Monday, December 17, 2012


I purchased the pattern, Seascape Shawl, and Peruvian baby lace merino yarn (50% baby alpaca, 50% fine merino) to make it, in May 2010, from and began knitting it in June 2010 and knit about 4” before I got side-tracked with designing baby sweaters. I put the shawl aside and didn't start knitting it again until the first week of December 2012.
This yarn is VERY fine - looks like cobweb lace yarn to me. I’m hoping that when the shawl is finished, I can block it to the length I want. The pattern calls for 1180 yds of lace weight with a gauge of 16 sts = 4”. My yarn ball band doesn't have any gauge stated, nor does for this yarn. I didn't do a gauge swatch before knitting - my bad! So far I still have plenty of yarn left from the first skein so I have plenty of yarn to make it bigger. The border is feather and fan stitch so if need be, I’ll just knit more rows until the shawl is the length I want.
I’m at the border now so it shouldn't take too much longer to finish.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Bob's Socks

I've been knitting socks for years and whenever I've asked my husband if he'd like a pair, he's always said no. Until a few weeks ago. When I told Esther, one of my knitting friends that I was going to make Bob a pair of socks, his first ever hand-knit socks, she insisted that I accept 2 skeins of sock yarn from her stash. She said I'd be doing her a favor!  How could I refuse? Thank you for the yarn, Esther. Bob was happy with the colors in it.

I fiddled with the numbers of stitches until I finally came up with the correct cast on and a stretchy rib/seed stitch. He has a very high instep and I wanted to be sure he could get the socks on easily as I know he’d never wear them otherwise. I’m so happy they came out well and they FIT him!
Now, we’ll see if he ever wears them. His usual sock of choice is the nylon men’s dress socks.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I am a member of Bundles of Joy group on BoJ is a charity group dedicated to helping needy babies and children of Pine Ridge Reservation in SD. The group decided it would be nice if all the newborns in the OB Ward on Pine Ridge had Santa hats. So I knitted a hat and have offered my pattern, "Newborn Santa Hat", for free on Ravelry. Knitted as directed, the hat will fit a newborn, but it can be made to fit a larger baby or child if you increase the cast on number of stitches by increments of 3 stitches to your required size, then follow the rest of the directions as written.

If you'd like the free Newborn Santa Hat pattern, click on the link that says "My designs on" at the far right top of the page, and it will take you to my patterns. 

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Baby Rugby Pullover

I finally finished my latest baby sweater pattern - Baby Rugby Pullover. I created it to resemble the rugby shirts my son used to wear. The one I created is knit top-down and seamless with raglan sleeves and a buttoned front placket that opens wide enough to allow the sweater to go easily over the head of a squirming baby.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Knitted Smocked Baby Dress

I've been working on a new knitted baby dress pattern for the past few months. I ended up knitting 6 dresses because I just couldn't seem to get the dress to look the way I could see it in my mind. I finally determined that the problem was the neck band - it was way too big. It's fixed now and the pattern is complete and is finally available for sale on Craftsy and on Ravelry

I created this design to resemble the Bishop hand smocked baby dresses my Mom used to sew. My dress has long sleeves and is made from sport weight yarn. A heavier yarn wouldn't drape so well. I can just picture one of these on a baby during the winter holidays. :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Teddy's Baby Pullover

About 2 years ago I made a pullover for my teen aged grandson, Teddy, and had yarn left over. When I saw the yarn in my stash one day, I decided to use it to make a baby pullover, using the same stitch I had used on the sleeves of Teddy’s sweater. That is how Teddy’s Baby Pullover came into being.
I ended up knitting 4 of them in different yarns and I love them all. The stitch used is very stretchy and my grandson was able to wear his sweater for far longer than I had expected it to fit him. Hopefully this will hold true for the babies who receive my sample sweaters. All my samples go to Pine Ridge Reservation in SD.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

