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Your Library Staff at Home – Making & Crafting

Here we are again- another week in the quarantine books – another week of making & crafting. Hope you all are well.

I’ve started another knitting project – a cowl made with some beautiful Madeline Tosh yarn – the color is amazing – sort of a gray-green-blue, with a little sparkle – it’s going to be lovely and soft. I haven’t been as productive as I’ve wanted with my knitting projects – and I’m trying to learn that that’s o.k. We can only do what we can do – so slow and steady has become my mantra.


Knitting, for me, has always been intertwined with memories; I’ve been knitting since I was a young girl. My mother taught her daughters to knit and she also had us learn embroidery and sewing – and I’m so glad she did. One of the books we had at the house was Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitting Without Tears, a classic of knitting literature – and a door into creativity. Zimmermann was a German immigrant to the U.S. and I’d say, the ‘mother’ of the resurgence of American knitting in many ways. Her other books: The Knitter’s Almanac, Knitting Workshop, Knitting Around, and The Opinionated Knitter are guides to knitting, yes, but they are also filled with stories of Elizabeth’s life and the kind of books you turn to to re-inspire yourself – perfect for reflection.

I’ve also been excited to go into my yard and see what surprises are coming up! Last year, I bought a few native plants from the Cleveland Metroparks sale, and am thrilled that some have survived! My ostrich fern is slowly unfurling and my Pennsylvania Sedge is looking lovely. I also planted something at the base of my black pussywillow, but I can’t remember the name (if anyone knows, please comment below – it’s the one on the right). Making a garden is so satisfying in the springtime when the first buds appear!

Creativebug, Week 5, recommends a figure drawing class, an applique with Natalie Chanin (she has a number of incredible books, too), and an easy macrame project. There are projects to do with your children too – involve them – it’s a great way to make memories that will stay with them forever!

I’d love to hear what you’re making, so comment below. Stay safe and stay home!

~ Dori


Your Library Staff at Home – Making & Crafting

It’s Saturday already – where did the week go? Between working, puttering, stressing, eating, drinking, and DuoLingo, it flew by a little too fast.

I promised a completed shawl, but, of course, it’s not finished yet – let’s try next week, o.k.?

In the meantime, let’s talk about what making and crafting mean to you. Are you a cook, a baker, a gardener? These are all forms of creativity that get overlooked when we talk about crafting. My son, a college student, has found that baking bread in these times is a soothing past-time. Here’s a loaf of sourdough and some focaccia that he made this week – delicious and creative.  This morning he served us Crepe Suzette – yes I am very lucky! But also, it’s a good thing I’m taking daily walks.

I’ve been doing more cooking than I have in a very long time. Indulgent pot roast, healthy veggie pasta, and homemade pizza are a few dinners we’ve enjoyed. I’ve always loved cookbooks and have been checking out a few recently. Sam Sifton’s See You on Sunday is a keeper and I just checked out Small Victories by Julia Turshen on Overdrive. There are so many digital cookbooks – explore on Overdrive to see what you can find and try a new recipe!

Gardening has become my refuge in these days as well – cleaning out the garden and pruning, watching the plants come up, and dreaming and planning of all the things I want to do in my gardens this year. Again, Overdrive has some gardening titles to inspire – I’ve been looking all the shade garden and native gardening books – it gives me hope for the future.

So get out there and do something creative – cook, make, craft, garden, draw, paint, write – give your spirit a little soothing – we all need it! For more ideas, check out week 2 of Creativebug’s Crafting at Home series.

I’d love to hear what you’re making, so comment below. Stay safe and stay home!

~ Dori

Your Library Staff at Home – Making & Crafting

I have always bemoaned my lack of time to do many of the things that I really like to do, like knitting, drawing, sewing and baking. Now, during this challenging time, I’ve no excuse; I’ve got the time, plus making is soothing and helps with the anxiety.

First, I’ve got a shawl to finish. I started it, I’m embarrassed to say, about a year and a half ago for a trip to Iceland. My sister Barb and friend Lynn also began their shawls for our trip, but they completed theirs. Mine, on the other hand, is still on the needles. Here’s a shot of Barb and Lynn in their lovely shawls while we were in Iceland and a shot of my unfinished shawl with some bonus pet shots! The bright colors were to help i.d. our bodies in case we fell down a volcano or iceberg – lol. 

The pattern is a traditional Icelandic shawl called Skakki by Helene Magnusson and uses traditional Icelandic wool. I’ll share the finished product next week – I promise!

As I’ve been knitting, I’ve been watching TV, a few movies, and have been listening to books and podcasts. I’ve signed up for Acorn TV through RBDigital and watched all of Agatha Raisin, a funny, tongue-in-cheek murder mystery series set in a small town in England based on the books by M.C. Beaton. I’ve also started an Irish mystery series called Blood, which is much more serious, so I’m taking that one slowly. 

I’ve watched  Jojo Rabbit, which I liked a lot more than I was expecting to, and Ad Astra, which is a deep dive with Brad Pitt into outer space. 

Knitting and listening to audiobooks is an A+ combination. My latest listen is Himself by Jess Kidd, because I wanted an Irish narrator for the St. Patrick’s season. It’s available on the Libby app, which I’m addicted to! Don’t have a library card? It’s not a problem; you can create an instant digital card to access titles. 

As far as podcasts, I really love the BBC Series In Our Time which covers historical events, famous people, science and nature – it’s fascinating. For these times, I enjoy the soothing voice of Krista Tippet at the On Being Podcast and it’s many offshoots. 


If you could use some crafting inspiration, check out Creativebug. Log in using your library card and you get access to all kinds of video tutorials. They’ve shared a 7-week Home Crafting Guide to provide inspiration to begin a variety of projects, from easy to complex, with projects for children and adults. Week 1 includes a Kid’s Weaving Lesson and Color Meditation. These suggestions, however, are just the beginning; sign up and explore Creativebug to find something that speaks to you!

I’d love to hear what you’re making, so comment below. Stay safe and stay home!

~ Dori