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Posts from August 2010

Knitting It Old School

I have been excitedly waiting for the release of Stitchy McYarnpants & Caro Sheridan's new book Knitting it Old School . I was not only eager to get my hands on a copy because I have a pattern in it, but I knew that any book that combined the talents of Stitchy and Caro was going to be great. My copy arrived the other day and it's every bit as wonderful as I thought it would be. I had a non-knitting friend over on Friday night and as she browsed through the designs she declared that she must learn to knit just so she can make a several of the patterns in this book!

Knitting it Old School is packed full of fun retro patterns, both knit and crochet. My daugher Sofie really, really wants Maryse Roudier's Go-Go Granny dress. Her sister IJK wants Adrian Bizilla's Peppermint Lounge Hat and Mittens. I wish I could find the time to make Annie Modesitt's Sunday Drive for myself.

My own contribution to the book is Swing Time a curve-hugging, ribbed sweater. Its cuffed short sleeves are adorned with buttons and a touch of puff and the top.

Disc_5065_medium Photo copyright 2010 by Denise Siegel used with permission.

Photo copyright 2010 by Denise Siegel used with permission.

Sofie modled for a few quick shots of Swing Time before we sent it off for the real photo shoot. I think it suits her. She loves it because it works well with the high waisted pants and skirts that she is so fond of these days.

Swing Time

Swing Time Sleeve
I have two copies of this book so I thought I'd share the wealth. Leave a comment to this post telling me how you'd wear Swing Time if you made it and I will draw one winner at random to receive a copy of  Knitting it Old School. The contest ends one week from today on September 6, 2010 at midnight EDT.

Cable & Bobble Socks

Last spring I designed a pattern for Vogue Knitting Online. The pattern was released a few days ago and is now available for free download.


Photo Credit: Vogue Knitting Fall 2010, Photo by rose Callahan (used with permission)

Cable & Bobble Socks (Ravelry Link)

Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Heathers in "Tidepool Heather"

Needles: US 1.5 (2.5mm)

Size: Women's Medium

My own photos seem pretty lame compared to Rose Callahan's lovely shot for Vogue, but I thought you might want to see a few more.

Bobble & Cable Sock Vogue

Bobble & Cable Sock 1

Roma Shawl

Roma 2
It's no secret that I love color & designing with color. So when I had to take a last minute trip to Rome at the beginning of July I quickly grabbed a couple of beautiful skeins of  Schaefer Audrey in colors that calmed me. It was only a few days after my stint in the hospital with the Lad & his broken leg, and now I was off to Rome to retrieve IJK who was experiencing health problems while on a student trip. (She's fine, nothing too serious - just issues that prevented her from completing the trip.) 

Roma Shawl Side
Audrey is a delightful blend of silk and merino in fingering weight that is the sort of yarn that once you start knitting with it you'll find it almost impossible to put down. The silk in the yarn gives amazing drape - ideal for a shawl, and adds sheen and richness to Schaefer's already amazing colors. The soft, glowing Audrey was the perfect yarn to soothe me during a week when I didn't know which end was up. On the plane I began to knit a shawl in a simple lace pattern that was easy to memorize. Then, with a brain that refused to settle on just one thought, I moved to a two color garter stitch stripe - the blue yarn could not be ignored any longer. Shawls in simple stitch patterns like this one are often the best medicine when the mind is racing. For that long flight from JFK to Rome it was perfect.

Raspberry Picking
On a hot day after my return Sofie obliged me with photos - but only if she was allowed to pick and eat raspberries while we worked. I admit to indulging in quite a few myself. Despite of my fears that the shawl would be forever ruined if she snagged it on those thorny raspberry canes the photo shoot went smoothly.

You can see more of our photos on the pattern page on Ravelry.

Raspberry Eating
Roma Shawl

Sizes: One size (but easily adjusted by adding or subtracting repeats of either the lace or garter stitch stripe)
Finished Measurements: 60" across top edge, 25" from top to point, blocked
Gauge:  16 sts & 38 rows = 4”(10cm) in garter st, blocked
Yarn: Schaefer Yarns Audrey, 50% merino/50% cultivated silk, 700 yards per 4oz skein
MC (Ivory) - “Elisabeth Kubler-Ross” - 1/2 skein,
CC -This was a one of a kind color, “Peter” or “Indigo” are similar - 1/4 skein
Needles: US 7/4.5mm or size to obtain gauge
Other Materials: 4 stitch markers, tapestry needle, crochet hook

Price: $6.00 US

Thank you to my test knitters, Karen, Lulu, Christine & Stacie!!

