Tuesday, December 07, 2010

At The Last Hour

Lately it feels like I'm either rushing to finish something, or something is catching me off guard.  Like, say, sub-freezing weather and Christmas shopping.  I know.  It happens every single year.  Winter comes in December and Christmas comes on the 25th.  I KNOW.  And with online shopping, I think I procrastinate even further with all the "order by the 23rd to receive by the 24th" promises.

And then the guilt starts to settle in.  "I knit... I'm a knitter," I start thinking to myself wondering why I'm purchasing gifts when I could be knitting up something nicer and more special for my loved ones.  Well, let's just say I'm a material girl living in a material world.  I actually enjoy shopping (aka gathering and consuming).  But that little voice... knit something nice... keeps popping up in my head.  It's like my very own Ghost of Knitted Christmas Gifts.

So, alas, I finally got around to writing up the pattern for a hat I knit last winter.  I knit it last winter in some last-minute knitting frenzy when I realized the weather was about to warm up.  Yup, more of that procrastination thrown in with some last-minute rushing around.  I completed it mid-March, and was able to wear it for about a week.

There were some lovely comments on Ravelry by some even lovelier ravelers which encouraged me to write it up for this season.  And for all you folks procrastinating out there, it's a great quick knit.

I chose Malabrigo Worsted yarn for its softness and for the subtle beauty of the Pearl color.  I love how the grey color has just a hint of blush.

I'm thinking for a man, sans pom-pom and in a navy or olive green color would make a lovely addition to their wardrobe.

The cabled stitch pattern is a multiple of 10, so downsizing for a child's cap is easy math.  The cartridge rib makes up the band of the hat and is a multiple of 5 so that works out mathematically for downsizing as well.  The cartridge rib is a flatter, less elastic rib than most so I would change to a 1x1 rib if you want something more snug.  Or maybe try a smaller needle.

The pattern is for sale here.  Check it out and if you decide to make it, start the project in Ravelry!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


The owner of Knitty City, Pearl, has asked me to say a few words at the store when Trisha Malcolm, Vogue Knitting's Editor-in-Chief, makes an appearance in a few weeks.  I told her I wouldn't have much to say and if she wanted me to say anything in particular to let me know.  Pearl, the sweetest woman to ever live, just replied with a nonchalant, "Anything you say will be great.  We're so proud of you."

As sweet as her reply was, I had no idea what to say.  I still don't know what to say.  I asked around and my knitting friends replied over and over with, "What's your inspiration?"  And, "Where do you get your ideas?"  My first response was a shrug.  I honestly didn't know.  It's a question I've had to think about long and hard.  What is my inspiration.  Can any of us answer that question?  What ignites that initial spark of an idea.  I think it's rare to have the lightbulb flash on from being off.  Mine is always sort of flickering like an old neon tube.  Sometimes brighter, sometimes darker.  Occasionally, it will flash on for certain solutions - like - getting the symmetry right for a stitch pattern across a certain amount of stitches.

But as I started to breakdown my own process, I realized that I'm overloaded with inspiration.  I'm not walking through life completely void of inspiration, and pow! there's one inspiring thing in front of me, staring me down, daring me to use it.  Instead, it's everywhere and constantly flitting about.

So to not bore you with a list of every little thing I come across in my daily life, I've decided the question I should answer is, "What is your starting point?"  This may mean the same thing to some, but not to me.  Inspiration is rare.  Inspiration can be seen through many creations, not just one.  A muse inspires, and muses usually stick around for many seasons.

My starting point ends up being the swatch.  I don't think this is very special nor very insightful.  I would guess that most designers start there.  And not just handknitwear designers, but most designers that use fabric as their medium.  I had started to write that yarn was my starting point.  And I guess you can take it back that far.  But, really it's the fabric.  And it's so easy to forget that what we're creating is fabric, and simply forming it as we go.  I read an interview with the Olsen Twins (yes, I love them) and they were talking about their clothing line "The Row".  It's a beautiful collection with impeccable tailoring and clean lines.  All they could talk about was the fabric as they passed swatches back and forth between one another.

