Sunday, August 30, 2015

Parker's Cotton Cardi

I was so happy with the results of the "Little Coffee Bean" cardigan, I couldn't wait to get another one on the needles.  Because the recipient lives in Alabama, I wanted a lighter yarn.  Hobby Lobby's "I Love this Yarn" also has in a cotton blend, making it perfect for this project.  

While the pattern called for Size 7 and Size 8 needles, I felt these sizes made a fabric that was too loose.  I ended up using Size 5 and Size 6 needles.  I do recommend that you use the "super stretchy bind off" for the button bands.  It gives a more even button band, preventing the bottom from riding up.  

Check out Cat Bordhi's video instruction for the Super Stretch Bind Off.  It's super easy to follow and to learn.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Undulated Ribbed Trekking Socks

 I needed a quick and easy project to do while I was on vacation and I hadn't knit up a pair of socks in a long time.  I had this perfect ball of Deborah Norville Serenity sockweight yarn I had purchased from Joanne's.  

The hard part, though was to find the perfect pattern that would quickly knit up.  I ended up modifying a free "trekking" pattern on  While the original pattern called for the two alternating ribs from the cuff down, then stockinette stitch down to the heel.  I though that was incredibly boring so I continued the rib in alternating rows.  The stripping of the yarn contributed to a nice undulating pattern.  For the heel, I used the "Fish Lips Kiss" heel which worked out well.  

I love the result of my first attempt to step out of my comfort zone by modifying a pattern.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Baby's First Ragland

The arrival of my landlord's wfirst child, gave me the perfect opportunity to complete my first top down ragland cardigan sweater on a small scale.  I took two recommendations from my friend Diana by using "I Love this Yarn," which is Hobby Lobby's own brand and her go to baby sweater pattern.  

"I Love this Yarn" is soft, inexpensive, and comes in a wide variety of colors.  The sweater pattern, "Little Coffee Bean," can be found on Ravelry as a free download.  Don't be intimidated by this stripped, top down pattern.  You can find instructions on to eliminate the jogs that you get as a result of knitting stripes in the round.  If stripes aren't for you, you can do a solid or variegated yarn; it will still look great.

Baby, Baby, Baby.....

When I returned from vacation, I couldn't wait to raid my stash yarn to make some more goodies for my new little cousin, Emily.  The center pair of socks were made from Online Supersocke, a 100% wool yarn I used to make my first pair of socks.  I love the way the striping works out with the colors, while the pink gives it the "girly girl" look.  I improvised on the pattern by gauging the size of her feet and comparing it to other baby sock patterns.  The cuff was a simple 2x2 rib, followed by the "Fish Lips Kiss" short row heel.

The booties on the right were made with Paton's Kroy sock yarn that was left over from a pair of socks I had made for myself.  The pattern "Magic Slippers," is free on Ravelry and is a very easy pattern to follow.  What attracted me to it was that it was knitted in one piece, eliminating the need to seam up the back.  It is also easy enough to make larger or in a heaver weight if desired.

The booties on the left were made from left over Plymouth Encore yarn from the "Flo the Elephant" project.  A simple "Mary Jane" booties which are also free on Ravelry.  I found many variations.  This pattern was easy to follow as well, calling a mattress stitch to sew up the back heel.  Although it was done in all garter stitch, the seaming worked out fine.  The buttons were found at Hobby Lobby.  Their light pink with a center rhinestone gives the proper amount of bling for our new little princess.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Flo the Elephant - Part II

I was thrilled when my cousin told me his wife, Tiffany was pregnant and immediately told them both that I would knit anything they wanted.  The baby's room was decorated in an animal theme and she wanted "Flo the Elephant" which I had done for a friend's daughter a while back.

The pattern is free on "" and very simple to work up.  It took me a while to find exactly the right colors.  They were having a girl, so the color pink was a given and I wanted to find a green to make it really pop.  I knit it up on US Size 4 needles with Plymouth Encore worsted weight yarn.  While the pattern called for 100% wool, Plymouth's acrylic/wool blend did the trick.  Instead of embroidering the eyes, I chose safety eyes which worked out better and even added the daisy stitch flowers with the pink yarn.

The recipients couldn't be happier with the results.  In fact, the gift was such a big hit, I got a request for another!!!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Random Acts of Kindness

I just love the Ravelry Group "Random Acts of Kindness."  Each month, you post your wish list; it can be anything from yarns to patterns, or books.  What I love the most about this group is that the timing of these "random acts" is impeccable.  I came home from a long day at work to a package from fellow raveler "Freedom1776."  She sent me two beautiful diaries that I will use for my knitting projects and the candy which almost disappeared in an instant.

If you are a fellow raveler, you have to check out this group.  I love giving as well as receiving!!!!  Join this group and make someone's day......

Friday, April 3, 2015

Classic Cables

When my husband and I received a week's worth of groceries from co-workers, I wanted to show my eternal gratitude by knitting up something special.  A "go to" gift of a scarf wouldn't do.  I had to have an extra special pattern for these special ladies.

