Back in the blogosphere

Hello, friends. It’s been a month-long, inadvertent hiatus from WordPress. It’s good to be back in the blogopshere! I admire those of you who can blog on the go. This seems not to have been my forte this year: October was spent in Toronto on much-needed (on my end) visits to friends, family, and in a general state of distracted flurry. Being away from my needles and stash was also trying. Crafters think in, through and with their materials; being away from the bulk of my materials, strangely, left me a little bereft of the bulk of my words as well.

BUT. I managed to get some good winter-knitting into the mix during my stay. Toronto temperatures stayed unseasonably well above the 20s (70s in the US) up until the end of the month, but Canadians know that the arrival of winter is inevitable (it will always come down hard at some point, even if a little late). I started a pair of Sydänmaa cable mittens in mid-October and found them an excellent TV-knitting project (though, I managed to flub the cable on the hand decreases while watching Ghostbusters).

sydanmaa back-front.jpg
Sydänmaa mitts: can you spot the mistake in the cable?

With temperatures steadily falling, I’ve yet to complete the thumb (whose stitches are sitting tight on scrap yarn for now) and the full left mitt. Maybe, though, there’s a logic for the ‘thumbless mitt,’ close cousin of the fingerless mitt? Maybe I won’t need to do those thumbs after all?). Well, I’ll see how much I can tackle in the coming week. Chicago is cold, and new mittens would be nice.

And, in other very happy crafty news…!

I have been a huge fan and follower of blogger, crafter, and quilter extraordinaire, Tierney Hogan, of Tierney Creates: A Fusion of Textiles & Smiles. Tierney’s awesome blog has been on my steady blog-reading list for nearly a year; her beautiful quilts, blocks and sewing projects, her great eye for interior design and workspace organizing, her intriguing library hauls, and her inspired (and inspiring) writing on the crafter’s life have kept me coming back to her blog time and time again. Last month, she hosted a giveaway in celebration of her 4th Blogiversary (yay!). It turns out that luck was with me on Blogiversary drawing day: a little while ago, I received a lovely, handmade ‘little wallet’ from Tierney in the mail, along with a custom greeting, made from recycled business cards, revealing her great gift for card-craft!


This wonderful purple wallet is part of a series of little wallets Tierney has made from scraps (see more of these handmade beauties and read about their making herehere, and here. Aren’t they scraptastic?!). The last time I checked, she had made over 58 of these beautiful purses. I am so impressed by her prolific sewing and incredible productivity and her eye for textiles — each wallet is a unique combination of colour- and pattern-coordinated fabrics. Each wallet creates a “feel” and a coherent theme with colour and design. At the same time, the wallets are playful and improvisational with the colours and patterns, combining them in fun, unusual, and unexpected ways.  These wallets are works of art, and they are so awesome!

The detail and handiwork that went into making the wallet I received (and its lovely inside pockets!) is also amazing. In a previous life, I owned a working sewing machine and was trying to learn how to make my own clothes. My dreams of fashion-designerdom were thwarted, however, by my chronic inability to get the machine to make straight lines of stitching. A year or two — and several awkwardly worn garments later — my Singer and I decided on a moratorium that has yet to be lifted. When it comes to good sewing, then, there is definitely more than meets the eye. This wallet is exquisitely made, and I am marveling at the world of skill and mastery Tierney put into making it!

If you haven’t yet, do visit her excellent blog for more quilting and crafting fun (and Tierney, thank you so much, again, for this splendid little wallet. I love it!)

Happy Crafting! (now, where were those DPNs I never unpacked?…)


22 thoughts on “Back in the blogosphere

  1. Well, hello there, Shirley! So nice to have you back to blogging 🙂 I am glad you enjoyed your time in Toronto and I feel you on those moments (or weeks) when one is away from one’s stash . . . I don’t feel quite the same either! Congratulations on the blogversary prize–beautiful and fun! Can’t wait to hear more about all of your upcoming adventures 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Likewise, Melissa! 🙂 Yes – it’s funny. Knitting is great for being on the go, but the stash is less mobile, it turns out (and that’s what fuels the knitting!). All best, and hoping your classes are going well. It’s hard to believe it’s already nearing the end of the semester!


  2. Awww so honored to be mentioned and glad you like your little wallet! I was wondering what happened to you I thought perhaps you had a knitting accident and were entangled in recycled yarn or something – ha! Now you are just showing off making cabled mittens! I am working on my 5th or 12th of the same pattern hat (no cables) – I just keep making what I know 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha – knowing me, it’s probably only a matter of time before something like that knitting accident happens. 🙂 Great to hear that you’ve been busy hat-making as well (they’re one of my favourite things to work on, and are so very useful). I love that hat pattern. It looks great on you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so glad you’re back to talk about your adventures in crafting! I actually wondered why I wasn’t finding an update for you. Now I know! I’m glad you had nice times with friends and family. I love those mittens. Also, thanks for sharing the blog link. I hadn’t heard of that one so now I’ll mosey on over and follow her!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Tony! 🙂 I really dropped the ball last month. I’ve been reading here and there, but am looking forward to a proper catch up. And yes, Tierney’s blog is great – it pairs writing about crafting and writing about books in a way I think you’ll enjoy. Come to think of it, books and crafts are themes both of your blogs explore delightfully. Happy crafting, Tony! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sometimes life gets in the way of blogging, doesn’t it? I sort of can see the mistake in your mitten, but does it really matter? They’re going to be great. And congratulations on winning this beautiful wallet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Agnès. 🙂 Yes, I got distracted on that part of the chart… luckily, it’s a ‘good’ (not obviously seen) mistake, as far as knitting mistakes go. 😉 Looking forward to catching up on your knitting news!


  5. Welcome back, Shirley! I hope you had a fun break, even if there was a little bit of separation anxiety involved in being so far from your stash for so long! And oh, those mittens… What a beautiful design, and they look so cosy! Perfect for when winter hits, and although I spotted the mistake eventually, if you hadn’t pointed it out I never would have noticed it. In fact, once I saw it, I thought it looked kinda cool – so why not repeat it on mitten #2? That way it becomes a design feature, not a mistake! 😀 Congratulations on your win, too… I was also lucky enough to bag one of Tierney’s little wallets, and I love it! Thank you for introducing me to her blog, I’ve been so enjoying her warm, funny stories of her crafting life!
    Happy knitting! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Helen. It’s nice to be back to writing again. 🙂 That’s a great idea – if I can learn to duplicate what I did (lol), I just may do that on mitten 2. That would be an interesting design feature; I’ll consider it a very intentional ‘mod.’ 😉 And congrats on your Blogversary win, as well! Aren’t Tierney’s little wallets great? (yippee). And yes, I love her warm humorous stories, too. Happy knitting, and hope you are keeping warm in Dublin!


      1. Oh yes, that’s the tricky bit… Trying to figure out what you did! A few years ago I taught a friend of mine to knit, and she made a mistake on one row of her first project that looked amazing. I still don’t know how it happened… And, unfortunately, neither does she! 😆 Good luck, and stay toasty yourself! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s so nice to have you back, Shirley! It sounds like you had a much needed break in Toronto, though, which is terrific. I absolutely love the idea that “Crafters think in, through and with their materials . . . ” Thank you for that. Hope getting back into the swing of things in Chicago is going well. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, thank you, Melinda! Yes – it’s amazing what a bit of a break can do. I hope your semester is going very well and am looking forward to catching up on your knitting adventures! 🙂 ❤


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