Friday, December 28, 2007

Loom Knit Dog sweater

So long since I've posted. Xmas knitting took over my free time for December...But, it's all over now. Gifts are given and beautiful gifts received. I'll post more about that soon :)

But, in the mean time...I was cruising around the web and looking at the sales at some online places and found a free pattern on the site for a Loom Knit Dog Sweater. Although I don't have a dog I thought this was a cute one.

Happy New Year all!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Fun with coat hangers - or DIY sock blockers!

As I was starting to think of what I want for Christmas ( family requires everyone to make a list every year!), I searched the web for links to sock blockers. Although I always block my other finished knits, I have never blocked my socks because I never had a pair of sock blockers.

These run (I've discovered after searching the web) about $30ish. 30 dollars for 2 pieces of flat plastic or wood? That seemed a bit steep to me...

So in among the Google results came a few DIY sock blocker links. The first seemed like too much work to me. It required materials I didn't have and was too lazy to go and find. Plus cutting and gluing...ick..too much.

So the second link I clicked brought me to this page. I looked at the instructions. Then I turned and looked at my closet...which is right next to my computer. hmmm...I have empty hangers and some Christmas gift socks already made (and in need of blocking). Not 1 minute later I had my first sock blocker made! The hardest part was finding an exact matching hanger!

My favorite part? They come with built in hanging tops. Wet them down and hang them to dry! Out of the way from curious kitties...

Friday, November 23, 2007

Flower Loom

Arriving in the mail sometime next week is an order from I haven't ordered from there in forever. The last time I tried to place an order everything I wanted they didn't have. The Provo Craft Flower Loom was one thing I had tried to order and they were out.

loomknittingdesignscom Little Stocking Holiday OrnamentI want this loom NOT to make flowers on (flowers? why would I want to make flowers?). I want this loom to experiment with making itty bitty things with. The smallest Knifty Knitter blue loom is only so good for small things. I have made small things on my super huge small gauge knitting loom - like my freebie pattern for the little stocking holiday ornament. But, that one you have to make flat and then sew up. No fun!

So I can't wait to get my new loom. I've heard I have to glue in the pegs in order to use it as a loom...but I'm going to try it before I do that. A quick search of the web shows only a few patterns (that I can find) using this loom.
  1. The first I found that is the most interesting is one from Isela - a mitten ornament pattern.
  2. The second is a beautiful snowflake ornament.
  3. A skinny scarf on the Provo Craft Site

If anyone has any other cool flower loom pattern goodness, send 'em my way. Otherwise I hope to personally add to this list soon!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Loom Knitting How To : Knit Stitch Bind-off

See that nice neat bind-off edge on the top of the strap of the Classic Mary Jane slippers? While doing these slippers I didn't want an uneven crochet bind off that is usually done on a loom, so I stole a bind-off method from needle knitting. It has been in the Mary Jane's pattern all along, but just recently I had a request from a customer to be more explicit with my instructions.

So, now on the instructions page of I have a new free PDF of these more explicit instructions. If you've already bought the Mary Jane's pattern, these instructions may help you along.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Finished Socks

Yarn: Trekking - Pro Natura, 4ply sock yarn - 1 ball 460 yards (75% Wool, 25% Bamboo)
Needles: size 2 Double Pointeds
Pattern: Yankee Knitter Designs - "Classic Socks for the Family"
Size: Men's large (size 11 feet!)
Notes: These are for my brother for Christmas. I really like the yarn. I'd never knit with it before and I was afraid they'd be a little stiff. But, the finished socks are pretty soft and will only get softer with wear. This is the second Christmas gift I've finished so far. December is right around the corner!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Squatty SideKick

Is finally felted!

I had started this project and just put it down prior to felting it. I was thinking that I needed a washing machine to felt it correctly...since I'm in an apartment with no washing machine I was a little discouraged. But, a couple weekends ago (sorry, I'm just getting it posted now) I did a little Googling and figured I'd give some hand felting a try.

To my surprise, hand felting this little bag was a breeze. I ended up using a mix and match process that I gleaned from several different sources (see below). I used the bathroom sink, as hot water as I could draw out of the tap (which was pretty hot!), an ice cube tray, and a small bucket of cold water.

The Patons SWS felts very easily and I think looks great when it's done. It only took me 15 minutes total. Here's how I did mine: I soaked the bag in the hot water for a couple minutes to make sure it was thoroughly wet...then started rubbing it across the top of the ice cube tray. After a little dunking in hot water and rubbing on the tray I dunked it into the cold water for a bit. After alternating this combo several times I rang it out carefully to check the process. After 15 minutes it was exactly what I was looking for.

