Monday, December 15, 2014

Memory shawl (part2)

So, the next yarn is a beautiful malabrigo silk in a stunning shade of purple..

So, this yarn was most certainly therapy yarn. It was purchased about 5 minutes after I received aea sage saying that my step father had been rushed to the hospital. He later had triple bypass (and has recovered well) 

Sometimes we find comfort in the strangest places. I believe for us knitters it becomes our yarn. This weekend I have been making yarn ball ornaments (photos later) there is nothing knitting related about these ornaments, except the yarn. My brain is going a mile a minute with thoughts, but these yarn balls take lots of concentration (and hot glue). Yarn is the perfect comfort food. It sustains is. It gives us something beautiful, soft, and warm. We know it can become something. 

This yarn eventually became an ishbel for a lovely friend. This friend came into my life at a rough patch. Through music and faith we became fast friends. 

(Link to finished shawl below) 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Memory Shawl (part 1)

Recently, someone asked me to help her out with a small project. Since I have NOTHING better to do with my time, I figured why not.

The conversation went something like this.

You game?

Sure, why not, I only just decided to knit all of my co-workers Potter themed hand knits, but why not knit something else.

Challenge: knit Clara Park's one Skein Shawl. MUST be knit with stash yarn, musst alsso include multiple yarns. .

So, I didn't have to think long about the project. Recently I had been organizing my yarns, and I came acorss yarns from projects that I didn't want to get rid of. For whatever reason, I really loved these yarns. I finally put my finger on it with this project. Maybe it was the yarn, maybe it was the project, but these yarns help a special place in my heart.

The finished product is more than I could have imagined it would be. It is beautiful, it is colorful, it is possibly one of my favorite projects.


The first yarn from this project is called Saoirse . This was much more than a yarn. Saoirse is a beautiful little girl who battled cancer alongside her mom.

Sadly, she lost her battle. Her mom and dad have carried on her memory through the Fitzgerald Cancer Fund to raise awareness and funds for Neuroblastoma research. Another Crafty Girl on Etsy created a beautiful colorway to honor Saoirse and support the Fitzgerald Cancer fund. I immediately JUMPED at the chance to get some. I turned the Yarn into 2 hats, and still had more left over. There was never Quite enough yarn for a full project, but the energizer bunny that was this yarn just didn't want to quit.


The hats that came from this yarn, and the final project that this yarn will become (a gift for Saoirse's mom) have always been a joy for me to knit. I know that these hats have gone to children that can share be warmed by the spirit of an incredibly happy child who had n incredible smile and a fierce determination.

This project will be written up in multiple blog posts. More to come. . . . 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My knit-versary

Wow, I almost forgot... Well, I did forget, but I remembered today.

September 8,2001 I purchased my first pair of knitting needles.. I was living in high point North Carolina, and everyone around me was crochetibg. I wanted to knit, so I did. 

I know what day it was because it was a Saturday, now known as the Saturday before 9/11.

It was on that day that I called  my mom to tell her about my recent purchase, and she told me how sick my boppie was. 

Knitting got me through that week, knitting gave me something to do when I quit smoking... Both times.

Knitting brought me closer to a wonderful friend, knitting has brought me more friends, knitting has taught me patience, knitting has given me confidence, knitting for me through one of the most terrible years of my life. 

Knitting has given me a way to say thank you to the people that saved my nephews life. Knitting has supported me.

For all of you that have followed this journey with me, I thank you. You have given me so much through the years. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tribute hat

This September I am once again embarking on 2 big fundraising events. The Jimmy Fund Marathon and the Dempsey Challenge.

Both of these events will not only challenge me physically, but they give me the opportunity to celebrate the people in my life that have battled cancer.

I like to find a way to carry those people with me on these events, and I like to find creative ways to do that. Last year, I traveled with a length of i-cord and each section was for a different person. I ran my first 5K, and rode my first 25 mile event with that chain of love.

Last night, Iw as trying to decide how I would honor these amazing people. then I decided.

A HAT!!!!

Hats are my favorite thing to knit, why NOT make one for myself!!

I found some Gold yarn in my stash, and I decided to make My Funny Valentine . I made this hat for a friend who was going through chemo earlier this year. I LOVE the pattern, and the hearts show the love the tI have for everyone that I am celebrating while I participate in these events.

