Posted by: Mare F | February 11, 2019

The hectic whirlwind is back

Things around here have been very busy again….so hectic, in fact, that I forgot to publish my quick post on Thursday. There have been lots of basketball games, my head cold is back, and the weekends seem to be getting shorter. I think I’m going to need a bigger cup of tea!


So, how are things in your corner of the world?



Posted by: Mare F | January 31, 2019

Thursday chat

Mittens are my bugaboo this week. I’m having a hate/hate relationship and I know it’s because I’m being impatient and short visioned  I’ve ordered another 32″ needle, this time in size 7, from Chiaogoo for my two at a time mittens. If I was making them just for stock it wouldn’t be a problem, although the pair I’m working on now in superwash wool feels rather tight for their size.


I’ve made the adjustments for my gauge issues – I always have to drop at least one needle or hook size to get something close to the right size – so I’m hoping that moving up to a bigger needle will help with the cotton. Has anyone out there made cotton mittens before?

Posted by: Mare F | January 28, 2019

Altering patterns….

A few years ago I made the Entwined Shoulder shawl by Deby  Lake and loved the style. The fingers are a very unusual feature and gives it an interesting twist. I recently dug out the pattern again and made one up in Caron Cakes yarn as I wanted something a bit stiffer than the original yarn used which was Universal Yarns Classic Shades. Classic Shades is wonderfully soft and has marvelous colors, but I wanted a slightly more structured feel to the shawl.

red shawl

This is the first shawl and I really like the way that the colors played out.  The original pattern calls for an I-Cord bind off and well, I’m lazy. I started the bind off and remembered why I hadn’t made another. My solution was to single crochet two rows around the inside of the neck and single crochet one row then crochet a picot row around the outside edge. Much quicker project for me and I’ve actually made two of them with a third planned.

orange shawl

The next will be made in a green/gray/white colorway and I’m very much looking forward to it. What is the last pattern that you modified to suit your temperament and style?

Posted by: Mare F | January 24, 2019

Thursday chat

On Monday I believe that I signed up on the Ravelry group for Spinoff’s Hapalong. It’s a spin and knit your own Shetland Hap. It seems like just the thing to get me spinning again, a use for a lovely bag of lavender roving I have on hand, and the kick in the pants I need to try my hand at Shetland knitting.

hyacinth roving

It runs from January 14th to April 15th. Now, my next big decision is do I use my drop spindle which is much finer spun singles…..


Or do I use my wheel which is faster?


I should probably make this decision soon. Then I’ll have to find the pattern to make. Perhaps I should have brewed a cup of tea before making this decision.

Posted by: Mare F | January 21, 2019

A dearth of baby woobies….

Where have they all gone and how did I miss their going? I received an order for 3 baby afghans – two for girls and one for a boy – so I merrily went into my studio to take them out of the baby afghan tote and discovered that there were 2 lap robes in adult colors (just not the colors I would sent for a baby) and little else. A while later, in a different tote holding other items, I found a blue and white baby woobie which made me very happy. img_2405

I’ve spent the past week alternating between a modified Entwined shawl and the first girl’s afghan. I finished it this morning while monitoring the condition of the house (it’s -3F at noon with wind chills around -25F) and watching Miss Marple. A bit of tea made it a rather peaceful morning.


So now I’m off to find a different pattern for the last. Oh, and I’ll be making a trip to the store this week….I’m out of pink yarn! A room full of fiber and only about 18 yards of pink. Who would have guessed.

Posted by: Mare F | January 17, 2019

Thursday chat

A couple of days ago my first Piecework magazine arrived in my mailbox. Since that time I’ve been at pretty much a dead run with work, errands, and games so that I haven’t had the chance to settle into the couch with it and a cup of tea. This is driving me to distraction. On the plus side, it will make this weekend’s impending wintry weather much nicer to endure….in fact, it may just enhance the snow falling outside of the windows!


Is there a magazine that you covet?

