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  • knitting1105 2:49 pm on April 27, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: braided rag rug, mindful mending   

    Mindful Mending 

    A couple of months ago I participated in a mending workshop offered by Maggie Leininger of Considered Cloth at Compound Yellow here in Oak Park.  I was trying to think of what to mend, and then I knew exactly what it had to be, my beloved braided rag rug that I made with my mother when I was about 12 years old.  This rug went with me to college and has travelled about with me.  In recent years, it has been worse for wear, but I kept it nearby knowing that I somehow wanted to repair it.  When I was working on it, and we were all looking at it, I remembered the double-knit fabrics that I had used on the clothes that I sewed for myself.  It is definitely a snapshot of sewing in the 60’s- 70’s.  Working on it was a lot of fun, and Maggie, the group leader gave me some great ideas.  In the areas where the fiber had disintegrated, I wove in new T-shirt strips.  During the couple of hours there, I made great progress, and vow to finish this up over the summer.  I had originally intended to put it on my front enclosed porch, but was convinced not to put it in such a high traffic area (that may have contributed to excessive wear in the past), so it will go in the small guest bedroom that I am planning on redoing into a guest/TV room.


    A couple of weeks after that workshop, I was in Boulder with my DIL at the cutest fabric store, Fabricate.  You should visit it if you find yourself in Boulder, CO; the staff is wonderful, and if I lived in the area, I would definitely be taking classes.  They have tons of beautiful Japanese fabrics, and other unique items.  My DIL choose several beautiful fabrics to make clothes for Izumi (and she has already sewed most of them up!).  The Denver/ Boulder area is rife with fabric shops, some more trendy, and some focused on quilt making.  I cannot figure out why the Chicago area does not have a good fabric store selection.



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    While she was looking at fabrics, I chose to mull around the store and see what else was there.  I found this book on mindful mending, Mending Matters.


    So, of course I had to get the book, especially after the recent afternoon of mending and discussions about mending and preserving clothing as opposed to throwing them away.  This is precisely what my mother and grandmother always did.  In the book, the author uses a special Japanese cotton thread, and Sashimi needles.  I got a few colors of the thread, and a package of needles, to try out the techniques in the book.


    Much of the book focused on mending denim, but there were some really good and inspiring ideas in there.  It is a great read, that I highly recommend.  It takes the repair of clothing to a more artistic level.  My only critique would be that many of the projects are similar and the set-up and techniques were repeated where they did not need to be.



    The author had several references int he book, the most intriguing to me being Tom of Holland and his visible mending.  I am now following his blog, I love how he has painstakingly repaired many otherwise lost or abandoned items.



    And, wouldn’t this retreat in Italy be fascinating to take?!

    • Barbara Mayer 5:29 pm on April 27, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I love this story! You are always such an inspiration to me!

      Sent from my iPhone


      Liked by 1 person

  • knitting1105 1:12 pm on April 26, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    My favorite model 

    If you have been reading my blog over the past year and a half, you know that I have a special little one that I have been knitting for.  Here is a review of some of the items being lovingly worn.

    The baby surprise jacket was knit with handspun yarn, I think that she has gotten good wear out of it!

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    I made this sweater prior to knowing if we were going to have a grandson or granddaughter, thinking that it was a good gender neutral sweater, although it looks so feminine on her.

    And for her 1st birthday I gave her this sweater which she wore to her 1 yr old checkup.

    I also made this poncho for her birthday, it is a Dale of Norway child’s pattern, but a heavier gauge yarn than the Baby Ull.  The beauty of this is that it can be used for quite some time as it is a loose fit.  I really like how it turned out.

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    And for her birthday, I gave her the Butterfly sweater, hat and dress.  Butterflies have special meaning in our family, so this was not only fun to make but evoked many memories.  The dress is a bit large.


    Now, I am trying to decide what to make next.  I have this lovely cotton yarn that I recently got, and thought that it would make a cute summer coat.  Need to look for a pattern.




  • knitting1105 8:40 am on April 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: KonMari, Marie Kondo, Organizing stash   

    Kondo-ing my stash 

    Mid January I found myself home alone while my husband was on a business trip, and it was nasty weather outside.  Marie Kondo is all the rage now, so I binge watched the shows while I cleaned up some of my crafting area.

