My Work Here is Done

February 21, 2019

Have you ever heard an interview with a teacher of someone who’s being honored for a big accomplishment– like winning a Nobel Prize or an Academy Award — and the teacher marvels at the former student’s achievements?

That’s what I felt like when Marcia, my friend, neighbor, and former knitting student, showed me her nearly-complete Great American Afghan.

I know…breathtaking, isn’t it? And before you ask, she started the first block about 2 1/2 years ago. Of course, she’s knit many other beautiful projects since then: multiple pairs of socks, several fair isle sweaters (one of which involved her first game of “bind-off chicken”), several baby cardigans, and more.

Each of the 20 blocks is a work of art unto itself. Go ahead, zoom in, and you’ll see.

I’m particularly smitten with the Aran sweater block, which includes a beautifully detailed flat sweater.

Marcia took her first knitting class with me a mere three years ago. Clearly, she got the hang of it pretty quickly! As an accountant, she has a particular affinity for numbers, choosing to read through patterns and make sense of all the stitch counts before diving in.

She blocked each piece as it was finished and is now in the process of sewing them all together. She asked me whether she should block the border before connecting. I don’t know for sure, but since blocking is easy and almost always makes seaming easier, I said yes — and even suggested that she block the totally finished piece one more time. She nearly fell over but agreed to consider the idea!

Just amazing. Clearly, my work here is done.


WIP Wednesday: Log Cabin Throw

February 20, 2019

I’ve got two projects for babies-to-be going at the moment and am this close to casting on a new pair of socks with some lovely yarn that I got at the knitting guild yard sale. But baby knits have deadlines, so the socks shall wait.

As would be expected with bulky yarn, the log cabin throw is the faster growing of the two.

The back and front sections of the Patches Baby Sweater are done and blocking. I’ve started the first sleeve and decided to modify the pattern by knitting it in one piece rather than two segments.

Mom finished another garter stitch scarf yesterday. As you can see from her clothing, she’s quite partial to the crimson, fuschia, pink color range. Malabrigo never disappoints.


Spread a little love

February 14, 2019

Valentine’s Day has never been a big holiday in my family. Sure, my brothers and I would give little folded cards to elementary school classmates. And I think we had some decorations, probably handmade, that were taped up in the kitchen. But there were no big bouquets of roses, gifts, or candlelit dinners. Patrick had a similar experience, so that’s what pretty much what we’ve continued in our own families — although with some lovely flower bouquets.

It’s never been a stated philosophy, but when I think about it, we believe that love should be expressed every day, in ways — words and actions — large and small.

My Valentine’s knitting tradition (yes, knitting traditions are a thing) is to make a few little heart ornaments for family, friends, and acquaintances. All it takes is a few yards of scrap yarn and DPNs. I’ve used different patterns over the years — less seaming is better as far as I’m concerned.

Once you’ve made one, it’s a quick knit. Like most things in life, if you know how to do it, it’s easier.

The best part is giving these little hearts. Kind of like love, it feels great to give them away. I tucked one into a card for each of our three treasures. One is dangling on a doorknob in a Brooklyn apartment.

Earlier this week, I tucked a couple in my pocket as I went out for my morning jog/walk. I gave one to the barista at the coffee shop where I stop each morning; it was her birthday. Another was left for a beloved neighbor.

A small blue heart, made from leftover sock yarn, graces a fake plant on a dresser — along with treasures from New England.

Being reminded of the love around us — that it’s there even when we may not feel it — is a very, very good thing. Today and every day.


Knitting Across Generations

February 7, 2019

I didn’t hesitate when my friend Jen texted to ask if I could help her daughter finish a blanket she’d knitted. She was returning to college in a couple of days and wanted to mail it off to a friend who could use some TLC from a long-distance buddy.

While I didn’t know what pattern Itsy was knitting, I suspected that it was the deliciously squishy Eleventh Hour Marled Blanket from Purl Soho.

I’m not psychic, but I can put two and two together — and these two were Itsy and Barbara, granddaughter and grandmother. You may recall that I’d helped Barbara (aka Baba) with the finishing touches of her blanket, the border of which provided me with a significant learning experience.

It didn’t take long for Itsy to get the hang of the attached i-cord border. Of course, it took quite a while to work her way around the entire blanket. But it was definitely worth it.

