A Swift Kick

I’m human.  (Sure, sometimes I wish I was from Gallifrey, but that’s another story.)  I slip, I fall, I get back up.  And yes, more often than not, it takes me awhile to get to that last part.  Suffering with PSA (Psoriatic Arthritis), I sometimes forget that I do have to force myself to get up and get out on my days off.

So, this morning, I’m writing this post from the Valley Health Wellness Center, in Winchester VA. (No, this is NOT a paid endorsement.  I joined because I’m an employee of VH and the rates are great for what you get.)  I mean, I woke up and was out the door by 5:30 AM on my day off.  My last day of a six day stay-cation, might I add.  I met with an amazing aquatic trainer yesterday, who walked me through some exercises and showed me how to do a routine on my own.  I spent an hour in the therapy pool this morning, and while I’m sore, it is a good sore.  Trust me.

New routines can be hard.  Any kind of change can be difficult.  I can tell  you, that seems to be my current theme right now.  New workout routine, new day-job routine, and a new outlook every since my new medication finally started to kick in.  But just like that motivational poster with the kitten in the tree, I’m doing my best to ‘Hang In There.’


The original motivational poster


Recent accomplishments aside, here’s what else I’ve up to in my six days off!

  • My husband and I recently celebrated my FIL getting remarried to an amazing woman, whom we think the world of.  I’ll post pictures of the wedding shawl on Friday.
  • I actually started knitting a pair of socks for myself! (GASP!)  I know, I know, it is about time.  I’m working on the ‘Herminoe Everyday Socks’, which has been living in my Ravelry queue for, maybe two years?
  • I’m all caught up on Mercy Street, The Walking Dead, and The Magicians.  If you haven’t seen any of these, I suggest them all.  There is something for everyone in these shows.
  • I celebrated my 34th birthday with friends, family, and good wine.  The Hubs and I took an overnight stay to Baltimore, where I not only had amazing hand-made pierogis, but also made my first wholesale order with Lovelyarns (more on this later in the week.)

So, what’s new with you?  I hope that you’re February is ending well, and you are killing it with your crafting, and your goals.  Don’t forget about our KAL for the ‘Talvel Cowl’, which is going on through the end of March!



KAL & Yarn Giveaway

I’m really excited to announce that I am hosting a KAL for my new pattern, the ‘Talvel Cowl’.  If you are a member of ‘Ravelry’, you can join in on the fun HERE, as well as purchase the pattern.  You can also purchase the pattern in my Etsy Shop, as well as some lovely bulky weight yarn.

I hope that you’ll join in on the fun!  I can’t wait to see everyone’s cowls.

'Talvel Cowl' KAL2.png


Pattern Debute – ‘Talvel Cowl’

I’m so excited to announce that my first ‘real’ knitting pattern is finally live on Ravlery! This is my first paid pattern, and my first pattern to which I’m hosting a KAL.


The beautiful Amanda, friend and knitter. 

The ‘Talvel Cowl’ is bulky weight cowl that combines rib stitch and cables.  It is a fairly quick knit.  You can block it to make the stitch pattern truly bloom, and not – and  have a close fitting garment for cold days.

One of the special things about this cowl is that it was inspired by a few people that I know that have dementia.  That is why $2 from every pattern sold will go directly to my local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.  Giving back is important to me, and this is a cause that I really believe in.

You can find the pattern on Ravelry. Follow THIS LINK to get you there.  From the pattern page, you’ll find the link to the KAL.

I’m so excited, and I hope that you will enjoy the pattern as much as I do!


Etsy Shop Update – January

The shop update over at the Etsy store is live!  I’m really excited about the new colors that I’ve been working on.  Let me tell you all about them!



I’m continuing to work with my new base of sock yarn, named ‘Tory’s Toes’.  Inspired by a good friend, this base has a tighter twist than my standard ‘IMC Sock’ base.  The above colorway is called, ‘Misty Mountain’. I love the layering of soft purples and pinks. There are two skeins available and ready to ship.



Next up is an old favorite in my ‘IMC Sock’ base.  ‘Sunset Shimmer’ is one that I’ve had a lot of luck with, and one that everyone seems to really enjoy. Super soft, shades of orange, yellow, and pops of white and pink.  There are two skeins available and ready to ship.



This one was a lot of fun to dye.  ‘Chocolate Covered Cherries’ is perfect for Valentines Day!  Dyed in my ‘IMC Sock’ base, there are shades of brown and red, with pops of white and pink.  This is a OOAK (one-of-a-kind) skein and there is only on available.



Lastly, meet ‘Go Go Godzilla’!  Another great OOAK skein, in my ‘IMC Sock’ base, it has hues of green, black, purple, and white.  I really like this one!  There is one available.


