Saturday, April 26, 2008

Lesson Learned

Today I was a vendor at a flea market. I set up a table to sell some of my knitted items, and also some beaded earrings and macrame necklaces and bracelets. Very little sold. I didn't even earn $100. Boo. If complements paid my bills, I'd be set for life, but I very quickly learned that people don't troll flea markets looking for handmade items. They want cheap, cheap, cheap. And what I make is not. So, as disappointing as it is to have sold so little, I do have more than I went in with, and I learned my lesson. I'll look for craft fairs.

Also, I opened an Etsy store today. Be sure to check it out! There are only a couple items right now, but if there seems to be interest, I'll be listing more things as time goes on. My vendor name is StevieLynn.

In non-knitting news, I just returned from a three day, 25 mile backpacking trip on the Appalachian trail. I met some interesting people, including a few through hikers who were quite amused to see me sitting in the shelter at night with my knitting, working by headlamp. (Ok, so it's not quite non-knitting related.) Was a good trip, but it did take away from my knitting time. Oh well. It was fun, any way you slice it, and my knitting did make an appearance.

Tune in next time for another original pattern.....

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Insomnia Strikes

It's 4:42 am. Bah. I can't sleep tonight, so I figured turning to some knitting isn't a bad idea.

Everyone needs one of those projects that yields finished results almost immediately. You know, something you can start and finish in the same day, something that doesn't really take a time commitment like sweaters and shawls and afghans do. Well, for me lately, that project has been cat toys. Now, if your cats are anything like my cats, they love the knitted things they are not supposed to have. They want to sleep on them, knead their claws in them, bat around balls of yarn, you name it. So I like to make them knitted things they can have. The mouse is a Catnip Friend from Oddball Knitting by Barbara Albright. The ball is actually a Knitted Kick Sack from the same source. But the fish, the fish is my design, and you all may have it.

Note: this pattern is worked from tail to head.

Needles: US size 6 dpns
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in carrot
Scrap of black yarn or embroidery floss
Notions: tapestry needle

CO 21 st
Join to knit in round, being careful not to twist.
Arrange sts so that there are 7 on each of three needles.
Knit 5 rounds.
Begin first set of decreases:
Round 1: *K5, K2tog*
Round 2: K
Round 3: *K4, K2tog*
Round 4: K
Continue in this fashion until there are 3 sts on each needle.
Begin increase:
Kf&b into the first st of each needle until there are 8 sts on each needle.
Knit 7 rounds.
Begin second set of decreases:
Round 1: *K6, K2tog*
Round 2 *K5, K2tog*
Continue in this fashion until only one st remains on each needle.
Cut yarn, lace through live sts, pull tight, tie off, pull yarn through to inside.
Stuff with polyfil, catnip, and/or a plastic shopping bag (they make a great crinkling noise my cats love), close tail with a whipstitch and embed any lose ends inside the toy. Embroider two eyes in the appropriate places with scrap yarn or embroidery floss.

Monday, April 14, 2008

It came!

It's here! It finally came! My yarn from Knit Picks! Now, normally, Knit Picks is great with shipping. They say five to ten business days, but I've never even waited five days for my yarn to be shipped all the way across the country. This time, however, I depended on my computer screen to be accurate. I found the perfect shade of green to make a shawl to match a sleeveless dress I own. When it arrived, it turned out to be this horrible shade, absolutely garish. That's what I get for thinking the coloring of my screen is dead on accurate. Right, like that ever happens. So I sent it back, exchaning it for a purple shade called Aubergine. So instead of getting my yarn to start this shawl two weeks ago, I had to wait for it to ship back, the return to process, and the new shipment to come. Far too long to wait for yarn. But it came today! I have already started knitting up the Dragon Scales Shawl by Carissa Browning, which can be found on the blog Carissa Knits. When I have some progress made, I'll post a pic or two.

In other news, I learned to double knit last week, and I'm working on this scarf. If you aren't familiar with double knitting, the other side is exactly the opposite, a blue star on a yellow background.

I am also waiting on two Ebay shipments; one of 100% hemp yarn and one on 100% bamboo yarn. I can't wait to work with fibers that are totally renewable and earth friendly. If only I could find them that were made in this country.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

As Promised...

As promised, here is the pattern for my Norwegian Star hat. I think I have all the kinks worked out, so here we go.

US size 7 16" circ
Cascade 220 MC
Cascade 220 CC
Knit Picks Wool of the Andes also works well for this pattern.

