Knitting Feeds

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 11:00

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My Favourite Articles and Links This Week I loved this round up of the best TED talks of 2017, particularly #2 and #5. The #1 thing to keep in your freezer– heck yes. How not to get caught up in the materialism of the holidays. How to restart a bad, annoying, or unproductive day. How

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

A new pen wouldn’t hurt either

Yarn Harlot - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 23:32

For years and years, I’ve run a very tight Christmas ship.  Very tight. Spreadsheet kinda tight, and it’s really worked for me. It’s prevented a hysterical sort of feeling in my tummy and made it possible for me to get a lot done during the run up to the holiday.  This year – well this year there was a problem with the spreadsheet.  The appointed day came to open it and start worrying about Christmas, and I opened it, saw my mothers name on it and closed it again.  I’d made notes about what her gift would be, what I had to take to her house for Christmas dinner, what sort of cookies I had to bake in time for her annual Christmas party, and it just stung too much too see how many things we always do that we won’t this year.  I’m not sure what happened after that, but the general sense of dread I’d had about the holiday turned into a more specific one, and I entered a prolonged period of denial.  I just didn’t worry about it.

I didn’t pre-shop, I didn’t worry about presents, I didn’t knit Christmas specific stuff (much) … I didn’t do any of the things I usually do, and for a while that seemed like it was working.  I didn’t have to feel bad that my mum won’t be at Christmas… I think on some level I’d just decided that we wouldn’t have one. It seemed so simple.  There was just one little problem with that.

It’s Elliot’s first Christmas, and this family is so, so good at Christmas – in no small part because my mum was such a wonderful grandmother, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I owe him the same… and not just a token Christmas, a really lovely one. To somehow figure out new traditions – new ways of doing things.

I don’t know what’s going to be possible – I’m not even sure how to handle things. I mean, do I bake meringues if what I did with them was take them to my mother’s party? When do I see the relatives I saw at mum’s? Do they come to my house? What do we do in the afternoon on Christmas day, when usually we would bathe and dress to go to my Mum’s? It seems really complicated to figure out, and I can tell that it’s going to take a lot of energy. I remembered to buy Meg some blank ornaments so she could make them with Elliot’s foot and handprints, and I managed somehow (a little late for me) to put the tree up, and cried sentimentally the whole time I did it, but it’s up there, and it is lovely to have it, and I do love seeing it. It hurt to make it happen, but I see now that it would have hurt more to not put it up. I’m going to keep that in mind as I try to get the rest of this thing going.

This Christmas is going to be about the basics. People. Time. Being together.  There isn’t going to be a mad knitting dash to the end (that’s a lie I have one sort of wild plan) I’m not going to make a million cookies – just the favourites we really love. (I don’t know if that’s meringues.) I’ve come to this a little late to the party – just about two weeks to get it all together, but I’m going to be gentle with myself and my family – we still weather regular storms. Making a Christmas grocery list is a chore that should have taken me ten minutes today, but it came grinding to a halt as I encountered a recipe card in my mum’s handwriting.  I love her handwriting. Reflecting on that and looking for other cards she wrote turned it into a lost half hour.

I was going to knit a ton last night – but a first attempt to make a family plan to deal with mum’s stuff degraded into trying on all her shoes. (They mostly fit Erin and I. It was sad and funny and… not knitting.) I have a feeling a lot of it is going to be like that, and I don’t know how to plan for it, maybe you can’t. Maybe this year just isn’t going to be compatible with a plan, really. Maybe this is the year I just do…. what?

So far, my entire Christmas plan consists of me saying “We are really going to have to do something about Christmas” and so far, that hasn’t worked at all. I’m going to go out now, into the snow and I’m going to try buying a new notebook, and writing  “Christmas” on the front, and seeing if tomorrow I have a realistic plan for getting this thing fixed. It will probably work. Office supplies are definitely a good first step.

Right?

