Wednesday, December 19, 2012

In the Wake

In months and years when I look back at this post, I want to remember the heartache I feel. A mentally ill man -- not much older than a child -- walked into a school where his mother volunteered and shot up a classroom of little children. I don't want to remember more details. I can't handle most of the news as it is, with my own darling boys playing before me as we ready the house for Christmas guests and gifts.  There are parents and brothers and sisters and grandparents and friends in a little town in Connecticut, and their networks of family across the country, who are saying goodbye, instead of Merry Christmas.

What I want to remember is the outpouring of grief and support in my own community. In that case, my community is both here in Durham, NC, but also worldwide through the knitters on Ravelry and beyond. I'm part of a Ravelry group knitting critters to send to the children and families affected by the tragedy: 600 Monsters Strong for Connecticut. The lovely ladies at Three Irish Girls are offering colorways with donations going to the town; they are also planning to organize knitting blankets for the bereaved families.

Now how's that for beauty from horror? It makes my heart feel slightly lighter, to use my stitches in the hopes that someone hurting from this loss will feel one tiny ounce of support from someone who they will never meet. As always, the knitters step up.

I love this community.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Busy Little Knits

I've been working on an idea. Working hard. And that idea became something I'm quite proud of.

That idea became the Bull City Scarf.

This scarf has a secret, too. Hidden in the lace is a Durham "D".

Can you see it? I love honoring my adopted home in yarn!

Saturday, September 15, 2012


The best thing about learning a new craft is exploration. When I carted Nilus into my living room, I'd done a tiny bit of reading and planned on purchasing a simple rigid heddle loom. That was back in our old house, where space was a premium and all craft items were required to fold up and fit into half of a closet.

Our new house has twice the space. My crafts get a WHOLE closet. And the loom gets its own place of glory.

Setting up the loom has taught me plenty already. I had to track down some replacement parts that disappeared over the years it was in storage (thanks, Earth Guild!). I had to get instruction as to how one winds a warp. I then wound that warp three different times before it met what I needed it to be.

Youtube and I had a nice little sitdown, as I watched videos of people warping looms and studied books at the same time. And now, lo and behold...


Almost ready to weave.

Oh, and I had a bit of help.

Monday, July 23, 2012

I have a loom.
My wonderful, wonderful friend got wind of a potentially awesome loom, and checked it out for me, as she knows a lot more about weaving than I do. I almost bought a simple rigid heddle model last year at SAFF, but decided that it wouldn’t do what I wanted, so I’d wait.
So now I have a loom. A floor loom. A 45” LeClerc Nilus in a gorgeous dark finish, with all pieces accounted for and no rust on things that matter.
For free.
I’m in joy and awe and everything else because of the generosity of my friend, and of the woman who gifted me the loom because she wanted someone to have it that would use it. So here's my newest project (to go along with the standing 6-month-old and the running and jumping 2-year-old...)
Nilus LeClerc.

She needs a name.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Waldorf Crochet Cap

I've been working on a Waldorf-style doll, and I've been completely unable to find a pattern for a crochet cap for a 10 inch doll. I've worked one out and offer it here for free, in case someone else needs one. The hat requires less than 20 yards of worsted weight yarn for the base and should fit snugly to the doll's head.

Crochet Cap for 10” Waldorf Doll Hair

Using a size F hook and worsted weight yarn, chain 6 and join to make a circle.

Rnd 1: ch 3, then dc 11 times into the circle (12 sts), place marker to keep track of rounds

From now on, ALL stitches are made into the back of each stitch. This forms a ridge of loops that can be used for tying on hair.

Rnd 2: dc 2 into each stitch (24 sts)

Rnd 3: dc 2 into stitch, dc 1 into next stitch. Repeat for the rest of the round. (36 sts)

Rnd 4: dc 2 into stitch, dc 1 into next 3 stitches. Repeat for the rest of the round. (45 sts)

Test hair on doll’s head to see if the cap is the right size. You may need to add stitches in the next round. This size fit my doll’s head (circumference XX inches) perfectly.

Rnd 5: dc into each stitch

Rnd 6: dc into each stitch

Rnd 7: dc into each stitch for about half the round. Test to see if the cap fits snuggly onto doll’s head and reaches the nape of the neck and high on forehead.

If cap doesn’t reach the nape of the neck, repeat Rnd 7 until it fits.

If cap fits well, hdc into next stitch, sc into next two stitches, slip stitch into next stitch to bind off and give a nice smooth edge.

Secure the cap to doll’s head with needle and thread. Use a crochet hook to knot hair into each of the loops left by crocheting through the back loop.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

High School

I'll admit it. I watch Glee. There's plenty I don't like about the show, but I appreciate musicals making it to the small screen, and the first season was truly a joy to watch. Last night was the season finale, the graduation episode, and I watched my favorite characters make stupid decisions as they headed off to become adults and leave school behind.

I could say plenty about my opinions on how the writers handled their transitions in the show, but that's not what this blog is about.

So how does Glee have anything to do with knitting? It's actually just a coincidence. While I've been watching the seniors at McKinley get ready to graduate, I've also been thinking a lot about my high school friends. My two best friends are getting married this summer, and I can't make it to either wedding. It's incredibly disappointing that I can't be there. I've got two kids, now, and flights are expensive. One of the weddings is happening when my husband is at a trade show, and there's just no way I can drag a 2-year-old and a then 7-month-old to Boston alone. No chance.

These were my two best friends, though. I need to do something VERY special for them.

And so I'm knitting.

Not just anything, however. I'm knitting complicated, cabled things. Things that will take hours of work to make into reality, with my hopes and memories knit into every stitch. I only hope they will appreciate the love I'm putting into their afghans as much as I appreciate their continued friendship, no matter where they end up in the world.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Austen spun up

Three Waters Farm, my favorite dyer, has done a series of Polworth/Silk braids based on the interior colors popular during the Regency period -- aka Jane Austen's time. The braid was a gorgeous blue/green with a tiny bit of taupe. Spun up, however, it's even more luscious. I can't wait to knit this up!




Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February is for Finishing

In Bubbo's Pants on Ravelry (a group of awesome women and a couple of men who are truly excellent to each other), February is for finishing projects. I'm proud to say that I finally finished my large sized Clara Shawl.


Right at the end, with half a ball of Knit Picks Shimmer in Eucalyptus left, I decided to snag the edging from Annis and stuck it on Clara. It fits perfectly.

I also spun up some Three Waters Farm BFL in Sarah's Imperative. I'm so very much in love with BFL, and the depth of color on this fiber is just incredible. Yummy!


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Excuse the mess

Hi, blog.

Two kids are busymaking. I promise I will get back to you soon.

In the meantime, I've been completely obsessed with knitting mini-sized Annis Shawls.

There will be pictures someday. Right now, DKJr wants down, and TinyDK is still on my lap. Must run. And run, and run, and run...