Saturday, February 04, 2017

ATOR Spring 2017

As many of you know, I am privileged to be a part of a beautiful organization that promotes reconciliation in cities around the world.
I have the opportunity to go once again with ATOR to Brussels this Spring. Brussels is a diverse and deeply divided city.
What am I doing? As a volunteer I will be:
Utilizing the Walkers Annual Pesach Seder dinner experience (20 yrs of seders!) I will be preparing a seder in Brussels for approx 100 people, we will have the beautiful long stem red roses that will be for the red light district of Brussels, and as the team serves in places of deep wounds roses for the bombing site and other places of tragedy. In order to promote healing between peoples. We were flying home from Israel when the Brussels airport was bombed. 2014 there was a terror killing outside the Jewish Museum in Brussels. Besides recent events, there are centuries of conflict and divide.
If you would like to help support this project, there are roses to buy, cards to print, chicken to roast for Pesach (Passover) Dinner...And I also need to cover my plane ticket!
If you knit, I have a pattern that supports this project:
All my sales right now are fundraising for this.

If you love journaling, Red Pen Travelers notebooks created a journal to support A Tour Of Roses:

And if you would like to donate a tax deductible contribution you can HERE:
IPM (Improbable People Ministries)
6028 St. Clair Ave.
North Hollywood, CA 91606
Please use the check memo line to designate this gift: ATOR HWalker

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Knit-From-Stash 2017

Happy first day of Winter!
As we get ready for the next year of socks, Knit-From-Stash begins in just 10 days (under group events).
Clean off those sock needles, pick out your stash for next year!

In 2016 the theme was Botanics, for 2017 our Theme is Stonework. This will cover everything from Pebbles to Gem Stones. Our "while you wait pattern is Stromboli, after volcanic activity not a cartoon Character.

How do I prepare for Knit-From-Stash?
Using 12 containers of mystery (paper bags, can, boxes), 12 skeins of sock yarn are selected. (100g/400yds) These 12 are mixed up and then labeled by month. You are surprised by what is in the package and then challenge yourself by knitting up that yarn in its designated month. (I upload the pattern the last day of the previous month so you can cast on ON the 1st). Some of the yarn choices were a bit wild. I am always amazed at how combinations of yarn and patterns that would not have been typically chosen, turned out rather well. Stripes always surprise me.
This is not a "Learn how to knit" KAL, but there is a great community who is willing to help you out if you get stuck....or if something needs clarification.

Stash Yarns: You may have enough stash to knit 5 yrs of socks, you may not have sock yarn in your stash. If you do not have a stash collection bagged up and ready before January 1 OR you want to pick a yarn for each pattern, this is OK. Go for it!

One of the lovely ideas I saw was to pull yarns in 2017 Pantone colours.

The Patterns: While you can use any pattern for Knit-From-Stash, to qualify for the year end basket of goodies, they must be from one of the 3 collections: Abundance/2015, Botanics/2016, or Stonework/2017.
The pattern collection has 2 options this year: 7 for half a year, 15 for a full year ($90 value). This way if you found a sock a month to be overwhelming, you can scale it back to every other month.
The half year and every other full year patterns will be exclusive to the collection and not available for individual purchase.

Beginning Dec 24 all the way thru Dec 31, all my patterns will be on sale 50% off with Coupon code: LoveYouLatkes

(Mid January 2017 both collections will be full price: Half $30, Full $60)

More ideas from last year:

Monday, October 24, 2016


Shemini Atzeret שְׁמִינִי עֲצֶרֶת – "Eighth Day Assembly", Simchat Torah.  שִׂמְחַת תּוֹרָה "The Rejoicing or Joy of Torah" is a special day at our house. Our oldest Daughter's parasha is Bereshit  (Genesis 1) and our youngest daughter's parasha will be V'Zot HaBerachah (Deuteronomy 33 to end).  This means they share Simchat Torah.
8th day celebrations and beginnings and endings. Tirzah and Talia, Delight and Dew from Heaven. ♡
I love 8, shemoneh. It symbolizes new beginnings. This time of year, I always need a new start!
We also pray for rain today, more today than the other days I suppose.
Masheev ha’rua’ch u’moreed hagashem, “Who causes the wind to blow and the rain to fall.”
As I write that the clouds are heavy and have darkened the sky. Living in a drought stricken land, we long for rain.
Please, send us rain.

Chag Sameach, Gut Yontif 

Saturday, October 01, 2016

New Year, New Beginning

Tomorrow evening we will blow the shofar and eat apples and honey, and celebrate with about 100 of our dearest friends and family.
What better way to usher in the year 5777.
Look at all those 7s!

