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The Waves of Grief Yet…

Grief seems to be like a pendulum waiving to and fro. At one point, the day-to-day life is proceeding like it always has, but then a realization that there is a permanent change, a missing person in my life, will then send it to the other side and it is all I can do to get out of bed. But, get out of bed I do. And try and do the next thing. I keep thinking I “should” be doing more of the projects, more of the live broadcasts, more of ….. but then I realize I can only do the next thing and all that “should-ing” is just making it harder to focus on what I am working my way through. So, I do try and focus on what I need to each day: get dressed, eat, drink water, take my supplements and pills, and pack orders. I’m working on Tom’s ebay, Knitting Today’s ebay, and Knitting Today’s website orders. So actually, that counts as three things, right? And then I try and do something around the house that will eliminate some of the clutter we brought home from the building when it was sold last spring.
And so the day goes …

Liz Newman is an author new to me. On Facebook, she posts some very poignant poetry about grief. Her book is available on Amazon. Or follow her on Facebook. Today’s was:

Memories are powerful gifts. Memories give voice and renewed hope to our stories as we reflect and remember. Memories remind us of the legacies of love we carry with us each and every day, and how those stories intertwine with all the new chapters we will write.

A memory shared about a lost loved one can feel like a piece of them returned to us through another person’s eyes. Memories give our past moments a secure spot in our future. It is our way of carrying love, in all its beautiful resilience, forward through time.

Yes, memories are beautiful gifts. They help us honor the story that’s been written so far and the story we will still write as we courageously continue on (even though the story looks different than we ever imagined it would). Memories will comfort and remain and weave their way through every new day.

Perhaps most importantly, memories are meant to be shared. So when you’re ready, I hope you share them. ❤️

… Memories Remain

As I look back through photos and videos and I remember all the times Tom hauled boxes, set up shelves, rearranged the store, sat and knit, ran the sales counter for Superbowl Sunday or Camp iwannaknit, I started thinking about how much events, projects, and stories Tom was involved in for Knitting Today. I’ll likely share some of them later on as I spend more time working on what the future looks like for my work . But, what memories remain for you? Do you have any you would like to share? Have you associated a project with a memory? Share away….

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Shop Local, Sort of

When business changes and distributors step up and put in place programs to help, it seems silly not to advertise it. But, that is what I have done. I thought I wasn’t worthy of advertising but the reality is, I need to continue to make money while being a caregiver and this is one way I can do it. So, have a look through and see if there isn’t a project you can’t live without. Kindly, select our store as your LYS to receive credit: Zip Code 46795, Store name: Knitting Today …. and help us pay some bills. Thank you ever so much!!!!

Here’s the shopping link:

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Scrunchy Wool Yarn — 100% Wool — Olympic Blue

Olympic Blue 100% wool hank

It isn’t often a new yarn crosses my desk — well, frankly, it is very rare now that I don’t own a physical yarn shop — but this one did and I quickly I invested. It is “the” navy blue yarn used in the Olympic sweater. Beautiful, scrunchy, Aran weight 100% wool yarn. It is PURRRFECT for a seasonal belted cardigan, probably raglan sleeves and shawl collar. You know the one? I can see it in my head. Do you have a pattern source? Would you like to try some of the yarn for yourself? Here’s the order link.

Here’s the original Olympic sweater. Isn’t it beautiful!
Olympic sweater model

Happy Knitting! Glad I could be a yarn pusher again. Hee hee. — Lea-Ann

P.S. Don’t forget to comment below with links to the project ideas.

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March 2021 Update

Hello, long time no write. I have lots of saved drafts, but nothing published. Sorry about that.

Update on Tom’s health

The biggest news I have right now is that Tom is restarting chemo after a bit of hiatus to heal from the lung wedge resection he had in November. I’m giving myself permission to do what I absolutely need to do and not worry about ALL THE STUFF. It’s hard. I have a list a mile long in my Evernote plans, but reality is when I have the time I don’t have the energy and when I have the energy I don’t have the time.

Lea-Ann holding knitting needles making a pink heart.


