Monday, December 30, 2013

More Gift Knits for Christmas 2013

In a recent post, I wrote about "A Couple of (Process) Gift Knits".  Before Christmas day arrived, I actually came up with one more of these.

FO Photo "Ruby Beret", November 2009

I created my "Ruby Beret" back in 2009.  On Christmas day 2013, I gifted it to our niece C.  I like to give knitted gifts whenever I am able.  I know that not everyone needs or expects one every year.  And (please forgive me) there are some people who really do not understand the value of a hand-knit gift, who also really do not ever deserve one.  But regardless, I do like to give knitted gifts to a slightly wider audience, every now and then.  So, for example, one year I gave each of my two sisters and my brother's wife a cowl.  And one year I gifted all of my (five) nieces with a hat or scarf.  This year, because one of my husband's brothers asked for a knitted gift...  in my own head it became only fair to give both of the others on my husband's much smaller side of the family (niece C and another brother-in-law) a knitted gift.

Shifting back to the point of that "Process Knit Gifts" thing, how about that tubular cast on?  It was my first.

I wrote about the cast on and included this photo in an older blog post, "A Book I Recommend".  The beret pattern is "Vine and Leaf Beret" by Angela Hahn.  It appeared on the cover of Vogue Knitting Fall 2009.  I enjoyed the process of knitting this hat, and I was happy to experience my first tubular cast on.

There also were two very quick knits this Christmas.  I would call them both "product" knits in that the knitting was all about producing quick gifts, and not about experiencing a new technique or a unique yarn.  Each of these knits took only two days.  The first is a simple cap for the younger of my husband's brothers.  No pattern.  I just made it up.

The yarn used is Bartlettyarns Fisherman's-3 ply that I had on hand, knit at a gauge of 13 stitches in 4 inches.  I got the idea to go bulky from the following project which also took only two days to knit, at a gauge of 10 stitches in 4 inches.

My very knit-worthy daughter loved this gift.  The pattern is "Cullen Cowl" by Pam Allen, the yarn Quince & Co. Puffin in the color 'clay'.  It was fun to knit, so easy and quick!

There are actually two more gifts that linger on in an IOU kind of way... But it's OK...  One is for my son, and he knows about it, and he can't really use it until the spring...  The other, well, I still owe my husband a pair of socks (Remember this sad thing?)...  But I'm thinking that he can wait...  How long do I have until Father's Day?

Friday, December 27, 2013

Holiday Reflections

On Christmas day, in the evening, 2013

Hours after dinner, most of us are still inside... a moment reflected on a window and caught by a camera...

It was after desert... (the candles are already burning low)... but before the traditional family card game of Apples to Apples.  Thirteen for dinner and ten for Apples to Apples.

In the morning we awoke to a fresh coat of snow.

Friday, December 20, 2013

A Couple of (Process) Gift Knits

As I have written before, see here and here, I do not really do a lot of Christmas knitting.

I simply do a whole lot of knitting all through the year... and then just a small amount of last minute Christmas knitting with an even smaller amount of success (see above links).

This year has been no exception.  There will be two gifts that just happened to be knit because each offered up a new knitting experience.  I would call both of these knits "Process Knits".

Within the knitting community the terms "Process Knitter" and "Project Knitter" are bantered about.  The idea is that you are either process-oriented in your knitting.  (You love to knit for the experience of the knitting, and do not care if the results are useful or attractive.  You never swatch and would never rip out anything.)  Or, you are product-oriented.  (You knit because you love to make beautiful and useful objects, and you would totally re-knit anything not to your liking.)

I am of the opinion that each of us who knit fall somewhere within the scale -- most are not completely one or the other.

The first gift will go to Mr K's brother.  He is, by far, not someone for whom I would normally knit anything.  But over the last year, he has asked, not once (during his Easter visit), but twice (on Thanksgiving day), for a hand knit anything for Christmas.  Because I had completely forgotten the Easter request, and because I have been busy meeting design deadlines and dreaming of what to knit for the quick last minute gifts for those that I do normally knit for, that Thanksgiving request really threw me.

At first, I thought, why not make a hat like this one that I made for Mr K back in, I think, 2008?

