Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Under the Wire

I'm having a scattered week, and deadlines are creeping up on me. Today is the last day to register to vote in Massachusetts, and I just helped the youngest of my tribe navigate the registration process. Nothing like coming in under the wire.  

Voting is a rite of passage, and I'm feeling a certain sense of accomplishment that my kids have made it this far.  

A couple random thoughts . . . 

~ Apparently I don't have enough on the needles right now because I cast on a pair of socks.

Stripes are always entertaining.  I'm also in love with this color combination.

~ This Saturday I'll have a trunk show at Yarn's End.

I'll be there from 12:30 - 3:30.  Stop by if you're in the area.

~ If you miss the trunk show this Saturday, the following Saturday I'll be at Yarns in the Farms for another trunk show.

~ Fall is right around the corner.  Back to work on my deadlines.

Monday, August 13, 2018

On a Gray Day . . .

After a busy weekend, I woke up to a gray, rainy Monday.  Instead of crawling under the blankets, this was my response.

A little knitting to brighten the day.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Clues and Labels

I should be labeling yarn.  I'll be at Unwind this weekend and have freshly dyed skeins.  All they need are labels.  Before I forget . . . If you're in the area and you aren't taking classes at Unwind, feel free to stop by.  People will be hanging out, and any crafting is encouraged.

I fell a little behind on my Crown Wools MKAL this week.  My plan was to finish clue 6 last night because clues 7 and 8 were released yesterday.  

I was in a meeting last night, and it wasn't an easy meeting for knitting. I knit at most meetings, but every once in a while it isn't a good fit.  The meeting went late, but I still planned to finish the clue when I got home.

What I didn't plan for was the road construction that had me crawling in a single lane of traffic for many miles.  By the time I got home, I had lost a lot of knitting time, and I was too tired to even pick up my needles.  I'll work on clue 6 today, but first those labels.

This week's color inspiration . . . 

Soft ivory.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Plan B

I keep thorough notes on my dye formulas, but every once in a while plans go awry.  A couple weeks ago I'd settled on a new sample and even had a color in mind - one that I had used for a kit several years ago.  

I went through my notes, found the recipe and paused.  The mixture I was looking at on paper wasn't going to produce the color I had in mind.  I must have tweaked the formula and forgotten to write down the adjustments.

Back to the drawing board.  I went through my notes again and played around with something I thought would be similar to what I had originally envisioned.

Success.  It turns out I like Plan B better.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Hazy, Hot and Humid

Last week I eased up on my dyeing schedule because of the weather, but I can't do that much longer.  The forecast for this week is more of the same, so I'll have to tough it out.

Even though I didn't dye a lot last week, I did get some work done.

The website has been updated with kits for Slow Curves.  This new pattern from Joji calls for four colors.  The colors blend and shift . . . it looks like a great end-of-summer project.  If you can't decide on colors, we have four color combos to choose from.  

Keep cool and keep knitting.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Mini Solutions

I've been out and about a lot this week, but that doesn't mean I haven't been working.  Knitting on the go can be productive.

Mini Solutions Scarf.

This sweet little scarf is a great travel project. 

The pattern is easy to memorize and flexible. 

The size of the scarf is adjustable depending on how much yarn you have.  I used one of these new mini gradient bundles.

I'll have these available next weekend at Unwind.  There are still openings in some of the classes.  Follow the link for more information.

This week's color inspiration . . . 

Fluffy white surrounded by blue.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Knitting Homework

I know the summer is slipping away, so I'm trying to make the most of it.  This week I still have some scheduled family activities running in the background, but I've managed to incorporate more knitting time along the way.

So many projects need attention.  Tomorrow new clues come out for The Crown Wools MKAL, so I'm feeling a sense of urgency with this one.

It's kind of like homework, but let's face it.  Knitting homework is more fun than the homework we got in school.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Club Signups

It was a family weekend, and I was bouncing between projects.  I got a fair amount of knitting done but don't feel like I made significant progress on any one thing.  That's the way it goes sometimes.

I did make progress on a website update.

Yarn Knot is open for signups.  

Hand dyed yarn delivered to your door.  We're trying out a new format and that meant we could lower the price.  Follow the link for details.  Be sure to contact me if you have any questions.

Friday, July 27, 2018

In the Game

Whoosh!  I don't know where the week went, but we've landed on another weekend. 

On the knitting front, I finished last week's clues for The Crown Wools MKAL shortly after the clues for this week were released.  I'm feeling good.  One week out, and I'm still in the game.

One of my summer goals is to spend more time with the family, so I'm off to do that.  This week's color inspiration . . . 

Splashes of color on the sand.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018


I've been on a bit of a project bender, casting on with reckless abandon.  Starting is always so effortless, and it's fun to flit from project to project when I catch the first whiff of boredom.

