Monday, February 20, 2017


February has been unseasonably mild.  
It's President's Day.  Everyone has the day off except, well, my day is the same as usual.  

I spent the morning writing up a new hat pattern for Windy Valley Muskox.  At shows, we often have customers ask whether we have men's patterns.  Many of our patterns could be unisex, depending on the color it's knit in, but this was designed with the guys in mind.  Of course, it would look equally nice on a woman, in my opinion.  Anyway, this one's photographed on a man, so hopefully that will answer the question!  

Once I get the pattern posted on Ravelry, I will come back and add a link.  For now, a few details and a picture:

Yarn:  WVM's Australian Merino in 7014 Bering Sea, and WVM's Luxury Blend in 7015 Celestial Blue
Needles:  US 3/3.25mm and US 4/3.5mm, both 16", and US 4 dpns.  
It's lined - the qiviut blend is on the inside for extra warmth and luxury.  
Project page:  on Ravelry.

I know it's so dark, but manly color, you know.  You can see a bit of shine around the edge where the qiviut blend, which includes silk, peeks over.  

The other project I worked on was pruning my raspberries.  As I said, it's been so mild here; it seemed wasteful to spend the whole day inside.  I love having my own fruit, even if it's a few days here, a few weeks there, and I thought it was probably time I looked a little further into care for the canes.  I read this article and watched this video, which say the same thing essentially, and then set to work.  Now I hope for a healthy bounty, come September.  

 last September:

One more tidbit, my friend Susan was featured in the March 2017 issue of American Quilter.  Wow!  Congrats, Susan!!

Monday, January 9, 2017

not quite 116 in 2016

I decided in favor of quality vs. quantity, this year.  At the end of last year (2015), I chose to round out my set with the best I had... it wasn't the worst but I did not to do that this time.  And there were some I just didn't want to shoot.  Here are some favorites from the this year's list.  

creature comforts 

                               a map

out of place



                              nature's jewels

                                    a gate

You can see the rest of my set here

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Rhinebeck 2016: New York Sheep and Wool Festival

hand-dyes drying at the fairground

Thanks to my work with Windy Valley Muskox, I had the opportunity to visit rural New York in October.  Famed and celebrated fiber gathering, New York Sheep and Wool, aka Rhinebeck almost defies description, there are just so many facets.  What I can tell you is that if you go, you'll definitely see fiber and yarn and sweaters, knitters, fantastic local food, yarn-related celebrities, and absolutely people knitting.  

And animals; you will definitely find animals!  

You can see more of my pictures from Rhinebeck here.
I would also recommend Glenna C's account here, and this fun video about Rhinebeck Sweaters.

Friday, November 11, 2016

artist: Susan, painter

Third in my artists and craftsmen series.
Some weeks ago, my friend, artist Susan Schmitt, allowed me to spend a morning with her, observing and photographing her as she painted, her inspirations, methods, tools and techniques.

With a fresh bouquet of flowers from the garden as inspiration, she transformed a piece of white paper into a lovely expression of summer beauty.  She explained to me that different projects require levels of time and emotion investment.  Some are "show dogs," and some are like a family dog - sometimes a person admires piece but it is not the right investment for them, but everyone should be able to live with art.  Susan draws, carves, stamps, paints, subtracts, redraws, and works til her vision comes together.  She creates everything from printed cards and journals to one-of-a-kind dolls, too.   

She journals with watercolors - sometimes, while her husband is driving!  

Also, Susan is in my knitting group, and has the most adorable grandbaby, so she's a well-rounded lover-of-beautiful-things.  One of the aspects I like most about her work is choice of subjects.  She has a series of cards / illustrations called Women I Might Have Known.  Whenever she publishes a new one, she posts a story on her blog about them.  

And she gives good life advice, but you can't buy that on her site, I'm just lucky to know that.  

Susan is also on Instagram:  susanschmittart.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

musings about the passing of time

A bush full of marigolds: 

When you're young, "old" people will tell you how fast time goes by.  And when you're a new parent, people will go on and on about how this stage "won't last forever" and you should cherish it all, even the annoying parts.  It's just amazing, though, how many things will not fit into the time I have.  

It strikes me how much more I get done in a span of time if I turn off all social media and email.  

I have been accused, more than once, of being completely out of touch with what's "in," and of being old-fashioned.  Tone of voice aside, it's not the insult it was meant to be.  The more life experience I have, the more I begin to see the value of quality over quantity.  Frankly, there are so many more valuable uses of my time than racking up a high number of Friends, which, let's face it, are actually Acquaintances.  

If you wonder, here are some of the recent experiences causing my musings: finding out why someone hasn't been speaking to me for two years; a classmate being diagnosed with breast cancer; being taken for granted; being cherished; a seemingly minor decision with lasting consequences. 

But I'm still here, and life goes on; there's still Truth and time for forgiveness.  So here's to paper books, candles that have time to burn, homegrown tomatoes, handwritten letters, handmade gifts.  Yes, Anna, it's time for Christmas crafting :)

And yes, it all goes together.  

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Hmmm... Really.

My husband was flipping through a magazine and absentmindedly stated, "I already know what my 'spirit animal' is."  To which my youngest asked, "What is a spirit animal?"
Dad:  "Oh, it's an animal you identify with."
Youngest:  "OoOOooh.  Mine's a sloth."

Sunday, September 11, 2016

9/11 - Fifteen Years

The buzz around schools these days is that the new kids coming up through high schools are the first class learning about 9/11 from a historical point of view, as opposed to a personal point of view.  I don't know, it's still personal to me, and I don't see how that would mean nothing to my kids.  I guess we're not talking about it much anymore.  Time for some remembering.