Last week I dropped the bomb that I had knit a sweater in six days…and then I totally left you hanging. (To be honest, I was catching up on my sleep.)

I’ve probably knit Hannah Fettig’s patterns 20 times (at least!) over the past 17 years and she is, without a doubt, my favorite designer. Mostly because when I sit down to knit sweaters for myself, I gravitate toward simple, unfussy classics–the basic patterns (pullovers OR cardigans) you reach for over and over. I am also more of a production knitter than anything else; when I finally have the time to knit, I prefer just knitting vs. spending my knitting time learning new or heaven forbid, difficult techniques. I am, in effect, a Lazy Knitter. (This, I have discovered, is my #knittruth.) The climate here (we pretty much wear knitwear in all four seasons) and their overall wearability (the casualness of Northern Michigan’s winter uniform extends slightly beyond jeans + boots + puffer coats on top of layers and layers of wool) makes every sweater in this collection a mandatory wardrobe staple–to me, Home & Away is like a sacred text. It’s my knitting guidebook.

When we planned out our fourth KAL from this book, we knew we wanted to do something different. Because we hadn’t introduced a new Plucky colorway in awhile, we knew this would be the knockout combo we were after. We asked Sarah and Hayley for an extra special base  for this particular batch–and Snug, the most luxurious blend of Merino, cashmere and royal alpaca–is nothing short of divine.

(Thoreson Farm, a warm golden yellow named after one of the historic farms along the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore.)

Lesley is an aran weight pullover that is flattering, comfortable and suuuuuper quick to knit. A great combo for a month-long knit-along, no?

The sweater is quite a bit more relaxed on me than it is on the model from Home & Away, a little by design and a little by accident. The pattern suggests negative ease of 0.5″; being between sizes (my actual measurements are 38″ and the pattern includes sizes of 36″ and 40″–I followed the instructions for the 40″) and due to a bit of a gauge snafu (I got 13.5 sts/4 inches vs. the 14 sts/4 inches the pattern calls for,) my sweater measures 42″ instead of 40″, which is 4″ of positive ease. I actually think it’s better for me than negative ease–I’m not slim and I don’t know that a body-hugging sweater would have been that flattering to my body in its current sugar-loving state. Ahem.

I knit this sweater in six days–cast on on January 30th (which was a Tuesday evening) and bound off on Monday morning, February 5th, and while yes, I do knit quite fast, I had, as everyone else in this whole world does, a whack of other things to do at the same time. I did not take any time off from work, nor did I knit at the shop any more than I normally do (while waiting on browsing customers, if I’m not pricing or cleaning or restocking) and I didn’t leave my daughters in extended child care to do it. (In fact, just like always, I had Sienna with me all day, every day. Sasha goes to full-time preschool M-Th.) This sweater was knit in the (very!) early mornings and late nights, and it was a tight but very doable goal for me. The secret? Putting in the time. I’m sure this will come as no surprise to you, but I spend an exorbitant amount of time fooling around on my phone. Much of it is knitting related, yes, but oh man, I waste so. Much. TIME. I knew if there was any chance on earth of finishing this sweater, I’d have to curtail my scrolling habit. So really, this sweater is the tangible proof of what a knitter can get done if she, you know, KNITS.

We’ll be kicking off our Lesley KAL on March 1st, but we’re taking pre-orders for the Leelanau Palette through this week only–click here to see all the colors in the range. As with all Plucky Knitter yarns, these colorways are available for a limited time and are exclusive to Wool & Honey. I’m currently racing against the clock to finish my Azimuth before the Olympic flame is doused, but I’m also considering knitting another Lesley–this time in Good Harbor Bay. There’s really no such thing as too many basics.

