Two patterns


Landmark 1
Landmark 20
Landmark 8

Clara Yarn’s CVM/Romedale 1.0 was in my hands for about five minutes when I decided it needed to be a shawl. Clara tells the story of CVM, and of the creation of this very special yarn on the Clara Yarn website. As I began to think about the design, my sister Ellen suggested a capital-S Shawl — not fancy, but one that wraps you up in a warm, cozy, at-home-in-winter feeling. It had to be big enough to wrap around your shoulders, but not so big that it got in the way.

I swatched for days that stretched into weeks, playing with textures and shapes, color combinations, and drape. The shawl that I created is a top-down crescent shape, where seed stitch becomes diamonds, and diamonds become a wavy border of flags. The stitches are simple combinations of knit and purl, separated into bands and ending in a border that wants to wave a little.

It’s called Landmark for my sister, after our family farm near Middleburg, Virginia. Of the five of us children, it was Ellen who spent her whole childhood there – surrounded by green fields and our mother’s gardens, nestled among the rolling hills, and enfolded in the world created by our parents, grandparents, and the families that came before them.

Ellen at Landmark
Landmark is available to download from Not Plain Jane’s Ravelry Store.


Boxwood 4a
Boxwood 2a
Behind the house there were big, overgrown boxwoods, which at one time must have bordered a path. Their shelter was our playhouse, and so the hat is called Boxwood. Like Landmark, the fabric is simply textured, moving from ribbing to seed stitch to simple diamonds, and then to stockinette stitch for the shaping at the top.

Boxwood is available to download from Not Plain Jane’s Ravelry Store.

Landmark 18Landmark 15Landmark 17

As I’m writing this, several days late (a tale for another post), Clara Yarn CVM/Romedale 1.0 is all gone. Another woolen-spun DK yarn will work almost as well. Just make sure it’s a yarn that has something to contribute to the experience!

I’m extremely grateful to the wonderful Purlewe, who took a spreadsheet and page after page of notes and made sure that everything added up;  to Michael Friedrich, Destiny Montague, and Rebecca Speckenbach for letting me borrow their heads; and to Rachel Speckenbach, who knows how to rock a wool shawl on a hot afternoon.


SHS 06.16.14Life gets sorted out, with help. With hard work. With perseverance. I got a job.

I’m now the office manager at Stony Hill Stables. My coworkers include horses and the humans who care for them, and it’s a whole new world to me. There’s an energy there, a very good energy. I’m back to full-time hours, and the alternate version of a weekend (my days off are mid-week). It’s been a tiring but invigorating two weeks – it happened so fast that I began working just a few days after the interview.

hat 6.18.14There hasn’t been much time for knitting, and not much energy for it, either. I have a little pile of hats waiting to be blocked, but New Job has taken the top spot on my list of things to do. I knit for a while yesterday, and almost finished this hat. It made me so happy!

After months and months of knitting every day, of designing and testing (wink-wink) and knitting some more, it felt strange to spend a day without needles in my hand. I think that I couldn’t knit while I was getting used to my new schedule, and while my brain was processing all the new tasks. Yesterday, with a big happy sigh, I picked up my knitting. I’m full again.

SHS 06.16.14aThis is the view from my lunchroom, at least in good weather. I think a little break-time knitting will fit in nicely.

I’m so glad to be busy again, to have good work to do, to be my whole self. It can only get better — my connection to knitting, my understanding of my new work world, all of it.

Oh, and I get to drive by my beach twice a day! Icing on the cake!


Landmark 16Spring finally arrived on the East End. It’s warm – or warmer – and that makes me happy. The other day I went to the Morton Wildlife Refuge near Sag Harbor (on a top-secret photography mission!). The path was so quiet and green, and we saw two big turkeys and the usual assortment of cardinals and chickadees. I left feeling happy and peaceful, and I could have stayed all day!

At home, the wisteria that’s planted at the bottom of my little deck has more flowers this year. The vines are trying to get into the house as usual, but the flowers are lovely.

Wisteria May 14

I spend so much energy looking for a good job – turning over rocks, peering under furniture, etc. – that I need air and sun and the strong perfume of wisteria blossoms. I’m not totally discouraged yet, but I’m growing weary. Knitting, as always, saves me. It’s moving me forward and widening my world in ways that I never expected. And the very act of making a stitch, and then another, and more – well, if you’re a knitter, you know what a balm that is.

Hats May 14


More knitting means more hats. They’re hats that make me happy, because knitting them is so peaceful. Knit, knit, knit, around and around. I love discovering stripes or bursts of color in these Sundara sock yarns. The colors behave differently on 144 stitches, instead of the 68 or so when they are becoming socks. It’s a project that keeps me so interested that I’ve begun to carry a hat with me wherever I go!