Monday, January 30, 2017

Always Write It Down

After a weekend crammed with work and family activities, I almost feel relieved that it's Monday.  Farm Fiber Day was a blast.  As always it was inspiring to see and talk with so many knitters.

This is early Saturday morning before the doors opened.  The combination of food and fiber draws a crowd.  For four hours the place was packed and parking was at a premium.  I didn't get a chance to do any browsing, but these two signs sum up the market.

A fiber lounge . . . sounds like the perfect place for an escape.

Thanks to everyone who came out.  Remember we'll be doing it all again on March 4.

Deadlines have a way of creeping up on me, and I have several of them looming large right now.  Only one of them is portable, so yesterday I tackled it when I was out and about with my daughters.

This hat is off to a good start.  It's my own pattern, and I'm trying to recreate it from some sketchy notes, so I hope I don't have to spend a lot of time interpreting and deciphering.  It's challenging.  It took me a while to realize that a note scribbled in the margin is actually a movie recommendation and has nothing to do with the pattern.  That's probably a reflection on both my handwriting and the general purpose nature of my notebook.

Too often my default instruction has been, "I'll remember that - I don't need to write it down."  Working through these notes has confirmed I do indeed need to write it down. 

Friday, January 27, 2017

That Didn't Take Long

It seems I just started this hat project, and already it's off the needles.

Origami Top Hat.

This project used up a couple leftovers - Lillian Luxe From the Bog, and Lillian March Sky.  Sorry, Luxe still isn't on the website.

I did make a couple modifications to the pattern.  It's written for worsted weight yarn, but instead I held fingering weight double.  I also made a hemmed brim for extra warmth.  You can make it solid or play around with stripes . . . so many possibilities.

The fun part comes at the end when the stitches are manipulated, folded and then kitchenered to create the origami top.  Not the best picture but you get the general idea.

I'm happy my daughter didn't lay claim to this hat or demand it as payment for modeling because I love the fit and the overall squishy texture.  I'm keeping this one.

Just a quick schedule reminder that tomorrow I'll be at Farm Fiber Day at the Wayland Winter Farmers' Market.

This market boasts a diverse mix of food and fiber vendors.  Check it out if you're in the area.

This week's color inspiration comes from one of the exhibits at Slater Mill.

Contact Point by Jackie deRuyter. 

It's made from fiber . . . purplish blue with hints of pink.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

While I Ponder . . .

I'm contemplating a couple new projects . . . bigger projects with multiple colors and creative construction.  It's best if I can let project ideas marinate a few days before I commit, so that's what I'm doing.  

In the meantime I have to keep my hands busy.

A new hat made with odds and ends of yarn.  This combination has been a theme the last couple weeks - it's a good way to use leftovers. So far it's worked out well, and I (or someone else) can always use another hat.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Snapshots from Slater Mill

What an exhilarating weekend!  I was at Slater Mill and watched from the sidelines as people around the world marched.  Through the wonders of technology my fellow vendors and I shared stories and pictures as they came in from friends and family.  It was definitely a powerful moment in history.

Speaking of history, Slater Mill is an important part of New England textile history.  I can't say enough good things about this place.  If you're in the area, be sure to put it on your list for a field trip.

The Knitting Weekend Marketplace is held right in the museum with booths positioned among the machines and exhibits.  Here's a glimpse of my weekend in the museum.

Thanks to everyone who came out.  It was a good opportunity to share ideas and inspiration.  It was a colorful weekend all around.

Friday, January 20, 2017


Sometimes the only solution to a problem is a do-over.  I had a 
self-imposed deadline and a plan to meet it.  I sat down last night with my knitting, certain I would finish a pair of mitts.  I was so sure of myself I didn't bother to read the pattern again.  After all, I had just made one mitt.  I should be able to crank out the second one without a hitch.

The snag came after I had finished the thumb gusset and was dividing the remaining stitches for the fingers.  Somehow my stitch count was off.  How did that happen?  I kept counting and recounting, but the result was the same.  I didn't have enough stitches.

When all the counting didn't fix the problem, I went back to the pattern. Oops.  I had missed the increases on the last round of the cuff.  That's what I get for not checking in with the pattern.

The only feasible solution was to rip back.  So I did.

I started reknitting but haven't made my way back to the spot where I was.  I've let go of my deadline.  This time it's all about the process.

The Women's March is tomorrow, and people across the country will come together in support and solidarity.  If you haven't seen it yet, check out this mosaic of women in pink hats.  Inspiring.

Yesterday I was at Slater Mill setting up the booth for the weekend.  It was a good day for a drive, a much needed distraction and focused work.  For a moment I almost forgot about the chaos and confusion in this country.  This week's color inspiration . . . 

Sunshine and a glimmer of hope.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Good Use

My needles are empty again.

Backstage Boss.  This hat was a win all the way around.  It was a quick knit, and I used up leftover yarn in the process.  I love the fit, I love the stripes . . . this hat is for me.  Of course if stripes aren't your thing, you can make a solid version.  The pattern also includes two size options. The yarn is Petite Clara, colorways Acorn and Winter Sky.

After pulling this yarn from my basket of leftovers, I'm feeling particularly thrifty and clever.  I think I'll see what other odds and ends I can put to good use.

