Tag Archives: inspiration

Sunny St. Augustine

We spent a lovely day ashore in St. Augustine yesterday.  It was sunny, there were blue skies, and the temperature was in the 70s!  Finally!  This is why we headed south!

The Main Square on King St.

The oldest church in St. Augustine.

Flagler College

It was warm enough for an al fresco lunch at a Cuban restaurant!

Christmas in the main square.  Yes, those are poinsettias planted outside!

…and the highlight for me was getting this shot from the fort of Castillo de San Marcos which I think might make a lovely companion tapestry to my “Terrace View from Skouros.”

We ended the day with dinner at Bistro de Leon as planned.  Chef Jean Stephane Poinard’s menu was as delicious as we expected, and this years’ Beajolais Nouveau is quite good!

Day 78, November 27: St. Augustine, Florida


We are stumbling closer and closer to our move to Connecticut.  We have a buyer for our house in New Jersey, and we’ve committed to a house in Connecticut…..but getting everything to fall into place so everyone involved can move on has been a bit difficult.  It looks like we will be en route to our new home by the middle of next week!  We have been rattling around in our empty, echoing house for a few weeks now.  It doesn’t feel like our home anymore, so it’s time to move on….

We packed my last loom over the weekend.  I probably should have taken some photographs!…but it was too stressful.  I had the strong impression that one of us was going to end up in the ER, so grabbing the camera just didn’t happen.  This last loom is my big Toika, and it had a warp of cotton seine twine on it for a boundweave project.  My dear friend and experienced Toika weaver, Sister Bianca recommended leaving the warp on the loom.

Sr. Bianca advised me to take the beater, the harnesses, and the jacks from the top of the loom, and wrap them all together around the warp beam.  It was a brilliant suggestion!….

….executing it was not so brilliant….. imagine cutting the warp from the front apron and taking the reed out of the beater.  While trying to keep that from flopping about, I then tried to hold all the jacks in place while my husband tried to disconnect the jack-holding frame from the large side frames of the loom.  Where was our 3rd set of hands for this job???  Certainly no extra hands for photos…  At one point I thought the jack frame would surely hit one of us on the head, necessitating a hospital visit, and possibly necessitating a long recovery from head injuries (if not worse).  My husband was not amused at my conjectures.  I wanted to take a ‘time out’ to plan a strategy; he just wanted to get it over with!  Typical male/female disagreement, I believe!

I’m happy to report that there was no loss of life…..or even loss of consciousness!  But I don’t want to do that again any time soon.  If there is to be a next time, I must remember to get more detailed information on how to accomplish this! Advise welcome!

With my looms packed, I have turned to more portable projects.  (Hey, who am I kidding?….I haven’t actually woven in several months, just knowing that I was going to have to pack up those looms.)  Have you seen the swing knitting projects on Ravelry? Amazing!  I’m intrigued…

I did buy the workshop download for learning this technique, but I didn’t want wristlets, or a hat, or socks.  I wanted a jacket!  So I jumped in the deep end of the pool, and really, this technique is not difficult to understand.  There is no reason to do a little project if you really want the big one!  This jacket, designed by Heidrun Leigmann, requires four sections just like this one which I finished a few days ago:

Swing Knitted Jacket by Heidrun Leigmann

As you can see, it is a mitered square with short rows to create the curving elements.  The yarn called for is Noro’s “Flower Bed,” which I cannot find here in the US.  Since it is roughly sock weight yarn, and since I love the weight and bounce of Shetland, I have chosen to use a Shetland-like yarn by  Kauni in a long colorway that runs through the entire spectrum.  Is it too colorful??  Probably.  Do I have the guts to wear something this blinding?  …not sure… but I am enjoying knitting it!  Can I really knit four of these sections without losing motivation?  …not sure of that either!

In other facets of life, when not packing, I have made another “Blooming Gardens” crystal bracelet, along with matching earrings and even a small pendant.  The purple one is for my sister’s very belated birthday.

And lastly, I finished the Nantucket basket that I want to give as a wedding present to a dear friend’s daughter.  It’s only three months late…. that’s actually quite good for me! Now I’d like to make one for each of my own kids!


January, the Selfish Month

As it should be.  Surely I’m not the only person who thinks this.  Almost every year of my adult life I have taken the month of January to recharge myself.  In fact, for many years, the day after Christmas was a day when I’d gather all my knitting and weaving journals from past years and look through all of them, enjoying the inspiration and letting ideas for my own work wash over me.

January is also my birthday month, so I get special dispensation to be selfish.  I can put my post-holiday inspiration and project-planning into action by spending money on myself!  There you go!

