Gauge Swatch Workshop

I am sort of getting a reputation at work as
"the gauge swatch nazi"
because I am always bugging everyone about swatching.
It is just too vital of a step to skip.

I have come to realize that a lot of knitters are confused about gauge, so I thought this subject would make a great workshop.

Starting in June, I will be offering a gauge swatch workshop, which will be a one hour class. The students will learn what stitch gauge is and how to properly make and measure a swatch. We will discuss the reasons for swatching, and I may even share some horror stories about what can happen if you choose not to swatch.

It may get ugly.

Students will need to bring either: yarn and pattern for a project they would like to make, or just a spare skein of yarn with the ball band still attached. Please bring several needle sizes to the class because we may need to knit a couple of swatches in different needle sizes, until we get the right measurement.

Class dates:
Saturday, June 14th 10-11am
Saturday, June 28th 3-4pm
cost: $15

Please call Tracy or I down at the shop if you would like to sign up, or have any questions. I will be offering this class again over the next couple of months, so be sure to check the website for current class dates and times.


The Rainbow Affair

As I have previously mentioned... I have been working HARD on the project samples for my design submission to Knitty.com. Let me tell you, it is not easy, and at times it is not fun. It is tedious to write patterns. I don't have much time left. The deadline is June 1st, so I really need to work diligently from now until then to get everything done. I really should be a disciplined, monogamous knitter right now.

Unfortunately, this yarn came into the shop.

It was love at first sight. I was drawn to it. I couldn't stop thinking about it.

Ohhh....the bright, fun colors.

Before I knew it, it was on my needles and half a sock was knit.

It was so fun to work on, so easy, so cheerful. And so our love affair began...

My poor "design submission" project looked so blah and boring. Besides that it was being a pain in the neck. It kept calling out to me saying things like, "Listen, you made a commitment to me, you have to get me done!" But I didn't want to listen...

When I decided to go on a vacation to a theme park last weekend, we both knew who I was going to take with me....

I felt like I had the perfect set up here. I worked this sock in a plain stockinette stitch on magic loop. I feel like you dont need a stitch pattern with such crazy colors! The magic loop was a good idea because dpns weren't falling out everywhere all the time, and it was easy and quick to put away when I got on the rides.

I also used my handy sock bag that I easy slung over my arm, and held my yarn for me while I knit away.

I had never knit in line before, but it was great. It passed the time and I got a good amount done.

Besides spending time together in line, my rainbow sock and I had a wonderful day together.

Because rainbow sock was on magic loop I was able to put him on my arm tuck in the needles, and even take him on a very scary roller coaster with me.

Did you know that they won't let you knit on roller coasters?

He was a little scared, but had a great time!

We were both hungry by then, so I took rainbow sock out for a romantic dinner.

It was a fantastic day....

......until I got heat stroke, spent some time vomiting in a planter, then went to first aid.....
Aren't theme parks grand?


The Anniversary Hat

Today is our 6th Anniversary!

I cant believe how much time has past since our wedding day! Six years seriously just flew by!
I also can't believe that six years ago, I didn't know anything about knitting or crocheting.
What did I do with my time????

Last year for our anniversary, I made my husband a knit hat. He wore it almost everyday and with so much wearing and washing it has gotten seriously stretched out of shape. It was knit from 100% alpaca which I have found doesn't have a lot of memory. It is also insanely fuzzy now and you can no longer see the stitch definition. He still wears it though, but it looks ridiculous because he has to tuck it behind his ears to keep it on his head.
He really needed a new anniversary hat.

I made this new one for him using the Rustic Cables pattern, and some leftover Zara Plus yarn from my Tilted Duster sweater. It fits him great! And the wonderful thing about this new hat is that it can go in the laundry pile because it doesn't require special washing instructions.

The Zara yarn also really has great stitch definition.

I wanted to take a picture of my husband wearing it but he is shy about website modeling. :)


Seduced by Giselle

I have been thinking about the Giselle Top pattern since I purchased it at Stitches West. I could never find the perfect yarn for it until..... I discovered Seduce. It is a new yarn made by Berocco and it is just so pretty. It is an interesting blend of silk, linen, rayon, and nylon. It is kind of wiry but soft at the same time. I immediately swatched for Giselle and it was a perfect match. I washed my gauge swatch and was pleasantly surprised by how the yarn softened and how the stitches smoothed. The drape was beautiful. I knew that this yarn would work up wonderfully in a light summer top.

The great thing about this pattern is that it is knit from the top down. (NO SEAMS!)
I can try it on as I go to see if it is fitting me correctly.

I simply just slipped the stitches from the circular needle onto some waste yarn.

I really like it so far. I think that I chose the right size too. Phew!
I always seem to choose the wrong size!!!

Seduce produces this slightly inconsistent fabric that reminds me of raw silk. I can't wait until I get this pattern submission knitting out of the way so that I can get back to this project!


