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  • knitting1105 2:16 pm on September 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Whooo New   

    Whooo Me? 

    My friend Barbara has this amazing business where she makes bags out of recycled fabric sample books, she also focuses on the needs of the knitter and crafter, hence the plethora of pockets and storage compartments.  A couple of years ago she did a trunk show at our house,  I blogged about it here and here. She always amazes me with her creations, and I had really wanted one of her bags.  Her business is Whooo New!, and I love all of her stuff, but wanted to choose my own fabrics.  That was easier said than done when you arrive at her house and see bin upon bin of gorgeous colors, and try to think how they will work together.  Purple and green are perennial favorites of mine, and when she pulled out this paisley fabric I knew that was it.



    I chose the size, and left the rest up to her.  I could not be more pleased.



    Pockets inside and out…



    Now, I want a bigger bag for larger projects….

    • Barbara 3:58 pm on September 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Wow! How nice of you to write about me and my bags! I was just thinking about how I can’t wait to get sewing again now that the weather is turning cooler and the sun is setting sooner! I’ll have to get to work on your bigger bag! :-)

  • knitting1105 12:43 pm on September 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    It’s my Birthday! 

    Been absent from here for awhile.  It has been an adjustment getting used to the house without Lloyd.

    My SIL Stacey sent me the best gluten free virtual cake!


    A brief meeting, then back to knitting for me.  It is an absolutely gorgeous day.  Spending as much of it outside with needles in hand as I can!

    • Erin 2:00 pm on September 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Have a wonderful birthday, outdoors and knitting–perfect!

    • Diane 3:25 am on September 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I agree it is the perfect cake!

    • Pam Moriarty 9:40 pm on September 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Happy birthday to you. Your cake is fabulous! Thanks for sharing.

      • knitting1105 1:15 pm on September 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you so much!

    • Barbara 9:58 pm on September 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday, dear Frances! Happy birthday to you!

      • knitting1105 1:16 pm on September 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Barbara!

  • knitting1105 1:47 pm on September 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    With Reckless Abandon 

    lloyd puppyOver 15 years ago, this little bundle of Joy came into our lives.  When we went to choose a puppy, he was the runt, but the one with the most personality.  People told me that I should not have picked the runt, but my comment was “Oh, but you have not met him yet!”  He proved all stereotypes wrong, from runt to little dog to poodle.  We named him Lloyd, after Frank Lloyd Wright, my favorite Architect.

    He loved life, the beach in Michigan being one of his favorite things.

    DSCN3006 DSCN3543

    Sometimes he loved to embrace his Frenchness

    French Lloyd

    Other-times he held strong political views.

    Field of dreams001

    He loved my knitting also.


    Last night we had to say goodbye, one of the most difficult decisions that I have made, but the right one.  The past couple of years have been a slow decline; loosing his hearing first, then this spring the rest of his sight. I wanted to give him a good summer, and the chance to be with Ethan one more time when he came back from Japan.

    Ethan and Lloyd

    When Lloyd was younger, I said to Dan one day that nobody had ever loved me like Lloyd does.  His response was: “What, with reckless abandon?”  I said “Yes!  that’s it!!!”

    Goodbye dear friend I will miss you so very much.

    DSCN2960 DSCN0633 DSCN4470 DSCN4486

    • Daniel 1:52 pm on September 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I will miss him very much as well!

      Thanks for all the pictures that we can use to remember him and the times we all shared.

      • knitting1105 1:54 pm on September 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you. It took Lloyd to get you to look at my blog!

        • Daniel 1:57 pm on September 5, 2015 Permalink

          I’ll will always know where there are pictures when I want to think of him.

    • Diane 2:19 pm on September 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Oh Frances, I started crying when I read your post. I am so sorry, I know how hard it is to make this decision and how different it will be not to have Lloyd around. I remember how excited he would be to see us every summer because he remembered we were the “Beach People” and he was thrilled when he got to go along. I remember how he played hide and seek with Ethan and Traver in the dune grass. He was so full of personality, was forever a loyal companion, and loved you with all his heart. What more could you ask for? I am so sorry. Sending hugs and love, Diane

      • knitting1105 2:27 pm on September 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Diane. And thank you for giving him and Ethan all those great beach summers.

    • 1marylou 2:28 pm on September 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’m so sorry.

      • knitting1105 8:31 pm on September 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you.

    • Kim 4:11 pm on September 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Francis and family, sorry for the loss. I never met Lloyd, but could see through the pictures what a wonderful friend. Wow, what a tough decision, we did a few years back and I remember the day and still have the emotions. Take care and Lloyd will live on through the memories🌀Thanks for sharing!

