Knitting Pipeline is sponsored by my Longaberger home businessn and Quince & Co.

Knitting Pipeline is sponsored by Quince & Co. and Knitcircus Yarns

Friday, July 22, 2016

Episode 255 Slip Slip Knit Myth


Listen here or use the Flash Player on this site for current and past episodes. Flash Player is not compatible with Internet Explorer. Try a different browser like Safari. Or jaunt on over to iTunes to find the show there.

This episode is sponsored by Quince & Co and Knitcircus Yarns.

At Quince & Co all of our wool yarns are 100% grown, processed, spun, dyed, twisted, and labeled here in the USA..quinceandco.com. Looking for a fiber for summer knitting? Try our linen yarns, Sparrow and Kestrel or Willet, Cleaner Cotton. All are found at www.quinceandco.com


Knitcircus celebrates fun, a passion for knitting, and the delight of beautiful yarn.

Treat yourself to a gorgeous, hand-dyed, gradient yarn in saturated colors with smooth color transitions throughout the skein. We are hosting a Pick Your Gradient Shawl KAL in August.  We will be at Stitches Midwest again. Look for us in the first row, booths 226-228.  www.knitcircus.com.

Knitting Pipeline is a Craftsy Affiliate. I enjoy taking Craftsy classes and have learned so much while taking them at my own pace. If you visit my blog prior to purchasing a class or supplies I receive credit for it. Thank you!

You can find me on Ravelry as PrairiePiper and on Instagram as KnittingPipeline. There are two groups on Ravelry, Knitting Pipeline and Knitting Pipeline Retreats. Come join us there!

You can also find me here:

Ravelry: PrairiePiper Feel free to include me in your friends.

Instagram: knittingpipeline

Twitter: knittingline




Events

Prairie Yarn Crawl

July 20-23, 2016

Klose Knit, Urbana IL

Le Mouton Rouge, Bloomington IL

Ewe-nique Yarns, Morton IL

The Fiber Universe, Peoria IL

Stitches Midwest Podcaster Meet up

Saturday August 6 1 to 2 pm location TBA

Nature Notes

Hey Paula,

I really enjoyed your tree tales and I was fondly remembering your parents’ back yard when I visited there just before your father passed. It was indeed like a park; lovely, inviting, peaceful.

If I had to pick a favorite tree, I would have to choose the apple. The neighborhood where I grew up in Acton, Massachusetts was once an apple orchard and so many apple trees remained even after the houses were built. They were so pretty in the spring with those abundant blossoms and also super easy to climb. They never got too high so our parents never worried about us too much. One time my best friend’s mom was under one and a whole bee hive fell out of the tree and down the front of her blouse! Although stung many times, she was fine, but what a day that was when Mrs. Sharp ripped open her blouse! 1960’s - probably wouldn’t even raise an eyebrow today would it???

And those apples in the fall! So many delicious memories of fresh applesauce, pies, crisps and ciders. These were McIntosh apples. And with their fresh snap and sour bite, I still love them over any other. My taste buds have not forgotten.

In the winter, the bird feeders were hung from the bare branches and my love for bird feeding and watching was born.

Yes, I would have to go with the apple.

Thanks again for this segment. I enjoyed thinking back.
Kathleen

Make This From That Podcast on You Tube

Make This From That Etsy Shop (awaiting link)

Needle Notes

SSK  (Slip Slip Knit) vs K2tbl

I recently heard on a presentation that you can substitute k2tbl for ssk. Why not? It’s easier!

These are not the same. They are similar. K2tbl is a twisted cousin of SSK.

I don’t like to call people out on things but this is misinformation. I’m sure I have put out my share of incorrect information as well. On the other hand, if SSk and K2tbl were interchangeable it seems we would have heard about it already from Barbara Walker, Cat Bordhi, Elizabeth Zimmermann, Meg Swansen, or any number of knitters who are way more knowledgeable than I am.

K2tbl= Insert right needle into the back of two stitches on left needle. Knit these two together.

Slip Slip Knit= Individually Slip two stitches knitwise. Insert left needle into the front loops of these two stitches (left to right) and knit together. If you look at the stitches before removing them from the needle it may look like a K2tbl but if you look at the orientation of the stitches you will see that they have been turned. That is why you slipped them individually knitwise.

What do these two decreases have in common:

·        Both are left leaning decreases.

