Thursday, September 26, 2019

The Stay Put Kippah

A little more than five years ago, I designed these kippot (yamulkah, kipah, yarmulke,etc.) for my twins. And, you know, I kept planning to write up the pattern. I have finally done it. I can definitely say that these kippahs stay put. My kids run and play in them, paint and goof off and …they started wearing them when they were 3 and now they are 8 and they still fit, with minor adjustments.
I am really proud of this pattern because it has worked so well in use in our household…and now it is finally published. I set Rosh Hashanah as a deadline!--and I made it!
Wishing everyone who is celebrating a happy, healthy, sweet and safe new year.

Happy 5780!

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Thursday, September 19, 2019

Catching up

I'm a little behind over here!  Ok, here is the summary.  We've had some warm weather, some time off of school (yes, already, there was a teacher-work day right after school began) and I just chose to give in to playing outside and decide to catch up later.  In Winnipeg, we need to enjoy warm weather while it lasts!

In sad news, we seem to have lost a Worry Bear somewhere along the way.  Since one of my kids needs his every day, I made a new one ASAP.  Same yarn, same ribbon...and I launched it on my brand new Instagram account, @yrnspinner.  (Yes, this is news...please follow me!)
My class last Friday at the Manitoba Fibre Festival was just fabulous.  I had a lot of fun teaching and my students were all eager to do more recycling and reuse.  We had fun.

I managed to take my twins back to the festival later in the weekend and we came home with this outstanding fair trade basket, handmade in Ghana, and sold by Big Blue Moma.  My kids knew the basket would immediately be pressed into service for spinning on the front porch and argued over who would get the amazing blue bead on the label.  (We're negotiating about that.  Luckily, I have other beads for the other kid.)  I took some time to myself to do some hand carding on the front porch while the Professor and twins were out on an adventure.  It was an amazingly rare and quiet moment!
All my columns and other writing work during this time has had to be done while kids are asleep or finally back at school, etc.  The Jewish Independent has recently run two columns: Apple-picking and tzedakah (tzedakah roughly means charity, although not an exact translation) and Concern over what to share.

In between play dates outside with Sally (almost 15 year old Pointer mix) and Sadie (our young Gordon Setter mix), I have also begun to post my patterns for sale on a new website called well as my old standbys, Ravelry and  I'd love to hear if you've used PatternVine's new but comes well-recommended.

Here's to enjoying the warm days while they last!

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Monday, September 09, 2019


This past week, I did a little tour around my house and collected samples that I'll use for teaching my class on how to make and use recycled yarns.  It was a good opportunity to give beloved household items a good wash and airing!

Remember, if you're interested in taking this class on Friday at the Manitoba Fibre Festival, please register here!

These are only some of my supplies, but a short summary...the baskets.  These knitted baskets were taken directly out of household use.  The flowered one is used to hold medicines and odds and ends on a high up shelf in a kids' bedroom.  The white one sits in a hallway, usually filled with dog toys.

(We are still helping Sadie the dog realize that she can also return toys to this bin as well as distribute them around the house!)
This braided rug usually lives in the guest room.  It is made entirely of old clothing and is aging very well.  I recognized most of the clothing from around 1995-7 or so.  I made this rug for our first home in Durham, North Carolina, around the time we got married.

I wove this rag rug on a floor loom for an outdoor exhibit at the Forks in 2010, I think.  When it came home (a little worse for wear), I washed it, it cleaned up nicely and it became a rug in my guest bathroom.

Part of the reason it was easy to gather all this?  The professor and my kids have been working to paint our guest room recently.  It was an ugly brown color...we inherited it this from the last owner.  When we had our house insulated in June, the workers decided they could not insulate the house on the third floor from the outside.  (too high up, too hard to drill into the stucco to shoot the insulation in the walls.)  So, they drilled inside, and we've had a lot of chaos in cleaning up from this.  Because of the big bore holes, it was a good time to repaint...and we chose a cheery pistachio green shade.  The guest room is mostly reassembled now and looks so much better.  I feel relieved every time I see the new color!
Last but not least, I had an article come out recently in the Vancouver Jewish Independent about the start of the new school year and what we share when trying to connect with others.
That's the news from here!

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Thursday, September 05, 2019

Back to School Sale!

The first day of school went smoothly around here, thank goodness...and I am finally getting back to my work life.  All the work (writing, etc.) has to happen when kids are asleep, guests have left, and this makes for one very tired freelancer.

I recently had an article come out here--but I need to avoid commenting on details to protect the privacy of some vulnerable minors.  It's a bad situation, but that's all I can say for now.  It fits under the category of 'something has gone really wrong with protecting kids.' I used to teach in inner-city environments like DC and Buffalo, NY, I know when something should be reported, but I'm worried that no one will look into this, despite my best efforts to report the info safely.

In happier news:
I'm having an article come out in the next issue of PLY Magazine!  It's called "The Mad Felter" and I'm excited to see how it looks in print.

In other happy news...

I am running a sale over on Ravelry!

Use the coupon code:

and get 20% off all my Rav patterns until September 12th.  (ends midnight, CT, US & Canada)

This is your chance to get my new pattern, Strippy McStrippit, on sale, too!
I'm giving blog readers a special opportunity to get the sale a little bit ahead of everyone else, too...if you read this, feel free to share the promotion! Thanks for checking out my work!  Happy September!

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