Friday, July 27, 2012

Boboli Mobius Cowl

While I was sick last week I was stuck at home inhabiting the sofa, and I dug into my UFO box and pulled out something simple - a Mobius Cowl I'd started last winter using a yarn we no longer carry, Berroco Boboli

I originally made it for myself, but I think it was always destined for an old friend in Chicago who buys me german loose fruit teas on her forays to the alps. 

As always, you can find us at!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Petite Facile Progress: which button?

Our Petite Facile kids pullover is almost finished!  It looks great and I'm so impressed with the yarn (Cascade 220 Superwash Paints), it didn't pool at all. If I had produced it I'd feel proud. I just have to wash and block the sweater (think I'll add some vinegar to the bath to make sure the colour stays vibrant), and dye the button purple. 

I also can't decide which button I like best. What do you think, triangular or oval? 

I'm not loving the single big button hole. Maybe on the smaller sizes it's ok, but on the larger size the upper edge tends to flop around. If I did this again I'd make 2 or 3 button holes, and certainly make them smaller (I'd experiment with a 1 or 2 stitch button hole).  

As always, you can find us at

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Petite Facile

Liane is knitting up a Petite Facile for the store. It's so adorable, I thought you'd find it inspiring. It's also always nice to stumble across something great in your magazine back issues (it's from Interweave Knits Winter 2011, and if you are looking for a copy we presently have 5 for sale at Knit-O-Matic). 

The construction is really cool, it is made in one piece and then seamed up the side & arm, but it also has short row shaping in the upper part. I love that kind of elegant simplicity in a pattern - plus it's not so simple that it's boring, but not so hard that you have to pay attention every second. 

And above is Our Petite Facile, in progress. We're using 4.5mm needles and Cascade 220 Superwash Paints. The yarn is knitting up beautifully, it is comfortably soft and the colour isn't pooling, which is VERY impressive for a hand-paint variegated yarn. 

More to come once it's finished!

As always, you can find us at

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Hoodie for Lucy

I feel like I should update you on what we're making, but the only thing is that none of it is finished or even looks like much of anything. I will post the pattern picture, and them my product shot. 

I'm working on a hoodie for Lucy, the Knitting Pure and Simple Hooded Tunic. I thought she'd look really, really cute in a hoodie. I was kind of fantasizing/day-dreaming about her frolicking around  the playground at the park in the fall in a hand-made hoodie. Do you day-dream about garments? I do, I visualize little vignettes in that back of my mind, like moving dioramas. 

The little dress I made for her cabbage patch doll, Cornelia, went over extremely well and I think Lucy was a little disappointed that it was for the doll to wear and not her. BTW, I'm so sorry I keep forgetting to get a photo of the doll wearing the dress. We'll set up a photo shoot soon. 

Anyway, this hoodie has been a bit of a mess on the technical side, but there's no point in ripping it out, it's just a pullover for a kid. Still, I feel like I need to make another to prove to myself that I can get it right. I have all of my opinions in the notes on my Ravelry project page, and I'll blog them in their entirety when the project is finished.

So here's my hoodie, above. I've been using some yarn from my stash, Koigu Kersti. I figured it's pink enough for Lucy, and un-pink enough for me. The colour is lovely, but I'm not in love with the yarn, it's prone to splitting. I have also developed some conservative feelings about hand painted variegated yarn. It looks great, but knitting it in the round has become really high maintenance. It looks great in the portions that are round, but it pools like an ocean on the shorter stretches like the hood, arms and bottom panels. On those sections I've been using two balls, alternating every row. Even alternating every-other row it pooled like crazy. From now on, when making sweaters in the round I'm only using heathered, tweed, or semi-solid yarns. 

I'll try to push through and get this finished up quickly so you can see it!

As always, you can find us at

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Stripey Dolly Dress

I made a little dress for my niece Lucy's cabbage patch doll. I thought it would be a quick & easy little thing, but it became a series of technical lessons and insights - which was actually really cool. I'm a process knitter and my technical skills are generally acquired on a need to know basis. Sometimes I'm not even aware that I never really learned the prettiest way to do things because I do them so rarely. As I made this dress I was thinking of maybe making Lucy a cardigan to match, so I let go of my desire for a perfect looking end product and used it as a learning opportunity. That said, the pattern was pretty crude, so the end results weren't going to be stunning anyway. 

Lesson 1: Superwash yarns aren't forgiving
I used the Cascade 220 Sport Superwash, and found that when it comes to colourwork superwash isn't as forgiving as regular wools. Superwash is very smooth and it doesn't stick to itself like untreated wool. You can see a lot of bumps and lumps where the yarn is woven in, or where the increases are made (see above). If done again, I would make the increases down either side of the body, rather than across the body.

I realized that I really didn't know how to weave in yarn as I went, so I consulted a book (Sally Melville's "The Knitting Experience: Color". Above is the inside of the dress, where the yarn is woven in - properly. I started by weaving in the ends in one direction, but after a bit of consideration I decided the yarn is a bit slippery and it should be woven back in the opposite direction to keep it from popping out. 

Above is the outside of the dress where the ends were woven in. It isn't a super-duper mess, but the stitches aren't as neat and uniform as the rest. I don't know if this would improve with A. more experience, B. trying other techniques, or C. using a yarn that isn't so unforgiving. TECHknitter suggests weaving in or skimming in the ends when making narrow stripes

This was one of those things that I knew I did not know how to do. My stripes were a mess, they were all off kilter. I totally lucked out and didn't even have to look this one up - Rosie told me she'd learned how to take care of this problem in the Turn a Square hat pattern. Thank you Rosie & Brooklyn Tweed!

The last bit wasn't new to me, but I figured I'd show you anyway. I made the bottom edging into a folded edge and then sewed it down. 

New Gadget: Clover Wonder Clips
Making a folded edge was a great opportunity to crack open a package of new Wonder Clips! They are little plastic clips that are designed for holding seams when sewing or knitting (or sewing knitting). They are definitely a nice alternative to using safety pins, which take forever to put in, and sometimes the coils can get caught in your stitches. Me Likey! :-)

As always, you can find us at!