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Crazy for Ewe

All about the color

All about the color
This month is all about Color. Between Socktoberfest with all the beautiful hand-dyed yarns and our annual Noro event, I am in color heaven.  Color is a powerful force. It is what first attracts us, evoking an involuntary emotional response. We see the color and there is a sudden slight intake of breath. Our pulse quickens. Our eyes dilate, and our blood pressure rises a bit. It's like love - or lust anyway. The first words out of our mouth are "I love this color--what can I make with more Continue reading

The best yarn

The best yarn

We had a lovely customer at the table who needed a new circular needle. Ginni asked her whether she wanted Addi's, ChiaGoo Red Lace, or Lykke's.  She said, "I don't know, which one is the cheapest?" As it happens, they're all within a few dollars of each other, and I was sad that her decision was going to come down to price.  I said, "You know, each needle is slightly different, and you ought to decide based on the yarn, the project, and your personal preference. Why don't you try them all and see which works best for you?" So she did.  I don't remember what she chose, but I was happy that she had made a conscious choice rather than opting for what might have been a sub-optimal selection based entirely on price.

The whole interaction reminded me of a beautiful scene from the novel A Gentleman in Moscow, in which The Count overhears a young man at the next more

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Knitting heroes

Knitting heroes
Author Joseph Campbell wrote extensively about the creation of legendary figures - the hero story. Heroes begin as relatively ordinary men and women who receive a call to action. Whether to fight a monster or simply prove themselves, heroes resist the call at first, but eventually accept, heading off to lands unknown, both figurative and literal. They meet a mentor who shares the skills and secrets the hero needs along the way.  The journey is not without difficulties. They try and fail. They fall and get up. They lose faith. They begin again. In the end, the hero succeeds and returns a new and more Continue reading

Knit in real life

Knit in real life

Saturday in the shop, Melissa and I were looking at an ad from Eileen Fisher.

Melissa said, "I love this ad‑ three women, all different ages, all different sizes, and all different colors, wearing basically the same sweater. It makes me sad when I hear women look at a pattern and say 'I could never wear that.'"

"Maybe they mean it's just not their personal style," I offered.

"That's different, " she said. "That's 'I would never wear that' not 'I could never wear that.'"

I agreed. "I think when someone says, 'I could never wear that,' there is this unspoken following clause of 'and look like that in it,' which is not the point."

"Right," she said, "because  you're not supposed to look like someone else in your clothes. It's not a costume. You're supposed to look like you in your clothes."

The beauty of knitting is that you make your garment to fit you, the way you like it.

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An attitude of gratitude

An attitude of gratitude
We spend a lot of time in the industry talking about how to find happiness and peace and calm through our knitting. Even here in my newsletters I talk about finding happiness through mindfulness and gratitude.  In his book Awakening Joy, Frank Baraz talks about how a deep and sincere gratitude, practiced each and every day, helps us to find Joy in our live despite what is happening around us. When our car breaks down and we're late for an important meeting, and we have to call a friend to come get us, gratitude is not the emotion most of us feel. It's hard to look at that situation and be grateful, but that is exactly what Baraz suggests we do: think "I am grateful that I have a car to break down, a job in which I am valued, friends to call, and money for a tow truck." It's a revolutionary way to live, but the recent death of a friend has shown me how important it is to try. Continue reading

Validation through knitting

Validation through knitting

When Elizabeth, my oldest, was born, I remember my father saying that unless she grew up to be a major celebrity, she would never again command the constant attention and adoration she had right now. It is true. We doted on her; watched her every move, and applauded her every accomplishment. It's really no wonder first children and only children turn out the way they do.

As Elizabeth grew, and her siblings came along, life returned to a new normal, and that rockstar attention waned. But even older children crave

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The big transition

The big transition
This is a week of transition. The cool morning air and the shifting of the light tell us fall is coming. School is starting. Summer's relaxed lifestyle gives way to a more structured one. A million tiny transitions each move us forward. Every night to day, every row from knit to purl and back again. These are not tough. We’ve made these transitions a thousand times. We know what to expect and how to handle them. Colton, going back to school for his senior year is so unlike the freshman who worried about finding his classes in the high school labyrinth. This year is No Big Deal. It’s the big transitions, the shift from the familiar  Continue reading

Knitting yourself serenity

Knitting yourself serenity
My high school physics teacher, Mrs. Corbin, a rare gem who wore a lab coat to class, introduced wave theory to me. My only experience with waves was the ocean, where current and tide and a whole host of other forces at work that made simple waves confusing for me. She explained that a wave makes the water rise and fall as it passes through, but despite appearances, it doesn't actually move the water forward. It was hard for me to understand until she brought in a Shive Wave Machine pictured above to demonstrate.It was fascinating to see how the bars moved up and down as the wave advanced horizontally across  Continue reading

Fall Fashion Trends and Wooladdicts

Fall Fashion Trends and Wooladdicts
Back in the early spring when I started looking at fall yarns, I had the pleasure of seeing Trish Malcolm, former editor in chief of Vogue Knitting present fall fashion trends in knitwear and beyond. Isn't it interesting how fashion comes about -- how it is that designers all over the world converge on certain shapes and colors or textures and silhouette? Fascinating, I think.  When the fall yarns come in kind of all at once, I can see those predicted trends play out in the fiber industry.  Continue reading

Yarn just wants to be understood

Yarn just wants to be understood

My daughter Katie called Sunday to say she was coming down for dinner. Just a quick trip because she missed us while we were on vacation. It's wonderful to have her this close and to have such a good relationship with her, especially since it could easily have gone the other way. 

You see, Katie was a challenging teenager. Strong-willed and rebellious, always pushing the boundaries and then some. Not mean spirited, but 

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