Tuesday, April 1, 2014



Here finally are better photos of the tunic vest that I finished in time for the Common Cod fashion show. It is named after the Indian warrior goddess Durga. Project details are on Ravelry.

It was a race to the end and my wrists were sore but once it was dry I even ended up with a couple days to spare. The fashion show itself was really fun with much admiration and many lively questions from the audience. I felt a bit taken to task for not having published more patterns, which was really quite sweet. There is a very nice write up, with photos, of my work on the Common Cod website. After publishing a few of my own patterns, I have an enormous appreciation for those who do it all the time. The hardworking designers that I had the opportunity to hang out were loads of fun, we ate and drank before and after the show, laughing the whole time.

Inspired, in part, by Julia's Van Doesburg pullover, I stretched myself to knit with only two colors. When I had ordered the yarn for this vest, I started with quite a lot of colors (here is picture of yarn and original swatch) and kept peeling them away until the design was more about the pattern.

Color kept sneaking back in though, the colors of the beach winter. By the time I got to the neck and armhole ribbing, I couldn't resist adding a little ocher and yellow.

Hem and side details. The shaping is done on either side of the side zig zag panels. The natural colored yarn bloomed quite a lot after blocking which you make out in the close ups, it is almost hairy. The vest is very warm and when I wear it the Huz says I have my armor on.

Friday, March 14, 2014

a little something for the common cod fashion show

I was asked to join the Common Cod Fiber Collective's fashion show during their Fiber Camp weekend. What an incredibly flattering request and a bit intimidating since I will be joining the likes of Julia Farwell-Clay, Amy Christoffers, Thea Colman, Allison Green, Bristol Ivy, and Ellen Mason, for the show. Super talented designers, knitterati all of them, and fun to hang out with to boot.

Fiber Camp is this weekend and loaded with fun classes to take besides the fashion show, come by if you can! I will be walking the runway in my Owl and Pussycat Dress, please be kind and don't throw rotten vegetables. I was hoping not to walk as there will be unprofessional models for most of the other garments but they asked me to wear that one, so I will have to work on my sashay.

Garments I'm bringing with me to the show:

The Owl and Pussycat Dress on left, Vagabond Fingerless Mitts on right.

Ticker Tape lettering scarf on left, Shuffle reversible vest in center, Mad River hat on right.

This was also a great challenge for me to create a new garment and I have been madly working on a vest. No final pictures to show yet, but it is done and I am super happy with it even though I wasn't sure if I would like it almost the entire time I was working on it. It will make its debut this weekend at the show. Here are some action shots of the vest in progress:

The yarn I started with (Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift) and my exploratory swatch.

The initial hem that I cast on for which I then abandoned in favor of a ribbed hem. Colors kept being eliminated, pattern was triumphing over color.

Crochet reinforcing the steek and the cut! This is my favorite part, like unwrapping a present. Elinor Brown has a great post on this if you want to learn how to do it.

Before the cut and after the cut.

The neckline and armhole ribbing, inspired by winter beach colors on the right.

After I tried it on I decided that it was shorter than I would like and I didn't like the ribbing. Ripping out ribbing backwards (!) is a serious pain, I should have just cut it off. Shetland yarn is very sticky so I had to break it fairly often. I then knit it to the tunic length I wanted and made a facing for the hem (on right).

And voila! Better pictures to follow.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

this is what happens when it's too long between posts

Three projects to share! First up is Starfish Cardigan by Amy Christoffers. This is a lovely, well-written pattern that I’ve long admired. I love the shape of the front and the welted sleeves. The starfish pattern is subtle but can easily be replaced with a cable or twisted stitch pattern if you want to increase the drama. Fit turned out great, really made no mods at all, it’s perfect the way it is.

The wool is Romney from Great Bay Woolworks, which is local to me, and is natural and dyed. It was calling to me at the farmers market this summer and I was really excited to use local, natural wool and love the color. The bummer is that it might just be too itchy to wear even with a long sleeve shirt underneath.

Next up, a Mad River for the Huz. He has a large head so I knit this on 3.0mm needles with Jameison and Smith Shetland Heritage, which turned out a titch larger than he would like. Ideal size would have been on 2.75mm needles. But, he wears it and enjoys it, a success. I can always shrink it a tiny bit if need be.

And another Mad River for a friend. Really, this whole design was in honor of her, since she was the one who introduced us to Mad River and a big part of her heart is always there. I couldn't not knit one for her. She loves green and has some pink attacks, so I added a little pink star at the top.

Jamieson's Shetland Sprindrift was the yarn on this one and it seemed like it was turning out bit bigger, so I cut out a few repeats of pattern before starting crown. She loves it and has been wearing it all the time and says that the wool doesn’t bother her at all.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

mad river

Mad River

The pattern for Mad River, the hat that I've been knitting for what seems like eons, is finally published! It's available for purchase on Ravelry, where it's already getting some nice sales. A huge, big, thank you to Stacie who was the most incredible pattern editor and test knitter ever.

Mad River

Mad River is close fitting stranded hat with modern chevrons and a dramatic crown, with TWO brim options: corrugated rib or with a facing. Scroll down to see the version with the corrugated ribbing. I was inspired by Mad River, Vermont and its free spirited, wild people and actually started knitting my first version on the car drive out there. Can you see the mountains and the snowflake?

