Friday, January 27, 2012

Perfectly good enough

At least it's done.  This is the idea I should focus on considering that I'm a perfectionist.  I suppose being a perfectionist might be a good thing if I had more motivation; but, as it stands now, if I don't think I can do something perfectly, I won't even try.  Now, this is absolutely no way to live a life.  That being said, being any different seems to be just this side of impossible.  What can I say?  When I try to do something, "good enough" I usually end up feeling like a failure.  Like the Frondly Yours pattern.  People have been kind enough to correct me on the number of errors I made while writing the pattern.  Stitches left entirely unmentioned, or given the wrong number for repeats.  I wasn't sure about publishing it when I did, and probably should have waited until I completed it once more; but I had been sitting on it for months, shouldn't it have been at least good enough by now if not perfect?

Then there's the other side of the coin.  This week I've been over watching Daniel's sisters.  Remember the heirloom blanket I was asked to mend from my post 'Out with the Old'?  Well, I found the pattern; and if you're interested in making one like it, it's available for free on Paton's website, though you do have to register with their site.  Anyway, after much hemming and hawing, and a bit of swatching, I got out some matching yarn and gave it a go.  It was surprising how little that hole actually took.  I had to recreate a few stitches and one popcorn with the new yarn, but it was mostly just figuring out what stitch came from what row.  Don't get me wrong, it's not like the end result is flawless, far from it; but unless you're looking for it, the mending isn't blatantly apparent.  Despite my perfectionist streak, I'm actually kind of happy with the way it turned out.  It's not gorgeous, but this time I'm more than satisfied with good enough.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Frondly Yours, now Charted territory

Remember how I mentioned my nervousness on publishing the "Frondly Yours" pattern?  Everytime I looked at  the long lines of knitting abbreviations I felt my anxiety steadily increase.  It's rather silly, but I like this pattern and want it to be accessible to anyone that wants to try it.  I imagine that for knitters that are more visually inclined, this chart method will be easier.  Click here for a link to the pdf version of "Frondly Yours Lace Chart".  Want the longer version that's written out instead of charted?  It's still available here.

Oh, now would be a good time for me to publicly acknowledge that my boyfriend is all sorts of wonderful.  Why you ask?  Geez, put down those knitting needles and I'll tell you!  Well, although it looked like Wingdings, dear Daniel downloaded the knitting font and set it up for me.  I loved the point at which he turned to me and asked hesitantly, "do these symbols mean anything to you?"  Oh, if you're curious, we ended up using Aire River Knitting Font, which we selected after looking at some of the other options mentioned in this knitty article.

As always, if you find a mistake, please please email me at (updated 1/17/12 at 12:10 pst)

**All rights to the design and pattern "Frondly Yours" are protected by copyright. Dania Erickson 2012.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Frondly Yours

People that know me shouldn't be surprised the pun.  Yes, it's groan worthy, and I'm almost sorry.  Still, the look of pained resignation and anguish from my boyfriend when I suggested the name really decided it for me.

I confess that this time I'm really having mixed feelings about publishing this.  I've been tinkering with it since October, when I realized how completely impractical "Secretive Storms" was for Southern California.  I've knitted it up four times already, making subtle adjustments.  For some reason I'm having a huge case of the blogger's version of stage fright; so I'm hoping you'll be as understanding as parents at a toddler's ballet recital.

Click here for a link to a pdf of the pattern: Frondly Yours*.  I hope you enjoy making and wearing this hat that can be somewhere between a beanie and a beret.  As with my other patterns that I offer for free, please do not directly repost the pattern.  I ask instead that you link people to this blog post; watching the number of page views increase is one of the biggest warm fuzzies I have.  And if you like the pattern, cough cough... it wouldn't hurt my feelings at all if you clicked on a link; unfortunately, it's one of my only sources of income these days.  Also, if you find any issues with the pattern, please email me at and I'll fix it.  

If you're wondering about the lovely model in the pictures, it's my dear friend Lexi.  She was kind enough not only to let me use her as my mannequin, but also let me use her faboo camera.  Did I mention she was sweet enough not to compare the pictures she would have taken (she has the most amazing eye), with the ones I did get.

*All rights to the design and pattern "Frondly Yours" are protected by copyright.  Dania Erickson 2012.  Updated at 11:45 am pst on 1/19/12.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Out with the Old?

Since it's timely I almost feel the obligation to post something about New Year's resolutions; especially since those that follow the Mayan calendar suspect that this might be my last opportunity to do so.  This is usually the time of year when people start fresh; and along with organizing priorities it's not unusual to resolve to get more organized in a tangible sense.  Time to clean up your life as well as your living space.  So, a number of people throw out old clothes, papers, broken items along with their old calendars.  But what about those things we keep?

This year I spent the last day of 2011 with my boyfriend and his family.  About an hour before the ball dropped, Daniel's stepmother, Judy, was doing her Wonder Woman-esque feat of managing sleeping arrangements.  Before you think I'm exaggerating, I should probably mention that a number of relatives were in town, bringing the total of butts needing beds to a delicate 15.  Not surprisingly, this was an opportunity to  find throw blankets that aren't used on a regular basis.

One such blanket was a wedding gift when Daniel's father and Judy got married.  This lovely antique white afghan was lovingly crocheted by hand, with fringe and bobbles.  This blanket had been in the family long enough to predate the addition of their two girls, as well a number of pets.  One member of the family, Buster, an Australian Shepard, wanted to make his impression on this heirloom.  Buster busted a hole about the size of a snout in the wedding afghan.  Fortunately it wasn't torn asunder; just a little too loved on.

And now back to New Year's eve.  As we sat around alternately gaping and giggling at Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper, Judy came down with the wedding afghan.  She knows about my addiction; that I knit and crochet and figured it never hurts to ask.  Knowing that washing would have helped unravel what Buster had begun, she refrained from doing so.  After studying the pertinent area, my mind unhindered by liquid holiday cheer, I told her I thought I might be able to fix it.  I hope I can actually deliver!

I love that I've been given an opportunity to mend something special.  In our society of disposable goods, it seems wonderfully fulfilling to fix something instead of chucking it out and getting a new one.  The lines from Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World keeps coming back:

"But old clothes are beastly," continued the untiring whisper. "We always throw away old clothes. Ending is better than mending, ending is better than mending, ending is better …".

"Ending is better than mending. The more stitches, the less riches; the more stitches …"

Eerily prophetic, considering it was first published in 1932.  Despite the dismal similarities between the world of 2012 and the dystopian future Huxley presented; I'm grateful that it's not completely the case.  I'm finding personal riches in stitches, and I'm certainly not ending my mending.  The thought of heirlooms still being used and loved warms me more than this afghan ever could.  So for me it's in with the old and new; old heirloom new stitches and a new lease on life for this piece of family history.