Friday, May 20, 2011

My Knitting Life

It's been a fun knitting life lately-working on samples for books, playing with some new designs, meeting new shop owners, teaching at local guilds and national shows and just generally keeping super-busy. I'm still blogging regularly over at and keeping up with that along with everything else has kind of eclipsed this little blog, but the info about my classes is still accurate and if you need any help at all, feel free to drop me a line.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

New Look, New Features

Now that I'm in a groove over at The Same Stitch, I plan on coming back over here to post news about where I'm teaching and any designs I'm working on.  I've added tabs that describe my class offerings so you can quickly access all of them and then contact me at to have me come to your shop or guild or group. I'll come just about anywhere, so drop me a line!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Thrilling News Thursday!

The new blog is live! Gwen Bortner and I will be writing daily about various knitting topics.  Please visit and check it out!  It can be found here!  As we go along, I will still continue posting here about my personal knitting journey, but I hope you'll look to this new spot for some good banter between two experienced, opinionated and somewhat geeky knitting teachers, and in-depth and maybe sometimes not so-in-depth delving and thinking about the details of knitting.  Scroll down a bit to Gwen's welcome post to get an idea of what we'll be writing about. My first post is up today, and we welcome your comments and questions.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Finished Object Friday on Sunday

This week, I have a legitimate, from-stash, UFO rescued item to brag about, and I'm very excited.  Introducing my Kimmett Croft Bohus Kit, purchased at the MD Sheep and Wool Festival many, many years ago. It might actually be 10 years ago. At the time, I was so excited to see Kimmett Croft for the first time. My fascination with Bohus knitting dated from from long before I'd ever heard of Poems of Color or Kimmett Croft. It went back to an article that I read in Threads Magazine, probably in the late eighties or early nineties, not too long after I really got serious about my knitting. Seeing the beautiful patterns and yarns in person was absolutely intoxicating. I must have really been broke, otherwise I'm sure I would have broken down and bought a whole Blue Shimmer sweater kit. Anyway, I started the hat immediately after purchase and with great excitement, loving the feel of the yarns and the intricacy of the pattern, then I just stalled-a classic case of other things getting in the way. 

Since then, my love of Bohus knitting has grown to a bit of an obsession. As far as I have been able to find out, Kimmett Croft is out of business, but a real live Swedish woman named Solveig Gustafsson dyes incredible reproduction yarns and works with the Bohuslans Museum as well as the venerable teacher Susanna Hansson to make kits available worldwide. So, a couple of years ago, I bought a kit for a full sweater-the Forest Darkness, (scroll down about 3/4 of the way) and I decided I had to get the hat done before I'd let myself start on the sweater. Now of course, it is my absolute favorite hat. The yarn, a lovely combo of Ramboulliet and Angora is so perfectly soft and light. I love wearing it and often leave it on even while I'm in the house because I forget I have it on.  I began winding the yarn for the sweater and it feels WONDERFUL. I can't wait to get started on the knitting.  A Bohus reproduction was the winner at MD Sheep and Wool last year and it so deserved it.  It was exquisite. I only hope mine can be made to the same amazing level of perfection. 

Friday, January 01, 2010

A New Year, A New Post-Finally!

That's what happens when you get a contract project that takes over your life. In a good way of course. Let's just say that nothing else got done since my last post, because I really was working nearly full time on project for Gwen. It got finished just before Christmas, to good effect. Plus it was fun as always due to Gwen's clever designing.

Now I'm working on things of my own choosing. A few small things were finished, but none were from stash. I made my niece a School Colors Hat for Northern Arizona University, where she now attends. It was in Encore in Navy and Gold. It turned out fine, but I think I might make the medium instead and send it along for her to try on and then give the other one to a friend. I also made a couple of Calorimetry Headbands for my running friends. I made those out of Polar Knit, a yarn made of actual strips of Polar Fleece. They worked up okay, but a bit big. It is bulky and the pattern is written for worsted, so I cast on 96 instead of 120. I think I should do 88 or 84 for future ones out of that yarn. I ended up folding down one end when I sewed on the buttons.  A cute pattern it is, though and my pals liked theirs.  I'm going to make one for myself, too.

