Hoosier Hood

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O, it sets my heart a clickin’ like the tickin’ of a clock,
when the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.
[James Whitcomb Riley] 

Hoosier HoodIt was 6 AM and my ears were cold. I was on my morning walk with my buddy, Louie, and I just wanted to get home where I could warm up. As we walked, I dreamed of a hat that I could quickly knit in one piece out of one 200-yard ball of yarn. When we got home, Louie got a treat and I knit the Hoosier Hood.

Here is the pattern (select the following link to download the PDF file): Hoosier Hood. I hope you enjoy it as much as my warm ears have.

Note: James Whitcomb Riley was a poet who wrote in hoosier dialect. Most of his poems appealed to children and the children’s hospital was named to honor him.

Thank You, Georgia Voters

Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.
[Martin Luther King, Jr.]

I will always remember January 6, 2021 because it proved our fragile democracy can prevail over hateful ignorance. It proves that every vote counts. Folks ventured out in the midst of a winter of epidemic danger and cast their votes.

Congratulations Senator Raphael Warnock and Senator Jon Ossoff.

Buffalo Plaid Christmas Stocking

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When we were children
we were grateful
to those who filled our stockings
at Christmas time.
Why are we not grateful to God
for filling our stockings with legs?

[G.K. Chesterton]

Buffalo Check Stocking

Knitting

Last summer, I wrote a brief article for the Call of the Wool, the Dayton Knitting Guild newsletter. It was about the Christmas stocking tradition among the knitters in my family and included this new pattern as a ‘thank you’ for the encouragement and support I’ve received from the members of the guild. Here it is for you, my much appreciated blog readers, at no charge. Download a printable PDF by selecting this link.

Writing

While I knit, I listen to audio books. Some are checked out of our local library using the Libby app, and some are purchased. About a third of them are non-fiction history books—mostly about the American Civil War and World War One. Code Breakers are an interest of mine. I enjoy the books of specific historical writers such as David McCullough, Barbara Tuchman, Shelby Foote, and James McPherson.

I often listen again to a number of fiction books—especially if a favorite author is about to publish a new book in a series. I recently re-listened to Jacqueline Winspear’s Masie Dobbs series.

Other Joys

My furry buddy, Louie, and I walk every morning at six. Now that it is dark and chilly, I carry a flash light in my pocket. Lately, Christmas lights brighten our December walks and make it a happy exercise.

Another joy is having my grandson arrive every morning for school in my sunroom. He connects with his classes by WiFi on a laptop loaned to him by the school. I feed him breakfast, and serve him hot tea. PE has been reduced to exercises but I don’t think this will set him back. I wish I could have attended seventh grade in my grandma’s sunroom.

Other Free Christmas Patterns

Alternatives

People are very open-minded about new things
as long as they’re exactly like the old ones.
[Charles Kettering]

Logo_lineup

My first computer was a TRS-80 in 1982. It used my TV as a monitor and an audio cassette recorder to save files. Its memory was 4K. Instead of software, it came with a manual about how to program basic. In ’85 when I traded my nurse’s cap for a triangle and T-square, I only used a computer for word processing. By 1990, I was doing graphic design on a tiny Mac screen using Quark XPress and Freehand. Photos were processed and stripped in at the printers.

As output devices improved and finally reached industry standard for print media, I added Photoshop and Illustrator to my computer tools. Shortly after 2000, Quark hit a period where the software wasn’t as adaptable to printing as Adobe Indesign so I changed to Adobe Creative Suite and have used it ever since. When Adobe went to a cloud subscription arrangement, I stayed with my last purchased upgrade (6.0).

Since then, I’ve started a search for replacement software just in case the time comes when I can’t get the old Adobe software to work. The criteria for my search includes the following items as essential:

  • Be able to open and edit old files that were created in other software
  • Usable on both my iPad and Mac
  • Designed to work simply—low learning curve

Eureka! I’m so excited about the new software I found.

Concepts (by TopHatch)

I rely heavily on Illustrator for the vector art I design. Concepts is an app for the iPad (and other tablets). It has already expanded my horizons in illustration. Here is what the company says on their Website:

Concepts for iOS is a vector-based sketching tool with an infinite, whiteboard-like canvas for note takers, visual thinkers, architects, designers and illustrators. The app’s clean, customizable interface, flexible vector lines, and beautiful brushes in Copic colors encourage people to explore, create and share ideas on their iPad Pro, iPad and iPhone. Creators can sketch notes, plans and drawings in the moment, bridge their work across apps and workflows, and present and share with others wherever they go.

Cost: Download is free. In-App purchases for some features are under $20.00

Affinity Photo, Designer and Publisher

I’ve been using these three pieces of software on my Mac, plus Photo and Designer on my iPad for two months. They do everything I’ve ever dreamed. Affinity Photo is comparable to Adobe Photoshop, Affinity Designer is comparable to Adobe Illustrator, and Affinity Publisher is an elegant alternative to Adobe Indesign. Check out their Website (especially the price — under $50.00 each)

NOTE: I have no business or personal connection with these companies.
I simply enjoy using their software.

