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November 1, 2011

well, i was lucky enough to get through this weekend’s blizzard just fine. we lost power and heat for about 36 hours, but had the good fortune of hot water, a gas stove, and a plethora of wool accessories and sweaters to get us through that time. at risk of sounding out of touch with the issues of the world, i had a very good weekend. it was a good chance to step back from all the technology i’m plugged into almost my entire waking life! i got a good night’s sleep two nights in a row, went for a walk through town, cooked a delicious pot of soup with the about-to-spoil contents of our freezer and refrigerator, and spent a lot of time spinning by candlelight.

Pigeonroof studios Mcmurdo sound merino silk

i finished these singles, spun from pigeonroof studios’ “mcmurdo sound” colorway of her 50/50 silk/merino blend.

Pigeonroof studios Mcmurdo sound merino silk

340 yards of deliciousness. more blackout spinning to come.


sweater finished!

October 24, 2011

well, i finished the sweater!


i stayed up until about 4 am on saturday, but i was able to get everything done in time to have a photoshoot on sunday morning.


it fit my sister perfectly and she loved it! i’m so glad, because i made her come visit me just to take photos of her in a bunch of knitting, so i sent her home with the sweater. she also modeled a few of my other recent designs. the patterns will be coming out in the next few weeks.

carrot flower

the lightweight cousin of my rhinebeck sweater. i have just been so into garter stitch and back detailing lately, i can’t stop!


a circle scarf, in malabrigo twist, that i think i’ll keep wearing 24 hours a day until spring. it is just so cozy!

rhinebeck sweater the second

October 20, 2011

i loved my rhinebeck sweater so much that i decided i wanted to reknit it in a commercial yarn and publish the pattern. my sister is coming up to visit me this weekend, so i was hoping to get the second one done to take photos of her in it! so, i started on tuesday evening, which was the day that i was finally able to get to webs while it was open and pick up some yarn. i am currently this far along:


now, will it be possible to knit the body of the sweater tonight and tomorrow night? i have no idea, but i hope so.

rhinebeck sweater!

October 17, 2011

wow, rhinebeck has come and gone! and i spent so much time working on my rhinebeck sweater, i forgot to post!

finished handspun sweater back detail

this was my first rhinebeck wearing a handspun sweater! actually, it’s probably my first rhinebeck wearing anything whatsoever handspun.

finished handspun sweater front

i designed this sweater, using one of my favorite ideas of cables as a shaping mechanism, in the dark grey jacob wool i spun during the tour de fleece! it used much less than i thought, and i have almost half of the yarn left over! the buttons are from malea, the webs office manager. i LOVE them, and i think they are perfect for this sweater!

finished handspun sweater back

i will be writing up the pattern in a commercial yarn…and in that vein, i have big plans for these sweaters i’ve been knitting up! more on that soon. i also didn’t take any photos of my rhinebeck loot before it got dark out today, whoops. sorry for being a cruddy blogger. but, hey, i knit a sweater out of my own handspun, and it came out fine, so i think maybe i can let this one slide.

it never ends

October 3, 2011

i have finished my sleeves, finally, and am well on my way to having the sweaters finished as well! since i knit the bodies of both the grey and gingerbread sweaters in one piece, and worked their collar edgings as a break between sleeves, the only finishing left to do was to sew these babies in! i always have a ton of trouble with set-in sleeves, and have taken to doing what i call “lazy-basting” them to the bodies to avoid underarm puckering.

Fake baste

in my time at webs, i’ve talked to a few people who love knit klips for this purpose, but i find them too bulky, and, as someone with two cats, anything that’s not tied down tends to disappear under furniture and appliances, so i find it easier to use waste yarn for this purpose. i just tie the sleeves in at the top of the shoulder, the edges of the top bind off rows, at either side of the underarm bind off, and add in an extra tie or two in the middle if i think it’s necessary.

and, as i was nearing the end of these sweaters, i fell in love with the combination of these two colors of madelinetosh prairie, filigree (green) and charcoal (grey). aren’t they gorgeous together? and they go very well with my favorite brooch, too, see:


knit up on size 8 needles, i expect this sweater to be finished in a week, tops! i’ve finished one side of it, and the other is about 1/4 of the way done already. sometimes, i have weird, crazy ideas that i just can’t wait to see knit up, and this is one of those times. the garment i’m working on is totally out of my normal knitting style, but fits well with my day-to-day wardrobe, so i think it will get a lot of wear, too!

weekend hats!!!

September 29, 2011

i had a new hat pattern come out in the book weekend hats this week! melissa and cecily have put together an incredible anthology of hat patterns by my favorite designers, and somehow i managed to be included, too! it is really super exciting for me to be in this book, and i can’t thank melissa and cecily enough for asking me to do a pattern.

pebbled beanie
(this is the photo from the book, it belongs to interweave/their photographer!)

the pebbled beanie was designed to break up pooling in hand painted yarns. the sample shown in the book, which was knit by melissa, is shown in kangaroo dyer semi-solid hand dyed sock yarn. i knit up another one previously in franklin, but it was too busy to photograph.

pebbled beanie

the stitch pattern that i used is a little fiddly, but it looks so good with variegated yarns, especially those with short repeats, that i think it’s worth it. i feel like the fabric it makes reads more like a pointillist painting than it does a sea of pool-y color, which i think is an improvement on the fabric of most hand-dyed yarns. shortly after i knit up the first one, my boyfriend requested a hat in the same pattern, but a thicker yarn. i chose two colors of malabrigo worsted and alternated them every row.

dustin at race point beach

the photos in the book show the hat with the brim folded up, but it’s designed so that if you love a lot of slouch, you can turn the brim down for a longer hat. my boyfriend likes his hats extra slouchy, and has a giant watermelon sized head, so he wears it with the brim folded down.

dustin at chatham beach

pretty slouchy, huh? in that photo, he is looking at seals on the beach in chatham, ma. they were so cool! i also made him mitts to go with the hat, but i think i might need to knit him another pair soon. they survived a winter of serious snow shoveling as only a high quality merino yarn can – they felted and pilled. at least he got good use out of them!


i’ve also used this stitch pattern for a hat i made for myself in some yarn i spun from a braid of fiber i bought from pigeonroof studios at stitches west last year. i spun it up last winter and shortly thereafter knit up a hat for myself in it. it looks great in handspun!

handspun pebbled beanie

sleeve island

September 26, 2011

have you ever gotten stuck on sleeve island? i’m there right now, working on a couple of designs that i’ve been knitting concurrently for the past couple of weeks. i have a sort of cognitive dissonance about certain things in life – washing dishes from cooking dinner, brushing and flossing my teeth before bed, weaving in ends on sweaters – i always go into the undesirable activity thinking it will last FOREVER and be incredibly boring, and it ends up taking less than five minutes, after which i feel great about myself for accomplishing something. i am starting to realize that my thinking pattern about sleeves is in a similar vein to this.

sleeve island

i always put sleeves off, both due to the fact that i think knitting them will only take like an hour and a half, and that i hate calculating armscyes (although i do love using french roast design’s armscye calculator as a good starting point). when i get down to it, the actual knitting takes about three times as long as i think it will, while the calculating takes half. and so, i’m still in the middle of my fourth (non full-length, even!) sleeve since last thursday. oops. hopefully these will all be finished this week and i’ll have something nice to show for it soon!