If you would like me to celebrate anyone on my events, please let me know their name, and the color of the ribbon.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

First Prayer Shawl

LAst week was, to say the least, a rough week at work. I was in need of some retail therapy. 

On Friday, this pattern came up in my Facebook feed, and it was exactly what I needed. 

This is the Thinking of you Scarf  from Heartstrings knitting patterns. As soon as I saw this pattern, I knew that it would be perfect for a friend. For this friend, this year has been a roller coaster. The biggest  dip on this ride has been her grand-daughters cancer diagnosis. Not quite a year ago, a tumor was discovered on her grand-daughters leg, and it was determined that it was OsteoSarcoma. After enduring months of chemo, and a partial Leg amputation, the cancer came back in her lungs. This 13 year old girl is living her last days enjoying her favorite places, foods, and friends. 

Casting on this shawl will begin the knitting journey of my first prayer shawl. For years people have asked me if I would knit a prayer shawl, and I always found reasons not to. I had other projects on the needles, I had hats to knit, I didn't like the yarn that they were using for the shawls. It has always been easy to find excuses not to knit a prayer shawl. 

On Friday night I came home and cast on this shawl. I started with a beautiful navy blue yarn that I have in my stash. It just wasn't working. Something wasn't right. So I frogged it, and cast it on again. Still not right. I found another blue yarn, and tried casting it on. It still wasn't right. Something didn't feel right about the texture. It was cotton, it wasn't soft. 

On Saturday morning, I went through my stash again in hopes that I would find the right yarn, and nothing was right. not the right shade, not the right texture, wouldn't have the right drape, didn't have enough yarn. 

My heart ached. I want this to be perfect. I want this friend to be able to wrap herself in warmth, feel the love of others with her, and reflect on the joy of her grand-daughters life. 

I think that is why it has taken me so long to knit a prayer shawl in the first place. My faith is very important to me, and to think that someone will be using this shawl for comfort means so much to me. The shawl has to provide the right texture and the right warmth. 

So today I am off to the yarn store to find the perfect yarn for this shawl. I hope to spend time knitting this project in some beautiful places. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Fitness Friday

So, if you follow me on Facebook or Plurk you know that along with knitting, I have a few other hobbies. I am preparing for a number of charity events, all of which involve running riding or walking. I have started looking at Fitness in a different way recently. It's amazing how many opinions there are in the world of biking, running, and even walking. . . okay, you are in the knitting world, of COURSE you know this.

So, I got a bike. her name is Elphy. Elphy and I have been getting along great. She is awesome.

Okay, why did I name her Elphy. I a the theatre knitter, she is Green, and if you look closely you can see the logo for my LBS (Local Bike Shop) is a witch on a bike. soooo Elphaba it is.

So, After my first long training ride, I decided to give "clip less" pedals a try. If you have read the Yarn Harlots new book, her entire first chapter is about learning how to ride this way. It is not easy, it is NOTHING like riding a bike. It is totally different. I spent 3 weeks trying to learn how to use these "superior" pedals.

Well, I decided to say screw it. I put my real pedals back on my bike, and now life is great. What made me change my mind? I got ahold of this book. Just Ride: A Radically Practical Guide to Riding your Bike.  This book is brilliant. It takes all of the crap out of riding. There is one thing he says is the best. it's not about distance, it's about the time. so today, i spent 30 minutes on my bike. i didn't ride 10 miles, i didn't ride 20 miles. i rode for 30 minutes. i focused on which gear i was in. I focused on looking where I was turning so that i could see my destination. I focused on enjoying my ride for the 30 minutes that i rode my bike.

I plan to think the same way about running. I REALLY hate running. But I know it's good exercise. So every day this week, I will run for 10 minutes. thats it, just 10 minutes.

Elphy and I had a great ride today, and that is all that mattered.

OH, i'll bet you want to know what I am riding for !!!

I am riding the Best Buddies Challenge. Currently, my goal is to ride the 50 mile ride. Feel free to donate, I can certainly use all of the help that I can get.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Weekend WIP

I had to put one project in hibernation, really for two reasons. 1. I totally screwed it up and started knitting in the wrong direction, and 2…. I bought a new dress so then I had to find a new project.

I have 2 projects on the needles right now… WEll, lets be honest. I have 2 projects on the needles that I am willing to make public.

First project is my new favorite hat pattern. I LOVE this pattern!!!

