Saturday, April 23, 2011

Mental Floss

We're in the process of selling the country house we've had for 17 years. It's hard. For all this time, it's been a place to take the kids when the city summers got too hot and they could run a little freer; a place to go without the teenagers when there was too much attitude; a bolt-hole from the stresses of parents in dementia and other conditions. We all know that it's time to move on: we don't use it much at all and none of the kids seem to be interested, but it's hard. There are a lot of memories in that place, and even when we're there to clean up and clear out, there's the sense of quiet and calm and away-ness that is absent in everyday life.

Within a couple of months of settling in, we put this picture on the kitchen wall:

It's exactly why we went there. It's hard to let go.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Yarnovers

Allie and her friend Jennie have just launched their Etsy shop, The Yarnovers. It's filled with crocheted kitchen items: hand towels, aprons, oven mitts, coasters, pot holders, etc. They've been working very hard for the last couple of months, designing and making their inventory, creating the background set for photography, and now it has all come together.

Good things do come out of hard times: these are two smart, educated young women who have applied for about 100 jobs between the two of them, with no responses. So they're making it happen themselves.

Check it out. Buy some towels. Have some fun.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


In March, I needed an easy, portable project to work on while riding the MegaBus to New York, one that would interest me but not be difficult to execute while we barreled down the Jersey Turnpike.

I cast on while we were waiting in line, tried a few different shapes and stitches while we rode, and by the time we got to East Brunswick, I had settled on a four-section shawl with the outer two worked in Stockinette stitch and the inner two worked in a slip stitch. The rhythm of working it was so right that even when I dozed on and off during the ride home, I didn’t mess it up.

The day I wore it to work, all finished and blocked, both my co-worker and a customer wanted the pattern. So here it is.

It has proven to be quite popular on Ravelry; you can get your copy of the pattern here for $3.00:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tipped and Skewed

Two triangular shawls playing on the idea of placing increases so that the end result is an asymmetrical shape with curved wingspans that hug your shoulders. Both are worked in worsted weight yarn, work up quickly, and when wet-blocked, are much lighter than you'd expect.

Tipped was first:

Stockinette stitch is alternated with a garter ridge, and the edging is ribbing that widens gradually to create an almost-but-not-quite ruffle.

Tipped is available for $5.00; you can get your copy here:

I had so much fun designing Tipped that I wanted to take the idea and push it a bit more. That's where Skewed came in:

Skewed is Tipped Shaw’s bolder cousin: the colors are brighter, the center spine is more than off-center, the garter ridges don’t quite line up, and instead of ribbing, a vertical welt finishes off the bottom edge. The welt edging is worked with short rows to accommodate the curve of the bottom edge.

Through April 30, Skewed is available at the introductory price of $3.00.

Monday, April 11, 2011


A design from a couple of years ago that is, I think, clever as well as practical and pretty: the Changeling Travel Changing pad.

Worked in Stockinette Stitch stripes, the center panel has garter stitch edging, and the side flaps are picked up along the sides. It fastens with a button, and is designed to fit around a pack of wipes or a couple of diapers so everything you need is right at hand. And if you knit it in cotton or a cotton blend, you can pop it in the washer as needed.

This is a great project for a baby shower, as easy to knit as a blanket but more out of the ordinary.

Folded up, Changeling measures approximately 11” x 7” x 2”, and opened up, it measures 26” x28”.

You can buy the pattern at in either printed or pdf form.