Monday, December 30, 2013

Pattern Debut: Penny

It's finally here!

My very first adult garment is hot off the presses! Introducing, the Penny Vest:

Penny is part of the brand new Knit Picks Gloss collection, 6 new designs featuring Knit Picks' Gloss yarn, a lovely soft blend of merino and silk.

Penny, a sleeveless vest that can be worn alone or layered during cooler months, features lace columns and an inset lace panel at the neckline.

Just a hint of cabling decorates the arms:

Shown here worn loosely as a sleeveless top, Penny works equally well worn with less ease and layered over a white button-down for a preppy look. True story: the original inspiration for this vest was Penny's Cheesecake Factory uniform on the Big Bang Theory, which features a tightly fitting vest with a deep V-neckline!

However you decide to wear it, this piece will add a subtle cozy touch and a hint of lacy elegance to any outfit.

You can pick up the entire Gloss DK collection right now for just $8.99, buy the Gloss DK e-book for $9.99, or purchase Penny as a stand alone pattern for $4.99!

I also invite you to preview the collection and check out the Penny pattern page over on Ravelry, because hearts = love!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Nevado: Pattern Giveaway!

 How typical of me, to debut a new pattern and then just disappear. Let me tell you, trying to organize Christmas activities and festivities with a 10 month old isn't the carefree, easygoing time TV might lead you to believe. Although this particular event went fairly well:

 I mean, he's not screaming bloody murder or anything, which is always possible with little ones.

I've also been feeling a bit under the weather, leaving me with just enough energy to sit on the couch and watch Christmas specials at the end of the day, and not much else. I've barely done any knitting, though I am bravely pushing forward with and documenting my sweater surgery.

But, I digress. As you know, Nevado is on sale through Christmas Day for just $2.49 with the code "MERRYXMAS." With only a week to go until Christmas, you can still get this speedy hat finished, so if you're still looking for gifts, it's a good bet. Pick it up in my Ravelry shop!

In addition, I'll be giving away 3 copies of the pattern to 3 lucky blog readers. We all know this is a busy time of year, so this contest will stay open all the way until December 31. Just leave a comment on this post, and you'll be entered to win. Winners announced early in the new year. Hopefully.

In the meantime, we'll be here, waiting for the big man:

Monday, December 9, 2013

Pattern Debut: Nevado

We finally got some decent snow yesterday, so it seemed like the perfect time to photograph and finalize my latest design: Nevado.

Nevado, which means "snow-covered" or "snow-capped," is available in 3 sizes, for everyone on your gift list, and knits up quickly in worsted weight--and if you've mastered cabling without a cable needle (which I highly recommend), it knits up even faster. Crown decreases are done in pattern, for a fun detail at the top.

It combines waffle stitch and a wavy 3 stitch cable for a stretchy hat perfect for boys and girls, men and women, and babies of all shapes and sizes.

My sample is knit in Wandering Wool Heights Worsted, in Cinderella, which is delightfully squishy. And you only need 1 skein, which is always a plus.

 Even though JJ doesn't look particularly thrilled about wearing his hat, I'm sure his head is warm, and that's what counts.

To celebrate its debut, Nevado will be half price--just $2.49--through Christmas Day, December 25. Pick it up in my Ravelry shop and use the code MERRYXMAS to snag it at the reduced price.

And stay tuned for a pattern giveaway!



Sizes: Baby (Child, Adult); finished circumference approximately 16 (18, 20)” / 40 (46, 50) cm. 

Gauge: 20 sts and 32 rows = 4” / 10 cm, in pattern, lightly stretched.

Yarn: 1 skein Wandering Wool Heights Worsted (100% superwash merino wool; 218 yds/100g) in Cinderella; or 100 (150, 200) yards / 90 (140, 180) m worsted weight wool or wool blend yarn. 

Needles: 1 US 7 / 4.5mm 16” / 40cm circular needle and/or set of DPNs, or size needed to obtain gauge.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Wittle Saturday Wednesday Bound Off Sampler . . . Post

The speed at which the days slip away from me is astounding. I intended to come here and post this on Wittle Wednesday, yet here it is Saturday, and I'm just now sitting down at the computer. But, since I have no Saturday Sampler post prepared, I guess I can just go ahead with JJ's sweater.

My little booger angel turned 10 months old on Monday! So incredible to be closing in on a year already.

He's crawling, chasing the cats, pulling to a stand on anything stable (and not-so-stable), cruising, walking with his walker and determined to crack his head open the instant I turn my back.

To celebrate, I made him wear his finished Coolbreeze cardigan--with sleeves of equal length!--and pose with Christmas lights, which he did not appreciate at all.

Oh well. Just the start of a never-ending parade of things to be done to make mommy happy.