I found the "Zurich" scarf on for free.  I immediately fell in love with the cable pattern and set to work on two in their respective favorite colors.  I used Lion Brand Vanna's Choice in Deep Purple and Rose with a Size 8 (5.00 mm) needles.  Each scarf took three skeins each. The cable pattern was easy to follow and I soon memorized the pattern.  Additionally the seed stitch border kept the edges from rolling in.  

I was a little worried about the blocking process because of the acrylic yarn.  I wet each scarf completely in the sink, rolled them in a tower to squeeze out the excess water and laid them across the back of my sofa, slightly stretching the width.  It took them a couple days to dry, but the result was a soft fabric with a nice drape.  Can't wait to give them to the recipients.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

There's no HItch

I had always wanted to do the Hitchhiker pattern ever since I had seen it at the 2013 New York Sheep and Wool Festival.  I was gifted this pattern right around the time my best friend had her 50th birthday, giving me the  perfect opportunity to produce this beautiful project.  The Hitchhiker is something simple and quick, yet gives the appearance of modern style.  Although the "saw blade" edges look complicated, it really is quite simple to accomplish.

I used two 100g balls of Berroco Boboli Lace, a sport weight wool blend with a Size 4 (3.50 mm) needle.  Though it has the appearance of being underpun, it produced a nice fabric.  I had originally purchased this for "The Age of Brass and Steel," but I'm glad I used it for this.  The blue gray colorway along with the garter stitch made for a nice texture. 

This triangle shawlette begins with a two stitch cast on, and increasing almost every row.  Short rows are created by turning the work before you get to the end of a row.  It is very simple to follow, even though it is worked in short rows.  Make sure you have extra yarn and count your stitches.  While most projects pages called for a 100g ball, I ran out of yarn.  Thank goodness I was able to find the same colorway to finish the project.  This classic design is definitely a repeat project. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Magic Mirror

I finally got around to finishing a project that I started quite a while ago.  I belong to the group "Sock Knitter Anonymous" on and took up the "Sockdown September '13" challenge.  I don't know what made me think I could possibly do this with all my schoolwork and other obligations.  I put the project on hold and didn't pick it up again until the fall of 2014.

The parameters were to use one of Jennie Cartmel's patterns in a tropical colored theme.  I was anxious to try something new, since I had never seen any of Jennie Cartmel's designs.  I chose her Magic Mirror Socks, a "toe up" construction.  I had only knit one other "toe up" pair of socks and was looking to hone my skills and get a change of routine.  The pattern offered easy to follow directions with large charts and helpful links.  I used a Size 1 (2.25mm) needle instead of the recommended Size 0 (2.00mm).  The Chroma doesn't give much stretch and I felt that a the 2.00mm needles wouldn't be large enough, even if I make the largest size.

For the yarn, I chose Knit Picks Chroma Fingering weight yarn in the Lollipop colorway.  I instantly fell in love with this colorway and felt it was a perfect match for the tropical theme.  Knit Picks Chroma Fingering is a soft, smooshy, under-spun yarn and one 100g ball will easily make two socks with room to spare.  I was able to get a nice tight fabric, but because the yarn is underspun, you must be very careful as it's not easily unraveled.  Unfortunately I had to do this several times when I got to the heel portion of the sock. I ripped out the heel of the first sock more than I wanted, but I refused to give up.  After trying many different methods, I reverted back to the instructions of the pattern.  The cuff was ten rows of ribbing, finishing with Jeny's "Super Stretchy Bind Off" which you can easily find on you tube.

I would love to do this pattern again with a completely different yarn to see what result I get. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Christmas Kerchief

Armed with a Christmas gift card from my son, I picked up this yarn at "A Stitch in Time" in Bethel, Connecticut.  I instantly fell in love with a display of this pattern in the store.  I had seen the pattern here on ravelry, but a heaver weight of yarn was used. 

The pattern, called for Size 6 (4mm needles) was very easy to follow and was a quick project to knit up.  The Boboli Lace is a light weight, slightly under-spun yarn.  It give the perfect texture and fabric for the shawlette/scarf.  You do, however, need to be careful with dropped stitches.

I was a little discouraged with the finished size, but I was able to block it out to the proper size with my new blocking mats.  I was delighted to see how far the kerchief stretched out.

This is the perfect project for a quick knit gift and I can see making it again and again.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


I have been on a scarf kick.  I recently made a hat and scarf for my coworker; it was such a big hit that another coworker asked me to make a scarf to give as a gift.  She saw the pattern for the "Batkus" scarf and asked for that.  The Batkus is a scarf knitted "side to side," beginning with 4 cast on stitches.  You increase every fourth row until you get the desired length, then decrease accordingly.

