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New Blood (Not About Vampires)

Dear Ann,
So, what I’ve been up to, craftywise:
1. It’s Red Scarf Season!
My submission this year is a good, old-fashioned, 2-row stripe scarf in some exquisite hairy handspun that I was gifted years ago, and some non-exquisite, yet cheerful red tweed that fell out of the cabinet when I was looking for the exquisite stuff.
After all these years, and all these scarves, I still love the Red Scarf Project. I want everyone else to love it, too. (By which I mean, send in a scarf by December 15!) A handknit scarf is not the answer to every problem, but it’s the perfect gesture of support for a foster-care alum who is braving his or her way to a college diploma. We can do this–we like the knitting–let’s git.r.done!
2. The Knitter Holiday Issue!
The Knitter, our favorite knitting magazine and not just because we write a column for it, has outdone itself with its holiday issue this year. So many knitterly, wearable patterns. And this month there’s something special:
The debut of 12-year-old knitter/designer Lily France, with publication of her Wray cardigan. Can you believe that this wisp of a cardi, with its delicate details, was designed by a wisp of a girl?
I don’t know about you, but the 12-year-old in my house lacks a working knowledge of how to pleat a sleeve. It’s gratifying that The Knitter has not only spotted and praised the rising talent of Lily France, but is nurturing it. Go Lily! Remember us foxy matrons when you’re cooking up designs!
Speaking of Talented Youth, “our” Belinda Boaden has this stunner in the same issue. A slinky, glamorous…..cabled pullover. How are these things possible in the same garment? Sigh…..
3. Quilting!
At this point, the quilt-dedicated fingers on my left hand are no longer water-resistant. I think the medical terminology is “self-thimbling of the first, second and third digits of the left hand.” As for the quilt, the hand-quilting is about halfway done, by my optimistic, Tivo-impaired reckoning. I can’t stop. Hand quilting is the best displacement activity ever invented. I want to be putting the binding on this quilt by Thanksgiving weekend. Is that unrealistic? Will I try anyway?
4. Olive Sez
“Don’t kid yourself–beneath every piece of upholstery is a punishing armature of wood, screws, and nails.”
“Use caution! Move to high ground!”

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  1. I love how you striped the solid red color with what looks like Noro. It’s like the (two shades of Noro) Noro Striped Scarf but with one Noro instead of two. Bravo!

  2. That dog is the cutest, funniest little thing ever!

  3. Thimblepads, Kay. Just saying.

  4. Woo-Hoo Belinda!! Slinky cables! I’ll have to hunt this down in the International Section!

  5. I didn’t know about the red scarf project before today. I guess I just added one more project to my pre-Christmas knitting list… I think I can probably find something in the stash to use up.
    Hi Olive, you think if I’m ever in NY your mom would let me come over and kiss your sweet little mug?

  6. ‘Youth’! But thank you. Can I say yet again, ‘Darling Olive’, the move to higher ground is wise, in my opinion, your legs are not really very long and you never know when Something may be threatening. x x x

  7. I’ve been pouring over Wray since it came in the mail two days ago. I’m so impressed with this young lady!

  8. You girls and your fancy British knitting magazines!
    Now listen. I have a very important question: Are you, or are you not, knitting Olive a Very Ugly Christmas Sweater? I see reindeer.

  9. Olive is a clever girl. Has she been taking advice from cats?

  10. Ditto the comment that Olive obviously has some cat in her lineage. She is absolutely the most adorable little creature.
    Good for you on the red scarves. Must stash dive for some red.

  11. I love every single thing about this post, every single bit of it beginning with Red Scarf Season, that pleated puff sleeve engineered by a 12 year old girl, moving right through Belinda’s new design which when I discovered it in this issue I immediately added to my Covet And Adore List, on to Olive whose ears seem kind of smaller which I realize is probably just a distortion by perspective, and winding up at that QUILT. Really, really grooving on that thing. It has all the qualities that a quilt should have. BRAAAAAVO, hon!

  12. Olive has your number! 🙂

  13. I have two scarves that are either done or almost done that I need to send on in. Maybe I can block them as soon as the craft room is repainted (umm, next weekend).

  14. Nice tops, but they are designed for “wisp of a girl” and not middle aged matrons like moi…

  15. olive is a femme fatale is she not
    my scarves are ready to put into a box
    love red scarf nice people and careing
    the quilts are lovely and lots of love
    with each pin prick

  16. Next year please post your red scarf project sooner please. I love the idea, but need a little more of a head start, especially this time of year. So busy!