    My yarn had been organized a couple of years back, although it does need some more tyding up.  It works well with the tags at the front of the fabric baskets as I don’t have to pull everything out to find what I am looking for.  In theory.

    First I went through all of my fabric. I organized the fabric in a way that I could find it, taking it out of the plastic tubs, and put fiber into the plastic tubs instead of the vacuum bags that it had been stored in.


    My new method was to store the fiber at the top of the shelves that hold my yarn bins.  These are the larger groupings of fabric.  A lot of them are batik that I purchased a few years back, holding for a project.

    Next, I have these beautiful antique Japanese woven suitcases.  I love them, and they were sitting on the floor as decoration with a couple of items in them.  I decided to use them for my smaller fabric pieces.

    I tried to organize by color, and folded them with the fabric standing up so that I can easily see what I have on hand rather than sifting through everything.  Many of these are vintage fabrics that I hope to one day make into a Trip Around the World quilt.

    Next I went after my sock drawer.  Incredible how rewarding this was. It is so much easier to find things, and the method of storing socks works especially well for the hand knits as it does not stretch out the tops.


    A few weeks later was our Polar Vortex, where I did not leave the house for 3 days.  Instead I continued my organizing.  I took my husband’s hand knit sock drawer apart and reworked it.  Between what he had here and in the wash, he has almost 30 pairs of hand knit socks.  I told him that he wasn’t getting anymore for a while.


    I don’t have photos, but then I went through my drawers and then his one by one.  At one point he was getting a bit upset that I was dumping out all of the contents in his drawers. We went through each item and gave away what he would not wear, and organized them according to the Kondo method of folding.


    Now he is a convert, loving that he can find everything.  His closet has bugged me for years, and I knew that he would never organize it on his own.  He is wearing clothing that he had forgotten that he had!  And we both know that we do not need anymore socks or underwear.

    • Diane 11:04 pm on April 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      WOW! That is a lot of organizing. I have been trying to organize my craft areavtoom. I’m glad you are enjoying the Japanese cases, they are so pretty and you never see them anywhere. I need a couple of days off and work on my closet!

      Liked by 1 person

  • knitting1105 12:49 pm on April 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: YarnCon2019   

    Yarn Con 2019 

    Last Saturday I went to Yarn Con with some friends from my Stitch ’n Bitch group.  The venue had expanded to the first floor which was really nice, and a lot more people were there.  The line to get in was the longest that I had seen it, but it went very quickly.

    Here’s what I bought:


    Nothing stood out to me at the event, many of the vendors were selling the same things: mini skeins of gradients (the snob that I am likes my hand spun versions better, as the transitions are smoother) and various hand dyed sock yarns in gradients of plays on color.  Last year I was burned with the eye candy that knit up horribly and I was very leery this year.  Very little in the way of lace yarn, there was some on sale if I had brought a plan with me, and even less in the sweater weight section.  I am tending towards purchasing locally sourced and milled fibers these days, and I did not see much that there.  I was happy to look around, but really want to go to a market where it is more than just shawls and socks featured, I realize that is where the market may be, just not for me.

    Upon entering, I decided to purchase a dozen raffle tickets to support the event.  Admission is free, and I want to support this effort so that it continues.  My friend Pam, who wins every knitting raffle known to man, was not there so I thought that my chances might be good.

    And I won a prize on the first drawing!  Being one of the first winners, I was able to choose from a vast array of items that were donated by the vendors.  I opted for this project bag that you hang on your arm.  It was admittedly one of the few things that tempted me at the sale, so I was happy.

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    The bag is from Beautiful Syster, and is called the Heather.  It received the seal of approval from my friend Barb who makes the most beautiful bags.


    After YarnCon we all went to another friends house to look at some donated stash yarn that she has.  The money form that was going ot purchase formula for the orphaned kittens at the Animal Shelter in Chicago.  Good cause, and I have some ideas with what to do with some of this yarn.  Common color these for me isn’t it?

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    • Diane 11:06 pm on April 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Good job on refraining on buying something. Glad you won a prize, you deserve it!


  • knitting1105 11:45 pm on April 3, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    I have not disappeared 

    In the meantime, here are some baby goats running.   Thanks to my sister Diane.

  • knitting1105 10:24 pm on February 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Happy Valentine’s Day! 


