Anatomy of a Mitten (Or Mitts)

October 7, 2009

Recently I was contacted by a knitter who had some questions regarding the construction of my Wine and Roses Mitts. I could tell by her question that she either did not have experience with charts, or with basic mitten construction or perhaps even both. Which is why I decided to write this post. While my patterns are not designed on their own to teach a concept or technique, Mittens themselves are not really complex.

If you look your hand, you can see essentially a tube at your wrist, and then where your your hand joins, it is significantly wider. There are different methods for accommodating this difference in width.  Another area where you will see an obvious need for an increase in stitches is at the thumb. Again, there different methods for accommodating the difference in width caused by the difference in width the thumb generates. Once you are past the thumb, it is straight to the top of the mitten where the top is handled again in different methods.

Essentially, these are the steps a pattern will take you through:

1. Knit the cuff.

2. Begin the body of the mitten, also begin the thumb gusset (widen at the base of the thumb to accomodate the extra width at the thumb unless knitting folk mittens that do not have thumb gussetts, such as Latvian or Norwegian Mittens).

3. Knit the body of the mitten, up to the number of added stitches needed for width of thumb. If working mittens that do not have thumb gussetts, such as Lavtian or Norwegian Mittens, this is where stitches for the thumbs get put on hold. Put stitches for thumb on hold and continue with the body of the mitten. When length for the body of the mitten is reached, finish the top according to the pattern.

4. Place thumb stitches that were on hold on needle, and pick up additional thumb stitches as instructed and finish thumb according to pattern.

Peace and Knitting, JoLene Treace

Advertisements

Wine and Roses Fingerless Lace Mitts on Patternfish

August 31, 2009

Wine and Roses was first published by Interweave Knits in their Winter 2006 issue. I as surprised at the flurry of blog activity that I saw in connection with this pattern when it came out…Wordpress, which is where I have my blog, has stats that include incoming links and things like that. I even saw blogs in Scandinavian countries with pictures of these mitts up. Interweave is planning on including them in their Holiday Gifts 2009 issue.

Wine and Roses_Patternfish CoverI have been self publishing them in pattern leaflet since the Winter 2006 issue was close to being sold out, and they are now available in pdf on Patternfish. Patternfish is the only source I use for pattern pdf delivery. They are very supportive of independent designers. They have a wide and ever growing selection of patterns, offer convenience to the home shopper, as well as a measure of security to the designer or whomever holds the rights to the intellectual property (the pattern copyrights). They only sell patterns, so you still need to go to your favorite store for you supplies to knit your project.

I had to think long and hard before I made the leap. There are enough LYS owners out there that have a bad taste in their mouth with pdf downloads that I was very cautious. However, there is a large segment that simply want their patterns that way. I can choose to accommodate or ignore that market. By choosing a delivery method that offers security to me, convenience to the knitter, and sales of yarn and supplies to the shops seems like a good compromise all the way around. Plus, this offers delivery in areas where shops don’t carry my patterns…like South America, or Scandinavia.

If I were to license my pdf files to shops, there would be no way for me to ensure or track their use or misuse without expensive security software that might make ease of use a serious issue for the knitter who purchases the pattern. For me to just send out my intellectual property into the ether with no protection and trust blithely that everything will be sweetness and light is a bit naive.

What other independent designers have found is that their pattern sales really have not changed (the hard copies). When they add another means of distribution, the pdf route, their total sales have increased while maintaining their numbers of print copies sold. That tells us as designers that people are still buying print copies that want them. And knitters who want pdf patterns will search them out. They are increasingly popular, true, but there is a market for both.

How far do we carry the concerns with competition? I know when my distributor adds other Designers, I am not consulted and nor should I be. They are doing what they need to do to grow their business and make it well rounded. Independent designers need to be able to have that same capability with their businesses as well, as they serve a varied market and in order for their business to grow and be healthy they need to diversify. I don’t do retail anymore, I haven’t for years, because I don’t want to compete with the yarn stores. However….I need to be able to follow new methods of distribution. I have to be sensitive to the market. I have to treat it like a business. Designers cannot protect yarn stores from trends or demands in the market or advances in technology, nor should they be expected to. But we can find ways to continue to grow our business and to make ourselves relevant. We can be sensitive to the needs of our customers, including those of both the online home shopper and the yarn store.

