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Getting Hooked
Friday, December 30, 2005

I have this silver charm bracelet that Kyle got me as a Christmas gift a couple of years ago. It only has one charm, a lowercase "a", the kind of "a" with the hook on top and a curly little serif on the bottom. I like it because it's unusual. Most initial charms I've seen are uppercase. Anyway, it's one of the pieces of jewelry I never take off. There's really no reason to and I'd have to be a contortionist to get it on again by myself. I love this bracelet. But there is one small problem. The curly serif on the end acts like a fish hook. It gets caught on everything. I've actually ripped the charm off twice, both times because I got it caught in my radiator grill. But the most annoying thing about it is that it always gets caught in my knitting. I can't even tell you how many times I hooked a stitch and pulled it way out of alignment. And the hook part is big, so a whole entire stitch of bulky yarn can get caught in it. This also happens when I put on sweaters, which can really be a problem when you're halfway into a pullover and all of a sudden you can't move for fear of ripping the sweater or breaking the charm. And I don't even want to get into how many times I've gotten it stuck on my knitting machine.

So I thought, "Enough already!" and went back to the store on Wednesday. I had them put the "a" on a fancy silver necklace, then I picked out a charm for my bracelet. They had about forty to choose from, so it took a little while to examine them all. I narrowed it down to three: a martini glass, a little heart with a keyhole and a mini key, and a teeny tiny sweater. The martini glass was a little big. I had thoughts of falling asleep on it and waking up with a dent in my head. And even though people always give me martini-themed things, I thought it was a bit silly to get one as a charm. I really liked the little sweater, but I didn't want to pigeonhole myself into a crafty charm. It's too much like my high school class ring with the painter's palette and brush. Too specific. And with the way my sweaters never fit, I thought it might curse me to a lifetime of ill fitting hand knits. So I went with the "key to my heart". It's really very cute. Sweet. But there is one small problem: the key keeps getting caught in my knitting! And it's not an entire strand of yarn that gets caught, it's maybe one ply that gets hooked and shredded. I give up. I think I'm gonna go back and get the little sweater.


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Busy Little Beaver
Monday, December 19, 2005

I've been knitting like a fiend lately. It's very strange, since my urge to knit had been dormant for many months. I guess it has something to do with the time of year. December is cold--wool is warm. I also haven't been hiking around Brooklyn taking pictures every day. I guess I can only be obsessed with one thing at a time. Summer was the time for photography, now is the time for knitting.

Reconfigured RaglanThis weekend I made a sweater, Norah Gaughan's "Reconfigured Raglan". I downloaded the pattern off of the Interweave Knits website a long time ago and the pdf doesn't have the issue listed, so I can't tell you when it's from. It's a big mock neck raglan with an interesting ribbed motif center front and back. I made it with two strands of Filatura Lanarota "Puno", which I picked up at the annual Smiley's Yarns blow-out sale. Puno is 100% alpaca--nice and soft. I got twenty balls for $60. I was going to make something else with it, something complicated with many cables, but I've been on an "easy knit" kick lately, and I'd been eyeing the Reconfigured Raglan for a long time. It's the first sweater I've finished in a while and of course it doesn't fit. Not that I did anything wrong, it's actually the right size. I just measured it and it matches the schematic perfectly. The problem is me. I'm five foot one. I have to hem every pair of pants I buy, sometimes even the petite ones. And this sweater is supposed to be long. The girl modeling it is wearing it with a skirt and boots. It goes way past her butt, maybe mid thigh. It looks so cute on her. It looks like a dress on me. I always mean to shorten things while I'm knitting, but for some reason I'm paranoid to do it. Next time I should just use smaller needles. There might actually be a next time for this one: it only took three days to knit and I really like the style.

I also picked up my "Tweedy Aran Cardigan" again. I'm on front piece #2. It's definitely not an easy knit. It's not insanely hard, it just requires a lot of attention, especially since now, aside from keeping track of two different cable panels and side shaping, I have to remember to make button holes.

I also made a "Stashbuster Stole" (pattern courtesy of Knitter's Review). I used a strand of recycled burgundy chenille and Lionbrand Imagine in Cerise. Who knows when it will actually be finished, since I need two buttons. Maybe I'll take a trip to P&S this week and get some.


posted at 1:05 AM . link . . (5) comments
5 Comments:

I find that I go through phases with knitting as well... I usually feel the urge to start knitting sometime in September when the baseball series are going on... Though, last year I tapered off right after they ended cause I was busy with other things... but this year I've been obsessively knitting since September... Though, I didn't knit much in the last month due to school stuff.

By Blogger Nikkiana, at 1:59 AM  

I love Lion Brand's Imagine! And with chenille, for a stole, huh? OOOOHHH.

Can't wait to see a picture of it whenever it's done!

By Anonymous Sahara, at 8:59 PM  

Hi! I work with Kyle who mentioned your website. Love the URL (and its history) and the site. Re: the Reconfigured Raglan---one of 559 items on my wish list---don't be paranoid about shortening it. Whatever you do, don't(!) move to a smaller needle---you will compromise overall fit. May I recommend Deborah Newton's Designing Knitwear and Priscilla Gibson Roberts' Knitting in the Old Way? Also, Beth Brown Reinsels' Knitted Ganseys (garment specific). Paranoia? What's that? Happy Knitting!

By Anonymous Josie, at 11:00 AM  

Hi there. I know you knitted this a long time ago, but I'm wondering if you still have the pdf of this pattern. I downloaded it a while back, but moved and left my patterns folder in storage. It feels like winter is closing in fast here and I'd really like to make a sweater to cozy up in. Thanks! diane.

By Blogger dp, at 1:39 PM  

The pattern appeared in Interweave Knits's Fall, 2001 issue, according to the IK web site. Cheers!

