Knitting Feeds

Remix Cardigans: Knits in Progress

Knitted Bliss - Tue, 07/10/2018 - 11:00

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I’m knitting summer cardigans, and I can’t wait to wear them – even though knitting them is pure pleasure. I have fallen pretty hard for Berroco’s Remix yarn, which is made of 100% recycled fibres and seems to get softer and softer the more I handle it. Once I heard that Berroco is having a

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Marion

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 07/09/2018 - 11:00

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Original Pattern: Marion Knitter Extraordinaire: Cortney (Ravelry ID) Mods: Lengthened the cropped cardigan pattern, adjusted waist shaping for a more relaxed fit, added more buttonholes to accommodate longer length. Lots more details  and photos can be found on her project page, here. What Makes This Awesome: Customizing your cardigan is a great entry point on

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Knitting chat and a giveaway...

My Sister's Knitter - Sun, 07/08/2018 - 14:51
Hello there! Happy Sunday! Did you week treat you well? Were you able to squeeze in some knitting time? My week was good and yes, that is primarily because knitting time was made. I was a bit all over the place with my knitting, a row here and a row... Andi
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Things I am not doing

Yarn Harlot - Sat, 07/07/2018 - 13:12

Today, I am not sitting in my living room in the absolutely blissful air conditioning, working on the little sweater I chose. Thanks to Sue H for reminding me in the comments that I designed one I love.  Nouveau-né!

I am not in the back bedroom, looking at the furniture I have jammed in there, and trying really hard to figure out where I’m going to put it all. (A plan that should have worked didn’t, when we realized that we can’t just get rid of Sam’s old dresser, put Joe’s in there, and then put my mother’s where Joe’s was. Turns out Sam had a dresser much smaller than either of them, and the new, larger dressers invoke classic small home problems, like doors that then won’t open all the way, or windows windows covered with great hulks of furniture.

I am not in my mother’s basement with my sister, loading the leftovers of my mother’s life into a van so we can take it to a thrift shop. (That will have to be later, though we’re really running out of time.)

I am not helping Joe bring two more cabinets, a desk and a smallish table into our home because we all agree they can’t go to the thrift shop.

I am not upstairs, standing in the stash room, wondering if I should really be reorganizing some of the stuff up there so that I could put a cabinet in. (The cabinet is really not going to hold that much yarn. This idea is not going to work. I need only full duty furniture up there.)

I am not in the garden, even though I really need to clean it up a bit so that things don’t get out of hand, and to make room for a few of the plants I want to move from my mother’s garden to mine.

(I know. It really is starting to look like we can’t let go of things, but I swear it’s necessary. I’m just taking a Hosta and some Solomon’s Seal. Maybe a Euphorbia, and a Lady’s Mantle.  That’s it. Except for the streaky grass my mum moved from her mother’s garden. That’s really it. Probably. She has a nice lily.)

I am not spinning – even though I totally am going to try to spin every day of the Tour de Fleece.

I am not on the sailboat with Joe – even though today is a gorgeous day for it.

Nope.  I am sitting on my porch. Getting ready to strap on my cycling shoes, and ride 90km. That’s my minimum today. I went to bed early last night to be ready for it, and Team Knit is all on their bikes today – the guys are doing the regular training ride, but it’s “tent and truck day” for the Bike Rally Rustlers (that’s the volunteers who tote around all the riders stuff for a whole week, loading and unloading our bins onto trucks, and driving them to the next place we camp. It’s a crazy thing they do.) Since I’m Co-Chair this year, I’m turning up for that, so it’s the lonely training road for me.

Tomorrow we’ll do it all again – another 100km, assuming we all live through today. Think strong, cool thoughts for all of us, and maybe knit a few rows on our behalves. Our hands are busy.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Almost empty

Yarn Harlot - Fri, 07/06/2018 - 21:38

I’m writing this to you from the kitchen at my Mum’s house.  I’m here waiting for someone to pick some stuff up, the house is all but empty now, and it won’t be my mum’s house after next week.  I can’t help but think, as I sit here, writing to you, of how many times I’ve done this over the years. I finished books in this house, I’ve written countless blog posts here, doing just as I am now, except usually I sat at her kitchen table – gone now.  One of the fantastic things about working from home when the kids were small was that I was there for them, but it also meant there was often no quiet space when I had a deadline.  My office was the kitchen, and it was all full of kids.  When pressed, I would come here.  Erin too, I think, and Ian.  It’s just one of the thousand small ways that my Mum made things better for us, her influence being felt in our everyday lives.  We were so lucky to have her.

