It’s Summer – Some Bits and Pieces – We Have a Winner & Socks & Swatching

The Winner!

We have a winner of the Knits From The Woodlot project bag! When Melissa from Oswego, New York, won the Knits From The Woodlot project bag she said, “A new project bag means I can start a new WIP, right? ūüėČ”

Yes! Don’t projects always outnumber project bags? Certainly for me, but maybe not for those disciplined knitters whom I admire – buy yarn, make the project, buy yarn, make the project, buy yarn, make the project, repeat.

This little giveaway was fun; maybe I’ll give away some yarn next time – yarn from a project that didn’t quite make it on to the needles.

Swatching According to Designer Dana Gervais

Dana Gervais is a sock designer. But not just a sock designer. Be surprised by her creations at Dana Gervais Designs¬†where “Not Socks” is the delightful, smallest category of her design collections. Here’s Dana’s charming mantra –¬†“Inside every skein of sock yarn is a pair of socks begging to be set free.”

Continue reading “It’s Summer – Some Bits and Pieces – We Have a Winner & Socks & Swatching”

Want a Project Bag?

One day after my husband came up with the name, Knits From The Woodlot, for my design label,  I drew this little logo.   

I just drew it. I am not an artist by any means.                                                                           It came out of pure inspiration. Straight from brain to Sharpie.

I love it. It works in all kinds of places. A friend had it applied to a mug for my birthday. I’ve had a few bags made & I want to give one away to one of you. It’s smallish, definitely a project¬†bag. It’s lined and has nice long handles. Giving one away is my small, public celebration of Canada Day.

If the bag appeals to you, send me an email with Send Me the Bag in the subject line to¬†¬†by the end of Canada Day, July 1, 2018. I’ll put the names in a ¬†random generator and pick one. You do not have to be Canadian to receive this bag!

A company called Red Bubble creates the bags and you can find them for sale here¬† along with an astonishing array of art from all over the world. You’ll find thousands of images displayed on everything from i-Phone cases to t-shirts to pillows to water bottles and on and on. ¬†I found out about Red Bubble in a post from Marsha White, proprietor of the NeedleArts Bookshop. She’s offering her textured and cabled stitches on lots of Red Bubble products. I love the inspiration of her beautiful knitted swatch images appearing in unusual places.

If you happen to be a fan of dogs, there are lots of options on Red Bubble. My first purchase was this tote bag, poodle of course.

Anyone can be a Red Bubble artist. Go for it! I thought it would be excellent to see Brioche on totes and t-shirts and water bottles and note books, but only the food is displayed, not the stitch. Let’s fix that!




Three New Patterns – 30% Off For a Very Limited Time

I have mixed feelings –

  • I want people to knit the patterns that I’ve created.
  • I want to be rewarded for the time, effort, and money that went into creating my patterns.

I could offer my patterns for free, but that just doesn’t feel that it honours either the work that I put into making patterns nor the work that many other talented designers put into their creations. I am lucky to not be dependant upon selling designs to feed a family or pay rent. Many designers do find themselves in that situation.

As a new designer and I do need to find ways to promote my patterns to ensure they appear to knitters who may be interested in them. Offering my new patterns at 30% off for a limited time seems like a way to hew a middle ground.

So here’s the deal – my three new designs,¬†Yesterday’s Sunrise, the Tickle Inn Scarf, and the Boxwood Shawl¬†are all 30% off on Ravelry from Saturday morning when you receive this post to midnight on Sunday, May 13th. No code is needed.

Continue reading “Three New Patterns – 30% Off For a Very Limited Time”

It’s Been Too Long – But I Do Have Excuses and the Gift of a Magical Cable For You

Do these excuses count?

  • 3 new patterns and samples, tech edited and printed, soon to hit Ravelry
  • YarnOver SleepOver Retreat 2018, all done
  • 2 new classes inaugurated at the retreat
  • working with a talented woodworker friend to create innovative, wooden knitgear
  • the chaos of a new kitchen under construction in a very small house
  • life – wonderful husband and very demanding poodle, both of whom would object to being last on this list

It feels like those should count as good reasons, but clearly I’ve been feel guilty – like a bad person – or I wouldn’t even be asking the darned question.

Did I make a commitment to blog every few weeks? Yes I did!

How long has it been? Do I have to count? I do, it’s been 6 long weeks.

So I wanted to show you something magical – magic created with yarn and needles, now that I’ve returned.

Continue reading “It’s Been Too Long – But I Do Have Excuses and the Gift of a Magical Cable For You”

10 Shetland Minutes

Take 10 minutes out of your day and watch this film, In Sheep’s Clothing. I can almost guarantee that you will have a new appreciation for the ease of our lives,¬†yarn stores, ready to knit wool, and sheep.