By Blogger Robin, at 1:03 PM  

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Swamp Thing
Wednesday, December 14, 2005

I'm making my very first pair of gloves! Well, not full gloves, I'm making fingerless gloves. The kinds that have cut off fingers, not the mitts I made last week, which, by the way, rock. I love that cherry red color. I have a rather drab purplish grey down coat, so I like to Landscapes Scarf and Hatjazz it up with bright accessories. This year I've been rotating my helmet hat with a two by two rib hat I made with Lion Brand Landscapes. I really like Landscapes. It's a super-bulky wool blend multicolored yarn. I made a hat and a mistake rib scarf by alternating two rows of Rose Garden with two rows of Raspberry Patch. It's very bright and warm and kinda funky. It goes well with the cherry mitts.

Swamp ThingThe gloves I'm making now are green–Avocado Green Wool of the Andes. I finished one tonight, but I didn't weave in the ends yet so I can make sure both of them are basically the same length when I'm done. I got the pattern from Interweave Knits Winter 2003. I think this "Progressive Glove" pattern and article is worth the price of the back issue. Along with the gloves, which are made using your gauge to calculate cast on stitches and how many stitches for each finger for a custom fit, they also have four different thumb gussets to try out. I'm using the basic thumb gusset. This same issue of Interweave Knits has a one of my favorite sweaters I made, "Dolman Updated". Of course, the arms to way too long, but this shouldn't surprise you by now. Nothing I ever makes fits right. The only sweater I even knit perfectly is the one I made for Kyle. He looks great it in and it's just a boring old roll neck drop shoulder.

I tried the finished glove on with the tails streaming and Kyle said I looked like the swamp thing. I had to agree.


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It's Not Unusual
Monday, December 12, 2005

I just got my "Unusual Toys for You to Knit and Enjoy" booklet in the mail. Woo-hoo! These creatures are so cute. I can't wait until I'm done with my Christmas knitting to make one of them, or this. So freaking adorable.


posted at 4:16 PM . link . . (2) comments
2 Comments:

I got mine today too, but unlike you I have no restraint (possibly it was that the box of Knit Picks yarn I ordered last week is here too). I worked for about an hour on Henry the Bear and I finished his body...just joined for his head. I think her patterns are so well written and cute.

I think I need one more project like a hole in the head!

By Blogger Jen, at 12:14 AM  

first time to read yr blog. Knitted toys are so cute. I haven't tried one. Is it worth to add "ads by google" to earn just a small money. I don't know.

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By Blogger handknit168, at 2:24 AM  

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Finished?


I finished knitting my grandmother's Christmas afghan, wove in the ends, put it in the gift bag and then decided I didn't like it, so I made her a new one. I know, I'm crazy. I made a diagonal throw with a yarn over and garter stitch border. I used a free pattern from Lion Brand, only I knit the middle part in stockinette stitch instead of garter stitch. It came out okay, better than the other shapeless thing I ripped. I should have used smaller needles though. It's very stretchy. Oh well.


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Panache
Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Here's the hat and scarf I made for my sister in law for Christmas. She wanted something brown or cream to go with her camel coat. I was dying to use one of KnitPicks luxury yarns, so I chose Panache in Cloud. It's a bulky weight 40% baby alpaca, 20% Krissy's Hat & Scarfcashmere and 20% extra fine merino blend. I made a basic 2x2 rib hat with a brim which fits me well, at least. Krissy can tell me how it fits her when it arrives. She requested the scarf to be long and skinny. I'm not really pleased how it came out though. I'd rather I'd made it a little wider. And I cheated by making on my knitting machine. Just the scarf though. I knit the hat in the round on wooden dpns.

I have a color card in front of me and I really like it in Cranberry, Mulled Wine, Moss and Slate. Perhaps the selfish knitter deserves another scarf. There's also a sport weight version called Ambrosia, minus the silk and extra fine merino, which would make a nice pair of gloves.

I'm plugging along on Grandma's Throw, almost half done. And I ordered votive candles for my "Sachet Gift Experience". I went with Yankee Candles, that way I could get two for each gift bag. The more the merrier, I say.


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Beware the Savage Jaw of 1984
Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I took a little break from knitting Grandma's Christmas present to make myself some fingerless mitts.

Normally I prefer mittens over gloves, but for some reason I didn't have either last winter. Instead, I wore a pair of dayglo pink and black fingerless gloves that I got back in 1984. I shit you not. I got them when I was in sixth grade, at the height of the Madonna/Dayglo craze. They'd been kicking around in my underwear drawer for twenty years before I thought, hey, I think I'm gonna wear those! So that's what I did last winter, but sadly, they're starting to unravel. I've been keeping an eye out for replacements, which I thought wouldn't be so hard since Urban Outfitters has been hawking fingerless gloves for the last couple of winters, what with the '80s being "in" again. Unfortunately, the gloves they sell are itchy and expensive.

Fingerless MittsSo I thought maybe I should make my own. I'd never knit gloves before (I find all those fingers intimidating) but mitts could be a possibility. Then I remembered an article from an old issue of Interweave Knits that had step-by-step instructions for gloves. After some searching, I found it in the Winter '03 issue. The easiest version is fingerless mitts with no thumb gusset. I upped the ante by actually knitting a gusset (I'm such the intrepid knitter!) and made these tasty cherry red numbers. I used KnitPicks Wool of the Andes in Cherry Blossom. It's one of those patterns where you have to measure your hand and calculate everything with your gauge, so theoretically the gloves should have been a perfect fit. Alas, nothing ever works out that way for me, so part of the way through the first mitt I decided to full them a little in the bathroom sink when I was done. Worked like a charm. The mitts are warm and bright and they actually fit!

Now I'm making a pair of avocado green tipless gloves with a ribbed cuff. They're coming out well, but I just got to the point where I have to start knitting individual fingers, so who knows how they'll end up. Of course, I will definitely let you know.


posted at 12:01 AM . link . . (2) comments
2 Comments:

i like the fingerless mitts because i need my fingers free but i have small fingers and can't find gloves that fit well... used a pattern from alterknits to make a laceup fingerless glove for this winter and i absolutely love them!! i have thought about fulling them (they are 100% merino) as they are a little big, and the yarn is fuzzing the more i wear them, but i don't know how. any tips?

