A challenging project

May 19, 2010


My wooden basket became too small for the amount of poppies I have knitted so far and I had to transfer my colorful pretties to a glass bowl.

I have knitted 80 poppies so far, only 20 more to go. My glass bowl can hardly contain this abundance of goodness and is about to overflow. I simply love it!

Knitting the poppies for my Poppies of Endearment project has been easy. The challenging part is yet to come.

A challenging project on several levels

After I have knitted a 100 poppies, I will cluster 3 poppies together, attach an affirmation/saying/poem, place them somewhere in San Francisco, take a picture and leave them behind.

Sounds easy…but to me  it is challenging on several levels!

  1. Write an affirmation, saying, or a poem in your own words. Oh boy that means I am not allowed to quote somebody. I have to find and use my own words…
  2. Place them somewhere in San Francisco. Yikes, this city is big…and I just dipped my toe in it. Oh well, it will force me to go out there, and find good spots, preferably photogenic ones,  to leave the poppies behind.
  3. Take a picture. A good opportunity to get more and more comfortable with my DSLR camera and my latest Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 lens.
  4. Leave the poppies behind for a stranger to find. Detaching from an item you spend much time on… to be gifted to a total stranger.

And lastly, document everything on the blog.

Hands down the most interesting knitting adventure I have ever embarked on!


Hey Nancy, you keep on going on about your poppies, but how about your website?

Ha! I wondered when you would ask!

Me and web developer Andy Bottman have been going back and forth over the past few weeks and I just received message that he is ready to do a final import to my new website. Don’t ask me for details, I am ignorant on how these things work.

I will let you know here on this blog, when the other one is up and running so you all can head that way when it is time.

All of you who have left a comment on this blog, will also receive an e-mail on when the new site is up.

It is very very close…

Thanks for reading and until the next entry!

The power of little me…

May 16, 2010


I was pleasantly surprised of all the positive feedback I received from you on my Poppies of Endearment project. I cannot tell you how much your feedback encouraged me to go into this project with even more fire and soul.

Also, you have inspired me to give you a deeper understanding of how and when this idea came to me. That way you will have more insight in why I am doing this Poppies of Endearment project.

Feeling helpless and powerless

At times, when I look around me and see how human beings hurt, fight and kill each other, I hang my head and try to understand why.

Fear and hate are capable of motivating people to commit atrocious crimes against humankind.

When I hear or see what cruelty occurs, I feel so helpless… so powerless. And I ask myself, what can I do? How can I help?

How can little me possibly fight this evil that hurts us?

The power of little me

While once again feeling helpless and powerless, I wished that I could place a flower in people’s hearts and make it bloom. And I daydreamed that with every blooming flower, the scent of pure love would be released.

If I can wish it, if I can dream it then ultimately I can make it tangible and make it happen.

I feel no longer helpless and powerless. Little me can actually do something and help to make a change.

Little me has the power to make a difference.

In the beginning there was a single little poppy. Then came another one. And another one…

DSC_4718 DSC_4719 DSC_4720 DSC_4721

And soon there were plenty!


The more poppies I make, the more abundance I create and the more empowered I feel to spread the love.

The power of me. The power of you. The power of us.

DSC_4730 DSC_4732 DSC_4731 DSC_4729

I can only hope that this Poppies of Endearment project will inspire you to do something similar.

This is not MY project. This is also YOUR project if you wanted to.


Once I finished my 100th poppy, I will release them into the world in clusters of 3 and a message in my own words will be attached to them.

I will take a picture of where I release them, and I will post what message I attach to them.

If you are inspired to do the same, let me know about it. Send me your picture and send me your message you have attached. It does not have to be a knitted poppy. It can be whatever you want it to be.

This is not only about the power of little me. This is about the  power of you, and ultimately, the power of us.


Lastly, I want to tell you that I firmly believe in the goodness of mankind.

I strongly believe in our ability to love.

I strongly believe in our ability to do good.

I strongly believe in our ability to inspire, to encourage and to create beautifully.

This strong belief is what makes life worth living for me. Because life is truly beautiful and grand, and I am determined to keep it that way.

Thank you for reading and until the next entry.

Poppies of Endearment

May 13, 2010

Abundance of Poppies

I did not particularly enjoy myself over the last few weeks. Packing up an entire household is not what I call fun.

Boy, am I glad that is behind us.

For days and days on end I was not able to play with yarn and knit. So when we arrived back in San Francisco last Tuesday, I grabbed my little wooden basket filled with kidsilk haze yarn and started to knit poppies.