The pattern is Turn a Square by Jared Flood.  The yarns are Cascade 220 and Noro Kureyon.  (I cannot tell color numbers or yard used, as it was made quite long ago.)  When I located the pattern in its print form, I also located my printed pages of the modifications that Jared Flood blogged about for the Cap Karma Hat by Smariek.

This reminded me that I actually made a modified Cap Karma around the same time as my Turn a Square from some leftover yarn of my mother's.

The yarn is Brown Sheep Co's Lamb's Pride worsted in the color blueblood red.  When I finished this hat, I offer it up to all who lived in this house at the time... when no one claimed it, it went into a mud room drawer with all the odds and ends mittens, hats, ski goggles and such... to my knowledge, it has never been worn. 

I hand-washed the hat.  It is a little tall and a bit bright, but I am going to give it to my brother-in-law.  He did say anything.  (I'll let you know if he likes it.)

That hat is truly a "process" knit.  I only decided to knit it because I saw the modifications on Jared's brooklyntweed blog, and I wanted the experience of working them.

I will be gifting my sister, who loves everything that I have ever knit for her, another "process" knit.  This one is totally 2013.  Back in January I was in New York for Vogue Knitting Live.  I had always wanted to try working with stainless steel yarn, and one of the venders at the market was Habu Textiles who are known for their unique tactile yarns including several that include metal.  It was a great opportunity to see the yarns in person.  I have already shared my Hakusa scarf here.  It was finished this summer, after which I made a smaller one that I named Hasuka Junior which I will keep for myself.

The 'materials' for the shawl/scarf were Habu Textiles A-20/21 1/20 silk stainless steel (69% silk, 31% stainless steel) and N-75 2/48 Fine Merino (%100 merino).

I just wrote a note to my sister about the project and tucked it in the box under the scarf.  (I'll let you know if she likes it.)

I consider both of the Hasukas to be "process" knits.  They were made because I wanted the experience of working with a truly metallic yarn.  (Honestly, except for the first few rows, where there was not much to hold onto, and the metallic yarn was used singularly, it was not very different than any other knitting.)  What is cool, though, is that the edging is so very "scrunchable".

If you are also preparing for the upcoming holidays, I hope that you are able to go about it with a light and happy heart... no worries, please!  

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The house of...

For about a week now I have been thinking (but only in my own head) that this "Kern household" is really the "Carolyn Kern House of Design".  A bit of a stretch, but all of these things have happened this week:

I finished my work on a super secret project for a design to be used by a very famous (to the online knitting community) yarn company.  That yarn was amazing!... It was such a fun knit!... I will share it with you when the time is right.

A nice little cube of a box came in the mail.  Inside of it was probably about three times the yarn that I will need to make another super secret project that will appear in a widely distributed print magazine next year.

I think the idea that, as soon as one goes out, the next one is already here, has gone to my head (but it's OK, because mostly I keep it to myself).

Just yesterday, I received one of those polite emails with the words, "thank you", "we had so many great submissions", "can't use them all", "don't have room for yours" and "hope to work with you in the future".  It is true that rejection letters are just a part of the whole process.


This house is also a family home with Christmas coming... I have a lot of work ahead me!  Today there was some shopping and there will be sugar cookie baking.  For various reasons, we will not begin to decorate until next weekend... there is still a wreath with autumn leaves on my front door.  I will be cooking two rather elaborate traditional dinners.  (I always do.  It is one thing that I take in stride.  One step at a time, and really worth all the work.)  There is a lot more gift shopping, and all of the gift wrapping, as well as one very special birthday coming up soon!

Whew!  I can do this though, just one day at a time, and every day with some knitting in it :-)

I like to include at least one photograph in my posts.  Here is my latest  (non-secret) FO, Tartan Mitts made in Titus yarn by Baa Ram Ewe, project name: Sir Titus Tartan.

I will be giving them to my daughter for Christmas.  (They are not a surprise.)  I am keeping the red ones for myself!


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Midweek Meditation - Kandinsky style

"There is no must in art because art is free.”  
                                                                         ~ Wassily Kandinsky

When I think of Kandinsky, this work, Squares with Concentric Circles, 1913, is what comes to my mind.  It is one of my favorites.