CO 112 st
Knit in 1x1 ribbing for 3 1/2 inches.
Knit 5 rows.
Work chart.
Knit 10 rows.
Begin dec:
Round 1: *K6, K2tog*
Round 2: K
Round 3: *K5, K2tog*
Round 4: K
Continue in this manner until 14 st remain. Cut yarn, lace tail through live sts, pull tight, tie off on wrong side and weave in ends.

(Jan 19, 2010)ETA: Many Ravelers are finding that this pattern yields a very large hat. It is made to fit my 22" melon. If your head is smaller than mine (as it very likely is), I suggest you take other Ravelers' suggestions and CO 96 sts and work from there.

Wristwarmers for All!!!

Today's project: your basic ribbed wristwarmers. My mother swears these things are useless, but as a teacher/naturalist, I constantly have to start campfires, page through field guides, and the like, none of which I can do with a gloved hand. Even if you're not a granola girl like me, you still need your fingers to fumble for keys or dial a cell phone. I think whoever invented fingerless gloves and mittens deserves a medal. My hands and wrists stay warm and my fingers stay useful. Everyone wins.

So, without further ado, I give you the Basic Ribbed Wristwarmer :
Yarn: 1 skein Knit Picks Wool of the Andes (110y/50g) color Pidgeon Twist
Needles: 1 set of 5 size 6 dpns
Notions: tapestry needle

CO 40 st
Distribute evenly on four needles and join for working in the round.
Work in 2x2 ribbing (K2, P2) for 5 inches.
Begin Thumbhole:
Round 1: work all four needles in rib pattern. When you reach the end of the round do not join.
Round 2: turn work and work rib pattern back in the direction you came. (essentially you will be knitting flat)
Repeat rounds 1&2 five more times for a total of twelve rows.
Next round: join work across thumbhole. Work 10 rounds of rib pattern.
BO in rib. Weave in ends.
Make second wristwarmer

Friday, April 11, 2008


Lately I've been on a hat kick. Plain hats, hats with stripes, hats with cables, hats with pigtails. But last weekend I learned how to do Fair Isle, so my most recent hats have had colorwork on them. I've progressed from a simple checkerboard:

To an easy vine and stripe:

To a traditional Norwegian star pattern:
This last hat is an original design, the star pattern a combination of one I found in a book and one I found on the net, and the knitting pattern itself just sort of evolved as I knit. When I have it perfected, (and when I figure out how to post charts) I shall post it here.

Currently I am working on my second Norwegian star hat in an effort to perfect it. Other Works In Progress include Lacy Skirt with Bows from the book Greetings From Knit Cafe by Susan Mischer, a feather and fan afghan, and a double knit scarf with a star pattern. I will be posting pictures of them in completed form in due time. Stay tuned for Finished Objects and original patterns!

Thursday, April 10, 2008


So, I've decided to start a knitting blog. Here you will find my ramblings on patterns, projects, needles, and more. In celebration of my first post, I have decided to provide you with a pattern, one of my first designs. So welcome, and enjoy.

Cables and Earflaps

Yarn: For this pattern I used a locally grown alpaca yarn from Rainbow's End Farm. It's a light worsted weight, so substitute at will.

Needles: Size 8 16" circulars, Size 8 dpns
Notions: crochet hook, tapestry needle, markers

CO 88 st. PM and join, being careful not to twist.
Work in garter stitch (knit one row, purl one row) for ten rounds, increasing 12 stitches evenly in the last round (100 st).
Begin body of hat:
Round 1, 2, 4, 5, & 6: *K2, P2, K4, P2*
Round 3: *K2, P2, C4B, P2*

Work in this pattern until hat measures 7" from cast on edge.

Round 1: K2tog at each K2
Round 2: P2tog at each P2
Round 3: K2tog in the middle of each K4

Cut yarn, leaving a 6" tail. Thread yarn through remaining stitches and pull top of hat closed. Thread through to wrong side of work and secure, weaving in ends.

Mark center back of hat with removable marker. Count forward 8 st from marker. Pick up 18 st with dpn. Knit ten rows.
Row 11: K to last 3 st, K2tog, K1
Repeat Row 11 14 more times (3 st)
Repeat procedure on opposite side of hat.

Cut 6 one yard lengths of yarn. Thread through bottom of earflap with crochet hook. Braid. Tie off with an overhand knot. Repeat procedure on opposite side.