And to start the year I will be in hiding in the high desert, and planning the next year.

Knit-From-Stash 2017 will have 2 parts.
A: 7 patterns, exclusive to the KAL, not available to the public til 2018.
B: 14 patterns. The 7 exclusive and 7 public or available individually patterns

Kinsmen of the Shelf- Still a bit secret, literary projects for Winter.

The Wives. I am so excited about this one. 6 shawls all based on the Wives of some of the great Russian writers ever. I read the book that inspired this project earlier this year. These shawls will be in 2  groups, 1 pattern every other month.

So keep an eye out for more details!
And have a sweet year!

May your name be inscribed in the Book of Life!

Friday, September 09, 2016

Knitty and Cast Ons

I love
I think most knitters out there owe their first real projects to either Debbie Stoller of Stitch'N'Bitch or to Amy Singer of knitty. They are the ones who got us casting on stitches, making nose warmers and pixie hats. They taught us the things we wished our great grandmothers had handed down BUT without making us feel 'less' for wanting to make hats and socks and sweaters.

It has been a while since I was able to sit down and submit a project to knitty. I even submitted this one as I was getting packed to fly to the middle east this spring. Thankfully Amy and Kate were gracious in the midst of a total 13 plane flights, 2 kids to pack for college, school shopping, emergency room visits and the literal CHAOS that is the Walker way of life. So Candied Violets came to life. I think this is my 4th pattern for knitty.

Candied Violets first came about while I was twisting mini skeins with my friend Brenda, in preparation for TNNA Winter show in San Diego. That skein of yarn, Candied Violets in a cashmere blend. LOVE at first touch.

We started reminiscing about the french candies and one thing lead to another which lead to socks.
I knew they would be amazing, but at the same time, photographing rich colors can be a challenge. Thankfully, at TNNA I grabbed a skein of a complimentary pale purple coloured yarn from Anzula.

This way you can see the rich yumminess and see the stitches clearly.
I really didnt have to worry too much, the both yarns are primo stuff and stitch definition was not an issue.

Now here is what I really want to talk about.
 2 Colour Frilled cast on, or as we have to spell for Americans, 2 Color Frilled cast on.

Remember when I made a crazy twist and did a 2 colour channel island cast on for Sockupied? THIS is not as crazy, I promise. Just a little twist.

Here is the fancy tech'd instructions:

2-Color Frilled Cast On: Keeping about an 8 inch/20cm tail for seaming, make slip knot from both MC and CC held together. This slip knot will be undone after cast on is complete. Set up as if for Long Tail CO, keeping CC on left (over thumb) and MC on Right (over fingers). *CO 4 stitches. Lift sts one at a time over last st cast on (stitch 1) in this order st #2 over, st #3 over, St #4 over. Cast on 1 more stitch. This makes 1 pair of stitches. Repeat from * until you have the correct number of stitch pairs.

Let's go thru this step by step. Cuz I know you are brave knitters who can make awesome things out of string....and I don't want you to be afraid of a silly cast on. Especially when it looks so pretty.

Instead of making a slip knot in one yarn, you are doing it with both yarns held together.

There are 2 colours, the main sock colour and the colour you want to be the 'icing'. MC is main colour, CC is colour change...i think that is what it stands for maybe it is like crazy colour or something. Whatever you want to call it, the icing colour must stay in the same place in order to get the effect, over your thumb. Your main sock colour goes over your fingers just like you are using a long tail cast on.

Now in the above photo, can you see the little ridges and eyelets? Ok, we are going to be doing some extra work to ge these stitches, but the cool thing is you only have to do it for half the stitches that you actually want. So we need to cast on 4 stitches and play a bit of leap frog, one stitch at a time, DO NOT do them all at once.

Then with yarns back in place, icing over thumb and sock over fingers, cast on 1 stitch. This gives you 1 pair of sts. As you go, the stitches will pair up in little sets of 2 which will make them easy to count. If I want 64 sts I need 16 pairs or 32 sts.

You will knit into the front and back of each of the 32 sts which will give you 64 sts. Although it is a little stretchy, this part of the sock is done with the larger size needle.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

The Little Foxes

Foxes have been coming up a lot in our convos lately.
We watched the little prince on netflix and I told the kids how much i liked it and that it was not as creepy as the version from my childhood. I showed them clips of the movie of course. When Gene Wilder died they had a new refernce for him as Mr. Fox and not just Willy Wonka.