I have a page on my website, for example, where I can list yarn stores that carry my pattern. I know there are a lot more out there than what is on that page because of the number of patterns that I sell. Yarn Stores just don’t avail themselves of that feature, and that data isn’t something that is searchable on my distributors web site. I try and talk about Yarn Stores I visit that I like as well. There is a lot that can be done between Designers and Yarn Stores to help promote each other. Some stores have a knack for that and some don’t.

I look forward to including all of my patterns on Patternfish. I had the pleasure of meeting Julia when Patternfish had not gone live yet. She is energetic and lively and quite fun. She loves knitting, and is just a nice person. I love nice people. Besides new designs (or as in Wine and Roses, pattern leafletts that were first published elsewhere) Patternfish offers new and previously out of print patterns, which is a nice service. If I were looking for a pattern that were out of print I would look there first, as many yarn companies have added their older patterns to Patternfish. Many of these are still popular, but not practical for them to still carry in paper form so it is a win-win.

Peace and Knitting, JoLene Treace

Designer and Teacher Compensation

August 25, 2009

This is an interesting area and when needlecrafters make the leap from Hobby to Business, they do not always think about how their compensation affects their business. And of course, needlearts being warm, fuzzy and cozy we just don’t like to think that way. But we have to. If we want our Local Yarn Stores to survive, they must use good business practices. If we want our favorite Designers to still be designing 5 years down the road, they must use good business practices as well…because the expense to get a well done design into a pattern leaflet is too expensive to do otherwise. You just could not be able to afford to stay in business.

On the end of the consumer, when we are taking classes or purchasing things at our yarn stores and we see coupons we love it. I love it, so does everyone else. If you have a teacher, and whomever is sponsoring the event offers 50% off the class…that can really affect the income of that teacher. I was appalled to read about this on a post at Wheat’s blog. To offer a 50% coupon, and then have that taken out of the compensation of the teacher is just not ethical. Especially since the shop is also making money off of the purchases of the student. When a teacher has their expenses barely covered for getting to a location, and that is it….I’m sorry that doesn’t fit the warm fuzzy cozy bill in needle-arts. Some people care about everyone but the person who is bringing them the class!

Without teachers, where would we be? Granted there are areas where people don’t have classes and they learn through books and the internet. But the ability to go to events or to Local Yarn Stores and attend a class where you are able to learn techniques, styles, types of knitting that you may not otherwise have exposure to is priceless. We should not be greedy but fair. How sick would you feel to find after traveling somewhere to teach a class and after a day of labor (or more) that you ended up working for free? That your travel was covered is customary, but because of discounts offered without talking to you, you were left with little else after paying for your travel.

That is why there are contracts. We yearn for the good old days when knitters just shared knowledge. Yeah, well, they were not flying from other states to do so either, to teach Fairisle or other complex types of knitting. Times are different now than they were 100 years ago too. Knitters didn’t have great yarn stores to congregate in for their classes, either. Those stores have upkeep (lighting, staff, insurance, bookeeping, other utilities). Those knitters didn’t have the selection of yarns available to them either that you have in a yarn store. It takes money to run a business, and if they do not earn a profit they cannot remain healthy and stay open for business. They didn’t have Designers or Teachers who had some credibility traveling to them either to teach them techniques or what have you either. That takes money too. If those individuals do not get compensated for their work, they will have to find work elsewhere. Can any of us afford to work for free? I wish I could, but there just isn’t enough resources in my wallet or strength in my body. I have bills to pay and responsibilities at home to take care of. I have to bring in a certain amount to maintain a level of independence in my business or I cannot do it. I know that is true for others as well. They cannot take food off of their tables or clothes off the backs of their families to feed our passion for our craft.

