Monday, March 26, 2012

Swirling Along

I have been feeling a little lately like my knitting is out to get me. Maybe it is from being super busy with the show or maybe being pregnant, or maybe both! It's just little stuff, for the most part. Like I will look for a ball of yarn I need, which was there just a second ago, and suddenly it isn't there. Eventually I find it, but it seems to be happening a lot lately. My biggest knitting disaster lately was this mess:

I realized after I had finally reached the 15 welt on my Swirl that I had somehow moved the beginning marker when I joined it in the round. So I had 5 less stitches in the first section and 5 more stitches in the last section. Now Swirl is pretty forgiving as far as mistakes go, but not this one. The beginning and end means that the collar would be lopsided. The more I thought about it the more I realized I couldn't ignore the problem. So I painstakingly dropped enough stitches from the top all the way down to the first decreases then carefully picked it all back up again. I will say a big shout out to my addi turbo lace clicks set (which are the most awesome things ever), for saving me a lot in this endeavor! Using the set I was able to take off the tips and join the cord completely in the round using a connector piece. Then I used my tips and a short cord to knit my way back up the sweater. The above photo shows my progress. I think any unevenness will sort itself out when it is finally blocked.

Here is the sweater, good as knew! I'm almost to the sleeves! I plan on shortening the sleeves up a bit. It's a good thing Sandra McIver just posted a tutorial on achieving desired sleeve length a couple of weeks ago! I think I will need it!

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Look what just arrived in the mail:

Treasure! Stitchjones sent this yarn to be part of the Beyond Toes Treasure Hunt at the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival. It is enough yarn to knit Pasarela (rav link), which features Stitchjones Dyepot Worsted Superwash Merino. It is so pretty! Everything is coming together so nicely! The show is now only a month away! I can't believe it!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Workshop Wednesdays: Brioche Knitting

Well, Brioche Knitting seems to be a very popular class! In fact the Sunday Afternoon session is currently full! So I have decided to add a second class on Saturday Morning 9am - 12 pm.

Brioche knitting is a stitch pattern which creates a double layer for double the warmth. I have seen some incredibly beautiful finished products using this technique! No wonder it is so popular! Nichole has taught this class several times before, and with her attention to detail it is sure to be a wonderful class. I spoke more about her back on the first Workshop Wednesday, when I talked about the Knit to Fit class (which still has room!).

I don't know what more to say! Wonderful class! Wonderful instructor! You will love it!

For more information on the Brioche Workshop check out here:

In other news, the wonderful people at Lantern Moon have offered to donate an extra 30 project bags for the show, so the first 10 people to visit the marketplace each day will receive a project bag! Yay!

Monday, March 19, 2012


Before I officially knew I was going to have a girl, I started a little strawberry hat for my baby. I had some idea it would be a girl, but figured red is a boy color, right?

I really love the berry hat (rav link). The hat is the standard Fruit Cap pattern by Ann Norling. I was so inspired I had to make a pair of matching baby mitts. Of course, I have already managed to lose one of them before I could photograph the set. Thankfully I have enough leftover yarn to make another one! The yarn is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran for the red and Cascade 220 Superwash in Celery, leftover from the Peapod sweater. I'm happy to say that all the yarn was from stash! I am planning on writing up a pattern for the little mitts, as well as a couple ideas I have for new strawberry hats. So many possibilities!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Workshop Wednesdays: Eeek! Steeks!

I have talked about Mary Scott Huff before for her workshop Stranded in Your Socks in this post. Mary is a wonderful and incredibly fun person to be around. Her classes are simply amazing! In the Eeek! Steeks! class Mary walks you through 3 different ways to create a steek. What are Steeks? Well, steeking is the act of cutting your knitting after you have knit it. It comes in handy for a lot of things, especially color knitting. Color knitting is easier to do in the round, but on sweaters you have to divide for sleeves or even for the front of a cardigan. Steeking makes it possible to knit these things in the round and then cut afterwards. Mary recently posted about the process of doing it to knit 2 sleeves at the same time for her Queen Bee Cardigan. You can read about it here! I did a bit of steeking myself on a baby sweater here and another baby sweater here! Once you try it out you will see so many possibilities!

For more information on Eeek! Steeks, check out here:

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Workshop Wednesdays: Fleece to Garment

Fleece to Garment is a 4 part class taught by my good friend, Deb Accuardi. She was half of the former Pico Accuardi Dyeworks and currently keeps a blog here and a podcast here. I came up with this set of classes in part because Deb came up with the idea of leading a group of people from purchasing their fleece from Imperial Stock Ranch and then meeting regularly with them to work through the process of turning it into a finished sweater. The other inspiration came from the survey I sent out last year asking for suggestions for classes. Many people wanted to improve their spinning skills in ways that fit into these same classes. I also felt that by making it a 4 part series students could take just the class they wanted and put off the rest for another year. The parts are as follows:

Part 1: Get Ready to Spin: In this class it is all about prepping fibers. Students bring a washed raw fleece to class and then learn different techniques from carding to combing. Available in class will be drum carders and Duncan Carders is letting the class borrow an Electric Carder. Washing a fleece would have been available if it wasn't for a lack of water allowed in the classrooms and fleeces wouldn't be dry in time to do the other parts. Though if there is enough interest, Deb may get together a group to wash fleeces before the festival.

