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Posts from February 2012


Zelkova 2
Zelkova has been a long time coming. I finished knitting this sweater more than a year ago. Then I decided to make a second one to make sure my numbers with the first one were correct.

Grey Zelkova 3

(This gray version is made with Plymouth Yarns Worsted Merino Superwash and is a size 38".)

Then there was test knitting - thank you Karen, Jill & Lisa. And tech editing - thank you Jaya. And then there was me sitting on the pattern, not sure why, I guess I wanted to be sure that everything was just so.

Zelkova No Buttons 3

(Pre-button photo)

Finally I decided that today is the day. With the mild winter we've had Spring is already in the air here in NYC and this pattern with it's three-quarter sleeves and leaf lace panels makes me think SPRING.

I loved working with The Fibre Company's Road to China yarn. This is some seriously soooooft yarn. Seriously. Soft. Now I might start sounding like a broken record on the Fibre Company's colors, but you cannot find a bad one in the bunch. I love this dusty, yet lively green. It mixes very well with most of my wardrobe, so my Zelkova gets worn a lot.

Zelkova 5

Finished Measurements: 30 [32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46, 48, 50, 52]” at bust.

Shown in size 36” with 1” of ease on my girls and about 2" of negative ease on me.

Gauge: 14 sts and 20 rows = 4”(10 cm) in stockinette on larger needles Be sure to check gauge

Yarn: The Fiber Company Road To China; 65 % baby alpaca, 15% silk, 10% camel, 10% cashmere; 69 yds (63m) per 50 g skein, color: Malachite 9[10, 11, 11, 12, 13, 13, 14, 15, 16, 16, 17] skeins

Needles: One pair US 9 (5.5mm) 32” circular
One pair US 9 (5.5mm) DPNs
One pair US 10 (6 mm) 32” circular
One pair US 10 (6mm) DPNs
or size to obtain gauge

Other Materials: 8 Markers in two colors - 4 “A” markers and 4 “B” markers, scrap yarn, 8[8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9] 3/4” buttons, tapestry needle

Price: $6.50 US


In other news: have you heard about JKnit? This nifty little app allows you to download patterns directly to your iphone, ipad or ipod touch from their database either in PDF or jknit format. There are patterns from many talented designers - both free and for sale.  You'll even find a few of mine.


Just in time for Valentine's Day - a lush red cowl, Lispenard.

Lispenard 1

Worked in one piece and joined with buttons, Lispenared is long enough to wrap once, twice or even three times around the neck. Sofie likes to wear it long, I'm a double wrapper.

Lispenard 4

I designed Lispenard with the luxurious Acadia Yarn from The Fibre Company. This yarn is right up my alley - soft, drapey, tweedy and available in a GORGEOUS range of colors. It easily took me an hour to choose which color to use. My Lispenard has seen almost constant wear since I finished it in early January and the Acadia has held up beautifully.

Lispenard 3

I named the pattern for Lispenard Street a street in my new neighborhood. The back entrance to Pearl Paint is on quiet Lispenard Street, allowing my girls and I to shop for paints, canvases and other art supplies without fighting the chaos on Canal Street. On a somewhat related note a favorite Saturday outing for Sofie & IJK is doing what they affectionately call the "Pearl Trifecta" - hitting all three pea(u)rl stores in one day - Pearl Paint, Pearl River Mart, Purl Soho. This is easily accomplished since they are all within walking distance of one another.

Lispenard 5


Size: One Size Finished Measurements: 13”/33cm wide by 61”/
155cm long (unbuttoned)

Yarn: The Fibre Company Acadia, 60% Merino Wool, 20% Baby Alpaca, 20% Silk; 145 yards/132.5m per 50g skein, color: Maple, 5 skeins

Needles: US 9 (5.5mm) straight or circular needles or size to obtain gauge

Gauge: 20 sts & 25 rows = 4”/10cm in Lispenard pattern- blocked, always take the time to check gauge

Other Materials: 6 stitch markers, cable needle, tapestry needle, 6 - 3/4”/19mm buttons

Price: $5.00 US

Thank you to my fabulous test knitters Angela, Emma, Laura, Maria  & Monika!

Extra Yarn

Before I had kids I had an idealized image of my future self as a mother reading to my children. Twenty years after my first was born I can report that the reality of reading with them easily equalled those early daydreams. Happily my kids all developed a love of books early on. One of Anders first words was 'book'. When I was pregnant with my girls and on bedrest to avoid early labor he would bring book after book to me to read to him. Sofie wouldn't go anywhere without her copy of Raymond Briggs Then Snowman and the stuffed toy that accompanied the book. When someone was having a cranky day or they were all fighting with each other, I would sit on the couch with a book and start reading out loud. Before long I'd have three sweet kids snuggling up to me, all completely engrossed in the book -- the object of their quarrel forgotten, the crankiness gone. IJK had  such a love of books that when she was three or four she went through a period of sleeping with 20 or so favorites in her bed. Books continue to play an important part in their everyday lives, so when I was asked to review the book Extra Yarn I decided that a guest post from one of my children was in order. The following is IJK's review of the book Extra Yarn  - which, for the record, charmed me as much as it did her.

Harper Collins sent us a book. It is an amazing book.  It is a book everyone should see.  And I will stress this, do not just read it, SEE IT.  Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, with illustrations by Jon Klassen, has a surplus of many things.  As the name may suggest, the book has a surplus of yarn, but it also has a surplus of whimsy, a surplus of generosity, a surplus of beautiful illustrations, and a surplus of cute.  To be clear, this is just the right amount of each of these things.   


Children’s books can be saccharine and simplistic.  Extra Yarn does have an easily understood story and a heartwarming ending, as well as images that rely on simple shapes and a limited color palette.  However, these are done to perfection, and are far from the bejeweled books I have seen on many a bookstore shelf.  I may not be a child anymore, but I still fell in love with those mesmerizing illustrated pages that I certainly would have stopped my mother from turning when I was younger. 


The inside flap says this book is for 4 to 8 year olds.  I disagree completely, and am of the opinion that this book is for anyone who is creative, curious, and wants to be inspired.  The only reason I was left heartbroken after I finished reading is because I hadn’t created it, and I can only wish I will one day think of something so gorgeous, witty, and fun.


If you are a fan of illustration, have kids, or love EVERYTHING IN SWEATERS, this book may, just possibly, deserve a place on your bookshelf, preferably at eye level.  This blurb may make me seem ridiculously, uncharacteristically positive, as I am a person who has perfected the art of the death glare, but I swear, it knocked my hand-knitted socks off.