It's not that clean and simple for a hand knitter, because that fabric consists of a stitch pattern, and is made up of a particular yarn.  But, if I had to say what my "inspiration" is, I would have to say it all starts with that fabric.  And, that fabric starts for us with a swatch.

With that said, it has been incredibly interesting to design for a publication.  They have a business and partnerships to protect.  So, after spending so much time and energy creating swatches, it is sometimes challenging to use the yarn they've chosen for your design.  I like experimenting, being challenged and playing around with yarns I otherwise wouldn't given a second glance.  It has been a growing experience for me.  The Zealana Tui that was given to me for the Cabled Poncho that appears in the Holiday issue is the perfect example.  

I don't usually have time to figure out whether or not they made a better choice for my design.  But I happen to have some free knitting time at the moment.  So, I couldn't resist trying out the Poncho myself in the yarn I had envisioned it in.

So far, I've completed the back of the poncho in Cascade 128 Superwash Chunky.  I can't wait to compare the final result.

P.S.  I could only smile to myself when my next design was assigned this Cascade 128 yarn.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Turning Red

My next published design is set to appear in Vogue Knitting's Holiday Issue.  I'm so excited for this one!  I love the way it turned out, how it looks in the shot, and how the editors decided to size it - up to 3X!  But, most of all, I think it's flattering even though it's shapeless.

photo by Rose Callahan

Starting last year, I started to see a resurgence of capes and ponchos, and they seem to have really taken off this season.  My original plan was to knit this in Cascade 128 Superwash, but I got Zealana's Aspire Tui for the project.  I was hesitant at first, but the color is great and the yarn actually surprised me.  Even though I felt punished for having to knit this in the summertime, the yarn was easy to knit with, light in the hand, but the resulting fabric is surprisingly weighty...  which is a great thing when knitting an outer layer.

This was the first hood I ever knit, so I studied all the different ways hoods could be incorporated into the neckline.  Picked up, or sewn on afterwards.  I decided to knit straight up from the neck opening and increased from there.  Everyone I asked about hoods told me to make sure it was big enough.  I took that to mean to make sure it's deep enough.  That always seemed to be my problem with hoods too.  They never really stay on; they always seemed too shallow, slipping and falling off with just a turn of my head.  I may have overdone it, but I just love the big hood on this poncho's silhouette.

And lastly, I threw in some pockets.  This was not part of my original design, but since it's "outerwear" I thought pockets would work out really well.  I have to admit:  I'm still on the fence about the pockets.  I think the yarn may be a bit too thick for pockets.  So if you're more into aesthetics than practicality, I'd skip the pockets.

Vogue Knitting has thrown up a preview of this issue on their site, and it looks great!  One of the biggest influences in my knitting life is Shirley Paden, and her design is on the cover, and the first piece in the spread that I'm featured in - Rhapsody in Red.  I'm so humbled to be in her company along with Mari Tobita whose red dress is so stunning, it's breathtaking.

The issue is on the newsstands November 9th.  I hope you check it out!

photo by Rose Callahan

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sans Sleeves

When I was given the thumbs-up for my design submission for VK's Winter 2010/11 issue, I was thrilled!  My lazier side (more like a large portion of self) was even more thrilled to learn that they wanted my submission, but without the sleeves.  "Sure thing," I thought.  Why not?  It would make for a more interesting silhouette, and less knitting!  My devious side thought I was getting one over on them.

Huh.  I thought wrong.  Sitting down, I used the swatches I had knit-up for the submissions.  They even wanted me to use the same yarn I swatched in.  What could be better?!  Well.  Blah blah blah, long story short, my first attempt at the sweater was a big fat failure.  OMG.  Basically, it looked like a sweater missing its sleeves.  You simply cannot design a sweater with sleeves, and then knit up that same sweater, forget the sleeves and expect it to look normal.  No no no no no.  Let's just put an end to that nonsense right here, right now.