I plan on trying to do a small shop update every month.  It is so much more manageable that way.  I reskein everything by hand, so while the process is a long one, I know that it is well worth it for you, my customer.  I don’t want you to have to deal with tangles while you are trying to wind your yarn.






FO Friday, And My Lack Of Spoons

Happy Friday, everyone!  I hope that January is treating you all kindly.


I’m hiding from the cold


First, let me apologize for my absence.  I have not been doing well in terms of pain and chronic illness.  For those of you who don’t know, I have a condition known as ‘Psoriatic Arthritis’.  You can read all about it HERE.  Anyone who lives with a chronic illness knows that some days are really great, others are okay, and some just plain blow.  So, I’ve been busy resting when I can,  because when you work a job that requires you to be on your feet for eight to twelve hours, and lift up to 80 lbs on your own.  Well, you get the picture. My doctor has me on a new medication, and so far, things are starting to look up!

There is this interesting idea that is called ‘Spoon Theory’. Basically you start your day with ‘X’ amount of spoons, and everything that you do requires a spoon.  The goal – get to the end of the day with at least one or two spoons left.  Christine Miserandino has a great explanation on her blog, ‘But You Don’t Look Sick’.

I have, however, been knitting my heart out!  I managed to crank out THREE Pussy(cat) Hats for the Womens March, that is happening this weekend.  I have to work, or you can bet I would be attending.






I’ve started working on a wedding shawl, which needs to be blocked and ready to go by Valentine’s Day.  I need to hustle, seriously.  Thank goodness it is in worsted weight yarn! Add to the list finishing my hubby’s Christmas socks, and making some hats for our local homeless shelter.

What are you working on this week?  How many of you made Pussy Hats, or are attending that march?  I’d love to hear your stories!

Countdown To Christmas – Day 4

Oh, what a truly Wintery day we’re having here in the Shenandoah Valley.  We woke up this morning to some freezing rain … and ice covering everything!


Well, that’s one way to wash my muddy rain boots!

So, today’s giveaway is going to be themed correctly.  For Day 4, I’m giving away a lovely pair of stitch markers from Maryanne at The Violet Valentine.  I’ve known Maryanne for almost ten or so years now, and she not only makes beautiful accessories, she also dyes her own yarn!


How to enter : Comment below (or on my blog FB page) with your favorite way to spend a snow day!  I’ll choose a winner tonight after 8pm EST.



Countdown To Christmas – Day 2

Today, I’m excited to give away a free pattern of your choice from Allison O’Mahony! 

The awesome Allison is a talented knit ware designer, and was recently featured here on my blog.

Allison’s Ravelry page – http://www.ravelry.com/designers/allison-omahony

To enter, comment with your favorite holiday knitting pattern, or your favorite pattern to knit and gift.

The winner will be chosen tonight after 8pm EST.

Countdown To Christmas – Day 1

My favorite thing about Christmas is giving. I love to find the perfect gift ,  or make it. So, this year, I’m sharing the love with my readers and followers. There willbe one giveaway each  day, from now through Christmas Eve.

Day 1 : I’m  giving away an awesome coloring book full of fun holiday sweaters, and some colores pencils!

Here’s how you enter to win. Comment below with your favorite Christmas tradition! 

The winner will be chosen at 8pm tonight. You can also comment on the link that will post on my group FB page, which can be found below.

Good luck!

Fellow Fibre Friend : Beatriz McTiernan

Welcome to the first installment of my blog series, ‘Fellow Fibre Friend’. Each week I’ll be featuring a guest post by someone in the fibre world.  This week you’ll meet Beatriz McTiernan,  who designs beautiful jewelry for knitters. You can visit her at her website, Jewelry For Knitters


Beatriz McTiernan


The magic all started when I was 12 years old. It was summer vacation and I was spending my days at my grandmother’s house. It was during this time that she taught me how to knit. We lived in Miami and at that time the only yarn available were acrylics and cotton thread for crocheting. One time I found a red mohair yarn and made a scarf. I was so proud of my end result until I wrapped it around my neck and found it was horribly itchy. Besides , who wears mohair scarves in Miami? Needless to say, that although my grandmother was a talented knitter, she was also a fabulous crocheter. She learned when she was a little girl in Spain. But she lived most of her life in balmy Cuba were she crocheted spectacular doilies, dresses for my mom (her favorite was one with cherries made out of mini bobbles) to queen size bedspreads. I still have some of those items displayed in my home. But she chose to bestow the art of knitting which in hindsight, was a blessing in disguise.

