Tuesday, February 26, 2013

We're Moving!

All righty, there,
All you (yes, you!) please change your subscriber information for my blog to the

NEW and



Now found at

Please be patient with me and me and my capable web monkey David A. Phillips get the site up and running!  It promises to be more capable of handling multiple pages, it links to my Ravelry store (, and will also have a page with the  classes that I am available to teach, including a mini-Sámi mitten class.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Ravelry store up and running

Whew!  It took lots of flipping between webpages on Ravelry, but I finally got the second pattern linked successfully.  It is found at:

Last night, after getting the Ravelry site to work, I came over here and tried to figure out how to link the code and get point-and-click buttons working to hot link the two.  Sleep won out, so that will have to wait for another day.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Putting Patterns up on Ravelry

Well, with my first published design in a magazine, a book contribution almost published, another book contribution in the works, yesterday I posted a couple patterns on ravelry for the first time.  One, Candy Cane Topper, is free.  The other, Puff Ball Beret, is for sale.  Here are some images of the completed works:

Sweet, no?  These "real life" models are the best, aren't they?

I wanted to write this quick post to say to anyone coming over to this site to buy the Puff Ball Beret, that I seem caught in a circular motion between this blog and Ravelry.  I am trying to get the pattern loaded onto Ravelry's site, but I haven't been able to do that, yet.  Please bear with me.  I will try to iron out all the wrinkles very shortly.  

In the meantime, cast on for the Candy Cane Topper, and by the time you cast off, I'll be ready for you!

As well, I am finalizing information for a beautiful shawl that will be part of a Knit-Along in the near future.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Spotted in a Post Office in the Midwest

Maybe this average Midwesterner (read: overweight, middle-aged, white male) has some Sámi blood in him? Stranger things have happened. Because of the stigma of being Sámi among the dominant cultures in Scandinavia, many immigrants left the labels at the border and never told their children of their heritage.

In any case, this gentleman has gravitated toward the beautiful Sámi colors nonetheless, and I, for one, approve!

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Final FINAL Reading of WeWMdFK Book

Today I got the final, FINAL copy to read through of the What ELSE Would Madame DeFarge Knit book (click on the title to view!!) patterns by yours truly, and two essays. When one designs something, and pours so much into it, and has to write an essay to go with the knitted item, one can end up putting so much time into them, that one is, well, done with them.  That certainly felt the case when I started out with these two designs and three patterns.  They were the first ones I had written so closely, and had edited to be published.  But, now that time has passed, it is a pleasure to read them once more.
I am honored to be the writer/pattern designer to start out the book.  And, a little sheepish, which I guess isn't a bad thing in the knitting world.  But, scrolling through the book, this is the first time I have seen one of the items photographed.  I was so chuffed to see that first photo!  So cool!  Well laid out, and an adorable model(s)!  Gosh!  Maybe I need to knit another one right now!

I can't show pictures; I can't talk about the wonderful, gorgeous patterns filling the entire book.  I can, however, urge you to click the link above to the book order and encourage you to be the first on your block to have this book!  Do it!  Do it now!

Friday, February 01, 2013

It's been a quiet week here..

...With Dr. Frankenfoot.   Caution:  gross picture to follow.

I have carted him around to appointments, but very quickly he started carting me so I could knit.  He's already back to work, and happy.  Just really wanting the pin to be removed.

 Isn't it gross?  I have referred to him as my human martini, and sushi shishkabab, or "sush-kabob" for short.  The eeriest thing about it is that his toe is straight.  I need to card him everytime I see his left foot.

It is never easy keeping Chris down.  He wanted to make sure I wasn't, so on his first day back to work, he picked out Daisy Lucille to keep me company.  Here she is, for her grand blog entrance:

Isn't she adorable?  Don't let those puppy eyes fool you:  she can be guilty of misdeamnors as well as the next dog.  She is not as innocent as our earlier-try-at-a-dog.  She has already chewed on the last scarf I knit, and has been found with bits of roving.  We'll have to keep our eyes on this one.

The poor little thing has an almost naked belly.  These past few days have been frigid.  Today there was a two-hour delay for schools, not for snow, but just for the temperature.  With wind chill, I think it was -18F.  On my volunteer day at Emmaus Mission, I saw this, though, which gave me hope:

It was right in front of the building for the homeless shelter.  What an apt image:  an abandoned bird's nest in front of the abandoned Catholic school.  The school has been taken over as a place to house those who need it.  A family moved out since last week when I was there, to their new home, and it won't be many weeks before a sparrow or a mourning dove has nestled into this "house," to start a new round of egg laying.

Michelle came back to show off her baby that I knit the black hat for.  I'm so glad she has been able to keep him.

On other knitting news, I finished a hat last weekend for my niece's birthday.  I knit on it during another cold day, dressed in shorts, a tank top and flip-flops.  I was in Nappanee, which has got to be the hottest pool and swim event in the circuit.

Here is a picture of one swimmer.  He is my little Viking that protects me.  From what has yet to be determined.

All the best, and may you have a good week!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sámi Mittens

Sigh.  Just posted this Blog update, and all the writing was extinguished.  This means I have to type faster the second time around...

Today, after many attempts, Fed Ex finally got this box to me.

It's from Piecework Magazine, and it is their seventh annual historic knitting traditions magazine.  More importantly, it is my first published article, and it is on Sámi Knitting Tradition.  The Sámi are the European people group native to Northern Scandinavia.  They live across the Northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Komi peninsula of Russia.  

