Friday, December 14, 2012

Holiday Party

If you're in the area today 12/15 come on over to The Little Knittery  from 12-6 for a Holiday party hosted by owner Kat Coyle.
Lot's of gift ideas from supplies to finished pieces.
Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

available for the Holidays

I've been busy cranking out the pieces to have for a holiday sale. Infinity scarves, a few smaller cowls and a couple of Capelets, all available at The Little Knittery starting Friday. Feel free to email for more information.

Saw this on Cascade Yarn's facebook page... I think we can all relate!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

the Openwork Capelet

This capelet is an easy modification to the Openwork Bolero and has been added to the bolero pattern.

A quick and easy pattern for at least an intermediate knitter this capelet uses 1 skein of Cascade's Magnum, #19 needles for the openwork portion and #17 for the garter stitch neckline.

A great gift to make for the Holidays... speaking of which, Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you all enjoy!

PDF Available 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

an easy modification

I'm currently making a lot of small quick projects like this capelet (an easy modification of my Openwork Bolero pattern) for an upcoming Holiday sale. I really like the way this turned out so I think I'll add the modification to the pattern.

Not quite sure the date for the sale yet, but I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, November 03, 2012

the crocheted Canadian

I'm currently working on a crocheted version of the Misti Brioche Honeycomb Sweater and as I was making swatches of different crocheted stitches, namely the Back Loop Single Crochet I thought this would make a nice cowl.

I was going to make a short cowl not another infinity scarf but when I started playing around with the stitch pattern directionally, déjà vu! This looked too familiar and as that rarely seems to happen between knitting & crochet I couldn't resist.
So... the crocheted Canadian:

1 skein of Magnum by Cascade (@112.5m/123yds)
25mm or U hook
Gauge: 1sc & 1row = 2.5cm (1")

This can be worked over any number of stitches.

Chain 62 on the tight side. This will pull the scarf in and make it lay nicely when finished.
Row 1: 1 SC in 2nd ch from hook, 1 SC in each ch to end, turn.
Row 2: 1 CH, skip first sc, 1 SC in back loop of each sc, ending 1 SC in 1 ch, turn.
Repeat Row 2 (7 times) or until piece measures 14cm/5.5".
Sew ends together. 

Weave in ends, wear & enjoy!

Finished measurements measured flat: @14cm X 61-137cm or 5.5" x 24-60" 
Cowl pictured was @152cm/60".
Work pattern for at least 61cm(24") for a shorter cowl.
If making a shorter cowl you can get 2 cowls out of 1 skein of Magnum.

Well, I've finally done it, taken the plunge and joined Facebook.
You can find me here. Stop by and say hello!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

the Canadian

My girls love to bird watch and living near the LA river we see a lot of them. Many nights at dinner time we hear flocks of geese headed towards the river. Every time the girls get up and run out onto the porch to watch them. The first time this happened their shouts of "geese, geese!" turned to proud proclamations of recognition "and they're Canadians!" In my girls eyes they are no longer geese they are "the Canadians".

In the meantime I've noticed a lot of my patterns sales are coming from up north filling my head with visions of the maple leaf or that time I got pulled over for indeterminate reasons at the border crossing near Detroit but that's another story.

So! with Canada on my mind & in homage to my Canadian friends preparing their warm woolys for the cold months to come here's my latest offering "the Canadian".
"la Canadienne"version française.


1 skein of Magnum by Cascade (@112.5m/123yds)
#16mm (#19 US) straight or circular needles. I couldn't find a Canadian needle measurement for a US #19.
Gauge: 6st & 8row = 10cm (4") in pattern.

Finished measurements: @14cm X 61-137cm or 5.5" x 24-54" 
Work pattern for at least 61cm(24"). This will make a shorter cowl.
Cowl pictured was 137cm/54".
If making a shorter cowl you can get 2 cowls out of 1 skein of Magnum.

Stitch Pattern:
Multiples of 3+2
Row 1: Slip 1, Purl across, end with K1
Row 2: Slip 1, * Skipping the 1st stitch, Knit the 2nd stitch then Knit the 1st stitch and let both stitches slip off the needle, P 1 * end with a K1

Cast on 14 sts.
Repeat Rows 1 & 2 until desired length (at least 61cm (24") for a shorter cowl) and bind off.
Sew cast on & bind off edges together.

