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Wife, Mom, and a Knitting fanatic who loves to spread the addiction around. It is all about artistic expresson.


Entries in knitting (66)


Waxing Needles

I love love love knitpixs needles.

I have the interchangeable set and use them almost exclusively.
They have several finishes to choose from. My default choice is the Harmony wood ones. They feel so nice in my hands, smooth, they are really beautiful, they have wonderful pointy tips and you cannot beat the price!

The smaller sizes, size 3 and under, don't come in the interchangeables so you have to buy them separately. The needles are too small to fit into the screw join on the interchangeables.
Most of my fellow students have these needles and we all love them.
The smaller wood ones are prone to splitting and breaking. I find that any wooden needles in the thin sizes have this tendency. They are like knitting with toothpicks!
But all you have to do is call knitpicks and they will send you new ones. No questions asked and you don't have to mail your back!! What a deal.

We were talking about this issue some and Christine (Unraveled) commented that waxing them before you use them could help them not break. The wax will fill the in pores and that should make them stronger.
So I have a beeswax candle that I am going to use. I suppose you can use any kind of wood wax or candle wax. I will report back in a few months and let you know how it is working.



What's on My Needles


I have started knitting up the class samples for the classes I am teaching this summer. There are some great projects in my future.

First up is the beautiful Shawl that was on the cover of the spring Vogue Knitting Magazine. Chris M. had to make this and drummed a class full of people so I would offer it as a class. She is really good ay rallying people.

Yup, that "Egg Create" looking thing is lace. It is funny how lace knits up all crumpled like.
The orange edge is a crocheted provisional cast on. I did it like this instead of the way the pattern calls for. It is much easier to take out and your don't have to pick up stitches in the back of 100 or so crochet bumps. That is really tedious. It is there for adding on the boarder that goes around the shawl. I am going to that different then the pattern says too. Hey, that is way my students pay the big bucks to take a class. To see how many times I am going to do it different then the pattern does. Hopefully my changes makes things easier.
How does one make the green crumples look like beautiful lace you ask? Buy blocking the "heck" out of it. You soak it and then when you pin it down you stretch within an inch of its life. I love blocking lace. It is almost magic to see the pattern actually appear.
Next on my needles? A Lace Bag made with chunky yarn! That should be a lot of fun and fast.



Spring Retreat

My oh My what a weekend!!

Perfect Weather

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Toe-Up Socks I Love You

I have not been a real sock knitter. I have about 4 pairs and I love wearing them. I get tired of knitting them so I just don't do it that often.

Enter Toe-up socks. I learned how to knit these for a class I was teaching and they have changed everything. I love knitting socks from the toe up. They fit perfectly. All the "hard" parts of knitting a sock is gone. I used up all of my yarn, no left overs. They seem to go faster. That is probably in my own head but what ever works.

I have knitted 3 pairs of socks in the last month!!

Berry Toe-Up Socks - "Lifestyle Toe-Up Socks"
The stranding pattern was easy to figure out and fun to do. With stranding you have to be careful that the sock doesn't end up to tight to go over your heel. There isn't much stretch. I went from a 1 1/2 size needle to 2 1/2. It is still a little tight getting it on but I love them.

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Knitting, Lot's of FO's


I have been finishing a lot of projects lately. Feeling the need to find all my needles missing in action or held captive on different projects. Finishing projects and gaining back needles is much more fulfuilling then buying more needles because I can not find the size I need.

Botanical Hat by Stephen West
I made this for Wesley. It was sort of an add on christmas present I made when he came down mid January for a visit. I used Casacade for the black and Noro silk garden for the color. This is a really fun hat to make. I think there are at least 3 of them in the knitting group now. The guys seem to really like it too. It is reversible and designed from a really cool architectural design. Very guy like.

Barb's Koigu Ruffle by Kit Huchin

I was looking for something fast and with a lot of color. This has been in my queue for a while. I went stash diving into the Koigue corner and come up with this. The pattern is a really easy knit as long as you can get past the idea that you cast on and cast off a crazy number of stitches (648!!) But you are knitting two together right away for the ruffle...... It was a great addition to my wardrobe.

Hemlock Ring by BooklynTweed:
This has been in my queue even longer then the ruffle scarf. I used the Knitpicks City Tweed in Brocade. I love this yarn. It is really soft and the tweed is wonderful. I made mine bigger then the pattern so I could use it as a lap blanket. I had a hard time getting the blanket to block perfectly flat. I would go up at least 3 sizes needles sizes bigger to cast off and use Jenny's Surprisingly Stretchy bind off for the k2tog sections and a regular bind of during the yarn over sections. I really enjoy using this as a lap blanket in the evenings while I knit.
Byzantine by Susan Pandorf
This was one of the most fun projects I have done in a long time. Mosaic knitting is really easy and fast and watching the colors change made me happy!

