Friday, October 1, 2010

Out with the old. In with the new

Greetings everyone,

I would like to invite you to join me at a new location.

I've been hesitating to make this announcement until all of the glitches have been ironed out on the new sight...but, unfortunately this is going to take longer than I realized. Life is a process and so is blogging it seems. It's going to take me a while until I feel entirely comfortable in my new environment but knowing you're there and reading will help. So, please come on over to knitting in a tree.

"See" you there!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Socked In

Although the sun is trying to creep in just now, we've been socked in for a couple days. No, I don't mean the cozy knitted kind of socks, but the kind of socked in that keeps you from seeing far into the future. It can be concerning on a bike and probably in a car, but I don't drive a car these days so I wouldn't know... In general the weather has been making me step back and reflect a bit.

I've been thinking a lot about this blog and what I'm doing. Eventually I'm going to be merging it into wordpress, so hang tight while I figure out all the glitches. But, technology aside, I've also been thinking about the purpose of this blog. Today, I thought I would share a little bit more behind the scenes of knitting in a tree.

I don't believe I've mentioned that I'm currently working on getting my masters in public health and there is a reason why I haven't. Yes, it's mainly for privacy purposes but it's also because I need to keep these two threads--The MPH student and the aspiring Master knitter--separate for a while. Of course, I'm always juggling both in my mind and knitting helps me process what I'm learning as an MPH student but on here I need to focus on the part of life that is keeping me whole for now and that seems to be knitting and carving out a life with S where we both are at home and find joy.

When I finally decided to study public health I broke down in tears. Why? For several reasons, first I'm kind of a sap, second, I knew it's what I had to do and third, because I knew that it would force me to engage with parts of myself and parts of humanity that I've been avoiding for a long time. So, what does this all mean? Ultimately, I'm so glad and grateful to be studying public health. I love learning and being part of a field that is progressively expanding ideas of health. But, when it comes down to it, everyday in my studies I'm learning that our hope for a better future coincides with stories that are too depressing to share on here. It's not that they can't be shared, it's just that often times I'm not sure where to put them or what words to give them, so instead I pick up my needles and start knitting.

This week S and I went to hear Terry Tempest Williams speak. She once had a large presence in my life when I was in college. It was good to have the opportunity to hear her speak in person, and also interesting to recognize what has changed in me since college. Her words didn't leave as strong of a hold as they did at 20. However, she still shared some nuggets of inspiration.

"Beauty is not optional. It is a strategy for survival. When we can work together as a whole community to make something beautiful...this is how healing can occur."

For now, what I'm doing feels right, even though it might not be a full reflection of who I am and what we're going through. For now, this is all I can give. Like Rumi says, "let the beauty you love be what you do." Create and share your beauty with your community in the hope that healing can occur.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Have you supported your LYS, lately?

Okay, Charlottesville isn't really local for me. But, I just was going through some old photos and found a few from my lovely visit to The Needle Lady. What a dear place.

If you remember I spent some time visiting these two yahoos in Charlottesville last month. It was a fun time and so hot I didn't know what to do with myself.

Anyway, S and I have also been spending a bit of time at the Quilt Tree, our LYS. (S is working on a birthday gift for me! Sigh.) Our time at the Quilt Tree reminded me that back in the Spring I went on a little rant about my love hate relationships with knitting stores. Well, I'm happy to announce that I approve of the Quilt Tree. Sure, there is room for improvement and it isn't the needle lady, but this weekend I gave it the thumbs up! And, to seal the deal, I spent one dollar and got the punch card.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Out with the old, in with the new: a six items update

Last month, I enthusiastically said that I was going to keep this six items or less thing going... I am and I will and I want to, but I'm not as enthusiastic about it as I thought I was. And, while at one point I said I was going to do this for a year, I think I need to step back and take it month by month.

First, a quick recap on my August items, then a reveal of what I'm wearing in September.

Here goes... One of my August six started coming loose along the seams and I had to do a quick fix. It's not easy when the one item I found myself wearing the most was out of commission for a few days. It also made me think about the production and lifetime of a garment. This was a soft and comfortable item but it was cheap. Perhaps there is more to the overall construction of clothing then just the cut and fit? I'll need to keep this mind when I start buying clothes again. On the positive, this experiment was so efficient for traveling and in my everyday life. I found that I really do have more time in my day and when it comes to outfits I think more about accessories which I haven't spent much time doing. I am enjoying that part of the adventure. One thing I should mention. I'm really lucky right now because my lifestyle is such that I don't have to be at a eight to five job everyday. So, I don't have to worry about people wondering if I ever wash my clothes, etc. I wonder how this experiment would play out if my current lifestyle had obligations that required me to be out and about in the professional world.

It's time to share what I'm wearing. For many reasons September is my favorite month. So let's hope I did not disappoint her. My first two items may look familiar.


We are having a gray day in Anchorage. I don't know much about adjusting the light for photos. But, I've recently been playing around with it and gave it a try on my last four items much to my amusement.


And a little closer.


And, again.


One more time.


A little bit further

And, a little bit farther, now.

And, that's a wrap.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Quite Contrary Cowl

If I can keep my wits about me, I'm going to try a once a month post about knitting I've done for friends. We'll see if I can keep up. But, for now and without further ado, let me introduce The Quite Contrary Cowl made for my mensch of a pal Mary.

Mary, drew up the design that she wanted and I knitted it into reality while I was visiting her last month. I'm planning to share the pattern at some point this month. In the meantime, take a look below and let me know what think.

