about the essentials of life...knitting, designing knitting, yarn for knitting...you get the idea...

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I'm a knitter, knitting pattern designer, and spinner. I also dye yarn with both acid and natural dyes.

Saturday, July 04, 2009


Okay, here it is these many months later...

Life has turned upside down and inside out and I know that no one wants to hear about that, so I haven't blogged in forever. I didn't really set out to do so today, but I discovered an error in the Red Scarf 2006 pattern and wanted to fix it. Blogger and I aren't getting along - a long standing tradition - and I can't get to that particular post.

So - if you stumble upon that entry and want to make the scarf, there is a corrected and much easier to follow pattern (free download) on Ravelry. Let me see if I can find a direct link...be back in a minute... download now
I'm not sure that the link didn't break. I'll try to edit to fix that if it didn't! OK, it's not broken - fingers crossed that it actually works! Just in case, you can search for Red Scarf 1 or you should be able to find it under yarnangel's patterns and then follow the link. Did I mention free?

You don't need to be a Ravelry member to access patterns, but you really should consider it. It's a wonderful source for all things knitted. Membership is now open, no approval needed.

In the way of good news, meet Chiquita, the newest member of the family. Can't have a blog post without a photo, and this is one of my favorites. The sink? I really don't know. I have a cat that loves to sit in the sink. Go figure!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

New Pattern Available!

With just a teeny nudge from Scout, I formatted the Taos Chullo pattern yesterday and up-loaded it this morning. To refresh your memory:

The original model, in grey Ecological Wool from Cascade. This is a real bargain - I made a collar and cuffs and the hat out of one skein (see Quick Chic in sidebar for pix of collar and cuffs - they were accepted for publication, but as far as I know the mag never came out, so the design is kind of in limbo for the moment). The stranded mohair color work serves as a soft, soft, lining to the hat and I love how comforting it feels on my head!

This hat was made of Loft from Zitron. The yarn has a kind of felted appearance, 100% merino, and is so soft and cuddly. It's a dream to knit with!

Detail of the color work.
The knitty gritty: the hat is made in the round on one long circ, top down. It's really quick to make - only took me one evening! At one skein of loft and some 50 yards of mohair, it's also quite inexpensive while looking and feeling luxurious.
Preview the cover here and download the pattern here. It's only $4.00.
Enjoy! Send me a picture and I'll post it!

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Thursday, November 30, 2006

New Pattern Samples Finished

Like many knitters, finishing is my nemesis. Somehow, it just isn't as exciting as the actual knitting. Once the knitting is finished, my projects seem to enter a kind of limbo where they exist in their semi-completed state until I finally guilt myself into sewing/blocking/trimming/end-running-in them.
So, I am proud to declare two projects 'finished' - both the knitting and the finishing!
First, the second Taos Chullo. The first was in grey Ecological Wool (see photo in sidebar). I wanted to proof the pattern before posting it and I had a Christmas present in mind, so I made another. The Ecological Wool is not-so-soft and since the second model was for a gift, I wanted something super soft. I ended up with Loft by Zitron and I love this yarn. It is sturdy yet so, so, soft, as expected from a merino. It worked up really easily and was such a pleasure to knit. The whole hat took only one skein, so it's a bargain. In addition, the colorwork with the Katia mohair left the inside of the hat feeling like a cloud. I think she'll like it, don't you?

Next, I made an everyday version of the Holiday Shawl. The original is made of Fiesta's LaBoheme, which for me is a luxury yarn. I wanted to test the pattern with a more reasonably priced yarn to show an example for those who don't necessarily want to spend the Fiesta's price. This version is out of Camelia from Jo-Ann's. I used 4 balls for the main body and ran out of yellow. My local store had some blue, so I bought out their supply and used it for contrast. Two and 1/2 balls later, I had finished the neck, trimmed the sides and done a slightly different ruffle for the bottom. I see this one with jeans and a white T-shirt. Quite a contrast, don't you think?

This morning, I cast on for the second Waving Hands in my hand-painted blue/green yarn for my sons' stepsister. I'm also processing Christmas sock designs/yarns in my head as I go about my daily routine. Must finish the glove first!

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Big Pattern News!

I did it! Or, at least I think I did.
I've navigated my way through the pages and links and more links and passwords and usernames and more and more and more of the above and...
They're Up!
Three new knitting patterns are available! I started with Temptation Recycled Sari Yarn Purse, Waving Hands Half-Fingered Gloves and the Holiday Shawl, because these are prime gift-giving patterns and/or timely knitting projects for you.
They're available in PDF format for instant gratification. Like Amazon, I put in a link to the cover, so you can check out what you're getting. The cover is designed to give you enough information about construction and materials to help you make your purchasing decision.
I hope to start an Angels' Gallery to show off the pictures you send me of your fabulous work. I can't wait to see what you do with these patterns - what fun!

