long-story-short: the story of my 50+ years in slightly more than 500 words

Welcome to 2014! I’ve changed up the site a bit to make it easier to access my designs, thoughts, and dreams for my faith, family and fibery fun. Here’s how the menu above works:

  • “blog” tab will take you to all posts about everything from faith, family and fiber to recipes, book reviews and general natterings.
  • “our designs” tab will take you to a menu of all the designs I self-publish on Ravelry and Craftsy. I’ve just posted a gallery of my 2013 designs if you’re interested.

An archive of weekly posts can be accessed thru the menu above:

  • Motivated Mondays — posts about the week ahead: designing schedule and planned submissions; homeschooling and cooking/baking ideas, etc. I REALLY need to be more organized! All these posts can be accessed thru the “plans & projects” tab above
  • Tip Tuesday — posts about tips, tricks and techniques that will help my readers be better knitters. Let me know if you have specific questions you’d like answered. All these posts can be accessed thru the “tips & tricks” tab above
  • Yarn-along Wednesdays — posts all about my knitting and reading. To find all these, click the “yarn-along” tab
  • Discovery Thursdays — posts all about discoveries on the ‘net, including fiber-fun on Ravelry, interviews with knitterly folks, and reviews of books. To access these posts, please click “round the ‘net” tab above
  • Friday’s Family Fun and Faith — posts about family doings in our homeschool, faith life, and other fun. Click “about” and then “family fun & faith” tabs above for these posts.
  • Saturday Sum-up — posts that summarize the week’s info with links to posted designs, book reviews, and fibery fun. The “wrap-up” tab will get you to all those posts.
  • “links” tab will take you directly to my Ravelry and Craftsy stores, the By Hand, With Heart group page on Ravelry and other web-based links
  • “about” is all about me and mine … my knitting creds and my adventures with my family and friends.

Poke around, enjoy what we have to offer … comment on anything you’d like … and most of all ….

Enjoy the journey!sig file


And now a bit about me and mine …

Mary C. Gildersleeve, Design-Artist


I grew up in the San Francisco of the 60s and 70s.  Most of my teachers in parochial school were closet hippies so we were always doing creative things — macrame, recyclable crafts, and lots of needlework.  My mom was big on and crafts and of her seven children, I inherited this “gene” the most (altho I do have a brother who is a phenomenal graphic artist).  She was a great enabler, helping me to buy the latest McCall’s Needlework & Craftsmagazine … or the issue ofWoman’s Day with knitting and crocheting from the Partridge Family.

At about the age of 8, I taught myself to knit — sneaking under my older sister’s bed, absconding with her knitting and knitting away on her piece, learning as I went.  Before she came back in the room, I’d pull out what I’d knit and she was never the wiser!

Until, one day she found out…

Mom split us up and took me to the store to get yarn (acrylic … cheap but effective), needles and the book – Knitting Without Tears.  After reading, and re-reading, and re-reading … I was hooked!  I began designing at the age of 12 and haven’t looked back since.

I currently have published designs in a few books (see the “my knitting books” sidebar), magazines, online e-zines, and online websites.  I have a Ravelry store-front, where I sell pdfs of many of my designs.

Why By Hand, With Heart? I’m a strong proponent of hand-knitting. Altho I see the benefit of machine knitting, my focus is on using my hands to create what’s in my heart. Each of my designs is made for someone — someone I know and love or someone who is loved by the person knitting up my designs. I pour myself into each of my designs … sharing a bit of my heart with your hands. This is serious to me … this is part of me … this is what I do.

In addition to knitting … knitting … reading ABOUT knitting … and knitting some more, I am a free-lance writer and (in my copious free time) I homeschool my three youngest children — known as Hambone (14), Kit (13), and HotRod (11).  My dh is a Catholic high school teacher (theology, philosophy and head of the science department).  We are a blended family (I was widowed) and we have 5 older kiddoes who we don’t see often enough, but who are always in our thoughts and prayers.

Won’t you join me on this adventure into loving, living, learning (and of course, knitting) in the heart of my home?

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