Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New Pattern: Lapis Cuff

Summer is still definitely here, so small and lightweight knitting projects are in order. I have a fascination with cables and beads, so I decided to create a quick-knit pattern that used both. Worked in a beaded eyelet and cable pattern, Lapis Cuff is an elegant accessory perfect for using up leftover fingering weight yarn. If you want to try incorporating beads into your knitting but find a beaded shawl too daunting, this project would be a great way to try it out.

Materials Needed:

50-60 yards fingering weight yarn

Cable needle

Size 12/1.00mm crochet hook

100-120 size 6/0 beads

Tapestry needle to weave in ends

Three ½” buttons

Skills Needed:

ability to read a chart


placing beads onto stitches with a small crochet hook



Monday, July 25, 2011

Adventures in Quilting or A New Hobby For Me

Quilting is my new obsession. Did I really need another hobby? No, not really. Knitting, spinning, weaving and sewing dresses already take up my free time. My interest in quilting was accidental. When I was young I received a quilting kit and happily made several doll blankets and then moved on to other things. Then last month when I was on vacation I found myself in front of the large magazine stand at CVS. I was about to go to the beach and didn't really feel like reading the book I had brought. I wanted a magazine, something fun and easy. I happened to see this quilting magazine and fell in love with the quilt on the cover.

I hadn't even reached the back cover and I was already hooked. I visited many thrift stores on my trip and started collecting old quilting books. Quite a few quilting books, actually.

My best find was a lone star quilt kit that included all the pre-cut pieces for the star for $6.50. While visiting the Tallac Estate I found a childs quilting kit in the gift shop. I took it back to the house we were staying in and, while sitting in front of the fireplace, I made a potholder by handsewing and finger pressing. Not too bad, considering that I didn't have an iron.

After I returned home I couldn't quite decide which project to start with. I had to buy a new sofa cover and decided to make some coordinating blue and green pillows. I found a quilt block I really liked and drew it in Illustrator. I rendered some color combinations to decide which one I liked best.

My first pillow turned out rather well. I then made a few more sketches by hand to create a second pillow. Below are the fronts and backs of my two new pillows.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Knitscene sweaters styled

I just came across the latest blog post of Lisa Shroyer, editor of Knitscene. She has taken a few sweaters from the Fall 2011 issue of Knitscene, including my Morrison Cardigan, and created styled outfits through Polyvore. After knitting several sweaters for myself and then wondering what to wear them with, I think this is a really interesting solution. Check it out

Thursday, July 14, 2011

New Pattern: Blackberry Mist Shawl

I'm happy to announce that I have a new pattern up for sale, Blackberry Mist Shawl. Blackberry Mist Shawl is a triangle shawl worked from the top down in alternating stripes of Blackberry Lace and Stockinette Stitch. The bottom edge is finished with a knitted on scalloped lace border. Uses only one skein of Knit Picks Shimmer Hand Dyed Lace Yarn.

Skills Needed:

ability to read a chart

provisional cast on

yarn over


k1, yo, k1 in same st

k2tog tbl

picking up stitches

Until July 31st, use coupon code blackberry at checkout to receive $1 off this pattern only.

buy now

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

FO: Mariposa Shawl for ME!

Over my recent vacation I finally got a chance to knit a Mariposa Shawl for myself. The original was give to my Matron of Honor to wear in my wedding. I started knitting the original long before we had even found a dress for her to wear. It was sheer luck that not only did we find the perfect dress (at Nordstrom Rack no less!) but it also was the exact same shade of yellow as my yarn. Barbara looked great in it, don't you think?

After my wedding I decided I really wanted a Mariposa Shawl for myself. I wanted it to be yellow, but sadly I didn't have enough leftover yarn to make myself one. And what fun is it to knit the exact same pattern again in the exact same yarn? So, I decided to spin the yarn myself. I dug through my fiber stash and found 2 oz of merino I dyed in the crock pot in shades of yellow and lavender. I spun it long draw as thin as I possibly could. I spent most of Memorial Day glued to my chair and spinning wheel. In fact, I was visiting my family who left for a few hours and found me in the same position when they came back. "You're still doing that??" Yes, still spinning. I had to get the yarn finished before I left for vacation. I still consider myself a pretty novice spinner, and I really had no idea how much yardage I would be able to get out of 2 oz. I just spun and spun until all the fiber was on my bobbins. Then plied for what seemed to be an eternity. Final result? Over 600 yards. I really only needed about half that amount. Oops. Well, enough extra for swatching and a few mishaps.

Happily on vacation I went, bringing my project along whenever there was a long car ride. I was able to get almost all of the knitting done in the car, except for the beaded border. Adding beads into my knitting proved far too difficult on the twisty turns and bumps of the mountain roads. In the few days that I have been at home after my trip I had the chance to finish up my shawl. Yesterday I had the satisfaction of washing the wrinkly heap and watching it turn into a delicate piece of lace.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sneak Peek and Vacation Photos

Wow! After almost a month away from home I sure am glad to be back. I started off on a two week vacation to Lake Tahoe, a beautiful lake that sits on the border between California and Nevada. I have gone there almost every year of my life, and as a new military wife this year might be the last time I get to see it for awhile. My family and I tend to do the same things every year but they are always fun. I can never seem to get over how clear and blue the sky is without city smog. Squaw Valley, the home of the 1960 Winter Olympics, was completely covered in snow.

We did do a few new things, like visiting the wineries in nearby Placerville and Gardnerville. One of them had beautifully landscaped grounds and I thought it would be the perfect spot for photoshoot for my upcoming lace shawl pattern. Below is a sneak peek for this pattern coming soon.

After vacation I returned to my parents house for a day, just long enough to do my laundry and repack my suitcase from cool weather clothes to humid and sticky clothes. I then was whisked away to Georgia. After what seemed like the longest three months of my life, I got to watch my husband graduate from Army Basic Training at Fort Benning. I was so proud to watch him march by in his uniform!

I only got to see him for a couple days before he left for advanced training. Now I have returned home and am trying to get used to my new routine. I am lucky enough to have 'knitting designer and general housekeeper' as my full-time job now. Of course I have a fantastic assistant. Though he does seems to overly enjoy his nap time, he is always energetic and ready to give positive reassurance. Looks like he's ready to help me start working on my new pattern. Let's get to work!