Archive for December 2017

Episode 28

FO, Wip, Stash, Wearables, Knitting Plans, Knitting Talk – wool allergies, On the Run, Out and About


Purple shawl in some deep stash, Queensland Sugar Rush, for myself!  Also, it’s the last sample made of a new pattern that I will be releasing over the holiday weekend – keep an eye on Instagram/Facebook/Ravelry group because it will be free for the first few days as a thank you to the knitting community.  This year has been amazing and a lot of it is thanks to the amazing women and men in the fiber world.  I started this podcast, went to Stitches United and SSK for the first time, went back to Rhinbeck and have interacted with so many of you and this is my small way of saying thanks.


Only other wip I worked on was my Mahalo sock by Dana Gervais.  Full disclosure, she’s my tech editor, but she’s also an amazing sock designer and I am loving this pattern.  I have scrawny ankles so I tweaked the narrowest size to be a little narrower and it was easy to adjust – you could also easily adjust it bigger, and the lace pattern is memorizable after a few times through so I’ve really enjoyed working on it.  Knitting it in CoBaSi by Hikoo, a cotton, bamboo, silk and nylon blended sock yarn.


Coming Next Week


It’s been cold the last 6 weeks and I didn’t have time to put this segment in the last episode, so I’ll quikly summarize – I’ve been wearing Poema by Vera Sanon a lot.  Also, I’ve been wearing my (until now) only two shawls a lot, Maris Stella by Anna Victoria and May Flowers, an old pattern of mine, over store bought sweaters to stay warm.  Also I’ve been going back and forth between wearing my Hamilknit Hat by Emily Straw from Knitting Butterflies podcast and the Twist and Shout hat by Michele DuNaier which is a simple cabled hat.

Knitting Plans

I want to lengthen the sleeves of my Empire Tunic by Lily Go, knit in Frog Tree’s Picobo, a cotton/bamboo blend.  I love this top but since I’m always cold I’ll get more wear out of this if it has long sleeves and not ¾ sleeves.

Also, I want to pull out my English Garden Wedding Kimono that I knit years and years ago and finally do the embroidery.  This is from the Unofficial Downton Abbey Knits from Interweave and I picked this pattern because the embroidery makes this sweater just amazing.  The Firefly I got at my LYS the last few weeks are destined for that.

Knitting Talk

I’ve had a couple of people ask about my wool allergy recently so I thought we’d devote this section to fiber and animal allergies.  I am not a medical professional, so please take what I am saying with that in mind, but I will share what I know with you.  First off, yes, wool allergies are real – you can be allergic to sheep just like you can be allergic to cats and dogs.  Unfortunately, I’m allergic to all 3 to varying degrees, and also to horses and goats.  I just happen to get the worst physical reaction to sheep whereas I have 2 cats and all I get is a stuffy nose sometimes when they shed.

You can also have a reaction to the lanolin in the wool – if that’s the case then you might be able to work with a superwash wool where all the lanolin is stripped out so they can smooth down the scales in the wool fibers.  Well meaning knitters often try to tell me I’m just sensitive to lanolin.  I usually just nod and smile.

Lastly, your skin could just be sensitive, in which you get itchy with certain wools.  This isn’t an actual allergy but a form of contact dermatitis, which is just a fancy way of saying that your skin is sensitive and something is irritating your skin.  Wearing a t-shirt underneath usually solves the problem.

So, how do I know I’m allergic to sheep?  I found out when I was 4.  My great-grandmother bought me a lovely little coat and hat set.  Mom bundled me up and sent me off to pre-school and I came home covered in hives. Poor Gram felt awful, but she had no way of knowing, I just happen to have very severe allergies. A skin-prick allergy test the next year confirmed I am allergic to every animal they tested for, to varying degrees. 

Last time I had a major reaction was 2002 in London, England.  My now-husband and I had just gotten to Europe for a 45-day backpacking trip around the continent.  We went to bed very jet-lagged and I never even thought to check the content of the blanket because in the US budget hotels do not have nice blankets.  It was hot and we didn’t pull it up over us.  Sometime in the night I must have tucked my feet under the blanket because when I woke up in the morning my ankles had literally doubled in size.  I could get 2 pairs of socks to fit, but none of the 3 pairs of shoes I brought.  I finally had to un-lace my sneakers and jam my feet into them so I could leave the hotel room.  It took about a week for them to shrink back to normal size – if I hadn’t been power-walking around European capitals it probably would have gotten better a bit faster but I was NOT about to miss anything, swollen ankles be damned.

Out and About

January – Vogue Knitting Live in NYC, if you’re coming too let me know!

March – Stitches United in Hartford, CT.  A quick note for any of you debating coming, Stitches United 2018 is in CT but in 2019 it will be in Georgia.  Knitting Universe has announced that Stitches United will be alternating between the Northeast and the Southeast.  So, if you were planning on going to CT in 2019, go this year instead.

On the Run

Keep on walking and strength training

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Episode 27 – Playing Catch Up

Knitting and Running in 30 min or less

Segments this week include: Fos, Wips, Stash, Out and About, On the Run and Patterns

Be A Helper KAL - extended through January 6th so you can also participate in the Knitmore Girls Do Some Good KAL.


