March 3rd, 2014
I’ve been enchanted with the daisy stitch for a good while now. A pretty texture, with a soft loft. What is not to love? I’ve used it in several pieces, but one of my favorites is the Organic Ruffled Scarf I designed a little over a year ago. And, finally—finally! The pattern is ready for you!
One of my favorite things about this pattern is that it combines both knitting and a fair amount of crocheting, so my theory is that it will keep my mind and wrist agile. The ruffles are soft and cascading. The yarn, Organik by The Fibre Company, couldn’t be more of a pleasure to work with. The pattern is in full color with lots of pictures and includes directions for a non-ruffled variation for those with less frilly tastes. You know who you are!
It's all about the ruffles.
Un-ruffled. For those with simpler tastes.
February 13th, 2014
Or it could be a kitchen island, too. Frankly, we brought it up to my studio for the photo shoot, and I want to put it to work as a storage master. It is tempting me with its handiness.
The perfect storage unit, for sure.
We salvaged this antique oak bureau from the basement of a candy making workshop. Dave thought I was daft, but I think he figured we’d at least get some kindling out of it. Good guy that he is, he humored me as my vision for the piece evolved. He even did all the work. Stripping off the finish, we found the warm patinaed hues of solid oak. Pieces of drawers that were too far gone to be saved were used to create open shelves instead. Wine, baskets of kitchen tools, fabric could all be stored beautifully. In my intitail vision of this piece as a mobile bar cart, the top functional drawer would be used for the barware, but you could put a rolling pin it, too, if you wanted. Meauring 39″ w x 19″ deep x 36.5″ tall, it is sure to find the perfect spot in someone’s home. $475.
The perfect salvaged vintage industrial piece.
This is the "before" shot. I thought it had good bones.
February 4th, 2014
I’ve been knitting this cap for a couple of years now and have finally gotten the pattern pulled together! I’ll be kitting this one up, too, in the near future.
Inspired by some vintage ski photos I’d been looking at, this pixie or elfin type hat is timeless, perfect for little boys and little girls alike. The full color pattern has plenty of pictures and is written for three sizes between newborn and 12 months. With three different variations for finishing the back seam, there are lots of options for each knitter’s taste and skill level.
The Elfin Knit Cap is perfect for boys or girls.
The pattern is written for sizes 0-3, 3-6, and 6-12 months.
February 2nd, 2014
New England winter Sundays are designed for cozying up. Leggings, slouchy sweatshirt, and socks so thick they have no hope of fitting into any shoe save my husband’s. It may not be my most attractive of days, but my soul glows in the quietude. I doodle on the the needles–my term for starting to tease out a new knitting design– I read, I ponder the wonderful delicacies I’d make for dinner if I didn’t spend so much time at my hooking frame, and I look forward to snuggling into my favorite chair by the fire tonight with my book, dogs softly snoring at my feet.
Needle Doodling is play time on the knitting needles.
January 29th, 2014
Some trips are imbued with more meaning than others, and our trip to Amsterdam was more significant than most. It was a combination of the longing to see the place for so many, many years and where we were emotionally in our lives. It had been a big year. The trip, the experience, left a big impact. It seems suiting to hook that emotion into a rug for our home.
There are so many “moments” that I could tell you about. I roll them around on the tongue of my memory as I sit and hook, my dogs nestled up against my feet. But the nascence of this rug is the most cherished. A tandem rickety bike, my husband, and a tour through the country side that started in quaint neighborhoods, progressed through the fields of tulips and hyacinths, and ended in the blustery dunes of the North Sea. We were fortunate enough to have captured the perfect photograph, too.
The perfect photograph from a perfect trip inspires a hooked rug.
I’m trying some new things with this rug. I wanted to play with perspective a bit so started at the bottom of the rug with 3/4″ wide hand torn strips of wool, working with narrower strips as I move up. I’ve never hooked with so wide a cut before, and as a known packer, I completely over did it. I’m rehooking select rows to ease up some of the tension. That said, I’m very happy with the result, and it was a satisying lesson.
This is the third roof I put on this rug, and this one is the keeper.
I used very wide cuts for the bottom of the rug and clearly over-packed them. I'll be loosening things up a bit.
January 22nd, 2014
I confess, it’s been quite some time since I made a granny square, but truly nothing is better to use up some of my stash of odds and ends. You know, the last three feet to three yards of a skein from a finished project: The ones that you collect and save as wondrous little mementos of projects gone by. Still, it is nice for them to serve some useful purpose. For this project I found a vintage motif I liked and played with it a bit, redesigning it into a a fun and colorful floral. Perfect for the bits and pieces of Terra by the Fibre Co. I have. While I won’t lie, I did need to break into a few new skeins, I did very satisfactorily use up quite a bit of my leftovers making enough squares to make a generous baby blanket. I’m still playing with the arrangement, but I’m liking where this is heading. And I’m scheming about which of the multitude of join methods there are out there that I’d like to use.
A floral scrap buster project!
January 15th, 2014
New release! This Chunky Alpaca Cowl is a satisfying quick knit, made from an utterly soft super bulky alpaca yarn. You’ll be warding off the cold in no time. There’s some cabling. There’s some texture work. But a dedicated beginner will do fine.
The Chunky Alpaca Cowl. Make it!
Abbreviated Materials List:
Blue Sky Alpacas Bulky Alpaca or Gedifra Highland Alpaca 3 skeins
Size 17 knitting needles
Crochet needle K
Cable needle (optional)
Two buttons, 1 5/8″
This quick knit cowl features a cable stitch that almost feels like lace.
Chunky Alpaca Cowl Pattern 5.
October 28th, 2013
My version of heaven may just involve a crisp chilly night, curled up in my favorite chair with a good mystery and a glass of wine. My dogs scattered comfortably around me (and not trying to regain my favorite chair). The alternative, however, might be a crisp autumn morning with everything the same except for coffee replacing the wine. Either way, my head is daydreaming of lush knits and–um, yes…. Soup.
I confess, if I could create a world that was singularly Fall, I’d be in heaven. Soup is my soul food that carries me through 9 mos of the year, and Autumn heralds the return of the Soup Days. As you may or may not know, I Cook. My kitchen gets a much better workout than I ever do. That said, I don’t agonize over my cooking like I do my stitching. I may re-knit the same 3 inches a dozen times to achieve perfection, but I have never made the same sauce twice—merely close approximations of favorite flavor combinations. I refuse to measure. My cooking style is decidedly rustic. I will only peel a vegetable if I’m seriously doubtful of the outcome otherwise. My potatoes, carrots, and apples hit the pot as clothed as the day they sprouted.
Designs progress eagerly, but slowly while the soup simmers.
I frequently wish myself able to tackle my knitting with the same reckless abandon as my cooking. But knitwear design is more about undoing than doing most days, and swatching only tells half the tale. Each stitch needs to be carefully plotted and counted, deeming each soft undulating cable a math equation rather than a recipe for comfort. All that said, the thick luxury of the woolens beneath my fingers inspire me to keep knitting and tinking and knitting and tinking. Much like soup, it feeds my soul. And I always have the joyful wild freedom to add to my stash carefree to balance out the duties of design, whether my wallet appreciates that or not.
The buttons remain to be chosen, and I think I'm going to ask Dave to make something special for this.