Imagine a morning spent sipping coffee with friends, the warm summer sun on your shoulders, chatting and gathering flowers, berries and roots from a dyer’s garden at your local CSA farm. Natural ecru skeins of Michigan-grown and spun yarn are prepped in tubs scattered around the farm, waiting to soak up dyes in the afternoon. An indigo vat is bubbling and there are willow branches and coreopsis and madder and goldenrod, splayed out in a natural rainbow. The dinner bell rings and you slide into your spot on a bench at the farmhouse table laden with still-warm veggies and fruits, harvested from the ground just hours before. With a full belly, you head off for some tutelage from the local dye experts, getting focused, hands-on instruction for dyeing yarn with Nature’s best pigments. Heading home in the evening, you’re buzzing with excitement–about meeting new friends, trying new foods and about the new projects you’ve got planned with yarn that was touched by so many creative hands right here in Michigan.

Goldenrod, freshly harvested and beginning its dye bath

We spent the first weekend of August doing that very thing. We co-hosted a natural dye workshop with Why Knot Fibers at Birch Point Farms, where two groups of happy students spent their days foraging, preparing and dyeing yarns, surrounded by friends and fresh food in storybook perfect summer weather.

Christina Barkel, Birch Point farm manager, harvesting indigo

Birch Point is a CSA vegetable farm in Leelanau County, just outside of Traverse City, overlooking South Lake Leelanau. Michelle Farese is the head of the operation, bringing local foods to markets, schools and the greater Northern Michigan community for more than a decade.

Michelle’s husband, Jess Piskor, owner of Bare Knuckle Farm in Northport, served an amazing farm luncheon on both days–build-your-own-tacos filled with local grass-fed beef and veggies, local cherries and apricots and a sweet, crunchy corn salad that we’re all still talking about.

from left: Erin, Vanessa, Mary, Anne, Liz and Josie listen to Michelle and Jess talk about their CSA

And then of course, there was yarn. Glorious yarn!

Kat and Claire, while primarily dyeing their yarn line with commercial-grade acid-fast dyes, are well-versed in the ways of natural dyeing. We were thrilled that they wanted to teach, an idea we’d been incubating since Deep Winter.

Most of the students had a bit of experience dyeing with commercial dyestuffs, but for many, this was the first experience they’d had with natural dyeing. And we think most of them were thrilled with the results, even the unexpected ones.

“‘Frederick why don’t you work?’ they asked.
‘I do work,’ said Frederick. ‘I gather sun rays for the cold, dark winter days.’
And when they saw Frederick sitting there staring at the meadow, they said, ‘And now Frederick?’
‘I gather colors,’ answered Frederick simply, ‘for winter is grey.’
And once, Frederick seemed half asleep. ‘Are you dreaming Frederick?’ they asked reproachfully.
But Frederick said, ‘Oh no, I’m gathering words, for the winter days are long and many.'”

-Leo Lionni, Frederick (one of my favorite children’s books of all time)

We’re tucking the memories of this blissful summer weekend away, where color and passion (and wool, blessed wool!) will certainly keep us warm, even as the days are short and cold and gray.

all photos courtesy of our good friend Courtney Michalik Kent of The Compass Points Here Photography

Interested in trying your hand at natural dyeing? We are thrilled to offer a few tools to the adventurous DIYer: an indigo dye kita dye kit containing madder, cochineal, weld and logwood and the most exquisite compendium of natural dyeing to date: The Modern Natural Dyer. Kristine Vejar from A Verb For Keeping Warm has devoted her life’s work to creating and cataloging pigments from all over the world–we’re honored to carry this stunning resource in our shop. Not interested in dyeing yourself? We’ve got a beautiful kit–100% grown, spun and dyed in Michigan–for you to knit right here.

Confession: I am not a monogamous knitter. Not even close. At one count, I had 42 projects in varying levels of completion on needles. (It’s okay. You can judge me.) Some of them have been in progress for years. (Like these cutie fruits right here.) And you know what? I want to finish them. Kind of. But I also have a (not-so) secret fantasy, too–having a completely blank slate. Organizing and culling and #rippingforjoy and finishing the projects I *really* want so I can pursue the (my) ultimate knitting goal: working on one project at a time.

