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.

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: eight



the truth is, that

i realized fleetingly that it was wednesday

when my mum called to check if we needed anything at the store.

that’s bad, right?

and then in the blink of an eye it’s actually dinnertime on friday night.

still mostly feels like mostly monday morning to me.

in my


it’s school vacation week.

as long as we all got dressed, brushed our teeth,

and ate three square meals a day, that’s really been enough this week.

my mamahood life…

all this to say that i posted my

‘mondays with mrs. crosby’ photo to facebook,

instagram, twitter, and then completely

(and immediately) forgot to post to the blog.

so, i’m claiming

‘school vacation brain’

and moving quickly on, okay?

it’s been a week for clinging a bit to all things calming.

 we’ve had bitter cold, rain, snow, 50 mile an hour winds,

and then today it’s sunny and nearly 55 degrees.

that adds up to kids who are climbing

up the walls

and me knitting stockinette stitch with a deeply contented look on my face.

don’t get me wrong, we’ve made marshmallow men,

hand drawn cards for papa’s birthday,

strung fruit loops onto yarn scraps,

built newly improved telescopes and planes from legos,

used toothpicks and gummy bears to create really sweet jewelry,vacay week collageand the kids did their own face painting.

that was just one day of the five days this week.

i have navigated focusing their enthusiasm

in positive directions as both referee and cheerleader.

i’m guessing you can begin to see why

i might be longing for more stockinette stitch speed right about now.

mrs. crosby’s hat box in new leaf was ever so happy to oblige.IMG_2770

add the patterning details of leilani arts indigo fabric

and indian lake artisan’s hexagonal needles into the mix?

now i’m happy as a pig in mud

which is just what

my kids will look like playing in the yard tomorrow

if the weather doesn’t chill up a bit.

oh well, more rhythm of the stockinette for me.

all good.

‘climbing’ taken from 4:3 of nehemiah.

‘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.

mondays with mrs. crosby: six

if a thing

is going to fit right

at the end of being made,

then the work has to be put in at the beginning

to design it well, allowing for

key things like the range of final sizes

and the fact that knit fabric has some give,

gorgeous drape, and the tendency to become a bit like

the warm body wearing it.

you know that, right?

my favorite hat

(after being worn weekly for the past 2 winters)

now fits me even better than it did when my friend sharon

first made it for me.

knitting becomes us in so many different ways…

but i’m getting off track here. the point at hand

is that it is time to stop, for a moment,

playing with the hat box

at my fingertips,

and put my muscle

to paper and lead for a while

so that what this yarn is begging to become

is sussed out to be actually possible.

IMG_2321ready? here we go then.

‘begging’ taken from 41:3 of job.

‘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.

it’s the one

after lots of

false starts and stops,

i have ended up with just the yarn

to make exactly the hat that i was looking for.

yes, finally. ahh.

the test knitting has begun. final photos

might be able to happen tomorrow depending upon

weather and availability.

tech editing and layout are next…

then the new pattern can be released.

until then,

let me introduce ‘sinew’:

slouchy when worn straight up,

fitted when worn with the brim folded precisely.

warm, without being bulky or restrictively tight.

it is just what i wanted.sinew 4sqfor the record: straight up simple is not the easiest to do.

there’s nowhere to hide decreases or shaping.

every stitch has to ‘play nice’

with all the others.

every stitch.


‘hide’ taken from 119:19 of the psalms.

project ping pong

i was having trouble

focusing on just one idea (this often happens to me), so

i cast on for three new things at once

(and no, this is so not the first time i’ve done that either).

first up was new fingerless mitts

 in malabrigo mecha.

the rich blueberry color (called prussia blue)

drew me right in, but…

(can you see the uh-oh?)1t16m-8nvuss sqgot to the finish line with one mitt a good 3/4″ longer than the other.

easy enough to rip back, but my motivation veered

onto new project #2.

this is gorgeous yarn from a swap box.

it’s bare naked wools ‘better breakfast fingering’ in mocha.

now, you know that usually ‘fingering weight’ and i are not pals,

but this stuff knits up beautifully on bigger needles

and i was definitely more motivated

to do this, than to undo and redo the longer fingerless glove above.

IMG_1513sqdoesn’t the mocha look nice up against

the little project bag it’s living in from third floor studio?

yes, it does.

but, i got to the crown decreases and lost steam.

i was so enjoying just knitting in the round

and around and around.

my head wasn’t up to the math of the crown shaping, cue project #3.

i’ve been on a kick about octopoli (a plural of octopus).

my friend joan loaned me a book and

i’m just fascinated.

therefore, my third new project is inspired by tentacles.

you might not be able to see the inspiration when it’s done,

but i sure will.

every idea comes from somewhere

and no matter what this ends up like, i’ll know exactly where it started in my head.IMG_1514 sqthe yarn is long island worsted in marsala

from string theory hand dyed yarn, inc.

