Friday, March 31, 2017

Thumbs and Ends

My cold has gone from bad to worse this week, and my expectations for work today are pretty low.  This gray yarn matches the weather and the impending nor'easter.  If I can wrap up these mitts, I'll be thrilled.

Two wee thumbs and a bunch of ends.  I know, the bar is pretty low. My cold pills haven't brought much relief, and I'm trying to be realistic. On the upside if I finish these mitts, I can start pondering a new project. Spending time on Ravelry is a legitimate activity when I'm sick.

I'm all over anything grapefruit related, and this week's color inspiration features grapefruit marmalade.  Who knew such a thing existed.

A sweet splash of color.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Take a Number

Recently someone asked about my dashboard shots on Instagram. "Where are you going?  What are you doing?"  The simple answer, I'm waiting.  There are so many situations where I have to wait.  From appointments to meetings to picking up kids, there's plenty of waiting time to go around.  That's why I never leave the house without my knitting in tow.

Sometimes I don't even have to leave the house for waiting time. Yesterday the kids beat me to the washing machine, and I found myself at the end of a long queue.  After I assessed the level of activity in the laundry room, I realized I had to take a number.

It was too late in the day to be productive with any household tasks, but it was just enough waiting time to knock out a section of Towanda!, my current obsession.  Take a number?  Sure.

Monday, March 27, 2017


It's a rainy Monday after an action-packed weekend, and it's hard to resist the notion to hunker down with my knitting.  UNWIND was all kinds of fun.

I got to see the Romney Ridge trailer.

Yarn on wheels.

I had a weekend filled with constructive conversations and connections.  

I always come away from these events with so many fresh ideas.

Thanks to everyone who came out.  It was a weekend full of inspiration.

And I wrapped it all up with a birthday celebration and family time.

It seems that all the fun and games caught up with me overnight because I woke up with a terrible cold.  My son went out and retrieved some multi-symptom, non-drowsy magic.  Leftover cake might help too. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Taking Time

Knitting time has been in short supply this week, and I don't see the situation improving over the next few days.  This weekend features ongoing tax work, a show and a family birthday celebration.  Why did I agree to the birthday this weekend?  My daughter's actual birthday was three weeks ago, and I think the guilt was wearing on me.  So we will party.

The last few days I've planned to reward myself with knitting time at the end of the day - only to be too tired to hold up my needles.  This morning when I woke up I decided to take charge of the situation and mix things up a bit.  I started the day with knitting time.

I took just enough time to get this project situated.  Now I can see where it's headed.  Maybe I'll have more knitting time on the other end of the day, but if not, at least I got this under construction.

My color inspiration brightens this gray, wintery day.

Fresh.  Local.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Summer Camp

I'm often knitting samples on a deadline, and this past weekend was no exception.  I wanted to have my Summer Camp ready for the show, so Friday evening I settled in at my hotel with the final edging.  The last stripe is worked and attached to live stitches all at the same time, so it's very efficient.  But I know from past experience that this kind of finish can be slow and tedious - and takes a lot more time than I think it will.

I was focused, and in no time at all I was weaving in the last few ends.

I gave the shawl a quick bath.

And a good blocking.  I was afraid the shawl would still be damp in the morning, but the hotel air was so dry I didn't have to resort to my blow dryer plan.

This pattern was relatively quick . . . garter stitch with color changes to keep things interesting.

The yarn is Lillian Piglet combined with a skein of Lillian Sprinkles. 
This is another pattern that lends itself to all kinds of color options.

Today we have a cold winter wind, but this shawl looks like spring and summer.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Snapshots from Vermont

I'm catching my breath after a delightful weekend in Vermont.  I had a lovely time connecting with old friends and new.  Apparently I was distracted because I didn't take many pictures.

I got to hang out at the charming, quirky Hotel Coolidge.

There were buttons.

These were excavated from a dump site in France.  I might have brought a few buttons home with me.

Samples and yarn, good food and coffee, lively discussions . . . an entertaining weekend all around.

I have a quick turnaround this week.  I'm already looking ahead to next weekend and UNWIND.

But first, a little work on this thumb gusset.

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Final Decision

The last couple days I've been busy getting ready for my trip to Vermont.  I labelled yarn, assembled kits, loaded the truck . . . all the while pondering color choices for my next project.  

When I woke up this morning I still hadn't settled on two colors, so I decided to be adventurous.  I asked my daughter to weigh in.  I told myself if I was having such a hard time choosing, I would let her make the final decision.

This is it.

She looked at the options and, without any back and forth, made this selection.  I love this combination but originally had a hard time committing to it.  Now that someone else has made the decision, I'm ready to roll with it. 

I scooped up the yarn and tucked it into a bag with the pattern and needles.  I didn't even take time to wind it, but I can do that later with the help of chair . . . old-school winding.  Now that my new project is settled, I'm ready to hit the road.

