Mind Games

I’m taking a break from writing patterns, knitting on my back and writhing in agony to play a little Facebook Scrabble, and what does my rack spell? YOU ARE B.


It’s a pinched nerve in my lower back on the right side, which is why I’m leaning so strongly to the left.

THANK YOU, Gina, for the chiro reminder. Of course I needed to go to my chiro! Dur!

So I went, he did some good stuff, I’m not out of pain but it’s eased up. Xrays showed – something – I nodded like I understood (and I kind of did while he was talking) then he gave me a modified adjustment and I’m resting for a few days. I go back on Monday for a follow up.

I’m missing some good stuff this weekend. Yarnover, the Textile Center Garage Sale, a sale at The Yarnery. On the bright side, though, the sun shining into my bedroom is lovely, and I got my sad (hurting) butt downstairs to sit outside for an hour or so until I couldn’t take the upright position.

Is it me, or is there something SO different about the light at this latitude, especially in the Spring and Fall? I’ve always been sensitive to light, but it’s just so lovely – sharp and soft at the same time – so clear up here. And my seedlings are coming up along with my bulbs. They’re late because I planted them in a shady bed, but they’re definitely coming up! Thank you, Minnesota Spring!

Back to my knitting. IK was very kind to give me a few days extension so I can mail my current project (a lace and cabled cardigan worked in a soft Merino) on Monday instead of yesterday, and I’m not too far from finished. This gives me the luxury of rechecking my measurements against my pattern again, always a nice thing to do.

The new IK preview is up – I have two pieces in it. They both make me happy.

The skirt is – I’m not ashamed to admit it – inspired by the Forest Path Stole (F. Letoutchaia, Summer 2003 IK) as it is one of the lovliest designs I’ve ever seen.

This is entrelace – lace worked in an entrelac manner – and it’s much simpler than it looks! Honest! I used the charted entrelac technique that I’ve been perfecting (Perfecting? No such thing!)

The changes in the lace motif create the shaping, I love putting the increases and decrease within a motif itself (I do that a lot for my knit millinery / hats)

The other piece in IK is a cardigan which is worked up using my favorite slip stitch plaid technique. I’m not sure if I invented it, but I haven’t seen it anywhere else, so I’ll take the credit for the time being. I’m sure I’ll be informed of previous sources if they’re out there!

The original intent was to work the entire jacket as a plaid – sort of like a hunting jacket – but as I began working with the (thin) yarn I realized that not only was it going to take forever, but it would be evil hard for anyone to really knit it.

I like my knitting to be challenging, but FUN – not a chore, and not a marathon. I knit for fun, and I assume that most folks who buy IK do, too! So this is simpler, with just a little plaid at the hem and at the yoke, no pockets (they were screwing up the fit of the ribbing at the body) and a different collar. But I still like it very much.

I hope what folks take away from this is that if you see something you’d like to make but you want to change something – that’s FINE. It may be hard, and you want to be certain that you can do it, but we designers ponder various details and outcomes in our patterns. If I wanted everything I designed to only be worked one way, I’d be designing for retail, not for hand knitters.

I tried something different with the sleeve shaping, which I’m not 100% sold on. Based on a 1530’s bodice sleeve – it’s not awful, but it’s different than folks might expect. Warning, the cardigan I’m currently working on has a sleeve inspired by a 1603 painting. One would think I’d been locked in a museum with a sketchpad.

I’m not saying marathon knitting is bad, but when I knit I’d prefer to have a lighter job of it. Each person is different! And doing all that ribbing on size 3’s isn’t exactly light work…

Bragging Time

I don’t do this often, but I thoroughly enjoy it when I do.

Here’s a letter I received this week from a new knitter who worked up the skirt from Romantic Hand Knits. What I love about her letter is the courage and fearlessness that she shows – she’s only been knitting since Feb, and already she understands that if she can make a knit and a purl stitch she truly CAN do anything!

She said it was okay if I published her letter on my blog, and I’m just proud enough (good heavens my mom wouldn’t like all this pride!) to want to share it.


I just had to write to you to say a huge “THANK YOU!”

You see, I have a co-worker who told me she was retiring; and I told her she couldn’t retire until she taught me how to knit. The next day, she brought in a pair of knitting needles and some waste yarn and showed me how to cast on, and perform the basic knit.

I attempted, and within seconds, I dropped the knitting needles (on accident, of course) and just did not think I would ever learn, as it felt so clumsy. Anyways, I went home that night and starting surfing the internet for books on knitting, and came across your book Romantic HandKnits.

I loved the picture, and since a picture is worth a thousand words, I quickly whipped out my creditcard and purchased. As I awaited the arrival of your book, I practiced my knitting, and came to learn that I could
n’t master
English, however, could do Continental.

Well, when I finally received your book and I flipped through the pages, I fell in love-and in specific, the tulip skirt. I read all your pointers, read the pattern, ran to the local yarn shop and bought all my supplies to attempt the skirt.

Long story short, I have this absolutely georgeous skirt that I get compliments on everytime I wear (thus, I try to wear it minimally once a week-which at this rate, I’ll have to knit several more), and I’ve moved on to knitting a couple of other tops.

Annie, I started knitting in late February of this year. I had never knitted before. Your Romantic HandKnits was the first knitting book I ever bought and am ever grateful and overjoyed that I did.

It changed my life as it produced and and ehanced my love and understanding for knitting.

You have started me on a wonderous journey that I am truly loving every minute of.

Even now, when I look at patterns, I already want to alter it to my liking (and will be able to), because of someone like you. I am someone who never had any formal training in sewing, designing, let alone, putting a garment together, and now, I envision designing knit garmets.

Thank you

Thank YOU, CP! This is a letter to keep around and read when I feel discouraged or when the road seems too steep. This is the kind of letter that designers dream of getting, and I am very fortunate to have received this one! Suffice to say this came at a most excellent time – it was a good week to recieve it!

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