For JJ's sweater, I used a brick red for the main color, and started the chevron pattern with the lightest color and worked back to dark brown. I should've also used the lightest color on the sleeve ribbing, but I wasn't sure I would have enough to finish my cardigan, so I opted for brown.

(And since I still have 4 inches of sleeve to add to my cardi, this was probably a wise choice.)

This was a very straightforward pattern, though as I recall, I thought something was a little off on the final yoke decrease round, it didn't quite seem to fit the established pattern, but I figured it out quickly. The colorwork section is easy to memorize, and though there are LOTS of ends to weave in, it's easy to wind them through and around the slipped stitch strands on the wrong side.

Is this safe? I'm calling child services!

I knit the 12 month size, and barring any major growth spurts (knock on wood), it should last through the winter. Now, in the midst of all the Christmas knitting, I must fix my own cardigan so we can get at least ONE measly photo of us in our coordinating sweaters.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Measure Twice, Cut Once

I thought today was the day I was going to show you guys our finished Mommy and Me sweaters.

Only . . .

I noticed something after blocking.

Something . . . suspicious.



That can't be right.

Yes, somehow I knit one sleeve about 4" longer than the other.

And of course, it's not that the long sleeve is too long.

The short sleeve is far too short.

So I face ripping out that colorful cuff and adding several inches to the arm, or some kind of sweater surgery where I detach the cuff, knit the sleeve and then graft the cuff back on.


Friday, November 29, 2013

Holiday Weekend Shopping Deals: Yarn-y Edition

Thanksgiving has come and gone and now the shopping season is in full swing. I hope you're comfy in your homes today, instead of battling crazed crowds for mediocre deals, and there are still plenty of deals--good ones!--to be had from the comfort of your own home.

The awesome Marly Bird has compiled this AMAZING list of Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals from indie dyers, designers, and purveyors of all things knitting/crochet-related. You'll want to check it out immediately.

Craftsy is offering ALL classes for $19.99--or less! That's a super steal!


Alana Dakos of Never Not Knitting is offering her print books--Coastal Knits, Annie and the Swiss Cheese Scarf, and Botanical Knits--50% off!

The big Knit Picks sale is still going on--deep discounts on most of their yarn!

WEBS is offering free shipping on $75+ orders through December 4.

And don't forget, 25% off all patterns in my Ravelry shop with code GIVETHANKS, through November 30.

Happy shopping!

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Note: they do not make hand turkeys in Peru, so CP had no clue what this was.

Wishing you all a restful, relaxing, and happy Thanksgiving, full of food, fun, family and friends!

I'm so thankful for your continued support and encouragement.

To celebrate, please enjoy 25% off all patterns in my Ravelry shop, through November 30, with coupon code GIVETHANKS.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Eyeing the Finish Line


Finally--FINALLY!--I can see the finish line for one of my biggest projects of 2013, the Mommy and Me sweaters.

Were they done for our family portrait session? Of course not. But I can say, without a doubt, they will be done in time for us to wear them at some point during the holiday season.

Because if they're not, I'm going to jump out a window.

You may recall I'm using Tanis Lavallee's CoolBreeze cardigan patterns for this set, and her Yellow Label DK yarn as well, in a lovely palette of autumn colors. The mommy sweater is down to the cuff on the second sleeve. I made the brilliant decision of knitting the buttonbands before the sleeves, so hurrah!

Although, of course, there are many ends to be woven in and buttons to be sewn on.


JJ's cardigan is even closer--all the knitting is done, the sleeves and underarms just need to be seamed.

I am determined to finish both this week.

And this ball of yarn sitting here taunting me is my inspiration:


This is the yarn, some lovely Madelinetosh Vintage, for my Pumpkin Ale cardigan. This sweater needs to be in my collection yesterday. I adore it. Not casting on has been killer, but I've just had so much on my plate. I promised I would finish these sweaters first.

Almost there!

And speaking of yarn, if you haven't already, check out the Knit Picks BIG SALE, going on right now, through December 1. So many gorgeous yarns and colorways marked down, it's the perfect time to pick up a few skeins. I'd be remiss if I didn't tell you that Wool of the Andes Sport, used in the Javi sweater; Swish Tonal, used in the Cielito baby blanket, and Palette, used in the Warblers fingerless mitts, are all on sale!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Hat WIPing and Single Parenting

Hat buddies!
Hat buddies!

This week . . . wow. It has been a killer. CP left for the Dominican Republic at 5am Saturday and he's still not home. I love my son, but we've been together round the clock for days and it's starting to wear on me.

Especially because his sleep is alllllllllllllllll over the place. I never know what to expect, other than a battle because naps and bedtime are apparently out of style.