By Blogger novice.knitter, at 6:20 PM  

You can try fulling them by hand, which is what I did with mine. Fill your sink with water as hot as you can stand, add a little wool wash, and then do what you're not supposed to do when washing a wool sweater: agitate, agitate, agitate! Rub those suckers together. Mash them up. It actually takes a lot of effort to full wool by hand, so keep at it and eventually the fibers will start to meld together. If you're afraid to do this to your gloves, try it on a wool swatch first. You can also alternate hot and cold water, which helps speed the fulling process along. Once they seem to be the right size, roll them in a towel and lay flat to dry. If they're not small enough when they dry, you can start the process over. Good luck!

By Blogger Angela, at 6:39 PM  

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BBBB Blocked & Knitting With Dildos
Monday, December 05, 2005

BBBB Finished!Here is the finished blanket. I should have put my cat on it for scale, but she wasn't around at the time. Believe me when I say this baby blanket is ginormous. It's forty-four inches square. Uh, yeah. Baby blanket. For the biggest baby ever!

BBBB CornerI've been busy knitting all sorts of good things recently. I'm making a throw for my grandma out of Lion Brand Homespun using this pattern. It's for Christmas. Sources have informed me that she has too many sweaters, so I was forced to come up with other gift alternatives. The throw is coming out nice so far. I'm one third done, which isn't surprising when you use size 35 needles. It Waterfall Throwshould be done in fifteen more minutes. Size 35! It's like knitting with dildos. Hahah, I'm so crass. Oh well. I know my grandmother is going to complain when she opens her present because it's not crocheted. She's always telling me how I need to learn to crochet. She thinks it's classier, somehow. Maybe one of these days I will learn how to read crochet directions. It's like reading Greek. To a non-Greek reader. You know what I mean.


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Big Bad Baby Bedspread
Thursday, December 01, 2005

Quick update: I finished the BBBB that I started on Sunday. Isn't it amazing what you can do when you don't have a regular job? Good thing I finished it though, because I actually do have a job I'm starting tomorrow.

Oh, and I have to tell you how ridiculously large the blanket is. It's waaaay too big. If I ever make one of these again with a double strand of worsted I'm going to cast on fewer stitches. I'll post pics after I block it, by which time I'm certain it will be large enough to cover a queen size bed.

Oh well. I'm sure everyone will just be impressed that I knit something for someone else for a change. I'm so selfish.


posted at 1:04 AM . link . . (2) comments
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Acrylic doesn't change a lot when you block so you should be ok. :)

I cast on 76 stitches for mine, double stranded Encore worsted on #13s, with an 8/30/30/8 pattern. It's about 28" wide. That's decent for a baby blanket. Don't know if that helps you at all...

How funny that you are already done! I'm about 6 inches in to mine after knitting for two hours last night. WAY faster than double-stranded sport on 10s. Did you know that a 13 is actually 3 full mm bigger than a 10? That is crazy!

By Blogger Jen, at 2:35 PM  

I did 8/47/47/8. I should have done what you did. Make sure you post pics when you're done. I want to see it!

By Blogger Angela, at 6:55 PM  

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The Big, The Bad & The Cuddly
Monday, November 28, 2005

Big Bad CloesupI'm making the "Big Bad Baby Blanket" from Stitch 'N Bitch for my cousin Cara. She's due January 1st and since I don't see her that often (she lives in New Orleans) the fact that she's pregnant had completely slipped my mind.

Yesterday I went to P&S Fabrics and bought several skeins of Bernat Satin in Sunset and Maitai. As you can see, I'm not a yarn snob. The yarn is soft, bright and shiny 100% acrylic. Everyone in my family acts like wool is then most unnatural fiber anyway, so I'm not going to feel bad about using acrylic.

The parents-to-be don't know if they're having a boy or a girl, so I'm winging it with the color. Cara loves orange and I don't like clichéd baby pastels, so I Big Bad Baby Blanketwent for bright and cheery orange and fuchsia. When I got home I made a few swatches and started knitting. I'm not following the pattern exactly, because my gauge is all off. I'm using a double strand of worsted instead of sport, so it's gonna be especially big and bad. I'm almost halfway done and I just started knitting it yesterday. Isn't that crazy?


posted at 6:26 PM . link . . (5) comments
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You are such a good cousin. My dearest friend is preggo and due in Jan., and I still haven't knit anything for the soon to be born babe. I was thinking this blanket looked good, but worried that it would take so long that I'd resent it. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad!

The colors you are using look really great.

By Blogger Amy, at 9:28 PM  

Ok, I made this pattern with a double strand of Shine and it took me like two months! (I was particularly lazy about it and the cotton was heavy.)

I can't knit with 100% acrylic (the sizing in it kills me) but I can get my behind over to LYS and buy some Encore Worsted, double it up on what...13's? 15's? and start working on the blanket I was *just* posting about on my blog, that I promised my friend who is adopting a baby girl from Guatemala.

By Blogger Jen, at 11:16 PM  

I'm using size 13 needles. It's coming out huge. More like a kiddy blanket than a baby blanket. I had originally cast on fewer stitches and used a tighter gauge, but it seemed so tiny. Oh well. The kid's gonna grow, right?

By Blogger Angela, at 12:44 AM  

Amy, I know what you mean. I'm a notorious selfish knitter. I should rename my site! I just finished a sweater for my husband, the first ever knit him, which I started last year. First he said it was too warm (a double strand of Patons Classic Merino Wool will do that to you) but now it's his favorite thing. I'm also planning on making my grandmother an big old Homespun afghan for Christmas. I'm just waiting on these super huge circular needles I ordered to knit it.

By Blogger Angela, at 12:51 AM  

I also made this pattern using a Lion brand acrylic yarn called Pacific for my sister because she lives in Hawaii. It was a gift for her second baby. I used the needles the pattern called for and it was still HUGE. It probably doesn't matter what size needles you use.

By Anonymous ericka, at 3:48 PM  

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What's Next...
Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I want to order some yarn from KnitPicks, but I don't know what to get. I'm thinking of making this sleeveless sweater from Vogue Knitting Holiday'05. As I have stated, it has no sleeves, which should make it go a little quicker. I'm thinking of using KnitPicks Shine. I also want to get some Twirl in Grass, to make I don't know what, probably a scarf. I just dig the color.