Anyway, I'm back to knitting for myself and spinning up a storm. I'm even getting back to my loom, albeit in a very small way. I'm going to work on scarves on my Voyageur table loom.  I do intend to keep posting here even as I embark on an exciting new project with Gwen. We'll be working on another blog that will debut as The Same Stitch. It's not live yet, but I'll let you know when it is. What we're going for is to present Two Sides of the Same Stitch, because that's what knitting is-just two sides of the same stitch. Gwen and I are so sympathetic in our views of the principles of knitting, but we have differing strengths and knowledge, so it will be really fun to look at the same projects or teaching ideas from two different perspectives.

Happy New Year to All!

Friday, November 20, 2009

FO Friday: Baby Hats A-Go-Go!

So, a friend offered me a challenge-to come up with a stripey, toque-style baby hat for her to use as a photo prop when she photographs newborns. For all you non-Canadians, a toque is a triangular hat with a series of far-apart decreases that make the crown into an elongated shape. Think elf hat or Santa Claus. Fun times. Here are my experiments. These are all original designs, just for the record, and obviously one is not a toque. I did not look at any other patterns or closely examine any other hats. I got to use my mad Jogless Jog skills and make these hats quite seamless-looking. You can get some sense of the scale of each hat by its respective "model." The apple is a gigantic honey crisp that is larger than a grapefruit, so it is a little off, but you can hopefully imagine your average navel orange and acorn squash. Each of these is 12-13 inches around. The yarns I used were all from stash-some leftover Karabella Aurora 8 in a soft pinky lavendar from this project and a bit of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran from the Cream and White Yarn Cupboard. The bright pink and white is old Caron acrylic that came to me in a bag of cast-offs. Eew. But the color was right and the baby won't mind. Unless of course she also gets to try on the lovely soft wool version. Then if she had words, she would beg her mama never to let yucky acrylic touch her perfect skin again. Sorry, I'm not normally such an obnoxious yarn snob, but what a difference between the two yarns.

Saturday, November 07, 2009


Yes, it's time again for a report from the land of acronyms. I'm gradually turning my UFO's into FO's. I'm trying to rescue myself from the condition known as SABLE, and I'm very sanctimoniously avoiding any SEX, which we all know causes SABLE, among other things.

So, this week's first feature has been aging in its partially done state for approximately 3 years. It is all from stash, no new yarn was purchased or harmed in the completion of this project. It was from the beginning intended for A4A, and I'm happy to say that I'm going to make the deadline with two blankets-the red one from last week and this one. I like this one very much. It became a bit of a color study for me, and I thoroughly enjoyed playing with the combinations to form a random blanket that had a certain amount of cohesiveness. Hopefully I've avoided any offensive cultural or religious combinations, and hopefully, it will make some baby both happy and warm. What a great program. Thanks Ann, for creating something inspiring enough to get me to finish big things.

PS. I know there are wonderful charities that help people here in the States, but this is the one that gets all my wool, plus the Afghan people just hold a special place in my heart for various reasons. I promise that I do donate to other organizations when I have other yarns to spare.

Next, we have the Origami Bear, a superlative design by Merike Saarniit, who I've had the pleasure of meeting at Stitches. This is for a class I'm teaching in December at Cloverhill Yarn Shop. I used Encore Mega on size 13's and was done in about an hour. The sewing up took another 30 minutes or so. This was also stash yarn, and I can't wait to use other yarn to make bears in all sizes and colors. The way it comes together is ingenious on the order of EZ's Surprise Jacket. You would never imagine during the knitting of it or even once it is complete that it could ever be a cute, cuddly bear. It is formed completely from squares and rectangles, all knitted in one piece, then seamed up in a wonderful organic progression. What a satisfying little thing to create.

PS. I know he needs eyes, but I kinda like him with his face left to the imagination. I think after the class is over, he'll go to my new little nephew in Arizona.

Now, I've got to get back to knitting other people's things. I have a biggie for Gwen that's due in December and one to finish for class this Saturday. Wish me luck.