Weave in ends, wear & enjoy!

 This shows the slipped stitch edge and a portion of the wrong side.
This is how the stitch pattern looks as it's worked up.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

a look back & a couple new things

When I was designing pieces for display in the windows of my yarn shop in Chicago I would always ask myself what's going to attract the most attention. That's how I started using the yarn Magnum so much, it had great street appeal because you could really see the stitches.

A few weeks ago my friend Terry and I were talking about knitwear design and using basic shapes within those designs. It got me thinking about a couple of pieces I made a few years back for the windows and how I really have a thing for this simple yet attractive shaping.

This piece was made with a combination of Magnum in a dark charcoal color and a white alpaca thick/thin hand spun I asked my friend Sandy to spin for me. The needles were a pair my husband made for me that are somewhere between a #35 & a #50. The alpaca makes this piece pretty heavy and it sheds terribly, regardless I've worn this a lot.

It's basically 2 triangles that were joined by finger crochet along the back. When I wear it I usually cross the front pieces and tie them behind my back. I have a vintage womens jacket from the 40's that looks great under this but it was close to 100 degrees yesterday when we photographed this so I was trying to keep the layers to a minimum.

This piece was in the same display with the piece above. I was on a black & white with angled edges theme. I forget what the 3rd piece was, I always had 3 pieces in the window.

This was made with more of my friend Sandy's yarn. The curly yarn at the neck and the winter white is her hand spun.
The black isn't Magnum but another Cascade yarn I really like a lot named "Eco Wool". Each skein is @478yds and it's never that expensive. It's a great basic wool that I like to use with anywhere from a #8-#10.5.

Didn't get a good shot of this from the front. This was the last shot we took and both our brains had melted by this point.

So thinking about these 2 pieces influenced me to make this next piece. That and the fact I just happened to have some extra black & white Magnum laying around.

I was going to make this like the Magnum/alpaca hand spun piece above that wraps in front and actually did make it like that but when I finished it and wrapped the front it just didn't look good.
I ripped the whole thing out and remade it so the back is worked to come to a point but not the front. Also unlike the wrapping piece above I sewed the front shut so you wear it like a shrug.
This took almost 2 skeins of each color of Magnum & #35 needles. It's a very simple pattern that I'll write up and post next week.

And lastly... I've been meaning to make a pair of these for years after I made something similar to wear tucked into the sleeves of my coat to cover my hands like little muffs.

The part you don't see tucked into the boots are made with @30yds total of Magnum and the curly yarn is more of Sandy's hand spun @50yds total with a #15 they work up quickly. The picture on the right shows the topper worn with the curly yarn folded over.
Love the way these look with these boots...  now if only the temp would dip below the high 90's so I could think about wearing them!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

a couple updates & a bit of a change

Just a note to say I've updated a couple of patterns.
For the Magnum Capelet #4 the knit version I added a couple technique photos and for the October Vest I rewrote how to work the front panels simultaneously, hopefully making it a little easier to understand.
If you purchased this pattern but didn't receive your update please email me a copy of your receipt and I'll email it to you.

My friend Carrie just had a baby boy, Ethan and I've been debating about what to make for him. Carrie was one of my most loyal customers, part of a group of gals that came to the shop every Wednesday night when I owned Knit 1 in Chicago so I want to design something special. Another blanket? Wash clothes? A toy? Another friend suggested bibs... any ideas?

I know a couple of you have been waiting for me to finish the pattern for this red coat and I was really hoping to have the pattern finished by now. I've started helping out at my friend Annette's garden shop and it's seriously cut into my knitting time! I'm pushing for the end of September.