  • knitting1105 11:26 pm on January 31, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Vortex Crafting 


    -21F air temperature and -50 wind chill.  School was cancelled for the past couple of days, and I chose to hunker down in the house and cook, clean, sort and most importantly craft.

    I am trying to dedicate myself this year to finishing as many long ignored projects as possible.  One at a time.  If I no longer like them, or think that they will not fit, I am prepared to frog them, no matter how far along.  Last year I did fairly well at starting to attack some of these projects, and I must admit that it felt really good.  Not only does it clean up my crafting space, but clears up unwanted craft baggage.

    First I decided that I needed to finish this shawl.

    I started it in the late summer of 2015, and was moving along nicely.  That is until I ran out of the handspun yarn.  Being a gradient, I needed to order an additional 2 braids to finish it.  While waiting, I lost focus, and had little time for spinning up the yarn needed.

    Here is where it has sat for over 4 years, I am ashamed to admit.  The color is Thistle, a gradient by my favorite dyer, Fiber Optic.


    So, while it took a bit of re-education, I finally spun the additional 2 braids over the past couple of weeks, making great progress while housebound.


    Plying will happen tomorrow, I tried it tonight, but without adequate light and patience, I gave up.  I will have to learn to finesse my Jensen spinning wheel again.  Then, I had to find the pattern, as it was separated from the project (what a mistake, I always think that I will just be picking it up again in a day or so), luckily I had blogged about it here so know that it was the Pulelehua shawl.  Butterfly in Hawaiian.  Surprisingly I had purchased this pattern, which is unusual for me to not just knit something from a book that I own.  I am now anxious to ply the yarn and get this finished.  The pattern is gorgeous, which I am sure is why I chose it.


    My other project the past couple of days, has been to finish this picnic blanket and napkins.  This was left when a friend of a friend passed away; all it really needed was the binding sewn on.  Of course I had to relearn how to do the mitered corner, as it has been years since I have sewn on a quilt binding.

    And here is always a helper at hand, wanted or not.


    I have a couple of more free days before work and reality set back in.  This has been a nice respite, and I am happy that I am focusing on being productive with the time.

    And staying toasty warm inside.  Hope everyone is safe in this cold weather.

    • Diane Hamilton 12:18 am on February 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I’m proud of you to continue working through your projects. The shawl will be beautiful when you are done and everytime you wear you will think of Marilyn, Anita, and Mom. Glad you took advantage of your extra days. Hope it gets warmer soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  • knitting1105 9:31 am on January 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Birthday Girl 

    Of course I had to make many things for the 1st Birthday of my Granddaughter.   We were out to celebrate with her and have a birthday cake in December.

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    I made her a Dale of Norway cardigan.  Everyone should know how much I love the DoN patterns and yarn.  Sadly, when my stash is gone, I will not be able to get the yarn that I love for these projects.  In the meantime, I am loving knitting with it.

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    That photo is unfortunately a bit fuzzy, but her parents are always putting her in the things that I make for her.  She wore this to the Drs office for her 1 year old checkup.  Apparently the staff was greatly impressed by the sweater.  Myself, I think that the model is far superior.

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    She will have a bit of wear on that sweater.


    The other item that I made for her birthday was this poncho type pull-over with a hood, a bit big right now, but hopefully will come in handy in the future.  Again, another DoN pattern, but this is the Daletta yarn, so a worsted weight.  I love how this turned out, and will post when I see it modeled.

    And lastly, a pair of mittens with thumbs for the Colorado winters.  I think that these are the favorite mittens that I have ever made.

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    The pattern is from Jorid Link’s Big Book of Knitted Mittens.  I made the previously posted squirrel mittens from this book also.  I love the patterns, and have some on the list for myself to make.  If you love fair isle and mittens, I highly recommend purchasing this book.

    • Diane Hamilton 12:24 am on January 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      The sweaters and mittens were beautiful but I agree the model couldn’t be any cuter!

      Liked by 1 person

    • salpal1 4:39 am on January 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Wow! She’s adorable! And outfitted perfectly!