  17. I was struck by the hand quilting in the pictures before you got to the subject of quilting! I found those quilt stitches mezmerizing; they also gave me hope for my own quilting future.
    With regard to protecting the skin on your finger, perhaps a bit of paper tape (available in Harmon Beauty Supply/drug stores/supermarkets) would do the trick. Not to wrap it around like a band-aid, but to just put one thin piece on a stratigic spot. (I was forced to do this when I first learned how to crochet lace using a steel hook the size of a fruit fly. It kept poking at the skin of my finger–of course stopping the activity was out of the question….Or, maybe some drops of that stuff called “New Skin” would do the trick.
    In any case, I am anxiously waiting the pictures of the completed quilt, so completing the bindig by Thanksgiving weekend would be great.
    And to Ann: how’s the book coming along?

  18. Oh! The cherished dog snuggled up in the cherished quilt-in-process is heart-stoppingly wonderful. Love this post!

  19. Olive sure looks like she’s figured out how to run the household (all good dogs do!).

  20. Olive is just squeezibly adORable, especially posed on all of your gorgeous quilting (and knitting). Love it.

  21. Listen to Olive!!

  22. Red scarves are cool! And yes of course you will get your quilt done in time – but only if you give it some gas!

  23. I second the “new skin” or liquid bandage comment. It not only protects the skin, but it protects the plain muslin quilt backing from blood stains.
    My solid red scarf is in the envelope ready to go to the post office. I like yours better.

  24. Thanks for the nudge I needed to knit for the Red Scarf Project. Really.
    Completed a scarf for WWII Veterans via Knit Your Bit(WWII Museum). And since I ‘only’ have 7 Christmas hats left to knit for grandchildren, great nieces and nephews why not add to my already unreasonable holiday knitting expectations. It’s worth it!
    Here’s a link if anyone else is interested.

  25. Love this post! I’m knitting like crazy to finish a basket of baby items for a local silent auction, then I’ll need to knit like crazy to finish my red scarf in time. Every year I think I won’t put myself into a feverish bind, but I must enjoy it. And that Olive — she is gorgeous and wise.

  26. Wow, a 12-year-old designer? That is the coolest thing I’ve heard this week. I’m going to have to pick one of those up for sure!

  27. Oh, Olive has the terrier adoration thing down pat. Love the terriers

  28. Olive’s ears continue to be one of the Wonders of the Natural World.

  29. Such beautiful things! And that Olive is just too cute.

  30. Fabulous red scarf. Yay for that project, I’m casting mine on this weeknd but now i want to do a stripey one. So cheery and friendly yet chic. I guess you can’t err with a stripe.
    ps our new dog’s head is the size of 2 Olives. I think they could make a good road trip dog buddy movie together. Who would do Olive’s voiceover?

  31. Thanks so much for supporting Lily here on MD! I’ll be sure to keep her on track for some ‘Foxy Matron’ knits!
    Oh and never mind the 12 year olds. This 41 year old doesn’t have the working knowledge to pleat a sleeve either!

  32. Carmine hit my queue the day I got my Knitter! Olive looks very happy your summer travels are over!!

  33. Honestly, I can’t stand how cute that freaking dog is. I love my 65lb goober-lab mix to pieces, but my next dog is definitely going to be of the handheld variety. Also, I am crushed to find that I have not a single skein of red yarn in my stash that isn’t already dedicated to another project. Why is there not a lime green and hot orange scarf project, I ask you?

  34. Ha! It must be the terriers — I do believe they ARE part cat. (Mr. J does the same thing.)
    Yay for your red scarf! Git-r-done, indeed! (Thank you!)
    And those quilts. OMG, those quilts.

  35. That sweater looks gorgeous! I think I might make it my next project.
    Thanks for the idea!

  36. I love this post — fabulous knitting, gorgeous quilts (something I hope to try some day), and OLIVE! whom I’ve never met, but love all the same! And speaking of Olive… I thought you once asked for coat patterns for Olive, but I can’t seem to find that post despite several searches. Did I dream it or is it just my computer inability striking again? I ask because I recently got my own cute little pooch. But I’m a terrible dog-mom because I have no pics of him. alas.
    Wishing you delicious Thanksgiving, and hoping that the holiday isn’t very difficult to get through.

  37. I saw the Philadelphia Kennel Club Thanksgiving dog show today and no dog even came close to yours!!

  38. I’m glad to see that my cairn terrier,Max, is not the only dog who is determined to permanently alter the shape of couch cushions! Except for the color, it could be him on your couch. Love the blog!


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