Deep Freeze, Raw Emotions

Deep Freeze on Messalonskee 3/2/2021

My emotions have been very close to the surface recently. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m mourning the last year that we’ve “lost” because of Covid-19 or because there is finally a sense of calm in our Nation’s capital with the new administration. I’m not sure what it is that I am feeling so deeply or that’s bubbling up but it’s there and with this post I am acknowledging it. I am looking forward to the day when it feels safe to leave the house and when I can see my family again. I miss them all so much but I am also so grateful that they’ve all remained healthy.

We woke to sub-zero temperatures today and lots of wind gusts! It was blowing all night but we have been fortunate to retain our power today while lots of other communities in Maine have not. The sun is out and the sky is bluebird blue and that always helps my “attitude”. I would love to see a really good snowstorm before spring but they posted our road yesterday and our camp road has been a muddy mess for a week or more so I may not get my wish.

Today I finally seamed the underarms of my test knit sweater, Crofter’s Smock by Gudrun Johnston. I like it more than I thought I would before it was blocked. The fabric relaxed a lot in its bath. I also learned a few new techniques: folded cuffs and neck and saddle shoulders. This sweater was fun to knit, partly because it’s somewhat cropped and knit in an Aran weight yarn. I used Hayfield Bonus Aran with Wool (a washable acrylic and wool blend) and it was heavy on the US8 needles … my hands got tired knitting! After seaming the underarms, I put the sweater on – this is the coldest day of our winter so far – and it’s nice and warm, the sleeve length is perfect and I like the pockets placed on the side of the sweater. I can’t show you any photographs yet but when I have permission, I’ll add them here.

Meanwhile, I have cast on a pair of socks for my March 2021 Sock Challenge. This month I’m knitting worsted weight boot socks in Raggi yarn. Gray and white marled leg and foot, red cuff and toe. I’ve nearly got one sock finished and will have to attach sock #2 as soon as #1 is finished. These will be super warm socks and they’re so cute!

I’ve also chosen to participate in the Confident Knitting year-long program hosted by Jen Arnall-Culliford. I also chose to splurge and purchase their yarns – typically not yarns we carry at the yarn shop where I work here in Maine. It’s a great chance to taste yarns that I may otherwise not get a chance to work with. AND they had a cool pink project bag!

I’ve started the March project, Flux Handwarmers by Martina Behm. The techniques learned this month are crochet provisional cast on and a folded edge. I chose to do a picot edge which is so cute! This month’s yarn is the springtime colorway of a Crazy Zauberball. These mitts will be a nice weight and they’ll be so cheerful. I’ve participated in A Year of Techniques and Boost Your Knitting for the two previous years and I learned a lot. I’m sure I’ll learn some new tricks this year, too! What I love about these programs is that there are detailed tutorials on all of the techniques and even when I already know one, I can find something to learn (or it just hammers it into my head.)

I’ve been spending a lot of time “worrying” about my sweet Lola. She’s not eating well and her hind legs are unstable. She sleeps most of the day but she still finds a tail wag or two to gift me with every day. For months I’ve been looking at the little kit that I bought when I was out shopping pre-pandemic. The little felt mitten has a bee on it and I couldn’t resist. This will eventually live on our Christmas tree but until Christmas, it’ll likely live on my desk lamp!

I finished two black tams for a customer and they’ve been delivered to the store for her to pick up. She wants two more navy blue ones. It’s sweet of her to ask me. I made a tarte tatin over the weekend. It was delicious! A few apples, some sugar, butter and a home made crust and it was dessert for two for several days. Yummy!

We’ve been spending lots of time doing puzzles. My hubby gave me a really difficult puzzle for Christmas and we stuck to it and finished it … and he ordered another one for Valentine’s day which we’re working on at the dining room table. Luckily, there are only the two of us so we only need one end of the table for eating (although we generally eat up in my studio and watch the news.)

Gone knitting!

Deady Bear

IMG_2377This summer my friend Beverly gave me the yarn and pattern to make a Deady Bear for her son-in-law. Sure, I said! I can knit it for you … and I finished it today. Yay, me!

