Amy Artisan

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Category: Knit (page 2 of 25)

Batter Up!

Another sure sign of spring – the return of baseball! I remember first getting into baseball when we moved to the Kansas City area as I started 6th grade. We arrived there in time to get caught up in the Royals frenzy of the “I-70 Show Me State World Series.” Less than a year later, we became friends with a young player on the Royals team & his wife when they started attending our church – from then on, baseball was a more engaging sport. Even when Mike was traded away & then we moved away from Kansas City, we always enjoyed going to games when his team was playing our local team.

Living in Georgia in the 90s, Braves fever was hot – although I never really became a fan. Most Braves games I saw were “chosen” because our friend Mike and team were in town. While interning in Houston, I was able to see several games at the old Houston AstroDome when Mike’s team was in town – what an odd sensation for your feet to be cold while watching the game on an extremely hot day because of the AC in there. When I moved to Chicago, I became a bit of a Cubs fan – because that’s what you do when you are in your mid 20s and live on the north side of Chicago. Games at Wrigley Field are quite an experience – no matter the outcome of the game.
In the last couple of years, as I was essentially living in Marinette, I became a Brewers fan and have enjoyed a couple of games at Miller Park with my WI family. It has been fun to see the kids run the bases after a game and of course the sausage races are a fun in game entertainment. Last summer, heavy rains moved into the area during the game but the roof was quietly & quickly closed before rain drops descended (now, getting from the stadium to the van in the parking lot was different, soggy story).
Fun times at Miller Park

Fun times at Miller Park

So, why am I rambling about baseball on the blog today? Because this year I’m charting the Milwaukee Brewers season in a scarf – the exact color sequence will be determined by their record: Home Win = Blue; Home Loss = White; Away Win = Yellow; Away Loss = Gray. I stumbled across Stacie’s Crackerjack concept just before opening day so I thought it would be fun to do. Of course, I’m hoping this scarf will be predominately blue & yellow. But, after selecting my colors and sequence I realized that the loss colors are in line with the Brewers adorable new mascot, Hank. No matter the outcome, it will be fun to see how the stripes evolve.
Current progress...

Current progress…

I have my spreadsheet setup to record the wins & losses. And I even formatted it to color code corresponding to my yarn choices. Because, yes, I’m a geek like that.  I’m not going to stress about knitting each game result on a daily basis – my goal will be to never be more than a week behind the schedule. And of course, I hope that my scarf ends up even longer than currently planned because of post season play. (Ravelry Project Details)
Keeping track of their record...er, the knit evolution...

Keeping track of their record…er, the knit evolution…

Later this summer I’ll be seeing my 3rd Brewers game at Miller Park – I’m thinking that I might need to add a metallic thread to the rows that chart that game.

What are your baseball memories? Who do you root for? What sport and craft connections do you have?

Wisconsin Wanderings

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?

Wandering Knit in Progress…

Wow! Actual knitting content!
WI Wanderings Afghan in Progress

WI Wanderings Afghan in Progress

During my time in Wisconsin, I had many opportunities for day trips and other wanderings. Where possible, I would find a local yarn shop & pick up some sort of yarn souvenir. After a while, I had quite an assortment of skeins & I was wondering what to do with them. I decided to make a “crazy afghan” of all the skeins to be an afghan for my new PA home. After looking for pattern inspirations, one thing was clear: I needed a simple pattern that would be easy to pick up & put down as needed because knitting has been so haphazard. On March 4. 2012 I cast on 296 stitches while sitting in my hotel room and began the afghan. I am using a 2 row repeat and the 2nd row is just purling. Since then, I have knit and knit and knit and moved cross country and knit during the football season and put it away during warmer weather and brought it back out again for football knitting. I’m nearing completion on the afghan – hopefully by the end of football season, the afghan will be off the needles & on the back of the sofa. Once it is finished, I’ll share more details about the yarns and adventures that comprise this memory knit.

A Darling Knit

I’ve frequently said that I enjoy knitting for family & friends. Recently, I’ve been reminded why there is joy in the process. A couple of weeks ago, I received a picture via text from Texas that reinforced why it is so special to knit for loved ones. Miss Butterfly, who is now 9 1/2 years old (!) had picked out a M’Amy hand-knit to wear to school that day – because it was cool & stylish. The handknit, the “Oh My Darling” poncho that I had knit for her almost 4 1/2 years ago.

Darling Butterfly It is fun to look at the “now & then” pictures and see how Miss Butterfly has grown up. I’m thinking that this year’s knit list needs to include new wearables for the dear kiddos in my life.

Northern Stitches…

When I first started blogging, knitting was a ‘hot topic’ that occupied many of my posts. In recent years, while my knitting skills (& stash) have greatly increased I don’t think I have been knitting quite as much. In 2011, I knit a few things – although most of them have yet to be documented. In the absence of digging into those projects right now, here are a few recent stitches from up north.

For Christmas 2011, I only had one gift knit – an afghan. This was made for dear friends up north that truly are like family. Many a fun hour has been spent with this family – lot of time just hanging out. So, a cozy afghan for the living room. (project details here)

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(this quick pic was taken in my hotel suite – hence the clashing with the chair)

I’m ready to start some new knit projects; however, in the interim I have been cranking out my ‘old standby’ dishcloths. A tableau from last Sunday…working on a dishcloth while teaching a young friend to knit (a hot pink scarf)…as we caught up on life & enjoyed frosted mint mochas at a local cafe…a perfect way to spend a winter afternoon…

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