yarnbombing poppy display.  With over 40,000 poppies they created a river of poppies.  Truly amazing.

The fall season is drawing to a close, and I'm savoring the last bit of color for this week's inspiration.

All the shades of the season.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


Yesterday was full of distraction, anxiety and stress.  To cope, I planned to knit my way through the day.  I started with a project that involved counting and paying attention.  The silk yarn was lovely, but I found my mind wandering so I shifted gears to something simple - the cuff of a mitten.

When the cuff was almost finished, I decided something was off.  The color wasn't doing it for me, so I shifted gears a second time.

Later in the day the mitten was under construction again but this time with a different color.  I feel good about it.  I'm back on track.

Today I'm still coping and knitting.  Yesterday we unravelled as a nation.  I can only hope we find a way to get back on track.  

Monday, November 7, 2016

Snapshots from Fiber Festival of New England

I'm recovering from another splendid weekend on the road.  Fiber Festival of New England wasn't my last event of the year, but it was the last one for a full booth setup.  Now I can finally empty my truck.

I love this event, and this year was no exception.  It draws an amazing group of talented craftspeople.  Here's a glimpse.

Pat from A Fistful of Felt created this lifelike cow.  Take a look at her Facebook page for more fabulous creations.

Members from the Rhode Island Spinners Guild were busy all weekend teaching new spinners.  If you're in the area and want to try spinning, be sure to connect with this group.  

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the booth.  I enjoyed chatting with friends and connecting with new people.  And now I'm off to get another cup of coffee.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Black to the Fuchsia

The truck is loaded, and I'm almost ready to hit the road.  Since I have a few minutes to spare, here's a quick peek at my newest booth sample.

Black to the Fuchsia.

This shawl uses one skein of yarn paired with one gradient bundle.  I used Lillian Pumice and a Juniper Bundle.  It was a fun project and zipped right along until I got to the picot bind off.  That took a little more effort, but it was so worth it in the end.

This is another project with endless color combination possibilities. From subtle to bold . . . whatever strikes your fancy.

I do have a thing for gray, and there's nothing like a gray background to make colors pop.  This week's color inspiration . . . 

Fall foliage on the rocks.