Peace and Knitting, JoLene Treace

Charlotte Now on Patternfish: Thoughts on the Digital Age

August 2, 2009

I have finally entered the fray of pdf downloads. Not myself personally, as I don’t do retail myself…but through Patternfish. I will be adding all of my pattern leaflets eventually, but started with Charlotte (link to page on Patternfish) as I had a nice lady from Norway contact me and ask if it were available in pdf. I had already decided that I was going to go ahead and go the pdf route. I know that there are many LYS that don’t like designers offering their patterns in pdf download. What many designers have found in practical experience (those that do sell directly to shops and also sell pdf downloads themselves), is that their market has increased with no real difference in sales. Their volume to their B&M (Brick and Mortar, or traditional shops), has not changed. What has happened instead is that they have widened their market by including these types of knitters:

  • Knitters in other countries who otherwise have no access to their designs
  • Knitters who only purchase pdf patterns (yes they do exist, it is their preference)
  • Knitters who do not have access to a LYS and purchase everything online

In the end we all have to do what we feel is best for our business. It was a hard decision for me to make in some respects because I am aware of the struggles that many LYS face, and I know the feelings many have about this issue. However, I have to stay competitive myself with other designers and stay current with market trends. I cannot wallow in previous business modes or decades and commiserate in sympathy and not grow my business. There is a large segment of knitters that only go online. There is a large segment that don’t go online. I know that there are only so many knitters, and the pie only gets divided so much, but I would like to be able to offer my patterns to knitters that are in other countries and don’t otherwise have access to them.  I want to make it easy for knitters to be able to get my patterns. It is all about distribution.

The thing that interests me most about this issue is that in many respects the LYS nor the distributors look at what is competition for the Designer. They add new patterns, new Designers, new products, without real concern other than how it makes their product line look. Which is to be expected…they have to look at their business and how the products they offer work together (you don’t want alot of the same thing). They view pdf as competition for them, and they are not happy about it. Some won’t purchase patterns from Designers who offer pdf downloads.

In the business world, everything is competition. The same people who are very unhappy about the competition of the pdf will think nothing of the added competition they give me as a Designer by adding more Designers to their line up, but they don’t want me to offer pdfs because it gives them competition.

I have to think of my business and what I feel is best for the knitter, and do so in a way that I feel is ethical and fair to the LYS. I will always support and defend the LYS to the best of my ability.

What I love about Patternfish is it is essentially a digital store. They take a cut from the amount just like any other retailer. And they earn it too. They offer responsive customer service. They really listen to what their customers want. They also support Designers. That itself is near and dear to my heart. They have security features on their pdf’s (they are watermarked too), so that folks are not just going to get a digital copy of one of my patterns and start their own little side business. Or “sharing” it with their knitting club. They have ease of use for the person who purchased the download, yes.  But peace of mind for the person who owns the rights to the intellectual property. The keys to the kingdom, as it were. My income.

Patternfish is essentially another store, like other stores that sell my patterns, only they sell a product that would be difficult or impossible in many respects for me to coordinate in a way I am comfortable with. I don’t do retail, so I would be dependent on whomever I am in business with to be scrupulously honest in their accounting and so on with the digital sales. How would I have any way of knowing in this country, let alone another country? I would go through a business that does that sort of thing, like Patternfish or Interweave’s download store. They have gone to the work of having everything set up so that it is both easy for the knitter and secure for the Designer. And they don’t sell anything else. They don’t sell yarn, they don’t sell notions. All they sell is pdf downloads. They send the knitter back, in essence, to their favorite store for the larger ticket items. In the end, I see little difference in a knitter purchasing a pattern from Patternfish, or another source for a pattern. Yes, they are all competition for each other. That is the nature of commerce. It is because we have choice that we have competition. Remember, there is competition for designers too, and it can be keen. Designers have businesses just like the LYS and others in the industry. We have to look at things that impact our businesses like changes in culture, distribution, and technology.

When technology changes it can be challenging to find ways for businesses to interface effectively with those changes. I believe that good customer service will always bring loyal customers. In the digital age, nimble business owners that are in areas where the online world is a factor would be wise to incorporate the online experience into their business model instead of running from it. It can be a powerful tool for their business if the knitters in their community like to go online.

