Keeping it Together


Do you remember this picture from Baby, it’s COLD outside? This is the before shot of my winter headquarters.  I never got around to taking a good picture of after it had been organized into a good space for sewing and writing and creating.  But take my word for it, it looked great.

As you may recall, I had relocated from my studio downstairs since that part of the house is very cold during winter months. Making a temporary upstairs studio on my rarely used dining room table was essential.

This past Sunday my family gathered, as we do every year, to celebrate Chinese New Year.  We don’t look like the kind of family you would expect to celebrate this holiday, but we lived in China for several years so it has been added to our family traditions.  It’s our excuse to get together and cook some of our favorite Chinese dishes.  We love it!

Happy Year of the Dog, everyone.


The only downside to this event, however, was that my rarely used dining table…got used.  So at some point, a bit on the last moment side of preparations for the party, everything just got scooped up and hustled downstairs to be put in the studio, wherever. I am back to having to get everything sorted again.

I love a well-organized space, but I’m not one of those naturally organized souls.  I have to really work at it.   This is especially evident in my “nest” in the living room where we settle to watch tv.  There is yarn, needles, stitch markers, project bags, cross stitch paraphernalia to the left and right of me.  No one has to ask who sits there.

It’s time to get a handle on this.

Since more Spring type temperatures have returned I’m deliberating whether to just go back to my more permanent studio.  However, if I do that, will I usher in more cold weather in the same way an outdoor event seems to break a dry spell?  Still pondering.

Also, springing off of Lesson One from Lessons Learned of keeping things written down, I’m also looking at how to keep a notebook of my projects.

I already keep a bullet journal and this week I re-watched a video of one of my favorite podcasters.

Katy from Inside Number 23 shared her adaption of her bullet journalling to a knitting notebook on Episode 42 of her podcast.  The bit explaining her method starts around minute 34.  I hope you’ll watch it.  She is always a delight and has some very good ideas in her approach:

I’m considering just how I want to organize mine.  Shall I do a knitting only notebook or shall I include all the fiber arts and projects I’m working on like sewing and cross stitching?  Either way, I quite enjoy the idea of an all-in-one-spot for my projects, so I’m not scouring both the upstairs HQ and the downstairs studio in search of that ONE slip of paper I jotted something important down on.

Another good reason for this, as I perfect my favorite knitting recipes, is to have the important details written down for future projects.

I’m going to take her advice on the type of notebook to get and once I have created a few “share-worthy” pages, I will give some updates.

I started a pair of mittens for myself last week.  I found a free pattern called Tweedy Mittens that were very appealing AND I had sometweedy stash yarn that would work perfectly.  I chose a gray similar to the original pattern, but I also had a nice merlot purple that I thought would look nice.

I’m still in the “perfecting, experimenting” phase of this project.  I have completed all but the thumb of one.  It wasn’t until this moment that I realize that I really haven’t done much in the way of stripe knitting.  As a result, I don’t yet have a tried and true method for avoiding the “jog” at the color change.

Pretty side of the first mitten:


Messy side:


I’ve been watching various YouTube tutorials and looking through the knitting reference books in my collection to find a way that works best.

In the photo above I used a method in which you lift a part of the stitch from a lower row and knit that and the first stitch together in order to lift and align the stripes.  For whatever reason some of the rows aligned well and others not so much.  Also, with the line of 2 stitches knitted together at the beginning of those rows, a definite ridge was formed.  If I’m knitting flat and seaming, that is expected.  But one of the benefits of knitting in the round is avoiding that, so I wasn’t happy with this result.

I’ve cast on another mitten and have completed the cuff.  I’ve located another method for “jogless stripes” that I will try next.  I will update on the success or lack thereof of this method in a later post.

This upcoming week we have a Fiber Arts Guild meeting so I will have a chance to get some input from my more experienced knitting cohorts if I haven’t yet found a method that satisfies me.

I’ve had another good reason to celebrate this week that could fall under the “Keeping It Together” theme.  My husband and I celebrated our 32nd Wedding anniversary.  Oh, the roads we have traveled together.  We have had adventures and scars.  I am proud of both of those things.  We have had to learn to accept, to adjust, to evolve.  That hasn’t always been easy, but I am thankful for who we’ve become as individuals and as a couple.

You’ll forgive me if I post an annoyingly romantic music video in honor of the occasion.





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