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Collaboration and Reconciliation

The autumn show season is behind me. I plan to be home until mid-January. The sentiment, "There's no place like home," feels very strong right now! There is, of course, plenty to do. I have handouts to write. I have proposals to submit. A houseful of tasks have been delayed. I find myself trying to make up the last 10½ months in only 6 weeks. Probably not possible. Likely not a good idea. I have done very little knitting this year. On the other hand, I've rediscovered my love of embroidery. My mother had a surprisingly large number of nearly-completed projects. While I gave away a bunch of things in the half-done state, there were others so close to completion I figured it was almost faster just to finish them. Here's the first one. This is a project from Cross Stitch & Country Crafts magazine May-June 1991 , pages 4-5 & 10-11. It is titled "Iris with Blackwork." The completed piece is about 8¼ inches square, mak
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Geometry Is Interesting

Geometry is interesting. And mistakes happen. I have two patterns in the handout for my "Liberating the Labyrinth" class. Debbie New's Unexpected Knitting has beautiful sweater patterns in this technique. The downside from a pedagogical perspective is these are large, complicated sweater patterns. And sweaters need to fit! For the purposes of learning, I thought it would be better to have a couple smaller, easier projects for practice that are good regardless of size. I devised two cube patterns. Each uses 6 modules. That's enough to give the flavor of the technique without overwhelming. One cube is a zig-zag cube. The pattern is 1 selvedge stitch, decrease (D), increase (I), decrease, increase, decrease, increase, 1 selvedge stitch. The cube is worked back and forth and then seamed. You could also work it in the round. I am pretty sure working DIDIDI or IDIDID doesn't matter. You'll still get a cube. The pattern is commutative

Neither Rain Nor Mud

At the moment, I am very happily home in Georgia! As we head into the fourth quarter of 2023, there are 92 days remaining. Of the 273 days so far, I have spent 145 days sleeping somewhere not my house versus 128 days sleeping in my own bed. Ack! The away team is winning. Most of that away time has been resetting the house in Pennsylvania. As of 14 September 2023, the house is no longer my late mother's house. As it is a house with no mortgage, my sister and I will use it to benefit family in whatever way seems sensible. For October, that means it will be my launching point for New York State Sheep and Wool Festival , a.k.a. Rhinebeck. To maintain my sanity, I've inserted bits of joy throughout the ongoing challenge of reclaiming the house from the chaos. For September, that included teaching at Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival , which is only a couple hours' drive. I had never been before. Several of the vendors from Carolina Fiber Fest , Bl

Something Accomplished

I finally finished a knit project this year. Actually, two projects. As I previewed in progress last month, I've now finished my drink carriers. These are the very first items I've knit in 2023, other than the sample socks for Blue Ridge Fiber Fest. Something I've learned: a drink caddy is essentially a sock with a flat circular toe, no heel turn, and a strap at the top. Implication — if you see a sock pattern you like but you only want one, you can turn it into a drink holder instead. Both pattern are worked in versa lace. You could, of course, work them in regular lace. The advantage of versa lace in this case is the stretch. Linen yarn is not elastic. That's great in the strap. Having a little give in the holder is nice, as it makes the cozy "grip" the mug or water bottle. And the versa lace provides more room for error or, alternatively, allows the cozy to fit a wider range of bottles and travel mugs. The spiral

In Progress

There's nothing quite like a Ravelry Projects Page to remind you how little you have accomplished. I've accomplished a lot this year, but very little of it involved knitting, crochet, spinning, or weaving. The only two finished objects I have for 2023 are a couple pairs of socks I made for Blue Ridge Fiber Fest. Sometimes desire pushes something to the top of the queue. Sometimes necessity. In this case, it has been the latter. I have two Joe Mo XL travel mugs I use daily. I joke my car will not go without the drink. The mugs came with fabric carrying sleeves. I've had these mugs for 15, maybe 20 years? The travel sleeves have torn. Time for the trash bin. Replacements are not available on the Highwave website. But I still need to carry my mugs! The bottle holders are a quick versa lace project. The spiral one worked up very quickly. The other one is taking longer because it has reversible double-decreases in it. Dang, those are slow! I&

Six Months

Today is six month's since my mother died. Grief is a complicated emotion. You don't want to move through it too quickly or too slowly. I burned off a lot of my anguish and anger in January through March. In the end, everything was worse than I thought. There were many, many monkeys to wrangle from multiple circuses, not of them mine. There will doubtless be future moments of grief that crop up and smack me. But at this point, I've made it through my birthday, Easter, and Mothers' Day. I've watched barren winter transform into verdant summer. Gratitude abounds. Sometimes the ending of a path is necessary for another path to open.  I am grateful for: Helping my sister. Being present in Pennsylvania. Being there for her. Helping my brother in the nursing home. I got him set up with streaming television. He likes Star Wars . Now he can enjoy Disney+. Now he can watch airplane videos on YouTube. Encour

Creative Inspiration

I've been in a bit of a knitting funk for awhile now. On the flip side, I've been doing a lot of other creative things. I have lost track of the number of items I've repaired from my mother's house. The first was a saucer-sized decorative plate with a very clean break. It just needed to be glued together with a drop crazy glue. There was already glue in a drawer in the kitchen. It took less than 10 minutes. I lost track of how many times I went back to that opened tube of crazy glue to repair other things. There were multiple items that needed wood glue, including a chair. Did my mother not know what wood glue was? Had everything become overwhelming; but she didn't want to ask for help? Or was it like my household, where you walk by something and think, "I'll get to that another day?" My most recent trip was the bring stuff home trip. I had moved several of the lighter or smaller items between locations. However, this was the d