MIL hitchhiker shawl, pattern by Martina Behm, knit in Ito Yarn’s Kinu 100% silk

Thing 2’s Christmas socks, 4 toddler vanilla socks knit in Plymouth Diversity in the Multi Blue Taube colorway which is self-striping white, taupe, aqua, navy and bright orange.

Thing 1’s Christmas knee socks in Berroco Comfort Sock in Red

Lillesand cowl by Monika Eckert for my aunt in some deep stash, Rozetti Yarns Soft Payette and Cascade Sateen Solids

Blue baby socks for friend’s son, just a simple vanilla sock in some deep stash that I don’t remember the name of

Husband’s super secret scarf in Pendenza by Plymouth Yarns.  At Thanksgiving, as I was audibly working mn my LAST Christmas gift,  he commented that I wasn’t making him anything for Christmas.   So when mom and I went shopping on Small Business Saturday I stopped into A Great Yarn in Chatham and bought this lovely gradient yard and knit him a Hitchhiker by Martina Behm, which I knit in secret and finished yesterday.

Mom’s Christmas shawl – this is my new pattern, which hasn’t been released yet and I’ll talk more about it later, but I knit it in some Bernat worsted weight Handicrafter Holida yarn that I’ve had for a while, with the white on the lace edge and red for the body


My 1st non-vanilla socks! – Mahalo by Dana Gervais in CoBaSi by Hikoo

My 2nd non-vanilla socks – Newlin by Sarak Jordan, aka Knit/Wit Designs – Berroco Comfort Sock and I’m working these on my brand new Size 2 Lykke needles to test them out.

New shawl sample, hoping to release around Christmas, knitting it in

Triyang, by Lee Meredith, in Araucania’s Yumbrel, a cotton thread/laceweight yarn in Pastels colorway, which is pastel peach, pink, blue and purple.

Out and About

Vogue Knitting in January!  It’s my birthday gift from my boys as it’s happening right around my birthday.  I’ll be there on the Friday so if you see me, say hello!

Probably going to Stitches United in March in Hartford, CT.  Not planning on taking any classes at the moment, just enjoying the market and hanging out with people.



9 skeins of bamboo dyed by Artisinal Yarns, 3 gold, 3 pink & gold blend, 3 pink with gold undertones.  Think I’m going to fade a Lush by Tin Can Knits and possibly make it in the round instead of a cardigan, since I’m always cold.

2600 yards of lace-weight bamboo dyed by Spinnaway Farms (so nice, btw)

Pendenza by Plymouth Yarns, bought at A Great Yarn in Chatham, MA over the Thanksgiving holiday

1 mini-skein of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd sock in “ooak” colorway

2 skeins of Elsebeth Lavold’s Hempathy in Light Denim (looks more like a light purple)

1 skein of Firefly by Classic Elite in a warm pinky-beige colorway called Delos – destined to be embroidery on a Downton Abbey themed Garden Kimono sweater I knit years ago

Fiber (!) – have not started spinning any of these

16 oz Green/Mocha/White Show Special by Little Barn -  a blend of 3 naturally occurring, undyed cottons, one which is tan, another greenish, and the third the traditional whitish.

2 oz Tussah Silk from Fiber Kingdom

1 oz Yak/silk blend from Liberty Ridge

1 oz camel/silk blend from Fiber Kingdom

2 oz Tencel from Fiber Kingdom

2oz Bamboo from Fiber Kingdom


I bought 4 patterns during the Indie Design Gift-A-Long kal, including the 2 sock patterns I mentioned earlier, Newlin by Knit/Wit and Mahalo by Dana Gervais. 

I also bought Peppermint Mocha by CC Almon of Java Purl Designs the Isis Talicoat by Kari-Helene Rane (Side note for clarity – this pattern was released in 2012 before the current jihadist movement and was named after the ancient Egyptian goddess) it looks like the old fashioned Victorian women’s tailcoat but without all the frilly nonsense.  It has a detailed edging but the body is stockinette and fits under the bust with a large decorative button, then the edges gently angle towards the hips.  I plan to wear this with knee high boots and leggings in the spring and fall as an indoor/outdoor coat.

On The Run

As I mentioned last week, I threw my back out again after Rhinebeck and finally went to the doctor, the result of which is I’m now in physical therapy, again.  It’s been about 4 weeks now and I am seeing definite progress.  I am already stronger and I’ve been cleared to start basic exercises, within reason. No running yet, but I’m walking a few days a week and learned today that I can swim, ride my bike or even row if I take it slow and easy to start.  So I am very excited to get back out there. 

With the PT I’ve been concentrating on strength training since my last On The Run segment, for obvious reasons, and it is definitely paying off.  My shoulders and upper back are a lot stronger and I’m starting to work on the middle and lower back and transverse abdomis, which is your central core muscle, what lays under your 6-pack abs (or lack thereof, in my case) and it’s the muscle that actually holds you upright.  Having a stronger core is awesome and I know will help me a lot in running once I’m cleared to start that.  In the show notes I am linking to some articles on Transverse Abdominis workouts that could help you.

So if you want to work your abs, focus on your transverse abdominus, NOT a 6-pack.  Crunches make your tummy look pretty but it won’t make you stronger.  Try exercises like planks, modified planks, side planks, wood chops, burpees, or dead bugs – and as always, please check with a medical professional if you have any pain, especially any recurring pain.  I am not a medical professional, I am only trying to arm you with knowledge.



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