This article talks a bit about the history of their knitting tradition, and some features that differentiate it from the knitting of the other peoples around them.  

It's so nice to have these little mittens home again, along with the dolls I sent and the yarn for the pictures.  Props also to Kenneth Hætta for the lovely opening picture.  The magazine sent me two extra copies that I will mail tomorrow to Dikka Storm of Tromsø University, Norway and Aile Aikio of Siida Museum in Inari, Finland.  Both of them were invaluable in their research help.  Thank you so much!

In other news, my hubby had bunion surgery this morning.  I knit and knit on baby legwarmers and did the whole pair.  Here he is doing a little light reading beforehand.

And, after.  Isn't he cute?  He's resting his straight foot on a McGill pillow.  No better way to heal.

The Eternal Husband.  Any of you ever read that one?  I've never heard of it, but I bet it just goes on and on.  

Sunday, January 20, 2013

January knitting

Knitting, knitting, knitting...

Got over the 'bout with flu.  Yuck.  Ya'll get vaccinated now, ya hear?  I got vaccinated, and my round with the mucus king was rather mild compared to the myalgias and fever others have had.

Any how, I got to feeling better and not choking on my own phlegm, and have been able to knit again. While going through my ravelry favorites I was reminded of so many beautiful patterns I have wanted to knit.  Then, I started going through my stash again.  The final piece to the puzzle is The Loopy Ewe's quarterly contest.  This quarter the challenge is to knit something with cables out of one skein.

I seized upon a Madelinetosh dk and a beautiful pattern of Ysolda's called Rose Red.  I tried the two together, and, lo and behold, the variegation masked the beauty and cleverness of the pattern.  The yarn needed to be knit, though, so it turned into Rikke hat.

My next personal challenge is baby leg warmers knit in a bulky grey yarn Schluna Cortina. Paisley's mother requested some in grey.  After looking around several pictures, I have been working on a cabled pair.  Pictures next time.  The yarn I am working with, however, I have used before to make this chunky cowl designed by Ciliria Rose called Columbia cowl.  I met her at the Seattle Nordic fest.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Cleaning up in the New Year

Here it is, the 10th of January, and what have I to say for myself?

Besides getting a nasty cold (RSV?), and hunkering down beside a nice, new box of Kleenex on one side and a disgusting pile of gooey tissues on the other, disinfecting my keyboard, door handles, light switches, and, especially, the handle on the refrigerator, and making homemade chicken noodle soup with homemade noodles, I have been combing through my Ravelry "favorites," and adding pictures to my pinterest boards.

For those of you who live under a rock, Ravelry is an excellent knitting and crocheting website that connects crafters, yarns, designers and patterns.  Go check it out at  One excellent feature, as you spend hours trolling other peoples projects, is that you can "like" or favorite any project, yarn, or designer.  Probably much more, too, but I'm a limited human being.  After being on Ravelry for five years, I had 80 pages of favorites.  At 25 favorites a page, I was pushing 2,000 chosen patterns.  Keep in mind, I am a discriminating crafter.  There's a lot of stuff on there.

When I first starting clicking the heart button, I didn't take advantage of the box that popped up which allowed me to make notes on about the favorite-d thing.  Later I added notes, but in the wrong box.  It is only the tags one adds in the last entry that will cross-tabulate with all your other tags and build into a reference list.  That list appears on the left hand side once you are on the favorites.  So, if I label all cowls as "cowls," a reference tabs will keep a tally.  I can click that tally and it will take me to a new page where all those projects will be appear together.

Oftentimes I have added favorites after researching a particular yarn or project.  After 80 pages, it has become hard to find them again.  The last three days I have gone through each entry, evaluated whether to keep it or not, and added tags or notes.  I rediscovered lots of old project-friends, been reinvigorated with old dreams, and remembered yarns I mean to knit.  Not a bad exercise at the beginning of the year!

I have also finished spinning the pinkish roving I spoke of in the last post.  One skein is soaking right now.  The other still has to be plied.

Finally, I am almost done with the double-layered hat my husband requested and designed.  Then, I can tackle one of those resurrected projects!

Monday, January 07, 2013

I'm just spinning my wheel...

It's amazing what you can get done if you do it. I have had some lovely BFL roving next to my wheel for a loooong time.  I bought it from The Trading Post in Pendleton, Indiana, not when I was there weaving, but from a time or two before. One spool was almost full. Well, in this last week, I have completed that spool, and half filled another, just during our evening family reading my husband has resurrected since January first. It may not seem a lot to some people, but to this woman who has been knitting and crocheting most of my free time, I am ecstatic to be nearing completion of any spinning project!

In addition, I am excited to knit with it, after almost knitting up a huge ball of handspun I won at the first Nordic Knitting Conference I attended in October 2010. And, my cousin said she loved the mittens I posted about last week. Hopefully it won't be two years before I knit up the Knit Picks lace ball I won this year! Four of us vowed to each knit off a matching ball of yarn from the 2012 conference.  Hmmm.... who will be the first to complete their knitting? I will be shocked if it is I.

The knitting I have been working on is a self-designed, double layer hat for my husband. He recently lost the Carhart hat that has seen him through several winters. He begrudgingly asked me to knit him a hat, stating that going out to buy a hat would be "like me going out and buying a bookshelf." He is a self taught woodworker who has made an item for every room in the house by now.

My only response was, "you mean a press board, laminate bookshelf? Yeah. It'd be like that."

He then proceeded to pick out the yarn from my stash and draw a fair-isle design for one side, and tell me it should be tight on his big head. All within several minutes. He's been around me way too long.