Love Bites Neckwarmer

Love Bites Neckwarmer 
Price: $4.00
 

Suggested Yarn:
Sundara Yarn Aran Silky Merino

Yarn weight:
Worsted / 10 ply (9 wpi)

Gauge:
24 sts and 30 rows = 4″/10 cm in Stockinette stitch

Needle size:
US 7 – 4.5 mm

Yardage:
200 yards, 100 grams 1 skein = 200.0 yards (182.9m)

Sizes available:
One size fits most
20 inches long x 9 inches wide to the point of the sawtooth edging

Inspired by the vampire movies and television series that have sprung up with the persistence of the Undead in popular culture, this snug, buttoned-up neckwarmer offers stylish protection to the delicate, tempting necks of your loved ones.

It is the perfect accessory to let you laugh at the weather (and at the local vampire population) when autumn and winter come knocking. With X~O~X~O cables winding around the center, its wearer can’t help but feel the love that went into knitting it. A traditional sawtooth lace edging and bright buttons add special finishing details.

Click to view larger images:

Love Bites Neckwarmer Love Bites Neckwarmer
   

 

 

 

Quercus Cardigan

Quercus Cardigan

Published in Knitty.com’s
First Fall 2011 issue,

the Quercus Cardigan is available
as a
free download here.

Suggested Yarn:
Brooklyn Tweed SHELTER [100% American wool; 140yd/128m per 50g skein]; color: Nest; 8[8, 9, 9, 10, 12, 13] skeins

Yarn weight:
Worsted / 10 ply (9 wpi)

Gauge:
20 sts/32 rows = 4” in stockinette st using larger needles, after blocking

Needle size:
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below — every knitter’s gauge is unique]
– 1 set US #8/5mm double-point needles
– 1 16-inch US #8/5mm circular needle
– 1 US #8/5mm circular needle, 32 inches or longer (larger sizes may prefer a longer nedle)
– 1 spare circular needle, US #8.5mm or smaller, 32 inches or longer
– 1 crochet hook US G|6 / 4mm

Notions:
Waste yarn
Cable needle
Stitch markers
Stitch holders
Safety pins or locking stitch markers
Row counter (optional)
Yarn needle

Sizes available:
XS[S, M, L, 1X, 2X, 3X] (shown in size S)

Finished measurements:
Chest: 34[37.5, 40, 44.5, 47.5, 50, 54] inches
Hip: 37[41, 44, 49, 52.5, 55, 59]
Length: 25[25, 25, 27.25, 27.25, 27.25, 27.25] inches
Note: Measurements are taken with front edges overlapped by approx. 6[6, 6, 7, 7, 8, 8] inches.

Virtually seamless, Quercus is knit from the top down in a flattering empire style, with set-in sleeves that are picked up from the armholes using short-row shaping and then worked down to the elbow-length cuffs. The graceful open front showcases your favorite brooch or shawl pin, and wonderfully dimensional cable motifs on front, back, and sleeves add visual impact.

After blocking, the front edges of the cardi are meant to roll slightly for a casual look. The versatile elbow-length sleeves can easily be worked longer if full-length sleeves are preferred, and don’t be afraid to modify the ribbing if a deeper or more minimal cuff is preferred.

Click to view larger images:

Quercus Cardigan Quercus Cardigan
Quercus Cardigan Quercus Cardigan

Hardenburgia Shawl

Hardenburgia Shawl 
Price: $0.00
 

Published in Domestic Goddess Ltd., September 2008

Suggested Yarn:
Brooks Farm Yarn Mas-Acero

Yarn weight:
Worsted / 10 ply (9 wpi)

Gauge:
4 stitches and 5 rows = 1 inch in Hardenburgia Lace stitch

Needle size:
US 8 – 5.0 mm

Yardage:
500 – 550 yards (457 – 503 m)

Sizes available:
68″ long x 14″ wide

This pattern is available as a free Ravelry download.

The world of nature is often credited for being the source of inspiration for so many gorgeous shawls and wraps. The Hardenburgia Shawl is no exception – the hardy vine growing up my fence, covered in trailing cascades of tiny purple flowers (like miniature wisteria, only without the fragrance!), is at the heart of this wrap. Two easy-to-master lace stitch patterns (the body and the borders) ensure that the wrap is just challenging enough for beginners, but satisfying for experienced lace-knitters as well.

Update June 14, 2009. Additional Pattern Information: The pattern repeat for this shawl is stitches #2 through #13. Stitch #1 is worked only at the beginning of each pattern row, and stitch #25 is worked only at the end of each pattern row. The chart includes two repeats in order to give a clear image of what the staggered motif looks like.

The repeats are to be worked as follows: Stitches #1-13, followed by three repeats of stitches #2-13, finally followed by stitches #14-25, for a total of 5 repeats and 61 stitches per row. The lace chart should be read and worked from right to left, and all the odd-numbered rows are to be purled.