Monday, January 16, 2017

It Takes Two

A lingering cough had me sidelined for most of the weekend, but it didn't keep me from knitting, and I have another sample ready to go.

My daughter reluctantly agreed to model this cowl.  In return for her services, I agreed to give her a ride to the nail salon.

There may have been some complaining, but she doesn't look too grumpy about the arrangement in this picture.  I considered it a win all around.

When Two Become One.  This cowl uses fingering weight yarn held double, so it knits up quickly.  The double garter rib stitch creates a cozy, cushy fabric.  The yarn is Lillian, colorways Heliotrope and Biscuit.  

The pattern includes two sizes, and I made the larger one.

My model didn't want to mess her hair and double it up, but it can be worn this way too.  You can have all kinds of fun with different color combinations . . . you might need to make more than one.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Odds and Ends

The other day I was tidying my worktable and sorting random yarn leftovers.  I make a concerted effort to use the odds and ends, but they have a way of piling up.  I only have a couple active knitting projects right now, so it was easy to justify casting on with some of the remnants.

There's nothing like a quick hat project to make a dent in the leftovers. Plus I was feeling a little short in the hat department.

While this hat project mirrors the current color of the landscape, this week's color inspiration is a bright spot.

A splash of mustard yellow.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


I seem to be going in several different directions this week, so it's no surprise that today's post has a certain random quality.  Here are some of the things spinning around in my world.

~  It may be winter, but that doesn't mean I don't have fun fiber adventures lined up.  First is Knitting Weekend at Slater Mill, 
January 20-22.

This weekend includes classes and a marketplace.  Follow the link for more information on classes and availability.  If you've never been to Slater Mill, this is the perfect opportunity to check it out.

See the right sidebar for more fiber events.

~ I felt very inspired when I stumbled across this story.  Bob Rutherford cranks out socks for shelters.  With help from a few friends, they produce Socks by Bob.  At 88 years young, this sock operation keeps Bob going.  Individuals can and do make a difference.  Be the change.

~  Speaking of cranking out, my latest project is moving right along.

It's been a while since I worked on US 8 needles, so this cowl feels like it'll be done in no time.  With so many distractions, it's good to stay focused on productivity.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Snow Day Knitting

There's nothing like a decent snowstorm to kick my knitting mojo into high gear.

I had a good start on my Saltfleet Cowl before the first flakes started falling on Saturday, but once the inches started piling up, I was on a mission to finish it.

This pattern wasn't completely mindless, but it wasn't too taxing either.

The gansey-inspired motif adds a bit of texture and interest.  Quick to knit, cozy to wear . . . and now I have a good excuse to cast on something new.

Friday, January 6, 2017

An Open Window

I do a lot of knitting, but the reality is not much of it is for me personally. If I didn't insist on so many new samples, I would have more time for personal knitting.  But new samples are refreshing, and I can't resist the temptation - patterns, colors, yarn.

When I do have an open window to whip up a little something all my own, I try to make the most of it.  I've had a small open window, but it's about to close, so I'm trying to make the most of it.

Saltfleet Cowl.  This is the most recent Yarn Knot installment.  With this round we're testing a DK weight blend of Alpaca, Merino and Silk.  It's a tough job, but someone has to do it.  This cowl is knitting up 
quickly.  I might try to squeeze in one more project before the window closes completely.

This week's color inspiration is like new-fallen snow.

Fresh, clean, white.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Part of the Process

I have a new project brewing.  Earlier today I narrowed the color choices down to this selection, and then I got stuck.  I went about my day - appointments, errands, phone calls - but hours later I still don't have a decision.

Usually I would say 13 choices isn't really narrowing it down, but I need to pick 2 colors, so this seems like a reasonable number to start with.

Just before the daylight faded, I took a few more pictures.

Maybe this combination is the one.

Perhaps this.

How about this?

Or maybe it's a completely different pair.  

All this back and forth . . . it's part of the process.  Clearly nothing has grabbed my attention, and I'm not going to make a final decision today. Maybe tomorrow morning . . . 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Knit On . . .

Given the way 2016 went, I guess it was only fitting that I bid it good riddance with a head cold the size of Montana.  I was in bed for the better part of three days but did manage to be propped up on the couch for a few hours on New Year's Eve.  I dozed most of the time, but it was my valiant attempt to be present at midnight to wipe the slate clean.

In the past I've mentioned that I rank my sickness by the impact it has on my knitting.  This cold has been so bad that not only wasn't I able to knit, I wasn't able to think about knitting.

Before I lost my knitting mojo last week, I finished this.

Another Rikke Hat.  As soon as it was off the needles, it was out the door with my son on another travel adventure.

According to my knitting schedule, these should have been finished last week too.  Instead, they'll be my first project of the new year.

Fingerless gloves for another son.  I'm about to start knitting the individual fingers . . . kind of fiddly but not too many stitches when you think about it.  My family said I should take another day of rest, so I'm off to put my feet up and knit some fingers.  These should be ready to wear in no time.

I'm sure the year ahead will present more than its fair share of challenges.  As I ponder what lies ahead, I'm reminded of the sage advice of Elizabeth Zimmermann.  "Knit on, with confidence and hope, through all crises."