I want one project on my needles at a time–maybe two, or even three at the very most–so that I’m getting as much as i possibly can out of my knitting time and energy. After observing thousands of knitters over the past decade, I’ve seen it all. The Project Knitters, the Process Knitters, the Pre-Process Knitters (an extra special bunch right there,) the Retired Knitters, the Working Knitters, the Knitting Mamas….and every combination in between. While I won’t make generalizations about all knitters, I can say what is unequivocally true for me: knitting all the things all the time does not make me a better knitter, nor does it mean I’m more creative. It means I’m lazy and that I lack discipline; basically, I’m a magpie. And honestly, it took me YEARS to realize this about myself. I have learned, after sixteen years of knitting almost constantly, that when I actually sit down and dedicate myself fully to one or two projects from cast on through bind off, I reap greater knitwear rewards. Exponentially greater.

Of course, this is not to say that knitting is meant for production purposes only. It isn’t. I realize there are two rather divided camps here. There are the knitters (the Process Knitters) who will fiercely defend all knitting for knitting’s sake, that would say that everything I’ve ever knit–or the creation that comes from today’s needles–is a nod to the past. That each stitch is literally and figuratively building on top of the last and the lessons I’ve learned–and those wonky stitches and novelty yarn scarves [there were really just two] and ill-fitting sweaters–have made me the knitter I am today. And to that I say, absolutely. Amen. Of course I couldn’t possibly understand the magnitude of the well-executed gauge swatch if I didn’t have a failed sweater that came before it, right?

But. But but but. I have been knitting for sixteen years and the part of me that knits for an end result–the one that proudly resides in the Product Knitter camp–has relatively little knitwear (of her own) to show for it. I do have a shop full of lovely samples I’ve knit and patterns I’ve written and that certainly isn’t nothing. But I have an embarrassing (disproportionate?) mountain of unfinished projects lurking in the deep recesses of every closet (and drawer and glovebox and unused shop shower stall and…) And I really hardly have anything I wear. I didn’t even have a new winter hat this year–I wore a retired shop sample, one that Cindy knit back in 2011.

The reason for all my WIPs isn’t the fact that I don’t have time to knit–I do. It’s just not like it used to be. With two babies, I don’t have a fraction of the me time I’m used to. Of course. I don’t knit for four hours every night and two hours every morning, with glorious weekend-long marathons in front of Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals. (What? Doesn’t everyone do that?) It’s much more cobbled together these days; a row while I’m waiting for my coffee to brew, a few stitches while I’m behind the counter while a customer shops. Sometimes, like this morning, I knit for an hour before everyone in the house woke up and the night before last, I probably got 2 1/2 hours in while watching Season 5 of House of Cards. (SO GOOD.) So every day, even if it’s only 20 stitches, I’m knitting.

The reason for all my WIPs is the fact that I’ve allowed myself to get swept away by every yarn and project that comes in the door. (Or shows up on our IG feed.) To cast on with reckless abandon the moment something lovely catches my eye, when vendors send samples of their new spring yarn, when I impulsively cast on a back-to-school sweater for my daughter when she decides that dark pink is her new signature color. (That actually did work out in my favor; I knit a sweater in a weekend.) When you’re in the business of knitting–legitimately accountable to your customers to report back on the merits and pitfalls of every yarn and pattern in the industry–you’re allowed to give yourself a little grace in the casting on department. But 42 unfinished projects? Come on. Not only is it total gluttony, it’s gotten to the place where it’s reeeeeeeally stressing me out. It’s not nearly as exciting to cast on something new when you’ve just done it two days ago; it’s so much more rewarding –luxurious, even–when you’ve really, really held out on something, something you’ve been dreaming about for months, versus reaching for a new pair of needles when the slightest whiff of wool comes your way. I’ve discovered when I choose projects on a whim (rather than consciously queuing knitwear that fills a specific need in my life,) they just don’t hold my interest for very long. I get caught up in a vicious cycle which goes a little something like: I get super excited about something (pattern or yarn,) cast on immediately, knit on it for an evening or three, lose steam/get bored/get stuck on a technique/new yarn comes in, repeat et al.