·        Both eliminate one stitch.

Why they are different:

In SSK the top stitch, the one you see when the stitch is complete, is oriented properly. It is not twisted. In k2tbl it is twisted.

Don’t believe me. Test it yourself on a swatch.
You can purchase a signed copy of the book at June Hemmons Hiatt website linked below!

The Principles of Knitting by June Hemmons Hiatt


Slip Knit Pullover Left Decrease (Slip Knit Pass) is identical.

In the Piping Circle


July 23, 2016 at Chatham Community Park, Chatham IL

Don’t go! It’s going to be a 115 deg heat index!

In the Pipeline

Reading

Firestorm by Nevada Barr (Anna Pigeon #4) ***  set in National Park. Huge fire and a murder.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman *****

The Good Dream (audible) by Donna VanLiere who is the narrator for the book as well.  set in Rural Tennesee 1950. *****

The Lewis Man by Peter May. 2nd in The Lewis Trilogy. *****

Absolutely riveting book. Mystery, suspense, good character development.

Raven Black by Ann Cleeves (audio)

Dream When You’re Feeling Blue by Elizabeth Berg  *** Terrible ending.


The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

Watching

Brooklyn (movie) on Netflix.

Period drama, immigrant story, romantic. We enjoyed it a lot. PG-13 No bad guys.

Knitting

Amulet Shawl by Helen Stewart/Curioushandmade

Beads from Gilding Lillies.

Queued

Test knit by Hannah Fettig for her new book, Texture, to be published this fall. I bought Quince & Co Lark in Audouin colorway.



Have a great week, haste ye back and hold your knitting close.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Episode 254 Talisman Shawl and Holyrood

Listen here or use the Flash Player on this site for current and past episodes. Flash Player is not compatible with Internet Explorer. Try a different browser like Safari. Or jaunt on over to iTunes to find the show there.

This episode is sponsored by Quince & Co and Knitcircus Yarns.

At Quince & Co all of our wool yarns are 100% grown, processed, spun, dyed, twisted, and labeled here in the USA..quinceandco.com. Looking for a fiber for summer knitting? Try our linen yarns, Sparrow and Kestrel or Willet, Cleaner Cotton. All are found at www.quinceandco.com

Knitcircus celebrates fun, a passion for knitting, and the delight of beautiful yarn.

Treat yourself to a gorgeous, hand-dyed, gradient yarn in saturated colors with smooth color transitions throughout the skein. Our gradients work up into beautiful and satisfying projects.  Visit our booth at Stitches Midwest. www.knitcircus.com.
Knitcircus Watermelon Panoramic Gradient

Knitting Pipeline is a Craftsy Affiliate. I enjoy taking Craftsy classes and have learned so much while taking them at my own pace. If you visit my blog prior to purchasing a class or supplies I receive credit for it. Thank you!

You can find me on Ravelry as PrairiePiper and on Instagram as KnittingPipeline. There are two groups on Ravelry, Knitting Pipeline and Knitting Pipeline Retreats. Come join us there!

You can also find me here:

Ravelry: PrairiePiper Feel free to include me in your friends.

Instagram: knittingpipeline

Twitter: knittingline




Pipeliner Notes

Thank you all for your kind notes about the 6th anniversary of the show!

Mittens for Maine and Eagle Crest Retreat

Prairie Yarn Crawl
July 20-23, 2016


Nature Notes

A Tree by Any Other Name
by Guest Contributor, Brenda

When I was in the fifth grade, our teacher, Miss Batjer, made us memorize a poem by Joyce Kilmer, entitled  “Trees.”  Reciting this poem from memory was standard fare for all Miss Batjer’s classes back in 1958. I doubt that children learn about that poem now, but it is lodged in my brain somewhere between the Gettysburg Address, and the Periodic Table. I hadn’t thought about this poem in eons, but a recent podcast on Knitting Pipeline made me think about the trees that have been special in my life.

The first tree I remember specifically was a fig tree that grew between our house and the Caldwell’s, who lived next door. I must have been 7 or 8—old enough to sneak out of the house while my mother was taking a much-deserved afternoon nap with my two little sisters. I can still remember how it felt to be enveloped in the sultry Texas heat as I painstakingly sneaked out the backdoor, taking care not to make any noise that might wake my mother. Best of all was the feeling of solitude.   I would crawl up under the fig tree, which was really more a big bush than a tree. Its limbs spread outward like the frame of an umbrella, and the big leaves formed a canopy of shade and privacy when I climbed into the base of it. The air was heavy with the warm, fruity fragrance of ripe figs, and I often helped myself to more than a few.

