Apr 302014

photo courtesy of Knitscene

I am so in love with these little mitts!  Xenon Mitts were knit up for Knitscene Summer 2014.  I designed these to be a super simple knit but still interesting to work up.  These are knit top down for something a little different.  Stitches are simply cast on to create the thumb so there is no going back later to work the top of thumb.  Two ends to weave in!  The pattern is available in two sizes but the ribbing throughout really makes it able to fit just about any size adult hand.

The sample is knit in SweetGeorgia Yarns Superwash DK.  This yarn has such a great loft to it, with just the perfect amount of stretch for such a project.  I wanted to try a version with a more variegated  yarn so I worked up a pair in Ella Rae Lace Merino DK.  I love the way the color variation mixes with the ribbing here!

Be sure to check out all the other patterns from Knitscene Summer 2014.  These are some goodies there!

 April 30, 2014  knitting Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »
May 062013

Browns Crossing is the old name of the Colorado town of Nederland. The tiny 1.5 square mile town is rich in characteristic Rocky Mountain charm but still retains much of the grit of the original 1800s settlement, a combination that I adore.

Like its namesake, Browns Crossing is beautiful without being cutesy, utilitarian without being pedestrian. A scarf-like length and width allows for it to be worn quite a few different ways for added versatility.

The yarn for this, Cephalopod Traveller, is incredible.  It’s super soft and the colors are some of the most beautiful I have ever seen.  When I was at Stitches West this February I was getting to the point of overload with all the yarns to look at and fondle, but when I came across their booth I was rejuvenated and excited, like I was seeing something entirely new.  I want one of every colorway they do!!

The Details:

Yarn: Cephalopod Traveller, 2 skeins in Gallifrey (how could I pass up yarn with that name??)

Yardage: Approximately 560yds

Gauge: 18sts and 24 rows = 4 inches / 10cm in Stockinette st

Suggested needle size: US size 10

Price: $5

Find this pattern on Ravelry!


 May 6, 2013  knitting, patterns Tagged with: , ,  5 Responses »
Jun 292012

I have a real addiction to creating knitting charts. It’s an obsession really. I literally dream of little squares, stitches, and pixels.

I have so many other things I should be working on right now, but instead I’m drawing charts for a brand new pattern.  Those of you who like stranded knitting will have lots to look forward to this fall!

 June 29, 2012  knitting Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »
Jun 222012

Jane is at the top of my list of internet friends who I’d love to meet in person.  It feels weird to me that we never have since we’ve known each other for over 6 years and shared a lot of ups and downs.  I adore her writing and dry sense of humor as well as her crazy creativity.  One main tether between us over the years has been knitting.  I love it when I find another knitter who constantly blows my mind.  Jane’s Womb With a View still has me shaking my head years later as to how this was ever dreamt up.  Amazing.  I wanted to probe her brain for my blog and share her work with the rest of you.  She was ever so kind to oblige.

Wattsolak:  Why knitting??

Jane:  Knitting has this “link to the past” feeling that I love. I’ve always been kind of obsessed with what has gone before and what people did “once upon a time”, and I feel like it connects me with a simpler time. My grandma is one of those super-speed knitters that can probably knit in her sleep, and since I’ve been knitting she and I have really connected through that. That connection is so precious to me. I’m also a perpetual motion machine, and if I didn’t have knitting needles in my hand I’d probably be chewing my hand off just for something to do.
Wattsolak:  What’s your favorite knitting project thus far?Jane:  I loved making my stranded yoke sweater. The EZ formula is so magical, so personal, so mathematical. It’s astounding that you can punch in a few numbers and do a little math, and as long as you trust those numbers, you have a perfectly fitted garment at the end. Every time I found myself doubting the “pithy instructions”, I would just ignore the doubt and keep going. When I was finally done, I was in awe of how perfect it was.

Wattsolak:  What is your favorite source of inspiration?

Jane:  Is it bad that my answer isn’t “my children”? It’s totally not my children. I like things that are dark and scary, so I’m always trying to find a way to make something darker and scarier. Like “Hmm, that yarn is the colour of zombie flesh” or “That colourway looks just like a placenta” – those are things I’ve actually thought and then gone on to start experimenting. I’m not really very good at designing things, but I do love to mess around with a pattern and change it to suit me, even if it’s just with colour.

