Inkle Loom Pattern: Red and Gold Chain

This year’s vacation brought my husband and me to Pennsic, an annual medieval camping event held in Pennsylvania and associated with the Society for Creative Anachronism.  It was a full week of camping in pre-17th century garb filled with classes and parties and activities. It was my first Pennsic, and although weather-challenging (Oh, the humidity!), it was overall unequivocally fantastic. I’ve been rejecting reality ever since.

I also came home with a plethora of post-Pennsic potential projects, including this one, weaving trim on an inkle loom. I became fascinated with the idea of weaving after watching several people with looms, that when presented with the opportunity to bring one home with me, I snatched it up.  With much appreciation to my generous and patient teachers, I was able to do the following project without stressing or much thought in less than a week.

My inkle loom
My inkle loom


17 threads, chain pattern.

Inkle Loom Plain-Weave Pattern Generator

Thank you, Carolingian Realm Pattern Generator!


Approximately 130″ of 1/4″ trim.

Inkle Loom Weaving Red and Gold Chain Trim

This was my first ever inkle weaving project, so I was learning as I went along. You can really see my progress in the photo below which on the left shows the first several inches of my project and on the right my last several inches.

Inkle Loom Weaving Red and Gold Chain Trim Comparison Close Up

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PDF Available for Buttonhole Scarf

I finally got around to creating a PDF for the seed stitch buttonhole scarf (post has also been updated).

I realize that I created this scarf without planning to do so, so I didn’t pay attention to a lot of things, including row count.  The pattern does have stitch counts and inch measurements.  Also, as Ravelry user Kaylen mentioned she had some issues with the yardage, I’ve updated that as well since the inch measurements may affect the yardage for each knitter.  I have also re-written the pattern to be a little clearer since the first time I wrote it.

I hope that it’s helpful! Happy stitching.

PDF for Seed Stitch Buttonhole Scarf

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Noro Striped Scarf, Hat, and Fingerless Mittens

Hold the Lemon | Noro Striped Scarf

Noro is a beautiful brand of yarn. I fell in love with the colors and texture, and in particular of the “Noro Striped Scarf” pattern which has almost 15,000 projects associated with it on Ravelry.  Then of course I had to find a hat and gloves to match.

This pattern takes advantage of the using two balls of variegated yarn to make a self striping pattern which blends over each other.  For the primary color, I used a neutral variegated yarn – Noro Kureyon Sock, which bleeds from brown to dark brown to black to grey. This turned out to be a great background to the more colorful color way of the Noro Taiyo Aran I found which bleeds from yellow to green/teal to purple to red.

Using the same yarn and in all three projects in a striped pattern kept these three different patterns looking like a set. It is very interesting how the scarf alternates 2 rows of a color, the hat 1 row of the color, and the wristers 4 rows.

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The Science Behind Seeing Life Differently


In “Why some people find exercise harder than others” (TEDxNewYork · Filmed Nov 2014), social psychologist Emily Balcetis presents on the intersection of vision science and motivation. I was fascinated by her points, in particular how our physical perception can be separate from our mental interpretation, and how changing this perception can also change our mental interpretations in measurable ways.

In this blog post, I ask the question, can these ideas be applied to perceptions of self and our motivations to change our self?

What do we actually “see”?

In her presentation, Balcetis shows a photo of a person expressing some emotion. Whatever emotion it was doesn’t matter, since when people were asked what emotion this individual was expressing, the answers came back all over the place.  Confusion. Discomfort. Apprehension. Pity.  This experiment was conducted to show that, despite having the same physical experience (viewing a photo), we come up with different interpretations.

“Perception is subjective. What we think we see is actually filtered through our own mind’s eye.” – Balcetis

Yes. We bring our baggage to other people and situations we encounter.  This subjective interpretation also translates to how we encounter our selves.  Our mind’s eye gives us a different story of ourselves, even from moment to moment. There are times I can only see what is “wrong” about me or what I “should” be. And sometimes I can see the happiness and progress I’ve made in my life.

So what does this have to do with vision science?

The importance of thumbs

To understand how our minds work, we must first understand how our eyes work.  Vision scientists, Balcetis states, say that we can only see the equivalent of an area of an outstretched thumb. Everything else around it is blurry.

“What we can see with great sharpness and clarity and accuracy [is relatively small]… It is our mind that helps us fill in that gap.” – Balcetis

Does this also apply to our own perception of self?  Can we only actually “see” a portion of ourselves at any one time, wherever our focus tends to be?

When at a wedding reception yesterday, at a table filled with kindly faces all closely familiar with each other, my friend Matt* shared a story about his amusement when his girlfriend Brittany (seated to his right) wasn’t able to solve a puzzle which he thought to be easy. She interjected, “Oh, hah, you all know me – I’m caring and happy and wheeooo,”  circling her finger in the air. Wheeooo?  “Flighty. Not smart,” she confessed, with unabashed sincerity. To which our good friend Rachel was first to exclaim “Brittany! You speak seven languages. Seven! None of us can do that.”