This week's color inspiration is another one inspired by the 
bakery . . . red, blue and creamy yellow.

Just one bite.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

In Black and White

We survived yesterday's storm.  As an added bonus, we didn't lose power.  Today the cleanup continues, and I need to do more shoveling. While I wait for the sun to soften things up a bit, I decided to play around with colors.

I'm heading into the final stripes on my current project, so that gives me license to plan the next one.  I need two colors, and I started considering options.  I had a couple ideas in mind.  That's always a good starting point, but I'm always open to going in a completely different direction.

I looked at the pattern some more and decided that I wanted high contrast between the two colors.  For the sake of comparison, I conducted a little test.

This Bee Hive color has been calling my name, and I paired it with a blue.

Then I added a black and white filter to the same picture.

I like the color combination, but it probably doesn't have enough contrast for this project.

I kept the Bee Hive and made another combination.

It has more contrast than the first combination but maybe not enough for this project.

I left the Bee Hive behind for this combination.

I knew this one would have the highest contrast.  I might not use these exact colors, but this is the contrast I'm looking for.  

This little bit of camera play is a fun, easy way to assess colors.  I do it all the time, and every once in a while I'm surprised with the results. Try it out.  Maybe you'll be surprised too.

The sun has worked its magic, and I hear my octogenarian neighbor chipping away at the ice.  It's time to pick up the shovel and get busy.

Monday, March 13, 2017

All Bundled Up

Winter is still with us, and I've been bundled up against the cold.  With the weather forecast of a nor'easter headed our way bringing more than a foot of snow, I'm going to be bundled up for a while.

And I've been bundling up yarn.

This color combination and several others will be available this weekend at the Green Mountain Fiber Festival.  These bundles are perfect for the Tool Box Cowl, On the Spice Market or The Joker and the Thief.

I'm off to finish my storm prep.  Bundle up, New England.

Friday, March 10, 2017

To Brighten a Dreary Day

The world is a crazy place, and sometimes it would be nice to run away for a few days.  Since that's not an option for me, I've come to appreciate the soothing, constant things in my life . . . family and friends, work, knitting.  All those things can have their own form of chaos, but usually it's manageable.

On this gray, wintery day, my knitting is a bright spot.

I'm still working away on Summer Camp, but it's getting bigger.  Lately I've had a knack for selecting projects that create a lot of ends.  Stripes will do that, and this shawl is no exception.  I should probably take a break from knitting and weave in a few, but I'm mesmerized by the easy rhythm of garter stitch.

This week's color inspiration comes from spools of thread on an embroidery machine.

Glistening and vibrant.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

On the Calendar

Knitting retreats are all the rage.  If you're in New England, you have a couple retreat opportunities later this month.

The Green Mountain Fiber Festival is perfect for a knitting getaway. Spend a relaxing weekend in White River Junction.  There's a market, good restaurants and plenty of time to knit and socialize.

Unwind is the following weekend.

This event is held on the North Shore and includes classes and a market.  Both events feature a great group of people.  Follow the links for more information.

This week I'm in the midst of tackling a mountain of paperwork and crunching numbers.

In-between the sifting and sorting, I'm whipping up a pair of mitts.  A little knitting here, a little knitting there . . . it all adds up.

Monday, March 6, 2017

More Sprinkles

The other day I mentioned that pink really isn't my color, but just because I won't wear it doesn't mean I won't knit with it.

I wanted to play around with another skein of Sprinkles, and pink seemed like a good companion.  It's bright and cheery . . . hints of spring.  

Friday, March 3, 2017



My Kallara is off the needles and is ready for tomorrow's outing to Farm Fiber Day.

This was a fun project all around.  The stripes are made with Lillian Celestial and Sprinkles.  The Sprinkles skein adds random splashes of color and entertainment value.  Once again you can have all kinds of fun picking and choosing colors.  

This garter stitch shawl is cozy and cushy.  I might have to make another one just for me.

I'm not usually into pink, but even I couldn't resist this week's color inspiration.

To brighten a winter day . . .

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Random on Wednesday

This week has taken on a certain haphazard quality.  Instead of fighting back, I'm rolling with it.

~ My daughter has commandeered every spare minute I have this week.  She's on a tight deadline for formal wear, and her original plan fell through.  Now we have to go shopping.

~ She compared our schedules and has designated time slots for said shopping.  She's ready for action with a list of stores that carry the appropriate formal wear.

~ I hate shopping.

~ In work-related news I updated the events in the right sidebar.  March is shaping up to be a busy month.

~ Saturday I'll be at Farm Fiber Day at the Wayland Winter Farmers' Market.  It's loads of fun.  Check it out if you're in the area.

~ In knitting-related news I'm on the decrease sections of my Kallara.

~ In an attempt to maintain my sanity, this will be my companion during the shopping ordeal.