Wattsolak: What other crafty things do you do besides knitting?

Jane:  Nothing. Knitting is it for me. I actually find myself hating other crafts because they don’t measure up. I think scrapbooking is for the weak, and I can’t sew to save my life. Sometimes I try to garden, and then things die. But it’s fun while my hands are in the mud, so I guess that counts for something.

Wattsolak:  What is your ultimate knitting project/goal?

Jane:  My ultimate goal is to finish the sweater I started for Dillon [Jane's husband] 2 years ago. At one point I was making some serious progress, and I finished the back panel and got so excited that I draped it over him to see if the sizing was way off. And he jumped up and screamed “IT ITCHES! IT ITCHES!”  Well obviously, Sherlock. It’s Lopi. Anyway, I haven’t had the heart to pick it up since then. And that was 9 months ago. Someday I’m going to overcome the trauma and pick it up again.  I also really wish I could design stuff, but my brain just doesn’t work that way. I’ve improvised many times, but I go into a bit of a trance when I do that and can’t remember what I’ve done when it’s all over, so I can’t turn those things into patterns.

Wattsolak:  Exactly how much coffee do you drink in a day?

Jane:  Ha! Well… we make a 12 cup Bodum in the morning, and Dillon takes about 2 cups of that to work with him. I go through the rest during the course of the day, and sometimes make another pot. So A LOT. It doesn’t even affect me physically anymore. I need it to live but it doesn’t keep me up unless I forget to eat. But coffee and knitting go together so beautifully! How can I not drink it?

Wattoslak:  Seriously, those non-coffee-drinking knitters are ones to be suspicious of.


Thanks, Jane, you rock.  If anyone wants to see more of Jane’s amazingness, check her out on Ravelry!
Apr 302012

It should be obvious to everyone by now that I love making toys.  There is a moment that occurs in toy making that is so satisfying when you take this limp, two dimensional piece, stuff it full of guts and let it’s final shape bloom.  It’s like the moment of birth for a toy!  One of my biggest pet peeves about knit toys are when they aren’t stuffed properly.  I get so disproportionally annoyed by it, I can’t even fully express it.  I thought I’d show how I go about giving a toy its innards in case anyone is curious.

Here is the beginning of a toy.  Eventually this will be part of a new pattern, but for now I’ll leave it as an abstract.  Anyway, I depending on how large the toy is, I usually like to stuff as I go.  My general rule of thumb is that I always want to be able to stuff with my fingers, so I never leave the to-be-stuffed part deeper than my fingers can reach in.  In the photo below the part of the toy before the bend has already been stuffed.  The stuffing to the right is the amount that will fill in the rest.

Here is all the stuffing pressed into the toy.  I pushed the stuffing down firmly, really compacting it.  See how it made ladders?  Eek!

Here you can see how much it’s pressed down.  You want a well stuffed toy but this is too much.  If you had a dark yarn you’d have little spots of the light stuffing showing through.  To me this is worse than someone chewing tinfoil while dragging their nails on a chalkboard.  Chills up my spine, I tell you!

I have never personally milked a cow but I’ve seen it done plenty.  For those of you who know the motion I’m talking about, this is about what I do with my toys to get the stuffing situated properly.  Starting at the bottom, squeeze and stretch the toy, pressing the stuffing upward.  Roll the object back and forth between your fingers to move the stuffing up.  When you see no more ladders, you’re good!

See how much better that looks!  Nice and smooth with even stitches.  Ahh, I love it.

Here you can see how much the stuffing was pushed up.  It may not look like that much of a change from here but it makes a ton of difference in the feel of the finished product.

So, people, don’t overstuff!  When in doubt, too little stuffing is way better than too much.  We neurotic toy people thank you.



 April 30, 2012  knitting, tutorial Tagged with: , , ,  2 Responses »
Jan 082012

I do believe my yellow Aidez sweater has started a snowball effect of color in my knitting world. I recently completed the above shawl (Cladonia) which is a color combination that I could never see myself in. I had originally chosen the rainbow yarn for my daughter and the yellow for a friend but both sank to the bottom of my stash. I never would have dared knit either for myself. But now I love it.