One more thing and I'll sign off...
Since starting at the garden shop I've become plant obsessed. It's always something I've wanted to know more about and now I have to so I decided to start another blog about plants and outdoor spaces as part of my obsession: "follies of a wanna be gardener".
Check it out & wish me luck, I'm going to need it!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Baby Nico's Blanket

I seem to have a lot of babies to knit for lately! Another friend had her boy about 10 weeks ago and I finally finished a blanket for him. For this blanket I used 3 skeins of Lion's Brand "Nature's Choice" and a little bit of Noro Taiyo for the crocheted border. I was coveting this particular brown in Nature's Choice and was glad to have something to use it for and for some reason Joann's Fabric Store had it on clearance... I hope they're not going to discontinue this yarn. It's such a nice soft cotton that holds up really well to both washing & drying.

For the stitch pattern I picked one that was reversible and only had a 2 row repeat.
Row 1 will look like the image on the left and Row 2 the image on the right.

Always slip as if to purl.
If altering the pattern always use an odd number of stitches.
On Row 1 slip the first stitch with the yarn in back then bring the yarn between the needles to the front to work the first purl stitch like you would when working a regular rib.

Mock Ribbing
Row 1: Sl 1, * P1, K1 *
Row 2: With yarn in front Sl 1, * Sl 1 wyif, P1 *
Repeat rows 1 & 2.

3 skeins Lion Brand's "Nature's Choice" organic cotton 103yds each. I used the color Espresso.
Scrap yarn for the border maybe between 10-20yds
#10.5 needle. I used a 24" circular
J crochet hook for border
Darning needle for finishing or use your hook.
Gauge: 3.5sts = 1" of above stitch pattern. I took the measurement on the Row 1 side
Finished measurements unblocked: 22.5" x 25.5"
I blocked it out to @23"x26"

Cast on 75sts and work the above stitch pattern until piece measures @25". Bind off.
I had a small ball of yarn left but I didn't want the blanket to look oblong.

With the J hook and the scrap yarn single crochet twice around blanket.

Weave in the ends and enjoy!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Crochet African Flowers

This Saturday I'm teaching a class at The Little Knittery on these cute crochet African Flowers (thanks Julie for the photo!).

For these I used Cascade's Cotton Rich DK and an F hook for what I thought gave the best results. I tried a worsted weight but I think the smaller stitches give it a delicate look while the bright colors of Cotton Rich really make them stand out. Here's a flickr group for African Flowers worth browsing with the pattern posted at the bottom.

As I was making the samples for the class my girls kept asking if they could wear them. I don't think they cared how I would make the flowers wearable they just wanted them. I liked the way the flowers looked without the last round of double crochet and thought they would make cute hair clips or even a bracelet. For the clips I put a bobby pin on the back and for the hair-tie/bracelet I tied a hair band to the back. They wanted to wear them to bed but I convinced them while they might be cute they wouldn't be comfortable! Sewn together as a baby blanket though...

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Baby Iselle's Blanket

My friend Jenny had a baby girl a couple of weeks ago and when I got the message about Iselle's arrival this sinking feeling came over me. I didn't make anything for her!
Jenny is part of a group of moms I teach crochet to every week while our kids are having their art class so I can't just run out to the Gap, I have to produce! It wasn't a surprise announcement, I had plenty of time and why it didn't hit me until I got the news I have no idea. But I had a few days before I saw her so I thought a small blanket would be perfect. And here it is, Baby Iselle's Blanket.

Yarn used: 2 Nature's Choice organic cotton by Lion Brand in Strawberry; 1 ball in Pistachio for the crochet border. I love this super soft yarn! I think I need a simple jacket out of it.
Needle & hook used: #10.5 24" and a J hook for the border.
Gauge: 3sts & 4 rows = 1" in Chain stitch pattern.
Finished measurements: 20.5" x 22"

Chain stitch pattern
Mulitple of 4
Row 1:  Sl 1 * k2, p2 * k3
Row 2:  Sl 1 * p1, yo, p1, k2 * p1, yo, p2
Row 3:  Sl 1 * k3, p2 * k4
Row 4: Sl 1 * p3, k2 * p4
Row 5: Sl 1 * k1, k2tog, p2 * k1, k2tog, k1
Row 6: Sl 1 * p2, k1, yo, k1 * p3
Row 7: Sl 1 * k2, p3 * k3
Row 8: Sl 1 * p2, k3 * p3
Row 9: Sl 1 * k2, p1, p2tog * k3
Row 10: Repeat from row 2

Cast on 56 stitches and work the Chain stitch pattern until the piece measures 20.5". Bind off.

