Monday, August 10, 2009

I've Moved!

Hi There! I've Moved!
Mary Jane, Midge and Mink have morphed into the one girl, Mary Jane....
You should be redirected after 10 seconds...If you can't wait...please visit me at my new website

don't forget to update your bookmarks and your RSS feeds...
See you soon!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


Hi Everybody!
Oh yes...the new website!!! Soon, very soon....And it will come in bits and pieces so you have to keep checking back pretending that you have all the time in the world.

And there are more will I be critical of other websites....there are things called Shopping Carts and Templates clearly designed by people who don't shop, and are not at all curious about what they're buying if they do.

It's the case of the techy + the creative, rarely do the occur in one individual. Or I like to think that. I wish I knew how to do all the coding myself but...oh dear....I'm finding the computer program for making knitting charts provokes tears more than anything... and heaving sobs. Making Leelee the slumdog look up and howl along. Thank goodness there are no neighbors nearby, they'd call the police...

Monday, August 03, 2009

Save the Date!

That's Saturday. After the Maine Boats Homes and Harbor's show, in Rockland at The Strand.

Lobster Queens and locals...even my plumber friend who supplies me with hoola hoop parts

I've got twins to show my outfits

With pointed hats natch


Double fun!

Penobscot Marine Museum for more info.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

St. Denis Magazine: My Breakfast Treat

Breakfast With Astrig

After spacing out twice....I met Astrig for breakfast today at Chase's Daily in nearby Belfast. I tell you, there is nothing like hanging out with Astrig to make you believe anything and everything is possible. She is the absolute most positive person, and not in an exhausting gushy way... in a "oh, but of course, I guess I knew it all along" serene way.

I brought Show & Tell:
My lucky advance copy of Veronik Avery's St. Denis Magazine.
Recognize my yarny picture on the right? with my byline? I'm sorry...I never get too old or too jaded to get a little thrill from that tiny print!

The magazine is beautiful, a nice little perfect sized dream of a magazine, including designs by
And Moi!.... I showed you yesterday.... Super Soul Cardigan.

There's wee articles, a photo-inspiration scrapbook and helpful illustrated techniques in the notebook section.

Keep an eye out for it...I having a feeling it will sell out fast!

Now I have to tell you a little bit about amazing, beautiful Astrig's pet project. She puts on a great, but not especially well known event called Fiber College, the weekend after Labor Day, at her family's campground in Searsport Maine, on the shores of one of the prettiest beaches in the state. She has a diverse group of fiber-fanatics as teachers and vendors, covering weaving and spinning, quilting and name it, if there is fiber involved she wants to include you!

It is one of those little secret events, you'd love to keep to yourself but enjoy so much you just can't help spreading the word. Right now on the Fiber College blog Astrig is asking this year's instructors 10 questions to help us get to know everyone. Read them all but don't miss Gudrun's...I am so looking forward to meeting is going to be a blast!

Since I'm teaching this year I better go fill out my questionnaire now! Yikes!

Stay tuned and I'll tell you about my class.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Super Soul

Presenting....Super Soul Cardigan..... in Veronik Avery's new yarn St. Denis Nordique. The textured stitch gives a nice "sqooshy" depth, for a warm and comfy wrap sweater with hidden pockets. A hybrid of Mexican styling and Turkish motifs. Inspired by....Starsky and Hutch. Using beautiful Turquoise... for protection. You can knit your own tie-belt if you like.

I'm lucky to have this garment included in Veronik's first
St. Denis Magazine collection for her scrumptious crisp new yarn, great for texture, fabulous colors, coming soon to a Local Yarn Store near you. I think the magazine will be available in shops and from the St. Denis website which is still under construction.

I'm so glad it is still under construction, makes me feel better.

It's about time revealed what I've been up to. I'm working on a new website. It is a little slow going for me, since there is soooooo much to learn. I've had a lot of help from some wonderful people, some simply amazing friends that I have. I am so thankful.