Here are some good online resources to check out if you are trying this as home:
After felting, I wrapped it tightly in a towel and gently squeezed the water out. To block it I stuffed it with plastic shopping bags to just the right fullness and set it on my clothes dryer to dry next to a sunny window.

Next up is to add a lining. I don't think the pattern calls for it but I think it needs one. It'll make it a little more sturdy and a bit more professional looking. I'll post the finished bag when I finally get it done.

Here are some close ups for your felt loving pleasure!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

As seen on...

..Craft! I don't think I've ever seen a cozy pattern that I actually ever wanted to make...but THIS I really want to try. I'm sure it's even easily made on the looms.

They are knit cell phone cozies! I love the green one.

I don't know...maybe too hard for me to resist.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

More Vintage knitting

The last time I went home to visit my family in Maine, my mom gave me another vintage knitting magazine she'd found in her travels. It's a McCall's Needlework & Crafts issue from Fall-winter 1956-57. It not only has knitting patterns but crochet, sewing, weaving, and woodworking. It sounds like the Craft magazine of the 50's.

One thing I find particularly interesting is an ad for something called the Ezee-Knitter. It looks almost like a round knitting loom with pegs, but I don't think it is really.

I did a quick search on the interwebs and came up with some more explanation. On the Girl from Auntie blog (who acquired one in real life from Ebay), I found this explanation:

"Like most knitting frames that predated it, the Ezee Knitter has two equal sets of pegs set equidistantly long the edge of a gap such that the pegs are aligned in staggered fashion. Unlike previous knitting frames, the gap was curved along an arc, so the pegs along the inner edge of the gap are naturally placed closer together than along the outer edge.

In use, the knitter would wind the yarn around the pegs of the device, wrapping twice around the end peg, then wind the yarn back along the same path. Once the winding was complete, the lower strand of yarn was lifted over the upper strand of yarn on each peg using
the crochet hook. The hooked stitches would form the knitted fabric and feed through the gap. A particular stitch pattern–ribbing, stockinette, twisted stitches–could be obtained by wrapping the yarn along different paths. The instructions glibly promised that “Of course, one can apply the argyle or pattern weaving instructions in any knitting instruction book” to the Ezee-Knitter, by simply winding different colours around the pegs at different intervals."

I also found this posting on Ebay for the instruction booklet that goes along with the machine itself. Patterns were included. Looks like it'd be fun to play with for a while. Not sure how great it is in use, however.

There are a few patterns I like from this magazine, too. If I made them, I'd probably do a little updating to the style.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Loom Knitting How To : U-Turns

I got a question in my loom knitting inbox this morning asking "what is a flat panel". The person was interested in my Lacey Shrug (on the left) but was unsure of the flat panel technique this pattern uses.

My explanation was ok (I think) until I tried to explain the turning around part of the process. In the instructions here I want to show the u-turn in all its glory. This is a simple technique and the key to creating a flat panel on a knitting loom.

Before we begin, a little setup here...these instructions are for beginners and will show how to do a u-turn while working an e-wrap panel. You can view any of the images larger by clicking on them. It is also assumed that you are working from left to right and then back in the opposite direction from right to left.

Step #1: Cast on to your loom however many stitches the pattern requires. Just for example sake, let's say you are making a scarf and it's 20 pegs wide. Cast on using the e-wrap stitch across to 20 pegs. This can be on any loom as long as you are using it as a single rake (one single row of pegs). Wrap every peg until you get to peg 20. Then stop!

Step #2: You are on peg 20 and your yarn is hanging out the right side of the peg.

Step #3: To do a u-turn from an e-wrap to another e-wrap stitch in the opposite direction, pull the working yarn back across the top (above the loop) and across the outside of the peg. DO NOT wrap it all the way around peg 20 as you did right before you stopped. Here you are only laying it across the front of the peg. See the picture....

Step #4 Then start e-wrapping back in the opposite direction. You will now be e-wrapping counterclockwise around the pegs and wrapping pegs 19 through peg 1 all the way around as you did in the first wrap.

Step #5: Once you get all the way back to peg one, lift all the stitches up and over the pegs just as you do in a normal in-the-round row. All your pegs should have 2 loops on them including peg #20. Although, peg #20 has a small loop on the bottom and a large loop on the top the connects #19 and #20.

