Ouch! My hand!

I'm guessing that the slight discomfort in my left hand/wrist/forearm may have something to do with all of my holiday knitting, on top of the 500 yards of yarn that I have blown through in the past 8 days knitting a little something for myself ; )
Thankfully, the yarn that I have been knitting with has been a dream to work with... literally.  I fell in love with Dream in color- Classy when a student in my Monday night class began knitting a baby cardigan with it.  The pattern I am going by is called Abi.  It is knit from the bottom up & then the front, back & both sleeves are joined at the yoke & knit up to the neck.
I currently have 288 stitches on my needles.

Of course I couldn't just follow a pattern as written.  Instead of knitting the front & the back separately, I cast on enough stitches for both, joined them in the round & went on from there.

I am not sure if this will be done by Christmas, as I have to more hats to knit as gifts for family.


I can't sew, but I can seam!

My bobbled cardigan is complete & ready to wear.

The front closes with a thin braided looped around a single silvery button.  I found that even a 2 stitch i-cord was too bulky to wrap around this thin button.

I am not much of a seamstress.  A simple set of curtains, a mended pair of pants or replacing a button on a shirt is about the extent of my hand or machine sewing capabilities.  I don't even know how to follow a sewing pattern!  That doesn't mean that I can't SEAM a knitted sweater.  In fact, sewing up a sweater is one of my favorite phases of a project.  Lots of people dread this step, they make it this far & then never finish, or pay someone else to do the work for them.  Practice makes perfect.  My first sweaters may have looked like Frankenstein seamed them up, but with patience & attention to detail, seams disappear to the wrong side of the fabric & your sweater is now a wearable garment that you can be proud of.
I believe that this sweater involved the most seaming than any other sweater that I have knit before.  Knit in pieces, seaming needed to happen in the usual places: at the shoulders, sleeves set in to the body, down the sleeve seams and the side seams.  Then there was the bobble bands that were worked independently of the fronts.  Once complete, they had to be seamed to the fronts, across the back and finally seamed where they met each other at the back of the neck.

Phew!  Makes you want to knit something in the round ha? ; )


Wearing one fall project, working on the next.

My nice, warm tunic is done & has been worn several times.  I loved working with this yarn (Berroco Peruvia Quick) and with the large sized needles needed to achieve the correct gauge, this project was a quick knit.  I followed the Big Montana Tunic pattern by Cecily Glowik MacDonald found in my fall 2009 issue of Interweave Knits Magazine.  This tunic was knit in one piece from the bottom up, ending with the cowl stitches being picked up & knit in the round.
Before:                                                                                            After:

The panel running down the center front & back is actually a stitch pattern, not a cable, and it was easy to remember once a few repeats had been done.

I am now knitting up a pattern called Glide by Kim Hargreaves from a collection of patterns made specifically for Cotton Tape by Rowan.  Although Cotton Tape was discontinued long ago, I probably wouldn't have chosen to knit this fall cardigan using a cotton yarn anyway.  I needed a warm wool that would give me a gauge of 13 1/2 sts per 4".  I ended up choosing Cascade Ecological Wool.  This yarn is 100% natural Peruvian wool that comes in an enormous hank of 478 yards!

The cardigans back & left front are done and I am almost finished with the right front.  I think I am going to do something new (for me) and knit both sleeves at the same time.  I have always knit my sleeves separately, but several of my students swear by doing both sleeves at once so I'm going to give it a go.  I think that I've never done them this way because I enjoy the quick turn around of completing one sleeve at a time.  Yes, there will always be sleeve #2, but doing both at the same time could be akin to having a back of a sweater on my needles.
I am loving the bobbles at the bottom & edges of this sweater.


a treat for me & thoughts on blocking.

I have splurged & treated myself to a set of Addi Click Lace interchangeable needles!  I am loving the way my stitches are sliding off of the smooth nickel plated tips & along the flexible blue cord.  I whipped up a pair of fair isle mittens using the US#5 needle & the 32" cord (magic loop method).  I used Cascade 220 Heathers yarn. Cascade is a 'go to' yarn for me with so many colors to choose from.
Supervising from the background is my dog, Lucky : )

I have finished my Fall tunic & have included some pictures of my preferred method of blocking.  Depending on how many knitted items I am washing, I will either soak them in the sink or in my washer.  I will use a small amount of Eucalan added to the cold water & soak the load for approx 10-20 minutes.  The washer is then switched to a spin cycle ONLY and the garments are taken out when they are spun dry.

The pieces are then spread on top of large bath towels, flattened out & shaped just right.  On a nice day, the open, sunny window will have these dry by the next morning.  Blocking is the finishing touch needed for any knitted item to look amazing.  If not blocked, a sweater will look wrinkled & misshaped.



This past week I went to a baby shower for a co-worker who is expecting a little girl in October.  When I think of October babies I think of knitting either a pumpkin or an owl hat for them.  I set off to make a pink owl hat & as I was finishing the ears I realized that they didn't look very 'owl-ish' to me... they looked more like the ears of a cat.  So, a cat hat it became.  Still very cute & I hope it fits her little head.

Currently on my needles is something for me.  I realized that it had been quiet a while since I knitted myself something and now that the fall weather is here, I decided on a bulky pullover tunic with a cowl neck.  I bought 6 skeins of Berroco Peruvia Quick and I am just loving the loftiness of this yarn!  It is going to be perfect to throw on over a long sleeve & head out the door to pick up Lillian from school.  I am following the Big MontanaTunic pattern by Cecily Glowik MacDonald.  I should have this made up in no time seeing how I am using size 13 needles!


patterns added to the store & a thumbs up for Spud & Chloe!