The hall closet in our house has just one thing in it–my stash. It’s a jumble of books and fiber and mounds of half-finished projects and needles and a bit of fabric and embroidery floss and oh yeah. Yarn. I’m craving order and clarity…and a plan. Summer seems like the best place to start, getting organized before Wool Season approaches in late August. I’m fleshing out a bit of a roadmap, both in terms of what I’m going to finish up and most importantly, what’s to come. And I’m also thinking I might share some before and after pics (!) of my stash, its organization and the reasons why. Check back often, as lately I’m feeling the need to expand my knitterly thoughts on a scale that’s a little deeper than Instagram–and reviving this blog seems like the perfect place to do it.

How about you? What does your WIP pile look like? Does it bother you to have lots of projects on the needles? Do you consider yourself a Process Knitter or a Project Knitter? Please feel free to comment here or catch us on Instagram–I’m always interested in the knitter’s thought process!

*P.S. Next month marks 10 years since I started my first blog, and I was really into posting there for quite awhile. I’ve left it up–I will most likely initiate a migration from Typepad (there) to WordPress (here) sometime soon–but thought you might enjoy perusing the archives. Find it HERE.

After years of being a fairly dedicated gift/small project/accessory knitter (with the very occasional sweater thrown in for good measure,) I do believe I’ve made the switch to become a full-on sweater knitter. In fact, I can’t stop thinking about sweaters. And planning out each little detail (the pockets! the neckline! the hem!) of the vast number of sweaters I need in my closet. Right. NOW. And browsing Ravelry for hours in the middle of the night, marveling on the daily just how many glorious sweaters are out there. And of course, I’m buying alllllll the yarn. For the sweater I’ll knit after the one I’ll knit after the one that’s currently on my needles. Ahem.

I know I’m not the only one. Take a little stroll down Instagram Lane, follow along the #memademay or #slowfashionoctober hashtags and see if you don’t fall down the rabbit hole yourself. (Many of these posts also incorporate handsewn garments, but that’s another tangent entirely.) There’s SO much talk out there about both the capsule wardrobe and the handmade wardrobe and for good reason: if you’re going to spend your precious time knitting sweaters (hundreds of hours, in many cases,) don’t you want to maximize the wear you’ll get out of these sweaters? Shouldn’t they stand the test of time, both in classic style and quality of materials?

For years now, we’ve been talking about creating a color palette for a Wool & Honey signature yarn line, one that’s comprised of colors that define Northern Michigan, based on some of Leelanau’s most beloved landmarks. Not unlike what we do with the Sleeping Bear Yarn Club, but with colorways that are available to all customers and the colors themselves being solid or tonal in nature, vs. variegated or speckled.

We’ve also been having a similar discussion with Sarah and Hayley about a custom Plucky Knitter palette for the shop, one that may be available in limited quantities in the shop a few times throughout the year.

Coincidence? I think not.

Introducing the newest collaboration between W & H and TPK: The Plucky Knitter Leelanau Palette.

The first four colors in the Leelanau Palette are some of our favorites–four unique variations on classic colors to create statement pieces, either for knitted accessories or, as we envisioned, handmade garments that will be both showstoppers and wardrobe staples for years to come. Each of the yarns are named after places that are sacred to all of us; Liz and I are Leelanau County natives–this is and always has been our home–and Sarah and Hayley have spent their entire lives vacationing Up North. Plucky + Northern Michigan inspiration + classic wardrobe colors? It truly couldn’t be a better match. The base we chose is Primo Fingering. a favorite among Plucksters new and old–a fingering weight blend of Merino, cashmere and nylon that is polished, luxurious and yet holds up exceedingly well (all necessary attributes of capsule-worthy garments, I’d say!)

