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Category: Comfort Knits (page 2 of 3)

Community in Action

On Saturday while out and about running errands just about every intersection was an example of community in action. It was the annual Misericordia/Jelly Belly Candy Days drive – where many volunteers were out collecting donations to support a local community that supports those with special needs. As I drove around the city and up in the northern suburbs, car after car after car after car had a red “I Helped” tag on the mirror or dashboard.

Misericodia Jelly Belly Days

Our book club book this month focused on community as well – Better Off by Eric Brende was his memoir of the 18 months he & his wife spent living within an Anabaptist community. While his focus was giving up technology, the community was an integral part of being able to live with less. This week there was a crash on the Indiana tollway killed several people – including a couple of members of the Amish community. One of the articles I read about the crash showed community in action – as soon as word spread through the community a neighbor arrived to help milk cows, women showed up with food and everyone gathered around a grieving family.

The blog world, especially the knitblog world, is a community of sorts – with many virtual connections. Since starting to blog I have enjoyed participating in a community that comforts by knitting squares for assorted blanket projects. When I saw the Yarn Harlot earlier this month, in addition to her humorous stories I was touched by the details about how Knitters Without Borders has raised over $320,000 in some extremely short timeframes.

In the wake of the tragedy at Virginia Tech, Mosaic Yarn in Blacksburg has launch Hokie Healing with the goal of providing knit blankets to the families of the victims and those injured. Through May they are collecting 8″ x 8″ squares in the Hokie colors – orange and maroon. Phyl has a great post offering suggestions for colors and themes. Over 2000 squares are needed to make these blankets come together. (Thanks Robin for posting about this earlier & making me aware of the need!)

Hokie Healing

One of my errands on Saturday was a trip to The Village Knit Whiz to pick up some Hokie color yarns – I came home with 2 beautiful skeins of Araucania Yarns Nature Wool Chunky (colors 104 & 108) yarn and plan to keep knitting squares until the yarn runs out. I don’t know anyone at Virgina Tech; however, when I was in college I was a part of a solar race car team. In June 1994 we were in Indianapolis for a prep/information weekend & I remember the VT team there showing their Hokie pride when it was time to introduce their car name and number. In the spirit of “We are all Hokies” my weekend knitting has been orange & maroon – so far a “Grandma’s Favorite” square & a “Bejeweled” square.

Hokie Knits

How have you seen community in action recently?

Signs of Spring & Serendipity

With all of the news stories this past week about the Daylight Savings time change this weekend there were several comments about to the effect of “You can’t say ‘spring ahead’ anymore because spring isn’t here yet; now it’s ‘march forward’ and ‘fall behind’ still rings true.”

Well, the weather didn’t get the memo that it isn’t spring yet – it was a super sunny weekend where you start to think that maybe spring will come. In addition to the sun shining – there was also sun warmth – it was nice to be out & about without all of the winter layers.

I often say that I think that the first Monday afternoon after the fall time change is the worst – coming out of the office at a “normal” time & seeing how dark it is. The flip is definitely true as well – how nice to walk out of the client office at 6:45 this evening & actually need to put on my sunglasses.

In the midst of my recent sock knitting I also finished up a few squares for the Blanket of Hope for Sonya & Kevin. It is fun to see all the shapes & sizes of blocks that are being sent for this blanket.

Hope Blocks

In addition to the bright sunshine another sign of spring this weekend was the continued progress on the rebuilding of the dove nest above my back door. Hopefully it won’t be too long until Dora the dove is back on a nest.

Sock #3

Saturday was filled with errands and my current sock was with me through it all – I got a fair amount of knitting done while at the salon and also while in the super long line at the car wash. I stopped into Arcadia Knitting to pick up some Addi turbo pairs in different (smaller) sizes for some of the sock yarn in my stash and a beautiful skein of Colinette Jitterbug in the Toscana colorway jumped in the bag as well. (Reading the description of the colorway – a perfect selection to celebrate a first glimpse of spring.)