Except for an assigned leaf collection in high school biology, I didn’t think much about trees during my teenage years.  The next tree that impressed me grew in the front yard of our first house we bought after we married.   It was a huge pecan tree that provided wonderful shade and a plentiful supply of tasty pecans.  I baked pies and cookies and sent bags of pecans as Christmas gifts to relatives who didn’t live in Texas.  Every fall I still get Texas pecans shipped to me, and I remember how nice it was when we had our own supply right in the front yard.

After a few years, my husband’s job moved us to Salt Lake City, Utah.  I had lived my whole life on the Gulf Coast of Texas, which is green and lush, so moving to a desert climate was a shock for me.  Everywhere I looked I saw brown and I couldn’t wait to plant some trees on the bare sandy lot of our brand new house.  When I saw the stunning white bark of the Aspens and Birches—both trees I had never seen before, I was captivated.  The little coin-like leaves tinkled in the wind and I thought they were so beautiful.  The first tree we bought for that new lawn was a Northern clump birch.  We couldn’t afford a really big one, so it was only about 5 feet tall when we planted it.  I worried over it, and watered it, and left it with regret when we moved to Southern California after 3 years. Over two decades later we went back to see our old house, and that clump birch tree had grown to about 35 feet, and spread.  I felt like a proud mother knowing I was responsible for planting that lovely tree.

In California, I had a love/hate relationship with a huge jacaranda tree in our front yard. Jacarandas are lovely to look at, but horrible to live under.  They are covered with fragrant purple blossoms in the spring—both a blessing and a curse.  The blossoms fall onto the sidewalk, and bleed when they get underfoot, staining anything that comes in contact with them. But, of course, we couldn’t remove that old tree. It was not the tree’s fault that someone planted it in the wrong place!  So it stayed, and we swept and washed and put out mats. I even missed it when we moved to Washington, the Evergreen State.

In the Pacific Northwest, where we have lived for the last 27 years, I admire the beauty of all the cedars and firs, and the emerald landscape they create, but dare I say, the evergreen tree can be a bit boring?  (Yikes! it is heresy to even think such a thing in the PNW!)  Let’s just say the evergreen trees provide a good “backdrop” for showcasing the deciduous trees I love.  My favorite tree now is a Stewartia pseudocamellia which I planted in our backyard.  It is like a dainty lady who dresses every spring in a pinafore of silky white flowers--usually just in time for Mother’s Day.  In the fall, she changes to flaming orange, but soon abandons that, revealing her slender winter silhouette and good bone structure.  This tree is framed in my kitchen window, and I enjoy her delicate moods all year long.

Though I appreciate the beauty of the southwest, with desert climate and rugged landscape, it is not for me.  I love the sheltering beauty of trees.  I do think Joyce Kilmer (who succeeded as a poet despite being named Joyce) had it right so many years ago.

Trees by Alfred Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Needle Notes

Holyrood by Justyna Lorkowska

PrairiePiper’s Holyrood

Eden Cottage Yarn Harewood 100% Blue Faced Leicester Superwash.

Beads are from Gilding Lillies. They are lovely, high quality beads.





Talisman Shawl by Helen Stewart #1 The Shawl Society

PrairiePiper’s Talisman Shawl



Join The Shawl Society HERE.

Newest design is Amulet Shawl.

Malabrigo Yarn Mechita Jupiter Colorway.  Dark Pink, cranberry, single

The Blethering Room

Purchased Malabrigo at Warm N Fuzzy


Trunk show with Yoth Yarns Periscope.
YOTH trunk show at Warm and Fuzzy

Susanne’s Needles

Product Notes


Embroidery, quilting, sewing on buttons. Helps thread to glide through and reduces knots by 90%. I use Aurafil which is a high quality thread.

In the Piping Circle

Peoria Chiefs Game--Irish Night
It was a little boy's birthday so of course, they wanted photos with the piper and drummer.

Leading out on the field.

Playing during first pitch.





