The Story of a Blanket


Do you beleive objects have memories? I sort of beleive they do—at least in the sense of the memories they can trigger in you.

I’ve just finished a blanket that I started approximately one hundred years ago—ok, two—while my mom was in the hospital. This is the blanket that kept my hands busy while I kept vigil and listened to her ragged breathing in the ICU. That is my clearest memory of working on it—sitting in a dark hospital room illuminated just enough by some HGTV program, volume turned down so I could hear her take another breath.

And yet, four or five weeks later, we packed up the hospital room—pieces of blanket included—and took my mom home. My sisters and I cooked Easter dinner and decorated with a welcome home sign and were more thankful than I can describe that our still-fragile mother was back in the home she had raised us in.

The blanket got packed away for the summer—who wants to crochet when it’s 80 degrees out, amiright?—but then as the weather turned colder and my relationship with a man I thought I would marry fell apart, out she came again. First, I would bring my project to his house so I wasn’t bored when we stopped talking to each other. Then, as he needed more time to himself, I made progress at home, watching the circles pile up next to my couch.

All of that seems eons away as I finished the last few circles this fall and winter—although it still fits the theme, as I didn’t start working on it again until it started getting dark early and Andrew worked late and I felt a bit lonely.

So I suppose this blanket is imbued with sadness, but it also seems to have cultured strength and resilience in me. I may never have ended up taking so many chances without those tragic events that my blanket witnessed—and I certainly wouldn’t have ended up here.

She’s proudly on display now, making Bermuda feel a little more like home, and you know the memories that will come to me every time I walk by.


Knitting II

Loyal readers know this about me from this post, as the weather gets colder, I cannot seem to help but be constantly creating. I’m sure the long hours spent indoors are partly to blame, but already I find my little fingers itching for a needle and thread or crochet hook.

So today, we turn to Mona, spinner of yarn and another woman with busy hands, for a little insight into her world.

Why do you create what you do?
I have always enjoyed be creative. I have been creative since I was a child. I taught myself first to embroider, then crochet, knit, spin, and weave. It was just  a natural evolution. My hands are always busy, and sometime sore.

How did you to learn to spin?
I am a self taught spinner. I started out on a drop spindle, then went to a kick wheel, and finally to a spinning wheel. I learned a lot from videos on You Tube, and also from reading about spinning.

 Where do you find wool in the modern age?
I order most of my wool from the Internet. Sometimes I buy wool at Art Festivals.

What is your greatest challenge?
Finding time to get everything done, and taking good photos. I have so much to learn yet about taking good photos of my products.

What inspires you?
I let everything inspire me. The sights, sounds, feel, taste, and smell of nature. I get inspiration from books and movies also. I can really find inspiration just about anywhere.

How did you discover
A knitting friend told me about Etsy. I started my shop in January of 2009, at first just selling mitten patterns, and stitch markers. I add new things all the time. Etsy is a part time gig for me, I take care of my 1-year-old grandson, who keeps me very very busy! You can also find all of my mitten and sock patterns here.

Best advice?
Make what you love. Oh, and take good photos!

Biscuit Scout

Photo courtesy of

Have you experienced the phenomenon? You’re walking around your town and all of a sudden you see an everyday object covered in something bright… and fuzzy? No, it’s not graffiti, it’s yarn bombing.

Photo courtesy of

South African artist Lynn of Biscuit Scout has taken this idea to the next level, creating practical items for the home with whimsical knit covers. From light fixtures to armchairs, her modern chunky knitting style could make the perfect addition to your living room. Here she gives us a glimpse at how she got started, her challenges and advice.

Tell us about your work—why do you create what you do?
My washing machine was really old and had rust marks down its front. It looked very shabby and I was trying to figure out how to disguise it. I couldn’t paint it. I didn’t have a sewing machine to sew an outfit for it so I thought I’d knit one! I knew how to knit but hadn’t done since I was a teenager. I lied when I went to buy the wool – I said I needed enough to knit a blanket. And that started me up this path of knitting large things.

Do you intend for your pieces to be functional or simply function as sculpture?
A bit of both – a knitted article is not suitable for high traffic.

How difficult is it to mold your knitting to a 3-D form?
My Mom taught me to knit when I was about 6 years old. The beauty of knitting with wool is that it stretches so can be moulded to fit once you have the basic dimensions and shapes.

How are your materials sourced?
I’ve found a range of local wools which have a lot of natural colours which I like to work with. I’ve only worked with these and have recently added a range of beautiful and brighter colour cottons (Vinni’s) which are hand dyed by previously unemployed women.

How has your work evolved?
I’m still finding new things to knit. I’m busy sewing my first knitted handbag together at the moment. I hope to finish it today.

What is your greatest challenge?
The shipping costs from South Africa. Yikes!

What inspires you?
This may sound corny, but there is inspiration everywhere – it just depends on how you look at things.
Tell us about your etsy business.
My friend Shelley told me about Etsy about 4 years ago. I joined in April last year. I would love this to be my full time job, but as it takes so much time to knit each object, the finished project is quite expensive and this limits my sales. And then there’s the shipping costs!

Aside from your etsy shop, where can readers find your work? (for South African readers – prices in Rands)

What advice do you have for new etsians?
Enjoy the community. There are so many amazing, talented and friendly people on Etsy.

Snowberry and Lime

Handspun baby alpaca and silk yarn
Handspun baby alpaca and silk yarn

If you’re into knitting or crocheting (or just want to look like you are), you simply must check out Snowberry and Lime on etsy. Veronika spins all her yarn by hand from very very high quality materials including some made of soy silk, which looks absolutely decadent (and is vegan!). Personally, I love yarns that retain the color of the animal that originally wore them such as these, but her brightly colored hand-painted skeins are beautiful too.


Tickled Pink Knits

It’s starting to get cold here. The thing I hate about Wisconsin is that one day it can be in the high 70s and the next it will barely hit 50 — the weather doesn’t give you time to get used to the fact that it might be winter soon. However, one of the few things I like about cold weather is getting to wear warm  clothes. So, all this week I’ll be featuring my favorite pieces or knitwear (and knitware!).
Paloma Shoulderette

One of my very favorites is Tickled Pink Knits by Elena out of New York. Her pieces have such a wonderful romantic flair, and yet they’re still practical enough to really wear. They’re almost all made custom (and you can get them in a ton of colors), so if you want them by the time it’s really cold place your orders now!

Rococo Shawl
Rococo Shawl