In the weeks since finishing the cardigan and the shawl, I find myself gravitating to brighter and brighter colors. Yesterday some of my knitting friends and I ventured down to the brand spanking new Fancy Tiger location (AMAZING, by the way!) and my eyes went to all the vibrant colors that I would have passed over a year ago. It’s like having a new set of eyes!

I walked away with a few skeins yesterday, one of which was this great fuchsia Peace Fleece with which I want to knit myself a Molly.

When I got home I laughed at the realization that this is not unlike the color pink that my hair use to commonly be years ago.

Perhaps my sticking to blond and red hair has contributed to my need for bright color in my otherwise neutral wardrobe.  Oh, my beloved pink, you will adorn my head once again!

I hope to keep this up for the rest of 2012.  Perhaps I’ll venture more into orange and blues, those colors which never dare enter my dresser.  I’m excited to see what this year brings!

 January 8, 2012  knitting, Year of Color Tagged with: , , , , , ,  4 Responses »
Dec 082011

How cute are these three together??!  This here is my very first ebook and I’m so happy to finally share it with everyone.  You can buy each of the patterns separately or as the ebook at a discounted price.  Click on the photos below to see the individual patterns!

Click below to buy the three as a set for $8!  $2 off!

See the set on Ravelry!

 December 8, 2011  knitting, patterns Tagged with: , , , , ,  No Responses »
Dec 082011

This right here is the one that started it all.  My friend Jane is currently growing her third child, due to be released some time next month.  Jane is an fellow knitter and I wanted to design something special just for her.  One night the chant “First is the worst, second is the best, third is the one with the hairy chest” popped in my head and I knew that third baby would need a hairy chested doll.



This guy’s large feet and wide hands allow him to stand on his own.  Half a skein of Cascade 220 will do you for this, plus a bit of extra contrasting yarn for the embellishments.




The Details:

Yarn: worsted weight wool or blend of your choice
Yardage: approximately 110yds, plus small bits for the hair and teeth
Gauge: 5sts/ inch in stockinette
Suggested needle size: US size 6, either 4 DPNs or one long circular
Finished measurements:  approximately 9″ tall
Price: $4

Find this pattern on Ravelry

Buy the trio as a set!

 December 8, 2011  knitting, patterns Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »
Dec 082011

Who doesn’t need a sweet little pixie in their life?  I want to make a slew of these and turn them into ornaments.  Or maybe just leave them places.  Hide them in trees in the park perhaps.

This is easy peasy.  I wrote the pattern to be pain free for those who have never knit toys before.  Can you knit an icord?  Decrease?  Work a yarn over?  You can make this!!  For those who are more advanced knitters or experienced toy makers, this pattern would be a quick gift idea. 

The Details:

Yarn: worsted weight wool or blend of your choice
Yardage: very small amounts of yard in 4 different colors (skin, dress, tights, hair)
Gauge: 6sts/ inch in stockinette
Suggested needle size: US size 5, either 4 DPNs or one long circular
Finished measurements:  approximately 6″ tall
Price: $3

Find this pattern on Ravelry

Buy the trio as a set!


 December 8, 2011  knitting, patterns Tagged with: , , , , ,  No Responses »
Dec 082011

Grumpy troll or misunderstood old man?  No one knows with this guy.  I am so pleased with this one.  This turned out exactly like my original sketch, so much so that I even surprised myself!

The shaping of the body is pretty simple.  What makes this guy stand out is his features: the long nose, the stubby fingers, and the lumpy boots.  Single ply yarn makes for dready locks.  You’ll be surprised how fast this one knits up. 


The Details:

Yarn: worsted weight wool or blend of your choice
Yardage: less than 50yds of skin color, a bot less for pants and boots, plus small bits for embellishments
Gauge: 6sts/ inch in stockinette
Suggested needle size: US size 5, either 4 DPNs or one long circular
Finished measurements:  approximately 7.5″ tall
Price: $3

Find this pattern on Ravelry

Buy the trio as a set!

 December 8, 2011  knitting, patterns Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »