Harmony, Maine Yarn

I’ve been to Harmony, Pennsylvania but not Harmony, Maine. Recently I watched a Kristy Glass Knits knitting video where she told about Bartlett Yarn Woolen Mills (since 1821) manufacturing yarn.

The man on the video featuring Hudson Valley Sheep and Wool said, “Bartlett is a mainstay for us. This is your grandma’s yarn. This is real true farm yarn.  Or your great grandmother’s yarn.  At Christmas, a lot of people buy it to make stockings .”   Well, I’m getting a head start this year. My friend Deb has been knitting Christmas stockings and inspired me to knit them for my grandchildren.  You might remember her gauge difficulties with her Christmas stocking- I blogged it last January.

The grandmother who taught me to knit was born 126 years ago on February 7th.

That very day, I got on the phone and spoke with a nice woman and told her what I wanted to knit.  Three days later I got a box of yarn from Harmony, Maine. She helped me select Spruce Heather, Cranberry and Natural.  I added the other heather to create sock monkeys on the stockings, which I graphed. Mark’s old stocking from childhood served as a guide and I found a vintage knitting pattern  from the 60’s on Etsy to serve as a template for the actual stocking.  The woman who knit Mark’s stocking in Clarion PA was named Jane.  My plan is to knit one a month and have them ready for NEXT Christmas. For the grandchildren.  Getting an early start this year.  And yes I did finish James’ sweater and he loves it!  

Knitting bowls gifted from Toni, Laura and Bill.

Already I realize my monkey is a bit too tall.  Back to the drawing board. 

Little Knit Cactus

When you get a request from your granddaughter for a knitted item, you try to oblige. Within reason of course. -I’m thinking “a hat, mittens, a scarf……”

“Could you make me a knitted cactus?” Anna asked.


I didn’t know there was such a thing. Thanks to Pinterest spreading the word, succulents, knitted, crocheted and stitched are a trend.

Mine looks different from the pattern by Lucille Randall. (which is free on Ravelry)

Might need more stuffing.  Also I need my friend Donna or FF Marlene to help crochet a better flower.  I followed the directions but it seems knitting is my stronger skill for sure.

When I started.  I used DPNs size one.  When I was telling my knitting friend, I had a flashback to a knit cactus I saw a couple of years ago at Hill Country Weavers in Austin, Texas. We were in line to check out and there it sat. Never thought another thing about it until now and I’d taken a quick phone photo.

Thanks for the Dream in Color Handpainted yarn, Molly. AND for finding that skein of Kidsilk Haze in the Jelly color.  Unbelievable.



No, it’s not the word of the week.  And I haven’t done much mending lately.

It’s just that Mark asked if I could mend/repair his beloved Dude Cowichan Sweater. Both elbows were worn. I brought it home with me from Ohio.

There’s an incredible sense of satisfaction in having accomplished this task.

I got some yarn and mended the holes first, and then I ordered elbow patches and stitched them on using a blanket stitch.  The tiny perforations weren’t  easy to get the needle through and I wish I had my mother’s thimble.  It’s in my house but I didn’t look too deeply.

Mark’s sweater looks brand new.

No, I didn’t knit it. I mended it.

Just repaired the holes in the elbows and added the patches.

Scroll down to listen to Al Green sing-

and thanks to dictionary.com

Mend- to make (something broken, worn, torn, or otherwise damaged) whole, sound, or usable by repairing: to mend old clothes; to mend a broken toy. 2. to remove or correct defects or errors in.

And Al Green sings How Can You Mend a Broken Heart ?
Did people really reserve a whole day to mend?
Early Thursday morning was the day reserved for mending according to the nursery song Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush

Crocheted Tree Blankets on Christopher Street

When we arrived in the city Tuesday evening after the long train ride from Pittsburgh we walked down to the Hudson River after supper. It was dark so I didn’t see the colorful crocheted blankets on the trees.
Then yesterday we were on Hudson Street and WHOA- there they were brightening up the landscape.
Here’s an article about the creator of the project – Holly Boardman owner of Musée Lingerie on Christopher says ” It takes about one hour to crochet a single square, and we have over 1,880 squares on our Christopher Street block. That took about 80 days!”

A total transformation of ordinary tree trunks into colorful street art

Here’s the first one I spotted on Hudson Street and then we rounded the corner on Christopher…

HANDYED Yarn in BERLIN at Die Wollnerin

Meet Sabine Bornemann.

Hand Dyer of gorgeous yarn and yarn shop owner in the Schoenberg Neighborhood –Die Wollnerin .Very close to Winterfeld Platz.





Handcrafted little zipper bags for notions,  stitched by another woman (whose name I will add when I get it)

42608A5F-9241-40DE-B9A0-B509734CD410AB43D938-8889-4D52-8CA1-64969D125B6BMy first trip I bought a single skein of this lucious Alpaca Silk Cashmere and then made a second trip to buy another skein.  My last day in Berlin I bought the hand dyed sock yarn of the loveliest merino and a bit of nylon for endurance.  On my final day, I took Sabine’s photo as I said I would for the People at Work Series. Thank you Sabine. Your shop is wonderfully inspiring to me.

Looking  forward to my return visit in the Spring.


PUMPKIN hat season- again

There’s been a lot of buzz about the early appearance of pumpkin spice lattes. Not too much about pumpkin hats.

People gripe about rushing the season. It’s a short window for pumpkin hats.