Peace and Knitting, JoLene Treace

Book Description: Sneak Peak at From Monkey Island

July 30, 2009

Okay. So I have this idea for a book. All the designs are inspired by animals at the zoo. I have been to a number of them, including the San Diego Zoo, the National Zoo in Washington DC, The Brookfield Zoo, The Cincinnati Zoo, The Detroit Zoo, The Indianapolis Zoo, and my personal favorite, The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo. Oh yes, went to the one in New Orleans too, the year before Hurricane Katrina.

I have enough swatches that should I not do another swatch, I could still produce a steady stream of designs for at least the next 15 years. You think I am joking, I know. Sadly it is no joke. I love to swatch and just don’t have the time to work them all up into designs. I am often inspired by nature and animals in particular, and after awhile I noticed a trend with some of the swatches. I had a little theme going there, and then I thought it would make a fascinating book. Especially if I combined some of what I know about design. It can be really hard when you want to learn about design and other art principles, to find anything that puts it into knitting. I try and do that with my patterns, but a book would give me an opportunity to expand that a bit more.

I am working on my book submission right now. I have not sent it off to the publisher I am sending it to first. I need to finish going through it and finish up a few swatches and double check the illustrations. But I thought you might enjoy reading the book description, which I have included below.

From Monkey Island is a special kind of knitting book.  It is rich in beautiful projects, fresh in inspiration, and instructional beyond the mechanics of how to knit. Knitters talk about their fair isles and other garments also being art, yet often really don’t know what defines them as art. They are shielded and shy away from that culture and its’ resources.

Projects include cabled designs, stranded and other color work, textures, and lace. They are all inspired by animals at zoo’s I have visited. The inspiration of a particular design may be a colorway, a texture, a line of the body of the animal, or something more expressionistic (focused on emotional experience).  There are a wide range of projects for men, women and children. The style is fresh yet classic. Each element is chosen to support the inspiration of the design, and each design tells a story.

The purpose of the book is to provide beautiful projects that are enticing to knit, teach artful design, and encourage the knitter to start seeing the things around them. When we have an understanding of this process we gain the confidence to manipulate the things we work with (color, fiber, texture, stitch pattern, and so on). This greatly enhances the knitting experience and gives us the framework as knitters to defend that  question : What makes it Art?

The intended audience is any knitter who loves beautiful projects that are classic yet stylish, traditional yet fun. Knitters who want more from their knitting. More than mindless. More than utilitarian. More than rushing through to the next project to rush through. They want a richer experience. They want a story. They want passion in their knitting. This book brings all that and more, with its beautiful and inspiring projects and thoughtful discussion.

Hope you enjoyed the sneak peak…

Peace and Knitting, JoLene Treace

In Praise of Kindness

July 27, 2009

I will be honest in telling you there is little knitting related content in this post, although part of it relates to things I have seen in some knitting communities lately that I find disturbing.

I am wondering why, in a day and age when diversity is supposedly celebrated, even flaunted, that TOLERANCE is so lacking. I love communities like Ravelry, and I fully expect online communities like that to have it’s own areas where you have areas that are not as nice or are edgy, gritty, or however you want to term it.  We, the collective we, the cultural we, have this attitude that we are all inclusive and yet there is so much negativity.

Case in point: posts that encourage bitch sessions of the day. Let’s get together and just share our daily bitch. It amazes me how many people get on to just complain and complain and complain.  Can they remember to comment on the person who was kind to them? Can they remember to be kind themselves? People get really steamed about the smallest issues, and then they jump on these really big platforms to share their pet peeves with the world. And they don’t stop to think about the many blessings they have in their lives. No one’s life is going to be perfect. No book is going to be perfect. No experience is going to be perfect. Can your pleasure in it be wonderful? Yes.  Be pissed off about that glass being half empty or be happy it is half full, be depressed that it is half empty and sit and stare at it, or go get yourself some more to drink. So much of our daily life and experience depends on what we choose to make of it ourselves. We cannot help our initial reaction and feelings, but we can choose how we are going to act and react to those emotions. We can choose to be controlled by our day or we can choose to take charge of our own destinies.

