It’s a crazy busy week here- getting ready for MOPS International Leadership Summit – which is this weekend!  I’m packing up prizes.. prepping a talk and gathering supplies:)  Can’t wait to see everyone there!

Between prepping for Summit- homeschool and driving duty.. I’m working on this:)

It’s my second attempt at the Aeolian Shawl from   I have one in a gorgeous peacock blue color..just past the transition chart..  but it’s in time out and we are not speaking currently.  No clue how I mucked it up– but I did.  I started over with Zen String Plum lacewt… on US size 1 addi lace needles…

Hopefully this one will turn out:)

045I could feel anticipatory giggles well up as I drove across the state.  I had been looking forward to this day for weeks!

My camera, knitting and essentials  were packed up and ready for the day.  I was heading to Threadbear Fiber Arts  for a very special event:  a book signing of “It Itches” by The Amazing Franklin! (sorry if- “The Amazing Franklin” while appropo,  conjurs images of  a top hat and cape wearing magician, pulling birds or rabbits from who knows where… But, I assure you he pulls only brilliant, observant humor from the end of his pen,  in word and drawing well, and the ocassional delinquent sheep, but we’ll leave Dolores out of this. Poor Dolores.. I’m praying for her.)

The day did not disappoint.  I went with a few objectives, all of them were met:

1) To meet the man (Franklin) who has both affirmed my craziness in knitting and challenged my stereotypes and prejudices in the same. (I MAYBE have participated in a few “heated” discussions on the virtues of natural vs synthetic fibers.. MAYBE.   see page:15 ) Not to mention, he makes me LAUGH.

2) To meet new people and to enjoy the company of the diverse and incredible group of ThreadBear regulars.

3) To shop the incredible yarn mecca that is Threadbear.  And to see yet again, the incredible Threadbear owners Matt and Rob and the Threadbear pooches: Tate and Buzby. Few shops can manage to provide both the yarn you want and the community you need.  Threadbear does both.

Franklin at ThreadbearIn a total guilding of the lily move…there were even cupcakes!  (mmm I had a key lime  one- AMAZING!)  Honestly- I doubt a better day could have been orchestrated, even the Michigan weather seemed to smile on the event.

My anticipatory giggles were just the beginning.  Franklin was both delightful and a gentleman.  ( Even in regards to the most gentlemanly  “sweatshirt signing”  I have ever seen. Hello, Franklin is now a rockstar.)  I watched him give focused attention to every knitter, (not just the sweatshirt signing type of attention!) there wasn’t a feeling of “let me sign the book so I can move this line along”.. he truly seemed to enjoy meeting each one.

I will admit, Franklin scored double bonus points, when I introduced myself and he recognized my name from comments on his blog.  To the point of remembering the “e” in Tracey. Which, while it may seem small, spoke volumes to me,  in his attention to detail and reading of his blog comments.  (Ok, so, I also felt cool to be at least name recognized by Franklin:P, DUH. )

Some may be surprised to find that Franklin is on my “must read” list.  We have fairly glaring differences in spiritual beliefs and politics. But those differences do not change my love and support for someone that brings joy and laughter into a world that desperately needs it.  I believe that each person is a gift of God to the world.. uniquely designed and given talents and gifts to share.  Franklin shares his freely and with excellence, character traits I deeply respect.  Not to mention my absolute love for the his “1000 Knitters Project” which united knitters of all sizes, appearances and backgrounds in a visual community, an incredible project- that I can’t wait to see!

(There were however-hilarious pics of us talking together, that looked like we were having a throw down, at LIVE Threadbear.  We both have heritages that make us incapable of speaking without using our hands..  I seriously considered titling this post “A Buddhist and a Christian walk into a yarn shop….”   :)

If you have the opportunity to meet Franklin, or travel to Threadbear Fiber arts TAKE IT!  You’ll enjoy every minute of it!

And, to the incredible welcoming regular knitters at Threadbear:  I’ll be back.. you’re an amazing group!  Thank you for having me… (I mean someone COULD have tackled me in the parking lot and NOT let me in…I’m sure some who have met me have been tempted too! ;)

carmen cowl

Surprise!  Actual knitting content!  Have been working on a few small projects between bursts of pre-holiday cleaning and homeschool work.     005Here’s a finished “Springtime in philadelphia beret” (PDF link) A free pattern from Zeitgeist yarns.  It’s knit in Noro Silk Garden Sock from The Loopy Ewe.  I used US 0 and 1’s to get some semblance of gauge.   (I have gauge issues) I love what the noro did with this pattern- very snowflake like:)

Snowflake like seems to be appropriate- as Michigan keeps trying to SNOW.

Hello- global warming?  I think not.

More soon- I’m working, working, working!




I’ve been knitting a giftie.. for an online pal.  Shhh!  It’s finished and should be arriving today:) It’s a variation on the “Simple Yet Effective Shawl”, from Cosmicpluto.  ( a rather amazing designer:)

The Details:

Noro Silk Garden sock (about 1 1/2 balls) from the Loopy Ewe   In colorway S269 (the silk garden sock is softer than the noro sock- but still not my favorite yarn. 

US size 4s.  Addi Lace needles.

My changes: 

Changed the number of rows per section. 

