connecting

i continue to be surprised

in this day and age that holds such a plethora of ways

to connect.

by all the different ways getting to know people

happens.

i ‘met’ margaret

of little gidding farm suris via instagram.

she was posting pics of such vibrant yarn!

i commented and we started a little conversation…

that pretty quickly led to

gorgeous yarn in the mail headed my way.

this stuff is so soft and yet manages to have excellent stitch definition.

i started knitting with it and hardly put it down

until two new hat patterns were born.

szlak & szlakow, in ‘suri delight’

szlak and szlakow collagespeaking of ‘born’,

check out ‘lgfsuris’ on instagram to see the farm

and to ooh & aah over the adorable little baby suris.

i’m talking about seriously adorable here.

‘talking’ taken from 29:9 of genesis.

photo of ‘szlakow’ by blueeyedcrafty photography.

leslie of blueeyedcrafty photography wears ‘szlak’ above. 

ducks in a row

i like working

with double pointed needles.

i’m not a fan of magic loop, so i want to grab dpns quite often,

but mine are always in a bit of a jumble.

my dpns, on a typical day, look like this:IMG_4738sqit’s so frustrating to have the sizes worn off.

even though i used elastics to keep the sets together,

i’m still wasting time hunting for

what looks about right

sizewise,

and having to use the needle gauge to check.

so much ugh.

but, then i found dpn needle rolls by dellaq.

i’m not a girly girl,

and i’d seen other fabric needle holders before, i just didn’t like them.

too flowery, too cutesy, too much for me.

so when i saw this, i knew this was the one for me.IMG_4715sqcool pinstripes, dark buttons

and a stretchy elastic cord that adjusts to be

just the right size no matter

how many or how few dpns i load it up with? very, very cool.

when i did load it up, suddenly my dpn mess made some sense.IMG_4749sqwell, sort of.

except that i seem to have just one lone size 9?

and my five 7’s are different sizes?

no idea why.

still,

remember that first pic of my barely controlled dpn box?

(scroll back up if you want a refresher)

because now it looks like this:IMG_4769sqand looking like that, while all the while being fully functional

and ready to travel at a moment’s notice

is pure gold.

bring on the next project that

requires double pointed needles. i’m raring to go!

‘look’ taken from 35:5 of job.

woodlands scarf

it is always so interesting to me

to see where an idea started and how it ends up.

today, swan’s island company released their fall 2016 collection.

my ‘woodlands scarf’ is one of the pieces.

if you like the ‘behind the scenes’

part of stories, here

it comes.

i thought that swan’s island was looking for patterns for their bulky weight yarn.

i was wrong, but that’s what i thought at the time.

i love chunky yarns and that attracted me.

so, i sussed out a new cable swatch and sent it along to be considered.IMG_2115sq

and they wanted it in the collection,

but in worsted weight yarn.IMG_1474sq

submitting designs is funny like that.

i once had a super bulky weight design accepted,

but was asked to rewrite the idea for a dk yarn

and you know what? i couldn’t picture it, but it looked great.

creative directors have visions for things that

i can mostly not even begin to imagine.

i just love the woodlands scarf stitches all done up in worsted.IMG_2116sq

in natural colors merino worsted,

both the yarn and the stitches shine, but

i never would have thought to try it without a little

push in that direction.

the photo above is the center back of the scarf.

you knit from both ends and wind up in the middle

where you graft the two end lengths together

so that the cool cable happening occurs right in the very center of it.IMG_2114 up2as a perk for designing it, i get enough yarn

in the yarn and colorway of my choice,

to knit one to keep.

i chose the same yarn the original is in, because it was so nice.

now, how well do you know me? can you guess which of these

gorgeous colorways i chose for my own?

and which one would you choose?

‘keep’ taken from 18:28 of the psalms.

coping and then some

we each have our own ways of coping.

when things (be they family or world news or health) get dicey,

i tend to peel back the layers

in an effort to

simplify

down to the core of what matters to me

so i can focus on the meat of what’s important

and not get pulled off track by the chaos (whatever form it takes).

this week, in the light of more shootings,

i prayed a lot.

i also stripped the cork board in my little workroom down to nothing and started again.

there is something so freeing to me about having less to focus on.IMG_5404+it doesn’t fix anything and it doesn’t lessen the pain,

but it does ease the clutter of thoughts in my head a bit

leaving me room to process

and to think.

then i took my 6 yr old

to his friend’s kidz planet birthday party.

maybe i was looking for something to make sense,

because world events often don’t.

sometimes in the stripped down reality of children

things seem clearer to me.

so, i’m taking photos of the kids playing.

they’re helping each other climb

up the fake rock walls.

they’re taking turns jumping into the pit of foam cubes.

they’re sliding down big blowup slides, laughing all the way.

occasionally they run into each other or yell or cut in line.

tempers flare, but it blows over quickly,

like a passing rain shower that leaves the air smelling better than before.

and the thought keeps coming to my mind,

too bad we can’t get the grown-ups of the world togetherIMG_5427sqc(both the people making decisions and the people things are being decided for)

in their stocking feet (because it’s so much harder

to feel tough or self-important that way),

to just play for awhile.

i like to believe, that without posturing or over thinking,

they’d begin to help each other out

and even laugh together at their own mistakes.

that the inevitable squabbles

might have a chance of blowing over like passing rain showers

clearing the air to create some space for change.

we sure could use some change

around here.

