Wednesday, February 28, 2007

No more lurking

Hello all, I've been lurking for a while & I finally got a picture of my 2 yo Goddaughter in the EPS sweater I made her for Christmas, so here it is! Isn't she just the cutest?

It was done in Knitpicks wool of the andes, I dyed the pink yarns with koolaid.

I've been working on this Pi Shawl for a while in Socks that Rock Azure Malachite, but I've reached this point where I'm not sure I'm going to like it in such intense colors. I'm at a frogging decision point, I've been avoiding it for at least a month now.

What do you think?
You can see what else I'm working on here.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007



I was chugging along nicely on the Practically Seamless Baby Sweater from the KA when I realized I had messed up somewhere... I CAN'T figure out where!!! :-( I don't even know where to frog back to, assuming I had the courage to do so.

So I'm doing the mature thing and putting the whole sweater aside. To be frogged at a later date. Who said avoidance isn't a good policy?! :-)

For grins, here's what I had before I messed up:

Frogging is probably for the best. I'll also be frogging a project I had been using Rowan Wool Cotton on, so I think I'll soon be making an adjusted-to-be-larger version of the Feb sweater using Wool Cotton for my 3 year old daughter.

I hope. :-) I'd love any advice on how to make this bigger while keeping the same gauge called for in the pattern +/-... Thanks!

scandinavian tomten in progress.

here is my 2nd tomten in progress. my little friend alba is getting baptized (???) next month and the young mother thought a white tomten would be the loveliest thing to be christened in. it is worsted weight merino wool and the edgings are going to be a very fluffy white angora. i am going to buy some very cute buttons and maybe add a knitted flower or some leaves on an i-cord to the hood. very different from the tomten she uses every day in brown rowanspun. but a girl deserves nice clothes to dress up to the occasion. no matter if she is 46 like me or 6 months like alba.
the bowl is made by alba's papa of wood from trees in my favourite park in copenhagen and it is meant to keep my knitting in.....



hi folks, pictureless today. this is really just a request for some really positive energy. the last few days have been rough ones and i need some prayers, to me it matters not what faith they generate from. i have had some issues with my pregnancy with my twin boys and now i have a body in protest. i will be heading to the hospital, where it is likely they will keep me for a bit. i ask that if you have prayers to spare, you send them my way to help keep these little guys in. i appreciate any and all, knowing the knit community, i have a feeling these boys will be receiving energy from all walks,stages and places of life that exist. maybe i will get some more posts in to update...let's hope i get the time i need to finish projects, etc. thanks folks....never have i felt as supported and included as i have since i started blogging

Saddle-Shoulder Aran Cardigan!

The Specs:

-Pattern: Saddle-Shoulder Aran Cardigan, from Wool Gathering #63, by Meg Swanson.
-Yarn: A bit over six skeins of forest brown Briggs and Little Regal
-Needles: size 8 circs and dpns for most of it, some ribbing on 5s and 6s.
-Start to finish: August 8, 2006 – February 20, 2007.

This one’s been over 6 months in the making. Thanks for such a great pattern Meg! All the details and more pics here.

a French Tomten

i have been reading this blog for month and i have seen faboulous things.. So i jumped in and knit a tomten jacket for my 5 month son... The brown yarn was inherited from his grand grand mother (i don't know if it's the right word for the mother of the grand mother - please excuse my poor english-) the green yarn comes from a thrift shop and the most expensive things are the brown mother-of-pearl flower buttons (about 2 $). EZ should be proud, as i've already read in this blog!

the colors are more ccurate in this photo..

I enjoyed so much EZ knitting that i am thinking of a saddle shoulder sweater for The Boy. I probably need your help later on. Must fine the right yarn and right color: The Boy is a very difficult guy when it comes with clothing.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Questions about BSJ

Hi, I'm a newbie here but a long-time lurker. I want to make a baby surprise jacket for my 2-month-old baby who weighs about 11 pounds. I was going to make it with some sport weight yarn, and I got the gauge EZ specifies (6 stiches/inch). She doesn't give a finished chest measurement, but says that babies come in all sorts of sizes (which is of course true). Has anyone knit the jacket for a baby this size and had it fit? Should I forge ahead with the sportweight yarn or go for some worsted at a gauge of 5 stitches per inch and make it a bigger size? I don't want to make it and have it only fit for a month and then be too small. Also, about what age baby would fit the Knitter's Almanac baby sweater knit with the yarn weight she specifies? Any information/experiences/opinions would be helpful. Thanks!