I won’t give specifics about what initiated this particular post, as it was not an incident from my own life. It was something I observed and it struck a chord. I will say that I am getting a little tired of the attitude that to be nice is somehow to be a pushover. Or that to be nice means you are not honest about your feelings. That to be nice means you are mealy mouthed and a pushover and it is not to be respected. I am a little tired of the attitude that it is okay to be obnoxious, bitchy and rude because you are being “honest”. We can be honest and leave each other’s dignity intact. We can be kind to each other and make each other’s day a little brighter.

Instead of spending our time bitching, why do we not spend our time being thankful for the things that we have?

I am thankful for my family, and my creativity. I am thankful for the country that I live in. I am thankful for my many freedoms. I am thankful for my job, and I am thankful for the things that frustrate me too. Those things in life that annoy me remind me to count my blessings and not take them for granted.

Peace and Knitting, JoLene Treace

Knitted Gifts by Ann Budd: Animal Crackers Errata

July 25, 2009

I have had two delightful knitters email me regarding a couple things that had apparently dropped off the directions for this design, the last bit of the directions for the garment back and then there was a question regarding the finishing directions.

First, here is the bit left off on the garment back:
It should read “Maintaining selvedge sts, work Rows 1-4 of spot patt across center 81 (89, 97) sts 18 (20, 22) times (The schematic on page 112 does give the measurement). This has been verified by both Ann Budd and the tech editor, so this is the official version for the book.

I have not seen the book yet outside of TNNA, as I have not received my copy yet, but it has been relayed to me that instructions are missing on the finishing of the hem. I don’t know how it is worded in the book yet. When I get the book and or hear back from Ann (I will be emailing her today) I will update this post. At any rate, There is a line of yo, k2tog worked across the row in the contrast color in the hem. This is the fold line for the hem. It will fold naturally there, and creates a sweet little scalloped edge. Worked in the contrast color it gives the effect of just the scallops themselves being in the contrast color. The hem is whip-stiched in place, taking care not to constrict the fabric. For the sake of the continuity of the book, however, there will be stylistic wording that they use. As I said when I get the official word I will post it here.

When I have both I will add it to my FAQ and Errata page on my website.

I want to thank these two knitters for their kindness and gracious way in which they contacted me. In some communities, errors such as this are cause to heap accusations on the publisher and designer. In reality, everyone has worked hard to bring a fine book to press and sometimes things happen, or they get missed. It is unfortunate, but it happens. Thank you for bringing this to my attention in a respectful and friendly manner. We were both able to have our dignity intact and I so appreciate that. I also appreciate the fact that the same courtesy was extended to Interweave. I am as always proud to be part of their publications.

Peace and Knitting, JoLene Treace

Black Bunny Fibers Flutter Laceweight

July 16, 2009

I met Carol at TNNA in Columbus this past June when having dinner with Julia of Pattern Fish. We had a blast, and we ate dinner at the Schmidt Restaurant and Sausage Haus in German Village, minutes from the Convention Center. T’he highlight of the Dinner was (besides the excellent food and fine company of course) the tuba and accordion players playing Freebird at Carol’s request. Carol gave me her card and I contacted her after TNNA regarding some lace designs I am working on.

I am swatching with a skein of the Flutter Laceweight, a very nice 80% Merino / 20% Silk blend. I really like the yarn, it has just enough silk in it to give it a different hand than “plain old wool”, not that there is anything wrong with that, there isn’t, and there is beauty in those too, but sometimes you just want something with a little more in it. The silk adds to the drape of the finished lace. It has a very nice hand as well. It knits up nice, the colors are pretty, and while it is more varigated than what I am used to (look at my designs and you will see that handpaint is a departure for me, although Squirrel Moneky in Interlacements Toasty Toes is a semi solid type of Handpaint). The colors are more suited to lace than many other handpaints out there, so that you can see the stitch patterns. Carol did a good job with that.

