I finished my Lainey Cowl and couldn’t be happier with it. It is so warm and cozy and I will be happy to have this when the weather turns.
The reason why I like this particular cowl so much is that it is long enough to stretch over your shoulders. Also it is tapered at the top so it fits in a flattering way. Most cowls I see are simply large tubes... the same circumference on the top as they are on the bottom. The Lainey Cowl requires a needle size change and some shaping at the top.
This cowl pattern is from the book Madder Anthology 2 ; Simple Pleasures by Carrie Hoge. I have wanted to knit something from this series of books for years now… and I am happy to finally have completed a project. Every. Single. Pattern. is amazing!
I used 2 (and a smidge of a 3rd) skeins of Quince and Co. Puffin. Next time, I personally would reduce the cowl by a few rows to make it out of only 2 skeins. :)
I’m working on the Lainey Cowl right now by Carrie Hoge and am making quick progress! Not hard to do with bulky yarn and large needles… but it feels good to see it growing so fast.
I have always loved this cowl since the first time I saw it in the book Madder Anthology 2. It’s a relaxing knit and will be sure to keep me warm this Winter!
I am using Quince and Co. Puffin yarn which is as squishy as can be.
I am working on a new collection of patterns and I am so happy to say that the first one is now complete. This elegant cardigan features two yarns from two different companies that work up together with a stunning result. Julie Asselin Fino yarn in Fleurs Pressees and Quince and Co. Piper in Abeline.
There are more designs to come along this same theme. Mixing yarn weights in the same garment has opened up such a multitude of design possibilities for me and I am bursting with new ideas.
For now… I am calling this cardigan “Fog”.
It’s a silly thing but a little end to weave in kept me from completing this project for way too long. It has been cooling down here in California and I knew that this hat would be the perfect thing for morning school drop-offs, so I finally just picked it up and finished it.
It took all of 3 seconds.
The colorway couldn’t have captured the Fall colors better, don’t you think?
This hat was knit from the Simple Hat pattern by Hannah Fettig of Knitbot. I love this pattern because it includes directions to make 5 hat sizes in 3 different gauges!
The yarn is Storyteller Yarns Biggie Twist from Knits and Knots Tahoe.
It is funny how at the end of my kid's last school year I was so excited for summer. So done with pick ups and drop offs and lunch packing and homework and fundraisers and forms to sign.
At first summer was fun and felt like a vacation for all of us, but so quickly I was strangely craving that structure and routine to our days again.
My kids are now back and school and I am enjoying my days here at the shop dreaming of fun new projects and products. The past few mornings have been cool, a nice preview of cozy autumn weather to come.
Knitting season is rolling around again and I can't wait! :)
I am so happy to finally release my newest hat design, Mountainside!
As I mentioned previously, this repeating stitch pattern reminds me of trees on a mountainside. I took this hat with me to our recent trip to Yosemite National Park and wanted to publish this particular pattern in memory of my amazing Dad and his favorite place. :)
I knit this original hat sample in Barrett Wool Co. Wisconsin Woolen Spun and I love the rugged texture it creates. You can learn more about this yarn HERE.
I also had the hat test knit in a combination of gorgeous Julie Asselin sock weight yarn (Fino) held together with lace-weight mohair (Anatolia) and the result was spectacular in an entirely different way. I love how the mohair provides a soft halo to the stitches and a lovely weight to the finished hat. Thank you to Kathleen and Sabrina for knitting these up for me!
I've put together a limited number of special kits to go along with the hat pattern. Just to make knitting it an even more special experience! :)
The kit includes a little tree print zippered bag to hold your project, A set of tree and mountain stitch markers to work the crown of your hat, a cable and tapestry needle, and of course the pattern too!
There is also an option to add on a few skeins of the Julie Asselin yarn as well as needles. Can you believe these colorways? So pretty!
Thank you to all of you who offered your input on my last post.
I honestly wasn't sure if anyone was still reading and was so pleasantly surprised to see that the knitting blog community is alive and well!
Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your support and kind words.
Above is a picture of my knitting basket today. I'm making progress!
I don't know what happened... but my knitting mojo came back full force. It just hit me one day when I was least expecting it and now I want to knit all the things.
I have two great projects on the needles at the moment.
Mindless hat knitting using this gorgeous Storyteller yarn that I picked up during a recent trip to Lake Tahoe. I am making up Hannah Fettig's Simple Hat and it is a great project for this yarn. Simple stockinette really shows off the beautiful colors. I love picking up yarn on vacation to have that physical memory of that experience whenever I knit with or wear the finished item!
I am using our new Strawberry Stitch Markers on this project... aren't they adorable? You can find those available HERE.
Up next is... another design project! :) I am sooooo excited about this one. I have had an idea floating around in my brain for the past few years about designing with multiple yarn weights and I am bursting with inspiration and new design ideas.
