Friday, August 11, 2017

Episode 14: On the Joys of 100% Wool and Knitwear Design

Hello Knitters!

In this episode, I SAY that I'm going to give my opinions on the pros and cons of two woolen spun yarns, but upon reflection, I don't actually give my opinions at all. I present the facts and leave you to form your own opinions. Isn't that democratic of me?

Also, I forgot to mention that one of my favorite podcasters is knitting my Gigi sweater!  Tracie of the Grocery Girls podcast got her kit from Barrett Wool in the Sherwood colorway and will be casting on soon.  If she talks about it on the podcast, I might bust from joy. (I'm such a nerd...)

P.S. Madelinetosh Tosh Sock is 100% merino wool and is a superwash.  Just as I suspected...

See below for links to the stuff I talk about here. I hope you enjoy this episode, and feel free to drop me a line if you want to. I love hearing from you guys!  :)


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Episode 13: Crushing on Speckles

Hey folks!  I hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as I enjoyed recording it!  Congrats to Kelli Davis or littlespecklez on Instagram for winning the giveaway from Episode 12. I will be in touch with you soon to get your prize mailed out to you and the pattern gifted to you on Ravelry.  Thanks to all who participated!


Susan B. Anderson's Gigi cardigan

!!! Attention All Test Knitters!!!!

If you are interested in test knitting my Baker Street shawl and Montague Street hat, see below for pictures of both. Email me or send me a Ravelry message for all the details and your free pattern!

Baker Street Shawl

Montague Street Hat

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Nana's Gigi Cardigan

Hello Knitters!

I know you all have been waiting on baited breath (ok, maybe that was just me) for my mom's Gigi cardigan to be finished up.  So...  here it is!  Not only are these great pictures of the sweater, but they are also great pictures of Mom. I love how this turned out. For more details on this knit, visit my Ravelry page.

The most helpful tip I can pass along about knitting this cardigan for Nana is this:
If your bust measurement falls in between sizes, choose the smaller one.

This photobomb picture cracks me up.  

Saturday, July 1, 2017

How To Attach a Pocket to a Knitted Sweater

Hey, folks! I thought I would work up a little photo tutorial on how to attach the pockets to my Gigi and Little Gigi cardigans. But, this tutorial would really work anytime you are attaching a knitted pocket to a knitted object. I hope you find it helpful!

If you prefer video tutorials, this one from Garnstudio uses the same techniques, but with a stockinette pocket instead of reverse stockinette.  Good luck, and leave a comment if  you have any questions/comments!

This is a rustic, simple sweater, and I liked the way the sewn on pocket looked. I chose this over knitting the pocket in the body of the sweater and joining the pocket lining later because I like the rustic look of the sewn on pocket and the reverse stockinette stitch. Let's get started!

Pocket Prep

Block your pockets separately from the rest of your sweater, and attach them after they have been blocked to the measurements you want.

First, decide where you want your pockets by placing them on the front of the sweater. You can measure from the button band or just eyeball it. Use a removable stitch marker to mark one leg of the "column" of stitches you will be grabbing to attach the side of the pocket.

Using thin contrasting yarn/embroidery floss, mark the row of stitches where the bottom of the pocket will be attached by weaving the thread over and under the legs of each stitch.  This is important for making the bottom of your pocket lie flat and straight, so don't skip this step!

Thread a tapestry or yarn needle with a length of yarn (approx. 5 ft.) for sewing on the pocket.

Start Sewing

For the  Gigi and Little Gigi, the stitches on the sides of the pockets are slipped stitches. This gives the pocket an awesome, rustic look, and makes sewing it up super easy. To achieve this look, you will be going through each slipped stitch twice, while sewing through the stitch legs on the sweater one time. So, for every two sweater body sts, you will go through the pocket slipped stitch one time.

Start at the upper right edge of the pocket, working from left to right, by lifting the left leg of the topmost pocket stitch, and the single leg in the "column" of stitches you marked with the removable stitch marker, and sew through. Leave a tail of about 6 inches for weaving in later.

Next, work from right to left, lifting the single leg of the column of stitches you marked and the left leg of the next stitch in the pocket.

Continue in this manner until you reach the bottom of the pocket.

Sew the bottom of the pocket by lifting the two bars of the first stitch on the bottom right of the pocket. These may be tricky to find because they are the "V" of the stockinette on the other side. That is, you are pulling them forward from the other side.  (See first picture below.) Pull your needle through.

Next, grab both legs of the marked stitch in the sweater body directly under the pocket stitch you just sewed, and pull the needle through.

As shown in the pictures, you will always be inserting the needle from right to left when stitching up the bottom of the pocket.

Continue stitching until you reach the bottom left corner of the pocket.

Place the removable stitch marker to mark the column of stitches you will be using to sew up this side, and continue up the left side of the pocket using the same technique as for the right side.

