1. Dressing Up the Holidays

    March 3, 2014 by Carol

    Close-up of Abby's stocking

    My brother, Noah, was the catalyst for the other holiday gift knitting experience.

    Last summer Noah asked me if I could secretly knit a pair of Christmas stockings for himself and his fiancée, Abby.  He likes the set of handknit colorwork stockings I made for my house.

    My family's handknit Christmas stockings

     

    These stockings are knit from Nancy Bush‘s pattern, Christmas in Tallinn, published several places, but the only souce that matters is her excellent book Knitting on the Road.  I made the first one, the red one, in 2005 for my infant son; Matt’s green stocking was made in 2006; my blue one was made in 2007; and then I had a year reprieve until our daughter came along in 2009.  She got a purple stocking.  I substituted the yarn Bush’s pattern calls for, Dalegarn Tiur, for Dalegarn Heilo simply because I liked the Heilo palette better.  (This was, by the way, the first time I was bit in the ass by yarn substitution.  Tiur is 109 yards.  Heilo is 126 yards.)

    E's Christmas stocking

    Noah left me in full creative control, so I of course immediate sought out ways to make this project as difficult as possible.  First, I had to design my own.  Second, if one design was fun, then two new designs were twice as fun!  (Right?!)  Third, the yarn (O!  The yarn!).

    Abby's Christmas stocking, designed by me

    I really enjoyed picking out colorwork patterns for these designs.  I found everything I wanted, and pretty quickly, in Sheila McGregor’s Traditional Scandinavian Knitting.  For the top of Abby’s stocking (green), I chose a boy-and-girl motif; for Noah’s stocking (orange), I chose reindeer.  The body patterns on each of their stockings come from the same 19th-century sweater: one was the pattern on the back and the other was the pattern on the front.

    Noah's Christmas stocking

    Can you imagine knitting that sweater?  Maybe…

    There was some math to work out to make these motifs go together, resulting in Noah’s stocking being noticeably larger.  Noah has no problem with this.

    As for the yarn, Cascade 220 Superwash Sport, it wasn’t my favorite.  Noah and I chose it based on wide color palette and affordable price, but it has just about put me off superwash yarn for the rest of my life.  It did not hold up well to repeated ripping and reknitting, coming un-plied and… for lack of a better descriptor, flacid.

    Of course then my friend pointed out that many of the high-end end yarns, like Mashtosh and Tanis and Plucky Knitter, are superwash now so never say die.


  2. Okay, So the Gift Knitting Wasn’t All Roses

    January 20, 2014 by Carol

    socks of brotherly love

    I didn’t tell you the entire story of my holiday gift knitting in the last post.

    My parents and siblings decided this year to scrap the round robin of individual gifts in favor of the secret santa system — which wasn’t even secret, not that any of us heathens cared.  So you can imagine my relief when evil-me went from trying to talk good-me into making a whole bunch of stuff — starting, oh, mid-November — to sane-me realizing I could still crank out a gift knit because I only had to make ONE.

    I got my brother’s name.  Noah is awesome, fashionable, self-reflective, sensitive.  In other words: a great recipient of handknits.

    Noah!

    I started off making Noah Purl Soho’s Shawl Collar Cowl in Malabrigo Chunky — Lettuce on the outside, Natural (white) on the inside.  The yarn came from my stash, the project was working up quickly.  At Thanksgiving, I asked Noah’s fiancée Abby what kind of handknit he would like and she said “a cowl” and told me how he tried to buy one on Etsy and it was too long and girlish.  I felt like a champ!  The Shawl Collar Cowl is so chic and manly and I was going to solve Noah’s problem.  And he was going to look smashing in that lettuce green, if I do say so.

    my beautiful failure

    How does the saying go?  If it’s too good to be true… Well, perfection was far from achieved: I ran out of yarn.  Although I had researched what yarn would be a good substitute and looked up the needle size, I never checked how much yarn I needed.  Why, I cannot say.  This is not my first time at the rodeo.  (This is not the first time I have made this mistake, either, arg!)

    Worse yet, this college town has gone, in five years, from having three yarn stores to having half a yarn store.  The remaining half store is downtown, where no one who doesn’t work downtown wants to go.  But go I went — and on the Saturday before Christmas no less.  I knew it was a long shot, that I might have to start over in a new color rather than just alternate between dye lots, but at least this place specializes in Malabrigo.  I still had hope that this project would be saved.

