Friday, March 20, 2020

Sheltering in Place: a memory sampler KAL

A long time has passed since I last posted here, and many things have changed. But one thing that remains the same is the comfort of knitting.

I work at a major academic medical center in NYC, and I overheard a colleague talking about her work, laughing as she said "well we're not knitting!" Like knitting was some sort of waste of precious time. Seriously?  Chai Latte is appalled at her ignorance. Can't you tell he is staring her down?

As people begin to distance themselves socially, we find ourselves with time to think.  And time on our hands (to use our hands!)  I have been designing and knitting a sampler to honor my mom, and am finding it very cathartic.  Some of you know she died in 2019. Of course, that was before the pandemic. My knitting time has been curtailed, but the knitting remains a comfort. It occurs to me that it might also be comforting to you too. I am a nurse in New York City, so I am not sheltering in place right now. In fact, I am going to work most every day. But I suspect many people are social distancing, sheltering in place and in quarantine. And if you are not you should be and will be soon.*

I started this project as a memory piece. As some of you know, I lost my mother in 2019. She had a long fight with lung cancer, and the cancer finally won last January. Early in 2020 I began designing a memory sampler.  I started charting stitch patterns and thinking about memories with my mom. Each pattern began to take on a time or place I experienced with her. I cast-on and immersed myself in the feeling of each time and place, as I knit each pattern. The project is still evolving as I design and continue knitting the border and edging. The process has been both bitter and sweet and very peaceful for me.

Although this is designed around my memories, you can put your own feelings, memories or milestones in their place.  I will share just a little about the memories I knit into each section, along with some images that are there for me. But then you can instill your own meaning into each section. 
This project is perfect to mark special event: weddings, new babies, losses, major events, pandemics…
Pattern 1

Quick details:

The constructions is:

Cast-on using provisional cast-on.

Work flat back and forth for a rectangle that uses 9 different patterns.

Pick-up all around and work a circular border.

Work edging back and forth, binding off as you go.


-1640 yards of lace-weight yarn (if you do all the huge nupps.) I am using white. I suggest a solid or semi solid.  You might make a gradient work.  You can also use whatever you like because you can do whatever you want.

-If you do smaller nupps you will use less yarn.

-If you replace the nupps with beads you will use even less yarn.

-Did I mention nupps?

Each 9 stitch nupp takes about 7” of yarn.  There are about 1364 nupps without the border. This means if you replace nupps with beads you will use about 250 fewer yards of yarn.
You can use one color for the center and another one for the border and even a third for the edging. I do not have exact yardages for you right now.

-Appropriate size (for your yarn) 40” circular knitting needle.

-Waste yarn for cast-on.

-Yarn snips, yarn needle, stitch markers, the usual suspects…

I am opening the Ravelry project page up as this post goes live.  The pattern will be posted in weekly installments. Read the details and access the pattern here:
You can follow the chat at my
or Ravelry forum:

Knit on through adversity,


*Are you freaking out? Don’t. But do access evidence based information. Here are some good links:

COVID-19 links

-New York City Department of Health

Healthcare Provider Page

General Information Page

-CROI Coronavirus update: video of Coronavirus specific presentations

Zunyou, WU, Chinese CDC
COVID-19 update from China
John Brooks, US CDC
Global epidemiology and prevention of COVID
Ralph Baric, virologist
Virology of Coronaviruses
Anthony Fauci, NIAID
Research Response
Dr. Baric
Questions and Answers


-New York Times

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  1. When I originally commented I clicked the "Notify me when new comments are added" checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several e-mails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Bless you!

  2. Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful post. Thank you for providing these details.

  3. Thank you very much!
    Do you like flowers? Do you have paper crafts in your house?
    There are beautiful pop up flower card, halloween pop up card and sympathy pop up cards .
    You're welcome!