Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Snow Again

There's nothing better than being snug inside on a snowy night.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Feliz Navidad

Little red birdy
Nesting in our Chrismas tree
Family at home

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My Aunt, and Her Way of Life

Remember my trip out west this spring? To Idaho where my hardworking, tough little dynamo Aunt Lori lives?

She has no electricity, relies on a generator when needed, which is powered as much as possible from a solar panel.

She and my late uncle Jay Quilliam are the hardest working people I have ever known. Cattle ranchers, who have always had a flock of sheep. Since my uncle's death 14 years ago, Lori has turned increasingly to her sheep as they are easier for her to handle alone.

Now her way of life is threatened because her property borders state land, Payette National Forest Land, where Bighorn sheep have been re-introduced, or wandered over from Oregon. I'll admit to being unclear about the fine details.

What concerns my aunt is the threat of the Federal Game Department of Idaho, introducing a ban on domestic sheep on lands bordering federal land, to protect the Bighorn sheep from disease. The issue is often made out to be greedy large sheep-running operations vs. a native species, which has a pricey hunting lottery attached to it. A complex issue to be sure. She's one of the little people who get overlooked, who don't have anyone to speak for them. She's not asking to use the federal land for her sheep to graze on, she just wants to make sure she can continue her livelihood on her own land, like she has done for the past 44 years. She loves her home, and would have little if any, income without her sheep.

Lori and I, ask that you please write to:

Payette National Forest
800 West Lakeside
McCall, Idaho, 83683
attention: Big Horn Sheep

Click "contact"

And help her voice be heard.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

And Now A Word From Our Sponsers

These are the colors of Manos that I didn't use. I didn't have enough of any of them...they are the future...the future is in brights! Hold on!

I've been knitting a little something else that goes on it's merry way tomorrow.

Then, I can breathe again.

I'll share some brilliant adventures I've just had when my breath is caught.

–till then

Ciao Bella!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Happpiness via The Royal Mail

What a treat! Included in an order from one of my oldest and dearest "imaginary friends", Julia aka Miss Frugality a special patchwork brooch as a gift. Thank You Julia, I'd like to knit a hat to match it. Visit her etsy shop, materialised and try to guess what I chose for a present.

....Not that Julia is really imaginary, but for some people, it is the easiest explanation of cyber-pals. I did have an imaginary friend in kindergarten, Janet Heikenin, (Kristine's sister) told all kinds of stories about her a-la Miss Tollipop...kept it up for months...the family believed...odd how she never came over to play...

Oh yes, before I forget, if you're in the Handmade gift mood, KriKri is having her annual sale on December Sixth, even online this year. Sparkling, shiny, colorful dishes to die for.

Exciting Update! Miss Tollipop is having a give-away! Visit!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Time Has Come

knit gas station

cozy bus
It's that time again.... procrastination time... I really want to knit a bus cosy. Right now. No time to waste. Or at least a telephone pole cozy. I know just the one I want to hit first. I think we need to start a Yarnbombing crew, right here in Midcoast Maine. Sign up now!

For inspiration:

International Fiber Collective's Knitted Gas Station
Deputy Dog has a post I can't match.
For the nature oriented Knitted Landscape
Their friends the label-makers Knitwit
Lauren Marsden who knits street signs

The Godmothers of it all: Knitta Please

Yarnbombing Documents it all.

Update: Watch Magda Sayeg sew the final bit of the Bus Cosy in Mexico City HERE

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Secret Knitting

You recognize my ever present cure for cold hands, one Frill mitt, but see also there's Secret Knitting plus the cute printed cotton bag I got as a party favor for extending my subscription to Selvedge...my indulgence...worth every penny...enough pennies to fill that sweet little cotton bag. The bag is by Swedish designer Gudrun Sjoden, who invents lovely unexpected color combinations for garments and accessories. I carry my double pointed needles in this bag.

The hidden knitting uses Manos del Uruguay Silk Blends Semi Solids, 70% Merino Wool and 30% silk, which gives it a lustrous sheen. I'm using the color Dove, which ranges from Olive green-grey to palest pink, almost white. I am not as a rule fond of variegated yarns, and had my doubts about this one, but deadlines being what they are, out of necessity I embraced the randomness of the color, ever-changing with the garment shaping. As the work progressed I grew to like the odd, accidental nature of the color placement, giving an effect which reminds me of antique moire silk fabric. Unexpected, and that's nice.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The Newest Member of My Family

Isn't she beautiful? She is a 1957 size 10, which makes her about a size 4 in today's world of sizes. Very pointy, 1957 was most definitely a year for molding and restraining undergarments.
I think her name is Betsy, but I'm not quite sure. She has a tattoo on her back that looks like B and P combined, + C....What do you think?