    (There’s that foreshadowing of doom again, eh?)

    I do believe I gasped out loud when I walked in to this very small shop.  Admittedly I had not been there in a year or more and I knew the owner had been scaling back the yarn portion of her business (she also sells clothing and jewelry). Eyes as wide as saucers, I gaped like a fish for a moment before finally choking out the question, “Where’s all the yarn?” to the owner.  The shelves and walls set aside for yarn were nearly empty — altogether there was only an armful of yarn in that shop.  The needle wall was almost empty.  My stomach sank to the floor as I realized: I have more yarn in my house than this shop now carries.

    You might be tempted to conclude that there was a run on her small stock as people grabbed all the yarntastic gifts, but no.  The owner patiently explained that Malabrigo, the small cooperative, cannot keep up with the demand of her customers, so people are putting themselves on a waitlist and when it comes in, she calls.  A month later and I am still aghast at this… solution?  I am sure I don’t know all of what is going on in her store, but isn’t this the kind of thing that a dozen online businesses are doing, only faster?  And charging less?  And if you can’t keep yarn on the shelf, but still have empty shelves, why wouldn’t you carry another brand?  This used to be the place to go for Reynolds brand yarns, as well, including Lopi.  I didn’t see that at all.

    At this point I could have gone to the big box store and gotten something else so I could forge ahead, but I decided to cash in my chips and cast on a pair of socks.  There was now no way I could finish in time and I used a precious skein of Trekking XXL that I had been saving for myself, but it seemed that some kind of sacrifice was demanded by nature in order to make this vicious cycle of WTF end.

    socks of brotherly love

    Noah was gracious about opening up part of a gift that wasn’t finish and I know he looks forward to these extra special  socks.  I’m still not done with Noah’s holiday socks because I  tried to pull off some other knitting miracle for my husband’s January birthday.  But first, I have one more gift knit to tell you about.  And this one is truly epic (the knitting, not the story).  Here’s a preview:

    IMG_0233


  3. The Gift of Gift Knitting

    January 17, 2014 by Carol

    It’s really no fun to read about how crummy someone’s vacation was so we won’t dwell on it.  I’ve only just recovered, psychologically, this week.  Farewell, 2013!  Don’t let the door hit your arse on the way out!

    The BEST part of winter break, for me, this year was seeing how genuinely happy my husband and children were upon opening their handknit gifts.  Does that sound too cute and saccharine?  It’s true.  There were big Os of surprise, there were smiles, thanks, hugs, and kisses from four through thirty-six.  GO ME!

    boot socks

    (It does help that I have made it clear that the best way to get on the handknit list is to appreciate the things I make, sincerely and loudly.  This elf is making her own kind of list and checking it twice.)

    For the past few years – in my efforts to enjoy the winter holiday season rather than just survive it – I’ve stepped way back from trying to make something for EVERYONE (that’s 11+ people).  It seems like a good idea in the planning stage (I looooove the planning stage), but the execution of the plan goes on too long for my available knitting time.  There’s the amount of knitting time I actually have and what I wish I had or sometimes just think I have.

    Full disclosure: I was on the crazy holiday knitting train at times this season.  And then I got off.  Got on. Off.

    red scarf

    I try to have a pair of socks on the needle for one of the four of us at all times.  So when Z’s latest pair came off the needles in mid-November, I decided it was serendipity and tossed it in the gift knits basket.  Then I saw, in that basket, a lovely, drapey, moss stitch scarf in heathered burgundy Paton’s Classic Wool.  Guess who likes burgundy?  Not me.  But Matt does.  (Like me, his favorite color is green, so this really wasn’t obvious to me or him while I was knitting this scarf, off and on, for a couple, um, years.)

    purple mittens

    That only left my four-year-old, who could use a handknit pair of mittens.  Something to balance out all the pink and leopard print.  I finished on Christmas Eve, after tucking my puking children and husband into bed.

    She, by the way, wins at appreciating my work.  She reminds me almost daily how much she loves her mittens. Aw! Her savvy father, in between appreciations, has already put in his request for a Purl Soho Shawl Collar Cowl.

    I wish I had better pictures to share, but here I am, working at home, and my family and all their handknits are out of the house.  The dark purple of those mittens is especially difficult to capture at this gloomy time of year, while attached to a four-year-old.  More information and photos are available on their Ravelry project pages, linked above.  An account on Ravelry is required to view.