Sock Blooms

While catching up with my stylist at the salon I learned that my former stylist was now working at the new Whole Foods that opened fairly close to my house. So the last errand of the day was checking out the new store (wonderful!) and catching up with Brad by the Artisan cheeses. Brad is a knitter as well so we always talk knitting – I showed him the sock in my bag & he pulled his backpack from a locker to show me the sock he was working on. In addition to the serendipity of seeing Brad and picking up a few goodies I also picked up a beautiful African violet in a cheery bright pink bloom.

Sunday I finally wore my ‘Bejeweled Blue Hosta‘ scarf – I have joked that Wisconsin has been too cold this winter to wear this scarf because it is such an open knit. This scarf was just the right weight for wearing with a twill blazer & not needing another jacket. While catching up with friends over coffee and bagels after church Jen commented that it was great to see the scarf ‘in action’ after seeing it on the blog.

Now that sock #3 is complete I have started on it’s match. I’m looking forward to a mini-vacation this weekend & the sock will be “just the thing” to have as my plane project to/from Dallas.

What signs of spring and serendipity are you seeing these days?

Cover Your Head

With all of the bitter cold weather recently, I am taking the adage of “cover your head” to heart whenever I’m outside and so my Chattanooga cap is getting a lot of wear (and holding up great). So I thought it would be fun to make Calorimetry for something different. As I saw others blog about it there were warnings of knitting off gauge & it being too big. I thought I’d just “go for it” because I have a hard time finding hats for this big head. So last Sunday I knit the whole thing & when it was off the needles it was obvious that it would be way too big for even me to wear. So I promptly pulled it apart & wound the yarn back into a ball. For this, the second time is the charm. What a fun head warmer! I finished this up on Friday evening & it kept my head warm through all of the errands and outings on Saturday.

Calorimetry

The Details:
Calorimetry in Pearl Malabrigo. Size 8 needles (super long ones from my Grandma’s stash). The button is a glittery silver star that I had picked up over the summer & added to the stash for baby bibs. It’s a bit of fun on the grey knit. My pattern modifications: cast on 104 stitches, I did row 5 14 times (instead of 16 in the pattern). This was my first short row project – I still need to work on the skill but it’s nice to have a new skill in the knit kit.

This is my second Malabrigo knit & I think this yarn is rapidly becoming a favorite. The color is great – of course a gray day is not optimal for capturing it’s true color. Upon first glance it is gray and white but there is a purple hue to it as well.

Crochet Scarf

On Saturday I crocheted a few flowers to add to my scarf. I enjoyed this crochet class – it was fun to learn a new skill, one that I’ve wanted to learn for quite a while. Now when I see a knit project that involves a bit of crochet finishing I won’t shy away from it because “I don’t now how to do that.” I don’t have grand plans for crochet projects now; however, I plan to do a bit of crochet in each Project Spectrum 2.0 color in the coming months.

This past week I was wondering what my next project would be. I now know what it will be – a “crazy square” (or 2) for A Blanket of Hope.
Blanket of Hope
Sonya‘s husband has been recently diagnosed with lymphoma. As they are just starting to learn the details and treatment options, Rebekah is pulling together a Blanket of Hope to provide comfort and warmth. If you have some spare yarn (I’m pretty sure that’s a rhetorical question) & a bit of spare time you can knit whatever size wool or woolblend square/rectangle/triangle to be included in this crazy quilt.

A couple of other things that have been rattling around my head…

Another “helping others” event in blogland that I want to highlight is Debby’s husband who is participating in a 3 day bike ride for the Chron’s and Colitis Foundation. Debby’s announcement about the ride is great – the spokescat Charlie is too much.

Speaking of Project Spectrum 2.0 – Have you seen this?
Color in Motion
Check out this color education. Learn a bit more about the colors we see in our everyday world.