July 23, 2016 at Chatham Community Park, Chatham IL


Have a great week, haste ye back and hold your knitting close.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Episode 253 Hooray for Six Years!

Listen here or use the Flash Player on this site for current and past episodes. Flash Player is not compatible with Internet Explorer. Try a different browser like Safari. Or jaunt on over to iTunes to find the show there.

This episode is sponsored by Quince & Co and Knitcircus Yarns.


At Quince & Co all of our wool yarns are 100% grown, processed, spun, dyed, twisted, and labeled here in the USA..quinceandco.com. Looking for a fiber for summer knitting? Try our linen yarns, Sparrow and Kestrel or Willet, Cleaner Cotton. All are found at www.quinceandco.com

Knitcircus celebrates fun, a passion for knitting, and the delight of beautiful yarn.

Treat yourself to a gorgeous, hand-dyed, gradient yarn in saturated colors with smooth color transitions throughout the skein. Our gradients work up into beautiful and satisfying projects.  No need to escape to the moon for some calm; just try Sea of Tranquility Panoramic Gradient a peaceful and lovely color that transitions from Moony-yellows to soft gray to sea blues. Only at www.knitcircus.com.

Knitting Pipeline is a Craftsy Affiliate. I enjoy taking Craftsy classes and have learned so much while taking them at my own pace. If you visit my blog prior to purchasing a class or supplies I receive credit for it. Thank you!

You can also find me here:

Ravelry: PrairiePiper Feel free to include me in your friends.

Instagram: knittingpipeline

Twitter: knittingline




Pipeliner Notes

It’s the 6th anniversary of Knitting Pipeline! Thank you so much for your involvement and support. I could not have done it without YOU!

Hi Paula,
I was listening to your podcast #252 on my way to a class on Button Making with Bronwyn :) when I heard you talking about short row knitting techniques. In the conversation you referenced Carol Feller’s Crafsty classes. I wanted to also let you know that Carol has a book out called “Short Row Knits: A Master Workshop with 20 Learn-As-You-Knit Projects.” It’s a great reference book and really opened my eyes to all the different types of short rows you can use. With each type of short row, Carol talks about when it is the best time to use the technique. This is definitely a book that should be in every knitter’s reference library.

Happy Knitting!
Nancy

Events

Stitches Midwest August 4-7! Join us!

Actually Knitting PALKAL

Mother Bear KAL 2 Knit Lit Chicks

  • Knit or crochet bears for the Mother Bear Project
  • The Mother Bear Project distributes handknit bears to children in countries (mostly Africa) who have been affected by HIV/AIDS Any bears knit or crocheted in 2016 are eligible to be entered in the 2 Knit Lit Chicks FO thread for prizes. Separate photo for each bear please!
  • 313 bears were entered last year in our KAL. We want to beat that number this year!
  • Dates 7/1/16 - 9/31/16. Must be a member of the group to enter
  • Please go to the 2 Knit Lit Chicks Podcast group for more information.


Knitting Pipeline Eagle Crest Fall Retreat 2016

With Workshop by Amy Detjen, Knitting Author, Designer, Teacher, and of KnitCircus Yarns and Podcast

October 19-22, 2016

Eagle Crest Camp and Retreat Center

Nature Notes

In the last episode I wrote about trees, which was a topic inspired by Jenni of the Lone Larch Podcast. Thank you to everyone who wrote to me and who participated in the thread. Your tree memories are so beautiful. I’m going to be sharing a few of these each week for the rest of the summer because I think others will enjoy them as well.

From Missy, Marynvoigt, on Ravelry.

Good morning - hope the sun is shining where you are!  We have just been out in the little garden harvesting our first potatoes - little fingerlings.  Not too many, but we are learning.  Growing things is such a wonder.

I have always loved trees too, and have so many memories of trees in the yard of my childhood.  A great oak right outside my window, the perfect climbing maple in the front yard with just the right perch for leaning back and reading a book.  I am sorry for the child who does not have a chance to learn to climb a tree.