Cryptology

If you reveal your secrets to the wind,
you should not blame the wind for
revealing them to the trees.
Kahlil Gibran

When my sister and I were little, we tried to teach ourselves hand signs for the alphabet with an eye toward secretly communicating with each other. She can still remember a couple of words. Later, I taught myself Braille but never mastered the ability to read the characters by touch. Still later I studied the Cherokee syllabary with fascination. Symbols substitute for each of the syllables in the Cherokee language. I’ve extended my interest in codes and cyphers to my current reading list. Here are three books that I’ve enjoyed the most. (Note: I actually listen to these as audio books since I am a knitter and I listen while I knit.)

The Zimmerman Telegram

The Zimmerman TelegramBy Barbara W. Tuchman
I’ve read and listened to this book several times. It amazes me and it’s author is one of my favorites. Here is an excerpt from the publisher’s summary:

In the dark winter of 1917, as World War I was deadlocked, Britain knew that Europe could be saved only if the United States joined the war. But President Wilson remained unshakable in his neutrality. Then, with a single stroke, the tool to propel America into the war came into a quiet British office. One of countless messages intercepted by the crack team of British decoders, the Zimmermann telegram was a top-secret message from Berlin inviting Mexico to join Japan in an invasion of the United States. Mexico would recover her lost American territories while keeping the U.S. occupied on her side of the Atlantic.

How Britain managed to inform America of Germany’s plan without revealing that the German codes had been broken makes for an incredible, true story of espionage, intrigue, and international politics, as only Barbara W. Tuchman could tell it.

The Woman Who Smashed Codes

The Woman Who Smashed CodesBy Jason Fagone
The subtitle is A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine who Outwitted America’s Enemies. The woman at the center of the story grew up close to where I live—she was a farm girl who went to college when most women didn’t. Her story is charming and amazing. The Zimmerman telegram is mentioned in this story. The publisher’s summary states:

In 1912, at the height of World War I, brilliant Shakespeare expert Elizebeth Smith went to work for an eccentric tycoon on his estate outside Chicago. The tycoon had close ties to the US government, and he soon asked Elizebeth to apply her language skills to an exciting new venture: code breaking. There she met the man who would become her husband, groundbreaking cryptologist William Friedman. Though she and Friedman are in many ways the Adam and Eve of the NSA, Elizebeth’s story, incredibly, has never been told.

In The Woman Who Smashed Codes, Jason Fagone chronicles the life of this extraordinary woman, who played an integral role in our nation’s history for 40 years. After World War I, Smith used her talents to catch gangsters and smugglers during Prohibition, then accepted a covert mission to discover and expose Nazi spy rings that were spreading like wildfire across South America, advancing ever closer to the United States. As World War II raged, Elizabeth fought a highly classified battle of wits against Hitler’s Reich, cracking multiple versions of the Enigma machine used by German spies. Meanwhile, inside an army vault in Washington, William worked furiously to break Purple, the Japanese version of Enigma – and eventually succeeded, at a terrible cost to his personal life.

Code Girls

Code GirlsBy Liza Mundy
The subtitle is The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II. This book mentions both William and Elizabeth Friedman. Of interest to me was the discussion of the Navy WAVES who helped construct the bombes (machines used to decrypt messages) at National Cash Register Company in Dayton, Ohio. Also, since my aunt was a Navy WAVE cartographer during World War II in Washington DC and I was a Navy nurse 20 years later,  I was fascinated by the personal descriptions of life and working conditions. The publisher’s summary adds:

Recruited by the US Army and Navy from small towns and elite colleges, more than 10,000 women served as codebreakers during World War II. While their brothers and boyfriends took up arms, these women moved to Washington and learned the meticulous work of codebreaking. Their efforts shortened the war, saved countless lives, and gave them access to careers previously denied to them. A strict vow of secrecy nearly erased their efforts from history; now, through dazzling research and interviews with surviving code girls, best-selling author Liza Mundy brings to life this riveting and vital story of American courage, service, and scientific accomplishment.

Next, I plan to read Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures.

Three Pines

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Three Pines is a state of mind.
When we choose tolerance over hate,
kindness over cruelty,
goodness over bullying,
when we choose to be hopeful not cynical,
then we live in Three Pines.

[Louise Penny]

Louise Penny, a mystery writer from Québec, Canada, is one of my favorite authors. Three Pines is the imaginary village that is home to many of the characters in her enthralling stories.

As the unofficial Christmas stocking knitter in my extended family, an honor I inherited from my mama, I usually knit colorful designs. I’ve long dreamed of doing one in a cream color with the pattern in texture stitches instead of color. Here it is. This is my tribute to Louise Penny, her books, and her imaginary village.

The pattern [DOWNLOAD PDF HERE] includes written directions for shaping and charts for the texture design.