So, I had to knit it again.  But different.  The same, but different proportions.  Whatever.  Here's a sneak peek:

I'm so happy that I did it again and with the final outcome.  But honestly?  I'm over it.  Next!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Flying Time

I can't believe it's already August.  How time flies!  As they say, it flies when you're having fun.  And I can't say it's been different for me.  I just got back from a quick weekender to Montreal.  I had never been, and had only thought of it in terms of Celine Dion.  It is such a gem of a city.  Beautiful and pleasant.  I really couldn't ask for more from our neighbors to the north.  And while this city has been baking all summer, the temperature when we landed was around 50F.  I let out a little hoppity skippty jump when we exited the airport and promptly threw on a sweater!

Unfortunately, I don't have many pictures.  I thought taking along my new Holga 135BC would be a great idea.  Well, I was wrong.  I got through to the end of the roll and somehow, the film had broken out of it's little canister.  So when I opened the back to check if I had rewound it all the way, all the film was exposed.  I'll have to see if it's recoverable at all.  Wah. :(  I'm such a dufus.

Even more exciting is that I returned home to find some proper pictures of my VK design sent to me from the Yarn Editor.  My anticipation is growing and growing awaiting the arrival of this issue.  Here's a picture of my design that will appear in the magazine:

photo by Paul Amato

And, this issue's cover:
photo by Paul Amato

Doesn't she look like Kristin Stewart?  I think they did that on purpose... I was hoping for some Twilight-inspired spread.  hehe

Anyway, more to come on this issue's design, as I still can't believe it's almost here!  Favorite and queue it on Ravelry, and post about it if you like it!  I'd love to hear your feedback!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Preview is here!!

Wa-hoo!! Vogue Knitting has updated their site to feature their Fall 2010 Preview! I'm so excited! My first design is in their "Force of Nature" spread.

It's the last picture in the bunch:

I also was given great news when I handed in my Noro project:  They've accepted another design of mine which will appear in VK's Winter issue.  I was very happily surprised!  And, the yarn will be the same yarn I swatched in - how often does THAT happen?!?

I'm a happy camper.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

You win some; you lose some

I am so grateful for the opportunities Vogue Knitting has given me. My first project for VK will be on the newsstands soon. My second one, soon thereafter. And one of my more recent submissions was accepted into a book they'll be publishing featuring Noro yarn.

I had never knit with Noro yarn before, but its reputation preceded itself. I think Noro is known for its rainbow of colors. And for my austere color sensibilities, I was anxious about what yarn I would receive for my project. I was pleasantly surprised when an earthy range of browns greeted me when I opened up the FedEx box. (I think they took pity on me, probably imagining me faint if faced with greens, reds, yellows and purples.)

While the texture of the Noro Kureyon was fairly different from the yarn I imagined my design in, it worked out well. I altered the pattern ever-so-slightly to compensate for the difference. I think it was good practice.

Here's a sneak peek:

I really love this design. Easy knit, fun to knit, not boring and I think it's fashionable!

While finishing up this project, I read my rejection e-mail from Twist Collective. My design submissions didn't make it into their winter edition. And I haven't heard back regarding my next submission to VK for their Winter issue. I'm thinking it's a no-go. Oh well - you win some; you lose some. So, I think my next course of action will be to self-publish. I'll keep you posted!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Quince & Co. + Me = Happiness

As far as knitters go, I can safely say that we're all pretty f'ing excited when a new yarn company hits the market.

So I'm sure you've all heard about Quince & Co. Headed up by Pam Allen and a super small team, it was launched last week.

Love at first sight. Their site is gorgeous, and so American... so New England... so dreamy. Knowing nothing about the company, I was so impressed by their story. Selling directly, they can keep their retail price point low and they use American sheep. I can't think of a better combination.

And then I checked out the options. Four weights, and a ton of colorways. It sort of reminded me of Blue Sky Alpacas' colors. Subtle and gorgeous.

I ordered two skeins to get me started.