Click to view larger images:

Hardenburgia Shawl Hardenburgia Shawl
Hardenburgia Shawl Hardenburgia Shawl
   

Knits That Breathe: 12 Breezy Knits To Keep You Cool

Knits That Breathe

AVAILABLE in both PAPERBACK
and E-BOOK versions

104 pages
Passiflora Press, Chicago, IL, 2014

Knits That Breathe takes the “sweat” out of sweater, whether you live in a hot, humid climate, or have sensitive skin that can’t tolerate wool or other animal fibers, or suffer from an unpredictable internal thermostat (hot flashes, anyone?). 12 breathable, body-skimming, and elegantly cool tunics, tees, cardigans and more, make it a pleasure to wear your hand-knits again! Wonderful as layering pieces, these designs go from office to casual to a night out with ease. Many of the projects include sizes from XS to 4XL, and are designed to flatter a wide range of figures.
Please contact Julie for shipping information if you wish to purchase 3 or more copies, or if you are located outside of the US. Shipping via US Priority Mail International starts at $26.95 to Canada, Europe, and Australia.

Paperback version

Price: $24.95

ktb-button-e

Price: $18.95

ktb-button-p-and-e  

Price: $24.95

Your e-book Download Link will appear at the very bottom of your purchase receipt.ravelry-icon-2 Ravelry members:  Download and store your Knits That Breathe e-book in your Ravelry library. Please click HERE to visit Ravelry to purchase & download your copy. If you intend to store your Knits That Breathe e-book on your personal e-reader or computer only, then please purchase it right from my site using one of the links above.

To see the projects and photographs inside the book, please visit the Knits That Breathe: 12 Breezy Knits To Keep You Cool page.

back cover image

 

Fan-cy Fingerless Mitts

Fan-cy Fingerless Mitts 
Price: $4.00
 

Suggested Yarn:
Malabrigo Super Rosa DK
Sundara Yarn Sport Merino

Yarn weight:
DK / 8 ply (11 wpi)

Gauge:
26 stitches and 36 rows = 4 inches in Stockinette

Needle size:
US 4 – 3.5 mm

Yardage:
200 – 300 yards (183 – 274 m)

Sizes available:
Women’s S[L]

These elegant fingerless mitts come in two sizes, and feature a textured lace and bobble motif up the back of the hand. Ribbing on the inside wrist and a fitted thumb gusset ensure a snug fit. Delicate picot edgings provide a lovely, feminine finishing detail.

Adding a touch of colorful cheer to cold-weather accessorizing, they are worked from the bottom up in Sport weight or DK yarn, and offer a deceptively light but cozy layer to wear both inside and out-of-doors.

Worked up quickly in the round from a single skein of yarn, these mitts make a beautiful but stress-free holiday gift!

Click to view larger images:

Dogwood_Mitts_8_resized_medium Fan-cy Fingerless Mitts
Fan-cy Fingerless Mitts Fan-cy Fingerless Mitts
Fan-cy Fingerless Mitts Fan-cy Fingerless Mitts
Fan-cy Fingerless Mitts Fan-cy Fingerless Mitts

 

 

 

Wedding Wrap

Wedding Wrap 
Price: $6.00
 

Suggested Yarn:
Twisted Sisters Zazu
Shibui Knits Silk Cloud

Yarn weight:
Light Fingering / 3 ply

Gauge:
20 stitches and 28 rows = 4 inches in Chart B: Horseshoe Lace

Needle size:
US 7 – 4.5 mm

Yardage:
900 – 1000 yards (823 – 914 m)

Sizes available:
19″ wide x 66″ long

An upcoming fall wedding in the Napa Valley and a fetching silk evening purse decorated with ribbon roses provided the inspiration for this wrap. In shades of maple leaf reds and rich corals, it practically shouts “Autumn!”

Twisted Sisters’ Monochromatic Variegate extra fine merino in Copper blends enticingly with the hazy sheen of Shibui Knit’s mohair-silk fiber in Chinese Red. Carried together, the two yarns combine luscious color and lighter-than-air softness to invite the touch. Draped over the shoulders it offers both ethereal delicacy and the comforting warmth of a tender caress.

Click to view larger images:

Wedding Wrap Wedding Wrap
Wedding Wrap Wedding Wrap

 

 

 

Guinevere Evening Cardigan

Guinevere Evening Cardigan 
Price: $7.00
 

Suggested Yarn:
Sundara Yarn Aran Silky Merino

Yarn weight:
Aran / 10 ply (8 wpi)

Gauge:
22 stitches and 30 rows = 4 inches in Stockinette Stitch

Needle size:
US 7 – 4.5 mm

Yardage:
1000 – 1800 yards (914 – 1646 m)

Sizes available:
XS (S, M, L, XL, XXL) Fits 32″ – 52″ bust

Everyone needs a favorite cardigan, the one she reaches for when special occasions demand something a little dressier than usual. Guinevere is just such a cardigan, with its feminine waist shaping, elbow-length sleeves, and a pretty picot neck edge. A simple stitch pattern adds texture to the bodice.

The sleeve length can be modified to the preferred length of the knitter, and Guinevere can be made quite casual with the addition of wood or clay buttons rather than the sparkly ones shown here.