    How did your handknit holidays go?


  4. Knitting in the Dark

    November 25, 2013 by Carol

    Matt and I went to see Thor 2 this weekend and I realized I didn’t have any “easy” knitting so I grabbed a ball of sock yarn and 2.50mm DPNs. Matt thinks it’s pretty incredible that socks are what I consider easy knitting — as opposed to a scarf — and I think this is because a scarf requires a lot of forethought for me.  Who is it going to? What color, how soft, can it be in wool, and what stitch pattern?  Which needles and how wide and how many stitches to cast on?  The problem is that I don’t have a scarf recipe.  There are too many variables.

    For socks I just need some fingering wool (blended with about 15% nylon for durability) and size 2.25mm or 2.50mm needles.  I also need to think about how big the recipient’s leg is — and generally I just do 72 stitches for adults, so that thought process doesn’t take long.

    For these I cast on–you guess it–72 stitches and had joined in the round and knit the first round by the time the lights went down.

    Maybe I should name these Bifrost Socks?

    Maybe I should name these Bifrost Socks?

    I had one sticky bit where I dropped a stitch, and then another while I was trying to pick up the first by feel in the dark.  Then the part of the movie where Odin is showing the book to Thor happens and there was some extra light so I could glance at my work and set it to rights.

    The best part?  They’re too loose.  I use a 2.25mm needle for socks these days and I should have stuck with that.

    Have you ever tried knitting in the dark?


  5. Seed starting, maple sugaring, and hope for the end of the season of slush

    March 11, 2013 by Carol

    We tapped out maple tree a week ago.

    IMG_1821

     

    IMG_1827

    It cost us $4 for the tap; the jar and spare wire were found around the house.  Talk about Yankee frugality!  I have done a bit of reading and talked to people who do this more seriously and I know my one little tap is not going to give me much, no matter how much sap this tree pumps out.  In the first four days we collected about 2 gallons, boiled it down to 1/2 quart of complexly flavored, delicious sweet water — it needs to be cooked down further but I have to collect more sap first.  Since Thursday, I’ve collected another 2+ gallons and it’s time for another boil.  It took some 10 hours of hard boiling last time, oy.  If you’ve ever been to a real, outdoor maple syrup-making event, you know how very small scale my venture is.  Nonetheless, we are having fun!

    We are considering a second or third tap.  An experienced maple sugarer assures me that more taps is fine and the sugaring season in Michigan will last for at least another month (nights below freezing, days above freezing).

    IMG_1841

    I’ll share more of what I’ve learned as we progress with the collection and boiling over the next month.  My best source of info — enough to get going and not so much that you’ll be stalled — comes from this University of Maine agricultural extension pamphlet.

    While I am new to maple sugaring, I am old hand at seed starting.  This is my favorite part of gardening and a great relief from winter!

    I began by disinfecting all my pots and trays in bleach water solution in the bath tub (I decided against sharing that grotesque picture!).  I didn’t measure anything – just filled the tub with enough hot water to submerge the trays and dumped in a large glug of bleach (1 cup or less), swirled the bleach into the water and made sure it didn’t have that slimy feeling you get with too much bleach and let the dunking begin.  I did not clean the containers, mind you, just disinfected them.  I have a large collection of pots and trays and — life’s too short.  Mind you, this is the first time in all my years of gardening that I have bothered with disinfecting and that’s because I got these supplies from another gardener.  I’ve never had fungal problems with my seed starting so I never feel the need to disinfect.

    IMG_1852

    Air dry is best when disinfecting, but I rinsed my first set so I could get going right away.  The kids and I filled the first tray of 18 pots with a commercial soil-less seed starting mixture that we had around the house from some other project.