I loved hearing about your dad and his trees, and the wood too.  In 1981 a tornado hit Nashville and tore right through my parents' yard.  (We had four acres.)  It uprooted around 40 mature trees - oaks, walnuts, maples.  Luckily (miraculously really) none hit the house.  Mom and Dad saved the wood, and several years later presented each of us four children with a table made from the fallen trees.  Each has a plaque on the inside.  The table is very special to me especially since Mom and Dad later moved.  I can only imagine how much you treasure anything that was made by your father's own hands.
Mr. Jim Reed was the father of a friend of mine.  He died a few years ago, and I thought I would pass on a small excerpt from his obituary.  A wonderful, generous man.
From his obituary:

One of Mr. Reed's pleasures in later life was propagating Bur Oak trees. Each fall, he gathered and potted acorns, and nursed them into small seedlings. When a friend had a new baby in the family or another special occasion, Mr. Reed would plant a tiny oak in their yard to commemorate the event. Over the years, these small trees have become mighty oaks, sprinkled around the city. One stands along the entrance wall at Centennial Park........"

It was very special to receive one of Jim Reed's baby trees. 

Needle Notes

Mignon by Loop London
2 Guys Yarn Co MCN Collection DK Plum Majesty colorway

Lemon Chiffon by Taiga Hilliard


Frog Tree Picoboo cotton and bamboo

Have a great week, haste ye back and hold your knitting close.






Birthday Girl and her chair


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

# 6 Knitting Pipeline Extra



Thank you so much for joining me. I will be sharing my knitting and also quilting.

Sans Serif by Elizabeth Doherty in Quince & Co Lark. Dogwood colorway

Calligraphy Cardigan by Hannah Fettig from Home and Away. Quince & Co Chickadee Leek Colorway.

Mignon by Loop. 2 Guys Yarn Co in Plum Majesty. MCN Collection DK

Lemon Chiffon by Taiga Hilliard in Frog Tree Picoboo purchased at WEBS last October on way to Rhinebeck.

Box of Socks—7 pair

Dancing Dog Dyeworks Socks

Products

Lollipop Yarn gift from Jo

Night Owl Fibers (Rachel Paulsel)

Flock and Needle Merino gift from Sue Witkin

Hue Loco Phyllis Fingering gift from Cydnie

From Our Flock Abbey of Regina Laudis from Irene. Shetland Wool from sheep raised and cared for at the Abbey.





Quilting

Letter from Jenny Fish

New Block Magazine

The quilt is based on Cutting Corners by Jenny Doan of the Missouri Star Quilt Co. I used Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements. It is available from Craftsy. Please use the link in the sidebar as I am a Craftsy affiliate and receive a small commission if you visit and purchase a class or supplies.
.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Episode 252 Calligraphy Cardigan


Listen here or use the Flash Player on this site for current and past episodes. Flash Player is not compatible with Internet Explorer. Try a different browser like Safari. Or jaunt on over to iTunes to find the show there.

This episode is sponsored by Quince & Co and Knitcircus Yarns.


At Quince & Co all of our wool yarns are 100% grown, processed, spun, dyed, twisted, and labeled here in the USA..quinceandco.com. Looking for a fiber for summer knitting? Try our linen yarns, Sparrow and Kestrel or Willet, Cleaner Cotton. All are found at www.quinceandco.com

Knitcircus celebrates fun, a passion for knitting, and the delight of beautiful yarn.

Treat yourself to a gorgeous, hand-dyed, gradient yarn in saturated colors with smooth color transitions throughout the skein. Our gradients work up into beautiful and satisfying projects.  No need to escape to the moon for some calm; just try Sea of Tranquility Panoramic Gradient a peaceful and lovely color that transitions from Moony-yellows to soft gray to sea blues. Only at www.knitcircus.com.

Knitting Pipeline is a Craftsy Affiliate. I enjoy taking Craftsy classes and have learned so much while taking them at my own pace. Please use the link in the sidebar before visiting Craftsy so I receive credit for your purchase of classes or supplies. Thank you!

You can also find me here:

Ravelry: PrairiePiper Feel free to include me in your friends.

Instagram: knittingpipeline

Twitter: knittingline






Pipeliner Notes

From Suemwitkin

HI Paula. I’ve gradually become aware of a “yarn” situation which is a problem for me. I’m wondering if you’ve had this happen, and if so, how you handle it.
Sometimes (often!) I buy yarn at a festival, shop, or retreat because I have fallen in love with it. When I get home, I have trouble pairing the yarn with a pattern. Often the yarn-weight does not correlate with the pattern I want to use. (Even when the yarn says fingering, and that is what the pattern calls for.) Sometimes I try to use the yarn anyway, and when it says “use needles to get correct gauge,” my knitting seems too tight or too loose at the gauge measeurement. I get stuck here. I can’t figure out if I should knit at the gauge that seems right for the yarn, and make my garment either too small or too big, (or try to adjust the size,) or forego that yarn, and try for a better yarn/pattern match.


