Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Pluto's Photo Essay

A Pictorial Essay by Pluto Waxbird: "What I Did Over the Weekend"

"Mummy, lets play Tudors !  You be King Henry and I'll be Queen Anne Boleyn."

(in an artificially high, squeaky, imitation female voice)
"Oh No! Please don't chop off my head! I need it to wear my many bejeweled head-dresses! Without my head my necklaces will slide right off!"

(in an artificially high, squeaky, imitation female voice)
"Will Henry mount my head on his wall? Was I just a trophy wife?"
(in an artificially high, squeaky, imitation female voice)
"I've been swept under the rug! Henry has buried me in an unmarked grave in the Tower of London with the rest of his friends.

The End

About the Author

Pluto Waxbird was purchased in Scraborough but it is unknown where he was originally hatched. He spent his formative years in the neighbourhood know as "the Danforth" in Toronto Canada and at age 3 moved to Hillcrest Village, where he now works as Manager of Customer Relations at Knit-O-Matic. Pluto just recently became a LOL bird and can be found on Facebook where he likes to send his friends hatching eggs.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow Day!

which means i can put off re-stocking the yarn cubbies for an hour or two and blog.

first on the agenda, there is a Freebie Sock Booklet from Interweave today, via knitting daily. I recognize Sock #5, Comfy Socks, from the first issue of Knitscene. They would make a very excellent last minute gift!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


i can has crocheted cowls on sale at Scratch Espresso for $45 each! (pattern forthcoming)

000_4228 by you.

000_4223 by you.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

last minute knitted gifts (freebie)

Cap'n Crunch Neck Cozy/Cowl
(on ravelry - login: knitomatic2, pword: knitomatic)
  • use 1 skein Misti Alpaca Chunky in solids of hand painted
  • go up to a 6.5mm or 7mm needle

Saturday, December 13, 2008

things we've been knitting & crocheting

things we've been knitting & crocheting

my mind has been all over the place lately and i'm having a hard time keeping any single project on my needles. i am especially indifferent towards sweaters and have been sticking to small projects.

mnspun hat by you.
Manspun Hat (in Kahki Pants)
I wrote the pattern, it will be available soon!

minkim by you.
MinKim organic Baby Sweater (in Alder)
Liane made up this one as a store sample.
The yarn is really nice and soft and is naturally dyed!

bubbly by you.
A puffy stitched necky thingy for sale at Scratch
made from Lamb's Pride Bulky in Persian peacock 124 (2 skeins). I'm hand felting it a bit in the sink, hopefully it will not backfire!

scarfy 3 by you.
Another necky thingy for sale at
made with Estelle Woolly Bully colour 919

Gretel from Verena fall 2008 is our next store project
Liane is working on the smallest size of this
great sweater (sans flower applique) in
Mission Falls 136 (their new DK weight wool)
in colour 536 Aster, a pretty sky blue.

Friday, December 12, 2008

freebie babies

Woo-Hoo! Whipup found a free version of the Child's Placket Pullover from Last Minute Knitted Gifts (one of my fave knitting books ever!)

Baby wearing lilac ribbed jacket

i know i've already posted this one before, but This little cardie by Debbie Bliss is also a nice little knit. Michelle made it for her daughter in Mission Falls 1824 Cotton, it was cute and easy!

Garnstudio Freebies

Garnstudio's always good for good freebies!  Plus, they have pictures of their Spring 2009 lineup and you get to VOTE on them!

The Stripe up the Front Hat from Fall 2007 Prada. Last year I tired on one of the Prada hats at Holt Renfrew and they were made of some kind of textile akin to fiberglass. Look, this is not a case of fibre snobbery, the thing seriously looked like it was made from a plied verion of that fluffy pink insulation in your attic, you know the stuff that looks like cotton candy and feels like Ouch. Sure, a lot of ready to wear sweaters these days are made of crap acrylicy textiles, but it espescially pisses me off when they do that with the high end p[roducts. 2 months ago i visited the Hugo Boss store in Yorkville (they were very nice to me, great sale staff!) to admire their fall sweaters and I was super disappointed to find that garments that cost half my rent were made from dreck.  Bringing things back to the hat, this is definitely a case of handmade being superior to runway.

Racer Hat

As an aside, Vogue Knitting also published a take on Prada's hat (also a free pattern), but theirs looks shoddy, seems small and involves seaming (blech).