I am so tired and so hungry right now...

It has just been one of those mornings.

It all started last night when I was lying in bed staring at the ceiling until 3:30 am. My mind was racing and I just could not sleep. I was thinking about (what else) knitting. You see, for those who don't know me personally, my obsessive personality sometimes gets the best of me.

To compound matters, for some unknown reason my two year old decides to wake up at 6:00 AM. I tried to doze off after that but someone was being really really loud and repeatedly yelling, "Mama Geg up!!" I rolled out of bed, feeling quite sorry for myself for only getting a pitiful 2.5 hours of sleep.

I decided to start my day by checking my ravelry account and email and of course it was TODAY of all days that I get my second rejection letter from Knitty. I had turned in the Rustic Cables pattern in February and it took them all this time to get back to me. Unfortunately I had done it again, I had gotten my hopes up and found myself feeling very disappointed.

I then stumbled into the bathroom to take a shower and for some reason decided this was the day I was going to step on the scale. Well come to find out, I also weigh alot more than I thought I did. Great.

After my shower as I was leaving the bathroom, to top it all off, I whacked my head against the door jam. Don't ask me why that happened. My preoccupied, exhausted, pudgy self apparently could no longer walk straight.

So, here I was sleep deprived, disappointed, fat, with a splitting headache.

What did I do about it?

I went shopping... now I feel alot better.

So, about Knitty, I am sad that my two patterns that I have submitted have been declined. But, it also motivates me more than ever to keep going. I will not give up!!! I am currently working on a pattern for their Fall issue. I have to say, I am quite pleased. It has been a big undertaking, but will be well worth the effort. As with the previous submissions, I will not be able to share it with you until after it has been either published or denied.

As soon as I get some pictures in order I will be sharing a new project I started recently that it working up quite nicely. So please stay tuned.

Rustic Cables

Rustic Cables
by Alana Dakos

When my Dad and Brother needed hats to wear on a camping trip, I came up with this fast, fun to knit hat pattern. The staggered cables twist in opposite direction keeping you on your “knitting toes” while the tweedy yarn provides the masculinity I was looking for in this hat. The finished result is a close fitting, warm hat with a brim that can be folded up or left down depending on the wearer’s preference.

One (Adult Large) 22-24 inch circumference, approx 9 inches in length.

(Brown Hat) : Queensland Collection Kathmandu Aran [85% Merino Wool, 10% Silk, 5% Cashmere; 104 yd/95m per 50g skein]; color #136; #2 skeins
(Gray Hat) : Queensland Collection Kathmandu Aran [85% Merino Wool, 10% Silk, 5% Cashmere; 104 yd/95m per 50g skein]; color #155; #2 skeins
#1 set US #8/5mm double-point needles
#1 16-inch US #8/5mm circular needle

Cable Needle

Stitch Markers

Tapestry Needle

16 sts/24 rows = 4" in stockinette stitch

4x4 rib (Worked over a multiple of 8 sts)
Round 1: [K4, p4] to end.
Every round is the same.

Cast on 96 sts. Place marker to mark the beginning of a round and join being careful not to twist your stitches. Work 14 rounds in 4x4 rib.

Cable Pattern:
Round 1: (k4, p4, sl 2 sts to cable needle purlwise and hold in front of work. K2, k2 from cable needle, p4) repeat to marker.
Rounds 2-5: work in 4x4 rib
Round 6: (sl 2 sts to cable needle purlwise and hold in back of work. K2, k2 from cable needle, p4,k4, p4) repeat to marker.
Rounds 7-10: work in 4x4 rib

Rounds 11-36 Repeat Cable pattern 2 more times and then rounds 1-6 one more time. Hat should measure approx 7.5 inches from cast on edge.

Begin decreasing rounds. Switch to double pointed needles when your hat no longer fits comfortably around the circular needle.

Decreasing Rounds:
Round 37: (k4, p1, p2tog, p1) repeat around
Round 38: (k4, p2tog, p1) repeat around
Round 39: (k1, k2tog, k1, p2) repeat around
Round 40: (k2tog, k1, p2) repeat around
Round 41: (k2, p2tog) repeat around
Round 42: (k2tog, p1) repeat around
Round 43 (k2tog) repeat around

Cut yarn leaving a long tail. Thread tail onto tapestry needle and pull through the remaining stitches sliding them off of the double pointed needles as you go. Cinch up tightly and weave in ends. Block as desired.

Thankyou to my Dad and Brother for modeling their new hats for me.


Vintage Brooch

When I was on vacation last weekend I picked up this beautiful vintage brooch at an amazing boutique.
I think it works perfectly to hold together my Swallowtail shawl.

One of the things that has always bothered me about triangular shawls is the fact that they often can slip off of your shoulders. I hate clothing that has to constantly be adjusted.

Problem Solved.