It took some discipline to simply stop, slow down, and watch this film. I kept wanting to fast forward, but realized a few minutes in that I wasn’t watching facts or a “story”, I was watching a way of life from 80 years ago. I owed the filmmaker and the subjects the respect of watching and I’m glad I did.

Continue reading “10 Shetland Minutes”

Learning Pasta From an Italian Chef

Aren’t those just the cutest things? They are called cappelletti and I learned to make them from Chef Paola, transported via Skype to my kitchen from the¬†Emilia-Romagna region of¬†Northern Italy.

We made the pasta; we made two fillings, meat and ricotta and spinach; we rolled the pasta to the correct thickness in a machine; we cut, filled, and shaped cappelletti and ravioli; we ate the pastas with delicious sauces. What a treat and so much fun to share with a friend.

Continue reading “Learning Pasta From an Italian Chef”

Outrageous Husband, Cracked Fingers, Shoebox Project, & Saved Sweater,

Oh, Man, It’s Cold! Therefore Cracked Fingers

So I was sitting knitting the other day, watching some Netflix thing with my husband and I said, “My finger hurts. I think I cut it.” He asked if it was split. He was right; it was, and the others on my right hand were showing signs of following the index finger. He said, “Go and put Bag Balm on it.” And I said, “I can’t do that, I’m knitting.” And he said, “Stop knitting.”

Outrageous Husband

Stop knitting? Can you believe it? What a totally outrageous thing to say to a knitter! What a totally outrageous thing to say to me! My answer, “No, I cannot do that.” You would think he knew me after all these years. Priorities are priorities after all.

Continue reading “Outrageous Husband, Cracked Fingers, Shoebox Project, & Saved Sweater,”

12 Swans a-Swimming on New Year’s Day

12 swans on Lake Ontario

This is unheard of – two posts in two days, but my excellent beginning to 2018 warrants it.

I walk in nearby Petticoat Creek Conservation Area every morning, with the yarn eating poodle, as soon as the sun comes up. It’s been a challenge this past week with temperatures at -15 to -22 celsius plus wind chill. Our walks have been severely shortened, but on New Year’s day afternoon I decided to walk the whole park and give Hugo, and me, a treat. It was cold, but not too cold.

On our way back over the bridge, I saw 4 swans in Lake Ontario. Quite remarkable,  usually they are in pairs. A minute later, a small flock of what I thought to be sea gulls swooped in overhead for a landing. Eight more swans! So graceful, so beautiful.

Continue reading “12 Swans a-Swimming on New Year’s Day”

It’s That Celebratory Season – We Need Cookies and Gift Tags

Whatever your holiday tradition, I wish you and your families joy, peace, and the time to do whatever your heart tells you.

I’ve been baking and knitting – new designs, no Christmas knitting this year, although one of the designs is ultimately for my husband – and have had the pleasure of participating in what I believe is the first international cookie exchange.

Giulia, the warm and talented woman behind Juls’ Kitchen, floated the idea of a cookie swap for subscribers to her site. Participation had to be confirmed just a few weeks ago and Giulia matched up bakers from each country. Too bad that shipping food across borders is no longer possible. There may be some weed in those cookies!

70 people from 7 countries jumped in – Italy, Canada, France, Hungary, Poland, United Kingdom, & United States. As Giulia said, “It is a nice way to share some Christmas sweetness… these days we really need it.” Do we ever!

I received a lovely Christmas package, the biscotti and chocolate you see above, from Liliana who lives in Laval, Quebec. It’s such fun to receive a parcel in the mail. I suppose we get a bit jaded about that with the Amazon purchases that some of us make, but it does make me feel like a kid again.

The biscotti are delicious! My traitorous husband prefers Liliana’s to mine. I think I may, too.

For great writing about food, cookbooks, and recipes, see Liliana’s site, My Cookbook Addiction. When we were matched, Liliana took a look at my site and said, ”¬†You blog about things close to my heart, food, dogs and knitting.” We are a great match.

I sent Liliana shortbread in the Scottish tradition and a confection called Pecan Fudgies. ¬†The shortbread are a staple around our house at Christmas and have been since the recipe appeared in Cook’s Illustrated November/December 2001. Pecan bars appeared rather later. Both are seriously addictive.


If you are one of the knitters or crocheters who have knitworthy family and friends, you might like these free downloadable gift cards from Sheep and Stitch. So cute.

I wish you a lovely season, full of good cheer, cookies, and satisfying knitting.