Dove Shawl

Just off the needles. Sharon Miller’s Dove shawl project. The pattern can be purchased from her site.

I loved working with the kidsilk haze mohair and the pattern was very easy to memorize so knitting with minimal distraction is possible, such as during class, which I find knitting during class or any kind of lecture allows me to concentrate on the speaker as my mind does not seem to wonder. This one is already sold I have received a request for another one which is a testimony to the designer, Sharon, who has many beautiful, some very elaborate, patterns. I don’t know if I will ever be ambitious enough to try her “Princess Shawl” but for those who need the challenge, I recommend you checking it out.



About a month ago, while surfing the internet, looking for gift ideas for the upcoming Nativity, I came across a site (Knitting Any Way) featuring a support spindle, which I found so unique I had to purchase one, for myself.  I felt a little guilty since this is the season for “giving”, but not guilty enough, obviously, to ignore this intriguing interpretation of a support spindle.   And the price was reasonable enough to make it that much easier to talk myself into it.

Since I am so fond of knitting lace and Crispin offers such beautiful Angora fibre, I spin a lot of lace weight yarn, which can be a little tricky on a drop spindle.  I can’t count how many times my “drop” spindle took on a whole new meaning as I picked it up off the floor over and over, or just gave up on using this tool all together turning to my wheel in its stead.  Still there are times when bringing a spindle along is so much more convenient and practical when wanting to spin outside the home.

For anyone who has spun on a “support” spindle, attaining the ability to keep the spindle spinning upright and spinning while drafting, without falling out of control can be quite frustrating.  What I love about this Spindolyn is that it fits into a secure support allowing you to take your hand off the spindle and draft with two hands if you want, as it continues to spin.  It makes spinning more delicate and/or shorter staple fibres a delight.  I absolutely love spinning on it.

Quick and Easy Dishcloth

I was taking note, recently, of the sad state my dishcloths were in, and wondered which would be quicker, knit one up or run to Wal-mart to purchase one. Since we live”in the sticks” there is no such thing as a quick run to anywhere. I also took into consideration time to shower, dress, walk through the vast superstore, wait in line to check out and return home. I might have been able to manage it in about 2 hours, which, as it turns out, was about how long it took to knit this up.

I used a very simple pattern that can be found on the “How Stuff Works” website. Using about a third of a small skein of “sugar and cream” cotton, I plan to use the rest of the skein to knit a matching dish towel, and size 8 Brittany needles. I always look forward to using one of the few sizes of walnut needles I purchased from Brittany before they stopped making them from black walnut wood. The birch ones are nice but the walnut needles were noticeably softer, which is a big deal when you suffer with painful hands. Fibromyalgia is the biggest culprit, for me….there is no way anyone is going to convince me that years of fibre arts contributed in any way to my painful hands.

I had to add this picture, despite my windblown hair that obviously did not receive any attention after taking Onida for a walk, but it is a wonderful example of why I enjoy knitting. There is nothing more healing than comfortable “frumpy” clothing, enjoying quiet time with a couple of knitting buddies. What better way to unwind at the end of the day.

St. Nicholas

Last Saturday, the 1st Saturday of each December, we celebrated St. Nicholas’ day with our annual St. Nicholas Festival.  The festival started a few years back, to help educate others about the real Saint, and to help bring the spirit of the season into perspective.

Each year our little festival grows, but more importantly, with growth we are able to keep this Saint’s life the main focus, and what he taught, through example, Orthodox Christians.

In addition to offering the life of St. Nicholas the festival also affords the opportunity to educate the community about Orthodox Christianity.  Father Thomas, as shown here, dresses in Bishop’s vestments, (as St. Nicholas) and gives periodic to the church and her history.

One of the Orthodox Church’s treasures, and the festival’s highlight is our choir’s performance of the ancient hymns.

Another highlight is our Russian cafe that offers traditional, homemade, Russian dishes.

All profits from each festival go back into the community through local charities.  This year we will be donating to “Co-operative Ministries” who work with the poor here offering financial assistance.


My plan here is to create a compilation of my other blogs and website, a place for all my wool gathering.

DH’s scarf Finished

I finished DH’s scarf and am fairly satisfied with the end result. As with any project I contemplate the calamities of the adventure that will ultimately become part of the end product, whether annulled, assimilated or embraced, I always hope to learn something from each attempted undertaking. As we all know, when we stop learning, we stop growing and once we think we no longer have anything to learn. life becomes tiresome.

The obvious lesson in this adventure was that variegated yarn does not lend well when trying to achieve a Fibonacci effect. Though my intended goal was not met, in that respect, it certainly is a one of a kind, and that makes it unique. Unique is rarely a bad thing…..

Since Onida is no longer allowed to assist with my knitting I wanted her to participate in some way and think she does a much better job at modeling than knitting.

A Wonderful Gift

A couple of years ago my dh commissioned an iconographer to write an icon of St. Melangell for my birthday. Due to circumstances beyond her control it took longer to complete than anticipated, but time was really not an issue for me, and as I understand after talking with others who had icons written by other iconographers, 2 years is generally about right.

After viewing Denise’s work on her website I knew right away she would be able to capture what I perceive, from what little is offered on her life, the spirit of St. Melangell. Upon receiving the icon in July, I see that I was right.

When Denise posted a picture of this, her latest work on her website, soliciting feedback from members of a mutual discussion list I was a bit surprised at the controversy it generated. There was a comment made about the concern over following “traditional guidelines/rules”. In this person’s defense I understand where he was coming from. I am all for tradition, it keeps us faithful. true to those things that should remained unchanged. Still every now and again trueness is captured in an untraditional style that can not be denied, nor dismissed. I feel this is very much such a case.

Saint Melangell spoke to me, when I became Orthodox, officially, through her love for all God’s creatures, great and small, and the importance that she taught by example, of protecting these gifts from God and being a good steward of the environment. One of the criticism of this icon was that she looked a little too wild, and was likened to “Xena warriour princess” or something similar. I imagine that Saint Melangell was probably pretty close to this characterization, in that she did fight for the safety of the little rabbit that found shelter in the folds of her garment while she prayed in a field. Living as a hermit for 15 years in the wilderness one can imagine her hair unbound, moved freely in any breeze….thank you Denise for this wonderful representation.