Previous month:
November 2017
Next month:
January 2018


I used to  make resolutions in the new year: lose weight, exercise more, get a grip on my life, etc. You know what they say, better be careful what you wish for? Does the story of The Monkey's Paw come to mind? After I had my stroke, I had all the time in the world to knit; my life is much, much, to the point of being horrifying, simpler; I lost 60 pounds; and I walked about 10.000 steps a day (until I didn't; I should get back to it). Now I live a lot closer to the moment, so my resolutions are not as far ranging. They will involve knitting, because that is one thing I can count on. 

My Resolutions for 2018

1. For everything that I knit for myself (to give away or keep), I resolve to knit one or more items for charity. The homeless veterans that my friend Marie helps every December deserve so much; the least I can do is give them a warm hat or socks or mittens. As the wife of a veteran, I am appalled that our veterans don't get what they need, but that has always been the case. I am still appalled. Also, as I knit for the wonderful children in my life, I also know that other kids are without the warmth of a hand knitted hat or mittens to keep them warm when they play outside in the winter, and that is something I want to lend a hand in. There is a local school to which it will be very good to give little hats and mittens. My sister Rachel taught for years, and she always loved to get mittens and hats for kids who needed them. She knit for classrooms after she retired, so I will carry on the tradition.

2. Be happy. It's always a struggle. But, a happy knitter is a better knitter!

It's a pretty short list, but short lists are easier to achieve!

My brown Norderny is about 60% done:


I bound off the body last night, and I will start knitting the sleeves today. I love this sweater!

I knit one hat for a veteran, and I am about 80% done a second one. They both look like this:

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The pattern is Barley from TinCanKnits and the yarn is Paintbox by Knit One, Crochet Too, now discontinued. TinCanKnits has so many wonderful free patterns! 

Nancy Howard, a valued Unique One employee, dropped off a bunch of yarn at my house. It was mostly on cones, and a couple  gigantic cones were sport weight acrylic, black and turquoise. I was thrilled at the black and turquoise, but not so thrilled that it was acrylic. But,  I twirled them together with a ply of sport weight wool in natural, et voilà! Visions of turquoise zebras danced in my head!

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Behold my Turquoise Zebra blanket! It's soft and cushy, and while it would be warmer if it were all wool, still, it is some good against the cold. I think I have enough yarn for two or three 4' x 6' blankets. The pattern I am using is Make A Long Story Short by Wanda Sowizdral. It is a free pattern and is written for fingering weight yarn, but my turquoise zebra yarn is on a US10.5/6.5mm needle, so it is bulky. I'll just knit it until it is about four feet up one side, and then I'll make it straight til it's about six feet, and then I will finish it off. Simple geometry. Bulky weight makes things go so much faster! 

Finally, here is the picture of  Sidney wearing her purple Aran coat. The grin is priceless!


Brown Study

I hope all of you had a good Christmas! It was snowy here in Maine, and we had a quiet Christmas. I got a lot of knitting done, though.


This is what I was working on. I started this sweater back in June, and got sidetracked doing other things, but after I got the purple Aran coat done, I brought it out of hibernation. It is knitting up fairly quickly.

The pattern is Norderny by Isabelle Kraemer.



It is knit from the top down, with a simple little pattern up the front, and a plain stockinette back and sleeves. Easy peasy. I only had about 5 rows done on the back when I started, and I am already over 40% done with it just since I started in again on December 19th.

The yarn is Webster from Wildwood  Yarns, which I got from WEBS, a fabulous yarn heaven. It is a machine-washable DK weight yarn, 75% acrylic and 25% wool, which I got because it was too good a deal to pass up. I don't really love acrylic yarn, but this yarn feels ok --- still acrylic-y, but it doesn't squeak when I move in it. I sold a ton of Plymouth Encore from Unique One, and this is similar. Webster is on sale: 300 yards for 1.49??? I'll take it. My whole sweater would only cost me about $7.50, if I bought it today. In orange or green, the colors that are left. They are having  closeout.

WEBS is having a huge year-end sale at the moment, so if you need yarn, now is the time! Also, I heard that Over the Rainbow is having a going out of business sale too, so if you are in the Rockland, Maine area, go buy yarn! 

Ta Daaaa! It's Finished!

My purple Aran Coat for a special little girl is done! I think she will like it, don't you?

Aran Coat finished

I still have to steam the collar; it refuses to lie still without flipping up, something that I have always had problems with.


The color of it is a pretty, dark, eggplant-y purple, not lilac as shown here. But the lilac shows up the pattern very well, so I left it!

Also, happy birthday to my sister-in-law Pam! Have a happy day!

So Close ....

I got the yarn from WEBS the day after my last blog post, and thankfully, it was the same dye lot. Thank you WEBS!

It was a bit tricky to knit and to sew together, but here it is:


Now all I have to do is knit the button bands, sew everything together, weave in the ends, take out the millions of cat hairs, and steam block it. Probably be done in another six months. 

Well Damn

I ran out of yarn three rows before starting the border around the collar on my little Aran Coat:


I saw that I was running out when I started the collar. But the thing is, I had no idea what shape the collar was going to be, nor the size of it. The pictures in the book didn't show it, nor did the schematic diagram show the collar. Upon reading the directions, though, it was clear that the collar was a sizeable piece of intricate knitting, so I went ahead and ordered another skein of yarn. I hope that WEBS still has the dye lot, but if they don't, oh well -- it will just mean that the border around the collar and the button bands will be a slightly different shade of purple!

I usually order an extra skein of yarn when ordering a sweater amount, but for some reason I didn't this time, and it bit me in the ass. Lesson learned! Even though you think you know what you are doing (I mean, I used a calculator and everything), always order extra yarn! The bonus is, I'll have purple for my scrappy hats! Yay! My purple yarn should be here today or tomorrow.

The Unique One Knitting Group

Back when Unique One was open, there was a knitting group, and it was a lovely thing which brought people together. I thought it was about time for me to start one up on Ravelry because I missed it, and there may or may not be something in the offing in January which will necessitate having a place to talk together. 

Door open

At the end of August a designer named Elizabeth Elliot put out a notice that for a few days all her pattern sales would be donated to Hurricane Harvey relief, and I bought a few patterns, and a couple people expressed an interest in some sort of a Knit-along of her patterns for fun in January. I have been thinking about resurrecting Unique One's knitting group and thought, well, we need a place for the knit-long, so why not do it now? So I made a group. People started to show up.

If you  would like to join in on the Unique One knitting group, or if you know anyone who would, just send them to Ravelry.  Click this link to join the group, and that's it! You're in! You can say a lot or a little, or just sit and watch for a while, much like the real Unique One knitting group. But this one has the advantage of being virtual, you can be anywhere in the world, visit the group when you want to, and I even included a chat room if you want to converse with people. (I don't really know how to use  a chat room, but it sounded good. Hey, maybe for football Sunday we could use it to knit and yak and watch football together? Cool. Anyway.) 

You do have to join Ravelry and have a username, but it is free. All you have to do is sign up! Let me know if you have any problems getting a Ravelry account and I'll try to talk you through it.