You know what else I feel lucky for? You guys.  Team Knit is edging towards our fundraising goals, and it’s all because you guys are awesome, we are so grateful.

Me                            Ken

Pato                         Cameron

Let’s spread the love around, shall we? Here’s a great place to start, Michelle, from Hagstone Publishing, is offering a copy of their great True Heart pattern, that she’ll be sending to Jennifer C. (Michelle sent a really sweet note explaining that this pattern was a labour of love between two friends, and I love that. She’s right, it’s very appropriate.)

Susan B went into her stash and found this gorgeous Abbey Yarns kit for Darlarna Snowflake twined mitts.  (What a great kit, Susan, I don’t know how you’re giving that away.)  I hope that Carrie J loves them!

Delores has the most beautiful skein to send along, 1 skein of Fleece Artist National Parks Collection in the Forillon, QC colours (grey cliffs of Mont-Saint-Alban and meadows of fireweed).  Collection was created for the 150 birthday of Canada and was a special issue yarn.  It’s going to go live with Kathleen R.  (It makes me pretty happy that the random selection was another Canadian.)

Kate has two beautiful things to re-home.  Three skeins of Malabrigo Bay Silkpaca in Archangel,  those are going to fulfill their destiny with Lies S.

and one spectacular skein of Lotus Cashmere Fingering Weight in the most lovely sunshine yellow in the world.

(If that can’t fix your life on a cold and dreary day, I don’t know what it would take.) Pomme make something special, will ya?

The lovely Jill has two very nice gifts,  she’d like to send this bag and it’s matching yarn to Nancy R.

and this beauty to Laura P.  Three cheers for Jill!

Jasmine, from the delightfully nerdy Etsy shop Tesla Knits (go look. I’ll wait.) has this gorgeous Great Wave project bag, with a companion tape measure (also nerdy) and fantastic stitch markers, to go off to (hopefully nerdy) Jamie R.

Julia, Robynn and Emily would like to donate a copy of their amazing pattern collection – Lost in the Woods, to Mary Jo M.  (I hope she loves it, I just spent 10 minutes looking at it, it’s gorgeous. Totally worth a poke through.)

Lily, who appears to have excellent taste in yarn, has two skeins of West Yorkshire Spinners 100% Wensleydale yarn that she’ll be mailing off to Rebecca S.

Look at this bit of loveliness!  Anne, talented as she is generous, has four beautiful handmade (by her!) project bags and stitchmarker sets.  I think they’re so pretty.  This beautiful one is for Marji.

This one is for Stephanie E. (Not me, sadly, it’s so good.)

Anne E is I hope, going to really love this one.

And Susan G should enjoy this beauty.

Diane went into the stash, and when she came out, she inexplicably thought this great yarn should go to a new home.

2 skeins Audine Wools 100% Superwash Merino DK weight in Naturelle, will be going to live with Judith F.  Thanks Diane!

Finally, you guys know I love TillyFlop Designs, (If you don’t know who they are, click and meet the genius that is Julie.) Julie’s sprung for a gift again this year, and it’s a charmer.

Her Stocking Stitch wrapping paper, some of her notecards and (I love this so much) a Stocking Stitch tea towel, will all be going to live with Lisa RR, who I think we shall all agree, is a properly lucky duck.

Ok! That’s it, I’m off.  This weekend is a training deadline for us – all of Team Knit has to complete their back-to-backs before Monday, which means riding at least 90km both days. It’s cooled off a little, thank goodness, but it’s still going to be a ridiculous challenge.  (I think everyone but Ken is a little behind on training. Ken got his back-to-backs done last weekend, sweeping rides as a Team Lead.)

I’ll try and instagram so you can tell if I make it.

PS. The Cozyknitter, purveyor of fine self striping sock yarns, has, once again, a Bike Rally colourway.  A portion of the proceeds go to Team Knit, and her yarn is great.