The photo doesn’t capture the soft green and deep navy color combination. You’ll just have to trust me on how exquisite it is. Or look at the smile on Itsy’s face. As she modeled the finished product, I couldn’t help but marvel at the pride of a handmade project and the love that would envelope her distant friend every time she wraps herself in its soft warmth.

Last week, after she finished her latest garter stitch scarf, Mom and I headed to J.P. Knit & Stitch for some new yarn and a visit with the Friday afternoon knitters. As usual, Mom chose a bright variegated yarn — this time, a sock yarn from Lemonade Shop, colorway is Alternative Facts.

Reminds me of cotton candy.


Patching it Together

January 31, 2019

Once I realized that my self-striping sock yarn wouldn’t work for a top-down baby sweater — because the body would be too large for the colored sections to become stripes — I searched for a new pattern. As usual, I spent a long time down the rabbit hole that is Ravelry but eventually found a good match for a baby cardigan made with sock yarn: Patches Baby Sweater

Lucky for me, the library had a copy of Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders, so I didn’t need to buy the pattern. But I must admit I’m tempted to buy the whole book. As my stash can attest, I’ve got quite an affinity for sock yarn!

The sweater is constructed from a series of knitted strips that are joined as you go.

After I’d knit the first strip (on left in photo above), I decided that I wanted the sweater to have more variety than a series of equally-sized stripes/blocks would provide. So for the second strip (on right), I starting knitting with two balls of yarn, which gave me the option to choose the width of the stripes.

If you follow from the lower border, you can see that after knitting the gray garter stitch border, I knit six rows of blue stockinette stitch, then switched to four rows of gray, then four blue, then six rows of yellow.

The joining isn’t always quite as smooth as I’d like, but I’m getting the hang of it as I go. Here’s the back after three strips.

Yesterday evening, after I’d bound off the third strip and wove in the end, I realized that it was a row or two shorter than strip #2. And, to make matters worse, I realized strip #2 was a couple rows shorter than the first strip!

There’s no way I’m going to rip all this out. Instead, I think I’ll just pick up the bound off edge and add a couple rows. Stay tuned for how that goes!

In other knitting news, Mom finished another garter stitch scarf.

This one is made with a bright, beautiful worsted from Lady Dye Yarns. The colorway, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, is discontinued, but you should definitely check out her beautiful yarns, project bags, and pins. How great are these?! Click on the images to see more of her great products.

knitters pins from Lady Dye Yarns


Starting Over with Stripes

January 25, 2019

Since I loved the Blue Striped Rag self-striping sock yarn so much, I figured I’d use it for a little sweater for a Baby-to-Be coming in a couple months.

Lesson learned: self-striping sock yarn really is intended for socks (or maybe sleeves on a baby sweater )

At first, all seemed to be going well as I cast on the top-down Garter Yoke Baby Cardi — although I decided pretty quickly that I’d skip the garter yoke part. I just didn’t like the way the color transitions looked in garter stitch.

So I switched to stockinette stitch and began the increases — adding a stitch on the outer side of each of the 8 markers.

As I’d expected, as the sweater got bigger, with more stitches in each row, the stripes got thinner. That seemed OK at first, but then the stripes started to look really wonky — at one point, not even extending all the way across the width of the sweater.

See what I mean?

That just wouldn’t do — at least, as far as I’m concerned.

So I ripped it out and went in search of a new pattern, one that’s knit in pieces (front sides, back, separate sleeves) and then stitched together. I think I’ve found one in Patches Baby Sweater. But the library won’t have the book for me until tomorrow, so I can’t be sure.

In the meantime, I’ve been knitting a baby blanket for a different Baby-to-Be who’s due to arrive in a couple of months: the Log Cabin Throw from Knit Picks.

Lesson learned from this project: bulky yarn knits up waaaay faster than sock yarn.

But you knew that, right?


Striped Socks in Pairs

January 20, 2019

I don’t set New Year’s resolutions, knitting or otherwise. Occasionally, I’ll send an intention, often vague, into the universe — “try not to worry so much” or “live more mindfully” or “don’t buy new yarn until you’ve used at least as much from your stash.”

Just kidding about that last one.

But even though I’ve not set a “sock of the month” goal, I’m quite pleased and a bit surprised that my first socks of 2019 are knit and blocked.

Yarn is Patons Kroy Sock in Blue Striped Ragg with contrasting toe and heel in an anonymous yarn from aforementioned stash. They’re now wrapped in tissue paper and tucked away for someone special.