Clapotis by Kate Gilbert
 This is one of the most knit projects on Ravelry (14,735 as of this post). The pattern came out in Knitty the Fall of 2004. I resisted knitting this one for years and then within a few of months I have now finished my second one. Why did I finally fall you ask?
Because of Noro sock yarn and Noro Scarf Stripping. I love love the way this turned out and the silk garden sock yarn is pretty soft.

Whirligig Shrug by Stefanie Japel
 I knit this up really fast for a class. It is another great instant gratification knit. The pattern is from Interweave Knits Weekends 2009. I used Soft Wave Cotton from Queensland. I think it was a closeout yarn from Webs at some point. It was in my stash. Of course Miss Claire will end up with this at some point. It sure is fun having a little princess to knit for after having boys of my own.
Last, but the most fun of all, is Mr. Bender, a character from Futurama. This is a B-day gift for Wesley. We used to enjoy watching this show together when he still lived at home. As an art student he has great appreciation for such creations.

I have most of my needles back and the knitting is a bit quiet right now. The only thing really on my needles is Baudelaire by Cookie A , my second pair of Toe-up socks. I am already on the second sock in less then a week. The pattern is easy to memorize, learned a new heel and I just love knitting these. Socks may be back in my life just in time for summer!

How many needles are missing in action at your house?



Dream Knitting

My taste in knitting changes a lot once the days get longer and warmer. I think many of us feel that change especially here in So Cal where the weather can be warm for half of the year.

Since I have just spent the last couple of weeks getting things off my needles I feel I can indulge myself in some "Dream Knitting".

Dream knitting : The gigantic queue of ideas that one creates with a real since that one could actually complete all the projects in such a queue within a proportionately small amount of time.

Shhh...... I am dreaming........

Yarn Dreaming:

It starts with a list of wonderful new summer yarns that I need to get my hands on and then find something wonderful to knit with them. Some of my favorite summer yarns right now are linked below. But there are soooooo many to chose from you could knit all summer and not have time to knit with all that is available.

Tahki Yarns Replay 100% recycled cotton

Tahki Yarns Good Earth Cotton 100% organic cotton in natural cotton colors

Rowan Purelife Revive 36% Recylced Silk/ 36% Recycled Cotton/ 28% Recycled Viscose in a tweed!

Misti Alpaca Tonos Pima Silk 83% Peruvian Pima Cotton and 17% silk. Hhand dyed in tonal colors. Love this!

Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy 40% Hemp/40% Cotton/20% Modal

Rowan Lenpur linen 75% Vi Lenpur/25% Linen What is Lenpur?????

Kolláge Yarns Milky Whey 50% Milk/50% Soy Great Colors

The Dream Continues: Summer Tops

Berroco's Peltigera, I saw someone wearing this at Stitches and man was it cute!


Inamorata Little lace top from Knitty.com

ButterCup (rav) This is done with the Hempathy listed above. There is also one done with the Rowen Lenpur linen

Petrie I love the shape of this shell

The Lace Dream:
Anything Lace is another great choice for the summer. The best thing about lace is you can use just about any yarn you want and come up with something wonderful.

There are so many choices out there it is really hard to choose just one.

Art Lace Bag scroll down. This uses bulky yarn!

Vogue Knitting Cover Lace Wrap.
There are several people wanting to make this one. You could join us!! Actually there are a lot of really nice projects in the current issue of Vogue Knitting.

Summit from the new Knitty.

Citron Not really lace but such a nice useful project for the summer. Out of bamboo??

Emily Dickinson with beads. Beads added to any lace is a beautiful thing!!

Crochet Dreaming:

My fancy often turns to crochet this time of year. Small projects for the home. They are fast and portable. The beach is always calling and crocheting with cotton is the perfect beach project. Here are a few fun projects that might be seen on my hooks soon.

Wavelength (rav)

Trinity Lace Shrug (rav)

Disc-Disc (rav) hotpads

Tiny Pin Cushion

I might start a motif blanket. I have wanted to do that for a couple of years.

Garnet Hill Inspried (rav)

Sock Dreams:

They are the perfect summer knit and your toes will thank you come next winter.