I haven’t stopped knitting my poppies ever since. I am on a mission…

Poppies of Endearment

Abundance of Poppies

A few months ago, my friend Jenni had made a beautiful display  for the yarnshop Closeknit in Portland; she decorated several branches with lots and lots of poppies.

It sure was a pleasure for the eye those sweet little colorful knitted flowers… I wish I had taken a picture!

Then, on a sunny afternoon, I took the branches with poppies home with me and as I walked down the street something remarkable happened.

Every single person I encountered on my way would stop me and literally go gaga over the poppies! Even this rough looking guy walked straight up to me and caressed the poppies.

Right there and then I realized : these  little knitted poppies have the power to endear. And I knew I had to do something with that…

Poppies with an endearing message

Abundance of Poppies

For the next few days I am going to knit at least a hundred poppies. I already knitted 50 in all kinds of colors.

When I have knitted one hundred poppies, I am going to set them free in the streets of San Francisco with a little message attached to them.

This message will be an affirmation, a poem, a saying. This message has to convey something sweet, encouraging, inspiring. And last but not least, this message has to be written in my own words.

I will leave the poppies with message attached randomly in neighborhoods. On a bike, on a doorknob, on a bench, attached to a fence, in nooks and crannies, in somebody’s mailbox, in restrooms, on branches.

I hope that the finder will be endeared. I hope that the finder will smile. I hope that the finder will melt.

Because we need that feeling of endearment… We need to let our guards down every once in a while and I hope that these little poppies will disarm and endear.

Thank you for reading and until the next entry!

More on the Poppies of Endearment project:

The power of little me

Abundance of Poppies Abundance of Poppies Abundance of Poppies Abundance of Poppies Abundance of Poppies

Where have you been revisited

May 1, 2010

I am very busy packing and running around doing all kinds of stuff and have absolutely no time to blog!

I can however, show you one of my favorite blogpost called “Where have you been”. I wrote this in July 2007. Enjoy…

Where have you been..?

“I have always been here, you silly. Waiting for you to open the gates…”

~ Inspiration

This morning I heard a firm knock on my front door. It woke me up immediately and a sweet sense of excitement bloomed in my heart. With my hair still ruffled and my eyes swollen from a good night’s rest I rushed to the front door, unlocked it and swung it wide open.

Blooming excitement

A gentle morning breeze caressed my face and I smiled from ear to ear as I set sight on my visitors: several swirling energetic colors, some fine spun yarn, a croaking toad, a honeybee, some rays of sunlight, laughing fuchsias, timid pansies, a pair of bamboo needles, written words, embracing light tones of music, secrets of life, deep conversation, giggling forest fairies, a sea of Love and… and… and so much more sweetness gracing my front porch.

“WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!?!”, I cry out.

My visitors all look at me as they morph into one being of Inspiration and reply: “I have always been here, you silly. Waiting for you to open the gates.”

Open the gates

Comfortable in Monotone Simplicity

Knit 4, bring yarn to front of work in one gracious movement, purl 4, bring yarn to back of work in another gracious movement. Repeat 4 times more, turn work, feel the yarn while it caresses your fingers.

Now start with purl 4, bring yarn to back of your work, don’t forget to be gracious in your movement, knit 4. And repeat 4 more times… Over and over and over again, row after row.

Slip slip knits, yarnovers, knit two togethers, knit three togethers, wrap and turns are all not present. It is just me, the yarn, the needles and the two most basic stitches of all stitches; Knit and Purl. We are happy and satisfied in the soothing drone of Monotone Simplicity.

Square after square

One little square after another is completed with so many different dk and very light worsted yarns: Rowan cashsoft, Artyarns Supermerino, Lonesome Stone Mountain Feat, Lonesome Stone 100% Alpaca, Araucania, Colinette, Misti Alpaca and Mountain colors.


The stack of little squares is getting higher and higer, the strands of yarn form a colorful streaming river.

mountain and river

I squint my eyes when I detect the pattern floating among the many strands. I approach it and ask: “Pattern… it is time to write you down and reveal you. Do I have your permission?”

It looks at me and teasingly replies: “No. Not untill I say so. First you seam that mountain of squares into little gloves.”

I sigh and reluctantly gaze at the stack of squares. The pattern continues:

“It may look like a mountain and nearly impossible to conquer, but trust me, seaming is not that hard. Take a deep breath, make the darning needle your friend, and seam. It is merely the last step in your journey of creation.”

Now if you all excuse me. I have a mountain to seam.