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Meet Franklin! 19

Meet Franklin!

A few Saturdays ago, destiny happened. Paul and I came across a local adoption event and met the orange kitty of our dreams. We’d been open to getting a second cat for a couple of years, ever since Augie showed up on our back porch as a baby and taught us that a cat really could be happy in a house full of dogs. When our eyes met Franklin’s, we knew he was the one.

It was meant to be. He rode the hour and a half home from the adoption event on Paul’s lap.

 

 

And it turns out that he’s devoted to knitting.

 

 

Go figure!

I’m sure he’ll be making frequent appearances here, so I wanted to give him a proper introduction.

In knitting news, I’ve finished Paul’s Tea with Jam and Bread sweater. I’ll post about that soon. The plan is to take pictures one day this week.

And I’ve cast on the Inlet cardigan by Amy Herzog.

 

Do you know about Amy Herzog? I’ve been interested in her and her sweater designs for years. She’s all about sweaters that fit, and one of her mantras is that your pattern should match your gauge and yarn, not the other way around.

When you purchase one of her custom fit patterns, you provide your measurements and the gauge at which you want to knit, and her pattern generator comes up with the specific pattern instructions for your personal sweater.

I’ve always figured there must be something to her method because, unlike with a lot of sweater projects you look at on Ravelry where you see the sweater folded or laid flat or draped over a chair, when you look at the projects for her designs, people are actually wearing them! And they look great!

I cast on last night with some Peace Fleece worsted in the Mourning Dove colorway from my stash. Two words: twisted rib.

 

I might not ever knit plain one-by-one rib again!

Yarn Along 8

I really love the Wednesday Yarn Along. Ginny Sheller hosts this weekly what-you’re-knitting and what-you’re-reading photo op on her blog, Small Things. Stop by for links to what are usually close to a hundred blog posts on the topic. It’s guaranteed to give you a lift.

This week I’m reading If Nights Could Talk, a memoir written by my immensely talented friend Marsha Recknagel. The story reads like a thriller. Marsha is a poet, though, so she writes in a way that constantly startles me by offering up real and important things that I knew, but didn’t know I knew, because I didn’t have words to name them. Every time I come away from reading the book, my world is bigger.

 

 

On the knitting front, I’m onto the sleeves of Paul’s Tea with Jam and Bread sweater and am trying a new thing. I’m knitting seamless sleeves two at a time. I’ve done this a lot with sweaters where the sleeves are knit separately, but it occurred to me that it should work equally well when the sleeves are already attached. It was kind of fiddly at first, but as soon as I got a little length on the sleeves, it evened out, and now I’m really liking it. Does anyone else knit sleeves this way?

 

Yarn Along: Sweater and Coates 11

Here I am posting just under the wire for the Wednesday Yarn Along!

This week I’m knitting the Tea with Jam and Bread sweater for Paul and reading Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Both are substantial and important in a million million ways.

 

Be sure to stop by Ginny Sheller’s Small Things blog for links to what lots of other people are knitting and reading this week.

 

Things I’m Loving On This Monday 8

Since the ability to write meaningfully about ideas, even knitting ones, has apparently left me, here are some miscellaneous things I’m loving on this Monday.

These Chilean Men taking their needles to the streets:

 

 

The February #yarnlovechallenge happening on Instagram. I blogged about Lola’s short-lived sweater here:

 

 

 

Meryl Streep’s comment about knitting:

Streep admits that she spends much of her time on set knitting and finds the hobby to be therapeutic: “For me it was a place to gather my thoughts and understand the contemplative (life) … it’s a sort of clearing out place.”

 

This leftover Beef(less) Bourguignon I had for breakfast:

 

 

And most of all, my pink pussy hat, made with love by my wonderful Cari:

 

 

Wishing you peace, love, and lots of knitting, my friends!

 

My People 6

I’m lucky enough to call all of the people interviewed and mentioned in this article friends. During these days when counting blessings is essential, I consider this a big one.

Protests bringing yarn back to forefront

Yarn Along: Bees and Blanket 15

I’m joining in for another week of the Yarn Along today with a book on bees and a return to blanket knitting here at Casa Knit Potion.

A lot of the reading I’ve been doing lately has been pretty heavy, but I’ve just started Dave Goulson’s A Sting in the Tale. We have been keeping bees since we moved to Tennessee and are more amazed all the time by their industry and abilities. The current weather situation is especially perilous for them, so I’ve been casting around everywhere with the hope of learning about anything we might be able to do to help. I’ll keep you posted on the book.

On the knitting front, I’m back to knitting on my zigzag blanket, at least until the yarn for Paul’s new sweater arrives. Dana over at Yards of Happiness inspired me to knit him a Tea with Jam and Bread Sweater, and I can’t wait to dive in. I’m still loving the zigzags, though, so it’s all good until the mail person gets here with the box o’ yarn I got on super sale from Alpacas Direct.