Fishtown. Quintessential Leland. Read also: the exact color of the Janice Sue. (All the fishing paraphernalia pictured here belonged to our maternal grandfather, who spent his entire life fishing Michigan’s many inland lakes.)

Manitou. Pretty much the perfect navy. The deepest of blues with black undertones.

M-22. Deep, smoldering red, again with murky undertones. Beautiful bold lipstick red–the red of our dreams.

45th Parallel. Deep, dark purple, with a base layer of black. Think of the darkest purple wine grapes at the height of harvest.

As I said before, we’ve been thinking a lot about sweaters these days. A lot. So much so that we put together a few ideas for you–sweaters you can knit, but also a few outfit/wardrobe ideas to go along with these beautiful sweaters. We know that sometimes when beautiful yarn presents itself, you’re at a loss. All you can think about is how beautiful it is…and not what you’re actually going to knit with it. We find that if you have the right plan, you’re much more likely to make smart purchases. When you have specific patterns in mind, it’s even easier to decide what to buy–the only decision left is which colors to choose.

We’ve created a few idea boards for you to get your creative juices flowing, but this by no means even scratches the surface. Click on the links below and you’ll visit each pattern’s Ravelry page, where you can read descriptions, determine exact yardage amounts and plan your ideal color schemes. Please support these independent designers by purchasing their patterns directly from them. With the clothing items, you’ll find links to pieces produced by ethical, environmental and transparent companies you can feel good supporting.

  1. Camilla Tee.
  2. Prague.
  3. Igawa.
  4. Mount Airy.
  5. Ilia.
  6. Harper.
  7. Natsumi.
  8. Lake Effect.
  9. Anker’s Sweater–My Size.

  1. Josette White Stone.
  2. Slim Button Voile.
  3. Sway.
  4. Light Trails.
  5. Mount Airy Tee.
  6. Serena Sandal.
  7. Navigate.
  8. Benton.
  9. Arrow.

  1. Brussels Overalls.
  2. Parisian Painter Smock.
  3. Mignon.
  4. Slim Button Voile.
  5. Melanie.
  6. Austin.
  7. Redford.
  8. Lori.
  9. Threshold.

  1. Kowtow.
  2. Imogene.
  3. Luxa.
  4. Evelyn.
  5. Waterhouse.
  6. Ava.
  7. Jackdaw.
  8. Aisance.

The Leelanau Palette is being dyed-to-order: we are taking pre-orders now through May 11th ONLY–or until supplies last.  Orders will be available for pickup in the store at our annual Memorial Day weekend party on Saturday, May 27th. Orders that need to be shipped will ship on Tuesday, May 30th. There will also be one more surprise at the holiday weekend party–but even we don’t know any more than that.

We’re so excited for this collaboration–we hope you’ll find something you love! I know I’ve already planned a sweater in each color…

Photos courtesy of The Compass Points Here.


As I mentioned on Instagram this weekend, we bought a new house this spring and plan to officially move in within the next few weeks. It’s absolutely perfect for us, from the close proximity to our current home, to its size, to the charming interior details (retro blue tile! knotty pine paneling!)…and as my friend Anne pointed out, the most important aspect: we’re one mile closer to the beach.


As the reality of moving (and setting up a whole new house) begins to sink in, I find myself becoming more and more excited. There are, of course, things to be done over time (it was built in 1975,) but it was extremely well-cared for and absolutely move-in ready. The house’s style is quite the opposite of our current home and aesthetic (mid-century modern vs. farmhouse cottage,) but after living in the same home for 13 years, Curt and I have both decided we’re up for the challenge.

About a month ago, we were talking about replacing the shower in the master bathroom and he announced, “You know what? I’m going to learn how to tile.” To which I responded, “And you know what I’m going to learn how to do? Weave!” We both looked at each other and laughed and it dawned on both of us at the exact same time: we’re Makers.