I finished my Christmas bags. I'll probably make a few more, for my mom. I bought two pounds of lavender to stuff them with, not knowing how much two pounds of lavender actually is. I might get some fancy candles to put in with the sachets, just to make it more of a "gift experience". Last year I made washcloths from Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille and wrapped them up with fancy soaps. Those went over well. I should check out the candle selection at Target the next time I go.


posted at 9:54 PM . link . . (6) comments
6 Comments:

That's a great sweater. I used KnitPicks Shine for a sleeveless sweater this summer. I loved knitting with it, but I haven't finished yet so I don't know how it wears. Very soft though.

By Blogger Sonya, at 9:09 AM  

Wow, that's pretty! Shine is good yarn, beautiful colours and lovely to knit with but it's cotton so it's real heavy (I don't know enough about garment construction to know if that's a good thing for this piece or not). It is super soft.

Yankee candles are always great, but I'll tell you, I love love love Trapp...but they're pricey, about $3.50 for a votive. But they smell so good...

By Blogger Jen, at 11:04 AM  

Jen,

I'm sure cotton would be good for a little sweater like that. No sleeves! :^) They discontinued one of my favorite cotton blend yarns: Cotton-Ease by Lionbrand. I made a great sweater with that stuff and it's so light and airy. I have to post pictures of it.

I'm looking at the Trapp candles website, the scents look so appetizing! I'm not going to buy that many of them, so maybe I'll get everyone one of the cheapy boxed votives.

-A

By Blogger Angela, at 11:21 AM  

Cottage46,

I see you're knitting the must have cardigan. Isn't it great? I had a good time with that one. I like the color you picked. Very cheerful!

-A

By Blogger Angela, at 11:22 AM  

Hey, the Orange-Vanilla Trapp candles are transcendent.

Happy Thanksgiving! (I'm bored at work and surfing around again.)

By Blogger Jen, at 3:50 PM  

I love that sleeveless sweater! Shine is the only KnitPicks yarn that I found to be satisfactory. The colors are a bit on the crayon side, so you might want to get a color card before ordering a large qty. for a project. The one ball I tried out had some weird slubs and knots, but it was otherwise ok.

By Blogger Amy, at 5:28 PM  

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Disappointed
Monday, November 21, 2005

I can hardly believe it myself, but I finished weaving in the ends on Kyle's "Marine Pullover". I'm blocking it right now and I'll post pictures when it's dry. I made Kyle try it on and it fit well, but he said it's too hot. This is why I don't want to knit clothes for people. It's bad enough when I'm disappointed with a sweater I've made myself, it's a million times worse when someone else has complaints. Now he wants a pair of socks. I've never made socks before, so this should be fun. He wants some really thick, bootie-type socks, so if you know of any big sock patterns for worsted weight yarn, let me know.


posted at 6:49 PM . link . . (3) comments
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I just posted one on my blog - Guitar Boy socks. There is an appalling lack of "guy" socks out there. Footies, worsted, #4 needles. They have a cool/weird slip-stitch rib on the front. I'm working out a couple kinks in the pattern, so if you decide to knit it just holla anytime you have a question. Don't feel obligated.

Otherwise, try here:
617 free knitting patterns

By Blogger Jen, at 11:58 PM  

Here's another, but they are a double-strand of worsted. Eek!

Yo Mama's Big Fat Booties

By Blogger Jen, at 12:07 AM  

Hey Jen,

Thanks for the links. Unfortunately, Kyle has size 12 feet! I'm going to keep looking. I hope your brother-in-law's mother is doing okay.

-Angela

By Blogger Angela, at 10:29 AM  

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Endless Weaving In of Ends
Thursday, November 17, 2005

Endless Weaving In of EndsI started knitting this sweater for Kyle last February. He was always bitching that I knit ten sweaters for myself and twenty for the dog, but none for him. So I told him I'd make him one. We've been married for years, so the boyfriend curse doesn't apply. I chose a pattern from Hollywood Knits Style, the "Marine Pullover". I thought it would be easy to knit since it has no shaping and drop shoulders. Basically, all I'd have to knit were four rectangles. But oh, how big those rectangles are! It's a 50" chest. So, I knit. And knit. And knit knit knit. I passed several months in boring, stockinette-stitch-knitting purgatory. During the time I was knitting away, I took machine knitting classes and then I bought my own machine. I got so frustrated towards the end, I had a few inches left on the second arm, so I hung it on the machine and finished it by cheating. At least that's what Kyle thought. Anyway, I started sewing it together months ago and then set it aside. Every once in a while Kyle would ask me if I was ever going to finish his sweater. Now it's getting cold again, so I busted out the behemoth, finished the seams, knit the collar and now I'm working on my favorite part: weaving in the ends. I'd rather jam a pencil in my eye than weave in ends, but I have to suffer through it. If I don't finish it before the spring thaw, I don't think Kyle will ever speak to me again.

The yarn I used is a double strand of Patons Classic Wool in Dark Grey Mix and Navy for the stripes. I had to reconfigure the pattern using the formula in Stitch 'n Bitch Nation.


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Merry Knitmas
Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Fancy BagFor Christmas I'm making these little bags from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. I adapted the pattern to make it on my knitting machine. Not that making them on the machine is easier. It's actually really frustrating. I cast on using the main bed and the ribber as if I was going to knit some ribbing, but I set it up to knit circular. It's a really complicated process. If I do everything right I can make one of these bags in an hour, but I hardly ever do everything right. I put a little muslin bag of lavender in the knitted bag. Voila! Lavender sachet! Now I just have to make ten more of them.