P.S. For those of you who have tagged me for the “6 Weird Things” – here is my “5 Quirky” posting from last year.

Weaving In the Ends

Just like every knit project has the “final ends” that need to be woven in before the project is complete – this post is a bit of the knit bits that I’ve been meaning to mention & wanted to post about before the holidays get in full swing.

Bejeweled KAL

After you are finished with your holiday knitting, how about starting off 2007 with a little bit of lace? Lolly is hosting a Bejeweled KAL for Shobhana’s lovely little scarf pattern. Go purchase the pattern by the end of the year & she will donate her profits towards the shipping costs associated with the Dulaan knitting project.

I have several yarns in the stash that would look lovely with this pattern & I will be casting on for the scarf after the holidays.

ISEVictoria in Canada knit me a lovely scarf for the International Scarf Exchange. This is a lovely, dense scarf knit in one of my favorite color combinations – chocolate & turquoise. Thanks Victoria for a great scarf that will be used in the winter months ahead.

ChicKnits PatternsBonnie Marie is launching a hard copy version of her lovely knit patterns. On Dec. 10th, Arcadia Knitting hosted a trunk show to celebrate the launch. Most of her knits were on display and she also led a seminar on how to get the right measurements. While I’m not yet ready to tackle one of her beautiful sweater patterns, I did pick up the felted bucket hat pattern and a black tweed yarn to knit it up in the new year.


Comforting Jenn – A belated picture of the square I knit for Cathy’s Comforting Jenn blanket. A dusty sage & dusty mauve superwash held together & knit into a “Grandma’s favorite” square.

One Skein – I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I was working on some felted bowls from the One Skein book. The first batch were knit with Lamb’s Pride Bulky or 2 strands of Cascade 220 on size 15 needles. I think they need felted a bit more.

The second batch were knit with the wonderful private label yarn from Sit’n Knit over in New Buffalo. These were knit on size 10.5 needles. I love how they turned out & will definitely be making more of them with this yarn.

It was fun to look around the house to find assorted bowls to shape these against – I have some ideas for the next batch.

A Last Minute Knit – Because I didn’t have enough to do to get ready for the holidays…I’ve decided on a last minute knit gift. Thankfully it’s a fast knit and I’m loving it! I’ll reveal more after it has been gifted.

‘Tis the Season – Finally – a bit of holiday fun. If you haven’t done so already, go check out Purl’s Radio WKNP – the 12 days of Knit-Mas – yarn inspired versions of your favorite holiday songs.

Dateline Chattanooga

Coming to you courtesy of the wireless connection here at the hotel…

The weekend was a hubub of activity in preparation for being on the road. This week I’m in Chattanooga, I’ll be back in Chicago for one day, then off to Kansas City for the weekend for a wedding, then back down South for 2 weeks. whew! I’m tired just thinking about it.

First thing Saturday morning I went out to the backyard & cut all my remaining tulips so that I could enjoy them inside for the weekend. All of these blooms were closed when I picked them – it was fun to see them open throughout the weekend. Â

My quarterly crop club was already scheduled to meet at my house on Saturday morning so we had a fun time working on our albums.

While running errands on Saturday I picked up several crafty items that will be used in the coming weeks. First up, Mason-Dixon Knitting and some Sugar’n Cream cotton to make the Ballband Dishcloth(s). While at Homegoods (you never know what you’ll find) I happened upon Alterknits at a great price as well as a Stitch-It Kit from Sublime Stitching that was also at a nice price. On the reading front I picked up Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter and had to make sure I wasn’t laughing out loud while reading on the puddle jumper flight last night – most likely I’ll be finished with the book before the turning out the lights tonight.

Even though I’m only down here for 3 evenings (really only 2 because it was 11 by the time I checked in last night) I have a couple of small projects in the suitcase. One quick project is a green square for the Papa’s Quilt project being coordinated by Jamie. If you have a moment, go check out this latest “knitters in action” opportunity.

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