      • knitting1105 9:19 pm on September 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you Kim. You would have loved Lloyd. He stole everybody’s hearts. My heart too.

    • Michelle 4:43 pm on September 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Oh Frances, I am so sad that little Lloyd is gone. It breaks my heart to think of you without your little buddy. He’s always been such a sweetie, as long as I knew him, which wasn’t too long, but I got the drift on him. A fine little dogger.

      • knitting1105 8:32 pm on September 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Michelle. My heart is breaking right now. “A fine little dogger.”, love that.

    • Karl 10:39 pm on September 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Frances, so sorry to hear about Lloyd. Such good memories you guys have and what a faithful friend Lloyd was.

      • knitting1105 1:56 pm on September 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, he was the best of friends. I tried to live up to his expectations of me every day. He thought me perfect.

    • natas75 9:05 am on September 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      So sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing his story and the photos..

      • knitting1105 1:55 pm on September 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you.

    • elaine 9:13 pm on September 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      :-( so very sorry for your families loss…

      • knitting1105 4:03 pm on September 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you so much.

  • knitting1105 3:50 pm on September 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   



    When planning to head out to Philadelphia a couple of weeks ago, I naturally needed some very portable knitting projects.  I took some socks along, but they were on my precious metal Signature needles.  Not wanting to take the chance of TSA trying to confiscate those, I put them in my checked bag, and pulled out this Fiber Optic yarn that I had spun last winter.


    This was spun using 2 braids of the color way Thistle.  My yardage was 1,070 yards.  Not as much as I would have liked.


    So, then the night before having to get up at 4am for a very early flight, I am on the computer looking up patterns.  I opted for Pulelehua, which means butterfly in Hawaiian.  I am hoping that I have enough yarn, as the yardage on peoples projects is anywhere from about 1,000-1,500.

    About 1/2 of the yarn has been knit up to date, this is my progress thus far:



    For the second half of the shawl, I am weighing the yarn after each chart section is done.  Not sure yet if panic will set in, but I am already thinking that I need to obtain another braid to use just the dark blue end to finish off.


    And, while knitting on this the past week, we have had great fun watching the Monarchs in our native plantings at the side of the house.  This garden was planted about 10 years ago, but this is by far the best year for Monarchs, and a few Black Swallowtails as well.



    I counted 7 one night, and that was just from my back porch, I didn’t venture down the side of the house!


    There is even the Monarch moth on the plants.


    They are just loving the tall white flowers, my husband thinks that they are the  Tall Bonest, but looking at the book I am thinking perhaps Wild Quinine, we need to get our neighbor over to help identify these. To a lesser extent they are attracted to the Tall Coreopsis.  In addition there are many native pollinators, wasps, honey bees, crickets, etc.  It is fun to walk on the side of the house and hear all of the insects, with the Cicadas as the background music.  I hope that we are making a difference in our own little piece of the world.  I see more and more native gardens in lieu of pesticide lawns.  All these pollinators desperately need our help.

    • elaine 8:07 pm on September 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Beautiful spinning, knitting and butterflies, of course! Love the colors!

    • 1marylou 10:19 am on September 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Beautiful yarn, pictures and project!

    • Diane 12:34 pm on September 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Love all the butterflies, I am sure it reminds you of Mom and Anita.

      • knitting1105 1:58 pm on September 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        They do!

  • knitting1105 2:23 pm on August 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: color   



    This recent article on the origins of the color purple got me to thinking about colors, and how they are precieved.


    I have always been fascinated with color, how some people see or don’t see it, why it is important to some and not others, and how it affects people.  Since I was a child I have loved colors, starting with the new box of Crayola Crayons that we got at the start of every school year.  The big huge box was never in our school bag, as there wasn’t enough money for it, but I lusted after them.  The packaging is so iconic, and I remember the built-in sharpener when it came out!


    So, of course, my own children received all the crayons, and lots of other ways to express themselves with color.  I am not sure that it has held the allure for them that it dos for me, although Sofia is always well coordinated!


    Fast forward to Architecture School, and I fell in love with Prismacolors.  The intense beautiful colors that you can get with these colored pencils is unlike any others.


    My wish list for the past few Christmases has been this amazing set of all the Prismas in a beautiful wooden box.  Maybe this year?…


    In my work, I get to use color a lot, although not normally the really bright versions.  But, I love my paint color fans.

    Close-up view of a color chart used for paint selection

    Close-up view of a color chart used for paint selection

    And naturally, knitting allows me to use color in a very free and creative way,  I love collecting the color cards from yarn companies, Jamieson’s being one of the best.