This year I’m struggling to finish a shawl for a friend during my selfish January.  This shawl should have been done back in November, but as I mentioned in another post, life has thrown some difficult stuff at me lately.  I’m a bit behind schedule.  I’m not worried though….I don’t mind having a selfish February if it comes to that.

Back in October, I bought four balls of Crystal Palace “Mini Mochi” from my local yarn store (The Stitchery in Pearl River, NY) for “Lala’s Simple Shawl” (available as a free download on Ravelry).  Just moments ago I bound off!  I hope I have just enough left to make a crocheted scalloped edge around the shawl.  If not, I have some Jaggerspun “Zephry” in a deep warm red that should fill the bill.  I’d prefer the edge to be Mini Mochi, but it will be what it will be!

I think these colors will suit my friend perfectly! She wears a lot of reds/greens/browns.  The LaLa shawl is simple and not too lace-y so the pattern doesn’t distract from the wonderful color changes.

It’s not blocked yet, so don’t judge it too harshly!  I’m not feeling confident about that little ball of extra yarn making it all the way around the shawl….but at least I have the “Zephyr” as back up!




Now to get back to Selfish January….
Here’s what has called to me….another shawl that is a free download on Ravelry.  The shawl is called Revontuli which is Finnish for Aurora Borealis, which is Latin for Northern Lights.  The designer is AnneM and you can get the pattern from either her site (follow the link) or here on  Ravelry.

Here’s the thing about this shawl.  It looks best with a yarn that has l-o-n-g color runs.  The designer shows this shawl made with a yarn called “Aade Long 8/2 artistic.” I did a search and discovered that it’s not available in the US, but is easily found on ebay and from an online shop in Germany, as well as from some individuals in Estonia.  Selfish me…. I’m getting two colorways!  “Pink/Brown” and “Red.”  They are both coming from Estonia, although from two different vendors.  Let’s see how long it will take for each skein to arrive.  Countdown starts tomorrow.

Aade Long 8/2 Artistic "Red"

Aade Long 8/2 Artistic "Pink Brown"


Life has been pretty stressful for the past 8 months.  My blog is a place where I try to put my daily, non-fiber obligations behind me, but all those obligations have basically taken over my life these past few months so it’s been hard to feel connected here, especially when I’m avoiding talking about these obligations!

Thankfully, this is a time a year when I recharge my enthusiasm, my commitment, my passion for weaving, knitting, spinning, dyeing.  My wonderful family and friends have encouraged a rekindling of fiber energy by giving me some empowering gifts!

‘Warped 2 Weave’…..exactly the message I need to get me back on track!  My son ‘painted’ these sneakers for me with colored pens.  He says if I keep him supplied with shoes he’ll keep making them!

Finally!  A way to organize my circular needles!  Some Tofootsie sock yarn to knit while drinking my favorite morning beverage in this adorable sheep mug.

This sheep mug is from Herdy.  I’m in love…..
Their website has a creative video of escaping sheep that showcases their products.

Time to get busy!

Glorious Summer

herb garden on board Pandora

This is the extent of my gardening on board (well, almost)! Rosemary, thyme and a bright red geranium! I have no idea how my gardens at home are faring in the 90+ degree heat of the past few weeks, but this little pot makes me quite happy!




A visit to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay with a good friend was a perfect summer day. These gardens sit on 128 acres that border the shoreline of Back River.  The idea for the gardens started in 1991, and the land was purchased in 1996, with some of the founding directors using their personal homes as collateral for the land purchase.  The grand opening occurred in 2007!  There is a wealth of inspiration here, and most plants are clearly identified.  There are tranquil spaces, such as the Meditation Garden and the Waterfall garden along with several quiet woodland paths. And then there are spaces that are strikingly beautiful such as the Children’s Garden and many perennial borders.

One of several mazes in the gardens

Birdhouse at edge of Cleaver Event Lawn and Garden


Really large bonsai planter


So many daisies!


Path through the Vayo Meditation Garden

Pond in the Children's Garden

And here is the winning idea I took from my tour: a wall of plants!  It is made by filling wire baskets with soil, then stacking them and framing them into an attractive wall.  This wall of plants not only saves space, but also makes a good screen to block unsightly views!  I want it!


Herb wall

This example of a planted wall is filled with herbs.  You can see one of the wire boxes in the lower left on the ground next to the wall.  They had walls planted with annual flowers and one shade wall planted with ferns.




Today the wind is howling so we will sit on our mooring in Boothbay Harbor.  I am going to work on my Nantucket purse and remember my wonderful day in the gardens!