Toe-Up Bayerische

Drops 100-20 socks

Get Rid of Terrible Sock Yarn. How cool are these!



I hear you mumbling about how I will never get this all done.


I am still enjoying all the possibilities and the options. This might be one of my favorite parts of knitting.
Dreaming it all up and changing my mind constantly about what yarns I want to use for which pattern.

Shhhh..... I won't tell anyone.....

What are your Knitting Dreams???


Stitches West 2010

Stitches West was mind boggling and inspiring. From the opening presentation to my last purchase of Malabrio Lace, it was just what I needed. I realized, believe it or not, that I have been yarn deprived since Unraveled closed. I loved ordering yarn, opening the new boxes of yarn and most of all stocking the yarns on the shelves. Tactel and color therapy and I got payed for it!!

Thursday's Opening Presentation was with Jane Slicer Smith (Swing Swagger Drape) and Anna Walden of Twisted Sisters.

I was very taken with Jane's talk and her patterns. She uses a lot of color, love that, and the drape and fit of her sweaters is very impressive. The photographer for XRX was wearing her sweaters throughout the weekend and they all where wonderful. My favorites are:

Greta Swagger was my favorite. The shape of this cardigan and perfectly placed cables is just beautiful.

Jane was wearing this one done in different shades of green and longer. Beautiful!!

Metro A-Line. I saw a couple of people wearing this one and it looked really good on everyone.

Anna taked mostly about her garments. Her things are not my taste but her construction is very ingenious. I wish she had talked about dying fibers and colors since that is what I really know her for.

Thank goodness the Market opened Thursday evening for those registered for classes. This was about the only time you could walk around and see everything without the crowds.

My goal was to find MadalineTosh yarn and Qiviuet. I was sucessful and glad I made MadalineTosh first on this list for it flew off the shelves. My first color choice was already picked over but I got a sweaters worth of Duchess, black and purple. Beautiful!!

And 2 skeins of the Moss.

My second stop was for Qiviut. This is like gold. One tiny little skein of about 200 yards can run $70+. It is the soft undercoat of the MuskOx. There is not that much undercoat (see the link) and they collect what falls off. But it is the softest yarn ever. They have some of the skeins mixed with silk and/or merino. The blends lower the price point a lot and it is still really soft. I got one skien of the Royal blend

and one of the softest Suri Merino I have ever felt. These yarns made the cashmere feel course.

The classes I signed up for where all about shapping without really seeing the shaping. Especially around armholes and necklines. No more "stair step" shaping around here! They where very good and I learned a lot of little tricks that will make me look really good as a teacher. After all, that was the whole reason for trekking up here in the first place.

And you thought it was the yarn!

Here are some of my other aquisitions:

Malabrigo Lace to make a really cool scarf pattern that is due in the mail any day now.

Redfish is an amazing hand dyer. She has about 50 shades of the rainbow. Her booth was a wonder of color. She also had socks knitted from her lace weight bamboo yarn. The most delicate socks ever knitted on "000" (yes there are needles that small). I bought some for those socks, now I just have to unearth my "000" needles.

Feltz Inc had wonderful felted kits. Her bags a really well done. I got this kit for this wavy felted bag. It was so cool. She includes all the hardware and sewing directions for the lining which I really appreciate.

Next up was the Habu Booth. It was great to see all of these yarns and lots of samples knit up in it. This is a Japanese company based in New York. Their yarns are constructed of many very interesting things such as paper and stainless steal along with the usual fiber suspect blended in amazing ways.

They had the Aeolian Shawl from Knitty.com knit in bamboo lace.

It was so stunning I had to get some.

Just for fun. The felted flowers are part of the roving.
Scarf? Little bag??

Ruffling yarn (trendsetter Cha Cha) along with Merino 8

for another cute little scarf only in black and gray. The ruffles made with the cha cha yarn is really cute by itself too.

Last but not least there was a presentation by Anna Ziboorg. She is a retired MIT professor that now lives in the Mountains, on a vineyard, by herself and knits. Has she found heaven??

Her book "Magnificent Mittens" has been updated with socks. She figured out how to turn the same mitten patterns into socks. The one problem with stranded knitting is it doesn't stretch very well and makes it hard to get the socks over your heel. Replacing the sole with regular stockinet was the answer and she found a very elegant way to add the sole and heel to the stranded piece. She was just a delight and I am really glad I got to meet her.

So you guessed it. I have to try that too.

Now the only question is.....

How long is it going to take me to knit up my stash from Stitches 2010??
Any one care to place a wager?