An Interesting Shaped Jacket (according to the schematic it is not asymmetrical). Sometimes you need something different to keep you occupied.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

A cache of quality freebies from Rowan

A cache of quality freebies from Rowan

  • Bond pullover by Kim Hargreaves from mag 38 (I made this one years ago & love it!)
  • Morris cardigan by Martin Storey from mag 34
  • Georgie cardigan by Sarah Dallas from mag 32

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Cute Freebie

Cute Freebie
Baby Moccasins

Pretty Freebie
Cashmere Cowl in Lace Rib

Useful Freebie
Knitted 'Nest' Tote

Funny Freebie
Felted Mushrooms

Cozy Freebie
Mary Jane Slippers

Luxurious Freebie
Simple Pleasures hat

Interesting Freebie
Treeline Striped Cardigan

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Cute, Free Notebook Cover Pattern (or in england it would be a jumper because that's what they call sweaters there). She's is fundraising, so be sure to give her a buck or two!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Very Useful Freebie Patterns for Holi...

1. The New Winter Twist Collective is Up!
an ariosa cowl! Now i know what to make pluto for hannukah this year! for me, a Dietrich Hat ...
or a Heroine Jacket ... it's made with cascade 220!
2. Very Useful Freebie Patterns for Holiday Decoration ...
Christmas craft: Knitted ornaments
Santa Suit Christmas Ornaments (I have no idea what the round thing on the right is, do you?) from Lion Brand Yarns: Just Gifts

Sunday, November 09, 2008

update on projects

Caveat Emptor: many links in this blog are from Ravelry. If you are waiting for your Ravelry account to be activated you can use our client account: login = knitomatic2, password = knitomatic
manos hat ed by you. This is a hat we are making for the store so you can see how beautiful the new Manos Silk & Wool is. The pattern is from the Manos booklet 'Primera'. Liane started the hat but our good friend Mary has done the bulk of the work because she loves this technique! Thank you Mary!
misti cardi wrap by you. Progress on my Universal Cardi-Wrap pattern was put on hold while i prepared a wedding shrug and a project for my art class. It was a good break thiugh, I feel trefreshed and ready to get back to it and finish the arms.
shrug by you. This was the wedding shrug. I finished it in time (15 minutes to spare) but didn't end up wearing it - it looks like a sweater and the wedding was dressy. I should have known, but you know how it is, you don't really have a full idea of how a garment is going to be until it's done. On the upside, I dodged a bullet by not blending with the table settings. Unknown to me, my cousin's new wife has a love-on for Cranberry Glass. The entire dining room (the wedding was staged in many rooms, it was held at the Carlu) was decorated with cranberry coloured roses in cranberry glass vases (they looked mostly like this )and decorative arrangements of scads of cranberries impaled on mini pikes. Cranberried floated in clear vases of water and occasionally in a cocktail. The wedding party was also decked out in cranberry, ties for the men, dress for the maid of honour, and of course all the kippah on all the male guests (it was a jewish wedding). Not only would i have been under-dressed, but i would have looked like a tool. i found a little sparkly-black cardigan in the basment of the store, which was fine in the end. What can I say, every one needs a little black dress, a little black sparkly cardigan and little black heels.
doll fronted by you.
For my art class i'm making a doll from a sock. the hair is Koigu KPPPM and I'm working on her coveralls in Mission Falls 1824 wool.

Friday, November 07, 2008



here is a pattern for a knit poppy for remembrance day

or you could make free Perky Poppy Pin !

here is a free felted crochet pattern for a poppy from Knitting Astor

or a crocheted poppy from Essie


Thursday, October 23, 2008

One million acts of green knitting

Ten Acts of Green Knitting & Crochet

CBC has launched it's One Million Acts of Green, which is populated by a list of Planet Saving habits and changes. My next change of habit is to turn off the power-bars at night (at work and at home) and to unplug my phone recharger when it isn't in use. I'll also take my air conditioner out of the window for the winter and fill in the little holes with spray foam.

But we are about knitting, so here's a list of Acts of Green Knitting & Crochet (all the links will be Ravelry, so if you don't have an account you should get one!):

and carry it with you for daily incidental purchases.

2. Make a COFFEE CUP SLEEVE COZY and forgo the extra paper sleeve.  Scratch Espresso even sells them!

3. Hand wash your woolies in cold water with Eucalan.

4. Make new Christmas ornaments from your leftovers:

5. Buy closer to home: Mission Falls, Brown Sheep Company, Cascade, Manos, Misti: Mission Falls is milled in Montreal and Brown Sheep is in Nebraska, Cascade & Misti are Peruvian, Manos is from Uruguay, so they have a much shorter distance to travel than other more international products. Also, ships create three times more carbon emissions than airplanes, but overall truck and train have a smaller environmental impact.

6. Organicly dyed yarns are not necessarily more eco-friendly.
The processing of oragnic/natural dyes takes twice as much energy are regular chemical dyes. Now, I'm not says you should forgo the oraganics, less chemicals is no doubt good, but it's not a panacea.