A big part of Knitting Today’s community when we had the storefront was the socialization. Hanging out with the Lunch Bunch, the Thursday night Knit Club, and Friday’s UFO night, not to mention the special events like Superbowl Sunday and Camp Iwannaknit. I really miss the friendship and camaraderie. I love being with Tom, but it isn’t the same. So, I hope you’ll hang out with me in all the places virtual (and one in person). At the moment, I check in daily on Porchtalk. Every Thursday, at 10, I try and attend the Community Knitting Club at Kendallville’s Community Learning Center. And, occasionally on the Facebook page and Instagram page. To kill time, I watch crafters on tiktok. Let me know in the comments how you are doing and how are you socializing for knitting?

Are you knitting today?

I’m curious about your projects. What are you working on? I am working on:

  • a temperature chevron blanket by hand (the featured image is the first 3 colors needed for Janaury 1-15),
  • the Noro Nightshift Shawl (about 16 more rows depending on yarn chicken),
  • and the last sleeve on the LK150 of the Fisher Lassie cardigan

Share your projects!

Until next time, Lea-Ann

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Calming the Mind, What’s on Your Mind, and a Year of Thanksgiving

When the mind is jumping all over the place ….

4h quarter Full Focus Planner and Rocketbook

I pick up some hand knitting or grab an eraseable pen and start moving my hands with either knitting or writing. That action seems to calm my brain and give me some focus and direction. I also use essential oils and food choices (coffee?) to help with focus and attention.
What do you do to calm the mind?

What’s on your mind, Lea-Ann? ….

Tom sporting a U of M Bowtie and his oncologist with the MSU bowtie

Swiped from Facebook, right? Well, too much to share. But right now I have knitting machine projects (garter gusset tee, FIsher Lassie, and the LK150 Success Academy lessons), Epicure (the upcoming food challenge and meal planning), DoTerra (new oils released at convention). AND, above all, I have my family — Tom who will have a lung biopsy on 9/17 and cardiothorasic consult on 9/30 for the nodule suspected to be malignant from the bile duct cancer. BUT, the praise is that his PET scan showed No Evidence of Tumors in his surgical bed (JUMPING FOR JOY), my children’s and grandchildren’s schools, my health, COVID, riots, racism, fires, etc. etc. etc. The prayer list goes on and on.
Feel free to share what’s on your mind in the comments below!

A year of Thanksgiving ….

Tom’s final chemo treatment and starting Rio Calina

Can you BELIEVE it is September already? I find it difficult to think about the fact that a WHOLE year has passed since we suspected Tom’s gut was having issues. Going through something like this sure turns the focus from wants to needs and from expectation to gratitute. I pick up my latest project (Cat Bordhi’s Rio Calina Cowl [and prayers for Cat’s family as she goes through her end of life journey] available at and reflect on life and gratitude.
What are you grateful for?

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I’m tired of ….

… living in a bubble, isolated from other knitters and friends. I want Tom’s cancer to be over and his body to be healthy. But then I realize it isn’t just his cancer causing this issue, its the whole world and Corona-19. I’m having trouble with allergies (I hope) right now. I posted last year at this time about being sick and my asthma flaring when I try walking, so I’m fairly sure it is seasonal. But, I cough while I’m talking to my grandkids and they yell … do you have the ‘rona? Oh my word. What is our world coming to? But it isn’t just the physical aspects of all this … its a mindset, and my mental and physical health can be protected and fixed. So, as we took our first adventure since Tom’s first hospitalization in November of last year, I celebrate my 55th birthday doing things I love: visiting a freshwater lake, eating perch, having ice cream, and hanging out with my hubby on the beach! And I feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready!

I’m tired of …. being depressed. I think of all my knitting friends I have been missing for the past six years and wonder what is happening in their lives, what project they are working on, what they are learning new. And, I am grieving, my friends. I’m introverting, anxious and depressed. I have been for the last several years. But, I realize I can either sit here in my bubble and be depressed or I can reach out and spend {virtual} time with friends. I have a phone, I can call. I have a keyboard, I can type. I have a webcam, I can video chat. I don’t have to wait for someone to reach out to me.

So I am making changes ….

And I’m going back to what has been in front of me all this time. It’s right here. What God has given me as a purpose all my life — family and friends. And, my dears, you are my knitting friends! I MISS YOU! I miss seeing you, talking to you, helping you. I need people! Where and how can I be involved in your life? It’s here, right in front of me! I’m going to stop bellyaching about learning new technology. I’m going to stop worrying about being perfect enough. And I’m just going to push the publish button and get this out there …. Just post ….. And, if you comment here, I’ll reply back. If you want to chat daily, head over to and join with other knitters. Or, if you are on other platforms, join me on facebook or Instagram. But let’s not isolate. Let’s go virtual! Are you in?

