Updates from April, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • 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.

    Blog Photos959Blog Photos960

    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?

    Blog Photos958


    • 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 3:42 pm on November 21, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: mending, repairing clothing, universal sewing machine, vintage sewing machine   


    A couple of weekends ago I spent my time alone productively.  My husband was out-of-town, and I finally tackled long overdue baskets of clothing repairs.  The prior weekend, we had done a lot of work around the house, which involved me finally getting some shelves up in my knitting/sewing room.


    This prompted a large cleanup and moving around of items, during which I unearthed my overload of items waiting to be repaired and sewn.  Since my sewing machine was now easily accessible, and I had room to spread out again, I decided to start the repairs.


    Friday was knitting, working on mittens and finishing up a couple of projects.  Saturday morning began with a few friends over for brunch and knitting and conversation.  I was on a roll, and pulled out my sewing and mending repairs.  First I started with the items that needed just sewing.  I love my sewing machine, a Universal.  My mother took me to purchase this to take with me to college, it was a used machine, and I have loved it ever since.  It is simple by today’s standards, but is a workhorse, and made solid.  It was fun to sew again, I have missed it.

    Next came the mending by hand, and for that I pulled up Netflix and vowed to just repair, repair, repair.  I was surprised by how many items I had, many of which I had forgotten about.

    • Summer bathrobe
    • 3 hand knit sweaters
    • 2 hand knit shawls
    • underwear
    • undershirt
    • bra
    • 4 pair of hand knit socks
    • 3 pair of store-bought socks
    • 2 hand knit hats (one was really beyond repair, but I tried stitching it up anyways- was knit with handspun yarn)
    • a dress
    • a pair of slacks
    • a tie
    • 5 store-bought women’s sweaters
    • 3 store-bought men’s sweaters

    I had one hand knit tank top that I decided was beyond repair.  And, I never really wore it.  I am not sure what I was thinking when I bought this yarn, the color is atrocious, and the yarn is not anything to write about.  A couple of shows, and a movie, and I had salvaged much of the yarn.


    I put it together on a knitty-knoddy and then soaked it.  I will save this to strand together with some brightly colored yarn for mittens int he future.


    I am proud of myself for mending when I can, we have become such a throw-away society.  Plus, there is still a lot of wear in many of these items, and the hand knits represent a lot of personal time.  I vow not to let the mending get this out of hand again!


  • knitting1105 9:07 pm on November 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Shetland knitting, Shetland knitting history, The Vintage Shetland Project   

    The Vintage Shetland Project 

    I have taken to reading my knitting books, and not just looking at the patterns.  Last year, for my birthday we went to Michigan and stayed at the beach.  On the beach I met a young girl who was Lithuanian.  My conversation with her got my husband and I to talking about Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.  At lunch the next day we were sitting talking about the different root languages of each culture and history, when a family sitting next to us asked if were talking about Estonia.  We said yes, and they said that they were Estonian.  In fact, the woman’s father taught Estonian history and culture at Indiana University.  We proceeded to discuss Estonia and their history with them, and she asked how I knew so much about the history of Estonia.  And I said it was through my knitting books!

    A recent book purchase is The Vintage Shetland Project.


    I absolutely loved this book, I cannot say enough good things about it.  Here is the description from the publishers:

    The Vintage Shetland Project, is the culmination of eight years of hard work and personal determination. Inspired by the patterns and colours of Shetland knitting, the fashion historian, author, designer and publisher Susan Crawford began a journey into the rich heritage of Shetland knitwear, and in particular the pieces held in the Shetland Museum archive. With the help of Dr Carol Christiansen, the museum’s curator, Susan undertook the task of carefully selecting the most stunning and original designs from the 1920s to the 1950s, transcribed them stitch by stitch, and has here recreated them for the modern knitter, in stunning detail and a range of sizes for women and men.

    In combination with the collection of 27 comprehensive patterns for garments and accessories are carefully researched essays exploring the stories behind each piece and honouring their creators – some famous, some forgotten. Photographed by Susan on the island of Vaila, situated off the west coast of Shetland, this book also celebrates the untameable beauty of Shetland itself. Compiled with Susan’s trademark attention to detail, this book is a fabulous treasury of Shetland knitting design and a valuable insight into its textile traditions. It offers you the chance to delve into a fascinating era for knitwear design and to bring it to life in stitch-perfect vintage style.

    The meticulously written patterns showcase Susan’s new yarn range, Fenella, created specifically to enable you, the knitter, to perfectly recreate these unique museum pieces. Made using 100% British wool, grown, spun and dyed in Britain, in a range of 26 colours carefully chosen to emulate the shades found in the original vintage pieces.

    The Vintage Shetland Project is a celebration of stunning design, beautiful knitting and the people of Shetland themselves, during a time of local change, international conflict and revolution in the knitting industry.