"I applied streaks and blobs of colours onto the canvas with a palette knife and I made them sing with all the intensity I could...."

"Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul."            
                                                              ~Wassily Kandinsky,
                                                           Russian painter and art theorist.

Kandinsky is credited with painting the first purely abstract works.

On White II, 1923

Composition X, 1939

"Music was important to the birth of abstract art, since music is abstract by nature—it does not try to represent the exterior world, but expresses in an immediate way the inner feelings of the soul...

In addition to painting, Kandinsky was an art theorist; his influence on the history of Western art stems perhaps more from his theoretical works than from his paintings."
                                                            December, 3, 2013

 Photo credits:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Harper's Bazaar: Paired Accessories

I have had a pattern published in Knitscene Accessories 2012, and one in Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts 2013.  A pattern of mine that is included in Quince & Co., Scarves, Etc., also appeared in Mollie Makes, Issue 14.

It should not surprise anyone to know that I have sent out many submission proposals to similar publications that did not get selected for publication.  At this time, I enjoy designing accessory projects.  I look for ideas in many places.  Sometimes I like to search current fashion images online.

In a search for "fall 2013 accessories", just weeks ago, I ended up finding a story from Harper's Bazaar, "Perfect Pairs: 10 Sets of Stylish Winter Accessories".  It is by Chrissy Rutherford and is dated November 27, 2012.  I bookmarked it thinking that one day I would like to share it here (with you).

This image is on the cover page where Chrissy wrote, "This winter forgo your boring black knit accessories and opt for this season's offerings of vibrant colors, rich textures and fun patterns.  Don't fret... we've done the pairing for you."  Here are a couple more of these...

I found these pairings oddly enjoyable.  I kind of thought, "I'll bet I could do that."  I like to put things together.  Here are a couple more...

When I saw an old purchased tartan scarf in my old scarf box not very long after I bookmarked the HB article, I knew that my own pairing was in the works...

Introducing... my latest FO, "Pop of Red" Tartan Mitts, paired with my "Old Scarf Box" scarf.  What would Chrissy think?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Gift-A-Long Update

Just a reminder that the first part of the Gift-A-Long promotion on Ravelry will be ending at midnight tonight.

There are approximately 3000 patterns for sale on Ravelry with a 25% discount, all using the same coupon code "giftalong".  Here is a link to a very important thread where the approximately 160 (indie/independent) designers have declared which of their patterns are included in the Gift-A-Long.  These are considered "participating patterns".  I am on page 2 of the thread, right here.

As the sale comes to an end, I want to remind my readers of the second part of the promotion.  There are hundreds of prizes to be won!  Many are patterns (electronic prizes), but there are also a great number of physical prizes.  For a chance to win the prizes, you need to select one of the participating patterns (see the "link" above), and enter your project by posting in an appropriate KAL/CAL thread.  (It does not matter when you buy the pattern, before or after the sale period are both OK, but the pattern does have to be a participating pattern.)  Another wonderful place to browse participating patterns is at the Gift-A-Long Pinterest Boards.

Just by posting in one of the KAL/CAL threads, you will have a chance to win random prizes.  There are some games going on, as well.  After you finish a project, post (one time only per each FO) in the Official FO thread (with a photo if possible).  Each FO post is an entry in one of two large prize drawings, I believe that they will be on December 1 and then shortly after the December 31 end of the GAL KAL/CAL.

I am very grateful for a chance to be a part of this promotion!  I cannot express how amazing it was to watch those who organized this (in about a week) setting it all in place.  Fantastic amount of work!  The Pinterest boards are lovely.  (Volunteers had to pin each pattern individually.)  The prizes are all organized into lists and ready to be won.  Oh, and did I forget to mention the advertizing help... images for posts and ravatars, and those great transparent tags with instructions on how to layer them onto a photo.  I think the fact that the group has 4 administrators and 25 moderators indicates how much work is still being done to make the KAL/CAL's a lot of fun for everyone.  Please consider joining in the group and the GAL KAL/CAL's!  Post those FO's for more chances to win!

Happy Holiday Knitting!  Happy Holiday Gifting!  

