Choose Life!


Choose life,

Only that and always,

And at whatever risk

To let life leak out, to let it wear away by

The mere passage of time, to withhold

Giving it and spreading it,

Is to choose nothing.

Margaret Wheatley


Swatching for Customfit

I’ve been doing some secret knitting, but other things can be revealed. Today, I’ll show some swatches for upcoming Customfit sweaters.

First, some great news for folks in the Bay Area wanting to knit a Customfit sweater: Bluebird Yarn and Fiber Crafts is going to carry Customfit patterns in their store. This will be great for local knitters, because the staff will be able to measure you, and also give advice on yarns and styles of sweaters. I couldn’t be happier about this; I will be working with Sophie, the owner, to train the staff, since I’ve now knit two sweaters. And we’ll be working on perhaps a summer KAL to work together on Customfit so that by Fall, everyone has the perfect sweater for those cooler days.

Here’s a confession: the first Customfit sweater that I knit for the beta-test, the one I blogged about here, got frogged. I know! It wasn’t anything to do with the software, it was about my choices.  Why did I frog?

  • I chose a pullover sweater in worsted weight wool. In hindsight, this was a dumb decision because in the temperate coastal climate I live in, I only wear cardigans in this weight of wool. It’s just too warm.
  • The V-neck was too high. It didn’t flatter me as much as my deeper V-necks, plus it increased the warmth of the sweater.
  • I wasn’t wild about the yarn. It was intentional as I knit this, because as a test-knit, I wasn’t going to pull out the precious sweater yarn in my stash, and I also wanted to see how a basic workhouse yarn held up with the pattern. But it also made me love the sweater less.

So, the yarn is frogged and will likely become some lovely socks and mittens for Afghans for Afghans.

Now, onto the new sweaters! One of them is for me, and the other will be a store sample for Bluebird. Let’s look at the sample yarn first – oh my, it is lovely. I give you Island Yarn, Blackwater (1oo% superwash merino wool, 185 yards in 100 grams) in the Twilight colorway:


It’s actually difficult to photograph the lovely navy and maroon subtleties. I did a swatch in four different needle sizes to show how swatching should be done. Because it is superwash, I wet it and threw it in the dryer so I could know how the yarn would hold up with regular care. It looks fabulous!


The other swatch is a very different beast: Knit Picks Gloss DK (merino silk) in a lovely spring green:



This will be a cardigan, 3/4 sleeves, and I’m mimicking a sweater that I really like (Vodka Lemonade by Thea Colman) (rav link) but don’t want to knit because I just don’t fit top-down raglan sweaters as well. I had to make a lot of guesses on my Dark and Stormy and it is a looser fit.  So I’ll be knitting bottom-up in pieces, and putting in some lace patterns from a new stitch dictionary by Melissa Leapman in similar places. I hope it works!

It’s so great to start a new, let’s-keep-it-cardigan with Customfit, I will definitely be blogging more about this process, and letting folks know when Customfit is launched at Bluebird!



(Un) Palm Sunday

Today is the beginning of Holy Week, the biggest week in the Christian calendar. This year, I was off, even though I’m serving a church.

Partly it was to do with being part time – I’m only half-time, and I take one Sunday a month off. Originally, there were going to be big doings on the first and last Sundays, and you can’t take Easter off, so I figured I had to take this one off.

And I didn’t go to church today. I know!

I did consider it, and I had plenty of options, that’s for sure. In the end, since I’m spending the weekend trying to finish my knitting designs, instead, I went to the church of knitting, appropriately at the church of coffee, Starbucks.

There, I shared some stuff that I hadn’t had a chance to share at Knit night. One is a terrific new spinning magazine called Ply. It’s been out about a year, I finally ordered a back issue and wow!


And I brought my new amazingly interchangeable spindle that I’m tempted to call “the Spindle to rule them all.” It’s top whorl, no bottom whorl, drop and supported and three interchangeable shafts, from the brilliant mind of Ken Ledbetter:



And while at the church of knitting, I was wearing one of my designs, an d folks want that as a pattern too. Which of course is not one of the patterns I’m working on. Yay me? I think.

But even as I’m not palm in it today, I’m knee deep in my spirituality as I explore a medieval mystic, Margery Kempe,


and the Eco-spirituality of St Francis for my designs. And inspired by them both for their commitment and perseverance in spite of tremendous obstacles.

Knitting Events Knitting for Good Uncategorized

March Madness ends, a New Class on CustomFit!

The contest over at the Afghans for Afghans group on Ravelry is now over, and I managed to punch out a couple of small items at the close, one pair of mittens, one pair of socks. Yay! It was a really good time – we made 90 pairs of mittens and socks and hats for a worthy cause.


Super-secret knitting continues, although I can show a wonderful gradient yarn that I am using. This is Knitcircus Thrilling, fingering weight 80/20 Superwash merino/silk blend. The colorway on the left is Nightfall, and the one on the right is Summer Afternoon. I took this to Knit Night, and there was generalized oohing and aahing. You probably should check out her website at Don’t blame me if you get hooked!


Finally, and I’m really excited about this – I will be starting a new class at Bluebird on creating the sweater of your dreams with CustomFit! As part of the class, you’ll get your measurements taken (and totally private, right?), review the options for creating a pattern, talk about (and work on) a swatch, so that you can generate a personalized pattern just for you!

I was a beta test-knitter, so I’ve been through the program, and I gave it a review here  and here if you want to see how wonderful it is!  It’s a great way for newer knitters to knit a successful sweater instead what I knit. Yeah, never did wear that sweater!

The first CustomFit class will be next Friday, April 11th – go here for sign-ups, and know that we will be offering this multiple times!