The pattern is really quite simple to follow. It’s in the book Son of Stitch ‘n’ Bitch by Debbie Stoller. The pattern is by Arwyn Yarwood-Hoeppner. I had all the yarn in the colors as described in the pattern. If there is one comment about the yarn, I would say that it is somewhat “splitty” but very adequate. I had way too much yarn. I wondered on more than one occasion if I was supposed to knit with the yarn doubled throughout the pattern. But there is no mention of doing so. So, on I went with a single strand.

I only had a few anxious seconds on the muzzle of my bear where it appears that there is no Row 15. Not sure if it was mis-numbered or if I totally missed something. Either could be true! Regardless, I decided to just knit on and finish the sucker … and I did. All day today to “get ‘er done”! Photographed and now I just have to pack it up and send it to Maine where I hope it will be loved and cherished.

Overall, the pattern is very clear and easy to follow. A good beginner project for someone who wants to try to knit something other than scarves or hats. The pieces are knit mostly flat and then seamed. I am not a huge fan of seaming but it was easy to zip up the seams on this little guy (or gal?)

I love the fact that the bee won this time!

IMG_2372The bee … needs eyes. Just sayin’.

Gone knitting!

More Photos of my Nuno Scarf … All Done!

Finished Product - I love it!

Felted and Fringed ... had to try both!


A Cluster or two of Flowers


My Wavy Little Bee


Around my Neck!

Finished! Yay!

This summer I’m going to take supplies up to our house in Maine and make a few more of these lovelies … maybe with my girls or my sisters-in-law … only time will tell. But I know I have found a new “addiction”! (Thanks, Terri!)

Gone knitting!

Woo-hoo!!! Queen Bee Knits is born.

It’s partly a dream come true and partly a necessity. I’ve been an unemployed fiber artist for over a year now. Sunny Florida just isn’t shelling out the wonderful career moves that I’m looking for. I’ve been a knitter for more than 20 years. I was knitting for my children when they were little and I’m still knitting for them now that they’re big. I’ve made a million and one gifts for babies, family members, graduating high school seniors (remind me to tell you about that one at another time!) and friends of my kids. Why not put some things that I’ve made up on the Internet and offer them for sale to others?

And why Queen Bee Knits? I am a true Queen Bee. It all began when a group of PTA moms (I was one of them) decided to build a new playground for the kids at Blue Ash Elementary School in Blue Ash, Ohio. We had a great group of caring mothers and fathers and a crummy old playground that we had inherited. We worked with the cities, parent groups, school district administration and staff and had designed a beautiful playground for the kids. After a “heated” meeting with the large group one of the school officials was overheard saying, “Now I know why there’s a “B” in Blue Ash.” From that day forth, all the moms celebrated being “Bees” and the PTA presidents (of which I was one) were the Queen Bees!

I have the most wonderful bee collection. One day I’ll take some photographs so you can see them. I’ve gotten picky in my “old age” because now I have so many and there’s nowhere to display them all. But I do love them and occasionally will still buy one or more. 😉

So, this blog is intended to tell you about my knitting. I love my craft and I will offer you tips (as I learn them) and show you my works in progress. Like all good knitters, I always have several UFOs that I can pull out of the old knitting bag depending on the time and situation … there is no good pattern to follow after a couple of martinis!

If I’m in a social setting like a knitting group, I have to bring a simple project so I don’t have to count every stitch. Socks are a marvelous simple project. My very most favorite sock pattern is Yankee Knitter Designs

(Pattern #29) Classic Socks for the Family. You can make a sock out of any weight of yarn and for any member of your family from baby to husband (or significant other or lover or … well, you get the idea.)

The reason that I love knitting is that in addition to keeping my hands busy and my head out of the fridge, is that it mirrors life so well. If I could only remember to follow my knitting intuition in life, I’d be so much more relaxed. No mistake is too big to undo – and you can “frog” a project as many times as you need to until you get it right. In life, that translates to no mistake is too big to repair. We can always re-do! I’ve made a few (ha!) mistakes in my life and you’ll hear about them more later, too.

We have so much to learn about knitting, life and each other. I’m so glad that you’ve decided to follow this blog!