Because we love Mt Lassen Volcanic National Park, we drive up often for a hike or picnic. We actually saw a fox! Mt Lasssen has these lovely foxes, Sierra Nevada foxes or High Sierra foxes.
Turns our that they are an endangered species. Fewer than 48 live in the Lassen forest.

and of course Foxy-Fix gets a chunk of my money.

So we decided we needed more foxes in our lives.

Presenting Gilbert, a foxy bookmark. I spent all day trying to think of a name. Tali came in and said, oh he is Gilbert, cuz he is the colour of carrots. Well, you just can not argue with the Anne of Green Gables logic. And she did not know that the Space Cadet Yarns colourway is called "Headstrong" for a certain obstinate, headstrong girl. Perfection.

He is just a whimsical little bit of fun for TaliTamale. But we hope you will like him, too.

Monday, September 05, 2016

August and September socks

August kinda went crazy on me.
One boy returned from his summer adventures on the east coast. He was 22 mons when we moved away from Baltimore. It was so much fun to be on the phone with him. "are you taking the bridge or the tunnel?" and " "as you cross the bridge you will see sparrow's point and the old steel mill where your dad worked on computers for moving molten hot lava like steel" and ft mchenry. and then all the monuments of DC and then Philadelphia.
Then the older boy decided to apply to college on a whim, get accepted, get a scholarship, and move 3180 miles 3 wks from applying!
In the midst of this was the last of the summer camps and getting our oldest daughter back to school in Chicago and our smallest starting 5th grade.

So I forgot to post about August Socks for Knit-From-Stash 2016 (botanics)

Entomophily   are really more entomology than botany. Enotmophily is the pollination process of plants that involves insects. So these socks have  a larger bee motif down the center and tiny bee borders. but the thing I love most is this floral cuff! I adore it and it was totally worth translating from russian and then modifying the math and remaking it for knitting in the round.

and yes, after all those pictures and lettering, i noticed the tail end of my cast on was not woven in!
so that is a little bit of verifiable hand knit evidence right there.

Honestly I kinda collapsed after the littlest started school. and I did not post the pattern the last day of August like I should have. Thank you to everyone for being gracious.

Darlingtonia was a little easy flowing sock after Entomphily, and designed to use up all your sock scraps and/or mini skeins. Darlingtonia is a striped variety of carnivorous lily. This pattern will eat up your yarn bits, and it has this addictive flow so it knits up rather quickly.

Look at this lovely version from Robyn1960 in a single colourway:

DO NOT FORGET! BOGO pattern code on the previous post! Good thru Septenber 15, 2016 and it gets you a chance to win the traveler's notebook with knitter's notebook inserts from Crafty Chi!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Beat The Heat!

Contest over. 
Winners are 
1- Rose W.
2- Alys Z.
Thank you to everyone who enetered.
Winners have been contaced.

Summers just go so fast.
Between summer camps and the various trips the kids have to squeezing in a few moments before the college bound leave us, there are very few quiet moments. Where did the lazy days of summer go? I remember laying in the sun....ok, now we barely do that at all especially not without a high SPF.
Too many changes, and with drought conditions playing in a sprinkler just makes you feel wasteful.

As I type this 1 child is in Chicago and I am packing another one for school in Maine. I am in the midst of tech edits and designs and school supply shopping....and preparing a contest!

You know my obsession with traveler's notebooks? Well Crafty Chi and I designed a Knit Designer's insert set. 2 notebooks, 1 is for keeping track of submission ideas and sketching in stitch patterns, and 2 is how to plan business wise for a show/event/expo. Expense tracking and how to get the most out of your event.
I am very excited about this.

To celebrate, I have a 2 prize collections

1st (with over a $100 value):
1 Foxy Fix traveler's notebook New, your choice of colours: Strawberry Lemonade, Grey or Lilac
1 set of Crafty Chi Knit Design inserts
1 copy of Intwined Pattern Studio software for creating knitting charts
1 skein of hand dyed yarn
1 free pattern for knitting a TN cover
and some cute planner bits including a Sakura Pigma Micron pen

2nd place
1 set of Crafty Chi Knit Design inserts
1 copy of Intwined Pattern Studio software for creating knitting charts

How can I WIN?
Purchase any pattern from the ravelery store between now and September 15, 2015:
But wait, there is more!
Use coupon code 3180miles and get 50% when you purchase 2 or more patterns.
Each pattern is worth 5 points in the raffle.