Gauge: 8 Rows/inch (2.5 cm) and 6 Stitches/inch (2.5 cm). The sock can be enlarged or reduces in size by selecting heavier or lighter weight yarn and needles.

Yarn: Aran or cream colored worsted weight such as Brown Sheep Nature Spun or Cascade 220, 100 grams.

Needles: Double-pointed sock set or short circular in a size to render the gauge—about US #4 (3.5 mm) or #5 (3.75 mm).

Select these links for further information about Louise Penny and her books.
Louise Penny Website 
Gamache Book Series 
Brome Lake Books 

atimetoknit.com

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Knit on with confidence and hope
through all crises.
[Elizabeth Zimmermann]

kmm_shetland

I’ve activated my new website: atimetoknit.com. One of the many good things about publishing online is that a Website is endlessly expandable. Currently, the site only offers free patterns, premium patterns and my two books, but I have plans.

More Premium Patterns

I have a list of seventy three designs that are in varying stages of development. My main challenge in getting these ready to sell is doing the math. In order to offer sweater patterns in at least three sizes, I need to calculate.

The patterns that excite me the most are my Great Lakes Chill Chaser Collection. These patterns will be my focus for the rest of the year. The premium patterns are currently sold through Ravelry.com. Although it is a membership site, non-members can access the pattern store. These are also sold through participating yarn shops.

Classes, Workshops and Seminars

I’ve taught a number of classes and workshops over the years. This is an activity that brings me as much joy as knitting. A number of the seventy three patterns I mentioned were developed to enable knitters to hone skills. I plan to add a section to the Website that will describe each class I offer with photos of the class projects.

Technique Videos

It has long been a dream of mine to offer simple videos that show how to execute various knitting techniques. I want the videos to be clear, concise and easy to replay.

Links

Starting this month, I’ll compile a list of my favorite knitting links.

Those plans should keep me out of trouble for awhile. Of course, I’ll have to take knitting breaks. For some folks, comfort congers up a vision of favorite food or an easy chair. For me, I maintain my mental health with a set of knitting needles and a lovely ball of fiber. It also helps that I have no TV or cell phone.

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Photographer, Jim Miller

Photographer, Jim Miller

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that
I may not so much seek to be consoled
as to console;

to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
[The prayer of St.Francis]

November 1

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To be interested in the changing seasons
is a happier state of mind than to be
hopelessly in love with spring.

[George Santayana]

Autumn in Fort Wayne

I wage a constant battle with my attitude about autumn and winter. This year, I might be winning. Of course, starting November in northern Indiana with 76 degree temperatures helps. I remember 10 inches of snow on this date in 1966.

I’ve been busy working on my new Website and have decided it is like cleaning house. The more that I do, the more that I see that needs to be done. I especially am attending to broken links. I’ll have a grand opening soon.

Meanwhile I had the first cataract surgery. I’m scheduled for the second next week. This is a blessing. I already see so much better and can tell what color changes I need to make in my work.

Did I mention I invested in a snow blower? It is peculiar what excites some folks, isn’t it?

Dew Catcher

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It is one of those summer days when everything perspires
including my brow and my glass of iced tea.
There’s even dew on the roses.

Dew Catcher

This is a fun porch-sitting project and a useful way to use up leftover sock yarn. Enjoy.

Abbreviation Key:

k: knit
kb: knit in back of stitch
sl: slip as to purl
ytf: yarn to front
ytb: yarn to back

Supplies:

U.S. Size 2 needle and sock-weight yarn.

Instructions:

Cast on 36 sts. (Using a waste-yarn cast on will make closing the seam easier when finished.)

  1. **Knit across. [odd numbers are right-side rows]
  2. K 8, ytf, sl 1, ytb, k26, ytf, sl 1.
  3. Kb, k34.
  4. Ytf, sl 1, ytb, k6, ytf, sl 1, ytb, k26, ytf, sl 1.
  5. Kb, k33.
  6. Ytf, sl 1, ytb, k5, ytf, sl 1, ytb, k26, ytf, sl 1.
  7. Kb, k32.
  8. Ytf, sl 1, ytb, k4, ytf, sl 1, ytb, k26, ytf, sl 1.
  9. Kb, k31.
  10. Ytf, sl 1, ytb, k3, ytf, sl 1, ytb, k26, ytf, sl 1.
  11. Kb, k30.
  12. Ytf, sl 1, ytb, k2, ytf, sl 1, ytb, k26, ytf, sl 1.
  13. Kb, k29.
  14. Ytf, sl 1, ytb, k1, ytf, sl 1, ytb, k26, ytf, sl 1.
  15. Kb, k28.
  16. Ytf, sl 2, ytb, k26, ytf, sl 1.**

Work from ** to ** a total of 8 times.

Join seam between first and last rows. If you used a waste-yarn cast on, remove the waste yarn while putting the live stitches on another needle. Join either using a three-needle bind off, or kitchner stitch.

(designed by Katherine Misegades, A Time to Knit Publications, LLC)