Monday, May 11, 2015

Monday's Muse - Michelangelo


The knitted samples have been dropped in the mail, and the pattern for my latest design emailed to the publisher - hurray! 

Since then I've had more time for knitting projects that have languished on the back burner for a while including a recently bound-off Brandywine Falls wrap (shown in photo above), and a stranded, color work cardigan in fingering weight wool. The wrap is still in need of blocking and the cardigan has been waiting, since I reached the steeking point, for me to get brave enough to make the cut.

Today I came across this quote on my Pinterest board and the message was so simple and inspiring, I wanted to share it here: 


"I am still learning." 
- Michelangelo, age 87


That's it, just 4 words. But Michelangelo's statement, at such an age, reminded me to be diligent in pursuing mastery of things I enjoy despite trepidations, set-backs or limited time, and that no matter what age we reach, or how accomplished we become, there is always still more to learn. How exciting!  

Thanks for stopping by today, peace, blessing and happy stitching to you!


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Favorite Thing - Wool Gathering


The latest issue of Schoolhouse Press' Wool Gathering magazine arrived in the mail a little while ago. This issue was (as usual) full of fiber-y fun stuff, prompting me to mention it here as one of my Favorite Things. 

Wool Gathering arrives every few months, and is full of reviews of Schoolhouse Press' latest book selections as well as a complete pattern like the one shown on this issue's cover above, the Garland Necklace Yoke pullover by Meg Swansen. I can't wait to knit this beautiful pullover!

Wool Gathering magazine began in 1969, growing out of Elizabeth Zimmerman's original 1958 newsletter to subscribers. Schoolhouse Press is currently contemplating the next move for the magazine - whether it continues in print, moves to digital media, or some combination of these. Until then, you can check their website for this issue and any available back issues. Get them while you can...

Thanks for stopping by my studio today, happy stitching!




Friday, March 27, 2015

Yarn Emergency



A yarn emergency... Is there really such a thing? I've heard the term used before but was skeptical, until it happened to me.

For the last few days I've enjoyed a visit to beautiful San Antonio, Texas for a family celebration, but I didn't set off on the right foot when I left my newly started shawl project, 6 sets of interchangeable needles, a row counter and a needle gauge in a tote bag on a Southwest Airlines aircraft at my stopover city. By the time I realized it, it was almost time to board the next flight to SAT and the boarding agents could not help me.

With nothing to work on, no reading material and no in-flight connectivity, it was a very boring 2 hours and I was more than ready to race to the nearest yarn shop when I arrived which, thankfully, turned out to be only minutes from the airport. After waiting to de-plane, collecting luggage and renting our car, we had only 20 minutes to get to the shop, choose yarn and needles before they closed!

Fortunately, the nearest shop turned out to be a darling little place, newly opened within the last couple of months. In fact, Unraveled yarn shop is so new they don't even have a permanent sign yet...


but the brightly painted Easter scene on the front windows was a welcoming sight.


The shop is well-stocked with lovely yarn like the Manos del Uruguay lace yarn shown in the photo at the top of the post.

The crystal chandeliers were distinctive,


and the notions and other items were neatly organized.


The shop owner was extremely helpful and did not rush us in any way, even though it had probably been a long day for her and she must have been wishing to get home soon.

In the end, I found some pretty yarn as well as the right needles to re-start my shawl project. I also found a cute new yarn shop to share here, so I decided that the 'emergency' was really a blessing in disguise.

If you are in the San Antonio area, I recommend giving Unraveled a look. And if you are not, you can connect with them through their fledgling Ravelry group.

Thanks for stopping by today, happy knitting!



 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Miracles


 

By this time of year we usually have early-blooming flowers and greening grass, but this year it's been a little colder than normal and everything's wet from rain and snow melting. Although I enjoy going for long walks and runs, the mud and puddles from all the wet make it annoyingly difficult to navigate roads and paths.

Then today my yoga teacher shared this acronym with our class - S.M.I.L.E., standing for "See Miracles in Life Everyday". It made me stop to think about the beauty all around us, everyday, even in the midst of something that seems annoying at first, if we'll stop and look for it. I hope you see many beautiful, miraculous things around you today.

Thanks for stopping by my studio, happy stitching and... S.M.I.L.E!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Warm Wool Fuzzies



Regardless of the weather outside, I always get a warm, fuzzy feeling inside when a new shipment of yarn arrives, like this Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift yarn I received in the mail today. 

Spindrift is a lovely, rustic, fingering-weight wool with a crunchy texture,  available in a stunning array of colors. The yarn color shown above is Oxford Gray and only one of several different grays and other colors I purchased at  Knitting Camp and during a recent Schoolhouse Press yarn sale (What, you didn't know about the sale? Well, then get thee to the Schoolhouse Press website and sign up for their online newsletter!).

I'm planning to use it for some color work, hopefully a cardigan, but also some smaller accessories.

Thanks for stopping by today, I'll be curled up keeping warm and knitting at least some of the weekend away - I hope you likewise enjoy a warm and yarn-y weekend! 



Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Snow Day


Last night brought the first snow of the new year - hurray! I do love a good snowfall.

Light, soft snow about 3-4 inches deep made for slow going but the peaceful beauty was plenty reward for the effort (that plus knowing I would enjoy an extra piece of chocolate later). 
  


