daily life update post

mazie and olive

Not a lot of knitting to blog about. I’ve intentionally cut waaaaay back on any commitments for the last and next few months. I’m just really afraid of overextending myself. I’m also really really enjoying spending lots of time with my baby girls!

The last few days, we (all the girls) have been under the weather! We all have coughs and runny / stuffy noses. It’s especially hard for Olive, since she doesn’t know how to blow her nose. But we’re all a little short on sleep.

Last weekend, before our colds set in, Mazie helped me plant some flowering bushes in our yard. Don't worry, I'll save you I’ve been looking at the 50-75% off racks at Lowe’s garden center, and I’ve scored lots of Charlie Brown – style perennials for $2 each! I figure that if I can get them into the ground before they completely give up the cause, I can get them looking great again in no time!

I’m like that with plants. I just KNOW that I can save them! And if I do…woo hoo! And if I don’t…what’s $2 here or there?
Walk away from the light!

We planted some veggies, and they’re sprouting!!
planting seeds
Our seeds after only a few days

Mazie planted lots of her favorites: corn, broccoli, lettuce, watermelon, cucumber, cantaloupe, and jackolanterns.

On nice days, we’ve been making treks to our neighborhood park. They have at least 4 big jungle gym / slide combinations and it’s such a good way to get out all of Mazie’s energy before naptime and sometimes even again after supper! I just couldn’t be happier with the location of this house! That park ROCKS.

AND…Olive was six weeks old on Monday! Here’s a picture from today:
Olive at 6 weeks!

I have been knitting a little bit…on the sample shawl for my shawl design class. I talked a little bit about the first version here. This time, I’ve mirrored the lace pattern, so that the two sections look symmetrical and so far it looks good. We’ll see how it looks after blocking and then standing back from it, but I think I solved the problem. I’ll post more about that with pics after I’m all finished.

This version is in Hand Maiden SeaSilk in Amethyst that I bought from Jimmy Beans. Which I now realize I’m allergic to! I can’t knit with silk! The first few days it was ok, but then i started to notice my eyes itching…and then sniffling…ugh. I just have to come to terms with this! I keep thinking, “Maybe I’m not allergic to THIS brand or THIS blend.” No. I’m fully allergic to silk!

I haven’t tried knitting while wearing a dust mask…maybe that’s my next step in trying to somehow keep this gorgeous fiber in my repertoire? I live in a warm climate, I need all the non-wool options that I can find!

My fangirl moment with Valentina Devine!

Saturday morning, I went to the New Mexico Women’s Foundation Rag Rug Festival. This is a historic event, and has evolved into a more general craft show / sale. I had no idea what to expect, but I’ll tell you this:

I didn’t expect to see Valentina Devine there selling her yarns!

(Here she is with mazie:)Valentina Devine, Mazie

I had first heard of Valentina through the book Knitting in America by Melanie Falick. This book is one that really meant a lot to me when I was actively knitting in the 1990s and feeling pretty alone in the craft. (Before I started my blog in 1999, even!)


Valentina is known for her feminine, free-form style of knitting. I’ve admired her work for so long that it was really very surreal to see her here in Las Cruces! I might have even teared up a little bit!

I couldn’t help but purchase a few hanks of her hand-dyed yarns!
Valentina Devine yarn

Design Your Own Shawl class starts this week!

I thought I’d share my little intro video with you, so that you can see a little of what this class is like.

I’ve also just uploaded a few more student FO pictures. I’m so impressed with these!

This one is from Paula Z:
Paula Zs shawl
We are all in love with her choice of stitch patterns:
Paula Zs shawl

Here’s Jeanie’s design:
Jeanies design
I love the use of the border here, it really goes well with the stitch pattern above, but stands on its own as well:
Jeanies design

This class is starting this week, if you’re interested, there’s still time to sign up!

Two new free patterns!

Treehugger Tutu

Hey moms (and dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents…!) Have you seen the FREE online knitting magazine Petite Purls?

It’s a really cute kids’ knits magazine edited by Allegra Wermuth of Fiddlesticknittng (who is also a designer, mom, and professional violinist!) and by Brandy Fortune of Pixie Purls (also a designer and mom!)

