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Crazy for Ewe

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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Yarn - it doesn't just grow on trees

Yarn - it doesn't just grow on trees

We had an awesome retreat in Staunton. What a great town!  Beautiful hotel, lovely little shops along the downtown streets, and plenty of wonderful restaurants nestled in the foothills of Virginia's Allegheny mountains make it worth the three-hour drive. A friend I haven't seen in more than 15 years lives in Staunton, so we caught up over lunch in a bakery so decadent I visited it every single day we were there.  On top of all that, I had the pleasure of spending an entire weekend with 22 fantastic women and 2 amazing men who all love knitting (or a knitter).

The centerpiece of this particular retreat was a visit to Francis Chester's Cestari Farms, a small operation that produces lovely yarns of wool, cotton, and linen yarns for hand-knitting and weaving. This is a labor of love, and it shows. Francis' face lights up when talks about his sheep, his yarns, and the struggles his 

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It's okay to make a mess. You're an artist

It's okay to make a mess.  You're an artist

Last month I had the pleasire of visiting Glenstone, an unusual contemporary art museum.  The buildings themselves are stark and modern with huge glass panels that remove the distinction between indoors and out.  Multiple galleries showcase a stunning collection of works that represent significant transitional shifts in modern art. There are those with whom I was familiar, like Alex Calder, Jackson Pollock, and Andy Warhol, but I am not well-versed in modern art, so most were new to me. I was particularly drawn to these lovely objects by Ruth Asawa in the photo

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There is no right path, only your path

There is no right path, only your path
Melissa, one of my favorite people, was in the shop on Saturday. She brought with her batch of the most amazing chocolate chip cookies ever-in-the-history-of-the-universe, fresh from the oven. Still warm. But I digress. Anyhow, something came up about German, and she said that after washing out of Chemical Engineering in college, she had majored in German. I too, had washed out of chemical engineering in college and majored in English. In all  Continue reading
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