I understand this is normal at this age--they just have so much going on, their little brains have trouble shutting down. He's crawling, climbing the stairs, pulling up to a stand, babbling. He's constantly on the go. I put him in his crib with droopy eyes, yawning, and instantly he's trying to crawl. The result is a struggle to fall asleep--and stay asleep. Which is a real joy when there's no one around to tag in for a round.

And some people do this all the time. I can't wrap my head around it. Hats off to you, single parents!

In the midst of this non-sleeping extravaganza, I've cobbled together a quick knit hat pattern that I'm hoping to release early next month for last minute holiday knitting. I'm knitting up a sample in Wandering Wool Heights Worsted and it's soooooooo squishy and soft, I love working with it.


And I'm looking for test knitters, so if you're interested, stop by the Ravelry group and check it out.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Future Designs - A Story in Yarn


I mailed a final pattern off for sample knitting and tech editing today (look for it in July 2014!), so my plate is temporarily clean.

I mean, of designs.

Not of WIPs.

No end in sight for those.

I took a few minutes to wind up yarn for future design projects.

First, a skein of Wandering Wool Heights Worsted in Cinderella. Such a gorgeous blend of purples. This one is destined to become a hat I've been fiddling with. First I finish JJ's version, which will match the Gavyn pullover, and then, onto the adult sample using this.

Speaking of hats for JJ, doesn't he look darling in my Orchids and Fairy Lights hat?


Not quite his color, though.

Next, the most beautiful skein of the new Knit Picks Diadem in Azurite. I'm so glad this found its way into my stash. The plan for this one is to re-imagine one of my current designs as a triangular shawl. Any guesses which one?

And last, some Dream in Color Smooshy in Amber Glass. This is for a top secret design that's  going to be published in a real, honest-to-goodness magazine next year!

That is, assuming I live through the next week--CP leaves for a business trip tomorrow morning and won't be back until next Sunday afternoon. God help me. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Saturday Sampler: Holiday Knitting

hard candy handknit christmas ornament

OK, folks, it's crunch time.

It is now November 9, which puts us about 6 weeks out from Christmas.

I don't even want to tell you how close we are to Hanukkah.

But it's less than a month.

If you haven't started your holiday knitting, it is GO time.

It's past GO time, actually.

Which means I'm waaaaaaay behind, as usual.

So instead of getting started, I'm going to share a few quick(ish) holiday project ideas with you.

Photo courtesy of

Hats are a great quick knit gift, and this Brambles Beret has 3 slouch options, so you can get the look you want. Also, FREE!


And speaking of hats, my Hugs and Smooches hat comes in 5 sizes, for all your gift giving needs!

 Photo courtesy of Tanis Lavallee

If socks are your thing, try these Business Casual socks from Tanis Lavallee--they're unisex, and the FREE pattern is easy to memorize for on-the-go knitting.

Mitered Mittens
Photo courtesy of Jared Flood

Elizabeth's Zimmerman's Mitered Mittens knit up quickly in aran weight, and are great for variegated or self-striping yarns. You can find the pattern in Knitter's Almanac, which costs all of $7 on Amazon.


If you need a baby gift, you can't go wrong with the speedy Baby Sophisticate, simple yet adorable.

So what are you knitting for the holidays? Have you started yet?

Monday, November 4, 2013



This past weekend was, I suspect, the best leaf weekend of the season, so I thought I'd share a few photos.



Now the fall rain and wind will come and blow these all away, and before you know it, we'll have bare trees and maybe even some snow!

And I'm happy to say all these gorgeous colors are being reflected in my knitting:


This is the smaller of the Mommy and Me sweaters I'm determined to finish for JJ and I to wear for our family portrait session.

Um . . . on Sunday.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wittle Wednesdays: Gavyn Pullover


I finished this sweater up a couple months ago, and JJ has finally grown into it! He wore it on a cool day last week (actually, it was so chilly, he should probably also be wearing a jacket!), so I snapped a few photos so I could show it off.

Pattern: Gavyn, by Amanda Blackford
Yarn: Neighborhood Fiber Co. Studio Worsted in the Rock Creek Park colorway
Needles: ??
Rav link


There a few big pluses for this sweater--it knits up quickly in worsted weight, and the combination of knit and purl boxes is quite stretchy, so it should fit for a while. Through the winter, hopefully.

Unfortunately I can't recommend the sweater without noting that the pattern was a bit troublesome. There were some errors and confusing patches that I was ultimately able to work through--since it's a fairly straightforward construction--but it wasn't as clear as a knitter would expect.

Still, it's a free pattern, and a cute sweater, so if you're up to a little fussing and head-scratching, you can make it work.


