New knitting room

Well, well. Our new home has a (ahem) bonus room in the lower level. Maybe we’ll turn it into an exercise room. Um. No. Maybe we’ll turn it into another guest bedroom. Um. No. I now have a knitting room! I am so pleased that I can hardly contain myself. I don’t want to get on too much of a digression but that is a strange way to express intense joy, in terms of being unable to contain yourself. But on this occasion it’s apt.

My new knitting room is a place for all things knitterly, and yarnie, and also a place for remembering good people. The bent wood stick chair was my grandfather’s. I’m no spring chicken so you know it’s old. Pa used to sit on that chair, which was in his basement. That’s where he changed out of his work boots and into something more house-appropriate.

The carved map behind the chair is of Hillman’s Long Lake. My younger brother gave us the map and it will forever remind me of good times at the lake and my brother. My swift and ballwinder need no introduction to you yarnie folks. An assortment of knitting bags are sewn from a number of needlepoint pieces my mom left me. They hang on a (new) coatrack its designer calls “Knit.” I couldn’t resist. My knitting room isn’t all looking to the past. I’ve added new stuff too. My new work table is “Jive” from Haworth, a cool Holland Michigan company. The yellow chair is one of a set of four I purchased several years ago from Overstock. Super comfy, very sturdy, and totally colorful. My granddaughter made my new snips container by decorating a paper carton Robinette’s orchard uses to pack fruit. The tall staff with the red apple on top was carved by my older brother.

By now, you get the focus of my new knitting room. It’s wonderfully unfocused. Knitting. Yarn. Old stuff. New stuff.

My rocker is the best place ever for comfy knitting. Good light roo. And that’s another of my older brother’s creations next to it. He’s an avid fisherman and often paints and carves fish into his furniture pieces. You can see him and more of his work here in my “I knit for folk art” 2010 post.

My knitting room has a shelf its entire length. I’ve peopled it, well crittered it, mostly with my recent stuffies. I knit almost all of them while we waited patiently/impatiently from the closing date to our very delayed move-in. Except, that sheep in the corner. Do you recognize that she’s a version of the Serta mattress company’s advertising mascot?

I found my metal sheep mascot in the mattress section of a local furniture store near Grand Rapids. I sort of, to be honest, begged the owner to sell me that sheep. Sheepie was a dusty mess but cleaned up very nicely after a sudsy bath in Dawn dishsoap.

My new sheep magnetic board is from Wayfair. Many of my favorite photos have found their new home, including one of 3-year old me standing behind Pa’s chair looking a bit mischievous.

My new space has lots of room for knitted critters, including Jutta, Olivier, Vera, Joris, and the rest of my Annita Wilschut gang. The mini storage drawers on the ledge contain my buttons, all nicely sorted by color or style.

The wall opposite my critter ledge is a great spot for my yarn bins and tools. That’s my Ravatar doll slumping on top of one of the plastic shelving units. Most of my bookcase is devoted to paper patterns and books. I ruthlessly trimmed back on these in recent years as I went (mostly) all-in on digitized patterns. I’ve kept the special books and discontinued non-digitized patterns. Otherwise my library of books and patterns found new good homes.

My granddaughter visited here last month. She loves to draw and I found this near my swift one afternoon.

She has a new desk that sits just outside my knitting room and she’s drawn it in the foreground. The package of Dutch Cocoa cookies she’s given me needs a bit of explanation.

They are Evelyn’s favorite cookies. I plan to frame her drawing and add it to my knitting room permanently.

Moving takes a lot out of a person. Especially an old one! But I love our new home and our new part of Michigan. And I definitely love my new knitting room.

Stora Dimun

This is Cheryl Oberle’s wonderfully soothing knit, the Stora Dimun Shawl. The pattern is included in her excellent book Folk Shawls: 25 Knitting Patterns and Tales from Around the World, published by Interweave. The publication is out of print. You may be able to find it at your local library or on a used book site like It’s a great knitting book and pattern resource and definitely worth the search.

Stora Dimun is one of my favorite shawl patterns. In fact, this is the 4th time I’ve knit it!

It’s a large shawl meant to be knit in sport or DK weight. I used Cormo Sport by Elemental Effects. It proved an excellent choice for this knit. With a light blocking the shawl is 72 inches from tip-to-tip and 29 inches deep. But the sportweight yarn keeps it light. Lightweight but very warm.

Here’s the shawl spread out on my full-sized sofa. If you’re a petite person (I’m not), you could wrap this around yourself twice. Doesn’t that sound cozy?

Early mornings are already chilly in Grand Rapids, Michigan. That’s where I moved to two months ago. Yep, at the end of June we moved from our beloved Long Lake–it was time. The new adventure is unfolding in Grand Rapids. (I’m keeping the blog name the same, though, since so much of the years since 2009 focused on the lake and its critters.) I’ve already been enjoying my Stora Dimun sitting on our front porch with my morning cup of coffee as I watch the local Sandhill Crane family and a giant oak tree in front of our house.

New spot to live.The knit goes on.

I’ve knit Stora Dimun three times before. My first one was when my lace skills were super rusty. It was warm but the lace was all scrambled. It’s keeping someone else warm now. The next two were gifted at the outset. But this one’s for me!