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Knitting Green Leaves

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At Stitches West this year I found a beautiful pattern for the Cedar Leaves Shawlette. The model was knitted in some sort of wool/silk combination but nowhere in the vast hall of yarn booths could we find anything remotely similar. I purchased the pattern in the hopes a perfect yarn would find me. And it did!

Knitpicks had a very nice sale on their Andean Treasure 100% alapca and the heathered green colorway was absolutely perfect. I knitted up the shawl body on Sunday in between my frenzied cooking, and then that evening  started knitting leaves.

Leaf after leaf grew on the shawlette, bursting open like the spring that is upon the Bay Area.

Cedar Leaf Shawlette

I should be finished with it in time for the weekend, when colder, more San Francisco spring-like weather, is predicted.  Knitting this little shawlette, or scarf as it really should be called, is part of my quest this year for knitting for myself, to heap love upon myself in many ways, including wonderful fibery creations.

Bring it, fogbank, I will be covered in leafy green alpaca and laughing at you.

Knitting on a Deadline

I volunteered to work on a secret project, a commission for a knitting sample and I am excited about how it is coming out.

I am not excited, however, about the feeling of knitting on a deadline. Time is running out! I am making good progress but I feel the pressure and the strain of it all. This is not what knitting should be, for me, nerve-making.

I realized that I have quite a few unfinished objects that I would like to work on, but lack the time/focus/energy.  To keep myself honest and to out myself for my Unfinished Objects (UFO’s), here is my list:

  • Weaving in the ends of the Craftsman Afghan, a very late Christmas present.  This has been gathering dust on the back of my settee, so I will probably have to wash and reblock it. 
  • Finishing the final 1/4 of the back of the Sea Tangles sweater, a gift that is a surprise.
  • Seaming the Sublime Sweetheart sweater
  • Blocking the Sublime Ruffled Edge sweater (I would really like to be wearing this now, it’s cold out!)
  • Knitting the collar for the Fog Chaser jacket, another late Christmas gift
  • Another commissioned project, the Brain Hat. I bet my friend thinks I totally failed on this request.
  • I should start up the Foggy SF Sky Scarf too, since I bungled it last year.
  • Then there is my albatross, the sleeves for the Kauni Rainbow Cardigan by Ruth Sorensen, from 2007!
  • I would also really like to knit socks with my new bacon sock yarn, I think the Skew pattern will be perfect for this yarn.
  • Socks needing darning. Would you believe I have six pairs of socks that need darning, and one that needs a moccasin sole created? I only have 3 pairs of socks to wear and we are in the thick of winter.

I am ashamed these projects have lingered so long, but this year has been an unusual year for me with the ankle surgery and the accompanying brain fog and lack of interest in doing anything.  Last year’s shoulder repair also hampered me greatly, I am so glad it is better now.

Struggling with fatigue and burnout from the persistent SSS (stiffness, soreness and stabby pain) of my healing ankle is not helping my knitting time.

Meanwhile I look at the clock and watch it tick, tick, tick, and worry that I won’t make my upcoming deadline.

Worrying about knitting, no bueno.   Sigh.

Finished Objects: Santa Fe Eyelet Shawl

This shawl went off the needles and around my neck almost instantly, it is so gorgeous.

Eyelet Shawl, Stimulus Package yarn

The Eyelet Shawl using Dyelot Yarn’s Stimulus Package yarn in the colorway Santa Fe is a superbly simple knit. The yarn comes in a big fat skein but is really six smaller skeins of yarn, all dyed the same but with gorgeously different textures.

Tres Santa Fe by dyelot yarnTres Santa Fe by dyelot yarn

The pattern came free with the yarn but it makes a hugely long shawl. I am almost 6′ tall and I have to triple wind it around me for a loose cowl effect. I might like to make another one that is about 2 feet shorter! But regardless, I love this shawl and am so grateful for the gift of the yarn from E___. I am going to be cozy and very stylish all winter long.

Thank you!

Brain Hat Update, A Random Acts of Kindness and a KAL

I have been a little quiet lately, mostly not knitting or any other art projects because I have been very busy healing.
My doctor gave me the green light to start doing physical therapy to start walking!

It had been a long six weeks of not being able to put any weight on my foot or move my healing ankle but it was good for knitting when my brain cooperated.

(brain hat, cooperating)

Now, though, starting to walk with partial weight and using crutches has been a huge challenge. It’s a good challenge! I am doing really well. My surgery-repaired shoulder is not loving using crutches and this has been hampering my knitting in a big way. The faster I could get to ditching that crutch and letting my shoulder heal the better.

I did start pinning the miles of i-cord onto the brain hat, it is looking quite loby! Three-quarters to go!