‘showers’ from 10:1 of zechariah.

appearances

the fourth of july is supposed to be about freedom

and gratefulness for those who have served.

i feel those things,

but at our house it’s also always

about something quite different.

i’m gonna copy what i put up on fb and ig

a little while ago and

paste it right

here.

because the big patriotic stuff has its place,

but how we look at each other each day

and how we choose to treat each other based

on what we see, needs a place, too…

today

i am practicing

my “it’s just gonna be big bangs for a little while

and we’ll be right here the whole time – you so got this” face.IMG_4969sqbw

one of my kids has ‪#‎spd‬ (sensory processing disorder).

they’re hyper sensitive to smells

and certain textures on the skin (socks are always hit or miss),

and lights, and loud noises.

this holiday is always traumatic.

we can stay away from firework displays

(we record and watch them later on tv

so we can take breaks as needed and control the volume),

but there’s no escape from random neighbors who light stuff off

and you can still hear

the display of the town next door

even with the windows shut down tight.

so we turn on fans for white noise and play favorite music

and put them to bed early praying that they fall asleep before the noise begins.

it’s exhausting to try to protect

a special kid (who looks like any other kid)

from ‘normal stuff’ that will turn them into a shaking heap of tears

who clings to you because they feel neurological pain

from what others are enjoying. truly heartbreaking to watch.

please remember the next time

you see a kid acting erratically in a ‘normal’ situation

or a parent who looks

a bit haggard and hyper vigilant,

that there is always so much more going on

than shows on any ones face.

so much more.

‘neighbor’ taken from 5:14 of galatians.

photo taken by leslie buckley of blueeyedcrafty photography.

‘the voyages of vivian’ is live

for those of you

who have been following along on the blog,

‘the voyages of vivian’ is finished. there’s an on-line preview here.

if you weren’t following along, you still can.

type ‘mrs crosby’ into the search bar and the wip posts will come up.

tvov collage

knit eco chic posted the very first review, which is also an interview, yesterday.

i just love her and her point of view on stuff, don’t you?

after nearly a year of sharing bits of how the book all came together,

i’m not sure what else you might like to know.

but, if you ask me questions below

in the comments,

i will happily answer (almost) anything. deal?

‘voyage’ taken from 21: 7 of acts.

‘mondays with mrs. crosby’ was an ongoing series of posts

(to be posted on mondays, of course),

detailing the making of the book, ‘the voyages of vivian’,

a collaboration between

mrs. crosby yarns

and me.

laziness is the mother of invention?

i do not often take long trips from home.

there is just too much good stuff keeping me here,

but i have just returned from 5 days in d.c. for tnna summer conference.

it was hot. it was fun. it was exciting and funny and inspiring

…and today the exhaustion has hit.

i got partway unpacked,

(not halfway, but making progress)

and decided to take a break. ‘after a break i’ll be recharged,’

i tell myself, ‘and being recharged will make the unpacking go faster’.IMG_4311c

so i picked up the dreamy ‘rhinestone cowboy’ colorway

that i had started in on before the trip.

this is swanky dk from magpie fibers and … ooh la la!

with the ribbing finished, i was ready to dive into

the wild oats stitch pattern i’d planned on

(from wendy bernard‘s ‘up, down, all-around stitch dictionary’).IMG_4314c

problem: it requires a cable needle, and i’m simply too tired to fuss with one.

i do want to knit, though,

and i’m excited about knitting this hat.

what’s a tired to the point of laziness designer to do?

i made something up. starting with ‘wild oats’, i fudged it, frogged, and fudged it again,

until it looked like it just might possibly work up into something good.

i’m only now seeing how this is going to come together,

but i really like it

and even more importantly today,

it’s cool without being fussy so i can enjoy the knitting itself.

i feel like i pulled a little folded bit of paper out of a glass jar and won something.

actually, that did happen,

but i’ll save that story for another day.

if you need me for anything i’ll be right here.

this afternoon and this evening = knitting.

‘laziness’ taken from 12:24 of proverbs.

mondays with mrs. crosby: fourteen

my friend gave me

a couple of yards of irish wool.

it’s a lovely muted plaid in grey and blue and green and purple.

very much what my irish friends were wearing the year i lived in drogheda.

i am aiming for a pencil skirt

and something knit in this lovely mrs. crosby hat box to go with it.IMG_3592

must knit and sew faster, because i’m ready to wear them both now!

‘wool’ taken from 31:13 of proverbs.

‘mondays with mrs. crosby’ is an ongoing series of posts

(to be posted on mondays, of course),

detailing a current collaboration between mrs. crosby yarns

and me. stay tuned.

‘nourri’ and ‘sinew’

each year

as the weather begins

transitioning from cold winter to warm spring,

daily temps become an unpredictable roller coaster ride.

where are those balmy breezes?

i’m layered up in wool for the bus stop in the morning,

then must begin peeling those layers off

by mid-morning,

only to reapply them

at dusk as the air cools once again.

and every year, it makes me think about new hats.

this year, i actually managed to think two new ones up

that fit the bill

(or my big noggin as the case my be).

IMG_2987 sq++++the first done was ‘nourri’

in julie asselin’s worsted weight ‘nurtured’.

this yarn has so much character

and depth of color.

it’s also one of those yarns that feels more rustic in the skein

that the softness that pops up once it’s soaked and blocked.

IMG_3184+sq

the second new hat, ‘sinew’,

to get me through until the warm of spring

actually gets here, is the above

in ‘folio’ from berroco.

it’s got a sheen

that made me skip over metal needles and head

straight toward my handcrafted wooden ones from indian lake artisans.

but, it was dreamy to work with on the wooden needles

(and they’re my favorites anyway).

‘sinew’ really is a basic beanie, except that i doctored up

the decreases at the crown a bit

to keep things interesting.

it’s not hard, mind you, but it’s not boring either.

so, now winter can keep

hanging on,

which is what it looks like it’s going to do anyway,

and i’ll still be contentedly warm in my new hats.

what are you doing to pass the time

until the weather makes

a real change?

‘breezes’ taken from 147:17 of the psalms.