Monday, September 15, 2014


You've been hearing so much about the Shilasdair, and I have been thinking so much about the Shilasdair, because it really ought to be used for just the right project, don't you think?  What would that be?

And then I had GENIUS strike.  I will send the Shilasdair back to its homeland.  Figuratively speaking, of course.  Allow me to explain:

Like, I imagine, every single knitter who watches Outlander, I spend the time that I'm not admiring Jamie's shoulders oohing and aahing over the splendid knitwear.  I want Claire's bulky brown garter cowl!  And I went on Ravelry and lo and behold, there it is!

The Shilasdair will not be that.  For one, I can't possibly keep up with the amount of knitting seen on television--Geillis' beautiful capelet had me scrambling for my needles, but next week Claire had an even lovelier one.  Forget it.  For another, the internet pretty well has that covered.

Instead, the Shilasdair, and whichever other suitable yarns come along, will turn into various knits inspired by Outlander; not directly based on anything seen, but within the ethos.  The Craigh na Dun Ebook will feature a TBA number of patterns and will be available TBA, but I'm super excited about it, so expect more news soon.

Friday, September 12, 2014

And I Promised You Summer Recaps

It being such a brutally busy Summer, Dave surprised me with a weekend at the Catskills at the very end.  He found us a cabin that with no people anywhere (though we could hear horses, dogs, and oddly, a peacock.) 
We interacted with as few humans as possible, and spoke to bugs instead.

We visited a stream, where Willow splashed and I took pictures.  In case you hadn't already figured it out, there will be lots of pictures in this post.  Be glad I didn't just upload the entire album.
Willow made friends with moss.

And fire.
And s'mores.
And more moss.
And salamanders.

We saw beautiful waterfalls.
And old barter gas.
Willow refused to take this scarf off the entire trip.  It was disgusting by the end.  But she was still beautiful.
We went to Storm King where I have always wanted to go and it was magical.

Alien creatures walked among us.
Yep, they did.

And then we came home, at peace with the world and its car alarms.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

I Promised You Knitting

And knitting I shall provide!

The first is a gift for a gal who shall be known henceforth as Enabler Jess, deliverer of White Chocolate, Super Secret Contraband, jealousy-inducing Skye photos, and armloads of Shilasair yarn.  A scarf is the least I could do in return.

Per Enabler Jess' request, here is Hitchhiker in Shilasdair Luxe 4-Ply in Rowan Berry.  I suffered from a bit of anger while knitting this, because the yarn is delicate and if I pulled it too hard it snapped (said snapping induced the anger which induced harder pulling...a vicious knitting cycle).  I also screwed it up occasionally, which made me angry at me because hello, it's garter, how do I keep screwing up garter? 

But when I tried it on to take the photo it was all worth it and I didn't want to take it off, but don't worry Enabler Jess, it's all yours.

The second is Honey Cowl, knit with my handspun.   It did not cause anger, only vast amounts of boredom.  I love other people's version of this cowl, and clearly for them it was all worth it, but...meh.  I don't hate it, in fact I took that photo minutes ago and am still wearing the cowl and it's not scratchy like I thought it would be and though the colors aren't exactly my favorite they don't look bad on me, but it just doesn't glow like everyone else's Honey Cowl.  Sigh.

(Friends of mine, if you see this and gasp Oh My Lord IS BEAUTIFUL! the cowl is all yours.)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Return

Poor, poor neglected blog.  I'm sorry.  It was very busy Summer. 

But today is Willow's first day of school...well, yesterday was technically the first day, but it was for parents too, so there was no blog writing to be done.  Today is the first day where she is at school and I am not also there.

So...hello again!  Expect to see much more of us now.  There is much to catch up on.  I did take photos, even if I didn't post them.  And I did knit, even if I didn't talk about it.

That is one loved little girl, but whoa she takes up a lot of time and energy. 

More to come....

Monday, August 11, 2014

Milkweed Shawl

I know it has been a very, very long time since I've posted, uncharacteristically long, but never fear!  I have neither vanished nor been kidnapped by knitwear-hating elves.  And in fact, I have something beautiful to offer!