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Monday, November 27, 2006


What Thanksgiving?
Not that I'm not thankful - just not particularly thankful for this particular holiday this year.
A week ago, The Man Of The House came home with food poisoning. An especially virulent and nasty variety. Life As We Know It came to a screeching halt for two days.
Then I got it. Huh? Unless there is some food-borne pathogen contagion that I don't know about, it must have been some ugly stomach virus (we hadn't eaten any of the same things).
Thanksgiving, I was prostrate on the bathroom floor. The Man, feeling better, went to spend the holiday with his mother. He did call to sympathize and offer to drive the 3 hours back in an emergency. I wouldn't have been much company, anyway.
Here it is, Monday, and I'm just starting to be able to look at food. The head is still pounding, and... I haven't knit a thing! I must be sick or something!
Hope your Holiday was much better.
Oh, yes, and I'm thankful that the Aggies won! (the Texas Aggies over UT!!!) Yay!


Friday, November 17, 2006

Searching for Camelia

Well, it's official; I must be suffering from OCD. I spent last evening working on the Holiday shawl in yellow Camelia even though it was obvious I didn't have nearly enough yarn to finish it. First, let me refresh your memory:

The amount of fabric produced by one ball. Remember, 4 balls are available.

I was really curious about the discrepency in the yardage used by this yarn compared to the Fiesta. Just to see what difference it would make, I took another ball and the next larger size needle and knit up 1 skein. I wanted to see how much farther I could get.
Answer: see the photos? I finished on the same row of the pattern, just a few stitches farther down the row. Not enough to make a difference.
But I liked the fabric on the first, smaller needles better. So, back I went to the original model and here is where I stopped (2 balls used).

I'd guess it measures about 7 inches.
There are petite shawls, I know, but to me they are more like pregnant scarves. Scarves, to me, are for warmth. I guess I'm a pretty casual dresser - I don't really like to appear too studied. I don't wear pins, hats for effect, or scarves for purely decorative purposes. Just not me.
So I really don't have an affinity for a cotton pregnant scarf. I want a shawl! I want a casual, keep the cool AC breezes off my always chilly shoulders shawl. The 4 balls of yellow Camelia, I'm guessing, would give me about 16 inches, maybe. I guess that could do, but...still, not what I have in mind.
So, today I went searching. I found some on-line, but then there's that shipping charge and I'm not patient enough to wait. On to my local Jo-Ann's. Where I hunted around and...
The good news:
  1. I found some.
  2. It was on sale for only $3.00/ball.

The bad news:

It's blue.

Well. The blue and yellow each have spots of the other color, so they go together. I like blue and yellow together - that's the color scheme of my kitchen.
Now I need to decide how to marry them. I have the bottom part of the shawl done in yellow (twice!). But, since the blue has more visual weight, I'm not at all sure that I'd like it on the top part of the shawl.
My choices (that I've though of so far):
  1. Go as far as I can in yellow, then switch to blue.
  2. Knit yellow until the shoulder decrease row then switch.
  3. Finish in yellow, then do edgings all around in blue to get the length I want.
  4. Start over, switching colors every row.

I'm mulling it over.

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Loving Loft

Look what I made last night!

It's the Taos Chullo (see original in sidebar) in Loft by Zitron .

I wanted to make it again to:

1. check the pattern

2. see how it worked in a different yarn. The original is in Ecological Wool that comes in a huge skein - I've made a large turtleneck collar, a pair of French cuffs and the hat out of one and I still have 96 yards. It occurred to me that knitters probably want a yarn choice that is more in line with the yardage requirements of the pattern.

3. Ecological Wool seems kind of scratchy to me. Not so much in the hat - the mohair in the color work forms a nice, soft lining, but I noticed it in the collar. I'm not sensitive to such but I know that many people are, so I wanted to find an alternative.

4. Most importantly, I have it in mind for a Christmas gift for a certain blonde I know.

Detail of colorwork

I love this yarn! It's 100% merino, so I expected it to be soft, but this is incredible. The flow of the yarn through my hands while knitting was almost sensual. I've tried it on, of course, and it feels like a soft hug. I'm more than pleased, so I hope the lady for whom it's destined enjoys it, too.

The knitting good news: it only took 1 evening and 1 skein of Loft.

Just needs the ties and blocking and it's finished!

Next up - second version of the Holiday Shawl. First one is in Fiesta's LaBoheme. It's quite expensive; in fact, much more than I usually spend on yarn. I was unbelievably lucky and found this on sale. Once again, I wanted to try it in a second, more affordable yarn. This is from Joann's. I rarely shop at Joann's here in ABQ because the local store is a disaster, but in Houston it was my go-to place for anything sewing. I'm not particularly enamored of novelty yarns, either, or, for that matter, yellow. Given all that, I'm not sure just why this yarn called my name, but it did and so here it is.

It's called Camelia and I think it's the store brand - the label says Sensations Bellezza Collection. I had it in my stash and it should have been enough for the shawl without the ruffle. I have 4 balls and this little bit used 1. So I'm now back in my familiar predicament of not having enough yarn for my project. I'm going to have to figure this one out - why should the yardage be so different for the same pattern in the same gauge on the same size needles?

I guess I'll go rummage through the clearance bins tomorrow - one thing about a messy store is that they just might have a random ball misplace somewhere - I know that this summer yarn in not going to be part of the regular inventory now.

I'm supposed to be working my way through 27 pages of acronyms and further information links to try to get my patterns up for sale. It occurred to me in the shower this morning (why are showers so conducive to creativity - or am I just weird?) that I want to do some Christmas socks. My head is just buzzing with ideas - not one of which is an acronym or contains one bit of HTML. Maybe I can do just one step and then reward myself with some charting?