I'm hoping I can squeeze a collection based on this idea in 2019.
On one last note... I started this blog in 2007 and have enjoyed it immensely. But over the years I have noticed that social media has taken the forefront in online sharing. Sometimes I wonder if blogs still are read and if they have a place in our fast-paced online community. Would you take a moment to leave a comment and let me know how you feel about blogs in 2018? Do you still take the time to read blogs or do you prefer consuming content from other sources like Instagram or Facebook? Would you like to see me share on my blog more? Your input would be very much appreciated!
A few months back, I really needed a selfish knitting project to enjoy. Something with just the right amount of interest, but nothing that would be too taxing on my brain. After going through the plethora of patterns and yarns stocked in my little shop, I settled on Adelaide by Quince and Co. using Quince and Co. Kestrel linen in the color I'm currently obsessed with "Sand".
Can you tell?
Kestrel has always been on my "must knit with" list but I've never gotten around to it. This particular linen has especially appealed to me because of its construction. The worsted weight ribbon structure has a very soft hand and lovely drape. Not like other linens I've tried. I have a few sample garments in the shop already made from this yarn and I am amazed by how well they have held up. The fabric just seems to get softer and better with age and handling.
Also for the climate I live in, where wool can only be worn for a short amount of time.. this is just perfect.
I am happy to have a sweater I can wear in the spring and summer. Something that can be dressed up or down. Great for cool evenings.
Adelaide was a simple pattern to follow. Pretty straightforward raglan sweater construction worked in the round with this gorgeous lace panel in the front.
Easy, beautiful and just what I needed.
The past year has been a bit of a blur honestly. A lot of change for our family since my Dad passed away last May. I've taken a bit of a breather in many ways, but in some ways I'm working as hard as ever.
I ordered a skein of Barrett Wool Co. Wisconsin Woolen Spun several months back. This type of yarn really speaks to me lately. I am falling more and more for the rustic wools. Appreciating the beauty in their rawness and simplicity. And they seem to wear so much better than their soft and smooth counterparts. Much less pilling has been my personal experience.
So I designed this little hat. With petite little leaves in a repeating pattern. Full of texture, just how I like it!
As I was finishing this knit, we went to Yosemite as a family on the anniversary of my Dad's death. Yosemite was his favorite place in the world and it only made sense for me to go there to remember him. So many memories.
As I was there taking in the scenery and looking at my hat, the stitch pattern reminded me of the huge mountains in front of me peppered with trees that looked miniature in the distance.
So this hat pattern will be named Mountainside. A remembrance of my Dad and his favorite place.
I have the privilege of sharing a booth space this year with one of my all time
favorite knitters and designers Susan B. Anderson!
My Vindaloo shawl is done and it was such a wonderfully satisfying knit! Although I didn't get it done in time for the SLO Yarn Crawl this year, it proved to be a nice warm companion on my lap that kept me busy while waiting on customers during the crawl.
I absolutely love the texture of this shawl. I was sold on the combination of cables, eyelets and ribbing immediately. The pattern appears difficult at first, but I was able to memorize it after the first few repeats and work it without referencing the pattern.
You ease into the shawl by enjoying a simple stockinette start with all of the complicated parts in the edging. This uses an applied edging technique where it is actually attached as you go along which is so nice.
I am already getting use from my finished Vindaloo and I think it makes a beautiful and cozy Fall accessory!
When I saw the new Vindaloo shawl pattern by Quince and Co. it was love at first sight!
The mixture of cables, lace and ribbing... that texture!
So naturally I decided to cast on and see if I could complete the shawl in a one week time frame before our local yarn crawl this weekend.
I'm knitting this in Quince and Co. Osprey yarn on size 10.5 needles so it's oh so squishy and going pretty quickly thankfully!
And yes... I'm using this color "Honey" again.
I am halfway through the applied lace trim with 2 knitting days remaining. Can I complete it? What do you think?
Come visit us during the SLO Yarn Crawl this weekend to find out! :)
You may have thought I forgot about this blog altogether or maybe I dropped off the face of the planet.. but I assure you. I am still here! Still knitting! :)
My silence has been partly due to the fact that I am dealing with quite a bit these days after losing one of my best friends very unexpectedly two months ago. My Dad.
If you've followed this blog or listened to my podcast for a long time, you may already know that my Dad was a huge supporter of mine. He had a huge impact in my life and on the person I am today. He cheered me on during every stage of my life and over the past decade offered a tremendous amount of support and involvement in my knitting career.
My first book, Coastal Knits (co-authored with Hannah Fettig) was dedicated to my Dad. He collaborated with me on many projects and was there to offer support and help me make decisions in life big and small.
To say that he will be missed is a gigantic understatement.
I'm still here. But just now figuring out my new normal and what my life even means.