If you’re looking for a mitt pattern, be sure to consider Raw Honey. I finished these yesterday, and the fit is perfect! This pair is for a friend, but I’ll be making some for myself soon. This is another Yards of Happiness inspired project.

I’ll leave you with a picture of the best card I’ve gotten in ages. This came in the mail earlier this week:

On the inside are words from Johnny Cash:”I walk the line.” For me, it should probably say, “I see the line over there somewhere in the distance and do my best not to lose sight of it entirely!”

Be sure to stop by Ginny Sheller’s Small Things blog for links to what lots of other people are knitting and reading this week.

Knit Potion 4

I don’t seem to be able to language lately, but knitting goes on.

Exhibit A (etc.): Cabled Fingerless Mitts for Cari . . . That’s actually Cari’s hand wearing the mitt, which just happens to match her mug with knitted cables on it. AND she’s knitting! In other words, this picture equals a whole bunch of happy for me.

 

Fetching Mitts for Liz:

 

Annual Christmas dishcloths for my Dad:

 

Double Knit Cap for my godson Finn:

 

 

Elevation Hat for my cousin Randy (modeled by Paul):

Solidarity, my knitters!

Yarn Along: Can’t Go Wrong with JK and MJ 10

I’m joining in for another week of the Yarn Along with detective fiction by J.K. Rowling (a.k.a. Robert Galbraith) and a stranded hat by Mary Jane Mucklestone.

 

The Cuckoo’s Calling is the first of J.K. Rowling’s Cormoran Strike novels, the series she writes under the Robert Galbraith pseudonym. I was in the mood for something especially readable and engaging, and since this had been on my list for awhile, I thought I’d give it a try.  It’s definitely fitting the bill. There are tons of reviews online if you haven’t read it and are interested, so I’ll just say that at a hundred pages in, I’ve already got a soft spot in my heart for Cormoran Strike and his trusty assistant, Robin Ellacott.

The hat is Mary Jane Mucklestone’s Weston Beanie. It’s like a drug, absolutely hypnotic knitting. What else can I say?

Be sure to stop by Ginny Sheller’s Small Things blog for links to what lots of other people are knitting and reading this week.

Synchronicity 2

 

If you haven’t read Kate Davies’ blog post today, I highly recommend it. The whole post is excellent, as always, but one detail blew me away. Kate is interviewing Mary Jane Mucklestone, and she asks if MJM has a favorite piece of historic Fair Isle knitting. MJM goes on to describe a fair isle sweater that a soldier named Ralph Paterson was wearing when he was taken prisoner in Hong Kong during World War 2. It had been knitted for him by his wife, and he wore it for the entire five years of his captivity.

There’s a photograph of the sweater in the blog post. And if you become obsessed like I have, you’ll be happy to know that Susan Crawford apparently spends a lot of time on it in her forthcoming Vintage Shetland Project. Aaaand there are good number of additional pictures of the sweater on Tom of Holland’s blog here.

I titled this post “Synchronicity” because I spent quite a bit of last night watching a documentary on what the slow declassification of military documents from WW2 has revealed about the almost certainly avoidable bombing of Pear Harbor. We’re coming into a strange kind of omniscience relative to that time, and the knowledge is frightening. It was a comfort to me this morning to read about Ralph Paterson’s sweater.

The picture at the top of the post is one I took in response to Dana’s #widn tag on Instagram last night. Knitting and snuggling was clearly the thing to do. 🙂

 

 

The Yarn Along 6

 

Do you know about the Yarn Along? It’s a project started by Ginny Sheller, creator of the blog Small Things, and it speaks to the fact that many devoted knitters are also passionate readers. I’m not sure how to account for this, but my own experience bears it out.

And it’s not just that we love to knit and we love to read. It’s that we love the idea of knitting and books together! There’s something about a photo of a work in progress next to a book someone’s in the middle of that absolutely warms my soul.*

Whatever the reason, it’s a wonderful thing, and a visit to the Small Things blog on any given Wednesday serves up a whole lot of wonderful. It takes you to Ginny’s own picture of what she’s knitting and reading and to links for what lots of other people are knitting and reading as well. On November 16, there were 83 links to book and knitting photos.

Until now, I’ve enjoyed the Yarn Along without actually participating, but I’ve decided to join in the fun. So here’s my first Yarn Along photo.

 

yarn-along-2016-11-23

You won’t be surprised to see my zigzag blanket. I’m just about halfway at this point and still loving every second of all of this color. The book I’m reading, Yoga and the Quest for the True Self, looks at the philosophy of yoga alongside the insights of Western psychology. It’s fascinating, definitely one of the most interesting things I’ve read in a long time. Both the blanket knitting and the book have been helping keep me hopeful and grounded lately.

Thank you for stopping by. Wishing everyone a peaceful Thanksgiving doing at least a little of whatever it is you love to do.

 

*I wonder if it might have something to do with mirror neurons.

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