I haven't knit with them yet, but they have a soft hand and very slight fuzziness to them. Stay tuned for some swatches. I have a feeling these will knit up beautifully.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Productive Procrastination

I am a very goal-oriented person. I like being able to cross things off of my list. (Said list being all in my head, as I'm not organized enough to actually write it down.) And with a goal in my line of sight, I rarely deviate from it. But every so often, I procrastinate. I take little detours. And these detours usually turn out to be quite productive. Reorganizing yarn stash, surfing ravelry and my latest friends' activities, checking out yarn sales, setting aside yarn to donate... quite productive. Yes yes, quite productive.

Well, during my last project, I procrastinated. I was able to turn in my project early, thankfully, but I was antsy. I don't know - maybe it was knitting with bulky yarn in 90 degree weather. Maybe it was the fact that it wasn't portable. Maybe I needed something easy to knit whilst watching the World Cup. In any case, I procrastinated with this Mara Shawl. A free pattern from madelinetosh. I like its simplicity with the touch of femininity at the edge.

I used about three skeins of madelinetosh's DK yarn. It's so soft, with just the perfect amount of springiness. The color is Victorian Gothic. It's the deepest purple and since it's hand-dyed there is a beautiful subtlety in its unevenness. I absolutely love the yarn, the color and the finished product. How often can you say that?! It's still way too warm for this piece, but it'll be great come Fall.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Little Rewards

As a little reward for finishing up my project before the deadline, I hit Barnes & Noble yesterday with my dear friend Jen. It's been a ritual of ours. We'll meet up, check out Barnes & Noble and then grab some dinner. I used to live a few blocks away from one, but not anymore. So now, it's really a treat for me.

Since buying my beloved Kindle, I don't have much use for buying bestsellers, but I don't think there's any substitution for craft books. There's too much flipping back and forth between the picture, pattern, abbreviations and definitions. Who knows... maybe one day.

Well, much to our dismay, our Barnes & Noble was rearranging and reorganizing the "Crafts & Hobbies" section at the exact same time we decided to go. So, we decided to check out the periodicals. No luck - we both had all of the latest issues of everything. We turned to look at each other and the lightbulb went off. Without uttering any words, we intuitively started to make our way to the Cookbooks section.

We picked up copies of Whoopie Pies and today I made my first batch of Oatmeal Whoopie Pies with classic buttercream filling. YUM-MY IN MY TUMMY!!!!!! Best reward ever!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Winter in Summer

I just finished knitting my design for Vogue Knitting's Holiday issue. I'm so in love with it. I love that it's just so darn wearable. I know with every idea that pops into my head, it's hard to really know how it's going to turn out. From the sketch, to the swatches, to working out the pattern, to the final product... there are a lot of variables.

And the one thing you don't have much control over when working with a big magazine like VK is the yarn. They choose it for you. And I love that it forces me to work outside of my comfort zone. And that's an important part of growing and learning - working outside of that comfort zone.

So you'll see with this next design that I was dragged kicking and screaming into the wide world of color. They choose a very festive red. For the past month, it's been the one splash of color in my sea of beige and gray. And, I'm going to miss it.

Here's a very small sneak peek:

And now, back to the drawing board for Spring... any thoughts?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Beyond Flattered

People don't usually surprise me anymore. In Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers, he talks about the 10,000 hour rule. It takes 10,000 hours to master something. I think if you've ridden 10,000 hours on the subway, you've pretty much mastered The Person. You've seen it all. I have ridden at least 10,000 hours on the subway. I won't list all the erratic human behavior I've been witness to during those 10,000 hours. And anyone who's reading this and has ridden the subway is probably just nodding their head and praying I don't start a bulleted list. I think you get me here.

So when I posted my first pattern on Ravelry, I found myself surprised. Surprised with people! People were actually buying it and making it! But honestly, I was, least of all, surprised and, most of all, flattered. We all know the knitting community is a caring one. But, I didn't recognize how nurturing it is. Maybe it's just me that hasn't seen something so obvious until now. But with every finished Eternity Scarf posted onto Ravelry, I am encouraged little by little to continue down this designing path.