When I think about what I want my home to look like, or feel like, or be like, I think about the things in it. Of course I think about my family, and the friends we’ll have over, and the food we’ll cook, and the stories we’ll tell, and even my kitters Sal snoozing on the couch, but if I’m being entirely honest, I’m thinking about the things. The things I’ve inherited (the Madonna and child etching my grandmother brought back from Greece, the Ukrainian pysanka given to me by one of my college professors, the quilt my friend Sarah made for Sasha when she was born)–and the people who held them in their hands. I love being surrounded by lovely, handmade pieces: the honey-dipper we bought on our trip to Shaker Village, the Daisychain crewelwork sampler that, as a complete novice, took me over a year to complete, the polka-dot yarn bowl my non-knitting sister bought from a ceramicist on Etsy for my 28th birthday. It may seem trite to non-creatives to put so much weight behind household goods (and there certainly is a fine line between collecting and hoarding, ahem,) but when you are a Maker, there truly is a magnetism behind beautiful things.


Something I’ve been aching to make for years is the Rainbow Quilt by Rae Hoekstra for Windham Fabrics with the iconic Briar Rose collection by Heather Ross. I bought the kit from Crimson Tate more than two years ago and this summer, I’m finally going to make this stunning (yet simple!) quilt for Sasha’s first big girl bed.


(photo courtesy of Windham Fabrics)

It’s hard to describe, but when you’re a mother and a Maker, the drive to create for your children is almost insuppressible. Last weekend at our Plucky Knitter trunk show, I bought much, much more yarn than I probably should have–all to knit cozy sweaters for my daughter and her new sibling on the way. I couldn’t help it–for nights on end, my ideas were literally waking me up, and I was hopping on to Ravelry at 3 o’clock in the morning, researching, planning, dreaming of the beautiful things I would make with my hands for the most precious people in my life. And I hope, as my daughter grows up with parents who build and plant and knit and spin and weave and quilt, that we’ll pass on at least a little of our love of making to her, too.

It’s been just over two weeks since we had our Grand Re-Opening at Wool & Honey on Saturday, April 9th, and the memories of that day still seem too good to be true.

The day started around well before 9 am, where there was a crowd of over 40 people waiting for us to open the doors. We were running a little behind schedule, scurrying to finish a few last-minute details, and when 9:01 came and went, the crowd started chanting, “We want in! We want in!” Liz and I had planned a short informal speech for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, but somehow–the emotion, the visible support of our biggest fans, the lack of sleep– we stumbled over words through our tears. We ripped down the paper that covered the windows for three weeks and for the next three hours straight, friends, customers and guests poured through the doors, bearing smiles, hugs, flowers, chocolates and accolades that made us blush. We promised our first 100 guests a sweet signature gift and in my mind, I thought we’d have a few leftover for the evening soiree. We ran out by 10:15.

My college roommate and her mother drove up from Holland just for the party–and hallelujah, they brought me a gift from the Peanut Store. High school friends stopped by for a snack and a sip and to see our new digs. My grandparents came in to say hello and my grandpa–obsessed with wool socks–bought a pair each for himself and my grandma. A local chiropractor (non-knitting–yet!) stopped in to say hi and ended up staying an hour, completely enthralled with the Sleeping Bear Yarn Club.

Our good friend and Northern Michigan photographer Shannon Scott came over in the afternoon to snap a few shots of both the store and our customers in action–we are so excited to share the new look with you!

hanging sign

Our new sign. Solid wood and hand-carved on both sides by artist Scott Zuziak.

open sign

New open sign, chalkboard art by Aaron Hoxie.

front entry

Fully stocked with some of our exclusive colorways, including Petoskey Stone (Seven Sisters Arts), Sleeping Bear Meteor Shower (Greenwood Fiberworks) and Pierce Stocking Drive (Three Irish Girls).

front counter

Our front counter, one that used to take up residence in a general store, with the original butcher paper still attached to the roll.

front case

YOTH Yarns Father, Quince & Co. Owl + Lark, Malabrigo Worsted, The Fibre Co. Cumbria Worsted….Yarn, glorious yarn!

sbyc display

Our new Sleeping Bear Yarn Club display–a real showstopper.

view from the back

The view from the back of the shop. From here you can get an amazing view both of the wood floors my husband Curt refinished and the pallet wall Liz’s husband Chad, his stepdad and our cousin Sam built. And of course, the yarn!

other view from the back

Another view of the back of the main room. We had our 16 of our in-house shop patterns professionally printed for the event and we are thrilled with the way they turned out!