I stayed up way passed my bedtime last night so that I could add my Pumpkin Hat & Honeycomb Hat patterns to the pattern store here on my blog & on Ravelry.  If you are not familiar with Ravelry, it is a free website for knitters & crocheters.  It is an amazing resource for pattern information, downloads, yarns, designers and much much more.  To gain access, you have to become a member, but again, it's free!

I'd like to give a big thumbs up to Spud & Chloe for their yarn support that made my Pumpkin Hat possible.  I was on the look-out for a pumpkin colored yarn that would have great stitch definition.  Their line of worsted weight yarn called sweater gave me the gauge I was looking for, the perfect fiber blend (55% superwash wool / 45% organic cotton) and a great pumpkin color (cider: #7515).  For the green stem I used color #7502 (grass).

This yarn would also work perfect for any garment that will be worn against a child's skin, as the superwash/cotton blend passes my kids' "it's not itchy" test!


catching up...

It has been a busy time wrapping up the last of summer, getting the kiddo's ready for school & now adjusting to our new routine.  One child is in school full time, one is going two mornings per week, a soccer practice & a soccer game each week... and don't forget about gymnastics!  Then there is the house work, 2 dogs, the work that you actually get paid for, knitting classes, friends, family & birthday parties!  It's called life, and I am loving every bit of it.
So when do I squeeze in time to knit? Let me re-think the day: at the kitchen table while the girls color or work on spelling, during cartoon time, in the truck waiting to pick up from school, after dinner while I watch the girls goof around and lastly, after they have been tucked in.
My blue beret is finished.  The instructions had me block it over a dinner plate, which I had never done before, but it worked amazing!  Just the perfect size & perfect stretch for a hat like that.


dino is done, blue beret begun

The felted dino jacket is complete & ready to gift.  I tried it on my 3 yr old for a couple of pics before we say goodbye to it.  I used a set of 40" circular needles to pick up stitches along the entire right front, hood & left front for the edging & button hole band.  It was a lot of stitches, but only for a few rows of garter stitch.

I always like to add a little something to the gift box.

New on my 16" US #4's is a blue beret.  I am using Reynolds Soft Sea Wool yarn & following Rose Window Beret by Anne Kuo Lukito.  This pattern begins on only 9 stitches cast on to double pointed needles & quickly grows until it can be placed on circulars.  I feel like a cobweb is growing from the center of my needles.  It is shaping up nicely and I can't wait to see it after blocking.


blast from the past!

So, while preparing for this summers annual family camping trip I decided to change things up a bit.  Instead of packing each person their own duffel bag of clothing, I thought that it would be a huge space saver if I packed everybodys clothes in one big suitcase.  Up I went to the 'above the garage' space in search of our only large suitcase, and once it was opened I discovered this little gem!  I was most likely in high school when I knit this purse.  Knit completely in garter stitch, the side seams were sewn together using thread & needle with no regards to the mattress stitch what so ever.  There is a wooden bead for closure & decorative beads adorning the purse strap.  Just lovely ; )

Next I have a snapshot of what is currently on my needles (well, my US #5's anyway).  I am knitting up one more childs size honeycomb hat before I send this pattern off to be test knitted.  I have used a test knitting group on Ravelry before, and one thing that I learned is how important it is to dedicate ample computer time once your pattern has been sent out to it's test knitters.  When these knitters get moving on your pattern & find themselves needing further explanation, it is nice to give it in a timely fashion (especially when you have already given them a deadline to complete the pattern).


Special project & what else is in the works...

I received these skeins of yarn in the mail a few weeks ago.  I am super excited about the finished pattern & project, but for now it must be kept top secret, to be revealed at a later date.  I can say that I love this yarn!  It is a wool/cotton blend that has passed my girls' test of not being "too itchy".

I am also working on editing my honeycomb hat pattern so I can load it up for sale.  It will be available in 3 sizes: infant, child & adult.

Lastly, I am knitting a hooded dinosaur jacket based on the pattern by Zoe Halstead for the Grandson of a good friend of mine.  Just when I'm thinking that I'll give my brain a break & follow a pattern written by someone else, I have diverted and decided to knit this jacket differently than the pattern states.  Instead of knitting it in pieces and then sewing it up after it's been felted, I'm knitting it in one piece from the bottom up, sewing the shoulder seams and then picking up stitches for the sleeves and the hood.  We'll see how it goes!


My original knits used as photography props.

Just weeks old, these twin boys are fast asleep weighing in while wearing my gray pixie hats. 

Photography by:

Moonlight Photography - Kristin McCullough
The color of the hats were changed to appear blue during the photo-editing process of this picture.

I used Nashua Handknits: Natural Focus Ecologie Wool, 100% wool, naturally dyed.

Same style pixie hat, using the same wool, just a different color.

Photography by:

Jillian Williams Photography
Baby Luca is sporting the very first honeycomb hat that I ever knit up!  Come to find out, her Grandmother just loves bees & this sweet girl wore this hat all fall & winter long.

Photography by:


have to start somewhere.

My mini's modeling some knits.  This photo was taken a while ago, but blocking can do such amazing things!  Lay flat to dry on a towel, smooth away & presto! there's another inch made for a growing child!
The cabled sweater is one of my absolute favorites.  I have knitted it more times than I can remember really.  It's the aran pullover in the book Knitting for Baby by Melanie Falick and Kristin Nicholas.  A great knit for boys & girls.
The fair-isle sweater is of my own creation using the EPS (Elizabeth's Percentage System).