Good luck in your pocket sewing endeavors, and feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Summer Knitting Classes

Hey folks! June is coming to a close, and the first half of my summer knitting classes are wrapping up.  We have had SO much fun. I have taught 14 students this month, and it has been amazing to watch them bloom. I love how they all start by picking up their cast on needle, and looking at it like it fell from the sky, and end up knitting at super speed on their finished hats.  It is so rewarding to hear them talk about all the things they want to knit.

I start out doing a lot of teaching, and by the end, I can't get a word in edgewise.  :)  I teach them how to do the knit stitch using the rhyme from Annie and the Swiss Cheese Scarf:

In through the front door,
Once around the back,
Peek through the window,
And off jumps Jack.

I show them all the ways yarn looks when you buy it at the store, and how to work with it when you get it home.  We wind up a skein on my swift and ball winder, and everyone gets a turn spinning the handle. I show them circular needles, straights and double points, and we talk about all the materials these needles can be made of. We pass around different types of needles to feel the difference in weight between carbon fiber and aluminum, and the slickness difference between polished wood and bamboo.

We talk about fiber content, and pass around a rustic wool that feels scratchy in your hand but soft on your neck. And baby alpaca which feels like a cloud in your hand but feels itchy on your neck! (Yes - we rub all these things on our necks. We probably look a little nutty, but how else will you know if the fiber is better for mittens or a cowl?!)

I go through my tool bag and teach them what all the tools are called and how to use them. To teach about the importance of gauge, I hold up two garter stitch rectangles of very different sizes and densities, knit with the same yarn and the same number of stitches, one on size 1 needles and one on size 15 needles.  (This visual is especially helpful for kids who want to knit super tight. It helps them see that they don't need to - they can just use different sized needles.)

And we end the week by blocking something. I demonstrate this on Thursday so they can see the finished product on Friday. By this time, though, they are chatty and comfortable and talking about what they are going to make next.

Here are a few shots from Day 2  (posted with permission) of these inspiring young ones!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Episode 12: I Want to Knit Like Cleopatra

You guys!!!!!  I have missed you so much. Here is my latest podcast episode - I hope you enjoy it!.


One Knitty McPurly tote bag
A copy of my Honeydukes hat pattern
One skein of the Queensland Collection Brisbane yarn in the Red Firegoby colorway (plus a little more because the bigger sizes of Honeydukes use a little more than one skein)

Enter a comment below and/or on Instagram to enter to win!


(Dear Australians, please forgive me for saying this like such an American! Love, Devin)

Friday, May 19, 2017

Podcast Break

Hello knitters!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful May!  For us, May brings warmer weather, end of the year parties, exams, and the end of spring sports.  The kids are outside, and we are all finishing up the last of the year's schoolwork.  We are so excited to embark upon summer! We can almost taste the sweet slices of watermelon by the pool...

I have decided to take a summer podcast break, and will be resuming the podcast this fall. I decided to start the podcast as a way to banish fear, and in the process have met so many new friends - it has been a huge blessing to me! That said, finding a balance is always good, and this summer will be about family, planning for the next school year, cleaning out the year's worth of clutter that has accumulated seemingly everywhere, teaching and hopefully publishing some new knitting patterns.

The good news is that I will return in the fall with so much knitting to share with you! And until then I hope to be regularly updating the blog to keep you up.

Thank you, as always, for your support and I hope you all have a wonderful summer with lots of knitting!


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Episode 11: Fiber Castles in the Sky and an Open Letter to Math

Hey folks!  These are the needles that were bequeathed to me.  Aren't they old and awesome? I love them...

Thanks again for listening to my podcast - I hope you enjoy this episode!  See below for shownotes.


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Episode 10: Mason Dixon Knitting and 51 Shades of Gray

TEN episodes!! What?!

I had so much fun making this episode, and I had to chuckle when I listened back to it. When talking about Knit Picks yarn, I MEANT to say, "Here's what I think about it," but what I ACTUALLY said was, "Here's what you think about it."  I really didn't mean to tell you what you think about it.  Please know that I know that you are free to form your own opinions about Knit Picks and all other yarns.  Sheesh...

Anyway, remember to go vote at on Monday, March 20th to take part in the March Mayhem fun!

I hope you like it!  :)   :)   :)

Show Notes

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Finished Socks

I had a few projects laying around mostly done and I decide to run through and finish them up as best I can - first on the list were these February socks!  Finished March 11th.  :) I am especially happy about these because they are the first finished pair for me!  :)

These are Amy Miller's Jimmies pattern and I love them!!!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Knitting Class

As the first Knitting I class wrapped up, we took a few snapshots of finished objects.  These are by no means all that was completed in the past 8 weeks, but just a few things that the girls had with them. Not even all the students were present, but I am SO proud of what they accomplished!

8 weeks ago, they learned how to do the knit stitch. Now - finished hats, dishcloths, coin purses, cat bowties, coasters, headbands, etc.!