I continued knitting with my grandmother. She continued helping me to complete my projects, until she was too elderly to keep guiding me along.  Then I met this other fabulous knitter from Cuba living in Miami, about 20 minutes from my house. My mom and I went together. My mom never really took to knitting but she was a very talented seamstress. I guess it skipped a generation.  Any way I went to this lady’s studio. I forgot her name. Let’s say her name was Maria. Maria’s studio was filled with the most beautiful yarns. Yarns I had never seen before. Beautiful soft, thin wools and silks, even some ribbon yarns. Definitely not your acrylic drugstore yarn.


Maria said to me , “Pick out the yarn you like and what kind of sweater you want to make.” So I picked out the ribbon yarn which was so unusual and beautiful in a teal color way. She promptly took my measurements then told one of her three assistants, “Cast on X amount of stitches for Betty’s short sleeve sweater “. Then the magic amount of stitches were cast on with 16″ circular needles and little rings. Then she wrote the instructions in Spanish on a piece of paper, “Knit in the round for three inches, then come see me.”  So I happily paid for my yarn, needles and the little rings which turned out to be my first stitch markers, and promptly went home to knit those three inches on my sweater. Later I understood this was circular knitting, top down with raglan sleeves.

So each time I would finish her instructions, I would visit her again. I would then change to 24″ needles and continue knitting . She would check my work, show me any mistakes I made, then send me to her assistants to help me correct the mistakes. After everything was corrected, she would measure me again and send me home with the next set of instructions. This continued until I finished knitting my sweater and was ready to bind off. The end result was a beautiful sweater that fit perfectly on me. So that’s how I learned to knit…in Spanish, in sunny Miami.

A few years pass, I start studying for my MBA and I meet a dashing young man from the New England area of the United States. Yes, we would fall madly in love and marry. He always told me though, that he  wanted to move back and raise our family in the Northeast. So after a wonderful honeymoon in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Buenos Aires, Argentina, I was whisked off to Connecticut.


A few weeks after settling in, of course, I am on the hunt for my local LYS. But there are no Marias measuring you, having assistants casting on for you, and then scribbling the instructions  for you to follow. What I did find were wonderfully kind yarn shop owners, with a desirable selections of wools (and the weather to wear them in) leading me to the section where all the pattern booklets were located.

Well, I started looking at the pattern pictures to see the sweaters I really liked, and bought a few. Got home, read the instructions and the only thing I could translate was: Knit meant the ” front” stitch of the sweater as they say in Spanish. I had no clue what the word Purl meant.  But since all knitters have steadfast determination, I set out slowly but surely to decipher the English pattern instructions with these wonderfully patient LYS owners They soon became my Marias.
Meanwhile, like all knitters wonder, why does life have to interrupt my knitting? After receiving my MBA degree I went to work in the corporate world. This turned out to be one of my biggest regrets of my life. What had I gotten into? A woman could not thrive, flourish, and be promoted in the corporate world. And forget about family life and babies. These were foreign concepts, at least in the 1980’s. The right side of my brain was exploding with creativity but overall I was heading for a full-blown depression .

They say God works in mysterious ways, and so in the middle of all this pain and turmoil I found out I was pregnant. God gave me the best opportunity to exit this part of my life and in 1992, I gave birth to my daughter. Raising my daughter with my husband turned my life into pure joy. I started knitting again. First for my daughter, then for me and my family.
I joined a knitting guild where I have met lifelong friends, continued learning new knitting skills, and later became co-president of the guild for a number of years. We had wonderful guest  speakers. Some of them are now the rock stars of the knitting world.

The late 1990’s turned out to be the beginning of the “explosion” of knitting. It was no longer the image of grandmother knitting.  It was young and old, male and female who were taking up this beautiful art form .My daughter was older now and more independent.  I started working for local yarn stores teaching knitting, finishing sweaters for customers, and selling yarn. In the new  millennium ,the knitting world was alive and fully thriving and so was I.


I eventually had to slow down. I was knitting all the time (careful what you wish for).
My hand began to ache and I couldn’t knit for several years. It was beginning of neck and right arm arthritis which was never diagnosed until several years later. I bypassed many doctors who could care less if I knit or not. Meanwhile, I was desperate for a creative outlet, so I tried beading and making jewelry and found a new love. Miraculously  my hands didn’t hurt. I guess I was doing different motions with my hands working with jewelry.

Last year I found a fabulous doctor who understood this “creativeness” was an integral part of me and suggested Botox for my neck and shoulder pain. Now I can knit again but not as extensive as before.  This led me to the path of merging my knitting and my jewelry making, and hence, Jewelry by Beatriz, LLC was created along with my website, JewelryForKnitters.  Now I am finally happy with my “work” and I have a beautiful daughter who is now a young lady who just completed her Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology. And a patient, loving husband who I could never have done this without his help. The future looks bright…!