    We planted — about 4 seeds per 3″ pot:

    • Tomatillos (2012) — they are rather carefree in form and easy easy easy; we are going to roast them and make salsa
    • Black Plum tomatoes (2010) — black tomatoes have a nice smokey flavor
    • Oxheart Pink tomatoes (2010) — I am searching for an elusive orange oxheart I grew many years ago and this was the closest I could find last time I ordered online
    • Tiger-like tomatoes (2009) — the earliest maturing variety I’ve ever grown, and they’re cute
    • San Marzano Lampadina plum tomato (2010) — The year I had a newborn and every other gardener got late blight on their tomatoes, these plants pumped out tomatoes under some serious neglect
    • Nicholson’s Yellow Cherry (2007) — The only cherry tomato in my stash, but I also prefer yellow tomatoes for their lower acid content
    • Ground cherry (2009) — a garden curiosity!  The grow in a husk like a tomatillo and taste a bit like pineapple.  They also like to wander all over the garden so I am replanting them this year.  My mother-in-law, who comes from farming stock, told me that this old-fashioned fruit will flourish in a wild patch once it finds the right spot; and that it makes great pie.
    • mini sweet peppers (2012) — seed saving adventure from the grocery store.  I struggle to get sweet peppers to set fruit and to have those fruit mature so I hope a mini variety will help make those problems easier.  And the kids love sweet peppers (and hate tomatoes).
    • Early Jalapeno (2007) — I find hot peppers easier to grow than sweet peppers.  And jalepenos are a crucial ingredient in my homemade refried black beans.
    • Ancho hot pepper (2010) — It’s not always easy to find a good variety of hot peppers where I live so why not grow my own and preserve them!
    • Cayenne pepper (2010) — They’re beautiful and useful in sparing amounts
    • Garden sage (2008) — I need more of this good stuff to tuck around the vegetable garden.  It attracts pollinators and repels pests.
    • Hyssop (2007) — Attracts bees and butterflies
    • Cumin (2008) — I love this spice and cannot resist trying to grow it, again!

    IMG_1854

    Yes I am using “old” seed and yes, I plant sparingly.  It works for me.  If germination rates are too low to be useful, I will know in the next 10 days and can replant with new seed, skip it for this year, or buy a plant at the nursery.  I know the paper towel germination check trick, but I cannot be bothered to do it because I have SO MANY packages of seeds.  How many, you’re wondering?  My spreadsheet shows around 230.  Some are being tossed today as things I refuse to ever grow again (shasta daisy, wormwood), or failed experiments (gerber daisy), or used up (Nicholson’s Yellow Cherry).  I hope to whittle this number down significantly this year and have many new plants growing in the garden instead.

    Today is the new moon and we are trying out some biodynamic gardening methods this year.  The new moon is a good time to plant seeds because it promotes root growth (think tidal pulls, not magic).  Although Jeavons’s tome, How to Grow More Vegetables… is a great source of biodynamic gardening information, for an easy beginning I recommend the seed starting tool at Almanac.com, which gives best planting dates for several popular vegetables, including moon-favorable dates.  That link is set to Detroit, MI; put in your city or zip code to get the dates for your part of the US (sorry Canada!  And everybody else in the world!) .

    Once my seeds are planted, they go on a wire shelf in front of the south-east facing window in my dining room.  It is the perfect plant nursery.  Plenty of sunlight and warmth and air movement (I do use domes until seedlings emerge to make them a littler warmer and moister) without the expense of grow lights or heat mats.  Yes, it makes my husband a little crazy to have this in my dining room but not so much that he wants to invest in a mini greenhouse.  Yet.

    How are you breaking out of winter’s doldrums?  Having any dreams of green things?


  6. “The Weed” by Elizabeth Bishop

    February 2, 2013 by Carol

    It’s Imbolc or Brigid’s Day and Brigid was, among so many other things–saint or goddess, depending on who you ask–a patron of poets.  I love poetry so very much!  My future sister-in-law just finished a master’s degree in English Lit and for her thesis studied Elizabeth Bishop.  So I have been reading Bishop of late.  I am tickled that Bishop translated a bunch of Octavio Paz, of whom I am a big fan.  In fact, last year at this time I posted an excerpt from his seminal work, “Sunstone.”

     

    “The Weed”

    by Elizabeth Bishop

     

    I dreamed that dead, and meditating,

    I lay upon a grave, or bed,

    (at least, some cold and close-built bower).

    In the cold heart, its final thought

    stood frozen, drawn immense and clear,

    stiff and idle as I was there;

    and we remained unchanged together

    for a year, a minute, an hour.

    Suddenly there was a motion,

    as startling, there, to every sense

    as an explosion. Then it dropped

    to insistent, cautious creeping

    in the region of the heart,

    prodding me from desperate sleep.