Those of you who’ve been with me for a while have seen a few of friend Judy’s socks, starting with her very first sock about five years ago when she took my knitting class. She’s made many pairs since, including this lovely pair of knee socks (her preferred length for her own socks), which she modeled at the gym this week.

She’s puzzled — and a bit bothered — by the relative droopiness of the left one, but since they’re knee socks, no one will know. Except you, of course, and I know you won’t say a thing.


Hands and Hearts

January 18, 2019

One of my life’s treasures is friendships that span decades — women (mostly) who’ve shared the ups, downs, and in-betweens, who can burst into laughter at the mere mention of a childhood memory and whose knowing glance and touch at long-ago or present pain is a balm. Trusting these friendships will last into our old age brings me hope and comfort.

As Mom’s mind continues to decline, her world shrinks. While she has many dear friends and one remaining sister, her speech, memory, and processing abilities are so diminished that she’s unable to stay connected with most.

Joe and Betty are the exception. Friends for more than 60 years, back in their medical and nursing school days, they’ve stayed close and have a comfort and ease with each other like no others.

So a couple of weeks ago, we drove north to their home in Maine for a visit and sleepover. Of course, we brought our knitting. Mom’s latest garter stitch scarf is made with some beautiful Malabrigo (or maybe Manos del Uruguay), a Christmas gift from beloved granddaughter Nora.

Joe is mostly home bound, his Parkinson’s-like disorder has stolen his movement and slowed his speech. Strong of body and mind, Betty is his main caregiver, assisted lovingly by their son and daughter-in-law who live nearby. She’s a talented knitter, too, working on several hat and scarf sets for Special Olympics Maine.

As Betty and Mom got supper ready, I pulled my chair close to Joe’s and settled in with our wine (me) and whiskey (him) for a chat. Over the course of the next 20 minutes, he shared his perspective on medical training — how he became a pediatrician during his Navy service and later a pathologist — and memories, many of my father, who was one of Joe’s closest friends and a trusted colleague.

Joe was my and my brothers’ pediatrician until I was about 6 or 7. I told him that one of my earliest memories was me lying on our kitchen table at age 3 or so and having a doctor — was it Joe? — lance my close-to-bursting ear drum lest it burst itself. He didn’t recall that procedure and suggested it was another doctor. But he did recall clearly performing his very first lumbar puncture (spinal tap) on me when I was an infant and suffered a febrile convulsion.

Slowly and haltingly, he shared an intense conversation with my father, who had asked him to do the tap, telling him that he’d never performed the procedure and explaining the risk of infection and complications. Despite his current limitations, he clearly conveyed the urgency and intimacy of that long-ago conversation. I can only imagine the fear they both felt at the time and the utmost trust they had for each other.

As Mom dozed on the drive home the next day, I went over our visit — the warmth and ease of being with people who know you so well and love you so profoundly — and my conversation with Joe in particular.

Tomorrow is the 35th anniversary of my father’s death, and while I think of him — and even talk to him — often, I realize that I rarely talk with his friends, those who knew him as an adult, a colleague, a too-short-but-still-lifelong friend. Joe’s memories gave specificity to the general “he was a great man” view of my father. Our visit with Betty and Joe wasn’t just a fun overnight; it was a gift I’ll treasure forever.


Scrolling with Socks

January 8, 2019

When I finished the helix striped hat, I realized that I didn’t have another project ready to cast on. This shouldn’t have been a surprise since I’m the one who decides. I knew I hadn’t selected what to make next, but somehow, I was a tad surprised. Go figure.

So I did what I usually do when I’m between projects: I tossed some sock yarn and DPNs into my bag and cast on a sock when I got to Mom’s for the afternoon. As I worked the first few rounds, I had a bit of an epiphany — casting on a sock is a bit like scrolling Instagram or Twitter. When I find myself in a temporary lull in knitting activity, I turn to socks.

Here’s the latest: self-striping Patons Kroy sock yarn in Blue Striped Ragg.

To add a bit of variety, I decided to make a contrasting heel and toe, something new for me. Since I couldn’t find any suitable matching yarn in my stash, I used a ball of maroon fingering of indeterminate origin.

When I’d finished the flap and turned the heel, I decided that it just wouldn’t do. The yarn was too thin, which would make for a less durable heel. See the gaps among the stitches?

I ripped out the flap and decided to try knitting with two strands of the maroon fingering. It was a bit bulky, but I’d rather have a too sturdy heel than one that wears through too soon.