Part 2: Sampling for the Garment: Learn how to spin consistent singles meant for a finished product. This class teaches you how to get the exact yarn for your finished item, starting with your singles. Deb will cover worsted vs woolen techniques for spinning. Everything you need to make the perfect single.

Part 3: The Final Yarn: Now that you have singles (or bring your own singles to class) Deb will talk about the many ways to ply them together into your finished yarn. You may want to ply 2, 3, or 4 strands together to achieve the perfect finished yarn for your project. Perhaps Navajo plying will help you achieve the right effect. Deb will walk you through all of these techniques to create the perfect finished yarn for your finished project.

Part 4: Knitting with Handspun Yarn: Now that you have your finished yarn here are some techniques to make sure your yarn will work the way you want in the finished garment. This class is also open to knitters who do not spin and simply love handspun yarn! Since handspun yarn works differently than commercial yarn Deb will walk you through how to get the most out of any handspun yarn.

For each of these classes Deb is providing a journal to keep your samples and notes in from the class. For each additional class she will provide extra inserts to keep extra samples and notes in. The material fee covers this notebook and is $10 per class for the first 2 classes in the series. So at most you pay $20. Also, if you sign up for all 4 classes you receive a class discount of $40. So you can take all 4 classes for $220 including materials and come away with a working knowledge of how to turn a raw fleece into a gorgeous handmade finished project. A real deal in my opinion!

If you would like to hear about the classes in Deb's own words she talks about it here on her podcast At the Kitchen Table: Episode 89: And the Winners Are...

For more info on Get Ready to Spin check out here:

For more info on Sampling for the Garment check out here:

For more info on The Final Yarn check out here:

For more info on Knitting with Handspun Yarn check out here:

Monday, March 05, 2012

Sweet Pea Cardigan & Errata

I have nearly finished the Sweet Pea Cardigan. I'm actually just waiting to find out whether it is a boy or a girl before I finish off the trim and buttons.

Here it is unblocked. It looks like a wrinkled mess. The pattern is from 60 Quick Baby Knits and is by Mary Scott Huff, who is one of the wonderful instructors at the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival. The only thing I have to say is there were quite a few errors in the pattern, which I don't blame on the designer. I think most of them should have been caught during editing. I have included them, so if you want to make your own you can. I used Cascade 220 Superwash in color Celery for the pattern.

Here is the body of the sweater all nicely blocked. I couldn't get a good shot of the whole thing in one photo. I knit the 0-6 month size. Following are the errors I found in the pattern:

1. This one is my opinion, maybe not an error: Before I started I looked at the measurements for the smallest size, which is 6 months. I measured my very soon to be 2 year old and they were his exact measurements. He isn't small for his age and definitely wears a size 2T. I tried the finished sweater on him and it is tight across the chest, but definitely long enough to reach his bottom. So it does run long, if you don't like that sort of thing.

2. Make Stem Directions: The directions say to Bind Off 6, when you should bind off 5. If you bind off 6, then you end up with one less stitch in the pea pod panel when you start the chart over again. 

3. Hood: Inc row (RS): I ended up with 115 sts, not 109. This is because during some parts of the pea pod chart you have 15 sts in the panel and some parts you have 18 sts per panel. So if you are working rows 1-4 or 23-24 of the panel you will have 109 sts, but if you are working rows 5-22 you will have 115 sts for the 6 month size. 

4. Sleeves: Dec rnd: Pattern says: "Rep dec rnd every 6th (6th, 5th) rnd 6 (8, 11) times more 44 (46, 46) sts. Change to smaller dpns and k 6 rnds." 
It has absolutely no mention of continuing until sleeve measures 6 1/2 (7 1/2, 8 1/2)" like the diagram shows. My sleeve, which I was getting perfect gauge on, measured 5 1/2" when I finished the decreases. If I hadn't happened to glance at the diagram my sleeves would have been an inch too short. 

5. Front Edge Facing: It should say work 6 rows in st st, not 5. If you do 5 then either the turned hem will be inside out or the turning ridge will be inside out. I went with doing 6 rows, because all other turned hem instructions have 6 rows.

I have heard that quite a few patterns in the book also have errors. As an experienced knitter I was able to figure out what was wrong and complete the pattern. I feel that any other experienced knitter would be able to do the same. The patterns are adorable and I'm happy to say that I am planning on having a book signing with Nichole Reese at the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival. However, I really have to recommend checking out the errata before starting any of their patterns:

I also wouldn't recommend this book for a beginner knitter. Get a couple of baby patterns under your belt before trying one of these out. Make sure to check errata and Ravelry before making any of the patterns. Also, if you have a problem, ask an expert, because it could very well be the pattern and not you!