Thursday, December 4, 2014

Holiday Cheer

During December life is too stressful and harried as it is without voluntarily adding knitting unhappiness to it.

Advent scarf frogged

There, I feel better now. Cheers!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Odi et amo.
-- Catullus

It's one of those inexplicable things. I joined an Advent Scarf knit-along. It's all one could want: the group is congenial, the specified yarn, Knitting Fever Indulgence 6-ply, is lovely and a LYS had it in stock, the pattern is wonderfully entertaining – and yet I'm not enjoying it. If anything, the mere thought of my scarf in progress fills me with a mysterious unhappiness.

Advent scarf in progress

I don't know why. There's no readily identifiable fault in our stars or in ourselves. I only know I feel it.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


Another Thanksgiving at Casa Jersey Knitter gone by – this one was a happy feast, not least because DH and I celebrated at home. Instead of the anxieties, disruptions, and hardships of the past several years, our biggest worry this T-Day was finding the perfect turkey and roasting it without setting off the smoke detectors. I'm deeply thankful for that. The only very small complaint: despite a diligent search there were no extra turkey giblets to be found to enrich the stuffing. Huh. Back when I used to order my turkey from a butcher, they always came with giblets from a much bigger bird, which was a little strange, but very welcome. The past few chaotic Novembers a supermarket bird (with its own, proportionate giblets plus some extras when available) has had to suffice. But perhaps next year I can hope to order from a butcher again.

Woven prayer shawl

Meanwhile, the first Homespun woven prayer shawl eventually worked out so well, I made another. This time I made sure the selvedges wound onto the warp beam evenly. It helped that I found a roll of craft paper the same width as the weaving width of the loom, so had a continuous length separating the layers instead of the taped-together paper I had been using. My third weaving project drafted easily, wove up quickly, and made a pleasing FO. I may never knit another prayer shawl. Although I did knit up more shawl ministry pins for my group.

Shawl Ministry pins

My backordered 10-dent heddle finally arrived over the holiday weekend. Newbie weaver that I am, I was surprised by how big a difference in fineness there is between the 8-dent and the 10-dent heddles. I wouldn't have thunk it, but the 8-dent is for worsted weight yarn while the 10-dent is for fingering.

8- and 10-dent heddles

So, I guess I have myself another hobby. Pity about the 15-inch weaving width though, it really would be nice to have a wider shawl. It seems very soon to be saying this, but... one would need another loom for that.... Danger, Will Robinson, danger!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


I was considering a dreary, mumbly post on the unseasonably cold weather, but then I learned about Cumberbombing, photobombing with Benedict Cumberbatch. How is it I did not know about this meme? Apparently I've been living under a rock, but no longer. Thanks, Jimmy Fallon!

I suppose it says something about the erudition (or aspiration) of the fans that so many favorite Cumberbatch recordings are literature, a favorite craft item is a bookmark. Needless to add, I made my own – and so can you thanks to Ginger Nifty.

Benedict Cumberbatch bookmarks

The bouquet of Benedicts cheered me up so much – the power of craft! – I frogged my climate march sock and started an Ixslein instead.

Ixslein wip

I'm loving how the slip stich Xs pull on the fabric, giving a quilted look that I hope will survive washing. The little swags that form the Xs alter the skinny stripe repeat just enough that the sock in progress looks quite different from its predecessor, which makes me happy. It's a good day after all.

And for an even brighter tomorrow, come out in the cold and see this green movie, The Human Scale, tomorrow evening at 6:30 p.m.

More information here.

Monday, November 17, 2014


Over the weekend DH and I visited Winterthur, a former du Pont estate turned museum. DH likes visiting Winterthur; I can take it or leave it. It's a beautiful place to be sure, but I've frequently felt a disdainful chill from the often unhelpful staff, as if they resent the visitors whose admission fees pay the upkeep. It was no surprise that although we came to gawp at were attracted by the exhibit of costumes from Downton Abbey, I ended up liking other exhibits of historical items more. Although it was fun to ring a pull bell and to see Sybil's harem frock in person.

Harem frock from Downton Abbey

The vast permanent collection of the museum is focused on Americana, including quilts and samplers. Inspired by the humbler items, I crocheted up some Cream Circles to use as hotpads. My version, in Lily Sugar 'n Cream, is smaller and lacks the scalloped edge of the pattern.

Cream Circle hotpads

It's always well to have a stack of new hotpads ready for the feasting season.