More Summer Craziness and Winners

Sorry I've been so delinquent in announcing the winners of my contest. Will it help if I distract you with a photo of an adorable kitteh?


One of the reasons for the delay is that I'm in NC visiting my mom and her adorable cat, Cissa. We're here celebrating my sister Katie's "significant" birthday.

Significant Birthday
While here I was lucky enough to meet the talented, smart, adorable Mandy of Zigzag Stitch fame in person. She gave me a sneak peek at her book, The Red Collection. The book will be available this fall. It looks great. I can't wait for my copy.

IJK has been baking non stop since we arrived. She made not one, but two batches of pistachio macarons - heavenly. As I type this the smell of her latest indulgence is filling the house. (Sofie just walked in with a sample of this morning's kitchen madness and it did not disappoint!)

IJK Bakes
On top of IJK's baking there have been pies. If anyone on this planet makes a pie better than my mom, I have yet to taste it. "Mutti" is genius with a crust. (Note the candles on the center pie. In my family it has always been birthday pie. Never birthday cake.)

Mutti and her pies
I often complain about our winters in North Western NJ. I may need to suppress those complaints in the future after experiencing North Carolina in August. Brutal. My ever-ready model, Sofie, was nice enough to wear wool for a quick photo shoot of the Snow Drops & Snap Peas hat & mitt set. What a trooper the kid is.

  Wool in August
Using a random number generator I selected five winners to each receive copies of the two patterns in the set. They have each been notified and will receive their patterns when they are ready in about a week. The winners are; Jen (blogless), Andrea, Mary, Pixie, and Bloepper.


The winner of the Stitch Collection is RebKatz. She's already received her books.

I leave you with photos that document our summer. Anders and Sofie's band, The NowhereNauts, has had several shows including one at TT the Bears in Boston. They've also written a lot of new material & have been in the studio recording. To hear the new music check out their MySpace page. If you like what you hear join their Facebook group and follow them on Twitter for updates.

At TTs


ARK W'burg

Sound Board

Along with baking delicious treats, Izzy has been busy stitching. She's made several animal hats - she's selling the owl pictured below on Etsy - and a sparkly headband for Sofie.

Beaded Headband

Owl Hat
Handspun from one of Funky Carolina's colorwork kits - the fiber was a gift from Sarah.

Funky C
The beautiful hand-bound book below was given to me by NJStacie when I visited Boston earlier this summer. I am hoping she comes to my area to give one of her bookbinding classes. IJK and I will be the first to sign up!Handbound

Curatio Shawl

Curatio 4

"Curatio" means healing or curing in Latin. Since I knit most of  this design while I sat in the hospital with my son after he broke his leg, Margene suggested I give the pattern a healing name. There has been a lot of healing in my house in the past month for which I am very thankful. I love the idea of honoring the excellent work Anders's surgeon did on his leg with this shawl.

Curatio 2
Curatio is written for two sizes, using two different yarn weights. The large version, pictured in blue, is worked in The Plucky Knitter Handpainted Lace weight, in "Old Blue Eyes". The finished large shawl measures 74" across the top and 30" from top edge to tip. The medium version, shown in orange, is worked in Sweet Georgia Yarns Silk Crush, a fingering weight yarn, in the "Cayenne" colorway. It measures 60" across the top and 28" from top edge to tip.

Curatio 3
This shawl has just enough patterning to keep the knitting interesting, but not overwhelming. The stitch patterns are written out and also charted to appeal to a wide range of knitters. I love having a shawl to toss on in the overly air conditioned restaurants that are too common at this time of year. Both of my Curatio Shawls have done duty in this way already. There's no need to wait until fall to wear one.

Curiato 1
CURATIO SHAWL (Ravelry Link)

Sizes: M [L]
Finished Measurements: 60[74]" across top edge, 28[30]" from top to point, blocked
Gauge:  12[18] sts & 24[42] rows = 4”(10cm) in garter st, blocked
Yarn: Medium (fingering wt) - Sweet Georgia Yarns Silk Crush Sock, 50% Superwash Merino/ 50% Silk, 375 yards per 115 g skein, 1 skein “Cayenne
Large (lace wt) - The Plucky Knitter Handpainted Lace, 100% Merino, 900 yds per skein, 1 skein “Old Blue Eyes”
Needles: US 8/5mm[US 7/4.5mm] or size to obtain gauge
Other Materials: 4 stitch markers, tapestry needle, crochet hook

Price: $6.00 US

As always I am enormously thankful to my test knitters - Andrea, Karen, Lisa, Anne, Linda and Amy.