The pictures of course don't do it justice because the best part about this cowl is how soft it is. Of course that's because it's made with one skein of Malabrigo Twist (100% Pure Baby Merino Wool) color swatch 411 Green Gray. And, one skein of Symphony, Custom Dyed Yarns by Prism (80% Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon) color swatch 742 Mojave. What a dream to work with, I didn't want it to end.

As you can see, it's quite versatile just like my friend Mary.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

DIY week recap

Whoops! I feel like I didn't provide a nicely fitted bookend or commencement to DIY week. Immediately the following day my fall semester began; now I'm up to my elbows in books that have horrible titles like The Program Evaluation Standards: a Guide for Evaluators and Evaluation Users, Utilization-focused Evaluation, and Process Evaluation for Public Health Interventions and Research. Aah!

Well, speaking of interventions and evaluations, I thought I would stop in here for a bit of sanity and a little evaluation of sorts.

How did your craft week end up?

I have two finished objects to share from DIY week.

First, I was really feeling a bit cheap because I never lined my blue suede skirt. (If you're wondering--what blue suede skirt. Please see here).

Materials used: An old, cotton, button down, cast off from S's closest. It feels nice and soft on the toosh. I hope it will end up being a good long-term choice.

Second, I picked up a sweater at a thrift store in Northern MN last summer thinking I could frog it for the yarn. Turns out it was produced row by row with separate strands of yarn--not really worth the time. Unfortunately I didn't take a before picture. The basic structure of the sweater looked something like this number.

Except, of course, it is orange, has long sleeves, and lace edging. The lower front of the sweater had a pattern that looked something like this.

Overall, the sweater was too long for me, the bust line was, um, too high and I wasn't interested in the lace pattern covering my stomach and then some. Anyway, it was on it's way out the door until DIY week inspired me to take another look. I thought about it for a while and realized. Aha! I can unravel the front bottom half of this sweater, take off several inches in the back and convert it into a cardigan. And, wallah!

The lace edging on the lower half of the sweater was originally attached along the hemline. As a final touch I sewed this edging on to keep with the pattern structure on top. If you notice there is a different texture on the bottom portion of the sweater because the yarn is recycled and I broke a knitting rule. Yikes, I tied the yarn strands together in knots. Yep, I know, send me to the dog house now. Frankly, I like the subtle differences in texture.

With leftover yarn to spare, I made an I-cord and branded my sweater with a wooden button from Charlottesville. It's nice to have the option to wear it open or closed.

The basic construction of the sweater was already done. With my simple conversion this turned into a perfect project for DIY week. The question remains, is it worthy of posting on ravelry since I didn't make all of it? What do you think?

ps Please note: I'm still wearing my six items underneath. Today is the last day. I'm excited to wear different clothes tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I don't think I mentioned that I recently spent some time in Charlottesville, Virginia visiting QuiteContrary. It was a fun week and I have a few things to share. But, I think my sharing will have to be in bits and pieces.

Charlottesville is loaded with quaint little shops. So, we did some browsing and some purchasing. I don't have much of a button collection, but I'm thinking of starting one. And, I came home with a good start of a collection. Here's what I found at a little vintage store.

While we're talking buttons. I thought I might also share some buttons that I crocheted over. I finished my mustard cardi a while ago. Someday soon I'll have the big reveal. We just need to do a little photo shoot. It's the first sweater pattern I've ever designed! Anyway, I thought that it would be nice to have the buttons in the same color as the yarn.

It goes with the style of the sweater I tell you, just you wait and see...

Monday, August 23, 2010

In the News...

I thought I should share that on Friday I submitted this photo to the aksuperstation to be shown on the ten o'clock news. Aksuperstation is one of our local news sources broadcasting on ABC. Everyday Steve the weatherman posts one photo that someone has submitted and on Friday they chose mine!

This was kind of exciting for me because a) I've never done anything like that before and b) after I took these ladies photos I was feeling bad that I hadn't asked for their contact info to send them a copy of the photo. So, here's hoping one of them or someone who knows them saw their photo on the ten o'clock news. I should also note that S is the one who encouraged me to submit the photo, I never would have thought to do so if not for him.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Research and Reading

Yesterday was a bit of research and supply gathering day. On quilting day I realized that I didn't have the right background fabric for my quilt. So, S and I spent most of yesterday wandering around the Anchorage trail system and making our way to the quilt store. When we got there, much to our surprise a fantastic sale was going on and the store was loaded with folks gathering fabric. While I picked out a basic bone colored fabric, (I use the descriptive word bone because that was really the name of the fabric) S picked out some yarn for a project.

S says he is going to make me something! This makes me very happy. The rest of my afternoon was spent in the knitting & crocheting section of Barnes and Noble.

Today, I'm going to switch gears a bit. It feels like a reading day to me. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is calling to me and I can't ignore her anymore.

Friday, August 20, 2010


My sister came to visit us the first week of August. It was such a treat to have her here with us. One of our many activities while she was here included making earrings. Neither of us had really made earrings before and, while they aren't perfect, I'm happy with how mine turned out.

My sister made some great earrings too. I wish I had taken pictures of hers to share. Today, I decided to try making another pair of earrings. Here is how they turned out.

I rather like these stones because they were one of the few items that my Dad gave to me. He was a collector of many things and a frequenter of antique and thrift stores. Sometimes he would come home with jewelry for my mom, sister or myself. These agates are from a necklace he gave me when I was probably in seventh grade. I never really wore the necklace but I've always loved the stones. I'm glad that I finally figured out a way to wear them.

Tonight in the kitchen, S has dough going for homemade pizza. Our standard Friday night meal. And, there's a growler cooling off in the fridge. It's going to be a lovely evening. Happy Friday night everyone.