Today is my day of reckoning.  I must have been deluded by the lazy days of summer because this morning I looked at the calendar and realized that my first deadline is right around the corner.  No more flitting.  It's time to focus . . . and drink more coffee.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Extra Effort

Some knitting projects flow off the needles with hardly a thought.  The pattern is easy to memorize.  Or there's a lot of variety and colorful fun.

Other projects require more attention . . . extra concentration for fiddly bits, a complicated chart or unique construction.

Hipster Shawl.  

This project has sections of smooth sailing combined with slower rows to make the crossed strands.  My first section of crossed strands felt cumbersome and slow.  It probably didn't help that I had to rip out and re-knit those rows.  

I wasn't looking forward to the second section of crossed strands, but I didn't want to give up.  Instead I figured out a system that works for me and hopefully will eliminate any more ripping out.  It's still slow going but worth the extra effort.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Arranging and Rearranging

I've mentioned before that I'm driven by deadlines.  Everything from knitting projects to an oil change . . . the most pressing deadline moves to the top of the list.

Yesterday was the kickoff of The Crown Wools MKAL.  My record for completing KALs is far from stellar, but I do like to start with the pack. Usually something urgent surfaces, and I'm forced to abandon the KAL for something else.  See above reference to deadlines.

Last night it was getting late, and I hadn't even cast on because I was still debating the arrangement of my 12 colors.  I could make color decisions on the fly, but I really wanted to iron out the order before I started.  One less thing to think about.

So I played around with different options.  Took pictures.  Rearranged some more.  Took a few more pictures.  After all that, I finally settled on something.

Of course all that arranging and rearranging ate a lot of my knitting time, but I did manage to get through the set up rows.  It's a start.

This week's color inspiration . . . 

Sweet pink.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

On the Calendar

I'm having one of those weeks where the days run into each other.  I've been juggling work and family schedules and am left with a blurry sense that I'm missing some important deadlines.  I'll have to dig deep and figure out what fell through the cracks, but this is what I do know.

The Crown Wools MKAL

Tomorrow is the kickoff, and for once I'm ready and waiting.  No last minute scurrying sprinkled with a few choice words while I wind 12 balls of yarn.  I'm prepared.  

Calendar Highlights
I finally sorted my work schedule for the rest of the summer.  You'll find the complete update in the right sidebar.

This Saturday I'll have a trunk show at Lucky Cat Yarns.  If you can't make it on Saturday, the trunk show will be in the shop all next week.  

August starts with Unwind Weekend.

If you're looking for inspiration and want to jumpstart your knitting, browse the list of classes.  With such a wide variety, you're sure to find something that strikes your fancy. 

Monday, July 16, 2018


I started a new project over the weekend.  I did a couple gauge swatches, made my needle selection and cast on.  

After working through one section, I started to question my needle choice.  I got gauge with the needles I was using, but somehow the fabric didn't have as much drape as I had envisioned.  I worked a couple more rows.  To no surprise, the fabric didn't change.  It was nice and I probably could have lived with it, but I decided to play around a little more.

Here's a little tip when you're debating needle size after you've already started a project.  I didn't rip out what I had been working on.  Instead I grabbed a bigger pair of needles and worked a swatch from the other end of the yarn.  That way I could compare the two pieces.  If I really liked my first choice, I wouldn't have to start all over.

In this case, it didn't take me long to realize that I liked the larger needles.  I ripped it out and started over.

Now I'm back to where I was, and I'm happy with the way it's knitting up.  

Here's another tip.  If you have a vague sense that you don't like the way a project is working up, stop and figure out what's going on right away.  It will save time, effort and frustration.

Friday, July 13, 2018


I have another sample ready to go.


Short rows and stripes make this a fun, relaxing knit.  If you haven't tried short rows, this would make a good first project.

The yarn is Lillian, colorways March Sky and Acorn.  Playing with color combinations is part of the fun.

This week's color inspiration . . .

Sparkly blue.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Keeping It Easy

Sometimes I need a mindless project, and that's what I got when I picked this one a few days ago.

Mini Solutions Scarf.  Disclaimer.  While I would like to take credit, any coordination between my coffee mug and project bag is completely accidental.  

I'm giving this project a go with one of the small gradient bundles.  This is potato chip knitting, and I'm already on the second color.  It's a great project when I'm out and about . . . easy to pick up, easy to put down.

Monday, July 9, 2018

More Gradients

I spent some time on Ravelry over the weekend . . . so many patterns, so little time.

After a lot of back and forth, I came up with a plan.  It will probably change a little along the way, but first I have an experiment with gradients.

Friday, July 6, 2018

A Long Haul

I started my day with a simple task at the top of my to-do list.  Bind off Surge.  And so I did.