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Pumpkin

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 11:00

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Original Pattern: Monochrome Pullover Knitter Extraordinaire: Riimium (Ravelry ID) Mods: Changed the neckline from a turtle neck to a crew neck, made her own yoke chart, as well as lengthened into a tunic. For great details – and the chart for her yoke! – check out her project page, here. What Makes This Awesome: You

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

FO | Colsie Mirror Gradient Cowl/Scarf

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 12/10/2017 - 11:30
Long ago, we agreed there's no such thing as too many mitts, and with temps plummeting and snow on the ground, the same is clearly true for coordinating shawls, scarves and cowls. With this in mind, I've been diligently plugging away on several cowls knit in luxe yarn to accompany some of my favorite fingerless mitts.




This past week, I focused on finishing the Colsie cowl worked as a modified mirror gradient. The strategy was similar to the mirror gradient mitts, but instead of two colors, I used three:

  • Section 1: Teal
  • Section 2: Teal and cloud
  • Section 3: Cloud
  • Section 4: Lake and cloud
  • Section 5: Lake

I'm fond of skinny scarves that can be worn multiple ways, so that part was a no-brainer. The reversible ribbed slip stitch is extremely elastic, which means it could be stretched or blocked wider, but in its relaxed state, it's just the right width and length to wrap twice around my neck without becoming overwhelming.


For maximum flexibility, I chose to work it flat with small buttonholes at both ends so it can be worn closed like a cowl, open like a scarf, or twisted and draped in a variety of configurations. With buttons from stash, I made simple barbell or cufflink closures that can be removed when I want to wear Colsie as a scarf.


Colsie Reversible Cowl / Scarf
Pattern: In development
Yarn: Champagne (Grignasco)
Needles: US 7 (4.5 mm)
Yardage: ~230 yards
Dimensions: 3.5 x 45 ins

I've said it before, but it bears repeating: This yarn is luscious. It knits up beautifully and looks good even in its unblocked state, as shown. The blue undertones in the teal and lake accentuate the hint of blue in the icy cloud shade. Plus, the combination of superfine merino blended with silk means the fabric has a soft sheen and feels like a dream next to the skin. 




Between life, work and the holidays, things are complicated enough. This simple knit offered just enough challenge and interest to be motivating and manageable, with the added bonus that I now have a soft, cozy cowl (or scarf) with which to welcome the winter season.


Looking for the pattern? If all goes well (fingers crossed), it should be ready to send to the tech editor this week.


RELATED

 How to Knit a Simple Mirror Gradient  Blame it on the Champagne

Categories: Knitting Feeds

December Indie Dyer Feature~ Peepaloo Fields

My Sister's Knitter - Sun, 12/10/2017 - 08:24
Happy Sunday! Can't believe I am saying this but we have reached our 12th indie dyer of the year. The year where I have had the privilege of introducing you to the most talented and amazing dyers. First off thank you for supporting them and loving them as much as... Andi
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Just stuff that laundry behind the piano

Yarn Harlot - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 21:05

When I was a young mother, and the girls were all little, I was part of a mothers group. I was a La Leche League Leader back then and a Wednesday morning playgroup sprang out of that. We’d all get together and the kids would play and the mums would talk about parenting and (literally) how to make your own granola. (Yes.) To be completely honest the other kids would play, and the other mums would talk and I would spend the entire time following Amanda around with a baby on my hip, ready to pull her bodily from encounters the minute she started to open her mouth. The kid was a biter. In any case, we moved this little playgroup around, and when it was my turn to host it, I would start getting anxious days before – cleaning and scrubbing and stuffing dirty clothes in closets and hiding dirty dishes in the oven and generally freaking out, so that by the time the other mothers arrived, it looked like I was a pretty perfect mum who could not only juggle three kids (one of whom was a vicious land-shark) but also had a clean house, a freshly baked whole grain cake made with wheat germ (it was the 90s. Anti-oxidants hadn’t been invented yet. We just had to put bran and wheat germ in things) all while knitting the children their own sweaters, cloth diapering, growing my own vegetables, and helping run a charity without even breaking a sweat.