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Midweek Meditation

"Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen."
                                                                        ~ Leonardo da Vinci

Sunday, November 10, 2013

More Peaches

Peaches in Paintings

Paul Cézanne is one of my favorite painters.  He painted a lot of paintings with fruit in them.  This one is named Still Life with Peaches and Pears.  From the Wikipedia entry on Paul Cezanne:  "Cézanne's often repetitive, exploratory brushstrokes are highly characteristic and clearly recognizable. He used planes of colour and small brushstrokes that build up to form complex fields. The paintings convey Cézanne's intense study of his subjects."

Cézanne's work came to mind when I began my last post, but I felt that the peach photograph would be more evocative in a discussion on looking at the colors in a real life peach.  There is no doubt that Cézanne saw "all gray, and red, and purples in a peach".

The Color "Peach"

I was thinking about "peach" Crayola crayons (Oh, how many hours I colored and drew with them as a child!)  I found a web page that shows Crayola peach crayons through the years.  Here is a photo from that website of the 1962-197? peach that I used.  (Much as I remember it.)

Here is the current, since 2006, peach Crayola.

Does either one look anything like a peach?  I think not.  "Peach" as a color is a third (see 3) definition for peach (from

peach (pēch), n.
1. the round, pink-to-yellow, fuzzy-skinned fruit of a tree, Prunuspersica, of the rose family.
the tree itself, cultivated in temperate climates.
3. a light pinkish yellow color.
Informal. a person or thing that is especially attractive, liked, or enjoyed.

A Peach in a Poem

And one more peach came to me as I wrote my last post.  I was remembering a poem with a peach in it, from a class I once took on modern poetry.  I found myself searching until I found what I vaugely remembered...  The poem is by T.S. Eliot and its title:  The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.  I was surprised to find that the word "peach" is used only one time in that entire poem.  But the words "Do I dare to eat a peach?" were the words that I remembered most.

Enough said on that.  It would be completely out of my realm to begin to discuss literature, but I do like to read a good poem every now and then.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Colorwork Meditation #11

Photo Credit:

"The man who can see all gray, and red, and purples in a peach, will paint the peach rightly round, and rightly altogether. But the man who has only studied its roundness may not see its purples and grays, and if he does not will never get it to look like a peach; so that great power over color is always a sign of large general art-intellect."      
              ~ John Ruskin, 19th century English romantic writer and painter

I also quoted John Ruskin in my Colorwork Meditation #6.  I will admit that he sounds a bit pompous in the quote above... but I do remember when I first really noticed the redness of tree branches in April, and I do remember when I really could see that all grays are really lavender-grays or green-grays or whatever-grays... I believe that it is a gift to all who love color that we can see "all gray, and red, and purples in a peach".

Do you know what I mean?  Do you agree?

Previous Colorwork Meditation: #10 (Water)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

It's Gift-A-Long Eve!

OK, Okay.  I do know that today is a real holiday.  Happy Halloween to one and all!

I would like to announce to all who knit or crochet that today is also Gift-A-Long Eve!

You may well be asking, "What is 'Gift-A-Long'?"

To jump start holiday gift knitting & crocheting, a group of over 150 designers who offer self-published patterns for sale on Ravelry, have joined together in a promotion named "Gift-A-Long".  The first phase of this promotion starts tomorrow with thousands of patterns being offered at 25% off after applying the coupon code "giftalong".  The official dates for the discount are November 1-15 (with most designers using GMT).  I am one of the designers, and all three (wish there were more) of my self-published, for-sale patterns are included.

Clockwise from top:
Two by Two by Two, Version 1
Jemma Cowl
Two by Two by Two, Version 2 (Both versions are included in one pattern.)
Fingering Weight TATU Socks (Four sizes included.)

There are soooo many wonderful patterns to pick from!!!  I now quote the group page for the "Indie Design Gift-A-Long" group:

"Prepping for the holidays as only fiber folks can, with special deals from tons of indie designers!

What is Gift-A-Long? It’s a multi-designer promotion to help you kick your holiday gift-making into high gear!

Put plainly, from November 1st until November 15th any pattern listed in the “List of Participating Patterns” thread is 25% off when you use the code “giftalong”.