The plan was to be up and running by next week and if all goes well it will be, or shortly thereafter. Knock on Wood.

So if I've been kind of silent on the knitterly aspects of things...well I've been learning about shopping carts and CSS code and things I'd really rather not have to know how it is...when we built our house, my husband and I even put in the septic system ourselves....a challenging yes, I do know how to build a septic system, for which I am proud, but I truly hope I never do it again...

Here's hoping this time next year, I'm a whiz what seems a mystery to me today.

Super Soul Cardigan's
Bonus Hidden Pockets

Pictures courtesy of Veronik Avery

Friday, July 17, 2009

Isle au Haut Adventure

At long last, and island adventure! One friend brought his daughters who are visiting from France, and the other brought her desire for chocolates.

We headed east to escape the rain which continued to fall upon the coast, waaaay out to beautiful Isle au Haut. First we visited Head Harbor, pictured above, where we walked to beautiful Long Pond for a little trout bites, but plenty of foraging for chanterelles and wild strawberries on the roadside. Handy having French teenagers along, with their aptitude for mushroom hunting.

No sign of chocolates this end of the island so we went around, passing lighthouse and seals, to the town landing in search of the famed Black Dinah Chocolatier chocolate shop. Walking along the way, many people warned us that the elusive shop was closed and indeed as we approached the sign did say "shut". Give up? Not us. and we were rewarded. Steve cheerfully opened his shop for us, and the chocolates did not disappoint! My choice was a Sea Turtle, caramel and brazil nuts covered in dark chocolate, topped with a pinch of sea salt....mmmm

Salt + Chocolate


isle au haut

Friday, July 03, 2009

It Girl

IHeartErin! Her T shirt says it all for me!

The "I love Erin photoshoot" with the unbeatable Chris Hartlove, the man responsible for the fantastic photograpy in many years of InterweaveKnits back issues.

3 members of the Dream Team reunite: Wilmington Delaware Rendezvous Edition.

Like we never let up!


Well yeah!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I'm not completely idle. I do knit. Do you have those months...I was going to say days, but really now, do you have those months when it seems like you get nothing done?

A lot of what I'm working at is new to me, and there are so many different tasks, that I feel awash....sloshing around....head above the suds for only moments at a time....

I'm Poodle-sitting this week, I do know how to do that. Auntie MJ takes no nonsense!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Who can work?

Who can work with these lovelies to distract you?

Veronik Avery's has come out with a signature yarn, St. Denis which is scrumptious! A real "knitters" yarn, beautiful colors with stand up texture, and at the same time, soft to the touch. Vist her blog for updates where you'll see a little thumbnail of something you may recognize from my flickr pages.

When I think things have been busy around Chez MidgeMink, I think of Veronik.

at home

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


My Bauhaus Fair Isle is back for a visit, and a picture.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

World Wide Knit in Public Day!

Emily and I participated: Belfast Maine.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Its stripey around here! Quit my day job...big ideas bursting out all over!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Fiber Frolic

Fiber Frolic, originally uploaded by maryjanemidgemink.

Fun! Great fun with friends, lively entertaining conversation, tempting goods, handsome llamas, sheep and bunnies, wonderful food, including strawberry rhubarb icecream, mmmmm.....!

Friday, June 05, 2009


Didn't I promise never to undertake impossible deadlines? Never mind.
Tomorrow is the Fiber Frolic, Windsor, Maine.
Cyber-Friend meet up!
See you there!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Comfort on a Rainy Afternoon

Will the rain ever stop?

At Project Spectrum, the Cardinal Directions are the theme. We're currently on East

Color: Yellow
Material: Wood
Season: Spring
Element: Air

Bring the on the brightness and sunshine!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Which is most Necessary?