It’s almost time to start shaping the toe. While I don’t know the exact measurement of the recipient’s foot, I have an approximation — about an inch or so longer than mine. I think.

I really like the look and feel of this yarn and just may use it to make a sweater for a baby-to-be who’s due to arrive this spring. If you’ve got a pattern idea, please let me know in the comments.


First Helix Stripes

January 3, 2019

The latest in my ongoing quest to learn new knitting techniques (and, at least once so far, crochet techniques) has been helical stripes — sometimes called “helix stripes.” They’re single stripes in the round — and at first glance, look like regular stripes — but they don’t have the usual “jog” that appears when switching colors. 

helix-stripe-hat

The lovely Shibui Staccato leftover from the color block mitts seemed like the perfect combination. 

Helix stripes aren’t really stripes; they’re spirals. Each color is knit partway around the circle, then the next color is used (without twisting the strands), then the third. And so on. 

The spirals are easiest to see at the crown. Pick a color and follow it down from the crown. See?

helix-stripe-hat-top

I found this video by Pepperly helpful in explaining how to knit helix stripes. She was a bit more concerned about avoiding tangling the three yarns than I was. My solution was to occasionally do a big untangle rather than taking care not to get tangled in the first place!

I quite like the finished project and most definitely like that I’ve learned a new technique.

However, as with the fingerless mitts made with the same yarn, I don’t know who I’ll give the hat to! Anyone looking for a matched set?

What knitting technique or pattern have you learned recently? Or what’s on your list?

 

 

 

 


When in Doubt

December 19, 2018

A few weeks ago, my friend Barbara asked for help adding an i-cord edge to the bulky seed stitch blanket she’d knit for her grandson, a first-year college student. (Purl Soho’s Eleventh Hour Marled Blanket) Naturally, I was happy to help. If only it’d been so simple.

After following my directions, she wasn’t pleased with the final result — the blanket wouldn’t lie flat and was somewhat pulled in along the edge — and asked again for some assistance. When I got the blanket home, I realized that I’d given her the wrong instructions for making the i-cord border.

I thought of my Mom’s frequent saying, “When in doubt, read the instructions.” If only I’d thought of it before I’d “helped” her!

I removed the wonky i-cord border, evened out some of the yarn joins, washed the edge-less blanket, and blocked it on Hannah’s bed.

knit blanket blocking on bed

While it dried, I reviewed a few video tutorials on how to do a proper i-cord edge. It’s remarkable what a difference a bit of knowledge makes!

attach i-cord edge to blanket

Not surprisingly, the new edge looked much better than the previous version. It was, after all, a true i-cord edge.

close up of i-cord edge

It’s more a throw than a full-sized blanket, but I’m quite confident it’s plenty big enough to wrap one very lucky young man in the love of his grandmother.

eleventh hour marled blanket

As for my own projects, I’ve turned the heel and completed the gusset on the second sock. While I’m feeling confident that I’ll time to finish by Christmas morning, I’m beginning to wonder if I actually have enough yarn….

knitting sock heel gusset


Socks Received

December 8, 2018

Kevin’s first final exam of his senior year is later today — fluid dynamics (or is it dynamic fluids?!) So I was relieved to learn that the good-luck socks I mailed earlier this week had arrived — and more importantly, that he was glad to have received them.

smiling selfie with socks held to cheek

text message: They're so soft!!! Thank you momma - heart emoji

I know, as my wise sister-in-law would say, “smart is not something you are but something you become” and that handknit socks don’t have a direct effect one one’s mastery of mechanical engineering, but if this pair of cozy socks provides a bit of comfort and confidence to this remarkable young man, that’d be wonderful.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on his next pair, to be opened on Christmas morning, when final exams are finished and the next semester’s work has yet to begin.

sock-toe-shape

May the Force be with you, dear boy. And may your efforts be rewarded.

 

 


Warm Hands and Cookie Traditions

December 7, 2018

The colorblock hand warmers (Purl Soho pattern, Shibui Staccato yarn) are off the needles, blocked, and ready for…whom? I don’t know.

I made them because I fell in love with the yarn while treating myself to a gift certificate purchase  (thanks, Jill!) at the amazing Gather Here in Somerville.

color-block-hand-warmers

I’m not thrilled with the thumb hole. To be precise, I’m not thrilled that there’s just a hole and not an actual thumb covering. It gets mighty cold here in the Boston area, and having your thumbs exposed just isn’t that practical. But they look lovely, so perhaps, as my grandmother used to say, “your pride will keep you warm.”