I knit till I got tired of knitting on it- it’s larger than the original.  (I didn’t measure- and it’s already on it’s waty to it’s new home)

I didn’t bother changing balls of yarn- just knit a single colorway.

angora bunny CUTENESS

I had to chant: beagle hunt bunnies- and bunnies poop… to avoid stuffing this guy into my bag and bringing him home… soooo cute.

More pics later:)

more pics later

020 testing. 1. 2. 3. testing.  1. 2. 3.

This is a test, it is only a test, of an incredible new lace scarf coming out soon from  The yarn base is bamboo/merino.  It absolutely shimmers.  The colorway is spectacular- with just enough variation to add depth and interest without distorting the lace pattern.

I am loving this pattern!  it’s fresh and unique.  I can’t wait to finish!

(I’m knitting this on US 4’s  just to give you some idea of gauge)

I’m also still spinning away on this:

Should be finished and get it plied up tomorrow!

Apparently I am on a red kick:)

I’m having eye trouble. I must be.  Or maybe, it’s visual processing issues…. Maybe I should call the opthamologist maybe?   Maybe I should try Lasik… but, I’m not sure any medical intervention can help.  The problem seems to be more systemic than just a visual one.

See the beautiful purple sock in progress? The intricate twisting of the stitches? The socks are the “Oak Leaf Socks” from the online magazine  “knotions”.   It’s a beautiful pattern.  It’s a beautiful yarn. (Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Blackberry) .. I should love them… but I can’t seem to see them as others do. 

When I look at them.. I mainly see the mistakes.  It’s almost like they have been highlighted, or circled in red ink.  There are probably thousands of stitches already in this sock.  and to be honest a very small few in comparison are incorrect.  Yet- to me they stand out.  BOLD.   Instead of seeing the thousands of RIGHT stitches.. I focus on the ten’s (maybe) of wrong ones.  I nearly ripped them out to start over.

Instead, I put it on my foot, not because I wanted to- but because some wise soul suggested, that before I rip them out, I should put them on and have another look.  I was shocked.  From that distance,  from that angle-  I could suddenly see the pattern.  IT WAS THERE afterall!  Sure, the mis-crossed stitches were still there… but the overall pattern, now caught my eye.

There is something bigger in this pair of socks than a few crossed stitches.  There is my ability to choose to gain perspective on my mistakes, and allow my eyes to be refocused. To see the bigger picture.  In life- this is not always my first instinct- not towards myself- or towards others.  My instinct is to be critical, and allow the few mistakes to distort my view of both myself and others.  Sometimes this is wise and necessary.And sometimes, I “rip” a perfectly good person (most often myself)  because all I focus on is faults or mis-crossed stitches.

My eyes may have issues…. but it isn’t a doctor I think I need… I think it’s a change of perspective…. and the only way MY perspective is changed, is through the one who always sees things with truth and grace.  I think I’ll be asking Him for help.

“Dear Lord,  my critical eye is not hidden from you, both it’s strengths and it’s weakenesses.  I ask you to help me gain perspective.. to focus on the right stitches and not the mis crossed ones…both in myself and those around me.  I ask for your wisdom and for your grace to permeate my heart and then my world— I love you lord- amen.”

Funny- somehow I think God sees much more clearly the bigger picture of who He created us to be….much more so than the mistakes we make…

I actually FINISHED something!  I love it.  More pics on flickr.

Yarn facts:

bellamoden sportweight superwash- (also avaiable at: The Loopy Ewe)

Nori colorway 1/4 sedimentary (artists proof)

Knit on US size 5 Signature Straight needles

I used the Cidermoon Pattern Isobel Scarf (link is to the PDF)

I just knit till I just about ran out of yarn.

If there is a theme around here, it’s WHILE.

While I Wait.  While I Work, and In a While…. (sidenote- if you type “while” enough it starts to look like you spelled it wrong:). 

We’re still in a waiting period.. but not frozen in mid air.  There is much to do while waiting.  There is coping.. There is working, there is waiting.  For coping– I have prayer- reading, spinning, knitting and people. For working— I have 3 kids 2 cats, a beagle and the Dh.. they are, as always, keeping me busy:)

While I wait:  I am spinning.  I decided I could use my go-knits pouch (from the Loopy Ewe)  to hold my fiber in process- it works GREAT! and snaps right to my wheel for outside spinning and travel and keeping the pets out of the fiber!

Also feeding people- still predominately with slow-foods:

Yesterday the boys spent an hour shelling peanuts, then we made homemade peanut butter!  It was great! 

Very simple- home made peanut butter:

2 cups roasted shelled salted peanuts,  (skins removed)

1/3 cup oil, (peanut- but I used vegetable oil and a little less than 1/3 cup)

1/4 cup sugar.

pulse in food processor until peanut- buttery! store in fridge.

Later this week we’ll be experimenting with peanut butter cups:) YUM. 

As for knitting- I’m working on a pretty pattern from the new “knotions” online magazine.  It’s called the “Oak Leaf socks”  a nice foray into twisted stitches, for me.  I’m learning a lot and should improve by the time I am ready for the second sock! (assuming there is  to be a second sock:)

The sock blocker is from the loopy ewe– just in case anyone is curious:) The yarn is Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Blackberry.

I’m knitting them on US size 1, Knitpick Harmony DPN.s

So thats what I’m doing—- WHILING away the summer—- While I wait.. While I work and in a while…

How bout you?