Monday, May 25, 2009


My friend Vicky and I traveled south to Brunswick Maine, to catch the lovely Ysolda Teauge
at the fantastic Purl Diva. I'd never been to the shop before, I can't really believe it myself. And though Vicky and I had a near-death experience turning left against Memorial Day traffic, I'd do it again!

Purl Diva is a dream of a yarn shop housed in a white Victorian with a wide porch, and ample comfortable seating inside.

Gracious and cheerful shop owner Ellen, the Purl Diva, put out a great spread of Scottish treats for Ysolda and her ever expanding group of admirers. There was shortbread, crustless cucumber finger sandwiches, scones and of course tea. Patient Ysolda, answered our many often repetative questions and told tales from her American Adventure.

The Yarn! The books! The needles! Vicky and I were happy to see our once imaginary and now flesh and blood friend Melissa aka loose ends. We munched goodies and got a tour of the shop which includes her yarns and roving.

Vicky succumbed to yarn, and I to Ysolda's cute self-published book.

Thanks Ellen and Ysolda! A fun event in such a great store. Purl Diva is homey, fresh with a welcoming winning, attitude, a reason to take slow Route One south from now on.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Ladies Afternoon Club

You've probably seen this, but I just can't get enough of the work of the Mersham Afternoon Club...I keep going back for another look .

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Louise Bourgeois

At the Hirshhorn, knee height, tapestry and metal, with intriguing shadows. Evil, wistful, dear.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Straw Curves and Spirals

Lake Titicaca Boat Prow


Inspiration Everywhere and Anywhere.
A boat prow by Lake Titicaca Boatbuilders in Peru, and our tabletop at the Ethiopian Restaurant on 9th Street.

I found a Chullo on the boatbuilder.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fun With Friends

Decorative Scallops


The same only different.

I spent two fun days with my friends, Madryn aged 7 and Taran aged 10. On Monday the boys and I visited The National Museum of the American Indian, where we saw the birch bark canoe.

The following day we ventured into Maryland for a look around Glen Echo, a former Chautauqua and later an Amusement Park... now a place for art workshops, dances and children's theatre.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Weekend of Awesome

OK! The Summit of Awesome kicked ass! I know usually write with a little more decorum, but geeze-um, it was just such a great experience. Everyone was open and friendly and all about sharing information. I attended two lectures and a needle-felting workshop (follow this link and you can see me to the right of Charmaine who's wearing a yellow sweater). We got Swag! Sweet Summit of Awesome silk-screened cotton bags loaded with goodies, great inspiration for advertising, product ideas, and the spreading of good cheer.

The Maryland Sheep and Wool festival was a little overwhelming, like a county fair only all about sheep and no rides. I was looking forward to the Ravelry meet-up , which was packed, teeming with ravelers awaiting the Bob-Crew-Rock-Stars! Talented beautiful Ysolda Teague was also in attendance. A quick "hi" was all I could muster, before I had to flee...the excitement was killing me...crazy, but I get shy and in the woods for so long, I don't do well in mob-scenes!
My afternoon class with Sally Melville was great. I swear this woman could teach a class in Tying Your Shoes and you would come out with a new appreciation of the process and some new clever tying trick you never thought of. The trick I learned was knitting backwards. I know I could have figured it out on my own, but with lightning quick direction from Sally, I was on my way!

Much more to will be drifting out in future posts...only a week left in DC...and so much still left to do!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Current Events

All work and no play makes MJ a very dull girl. To remedy that, I've got an action packed weekend ahead of me. Friday I' attending TheSummit of Awesome, arranged by the bright and brilliant women of Hello Craft, right here in DC:

"The Summit of Awesome is 3-days filled with business seminars for artists and crafters, hands-on workshops, the D.C. premiere of the Indie Craft Documentary, Handmade Nation, and a Saturday night party....all Summit seminars and workshops will take place in the wondrous and vibrant independent businesses in MidCity (14th and U Streets NW)....home of DC’s coolest indie shops"

At first only 3 day Passes were offered, which conflicted with my other event, so I got tickets for the DC opening of the film Handmade Nation.