This, of course, was a lie. Like anyone who’s trying to do even a third of those things, the housework was absolutely on the bottom of my list.  In any toss up between littles and babies who need something and washing a floor, the kid won every time. There was always dishes in the sink – the bathroom was right on the edge of a health code violation all the time, and if I did get three minutes when I didn’t have to care for another person you can bet I was knitting, not dusting something that was only going to get dusty again. I mean, I like a tidy house, but let’s get real about what your priorities are like if your day has that much to do with other people’s bodily fluids.  Still, even though every parent on earth knows this, I felt compelled to disguise this reality when those other parents were on their way. It was just what I did. You clean up before company comes over, am I right?

So, one time I’m careening through the house, hiding the mess and trying to get the place ready, and my mum was over, and she was sitting there drinking coffee (I know I’ve told this story before) and she watches this for a while, and then tells me that she thinks I’m being mean. That everything I’m doing isn’t just cleaning up for company, it’s giving the other mothers the impression that I can have three little kids, a leadership role in a charity, bake all my own bread and have it all be no biggie. She wondered aloud if they felt inadequate when I pretended I could do it all, when in reality I’d put a bag of diapers that needed washing in the garbage can in the backyard because I was too far behind.  (I washed them later.)

I think about that often. About how my mum thought that pretending wasn’t kind, and I try to live in a way that’s… kinder. For example, I can tell you that something in my fridge smells funny right now and I don’t know what it is, that this morning I found underpants under a chair in the kitchen, and that I totally screwed up my knitting. I wasn’t going to tell you that last one, because once I saw what I’d done I though I could just fix it and nobody would ever know, but then I thought of my mum, and know that right now there’s one of you who’s sitting there realizing that you knit two left mittens and trying to reconcile that with your self esteem, and well.

This weekend I was away.  I spent the weekend with some friends I don’t see often enough, and we hunkered down and cooked together, and ate together and knit together. We call it Yarnclave, and because we were together so close to Christmas, we called it Yarnclavemas. We made a pie.

So, I’m knitting on Elliot’s sweater at some point, and I’ve finished the body, and cast off, and finished the first sleeve, and I’m picking up the held stitches for the second sleeve, and I’m thinking something positive about how it’s all going so quickly, and there it is.

Way back when I divided for the sleeves and body, I was careless, and I put the sleeve stitches on one thread, and SOME of the other sleeve stitches on another, and then put some of the sleeve stitches on the needle for the body along with the body stitches, and then carried on. Coyotes in the wild have knit better.  The body was therefore too wide, and the one sleeve too small. Unfortunately, the fates had a good giggle about that, and I just so happened to pick the correct sleeve to knit after the body, so got that whole sleeve done before I realized what had happened.  Now, if I’d have happened to notice sooner, I could have just pulled back the body, given the sleeve stitches back to the sleeve and reknit the body, but because I didn’t notice I had to rip back the sleeve, and then the body, because the body won’t unzip all the way because I picked up stitches for the *&^%$E#$ing sleeve from it.

The worst part isn’t just that I had to rip back everything but the yoke and start over, the worst part is that I even took a picture of the sweater while it was dead wrong, posted it on the blog, and didn’t notice – although may moths beset the first one of you who giggles, because it’s not like you noticed either.

So, it’s days later, I’m still knitting the sweater, it’s just a few weeks before Christmas and even thought I am a reasonable, grown-up, middle-aged woman, I just got reminded that haste makes waste, pride goes before a fall, and my mother is always right.

I think I’ll have a lie down, or something, before I get slapped around with any other clichés.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 11:00

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My Favourite Articles and Links This Week 15 ways to instantly improve your mood this holiday season. No more guilty pleasures! “When you find things you genuinely enjoy, don’t let anyone else make you feel bad about it. Don’t feel guilty about the pleasure you take in the things you enjoy. Celebrate them.” Did you

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Hand Knits to the Rescue

Knitting | Work in Progress - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 17:55
In this household, hand knit items see plenty of daily use, but last weekend they truly came to the rescue.

With no fanfare whatsoever, my old but highly reliable furnace quietly gave up the ghost. This unanticipated event started a mad scramble to find a reliable HVAC contractor to assess the furnace, fix it if possible, and replace it if it wasn't fixable.