 

 

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 07/06/2018 - 11:00

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My Favourite Articles and Links This Week If you aren’t much of a drinker, then this is for you. Ooooh, you can transform your handwriting into a font! Perhaps you know someone who wrote a book? (other than me, I mean) Thought so. Then you will find  this scarily accurate. How to find motivation the

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Randomly on a Wednesday

Yarn Harlot - Wed, 07/04/2018 - 18:46

1. Happy Canada Day! (Ok. I’m a little late. I actually wrote a post that day, but my computer crashed and I lost it, and didn’t have the time to write it again. It was an homage to the Canadian health care system, and how grateful I am for it. A few years ago I read something somewhere (probably my own comments section- or maybe Ravelry?) where someone said that they thought that I wouldn’t be such a fan if I’d had occasion to really use our system. That clearly nothing had ever happened in my family where good health care mattered – or I’d understand the flaws with the way we do it here.  At the time, I remembered thinking that this was a bold position to take, considering that the writer would know so little about how much or how little healthcare my family has used. These days, I think everyone would have to admit that between Tupper, my Mum, Susan and Joe’s Mum’s recent stroke, that we’re pretty much freakin’ experts on the system around here, and we’ve never been more grateful. Joe’s mother was in the hospital for almost two months, and the biggest expense to bear was parking. That’s all I’m going to say about it, besides that it makes me (and about 86% of the population) proud to be Canadian.

2. Happy 4th of July to my American Friends! So many amazing things about your home – Personally, I’m grateful to you for your amazing National Parks (what a thing!) and how so very many of you, while so often being very different from me, are just the best kind of people. The best thing about America remains Americans.

3. I finished that hemp sweater and I love it, but I didn’t take pictures yet. Please keep waiting.

4. It is really, really hot here. (It’s cooler than the last several days today, only a high of 31, and that’s not including the humidity either, which takes it up closer to 40. (For my American friends, that means it’s about 104F.) It’s hot enough to generate spontaneous swearing every time I step into the sunshine, and I like the heat.

5. A few snaps from my garden, taken this morning before the heat got too bad.  It’s so pretty this year I just have to share. (The lilies are particularly gorgeous, despite some complete arse stealing every bloom off two plants. Snapped it off mid stalk.  Jerk. I hope they get fleas.)

I promised myself I was going to take extra care with my garden this year, because my Mum’s not here to do it for me. It’s paying off.  (Yes. Fine. I was a 49 year old woman having her garden weeded by her mother. I was spoiled and you should be so lucky.)

6.  I did finish that darling vintage baby sweater – the pattern’s from the 1950s, and I’ve knit it so many times, it’s a well used pattern around here, and sweet as pie.

The yarn’s from my bitty stash of classic Italian baby yarn.  I’m wild about the stuff, 100% merino, soft as a little cloud, and lightly spun for the light duty it will see. This will probably fit the baby for just the first few weeks, so it can be delicate.

This is a special baby, so the sweater got a little extra touch, four tiny buttons from my Mum’s button bin. I’m the only sewer/knitter in the family, so I have both her’s and my grandmother’s, I’ve kept them separate, for reasons I’m not sure of, but it feels important. I haven’t mixed them with each other’s and certainly not in with mine. I like knowing who’s are who’s.

6b. What baby? Savannah‘s baby! My niece and her charming husband Kosti are expecting a baby, and since they were swinging through town, her mum Kelly (still here helping my Mother-in-law, thank goodness for her) threw her a baby shower.  I warned Sav when I gave the the sweater, that she should consider this a warning shot across the bow. This baby is due in the fall, and it’s been a while since I had a winter baby to dress. It’s more than exciting. (I am restraining myself only because Kelly will be the Grammy, and she’s a fine knitter, as is Savannah herself, and her sister Kamilah isn’t bad either. With this many invested knitters on deck, we’ll have to be careful that the kid doesn’t wind up with so many woolies that she or he only has time to wear them once.)