Below are a few pictures of some finished Eternity Scarves. Something I've tried to improve upon is my photography, and I owe it all to knitting, this blog and the wide world of the Internet. A picture says a thousand words, right? It's obvious I'm not the only one out there. Look at how gorgeous these photos are! I am so humbled, and so proud to be a part of this always-growing knitting world.

by Elaine

by Mary

by Catrina

by Knitterella®

by Linda :: photo by Gabrielle

I work with Linda, by the way. She's based in our San Francisco office, and though we've never met, we've become close knitting buds. I was cyberally introduced to the knitting group that gathers in the SF office. And thinking back, it was a passing conversation I had with Linda that gave me the motivation and encouragement to write this pattern.

Aren't the scarves incredible?! The colors take my breath away. I really need to start knitting with more color - she says as she stares at her pile of gray yarn.

Click here for more Eternity Scarves on ravelry.com. Thank you everyone for purchasing this pattern. I am beyond flattered.

Friday, June 04, 2010

A Garden in Queens

I have to admit, I did not take to gardening at first. I can't imagine it's as pleasurable to garden in New York City as it is in, say, the Hudson Valley or in Pennsylvania. I had to figure it all out.

I am lucky enough to have "outdoor space". (For those of you not from an urban area, outdoor space is an amenity. Not a God-given right. ) And, I had to move out of Manhattan and into Queens to get some of this mythical Outdoor Space. It has been downright eye-opening. Between trees dying, perennials NOT coming back and the random visits by caterpillars (who ate all my dill and parsley), twig caterpillars on my roses, and bees + honeycombs, you'd think I was on an Animal Planet episode and not in a very industrialized part of Queens.

The only gardening I'm doing is what I think people call Container Gardening. I have a gazillion planters, and a bazillion pots. So I guess I'm a little limited to what I can do. But this is great for me. If I had LAND, I just don't know what I would do with it. So my containers are finally abloom. And while it's taken me awhile to warm up to the whole dirt and bug thing, I think I like it. I think I really really like it. It's given me that much-needed downtime between work and knitting. And it forces me to go outside and spend some time in the sun... another thing that seems to be an amenity in NYC.

So, let's see... I've got my first rose:

And some pretty light pink flowers (yeah, I threw out those plastic things with the flower's name):

And these are for one special little Pug. Her favorites: strawberries:

We've already plucked off the ripened one's and given them to her. She's waiting not-so-patiently for these.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


I'm working on my second design for Vogue Knitting! Yay! It's slated to be in their Holiday issue. Of course, I'm trying not to count my chickens before they're hatched, but... yay!!

Now, I'm not going to give too much away before I've finished knitting it, but it's:

1. Red(dish)
2. Bulky weight
3. Hooded

My very first hood. I have to remember next time to not submit something I've never actually knit before. I'm just not going to think about it for now. Thankfully my Knitty City buds have been talking me through it. Love them!

I'm also working on some submissions for Twist Collective. They frown upon any "previews", so I say nothing. Wish me luck!

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Process

It's been quiet on my blog and I apologize for not having posted anything for quite some time. I have been single-mindedly and obsessively working over a design that will appear in Vogue Knitting's Fall 2010 issue. When I was given the thumbs up after I submitted a design proposal, I was so excited I could hardly contain myself. Of course that excitement turned to anxiety and moved swiftly into self-doubt. The self-doubt is easy to understand... just go back to some of my first posts here. (By the way, if you're only thinking about documenting your progress as a crafter or artist and haven't done so, I highly recommend it. It's easy to forget how far you've come.) Here are some old post highlights:

1) WTF. Who told me a pink and turquoise pussy cat would be ok?

2) What was I thinking. My very first garment was going to be some french-translated JACKET with binding and buttons... oy. The very best thing about that Swing Jacket is after joining the online KAL, I met some knitters that I still keep in touch with. And no, I never finished the jacket. Maybe one day.

3) And, puh-lease, I thought this was a lot.. I can only laugh out loud. I think I bought that much during my last trip to the LYS.

(And why am I not using my sewing machine?! Shame on me.)