The weekend timing slowed progress a bit, so the house was without heat for four days. Luckily, the weather was comparatively mild for December, so a few strategically placed portable heaters managed to keep the interior at a fairly steady 60 degrees F even when nighttime temps plummeted into the 30s. 

What's a knitter to do? The answer is obvious.

Each day I piled on the layers, opting for some combination of a basic turtleneck, heavy vest and bulky knit sweater capped with a shawl for warmth rather than sartorial flair.




A rotating array of fingerless mitts helped keep my hands warm, but thanks to my recent efforts to build coordinated sets, I was (for the most part) able to avoid looking like a hapless hobo.



Mid-weight afghans worked in wool-cotton blends were abandoned, and the bulky weight wool versions of Angletyn and Flashpoint were pulled from storage and immediately put into action.



Tikkyn Flagstone with its woolly fiber and waffle-like texture is light, lofty and wonderfully cozy, so it too emerged from storage.



The result? By the time heat was restored, nearly every chair in the house sported an afghan at the ready, a daunting array of sweaters, vests, shawls and mitts had been pressed into service, and I'd learned an invaluable lesson.

From afghans and blankets to sweaters, shawls and mitts, there's simply no such thing as too many hand knits. 


Connecting with the linkups in the sidebar.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Free Pattern: Eucalan Lattice Cowl

Knitted Bliss - Wed, 12/06/2017 - 18:40

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This is the Eucalan Lattice Cowl, which is knitted up in two colours of worsted weight yarn and shown here in Kristin Omdahl’s Be So Brave yarn, 100% American wool (worsted weight) in colours ‘Picket Fence’ and ‘Plymouth Rock’. This was my first time using Be So Brave Yarn – it is a very matte

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Zig When I Should Zag

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 12/04/2017 - 11:00

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Original Pattern: Strokkur Knitter Extraordinaire: Nelly (Ravelry ID) Mods:  Changed the lopi style pullover into a cardigan, with a more graphic yoke. Details can be found on her project page, here. What Makes This Awesome: I don’t know about you, but I’m always impressed when someone takes a pullover pattern and turns it into a

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

October loves...

My Sister's Knitter - Sun, 12/03/2017 - 13:56
Happy Sunday! Pattern~ Ohra shawl Wow- November flew by, didn't it? I guess that is how the holiday season goes. My castonitis kicked into full gear. I blame it on the fact that everyone else seems to have it and pass it on to me. Maybe that is a Fall... Andi
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 11:00

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My Favourite Articles and Links This Week Are we living in a culture of flakes? Paper is a wonderful technology. These 11 songs/sounds will increase your focus and productivity. An adorable nerdy love song, with a ukulele AND a kitten! Let’s not stop with the cute – here’s a photo of a hedgehog wearing little

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

I’m just that much of a help

Yarn Harlot - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 20:53

A few months ago when I was in Vancouver at Knit Social – I staggered up to the Gauge Dye works booth and gave Catherine all my money. You know. As one does.  As I did so, I remarked that she always gets my sock yarn money and my shawl yarn money (yes I have an itemized yarn budget and you should too) and thank goodness that’s where it stops. Her colourways together with the cleverness of self- striping yarn that works for shawls? It might as well be my personal version of knitter kryptonite. As I walked away, I reflected that it’s a good deal that she doesn’t have sweater yarn or I’d pretty much give her all my yarn money, and then a lightbulb went off, and I just about walked backwards to her booth and then I told her.

“If you think about how a shawl works, and whatever magic you run to make the stripes the same length as the rows grow longer – isn’t that” (I said to her, trying not to look as excited as I felt because it’s slightly uncool, while simultaneously pretending I know what math she does)  “Isn’t that the same math as a top down raglan sweater? If you have self striping sock yarn, and shawl yarn, and sweater yarn…” (here I paused for dramatic effect) “…you’d get all my yarn money.”

Catherine looked at me. I looked at her. Then I saw the tumblers start to turn in her mind, and I knew my work was done.  “Make me that” I said.  “I’ll try” Catherine said. “There’s going to be a problem with sizes.” She said that, and I swear I saw here reach for a mental calculator.  “Give it to me in Whistler.” I said. “We’ll see.” She said.