OrnamentI made this ornament by hand (not machine!) following the directions in Handknit Holidays : Knitting Year-Round for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Winter Solstice. It's a really good book. There are a million things in it I want to make, especially the Over-the-Knee Socks by Cindy Taylor. I've never knit a pair of socks before, so of course the first ones I want to make are form-fitting, over-the-knee length stockings that have eyelet cables running up the back. Easy peasy.


posted at 10:35 PM . link . . (3) comments
3 Comments:

Socks are super fun! They are not nearly as scary as you think. And you've cabled before, so that won't be hard. The heel won't have cabling on it. If it's a short-row heel, it's all in how you wrap your stitches (Nona has a tutorial that is helpful with three kinds of short rows illustrated). If it's a traditional "turned" heel with a flap, it's even easier. You probably don't have to cable the heel anyway.

Try Magic Loop for socks - I love it. :)

By Blogger Jen, at 11:44 AM  

I think I'll try some easier socks first. My husband has been bugging me to make him some.

By Blogger Angela, at 11:46 AM  

There you go...try these - you can pick a more manly-colored yarn...or go with the Bob Marley stuff...

http://mindofwinter.prettyposies.com/archives/000169.html

By Blogger Jen, at 5:16 PM  

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Gimme an "L"!
Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I know, it's disgraceful how infrequently I update this site. It's very bad of me. It was a chore to take pictures and then format them the way I had them before, but now I've uploaded all my knitting pictures to flickr, so it will be easier for me to update.

Gimme an I made a few things recently, one of which is this nifty initial sweater for Lulu. I made the body on my knitting machine and did the ribbing by hand. I could have done the ribbing on the machine, too, but the ribber is tricky sometimes. I'm going to have to take the ribbing seminar at FIT again. Eventually. After I made the sweater I thought it looked a little bland, so I found a scrap of wool I felted for a different project and cut out an L. The first L i made was a Laverne & Shirley script L, but it looked a little off. The more I stared at it, the more it ceased to resemble a letter at all, so I cut a regular capital L. I used a contrasting magenta yarn to sew it on. I like the way it came out, although I bound off the ribbing on the bottom too tight, so it bunches up a little. Lulu doesn't mind, though, and that's what really counts, right?


posted at 3:30 PM . link . . (2) comments
2 Comments:

I found my way here via Flickr. Funnily enough, I used to frequently visit your spacegirl site many many years ago. It was fun to come across it again.

The sweater is adorable. I love that you used a felted initial, rather than doing it in intarsia or whatever. I really would like to look into getting a knitting machine some time. It seems like such fun.

By Blogger Amy, at 5:03 PM  

Spacegirl was eons ago! I swear, I'm getting old.

Don't give me too much credit for using the felted letter. First I tried to embroider an L, then I tried duplicate stitch and then I said, "Screw it, where is that left over felt?" I'm embarrassed to say that I've never actually done intarsia. Ever. I've never even done fair isle or slip stitch/mosaic knitting. Sad to say, the only color work I do is stripes. My lack of color expertise (which mainly derives from my utter hatred of weaving in ends) is probably why I got so into cables and textured stitches. Less weaving in of ends.

By Blogger Angela, at 5:34 PM  

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New Things
Saturday, August 20, 2005

I got the new KnitPicks catalog today. They have a bunch of new yarns that look absolutely awesome, including some cashmere/alpaca blends. They also twelve new colors of Wool of the Andes, which is great for felting. I think I'm going to have to run through some of my most bountiful stash before I buy any more yarn, although I might order a complete set of color cards. Those always come in handy when I'm planning a new project.

Right now I'm knitting a grey shawl for my mom. I'm using Lion Brand Homespun in "Slate", which is cheap and fluffy soft. I got the pattern from their website.


posted at 2:08 PM . link . . (2) comments
2 Comments:

Hi there,

First off, I love your blog! I've read you for a while now - just curious - how do you find Knitpicks Wool of the Andes for just regular projects (not felted) - and how does it compare to Cascade 220? I cant wait to see your shawl in homespun. I did a throw for a friend in homespun - it was snuggly soft (and warm!)

Keep up the great writing!

Annette

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:41 AM  

I haven't used Wool of the Andes to make anything other than felted stuff, so I can't really tell you. I don't think it feels any itchier than any of the other wools I've used.

By Blogger Angela, at 3:16 PM  

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It Felt Wrong
Wednesday, August 03, 2005

I made a new bag this week but I don't like how it came out. I knit it sideways, so the stripes would be vertical, but when I ran it through the washer (twice) it came out with a flared top. I don't know what to do. I might bring it back down to the laundry room and wash it again tomorrow, that is, if I can muster my courage to dodge the roaches. I'm just kidding. While there are roaches in our basement (this is New York, after all) they're really not that bad. I mean, they're gross, but there aren't that many.

I like how the handles came out, though. I didn't sew them on yet. I also felted a square to make a pocket. I'm hoping that if I felt the bag enough I can just cut the top off and make the bag the length I want.

I got the Vogue Knitting Fall 2005 issue yesterday. There are a couple of cute felted bags in it. You should pick it up if you're interested in that sort of thing.


posted at 10:13 PM . link . . (3) comments
3 Comments:

Wonder if the structure of the bottom part of the bag made it tighten up more?

Jen

By Blogger Jen, at 11:23 AM  

Well, what actually happened is that I sewed it together it from side to side, instead of having the bind off edge on the top. If the bo edge was on top I would have just bound off tightly. The side of the knitted piece was very loose to begin with. I'll post a picture later to show you what I'm taking about. I don't really feel like going down to the dungeon today to felt it again!

By Blogger Angela, at 11:29 AM  

Check out the two felted laptop cases with vertical stripes in the fall 2005 issue of Interweave Knits. They also have flared tops. I think it looks nice! Just pretend you intended it that way all along.

By Blogger Bonnie, at 3:09 PM  

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Personailty Test
Monday, July 18, 2005

You are Shetland Wool.
You are Shetland Wool.
You are a traditional sort who can sometimes be a
little on the harsh side. Though you look
delicate you are tough as nails and prone to
intricacies. Despite your acerbic ways you are
widely respected and even revered.


What kind of yarn are you?
brought to you by Quizilla


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It Felt Nice
Tuesday, July 05, 2005

I've been making felted bags lately. I use my machine to do the boring stockinette stitch parts and hand finish the rest before I run them through the industrial Wascomat machines in my building's basement. I really wish I had my own washing machine, but it's verboten in our co-op. Our building was built in the 1940s as naval housing, way before washing machines were something everyone had. The plumbing can't handle it.