Once you’ve got your Gift-A-Long patterns, we encourage you to join a relevant KAL/CAL! (For instance, if it is a cowl, please join the cowl KAL/CAL.) KAL/CAL participants are eligible for lots of lovely prizes (check out the Prizes thread for details) but you gotta post to win!
KAL/CALs will run until December 31st, plenty of time to knock out all your holiday knitting and crocheting.

On your mark…get set…. GIFT!"

Did you get that second part of the promotion?  Using any of the patterns offered in the Gift-A-Long (GAL) promotion, start a project (link it to the pattern page) and post about it in a relevant KAL/CAL thread on the group's discussion board.  There will be contests, and random prizes will be awarded to anyone who posts about their GAL projects in those threads.  When you finish a project made from one of the GAL patterns, post about it in the FO thread (one post for each FO, and one FO per post).  There will be two major giveaways (with hundreds of prizes) for GAL FO's: one in the middle of the GAL KAL/CAL and one after the December 31 ending date.  Please take a moment to join the gift-a-long group, where you can learn of any updated information.

Surprise!  Tomorrow is here!  I wrote this post a few days ago.  Then I learned that the organizers wanted all participating designers to keep it quiet until November 1.  Then I learned that November 1, 0:00 (midnight) GMT = October 31, 8:00 PM EDST.  So, (while I may be a bit late with my Halloween greeting;-) -- I waited to post this until now to be able to say:  The sale has just begun!  Here is a link to my post in the "List of Participating Patterns" thread.  From there you can begin your pattern browsing.  Enjoy! 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Lessons from My Old Scarf Box: #3 Some Keepers

"I have a lot of old scarves that were stored in a plastic box on a shelf in my closet.  These are really very old scarves that I have not worn for years and years."

In my previous "Old Scarf Box" posts, I talked mostly about what I am giving away.  This time, I will share some keepers.

This scarf was a gift from one of my oldest friends.  We both share a love of art and craft, and she has always been generous in her appreciation of my own fiber crafting.  This was an early example of handicraft brought to our country from an organization similar to the Manos del Uruguay cooperative.  (The name of the organization is lost to me.  But I do remember that it was woven in a South American country, by a weaver who earned income, and hopefully gained financial security and self-esteem.)  Though I have not worn it for a while, I know that I will keep it always.

My mother made this little neck scarf.  She made a lot of them.  I found her hand-written directions for this on a small piece of paper when I went through some of her knitting things.  I think that she had them dictated to her by her older sister.  I know that I have seen similar patterns around, but this is not a new design.  If you look closely enough, you can see that an edge needs a little repair.  Of course, I will always keep this one.

And now for something completely different:

I found this old tartan plaid scarf in my old scarf box.  You could say that it is not of high quality:  It is kind of scratchy and has a zig-zag stitched edge.  I bought it somewhere, some time ago.  I am sure that I bought it because I have always liked to wear a bit of red from time to time.  It is photographed with my Tartan Mitt swatch and the leftover yarn that I am using to make myself a pair of Tartan Mitts.  I just cast on the other day, and I Ravelry-named my project "Pop of Red".

The lesson for today:  love the things you love because of why you love them.   And:  it is probably a good idea to go through your old things from time to time.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Lessons from My Old Scarf Box: #2 Novelty Yarns and Manufactured Knits?

"I have a lot of old scarves that were stored in a plastic box on a shelf in my closet.  These are really very old scarves that I have not worn for years and years."

In my first "Old Scarf Box" post, I told you about "the set" (now in a bag and ready to be donated).

More memories... I will try to be brief...

On the left side of the photo above is a smallish basket weave patterned (looks good on both sides) scarf in a silky and tweedy brown yarn (mostly acrylic).  I knit a bulky, cropped sweater that I wore hundreds of times with one strand of that brown yarn and one strand (or was it two strands?) of natural wool worsted weight yarn.  I remember wearing the sweater and scarf with a very long dark brown, and twirly, tweed coat.  Back then, I made a lot of the clothes that I wore everyday.

My bulky 2 or 3 strand knit sweater is only a memory.  Why have I kept this little brown scarf for so long? 

The blue scarf is garter stitch, knit with a slubby and tweedy novelty yarn that was bought for almost nothing at a nearby fabric and yarn store going out of business (many years ago).  Not sure if I ever wore it.  I do not remember wearing it.