7. Yes. Kelly and I should be consulting in order to avoid duplication.

8. I rode my bike pretty far this last weekend with Ken and did hill repeats (with Pato, poor guy) a few days before that. It still isn’t enough training, and I am freaking out. All the way out. I’m having a hard time finding room, between work and family and being Co-Chair. I’ve asked around and lots of other people who were Co-Chair before me said it was hard for them too – it’s like all your Rally time is already spoken for. I’m going to try and ride three days in a row this weekend. I really hope what doesn’t kill me makes me a lot stronger. Quickly.

9. My arse is still sore from Monday.

10. I have another baby thing to knit (different baby.) I want it to be special, and lovely and I haven’t chosen the yarn yet so it could be any pattern… What are your favourites? (PS. The blog innards will block your comment if you put more than a link or two. It doesn’t understand knitter behaviour very well at all.)

11. Karmic Balancing Gifts tomorrow.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Flamingo Socks

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 07/02/2018 - 15:23

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Original Pattern: Flamingo Mittens Knitter Extraordinaire: Cindy (Ravelry ID, blog) Mods: Using the chart from the mitten pattern, Cindy made ankle socks instead. Details can be found on her project page, here. What Makes This Awesome: Patterns for stranded designs like socks and mittens are often knit in fingering weight and with very similar needle

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

spring into summer

Autumn Geisha - Mon, 07/02/2018 - 14:26












Hello friends and so sorry to have been absent from this space for as long as I was! Gosh it’s been quite a whirlwind of a Spring! Things have been non-stop crazy busy pretty much from the time that I came back from Vietnam in April. A few of you may know that my little guy has some learning difficulties that make transitions challenging at the best of times. Things have improved as he is getting older but it is still stressful all around and I wanted to be as present as I could for him. We are breathing a huge sigh of relief that summer vacation has started! I celebrated by finishing up my first sock blank socks. Aren’t the colors so bright and cheerful? After these came off the needles, I of course had to cast on for a new pair. Calling these my spring into summer socks because the gorgeous colors are a reflection of the beautiful flowers blooming in the garden right now. Knitting with scrumptious colorful yarns works wonders for the soul. That is probably the main reason behind starting a Sunset Highway sweater. One day I just impulsively went through all the pretty gems hiding in the stash and rounded up some colorways that kinda went together. Blame it on the need to temporarily take my mind off of all the sad frightening news & events happening right now. I am a little out of practice with knitting colorwork but these things always block out okay in the end.

Looking forward to visiting and catching up with you all! I hope that your spring into summer has been a good one :) Have a fun and safe Fourth of July if you are in the States and a Happy Canada Day if you are from that great country!
Categories: Knitting Feeds

June Loves...

My Sister's Knitter - Sun, 07/01/2018 - 13:56
Hello loves! Yarn~ Neighborhood Fiber Company color Victorian Village My favorite knitting notebook~ is from Lisa The Knitting Artist. Welcome to Sunday (or whenever you read this)!! It has been a crazy week filled with all sorts of things and all I can say it I was very grateful when... Andi
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 06/29/2018 - 11:00

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My Favourite Articles and Links This Week Looking to read more? Here you go- one easy trick to read about 47 books in a year. Take a quiz and find out which Gilmour Girl you are! Who did you get? I got Rory. I started exercising regularly at the end of March, and since then

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Let me get you a chair

Yarn Harlot - Thu, 06/28/2018 - 20:55

I know exactly when I lost control of this house, and I am sure that it was an item of my mother’s that put it over the top.  Things have always been sort of touch and go with this place – it’s a tiny house, only about 1100 square feet, and when the girls were living here things had to be carefully reined in all the time. Five people in a three bedroom, one bathroom house? I had to care how many shirts people had, and an extra box of cereal in the kitchen could be the thing that threw everything off, beginning a cascade of chaos that would rip through the house trashing the place as it went. It was in these tender years that I learned to get a grip on the stash, and I assure you, it is tidy, pruned and restrained as we speak.  (Please note that I did not use words like “small” or “modest” nor did I claim it doesn’t take up much room. The stash is a beast. It takes up the space allotted to it though, and nothing more. Mostly.)

