In Which the Mum Goes Live

I may be absolutely crazy but, here you go…….I’m podcasting.



I am crazy-over-the-moon wild about my crazy Marled Magic Shawl! 

Three tassel colors were tried on (thank goodness for yarn swifts) and in the end I went with the ‘grellow’ color of the I-cord. One must have the right tassel color!

For a view of its massive length I had to take this picture from the staircase. The measurements have not been taken but my guess is 6-7 feet wingspan. There was an option for a larger size but I am more than happy with this smaller one which is plenty big enough.

This may be my new favorite but that isn’t saying much because my new favorite is always the last thing off the needles.  Off to finish the Exploration Station…..

Tassels or No Tassels?

I’m sitting here with the cuddly Marled Magic wrapped around my shoulders.  It needs to head for the blocking bath but is is so scrumptious with it’s silk mohair marled in that I don’t want to take it off.

This has been a fun shawl to knit and I’m not sure where the magic started happening but it happened.  Was it the memories the leftover bits of yarn told to me as I knit?  Was it the colors of my own magical color palette that make me smile and bring joy?  I’m not sure but I sure do love this crazy shawl.

I’m in a bit of a dilema on the tassels.  I was supposed to add a ‘pop’ color in to break up the overall blue of the colors I used so I chose this Madelinetosh Lite yellow color called Candlewick.  Not sure about it.  I little may be okay but three huge tassels off each of the three shawl points? Really not sure.  What do you think?

I can leave it without tassels or I can add another color if the yellow is a bit much.

Off for a soak now which will make this big shawl even bigger, even softer, even more magical.


Marled Birthday Magic

At the end of October I will be planting my feet firmly into another decade and with each passing year I want to declutter more and live life more in the ‘minimalist’ fashion.  I no longer watch television as much as I once did and I find myself listening to podcasts and audio books as the needles click.  One podcaster I particularly enjoy listening to is co-hosting a shawl knit along using one of Stephen West’s patterns, MARLED MAGIC. 

Marled Mesh

The marling of yarns seems to be the current knitting craze along with ‘finding your fade.’  Although I’m not crazy about some of the wild colors Stephen West uses I have found that I learn some new technique every time I knit one of his patterns.  So, when Voolenvine announced that the knit along would be the MARLED MAGIC shawl I knew it would be right up my alley! Marled Mesh

MARLED MAGIC was designed to be a stash busting pattern using all kinds of colors from the knitters yarn collection and boy do I have some stash to reduce.  So how perfect is that?  I will hit another birthday with less stash (minimalist thinking, right?) and I will have a crazy wild WEST KNITS shawl but in all the colors in my wardrobe palette.  It will be a creative effort in combining colors kind of like fair isle knitting or painting.  My ultimate goal would be that it would make any shirt in my wardrobe ‘pop’ because it will have all the colors in my wardrobe.  And knitting this shawl will also be a walk down memory lane as I use bits of leftover yarn from loved projects I have already knit.  I’m pretty pumped.

I cast on yesterday and woke up in the middle of the night thinking about color combinations and wanting to knit so yep, I got up and did just that.  The first section of MARLED MAGIC is a mesh pattern.  I chose to knit a classic marl using a neutral rose beige in my color palette held together with another variegated yarn.  The variegated yarn has blues-periwinkles-amethyst-violets-plums-purples in it.  Lovely!  The classic marl is done by holding two colors together to as you knit creating a ‘marled’ effect.

Marled Section 1

I used the rose beige years ago in my COLORADO SUNRISE HAT.  That hat was a fun project I did with a couple friends.  We each had a time of day that we took a picture of the Colorado sky.  We ran the picture through a color generator to get the colors.  I got sunrise forgetting how early the sun rises in the mountain in the wintertime and how cold it was.  I knit a fair isle hat with my colors.  The photographs I used are on my Ravelry project page here. Marled - Section 1

The variegated Malabrigo yarn was used in the Linken shawl, one of Rosemary Hill’s  Seven Small Shawls.  I played yarn chicken and fretted about it on the group board.  Another participant was using the exact same color and had bought two skeins and had leftovers.  She offered to send the leftovers to me and I took her up on her offer.  The dye lot was quite different hers being much more brilliant than the one I had but it worked.  That is when I learned that different pots of dye do not always come out the same even if you are a professional like Malabrigo Yarns.

Marled Mesh

So that is all I have for you on Section 1 of the shawl.  I’m pretty much obsessed with so I foresee putting aside some other things so I can have some monogamous knitting. My mind is spinning with ideas for the next section which is knit in seed stitch.  Hmmmm…..spinning…..that is a thought, maybe I will use some of the fiber I have spun on my spinning wheel.  This is going to be fun indeed!

Grunge Line Up

The colors in daughter’s quilt are playing nicely together.  Being me, I have worked in fifteen minute chunks of time here and there and in no time at all the blocks have been pieced together.  Being her, the extrovert, the pattern I have chosen is called Party Mix by Elizabeth Hartman.