Sarah Jane

Needless to say, our favorite part of the day was spending time with our customers.


Anita, who drove all the way from Flat Rock!


Judy, our most invaluable knitting tool. Judy, we couldn’t have pulled it off without you.


Stephanie! After knowing her as a customer for several years (at the time, she lived in Philly and would visit Michigan in August), I find out her sister is one of my college friends. What a small world. Now she lives in TC, so she considers Wool & Honey her LYS. Full circle.

liz and cecily

My beautiful partner and sister Liz, with her daughter Cecily, wearing a dress I knit for Sasha over 3 years ago.

finch display

Almost every color of Quince & Co. Finch, an amazing, bouncy fingering weight wool, perfect for colorwork and highlighted here in the Raindrops Pullover. (I knit this sample in a size 2-4 with three skeins of Leek.)


Flowers sent to us by one of our wonderful vendors. We think the bouquet looks especially snappy next to this springy yarn display by local handdyer Why Knot Fibers.

We’re still pinching ourselves. And we can’t wait for you to see it.

(all photos courtesy of Shannon Scott Photography)

Are you a product knitter or a process knitter? Are you in it for the final, finished piece, or do you enjoy every bit of it–from choosing the yarn to the swatching to the casting on to the slogging away to the satisfactory bind off and meticulous pinning/stretching/smoothing/blocking?

I’ve been working on a new design for the 12 Knits of Christmas for the better part of a week and after hours and hours of ripping knitting and the beginning twinges of tennis elbow (ouch!), I think it’s finally coming together.


I think.

I don’t know why, but I’m embarrassed to admit that 90% of the time, I’m a product knitter. Well, I do know why I’m a little sheepish. There’s so much pressure out there recently [Insta/blogoverse/self-inflicted?!?] to be a process knitter–to celebrate the slow, lovely bits in this fast-paced world. Knitting for knitting’s sake. Most of the time, I’m knitting as fast as I can (literally attempting speed knitting), focusing only on the end result. This is, of course, because 90% of the time (or more), the finished piece is a shop sample, a vehicle in which to sell yarn. That’s not a bad thing–it’s my life, my livelihood. Rarely do I find myself knitting pleasure projects or truly taking the time to sit and just knit. Knitted gifts are exceedingly rare. So are sweaters for me, my husband or my sweet little Sasha. And we should be the ones in head-to-toe hand knits all day, every day. The Ambassadors of Knit!

And yet. Even though I should have rigid knitting schedule that I adhere to that forces me to crank out piece after piece and really, I do, it’s just that sometimes I do what I want and 9 times out of 10 end up ignoring the rules CAUSE I’M THE BOSS, I have tote bags scattered all over my house, in the shop, above the desk in our office, plastic bins up in our barn that are filled with half-knit projects that once upon a time were a really, really good idea. A new yarn or a new pattern comes in and I just HAVE to cast on. It’s almost like I have no control over my own hands. So I toss aside whatever I’m knitting and jump headfirst into the newest, shiniest project. Sometimes I go back. I’d like to say I always do. But obviously, I don’t. That’s what all those tote bags are filled with. And that’s just sad.

I have a HUGE list of sample knits–and designs–that I have to speed through between now and Christmas. There just ain’t no way around it. But. After the first of the year, I’m digging deep into those Rubbermaid bins and making some real progress on some really beautiful knits. Or kicking those half-started projects to the curb. Whichever comes first.