Hand-To-Hand Aran

I taught myself a lot of what I know about knitting from EZ's Knitting Without Tears many years ago. Right now I'm working on her Hand-to-Hand Aran sweater out of Knitting Workshop. I was interested in making this sweater because of the short rows that she suggests putting in after you pick up the stitches for the body. I'm following the spirit of her directions, but I've made some changes. My sleeves are a bit narrower than the ones she suggests, so that means that I had less stitches to play with for patterning the yoke. Also, I've picked different cable patterns to use. The big cable is this one, and the smaller one is one repeat of honeycomb. Here's what I have so far:

I'm knitting with this coned yarn from WEBS in color Arctic Fox. This yarn is still in spinning oil, so the stitches are much harsher than they will be once I've washed the oil out. When I made my swatch the yarn puffed up really nicely. I've just finished the neck opening (the slit you see on the right side of the picture), and I can't wait to get through the next 30 rows so that I can pick up stitches for the body and see how those short rows work! But I have very little knitting time, so it could be a while.


Saturday, February 24, 2007

crochet steek

i've been working on a seamless raglan--the body knitted bottom up, the sleeves top down. after completing the yoke with neck shaping from page 74 of Knitting Without Tears (efficient, easy to execute, but not quite as clean in appearance as other neck-shaping techniques), i unraveled the sleeve provisional cast-on and began knitting downwards. at this point, i felt like i was knitting blind. the neck opening was too small to try on, so no way to check whether the sleeves were long enough, wide enough, shapely enough, etc.

the small neck opening wasn't a problem because the plan was always to cardiganize with a steek (hence the guide thread through the center front stitches). this was in exchange for the comfort of knitting seamlessly and mindlessly around on the body. in order to check sleeve progress, it was time to steek. this would be a first (cutting up my own knitting, on purpose, while expecting it to stay in one piece. sounds nutty when spelled out like that.)... i reread what i had on crochet steeks, picked out some leftover and very feltable peruvian wool in fingering weight, and started crocheting:

nothing left but to cut:

it's easy to find the ladder meant for cutting on a crochet steek, which means confidence that one is cutting the correct piece of yarn:

there were nerve-wracking and discomfiting bits of unraveling/loosening yarn at the bind-off edge (see dangerous strand indicated by red arrow), so i threaded the end of the crochet yarn through a needle and whipped a few stitches around that edge. other than that, things seem to be holding well. in fact, it's a very neat edge that naturally curls under. i kinda want to steek some more.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007


The Turtle Sweaters photos from the previous post didn't show up for people but showed up on my computer. My husband is away at a conference so I have the boys alone. I doubt I will be able to figure out the solution until Monday. Any quiet time I get will be spent with a glass of wine and my knitting - not wrestling with Blogger/Google/Picasa/Linix.
Peace and Yarn

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Turtle Sweaters

I have been knitting for a little over three years now and I love Zimmerman. Her approach is empowering and her designs are genius.
Figuring out how to post photos took precious knitting time but at least now I can share what I made. For some reason I could only post four photos at a time so I will end up posting my projects separately.

Here are the turtle sweaters I made for my husband and sons this Christmas. They are all saddle shoulders a la Zimmerman and the turtle pattern is from Walker. I used Mountain Mohair from the Green Mountain Spinnery - the yarn is lovely.The pattern really show up in the black and white.

The boy's sweater in the blocking process.

Sweaters in action.

The pink sweater is inspired by the hoodie in Stitch and Bitchbut is Zimmerman's set in sleeve design. It is beautiful.I used Alchemy yarn.