(this is Quinn’s brain hat, lobes pinned in the front hemisphere)

I also wound up yarn for a new project, a Knit-A-Long for a beautiful lace weight shawl called Nadira.

(Tess laceweight Merino, a pretty color)

Some of my nice new knitting friends from Twitter invited me to join a KAL on Ravelry for the Nadira shawl and with their help and support I hope to be able to get through it. It’s is a beautiful design.

(a screenshot from the Nadira pattern)

My next step is to swatch the yarn so that I can use the best needle for the project.

In the midst of my hobbling around, piles of icepacks and resuming pain medication, ankle Olympics at home and at the physical terrorist, a truly delightful thing happened. A Twitter friend sent me a darling care package that she called “A random act of kindness”.


A bunch of beautiful stamps from
Greece, truly Hellenic post!


An intriguing little box was under the tidy wrappings.


Tucked away Inside were little gifts!


A complete set of crochet hooks in a pretty hand sewn pouch just for me. Now I can try to learn to crochet.


An aromatic bag of mysterious spices from Lemnos and a gorgeous sea sponge from Rhodes was inside the box as well as a delicious packet of toffee from London.

What a sweet thing for my new friend to do, and I cannot say just how much this delightfully unexpected gift lifted my spirits. Thank you, Laurentia!

It was just in time for my birthday and that is a bit of synchronicity. I am plotting a little box of treats I can send her in return from foggy San Francisco.

Please do chime in if you have a great idea.

Meantime I’m off to swatch and slap on some more ice. A quiet last weekend at home before returning to work on Monday stretches before me.

Cream of Chocolate Wings

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While I’m healing from surgery I realized my brain just isn’t up to any kind of complicated patterns but yet I crave the solace and comfort of knitting.

Behold the perfect answer to my needs: the Wingspan scarf. My new friend from Twitter, Carol-Alyce from Wales and my knitting buddy Chris from Vermont, were chatting about this pattern and Carol-Akyce shared a particularly beautiful one she made in a shaded black-charcoal-white Zauberball yarn trimmed in crimson.

It was so fun to explore on Ravelry and
see all the colors people had used to knit their Wingspans. My heart was smitten by Carol-Alyce’s though, and then I found Zauberball made a colorway of shades of chocolate yarn and ZING!

I treated myself to a small purchase from Simply Socks Yarn Co and it arrived my first day at home after my fab weeklong sleepover at D___’s – aka post surgery recuperation.


The Wingspan is very simple to knit, just garter stitch, and it is a truly beautiful and yet mindless pattern. I could knit this when cranky and uncomfortable from pain, on pain medication and half asleep. It’s perfect!!

After one day I had gotten this much done:


A close up of the fabric, the color changes in this yarn are gorgeous:


By last night I was done, with 7 1/2 pattern repeats. I found some scarlet Kauni 8/1 yarn in my stash and did a quick border to add a splash of brightness to the scarf, just like Carol-Alyce’s.

How I love this scarf, and so does my dear friend A___ whom I feared would never take it off when she helped bring my home from my post-operation doctor’s visit. It looked divine on her, and I’m hoping she will make one, or I will!

She took some pictures for me. Here is my new footwear for the next six weeks, and my pretty scarf:


And more…




I have already started a new Wingspan in Kauni 8/2 in EQ, the rainbow yarn, and it is so much fun to knit while watching goofy tv and movies while I’m stuck at home.


Knitting is such a relaxing activity for me, and yet it feels very odd to be knitting something that my darling Pogo hasn’t tried to lie upon or sniff out the yarn, I miss him so. It’s a good thing yarn is absorbent because I’m using it to sop up my tears that just flow and flow. The rainbow color shifts reminded me of the sweet poem about the Rainbow Bridge and so that’s what I’m calling it – Rainbow Bridge Wings, wings to help me heal my heart from missing my sweet Pogo.


I am just going to keep knitting simple projects like this one until I can finish the Clapotis and try not to think. The pretty colors are nice and distracting.

Here’s to another six weeks filled with knitting and physical therapy and more knitting.

Weather Waits For No One

no change from last time

My pretty Sky Scarf began on January 11th and I have kept up pretty well until mid-March when I reinjured my shoulder and when I finally saw someone about my ankle.

Apparently last year when I sprained my ankle (for about the 8th time) two days before my shoulder surgery I tore the cartilage inside and had an avulsion fracture. The bone has healed but the cartilage won’t unless I take *measures*.

Measures, meaning no walking, no exercising, wearing a big ole boot, contrast bathing nightly and possible surgery. I had a very painful cortisone shot that seems to have made things worse, and if it is not better in two weeks then it’s surgery time again.

I’m trying to stay very chirpy and positive during this time, therefore in that spirit I am happy to realize I may have lots of opportunities to knit in my future!