The very early morning light wasn't the best for photography, but I did take a few shots.
 



I usually avoid the 'zoom' feature on the Canon point-and-shoot camera that I take along on my runs, but it came in handy when I spotted this little guy and was afraid I'd startle him if I got any closer.



This kind of weather definitely calls for lots of warm woollies of which I am knitting plenty! Mainly I'm cranking out cowls, fingerless mitts and hats, but also dabbling with a few other things including a submission for publication. What are you working on? 

I hope you had a joyful and safe new year's celebration. Can it really be the new year already? I wish you peace, blessings and much happy stitching in 2015, may this be your best year ever!


Happy New Year 
2015






Thursday, December 25, 2014

Happy Holidays 2014




Here is my 2014 holiday card to you, dear blog friends. May your homes be warm, your knitting perfect and your hearts full of happiness - 

 Merry Christmas! 



Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas Eve!


Christmas Eve is here once again - the knitting is finished (temporarily), the gifts are wrapped, the food is cooked and the anticipation of something wonderful is palpable. My little dog was certainly feeling the mood and wanted in on the action this afternoon as I worked on photographing this year's holiday greeting card (check the card out here tomorrow...). 

Wishing you a joyful, safe and warm holiday, Merry Christmas Eve!




Friday, December 19, 2014

Warm & Woolly


When pulling some antique fabrics out of a box for Christmas decorating, I came across this tiny pair of baby mittens. Knit by my husband's great-grandmother for her baby daughter (his grandmother), they were lovingly preserved in a trunk of things from the early 1900's. 

Connected with a scrap of silk ribbon and knit in natural wool, the mittens are constructed without thumbs - for warmth and for less fiddling around with stubby baby hands I would guess. I thought they were so sweet I wanted to share them here (they are currently hanging on my Christmas tree!).

Since publishing the Ascend Cowl, I've been busy knitting mittens and fingerless gloves by the dozens. I hope you are enjoying the season, knitting or crocheting something warm, woolly and relaxing. With Hanukkah underway and Christmas fast approaching, it's easy to get caught up in a holiday frenzy. 

I wish you a week of peace, joy and happy knitting!




Thursday, December 4, 2014

New Knitting Pattern - Ascend Cowl

 

I'm very happy to introduce my newest knitting design, the Ascend Cowl.

I've long admired intricate Estonian lace knitting and I've knit a few projects in this delicate style, but I wanted to design a pattern that was approachable for newer lace knitters (especially without nupps!), cozy in a chunky wool, and pretty without being fussy.

After a little experimentation, I came up with a variation of a traditional Estonian stitch that swirled easily up around the cowl, in the manner of a spiral staircase, requiring nothing more of the knitter than working the simple pattern repeat. 

Spiral staircases can be so intriguing, and our trip to Ireland last May provided us the chance to climb dozens of them. This one is located in Aughnanure Castle. 



After joining in the round, the ribbing edge flows seamlessly into the main lace pattern, then back through the ribbing to the top, using simple lace stitches. 



Ascend is easy to wear singly or doubled up to keep out the cold. 



The yarn used is the gorgeous Plucky Bulky from The Plucky Knitter. Plucky Bulky is soft and cushy with a nice amount of twist, and it comes in an amazing variety of colors. The pattern project was worked in the Narragansett Gray colorway, a serene blue-gray.



The easy stitches, heavier weight yarn and larger needles make the project zoom by at lightning speed. Plucky Sarah also knit an Ascend up herself (in about a day!) in Snug yarn, featured on her Ravelry page in a delicious pink. 



If you'd like to try Plucky yarn, an update is scheduled for tomorrow and I recommend shopping early because her yarn sells fast.

My thanks to my 7 awesome test knitters - your expertise is appreciated!

Much of the US, including our area, has been hit with unusually early cold weather and snow, so I'm glad I've had my Ascend cowl to keep me toasty. I hope you are staying cozy where you are, knitting and crocheting with one of your favorite yarns. 

Thanks for stopping by today, happy stitching! 



Thursday, November 27, 2014

Giving Thanks and a Little Pattern Sale

 

I'm very thankful for many things. As we celebrated Thanksgiving in the US today, I was reminded of a few of those things for which I'm grateful:

The piles of dishes in the sink (which remind me of the bounty of food we have enjoyed). 

The mountain of laundry waiting to be washed, put off while I prepared for Thanksgiving (because it reminds me that we have ample clothing to provide for our needs).

The boisterous, occasionally annoying, wonderful relatives at large holiday gatherings (because it reminds me I have people in my life who care about me enough to spend time with me).

This year's cancer surgeries & chemotherapy treatments (because it reminds me that every day is a precious gift from God and we should love each other, forgive each other and live the day to the fullest). 

The alarmingly large pile of knitted and crocheted FO's awaiting blocking, like the fingerless mitts in the photo above (because it reminds me I have yarn and the physical capability to do something I love).  

I'm also very thankful for my friends, including the friends I've met through Ravelry and this blog! 

So, to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, I decided it might be nice to offer a discount on my Ravelry patterns. Starting today, and running through Sunday, November 30th, all individual patterns in my Ravelry store will automatically show a 20% savings off of the total in the shopping cart. No coupon code is necessary to receive the savings.

Thank you to everyone for stopping by my studio today, whether this is your first visit or you are a long-time friend, I am so happy you are here and I wish you happy stitching!