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Crazy for Ewe

Knightshift Knitalong

Knightshift Knitalong

Nightshift has taken the knitting community by storm.  Designed by the uber-adorable Andrea Mowry, Nightshift is a large, asymmetrical triangular shawl that uses slip stitches to produce a fabric that plays colors against one another to wonderful effect. With a beautiful  surprise on every row, Nightshift is fun and interesting to knit without being overly challenging -- a lot of bang for your more

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6 Things to know about cotton yarn

6 Things to know about cotton yarn

Here comes Spring, and with it the plant-based fibers so many of us love to hate.  Yesterday in the shop, Bonnie, a ten-year old new knitter, was practicing her knitting.  Her stitches were perfect, but she was struggling against her yarn. It was dishcloth cotton, which is no treat to use.  She was valiant, and persevered, but you could tell it wasn't much fun.  My goal, of course, is to create a hoard of dedicated new knitters -- I couldn't possibly sit by and watch this lovely child get frustrated and lose interest in knitting simply because she was fighting with her materials.  So I swapped her dishcloth cotton out for a soft, more loosely spun cotton.  After a couple of rows, she looked up and proclaimed it to be much easier now

That's because there's cotton, and then there's cotton.  I wrote a post about cotton several years ago which helps explain what I mean. 

Cotton yarn is different from wool, that's for sure, and cotton sometimes 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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Chunking - the key to success

There are so many projects and ideas running around in my head, that I am often overwhelmed and paralyzed, and nothing gets done.  I've been struggling with a way to get my arms around it all, and in my search, I stumbled across Productive Flourishing and their Momentum Planning program.  This guy was a military logistics officer, which means that he knows how to take care of the big stuff and the small stuff without letting anything fall through the cracks.  He has an intuitive sense of how to herd cats, which is another way of saying, he can help people like me learn to focus, stay on track, and actually more Continue reading

You've got to taste it

You've got to taste it
My husband and I had the Saturday all to ourselves as Colton was spending the weekend in DC with Johnny.  Friday was a pretty wild time with me and Malcolm falling asleep around 7:30 on (or near) the sofa. But Saturday was a trip to Fredericksburg, and when in Fredericksburg, a stop at Wegman's is non-negotiable.  I love everything about this store, but it's the cheese counter that calls to me most.  Cheese, like wine, is a fascinating living product with a million varieties, each with its unique characteristics.  Even after all these years of loving cheese, I still tend to the kinds I know because they're safe.  But I want to know more - to make more Continue reading

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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The Weekender

The Weekender

Sweater weather?  We've been saying it since October, but today it really is -- a cozy, curl up on the couch kind of day full of nothing but knitting and binge watching your favorite shows.  What you want right now is Andrea Mowry's gorgeous Weekender sweater.  If you're not already wearing it, this is more

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