    The essays in the book were fascinating, the history of the men and women who promoted knitting in the Shetland Islands, and the stories of knitwear.  I am in awe of the research and dedication that went in to writing this book.  It read like the great series of short stories that it is.  All manners of knitting are covered, from how a pattern gets it’s name, a knitting suffragette, the rise and fall of popular designs, a female knitting shop keeper, the influence of rayon, a sweater that goes and returns from WWII POW camp, and more.

    Then, after one is sad that the narrative of knitting in Shetland is over, come the patterns influenced by the history and stories told.

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    Susan has also put together kits for each of the patterns, and choosing is proving difficult.  Each kit comes with Fenella yarn that is British wool and British spun.


    Here is  a great review of the yarn, which I have yet to see in person.

    This definitely goes down as one of my favorite knitting books.  Buy it before it is out of print!  I got mine at School house Press.

    Now to choose my kit to order…


  • knitting1105 9:14 am on October 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    The best Thank you 



    I finished this sweater last spring for my niece Ria for her birthday.  I was especially proud of the shoulder and sleeve shaping, as I used the English tailoring method taught by CocoKnits.

    Ria could not be a better recipient.  (I need a photo of her to insert here from Diane or Jill!)

    This is the thank you note that she sent me.

    I am AHW (Amazing Horse Woman) – thanks Ria!

    Ria is BBW (Blood Bat Woman)

    Jill, Ria’s mom who is a judge herself is RBG (the notorious Ruth Bader Ginsberg)!

    and, Aunt Diane is MSW (Misty Skunk Woman)

    This group of women super heroes can do a lot!

    • Diane Hamilton 9:35 am on October 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I love her thank you note and she loved your sweater! I was going to just be “Skunk Woman”…I had to convince Ria to add Misty for some flair.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jill Dayal 8:33 pm on November 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      We love your beautiful sweaters! Such a treasure to receive them!

      Liked by 1 person

  • knitting1105 7:09 pm on September 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply  


    Okay, I am a very political person, and I try my best to restrain myself on this site.  But this has gone too far.  Tariffs now on yarn and fabric imports!  But not on Trump hats and Chinese merchandise!  This is beyond ridiculous.

    Everyone needs to vote in November!!!



    • Diane Hamilton 7:43 pm on September 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      That sucks!

      Liked by 1 person

    • salpal1 3:07 am on September 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Only vote in November if you will be voting against Trump and his supporters. 😈

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 4:18 pm on September 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Yes agreed. I implied that, but should have been specific. Yarn is really a small issue, but it is endemic of a much larger problem. I know that there is some US yarn, and that is great, but I think fabric is a tougher issue.

        Liked by 1 person

        • salpal1 1:14 pm on September 21, 2018 Permalink

          Yes, you can find usa yarn, but other countries just do a better job making fabric than we do. Just picked up some cute fabric because “ have to get to now, prices are going to increase!

          Liked by 1 person

  • knitting1105 9:30 am on June 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    Japanese Knitting – A Review 

    A couple of weeks before we traveled to Japan, which was 5 years ago now, I took a course with Donna Druchunas on understanding Japanese knitting patterns.  While taking a class years ago with CookieA (remember her?, I think that she has gone undercover), she told me that the Japanese pattern books were a great inspiration for her sock designs.  So, when we were going to Japan I wanted to purchase some Japanese knitting books of course, and needed to know how to read/use them.  I would highly recommend the class by Donna if she is still teaching it.  That started my love of and collecting Japanese knitting books.  I could go into many reasons why I love them, but this post by SkeinYarn says it all.

    I recently acquired the book Japanese Knitting – Patterns for Sweaters, Scarves and More. This was shipped to me right at publication time.  Although, I just saw it cheaper at Target.  Who knew that Target carried knitting books?!  After taking the class in the spring on Japanese knitting techniques, I was anxious to get this new book. 


    So, when the book came, I was excited ot open it.  This is one of the top Japanese designers, and I do love the attention to detail and aesthetics that they have.  When I opened the front cover, I loved the hand drawn designs for each project:


    And I do like and appreciate how all of the stitches used are standardized, which makes going from one designer to another very easy.


    But, my disappointment came with the patterns.  They are very boxy, and the majority of them are Crochet patterns.  While I do know how to crochet, quite proficiently, I prefer knitting for many reasons.  This book should have really been titled Japanese Knitting and Crochet.  Having looked at Japanese knitting books I do know that they call crochet books knitting books.  I expect that when seeing them in their own language, but not with a translation.  I know, I know, there is a byline at the top that states Knitting and Crochet, I just did not expect 1/2 of it to be crochet.  And, the irony is that my favorite pattern is crochet!

    That said, here are a couple of pages from the book.

    51E+qj1bGyLJapanese 2

    Word of advise to myself, pursue the book in person before purchasing it if at all possible.  I will keep this book, but it is just not what I was hoping for.  The few patterns in the Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible book were more what I thought I would be getting, a rich attention to detail and complicated stitch patterns.

    That said, my favorite project at the moment is this crocheted stole.  Just might have to pick up a hook again.


  • knitting1105 3:10 pm on March 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    Yarn Genius 


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