Plus, as babies age and turn into toddlers with their own fashion sense, they may reject sporting a pumpkin on their head!

Spoiler Alert: These two knitted pumpkin hats are for my first cousins twice removed. (Or my first cousin’s new grandson and his big sister.)

The pattern Punkin’Head is by Tara Thomsen and is available for free on Ravelry.    

Color: Bittersweet  Yarn: Premier Yarns Everyday: Deborah Norville Collection

(Wash and dry with ease for mom)

Two years ago I knit eight of these in a week.


Yarn: The Daily Prompt

Yarn is the Daily Prompt at WordPress. Not a photo challenge but Michelle W says  “Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.”  YARN

Spin it, weave it, hook it,

graft it, embroider, wind it in a ball.

Hoard it, stash it, collect skeins to knit.

Knit and purl mittens, ribbed pumpkins, scarves

no one in your family or list of friends

ever asked to receive.

“Mom, I think we all have enough hats. ”

Create shawls of comfort, like hugs

striped socks and hooded baby sweaters

with duck buttons or monkeys.

Think of the recipient while you repeat

the motions of each stitch.

In, around, down through and off

In, around, down through and off

In, around, down through and off-

off the needles.

Tens of thousands stitches with strands of yarn

turn into garments, stave off the chill.








Multiple Factors Affect the Size of Your Knitting

Multiple factors affect the size of your knitting.

*Knitting needle size and type of needle (wood or metal).

*The thickness and weight and number ply of the yarn you use from a lace weight to super bulky.  Best to stick to pattern guidelines and suggestions or be prepared to do some tricky math calculations. And pray.

*Your inner tension- yes- there are loose knitters and tight knitters and those in between.  Some people go UP a needle size or two and some knitters go DOWN a needle size or two to get the correct gauge.  You knit the way you knit and it isn’t easy to alter the tension.  Everyone is different. You get to know pretty soon where you fall on the gauge continuum.

*Checking gauge is crucial for successful outcomes. Once I knit a sweater for a high school bf and the woman at the yarn store ripped out the ENTIRE SWEATER in front of my eyes.   I am not kidding.

*At the beginning of a pattern you can see the requirements for yarn type, needle size and the gauge is – how many stitches per inch, how many rows per inch.

Here’s a quote from Craftsy site  (and you can click it for more info about knitting gauge adjustment)

Gauge is the number that determines how big or small your knitted project will turn out, so learning how to make adjustments to your gauge is necessary if you want to avoid ripping out your project and starting all over again.

Today after the sad task of attending a funeral together, two friends and I went to lunch on Carson Street on the South Side.

Deb brought her knitted Christmas stockings.

The smaller one was knit 32 years ago for her daughter and Deb added the little knitted skirt to the original pattern. The second one was knit this Christmas for her daughter’s new husband.  A different needle size. Ooops!

Plus, Deb noticed that the first stocking she knit was going a different direction than the one she made for her daughter’s husband. Double Ooops!

I asked if I could photograph the stockings and she agreed- as long as I didn’t put her in the pic.

Deb used a different needle size for sure. She’s already started another one.

And now she has to make the pattern in reverse so the stocking will hang the same direction.    Thanks Deb for allowing me to photograph the stockings you knit as an illustration for gauge today.  Nicely knit!



Learning to Knit Mittens

Five hours in. Knitting a mitten.  A Baby Alpaca yarn mitten. I looked at the clock. I knew what time I turned on the TV and what time I turned it off .Time to stop knitting and get to bed.

The Weekly Photo Challenge is relax but I remember some people found learning to knit stressful. Have to get past the possibly awkward part of learning the basics before you get to the Zen. Holding the needles. Finding the right place to stick the point.

My friend Ann texted (after a volley of texts about the miserable weather and whether we really NEEDED yarn) that she’d pick me up and we’d go to Oakmont to the Yarns by Design store.  She brought a fingerless mitt and a matching cowl she’d completed and since I had the same pattern at home –Susan B. Anderson Waiting for Winter Mittens pattern– I felt inspired to knit mittens  Thanks, Ann.

Now I Thought I’d start the new effort in the morning .. but the new yarn spoke to me and I started.

Ann said they worked up faster than socks. She’s right about that!



Yarnbyrds: A Gourmet Yarn Truck

My son-in-law James saw a story about a yarn store on wheels.  Here’s the  clip on Columbus television.  YARNBYRDS,LLC THE YARN TRUCK

James knows I like to knit and enjoy good yarn so this morning he sent me a link from the local paper aticle about Yarnbyrds Columbus Dispatch.

A converted RV is a yarn store?  I’m in!

The Food Truck craze has inspired a gourmet Yarn Truck. What a wonderful idea.

Found the phone number and called Robin and this evening I was able to go and visit “Birdie” ( the mobile yarn store’s nickname) and make some wonderful gourmet yarn purchases, too.

Here’s Yarnbirds website for details on the delicious yarn and a calendar of where Birdie will be parked, so you can check it out, too!  A terrific selection to choose from- I know I’ll be back.


What a cool idea.  Here is the owner/ proprietor Robin Richey.


Exterior of Birdie




Robin’s husband Tom did all the LED lighting in the truck and so all the yarn shows in true color which is really important in a yarn store!  He’s an electrical engineer.

Robin creates the project bags. There’s jewelry and Drunk Yarn kits for dying.



Yarnbyrds on Facebook