“What is it about what one person is thinking and feeling that lends them to see the world in an entirely different way? And does that even matter?” – Balcetis

Brittany was focused on her experience, her outstretched thumb directed at the story Matt just shared, and all the clever, fascinating, observant traits about her were blurry. Then Rachel brought the focus elsewhere, to paint a fuller picture, and I hope that Brittany felt better.  Brittany’s authentic experience was changed, but still as authentic.

The experiment

“Our mind’s eye might work against us.” – Balcetis

Balcetis cites a study where scientists first measure how people who are “fit” physically interpret physical challenge versus people who were “unfit.” They measured how “easy” or how “difficult” that challenge was perceived to be based on that individual’s motivation to achieve that challenge. They asked some of the participants to focus on the end goal, letting everything else go blurry. Then they analyzed how any of this may have affected the results.

The subjects were asked to carry 15% of their body weight across a finish line.  Those who were fit saw the finish line as closer, and arguable easier. However, those who had more motivation to fulfill the task, who focused on the task, performed better at actually completing this task.

“Our bodies and our mind work in tandem to change how we see the world around us.” – Balcetis

This idea of focusing on the end goal, purposefully letting everything else go blurry, reminds me of mindfulness. Mindfulness is a whole other topic that should have its own dedicated post. Succinctly it is an active attention on your thoughts and a choosing of how to recognize those thoughts. This mental recognition affects our physical experience.

Eyes on the prize

In this experiment, the participants who focused on the end goal had better results in getting to that end goal.  I wonder though, if the “prize” I’m looking at was negative in nature, would that mean that it is closer to me and easier to attain?  If I held thoughts of feeling incapable, undesirable, and unproductive would be in focus, would I feel emotionally closer to those traits, and the positive thoughts in a different direction would seem difficulty and maybe even blurred out of possibility?

It is in my power, it is in our power, to refocus attention. Turn your head and choose the goal you want to spend your energy on, or even just choose what vision to which you want to feel less distant. It can change your results. It’s certainly something to think about.

I will leave off with these fantastically optimistic words from Balcetis on how we can apply this line of thinking:

“We can teach ourselves to see [life] differently, and when we find a way to make the world look nicer and easier, it might actually become so.”

And a bonus quote, because it’s overall great advice:

“We might see our world in a different way, and sometimes that might not line up with reality, but it doesn’t mean that one of us is right and one of us is wrong.”


View Emily Balcetis, TEDxNewYork



*Names always changed. The clarity of the story matters in this case, not the documentation of the individual.

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Seed Stitch Buttonhole Scarf

Directions updated: April 14, 2016

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37” x 6”

Buttonhole is 6” long and starts at 28”


  • Size 15 knitting needles
  • 2-3 skeins super bulky yarn (Shown: North America Cobbles in Tetra Teal)


Build body of scarf

  • Cast on 15 stitches.
  • *Knit 1, Purl 1. Work from * ending with K1. Width should be 6”. Repeat until length is 28”.

Build Side A of buttonhole (7 stitches)

  • *Knit 1, Purl 1. Work from * 3 more times. Put these 8 stitches on stitch holder (these will start Side B). Continue this row with *Knit 1, Purl 1, ending with K1 to work Side A.
  • *K1, P1. Work from * ending with K1 (stitch count = 7). Repeat these rows for 5”. Total length of scarf so far should be 34”.
  • Put these 7 on stitch holder; this is Side A. Cut the yarn from Side A to create a tail.

Build Side B of buttonhole (8 stitches)

  • Put your held stitches for Side B on your working needles.
  • *K1, P1. Work from * 3 more times.
  • Repeat last row for length of 5”; total length of scarf so far should be 34”.

Finish Scarf

  • *K1, P1. Work from * until the end (15 stitches), ending on P1.
  • Work above row for another 4” (stitch count = 15). Total length of scarf = 37”.
  • Bind off and weave in ends.

Seed Stitch Buttonhole Scarf

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Gravy Soaker Rolls

Gravy Soaker Rolls

Here’s another one of my Thanksgiving staples: gravy-soaker rolls.   These rolls come out with a crisp exterior and a soft center, and the egg wash makes all the difference for presentation.

There are better rolls for just eating on their own, but these are perfect for soaking up gravy, butter, or mopping up your plate! Bonus: they make great rolls for turkey sliders with Thanksgiving leftovers!  When my mother-in-law mentioned that these rolls reminded her of ones she had when she was younger, I couldn’t not bring them to the annual festivities.

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Maple Pecan Camambert

I always bring the sweet potatoes to my in laws’ Thanksgiving. I bring the sweet potatoes to my family’s Thanksgiving. And Friendsgiving #1. And #2. If I had a work potluck, I’d bring it to that! This year I needed to change it up. That doesn’t mean I’m not making my sweet potatoes for the family (no worries, dad!), but it does mean that I wanted to add something new to my repertoire.

I tried this recipe out at a small Friendsgiving last Friday, where my husband and I may have eaten it more than the guests! [Pro-tip: know your audience. Don’t bring a sweet cheese appetizer when some guests have a lactose thing or a diet thing or gestational diabetes – oops!] But Facebook demanded it, and it’s too good to not share. (Also, it’s easy! I love easy.)

You can also make this with brie, but the Camembert was the winner by far.

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