The following Ideas consist of making things to warm yourself so you can turn down the thermostat (much of the green house gases are created through heating & electricity`):







Friday, October 17, 2008

Free Cowls Collected

mmmm, cowls (reincarnate of neckwarmer) are sooooo cozy, i will certainly need one or two this winter!

Fingering Yarns


Cashmere Cowl: worked on 5mm needles! sub Misti Alpaca Hand Painted Lace or Solid Lace

Ice Queen: any kid mohair, but I say go for the kid silk haze, it's only 1 ball!

Aran, Worsted & DK Yarns

Aspen Cowl: i've already made this one, it's a welcome part of my winter wardrobe in deep winter. sub Misti Baby Alpaca Worsted,  Suri & Silk, Manos Silk & Wool.

Dark Side Cowl (Ravelry): sub Manos Silk, Jo Sharp Silk Road Aran Tweed or Cascade 220 Heathers.

Morning Side Cowl (for men and women): sub Jo Sharp Silk Road Aran Tweed for the tweedy look.

Chunky Yarns

Limulidae Cowl (and hat!): sub 2 strands of Nashua Brushed Alpaca held together, Misti Baby Alpaca Chunky, Cascade Eco, evem Lamb's Pride Bulky.

Cherry Garcia Cabled Cowl: sub Lamb's Pride Bulky, Misti Alpaca Chunky.

Bulky Yarns

Sophia Knits Cowl (on ravelry): sub brown sheep Burly Spun or Estelle Woolly Bully, only 1 skein of either.

Envy Cowl: i really like the cable up the sides! no need to sub this one.

Totally Cute Boot Toppers from Berroco

Freebie for Friday!

Totally Cute Boot Toppers from Berroco, much prettier than the cheap  acrylic faux-fur that feels like barbie hair after a date with a hair dryer.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Free & New

New Freebie!

Classic Elite La Gran Mohair Mittens

mmmmm, soft & fluffy mittens. i am not keen on the mohair they are pushing in the pattern, i would be inclined to substitute Nashua Creative Focus Brushed Alpaca (holding 2 strands together to make it nice and thick & warm).  I think i will take muself up on that as soon as i get a chance to breathe.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Primo Freebies!
Good Freebies! - Docs & Spreadsheets

Lana Grossa's "Model" of the Month (is that like a pin-up for knitters?) from Filati Magazine 36, Model 18

here are other models of the months on the Lana Grossa web site

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Friday, October 03, 2008

Posit: Sweaters as Carbon Credits?

Above is a capelet I made for Kim, one of the sales reps over at Scratch. She liked the ones in the show but is currently into purple, so i made one in Amethyst Brown Sheep Burly Spun on 12mm needles, using the smallest size from the Quick Button Capelet pattern. It looks great in the Burly! I thought the texture might look bland but it's great, the stitches are large enough to create al lot of definition and contrast.

So let's talk ..... I was discussing the economy and the crash in the stock markets (don't stop reading, it gets to knitting) with mt family last week. My cousin says to me (please read with dry wit laced with dark humour): "it's a good thing your money is tied up in wool since people will have to wear sweaters this winter when they can't afford to heat their homes or drive their cars."  LOL!  Don't worry, the economy here is not really as bad as all that, but who wants to spend more money, right?

This morning I received my weekly letter from Berroco (below, or read link). Now I've always been a fan of cardigans and layering, but I never thought of it as an energy saver. And if sweaters help us save energy, then wearing them is kind of a 'green' initiative, isn't it?  but  I don't think cardigans are the be all end all. there are lots of ways to warm up, what about shawls? capelets? wool socks? lapghans? cardi-wraps? I wonder if I can get carbon credits for outfitting my friends & family in woolies? Do they print them up like food stamps? or maybe they just come in the form of more wool? ;-)

Cardi Mania!
Keep the Thermostat Down

Cardigan ManiaMy autumn knitting queue is full of cardigans. They are fantastic for layering, especially during in-between seasons when weather can be unpredictable (and downright tempestuous here in New England). Cardigans also save money in unexpected ways. President Jimmy Carter famously wore a cardigan during a fireside chat, sending a sartorial message about conservation and practicality. According to the Farmer's Almanac, we're in for a colder than normal winter. With the upward trend of energy costs, President Carter's fashion advice is ringing in my ears.

I'm always torn between making cardigans in sensible neutrals or standout brights. A black or grey cardigan becomes a wardrobe equivilant of a security blanket, but a strong shade like magenta or chartruese will set off more subdued outfits. Scrunch is a clever assymetrical ribbed cardigan knit in Geode™ which comes in a variety of deep base shades with hints of color throughout. Lichen is a study in texture and its uncluttered silouette puts the focus on your favorite shade of Trilogy™. Either way, cardigans are fall's smartest garment.