My Adventures in Knitting, truly my Yarn-escape!

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Emily's Mittens


     I'm finishing up projects and Christmas gifts this past week.  I got several gifts done and Emily's Mittens is a real success!  I knit this mitten first up in soft wool for myself to test different patterns and sizes.  Then Emily's Mittens was done in an extremely soft Alpaca yarn.  I think they're perfect.

     I used two different patterns to create Emily's Mittens.  The cuff starts with Waiting For Winter Bulky Mittens in M (27 sts) and I lengthened the cuff to 3 1/2" and then added 1 stitch (28 sts) and switched to Simple Chunky Mittens.

     The wonderful Baby Alpaca yarn is Herriot Great by Juniper Moon Farm.  I love this yarn and I'm finishing a sweater for myself from it and starting a Hoodie for my son (more on that later).  I'm learning about the fiber, it's hollow and warmer than wool.  But I'm learning it can stretch more and apparantly has less ability to keep shape as wool.  So far my projects seem alright but I'm going to measure my sweater when It's finished and after a few weeks see if it grows a lot in length and make adjustments on my son's hoodie.  But I'm pleased about what I've learned from using Alpaca and it still is the softest yarn I've ever used.

     I'm still reading and listening to the 4th book in the Outlander series "The Drums of Autumn".  Lately I've been getting the books with my Audible credit, buying the hardcover through Amazon second hand (a usually very cheap option) and I download the book so I can follow along if I can't figure a word out and also read in bed with the lights out for my husband.  I figure the books are very long (888 pgs) and will keep me happy for probably a month.  I'm exploring a few other books too and will talk about them later.


This painting traditionally hangs over the president in his office in The White House.

     On this day I listen to the House wrangle over Impeachment; a week after I listened in shock to the attack on The Capital.  I happened to turn on a live feed after 2 PM Jan 6th, 2021 after the first shots were fired.  In shock and feeling personally violated, that same sense when Colombine happened and 9/11.  I'm still feeling a sense of shock.  I've spent my life studying history and somehow the buildings and the effort that goes on in there does seems sacred to me.  I believe they try to do their best.  Now they deliberate and we hope, hope for the best.  A book I started listening to a few years ago and have promised myself to pick up again I'm starting again today on Audible - "The Soul of America: The Battle For Our Better Angels" .  It is not an easy read or listen in the sense that it is a lot of history to digest.  Jon Meacham is explaining how this country has gone through difficulties and very low points and we can get out of that place again.  He uses a lot of presidential quotes of what makes a president and what his qualities should be.  As I said I started this when it just came out in 2018 and I was very familiar with Meacham's argument using Lincoln's words about "Our Better Angels".  Then when Biden spoke the past year I was struck by his own use of the words and how it echoed the book; figured he had read it.  Well, it ends up Biden is friends with Meacham.  They have debated together and Biden has picked his brain of how a president should be.  Meacham was asked at the Democratic Convention to define what "our Better Angels" meant and I've heard he helps in writing Biden's speeches.  What I find interesting about Meacham is that before this he has tried to not be partisan.  He is Bush Sr.'s biographer and spoke at his memorial; he also has a new book out on John Lewis.  Reading this book I am hoping to awaken a positive hope in me for our country.  I believe we are better than this and hope that in the days to come we will come out of this new darkness into a hopeful and purposeful light.

Stay Warm,

 Stay Healthy,


Stay Hopeful


  1. I bet those alpaca mittens are cozy warm! They look that way! I am most moved by your closing comments... I want to read that latest Meacham book even more now! I don't know if you listen to podcasts, but Meacham has one on famous speeches... it was so good. I am with you though... that place is almost sacred. It is at least supposed to be a safe place. I am struggling to make sense out of all of this.

  2. What pretty mittens. I really enjoy knitting with yarn that is wool blended with alpaca. Alpaca is so warm. Interesting information about Meacham. Now I'd like to read some of that book. Our paper ran an article about a project on uniting the country in progress at Vanderbilt University headed by Al Gore and Condalezza Rice. (not sure I have the spelling of Rice's first name correct) There lies hope in a bipartisan effort.

  3. I am most supportive of Bipartisan efforts. I have always said I think our two party system provides an opportunity for opposites to balance one another. Of course we have gotten far from that but I do hope in the future we could come to that place. Van Jones's book "Beyond the Messy Truth" deals with that. He spoke at my daughter's graduation at Middlebury 16' (you can google it). It was entitled "Without Two Wings We Cannot Fly". It received a standing ovation from a very diverse audience for sure. We have so much potential if only.

  4. THose mittens are lovely. I have some alpaca fingerless and my husband cannot believe how warm my fingers are when I wear them out in the cold. Alpaca always ends up on my eyelashes, but it is so worth it