Yesterday was the Feast of St. Nicholas, and as is tradition in my family, the day was marked with cookies. In each of my siblings homes, from Alexandria, VA to Boston, these thin, crisp, spiced treats were rolled, sliced, baked, and enjoyed.

st-nick-cookies

I’ve mailed some to Kevin and Michael, sustenance for their upcoming final exams. And I’ve tucked a few away for Hannah, who will be home for a couple of days next week. If you’d like the recipe, you’ll find it on my December 6 post from a few years ago.

What are some of your winter holiday traditions (baked and otherwise)?

 

 

 

 


WIP Wednesday: Socks in a Flash

December 5, 2018

On Monday, after learning that Kevin’s first final exam will be this Saturday, I raided my stash of Christmas socks and mailed a pair to him. As he knows, the academic benefits of handknit socks haven’t been scientifically proven, but it certainly can’t hurt to have your feet wrapped in love and know that you’ve got a big fan in your corner. Right?

Of course, that meant that I needed to knit another pair of socks for Christmas. 

A morning trip to the hair salon provided time for knitting. You can see the crimps and crinkles in the yarn, leftover from its previous incarnation (a failed toe-up sock experiment). I expect blocking will ease that out entirely.

I knit several more inches at Mom’s in the afternoon as we listened to Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong on CD (her favorites). She’s making great progress on her latest garter stitch scarf.

The yarn is really yummy: Junkyarn‘s “Tini” colorway. The bright flecks of color never fail to delight Mom, who holds them up and exclaims, “look at this!” 

If I’d been tasked with naming this colorway, I would have selected “Peppermint Stick,” since it reminds me of the peppermint stick ice cream at my favorite island soda counter.

 


What Babies Do

December 1, 2018

Now that December is upon us and gift-giving holidays are fast approaching (Chanukah begins tomorrow evening), many knitters have projects on the needles and are facing deadlines. I’ve heard that some are freaking out beginning to fret about whether they’ll finish in time — knitting a big of anxiety into each stitch ;-)

Giving a handmade gift feels wonderful. I must confess that I often wonder how often the recipient actually uses or wears the gift. That’s no different than any gift you might give. Did they ever read that book or wear those earrings or use that kitchen gadget?

So I’m always particularly pleased to know that one of my handknits is being enjoyed. For example, getting a text extolling the power of handknit socks. I was delighted to learn last week that a scrumptious baby was wearing his cardigan and hat for the last time (Baby Vertebrae sweater in Neighborhood Fibre Co’s “Old Towne East” colorway).

baby wearing knit cardigan and hat

One of the many delightful attributes of small humans is that they grow, so there’s an ongoing need for new knits.

What’s on your knitting gift list?

 

 


Smoother Sock Toes

November 27, 2018

It’s no secret that I love to knit socks. Although it took me ages to take the plunge, I’ve almost always had one on the needles as a second (or third) project, especially when I need something portable. 

My latest pair is made with a vibrant skein of Lady Dye’s Superwash Fingering (can’t recall the colorway).  

knit socks in sink before blocking

The Yarn Harlot’s Good Plain Sock Recipe continues to be my go-to pattern, but I’ve discovered a new technique that makes the toe graft smoother.

Top-down socks need to have the toes “closed” by grafting, rather than by seaming, which would create an uncomfortable lumpy edge in one’s shoe. I’ve always used the Kitchener stitch but had never been able to achieve an invisible graft — there was always a bit of a line. See? 

The recipients of my socks didn’t seem to mind at all. In fact, some say they are “real juju” especially when facing academic challenges. But I was still on out the look out for a better technique.

And I found one, thanks to the TECHknitter. Instead of using a darning needle to graft the two sides together, you use a double-pointed needle. It shouldn’t make a difference since the grafting yarn is traveling in the same way. But it made a remarkable difference for me — a smooth, truly seamless toe. 

I always feel so clever when I learn something new!

Socks are blocked, dry, and tucked away for someone (still haven’t figured out who though).

two finished knit socks

 

 

 

 


Triple C

November 26, 2018

The crocheted cowl is complete. (See what I did there?)