I dont’ want to be locked into only using the yarns that are specified for patterns, but I seem to be accumulating yarns I have problems using. Do I just love these yarns as they sit in my stash until I find appropriate patterns? Or are there other options? What do you think, Paula? Have you come across this in your knitting? All the best. Sue

·        I’m getting better. I try to have a list before I go to a fair, retreat, or festival but I also allow myself at least one Wild Card.

·        Often the yarn doesn’t work out for the project. Use Ravelry advanced search to see if something else fits your yarn or what others have done with it.

·        Even when you have the yarn called for in the pattern it is not a guarantee that you will get gauge.

·        Rule for dk worsted and up: Buy 2-3 skeins.

From Branwynnmay

Hi Paula~
I’ve read a couple dozen books on knitting techniques now and have noticed that they seem to be divided on the topic of how to do a W&T- particularly, if the yarn is brought to the front before or after slipping that next stitch. Is this a small, unimportant detail? It seems like not much really is in making a perfectly-finished project, so I thought I’d ask you. There are so many short row methods- what’s your favorite? Thanks for the consistently wonderful podcast! :)


Carol Feller Craftsy Classes

Short Rows by Carol Feller free (Use link in sidebar, please)

Short Row Techniques by Carol Feller (Use link in sidebar, please)

Knit Scene Handmade (Article by Bristol Ivy)

·        German Short Rows

·        Wrap and Turn

·        Japanese Short Rows (Bristol’s favorite)

·        Shadow Wraps—least visible from the front

Events

Stitches Midwest! Join us!

Actually Knitting PALKAL

CuriousHandmade The Shawl Society

Knitting Pipeline Eagle Crest Fall Retreat 2016
With Workshop by Amy Detjen, Knitting Author, Designer, Teacher, and of KnitCircus Yarns and Podcast
October 19-22, 2016

Eagle Crest Camp and Retreat Center (A Ministry of the Salvation Army) is located in rural Washburn IL, along the hilly bluffs of the Illinois River. This beautiful natural setting will be especially gorgeous in mid-October, our prime color season in Central Illinois. It is easily accessible by car, about a 30 min drive from Washington IL or Peoria. The address is 823 Columbia Rd, Washburn IL 61570.

·        Arrive Wednesday October 19 (check in time 3-5 PM)

·        Check out by 10 am Saturday, October 22, 2016

Nature Notes

Today I’m writing about trees. Jenni from The Lone Larch Podcast had a giveaway on her podcast and as the prompt she asked, “What is your favorite tree?” What a great question. I started thinking a lot about trees and not only species of trees but specific trees that have played a role in my life. I guess you could say I’ve had intimate relationships with trees. If I had to name a favorite species it probably would be the Burr Oak or Quercus macrocarpa. My grandparents had a large Burr Oak on the side of the driveway of their house. My grandfather was not fond of the giant acorns that fell on the driveway and in the grass where he was to mow. I remember being very frightened during a terrible wind storm, thinking that huge tree was going to fall on the house. When we awoke the next morning there were many trees that had been broken and even uprooted during the night, but not the mighty burr oak. The last time I walked past that house the tree was still there. At our old house in town we had two large burr oaks between our house and our neighbors. When the acorns fell on the roof, right above our bedroom, it could be disruptive to sleep but we because accustomed to it. We took a family Christmas photo by those trees in 1984 and again with our family in the same spot 15 years later. My husband wore the same sweater in both photos. It was amazing how much those trees had grown in girth in 15 years.  I am guessing these two trees were offspring of a burr oak in the parkway around the corner from that house. This tree was so large that two people with outstretched arms could not span it’s girth. Local lore said that tree was planted on the day Abraham Lincoln died; however, a friend of ours who is a retired biology teacher said it has to be much older than that, probably 350 years. It’s span is enormous.