Odds of winning are based on amount of entries.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Hiya Hiya Interchangeable Needles - SOCK and Sharps

At TNNA in January, I had a wonderful chance to see what was new in terms of needles.
Back when Interchangeables was a new thing ( years and years ago) , I bought a set of Hiya Hiya's and used them for a while but set them aside as they had issues with the cables and they had blunt tips. Note: Blunt tips are very useful, especially if you have a yarn that prone to being splitty.

I tend to work complicated stitches, so I NEED sharp points that can k5tog or other such things.
When the Sharps DPNs arrived on the scene, they became my go to needle for socks and mittens. Whenever I stop in at Heartstrings Yarn Studio, I pick up another set.....i tend to travel with them and lose a needle here and there. I some how missed that this line had been added to the interchangeables!

The Hiya Hiya needles are also light weight and since I have to watch what I carry and how much weight I place on my right arm (yes- the collar bone is STILL dislocated) the lightness of the needles helps me get in more stitches.

Then there is the newly released SOCK interchangeable needles.
These are an answer to many prayers! I travel a lot. I also go into the wilderness and hide in a cabin with knitting books and design. This means I bring a lot more "knitting" gear than camping gear.
With the new Sock Set, I can par down on the amount of things I pack.

Both the cords and needle tips have sizes or lengths etched in them.

Included in the Sock Set is a Sock Adapter so that you can use pieces from other sets.

The Cases have gone through several updates since they were first introduced. There is an interior flap to cover needle tips, adding another level of security so they do not escape.
Also the closures have gone from ties (below) to a frog/knot closure. This is a much quicker way to close the case.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

July Knit-From-Stash 2016 KAL

Helleborus is our July pattern for Knit-From-Stash 2016 
Worked Toe-Up, the sock has a lovely lace floral motif. The knitting pattern is both written and charted. The sock is available in 4 sizes.

 There are about 15 species of hellebores, the most common being the Lenten Rose. It was once used to “purge the veins of melancholy, and cheer the heart”. If you look it up in the meaning of Flowers, HELLEBORUS stands for ‘Relieve My Anxiety’.

Friday, July 01, 2016

DoubleChai Days

Our son Chai is 18!

The cool thing is Chai in Hebrew is Life and is numerically represented by 18.
In tradition of "giving Chai" or giving life, at Birthdays, Bar Mitzvahs, Wedding and other Simchs filled times, monetary gifts in multiples of 18 (or 9) are given. Double Chai or 18 x2 is 36 is a double blessing.

In Honour of Double Chai all patterns in my Ravelry store are 36% off from July 1-5, 2016
with coupon code: DoubleChai

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

June Knit-From-Stash 2016 KAL

Half way through our year long KAL!
This month's sock is a simple knitting pattern, a step up from just ribbing.

Sessile is both Charted and Written, Cuff Down and in 4 sizes. In botany. sessile is defined as "attached by the base, or without any distinct projecting support, as a leaf issuing directly from the stem." Thus Sessile sock has small purl bumps in the ribbing.
These socks are a quick knit that work well with variegated, striped or solid yarns.

Two lengths, both Anklet and Mid Calf, provided.
Written and Charted instructions.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Traveler's Notebooks

I have a slight obsession with leather notebooks. But I wasn't using them because I didn't want to waste the paper in them. I didn't want to write something "unworthy" of the leather. There is something more permanent about the leather compared to a hard paper covered book. 

Midori Traveler's Notebooks caused a sensation and a multitude of spin offs. You could have the feel of leather in your hands and place any book in them. From throw away notebooks to heavy watercolour paper.
They are customizable and changeable. I need a calendar 9 months of the year usually. Undated is bet for me as some months are soo quiet.
Bullet Journals, planners, Bible study notes, book reviews, project ideas, scarapbooky "junk journals....wallets, folders. It is really endless.
In the past I have bought new calenders and planners. Money was spent from Franklin Covey to Target. And I did not use them a whole year. I felt guilty about my failure to track my life on paper.
Traveler's Notebooks work for me. I can slid a calendar in when I need it. I can toss in sketching and drawing notebooks, add a wallet, keep my passport in one. Fill one with the crazy things my kids say, or the things my husband says from one of his pulpits.
I can write down ideas and toss out the bad ones. I can doodle and sketch and brain dump.
What is a Traveler's notebook (TN) you might be wondering. Essentially it is a flap of leather or fabric with some elastic string. I know, it doesn't  sound like much. But there are different types, different sizes, different leathers and colours...
...and an addiction is born.

