A journey of 85,544 stitches…
What started as a small throw...

What started as a small throw…

Two years ago today, I cast on the first stitches of this afghan on a (most likely snowy) Sunday afternoon in my hotel while on assignment in Marinette. I started with a skein of beautiful Malabrigo in Tuareg – I had 2 skeins of this yarn and decided that I would begin & end with it. The color (a favorite hue) and name of the yarn seem like an appropriate anchor to this afghan because I was indeed a bit nomadic during this work assignment. Little did I know that an initial consulting project would turn into a job/career change and a relocation from the¬†Midwest¬†to the northeast. I’ve named this my “Wisconsin Wanderings” afghan because all of the yarn is from my time in Marinette (2009-2012). When I had the opportunity, I did a fair amount of “wandering” on the weekends – many times the wanderings included a yarn shop visit…a yarn shop visit included purchases…my stash was growing with lots of single skeins. Turning an eclectic assortment of skeins into an afghan for my new place seemed like a good way to celebrate the memories.

A few yarns from the journey…

Oh, the varied yarns! Most are worsted weight – some a bit thicker, some a bit thinner. There are yarns…

…from the local yarn shop in Menominee – What an interesting place. I’m sure there is a story about the owner, the shoppe name, her younger days; however, whenever I was in there it just didn’t seem like it was possible to ask. My first time in, I came across a skein of the Manos wildflowers yarn that was so popular as I first jumped into knit blogging – that is in the afghan. On other visits to the shoppe, I picked up quite an assortment of old skeins of yarn – including a truly “vintage” skein of Lorna’s Laces with a “pre Chicago” label.

…from Iris Fine Yarns in Appleton which was a stop just about every time I was in Appleton – Several Malabrigo skeins – including 2 skeins of Malabrigo Tuareg that I used to start & end the afghan; a fun 3 strand twist that included a strand of green and strand of gold (Go Pack Go!)

…from the Seivers School of Fiber Art on Washington Island, part of a delightful day trip in August 2010…2 handspun skeins from local students/fiber artists…

…from Red Sock Yarns in Door County, a stop during several delightful day trips…Yellows, greens and blues to remind me of the beauty of Door County; a skein called Tundra that calls to mind the dormant acres in wintertime

…from the local farmer’s market…on my first visit in May 2010 I picked up a kettle-dyed light purple that was a surprise to see among the produce & meats

…from “finally” meeting a long time blog friend (hi Vicki!) who lived nearby and is now dying gorgeous yarns (Make.Do) – we met at her farmer’s market stall in July 2012…the blues in the skein capture the bay & the skies that filled many a day and adventure

…from some of my “self” knitting projects during my time there – yarn from my 2010 Olympic sweater; yarn from a Coastal Shawlette; yarn from the first scarf I knit about a month after starting the project; yarn from an infinity scarf that has been a cool weather staple the last 2 years

Crafting a Memory Afghan...

Crafting a Memory Afghan…

Stitches were knit…in the hotel that was “home” for so long, in the suite that we have renamed “the Amy suite” because I stayed there so many times…on a Sunday morning along the waterfront in Menominee during the final busy month before the project went live…in the office at 2AM while managing cutover activities one weekend…on weekends at home in Chicago…at home in the ‘Ville over Christmas ’12 break – back when the project was still fairly small & transportable…at my new home here in Pennsylvania…many a Packers game included knitting (although it still was possible to mess up the simple 2 row pattern during some game moments)…2012 was knit into 2013 and 2013 was knit into 2014 on New Year’s Eves…

Ready for use...

Ready for use…

The afghan came off the needles in early January and has been put to immediate use with the cold winter that we have had so far.And now, the afghan is on my sofa – ready to be grabbed and used to warm up. With the cold winter that we’ve had here, it has already been put to good use. It looks like a good napping blanket – I might need to start taking naps.

Marinette memories captured…in photos and in yarn…

These 85,544 stitches are a tactile scrapbook…looking at the stitches and the yarns, I’m taken back to moments in time: good work days, tough work days, “normal” work days, new opportunities, silly moments, early Monday morning drives north to start the work week, new and endearing friendships, daytrips and exploration, so many shore moments – early morning breakfasts in my car watching the sunrise over the water & evening walks to the lighthouse and back to de-stress from the day, many a moment along the shore, big milestones, weekend afternoons at the local cafe with a coffee and a book or knitting, small daily routines, Sunday suppers with friends – so many things that filled my days there.

Beyond photos and scrapbooks, what are “unique” ways that you have captured memories from special times in your life?