( Hi folks, i reposted this today as my pictures went a little haywire. Sorry for the repetition. )

Last night I ambushed T when he was freshly showered to get some shots of the shirt yoke sweater. He was a really good sport and he professed his genuine like of the sweater, stating "I would actually wear this..." which is gratifying considering what goes into a handknit. I think this is the most flattering of styles for any man, the shoulder area is really accented and enhanced by the lines of the sweater. The previous post raved about the simplicity of the design so I will not repeat myself. Sorry for the picture heavy post, but I just thought he looked so handsome in it. Am I right ladies? (Who here watches the Ellen show?). A few little facts: Knit on US 6 needles with the now discontinued Rowan Tweed in Charcoal (or some name like that, I tend to toss the ball bands.) Not wet blocked as the stitches were pretty even and the shoulder decreases came together well. I recommend paying attention to your decreases, pull them a little tighter to avoid gaping holes. Um, that is about it. Enjoy all those great EZ projects that are shaping up so nicely.

Just a little teaser...I finished the baby Denim Pants from LMKG, one pair is washed the other is not. I will post pictures of the pants soon because they are spectacularly adorable. I think they will be much cuter when donned by the beans but, alas, we will wait with bated breath until that time. Here is a bonus pic of daddy-to-be checking out my handiwork. He loves these pants and wants a pair himself. I think not. Making baby clothes is ten times better than playing doll dress up. I mean, I was not big on the doll thing as a girl (Stawberry Shortcake was my girl, though). Baby clothes are in a league of their own, with the proportions and ease of finishing. Much more to come...i promise. Now onward to Lace Completion as I have a deadline for the POW shawl.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Thank you everyone!

Thanks to all of your wonderful suggestions, I was able to make a February Baby Sweater I'm happy with! Thank you thank you thank you!

I had one big "D'Oh!" frogging moment; I finished the yoke bit, and then got to the part in the pattern were it talks about button holes. Something seemed weird to me, and then I looked at that picture on the cover of Knitter's Almanac, and lo and behold, there are buttons on the yoke!! I wish I had noticed that first, but I know I'll be ready for next time! :)

I sc'd around the edges and sleeves, reinforced the button holes and tried for a bigger size. More specifics and more closeup pics at my blog.

Thank you again for all your help!

Orange and Rust BSJ

I made my first BSJ in 2 colors of Cascade Superwash (on sale at the yarn store) on size 6 needles. I finished in no time at all! What a neat pattern. The buttons are from my button collection--you can't see them in the picture too well, but they are red with swirls on them. This is for my dentist's new baby (not born yet though). I finished the seams on the top and neck with single crochet and the edging on the front and bottom is icord. I want to make more but I will need to find a better way to finish it. Any ideas? I hope I put the buttons on the correct side--it's for a boy.

Is Everyone Knitting Baby Sweaters?

It seems everywhere I look people are knitting EZ's baby sweaters! I finished the February Sweater today. It is for my kids' music teacher's child who is expected in mid April.

I used Cascade 220 superwash. It took 1.5 balls, and there is enough left over for a hat or booties. I love this pattern and will no doubt make more. Once I find another baby to knit for!
There are more photos on my blog.


Another BSJ

In hand-dyed Arucania, 100% wool. One skein of each, and I think I have plenty leftover for booties.


Monday, February 19, 2007

more hats

i had a productive weekend knitting brioche stitch which is one of my favourite stitches. and i made two more hats just in time for a snow storm coming up. this is a warm hat that fits so well. one is noro yoroi and one is noro iro both found on sale in my lys in copenhagen. it has been there forever and you can find things there that you can't find anywhere else in copenhagen which is not the best place in the world to shop yarn. and now i want to do more ez patterns. i love the simplicity of most of her patterns. i have fallen in love with the medusa yoke and i need more of her books. unfortunately they are very hard to get hold on from a european website and they cost the same i gbp as in usd.....argh.


The pi r square shawl is done!!

Thank you to everyone who offered advice on this piece. I had wanted to make this shawl for a while - and it was a great learning piece!! I really love the piece and will wear it alot, but there are some problems with it. It took me 2 1/2 corners to figure out how to run the lace pattern that EZ suggested around the corners. The lace was really hard to block - combined with the fact that I started from one side, not the center, so it will require re-blocking eventually, and I broke a stitch by pulling too tight while blocking. Thankfully, I had someone show me how to repair lace not too long ago - something I hope to never have to put into practice again. Finally, I had a hard time with the lace because if I made a mistake knitted an extra row, or whatnot, I had a horrible time going backwards and not having to frog the whole border. At the end, I started putting in "lifelines"on the first row so that I could just pull back to the first row and start again. I think I will like the way this piece looks more when it is re-blocked (my husband is making me a blocking board ala knitty.com) but as it is, for all its problems, I do not think that to a non-knitters eye, you could tell while I was wearing it - as I am today. Sorry the photos are not that good. And thanks to EZ for a lot of
lessons learned! This shawl took 250 g (almost exactly) of lace weight alpaca - it measures just over 29" neck to bottom and 50" longest side points, which, for what I wanted, is perfect. I think I paid about $10 on ebay for the 100% alpaca yarn - so this could be one of the least expensive, most used pieces I ever make!! And it is my first (of many, I am sure) EZ project!!