In this issue, I have two new patterns (1, 2,) both are gaugeless (meaning that you can use any yarn and come up with something that fits!) and both are knit using UPcycled Tshirt yarn! The first is the little “tutu” above, and the other is this little bib:

Tshirt yarn bib

This is Petite Purls’ GREEN issue, so all of the projects are knit using environmentally friendly yarns. There are also contributions by Vickie Howell and Betz White!

Here is a video that describes my projects:

And another one that shows you how to make your OWN Tshirt yarn:

If you’re interested in signing up for my ONLINE Upcycled Tshirt yarn class, it just started this week and there’s still plenty of time to sign up!

UP – cycled T-shirt yarn class
Learn to turn unwanted old (or new) t-shirts into a beautiful yarn that resembles expensive woven cotton tube-type yarns. I will show you how to create different weights of yarn, and to add effects to the yarn while you’re making it.

You will receive: A PDF booklet of four knitting patterns (click on More Photos under the mosaic above to see more examples of class projects,) as well as additional PDF handouts with further explanation and instruction as to how to create yarn from T-shirts, how to dye cotton yarn using natural and commercial dyes, and more.

Week 1 of the class will teach you to turn those old Tshirts, jersey bed sheets, or yardages of Tshirt-type fabric into yarn

Week 2 of the class will be “Dye Class.” You’ll learn how to use natural dyes like tea and coffee to give your yarn an organic, earthy feel. We’ll also see how to use commercial dyes like Rit and Dylon to add gorgeous bright color to the yarn and create special looks.

Week 3 of class will focus on projects for your yarns. Once you’ve created your t-shirt yarn, you’ve effectively RE-cycled your t-shirts, but our goal is to UPcycle. I’ll give you four patterns (leaf-shaped face cloths, lace wrap, lace triangle scarf, and lace shrug) that will use your new t-shirt yarn to its best advantage. I’ll even go one step further and show you how to package your knits into gorgeous gifts that any friend or relative would love to receive.

Week 4 of the class will be time for you to knit your projects and ask any additional questions, watch the videos, and generally finish up.
The class will be taught using a combination of pre-recorded video and PDF handouts. There is also a forum, in which you can ask questions at any time and meet other students who may be at a different point in the class.


Slowly getting back into it! A little bit of design progress…

Slowly getting back into the knitting

This is as much as I’ve gotten done in the last month! I already knit one version of this shawl, but needed to work on the lace chart a bit.
So this summery version is in Handmaiden Seasilk from Jimmy Beans.

The project bag is a Christmas gift from my BIL Aaron…you can buy one at www.etsy.com/shop/FruitLoopDesigns

This is the shawlette that I worked on for my example project in the first run of my Design Your Own Shawl class. I chose a stitch pattern that turned out to be directional:


So that, instead of appearing to be mirrored across the center increase line, it looks slightly rotated. This makes the candle flames point in two different directions on either side of the increase line:


The red lines highlight the way that each candle flame’s tail swoops across the shawl. And…you can see that they swoop in different directions.It’s a really subtle difference, but I can tell…and it’s been bugging the HECK out of me!

SO…I had to fix it by altering the lace chart so that instead of doing exactly the same thing in each section, I do the exact opposite.

For example, if one row of the lace chart in the first half reads, “k5, yo, k1, yo, k8″ the other side needs to read, “k8, yo, k1, yo, k5.”

So far, this is totally fixing the issue, and I think the final shawl will be really pretty. I decided to use something summery because we’re already in the 70s here!

Here’s my little treehugger:
Beautiful girl in her tree She LOVES sitting in this tree! Every time we’re out in the back yard, she asks to be put up in the branches.

Our fruit trees are blooming! There might be peaches:
There may be peaches

…and PLUMS!
there may be plums

I’m so happy that it’s warming up!!

In case you’re wondering…Olive’s doing GREAT! She’s nursing really well and gaining weight like she’s supposed to. She’s a really mellow baby, and takes great naps! Here she is in a tee printed by the fabulousJodi Green:

Olive in her Jodi Green original!