    I raised my head. A slight young weed

    had pushed up through the heart and its

    green head was nodding on the breast.

    (All this was in the dark.)

    It grew an inch like a blade of grass;

    next, one leaf shot out of its side

    a twisting, waving flag, and then

    two leaves moved like a semaphore.

    The stem grew thick.  The nervous roots

    reached to each side; the graceful head

    changed its position mysteriously,

    since there was neither sun nor moon

    to catch its young attention.

    The rooted heart began to change

    (not beat) and then it split apart

    and from it broke a flood of water.

    Two rivers glanced off from the sides,

    one to the right, one to the left,

    two rushing, half-clear streams,

    (the ribs made of them two cascades)

    which assuredly, smooth as glass,

    went off through the fine black grains of earth.

    The weed was almost swept away;

    it struggled with its leaves,

    lifting them fringed with heavy drops.

    A few drops fell upon my face

    and in my eyes, so I could see

    (or, in that black place, thought I saw)

    that each drop contained a light,

    a small, illuminated scene;

    the weed-deflected stream was made

    itself of racing images.

    (As if a river should carry all

    the scenes that it had once reflected

    shut in its waters, and not floating

    on momentary surfaces.)

    The weed stood in the severed heart.

    “What are you doing there?” I asked.

    It lifted its head all dripping wet

    (with my own thoughts?)

    and answered then: “I grow,” it said,

    “but to divide your heart again.”

     

    From Poems by Elizabeth Bishop, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2011, p. 22-23.  Originally published in Bishop’s first collection, North & South, 1946.


  7. Proof that Dr. G’s Memory Vest Makes People Happy

    January 21, 2013 by Carol

    Mission accomplished!

    Being a goal-oriented person, I am pleased to have not only finished my husband’s Dr G’s Memory Vest (pattern by Kirsten Kapur of Through the Loops), but also to have accomplished my goal of knitting a sweater for each person in my immediate family this season.

    Except myself.  I am not neglecting myself.  I do not buy into the Martyr Mother role!  And winter is not over yet.  I will cast on for my new sweater any day now.  I just have to make a decision on which pattern…  Isn’t sifting Ravelry for a pattern the best part anyway?

    Back to the vest.  On a friend’s suggestion, I went with Aslan Trends Del Cerro yarn.  It was one of those yarns that seemed like it would work, but so did not – at first.  I wanted to make a medium, which would have given Matt some negative ease in the fit, but after casting on and knitting for a few inches, it was clear that it was coming out way too small.  So I threw my naughty knitting into the corner for a few days ripped it out and knit the vest in the extra-large size.

     

    Well hallelujah and all that jazz because it ended being a great fit!  It’s approximately 43” around the chest, which is about what size the medium was supposed to be.  I’d like to claim awesome knitting ninja powers, but I suspect I just got lucky.  The false start made for a good gauge swatch as well.  The one tricky spot was the v-neck; I had to rewrite the decreases because of the difference in my row gauge.  Row gauge didn’t give me a problem in the other parts of the sweater.

    Don’t get me wrong about the Del Cerro, either.  It’s a great yarn.  It is comprised of many small plies and it is very bouncy and squishy.  It was just a bit splitty in the knitting up, but not so much that I am put off using it in the future.  The important feature of this yarn: It has GREAT stitch definition for all those cables.  I hope down the road that it doesn’t fuzz over so much that the cables become blurred, but if it does, oh well – there are more vests to be knit and there is a life-cycle to all these knitted goods.

    Coincidentally, Matt’s first opportunity to wear this was on his birthday last week.  We had to go out and get a new white button down and everything.

     

    Donut Mondae at Zingerman’s Roadhouse ~ what more could a person ask for?!

    Dah-ling, you look mah-velous!  Happy Birthday!


  8. Well, well, well…

    November 15, 2012 by Carol

    It has been a quiet year (here, anyway) with a beautiful, but hard-to-read theme.

    How about we change things up?

    A new theme and renewed purpose.

    After thirteen years–lucky, lucky thirteen–working in traditional publishing, I am stretching my wings to encompass the online realm.  Right now, let us simply enjoy each other’s company, shall we?  In two years’ time, my little people will all be in school and I will be able to devote myself to my freelance career fulltime.  Yikes!  So this is the time to enjoy.  The time when my seven-year-old son still says “I love you, Mom,” while we’re walking home from school (as he did today).

