30 July, 2014


In the early 1970's, it seemed like everyone on our college dorm hall was crocheting granny squares.  So I grabbed a crochet hook, some balls of brightly colored acrylic yarn and sat down beside a friend to learn by the "watch and do" method.

This summer I decided to work through a recommended book (by Debbie Stoller) and am re-learning, from scratch, by swatching through the pages.

Chapters 1-4
chain stitch, single crochet, turning chain, gauge, slip stitch, half-double crochet, double crochet, triple crochet, double-triple crochet, triple-triple crochet
Chapters 5-6
increasing, decreasing, crocheting a circle, chart reading, bobble stitch, granny square, shell stitch (picture below) and many more stitches

While crocheting I'm remembering other crafts from those college years:
  • hook rugs
  • decoupage
  • wool punch wall hangings
  • hairpin lace
  • throwing clay pots
  • opening bell bottom seams to insert sections of brocade or calico for super-wide bells
  • free-form embroidery of flowers, vines, symbols on jeans, peasant tops - anything you could stick a needle and thread through
  • headbands (worn across forehead) of leather or fabric with dangle ties in the back
Been there.  Did all the above.  Never dreamed of taking pictures at the time and never held onto any of it.

Thinking back ... most of us who did all the above were so into the process - the experience - the moment - that we didn't give much thought to keeping it.

28 July, 2014

della's seeds

Last summer, as my friend Della and I wandered through her beautiful gardens, I admired the unusual color of the blossoms on some heirloom beans she had planted.  This past winter she gave me some seeds from those bean plants.

Can you explain exactly how these...

... become this?



25 July, 2014


We've been having fun with our dolls this summer.  Etsy is a wonderful resource for beautifully crafted outfits (cottage industries ~ made in America.)


23 July, 2014

summer projects

basic sock recipe
began May 30th
designed by Rachel Coopey
began June 3rd

echeveria (modified)
designed by Rachel Coopey
began June 14th

designed by Claire Ellen
began June 28th

designed by Jane Cochran
began July 16th

14 March, 2014

Asymmetrically Wrapped

I was looking to knit a simple, multi-purpose wrap that could be worn over the shoulders, as a cowl, as a kerchief, wrapped/looped/tied, under a coat, over a sweater ... a "practical" piece of a bright color that "pops."  There's nothing fancy in the design of it; just in the possibilities for its use.
For the wrapped stitch repeat, cast on multiple of 4:
  • row 1  [WR2, k2] repeat to end of row
  • row 2  purl to the end of the row
  • row 3  [k2, WR2] repeat to end of row
  • row 4  purl to the end of the row
k:  knit

WR2:  (wrap two stitches) With yarn in front, slip 2 stitches from the lefthand needle to the righthand needle; pass the yarn between the needles to the back; slip the 2 stitches back onto the lefthand needle; knit these two stitches.

Caution:  Only knit this up if you find wrapping endless stitches a relaxing experience!!!
32" US#4 (3.5mm) circular needles
Two skeins of sock yarn/fingering weight (about 650 yards)
Finished blocked measurements:  82" x 65" x 47"  (Remember:  asymmetrical)
Cast on 180 stitches.  (Since I knew I would use two skeins of yarn, I did a longtail cast on using both skeins and then released the second skein at a 7" cut to weave in later.)
Odd numbered rows are right side.
Even numbered rows are wrong side.
Set-up row 1:  Knit across
Set-up row 2:  Purl across
Row 1:  [WR2, k2] across
Row 2:  Purl 2 together, purl across (one stitch descreaed)
Row 3:  [k2, WR2] across
Row 4:  Purl 2 together, purl across (one stitch decreased)
Each Right Side row will begin with either wrap 2 or knit 2.
When you get to the end of the row and 1, 2, 3 or 4 stitches remain after the last wrapped 2, simply knit them.  In other words, do not wrap your last 2 stitches ... it makes for a prettier edge to the wingspan. 
Continue in this manner, decreasing one stitch at the beginning of every other row (the purl rows) until 2 stitches remain.  Purl those two stitches together.

Weave in all ends. Wet block. (No need for pins or blocking wires ... just "shape" your triangle with your hands on a flat surface and air dry.)


13 March, 2014

c o w l

knit up with the handspun

12 March, 2014

h a n d s p u n

100% merino; 600yds 3-ply.

10 March, 2014


But as for me, the nearness of God is my good.  I have made the LORD God my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works.  (Ps 73:28)

24 October, 2013

"How beautiful are the feet...

... of those who bring good news of good things!"
'tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
and grace will lead me home  (John Newton)

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.  (Ephesians 2:8-9)

October 11, 2013
Bergen, NY

12 October, 2013

435 Sideways Wrap

I had a beautiful skein of JulieSpins 435 Silky (50% merino/50% silk) in the Great Lakes colourway and wanted to use every bit of it on a wrap.

I had previously used my gram scale and notes on sideways shawl construction a few months ago to knit up a similar wrap.   So I decided to write it up this time and offer it as a free ravelry download:  available here. 

The edging is knit on as you go.  The wrap begins with a 7-stitch cast on and slowly increases to the center section. The center is worked in short rows to create a gentle curve around the neckline.

Mirrored decreases take you to the other end with a 7-stitch bind off.
The finished, wet blocked measurements are 8-1/2” at widest point by 82” span.  Plenty long for wrap-wrap-wrapping, sontag tie or longish scarf.

Once you’ve knit the pattern through, you’ll see that there are many ways to modify it.  Enjoy!

22 August, 2013

mock cable cardi for amelia's doll

There seem to be an increasing number of little girls with "dolls in need of sweaters" in my life these days.  Which is a very good thing.  Amelia's 5th birthday was the inspiration for this design:

She has the original ... this was knit for the pattern page (which can be found for free here.)  As was this...

Ella and Emma sporting their new cardi's
There are two more birthdays coming up in October.  And I'm thinking that means two new designs.  (One is dancing around in my head as I write... )

18 June, 2013

process-oriented; product incidental

Visual journaling is providing a lovely outlet this summer through which peace and contentment drift into my heart.  And that's both pleasant and welcomed.

I'm re-reading The Chronicles of Narnia.  Yet again.  Slowly.  Savoring the images.  Considering the allusions.  C.S. Lewis' description of creation song in The Magician's Nephew was one such  place where I delighted to linger.

(click on picture for close-up)
"Narnia, Narnia, Narnia, awake.  Love.  Think.  Speak.  Be walking trees.  Be talking beasts.  Be divine waters."

"There is no other stream," said the Lion (The Silver Chair.)

Ah, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

17 June, 2013


Jan Brett's tutorial How to Draw a Hedgehog ~ found here.

05 April, 2013

perfect and proven

As for God, His way is perfect;
The word of the LORD is proven;
He is a shield to all who trust in Him.
2 Samuel 22:31

28 March, 2013

what a gift

Repost from April 2012 ~ Resurrection Sunday blessings to all!
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! 

According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,

5 who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,

7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

8 Though you have not seen him, you love him.  

Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

1 Peter 1:3-9 (ESV)

14 January, 2013

dragons are really real

I'm not saying that The Hobbit is really real.  Because it's not.

But the Bible is really real.

And check out what the Lord says in Job 41 about Leviathan:

8 “Lay your hand on him; remember the battle; you will not do it again!
13 “Who can strip off his outer armor? Who can come within his double mail?
14 “Who can open the doors of his face?  Around his teeth there is terror.
15 “His strong scales are his pride, shut up as with a tight seal.
16 “One is so near to another that no air can come between them.
17 “They are joined one to another; they clasp each other and cannot be separated.
18 “His sneezes flash forth light, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning.
19 “Out of his mouth go burning torches; sparks of fire leap forth.
20 “Out of his nostrils smoke goes forth as from a boiling pot and burning rushes.
21 “His breath kindles coals, and a flame goes forth from his mouth.
22 “In his neck lodges strength, and dismay leaps before him.
23 “The folds of his flesh are joined together, firm on him and immovable.
24 “His heart is as hard as a stone, even as hard as a lower millstone.
25 “When he raises himself up, the mighty fear; because of the crashing they are bewildered.
26 “The sword that reaches him cannot avail, nor the spear, the dart or the javelin.
27 “He regards iron as straw, bronze as rotten wood.
28 “The arrow cannot make him flee; slingstones are turned into stubble for him.
29 “Clubs are regarded as stubble; he laughs at the rattling of the javelin.
30 “His underparts are like sharp potsherds; he spreads out like a threshing sledge on the mire.
31 “He makes the depths boil like a pot; he makes the sea like a jar of ointment.
32 “Behind him he makes a wake to shine; one would think the deep to be gray-haired.
33 “Nothing on earth is like him, one made without fear.
34 “He looks on everything that is high; he is king over all the sons of pride.”

Some say this is a description of a crocodile.

I say, really?

No.  It's a description of a dragon.  And it's my belief that dragons did not live so very long ago.  Cultures all over this earth have left behind stories, pictures, tapestries and carvings of their encounters  with these creatures.

We have paleontologist Richard Owen (1804-1892) to thank for inventing the modern word "dinosaur."  At that time, scientists began throwing hundreds of thousands, and then millions, and now billions of years into their construct.  And lots of imaginings.  When you leave God and His Word out, you can make up anything.  "Words without knowledge."  Words that have permeated and influenced minds and hearts for the past 100 years, give or take.

Well, I've been thinking a lot about dragons as I knit up the Smaug Socks Pattern ... with the strong scales (wrapped stitches) which are the dragon's pride ... in a yarn colored like the sparks of fire that leap forth out of his mouth!

And I've been thinking a lot about our Lord who created dragons.

And I've been thinking about other things He says about His creation in Job chapters 38-42.

About the morning stars singing together.  And all the sons of God shouting for joy.  About the springs of the sea and the Lord walking in the recesses of the deep.  About the storehouses of snow.   About mountain goats giving birth.  About unconcerned ostriches.  About the majestic snorting of a horse prepared for battle.  About soaring hawks.  Wonderful things.  Wonderful Him.

If there's a Bible near you, check out these few chapters.  Job 38-42.  It won't take long to read.  And you'll be glad you did.

07 November, 2012

everywhere I go I'll see You

There is none like You.
No one else can touch my heart like You do.
I can search for all eternity long
and find there is none like You.