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Crazy for Ewe

It always seems impossible, until it's done

It always seems impossible, until it's done

Last week I had just cast on the front of a Triton sweater in dk weight yarn.   Tubular cast on, size 4 needles, 6 rows done -- a fairly time consuming effort, without much to show for it.  My husband saw it sitting on the table at breakfast.  "Pretty yarn, he said, what's it going to be?" 

"A sweater," I answered.

He sort of chuckled and said, "I guess you have to start somewhere."

Yup.  We do. We have to start somewhere.  My husband knows I can and will

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The price of perfection

The price of perfection
I talk a lot about how nice it is that we can go back and fix our knitting.  It's awesome that we can rip back as many times as we like, but there is a cost.  Depending on the nature of the yarn, how we knit, and how we rip there is wear and a certain amount of structural damage to the fiber.  You'll see it right away on fuzzy fabrics like mohair, and you'll see it plenty soon on softly spun fibers.  So, it's important to know whether the mistake you're going back to fix is worth going back and fixing.  If it's a glaring error that will prevent you from wearing the item, absolutely fix it.  Something that will impact the long term integrity of the fabric like a split stitch, by all means, fix it.  But if it's a little something that maybe only you can see -- probably better to just leave it, learn from it, and move on.   Continue reading

What could hockey and knitting possibly share?

What could hockey and knitting possibly share?
When my friend selected Beartown for our book club and said it's about hockey, I was pretty sure I would hate it. I ordered it anyway, because that's what you do when you're in a book club.  You read the stupid book even though you know you'll hate it.  But sometimes you are wrong.  In tiny Beartown, on the outskirts of nowhere, there is an ice hockey club on which the town has pinned all of its hopes and dreams.  Through this fierce sport Frederik Backman dives deep into each character, pulling you in as he gently unfolds their world and their reason for needing hockey like they need air. Backman tells a powerful story Continue reading

Knitting for the Win

Knitting for the Win
College basketball is a big deal in our house.   My husband  is a Duke fan, but as a UVA alumna, I'm all in for UVA and their handsome coach, Tony Bennett.  So, I was pretty happy when UVA won it all this year, the whole championship -- an especially sweet victory after last year when they were beaten early in the tournament by a team not even in the top 15.  It was a disaster, and UVA was widely ridiculed and pointed out as an example of what not to do. So this win, as I said, was sweet.  But how do you do something like that?  How do you get back?  How do you recover from that level of public humiliation and defeat? more Continue reading

Community - be part of it

Community - be part of it

This past weekend I came across an interesting article by Jenny Anderson.   She talked about her brother who had given up the glamour of life in New York City and settled his family in boring small town suburbia.  What was this drab life of little league and kid parties, compared with the exciting urban world of museums, galleries, and theater?  She admittedly looked down on his choices  a bit.  At least until her brother's struggle and eventual death from cancer.

What she found was that her brother had thrived in a community that he had built for himself and his family. He had built his community literally, through his work as an architect, and figuratively, through his involvement with his more

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You're an interesting woman

You're an interesting woman

I love Peruvian Connection, a catalog of beautiful art knits inspired by a variety of global textiles.  The garments are usually hand knit by local artisans who earn a fair trade wage for their work. Stranded, intarsia,and jacquard knits in bold colors and gorgeous graphics, they are not inexpensive, nor would you expect them to be.  They’re art, after all, and worth every penny.

Their most recent email had the subject line “You’re an interesting woman…more

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Never stop learning

Never stop learning
Amazing.  That's how I describe the weekend with Tanis Gray.  So often designers of this caliber are not the best teachers.  Some teachers are not even the best teachers.  Tanis, however, is not only a talented, prolific, and celebrated designer, but a wonderful and generous teacher, and a warm and genuine person.  It was a pleasure to get to know her, to watch her teach, and to learn from her.  As students were leaving Sunday, I heard them all thank Tanis and say how much they'd enjoyed the class and how much they had learned.  Ginni and I chatted afterwards about how these women, some of whom have been knitting more Continue reading

Letting go of fear

Letting go of fear

As I was going through this whole planning and goal setting process that I mentioned last week, I came across an interesting question that I had to answer in order to complete the plan.  It asked, What are you afraid of?

Afraid? Me? Really? Wait a minute.  I'm a grown up.  I'm the one who looks under the bed to check for monsters.  Grown-ups aren't afraid of anything, are we?  Or are we? The truth is that everyone, at some level, is afraid of the unknown.  more

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It's a practice

It's a practice
We had a wonderful day Sunday practicing mindfulness in knitting, yoga, all lots of other ways.  Mindfulness is really just being present in the moment and experiencing right now without thinking or worrying about the past or the future.  Sounds simple, but it's amazing how hard it can be to stay focused.  There I was knitting away on one of my favorite yarns in my absolute favorites color.  I'm making a throw with mitered squares.  The pattern is easy but not boring, and I really love working it.  It should have been a breeze for me to focus on the yarn and the colors and be in the moment with my beautiful project.  But my mind kept wandering - what else could I make with this yarn?  What other patterns would look good in mitered squares?  I was all over the place more Continue reading

Your brain on knitting

Your brain on knitting

Sally Melville, is one wise woman. A pioneering knitwear designer, Sally's mantra is "knit what you wear and wear what you knit"  I love the way she teaches, the way she writes, and the way she thinks.  She spent a number of years at Canada's University of Waterloo teaching study skills and she has done some wonderful work on learning and remembering.  In studying how to study, one of the things she more

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