Now, as to what I am swatching. I am happy to say as soon as I saw the yarn I knew I had to swatch the design I had worked on for my Grandmother when she passed away, Whisper My Name. I had not found the right yarn for this very special design. The yarns were all too fine, or too thick, or too fancy, or too plain. The colors were not right. Too this or too that. When I opened the package and saw the yarn, I knew I wanted to try it in this design. Sometimes it just works that way, it just tells me it wants a particular yarn and I am not happy with it in something else.  I have swatched it in probably 4 other laceweight yarns, all perfectly lovely yarns but ones I was not happy with for this design.

My Grandmother was very special to me. She was a loving woman, who never had a bad word for anyone. She was a strong woman, and was a profound influence on her children and grandchildren. She touched our lives and we miss her greatly. We treasure our memories of her, and are deeply grateful for the values that she taught us. She was an amazing woman.  I wanted a lace piece to remember her by as it seemed fitting, and it was a good way to work through my own grieving. And I wanted it to be either a stole or a shawl, so that I could wrap myself up in it, like wrapping myself up in her memory, her warmth, her love. Like the memory of her hug.

I think she would love the stole. I chose elements that I felt reflected not only her personality but our family as well, and the many colors fit that well too. There are a lot of us when we are all together. Over 30 just with Aunts, Uncles and Cousins…not including the Cousin’s Spouses or Children. And we have so many different interests and talents. Yet my Mother’s family is a close one, a loving one…Grandma was a good teacher. In the end, the hospice nurses were amazed at how well cared for she was. Even in her last days, her Sons and Daughters tended her well. There is a verse in the Bible that talks about a three-fold cord not being easily broken, and that is certainly true. We draw strength from each other in difficult times. And even in times that are hard, joy does come in the morning.

Peace and Knitting, JoLene Treace

Back Home Again

July 10, 2009

I am back home again, and getting caught up on rest, unpacking and housework. Also finishing up Lush, Calliope, and the All Seasons version of Bramble Berry. Those three designs were at TNNA and had pre-orders taken on them at the show.

When I was in the Lexington area it was amazing how many yarn stores there were in and around the Boston area, and it struck me again how blessed we are in this country.  I love being an American and I love this country. I love the choices we have.  I love the freedoms we have. With that freedom comes responsibility. It is the same with our knitting.

We are each in charge of our own knitting. With that comes the responsibility to own our knitting…and by that I mean the whole thing, right down to every last thing we are willing to learn or not willing to learn.

We live in a day and age where it is so easy to blame someone, anyone, other than look at our own responsibility.  If there is something not turning out right, how often do groups of knitters either by themselves or in online communities rush to cast stones at the designer or publisher, because of perceived shoddy work?

You would be surprised how often it is something like not having an understanding of selvedge stitches and how that affects your stitch  count and where you work the pattern. I recently had an experience with a completely delightful knitter who was having problems with a pattern of mine, and it turned out that it was just not understanding selvedge stitches and how they work. That really wasn’t her fault, it isn’t something people are really taught. That’s why I include it in the General Instructions part of my patterns.

In the end does it matter the quality of classes or instruction we have received? No, because we still have eyes, and we still look at our knitting, and we still make value based decisions for ourselves on what works for us and what does not. At least, hopefully that is what happens. I am guessing that if you read my blog you probably do make those kinds of decisions for yourself. In any case, you can have poor lessons and still recognize that you need more and seek out that information. You can receive excellent classes and see that you have wonderful results and choose to continue those methods. There is a cause and effect, and observing that will give you knowledge and mastery.

What do any of us demand from our passions in life? Do we want to be observers or do we want to be participants? I want to be more than a participant, I want to master my knitting. I want it to do my bidding. I want it to follow my whims. I want it to follow where I lead it. I want it to reflect me. I want it to be a joyful experience. I want it to be peaceful. I want it to be soothing. I want it to be nurturing. I want it to be exciting. I want it to be creative. I want it to be what I want, when I want, how I want. I don’t want to be at the mercy of a hobby that delivers results that are unpredictable, unrepeatable, and frustrating, particularly when it doesn’t have to be. How liberating is that? Those are things that don’t have to be!

