Saturday, March 06, 2010


Many months ago, I came across one skein of this beautiful yarn, called Sock Hop, hand dyed by Dalis Davidson, owner and operator of Dancing Leaf Farm in Maryland. The colorway, I believe, is "Briar Patch." The day was cold and gray, and the yarn was soft, warm, and was love at first sight.

One-of-a-kind skeins -- even when the yardage is good -- can sometimes be a tough sell. For 20 minutes or so I squeezed and caressed the yarn, and went over my budget in my mind, to see what I could do gasoline? heat? (Not really.) Finally (surprise!) I caved in and bought the jewel-like skein, brought it home, and pondered its destiny.

Craving a basic, mindless pattern for movie watching and traveling, I opened up a Japanese stitch dictionary, and chose a semi-lacy design that wouldn't overpower, or be overpowered by, the yarn's bright, randomly changing colors. And what do you know...a silky little scarf gradually unfurled on my needles.

One of those projects you can carry around in your purse for spontaneous knitting opportunities, Bento is never mind-numbing. In fact, I am doing my own test knitting on this one (though slowly). After all, this skein called out to me, Siren-like. And, after a couple of months, I still find the shifting colors, like sunlight through stained glass, infinitely pleasing.

I am also enjoying this stitch pattern, which marries a few rows of stockinette and a rhythmic scattering of purl rows. The texture and tones of the yarn are front and center, while the occasional yarn-over row satisfies my desire for something a bit more complex than garter stitch.

Bento is a pattern for those single, wonderful skeins you come across now and then. A simple design, but effective, I think. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do.


Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Flitt Mitts: Feels like spring!

Flitt Mitts by Kristi Johnson

I mentioned these mitts in yesterday's post, but just had to show you how CUTE they are. Love 'em, especially those sweet little bees buzzing around the easy-to-embroider spring flowers.

Designed by Kristi Johnson, the gloves use two colors (Concord Grape and Juniper Berry) of Honey Worsted (100% superwash Merino) from Shalimar Yarns.

A bit of simple embellishment takes these mitts from nice to super-special. In fact, this pattern just might be THE answer to those last few chilly weeks of winter. And you'll love this part: The "Flitt Mitts" pattern is free! Just hop (or buzz?) on over to to download it.

While you're there, check out Shalimar's gorgeous colors and browse the company's patterns. Who knows? You just might find yourself humming Spring is Busting Out All Over as you queue up a new project (or two, or three...).


Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Thank you! (and sneak peeks)

The "Mom Socks"

Early last autumn, I began to lose my "knitting mojo" as some have called it. Truthfully, that phrase kind of annoys me. It does, however, describe with more than a little accuracy how I felt. Designing began to feel like a chore, and maintaining my blog was even more difficult.

As the year drew to an end, I realized that I'd hardly been knitting or crocheting or spinning... Sure, we've been going through some tough times around my house, but enough to totally shut down? Well, maybe.

Brandywine Shawl (yarn: Shalimar Yarns Zoe Sock in Blue Raspberry)

But then something wonderful happened... My friend Kristi -- purveyor of Shalimar Yarns and designer of one of the cutest pair of mitts ever (Flitt Mitts) -- invited me to give some drop spindle demonstrations at the Indie Artist Celebration hosted by Eleganza Yarns. Surrounded by lovely, friendly fiber arts people -- knitters and crocheters alike -- I suddenly felt all warm and fuzzy, like I'd come home again.

I'll write more about the actual event in coming days. For now, I just want to take a moment to thank those of you who stopped by the table I was babysitting to say hello, those of you who told me you enjoy my designs, and those of you who read -- and comment on -- my blog.

Bento (A new pattern, available soon!)

Thank you, thank you. Your support and encouragement reminded me that I'm more than just a daughter, sister, friend, or wife. I am (among other things) a fiber artist -- knitter, crocheter, spinner, designer. And I count myself lucky to be part of this generous and talented community.