This system has relaxed since the girls left.  No longer have I been fixated on the amount of stuff we have. I kinda figured that if it was just Joe and I, we wouldn’t have to worry so much.  Right? Oh, so, so wrong.  Joe is nothing if not thing of nature, and nature abhors a vacuum.  With every item that left with a child, another moved in to take it’s place, along with the idea that there should be room to have it here.  Files for the business? Sure. We should be able to keep those here. Three kids left.  Thing is, they left some of their stuff – Sam in particular maintains a fully functioning bedroom and a turtle here.  (Franklin the red eared slider. We’re not sure how we ended up with him, but he and Joe are close.) Still, Joe and I had this place mostly in hand, and then my mother died.   (I know – I know, another blog post where I mention the dead mother – I’m sorry.  I swear it’s just a part of this story, not me weeping on again.)

Mum had a lot of stuff. She’d done a ton of culling over the last few years, and we’re super grateful for that. Still, she had a large home, and lots of beautiful things, and we’ve been reluctant to let things we associate with her go elsewhere – problem is that my siblings have tiny homes too, and like mine,  are already fully furnished.  Unfortunately, my sister and I have not let that stop us, and yesterday I moved an unholy amount of stuff into my home from my mothers, and the place hasn’t reacted like a tardis at all.  We have no idea where to go from here, but I can tell you that from where I sit this exact moment, it looks like we live in a furniture store. An untidy furniture store.  A furniture store run by a cranky lady who doesn’t want anyone to touch her stuff, and doesn’t really have any plans to sell anything, she’s just calling it a furniture store so that people get off her back about the three dressers, nine lamps, eight throw pillows and the fantastic number of chairs.

Sitting here typing,  I can see sixteen chairs, seventeen if we count Elliot’s high chair.  I have no idea what my plan is, but it involves owning a lot less over the next little bit.  Some hard decisions will need to be made about our things, I’m still not ready to let go of much of Mum’s – also, her stuff is mostly better than mine.  (I think. Maybe I just think that because she’s my mum.) Today, it’s just overwhelming to have a dresser in the living room, a writing desk in the kitchen and my Great Aunt Naomi’s tray table in the entry. (Maybe the landing at the top of the stairs?) This place needs change. Big change.  The sort of change that is uncomfortable and awkward and asks deep questions like what’s really important to us as a family, what are our priorities… and how many tablecloths you never use do you need to keep in a cupboard forever, and does anyone really use napkin rings?

It’s all a long way around saying that this place is a mess, I have no idea what my next steps are, I am super overwhelmed, and I made my back garden an office today.

Seemed reasonable, there’s only a little extra furniture out there. (Mum had a patio.) That little bit of knitting is something I think is going to be a baby sweater by Saturday, although really, can a woman with seventeen chairs in her living room prioritize a baby sweater?

Don’t answer that.  Of course I can, and I have.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

June: Book Reviews

Knitted Bliss - Thu, 06/28/2018 - 11:00

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Yay Summer! I’m looking forward to reading some fantastic books, I’ve seen so many interesting looking everywhere and I’ve got a pile of library books beside my couch… but of course I’m always on the hunt for new recommendations! Best Fiction of the Month: The Immortalists  Aside from the obvious bias that a knitter wrote

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Alpaca Wheat Sweater

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 06/25/2018 - 11:00

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Original Patterns: Wheat and Heritage Knitter Extraordinaire: Alina (Ravelry ID, website) Mods: Combined the two sweater patterns into a new knit- used the shaping, cables and longer back from Wheat, and the line details and i cord bind off from Heritage. Details can be found on her blog post, here. What Makes This Awesome:  Combining

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Marling & Me

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 06/24/2018 - 23:23
While my intent was to split time between finishing Herlacyn Breeze and knitting a few rows on my gradient scarf, I ditched discipline and wallowed in the pure pleasure of watching this simple but satisfying project grow.


When last you saw it, I was still working on the first section. Since then, I've managed to complete it plus two more sections and start the fourth. 
I'm creating a five-stage gradient using only three yarn colors, a feat achieved by working the entire piece with two strands of lace weight carried throughout. The solid sections (one, three and five) feature two strands of the same color, while the marled sections (two and four) utilize one strand from each of the adjacent solid sections creating a blended transition that fades from one shade to the next. In other words:
  • Section 1: magenta
  • Section 2: magenta + fuchsia (marled)
  • Section 3: fuchsia
  • Section 4: fuchsia + pink (marled)
  • Section 5: pink

At the most basic level, marled yarns have two different colored plies twisted together into a single strand. It's completely possible to emulate this at home, but I've decided instead to keep it simple, carry the two strands together, and let the marled effect evolve organically.

Normally, I'd opt for a more controlled approach, but for now, I've decided to relax and enjoy this adhoc adventure, marling and me.


Connecting with the linkups in the sidebar.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Karma, we’re spreading it around

Yarn Harlot - Sun, 06/24/2018 - 15:50

I’m sitting here knitting and listening to it rain. Well, technically I’m writing this blog post and listening to it rain, but I was knitting up until a minute ago. I’m desperately hoping it will stop, today’s the Pride Parade here in Toronto, and Team Knit will be donning our jerseys and grabbing our bikes, and heading downtown to march/ride. This year is the Bike Rally’s 20th anniversary, and we’ve got a rider for each year, and a float that the fantastic volunteers made (I’ll show it to you later it is very cool) and we’ve got other Rally People to dance, and…. it’s raining.  Pretty hard, actually – which is so totally demoralizing. I really feel good about the work that I do for PWA, but there are moments when I really do wonder why so much of it has to be in the rain.  (I just right this minute sent a text asking one of the people putting the float together and asked them what our glitter status is. I have visions of every bit of it washing off the thing. They’re under tarps, it turns out, so for now, Trevor reports “minimal glitter loss”.)  The forecast calls for things to improve a bit later – but if you’re sitting in sunshine right now, try to send a little of it Team Knit’s way.  We’re going to be very soggy on our bikes if this keeps up. If that inspires you to donate to us, that would be a pretty good pick-me-up. Team Knit remains: MeKenPato and Cameron.

In the meantime, I’m going to try and make a little sunshine this way – Karmic Balancing Gifts! We’ll see how many I can get up here before I have to get on my bike and ride to the Parade.  Maybe the rain will stop while I work on it.

First up, an amazing gift from Kate, 8 balls of Valley Yarns: Amherst, in Cayenne.  (I love this stuff, and that colour, actually.) Kate will be mailing that to Lizz, and I hope it makes her day.

Kristen, at Rosetwist LLC has two beautiful gifts from her shop, a pair of sterling silver earrings for a knitter – that knitter would be  Samantha.

and a charming pair of sterling silver earrings for a spinner (especially charming because she made them from charms) that Kristen will mail to Pelly.

Mary from Kino Knits has a great gift – I love the idea behind this pattern collection.  The Tolstoy Collection is a group of three patterns, a one colour, a two colour, and a three colour… all designed for yardage flexibility.  (That’s a neat trick.)

She’ll be sending out FIVE digital copies of that – to Jeannie, Wendy, Lara, Maida and Betsie.  I hope they love them.

Ursula, all the way in Vienna, has a beautiful present she’ll be sending to Bettina.

It’s 300g of a merino/yak/silk blend, and so lovely.

That’s it for today – though there’s much, much more to come.  It looks a little brighter outside too, so maybe Karma’s working.  Have a great Sunday everyone, and Happy Pride!

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Regarding our yarn stash...

My Sister's Knitter - Sun, 06/24/2018 - 15:31
Hello there! Pattern~ My Own Vanilla Yarn~ The Loopy Ewe Legends in the color Michelle's Pretty Pink Cactus Tea~ Stash Earl Grey. Whoo hoo-it's Sunday. How was your week? Hopefully it went by fast and now you are enjoying a peaceful week. My Sunday is off to a great start,... Andi
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Fifty

Yarn Harlot - Fri, 06/22/2018 - 23:48

Here I am, out the other side – I’m fifty now.

My birthday came and went on the 14th, and I had mixed feelings about it.  I think some of my friends and family interpreted my reluctance to have a birthday as a reluctance to turn fifty… wondering if I minded the age, didn’t like getting older… something like that. It wasn’t that at all – I don’t mind  a bit. So far, my experience is that being thirty was better than being twenty, that being forty was better than being thirty, and I expect that fifty is going to be pretty good too. (Exception noted for some of my body parts, which I rather suspect enjoyed the earlier phases more. I’m talking to you, left knee. Get it together.)