Learning to crochet has been on my to-do list for a while, and I’m happy to say that I’ve finished a project. May I present the Shady Cowl (a.k.a. the Eggnog Cowl)…

shady-cowl-finishThat photo makes it look more fuchsia-y than it is. The color in the photo below is more accurate. Yarn is from Neighbhorhood Fibre Co., colorway is Dupont Circle.

shady-cowl-fold

It’s too early for me to know whether I’ll do much more crochet. Not surprisingly, since I’ve been doing it for decades, knitting is more familiar and seems to hold almost-infinite variations. Of course, if I don’t practice crochet, it won’t become familiar. 

For now, I’ll just remain pleased with my first project. 


Mitts and Socks

November 12, 2018
Late last month, Patrick and I joined a couple of cousins at a beautiful and stirring choral concert. The concert — which had been planned for months and by tragic coincidence occurred one week after the massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue — featured music from Terezín Concentration Camp and a new composition, Anne Frank: A Living Voice.
Top-down sock in Lady Dye Yarns (unknown color way)
A few days later, as I’ve done for the past couple of years, I worked at a local polling place on Election Day. Unlike at September’s primary election, turn-out was robust (heavy?). By the time voting began at 7a.m., there was a line of 45 people waiting to cast their ballots. I’d started my first fingerless mitt (Purl Soho Colorblock Hand Warmers) and managed only a couple of inches during my entire eight-hour shift.
view from voting check-in table at 6:40am, 20 mins before polls opened
The yarn is Shibui Staccato, a luscious blend of merino and silk. I’ll modify the pattern because I’ve got three rather than four colors. The total length is 12 inches, and rather than knit four inches in each color, I think I’ll mix it up a bit. What do you think?

That Stitch Looks Funny

November 11, 2018
Being able to read your stitches is a skill that novice knitters learn sooner than they realize. “Something doesn’t look right, but I don’t know what’s wrong” is a common sentiment. The first step to fixing a mistake is realizing you made a mistake.  That’s what happened recently to friend Pat, who’s making a baby blanket and is convinced she can only knit while sitting at my kitchen table. Back at home, she discovered that her stitches had become super tight, making it difficult to even insert the needle. Here’s what she’d encountered.
knitting into the back of a stitch twisted on the needle
Unknowingly, she’d been knitting into the back of her stitches. This results in a twist of each stitch, making each one a bit too tight. Her knit stitches were sitting backwards on her left needle, making it awkward (kind of twisted) to insert the right needle. Once I pointed out the difference between a backward “sitting” stitch and one that sits properly on the needle, she was able to really see the difference. And now you can, too. Think of someone sitting on a horse; one leg on each side. In knitting, the “legs” are the sides of the stitch and the “horse” is the needle. When a stitch is on backwards, it’s as though the rider’s legs are on the wrong sides of the horse – making the rider backwards.
To fix a backward stitch, you simply pinch the stitch between your fingers, take it off the needle, turn it around, and put the turned-around stitch back on the needle.
In other knitting news, Mom finished her latest garter stitch scarf. This one in the rich green with blue tones of the Pines colorway of Malabrigo Rios.  She decided to blow a kiss when I asked her to model it for me.
I’m making progress on the Second Sock and have started the color block fingerless mitts in Shibui that I mentioned last week. More soon!      

Soft and Squishy

November 2, 2018
While my first crochet project, Shady Cowl, was blocking, it was time to cast on something new.
Sure, I’ve got one sock completed and the second not yet cast on, but socks don’t really count as projects in my book. (Do I even have a book?!) Thanks to a generous, thoughtful gift from one of my SILs, I had the impetus to visit Gather Here, an amazingly inspiring knitting and sewing shop with a social justice conscience that I’ve been following on Instagram for a few years. I can’t begin to describe the range of yarns, fabrics, helpful employees, and friendly patrons that I found. Plus, I was too busy fondling yarn and trying to decide what to buy to take a single photo. If you’re in the Boston area and looking for a yarn shop, head to Gather Here. I returned home with four lusciously soft skeins for two projects. This trio of Shibui merino and silk will become a pair (or maybe two) of color block fingerless mitts.
Almost as soon as I got home, my new squishy skein of Manos Del Uruguay Silk Blend was on the winder. Like the Shibui, it’s a 70/30 merino/silk blend.  Before too long, it’ll be tucked away into my gift box — a Messy Bun Hat for someone special.
double lace rib knit pattern of messy bun hat
The photo doesn’t do justice to the soft champagne pink color of this yummy yarn. Because a couple of you asked, here’s a photo of Mom’s latest garter stitch scarf — in a rich green Malabrigo Rios — that I mentioned in my last post.
Every single day, I’m grateful that she still remembers how to knit.

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