It's 1957.....Betsy, Penny,+ Carol?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Today's Papers

See more front pages HERE at the Newseum.org

Monday, October 27, 2008

Do It Yourself

Now you can! Obey Giant has kindly provided a way for us do-it-ourselfers to make our own posters. The large size fits nicely on a standard 8.5 x 11 piece of paper.
Artist Shepard Fairey of "Be the Revolution" campaign 2004 fame, is the brilliance behind the poster and the give away.

So do it!

And vote!

I did.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Color Style


Look what I got in the mail! And see who's sweater is on the back cover!

Retro Andean on Color Style

In the late 70's I wanted one of these Inca Alpaca sweaters in a desperate way. I'd seen them in the September, College Issue, of Mademoiselle Magazine; the big fat telephone-book issue with real college girls as models. A few years later Lady Diana Spencer wore one at Balmoral on her betrothal weekend or whatever it was... although I was on to different looks by then, pink and black striped jeans come to mind, I still harbored a secret desire for an Andean alpaca sweater with birds and little people on it...Many years later, the dream comes true!

Retro Andean

Don't feel you need to wear it with a long shirt underneath, waistlines are up you know, Retro Andean is made with Classic Elite Inca Alpaca, soft enough to wear next to your skin. Color Style edited by Pam Allen and Ann Bud, also includes my Gee's Bend Pullover as well as 15 other colorful, interesting designs by an amazing group of top designers.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

What I'm doing now

Mesmerized by Sunday Knits Yarn.
Still making Frill Mitts!

Wearing them because it is cold....grrrr...

Saturday, October 04, 2008


Wear them as fingerless mitts, or as sweet frilled cuffs

A welcome remedy for cold hands as well as a great fashion accent

Size Ladies Small (Medium, Large
Finished Measurements 8.5” (21cm)
Yarn Classic Elite Waterlily (100% Extra Fine Merino[50gr/100yds]) #1972 Lily Pad (MC) #1995 Azalea (CC);one ball each.
Frog Tree Merino (100% Merino Wool [1.75oz/137 yds]) #007 Brown(MC), #46 Citron(CC); one ball each.
Needles 1 set double-pointed needles 3.35 (US 7) or size to obtain gauge.
Notions tapestry needle
Gauge 14st and 12 rnds = 2” in 1x1 rib pattern un-stretched.

I had so much fun making these that I whipped up 6 pairs in one weekend. I invite you to have fun too!
Frill also makes a quick and easy gift.

Click "Add to Cart" to pay for Frill with Paypal or Google Checkout and you will be emailed a link to download the pattern. $4.00

Add to Cart

View Cart

My first stab at commerce! Let's see how it works!

I made this darling wee pair with only one ball (65 yd) of Classic Elite Bazic, (#2925 Sunflower) details found on the pattern.

First Colorwork Project?

This past summer was a busy one. The high point was most certainly a visit from my sister and brother-in-law from San Francisco, who added so much happiness and fun to our home.

Through them I met a new friend who was attending the highly regarded Maine Media Workshops, learning from one of the most revered portrait photographers of our time. But wouldn't you know, she was smitten with knitting while visiting our house! So when she returned home to London, and everyone asked "how was your portrait class" she said "oh fine, but Look At My Knitting!"

She was ready and eager to tackle color work and had no qualms about double pointed needles, in fact the thrill of it all encouraged her.
She thoroughly enjoyed mastering them, reveling in the joy and wonder of it all! Really 5 needles! She reminds me of myself. When I taught myself to knit I knew NO ONE else who did...Its hard to share the thrill of 5 needles with the un-knowing.

Fearless, she took on the Nederland Opera Mitts as her first project. So in answer to those of you who've asked....YES...if you want to, Nederland Opera Mitts can be your first project, it may be a little challenging learning double points and carrying color at the same time but if you want to, Go For It.

Julie used Frog Tree Merino for her mitts
Free Pattern Here and on Ravelry
The pattern calls for Classic Elite Princess.
Julie's colorway would be cute for the Nederland Vest too.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Vintage Fair Isle

I love these people. I want to sit right down and have tea with them. Such a jolly time and such nice big cups too. Can you spot the fair isle? The vest on the right. I'll be wearing a matching one, and my socks will be fair isle too.

Now where are they, on a houseboat?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fabulous Fair Isle

I can hardly stand how much I love this wild fair isle dress! What about those sleeves? How about that scoopy neckline with a turtle neck on top? Maybe it's a turtle neck dress with a vest over it, I love it just the same. And the girl wearing it...I love her too.

Imagine you were born in the Shetland Islands.

Imagine Jamison's was just a skip down the block
Imagine that the designer of this fabulous garment was your mother!