So after taking that stroll down memory lane, I reminded myself that I taught myself how to do this...this... knitting thing and that nothing could stop me.

As soon as I found out what yarn VK was planning on sending me, I ran out and went yarn shopping. For research, of course. I bought one skein (and several others) and started swatching. And swatching. And swatching. I tried the stitch pattern on a multitude of different needles. I blocked. I swatched and blocked again.

I felt like I couldn't get enough information, and that I needed more information. Was it 8.2 sts/in that I was getting? More like 7.9? Was the smaller needle too tight? Would the fabric not drape properly? My swatches were too small!

I was keeping myself up at night with all these questions. And they kept coming. Negative ease? Different eases between bust and waist? How long should I make it? How wide should the neck be? How big will the model's head be?

So from lack of sleep, exhaustion and delerium, I moved on. I had to close my eyes and cast on.

Using my swatches, I was able to plan out my entire garment before casting on. So I kept referring to my notes and laid out how the stitch pattern would increase and decrease with a sequoia's worth of graph paper.

I cannot tell you how difficult it is to depend on your very own pattern for the first time. It felt like something was missing. It felt like I needed the REAL pattern to follow. That mine alone wasn't enough. It was nerve-racking and disorienting. Like I was taking a quiz and just wanted to peek at the answer key.

And as I started knitting the back, a fellow knitter peeked over my shoulder and said, "Oh, is that the sleeve?" Omigod, I thought. OMIGOD. It's too small. It's way too small. Vogue requested the sample be in a women's size small, determined by the CYCA. I checked my numbers, checked my swatches, checked the guidelines, and used three different rulers (just in case), and even more calculators (you never know) and determined that my cast-on was right. So, I plowed on.

Once I completed the back, I had to block it to make sure it was ok.

It looked ok to me. It was actually more than ok - I really liked it! So I knitted on and was so happy when I finally got to the sleeves.

And even happier that the sleeves looked considerably smaller than my back when I started.

The most satisfying part of this entire process was that the sweater turned out to look like I had planned. Who woulda guessed. I was really quite surprised. I didn't have any doubts that it would look like a sweater, of some sort. But it looked like my sketch. Yippee!! I just sat down and stared at it on my dressform.

Wow, I actually did it.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Oy. Pictures.

I don't know what my problem is, but I have a real aversion to having my picture taken. I just... hate it. But, everyone tells me knits look better when actually modeled. So, there you have it. I'm wearing the sample I knit for Gotham Fine Yarns. I took the pictures myself. Hate the pictures.

Maybe it's like hearing your own voice? I don't know. I just don't think I look like that, but apparently I do.

Less about me, more about the beret! As I extolled in the last post, I just love this yarn. And I love this citron color. Some find it obnoxious, but I think it's the perfect shade. And it goes with all my favorite neutrals!

And, I gotta say... this is a quick knit. Two nights of knitting.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

String Theory

While I'm not in the business of reviewing yarn, I can't help myself when it comes to this one. String Theory's Caper Sock yarn is really special.

I was in Gotham Fine Yarn dropping off copies of my Cables & Lace Beret Pattern when I agreed to knit up a sample for the store. It's always helpful to have the real live finished object for customers to look and try-on. Anyway, Rebecca of Gotham Fine Yarns helped me find just the right yarn to use. New to the store, and completely new to me, she handed me a hefty skein of 400 yards in Citron. Wow, I thought. This color is fantastic. And that's really saying something considering my arsenal of every shade of off-white in my stash. But, I digress.

I wound it up and started knitting the beret. Wow, I thought again. This feels great! It's just springy enough to make it easy to work with and make the stitches really pop and the color is just the right spring green. 80/10/10 of Merino, Cashmere and Nylon - not a magical combination nor unique. But I kept flipping the tag over trying to see if I was missing something. Some exotic fiber for sure. Nope. Just the good old stuff.