Have a great week!!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Winter Spruce Mittens

I've completed my 2nd pair of EZ mittens! This is her Winter Spruce Mittens from Knitting Around:
I love these mittens that I'm donating to the Dulaan Project. These were so much easier to knit since I've already knitted a pair of EZ mittens and figured out her mitten patterns. It was also so much easier to figure out with all of your help. You guys rock! More info and pictures can be found on my blog. Thanks! Tiennie

February Baby Sweater

Thanks again for all of the help. I finally have finished the February baby sweater. I absolutely adore it. It's made with Elann Highland Silk in Celadon using Knitpicks options size 6.

This one took me a while, but I hope my knitting will continue to get faster. My best friend has already requested one in purple when she has a baby. (Hope she has a girl!)


Second Baby Surprise Jacket done!

They are addictive! This one was done using Lion Brand Baby Soft (another acrylic... gasp!!) in cream color on size 7 Knit Picks options needles at a gauge of 5 stitches per inch. Now that it's done, I wish I'd have gone down at least one needle size.

It measures 20.5" around the chest when buttoned and took well under one ball of the yarn (each ball is over 400 yds!!) so I'm working on booties to match.

This is a really boring color!! If it weren't for a family who isn't finding out the gender of the baby ahead of time, I would have never chosen this. In fact, I'm almost positive I won't chose a solid color ever again! I do so love this pattern, though. I see more in my future, even with no babies on the way. I think next up will be the Practically Seamless baby sweater from the Knitter's Almanac in Jaeger Matchmaker Merino 4ply.

Take care!

Underarm weaving question...

I on the verge of finishing a Child's Yoke Sweater from Knitting Around. I had originally set out to make a Wonderful Wallabyfor a baby shower gift, but didn't have quite enough yarn for the hood and pouch. I punted and decided to convert my sweater into a fair isle EZ affair. I am so glad I did, it was simple and I am hoping that my recipient's mother will like it. This sweater is doubly gratifying as I have been able to complete it out of some long since discontinued Cascade 220 from my stash.
I have a question, however, regarding the weaving of the underarm stitches. Have any of you ever kitchener stitched the underarm stitches, or do you weave them in (per EZ's advice). Or are these two things the same thing and I'm not comprehending that? Let me know, thanks!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

I've got this friend ..

My blogless friend, Kim, asked me to post this on her behalf:

Introduced to Elizabeth Zimmerman by a dear friend many years ago, I have long admired and delighted in reading her books and watching her charming videos. A purchase of numerous skeins of wool at a garage sale gave me the perfect opportunity to “experiment” with knitting a sweater via Elizabeth’s Percentage System. I had nothing to lose! To start with, I had a totally different plan for this sweater. I had intended to continue using the blue in the yoke pattern. When it was apparent that I was running out of blue, I went back to my bag of wool and improvised. I had plenty of white and many shades of gray, so the Medusa yoke pattern from Knitting Workshop looked like the ticket. The yarn is Briggs & Little woolen worsted, knit on size 8 (US) circular needles. This sweater fits me perfectly. Elizabeth is right—you measure a favorite sweater and start calculating from there.

Feeling empowered by the success of the Medusa yoke sweater, I embarked on a Baby Surprise Jacket for my soon to be born nephew. Knit on size 8 (US) needles with Swish Superwash Wool from Knit Picks in Red Pepper it measures 22" around and 13" long. It took 5 skeins and left enough wool to knit booties to match.

Seamless Saddle-Shoulder

I am now the proud owner, as well, of a seamless EZ sweater. This is the saddle shoulder; I like the square shapes of the decreases and the neck opening. The yarn is Plymouth Suri Merino color 687 (the perfect bottle green). 55% suri alpaca, 45% extra fine merino wool. It's fuzzy and soft and has little wisps of gold in it, all of which I love.