I have been lucky in most of mine have been from clearance sales or I found them 2nd hand and never been used.
I own mostly TNS from FoxyFix, 1 (red) from Onica Hanby, and 2 from China via ebay. I still feel a bit guilty about the ones from China. What toxins might be in the leather? Were they made by slaves?

4 of my kids have a TN. (Amazon sets for $29.95) Talia sketches during shul in hers or writes song lyrics. Cha─ź sketches landscapes, writes music or writes out his dash for the Torah parsha in his. Kezzie draws. Zem writes stories and draws and keeps notes. Jaden doesnt think he would actually use one and I am not sure if Tirzah actually uses hers or if it stares at her from her desk at college. They have figured out out to make their own inserts, utilizing long reach staplers and paper trimmers.

Here are some examples of the sizes:
The small ones: No.s 1-5 (or passport, pocket, le petite,  A6 perfect bound, and 5x7)

The larger ones are No.s 6, 6.5, and 7. (or Regular, Reg Extra Room, and Wide

The Onica Hanby REX is slightly wider than the other REXs. It is going to keep notes and stories rom A Tour of Roses teams.
It holds  standard midori insert and 1-2 caheir or picadilly notebook.

The wide has a larger variety of sizes I can throw in it. 7 or 8 standard midori inserts or 4 picadilly inserts. This is my general note taking book for classes.

The wanderlust butterscotch passport accompanied me across Israel, held my passpoet, kept track of the itinerary and receipts. Fits in my purse.
I think I would have liked the pocket over the passport. It is slightly taller. Plus now there are pockets and pen loops now.

I am not crazy about the bay leather. The 5x7 got marked up by something oily via a kid. The smaller was a clearance item so the leather is not typical of the smooth semi gloss bay leathers...coarse and bumpy.
I love the yellow for happy thoughts. It is fun and carefree.

The Le Voyager Abyss is thick, pliable and a tad heavier. It is made from buffalo leather. These two are decadent. I feel more serious writing in it. It has work projects and career stuffs.

Yellow REX or No. 6.5 vs Wide or No. 7

Friday, April 29, 2016

March, April and May Knit-From-Stash socks

I was soo busy last month, I don't think I posted an update for the Knit-From-Stash 2016 Botanic Socks collection.

MARCH  April was Calathea Socks.

Shown in Phydeaucx Designs "spiced peaches" colourway. Photo from Winter TNNA San Diego.
Calathea Individual Pattern:  

Calathea is a plant with striped foliage. It is called Peacock plant, Zebra plant, Snake plant or even Prayer plant depending on who is writing up the labels. It likes humid climates and no direct sunlight. You can not neglect this plant, which is why I don't grow them!

Our Calathea socks have twisty stripey leaves. You will want to block these out when you are done, as the fabric bias wants to spiral.

APRIL was actually Laurier socks! Some how I missed posting March and Calathea!

Laurier or Laurel leaves cover the leg of this sock. The pattern has both Charted and Written instructions. Cuff down, and also available in 4 sizes S- 6”, M-7.5”, L-9”, XL-10” (foot circumference).

April's leaves brings May's....Bark layer?
Rhytidome is the external later that we consider "bark" to be.

Rhytidome socks have texture, knots in the  "wood" and are both a Cuff Down and a Toe Up sock.
These socks have twisted stitches and are on a purl background. "Someone" Is testing them on a knit background....we shall see how that goes. :)

Rhytidome Individual Pattern:

2016 Books update

Early 2016 list:
Natural History of Dinosaurs by Marie Brennan
Tea with Jane Austen by Kim Wilson
A Year with No Sugar by Eve Schaub
All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Malice: The Faithful and the Fallen by John Gwynne
The Crimson Campaign by Brian McClellan
Beauty by Robyn McKinley
The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings ( Tolkien,  Lewis, Barfield, Williams) by Philip and Carol Zaleski

Pride and Prejudice read by Rosamund Pike
A Year of Reading Dangerously by Andy Miller

To this list can now be added (knitting books not included):
The sound of a wild snail eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey
Originals by Adam Grant
A perfect red by Amy Butler Greenfield 
Snow by Tracy Lynn
Drunken botanist by Amy Stewart 
Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley 
Perfect ruin by  Lauren DeStefano 

Dawn of Wonder by Jonathan Renshaw 
Dragonvein by Brian Anderson 
On our own in Jerusalem's old city by Vicki Andree 
David Copperfield by Dickens, narrated by Richard Armitage 
Rewinder by Brett Battles

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