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.  



Charming.

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

Easy-Peasy

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

Benton

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.  


Benton.

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.


Antarktis.

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

Unravelled

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.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Midweek Musings

This week is all about show prep.  I'm running in several different directions, but here's a smattering of what's going on.

~ Thanks to Karie Westermann I stumbled across this interesting article on H√łnsestrick. The article discusses several different aspects of this knitting technique.  What really struck me was that H√łnsestrick challenged norms and made a political statement.  Knitting as a force for change . . . food for thought in these turbulent times.

~ I'm in the midst of a long picot bind off.  


I say in the midst because I've only been able to work on it in spurts.  I bind off for a while, realize I haven't made all that much progress, put it down, repeat.  Don't get me wrong.  I love the end result, but it's slow going.  No matter how tedious the task, I'm determined to finish today.

~ Speaking of finished, I thought I was done with my dyeing for this weekend.  I realized this morning I have to dye another pot of yarn. Just one more . . .