    IMG_1584IMG_1586 IMG_1585

    And, while it is a smaller selection than Jameison’s, the Dale of Norway Baby Ull provides some great colors, and I get to use these the most creatively in the baby sweaters that I knit.

    Dale of Norway Color Card

    Recently, I came across these couple of quizzes for how you see color.  I tend to differentiate colors very well.

    To see if you have the “eye of an eagle”, try this quiz.  I got a perfect score!

    And this one where about 15% of the people have a 4th cone, of which I am a select member.


    I am fortunate to have both a hobby and profession that are creative and allow me to continually experiment and utilize color in so many different ways.

    • KrisD 3:28 pm on August 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply
      have you done this test? it is pretty interesting. I made my husband do it and the struggle of picking paint colors for our bedroom makes so much more sense now. lol.

      • knitting1105 3:39 pm on August 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Very interesting. I did not score as well on that as I had thought that I should. Will have to try it again later. Blame it on my computer monitor!

        • KrisD 3:54 pm on August 27, 2015 Permalink

          what did you score? I had 15. I’ve done better, allergy season with itchy eyes and contacts probably isn’t the best time to try to do that sort of thing.

    • soknitsome 10:14 pm on August 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Great! I’ve also got eagle eyes with a perfect score – but I got 35 in the second one so I see like a bee!

    • natas75 4:47 am on August 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Lovely post. I’m also very fond of colours. Whether it’s crayons, yarn or colourful clothing. I shared your post on my page, if you don’t mind..

    • natas75 4:53 am on August 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      And also perfect score on the quiz! Still don’t need my glasses :-)

  • knitting1105 10:22 am on August 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Knitting Fiction 

    First off, I would like to thank Erin Fanning for a great series of guest posts on this blog.   I encourage everyone to read her new Novella, Blood Stitches.  If you missed the posts, you can catch them here, here, here and here!  And Erin has started a new Facebook page for everyone interested in Fiction with a knitting component.  I just joined!

    How timely, as our SnB has decided to become a book club as well, reading books with a knitting component, have knitting in them, or written by a knitter.  We are starting by reading The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver.  Barbara Kingsolver is a knitter herself.


    I have not gotten very far into the book yet, and knitting is apparently a small part of this book.  But we do have Barbara Kingsolver to thank for our group name Stitch ‘n Bitch, from the book Animal Dreams, which will be coming up soon as a part of our SnB literary component.  We need to understand the origin of our name, it was one of my favorite books, and I look forward to reading it again.


    And of course, Blood Stitches will be coming up as well as a knitting good read.


    How fun to combine literature and knitting!  What is your favorite book that incorporates knitting into it?

  • Erin 8:00 am on August 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Knitting history, Mayan weaving   

    A Yarn Weaver’s Legacy 

    4th and final guest post by Erin Fanning, writer and knitter.  Thank you Erin, this has been really fun and I enjoyed reading your posts!


    clip-art-knitting-057714“I knit a story about light and fresh air, yes? Warmth and survival.”

    These words guide Gabby, the nineteen-year-old protagonist in my novella, Blood Stitches, through the labyrinthine Mayan underworld in which she finds herself trapped. The refrain becomes Gabby’s light, illuminating her escape and filling her with hope.

    Originally spoken by her abuela, grandmother in Spanish, the phrase alludes to the magical DNA weaving in and out of their genes. They form an intricate history, a gift from the Mayan moon goddess, Ix Chel, that allows Gabby’s family to knit complex patterns, a story of sorts, complete with plot twists and turns.

    “Yarn weaving,” Abuela calls it.

    It’s a history not unique to Gabby’s family. Mayan women for centuries have told stories through their weaving, a tradition that continues today. Hundreds of symbols represent different aspects of their mythology and everyday world. Diamonds indicate the union of the earth and sky, while toads symbolize the rain god.

    Across the ocean in Ireland, a rich history has also evolved surrounding the stitches used in the famous Aran sweaters. A mixture of fable—the sweaters never represented specific families—and elaborate needlework, the stitches possess a whimsical poetry: blackberry, moss, basket, honeycomb, and tree of life. Their meanings reflect their names with the basket stitch, for example, supposed to represent a fisherman’s daily catch.

    But the art of storytelling through needle and yarn is not something relegated to previous generations. Artists, like Deborah Dick of Tempting Tangles, continue to find new ways to express themselves. Using cross stitch and embroidery, Deborah chronicles elaborate narratives with rich details, such as the Watermeadows Series, where skaters glide under a moonlit sky and a couple serenades each other below flowering trees.