We’ve got a hilarious thread going on our Facebook page about the number of unfinished projects that are on our needles, what’s “acceptable” and some mini-, mid- and long-range goals for ourselves. My last WIP count was 42. Don’t hesitate to weigh in over there–it makes the rest of us feel better.

That’s my process. What’s yours?

So it’s come to this, has it? Days become weeks become months become YEARS and you realize that you have no business (none whatsoever) calling yourself a blogging knitter. Or a writer. They say you can’t do it all, and I’m here to say, thank goodness. (And asking myself why I fought it for so long.) Doing it all is impossible. Trying to do it all is just so terribly disappointing. Quitting sugar, knitting 52 pairs of socks in one calendar year, attempting to run a successful bricks-and-mortar AND a webshop 100% by myself….I like to think of these flat-out failures more as crucial steps on the path to enlightenment.

Pass the M & Ms, will you?

The older I get (mid-30s are the best, amiright?!?) the more I realize that being honest with myself is just the smartest thing to be. Do I change? Yeah, I guess, but not markedly and even then, not as fast as I’d like.

I’m going to try to write more. And better. As it turns out, the more you write, the better it gets. That you’ll never get good if you don’t get after it. And the easiest way for me to start writing is with a list.


Top 5 Things I’m Loving Right Now:

1. Fall. I’ve been talking about it non-stop on Instagram. There are 146 pictures of leaves on my phone right now. I’ve got two days off in a row this weekend, which means that I’m planning on making pumpkin curry soup, crockpot applesauce and at least three different types of pumpkin sweet breads.

2. Reading. Just for me, just for fun. Currently reading The Stockholm Octavo by Karen Engelmann (which I received as a monthly selection of this amazing book club, waaaaay back in 2012) and it is the best book I’ve read in a long time. I spent a goodly amount of time reading this summer, too, (for me) and plowed through The Road by Cormac McCarthy, another book I can’t remember right now (so good, obvs) and sped through A Million Little Pieces by James Frey in just three days, something I haven’t done in years. Reading before bed–whether it’s for 10 minutes or an hour–is now one of the best parts of my day. I can’t believe how out of practice I am.

3. Instagram. Because it’s totally normal to suspend any kind of real work for several hours a day while scrolling through thousands of pictures of people who you’ve never met, clucking admiration for their well-curated lives under your breath and then holding yourself to the standards of strangers. It’s so beautiful, I just can’t stop.

4. Hanging out with a toddler. This is a half-truth. Some days I am so filled with love for this tiny human, I watch her hop-waltz in the kitchen to Lana Del Ray’s cover of Once Upon a Dream and sob over the beauty of it all while washing dishes. (This actually happened on Wednesday.)

Sasha polka dota

Some days I throw temper tantrums that would rival any two-year-old’s because MAMA JUST NEEDS FIVE MINUTES TO HERSELF. (I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how much chocolate I’m consuming. In private. Because I just don’t feel like sharing everything all. The. TIME.)

5. Lavender essential oil. For reasons I’m sure you can surmise, my blood pressure has been a little, ahem, high lately. (See number 4.) I’ve added essential oils to daily health and well-being (another story for another time) and lavender is a heavy hitter–an oil I incorporate into basically every hour of my life. Today, I had to explain myself to Ken the cashier when I brought a miniature bottle of vodka up to the counter at the grocery store at 12:30 p.m. for (I promise!) a DIY linen spray.

And of course, there’s knitting. Glorious, wonderful, life-giving knitting. I’ve got so many projects cast on, I’ve purposefully lost count. (Hint: it’s at least 35. No exaggeration whatsoever.)

I plan to transition the old blog over here throughout the next several months (or in one big conversion to WP, as a particular service tells me can be done with one tiny payment of $49, hahahaha), but if you’re interested in reading the major fails of someone who has yet to quit sugar, casts on more projects than she ever plans on finishing and loves swimming like hipsters love their kombucha, my entire blog archives (dating back to 2007, wheeeeee!) can be found at: