Somewhere on Instagram, I came across the Pom Maker feed and fell instantly, madly in love with their adorable wooden pom pom makers and beautiful pom poms. I had to have one! The fact that it was entirely made of wood seemed especially attractive to me – until then, I had only ever seen plastic pom
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No time. Only pictures.
Luis listens to Megan’s baby.
I made a million cookies, and piping icing is hard. (But I win, because they’re still cute.)
Ken is 51.
I spent a ridiculous amount of time with a peeler and made this tart. I thought I was crazy then Meg said “Oh Mum, I love pretty food!” and then it was all worth it.
Jen (knitter, cyclist, student midwife) brought her fetoscope. Best baby shower favour ever.
This picture is okay, but it’s not as good as the one I should have taken, which was 2 minutes later, when the baby moved, and Pato pretty much fell off a chair.
We are excited. I am knitting.
Original Pattern: Locksley Knitter Extraordinaire: Andrea (Ravelry ID, blog) Mods: Using the design from the Locksley sweater pattern as a base, Andrea created the hat version. Great details with lots of info on the crown decreases and can be found on her project page, here. What Makes This Awesome: Andrea knit this stunning sweater for
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You know, I try to have a can-do attitude. I’m reasonably clever, I know how to read, I’ve got access to the internet, and that means that most of the time, I look at a task ahead of me and I think “Well. How hard can it be?” This usually works. I’ve changed the brake pads on a mini-van with just a library book and some borrowed tools, I’ve ridden my bike really far, and I can make all sorts of things. A lot of the time I feel like I’m in over my head – but it usually works out. The problem is that since I usually feel like I’m over my head, sometimes I don’t recognize it when I actually am. I’ll be chugging along, feeling a wild and vague sense of panic and hysteria, and then think, well, that’s not too bad – and the next thing I know voila. I’m actually underwater. Examples? You betcha.
I sat down last night to pick up all of the stitches around the edge of the shawl, and two things happened. First, it turned out that I’d counted hopefully rather than actually, and as a result, I had six rows to go before I was really done. (No problem. Will only take a minute.) The second thing was that it turns out that I’d tried a new provisional cast on (How hard can it be?) and I didn’t do it right. How do I know?
It took about an hour to unpick the waste yarn, stitch by stitch, snipping it into little pieces as a went along, punctuating every sixth or seventh one with unladylike language of a pretty creative nature. The sides didn’t go much better, and I finished the one stinking round that it took to get everything sorted at 1:40am. (How hard can it be? THAT HARD.)
Then, I decided that I’d do something special for Meg’s baby shower on Sunday (yes, yes it’s that soon, yes I know, knit faster) and after cruising Pinterest (MEGAN LOOK AWAY) I bought some special cookie cutters and signed up to make some fancy cookies. Like this. Or this. Or those. Up until about 10 minutes ago it hadn’t really occurred to me that I don’t actually know how to do that, and my general sense of “How hard can it be?” was dashed when a friend said that if I got “color flow mix” that would really be good and I realized that I don’t know what that is, and now I feel nervous. Also? I think maybe it takes longer to make them than I thought. I’ll let you know.
Finally, I kept meaning to post and say that Debbi and I have good news and bad news for Strung Along. Good news? We unexpectedly have some spots free at the Strung Along April Retreat, but the June and November retreats have waiting lists. Usually things move around and open up on the lists (that’s what happened with this April one) and there’s a chance that we’ll have some spots, but – particularly for November the list is long, and it’s not looking great, and the truth is that if you were hoping to get to a retreat with us this year, we think April is going to be your chance. We don’t have many spots, but we’ve love it if you could come, and I know you have questions.
Question: Hey, there’s like… 8 million retreats. Why would I go to yours?
Well, ours is different in a few ways. There’s three full days of classes, and everybody goes to all three classes. It’s two days of knitting, and one day of spinning, and some relaxed, fun, optional stuff in the evenings. You’re in a tiny class (only 10-15 people) and you move with that group through the three days. Some retreats have more time for socializing, but we’re all about the classes. To our way of thinking, a fibre arts retreat should be all about the learning. If that’s what you think too, you’re probably going to love it.
Question: Who are the teachers? What are the classes?
This time, the teachers are me, Debbi Stone, and Judith MacKenzie. (She’s the spinning part.) Our theme is “Around the world in three days” and it’s going to be all about techniques and materials from the world over. We’ll talk about the history and traditions of knitters and spinners worldwide, and what they use, and how they use it. It’s going to be pretty great. We’re excited. (Can you say Latvian Braid? Oh yes, you can.)
Question: I’m a brand new spinner, and I’m not that experienced a knitter… am I going to be okay?
Yes. Absolutely. We’ve got artists of every range coming, and you’ll fit right in, no matter what your skill level is. The classes are tiny enough that we can really personalize. You’ll be fine. We promise. (Also, if you don’t have a wheel, we can loan you one for the weekend. Don’t panic. We’ve got ya.)