Step #6: Now you are ready to go back across (left to right). This is done in the same way only in the opposite direction. Just as before, pull the working yarn back across the top (above the loop) and across the outside of the peg #1. DO NOT wrap it all the way around. Then e-wrap back across as you did in the cast on row.

I hope these instructions make u-turns easier. Creating a flat panel is pretty easy if you master the u-turn. In the instructions section of there are instructions on how to bind off a flat panel. Once you get to the end of your scarf project (or whatever flat panel project you choose), these will help get it off the loom.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Mystery Stole 3 is Finished!

WooHoo! My Mystery Stole 3 is finally finished and being blocked as I type. I finished knitting it last night, I did some end weaving when I got home from work and immediately soaked it and pinned it out.

If I were a patient person I'd wait until this weekend when I'm home while the sun is up and I could get some pictures that will do the stole justice. But, alas...I'm just not that patient. So, here is the stole being blocked. Try to see through the rotten pics and see the lusciousness of the finished knit...

Love the wing!

I have some more news...but I'll let the finished stole be it's own magnificent post!

UPDATE - (already?) While I'm sitting here reading my own blog post and admiring my stole...I got an email from the stole designer (well, really it's an email from her blog). And, as it turns out, this luscious pattern is now available on Melanie's site. I'm purchasing it! How 'bout you?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A whole month?

..and then some. What the heck have I been doing...?

Well, besides being super busy at work...I've been knitting like a fiend on the Mystery Stole 3. Yes, others have been done forever...but I'm slowly plugging away at the last clue. Not because it's hard or anything. I got to the last clue and then work and life got in the way. But, now I'm about 20ish rows from the end. Yippee! I can't wait to be done.

As you can see from the above close up of the wing, it's going to need a good solid blocking. But I love the wing part. I've seen a bunch of finished stoles on the web and in the group and I can't believe how gorgeous they look on. The asymmetric design really looks great. Striking and different - that's what I wanted! I will be buying the pattern once I'm finished just to give some monetary support to a talented designer.

I've also recently purchased a whole slew of knitting mags. I was in a no magazine slump for a while...I hadn't been to a book store in months and was in need of some knitting inspiration. I'd heard so much about the Tilted Duster sweater in the new fall Interweave Knits so I went in search of a copy. The new Vogue Collectors addition and the new Knit Simple mags just somehow found their way into my cart... I'm so inspired now! Here's a little sampling of what I want to make from each:

The Tilted Duster from IK, of course. The front and...

...the back

This simple one from Knit simple is enticing.
I love the yarn, the color, and the simple design.

And this one is from Vogue. Somewhere between sweater and shawl. I love it!

There is also some greatness in the new fall issue of Knitty. But I'll leave my favorites for another post. See yah!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Knitting on a mystery

Still plugging away on my Mystery Stole 3. I'm about 1/2 way through clue #4. Melanie just released the explanation of the theme and a schematic for the finished stole. Some on the KAL group are angry and the non-traditional asymmetrical design of the stole. But, I signed up for a mystery and I'll be happy with where the designer leads us. There is beauty in asymmetry, after all. I can't wait to get mine finished so I can see how it looks draped over my shoulders. Just in it being different from other symmetrical stoles, it'll be eye catching.

Here is a pic of my progress. I really like the pattern that I'm working now. The designer described it as cat paws. Flowers or cat paws...both are nice!

PS: Sorry for the below average photo. The light isn't the best in our apartment today...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A good article on blocking

ru knitting daily? In my knitting inbox yesterday was an article that I thought I should post. It was a two parter (the second part is coming soon) on the basics of blocking your finished knits. I thought this would be helpful for knitters and loom knitters alike. And, if you don't already receive the Knitting Daily Newsletters, you're potentially missing out on a lot of good info and free patterns. Click on the "Are you knitting daily?" image above to sign up...

If you are new to the blocking concept, check out this Knitting Daily post on blocking or the PDF on my method of blocking over on the Instructions page of I think they both will help you sort it all out. It really does make a difference in your knits.

