Neither created nor destroyed

edited poncho

There is a photo of me, circa 1977 Vancouver, wearing a red, white and black striped poncho crocheted by my mom. I’m standing in the front yard with my little brother. It is our first spring in Canada, and the misted colors of the Pacific Northwest–gray, green, gold and brown–seem inseparable from the glow that nostalgia casts over such images from the past.

When I outgrew the poncho, my mother unraveled it and used the yarn for another project.  I would not be surprised if the yarn still remains, rewound into tight little balls and tucked into a dark corner of her closet, quietly dreaming of its new incarnations.


Madeline Tosh DK in “Charcoal”

Pattern: Easy Folded Poncho

What connects us


This is Little A’s finger knitting; She is so proud of herself.

Hand knits are time capsules; I finished that sleeve on the night of the year’s first snowfall. I spun this Shetland while thinking of you.

Each stitch links us to a time and a place, anticipating a form not yet inhabited.

Handspun Hats


I had all sorts of ambitious knitting plans for this Christmas–fabulous knitted gifts for family and friends. But this is all that I was able to do: two measly hats.  I started the second hat on the plane back to Canada four days before Christmas! The sad thing is, I don’t even think I was procrastinating. I just lost track of my days, which, I guess, could be called a form of procrastination…

Here they are modeled by Little A just before they were wrapped up for my nieces.

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I finally made a wurm hat, the insanely popular hat that has over 8000 versions on ravelry. In December 2013 alone, more than 280 of these hats were completed, many of them probably Christmas gifts.

It is a fabulous pattern to showcase handspun yarn with noticeable color shifts. Each band of purl stitches emphasizes the color contrasts without the shifts appearing too jarring. I can see why this hat is so popular. It’s a quick knit, and it is easily modifiable based on how much yarn you have. You can knit until you’re almost running out and then begin the decrease rows, which are basically the last 5 rows . I think I used about 200 yards.

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This hat was knitted with worsted yarn spun using a short forward draft. The fiber is SW merino and dyed by Nest Fiber Studio, one of my favorite indie dyers who is now taking pre-orders on certain colorways. Hooray! No more stressful shop updates when everything is sold in less than five minutes.  The colorway is “Freedom Child.”


This butterfly hat was inspired by SouleMama’s 27 hour hat. I had spun this falkland fiber from the fold to produce a semi-woolen yarn with more subtle color shifts. I had seen other examples of Pigeonroof Studio’s “Electric Rose” spun up, and I wanted something a bit more heathered. This was also my first time spinning from the fold.  This pattern is very forgiving when it comes to uneven yarn, which mine was.

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I wish I were a better photographer and knew what to do with my camera. All I do is point and shoot. The colors on this hat are gorgeous, but none of the photos seem to capture the specks of gold, blue, purples, browns and pinks. The outdoor shots are probably a closer approximation, but the indoor shots reveal the gold flecks and the puffy texture of this stitch.

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I am going to have to plan better for Christmas 2014.