On Charity and Giving

Hopefully all these things can find new, loving homes.

So, I am an unrepentant selfish knitter.  A majority if what I make is for me, and after my fall of commission knitting, everything else I knit is something I want to make for someone else. I just don’t enjoy knitting to deadlines and thankfully I have a decent job so I don’t have to turn my hobby into a job for financial reasons.

I thought I liked using felted bags ...

While I know much of knitting is done by groups for charitable purposes, and most of the time I see things like knitting non-superwash socks for homeless men, nothing if not ill-advised.  I have worked for non-profts, most prefer cash or time to in-kind donations of knitted items.

I have gauge issues, hopefully these will make great kid shawls or doll blankets.

However, after several years of knitting I have acquired a box of knitting that doesn’t fit, or suit me or anyone I know.  I have decided to donate these items to a local charity shop that sells somewhat exclusively to women and families in our local shelters and in need of good, low cost clothing.

Hats of all shapes and mostly small sizes, again, stupid gauge issues.

I hope that these items find there way to people who they will suit and will love them, because I enjoyed making each item, from the baby blanket I made back in Austin to the very cute white owl mittens that I knit before I truly understood about gauge, to the ridiculously fluffy pink scarf I knew I would never wear.

These are mostly just not to my taste ... but they should loved by someone else.

While I doubt that I will knit intentionally for charitable organizations, (I would rather earn money and give cash to my favorite causes), I will continue to stockpile and donate knitted items that were always meant for someone else, even if I just wore it for a while.


On Cats and Future Caturdays

This is Momma, she was my cat many years ago and is again.  As I mentioned earlier I have moved into my grandparents house while they are trying to sell it, (Don’t worry about their health, they are living up on the hill in a fancy new condo).  One of the conditions for moving in was that I had to take their cat, who had been our cat, because while she could spend the summer at the cottage, she would need a place to go after the weather had started to get cold.

So yesterday Momma Cat moved in.

As seen in this crappy cell phone pic from January, she likes lap sitting and seems indifferent about yarn, thank goodness.

The story behind her name is long and convoluted, but she had kittens named Dicey, Sammy and Maybeth, if you can guess where this name came from (and Carla Bee you are excluded from this contest) will win … nothing but the good feeling of knowing you won.

So right now Momma and I are figuring out whether I can teach an old cat new tricks.

FO: Second Try Mittens

So, I have tried this mitten pattern before, it didn’t work so well.  However, I found a new pattern for the yarn, and figured out why that yarn didn’t work, so I decided it was time to work the right pattern in the right yarn.

The pattern was a great break after working on fingering weight yarn and tiny needles.  The knitting went really quickly, and I managed to knit the thumbs during a conference call.

I am excited to wear these this fall, they are a bit too loose of a gauge to work in the dead of an Ontario winter, but they will be warm and wooly (thanks to the alpaca, non-felty) through the fall.

Project Name: Second Try Mittens

Pattern: Shelburne by Lee Juvan from Knitty, Winter 2011

Recipient: Me!

Yarn:  Rowan Felted Tweed Chunky in Seaweed


  • Knit two at a time, cuff down.

New Skills:

  • None

Feedback: The pattern works much better when you think about the type of yarn.  Like most Knitty patterns it is a good pattern, however it is annoying to have to transcribe the patterns into a word processor to be able to get it on a minimal number of pages.

Re-Knit?: Probably not, unless my mom actually steals them, as she has been threatening.

FO: Double Helix Socks

So after the rollicking and stripey success of my first pair of socks, I decided I needed a second pair. I went through a few options but the gauge I was getting from the KnitPicks Stroll Tonal I had on hand the Helix Socks were just right on sizing.

These ones did take me the better part of the month, mostly because I didn’t get along very well the cable pattern, and while I did persevere, my sister, the brilliant Carla Bee, reminded me that knitting is supposed to be fun, and since the socks were tall enough I should just be finished with them.


Project Name: Double Helix Socks

Pattern: Helix by Melissa Morgan-Oakes from Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks.

Recipient: Me, I love my socks!

Yarn: KnitPicks Stroll Tonal in Gypsy.


  • Shortened the cuff, because the cable pattern was making me crazy.

New Skills:

  • Picot Edging – Not a huge fan, mostly because it sticks out twice as wide as the rest of the sock.

Feedback: Solid pattern, the writing for all the “Two-at-a-Time” patterns work great, this one is no exception.

Re-Knit?: Nope, I didn’t like knitting the stitch pattern, however I will probably make at least one more pair out of the book.

On WIPs and Sneak Peeks

So, I know I have been a little, well majorly off the grid these last few weeks.  First I went on an impromptu vacation to Tobermory and the Bruce Peninsula with my good friend Tiff and then I started getting a new long-term life WIP on the go.

The new world headquarters for Green Bean's String Factory, notice any differences?

I have moved.  Although it is not a permanent location, but hopefully it will be home till spring.  My grandparents moved into a condo and they were having some trouble selling their house, so until it sells I am here and out of my parent’s house.

This has been consuming most of my energy for the past week and a half, although I have finished two projects and am well into a third.  I am going to get those FOs up this week (I finally took pictures tonight) and then we will see how much time I get to spend on the blog with my new house tending commitments.