UPDATE: Check out the now posted second part of the blocking tutorial. Great stuff -

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Mystery Stole - Clue #3

Well, I always knew I wasn't trying to be perfect while knitting this stole. I know I messed up a couple times and I went back to fix it when I could. There was one row I couldn't find the mistake, however, and I thought it wasn't too noticeable until I took the picture above.
See the top of the first big point. Darn! Maybe it wont be so noticeable while wearing it. I'm not ripping anything out. This is my first big lace project and it'll keep the mistake as a "this is my first lace project" mistake. I'll just be getting better from here.
This is my stole at the end of clue #3. I'm starting clue 4 today.
PS: I really, REALLY love my new Addi Turbo Lace needles. They are delicious to knit with and really are speeding me up. I knit most of clue 3 in one night! The lace pointy points are a lifesaver when doing knit 2-3 together. And the smooth finish and flexible cable are great to work with. I'd definitely recommend them.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Ooooohhhhh Aaaaahhhhhh

I think the title of this post says it all. to knit on the Mystery Stole.
I'll be giving a full report on if these were worth the $17.00 soon.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Less blogging, more….

…knitting on my Mystery Stole. I wanted to wait and take a picture after a quickie blocking…but I must admit, I can’t stop knitting long enough to quickie block. Here’s a pic of the stole (sans blocking) as it stands right now. I’m almost through clue #2:

I opted for not using beads in mine. I figured I’d have my hands full just trying to follow the lace pattern. As you’ll see from the list below, this is one good decision in the list of bad ones…

There are a couple things I’m learning about knitting my first real laciness…
  1. Do not use a furry mohair as your first yarn for your first lace knitting project. Pretty, soft, luxurious to work with…but a beginner lace yarn it ain’t!
  2. Do not use black. It’s true that black was one of the recommended mystery stole colors this year. But, so was white. Note to self: think before getting sucked into the furry, luxurious goodness of mohair.
  3. I must invest in some Addi Turbos. My Denise Interchangeables are just too rough between the connections of needle and cord.

So, other then these small lessons, my mystery stole is working up quite nicely. I haven’t had to rip anything out…well, I’ve preferred to tink back to the mistake rather then rip, rip, rip. I’ve so far been successful at catching mistakes before the end of the row (knock on wood). I’m also not using any life lines (like I said, I prefer to tink). Ripping is incredibly difficult to do with mohair! This I learned while knitting the swatch at the beginning…

At least I’m in good company. As of this post, there are 6,676 knitters from around the world knitting this stole with me. Two of which I think are really inspiring: Bonnie Marie Burns from Chicknits, and The Yarn Harlot. I’m so glad I decided to sign up for this – even though all other knitting projects have been put on hold for now.

Good thing this whole mystery stole thing isn’t done at Christmas time. There would be one gift…for me!

Here's another full glory shot for you. Sorry for all the flash photography. The non-flash pics didn't even show the beautiful design.

PS: For more Mystery Stole Goodness, check out these pics: The Flickr search (266 pics!)

Monday, July 02, 2007


So why is it that all knitters get start-itus and never finish-itus? Now, granted, I think I do pretty well in the finishing projects department. I try to finish things before starting new projects and I try to have a project in mind when I buy more yarn. This has kept the UFOs in check (mostly) and the stash manageable.

However, as of late I fear I'm catching a case of start-itus. I seriously am getting too many projects going at once. Well, too many for me. Besides the ones featured on this blog thus far (the socks for my brother and the Squatty Sidekick for someone yet-to-be-named), I also have a baby blanket (I promise it will make it on the blog soon) and now....soon to be...something else.

I was innocently surfing the web the other day looking at knitting blogs. This sometimes gets me in trouble. I'm always surfing around crafty blogs or on line yarn stores or looking at knitting patterns. This time I was reading one of my favorites, The Giving Flower's post on the Mystery Stole Yahoo Group.

Needless to say...I joined.

Now I have yarn on the way from and I'm already itching to start....another...project.

Maybe I shouldn't be so hard on myself. After all...all the other projects mentioned aren't for myself. 1 out of 4 knitting projects should be for myself...right? Right?

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Progress in pictures

I've made progress on my knitting projects this week. The first sock for my brother's Christmas gift just got it's heel yesterday and the foot is starting to churn off the needles. I love this part of the sock. I can literally not even look at what I'm doing while I knit. See the pretty little heel...?

I've also finished the Squatty Sidekick felted handbag from Knitting Daily. Well...almost. It still needs to be felted and I still need to choose a button for it. But those are the super fun I don't count those.

I wasn't sure how I'd like the stripes on the finished bag, but I think they look great and can't wait to see what felting does to them.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Finished project and some in the works

I'll start off with the finished project. These socks have been in the works since the beginning of the year. Obviously, they got put down sometime in January and never picked up again. I had the last bit of toe to knit on the second sock. So in about an hour I got another FO for my 2007 list. Woohoo!

