Sunday, September 23, 2012

Garden: My first carrot!

I was thinning my small windowbox full of carrot greens, and pulled out a real carrot!

The carrot was just a little baby carrot, and we ate 'em straight away.  Tasty. :D

Thursday, September 20, 2012

New Pattern: Squishy Mittens!

Squishy Mittens, modeled on size 6.5" palms in size S

Just published my latest pattern, Squishy Mittens, which is the latest from a collaboration with Rosy Green Wool.  RGW is a local yarn manufacturer who has created a certified organic super-wash wool which is also fair trade.  She just started distributing her newly spun yarn earlier this month.  It's rare if not totally unique to find both "organic" and "superwash" on a yarn label, but it's the real deal and it's super soft yarn.

The mittens are knit from the cuff to the finger tips in the round.  The thumb gusset is knitted into the pattern and you pick up the stitches to finish them after the main part.  They're cabled on one side and stockinette on the other and they knit up really fast!

Squishy Mittens, knitted in Big Merino Hug, Color "coffee bean"

The charted knitting pattern for Squishy Mittens, can be found on Ravelry and Craftsy, and soon they will also be on the Rosy Green Wool website!  If you'd like to see the mitten samples in person and squish that yummy wool yourself, Rosy and her lovely yarn will be at the German Ravelers meeting in Bonn this week the 22nd and 23rd of September!

P.S.  I washed the mittens that you see in the photos in the washing machine on the "hand-wash" cycle and you can see they didn't felt one bit.  Can't wait to see how they wear with time!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Steek It!

This post is for my friends who love to knit and try new things.  This post is for those trying out fair-isle knitting and realize it's a whole lot easier to steek their garment rather than knit it back and forth for whatever reason...

Some general tips:
  • use yarn that doesn't unravel easily
  • if you choose slick yarn, be prepared to crochet or sew to secure your ends
  • create a knitted area between the sections that will be cut alternating in the colors used that round, so that it's not so scary to cut it later on
Remember these?  For the Little Birds Cardigan, I pretty much ignored all those suggestions above creating so much more anxiety than need be.  Learn from my ridiculousness.

"Little Birds" cardigan by Ysolda Teague

cropped cardi "Jen" designed by Kim Hargreaves

My favorite links on the subject...

Knit-Picks YouTube Video: How to Prepare & Cut a Steek
a really nice overview of preparing your garment for a steek and cutting.

Knitting Daily and Eunny Jang

Eunny Jang's old tutorial:

Let's Knit Together walks you through it... she recommends a strong drink beforehand or maybe afterward, I can't remember.

Zimmermania walks you through a crocheted steek.  This is the one I've done myself in combination with the sewn one from Twist Collective (see below).

Another photo tutorial on a crochet-reinforced steek.  This one is from Kate Davies's site:

If you chose to use slick yarns or need sewing reinforcement by hand.  It's kind of general info, but helpful.


Twist Collective's tutorial on sewn steeking with a sewing machine.

A great overview of several different methods, plus how to tack down the cut steek after it's been cut!  This one is from Exercise Before Knitting:

And there you go!  I hope these help make your steeking experience that much less painful.

Hurray to the steek!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Craftsy Newsletter "featured pattern"

Unbelievable! My pattern, Hopi Mittens, was included in a recent Craftsy Newsletter featuring fair-isle patterns.  Woohoo!  Luckily, a friend of mine made sure I had seen it.  I had actually received this newsletter, saw Mary Jane Mucklestone's pattern at the top of the newsletter and I said, "Aw I love that vest it's so nice, reminds me a bit of Academia.  I love fair-isle..." and DIDN'T scroll all the way down ((facepalm)). D'oh!  Anyway, there they are!

Thanks for letting me know, Bezencilla!  If you'd like to read the entire newsletter, you can view it here.

WIP: Shawl in 2 colors

Here's a glimpse of what's coming soon to a knitting pattern world near you...

I've been working furiously on this and several other patterns in this really yummy yarn.  Hopefully I can reveal  some finished photos in the near future!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Good Morning, Gladiola!

I awoke today to find that my slightly beat-up balcony garden had presented me with yet another unexpected gift!  Here's what the gladiolas have to offer.  I'm not sure if this is the pink or purple corm, but I was so pleased to have these blooms in my life.  I am in looove with their color.  What would you call this color?

gladiolas grace the garden