The "Indigo To-Go" Bag

I admit it--I am a total bag lady. I have a bag in my closet that is just holding other bags. Actually, I have more than one bag in my closet that is just holding other bags. This may indicate that I have a problem, but I like to think of it as being prepared for any packing situation.

Some bags I use daily, and the little pouch in my purse that carries my lipstick(s), hand cream and emergency eye pencil (which doubles nicely as a pencil for writing on paper when you've changed purses and forgotten to make sure you have a pen, ask me how I know) is one of those. For several years I have used a hand knitted, simple stockinette bag, my most recent one being made of an orphan skein of Regia sock yarn. About a month ago, I looked at that bag and literally thought, "WHY is this not made out of hand-dyed indigo??"

Enter the "Indigo To-Go" Bag.

I designed and knit it and sold it as a kit. All of that is good, but the important thing here is that I LOVE using it! Having a bit of indigo with me all the time makes me happy. Plus, the medallion design makes me think of Art Deco (which makes me happy) and the zipper color I chose is green (which also, you guessed it, makes me happy). People, if we can't knit things that make us happy, why on earth do we bother?

As of this post I do have a limited number of kits (hand-dyed indigo yarn + pattern + zipper + hand-dyed indigo fabric) left in my Etsy shop, ready to ship within mere days of your order. If we sell out, I will make more kits, which will take a couple of weeks to ship out, but will also be fabulous. The pattern, however, is available instantly due to the wonders of modern technology. You can purchase it on Ravelry, Etsy or Craftsy, or if you're local, I'll print you one and put it in a sheet protector at no extra charge (this holds true of the other patterns I have for sale as well--just never thought to mention it before!).

Knitted up, this bag makes a great gift idea, for those of you who are looking for a quick gift to knit for the holidays. You'll need less than 100 yards of worsted weight yarn (I like blue), size 5 needles, a cable needle, a yarn needle, a zipper, a bit of fabric for the lining, and about a day's worth of time. There's also a handy tutorial here about adding the zipper and lining.

The pattern includes instructions for making both the center medallion and the column of cables designs.

Knit something happy today, y'all.

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Veteran's Day, WWI and Knitting

Today is a holiday in this country and many others. For years I assumed that it was all the same holiday with different names, depending on where you observe it. I was sort of right.

November 11 is....

1. Veteran's Day (U.S.)--Veteran's Day is our day to honor those who have served in the military. It began as Armistice Day (see below) and the name was changed in many countries, after WWII.  According to, the national Veteran's Day ceremony is "intended to honor and thank all who served in the United States Armed Forces." This includes both of my grandfathers (Navy and Marines), my father-in-law (Navy), and my mother's cousin, who was the first woman I knew who had served in the Air Force and who I wanted to be just like when I was a kid. Living as I do in a military town, this also applies to more than half the people I know. So, to all y'all, THANK YOU!!

2. Armistice Day--This is still observed as "Armistice Day" in some of the countries (France, Belgium, New Zealand) who were part of the Allied forces during WWI. On November 11, 1918, at 11:00am, the armistice (or truce) was signed, ending the long and very bloody Great War, which raged from 1914-1918 and cost the lives of 16 million and left 20 million wounded. The Armistice is still remembered at 11:00am in the US, Canada, Great Britain and elsewhere, usually by 2 minutes of silence, the laying of wreaths on graves, and the sadness that comes with knowing that so many died so young in a horrible global conflict.

3. Remembrance Day (Canada, UK)--This began as Armistice Day and is usually observed on the Sunday closest to November 11--Remembrance Sunday. It is a day to remember both the Armistice and the fallen from other wars. The poppy flower is worn as a symbol of remembrance, thanks to a poem by John McCrae "In Flanders Fields."

At the Tower of London, artists have created an installation of ceramic poppies as a moving tribute to the memory of every British WWI fatality.



The Knit Guru has a free knitted poppy brooch pattern you can make, and if you have little ones who like to craft with paper, here's a site with instructions to make a paper poppy.

Do you recall me mentioning the WWI movie being filmed in England? It seems that "Tell Them of Us" is finished and has been released in England on a limited basis. From here I hope that someone picks it up and makes it available in the U.S. The history and the knitwear are both real.

I found this site via Pinterest, that includes, among other things, a list of books for kids about WWI--The Children's War.

No matter where you live or what you thought you knew about the Great War, I hope that this November 11 you will find the time to remember our great-great grandfathers who served and our great-great grandmothers who knitted while waiting for them at home. It is a history shared by the world, that unites us all in loss and the desire for peace. And in Remembrance...

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Red Scarf Season

If you've known me any length of time, you've probably heard me mention the Red Scarf Project. I discovered it a few years ago and have tried to send at least one scarf in every year before the December 15 deadline. Since that deadline is fast approaching, I wanted to mention it again. If you have some time and can cast on a quick garter stitch (or crochet, that's even faster) red scarf, please do. I will happily mail your scarf in for you, and hopefully get it there in time.

The Red Scarf Project sends scarves to kids who have left the foster care system and gone on to college. Most college-bound students have a support system at home, sending love and care packages and money when needed. Students who have been in foster care need this gap filled, and the Foster Care 2 Success folks work to do just that. They are America's "largest provider of college funding and support services for foster youth," and as far as I know, the only organization that asks knitters and crocheters to contribute a tangible "hug" to send to students on Valentine's Day.

To that end, I have designed two scarves as free patterns in the hopes that more knitters will participate, both available as free Ravelry downloads (links under pics):


Want to help? Here are the details from the website:

Size: approximately 60” long and 5” to 8” wide. Scarves should be long enough to be wrapped around the neck, with tails long enough to be tied in the front. 
Style: Think unisex collegiate. Fringes are optional. Your scarf should drape, tie easily and be soft.
Color: Red! However, this could mean burgundy, cherry, russet, red stripes with other colors, or multicolor hues including red. 
Finished & tagged: Yarn ends should be securely sewn in. For a personal touch, attach a tag saying “Handmade for You” with your first name, city, and group affiliation, if any. Donors have also included washing instructions, messages of encouragement, gift cards, and more.

Contact me here or on our Ravelry group or by email if you have a scarf you would like sent in this year.

Thank you for considering giving to this organization--it is one that has special meaning to me and I appreciate the chance to share it with you!


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