New Baby

I went baby shopping - baby doll that is. :) I already had 3 dolls. One is named Mini Purl because she’s preemie sized. If you’re old like me you’ll remember Minnie Pearl so you can see I took her name and changed it some. :)
The other 2 dolls are between 3 mos and 6 mos sized so I really “needed” a newborn sized doll. I found one at Toys R Us for about $22 and she’s just the right size. I took a measuring tape with me and measured her head, chest and length to be sure. I think the clerk thought I was a crazy old lady. LOL
After Toys R Us, Bob (yes he was with me when I measured the doll, but he already knew that I’m a crazy old lady) and I went to the mall to get his watch battery put in. While we were waiting for that, we sat in the chairs in the middle of the Mall and a new Mom and her 3 week old baby sat near us. My new doll was in the car so I couldn’t hold it beside the baby, but I’m pretty sure they are both the same size! The new Mom said her baby is already sleeping all night - lucky Mom!
I decided that since the doll was bought/born on the 4th of July, her name will be Julie. :) Bob says the house is getting crowded with dolls. They’re all on the sofa. LOL
I had to interrupt her TV watching to take this picture. She was watching the news with Bob. :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My sweater

My sweater is finished. When I went to buy buttons, I had a hard time deciding if I wanted to use blue ones that were the same color as the sweater or silver antique looking buttons, so I bought both. After I got them home, I decided on the silver ones. I like the looks of the  finished sweater, but the fat old lady wearing it - not so much. :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My Tote Bag is done, done, done!

Way back in the middle of January I started to knit the Tote kit that my daughter Colleen gave me for Christmas. The pattern was driving me crazy (see my blog posts dated February 17 and February 29) so I decided to forget it and just go ahead and knit a bag of my own design instead. After several attempts, I finally came up with a simple design, but using all 12 of the yarn colors in the kit. At first glance you don't realize how many colors are really in the finished bag.

I actually completed the knitting several months ago but kept putting off sewing the lining. Although I know how, sewing isn't my favorite craft but I'm very good at procrastinating.

I bought the lining fabric shortly after the knitting was done. While in the fabric store I spent at least 5 minutes in front of the thread display deciding on the exact right shade of thread to match the lining and bought the perfect green thread.

Yesterday I decided I'd put off lining the bag long enough, so I went to the closet to get the bag containing the lining material, thread and interfacing. When I opened the bag there was NO THREAD! Now I know I brought that thread home because I showed it to my husband, Bob, and he even remembers it! I searched the entire house yesterday, looking for that darn thread, but couldn't find it. Now, I admit, my house is not the cleanest in the world but I'm a fairly organized person, especially when it comes to my sewing and knitting supplies. I have a drawer full of thread with a variety of different shades of green but NOT the thread intended for this bag. I finally gave up the hunt and used one of the spools of green thread from the drawer. It is okay but NOT the one I wanted. I was afraid that if I put off sewing the lining until I got back to the fabric store for the right shade of green thread, I'd never sew the lining at all.

So, I cut out the lining, sewed 2 pockets on the inside and put the whole bag together. Here it is - finally!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I'm on a roll.

Since I frogged the sweater I was designing, I've been busy knitting someone else's pattern, as I said in my May 31st blog. You can see it here:

Last night I finished knitting the back and today I've done about 3 rows of the left front. So long as I can keep my stubborn old brain focused to remember to reverse the direction of the slanted portion of the pattern when I work on the wrong side, I'll be fine. sigh  

My preferred method of knitting sweaters is top-down and seamless but this one is knit bottom-up with the back, two fronts and sleeves each worked separately, then seamed.  The neck band and front bands are worked after all the pieces are complete. I've done any number of sweaters using this method in the past so I don't foresee any difficulties with that.

It's really not a difficult pattern, that is, when you pay attention to what you're doing. Here's a look at what is complete so far.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

If at first you don't succeed...