Now, this isn’t the most positive response I’ve had to a yarn demand.  I felt like probably eventually it might happen, but that I shouldn’t get married to it, so I didn’t.  I thought about how clever an idea it was sometimes, and I felt good about telling a really clever person who could actually make it happen, but since I had no idea what had to happen for this yarn to happen, I just thought about it a little bit, like I do other things that I really like the idea of but never happen, like only having one kind of screwdriver.

I got on with my life – until I was at Catherine’s booth at the event in Whistler, and I was giving her all of my sock and shawl money, and she said WAIT, and with a perfect air of brilliance mingled with appealing confidence, she pulled this skein out from behind the booth.

I started to say something like “Oh isn’t that pretty” or some other standard yarn thing, when I saw her eyes twinkle, and it hit me.

Self striping sweater yarn.  She’d actually done it. Designed to work with Flax Light (though it would work with any sweater with standard top down construction) in the 1-2 size, you can cast on at the neck and have stripes of the same size appear all the way to the divide for the arms and body. The rest of the skein is blue- for the rest of the sweater, with the exception of the last little chunk, which is green, so you can have a little green at the cuffs, or the bottom band, or the button bands, or the (yeah here it comes) baby pockets.  This is the prototype, but she says she can make more – and I feel like she’s going to need to do that.

Soon. So, so smart.  Here. Take my sweater money.

*PS WING OF MOTH IT JUST OCCURRED TO ME THAT SHE COULD DO THIS IN OTHER COLOURS.

*PPS. I’m going to need a small loan.

*PPPS No, it’s cool, I’ll just re-finance the house. Never mind.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

2017 Knitters Gift Guide!

Knitted Bliss - Tue, 11/28/2017 - 11:00

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The 2017 Knitter’s Gift Guide is here!! Looking for some gift ideas for a fellow knitter? Or maybe you need to send some gift ideas to your loved ones, who have no idea what to get you. Just email a link to this page to your family and friends, and let them know what you want

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Camper dans les Dunes

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 11:00

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Just a reminder that today is the LAST DAY to get 50% off all my patterns!! Use the promo code knittedbliss. Original Pattern: Blue Danube Knitter Extraordinaire: krumel (Ravelry ID) Mods: Modified the original long sleeved sweater pattern to be a sleeveless dress! Plenty of great photos and more information can be found on her

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Thankful knitting...

My Sister's Knitter - Sun, 11/26/2017 - 14:50
Hello loves! Sorry for the dark image, but this was me sneaking in a bit of early morning knitting. Since my knitting mojo is slowly coming back, I figured I better capture as much of my knitting as possible. :) So loves, how was your Thanksgiving? I hope you were... Andi
Categories: Knitting Feeds

WIP | Colsie Mirror Gradient Cowl

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 11/26/2017 - 11:30
Since last we spoke, some progress has occurred, and the skinny Colsie cowl worked in a mirror gradient has grown.



I love this simple slipped rib stitch. It produces a lush, corrugated fabric that's reversible, and as an added plus it's a breeze to work, so it's been the ideal project for knitting on the go. 


The goal is to create a cowl-scarf long enough to button and wear as a single long loop, wrap twice for a cozier neck-hugging cowl, or wear unbuttoned as a short scarf.


The original plan was to work the cowl so it was a precise match to my Colsie mirror gradient mitts which featured just two colors (teal, cloud), but plans change. 



My fondness for accessories that complement rather than exactly match meant I simply couldn't resist the opportunity to introduce the lake green shade. That offers a bonus, since this single cowl will coordinate with a pair of tonal mitts I have yet to share as well as the mitts shown above.

With that in mind, I opted for a high-contrast gradient approach that features three colors (teal, cloud and lake) worked across five sections. Each of the three solid sections is separated by a striped transitional stage that blends one color into the next. Here, I've just started the fourth section, which introduces the lake shade alternated with cloud.


This cowl has in one week progressed from the most modest of starts to the point where it's well over halfway done. With luck and a little concentrated knitting time, it may be finished before the weekend is over.