It's all true for Gudrun Johnson, the talented designer and hostess of The Sheland Trader blog. She's back home for a long visit, lucky girl.

Some day I'll make the trip myself. My first question will be....which pattern is called "creepies" and next, which is "mices teeth"? I can't even recall where I read about these but I've been dying to know for a good 10 years now.

As many of you know fair isle knitting is my favorite thing. I simply find endless fun in mixing colors in a rhythmic way. I love the cleverness of making a few colors look like many, however I also find it satisfying to be able to include a billion colors in a single piece... This obsession always allows me a valid excuse to buy "just one ball".

So visit Gudrun, she's posted some enticing photographs of her home, which includes a beautiful woodstove (or peat burning stove?) and a huge vintage photograph of a fair-isle sweater being "dressed", I wonder if it is the same one that has fish drying in it...Also, be sure and read the nice interview with her at Knitting on the Net.

Review Susette's Fair Isle entry in her Knitted Abecedarium, (but don't stop there, she's up to letter Q).

For a little technical advice, breeze over and peruse Kathy's compilation of Fair Isle Knitting Tips and check out her links.

Scared to Steek? Eunny will make you brave.

Thinking of taking the trip to Shetland? Read the local paper and visit Fair Isle's Website

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

But Will it Itch?

An important question for those who fear wool. I've got a picture here ( ...well, as my favorite radio station is what is in focus, we'll call it yarn bokeh,...)
of what I do if I simply have no time to knit a proper swatch....Wrap the yarn around your, or the intended recipients wrist and wear it for a while.

I can state categorically that the exquisite Sunday Knits yarn do not itch one iota...divine. Can't wait to actually knit with them.

Order your color card today and be prepared to swoon.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Amazing Textile Collection


Fiber College 2008 was lots of fun, I only wish I could have taken some classes in addition to teaching one. Natural Dying, Beading, Quilting with photographic images, Rug Hooking, Jackie Fee taught a class, the list goes on. Plus it is not too big, not too small but just the right size. I urge anyone who likes fiber and longs to spend some time on one of the most beautiful beaches in Maine, to sign up for next year's event.

Dick Johnson, has spent the last 20 summers at the idyllic Searsport Shores Campground. It was our good fortune that Fiber College came to him 3 years ago! Up until that time, no one really understood his life long fascination with ethnic textiles From his time in the Peace Corp through his thirty years spent in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other stan's he has amassed an amazing, carefully gathered selection of garments, caps,throws, tents, hats, camel bags and I'm sure countless other things. I only had a glimpse of his collection and it totally floored me. When he returns next summer I'll help him photograph it a start a blog to document his collection. Piece by piece we'll learn about the people who made the items and Dick's own stories of where, when and how.
The tent above is just a hint of what's to come next summer.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Nederland Opera Mitts

Sage and Nederland Opera Mitts

A secret revealed! I always intended my Nederland Vest to have matching armbands. For years I've been inspired by the knitted armbands found in Cynthia Gravelle LeCount’s book, Andean Folk Knitting: Traditions and Techniques from Peru and Bolivia, 1990, that men make for themselves, wildly intricate and stunningly beautiful. The armband here translated and simplified to harmonize with the Nederland Vest, proves to be a useful accessory in today's world of fluctuating temperatures.

The Nederland Opera Mitts are featured in this weeks Classic Elite's newsletter, follow the link to download the free pattern.

Many thanks to my gracious model, Russian Literature student Laura, who works next door to my office and makes a mean Caramel Latte. All the girls at Sage Market, in Camden Maine, can vouch for the usefulness of opera length mitts

Monday, September 08, 2008


Sweet Bunny captured at Fiber College 2008.

The weather threatened, but fiber prevailed.
More on this great event soon.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Class This Saturday!

Class Collage

I'm teaching a class this coming weekend Saturday September 6th at Fiber College in nearby Searsport Maine. It is in a beautiful location right on the water, at Searsport Shores, a great family owned, old-time campground. This fabulous Fiber Event is run by the lively Astrid who I'm so happy I can call a friend. She is just the best! I think there may be a few spaces in my class, called Photographing Your Work, so follow the links. I'll share with you everything I can possibly think of that will get you on your way to sensational images!

Above are some of my own images, while below area few of the images I styled while working for Interweave Knits, all by my friend Chris Hartlove, the talented portrait photographer who was for years, the lensman for Interweave Knits. His rich images capture more than just the knitting project, they capture the soul of the knitter. Really, I'm not just being corny, its true!


Clockwise from top left: 1.Robin Melanson's Huntington Castle Pullover 2.Kathy Merrit's Babette Blanket 3.Marta McCall's Weekend Getaway Satchel 4.Veronik Avery's Marigold Tote