Up until now I haven’t felt like knitting mostly due to shoulder and to new injuries from using a cane and crutches. Time marches though and the weather waits for no one. I have dutifully been logging the weather every day for my scarf:

3/21 blue and grey
3/22 drizzle –
3/23 rain
3/24 rain
3/24 rain
3/25 stormy but dry
3/26 Blue sky & dark clouds
3/27 Grey and cloudy
3/28 rain
3/29 cloudy
3/30 torrential rain
4/1 cloudy
4/2 partial clouds
4/3 rain
4/4 clear
4/5 clear
4/6 cloudy
4/7 sun
4/8 sun
4/9 cloudy
4/10 rain
4/11 blue and rain
4/12 blue and rain
4/13 rain
4/14 sun
4/15 overcast

There is a lot of catching up to do!

Conceptually you would think of the changing weather reflected in the yarn would be interpreted as discrete stripes but I have been fascinated by the gradations in the fabric.

Our coastal patterns of fog followed by a few brilliant days of sun then a drastic awakening to moth-grey overcast and fog are predictable; the subtle arrival of our winter storm systems were not though. Perhaps it is a mechanism of awareness?

As I knitted this Sky Scarf I observed the fabric lengthening under my hands to display the breakup of blue skies to partial cloudiness, to light overcast skies, to multiple light and moody clouds then to sprinkles and showers, a subtle ombré of the sky bleaching out the blue and deepening into dramatic tones.

It is utterly fascinating and magical because we have no control over the weather, it just *is*, and most of the time city people don’t even register what looms above them in the sky, just a mental note. Do I need a warm jacket today, an umbrella, where are my sunglasses, or the inconvenience of it all when the weather changes and one does not have an umbrella.

I am more British than I care to admit and wouldn’t mind carrying a furled brolly over my arm on a daily basis. Perhaps the San Francisco brolly equivalent is a scarf, as my dear friend Anna never leaves the house without a scarf of some kind coiled around her throat.

Next year at this time I will be wearing this scarf cuddled around my neck and I hope to be reflecting on my hard earned perspective that my ankle should be pretty normal by then, and what a wacky couple of years it has been with me getting so very hurt over stupid accidents and how little it all matters right now. I will run my fingers over the seed stitch for the months showing March and April, over the beautiful shades of our rainy season, how the rain washed away my physical pain and where happy blue skies always pop up, suddenly, and then just as suddenly, fade to grey.

Sky Scarf Update and a Setback

It has been 60 days since I started my SF Foggy Sky Scarf for the Conceptual Knitting sky scarf project.

Our past few days of rain is rather attractive, don’t you think?


Everyone has been saying we haven’t had much rain this year but you can see by the bands of the grey mixed with black that I am using to depict rain that we actually have had a goodly bit of soggy weather and a lot of fog in a variety of shades.

This scarf is so soft and velvety, it is going to be a joy to wear next winter.

Today it has been a week since my accident on the bus where a woman fell on me, spraining my healing shoulder. This makes three times strangers have hurt this shoulder and I have had enough. I am lucky that she did no permanent damage, unlike the other times, and today I was able knit a few rows if I leaned in a certain way and didn’t move my right hand. It was rather a desperate attempt at achieving normalcy and I think I’m regretting it right now. Someday soon though I will be healed up enough to knit again.

Meantime I’m cuddling a gorgeous skein of yarn from Stitches West. Stitches West is an incredible compilation of yarn, designers, dyers, producers, spinners and stalls filled with knitting and crocheting accoutrement; if it’s about yarn they are there.

My pal E___ and I went and brought L___ along for her first visit and we had such a marvelous time. E___ and I came across this one particular stall resplendent with huge skeins of yarn bt Dyelot Yarn that were richly multi hued and incredibly fabulous.


You would not believe the squeals of delight coming from us. It was rather amusing to the people nearby to see us holding the yarn and crooning, “Ooooh, feel this! Ooooooooh…”


We decided to each get a skein of yarn from which we would knit large scarves. Each skein came with a choice of a pattern so we each chose a different one so that someday we could do a swap. The pattern I chose is an eyelet lace pattern knit lengthwise and the color way is Tres Santa Fe, how appropriate as I love SFe so much.

I discovered, much to my surprise, when I unrolled it the other day that it is enormous amalgam of six different yarns.


Aren’t these colors luscious? E____’s skein is in shades of grey, so stunning. I cannot wait to have my shoulder healed up enough so I can actually wind up into balls and then start knitting.

It’s going to take about a month before the sprain heals and another few days before the feeling in my hand returns. But in the meantime I can squish and play with this gorgeous skein and pretty soon it will be under my needles. It’s yarn therapy! And I am hoping for more rain.

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