(i know that the bag says indigo dragonfly.

new and exciting stuff from them is coming later on).

for now, i’m knitting away on the worsted

with the deep lair of the octopus

on my mind,

and wondering how i’m going to regain the motivation

to finish the first two things i started.

‘mind’ taken from 3:20-22 of lamentations.


when the day starts with an e-mail saying

that my library book

(which i haven’t’ yet finished and i didn’t know was even due)

is now far overdue,

it does not feel good at all.

then i go to try out the new recipe i’ve been waiting to try

and i don’t have an ingredient. i don’t have the main ingredient.

so i decide maybe  little guitar playing is in order,

but the song that i most want to play has a

solo lick that is kicking my butt.

so i think: knitting.

grabbing a skein of malabrigo mecha and dpns,

i settle in to whip up a pair of fingerless

no pattern, no pressure.

just to ward off

the chill at the bus stop each morning.

i spend a few happy minutes on the ribbing at the cuffs

only to realize that i don’t have the right size dpns to knit the rest of the glove.9700well, who needs ‘the rest of the glove’ anyway…

feeling a bit like alexander

(in the ‘terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day‘),

i decide that it’s late enough to go to bed.

every creative thing attempted all day came to nothing,

so sleep and a clean slate kind of morning

sound really, really good.

now it’s the next day.

the library fine is paid and the book renewed.

there is a huge head of califlower in the refrigerator,

i got over the hump of the tricky lick and am getting better at it,IMG_1692 sq

and a quick trip to a lys later, i have the size 10 dpns that i need to work

the rest of the mitts.

what a difference a day makes. seriously.

‘feeling’ taken from 59:10 of isaiah.


coming back around

ages and ages ago,

i was very excited about a new design

that i had planned for galler yarn’s ‘asana bulky’.

it’s thick and thin. it has tone upon tone. the personality nearly oozes from the fibers of it.

asana sqi jumped into the planning

for a hugely cozy large cabled collar

topping off a cardi that felt like wearing a squishy hug around.

i was only weeks away from being ready to release the pattern when

a fellow designer released nearly the same thing.

no, she had not seen mine,

and no, we had not talked and inadvertently copied each other.

they were predicting a cold, cold winter and i think we both set our sights

in the same direction.

that happens.

so the knitting was frogged and i began again.

trying to listen to what else the yarn wanted to be.

the thing is, i still wanted it to be

the big collared cardi with extra wide cables.

i couldn’t hear other options as they dropped off my needles and into the swatches

because i didn’t want to hear new options.

i think from a creative point of view,

i sort of dug my heels in

and pouted.

it’s been many, many months since then.

more cold weather is predicted for this winter

and i took the asana out of the bag to have a looksee.

i love this yarn. it’s so interesting and different.

the color variations give the stitches such depth.

there is now enough distance

between my head and the original idea

to hear what this yarn wants to be. finally.

of course, i’d like to tell you that i am not affected

by these things.

that i am never a moody creative,

that logic rules my process at all times so i always get done

what i intend to do in the time i plan to do it in

but, it’s not truehttp://www.talithakuomi.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=8389&action=edit

i imagine that you wouldn’t believe that of me anyway.

at this point, you know me all too well.na sq

so, here’s to a new pattern

rising up from its old abandoned beginnings.

if all goes well this time,

it should be keeping some of us warm

by the time we hit the deep chill of winter this year.

 ‘abandoned’ taken from 54:7 of isaiah.

from right here

i find myself in the place where i am.

i determine to aim for better and then, almost as an afterthought,

i look around and invariably, i look down.IMG_1139 up sqthe truth is,

that it’s a long way down from here

so maybe, just maybe, i’m not doing as badly

as i thought i might be feeling that i was.

who knew.

(note: my current emotional state brought to you by the promised

second sneak peek photo of the new pattern ‘nyilt’

to be released tomorrow.

stay tuned…)

‘place’ taken from 28:11 of genesis.


most days i hardly know how my own mind works,

between guarding my tongue, raising up my kids, and the rapid fire of creative ideas,

if i keep my temper and manage to make progress on something

i feel successful.

maybe that’s why i love reading interviews

with other designers (and engineers and teachers and rocket scientists)

because i’m fascinated at how differently, as individuals,

we see and interpret the world.

my friend, tracy purtscher,

has just announced that she is going to go back through

the designs she created during the fiber factor challenges 2 yrs ago

and let us peek into her process.

i’m relishing this chance to be a fly on an inside wall

of her mind#27 fringed scarf collage

where there’s as clear a view

as possible

of how

she thinks.

her first post in the series is here.

i can’t wait for the next.

‘clear’ taken from 3:13 of first corinthians.