So here are the bags:

Red Bamboo BagFirst we have the most recent, any my favorite, the Red Bamboo Bag. I used KnitPicks Wool of the Andes in Cherry Blossom, Tomato and Cranberry. Their wool is great -- very saturated, vibrant colors and it felts really well. And it's inexpensive. This bag has spiffy 6" bamboo handles and even a zipper! I'm so crafty.

Bluegreen Tote BagNext we have a lovely Bluegreen Tote Bag. This is the first bag I made with my machine. I modeled it after my favorite type of bag Sanrio has been selling lately. I have this style bag in Hello Kitty, Chococat and DeeryLou, although those are made of canvas and are a bit smaller than my felted version. My bag is big. It's got a magnetic closure so things stay put and a little MetroCard pocket in front. I used Patons Classic Merino Wool in Peacock, Leaf Green and Ocean.

Red Ruffled BagThis Red Ruffled Bag is based on a bag I saw in either "Vogue Knitting" or "Family Circle Easy Knitting", I forget which one. It is was done in Tomato Wool of the Andes.

Grey Tote BagI used Patons Classic Merino Wool for this little grey tote bag.
I based this one a pattern from Knit One, Felt Too. It came out a bit smaller than I wanted, but oh well. Next time I'll know better.

I made another bag, a cute little brown and orange bag with a wooden toggle closure, but Lulu chewed on the toggle and I want to replace it before I post the picture.


posted at 11:55 PM . link . . (2) comments
2 Comments:

Super cute bags!!!

- Jen

By Blogger Jen, at 10:03 AM  

these are wicked! you should be so proud of yourself. i'd be doing a little dance every time i looked at those if i were you, especially the blue one modeled on the sanrio bags - that's my favorite. how long did it take you to make it? is the felted wool scratchy next to your skin if you are wearing a tank top?

By Anonymous dm, at 1:57 PM  

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Supermodel Lulu
Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Mini Machine Knit SweaterThe knitting machine we used in class is called a standard gauge machine, which means it knits really fine yarn. One can make very delicate garments with a standard gauge, such as the mini sweater we made during the last class of the second seminar. This sweater will fit an American Girl doll. Unfortunately, when I took this photo I didn't think to put anything in it to show the scale, but believe me, it's tiny. SupermodelAnd it was knit in this absolutely yummy baby alpaca yarn. I love alpaca, even more than cashmere, because I can afford to buy it! Anyway, when I got home the first thing I did with the sweater was put it on Lulu. She's such a good sport. This is the best picture I got of her wearing the mini sweater. Doesn't it look like she only has two legs? If there were little hands coming out of the sleeves I swear she would look like a little j. crew model. So dapper.

My BrotherThe machine I bought is a Brother 260 bulky gauge machine, which gives more of a hand knit look, because you can use hand knitting yarns on it. I still haven't gotten a stand for my machine. The one I was is on back order everywhere. Rumor has it it will be available mid May. I sure hope so, and so does Kyle. Right now my machine is clamped to our tiny dining room table. We haven't had a good meal there since I got the damn thing.


posted at 6:50 PM . link . . (2) comments
2 Comments:

Super cute sweater and I love that little Lulu is such a good sport. I was completely fooled by the sleeves!

- Jen

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:01 PM  

The photo of Lulu in the sweater is genius. So funny. Cute little sweater, too!

By Anonymous Martha, at 4:18 PM  

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MIA


I've been MIA for a while. I spent nine Sundays dragging my ass to machine knitting classes at FIT. It progressed like this: "This is hard. This sucks. This is not for me. You mean I have to crochet all these tiny stitches off of these needles? Oh, that sweater is cool! That was made on a bulky machine? You can do cable work on these things? This sweater we're making is fugly. Is it time for lunch yet? Time to go home? Time to get up for class again? God I don't want to get up at 7 on a Sunday morning. A bulky machine costs $600? The ribber is extra? Lord I'm tired. And that girl is annoying. I'm getting the hang of this. Hey this isn't so bad. I wonder if I should take the next seminar." Then I'd sign up for the next one and the cycle would begin anew. I was actually kind of sad then they were all over. The teacher was really cool. When I finally did buy my machine (off eBay) she helped me fix the jammed fair isle button on the sly, so everyone else wouldn't expect her to repair theirs. There is one more seminar I want to take in June, it's a weekend affair, Friday night and all day Saturday and Sunday. We'll learn how to make socks, hats and mittens. I mostly want to just get more face time with the teacher. She's way cool. I'm going to bring in the felted bags I've made. I'll post pictures here soon. They weren't really planned out very well, as I just used whatever odd balls of wool I had hanging around. One is peacock blue with green and aqua stripes and a pocket on the outside and a magnetic snap closure. The other one is a small brown orange and red striped mini purse with a wooden toggle closure. The last one I made is charcoal grey with a natural stripe and large pocket on front. I haven't felted that one yet. I'm going to go to the yarn store on Wedsneday (after I go to the doctor) and get more yarn. I want to make some bright red bags with off center pockets in other shocking colors.


posted at 2:24 AM . link . . (1) comments
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By Blogger Yellow Blade, at 2:40 AM  

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Hokey Polka
Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Recycled SweaterLast weekend Kyle and I went to Junior's for breakfast then took a walk to my lys. On the way there we passed a Goodwill. We both stopped and said, almost simultaneously, "Wanna go in?". So we did. I had been inspired by neauveau.com's tutorial on unravelling a thrift store sweater to harvest yarn, so I trolled the sweater rack while Kyle browsed the housewares. I found two large chenille sweaters, one black, the other Hokey Polkaruby red, and decided they would be perfect as scarves. So I got those and this awesome record. How scary is that? I unravelled most of the red sweater so far, but as I don't have a knitty noddy, I wasn't able to gauge the yardage. I have three nice sized balls already.