When Tupper died five years ago – five years ago yesterday, to be precise, Mum didn’t want to celebrate her birthday anymore. It was like she didn’t have enough happy in her for celebrations, and she said that if he couldn’t have any more birthdays, she didn’t want one either.  At the time, her choice upset me. It upset all of us, I think. It was plain to me that something had changed in my Mum with Tupp’s death. I worried that she was never, ever going to be as happy as she had been before- that his death had been too hard, too traumatic, too shocking and too sad.  To be entirely frank, I worried she was a tiny bit broken, just in the happiness department.  Not wanting to celebrate birthdays was a symptom of that, and it made me sad too. Mum didn’t survive her brother by long enough for me to know if that was really true.  She remained my funny Mum, my essentially happy Mum, with a little bruised piece that hadn’t had time to heal, if it was going to.

When Mum died, after Tupper, and before Susan, I thought about my birthday and I got it. All of a sudden I got the whole thing. If they couldn’t come to my party I didn’t want a party. If I couldn’t blow out candles with Mum I didn’t want candles. After Mum, it was totally and completely clear to me why she wanted to cancel birthdays after Tupp and I decided to do the same, and felt such a clear understanding of my mother in that moment.

As time went on, and we got closer and closer to My Birthday (close enough that I started thinking of it with capital letters) I started thinking about it more, and I remembered how I felt as her child, seeing my Mum so sad. I remembered worrying about her and wishing she would let us celebrate her.  “But you’re still here… ” I would think, every time she said that Tupper was not, and that parties were cancelled for the indefinite future.  I especially thought about it every time that one of my daughters mentioned a party to me, and I remembered in the hospital, shortly before Susan’s death, her having a bit of a cry, and telling me that she was so sorry that the person who cared most about me turning 50 was gone.  She talked about my mum’s plan for that day, how much my mother would regret not being there… she said she was sorry that she couldn’t make up for Mum, but that she thought she wasn’t going to make it either.  She was right about that, of course, but she was wrong about people not caring. My girls, I realized, as I thought about it, were feeling as I had. I suddenly saw it in their gentleness with me, their new tenderness, their careful questions and sweet little attentions.

I was scaring them. They thought I might be broken too. The pain I had felt watching my mother grieve I now saw in them, and I resolved immediately to show them to that my ability to be happy wasn’t gone… or at least not permanently.  That I had a chance to reassure them here – and as hard as it was, I said yes, to it all.

Family dinner on my birthday? Yes. Big party on the weekend? Yes.

I cried often and mostly alone (I try to be polite) over those few days. At times, I missed my mother in a way that was physically painful – but I took deep breaths. I bought a new dress. (I shopped for it with my girls via text/photo group, and that was really fun.)  I put on a pair of my Mum’s shoes (god she had great shoes) and I went to the parties and I smiled at my girls and I am so pleased to report that they were right, and for the first time in history possibly, taking my Mum’s advice would have been wrong, because man, as painful as it was, there were moments of sweetness and happiness that I’d have been so foolish to miss. The girls were so good, and they worked so hard, and I was so impressed with them, and I think my girls see that I’m not broken, just different, and that’s okay, and that maybe I can put some faith in that too.

I’m fifty.

Cheers.

(PS. I’ll do the first big round of Karmic Balancing gifts this weekend, see previous post, and thanks for everything, you’re awesome.)

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Link Love: My Favourite Things This week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 06/22/2018 - 11:00

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My Favourite Articles and Links This Week Two habits that build courage. In Jane Austen’s time, books were about $100 each. So how did so many women read so many books? This was an interesting look at the origin of circulating libraries. I love a good heist movie, and I bet you do too. Here

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Oa

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 06/18/2018 - 11:00

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Original Pattern: The Oa and Carraig Fhada Knitter Extraordinaire: Helga (Ravelry ID) Mods: Eliminated the hood from The Oa pattern, knit the sleeves in one colour, and followed the directions for the armhoe and neckline steeks from Carraig Fhada. Great information on her mods can be found on her project page, here. What Makes This

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

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