That other event?

The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival

This is the event I've planned for since I arrived here, sending in my registration for classes soon after I arrived, snail mail, the only way its done...I've been anxiously awaiting my tickets for classes by Nancy Bush and Sally Melville...
waiting and waiting...
checking the mailbox...
making friends with the mailman...
for ever and ever....
finally I sent an email inquiry...
They never received my registration and now the classes are full.

soooooooooo very disappointed.....old school fails me.....

I'm on a waiting list for Nancy's Nordic Color which I deeply and truly wanted to attend and I'm signing up for Sally's Saturday class, so I have at least one class the day I make the trek out to West Friendship.

The easy and instant-to-register Summit of Awesome has exceptional personal customer service. When I found out I could get a Friday Only pass, which includes tickets for the movie premier, I called to ask about a refund for my original ticket. Tina herself answered the phone!
The refund was processed in an instant!
Yay, way to go new school!
See you both places?

If I have the umpf after the sheep show, I'd like to attend the Show of Awesome,
sign me up!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Life in Washington DC

knitting corner

Though I'm not knitting as much as I'd like...I never do...when I have a chance it is done here, with a view of the German Embassy through dogwood blooms.


In general life has been a whirl, of increasing intensity. Big plans afoot.

because of bounding poodles

The poodlicious ones keep it bounding along, amusing and action packed.

I took a break and hit a rummage sale this morning.

$4 score

Score! $4, vintage Frye boots, made in USA, hooray!

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Dally in the Gardens

When a sparkling sunny day dawned after days of rain, I took a break and spent the day as a tourist.

Susette suggested the gardens at, Dumbarton Oaks in nearby Georgetown.

A lovely way to spend a sunny day, thank you!

The gardens, were a collaboration between Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss the owners, and esteemed landscape gardener Beatrix Farrand that began in 1921. Including formal and informal, gardens and "outdoor rooms" it covers 16 acres, and includes elements of French, English and Italian gardens the three admired.

The gardens range from formal, near the house, getting progressively less formal the further you travel down the slopes and away down the hill.

Charming paths, terraces and allées take you from one theme to the next.

a place to knit

My favorite, was the Lilac Circle, a small quiet place with comforting tiny spring bulbs and the heavenly scent of lilacs. Here I spent a happy half hour knitting. As I left, I heard a chortle of delight "I found the pretty place!". Looking back, screened by foliage, I saw a tiny garden fairy, arms outstretched spin and twirl in the circle! Bliss. Soon joined by her family, I was lucky to have caught such a magical, joyful moment of pure childhood abandon.

small and private

Garden hours are 2:00pm-6:00pm, the absolute worst for picture taking, but I've got more here.

Monday, April 13, 2009

What Glue Stick is For

what glue stick is for
I make my charts the old fashioned way, by hand. I cut and paste a lot.

What software for mac do you recommend? I'm thinking of modernizing my design process.

My pencils will be lonley.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Ditty Bag

Well, Julia showed her's so you may as well see mine. I've provided a complete description of the contents on flickr , with notes detailing all.

My dear tools are conveniently housed in a clear half moon shaped bag which once held a cosmetics gift, long-long ago. Plastic yes, but I can see everything, which I like. I go for circles. I'm missing post-its which are usually in there, used for marking where I am on a chart.

People are most curious about the compass...I say it never hurts to know what direction you're going. The bonus? it is spot on for this years Project Spectrum: Cardinal Directions.

tone up

My friend Beth gave me this snazzy "Tone Up" box, perfect for my favorite Clover "pac man" markers.


And where would I be without my chi-chi-chi-chibi? Holding some deadly sharp pointed things and my treasured bent tapestry needle. I scorned these bent needles until Sally Melville showed the the way, and I've never looked back. They make a world of difference in seaming and other tricky sewing.