    Although the fantasy of Abuela’s “yarn weaving” may be fiction, the magic found in needlework and weaving across the world tells a rich legacy of endless imagination and creativity.

  • knitting1105 4:57 pm on August 11, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    How to give Flowers to a Knitter 

    Made by my Stitch and Bitch group for a fellow knitter who has been under the weather.  Not sure where I first saw this, but knew I wanted to make one.





    • Pam Moriarty 8:42 pm on August 11, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      This was such fun. I hope it brought a smile to her face.

      • knitting1105 10:53 am on August 12, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Yes it did!

    • Anecia Price 5:09 am on August 12, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Very clever idea… I’m sure she just loved it! I know I would appreciate receiving SO many wonderful yarns all at once! Kuddos to you and your group for being such a wonderful friends!

      Stichin’ & Bitchin’! Haha! I love it!!!

  • knitting1105 1:46 pm on August 8, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Tudor Roses Comparison 

    About 18 months ago I wrote a review of the new Tudor Roses vs the original Tudor Roses, both by Alice Starmore.  In that review, I commented that I was happy to have both versions, for the color changes, and new shaping of the newest version (2013),


    and the patterns for men in the original version (1998).


    A question was recently posed on that blog entry by Christina, of whether I would say that only the new version was needed.  This prompted me to do a comparison of patterns, and to note which ones were in each book, and any changes.

    Looking through and comparing these books has piqued my interest in knitting up one of the patterns, and I must say that it will  probably be from the newer book, as the shaping is more contemporary there, and more to my liking.  There are a couple of sweaters that appear in both books that really appeal to me also.  I enjoy seeing the ones that were reknit being done in a new colorway.  My comparison of the 2 books follows, a simple chart:


    So my answer to Christina who posed the question, would be that I am happy that I own both books.  If your desire is to have a complete knitting library, and you love color work and more complicated patterns, then Yes to owning both books.  And starting at $20 for the older version on Amazon, I do think that it is worth the investment.

    As a side note, thanks in large part to Ravelry, many knitting books that are out of print have become very pricey, although that changes as books are reissued.  I have a wonderful library that I have amassed over the years, and keep telling my family that if something happens to me, my knitting books are worth more than my Architecture books!  And that statement says a lot, as that is also a wonderful collection.

  • Erin 8:00 am on August 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Therapeutic knitting   

    Surviving Stitch By Stitch 


    The third guest post from author and knitter Erin Fanning.

    The earthquake hit L’Aquila, Italy on April 6, 2009. Maria D’Antuono, a resourceful 98-year-old, grabbed her knitting supplies and crawled under her bed. The stone house crumbled around her, yet, when firefighters found Maria 30 hours later, she was not only unhurt but continued to knit.

    “At least let me comb my hair,” she said to her rescuers as they helped her to safety.

    I read about Maria’s ordeal soon after I learned how to knit, and the events tumbled around in my brain, eventually blending into a history of magic and needlework. What if you could not only knit your way to safety but also create a disaster through knitting? It wasn’t long afterward that my novella, Blood Stitches, pushed its way through my fingertips.

    A deeper message, however, waited to be found underneath the rubble of Maria’s cottage. Even though I was a beginner knitter, I already understood how someone could find solace in handiwork: the colorful yarn, soothing rhythm of needles clicking together, and the satisfaction of a finished project.

    Research reinforced my personal experience. A study of women with anorexia nervosa found that knitting helped about 70 percent of them cope with their eating disorder, and the majority of 3,500 knitters surveyed in Great Britain said they felt relaxed and content while knitting.

    “I knit at night when I wake up and am worried, and I feel better after a while,” Tracy, mother of a pediatric cancer patient, told Project Knitwell, a group that helps people find relief from stress through knitting.

    And Stitchlinks—whose mission is to promote therapeutic knitting—has received dozens of emails about the benefits of knitting, such as, “Knitting has always been a source of meditation for me and in times of stress, pain and anxiety it has helped me to focus my attention away from anything that might be stressing me out.”

    So next time disaster hits, grab your knitting and start stitching your way to a solution. At the very least, you’ll feel calmer, and, like Maria D’Antuono, able to face life’s earthquakes until the tremors pass.

    • knitting1105 1:14 pm on August 8, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I love this story! I know that knitting has always helped to calm me, and it is a good reason to have a project always close at hand!

    • Erin 4:31 pm on August 8, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks! And you are so right: always have a project close at hand!

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