Well, I frogged the sweater and started all over again using a pattern from Knitter's Magazine 2008 called Career Check. You can see the pattern here:

I'm using the same blue yarn from the sweater I frogged and here's what the pattern looks like so far:

I've actually completed about 11" of the back. This sweater is worked from the bottom up with the back, two fronts and sleeves each knitted separately, then sewn together. I knit most sweaters top down and seamless. I know many people avoid seams like the plague but I don't really mind sewing seams. Hopefully this sweater will fit me when it's finished. :)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Frogging - again!

Well, after starting my sweater, frogging it and starting again - 5 TIMES, I worked it, starting at the neck, down to about 5" below the underarm. I tried it on and decided that I'd been knitting along in denial for a week because the darned thing is way too big for me!!! Now, I'm no tiny little person, but this thing could fit Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum together! sigh

So, yup, I frogged the whole thing - all 3 1/2 skeins of yarn, but at least I wound it all into cakes as I frogged it. I think a big part of the problem was that the pattern was rather stretchy and I could never decide which gauge was accurate.

Now I need to do some searching through my stitch dictionary books and come up with a new design and start again. Wish me luck. :) 

Thursday, May 17, 2012


I started my sweater using size 8 US needles and worked a few inches, but I now can tell it will be too big so it needs to be frogged. I've figured out the correct (I hope) numbers and now will use size 7 US needles. I'll do a 2x2 cable on each raglan "seam", a two 2x2 cables leaning toward each other with a twisted knit stitch between them (pattern is called staircase cables) beside each front band and do a garter stitch rib between stockinette stitch for all the rest. We'll see how this works out. Now I need to frog and cast on again.

Ribbit, ribbit! :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A sweater for me!

I've decided I need a sweater - for ME,  this time. :) I've designed lots of tiny baby sweaters, but never an adult sweater. Over the years I've knit probably dozens of adult sweaters from other people's patterns. Sometimes I've knit them exactly as the pattern says, but other times I've changed them to suit myself. But I've always used the pattern as a guide for all the numbers - you know, stitch count etc.

Well, this time I'm doing my own pattern. I have Barbara Walker's book Knitting from the Top Down (the title has a down arrow symbol at the end, not the word down, but I don't know how to put that here - my knitting skills are better than my computer skills sigh). The book was a gift from my daughter, Colleen a few years ago. Thanks, Colleen. She's an accomplished knitter herself (among a ton of other crafts).

My sweater will be a raglan cardigan with a double cable panel on either side of the front bands and cable panels at each of the raglan "seams". I'm in the process of working out the number of stitches. I'll need more than a plain sweater would require because of the cables, so I hope I figured it out correctly. The proof will be in the knitting. I'll knit the neck band and front bands after the sweater is complete. We'll see how it goes.

Here's the yarn I'm using. It's Knit Picks Brava Worsted, an acrylic yarn in their Denim colorway. I have several cardigans in wool but I want one in acrylic this time. There are times of the year here that I need a sweater, but wool is just too warm. This is the desert after all.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Sweet Baby Dress

I finished my latest knitting design, a cute baby dress. I've named it Sweet Baby Dress and the pattern is for sale now on and also on

I like the way it came out and it was a fun knit. It's worked top-down and is seamless except for the cute little puffy pocket that is worked separately and then sewn onto the skirt of the dress. I love the puffed sleeves too. Two of the sizes (I made all 4 sizes - 3mos, 6mos, 9mos, and 12 mos) have little store bought satin flowers sewn onto the yoke while the other 2 sizes have cute buttons sewn onto the yoke. I just love them all. :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Sweaters Are in the Mail.

What do you do with all the sweaters you knit during the pattern design process? I send mine to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, USA. There are various groups on the Reservation that collect and distribute items to folks in need. I belong to Bundles of Joy, a charity group on that was created for knitters and crocheters who like to make sweaters, etc. for babies and children. Here are pictures of 10 of the most recent sweaters I sent to the babies of Pine Ridge.

