Saturday, May 31, 2014

Vintage Smocked Baby Sweater

Pattern:  Vintage Smocked Sweater
Needles:  Size 4 & 6
Yarn:  Berroco Comfort DK - 4 balls 

Selecting yarn in a solid color way definitely show up pattern a little more.  The sweater can also be knitted with a shawl color for a much warmer effect.

This pattern is easy to follow and a quick knit.  It has a twisted ribbing which allows the design to really "pop".  It can be worn comfortably on a baby/toddler wearing a diaper.

Pattern calls for 3 buttons.  I selected 3/4" elephants but that is subject to change as the pattern did not state the size.

This yarn is acrylic and machine washable keeping in mind a mom's busy schedule.

The sweater is being knitted with love for my wonderful granddaughter, Abigail.  She is inquisitive and good-natured.  Now that she is one year old, she has become a serious shopper as you can see in the pictures below.

Happy Knitting!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Alpha Chi Cowl

Pattern:  Alpha Chi Cowl
Designer:  Meridith Shephard
Yarn:  Debbie Bliss Rialto
Needles:  Size 3 Cicular

I purchased the Alpha Chi and Infusion Cowl patterns from Meridith on Ravelry.  Reasonably priced at $5/each or both for $8, they are a delight to work with.  These patterns are extremely well-written.  Meridith has "tips" in her patterns and it is easy to follow even for beginning chart readers.

I've been knitting for over 50 years.  Admitting this is not easy as I don't feel my age.  I will say that this pattern is probably in my top ten favorites.

When I purchase yarn, I want the total experience.  I want the colorway I have in mind.  If the need arises, I want it to be superwash wool.  But most of all, I want it to be soft as it glides through my fingers when I am knitting.  Don't tell me that soaking it in hair conditioner after the project is knitted will make it soft.  I just want the whole experience from the beginning.

Oh........totally addictive knitting.  I was up at 2:00 a.m. a few days repeating to myself like I was in a drunken stupor........"just one more row".

Stranded knitting (Fair Isle) is my favorite type of knitting.  The fact that this cowl is reversible makes for a very "neat" look.  Two rows of garter stitch makes for a nice, sharp fold to the cowl.  The first part of the chart requires a little more attention but is certainly not difficult.  The second part of the chart is intuitive and you can move right along.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Color Infusion Cowl

Pattern:  Color Infusion Cowl by Meridith Shephard (purchase at for $5)
Yarn:  Debbie Bliss Rialto superwash merino
Needles:  Size 3 24" circular

I love my new cowl.  It't just right for March weather in Vermont.  I love that it is reversible and it looks so nice with my boiled wool jacket. started with this chart.  

This stranded color pattern was so much fun to knit.  I almost hated to see it completed if it had not been for the fact that I was looking forward to wearing it. 

The pattern is extremely well-written.  This designer is one that I will be watching for additional patterns.  I knitted one of her other cowls that I will blog about in a few days.

Side 1

Side 2

Happy Knittitng!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Let's Talk Socks

I confess.  My name is Joan and I am addicted to knitting socks like a diva is addicted to chocolate.

Free pattern at:
This picture did not capture the truly beautiful colors of this yarn.

This mock cable stitch is a repeat of 5 rows and so very easy to knit.

I've not had good luck with Plymouth yarn.  I had speckles of dye in places it should not have been.  However, this yarn began to pill in the process of knitting.  It has some elasticity to it so if you drop a stitch it's like it goes "boing" like a "Slinky" going down a flight of stairs.

Have I convinced you that I am addicted to sock knitting?  It's an easily potable project.  It's a great stress-reliever to knit while waiting for an appointment.  An added bonus is opens up a conversation with strangers when their curiosity wants to know what you are knitting.

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Kumihimo Bracelet

I know, I know, my post today is not connected to my blog name.  Since I originally started blogging, my crafting interests have evolved to add other crafts.  I’m the “Jack Joan of all trades, master of none”. 

I love the clasp and end posts which look like tulips.

Kumihimo is a Japanese form of braid-making. Cords and ribbons are made by interlacing strands.  This is a craft that I have long wanted to learn.

The foam kumihimo disk is lightweight, portable, and affordable.  It is a craft that can be easily made by all confidence and age levels.  The disk is flexible but sturdy enough to keep an even tension.  Traditionally, satin cords or “rattails” are used as well as ribbon.   There are round disks as well as square disks for different effects.    The cost of each disk is about $18.  
Kumihimo Setup
I started out with a simple project.  The braid itself took me less than an hour to complete for two bracelets.  My local bead store was kind enough to show me how to add end caps and a clasp to finish off the bracelet. 

Close-up of Kumihimo Braid

This book was extremely helpful with many wonderful  jewelry projects.

Later this month, I will be taking a class on Kumihimo and beads. 

In the meantime………………

Happy Knitting!  (I have lots to show you from the knitting front in future posts.)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Drop Stitch Scarf

(Free Pattern Included)

Yarn:  1 skein Stacy Charles Luna Yarn (kid mohair and silk)
           1 skein Stacy Charles Stella Yarn (silk)

Needles:  Size 10  US (original pattern called for Size 11 but I didn't like the look)
Scarf Size:  6 1/2"x 56"


Cast on 22 stitches using Stella (I cast on 24 just because....)

Row 1:  Knit
Row 2: Change to Luna.  Knit wrapping yarn around needle twice for each stitch
Row 3:  Knit dropping the extra wrap
Row 4:  Change to Stella - knit 

Repeat these 4 rows until desired length ending after row 4.  Bind off with Stella and hide your tails. 

Free pattern is compliments of my LYS (local yarn shop) and is not copyrighted.

This was an extremely easy project.  It is very delicate knitting and I would recommend using lotion on your hands that does not stain just before you start knitting.    It does not show in the pictures but there are very small gold specs throughout the yarn that gives the scarf just the right amount of shimmer.  

The scarf is extremely lightweight.  The color selection for this yarn will have you salivating.  I knitted till I ran out of Stella which has 70 yards per skein.  A little pricey for both, however, I think I could knit a 2nd scarf with the purchase of just Stella.  I will use my little scale to weigh what is left of Charles to make that determination.  I think the total cost for the yarn was in the $22 range.

After blogging for many years, I had difficulty making the transition from Windows to a Mac.  So, needless to say, I am happy to have resolved those issued and have returned and hope to hear from many of you who used to read by blog.   

Happy Knitting!