As much as I like them, I don't think they are me. I wanted to try the yarn (Sassy Stripes in color 'Jellybean') and it was nice to work with but all in all the finished pair just isn't me. So, they'll be going up for sale. So if anyone is interested before they get posted to Etsy, give me a holler. They'll go up for $15 plus shipping (about $3.00). They are easy care, throw in the washer and dryer.

I've also started a couple of projects. The first is a pair of socks for a Christmas gift for my brother. I know....Christmas knitting in June! But, it's better then hurrying to knit before December 25...this way I can plan and get things just right for gifts.

I really decided to make these after I visited my LYS and picked up some interesting new (new for me anyway) yarn. It's sock yarn made with wool and bamboo fiber. The bamboo acts as the nylon so there is no need for any man made materials. So far the yarn is very nice to work with and is knitting up just like the nylon kind. It will be interesting to see how they wear after they have been washed a couple times.

Next up is a 'Squatty Sidekick' bag I saw in the new Knitting Daily free patterns section. This will be a felted bag when finished...something I haven't really experimented with yet. I am receiving the Knitting Daily newsletters and when I saw this little bag two of the balls in my stash lept into my head. So, naturally, I had to give it a whirl.

The yarn in question is Soy Stripes from Pattons (I think). It's supposed to felt really well (at least there was a nice looking swatch in the store at the time). I purchased this last fall for a specific gift and never got the gift made. Hopefully this will come out well...well enough for another gift this year. I'll post the final felted bag when completed.

That's all for now. Sorry for the long delay (and longer then norm post). I was busy last weekend and this past weekend I was in Maine visiting my Dad for Father's Day. Dad's come before blogs :).

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Knit in public!

Mark your calendars for this years Worldwide Knit in Public Day! It's this coming Saturday June 9th. I'm definitely going this year. If you are in the Boston area, it's being held:
...from 12:00pm to 4:00pm at Copley Plaza in front of the library (if rain, go into the food court at Copley).
Find out where it is near you by clicking on the appropriate link in the sidebar of this website.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Another Shawl FO

I've finished my second One Skein shawl. Same pattern as the last but I used different yarn. This one is made using one skein (~400 yrds.) of hand dyed sock yarn from a local yarn shop. This one came out better then my first as I am more used to knitting with the large (LARGE) needles. It takes a bit of practice to keep your stitches even while knitting with such fine yarn on large needles. Much different then the way I usually knit. The above picture is taken with the unblocked shawl draped across the back of my knitting chair. The line that goes diagonally through the image is the center of the back of the shawl.

Since I've received several emails about where I got the pattern, how many strands I used and so on...I'll list the specs of these shawls below:

Yarn: 1 skein (~400 yards) of DK weight hand dyed sock yarn. As I mentioned above, I got mine at a local yarn shop but it's easy enough to find.
Color: The yarn was dyed a 1/2 and 1/2 purple and grey color. I wasn't sure how the 1/2 and 1/2 would look knitted, but I'm really happy with the result.
Needles: size 15 US, Denise Interchangeable Needles
Pattern: "The Secret of the One-Skein Shawl" - found on the Knitter's Review site. It's more a "formula" for a basic triangle shawl rather then a pattern.
Notes and Changes: I used one strand of yarn throughout the pattern. Since my yarn had a different gauge then the pattern used, I worked the plain stockinette portion for about 84 stitches on either side of the center stitch instead of the 64 it calls for. Mine came out about the same size as the one in the pattern.

A couple more pics for you...

Monday, May 28, 2007

I've been bitten

I've heard of the "shawl bug"...but I never thought it would happen to me. Some people are bitten and are never the same again...knitting shawl, after shawl, after shawl...never satisfied and always inspired to create another and another. Until I finished my first big shawl - the Bed of Roses shawl, I didn't really get the fascination.

Well I finished my second shawl (pictured on the right) at the beginning of this past week. It's a super basic classic triangle shawl made from one skein (400 yards) of DK weight yarn. It was made on large (size 15) needles and has a beautiful drape and airiness.

The large needles made it a quick knit, 1 week, and therefore was very satisfying. In fact, I visited a local yarn shop on Saturday that I haven't been able to catch open (they have crazy summer hours) and have already purchased two more skeins for two more shawls. I've already started one in a gorgeous hand painted yarn in purples and greys. I literally can't wait to have another one in my wardrobe

Now here are a couple more pics for your shawl biting pleasure:

PS: you can also see my new haircut in these pics...super short for summer. With 90 degree heat here in Boston this past week...the cut came in handy!