Question: If I’m going to go away for a treat, I want it to be nice. Is is nice?
Dudes, it’s super nice. We’re ridiculously proud of the wonderful food, and there’s optional paired wine flights with dinner. There’s a fireplace and Jacuzzi bathtub in all the rooms, and the staff at the resort is fantastic. It’s nice. It’s so nice you won’t want to go home.
Question: I’m sort of an introvert and I would be coming by myself and I won’t know anyone. Do people come by themselves? Will it be weird? Will I be lonely?
You’ll be fine. From one introvert to another, it will be fine. Lots of people come alone – most people, actually, at least at first. We’ve got lots of knitters who came by themselves and made friends with other knitters, and now they look forward to seeing them at the retreats. It’s a welcoming, open place, and there’s lots of time to yourself, if that’s how you like it, and I promise you won’t feel weird.
Question: I have other questions. What do I do?
Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and Debbi or I will answer you. There’s lots of information here on our retreat page too.
Last Question: I’m not able to come, but I hear you guys have goodie bags, and I wondered if I could put my stuff in it?
We do have goodie bags, and we’d love it if you put stuff in it. We’re happy to showcase anything you’d like knitters or spinners to see. Your product goes in the bags, and on our social media feeds, and we’re as grateful as you can imagine. If you’d like to talk about it, email us at email@example.com, and we’ll get you the details.
My Favourite Articles and Links This Week Struggling with perfectionism? 6 habits to help overcome perfectionist tendencies. Empowering quotes about women aging. The first one by Cameron Diaz is lame, but the rest are sooo good. Wait, cute flats made from recycled water bottles? Genius! The deeper reason we can’t remember people’s names after meeting
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I am going to be knitting this blanket forever. I see that now, as plainly as I understand that I am destined to never catch up on the laundry, and that email can never be truly finished. I also see that a large blanket knit from laceweight might have been a bit of an overshoot, if you catch my meaning. I have only about a month left, and this blanket pretty much refuses to get done, despite much weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Today, I have gleefully and delightedly finished the centre. It’s a small centre, as planned, and now I’ve got to make a move to get this thing sorted to be knit in the round. Tonight I’ll leave the stitches at the top live, and then pick up stitches down the first side, then unpick the provisional cast on along the bottom, and pick up more stitches along the second side. I don’t have time to make a mistake, so I’ve spent a little time today picking up stitches along the side of my swatch.
Obviously, one side had too many (you can see it flare out, there on the right) and the other one looks pretty good. That’s the rate I’ll be going with.
Forever. And ever. Send wine.
In our current time, it’s increasingly tempting to keep our patterns digital. I know I certainly have more than my fair share of purchased PDFs that I have knit but never printed off. But there’s a special place in my heart for knitting books, and I think they are a frugal knitter’s friend. If you would knit
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Original Pattern: Garden Dream Mittens Knitter Extraordinaire: Victoria (Ravelry ID) Mods: Using the chart from the mitten design, Victoria made super warm stranded legwarmers. More images can be found on her project page, here. What Makes This Awesome: How amazing are these legwarmers?! Victoria has done an amazing job, alternating the mittens charts (the flowers and
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My Favourite Articles and Links This Week This woman’s hobby is to throw fancy parties for squirrels and photograph them. And I’m totally jealous. On getting comfortable with not knowing. This was very interesting- I was trying to figure out the origin of the term ‘ squad goals’, and fell down an internet rabbit hole.
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2. I am home from Madrona, and it was, as always, the event that fills my cup for the year to come. Wonderful moments with teachers I love, students I miss, and vendors that make me give them all my money.
3. I gave them lots of money. (Hello Creative with Clay, I’m looking right at you and my new salt and pepper shakers.)
4. A big chunk of my hair is purple. I can’t talk about why, because it has to do with the Teacher Talent Show for Charity that I host, together with Lucy Neatby, and mutiny. On the upside, the show raised more than $12 000 for the Global Fund for Women, MSF, and Heifer International. That’s worth purple hair. (Also, Lucy? It’s not washing out like you said it would.)
5. The blanket proceeds apace. I’m halfway through the centre. I need to get a move on.
6. I accidentally gave a whack of money to Habu Textiles, which is both unavoidable and normal. I also accidentally started knitting the kit I bought, but I’m putting it down. (It’s silk and paper. I can’t even.)
7. I’ve got to knit that blanket.
8. I leave for the West Coast Knitters Guild on Friday. (I think there are still a few spots.)
9. There’s no point in trying to fix the jet lag. If I stay messed up, I’ll be bang on for Friday.
My Favourite Articles and Links This Week Did you know that the Danish have a tv show called The Great Knit Off?! Amazing!!! Don’t worry, there are English subtitles. As if it were possible to love Tom Hiddleston more. He’s so earnest! This video was absolutely fascinating – it’s a camera and microphone set up
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