With a J hook and the 2nd color, single crochet around the blanket twice. Border should measure .75".

Weave in the ends, block blanket and enjoy!

Sweet Baby Iselle.

UPDATE 12/2/16:
Unfortunately Lions Brand discontinued "Natures Choice", the yarn used for this blanket. I had some yarn left over from a project, Illimani Yarn's "Llama ll" a wonderfully soft bulky weight baby llama. I used 3 skeins for the main color (bone) and 1 skein of a contrasting color (lemon yellow) for the crochet border. Using the above pattern I was able  to get the same dimensions as stated above.

The perfect little model, Max. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

summertime knits

the Bayside, a summertime pullover

Available as a PDF download $6.50

These 2 pieces were knit using a new Trendsetter cotton yarn "Rosita" sent to me by The BagSmith.

Knit using #19 needles for the pullover and #17 & #19 needles for the vest they obviously work up quickly. Both pieces are knit as one big piece then folded and joined. I obviously still have the openwork bug but it's hard to resist an open stitch pattern for summer or for hand dyed yarn.

I enjoyed working with this yarn and wish they made it in solid colors as well. I would love to have a few T-shirts made with this super soft 100% cotton. And did I mention it's not a weighty cotton? It's another yarn that is made using a woven tubular structure, but this one is loosely woven giving it a more casual look which fits in perfectly with the well washed feel of it.

I would rate these as patterns for an intermediate knitter.

the Lakeside, a summertime vest

Available as a PDF download. $6.50

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

LA yarn crawl, a trunk show & 2 new designs

I just shipped 2 new designs today to The BagSmith for Stitches South. Both pieces were knit using a new yarn by Trendsetter that The BagSmith is currently offering called "Rosita". This hand dyed bulky weight cotton is surprisingly light weight due to it's loosely woven tubular structure. It was easy to work with and it's super soft. Imagine your favorite T shirt that's been washed hundreds of times and that's what this feels like.

I'll post more details and the patterns in the next couple of days.

This weekend LA area yarn shops are sponsoring the 1st annual LA yarn crawl. I'll be at The Little Knittery Thursday the 12th & Friday the 13th from noon-8pm.

From 6-8 on Thursday (that's tonight!)we're having a trunk show of some of my more popular designs for those who missed it in December and on Friday we're having a trunk show for Kat Coyle.

Should be a fun weekend long event, hope to see you there!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

the Openwork Kimono

Finally! Do I seem to say that every other post? It feels like it! I first showed the Openwork Kimono at my Little Knittery trunk show way back in December. It took me awhile to get it together for this piece but happily here it is!

This, like the Openwork Bolero was inspired by this stitch pattern's swatch I had draped on my dress form. Also on my mind was the Misti Brioche Honeycomb Sweater. I've wanted to make that into a cardigan/kimono for some time but really wanted something new for the show.

It's a one size fits most with easy adjustments noted in the pattern for petite and large. I used #19 needles (24"-32") with 2.5(3) skeins of Magnum (123yds each) by Cascade in the main color and for the contrasting waistband @60yds or half a skein of Magnum. If making it one color 3(3.5) skeins are needed.

I would rate this as a quick and easy pattern for an intermediate knitter but more of a challenge for a beginning knitter since I've manipulated this particular openwork pattern a bit to where I think it might throw off someone not solid in their skills.

Pattern available as a PDF download. $6.50

Next I wanted to share a couple of pieces I made a few years back when I had my yarn shop in Chicago. 

These were made with Eden by Madil a beautiful bamboo yarn and #5 needles. Yes, I know hard to believe with all my chunky knits! 

I do love the way a fine gauge knit looks and I would love to be able to say I have a couple of these as my next patterns but who has the time?! Look how long it took me to get the Kimono pattern posted!

I will have a few spring/summer patterns I'll post soon (2 I'm hoping within the next month) but nothing with smaller than a #15 needle. Maybe if I start now I'll have it together by next year!