Butterfly hat pattern by Sofiya Cremin. I LOVE this pattern. It is versatile, it is pleasant to knit, and it is super simple. I have made 3 of them. A friend from choir asked if I could make a hat for her new niece, and I couldn't resist.

So, this is how I spent my Friday night. Who could disagree with THAT night. 

Since I bought a new dress for the cousins wedding, I had to find something new to make to go with it. The original plan was peach and grey, and I was going to knit Chevrette. I was having trouble with the pattern. I decided to look for something else. 

I decided to cast on Clara Park's One skein Shawl  . I decided to use some yarn that has been in my stash for 7 years. The yarn was given to me as a gift from Nutmegknitter , probably after her baby shower? 

I love the simplicity of this pattern, and it is flying off the needles. It will be done in plenty of time for the wedding and it will be a GREAT color for the dress. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Throwback Thursday - when was the last time YOU knit a Clapotis

I was looking through my project page, and it was sort of neat to remember those past projects. So I've decided to start "Throwback Thursday" project style.

Who remembers the Clapotis ? I've knit it twice, and probably cast it on about 4 or 5 more times.

I really loved knitting this project. I remember the fear of dropping the stitches for the first time. I was Terrified that the entire project would completely unravel. Who drops stitches on Purpose!!!!!!!

I also love who received these projects. I gave my first Clapotis to my aunt Christine. My aunt Christine is the other knitter in the family. I remember watching her knit a Beautiful fisherman's sweater while we took a ferry over the Prince Edward Island, Canada.

I knit this project out of Bamboo cotton.

The next one I knit was for my sister Rebecca for her baby shower. For some reason, I do not have a picture of that shawl in my projects (WHAT!!!) But it is really beautiful. I'll find a pic sometimes for you. 

So, what are your #throwbackthursday projects? Why did you love working on it? 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Weekend WIP

The other day I was wandering around in Salem, and I saw some dresses hanging outside a Boutique. Normally I wouldn't have wandered in, but a dress stood out to me, AND it was on sale!!!!!!!

I grabbed the dress to wear to my cousins wedding in June. So of COURSE I need to knit something to wear with it.

I chose the grey yarn and the peach. The Peach is Ella Rae Rimini I got this in one of the Webs Grab bags recently (FYI, treat yourself to one of these sometime, it's TOTALLY work it) 

The grey goes back into blogger/podcast lore….. who remembers Lime and Violet? ? ? The Grey yarn is from their Intentions collection. I'm fairly confident that this is Friendship  .

So, now to find the perfect pattern. I came across this simple chevron shawl called Chevrolette, and so far so good. It moves quickly, and it's working well with both colors. I started working on it over drinks, appetizers, and cocktails with Nutmegknitter 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Start-itis with a side of lack of interest

So, I pose this question.... How do you handle a case of start itis? Do you give in and cast on? Do you make a list of the projects that you want to do so that you finish the project that you are on? 

What about a case of lack of interest? Or frustration? Lately it seems that the projects that have always treated me so well in the last are just failing me. 

Let's take baby surprise jacket. I love this pattern, I've made 3. It's perfect. However, I can't seem to make it work this time. I keep messing it up. It bothers me more that I actually have to make this for an auction. 

Then there is the circus tent hat from hope spinners. I've had this pattern for ages, it's super fun. Yup, can't seem to figure out the simple color work.

Have I spent too much time on my garter stitch Yvonne from cocoknits that my knitting brain can only handle the monotony of knit one row, purl the next, and increase at the marker every four rows? 

Links to come later, I'm on my phone right now. 

But seriously, how do you treat start-itis with a case of lack of interest .... (Oh, we won't discuss the issues with the wheel and spindle. Right now, that relationship is not going well at all) 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Crazy idea

Okay okay, let's get past the I don't blog enough, blah, blah, blah... I'll fill you all in on what I'm doing in a couple of days, I'm actually keeping up with three blogs and multiple Facebook pages...

Okay, the crazy idea... It's really a social experiment.

Leave a basket of yarn, needles, and crochet hooks (all different sizes and colors) in a public place (a mall, doctors office, library, coffee shop). Maybe leave a sign on the basket that says "public yarn" and see what people do with it.

I would love to see if people pick up the yarn, maybe ask the people who did pick it up why they did so.

I know, I told you it was weird.

(This has not been spell checked, it was posted from my phone.. Bear with the typos. )