Grunge Cut Out

Now my daughter is not a ‘party girl’ in the sense that most think of when they hear someone likes to ‘party.’  She is instead, someone who is energized by being around other people and likes to have her calendar busy going from one fun event to the next.  Her mom, the introvert, is quite the opposite and does not like ‘mixing it up’ as much as she does.  I’m not one to go see a movie at 10:00 pm or run out for yogurt.  Party Mix is an appropriate quilt for daughter.



My little extrovert grew up in a family of introverts.  We used to farm her out to friends for overnighters when we had the need to pull back in and recharge our own batteries.  She was the child that, when tucked into bed at night, wanted to know what ‘fun’ things were on the next day’s agenda.   It was a very good thing for out introverted family when she became a bookworm because she got caught up in the characters and plot of her book and would read for hours on end — it was the next best thing to having a real life adventure.

Block B

The last two years daughter has said, ‘Mom, do you know what I really, really, want for Christmas?’  I really want you to make me a quilt.”  A decade earlier she had taken a quilt to college to remind her of home and it was now too worn.  I don’t know how you are but when someone tells me they ‘really’ want me to make them something I can hardly resist.  You know that item will be appreciated and cherished, right?

Block C


So here I am in warm Texas and there she is in cool Colorado and the time is ripe to make her that quilt she wants.  With summer quickly approaching cotton sitting on my lap as I quilt will feel a whole lot better than wool sitting in my lap.  There is a season for everything…….. summer is for knitting socks, silk shawls and quilting.

Block D

Block E


All blocks are pieced and the fabric for the sashing has been ordered and will arrive in a few days.  I should have the whole quilt pieced before my introvert arrives in a few weeks for a visit.

Block Line Up

It has been nice working with my sewing machine and fabric  for a change of pace, not that I’m neglecting the knitting.  In fact, I’ve had a bad case of start-itis as of late and have cast an inordinate amount of knitting projects but more about that in my next post.

Happy Quilting (or Knitting)!

Supercharge Your Procrastination

Weaving for Christmas forward not Christmas behind – this was the decision that I consciously made last week when I decided it was time to supercharge a weaving project that I started last October.

I’m learning that the most time consuming part of any weaving project is simply getting the warp on the loom.  A fellow weaver told me that 75% of the project is everything you do before the weaving begins.  I believe it.


My favorite two in one weaving tool is this combo threading/sley hook by Harrisburg Designs.

It’s pretty handy and I use it for both threading the heddles and sleying the reed.  The tiny hook on one end makes scooping threads into the heddle easy and the fatter end fits easily into the reed slots for the next step, sleying that reed.


So far everything looks good but I think it prudent to double check the reed slots before I get my boat shuttles would with weft yarn.  I’ll wait until the light of day.

First Woven Pillows

I can’t wait to see how these threads play with one another.  Weaving is just around the corner.


Did you start something for Christmas last year that didn’t quite make it in time?  I hope I am not the only one who gets sidetracked with too many projects!

Mom’s Best Dress

When asked to describe my mother’s best dress in a journal prompt I was hard pressed to remember the last time I had even seen my mother wearing a dress.  How could I describe her ‘best’ dress when I could not even picture her wearing one?  The best I could come up with was at my wedding thirty five years ago.  Thinking all the way back through my childhood I could only picture her in pedal pushers, the Jackie-O stretch pants and later on, blue jeans.  I recalled that we had worn dresses to church on Sundays but I think she might have given those up long ago.

I headed on over to her house yesterday on a dress quest.  I first asked dad if he could remember the last time he saw mom in a dress and he couldn’t.  Then I asked mom and she said, “Hmmmmmm….” so we looked through her photo albums to see if we could find  a photo of her wearing a dress because she insisted she once wore them a lot.  Not only did we hit the jackpot in that regard but mom enjoyed describing the dresses we found to me- both the colors and fabric – in great detail just as if it were yesterday.  Because the photographs were in black and white, I found myself surprised when she told me what color the dress was.  Being an excellent seamstress, my grandmother had made all her dresses for her.


Here is a cute shot of mom taken from behind as she is getting in the car.  She said this dress was a light BLUE.  We both liked the way the sleeves were not set into a bodice but was all one piece with the bodice.


Mom is sporting a PURPLE sundress in this photo.  She said, “I really liked how I felt when I wore this dress, I felt pretty.”


I was most surprised by the description of this ensemble mom wore posed on the steps.  She said the pleated skirt was a sparkly silver graphite that reflected light.  I imagined it to be like some of the Kaffe Fasset fabric I’m using in a quilt, awesome fabric because depending on how the light hits the color is different.  Mom said she thought the sweater was probably fuchsia.


But Mom’s best dress, the one that was her favorite of all time was the one in the above photo.  The under skirt was a pink pencil skirt.  The overlaying skirt was a gauzy brown sheer fabric and the bodice and bowtie were also brown, probably satin.  By the way, that is yours truly that she is holding and I forgot to ask her what color I am in.

I enjoyed the time spent with mom reminiscing and splashing these black and white photos with color.  Had I not gone on a mission to find a photo of mom in a dress these photographs would have been forever etched in my mind as just black, white and gray.  Mom says she thinks she stopped wearing dresses because my dad told her she looked better in pants but I’m not so sure about that.  I think she stopped wearing them because she loves the comfort that pants provide.  She is just a casual kind of gal, my blue jean mama.