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July KAL Project: Garter Gusset Tee – Now Taking Orders!

Ready for a new project? The colors of Silk Garden Lite, garter stitch detail, and loose, flowing drape all caught my eye in the Garter Gusset Tee pattern. This pattern, originally published in Noro Magazine 12, is available for FREE with kit purchase. Choose your size, choose your color, click add to cart, and we’ll take care of the rest.

While the pattern is handknit, Lea-Ann will be converting and knitting it on the LK150. You can join in either method, or even just to cheer us on.

As always, with projects you purchase from Knitting Today, Lea-Ann provides support and guidance. We’ll do that through our mighty network group called PorchTalk (linked below), zoom meetings, and uploaded videos and discussions. All for free with your purchase.

Purchase the Project pack by June 24:
Join the July 2020 KAL group for FREE at:

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Still doing, just 1/3 mental and time capacity….

Someone asked me how it felt being isolated for COVID. My reply was …. nothing really has changed, we’ve been isolating since Tom’s bile duct cancer diagnosis at Christmas. I do have to say though, that it is nice being isolated WITH Tom. If he didn’t have the cancer, he would still be working umpteen hours a day and I would be home and at work alone. I do miss my get-together time on Friday afternoons. I’ve lost track of what all the girls are doing or working on and that makes me really, really sad. We did do a few zoom meetups with the members (have you joined yet?) and that was lovely. But tbh, I’m ready to sit in the coffee shop across from another body and visit about things other than COVID and cancer. I have had some friends stop by and drag me out for a walk or sit down at the lake socially-distanced and that has been sooo appreciated.

What have I been working on?
Nightshift, Chemo Hat, Lace shawl, Website and Taxes, and eating well with Epicure

Nightshift: I’ve been continuing to work on the Noro Ito Nightshift Shawl. That has been so popular I have reordered and have a supply available again. Everyone’s turns out a bit different, and its only 2 balls of 2 colors of Noro Ito! You can place an order here. It has become almost meditative when I’m working on it. Slip, knit, slip, knit. repeat. change colors. Knit one row. Purl one row. I’ve uploaded a few videos in our KAL group on Porchtalk if you want to take a look.

Chemo Hat: I started this for Tom when I realized he would get a cold head during chemo. I wanted a soft yarn, and if I remember this is a bamboo blend. It is a mystery yarn club yarn from Zombie Yarns back in 2016(?) …. it is two strands of fingering held together and Chic Knit’s Basic Chic Beanie pattern. I thought I would finish up during chemo this past Monday, but instead I really looked at the instructions for the pattern and realized I’d done the decreases all wrong. I guess I thought Bonne Marie had come up with a unique top for the ribbed decreases, but in reality, I misread the pattern. I would have had double the height and quite pointy if I’d kept going the direction I was headed in addition to likely running out of yarn. So, rippit I did and reminisced about my friend Heather, who had passed away from cancer a while back. I loved having her at retreat and being my sounding board so much. She was an adventurer, experimenter, teacher, and loved to do all things knitting machine. The reason rippit reminded me of her is she used to throw out little plastic frogs anytime someone needed to tear back during her classes at Camp Iwannaknit.

Lace Shawl: Oh my, when did i start this project? I think its called the Travelling Woman something or other. I’ll try and find the details. I dug it out so I could have something that would really hold my attention and force me to focus. The yarn is a cashmere blend and it was one of the first mystery yarn clubs I ran with Dream in Color’s yarn. I had worked one entire ball of yarn, and am about halfway through the second ball and stopped because I didn’t want to run out of yarn for the edging. Duh……it just dawned on me, all I need to do is knit the same length as the first ball. The two balls were close to the same size. LOL. Problem solved. I guess I’ll stop at 3 WIPs to haul to chemo (or the hotel room the hospital is providing due to COVID) with me every other week because my arms are getting heavy.

Website: I have really done a poor job of working on the website and keeping products updated. I found that if things don’t work automatically, I write them off and don’t do them manually. So, with the help of my Tribe 2019 friend, I’ve been working on integrating the website with my inventory, sales and purchasing systems. I must say they seem to be working now and with a few more tweaks I’m really pleased. Which leads me to the next item on my list, taxes …. I sure am thankful for the extension. And, now that I have my data all in one place, it should be a no brainer. I need to get them done as I think we’ll have a bit of a refund coming. Our budget is really strained with Tom’s short term disability and my lack of income from sales, so I would feel better getting that off my plate. And, once that is done I can go back to the Tribe course and work on the LK150 Success Academy Membership Community. Our members have been waiting patiently for me to get it together for the sampler project, video lessons, and meet-ups. I’m so thankful I have that community to work with.