I used a 100g ball of Jojoland Melody Superwash wool on a Size 3 needle.  I loved the wide array of fall colors, which is what the recipient wanted.  This project had a lot of trial and error on my part.  I had started out with a Size 4 and didn't like the drape; I started over with the smaller needle and casted on again.  Again, I didn't like the fabric it produced.  I then casted-on for the Lacy Batkus, but still wasn't satisfied.  I went back to Ravelry and found the pattern for the "Wallenbatkus" (wavy batkus).  I did an eight row knit and purl rib and increased the width of the scarf until I reached the end of the first 50g ball.  I wanted to keep the same "gradient" with no obvious color changes, so I rewound the 2nd 50g ball to get to the center.

As I was decreasing, I held my breath, praying that I wouldn't run out of yarn before I reached the end.  I did run out, but not until I was down to six stitches.  I had to do some creative decreases at the very end.  To block, I simply hand washed the scarf and laid flat to dry.  As I dried, I gently pulled up the ends so the ribbing would stand out.  

The scarf was a big hit with the recipient and I was happy to have a coworker be the model for this blog post.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Spreading Cheer with Wingspan

I have become obsessed with knitting shawlettes.  I had discovered the "Wingspan" from by maylin Tri'Coterie Designs on and had seen a finished version at the 2013 New York Sheep and Wool Festival.  I was given the pattern as a random gift and couldn't wait to get started.  My first attempt at this pattern was with Plymouth Stiletto in the Dillon colorway with Size 3 needles.  The 100g ball gave me the requisite eight "triangles," but the Size 3 needles made for a tighter fabric with not much drape.  

While the work was in progress, I had found the Plymouth Stiletto in the Villandry colorway and purchased two balls.  This time I used Size 4 needles and achieve the perfect weight and drape.  I began this project back in the early summer while on vacation.  While the pattern works up quickly and easily by using short rows which have always made me nervous.  However, the pattern provided a link to the German Short Row Pattern on  This method was extremely easy and left no gaps whatsoever.

This shawlette was a birthday present for my sister, but I do plan to make this again, mixing up the colorways to get different looks.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

You're Such a Gentleman

One day at work, while I was bragging about my knitting prowess, I asked by my coworker to make him a hat and scarf for the winter.  His requirements were simple; something black to keep him nice and warm.  I took this opportunity to knit up another Compo Hat by Julz.  This was a recent pattern that I had tested in one of my Ravelry groups in a plain acrylic yarn.  Fortunately, the search for a comparable scarf wasn't hard to find.  I chose the Gentlemans Scarf by the Sheepwalk Fiber Arts Studio.

Both projects were knit in Knit Picks Swish Superwash Merino. The hat was knit with Size 7 needles and the scarf with Size 9. I felt it necessary to use a larger needle for the scarf to achieve the appropriate drape.  Each pattern was easy to follow and knit up quickly.  The Swish Superwash Merino made the cable patterns pop and the fine wool made for a more luxurious knit that could be dressed up or down.  I intentionally made the scarf extra long to wrap around the neck and have the ends hang down. 

The project, finished just in time was a big hit with the recipient.  Right after the delivery, our area experienced a drop in temperatures.  My friend came into work with his new hat, ready to pose for a picture.  Needless to say when there's cold weather in the forecast, this hat delivers comfort and warmth.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Country Girl - City Cardigan

Christmas of 2013 brought me a nice gift card to my favorite yarn store from my son.  I have always wanted to do a cardigan and found this pattern at "A Stitch in Time" in Bethel, CT.  The pattern name is "City Cardigan," calling for a wool yarn.  However, I chose "DungarEASE" from Knit One, Crochet Two.  The cotton/acrylic blend worked up nicely. The knit one through back loop/purl one through back look gave the ribbing a nice defined look.  

If I were to do this project again, I would add more length to the waist and possibly add another buttonhole.  I'm a short girl with a short waist.  The extra length would give an illusion of a taller me.  The buttonholes were easy to make, but ended up being too big for the buttons called for in the pattern.  

I found these lovely buttons at Joanne's for only $2.50 for two.  There were inexpensive, but found out that inexpensive buttons are not always better.  While sewing on the buttons, the brown border came off the first button.  To improvise, I pulled off the border of each button and nobody was the wiser.  While I love the buttons I chose, I would definitely would get bigger ones.  I feel the smaller ones get lost. 

Even with all these little speed bumps, I totally rocked the City Cardigan at the 2014 New York State Sheep & Wool Festival at Rhinebeck, NY.  I received many compliments from friends and people passing by.  A certain win.


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Thanks for the Anklets....

My sister lives down south so she doesn't get much of an opportunity to wear wool socks.  She did, however, express interest in a pair of anklet socks.  I found this pattern on  The pattern "Thanks" is a great pattern that knits up simply but looks more complex.  The yarn is plain old Patons Kroy Socks yarn that I purchased on sale from  Hobby Lobby in Knoxville, Tennessee while I was on vacation.  This free pattern looks great with any color yarn.  Below is my sister modeling her "belated" Christmas present with her sweet dog, Maggie who looks a little jealous wanting her own socks.