Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I told you all about my vacation last week and the knitting I gifted and received on the trip, but I failed to tell you about what I actually knit while on the road. This was a purposeful omission, as I didn’t finish the knitting until a few days after I arrived home, but let me correct it immediately by showing off my Landyshy wristies:

This pattern, Lily of the Valley Wrist Warmers "Landyshy", first came to my attention at last year's Wisconsin Sheep & Wool festival in a booth filled with the most beautiful Russian lace shawls ever imagined. Each and every shawl was gorgeous, complex, and made out of the softest and lightest yarn I’ve ever felt—usually qiviut or cashmere. Not having the money or inclination to knit such complex projects, I immediately fell on a pair of cuffs that were just as lovely as the shawls but were much more achievable project.

I made my pair out of the laceweight alpaca yarn that I handspun during the 2010 Ravelympics. Being my first handspun laceweight, it’s pretty thin but has some slightly thicker sections that made these wristies turn out a little denser than I had hoped. I honestly think that this pattern should either be made with a very thin laceweight or on needles a half- or full-size larger than the 1’s specified. I might actually knit the pattern again on commercial yarn with larger needles to see if things come out a little better.

I really recommend the Landyshy wristie pattern (Ravelry link) as it creates gorgeous wristies that are quick and straightforward to make, so long as you are comfortable with nupps. If you're not comfortable with nupps, you should check out the crochet-hook method for making nupps because I've found this is the only method for making nupps that does not result in an embarrassing amount of profanity. My wristies are the first project for this pattern on Ravelry and I really hope that they will not be the last!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


I spent all of last week driving up the west coast enjoying some vacation time with the husband before he moves to Milwaukee next month. It was great to have some time off together and to see friends who live in San Francisco and Seattle. One of those friends is the one I did the yarn swap with, so I was able to give her the Pogona shawl while I was there. In return, I got a Wingspan shawl made out of my yarn, which I love:

In addition to the Wingspan, I returned from the trip with a lot of great stuff, including this awesome hat I picked up in Berkeley, CA and some sheer polka-dot fabric that will look great as a blouse. Most notably, I returned home with over 1000 photos, a few of which I'm sharing here.

All in all it was a wonderful trip and I was happy to be able to relax and enjoy the scenery for a while. Now that I'm home, things are gearing up for the big move in a couple of weeks so wish me luck tackling my craft stash into boxes!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I'm happy to finally be sharing the super-secret project I've been working on for the last month or so: a Pogona shawl. This guy is going to my best friend from college, O, and I can't wait to see what she's done with the yarn I sent her!

I really love the Pogona design; it's a very simple repeat of knits, purls, and increases that creates a simple yet intriguing shape. It's not quite a triangular shawl and not quite a scarf. The best part is that the pattern is easy to remember once you get started.

I loved this shawl when it came off of the needles (first photo) but it really popped after blocking (above). It just lays right now. This was my first Stephen West pattern and I'm happy to say that it did not disappoint. Beautiful design, simple pattern, lovely result--my favorite kind of knit.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Sewing Inspiration: Style Stitches

The fun part of learning a new hobby is finding out all of the things you can do with that hobby. While I’m currently stuck on sewing dresses, I’m sure that a time will soon come when I move onto sewing other things and a book recently came to my attention that is inspiring me to make that time sooner rather than later.

A work friend of mine is really into sewing bags and recently showed me her copy of Amy Butler’s Style Stitches. I was immediately impressed by the beautiful designs in the book, made all the more lovely by the use of Bulter’s bold and feminine fabrics. The range of designs is also great, going from simple triangle bags to large tote bags to structured purses.

I’m particularly in love with the purse above, which may be the most difficult project in the book. Given my current sewing skills, I'm not quite up to tackling this one yet so I will probably practice my skills on the pattern that graces the front cover first. And possible a couple of the triangle bags (below).

The funny thing about this book is that it's grown on me since borrowed a library copy to peruse more thoroughly. It took a little while to look beyond the bold fabric to really see that these designs have a lot of potential. And that potential is so inspiring that it is worth sharing with you.