If you're in the NYC-area, I really recommend checking it out at Gotham. Otherwise, I think they're online. I do know they're from Maine and while I'm crazy for yarn, I'm not crazy enough to drive up for it. Well, actually...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mr. Migglesworth

I've only mentioned my husband on a few occasions. Mr. Migglesworth is a fine gentleman. He has often been described by my friends as a special, deeply sensitive and truly romantic man. I couldn't agree with another statement more. While having his soft side, he is what I like to describe as a rock-solid, simple man. He doesn't use hair product, never complains, doesn't talk much (for the most part), takes pride in performing all his responsibilities and likes the basics in life: a good hot meal, comfortable slippers, television on a Saturday afternoon and a good stiff drink to loosen up.

So with winter slowly approaching its end, I had to get on it if I wanted to knit him something this season. So I chose "Terry's Pullover" from Interweave Knits. I thought it fit my simple man's distinguished yet simple sensibilities quite well.

I used Classic Elite's Portland Tweed. What a wonderful yarn. It's a new staple for me. The perfect worsted weight tweed. While not always being the biggest fan of tweed, the texture is subtle and the flecks really add some depth to this dark brown. It was such a pleasure to use.

While blocking, I had to be very careful about it growing out too much. After I laid it out, I realized the chest circumference would end up being about six inches too big, so I had to pull it back in. And now it fits beautifully. I love the way it looks on him, and I really enjoyed knitting this up. Best of all, Mr. Migglesworth is very pleased with it. It matches his slippers and he promises to wear it on Saturdays while watching TV.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Some cables, some lace

I thought this stitch pattern would be the perfect way to bridge winter and spring together. Some cables and some lace to define both seasons. So when I wanted to design a beret, I thought it would be perfect. March is coming and March has always reminded me of Spring Break. As much as I love the winter and snow, Spring is always a welcome change.

I used The Fibre Company's Road to China Light for the beret. What an amazing yarn. I really can't say enough good things about it. It's luxurious, with a subtle sheen and a beautiful mixture of fibers. It's warm, not scratchy and heavenly to work with. I simply adore it, and highly recommend it.

This pattern is for sale on ravelry.com for $6. Click here to buy now. The pattern includes written instructions, as well as a charted pattern. I loved designing it, and hope you love knitting it!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Here it is. The Haruni Shawl. What a lovely pattern, right?

It's a free pattern from Ravelry by Emily Ross and it's actually stunning. Her pattern writing is exceptional, and the finished shawl is so different from one's that I've seen.

I used Koigu Mori held together with Lorna's Laces Helen's Lace. I like the effect, but I don't think I'll work with two strands ever again. It's just a pain. But maybe it's my lazy a**.

The only change I made is on the bind-off. She proposes two types of bind-offs. I did the crochet bind-off as it seemed faster and easier. It's a k3tog, ch6, etc. etc. Instead of doing the k3tog, I did a center double decrease - sl2k, k1, psso. And when you're doing the "k1" you're basically going to bring the yarn through all the stitches on the hook. So it's a nice flow. And having to get the crochet hook only through two stitches instead of three made my life a lot easier.

I made this for my mom, whom I'm seeing on Saturday. They just moved to Vegas and I thought something lacey and light would be appropriate for their hot temps.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Easy Knit

Sometimes it's nice to knit something that doesn't require too much concentration. The perfect knit for the subway and group gatherings.

Well, I still have the Haruni Shawl to complete, but that's not exactly something I want to take onto the subway. I'm almost done, which means the rows have gotten super duper long.

Anyway, I found this great free pattern on ravelry for a "Twisted Rib Neckwarmer". It was super easy to knit, only taking a couple nights to finish, and I was able to use two random balls of Blue Sky Alpacas Sport. I'm not sure if I like the duo effect, but at least I was able to use some yarn I had! Love that!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

New Pattern!

Recently I posted some pictures of my Drawstring Cabled Cowl with pom-pom's.

Before publishing a pattern for it, I wanted to take it for a test drive and see if it was worthy of anyone else's time.

It has been below freezing in NYC for the past few weeks, and it has really kept me warm! I just pulled those pom-pom's down, tied them in a pretty bow and I was all snuggly warm.