I'm highly motivated, because I'm eager to get this off the needles and into the wearing rotation, and once it's done I can tackle the next hover craft item on the list.


Here in the US we're celebrating Thanksgiving. I have much to be thankful for, including all of you. Wherever you are, I hope the same is true for you.

To read more about ombres, gradients and fades, click here.


Categories: Knitting Feeds

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 11/24/2017 - 11:00

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Pattern SALE!! First the big Black Friday news – All of my patterns are 50% off this weekend! Use the promo code knittedbliss. You can find a huge array of Black Friday/Cyber Monday knitting related sale info going on here.   My Favourite Articles and Links This Week 30 items to get rid of before December

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Long Haul

Yarn Harlot - Thu, 11/23/2017 - 22:53

The top ten reasons I have deleted blog posts to you in the last 2 weeks – along with random photos of where I have been and things I have been doing.

  1. I have been travelling and working a lot, and by the time I find an internet connection to hit “post” what I wrote seems out date and stupid.

(The Resort at Port Ludlow on the last day of our retreat, when a rainbow broke out of the (unrelenting) rain.)

2. After my last post, someone wrote me an email saying that I should be nicer to autistic people. My response wasn’t generous, and I deleted it. (Everyone should be nice to everyone – which I was, even though the guy was a jerk. I answered all his questions and gave him my hotspot. I am super nice.)

3. One of the posts was about weaving in ends and I almost bored myself to death writing it, never mind posting it.

(mitten knitting on the plane.)

4. At least three of them just said YES YOU CAN KNIT ON A PLANE.

(Finished Cloisonee mittens. That I knit on a plane.)

5. I deleted one by accident and in a fit of rage couldn’t write another.

(Trying to knit a second pair of Cloisonee mittens on the plane when I realized I’d forgotten the white yarn. I had backup yarn for another project but was mightily annoyed.)

6. A few of them were too vulnerable, sad and grief struck. I am generally all of those things right now, but I am trying hard to let those feelings come and go – and writing them down and committing them to the archive felt too much like committing to the dark side. There are times of happiness along with the grief, and because I’ve always believed that you get more of what you pay attention to, I didn’t want to write about grief.

(The backup yarn. Despondent Dyes : Party like you plan to be home at 9:00)

7. Then I decided that it was wrong not to write about grief, because it’s a human thing and it’s what’s happening and it happens to everyone and shouldn’t we talk about it?

(The scene just outside Whistler BC, at the Sea to Sky Retreat by Knit Social.)

8. See #6.

9. Thrown off by #’s 6, 7 and 8, I wrote a really happy one, and then decided (because grief makes you a crazy person) that it was disrespectful to my mother’s memory to be too happy and felt guilty that I wasn’t grieving and deleted it.

(The inestimable Clara Parkes and me. In the snow.)

10. I was knitting.

(Sorta mittens.)

PS I almost deleted this because I remembered it was American Thanksgiving and wondered if my post should be about that (even though it is not Thanksgiving here.) I decided not to. Happy Thanksgiving, American friends.  Happy Thursday to everyone else.

 

Categories: Knitting Feeds

#makingtheseasons

Autumn Geisha - Thu, 11/23/2017 - 01:12
I was surfing the blogs recently and came across attic24’s post on crafting for the seasons. The plan is to work on a small creative project each month inspired by the seasons. There are no particular rules or limits as far as the type of project goes. Even baking or cooking a seasonal dish would count. How fun is that! I am looking forward to participating in this seasonal craft-along, especially since my crafting and knitting are already hugely influenced by the seasons. It will also be a great way to slow down, pause and reflect on the beauty of the moment instead of always rushing forward in our busy lives. A lesson that I find myself forgetting lately. So for the month of November and to celebrate Thanksgiving Day, I decided to knit a pair of Harvest Socks. The colors remind me of pumpkins, fall leaves, acorns and autumn.

yarn: Opal fresh & juicy colorway: juicy carrot


Have a wonderful Thanksgiving for those who are celebrating tomorrow! And a lovely rest of November to all!
Categories: Knitting Feeds

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