I do remember wearing the manufactured knits in this photo.  They were gifts.  Once again I can actually see some wear in the gloves.  But I have not worn them for years, and with all of my more recent handknits in abundance, I am certain that I will never wear them again.

There are no good reasons to keep any of the items shown here.  They have been added to my Salvation Army bag.

My lesson for today is that now that there is some space in my old scarf box, I can better store some of my newer scarves.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Lessons from My Old Scarf Box: #1 What Happens to Old Knitting?

I have a lot of old scarves that were stored in a plastic box on a shelf in my closet.  These are really very old scarves that I have not worn for years and years.

Some were hand knitted.  I made them many years ago.  I pulled the box down because I remembered this set.

I was planning a design that I thought had something in common with these pieces.  I did not get anywhere with that plan, but I also did not miss out on the learning opportunity that was in my box.

1)  The mittens were actually used the most.  The edges are grayed and fuzzy.  Simple and practical items do get used.
2)  I never wore the hat.  I do not wear hats unless I really need to, and this particular hat was (from day one) very loose.  It could use a band of ribbing.  There is actually a seam (near bottom of photo) in this hat.  I would never make a seamed hat now.  Ill-fitting items with questionable construction will not be worn.   
3)  I do not remember wearing the scarf either. It looks OK, but has an edging that won't stop curling, or, I should say flipping.  I don't really like the scarf.  Right around the same time that I made this set, I also made another natural colored scarf -- all in seed stitch and with a light fringe.  I wore it often, and I still like it best when I go skiing.  I have a strong preference for scarves that look good on both sides and have neat edges.  Sometimes good design is in the details.  (And, in the case of the seed stitch scarf, I repeat: Simple and practical items do get used.)

Why have I kept this set for so long?  Many times in recent years I have remembered this or that sweater that I knitted and loved, but that is now only a memory.  It saddens me that, try as I might, I cannot remember when or why I gave up many items of my beloved knitting.

Of course the answer is that they no longer fit or flattered in terms of what was current.  Or they showed signs of wear... graying fuzziness, spots or even holes.  But I did let them go when it was time.

At opposite extremes are those that were loved and worn to death and those that were never quite right and eventually discarded.

I will donate the set to the Salvation Army Store.  It is the right thing to do.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Just a Few and Just a Bit

I took just a few photos at Rhinebeck yesterday.
These are the ones I like best.


I bought just a bit of yarn.

The four small skeins are Bartlett Yarns sport weight.  They came as a "Swirls" color pack with four 1 ounce skeins.  The larger skein is worsted wool from Hope Spinnery in Hope, Maine.  It was unlabeled, and on sale.

It was a beautiful day at the New York Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, New York.  As I said in a blog post last year, "It was a wonderful way to spend a Sunday with some of my knitting friends and many thousands of like minded individuals."

This morning I decided to find the yarn in my stash from my last two trips to Rhinebeck.  I was pleased to find that because I have been a regular enough blogger for over two years now, I was able to find photos of my past Rhinebeck purchases in my archives.

Yesterday Was...
(Lots of photos in that post.)

Photos Not from Rhinebeck
(No Rhinebeck photos in that one.)

Would you believe that I have not yet knit with any of the yarns I purchased at Rhinebeck in my last three trips there?  I hope to use some very soon!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Midweeek Meditation

"Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.”   ~ Oscar Wilde, born October 16, 1854

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Colorwork Meditation #10

Bermuda 2007
“I’m intrigued that one can recognize different parts of the world solely by the particular color of the water.”
                                      ~ Leonard Mizerek, American Painter

Previous Colorwork Meditation: #9 (Palette)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

What I Can No Longer Say

I cannot say that I never win anything.

If you are a blogger, and you read other blogs, you may have participated in blog giveaways at some time or another.  Like me, you may have done so for approximately 200 times.  And, like me, you may not have won a single thing.  Except that (for the first time ever) I did just win something.  Something special.

If you knit, and are online enough to be here with me now, you probably know about, and have admired, all of the stunning patterns offered at the TWIST Collective website.  They put out an online magazine four times a year and the Fall 2013 issue marked their fifth anniversary.  To celebrate, the TWIST Collective people hosted a month (almost 2 months) of giveaways that began with this post.