Love your knitting. Love it enough to slow down and not rush it. Look at what the stitches are doing. Explore what you can do to make your finishing better. Expand your skills. Don’t expect to find this in a pattern…the pattern is only going to tell you how to knit that item, not how to knit. Learning how to knit, refining those skills, that is in your realm. There are so many choices in things like how to cast on and a myriad of other choices that will affect your finished garment, and some of them are very personal  choices. There is more than one way to do different things, and you will find that certain ways appeal to you more than others. In the end you will enjoy the process more and it will feel more natural to you, because you are making informed choices rather than floating blindly along.

My sister is a Pianist, and she practices scales over and over and over. Aren’t they boring, I would ask her? She would smile at me, and patiently explain that they make her hands strong. See, that is why she is a Pianist and I am not. We both took piano lessons, only I never practiced. She plays beautifully and I could listen to her for hours. She plays some very demanding pieces of music. She played pieces as a Freshmen in college that people played for their Senior Recitals. The fundamentals are boring, but they make you stronger. They build your skills. They are what make you a Master. They are what make your finished piece exciting. They turn your garment into Haute Couture. Are you going to settle for McNuggets or are you going to have Stir Fried Breast of Chicken in Ginger Scallion Glaze?

I know, it isn’t exciting like diving into the next project. Read through ALL the pattern and see what you need to know. If there is something more you need to learn, look it up in a book or online. If it is more than you can get from that type of resource, take a class. Make a copy of your pattern that you can mark up with what notes you need. Abbreviations you might not be familiar with, or references to new tecniques and so on. Take the time before you dive in so your project goes smoothly. You are worth the effort and so is your knitting.

Peace and Knitting, JoLene Treace

Hello From Boston

July 6, 2009

I have been having fun visiting the Boston area…more specifically I am in the Concord and Lexington area. I flew into Boston, but that has been it for this trip.

I have visited 4 or 5 yarn stores, one ice cream place (in Bedford), and been to a couple military parties.

Today we went to the Minute Man park. That was simply amazing. It was awe inspiring to see sections of the road where the revolutionary war started. We also saw the site of the North Bridge, including the current North Bridge. I think the current North Bridge has been rebuilt 3 or 4 times. Understandable as it is a wooden bridge and they only last so long with people walking over them on a daily basis.

As far as the yarn stores, my first day I went out was when Ed was at work. What better way to spend a rainy day when the husband is at work? Wild and Wooly was my first stop. They had a fantastic selection and were very nice. Turns out they also carry some of my knitting patterns, and recieved some from Up North Fiber Art Supply after the Summer trade show in Columbus (TNNA) the same day I visited. Edwina’s Knitch was another shop I went to that day. I was going to go to Creative Warehouse that day, but when I called Black Sheep the friendly and helpful lady there told me Creative Warehouse wasn’t open on Wednesdays (this was a Wednesday, obviously). So I decided to go to Lexington and do Creative Warehouse and Black Sheep another day. I haven’t made it over there yet, but will on my next trip.

I went to a little store on Thursday. I don’t remember what it was called. It was a nice little store, but did not have a very big selection of yarn. In all honesty I don’t remember many details on where I went, other than Wild and Wooly. I will go back there. The other small stores I went to were nice enough, but nothing to write home about.

There are still plenty of other stores on my “hit list”. Creative Warehouse, Black Sheep, Island yarn, Windsor Button, A Good Yarn, Wolcott & Co. Those are the ones I remember off the top of my head though.

Ed has surgery on his knee tomorrow for a torn meniscus. Then Wednesday I go back home. We were able to celebrate our 20th anniversary together. we watched the Boston Pops from tv rather than in person (we were going to go for the fireworks but Ed was having a lot of pain so we stayed home). We did that on our Honeymoon 20 years ago.

I will be putting pictures on Flickr. I have not done that in ages. So there is only a little to see right now but there will be more later.

Peace and Knitting, JoLene Treace