      I am also sad about no more baby ull here. But you can find it in ravelry destashes, mine included! And wondering about buying it directly from Europe? Probably crazy shipping, of course.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mrs Mud 4:30 pm on January 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Awww but she is the cutest little thing ever 😀 Love the knitted items as well but they are cast into the shade somewhat 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • Joan Winstein 10:48 am on January 29, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Cow mittens for me, please !!!! And. man is that model super adorable !!

      Liked by 1 person

  • knitting1105 4:57 pm on January 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Holiday mittens 

    On our recent vacation to Denver, we took a trip on the train from Denver to Glenwood Springs.  Such a gorgeous train ride.   I do not have any videos of it, I am hoping that my sister can provide one that I can include here.  12 of us, plus Izumi took the 6 hour train ride.  We loved it, would do it again.

    When we arrived in Glenwood Springs, I gave my Nieces and Nephew the mittens that I had been working on for them.  I was very happy with how they all turned out.  The butterfly mittens were my own design, and unfortunately, I did not get good photos of them.  I want to write up that pattern when I get a chance.

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    Included in the Christmas mittens gifting were Squirrel mittens for Izumi and Sayaka.

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    We had a grand time, and enjoyed lots of family time together.  So fun to have little kids at Christmas again.

    The Hotel Colorado is decorated to the 9’s for the Holidays, and it always puts me in the best mood.

    Christmas Eve and Christmas night we all had a private dining room to eat in and celebrate with.  The hotel even had us posted as “Frances Figg Christmas Dinner”!


    More to post soon from that lovely vacation.  As always, it is great to see Izumi, she changes so much, so quickly in between the times that we get to see her.

  • knitting1105 3:08 pm on November 26, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    Snow Day 


    Today was a snow day for our school.  While we did not get a lot of snow here, 4-5”, west of here there was a lot more.  I am taking advantage of this day off after the long holiday weekend, to just craft away.

    Mittens have been on my list as of late.  Here are a few of the ones that I have finished.

    The squirrel mom and baby were meant for a child, but they ended up being a small adult size.  These were made with Daletta yarn from Dale of Norway.



    Next I worked on these mittens, again intending that they become a child’s mittens, but these were too small, so are heading off to Izumi.  Yarn is Baby Ull.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    Having trouble getting my sizes correct, I finally asked a friend of mine who teaches 2nd grade to trace a couple of her students hands.  That was so helpful, and I finally got a right-sized pair of child’s mittens.


    These mittens had been on my knit-to list for many many years.  When my son was little, his best friend Sam had mittens like this knit for him by his grandmother.  They used to love to play Stop and Go on the side-walk with these.

    Vintage by Berroco was used for the mittens, I was able to get the correct colors and a machine washable yarn. Next, I needed to duplicate stitch the letters on.  None of the white yarn in my stash was the correct weight, so a couple of friends dropped some by and I was able to finish them up.  I am really happy with how they turned out.


    So, I was on a roll.  The next pair is a Dale of Norway pattern, using Dale Tiur, which create a beautiful halo over the patterning.  Looks like a good child size fit.

    Feeling that I had this sizing thing down,  I found these child mittens on a Ravelry search, and free to boot.  I fell in love with the cuteness of this pattern, and the fact that the mittens did not really match. mittens-2 After casting on with Baby Ull, I quickly realized that they were going to be adult sized – 64 sts in a round, I should have known better.  In fact they fit my adult hand sized (which is large), so I opted to make them for myself.  I combined the bottom of both mittens first one on each side, and then added the top of the single snowman mitten and snowflakes repeated both sides.  I chose to put the thumb at the same side, so the result is that there is no right or left hand mitten, and each would have a slightly different appearance when worn.

    These are big, I wish that I had done a simpler rib, I opted for a 1×1 twisted rib, but on every color change row, I knit the purl stitches to not have the overlap of color showing, which had the effect of not pulling in very much at the cuff.  And, I added a few more rows before the pattern which I should have probably left out.  The thumb could have been a couple of stitches wider and perhaps a bit longer.  In spit of all this, I do believe that they will keep me warm.  Now they desperately need a washing to ease the stitches, and the embroidery so that the snowmen will look like something.

    And they do fit my big mitts.


    • Diane Hamilton 9:24 pm on November 26, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      WOW! This was a productive day! I love all of them especially the Stop and Go mittens. I’m glad that you and Izumi both will benefit from your sizing issues, added bonus!

      Liked by 1 person

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