April 23, 2014

Enough Already

One of the things I do to help my LYS where I work is find new, interesting free patterns to share with the customers.  We sometimes send out emails with these so people can see what is going on in the knitting world.

After today's search I just had to say what has been in my mind for a while - how many shawl patterns do we really need?  I'm "shawled" out!  Every search for hot right now and free is mostly shawls.

Here's the thing - how often do you wear your shawls?  I have knit several in my day but worn them very little - it's almost a running joke in my old knitting group about how we knit them but never wear them.

Yes, they are lovely and interesting to knit (one of my favorite architectural knits was Stephen West's Pagona) but seriously enough already.

End of mini-rant.  Sorry to offend the shawl lovers of the world.

April 19, 2014

Great Minds Think Alike

The other day while I was working at the LYS, the owner and I got to brainstorming.  She had the idea of using some yarns that might not be the best for a full sweater to make a necklace.  So, we threw three skeins together and I got to work.  The brains were going fast and furious on this and I loved the creative fire that was lit.  She thought of how to do to the button tab...I came up with the flexibility of a necklace that can be done several ways.  Ta-dah!  Presenting Twist and Shout Necklace.


I had this done in 24 hours!  When I got tired of one color I jumped to the next so I had a variety of yarns to work with to keep me interested.  When I got to work the next morning we threw a bunch of colors together and packaged them up - perfect for Mother's Day gift - make it or give it to a knitter.

April 4, 2014

Fit To Flatter with Amy

When I first started working on a regular basis at my LYS, I noticed that Amy Herzog was going to be doing a Fit To Flatter workshop.  While the class was already full, I put my name to work that evening.  I am so glad I did!

Amy arrived with a suitcase full of sweaters and she spoke about fit, measurements, body types and how to flatter them.  While busily taking notes as Iron Horse will be one of the yarn stores carrying the Custom Fit program and I need to know this stuff, I had a few lightbulb revelations.

I own Amy's Fit To Flatter book which I read but didn't do what she said.  I assumed that my body is proportional - my bust/waist/hips measurements are hourglass numbers.  Hence, I thought I was proportional.  Amy took one look at me and told me I have broad shoulders and would be considered "top heavy" body type.  WHAT!?!  I've been thinking wrong all along.  Now I admit I don't like the moniker "top heavy" especially since I've been over-endowed with the girls.  But once she explained the style sweaters that look best on "top heavy" bodies I totally got it.  Those type sweaters are my favorites.

Lightbulb moment here!  It was a wonderful workshop and I hope those who attended got as much out of it as I did.

March 29, 2014

Now Out In Stores

As you know, I have been writing and designing for Knit 123 magazine.  The print production process is a long one and I started this job back in the fall...finally the first issue I worked on is now out in stores!

In this issue my technique that I detail is about increases and the different types.  I wrote three capelet patterns for three skill levels (beginner, novice and intermediate).  I forgot almost how they looked and it was so wonderful to see them on a model and styled.

Magazine cover

So, the other day when I was in the LYS working a customer came in and pulled out a copy of the magazine and said "look what I found in Walmart!  Recognize this?"  Then she proceeded to open it to my article - she purchased the magazine not knowing that I had an article in it.  She explained her surprise when she saw my name and photo.  She immediately wanted to cast on for the intermediate capelet.  Can I tell you how much that made my heart sing?!  The other ladies around the table suggested she get my autograph on the article which she promptly asked me to do.

The thing is I am not nearly as proud of this article and designs as my next issue ones.  I was feeling my way, playing it safe and getting the job done for this issue.  I'm not saying that there isn't good information or patterns in this one...but I can't WAIT for the next issue.

So, head out to Walmart, JoAnn Fabrics, AC Moore or Michaels and check out the magazine section...you too can have your own copy.

March 24, 2014

Belle Linee Cowl

For quite a while I've wanted to use Classic Elite's Bella Lino yarn in a pattern.  I was going to pair it with Magnolia but it wasn't working so I had a lightbulb moment to pair it with Iron Horse Superwash Merino/Silk heavy fingering and a new pattern was born.

Introducing Belle Linee which means beautiful lines in Italian.  It is a long cowl knit on the bias which can be worn single loop, doubled or even draped over your shoulders.  I love this transitional piece of light warmth and I know I will be wearing it right up until summer.

March 22, 2014

This Made My Day

I was working at the yarn store yesterday and a mom and her daughter who took my class for making The Hat in The Hat stopped by with their finished hats.  I immediately asked them to model them for a photo - don't they look wonderful?!?  It truly made my day.

Then I had to snap this photo...the mom was looking for some Noro Silk Garden and I told her to call out any numbers if she wanted met to check quantities.  It got very quite over in that corner of the store.  I walked round and look what I found - doesn't she look like a kid in a candy shop?