Mad River

The pattern is written for one size, to fit a small to medium adult head, 20-22”. (To adust the size, go down a needle for a child size large, or up a needle for an adult medium to large). The gauge is 32 stitches and 40 rows to 4 inches on size 1.5 US/2.5mm needles, or size needed to obtain gauge.

The full color chart is for five colors of Shetland fingering weight yarn. Samples are knit in Jamieson & Smith Shetland Heritage and the colors used in the chart are Auld Gold (gold), Flugga White (off-white), Madder (red), Peat (dark brown), and Indigo (bright blue), like the sample in the first and second picture. You will need one of each. If want to knit one like the red and white one on the right, you only need one skein of each. I'm crazy about Shetland Heritage because it's based on the colors found Fair Isle garments found in the Shetland Museum and Archives. Something about the simple colorways of those garments, that I've only ever seen pictures of, make my heart sing.

Any Shetland fingering weight yarn is a good substitute for Jamieson and Smith Shetland Heritage but please take time to check gauge as it is slightly lighter than most Shetland fingering yarn.

Mad River

After the holidays I'm going to try a slouchy version of this hat. My family has demanded that the madness of me continually knitting this same hat must stop. They're just shaking their heads at this point.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

one itty bitty sweater

one itty bitty sweater

This was delicious to make, a little ecstasy.

one itty bitty sweater

The pattern is Baby Girl Fair Isle Cardigan by Purl Soho. It could easily be for a boy too, in my opinion.

one itty bitty sweater

A couple of notes about the pattern. It is knit in the round but there is no steek, so that when you get to the yoke, you are purling the stranded knitting on the wrong side. I really prefer just knitting stranded but it is for such a short amount that it is ok. The yoke pattern is not completely symmetrical as there are decreases along the front left (the yoke decreases are part of the pattern and end up on the left front too). If you’re a pattern perfectionist like me this might be slightly irritating, but I’ve managed to move on as the end result is so dang cute.

one itty bitty sweater

The yarn for the body of the cardi is Anzula Sebastian, which is mainly merino with a bit of seacell in it and is superwash. The color, Seaside, is kind of amazing, hovering between gray and oatmeal. The Koigu skeinettes are genius to use for this as it requires such tiny amounts of yarn in the yoke and you can go nuts choosing colors. They're actually marketed for needlepoint use but are exactly the same, as far as I can tell, as the larger skein of their sock yarn just in smaller quantities.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

hats, and taking a break from hats

Mad River hats

The hats they are a-breeding. Yup, I keep making more. The pattern is so, so close to being done and then I find something else that could be fixed. Somebody stop me.

O wooly goodness.

Needing to take a break from hats, I wanted to knit someone else's pattern with some really raw, undyed Romney wool by Great Bay Woolworks that I found at the farmer's market. So wooly and delicious. I'm knitting Amy Christoffer's Starfish Cardigan, which has subtle stars on it and a lovely shape and is whipping along. I may, in turn, need to take a break from this so that I can finish that damn hat pattern.

Abandoned the BSJ I was knitting on the bus ride down & bought lovely yarn to knit Purl's baby Fair Isle Cardi for bus back. Seemed a lot more fun. Love the Koigu skeinettes and the oatmeal color of Anzula is killer.

For the long bus ride to New York and back that I take occasionally, I like to have a small knit. As one of my yoga teachers is having a baby, it was an opportunity to knit to super cute, tiny sweater. I've knit Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket before and figured that would be the ticket but the counting, ripping, and re-counting to set it up just about killed me, perhaps I was distracted. And then once I got going the fabric that the Cascade Superwash 220 was making on size 6s seemed rough. A quick trip to Purl Soho fixed that, where I bought Anzula Sebastian is an intriguing gray/oatmeal color called Seaside and four Koigu Skeinettes for their Baby Girl Fair Isle Cardigan. Whee, knitting ecstasy for the ride back.

Two of my favorite people at Purl! @yarnyoldkim @ttldesigns

I had plans to meet Kim at Purl but then joy of joys, we ran into Kirsten too! Look at those lovely faces and those awesome knits. They helped me play with all the Koigu skeinettes to pick the colors for the yoke of the sweater and then we went to knit and chat and have a quick beverage.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Above is Gale Zucker's great video of the photos that she took at Rhinebeck 2010 and 2012. The video and the photos really capture the fun of the weekend and the knit pride, I'm so glad that she documented so many of the great garments that were there. I didn't make it to Rhinebeck this year. It was a heartbreaking decision for me not to go but for a good reason, I've started a six-month long yoga teacher training program and it just wasn't possible for me to schedule another weekend away. This yoga intensive is something that I've wanted to do for a while and I'm thrilled to finally have the chance, but something had to give and unfortunately, it was Rhinebeck.

My proxy at Rhinebeck was a pair of my Vagabond Mitts that I gifted to Kim. I have proof that they made it there as Ellen sent me a picture of them held against Mary Jane's incredible Rhinebeck sweater. So, I was there in spirit and did my best to follow the fun on twitter and instagram.

Meganne and I did some porch knitting on Saturday, complete with tea in Jennie The Potter mugs and a pug, in solidarity of our not-in-Rhinebeck condition and posted a few pictures with the #notRhinebeck tag on twitter as some other wishful folks were doing too. There were no crowds, no miles of vendors, but the sun and company felt pretty darn nice. Next year, I will enjoy the goodness of the Rhinebeck weekend again. In the meantime, I'm dreaming of trying to make it down to the Maryland Sheep and Wool for the first time.