Monday, February 23, 2009

Change

I changed around my studio... again. I really like the new layout. My idea board is right in front of me. The window is to the right for occasional day dreaming. And best of all, I have a good view of my yarn cupboard. Well, maybe best of all I have room for a vintage recliner (not shown) for my afternoon naps when the "baby fog" hits me.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Newest Project

Well, I will soon no longer be able to keep my newest project a secret. My tummy is growing faster than I thought it would! =) But I suppose that is a good thing - it means everything is going along smoothly.

You've probably guessed it! I'm pregnant with my first baby. My husband and I are delighted.

I've already been dreaming up new baby sweater patterns, materinity sweaters, maternity tank tops, etc. We'll see how much I get designed amongst the other things I have to work on. But it is fun.


I have completed the first little pattern for my baby collection. The vest is called, "The Little Professor." It is now for sale at Stitches & Scones and on Ravelry. I hope you enjoy it!

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Lamb's Lace

I recently finished a spring sweater for myself. I've decided to call it "Lamb's Lace." The lace pattern on the top of the sweater reminds me of Lamb's Ear -- the plant. The wool is soft and downy -- kind of like a lamb's soft fleece.

It's a new design for my collection. But unfortunately, the pattern will not be out for months. So, hold onto your hats and cast on another project while you wait. If you would like to be notified when the pattern is completed down the road, feel free to leave a comment -- I will not publish those.
This delightful little sweater is knitted, again, from the top down. I don't think I will ever tire of designing top-down sweaters. I love the fact that there are no seams to sew up when you're done. I'm always impatient to wear my finished project.

I am particularily pleased by the lace raglan increases -- aren't they nice? The charting on this sweater is going to be a bit tricky but I think it will lead to a very simple pattern.

One simple button closes the sweater. Love that -- like I said, I hate sewing. One button is enough for me! =)

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Socks

My cozy hand-knitted socks have really been my life-line these past few weeks with the chilly weather. There is nothing like them when it comes to warmth and coziness.

Some people are sock knitters only. Others vow they could never knit a sock because it is not seen by everyone. I just smile and think, "If you made yourself a pair, you would understand."

I don't knit socks exclusively. I don't even work on my socks every week, but I sure do have a pair or two on my needles. They are worth every moment that goes into them.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Purl Problems

This past week I noticed I was having problems with a really loose purl row when I worked in stockinette stitch. Have you ever had this problem? I don't know why all of a sudden I started having really loose purl rows. I even finished the project I was working on and tried to block it. IT DIDN'T BLOCK OUT. I was horrified. Usually it does. I guess it was that bad. So, I ripped it out and decided I need a solution to my purl problem.


Finally, after some thinking and reading I figured out what to do. As you can see in the picture above it is much better.

None of the conventional fixes would work for me. I couldn't work this piece in the round, eliminating the purl row. I didn't want to use a smaller needle for the purl row -- I thought that would only slow me down and I have a lot to get done.

In stead I started working in "Combination Knitting" and it tightened up my purl row right away.
What is Combination Knitting? Check out Annie Modesitt's site for great details.

Basically, you start by wrapping the yarn on the purl side from the bottom of the needle to the top and "tucking" it through the old loop. This allows you to purl tighter than when you wrap the yarn over the top of the needle.

Then when you flip to a knit row you will notice your knit stitches are orientated so that you should place your needle in the back of the stitch rather than going from the front to the back.

It's a bit crazy, but it worked for me and I am so happy with the results I am achieving. I don't think I will use combination knitting for everything, but I was happy to find a little trick to help me out of my really ugly loose purl rows.

Hope it helps you! Happy Knitting!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Saturday Knitting

Saturday is the best time for fun outings. This Saturday I met my two sisters at Starbucks for a Sit & Knit. Well, okay, it was sort-of a last minute get-together so only I brought my knitting, but it was still a Sit & Knit for me! =)

Em finally had a Saturday off from the hospital where she works. So I finally got to catch up with her.

Heather had a new bag design to show off. Yes, she loved it so much she decided not to sell it but keep it for herself! I can relate to that! How many times have I had the best intentions of knitting something to give away but by the end of the project had totally fallen in love with it myself... ah, the life of a crafter.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Knitters Before Us

The history of knitting is fascinating to me, especially my own family history. The Scottish side of my family were knitters as evidenced by this delightful photo. This is my great Aunt Nel and a friend of hers knitting in Nel's home in Brooklyn, NY after Nel and her husband immigrated from Scotland.

This is a picture of my great-grandmother Christina knitting with her friends. Christina came from Dunblane, Scotland and immigrated to the US with her English husband.

I love this picture. Aren't they cute? They are so dressed up and yet they look like they are enjoying themselves, don't they?

I have these two photos hanging in my yarn studio to remind me where my knitting began. It keeps me focused on reality -- knitting is a delightful skill to use to make lovely things for others and to pass to people around us.

This is my great-grandma Christina's Red Cross Knitting Book. It has directions for US Army, Air Corps and Marine Corps sweaters, hats & vests as well as children's stockings, a child's sweater, a women's sweater, a 2-year-old children's knitted suit and a button-on-shoulder baby sweater. This is a great treasure of mine.

This pattern for the British War Relief, Children's Stockings was typed out and sent to great-grandma Christina by her sister in Dunblane during WWII. I think it is so sweet that Christina was so concerned for her native country during WWII that she wanted to send over children's stockings to the war relief.

So, my fellow knitters, we are all part of a long history of knitting. Isn't it wonderful? Keep knitting and keep passing it on!

Happy Knitting!

Monday, February 2, 2009

New Patterns

Well, the sketches for two new patterns for Alpaca With A Twist have been approved! To my delight the yarn for the patterns arrived today!

I'm designing two patterns for Alpaca W/A Twist's new yarn, "Temptation." The yarn is a temptation -- it is baby alpaca with silk! It's to die for luxury.

So now I have to get to work!

Happy Knitting!

Needles

You know how little needles can get lost and broken? Well, I finally got mine organized thanks to two gifts from my sister.


My sister gave me one of her beautiful Double Point Needle Cases for Christmas. She saw that I had filled up the one she gave me for my birthday and was desperate for another one.





They are so handy and convenient. Now that I have two, I moved my 5" DPs to one case and the 7" DPs to the other case. These little DP cases pack so nicely in your knitting bag. If you are a sock knitter, they are a must.




And guess what! You can get one too! Yes! Heather sells them on her Etsy shop and they too are reasonably priced. If you don't see a color that will match your knitting bag, just send her a note and request a custom one!