    What have you been enjoying lately?

    I’ve been sinking deeper and deeper into the soft abyss of spinning.  I have been blessed to borrow two spinning wheels and be given another–simultaneously–this past year.  Talk about wow.  So it is time to give back before there’s some sort of karmic backlash, like a rubberband snapping back into my face.

    The borrowed wheels are an Ashford Traveller (very easy to spin on!) and a Majacraft Suzie Pro (the Cadillac of spinning wheels, as one friend put it).  Then someone was cleaning her house and gifted me with a Louet S15 that she had bought second-hand and never used.  It needed love and repairs but–OMG!  It was mine!

    Through my local fiber guild, Spinner’s Flock, I got in touch with Linda of Cape House Farms, a local Louet dealer.  She fixed my baby up right and told me it was more than 30 years old.  I went straight from Linda’s beautiful property to Knit Night, my heart so light and bubbly with excitement, my arms full of combed Border Leicester that she gave me to play with–and I discovered that I couldn’t spin on this wheel to save my life!

    Cue violins.  Pass the antacids.

    Luckily there is always knitting to get my back (love you BFF!) so I wasn’t empty-handed that evening.  But after closing down the coffeeshop, I stayed up late doing research.  I learned that most Louets, the S15 included, are bobbin-led wheels.  The other two I’ve been using are flyer-led.  I made a few small adjustments to my drafting and treadeling and–behold!–Rapunzel is back in the house.

    Rapunzel reference aside, I make no great claims to my spinning quality.  I am simply enjoying the process.  First question out of everyone’s mouth when I show them my spinning is “what are you going to make?”  Fair enough.  If you asked me about the angle of twist or Z/S spin, I would just look at you cross-eyed anyway.  But I have no answer to this popular question.  I left the last guild meeting wearing my latest skeins of yarn like a cowl and that worked well enough.

    Until I got too warm.


  9. Stripe it like there’s no tomorrow

    April 30, 2012 by Carol

    You can't knit just two!

    In my experience, creation falls into two categories: quick and slow.  Whether one is writing a story or building a piece of furniture, some things come together in a flash of frenzied inspiration, while others must cook for a long, long time.  This sock pattern falls into the latter category.  I have noodled out and knit up versions of it since December 2008 when it made it’s debut as a multicolor striped slipper sock for my brother’s girlfriend.

    The organizing principle: what tiny balls of leftover yarn are in the bottom of my Wool-Ease basket?

    Although I love the funky multicolor stripey-ness, this early sock needed to be knit at a tighter gauge to be more durable.

    First I had a detour into some Harry Potter themed House Socks, which gave me the name, but were still too loose.

    Slytherin or Gryffindor?

     

    A few years later, I got around to reworking the numbers and quickly had these!

    This combo of green and blue makes my eyes happy.

     

    Before giving them over to the whole wide world, I had some friends test it out.  Thank you, friends!

    Alison Denomme

     

    Allison Phelps

     

    Casey Braun -- her first socks ever! Wow!

     

    Melissa White

     

    Heidi Lemon

     

    Abbey Buckley

    More views and more socks are available on the pattern’s Ravelry page!  It is with great pleasure that I give you House Socks!  Enjoy! Please be in touch if you have any questions.  Via Ravelry is best way to contact me.


  10. When Life Gives You Lemons…

    February 3, 2012 by Carol

    …you knit a doll blanket with ridiculously cutesy yarn!

    Just...one...more...stripe...tonight...

    Today I went to the yarn shop — with my preschooler — thinking to indulge myself in a single beautiful skein of something to make something with.  (I was deliberately keeping my options open.)  And there she was, being such a good girl in such a grown up store, skipping down all the aisles, pointing out every single pink skein and squealing with delight over them all.

    The conclusion was obvious and I am really enjoying this diversion knit.  I thought I was busy last year, with a husband in grad school, both of us working, a kid at home, and a kid in school, but we have managed to take it up a notch this year.  Oy.

    I have been reduced to hiding in my bedroom on a Friday afternoon, knitting pink yarn, and watching Downton Abbey.

    Of course when I write it down it doesn’t sound bad at all.  Perhaps I do have a sense of self preservation.

    The yarn is Plymouth Encore Colorspun in the poetically named color #7722.  Now, if you don’t mind, the blue stripe is waiting…