Monthly Archives: December 2011

Iceland Wins!

So, In my post Fana, Faroe or Fair Isle?
I asked for your opinions on what my next project should be. After
reading through the comments, I realized that I was really captivated by
the Icelandic yoked pullovers that were suggested. Not only were the
geometric yoke patterns really interesting, but I realized as well that
it would be a perfect excuse to do a stranding project with more than
two colors in a round!

As soon as I got home on that Thursday, I wound up my yarn and cast on.

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A Cushy Freebie Friday

This time of year, I’m always reaching for my handknit wool socks, the thicker the better.  My poor feet get so cold!  I normally knit my socks out of fingering or sport weight yarn, but sometimes I just want something a little bit thicker.  Well today designer Audrey Knight shares with us her pattern for some nice thick socks.

These are her Cushy Chroma Socks!

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Gifts for the Interminably Picky

I have a few people in my life that aren’t keen on wearing crocheted goods and their objections vary quite a bit. Some think crocheting looks “hippie-ish”, others think it makes you look like a doily. Whatever the reason, it creates a problem for gift-giving. Since I’m still warming-up my skills after years of disuse, I generally stick to giving simple hats and scarves; they require very little resources and, more importantly, tend to actually go into use. I say this with very, very great displeasure: No one has ever used any of the potholders I’ve crocheted for holding a hot item. So, if I don’t want to give what’s tantamount to wall art, I turn to cozies.

Of course not all cozies are created equal; they range from the truly utilitarian to the truly ludicrous/endearing. For my purposes, I think a cell phone cover strikes a nice balance.


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Finishing Tips for Fair Isle

You might have seen my post last week where I admitted that I have a horrible time starting the final finishing touches on almost any project I do. Yes, I know it isn’t hard and it really doesn’t take too long. I can’t explain it but once I bind off, my mind just classifies the project as done. Which is why I was thrilled when Kerin showed me a clever way of finishing yarn ends for fair isle projects!

This method is so simple, it makes me wonder why I hadn’t stumbled upon it before. Instead of painstakingly weaving in each yarn end from all of the color changes, simply make sure to leave a good length yarn for your ends and you will be able to braid them together! After you get to the end of your yarn strands, all you have to do is finish
it off by tying all the strands together in a knot and trim the ends. Brilliant! Kerin also mentioned that by braiding all of the longer yarn ends together, you can use those ends to easily mend any small holes or loose stitches that might occur throughout the life of your sweater.

So, for any knitters out there working on any fair isle gift knitting – check out our video on how to braid yarn ends to save yourself a bit of time (and sanity, in my case!).

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Birch Bay

Birch Bay is a very, very bright Layered Spinning Batt from Hanks in the Hood. I usually gravitate towards those cool, milky blues or soft, grassy greens like Hoquiam or Mercer Island. Not this time. Birch Bay
was calling to me like a hot coal, fresh from the fireplace. Really, in
the end I was mostly curious about how the colors would transition and
how that fiery red would look plied with the icy blue further inside the

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It’s a great time to give back.

Because I was raised with two skis practically attached to my feet,
winter is my absolute favorite time of year.  Any opportunity that I
have to play in the snow, I take it!  One unfortunate side-effect of me
being around snow is that the cheesy grin you see below is pretty well
perma-glued on my face the whole time.  There are worse things, I

Sadly for me, Portland’s winters are generally pretty chilly and
wet, but not the kind of wet that I like; the kind that comes down in
raindrops. We don’t get a ton of snow (except for that one year when we
did) but the air at night is absolutely bone chilling.  While not ideal
for a skier, the lack of snow is actually a really great thing. 
Portland, Oregon is home to approximately 20,000 homeless men, women and
children; approximately 13,000 of which do not have any place to go for
shelter at night. Obviously, homelessness is not just a concern in
Oregon.  A study done in 2009 reported that one in every 66 people
living in major US cities used a residential homeless program in the
subject year.

Before she retired two years ago…

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Weekend Hats Book Review

I’ve gotten so much in the habit of knitting socks that I have forgotten that hats have many qualities that make them ideal, portable projects.

While we were out to dinner the other night, one of the waitresses reminded me that I had promised her a hat for winter. Yikes! Thank goodness I just received a review copy of Weekend Hats

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Less than 2 weeks!

That’s how much time I have to finish up the knitted gifts for my family’s Christmas celebrations!  Eek!

Luckily I was smart this year and started my biggest project first, which was a vest for my mom – I made Talia, a free pattern by SweaterBabe but I haven’t got a good photo of it yet.  So with the big project out of the way, I’m left with a lot of smaller knitted gifts for 4 nieces & nephews.

A month ago, I was told that my 7 year old nephew really wanted some fingerless gloves to match his new green & black bike. I really love the pattern Knucks – I’ve made a ton of them over the years so they’re easy to whip out.  I used Swish DK in Black & Peapod.


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The spirit of giving

If you’re reading this, you can safely count yourself among the
comfortably fortunate. Access to the internet, heat, warm clothing and a
family with whom to gather this holiday season are things we might all
easily take for granted. But not everyone is so lucky.

Although need has no season, the season of sharing and giving seems
to highlight the contrast between those who have and those who have not.
It’s this season that reinvigorates my commitment to charitable causes.
When I found out about the Mittens for Akkol drive by The Motherless Child Foundation,
I knew that I’d found a cause that would truly make a difference. This
group of volunteers is spearheaded by parents who adopted children from
the orphanage in Akkol, Kazakhstan, but couldn’t bear to leave the other
children behind.

It all started with a Ravelry post in the Charity Knitting
board requesting socks. Since I’d knit a bunch of kids’ socks earlier
this year, I figured a few more wouldn’t be a problem. But as I read on
about the charity, and especially about the recipients of these socks,
it struck me just how much a simple thing like warm socks can make a
huge difference in the life of someone halfway around the world. So I
started knitting.

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