I remember a maple tree on the edge of the woods behind the house where I grew up. It was a friendly tree with low branches that were great for climbing. My grandparents also had a lovely maple tree that shaded their porch and was also a good climber. My grandfather did not want us to climb that tree. It was so tempting because there was a perfect branch for getting started on the climb. I don’t know what he thought we were going to do to the tree. It was more likely we would come to harm instead of the tree. Maples are lovely too although there can be too many of them and they tend to take over in the woods around us. What child or adult isn’t charmed by the whirligig seed pods.

When I was a student in Denmark I loved the beech woods. I didn’t know any beech trees until that time. They provide very heavy shade so the small woods with these trees have little undergrowth except in the spring when I found the woods floors carpeted with white anemone. It was like something out of a fairy tale and I’ll never forget it. I loved the beech trees so much that I was given a present of 3 beech trees to take home to Illinois. They were small trees, and carefully packaged by Tante and Onkel and presented to me with a fair amount of pomp. I knew I was not supposed to bring living trees into the US but since these were a gift from people I loved, I could not refuse. So I took them on the plane and when the customs forms came around I declared that I did have 3 trees with me. I fully expected them to be confiscated but they were not. I planted them on my parent’s property and my dad put little fences around them. They lasted for a while but the cold winters here eventually killed them.

My dad really loved trees and my mom does too. Their property looks like a park with a wide variety of trees, some that were there naturally and many others that they planted. My dad kept a tree journal of the planting, fertilizing, and pruning of the trees. As a wood turner he was able to use wood from some of the trees that had to be removed. We have bowls and lamps made from some of these trees. My father taught my husband to turn wood so the legacy goes on. We have quite a collection of logs in our garage and basement, much of it from our own woods or the woods of neighbors. My husband marks the end of the log with the name of the property and date of collection.

Probably my favorite tree on the family homestead is a holly tree. This holly tree is a grandchild of a tree from my great grandparent’s home in southern Illinois. My grandmother took a cutting from that tree and grew an offspring in her yard. My parents got one started on their property so that is the grandchild. Holly doesn’t grow very large in Illinois, probably because of our harsh winters, so it is unusual to see one this large.

My parents belonged to an organization The International Wood Collectors Society. They went to wood conventions. Some of the people just collect samples of wood and study different types of wood. They don’t necessarily do anything with the wood other than preserve, study and collect it.

From their website: “Founded in 1947, the International Wood Collectors Society is a non-profit Society devoted to distributing information on collecting wood, correctly identifying and naming wood specimens, and using wood in creative crafts.

People from all countries around the world are invited to
join IWCS, enjoy the benefits of membership and discover more about nature's wonder material -- wood! Collecting wood and/or using wood creatively has to be one of the most unique hobby interests that you could ever pick. IWCS members around the world have formed a network for information exchange and mutual assistance.”

Isn’t that amazing! I society dedicated to wood.

My favorite tree right now is the Red oak that stands at the edge of our porch. Despite it being somewhat of a nuisance when acorns fall in abundance, ricocheting off the porch roof and deck, it is like a friend with its shade over the porch and as a haven for birds and squirrels. Every few years we have a certified arborist come to prune and sometimes remove our trees. Anyone can hack down a tree but if you value trees you need someone who really knows their stuff.

I could go on about trees for a while as more and more come into my head but let’s close with a favorite quote by John Muir.

Any fool can destroy trees. They cannot run away; and if they could, they would still be destroyed -- chased and hunted down as long as fun or a dollar could be got out of their bark hides, branching horns, or magnificent bole backbones. Few that fell trees plant them; nor would planting avail much towards getting back anything like the noble primeval forests. ... It took more than three thousand years to make some of the trees in these Western woods -- trees that are still standing in perfect strength and beauty, waving and singing in the mighty forests of the Sierra. Through all the wonderful, eventful centuries ... God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand straining, leveling tempests and floods; but he cannot save them from fools -- only Uncle Sam can do that. --John Muir- Our National Parks (1901) chapter 10.

Needle Notes


US 0 (2.0 mm) Knitter’s Pride Cubics (wood)

Calligraphy Cardigan by Hannah Fettig



Quince & Co Chickadee Leek Colorway

Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.
- Muir quoted by Samuel Hall Young in
Alaska Days with John Muir (1915) chapter 7

Have a great week, haste ye back and hold your knitting close.

About Me

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I play the Great Highland Pipes, knit, observe nature, and read. My name on Ravelry is PrairiePiper. Find me on Instagram as KnittingPipeline.