Monthly Archives: March 2013

A Photo Session With Linus


I love any opportunity I get to photograph my little buddy, Linus. Once upon a time he helped us with a video for our old Special Reserve yarn, Sugarbunny and he was the little cutie modeling a knit sweater on this very blog a few weeks ago. Yesterday, we got to take advantage of his very accommodating personality (and his ability to hold still lying on his back all by himself) to take some fun photos with Palette.

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Last Socks of the Season

Winter is SOCK TIME! Take one glance at my bin (yes I said bin)
of WIPs and you’ll typically see a pair of two-at-a-time toe-up socks on
a pair of size 2 fixed circular needles hanging out among all the hats
and mittens. I like being able to pick them up between projects, cruise
through both heel sections over a weekend and then knit in a rather
meandering way until I just can’t STAND to look at them anymore before I cast off and pop them over my toes.

This particular pair of Imagination foot
cozies have been resurfacing on and off over the past month or so. All
the greenery, daffodils and warm sunshine over the past week has
reminded me that soon it would be summer again and time for me to start
casting on more cute toys and fewer cozy woolens. I plopped down on the
couch with a jar of tea and finished them up this past weekend before
all that lovely sunshine convinced me that I could wait until next
winter to get them off the needles and onto my toes!

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The magic of safety eyes

Way back when I first started knitting toys, I was always disappointed in my embroidery skills, especially when it came to their eyes.  For instance, about 6 years ago, I made a couple of the Mochimochi Knitted Grass guys by Anna Hrachovec.

While I like them, they just didn’t quite have that cute look I love with knitted and crochet toys.  Their eyes are uneven and no matter how much I tried, I could not get it to come out right. They just look all wonky to me. 

Then I discovered safety eyes!  Not only did they save me from my unsuccessful attempts at embroidery, they gave my Grass Guy a little sparkle in the eye that just made him so much more adorable.

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My tiny baby Nate isn’t so tiny anymore, and he’s outgrowing clothes left and right.  I tend to get sticker shock when I shop for baby clothes, and there’s no worse offender than the commercially made knit sweater – I just can’t stomach paying so much for a piece of clothing that will only last him a month or three.

Baby knits are satisfying to me for a number of reasons.  First, I get to stash bust like a crazy person.  The finished garment is small, small enough to only require 3-5 skeins of whatever I have lying around.  If I see an accidental grouping of eye-catching colors in the bottom of a yarn bin, they may end up in a teeny sweater.

Second, the actual knitting is fast.  As long as I keep focused, I can churn out a sweater in just a couple of days and get it right onto a (little) body.  Success!

Finally, and somewhat shamefully, the fit doesn’t have to be as accurate as for me.  Babies don’t necessarily need set-in sleeves or short row shaping, and oversized knits are pretty charming too.  I secretly love making a sweater for a few months in the future and then unceremoniously stuffing Nate into it.  So cozy!  So warm!

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Striped Billow Blanket

Oh, buttery-soft Billow, I’ve been waiting for you for ages.

I’ve had the prototype skein of Billow on my desk for months, and it’s easily the most-petted yarn sample in my office. It’s soft yet sturdy, knits up quickly, and makes you look like The Fanciest Knitter in the World when all you’re actually doing is miles of stockinette.

This line is a completely new concept for Knit Picks – the 8-ply thick-and-thin structure gives you a yarn that knits up into a slightly slubby, richly textured fabric.  We wanted to show off that texture to best effect, and consequently Billow was a challenge regarding color selection. We wanted to come up with softly saturated colors that came together unexpectedly in a fresh palette, and we also were trying to include a good range of neutrals (both browns and greys) in order to make the line more versatile.  It’s a great mix of colors, and they work together in surprising ways but can also stand on their own in solid-color projects.

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Flanders the Flamingo

I have all sorts of knitting projects hanging out in the shadows these days. I’ve gotten into the habit of picking up my Hue Shift Afghan
and knitting a few rows, then setting it down to work an inch or so on a
pair of socks and then I get some tea and pick up my second Foreign Corresponden’ts Scarf and fiddle around with that until I get bored. Wash, rinse, repeat. There’s
really no end in sight for any of these projects, and that’s ok, but I
was definitely craving a short project that I could start and finish in
one day. I found this Flamingo pattern by Susan B Anderson and decided to give it a whirl.



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Baseball and Knitting!

I make no secret of my love of baseball and it comes out full force this time of year – it’s the start of the baseball season!  Well, okay, it’s still only spring training, but at least I can still watch some baseball on TV again.  And even though the three teams we root for in my household ended up on the bottom of their divisions at the end of last year (that would be the Boston Red Sox, the Seattle Mariners, and the Minnesota Twins), springtime brings a new start and a new hope for the baseball season.

So you can imagine how much I was looking forward to Allyson Dykhuizen‘s brand new collection – Vintage-Inspired Baseball Knits!

Allyson and I chat quite a bit about baseball and last summer, we started talking about classic baseball as well as the difficulty of finding knitting patterns for baseball nuts like us.  So she came up with 6 new patterns inspired by those wonderful styles – perfect for modern baseball fans to wear to games!

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