My Granddaughter’s Closet

by Lee Louise

Flowers in Mississippi, 29 Oct 2017.jpg

Last weekend we went to Alabama because my grandchildren had singing and speaking parts in their Children’s Sacrament Meeting Presentation. The presentation was wonderful. The 4 year old actually spoke his part, before spending the rest of the meeting with his teacher’s arms around him. Tightly, I understand. The other two grands spoke their parts clearly, and sang all of the songs with great intensity. The trip was definitely worth it.

My husband and I slept in my granddaughter’s room while we were there. Being of an inquisitive nature, I naturally opened the door to her closet, turned on the light, and looked around. Over the years, I have knit her a Noro bolero:


an Entrechat shrug, undocumented;

a pair of gumdrop legwarmers:

and Sarah knit a lemon-colored lace cowl for her last holiday.

I have never seen her wear any of them.

Imagine my surprise and delight, when I opened the closet, turned on the light, and there they all were, neatly arranged on hangers!

It was a good trip.

Hydrangea in Mississippi, 29 Oct 2017


Insight into my proccess

by Lee Louise: It is with great delight that I reblog (my very first reblog!! Ever!!!) my daughter’s very first post, on her very new blog.

FabledFigment’s Yarn Stash

So I guess it’s time for me to start this knitting blog everyone seems to think I should have. And by everyone I mean my mother and everyone else who has seen my work and wished there was a pattern to go with it.

Right, so maybe that’s a smaller demographic than I implied at first.

I’m a designer. Not a famous one. I have designed a handful of very nice sweaters for myself. Most of them burned in a house fire with most of my stash, something I really don’t want to dwell on.

I went to Tuesday Morning, not the best place to buy yarn, to be sure, but accessible. I found three balls of fibranatura Lima in three different colors. I wasn’t familiar with the brand but it felt nice and I liked all three colors.

I’ve decided to make either a hat or a cowel or…

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Fudging with a Pinch of Judicious Cheating

This fall, Classic Elite sponsored two Colorful KAL’s, one in linen stitch, and one in stranded work. I always like to play along and, since I never do stranding or fair isle if I can help it, I joined the linen stitch scarf KAL. (The free pattern is called Liberty Wool Linen Stitch Scarf, designed by Susan Mills.) The KAL was a blast and I am finished, although I must admit that a certain amount of fudging and cheating was involved. And so, even though I failed the colorful linen stitch KAL, I thought I would share my journey with you.

When I joined this KAL, I truly intended to make a small linen stitch cowl, suitable to gift one of my granddaughters this holiday. 6 skeins, or 3 each of two colors, would be a scarf, 8 in. by 72 in. My granddaughters are not very big. 2 each of two colors would finish into a scarf, 8 in. by 60 in. That’s still kind of big, so I decided to get 2 skeins of Liberty Wool, in 2 contrasting colors, figuring that a piece 8 in. by 30 in. would make a very nice cowl. I looked at the pattern picture some more, and concluded that an 8 inch tall cowl would be too big for a small person (my four granddaughters range in age from 3 to 10), so I cut the cast on stitches down to 37, and started linen stitching away.

Very quickly into the project (about 1 1/2 inches!) it was forcibly brought to my remembrance that (1) I don’t like to knit linen stitch and (2) even love for my granddaughters would never compel me to finish this project. 4 inches into the project, I realized that (1) I *hate* linen stitch and (2) I was ready to consign the project to a dark closet somewhere. And so it continued, inch by inch, until I had 9 inches of a linen stitch cowl, which I hated and didn’t want to finish. I was 10 days into the KAL.

That afternoon was a Saturday, and one of my daughters asked me to take her to the library. I took the KAL piece along and stared at it with loathing, front and back. It was then that I noticed by chance how much the back side of linen stitch looked like seed stitch. And so, I started knitting seed stitch:
Classic Elite Linen Stitch Scarf (Seed and linen stitch, wrong side).jpg

Well, after a couple of inches of that, (and it grew so quickly!!), I remembered how, when my youngest daughter was learning to knit, sometimes her seed stitch would shift sideways into a 1×1 rib, and I knit some ribbing. Then I thought of how a chart for ribbing, turned 90 degrees, is a chart for garter stitch, and I did some garter stitch:
Classic Elite Linen Stitch Scarf (seed;1x1 rib;garter stripes).jpg

Linen stitch is a slip stitch pattern, with the yarn floats in front. Mosaic stitch is a slip stitch pattern, with yarn floats in back. So I made two different mosaic stitch patterns:Classic Elite Linen Stitch Scarf (mixed mosaic)Classic Elite Linen Stitch Scarf (garter mosaic)

And some moss stitch:
Classic Elite Linen Stitch Scarf (moss stitch)

And some eyelet variations:
Classic Elite Linen Stitch Scarf (mixed eyelets)

By then in was Sunday afternoon, and I was getting close to the end of my 2 contrasting skeins of yarn, so I reverted to linen stitch (which went much, much faster this time around, thank you very much!), so the two ends would be the same width, to make it easier to join together into a cowl.