I agree with everyone else's rapture over the simple elegance of the design. Having done this once, now, I feel I can do it again with all kinds of modifications and it will be a trustworthy base for any number of ornamentations. This was my first time with a hem, with attaching sleeves and knitting a sweater in the round, and with grafting (scary, but okay in the end). It was all good. More thoughts are on my blog. Here are some pictures:

The sleeves look long in this photo, but they are actually fine now; we just had a little temporary stretching issue in the blocking process.

The shoulder and back decreases sounded confusing when I read ahead in the pattern, but once I got there they were really easy.

Friday, February 16, 2007

completion of 'hybrid'

i posted earlier regarding my progress on the 'hybrid' sweater. it is done and actually morphed from the planned hybrid to the 'shirt yoke' sweater when my husband closely studied the photos in the EZ knitting workshop. I must admit i had a bit of trepidation when reading the pattern as written in her book because it is really just a bit of a sketch. i understood the concept, but had some doubt regarding the execution. seeing the progress of others was encouraging and when the point of joining sleeves and body on one needle came, i felt prepared.

i have to say this was the most satisfying pattern i have ever knit. it is unbelievably intuitive with a flow to the saddles and the back, watching it unfold before my eyes was such a pleasure. and so quick. i knit the whole sweater in approximately 10 days. it really does not even need blocking. i pressed the shoulders with a steam iron and slightly steamed the sleeve ends to widen them, tim felt they fit a little close.

there was a little modification of the suggestions/formula from EZ. instead of casting on 33% of the body for the sleeves, i cast on 40% or so, i also increased the sleeve width at the top of said sleeves by approx. 6 or so stitches. that is the great thing about having direct access to the proposed recipient, tim tried on the pieces as they were knit. the yarn is discontinued, i snatched up a bag on ebay, but if rowan has something comparable, i would suggest the tweed. it has such beautiful depth with the flecks, really breaking up the monotonous stockinette. it knits up light enough to actually consider wearing it here in southern california. of course, in accordance with knitting tradition in our home, now that the project is complete, temperatures have steadily climbed into the high 70s.

i had hopes for a shot or two with the model in it, but alas, these will have to come later. he has been arriving home late and leaving early and i have not the heart to ask him to perform for a fashion shoot. weather people predict a cooling on sunday, so that may be the best day to try to wrangle him into it. it looks just amazing on, he actually did not stop smiling and checking it out in the mirror. this pleases me to no end as my man is really the jeans/tshirt type, so approval of the shirt yoke felt great. i promise to come back with some live shots soon. until then, have a great EZ filled weekend. cheers.

A Bog Jacket

I first read my aunt's copy of Knitting Around before I ever knit a stitch. I loved the stories, exuberant directions, and especially the way I could hear her voice as I read. I've made a BSJ and incorporated some of her sock ideas into my own, but now I'm well underway in my first "real" EZ project:

The "penguin approved" bog!

I'm working it in Cascade 220 on a 36" size 6 bamboo needle. I'm planning on adding most of the modifications, having already completed waist shaping, phoney seams, and adding on for longer arms. I'd like to accomplish some sort of striping similar to the gray one visible in the book (in the picture), but am still unsure whether I want to make the tops of the sleeves gray or cream. I'm also planning on adding i-cord edging in the charcoal color. Here you can better see the thumb trick, phoney seam, and first stripe in the charcoal color.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on what I should do with the stripes. Thanks!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Finally Finished!

I was off from work yesterday due to the weather and spent the entire day knitting. I finished the hybrid sweater! (The color is more like the darker green, zooming in with the flash made the green appear lighter than it is.) This morning I grafted the underarm seams and tonight I sewed down the hem lining and neck lining. I still have to block the sweater, but for all intent and purposes I have completed my first EZ project. I am very pleased with the outcome. This is only my first EZ sweater, I would like to make a sweater with the shirt back, and a Surprise Jacket, as well as the February baby sweater. However, I think my next EZ project will be the reversible hat. There are so many things to make, the question is will I have a long enough life to make all of them!? Thanks to you for your encouragement and for sharing all your wonderful projects which helped to keep me motivated.