June 2020 Taste Test
Limited Availability

Epicure: What’s that? Oh, my friends, let me tell you about this new-to-the-USA company. The are a clean, quick cooking, food company. My friend introduced me to them when she had to cook from a microwave during her husband’s hospital/doctor visit stay far from home. Knowing I would likely be eating hospital food and that it doesn’t agree with me, I wanted something healthy to have for the week to 30 days Tom would be hospitalized for his whipple. Not knowing what to expect, I bought their steamer and the Good Food. Real Results Kit which included a recipe book, scoops and basic seasonings. They are gluten free, low sodium, no preservatives or additives. Tom’s mom and I, along with the kids when they were there, made microwave lasagna, tacos, chicken and broccoli, shrimp alfredo, and more. Plus, we had eggs, oatmeal, rice, quinoa. All cooked in the steamer in the microwave. Did I mention the meats cook in 4 minutes!!!! Yes, I’m loving this cooking line. So much in fact, I become a consultant. I’m supposed to go around doing cooking shows, but you know — COVID …. so instead i set up a “Cooking Today with Lea-Ann” facebook group where I share what I’m cooking and how. Its been tasty and fun! I’ll share more as I learn more. And if you want more info about the company itself, here’s my consultant link.

And, lastly, I want to spend a moment reflecting on the fact that I am new to understanding white privilege, black lives matter, and what is happening in our world with protesting and rioting. I have to be honest in that I’ve never paid a lot of attention and I’m finding I should have. I do have friends who are affected, and I’ve never thought about what life is like for them. Social media is opening my view and I’m listening. I’m going to try and recognize my privilege. And I want to do better. I hope we can have an open, honest discussion if you see I need it. I am afraid to speak up, afraid to ask, afraid I’ll get my wrist slapped for not doing something right or wording something the wrong way. It makes me want to crawl into my chair and shut everything down, which is my typical stress release. But that doesn’t solve anything. I do not want anyone who spends time with me or shops with me to feel like they have to be worried about their safety or that they will be treated any differently just because of the color of their skin. I want love to prevail. I don’t know what else to say right now, except I see you. I’m listening. I want to do better. Thank you for reading.

All my love ….. knitting onward! — Lea-Ann

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After Surgery Update

Tom at chemo

Tom’s a rockstar!! He heals fast, he likes to move, he has a warrior spirit. Whipple surgery went well. We were blessed to have mom and our kids all there to help from the day before surgery until the weekend after. And, he came home so quickly and I felt so good about it all, despite the surgeon telling us he couldn’t get all of it and the results coming back that 34 of 36 lymph nodes are involved. So, all of a sudden we are in the oncologist office 4 weeks before schedule and chemo started. The sooner the better with this type of cancer. I don’t even want to look up the statistics or know anymore about what will happen than what I have to face today. Sooooo, please pray, keep up-to-date by reading our caringbridge, and thank you everyone!

For knitting content — hand, LK150 and Bond — join me at, on Facebook or sometimes at Instagram. And, if you prefer to receive emails, join the Enews by signing up on the form below.

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Tom’s surgery update info


Today’s the day we leave for Indy so we can settle in and get an early night’s rest before Tom’s cancer surgery at 7:45 am on 2/13/2020. We need to be at the hospital by 5:30!

I’ve checked a lot off my to-do list: cancelled mail, alerted the neighbors to watch the house and store, closed the website, vacation hold on ebay, closed Amazon.

And, now we hurry up and wait until morning.

Here’s the link to check in on current status for Tom, if you want to follow along. It just makes it easier for me to update in one place instead of remembering who has been told and what. Thank you for understanding and praying for us all.

You all know he has stood beside me for 26 years in business at Knitting Today. He has set up displays, rearranged the store front to back, cleaned, put on a porch, ran the register and even taught our neighbor booths how to knit at Stitches Midwest. He’s my rock and my helpmeet. Right now he has no pain, no obvious signs of a disease ravaging his insides. That is why this cancer is usually not found until it is stage 4 and inoperable. God’s got this.