New skills

Well, I bit the bullet and cast on the Peak Brim Flare Crown Star Top Hat (link to ravelry) this weekend. I’d read the instructions and the tip sheets, started watching a Craftsy class, and had totally freaked myself out. So I decided to just start knitting and see what happened. Well, since the first 12 rows are garter, it wasn’t too hard. Then I just took a deep breath, and trusted my 20+ years of knitting. And so far so good!

The hat is knit in the round, and it’s a bit hard to get a picture while it’s still so early in the process, but I have to admit this is a lot of fun:
Entrelac Hat

I haven’t tried knitting backwards yet, while I can see where the flipping back and forth could get tedious, it’s not bothering me at the moment, so I’ll keep going as I am for now.

2/52 New Hats

The hats are done! It seemed like a good opportunity to take our second picture:

It was a grey day, so I didn’t get to take any other pictures, but wanted to get this taken!

It’s going to be a busy week around here, but we’ve got some fun stuff going on.

Next on the needles

I mentioned that I went to the Knitter’s Review Retreat last fall. In addition to the wonderful workshop I enjoyed visiting the vendors. It’s much smaller than any fiber festival, so you get a good chance to really talk to the vendors. One of them was Kathryn Alexander who designs some of the most colorful creative things I’ve seen. My mother in law loves her work. So I decided to get a kit for a hat for her for Christmas. As you can infer, by the date and title of this post, the hat was not ready for Christmas. Fortunately she was excited by the picture I printed from the website and was willing to wait. However, she isn’t willing to wait forever. So with each finished item she sees, or hat that I’m working on, she asks, “is mine done yet?” To which I have to answer honestly. So, I need to start this. I have to admit, I am stalling. It’s entrelac, which I’ve never done, and a LOT of little skeins that need to be wound up.

But I need to bite the bullet and get going. So this is what’s up next:


Last fall I went to a wonderful retreat with Clara Parkes – The Knitter’s Review Retreat. I’d never been to one before, and felt a lot of trepidation about the entire thing – I am rather shy, and as my blog names states, not one to join a lot of groups. Well, no surprise to anyone who’d ever been to one of these, I had a WONDERFUL time, and was welcomed by everyone I met. I should write an entire post about the weekend, but for this one my mind is elsewhere. I took Amy Herzog’s workshop “Knit to Fit.” Since then her book has been publishied (and I did indeed purchase it), but the class is a wonderful experience. One of the things she mentioned was participating in the flickr photo a day group, where you take a picture of yourself every day for a year, and how it helped her realize how critical she had been of herself, and that it was unfounded. I’ve seen these groups, and recently noticed a one a week group, where people take pictures of their children once a week. I don’t know if I could commit to a self portrait every day, so I thought what if I changed it up a bit – once a week, took a picture with my daughter?

So, in my effort to try more with less thought, I’m jumping in:

Week one




Yup, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. Could be a while before I post again! I don’t know if any one really follows per se, or notices my absences. I have a lot of blogs in my feed reader, and while some are more regular than others, I rarely remove anyone from my feed. I guess I’m hoping anyone who has subscribed to my blog has the same philosophy.

I was a little concerned when I found out that Google Reader was going the way of the buggy whip, but was pointed to Feedly and have become a total convert. I have it on my phone, my computer and my iPad. Yup, I have an iPad! I have to admit, I’m pretty excited about it. I’ve wanted one for a LONG time, and I’m really enjoying it. I use it for work, we’ll be scoring softball games on it, and I’ve been looking at the different knitting apps that are available.

So, back to the knitting. I have been doing quite a bit lately. Looking at my ravelry page (which is only somewhat representative, as I just realized) I have a bit I can talk about, and a bit more I think I need to photograph. I’m taking advantage of a beautiful Mother’s Day that happens to be devoid of softball to get a few things done.

I’ve got a few projects on the needles, but because they are gifts, I’ve got to keep them under wraps for a bit longer.

