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Monday, May 15, 2017

Can't Stop, Won't Stop Yarn Bombing the Garden

Every year when I put up trellises in the garden, I always think that with all the yarn in my house, there has to be something more creative I could come up with. So this year, I'm tackling just that.
 
It started with a knitted pea trellis. I used a drop stitch lace pattern. It's working very well! Then I decided to take things to another dimension. I loved string art as a kid, so I incorporated it into this bean trellis.
 
Continuing with the string art, this weekend, I completed new tomato cages.
 
 
Stay tuned to see how they work out as things grow!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Spring!


I adore spring in the mountains. It comes a little later, but after mountain winters, you really feel like you've earned it.

Like many knitters, I have a lot of other hobbies as well. Gardening is a favorite. I don't know that I have a green thumb, but it's at least a greenish shade of yellow. I love seeing my bulbs and perennials popping out of the ground all season. I thought this year it would be fun to knit some garden themed projects that relate to what's growing or blooming in my yard at the time.


During the month of March, my yard is mostly gray and brown, except for a carpet of daffodils on the riverbank. They have naturalized and spread each year. I love that daffodils are unfazed by the spring snowfalls.


 Bordering the yard are stands of forsythia, another favorite. The bird feeder in March becomes completely flocked with goldfinches in their winter colors, the males becoming more and more yellow as the month wears on.

By April, their bright yellow feathers are fully in place. These flashes of yellow are my first indications that spring has arrived.

To celebrate the change, I decided to spend the month of March knitting Gamaldags by Hélène Magnusson. This beautiful Icelandic cardigan was my first adventure in steeking. I'm very excited about how it turned out.

Now what to knit in April?

Sunday, February 26, 2017

New Patterns

Every once in a while, you get lucky and have one of those amazingly productive and creative spurts. So far, 2017 has been just that for me. Normally after the holidays, I spin my wheels for a while. I'm usually pretty burned out from frantic holiday knitting. But this year is different, and I'm not sure why.

With that said, I'm pretty excited to bring you not one, but two new patterns. Triceratops and Fawn.



Friday, February 10, 2017

Testing the Sweater Curse

Here's a confession...Until this past Christmas, I've never knitted a men's sweater. I think I've knitted nearly anything else you can think of, but never a men's sweater. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not one to believe in curses. So for as long as I've been a knitter, I've shrugged at mention of the Sweater Curse. And obviously, there are thousands of men at this very moment wearing sweaters lovingly knitted by a woman they love.

No, my reason for avoiding men's sweaters is simple...they take SO long. And the yarn is expensive. And then all that work, and what if it doesn't fit? Too risky!

But then this Thanksgiving, I came across the most marvelous knitting book, for only $.01! And I had to have it.

Knitting Wildlife by Ruth Herring is an amazing compilation of some pretty radical wildlife themed patterns, straight out of the 80s, and modeled by an interesting assortment of British celebrities. But the cover photo is what caught my eye. I'm a sucker for elaborate color work, and that tiger was basically begging me to knit him. That's when it occurred to me, maybe I should knit my husband a tiger sweater. It was a risky idea. I knew it would take a lot of time and yarn, and here it was already Thanksgiving, and I still had half a dozen other gifts to knit on my to-do list. Plus, I would only be able to work on it when he wasn't around. But I threw all that aside and jumped in. First, I decided that despite the loudness of the design,  it to be at least somewhat useful. So I decided to convert the men's tiger pullover into a cardigan, with the tiger on the back. From the front Dave would look like a cute librarian, but from the back...BOOM. TIGER.

Second sign that this idea was brilliant was that I didn't have to buy any yarn! It turns out such elaborate color work could be easily accomplished from my endless stash. And I always have a few dozen skeins of worsted weight neutral colors around. I landed on a two-tone background of black and charcoal. I chose Emilie Luis's Marcel pattern for the cardigan.


On Dec 23, and bound off the last stitch and backed it. It was magnificent. I was both stunned by my color work skills, and ability to pull off such a project on the sly in 1 month. (Many thanks to my co-workers who turned a blind eye while I frantically knitted in my office) But the real test would be whether or not Dave actually liked the sweater. I think his face says it all...

Now I can not wait to knit more sweaters. Next Christmas, I might dress the entire family.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Shark!!!

It's been a few years since I wrote More Knitwits, my second book. I've decided to reintroduce some of those patterns individually. And as I do so, I hope to roll out new and improved versions of the patterns. We'll call them remastered patterns. (I am married to a musician)

Joe and Cornelius was one of my favorite patterns in that book. Recently, a friend asked if I could knit a shark, and I thought, yes! This is the opportunity to redo this pattern.

If you have ever attempted this pattern from my book, then sadly, you know there are many errors in the published version. I am so sorry. And although it is a bit late, I bring you a new and improved version. The felt has been replaced with knitted mouth and teeth. These are much easier to seam, and the head no longer requires cardboard to hold it's shape. All the changes and corrections to the Shark Pattern can be found on my errata page, here.

If you do not own the book, but wish to knit this very terrifying, albeit cuddly shark, never fear! The pattern is for sale! You can find it on Ravelry or Etsy through the links below. And no need for errata with the new version.  Happy knitting!


Ravelry

Etsy

Monday, November 7, 2016

Halloween!

Yes, I know this post is a week late...


Anyone who knows me knows that I love Halloween! I am especially a fan of sewn, stuffed animal costumes. So this year I bring you Shark Attack!

On a side note, I never knew it was so easy to make a stuffed shark. I made a pattern from pasteboard, and cut the guy out of fleece. Now I kind of want to make a giant fleece shark just for the hell of it.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Mulch Ado About Monday

Let's talk about hobbies. I suspect that those of us who knit obsessively are nearly all prone to having multiple hobbies.

Gardening has, over the last decade or so, become one of my favorite things in the world. I love being outdoors. I love the breeze, rain, dirt in my nails, sun hot on my neck, the excitement of watching tiny green stems break through the dirt each spring, and the slow decline of withering plants in the fall, although the latter, less so. Unfortunately, I choose to live in a place with a shorter growing season than many. But every year I manage to find gardening tasks to fill all the months. Each year I find a way to extend my growing season a little more. And in the winter, I like to map out plans, repair weathered raised beds, and shop for bulbs and seeds.

Fall gardening has not been one of my great gardening triumphs. I always lose some focus by late summer. Plus, living in a river valley, the daylights hours shrink more quickly. And our rampant groundhog population become especially hungry in the fall. But this year, I think I've managed to do a little better. I have fall beans, broccoli, greens, dahlias still blooming, and some of the most beautiful kale I've ever seen. This ornamental kale has been growing since early May, but once our night time temps began to drop, the color just exploded!

I enjoy taking about gardening on Mondays. After my typical Sunday knocking out gardening tasks, I love to come home from work on Mondays, open a beer, and stroll around the yard. Soon enough I'll be driving home in the dark, and won't have my strolling time any more. Best make the most of it while I can.