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The Last Class
Saturday, February 19, 2005

I have my last machine knitting class tomorrow. I want to take the next one, too; I hope there are spaces left. The sweater we're making is so fugly. It's a nice shade of teal wool, almost the same color as "Remembering Honey", but the style is yucksville. it's got drop shoulders and dolman-type sleeves and mock rib at the cuffs and hems. I hate sweaters with tight cuffs and bottom hems. So unflattering. But I'm learning how to use the machine, so that's good. They teach more interesting things in the next class.

I don't want to get up tomorrow! Seven is way too early to get up on a Sunday morning. On a cold Sunday, too boot.

Ugh.

On the lighter side, I'm taking a break from Tweedy Cardigan hell to knit Kyle a big, striped roll neck. It's the "Marine Pullover" from Hollywood Knits Style by Suss Cousins. My gauge came out different, so I reconfigured the pattern a la Stitch 'n Bitch Nation's directions. Boy, do I hate math. Kyle doesn't know what a lucky man he is, that I would break out the calculator just so he can have a handknit sweater.


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Intermission
Wednesday, February 16, 2005

I Really Lost ItI'm still chugging away on my "Tweedy Aran Cardigan" from Interweave. I've done the back and one of the fronts. Now I think I'm gonna go on hiatus and work on something easier for a little while. I got yarn to make Kyle a sweater, Patons Classic Wool pullover with dark grey heather and navy blue stripes, and I got myself some butterscotch Wool-Ease to make a ultra cropped long sleeved sweater from the new issue of Knit 1 magazine (with out the gay furry collar). It's small and short and will take no time at all, then I'll have something I can wear over my dresses for those chilly spring nights. I also got Fun Fur so I can make my mom a scarf. She wanted a furry scarf. I've never knit with Fun Fur before, so I'm a little scared, which I think is kind of funny. It seems like everyone who has learned to knit in the past three years has made at least one big, furry, garter stitch scarf out of novelty yarn. Everyone, that is, except me.


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I Finally Have It
Tuesday, February 15, 2005

I Finally Have ItToday I went to my lys and finally, FINALLY, bought good buttons for my "Must Have Cardigan". I finished the cardigan back before Christmas but, in lieu of proper buttons, I sewed on some wooden toggles Must Have Buttonsleft over from another sweater. I didn't like the way they looked, but I swore I'd get new buttons some day. Today was that day. So, with out further ado, here is the "Must Have Cardigan", with cool, shiny buttons! I really dig it.


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Sunday Morning Blues and Greens
Monday, February 14, 2005

How time flies. I went to the first of my three machine knitting classes with out even telling you about them. I'm very sorry. Must be the weather...

I read about the class in the Winter 04/05 issue of Vogue Knitting. Karen Allen, who you might remember as Marion from "Raiders of the Lost Ark", is a lifelong hand knitter who took machine knitting at FIT and now she's got her knitwear own company up in the Berkshires. I'd never been interested in machine knitting, but the article made it sounds interesting and the garments Karen makes are very interesting colors and patterns. I rarely knit with color. I'm kind of scared, I guess. And I hate weaving in ends. So, I stick with complicated textures and cables. It's less bother, at least in my mind, and when I'm done everyone thinks I'm a freakin' genius.

Anyway, I read this article and thought, "Hmm, that's cool. I think I'll take that class." And since I'm fortunate enough to live in New York City, I did. It's one of the cool things about living here. I barely leave my house and go to Manhattan only once a week, but if I read about some obscure thing happening there, I can go. And it hasn't been that weird going back to FIT. The class is Sunday 9:30 - 4:30, so the dorm kids are passed out with hangovers. I don't feel that old, just a little old.

After the first class, which I left after having knit two sleeves, I planned on taking every machine knitting class they offered right away. I went home devising where I'd clamp the knitting machine I planned on buying from the instructor. As the week wore on, my enthusiasm waned. On Saturday I griped about having to get up at the crack of dawn the next day. I decided that I could wait until next semester to take the following course. Maybe I didn't like machine knitting after all. My attitude was the same for the first couple of hours of the class. Then I got into it again. We went on a field trip down the hall to see the industrial knitting machines and the three cut Brother knitting machine, which is the one I'm interested in getting. The machines we're learning on are seven cut Brothers, which knit fine gauge yarn. The three cut is for worsted/chunky yarn and it gives a more hand knit look. The instructor had told us we could get a good starter seven cut machine for $400, but the three cut is $600. After I found that out, I was less interested in the class. It's hard to maintain interest in something when you can't go home and do it after class.

So, I'm still unsure what kind if machine, if any, I will buy. But I'm going to take the next class, regardless of my Sunday morning angst. At least it gets me out of the house.


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I've Got Class
Friday, January 28, 2005

I signed up for a machine knitting class at my alma mater, FIT. I'm kind of nervous to take a class there. I get sad whenever I go there now. I graduated more than a decade ago, but my memories are still fresh. The campus is a sort of haunted playground to me. Around every corner I see shades of my past, old friends, dead friends, tragic heartbreaks, bad karma -- you name it. It makes me feel old to see all the young kids running around with cell phones. Cell phones! No one had cell phones when I went there. I didn't even have a regular phone back then. The pay phone in the hall sufficed.

At least I'm not taking an art class. I won't have to be on that floor or even in that building.

I hope the class is worth it. And I hope there are some cool old people there too.


posted at 1:48 PM . link . . (5) comments
5 Comments:

Question for you: Did you do short row shaping on your "Remembering Honey" sweater or did you just follow the pattern?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:56 AM  

I followed the pattern. Was there short row shaping in that pattern?