And so, it is finished. 10 days for 9 inches of linen stitch, 1 day for an engaging stitch sampler. I plan to block it L–O–N–G, to straighten out the edges (the ribbing will need to be pinned side-to-side, even so):
Classic Elite Linen Stitch Scarf (preliminary blocking)

and then we will see what it really wants to be, cowl or scarf, holiday gift or not.

BTW, I love the yarn, Classic Elite’s Liberty Wool, in 2 colorways, worked in alternating 2 row stripes throughout.

And thus we see, I have failed the KAL. But I had an awful lot of fun while I was doing it!

A Blanket a Day

by Lee Louise

I have knit and crocheted many blankets. For my mother, for my sisters, for various friends, for weddings and babies, for charity. I once took on an extended project, and crocheted an afghan a year for five years, one for each of my husband’s siblings as our family’s Christmas gift to their families in the Christmas “sibling rotation.”

Some time later, I decided that it would be fun to make an afghan for each of my own children as a high school graduation present, to take to college with them. I had done a similar thing once before, for my in-laws, why not for my own offspring? It was a grand plan, though sadly lacking in execution.

A year ago, the status of the plan went something like this:
1. Oldest child: Her afghan was finished in time frame as planned; she took it to college with her in 1995, and used it extensively in the cold Utah winters; she still uses it:1995 -- Sarah's afghan.jpgf

2. Second child: afghan semi-finished while she was an undergraduate in college; she chose a knitted afghan on big needles with 4 different yarns held together; I do not enjoy knitting with multiple strands of yarn — in fact, I seem to recall that I finished the knitting of it and handed it to her in an unbecoming fit of temper, and told her she would just have to finish the ends herself. Still unfinished, it perished in a fire a few years ago, along with all of her other worldly possessions. I think she needs another afghan, but not until this first cycle is complete.
3. Third child: finished the afghan about the time her second child was born; she already had a Master’s degree in collaborative piano.
4. Fourth child: this is his, though deplorably late — his sixth child was born Dec. 31: Delft_Border_2d
5. Fifth child: afghan is a whisper and a promise; so is her baby quilt, which also never got made; I am looking at yarn and colors and designs now, for 2017 or, more probably, given that it is already mid-October, 2018.
6. Sixth child: I never told her of the original plan, so she didn’t know that I hadn’t made her an afghan (or a baby quilt either, for that matter); she graduated from college two years ago.

When I first shared this story, someone suggested that surely the sixth child had heard of the plan at some time, that she had seen her sisters’ afghans and the four baby quilts, and knew that she had been neglected. Poor youngest child!! So I asked. And no, she had had no idea. She does now, of course. Last Christmas I taught her to crochet, and she is a natural. Maybe I could give her yarn this Christmas coming up and let her make her own?


Last night I started a Facebook page. Tonight, I have 67 friends. Woot!!

Lee Louise Etc. on Facebook

Hillary on RedBubble

by Lee Louise

Well, we did it. Or, to be more precise, Hillary did it. Here she is, my daughter the entrepreneur:


Hillary has opened a RedBubble store. She is a gifted artist, and has chosen this venue to showcase her work. After researching various print on demand sites, she chose RedBubble as the best fit. She will increase her offerings weekly. Each picture has a multitude of print options. My favorites are the tote bags and the framed prints, most often with black matte and mocha frame. Hillary is drawn to the postcards and notebooks.

The self-portrait above is available, as are these pictures, among others:


Vases and flowers


Meditation in the woods

Hillary has chosen to start by offering her early pieces first, to document her growth as an artist. The pieces on the website to date are from her middle school and high school days.

Take a look at


Reaching out

by Lee Louise

Embroidered Refurbishment

by Lee Louise

Notes from 2015. I enjoy making sweaters with unusual design features, but even with five daughters, sometimes I discover that not one of them would be willing to wear something I want to make after I finish it… In 2015 I lucked out, because Hillary expressed a willingness, if not an actual desire, to own and wear a Caldwell Pullover. (The original pattern by Courtney Spainhower can be found in the Fall 2015 issue of Knitscene.) We found three colors of Cascade Yarns’ Cloud on sale at Webs. She would NOT wear the orange, I would NOT knit the nearly-black green (I think it was green, it might have been brown, I just know it was very dark), so we settled on Honey.


We ordered it, I worried about it, silently fussing that she didn’t really like it but was just humoring me. When the yarn arrived in the mail, though, she was delighted with it, and I went to work.

I don’t recall exactly how long it took me knit the Caldwell, but I believe it was only two or three weeks. Aran yarn knits up so quickly, and the shaping is so interesting, that I didn’t want to put it down.