Posted by: Mare F | January 14, 2019

Hobo helps out

Over the years I’ve lived with many cats and only recently realized that few of them were lap cats. They might have been leaners, but rarely have I lived with a cat who wanted my lap as a cushion. There have been cats, however, who lusted after my seat as a way to push my buttons, or maybe just because when I get up the chair  is warm. Hobo is both a lap cat and a seat thief…..img_1564

It made for a very interesting shawl knitting session, but we did spend some quality time. He rarely plays with my yarns…. Do you have any helpers?

Posted by: Mare F | January 10, 2019

Thursday chat

Tomorrow is one of our activity days in the school library where I work. I’ve been making pom-poms for a week  (which yielded surprisingly few complete snowmen numbers for the work involved) out of Red Heart Shimmer yarn in white. It’s been a sparkly mess everywhere this week, but rather festive.


This afternoon I will be hot gluing craft sticks together and painting some of them for snowman heads to be decorated by the students. Now, if I can round up someone to cut out felt carrot noses. I admit that this is a huge perk to my job even if it does tend to be labor intensive at times. It has been many years since I’ve had a blister on my thumb from cutting things out.  Are there any crafts you remember from your childhood that you would like to try again.

Posted by: Mare F | December 31, 2018

Christmas yarn

A wonderful friend sent me three lovely skeins of a yarn I’d not heard of in a selection of wonderful colors. I behaved in an adult manner and managed to finish up 3 or 4 WIPs before digging into it. It wasn’t easy.


Then came the problem of which yarn to choose. In order to save a bit of time, and not get lost in searching patterns online or in Ravelry, I pulled out my One Skein Wonders book.


And the winning pattern was The One Skein Scarf. I should be finished with it this morning and I’m already planning my first-day-back-to-school-from-winter-break outfit to match it.


So, that’s my big girl story of the week. I would like to wish everyone a safe, happy, healthy, and creative New Year. Please be safe.

Posted by: Mare F | December 28, 2018


The holiday has completely confused me as to what day of the week we are experiencing as usual. I really am a bit of a lost soul during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Since I work at a school I have this week off, which is lovely, so I tend to lose track of the days….also lovely. A very big perk to this week is that I’m done with Christmas orders, my shows are long way ahead, and I can start to clean up random WIPs, plan my strategy for new stock items, and try out new patterns. So far it’s been an eventful vacation. My first I finished up a few small things and then tackled my big one. The Celtic Myth shawl border. I didn’t think twice as I grabbed the bag and brought it to the wingback, a big smile of anticipation on my face. I love the yarn, the shawl is soft, and cables have never been an issue in the past.


I finished the shawl body months ago, but between work and shows I wanted to enjoy working on the cables so I put it aside for this break. This is the designer, Asita Krebs’, picture. Mine is made using Kraemer Fountain Hill yarn. Anyway, I pulled the shawl, yarn, and directions out of the bag and set them on the ottoman. Then I  got a cable stitch holder, a pen, and a cup of Prince of Wales tea. I was all set….until I saw the chart. I sighed, took a deep breath, and struggled through the set up rows and then the first 5 charts rows only to have the lumpiest mess I’ve ever seen on my hands. While in the process of frogging it I caught a glimpse of a memory of a lovely friend, Laura, using index cards to follow her patterns. Of course, I couldn’t find a single index card in the house, but I did have a pad so I wrote out the chart directions. I’ve managed a full pattern set and not a mistake in site. One down, 32 repeats to go!


I would like to make it perfectly clear that this is not an issue of the designer, it’s my problem plain and simple. I don’t get knitting charts and I never have done. I do wish I’d thought to write them out before, though, as there are many lovely things I haven’t made because I muddle up knitting charts in my head. Ironically, I prefer crocheting charts to written directions and I can sail right through them. In fact, I have replicated a block from a table cloth by looking at the cloth itself. Knitting chart….totally confusing to me.


This is not the full repeat, but merely a photo to show that I did manage it and to display the delightfully soft yarn that I’ve chosen. I’ve had this yarn for a few years now and finally it told me at the beginning of the summer what it wanted to be. Let’s hope I don’t let it down. So, do you do well with knitting charts or not?


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