I entered in most of the giveaways.  I missed a few where you could only enter from Facebook or Twitter.  There were many, including the Skacel Giveaway, that you could enter on Ravelry.  For that one you had to write a six word "memoir".  Here is what I posted on the Ravelry thread just 11 days ago:

"Education, work, family, knitting, teaching, designing."

I honestly do not know if the winners were selected by random, or through merit.  Either way I was VERY lucky.  (There were over 230 posts to that Ravelry thread alone, not to mention however many there were at Facebook and Twitter.)  I received a Ravelry message from mokie/Cynthia telling me that I won this beautiful set of Addi-Click Natura (bamboo) inter-changable needles.  I was thrilled.  I had a lot of trouble choosing my one free TWIST pattern because I was really anxious to reply (and there really are so many good ones).  I choose Sapwood by Amy Herzog because I had just favorited it that same morning and I thought that was a good luck omen.

© Amy Herzog
If you would like to see all of the prizes and winner's names check out the Winner's Circle page.  I am there for giveaway #29, ckknit (my Ravelry name).  Thanks Skacel and TWIST!   

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Midweek Meditation

“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach—waiting for a gift from the sea.”          
                                   ~  Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Angel Blue

A new color in the paintbox of my life is "Angel Blue".

I bought a new pair of sneakers (running shoes) last month.  I usually wear sneakers as my everyday shoes.  You might do so, as well, if you "worked out of your home", as I do.  Several years ago, I got into the habit of buying white walking-shoe type sneakers because they were comfortable and I liked how bright and clean they looked when they were new.  But my daughter (in her early 20's) called me out on this about three years ago.  She took me sneaker shopping, and I bought a silver, white and blue pair with a lot of mesh fabric and other layers of lattice-like cutout things.

A year later, I shopped on my own, and bought a somewhat similar pair.  She said that I did OK.

Then after another year (last month), I was on my own again, and I was surprised to see that most of the new sneakers are very colorful, as in neon.  Go look.  You will see what I am talking about.  At a Dick's Sporting Goods store near me all of the women's running and cross-sport shoes had way too much color for me.  In the last row there were a few pairs of those white walking-shoes.  I knew that they would be comfortable, but after my daughter's training, I thought that they looked too old for me.  I am not ready to be any older than I have to be.  I went back to the center display.  I tried on a shoe which had non-neon, softer colors, but there was  a whole lot of purple.

Someday I will talk about purple.  I am a firm believer that you cannot really have a favorite color because all colors depend on their surrounding colors... but, I do have to admit that for most of my life, if I had a least favorite color, it would be purple.

Those shoes by Brooks had some very vivid turquoise with the purple.  They were comfortable, but I did not buy them.

The next day I thought to look for the shoes, Brooks Ghost 5, online to see if they came in any other colors, and they did.  I liked the combination "Dark Denim, Angle Blue and Silver" quite I lot. I ordered them.  Here I am wearing them...

I am happy with my purchase.  I think that they look youthful enough.  I had not thought about "Angel Blue" before.  It generally means a pastel blue, but I also think it has a special brightness to it... closer to blue-green than blue-violet, but more like with a touch of turquoise or aqua...

When I was home from my final vacation of the summer, (We spent one week in August at the New Jersey shore.)  I saw more shades of angel blue around me.  On my little table near where I knit, there was this little book that I bought at a shop in Cape May.

GIFT FROM THE SEA by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

I have not read the book beyond the introduction, but I believe with all of my heart, that somewhere in there, I will find the words:  

"One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach. One can collect only a few, and they are more beautiful if they are few." 

Which I quoted in a past blog post. In a neat connection... I began that last September post with, "As summer is slowly leaving us..."

Anyway, to get back on topic before I close this post, even one of the yarns I have been working with has some of that Angel Blue.

And once again summer is slowly leaving us...


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Colorwork Meditation #9

    “Every so often change your palette. Introduce new colours and discard others. You will gain knowledge of colour mixing and your work will have added variety.”

                                               ~ Kenneth Denton, English Painter

Photo credit:

Previous Colorwork Meditation: #8 (Blue)

Monday, September 9, 2013