Swatching Daydreams

April 18th, 2014

It should come to no one’s surprise that when I say that I need to knit down the stash or de-stash it is really me just readying an excuse to buy more yarn. “It’s a mental illness,” to quote a friend. Yep. And I’m refusing therapy.

Gorgeous skeins of Fino by Manos del Uruguay.

This week the studio is filled to the brim with my first shipment of Manos del Uruguay yarns. I’m thrilled to be carrying so many beautiful skeins and am itching to begin designing with my new fiber friends. Somehow I ended up grown up enough to be showing a little bit of restraint, though. I’m intent on finishing up the pattern for the Fisherman’s Bunting, a project that requires much counting and my wrists are filing complaints against cables, but even still my days are busy with no idle hands and my imagination is running wild with new designs to come.

Swatching with Fino, I feel like I am knitting a sunset.

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Cabled Leg Warmers: A Knitting Pattern

March 18th, 2014

These leg warmers make the perfect weekend project.

Things happen when I’m home alone on a Sunday.  Getting dressed involves an oversized sweatshirt from high school and leggings.  Not feeling particularly well put together, I decided to accessorize.  My needle doodles turned into leg warmers, and I can assure you that once my ensemble was completed, I was way cuter.  You can be, too, because the pattern is ready!

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Bloomers

March 12th, 2014

And I’m not speaking of the Spring variety. We are involved in a new house clean-out and I took home a well packed box. Very neat. I’d never have been abe to pack it that tight, nor do I have any hope of returning the contents to their original resting place, given the volume of their unfolded multitude. Much to my surprise, what I thought was a box of the typical place mats and such, turned out to be half full of pantaloons!! Who would have thunk….

I have no idea what I’ll do with these, yet. And these came from just one of many boxes I took from the house, so who knows what else I’ll find, but it is easy to look at these and yearn for the simplicity of days gone by. I hasten to remember, however, that the challenges of  life are usually derived from the complications of personal relationships, health, and finances, and I doubt that was much different before we had email and iphones to conduct our business. I doubt life has ever been easy, even if you were wearing pantaloons.

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Ruffled Scarf Knitting Pattern

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.

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Vintage Industrial Bar Cart

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.

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Elfin Knit Cap Knitting Pattern

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.

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Peaces of Sunday

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.

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Hooking the Tulip Fields of Amsterdam

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.

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Odds and Ends Crocheting

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!

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The Chunky Alpaca Cowl Knitting Pattern

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.

buy now

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