Besides the obvious things like faith, family and friends, the thing that I always turn to for help coping with life's difficulties is my knitting. I find a sense of peace and comfort in the repetition of stitching. I process my thoughts and emotions and work through them as my project grows.
I have a lot of emotions and thus I am working on several things right now, but I finished silly little project last week that I had to share.
It may seem odd to share photos of a tiny knitted pirate in a post about my Dad's death.. but this little guy just makes me smile. And I figure that being forced to smile might be a good thing for me right now.
Note that the pirate not only has a wooden leg but also a teeny tiny eye-patch. :)
But a tiny pirate wasn't enough.. he needed a friend.
A tiny walrus friend.. with tiny whiskers.. that likes sailing as much as he does.
My son named him "Wally Whiskers the Walrus"
These are patterns from the genius designer behind MochiMochiLand and I have kits for both the pirate and walrus as part of the Summer Collection in my online shop. These both take less than an hour to complete and they really brightened my day.
So if you need an instant gratification project or a day brightener.. consider knitting up a tiny pirate or walrus or both. It really helps!
What do you do when you fear that the sweater you are knitting is turning out too small?
Knit faster, of course.. and make repeated stops to stretch out your fabric as you go. By doing this you may convince yourself that all will be ok... even though you KNOW in your heart of hearts that it really is not.
Early in the Summer I had such an experience as I started a special sweater for my daughter. As you may already know, she had a difficult year with her health and multiple heart surgeries, so I felt strongly about making her as many things as I could.
Immediately the Saffran Cardigan pattern caught my eye. I had always intended to knit a stranded colorwork sweater for her but never had and this one was perfect in every way!
All was well until I... cast on.
I was simply too impatient at the time to do a gauge swatch in the round and in the colorwork pattern as the instructions called for. So I casted on with the recommended needle size and hoped for the best.
About 4" in with significant stretching on my part after every row, I finally came to the realization that things weren't going to plan. I slipped the stitches onto scrap yarn and slid it over my daughters head to confirm my suspicion... It was skin tight. Not exactly the look either of us were hoping for in wool snowflake sweater.
It was at this point that I should have ripped out and started over. And I almost did until I didn't.
I will do anything to avoid ripping out my work. Good thing I have another smaller child in my life. The sweater quickly found a new intended recipient.
So now, I had the task of knitting the stitches of a larger sweater size knit at the wrong gauge but to the proportions of a much smaller sweater. So I was working in between two sizes on a pattern written in metric measurements using entirely new techniques.
Have I mentioned how absolutely horrifying it is to knit a colorwork sleeve on dpns? Especially when you lose one and have to use a circular needle too?
Then I tried the finished sleeves on my crying, squirming 5 year old son to check the length. He informed me that the sweater was itchy and that he will never ever wear this sweater.. to which I replied... " YOU WILL WEAR THIS SNOWFLAKE SWEATER AND YOU WILL LOVE EVERY SECOND OF IT, SO HELP ME GOD"
Then I joined the sleeves to the body.
Then I followed the directions for my first steek, mercilessly sewing then cutting my sweater completely in half. I posted videos of the process HERE and HERE that you can watch if you feel like dying a little inside.
And just to make this project even more complicated for myself, I changed up the collar and added a shawl collar with short rows for a more boyish look. I also added an extra wide buttonband because yes.. the sweater was even a little tight on him!
Then toggle buttons to finish it off!
Then with the protection of long sleeves underneath and the promise of hot chocolate afterwards, I bribed my reluctant son into his new sweater and...
Remember... next episode is my 100th! I would love to celebrate with you listeners! Please send me a short recording about you and your knitting to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
A few months ago I was in need of a project. A selfish one. One just for me to knit and enjoy and not think. This year was a tough one for us with our daughter's health. A year of traveling, waiting in hospital rooms, through endless doctor visits and nights spent in the ICU.
I needed something simple. Something big. Something in Garter Stitch!
The Ashburn Shawl fit the bill and was the perfect distraction for me during this time. Ashburn is a loooong wrap made up of endless rows of garter stitch broken up with a little slipped stitch pattern every so often. The slipped stitch rows slowly blend the 3 colors into one another so it isn't as harsh of a line between the color blocks.
For my Ashburn, I used 3 skeins of hand-dyed sock yarn that I have been hoarding for many years waiting for the perfect project. The dark teal yarn is from Hazel Knits, the orange from Three Fates Yarn, the middle variegated is a mystery skein as I lost the ball band. :) Oops.
My finished shawl is long and dramatic and will be a great warm wrap this coming Fall and Winter. But I appreciate it most because it helped me through a difficult time. It was my constant companion and comfort.
Thank you Ashburn.
By the way.. my daughter is doing very well now and is home recovering from a successful open heart surgery. I am so relieved.