Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

poem-bring spring November 10, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:02 pm
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First snow

falls outside,

but I focus on spring

blooming on my ottoman

stems set in Aalto’s iconic vase,

a miniature Finnish lake,

and knit.



2015-11-09 01.12.02

This is an Iittala vase designed by Alvar Aalto in 1936 and made at the Iittala glassworks factory in Karhula, Finland.  Once upon a time, I lived in Karhula. (I learned to knit there, actually).


poem-knitting January 30, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 5:41 pm
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I’m twisting yarn,

clicking knots together,

entwining future warmth

and comfort


picket knit #Outlander infinity scarves! September 16, 2014

DSCN1259I have been knitting on the picket line, and have listed five scarves for sale on eBay.  They’re various lengths, widths, and colours, all based on the scarf Claire wears outdoors in episode 103 “The Gathering” of the Outlander TV series.  They each start at an auction price of $29.99, or a Buy-It-Now at $40.

As an added bonus, you can see me modelling the scarves in my belly dancing wig! 🙂  You know you want to see what I look like without white, fuchsia and blue hair, right? <g>

Here is the link to the scarves on my eBay seller’s page

So that ^ link has expired, but I still have some scarves for sale, so if you’re interested in one, drop me a line via either the ABOUT or CONTACT pages and I’ll get back to you.  Eventually I’ll try to upload photos to this page.

For you crafty types who end up on this page because you want to make one, most of mine were knit in garter stitch over 15-25 stitches (depending on whether you want a cowl that doesn’t wrap, or a scarf that does) using 25 mm needles.  To get Claire’s look above pick a chunky yarn of your choice, plus a coordinating worsted weight, use both together to cast on 15-18 (as you like), knit away until you run out of yarn (a meter to 1.5 meters), then whipstitch the ends together.  You can add a twist if you like for a mobius strip, which does lie nicely on the shoulders, I must say.

Very easy! The costuming department was in a real hurry when they commissioned all these scarves, and I’m not sure I’ve seen one on the show that couldn’t have been knit in a day. I chose fancy chunky yarns- nice German boucles or variegated types to go with a solid worsted.  You might prefer all solids like Claire has on.


poem- stitches September 15, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:43 am
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strung along

twisting, wrapped,

dropped, turned,

knit, purl


is what brings



let’s pile something else onto the plate, shall we? November 19, 2012

Filed under: projects,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:34 pm
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For the first time since Day 4 of NaNoWriMo I am actually above par.  Whoo hoo! I should be at 31666 and I’m at 32,058.  The last couple of days I’ve done several hundred extra to catch up from some slower days.  There is no respite when you’re heading to a goal.  If you slow down, you just have to work harder later.  Steady, consistent effort is less stressful in the long run.

I recently found a gorgeous knitting magazine called Filati Handknitting.  It’s a marketing and design vehicle for Lana Grossa yarns, which though it sounds Italian, comes from Germany if I read the abbreviations correctly.  I found 3 projects I love in the magazine, and decided yesterday to start on the first one, this coat:

So here’s yesterday’s effort.  To get gauge I ended up using 12 mm needles, which is really speeding the project along! Instead of buying the very expensive mohair yarn recommended for this pattern (Elle, total $235 Cdn), I am mixing acrylic yarns.  The silver blue chenille I purchased in a liquidation style 5 lb bag of unlabelled yarn at a department store and I am mixing it with on sale James C Brett Fusion Chunky, which is a grey/pink/purple varigated  boucle with threads of yellow and orange twisted in.  I think the combination is quite interesting, and I suspect it will be even nicer than the model’s coat when it’s done.  Here’s the first 12″ of the back, showing the varigation through all three colours.



Day 19 NaNoWriMo total: 3486   (November total, 32,058)

Actually, about 800 words of this total was actually written yesterday, but my internet cut out before I could update the count for the day.


making it yourself October 29, 2011

Filed under: Commentary — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:21 pm
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I’ve been knitting socks the last couple of days. It takes me about 8 hours to knit one sock, so 16 hours for a pair. This is not exactly a cost effective way to purchase socks. Good heavy duty socks can be had for about $10. With the yarn at something like $5 a ball, I’m getting little more than 25c an hour value out of my time. However, the satisfaction is in the making. I will have another sturdy pair of warm socks, something I am always thankful of in winter, with my chronically cold feet. I will have bright, pretty socks, and I will have socks I made with my own two hands and four needles…

There’s a sense of power in knowing that you can make things yourself, be they socks. sweaters. clothes, furniture or whatever. Self-sufficiency is a reward.  I like spending my time making something that lasts, as opposed to doing housework which never ends, for example.

I’ve used Paton’s Jr Jacquard yard (90% acrylic. 10% nylon) in “Big Deal Teal.”  The pattern is from I actually stumbled upon it quite accidentally when looking up a precise definition of the word “Widdershins.” In this case, most socks are knit knee down, and these are knit toes up. I had been interested in someday finding a toe up pattern, and since this one fell into my lap, I was happy to try it. You can find the pattern here.  I love such serendipity.

This is my result- one sock complete, and the toe started on the twin as you can see on the right.


Widdershins socks in Paton's Jr Jacquard

As you can see from the ball, the yarn ends in lime, which suggests to me that my mate sock is going to end up about 1/2 shorter than the first one.  I will live with that!  I probably should have unwound the ball and divided it equally in half so I could have exactly the same amount of yarn.  I wish there was an easy way to do that, come to think of it.

What do you make that gives you small satisfaction of ‘doing it yourself?’


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