Some of the sweater designs become published patterns and some don't. LOL

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tote Bag - Plan C

After struggling with the dimensions listed on the pattern of the Tote Bag, then deciding to change them to suit me, I knit the bottom and about 3/4 of the back. Then I started working on the chart for the front of the bag. The chart incorporates 12 different colors and on most of the rows of the chart there are 5 colors. I worked 4 rows, or I should say, I struggled through 4 rows, carrying the 5 colors across each row and came to the conclusion that I don't have enough years left to live to make that struggle worth while! That chart would be MUCH better worked as a needlepoint project rather than a knitted one.

Yesterday I cast on for the front of the bag using a stitch called "joyous stripes". It's k1, then with yarn in front, slip 1, repeated across the row. Then purl every wrong side row. Very simple but not boring. I'll work 2 rows of each of the 12 colors and keep repeating that for a total of 7 repeats of the 12 colors, which should give me the desired height I need. There will be a band of the green color used for the bottom and back, at the bottom and top of the front. So far I've completed just over 2 repeats of all the colors and I really like it. There's a lot of ends to weave in, but I've been stopping to do that after every completing every 6 color changes so it isn't too bad. This (not very good) picture gives a rough idea of how the front will look. :)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Stash Buster Baby Sweater

A few weeks ago I decided to create a new baby sweater design that could use several different partial skeins of yarn from my stash. The pattern finally ended up being one that can use multiple partial skeins and uses two different stitch patterns, garter and seed stitch. The pattern is for sale on Ravelry (click here Stash Buster Baby Sweater ).

Uses 4 different partial skeins
Uses 2 different partial skeins
Uses 4 different partial skeins

Uses 1 skein

Uses 4 different partial skeins

Friday, February 17, 2012

Tote Bag - Plan B

I was delighted during the Holidays when my daughter, Colleen, shopped on line at Knit Picks and gave me a collection of knitting stitch reference books and a knitted tote bag kit that I'd been wanting. The bag is Road Trip Tote Kit "Heartland".

I finally read through the whole pattern in mid January. This pattern is definitely not for a novice knitter, mainly because of the intarsia. The chart has as many as 6 colors across some of the rows. I made and blocked a swatch and did get the gauge listed on the pattern, I then completed the base and about 6" of the back (the back and the intarsia front are done separately) but then put what I had knitted in time-out, as it definitely wouldn't have been the size that the pattern claimed, especially the height. The width might have been close but the height would have been much shorter.

I sent a pm on Ravelry to the designer to see why, but still have never received a response from her. Then I sent message to Knit Picks giving them all the gauge numbers and why I felt the bag would never become the dimensions stated by the designer. I received a response from them saying they agreed with my numbers and would contact the designer for further info. Two weeks later, I received another Knit Picks message stating that the designer told them that the actual height of the tote was "about" 10" tall and that the 11" listed was a typo. In my opinion the whole gauge listed on the pattern is wrong!

So now I've decided on Plan B. I frogged the whole piece I had knitted and started over with a larger needle. I knit another swatch to get a new gauge and re-figure the number of stitches needed to get the tote the size that I want. I've decided to crop the chart too, so the whole tote will be a shape that is different from the pattern.

My tote will be about 10 1/2" square with a shoulder strap so I can wear it cross body on days when my hip tells me that I need to use my cane. I'll make the bottom base and each side 4" wide. The original pattern info has the bag as a sort of a trapezoid shape with the bottom about 12" across and the top about 17" across and the bottom base and each side about 4". I haven't yet decided how I'll do the shoulder strap. I may use a commercial one or knit one, then use a heavy interfacing and the fabric lining to line the strap for stability so it won't stretch. Need to think about that for a while.

This project will take a while as I'm using US #2 needles and the yarn is fingering weight, not to mention the time consuming intarsia for the front of the bag.

To save my sanity I'll alternate working on the bag with knitting cute baby sweaters.  I've got a new baby sweater design currently in the works. I've written out the pattern and have completed knitting 2 of the 4 sizes so I need to get going on the other 2 sizes before I can publish the pattern. This one will be a yarn stash buster!