March 21, 2014

Got To Love This

There is nothing nicer than your hand knits being worn and loved.  This adorable photo of my husband's great niece was posted on my FB wall.  Love it!

Notice how I say it my husband's great niece not mine - I have decided I am not old enough to be a great aunt.  Heck, my kids and my sisters kids are all 18 and under - one is only 4.  I won't be a great aunt for a LONG time!

March 13, 2014

On A Roll

I had some leftover yarn from the Railroad Mitts so I cast on to design another hat.  I found a wonderful slipstitch pattern which when knit in round resembles a spiral staircase - hence, Spiral Staircase Hat.

I knew I had a hit when my "in house model" tried it on and requested one in colors of her choice.

March 6, 2014

Potato Chip Knitting

I haven't had a potato chip knitting project in a while and I just finished one I have to share with you. It truly was one of those patterns where I couldn't stop because I wanted to see what would happen next.

The pattern is Nymphalidea and is a free one on Knitty.  I used Malabrigo sock (lettuce color way) for the solid color which is the CC in the pattern and Noro Taiyo Sock for the MC which is the variegated yarn.  I love how this turned out and how each color sung next to the green.

I knit this up for the store as we're going to use it for a knit along - I could knit another one right now.  I did knit this to the pattern specs - I think next time I'd go a little further so it would be deeper and longer.

March 3, 2014

Railroad Track Mitts

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I've been busy!  I released two patterns this past week and wanted to share the latest one.

Railroad Track Mitts uses two colors of Iron Horse Farm's worsted BLF/Shetland.  I knit up one mitt with Gold Ochre as the MC then another mitt in a smaller size with Purple as the MC.  I love how the look of the mitt changed entirely based on which MC I chose.  I also thought they'd make a cute pair of mis-matched mitts.

The pattern includes a tutorial for the 2 color cable cast on.  It makes the mitts so interesting I just had to include it.

You should have seen me trying to photograph my own hand - ridiculous.  So, I waited for my "in house model" to get home from school and I had the idea for the top photo to show both mitts.  I love how it turned out.

February 27, 2014

Sightings at the LYS

My LYS had a knit along for the Sochi games and one of the patterns was The Hat In The Hat.  It has been so fun to see some of the finished ones.  My favorite though was when one customer used the leftover yarn and adapted the Fleckle Mitt pattern to worsted weight and made matching mitts.

February 24, 2014

Busy, busy

I just finished writing up yet another pattern for my LYS yarn...this time it is worsted weight and I am making fingerless mitts.  After writing three mitt patterns for the fall issue of Knit 1-2-3, I have mitts down pat and I think the latest pair is my best yet.  Okay, I will admit I still have a special place in my heart for the Fleckle Mitts.

I'm hoping to release this new mitt pattern and Not Your Average Slouch pattern by the end of the week.  I'll be putting my daughter to modeling work tomorrow!

Here's a peek at my designing station - aka the kitchen table.

February 21, 2014

Not Your Average Slouch

I've been working part-time at my LYS, Iron Horse, in Natick, MA.  The owner, Debbie, also has her own line of yarns which she hand-dyes (and they come from her sheep!).  A few weeks ago, Debbie asked if I'd be interested in writing up some patterns for her yarn - and of course my response was yes.

She gave me 2 skeins of her new sport weight super wash merino/cashmere/nylon blend.  The colors got me all excited and I couldn't wait to knit with them.  I realized why I liked the colors when I photographed it in progress - they match our sofa!

Debbie was looking for a few items for her patterns including a slouchy hat.  I found a wonderful stitch pattern that creates a bouncy, soft, stretchy texture that works divinely with her yarn.  My "in house model" is out of town for vacation but when she returns, I'll be having a photo session with her.

Here's a not so great photo but it will give you an idea...we've named it "Not Your Average Slouch".  This yarn and this texture makes it anything but average!

February 19, 2014

Weight Off My Shoulders

My godfather's sweater was looming large over me - his daughter called and invited me to his 80th birthday celebration.  I had 3 weeks to crank out most of the sleeves, seam it and knit up a turtleneck. The pressure was great and most of it was self-induced.  It was my own fault I let this languish for so long (started on July 30th).

I am happy to report I did it!  What a weight off my shoulders.  Here are some blurry photos - one of my DH modeling it and then of the presentation of the sweater at the birthday party.

February 2, 2014

Radio Silence

Whenever I get too busy, there is radio silence on this blog.  I apologize for that but know that being busy is a good thing for me.

Right now I'm working on 4 new designs for Knit 123.  The projects and knitting have taken over the family room!  There is a side table under that knitting - all my tools out and about - note writing, calculator, and of course some hand balm to protect my dry, busy hands!

I also will be releasing a new pattern as soon as I can get some photos - here's a sneak peak of it in progress.