However, aran weight wool/alpaca yarn knits up into a very warm sweater. She has worn it quite a bit, I think she likes it, but it is really too warm for the MidSouth.

At the points on the arms, back, and bust where the eyelets stop, there is a pronounced tendency for the fabric to come out in a point. Just sayin’. If you choose to make a Caldwell, be sure to fiddle when blocking to minimize those points. I suppose if the arm points came at the elbow, it wouldn’t look so odd, and there is an excuse to have points in the bust area. But back points are not totally necessary.



The underarm is not a gansey-type gusset, and there are seams (the only seams!) where the underarm of the body meets the underarm of the sleeve. On each side of that seam, there is the potential for holes to form. After seaming, a bit of darning must be done to minimize those holes.


I did make one change in the design. Hillary asked for elbow-length sleeves instead of wrist-length. I misjudged where to start the ribbing, and so the sleeves are longer than elbow length, but she hasn’t complained. I stopped decreasing a couple of inches before the ribbing, and I don’t think I should have. Maybe I should have gone back and reknit the last few inches of the sleeves, but I didn’t. Judge for yourself.

All in all, I am happy with this sweater, and Hillary likes it too.

Notes from February 2017. Time has passed. I am happy to say that in the past year and a half (?), this has been Hillary’s go-to sweater. She wears it to church on Sunday, and most days of the week besides. With that kind of wear, perhaps it should not have been surprising when a few weeks ago, I noticed 3 or 4 little holes in the garter stitch section of the arm. (Right arm? Left arm? It depends on whether she is wearing it frontwards or backwards, and she is pretty indiscriminate about that.)

I mentally filed this information away, and when Margaret came for the wedding, I asked her to embellish the sleeve to camouflage, and mend, the little holes. So, while I finished the Wedding Bolero, Hillary darned, and Margaret embroidered Palestrina knots, woven spiderwebs, lazy daisies and a couple of satin stitch leaves with leftovers of the original yarn. The result is amazing. It looks so delicate.

I love it even more than I did in 2015, and Hillary still wears it to church, and every day of the week besides!

I hope it doesn’t spring any more holes but, if it does, a solution is at hand.

A Note of Encouragement

by Lee Louise

Is it gray and dreary where you live? Are mountains sliding down the hillsides? Are the potholes big enough to swallow your car?  Are you dreading the floods that will wreak havoc when the snow finally  does thaw?

Worst yet: Is it snowing? AGAIN??

Don’t lose hope, my friends. Spring will come to you too!!

Forsythia above the retaining wall in the side yard:

Battalions of daffodils blooming under the dogwood tree:daffodils-5



by Lee Louise

We had a family reunion at Christmas time. My five daughters were all there:


With their families:


Our son and his family were sadly missed, but their new baby was born December 31, so travel for them was problematic.

Then in February we gathered again, this reunion celebrating a wedding:

My heart is full. Life is good to me.

Delving the Depths

by Lee Louise

Okay. My oldest, antique-est wip on my Ravelry projects page, now that I have finished the Rambling Rows sweater, is Lochinver, an Alice Starmore gansey. Begun in 2002, it languishes. This fall, I have entered it in three separate finish-it-by-such-and-such-a-date challenges, and failed twice. The finish date for the third one looms — January 1, 2017. Ideally, I would like it to be finished by Christmas.

A few months ago, in a fit of organization and reordering, I excavated a lot of old projects and wips from their various hiding places, and made project pages for them all. As I was creating the project page for Sarah’s Lochinver wip, I found the receipt, dated October 5, 2002, for 12 skeins of yarn. That really pinpointed it for me! No guessing at all, but an added source of guilt. I have been instead-of-finishing that sweater for 13, maybe 14 years now!

This project entered the hibernation state when I got to the point where the instructions told me to GRAFT the shoulder seams. I’ve spent some time (14 years?) waffling over this — graft? would a 3-needle bind off be just as effective? It’s a shame, because Sarah bought the yarn herself. Occasionally, she has reminded (nagged?) me about this project… she was storing it in her room somewhere…

Well. On 30 July 2016, the sweater came downstairs from the limbo of Sarah-land so I could take progress pictures for my projects page. That day, Lochinver was officially designated a WIP. I know where it is; I have no excuse. Based on a poll in one of the Ravelry gansey groups, I have decided to use 3-needle bind off on the shoulders, instead of trying to graft them. (That decision was a relief. I began to feel hope.) Then, with just four balls of yarn left, I will attempt to knit two full length sleeves. My fear is that the sleeves will be too short. But hey, if they are, they can be 3/4 length sleeves. Or 7/8 length. And that is okay, because shorter sleeves might be more realistic for the climate here in the MidSouth anyway.

I had forgotten how lovely it is.

The yarn is actually a deep, violet red, and not the pale, wimpy red in the pictures. For some reason my phone captures only the red, and not the deep or the violet…