This was my first time working with Neighborhood Fiber Co. Studio Worsted (though I'm dying to get my hands on some Lincoln Park), even though she's a local dyer. I think I'll be using it again! The yarn is sturdy, but still fairly soft (not as soft as, say, Malabrigo, but I have a feeling it will hold up 10 times better). And I love the large skeins--400 yards. I even have enough left over for a matching baby hat.

If I could just find the time to knit it!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wittle Wednesdays: Spooky Wittle Sock Recipe


Ta-da! Here we are at the pumpkin patch, Halloween socks and all.

I was able to finish the socks in time, including an adventure in seaming while doped up on cold meds the morning of, because JJ was kind enough to share his cold with me (and not, I will note, with CP).

Sadly, the first thing JJ did when we set him on the ground to take pictures was rub his socks in the dirt, leaves, sticks and debris. At least it wasn't rotten pumpkin guts.


In case you'd like a quick pair of Halloween (or other themed) striped socks of your own, I've whipped up a little recipe for you.

What makes this a "recipe" instead of a pattern? Let's see.

For starters, there's nothing particularly novel about these socks--they're just slightly more interesting than plain vanilla socks, they just happen to be baby-sized. Basically, I've done a little math to create a smaller sock, so if you don't want to go to the trouble of doing math, it's your lucky day!

Sort of. This sock recipe comes in only one size: Size JJ. His little foot is about 4" long, and 5" around, so if you have a baby that's about that size, or will someday be that size, these socks are for you.

I'm going to assume you already have a general idea of how to knit socks, and have a handle on all the techniques that go with that, so I'm going to keep the instructions fairly simple. I knit these on DPNs, so the instructions are, you guessed it, for knitting on DPNs!

Also, this hasn't been test knit or tech edited.

And finally, while this basic sock will work with any fingering weight yarn, I used Knit Picks Felici and I did a lot of, "Oh, I'll just knit until the next color change," so if you use the same yarn, you'll get the same color blocking.


Spooky Wittle Sock Recipe

Gauge: approx 8 sts/in

 CO 44 sts over 3 DPNs

Work in 1x1 rib for approximately .5", or 1 color repeat.

Knit 1 round, placing a marker after 22 sts to mark middle of the rnd.

Leg Pattern:

Rnd 1: *k2, slp 1 wyib, k to 3 sts before m, slp 1 wyib, k2; rep from * once.
Rnd 2: *k2, k1 tbl, k to 3 sts before m, k1 tbl, k2; rep from * once.

Work leg pattern through 2 color repeats, or until leg is approximately 3" long, ending after Rnd 2.

Heel Flap

Work Rnd 1 once (I purposely worked 1 rnd in the next color, to make a little "strap" across the front of the ankle); at end of rnd, turn work.

Slp 1, then work back across 21 sts, up to the m; as you are no longer working in the round, you'll be purling on the WS, and remember to purl the slipped sts through the back loop.

You will be working the heel back and forth on these 22 sts. Move remaining 22 sts to scrap yarn or a spare needle.

Continue working heel sts in pattern, and slipping the first st of each row, until heel flap reaches approx 1.5", ending with a WS row.

Turn the Heel

Row 1: K13, ssk, k1, turn.
R2: Slp 1, p5, p2tog, p1, turn.
R3: Slp 1, knit to gap, ssk across gap, k1, turn.
R4: Slp 1, purl to gap, p2tog across gap, p1, turn.

Continue as established until all sts on the needle have been worked; 14 sts.

Knit across 14 heel sts.


Return held sts to needle.

Pick up and knit approx 11 sts down the left side of the heel flap (needle 1), work across held sts in pattern (needle 2), pick up and knit 11 sts up the right side of the heel flap, then knit 7 more sts from the original heel flap (needle 3) to bring you to the new center of the round.

Work 1 rnd, knitting sts on needles 1 and 3, and working needle 2 in pattern. (You may find it useful to knit the picked up sts through the back loop on this rnd to tighten them up.)

Rnd 1: Needle 1: Knit to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1; Needle 2: work in pattern; Needle 3: k1, ssk, knit to end of rnd.
Rnd 2: Knit sts on Needles 1 and 3; work sts on Needle 2 in pattern.

Rep Rnds 1 and 2 until 22 sts remain on Needles 1 and 3. Needle 1 and 3 now hold sole sts, Needle 2 holds top of foot sts.


Continue as established, working Needle 2 sts in pattern and sole sts in stockinette, until foot reaches approx 3.5", or about halfway through the 7th color block. Mark new ctr of rnd between Needles 1 and 2.


Rnd 1 (start of Needle 2): *k1, ssk, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1; rep from * once across needles 3 and 1.
Rnd 2: knit.

Rep these 2 rnds until 24 sts rem; then rep only rnd 1 until 16 sts rem.

Seam toe using kitchener stitch.

Make 2nd sock.

Put on adorable baby.