With 300+ stitches, this bind off was a long haul.  An hour and a half later when I came up for air, my needles were empty.

Here's a tip if you're binding off a lot of stitches on a circular needle. Use a third needle to do the bind off instead of the circular needle. Dropping the end of the circular needle reduces the tension between the needles.  It's easier to distribute the weight of the fabric, and it makes a long bind off more manageable.

I have my daughter to thank for this week's color inspiration.  She took this picture on a recent trip to California.

Frida Kahlo . . . bold and bright.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Taming Tangles

Today is a holiday in the States, and that seemed like a good reason to take a knitting detour.  That detour led me down a path with a tangled skein of yarn.  I don't know what happened, but I hit several snags when I was trying to wind the yarn.  I had to abandon the ball winder and do it by hand, but in the end I got it done.  Persistence pays off.

This is the summer installment of Yarn Knot.  I'm not sure if everyone has received their packet yet, so I didn't want to post a spoiler.

  Black and white will do.

Monday, July 2, 2018

The Heat Is On

The heat wave continues, but it hasn't curbed my desire to cast on a big project.  The only thing stopping me is picking a color.

The thought of a lap full of wool isn't appealing when the temperature is over 90° and there's humidity in the mix.  By the time I settle on a color and dye the yarn, surely this heat wave will be over.  At least I hope so.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Hot and Hotter

It seems I lost a couple days this week, so I'm planning to work my way through the weekend.

Even though the weather forecast is calling for hot and hotter, the pots will be on.

This week's color inspiration is all about beets.

Golden, red and in-between.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Random on Wednesday

On the needles.  There's not much new to report over here.

I'm chugging along on my Surge.  Section 3 is almost finished, and I'm just shy of 200 stitches.  I have two sections left, and of course the rows are getting noticeably longer.  My thoughts of a quick finish are entirely delusional, but that won't keep me from entertaining thoughts of my next project.

On the website.  I posted a quick update for The Crown Wools MKAL.

Color Bundles are now available and will ship in time for the July 19 kickoff.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Short Row Magic

I had plans to take off most of the weekend, and those plans included bonus knitting time.  In spite of glitches on both Saturday and Sunday, I did get some time with my needles . . . just not as much as I would have liked.

Surge.  This design capitalizes on short rows, and they're made even more dramatic with stripes and color changes.

This morning I was tempted to knit some more and watch this design unfold, but today technology is testing my patience.  I hate to admit it, but my daughter was probably right several weeks ago when she strongly suggested I get a new phone.

Before I sign off and fall down the deep hole of acquiring a new phone, I'll share this bit of research.  Mr. Rogers' Cardigans of Many 
Colors . . . this data holds so many possibilities for knitters.  One knitter suggested a striped scarf using the colors in chronological order.  
Use your imagination and enjoy!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Crown Wools

Need a fun, summer knitting project? 

Take a look at the Crown Wools MKAL.  This link will take you to the Ravelry group where you'll find all the details.

This project calls for twelve colors.  That's a lot of color fun, but it might be a bit daunting for some knitters to put together a collection of twelve.  I couldn't resist the challenge.

This is the first of several bundles.  Keep an eye on my Instagram for more updates.

This week's color inspiration comes from my travels last weekend.

Night and day.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

High Hopes

I was out of town for a few days attending TNNA, the wholesale show for yarn businesses.  It was fun, I met some great people and I came home thoroughly exhausted.  Other than a few booth shots, I didn't take any pictures.

Before I left for the show, I had a hard time deciding on my travel knitting.  I had a sock in progress, and I wound a couple skeins at the last minute.  I left with a project in mind and that was going to be the focus of my knitting while I was gone.

I had high hopes, but other than a few rounds on my sock, I didn't do any knitting while I was gone.  That often happens.  I'm immersed in an environment full of yarn and knitters, but I don't have time to do any actual knitting.

Today I'm still trying to get my bearings and find my work flow.  Garter and stripes will help.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018


The sample parade continues.

I don't remember when I started this project, but it was done in no time. One skein makes a light, airy, elegant shawl.

The yarn is Bertha, colorway Gourd.  I hit the reset button with Bertha and am using a different MCN base.  Soft cashmere with a bit more twist. 

Just like that two projects are finished.  Now I have license to cast on whatever I want.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Suburban Wrap

I'm starting the week with show and tell.

Suburban Wrap.  If you like variety, this project is full of it.  Stripes, lace, texture, eyelets, ribbing . . . there's a little bit of everything.

Choosing colors adds to the fun.  I used Lillian in March Sky, Pumice and Pond Scum.

This is a substantial shawl, but with so much going on I never felt bogged down.

Now that this project is off the needles, I can contemplate something new.