Interweave Knits has a pattern of mine in their Fall issue!  It's called the Milkweed Shawl, and the description is as follows:

"With milkweed disappearing and taking the Monarch butterfly with it, there’s no more joyous sight in October than milkweed fluff drifting its way across a field. The Milkweed Shawl is meant to celebrate fall and the ways in which this season of dying is also one of rebirth.”

How grown up and ecologically responsible I sound.  Nary a mention of fairies or ponies anywhere!

The Interweave version is knit using Manos del Uruguay Fino; this is the prototype I knit for myself using Sundara Fingering Silky Merino.  See how I managed to keep it a secret all this time?!?  It was hard.

The shawl features a neckline of netting, resembling the seeds.  It increases at five points; one at each edge, and three radiating sections, causing the shawl to widen quickly, so that it can be worn comfortably either draped around the shoulders, or wrapped as a scarf, which is how I normally wear it.

The second section’s lace pattern resembles the silk pappus (the fluff).  The increases in this section are limited to the edge increases.

The final section is edging that resembles the milkweed pods themselves, a looping leaf-like edging that adds length to the finished shawl. 

Enjoy, everyone!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

This Is My Beautiful Life

About a week ago, I was working at my local bookstore (Oh yeah, by the way, I work at Word!  If you're in the area, come visit!) and a former colleague from my publishing days came in.  And it was super cool--I hadn't seen him in years, he's become a very successful agent since then, not to mention a published novelist in his own right, and there to do a reading, and it was great hearing all about his doings.

And then he said, "And hey yeah, what are you up to?"

I looked around the bookstore.  I am up to this.  And mind you, it's a super cool bookstore and only talented and highly intelligent people like me are allowed to work there, but still....this side of five years ago former colleague guy and I were at just about the exact same place in our lives.  And then I left work and had a kid and now I've gone back to work but it's only part-time and our lives are very different.

I haven't had one of these "Is this right?  Is this my life?" moments in quite a long time.  Years, in fact.  It doesn't really work to answer former colleague guy's question with, "I'm a really good mom," but that's how I've been evaluating my worth for the past bunch of years. 

I furrowed my brow over all that for a few days. And then Willow and I whipped up a batch of slime and brought it out onto the porch to play with while I picked basil from my porch planter to make pesto with, and I remembered, actually yes:

I'm a really good mom, but that's by no means all that I am (though it is a huge chunk).  And I love my life at home with Willow.  This moment right here is worth so much.  As is watching Willow gather herbs to feed the black swallowtail caterpillar that has moved into our parsley plant (he's welcome to it.  That parsley plant went to seed last year; it's flavorless now).

As is hosing down the girl-child and the porch and me and pretty much the whole world to clean up the slime. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Romper-Type Person

So I made myself something else!  And once again...I'm not sure I like it.  Sigh.  I'm wondering if perhaps I'm just lacking in self-awareness when I'm picking out patterns.  Puffed sleeves?  I like them in pictures and they're all Anne of Green Gables and everything, but come on.  I don't wear puffed sleeves.

The same is true with rompers.  I love rompers when I see them.  They look so comfortable, and even when they are waaaaay too short for the women wearing them I think they are cute and fun but I try one on and say whoa that's waaaaaaaay too short for me never mind.

So I figured, I'll make one!  I'll make it so it's not too short!  I'll make it in the most fun fabric I can find--look, tiny guitars!  Or maybe they're mandolins or lyres...whatever.  I like them.  And it is fun, and rompers are fun, but.....

Sigh.  Maybe I'm just not fun.


But look!  Buttons!  I made buttonholes!  Bask in my buttonhole-making glory!

In theory, I don't dislike it.  I just haven't, you know, worn it outside yet.  On other women I think they look sexy but on me they just kind of look like I'm a 5-year-old.  I want to be the kind of person who wears rompers.  Romper-wearing people are happy and fun and know how to have a good time and get dirty (not that I would ever want to get my guitar-mandolin-lyre fabric dirty) and be the best mothers ever.

I'll just have to put on some Laurie Berkner and drink a lot more caffeine.