I think I’ve mentioned before, my daughter loves hats, and loves the ones I make for her. A few months ago, Wendy Bernard released a fun pattern The Honeycomber, and the combination of color, floppiness and a huge pompon called my name. I thought it would be fun to make E & me matching ski hats that coordinated with our coats – so same pattern, different colors. She thought it was a great idea. I was about to type “like she’d say no to a hat,” but I must say, she will tell me if she doesn’t like something – it’s nice. She knows I like to knit, but it’s frustrating to make something that won’t get worn or used.

So, back to the hats. The color choices were simple. I have a bright orange ski coat (the better to be seen when I fall into a snow bank) and E has a green one with pink contrast on the zipper. We headed to our local yarn store, The Warm Ewe, and picked out our colors. In March we took a road trip to New Hampshire for a little spring skiing, and I cast on in the car:

When I got to the corrugated ribbing, I realized, I’d never done it before! Which of course I had to tweet – what else is twitter for if not to announce new experiences! It was a little tricky, but by the time I got to it on the second hat it went much more quickly.

So at this time I’ve got one done:

And one more moving toward the finish line:

I’ve got more in the queue, and more to finish, so hopefully I can find the time/motivation to post here more frequently.


It’s been a rainy week, and therefore no good photo opportunities, I’ve decided to resurrect a post I started on a plane a few months ago.

I’ve never been a big reader of non-fiction. Rather ironic considering I was a history major. Perhaps it’s because these the non-fiction that’s usually recommended to me is business oriented. Pretty dry if you ask me. Earlier thus year I had a few more recommended to me – these were a little different. The focus was how to help my daughter succeed. Three were suggested. I ordered one to see what I thought.
Thus began my introduction to The Talent Code. The book has been out for a while, but unlike other books I think the concepts are timeless. I’m sure anyone would be encouraged to hear that natural ability isn’t always as natural as we’ve been led to believe. I wish I’d had this perspective when I was younger. I may have been more likely to try harder, rather than facing certain opportunities with a defeatist attitude.

I’ve put it down for a bit, but as I have some traveling coming up, I’ll pick it up again. Other books that I want to read after I finish this are:
Talent is Overrated
Shut up and Ski by Edie Thys Morgan

But I think next on the list is: Queen Bees and Wannabees

The pre-teen years are hitting our house hard, and I’d like to do anything I can learn to help navigate those times.

In the meantime, when I’m not reading this long weekend, we’re hoping to spend some time working around the house. One thing we really want to do is get our garden back in operation. Last weekend, we plowed:

While plowing this bottle got turned up:

And in the evening, I’m hoping to spend some time on my Color Affection Shawl:
Color Affection

For those in the US, are you looking forward to a long weekend? I know I am.

Travel knitting

I seem to have created quite a queue of finishing projects for myself. I’ve knitted all the pieces of my ruffled cardigan and finished the Lintella as well. I need to block and assemble the cardigan (now that I found the sleeves that I’d managed to misplace for three days), block the Lintella, and I need to block and assemble my Dale of Norway sweater that I was working on last winter.

So what’s a good idea in a situation like this? Starting a new project, of course!
I am traveling for work this week, so I really did need something portable, so it does make sense.

I’ve been reading through What Would Madame DeFarge knit for a while, and had a skein of Malbrigo sock in my stash – so it seemed like the right time to start Bertha’s Mad, Mysterious Moebius.

Last night, after ironing and packing*, I cast on and started knitting. The first few rows had me a little nervous as it seemed rather tight, but now at row 5 it’s moving along nicely.

I’ve got some plane time, so I hope it will keep moving. I’m certainly enjoying it!
I recently discovered that my local library lends e-readers, so I checked one out and put some fun, light reads on it to try it out. So far I have to say I like it, maybe more than I thought I would.

* so I may have cast on before ironing or packing, but it seemed integral, both to to the trip and to my sanity.