If you're experiencing the deep freeze like I am, I think you'll enjoy this addition to your wardrobe.

I loved working with Blue Sky Alpaca's Worsted Hand Dyes yarn. Even though it is wool and alpaca, it is incredibly soft and not itchy at all. No little hairs or fibers sticking out. It's really amazing. I highly recommend it.

So, I've written up the pattern, and it's in my Ravelry store for purchase. I hope you'll give it a try and post your WIPs in Ravelry - I love seeing all the progress on my patterns.

Click the button below to purchase from Ravelry, and I've also got a link in the right hand pane. Thank you!

Saturday, January 09, 2010


I'm off to a good start with this whole New Year's Resolution thingy! I'm knitting with more color, Ma! See??

I knit Ysolda's ever popular pattern for the Snapdragon Tam. I LOVED knitting this. Definitely not boring, but definitely not hard either. All the cables were manageable, and there was no ridiculous "K100tog"... not naming any names.

And, I used Madelinetosh Worsted. Whoa. This is amazing yarn. Truly. Nice to work with, beautiful color and blocked very nicely!

I did learn one thing - COLOR me silly... when you increase to 5 stitches, I've always done the knit into front and back of the stitch five times. That makes the stitch you're knitting into cock-eyed - to the right to be exact. If you knit and purl into the same stitch, you'll center the stitch that you're knitting into making it much more pleasing to the eye. Not as easy as knitting front and back, but gets easier the more you do.

Next up: The Haruni Lace Shawl. And yes... I'm using color! Blues to be exact!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Pretty In Pink

2010 is off to a great start!

My last knitting job for Shirley Paden has come out! It's the Pink Ruffled Lace Cardigan in Vogue Knitting's Winter 2009/10. I was able to help Shirley with the body, collar and sleeves. The yarn is really wonderful to work with - Plymouth's Ashton. And surprisingly, it was a fairly quick knit! Honestly!

Check out the piece on Vogue's site under their 360 view section here. You'll be able to see each piece from the latest issue without all the styling, and extras they throw in when they do the photo shoot. You'll get a much better sense and feel of each project.

And while I'm not a huge pink fan myself, I do think this feminine piece really expresses what pink is to most of us - pretty!

Knitting Resolutions

After completing one project I had on the needles for far too long, I realized tackling those WIP's really is satisfying. It's unfortunate I'm a LOSER and totally messed up on this "triangle shawl" which is now a diamond shawl instead.

To create that triangle shape, increases need to be made every other row. How many increases you ask? Well, more than I made. I increased on each side of a center stitch and thought that was the way you did it. No no no, increases need to be made at each edge too - a couple stitches in from the edge, usually. So four increases each increase row, instead of just two. Four increases = triangle. Two increases = diamond.

Thankfully, I can still wear the "shawl" as more of an 80's throwback to those bandanas.

Also I knit a little cabled cowl which turned out to be not drapey at all. So, I threaded some yarn through the top edge and made it a drawstring cowl. I kind of dug the look so I threw some pom-pom's at the end. Kind of cute. Kind of apres ski chic. And very warm. I think I'll wear it today!

Oh - so what's my resolution? Knit with some more color this year. I think you can see why.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Last 2009 Knit

One of my best friend's birthdays is on New Year's Day. In the past, she has always been traveling during this time. But this year, she was home and we decided to have a quiet dinner out to celebrate her birthday and 2010.

I knit the #12 Cabled Cowl from Vogue Knitting's Holiday issue. It was such a quick and easy knit - I was surprised. It looked a bit more complicated than I had anticipated. But you'll see from the chart in the magazine, that it's quite easy to memorize and quickly you'll fall into a rhythm. Jo Sharp's Silkroad Aran in Parchment worked well. It used up more than 4 balls of it... closer to 5 actually.

I made no modifications to the pattern, and I think it turned out rather chic! Since my friend works in fashion I was really hoping it would "pass the test" and when she threw it right on, I knew it did!

Happy 2010 everyone! Knit (and craft) on! I think my new year's resolution may be to stop ignoring my precious sewing machine.