By Blogger Angela, at 10:54 AM  

No, there is no short row shaping. I was reading in Knitty though that patterns usually don't contain shoulder short row shaping, but that converting it to short row shaping drastically improves the appearance of your sweaters. I thought the shoulders on your sweater looked fine, so was wondering if I was converting for nothing.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:14 AM  

Actually, I do use short row shaping for shoulders sometimes, although I didn't use it on Remembering Honey. But I didn't use back stitch to sew the shoulder seams, I used a technique I read about in "Knitting Simple Sweaters from Luxurious Yarns" by Marilyn Saitz Cohen. It's a whipstitch seam and the directions are as follows: "With right sides facing, sew down through the inner edge of the back bound-off stitch and up through the inner edge of the front bound off stitch." Not much in the way of directions, but it makes a pretty decorative seam. Sometimes I just do away with the shoulder shaping all together and bind off all the stitches at once. Then other times I bind off using directions from "Vogue Knitting" for a sloped bind-off. To do that you leave on stitch on the left needle the row before, then turn your work and slip the first stitch from the left needle (the last stitch you knit before turning your work) onto the right needle purl wise. Then you pass the unworked stitch of the previous row over the slipped stitch, which makes the first stitch bound off. Then you bind off the remaining stitches, turn then work to the last stitch and repeat.

If you're like me you will probably need to see step-by-step pictures of this. It's from "Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book"

By Blogger Angela, at 11:36 AM  

great, thanks!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:10 PM  

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I Really Lost It
Saturday, January 22, 2005

Lost DetailsI'm working on another Aran sweater. This one is by Norah Gaughan from Interweave Knits winter 01/02. I'm using Grey Heather Patons Decor. There is a not so funny story about this sweater. I started it months ago and as I neared the end of the first ball of yarn I discovered I couldn't find the rest of the yarn I bought to finish the project. I searched everywhere. I looked through my huge pile of stash several times. I searched under my bed and through every closet (and we have many closets, more than you'd expect in a New York apartment). I looked every where. I even asked my grandma if I had left a bag of grey yarn at her house. No dice. I came to the shocking realization that I had to buy more yarn.

I Really Lost ItI went back to P&S fabrics, where I bought the yarn originally, because I thought they might have some of the same dye lot. But when I got there it was closed. A guy eating take-out chinese in front of a neighboring store saw my befuddled expression and told me they were closed for the holiday. It was one of the Jewish holidays in the fall. I forgot. P&S is closed from sundown Friday till Sunday morning and all the Jewish holy days. So I went home empty handed. I called P&S to find out when they were going to be open again. It wasn't until the next week. So I waited. The next time I went I called first, just to make sure they would be open. But the answering machine informed me that they were closed due to a death in the family and that they'd remain closed for two weeks. Of course, P&S isn't the only yarn store in New York City, but it's the only one I go to that sells Patons and Lion Brand and all the cheap yarns I like. So I waited. And waited. And waited. When they finally reopened, I went. Of course they didn't have any of the dye lot left, so I bought seven skeins of a different dye lot. At first I was going to just continue knitting what I had already started. But the original piece had a couple of inches where I knit the fancy rib all wrong, so I decided to start from the beginning. I used the old piece to make my helmet hat and hand warmers.

Tonight I finished the back. Now all I have left are the two fronts, two sleeves, and, of course, finishing. I figure I'll be done with it just in time for summer, that is, unless I lose the rest of the yarn.


posted at 10:49 PM . link . . (3) comments
3 Comments:

My guess is that you'll find the originally bought yarn just any day now! At least that's what keeps happening to me! Good look with the aran project!

By Blogger DistantKnitter, at 3:04 PM  

Nice texture on the swatch.. I think I remember this pattern, but can you show a picture of the whole sweater? I'd love to see it!

X.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:39 PM  

Here's a picture of the original "Tweedy Aran Cardigan" By Norah Gaughan from Interweave Knits Winter 01/02.

By Blogger Angela, at 1:20 AM  

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Busy Weekend Knitting
Sunday, January 09, 2005

Corsage HelmetI've spend all weekend knitting. I made a pair of hand warmers (from Weekend Knitting : 50 Unique Projects and Ideas) to match my new down coat. Then I decided I needed a matching hat. I really like hats with ear flaps. I need warmth So I made an earflap helmet hat from Interweave Knits Summer 2003. But it looked weird. My coat is dark silvery grey. I made the mitts out of two strands of Patons Decor, grey heather and olive, so they're pretty dull. I made the hat out of the same colors so when I put it on I felt like I belonged riding on a post-apocalyptic rat trap out of "Mad Max" or something. The hat needed a little cheering up. So I knit a rose they had in the first issue of Knit 1. I sewed it on and thus my hat was complete. It's kind of cute but werid at the same time. I started making a mistake rib scarf in the same colors, but I ran out of yarn.

Baby HatThen today I went to my lys and bought some Mission Falls 1824 Cotton to make a baby hat for Kyle's cousin. She's going to pop any day now. I don't know if she's having a boy or a girl, so I bought green and grey yarn. I made the green hat tonight and I'll make the grey one some other day. The hat pattern is from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. It's the first pattern I used from that book and it came out cute. It's funny to think this little hat will fit anyone, it's so tiny.


posted at 9:25 PM . link . . (3) comments
3 Comments:

iLOVE your hat with ear flaps and the rose. Can you please share the pattern(s)? I'd appreciate it. My son wants an earflap hat and your pattern is the best one that I've seen

By Anonymous strawberri, at 12:22 AM  

Hi! I just stumbled across this website and absolutely love your hat. Can you share your pattern ?
Like the previous comment, I love the way this one looks, not too tight or pointy. :D

Thanks!

By Anonymous hillerkim@hotmail.com, at 3:30 PM  

I actually didn't design this hat, it's from the Interweave Knits Summer 2003 issue, so I can't post the pattern, since I don't own the copyright. They still have back issues available at http://www.interweave.com/knit/interweave_knits/back_issues/SU_03.asp

By Blogger Angela, at 4:09 PM  

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The Mini's Hammock
Monday, January 03, 2005

Lazy SlugMini loves -- i mean LOVES -- laying on wet sweaters. Don't know why. I can't imagine it's all that comfortable. It's really annoying, because I get up in the morning and the sweater I've blocked all nicey-nice is rumpled and coated with cat hair.

The Mini's HammockAnd it's not like the drier is as comfy as a hammock. Look how fat she is -- she's basically laying on the ground! It's quite disgraceful. Poor Mini. It's a new year, perhaps she should go on a diet.


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By Angela Martini


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