Click to view larger images:

Guinevere Evening Cardigan Guinevere Evening Cardigan
Guinevere Evening Cardigan  

 

 

 

Gyroscopic Cardigan

Gyroscopic Cardigan 
Price: $7.00
 

Suggested Yarn:
Queensland Collection Uruguay Chunky
Lana Grossa Bingo

Yarn weight:
Bulky / 12 ply (7 wpi)

Gauge:
16 stitches and 22 rows = 4 inches in Stockinette

Needle size:
US 10 – 6.0 mm

Yardage:
1022 – 1752 yards (935 – 1602 m)

Sizes available:
S, M, L, XL, XXL, 3XL (36″ – 56″ bust)

Garments worked in heavy weight yarns often overwhelm a small knitter’s frame or add unwanted bulk to a plus-sized figure. Not so with the shapely Gyroscopic Cardigan. With its fit-and-flare silhouette, this sweater will flatter every figure while providing welcome warmth on a chilly autumn day.

Oversized, dramatic cables are reminiscent of spinning gyroscopes, and undulate up both the front panels and the back. The cables are set off by a simple reverse-ribbed sleeve texture.

A turned collar and button bands add structure, and sturdy snap closures are concealed by the fabulous buttons of your choice.

Click to view larger images:

Gyroscopic Cardigan Gyroscopic Cardigan Gyroscopic Cardigan
Gyroscopic Cardigan Gyroscopic Cardigan  

 

 

 

January 24, 2014

A recent trip to work on my book, including a mini-hiatus to see old friends, is over. With a week-long visit to San Francisco in my rearview mirror, I’ve resumed knitting (and more knitting). While this gorgeousness:

IMG_2948

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

was plenty distracting, the purpose of my trip was definitely knitting-related. Over two days, the projects for my next knitting book were styled, primped, and positioned to best advantage during the photo shoot, some of which took place outdoors.

IMG_2998

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While I created the designs and wrote the patterns, and the ultimate product (The book! The book!) is my responsibility, hiring a fantastic team gives me confidence that the end result will be all I could wish.

IMG_2850

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From tech editing the twelve patterns, to design and layout of the book format, to photography of the knitted sample garments, the end result will be the work of many.

IMG_3113

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And while overseeing the details has entailed many checklists, spreadsheets, and emails back and forth, at the end of the day it’s so worth it!

Farewell, 2013

Still shocked at how quickly this year has flown by, but now I’m looking ahead to an exciting 2014, when not one, but TWO of my self-published knitting books will be released. A shiver goes up my spine just reading those words!

Had a wonderful visit with my daughter when she spent a week here over Christmas…

image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The weather was appropriately wintry and festive with holiday lights.

image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We ate lots of excellent food, much of which we cooked ourselves, but which also included a return visit to Eataly (so much for my vow not to set foot in that temple of all foods Italian again until after New Year’s).

image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And a trip to Black Dog Gelato.

image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mostly, we goofed around and enjoyed each other’s company.

image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s a lot to be said for having adult children. And although I’m most definitely biased, I think mine has turned out to be a pretty spectacular human being.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pitter Patter

Friends of ours had a baby last week – a little boy. As if I needed an excuse, I whipped up a little something because, well,  I love knitting baby gifts. They work up so quickly!

IMG_2179

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They’re so adorable! So tiny! Ergo, they use so little yarn… making them perfect stash-busters.

And this yarn from Black Bunny Fibers, a hand-dyed worsted weight from my friend Carol Sulcoski, is the perfect mix of cheerful but not too sweet. The most accurate color example is in the top photo; a true crimson with bits of burgundy scattered throughout.

IMG_2180

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m a sucker for that little I-cord fillip at the top of baby hats. It’s cute, but not as gimmicky as hats with ears (although they can be mighty cute, too!).

IMG_2177

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most of all, knitting baby gifts reminds me to be grateful that I’m not the sleep-depraved deprived one changing diapers and trying to function through the fog of baby-brain (Although, secretly, it does make me just a tidge nostalgic for my daughter’s own infancy. She was such a little peanut.).

Do you have a favorite baby gift to knit? What is your go-to hat pattern, bootees, or baby blanket? The bootees you see above are from 50 Baby Bootees to Knit, by Zoë Mellor. There are some wonderful, quick patterns in her book – well worth adding to your knitting library shelf if you don’t already own it. The hat is probably one of the most basic designs in existence, and I love it for two solid reasons:

~ it never fails to please the recipients, and

~ it can be embellished and modified in limitless ways, so it’s really never the same hat twice.

I worked it up using Ann Budd’s Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns for the template.

Choices, Choices….Yarn Selection

My big 2013 knitting book project is complete. Well, let me amend that. My initial responsibilities are complete, meaning that I:

~designed twelve – yes, twelve! – flattering and comfortable new garments (I can’t reveal much, but here’s a sneak peek of one cardi with a vintage mother-of-pearl button from my collection):

IMG_1114

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~chose a lovely palette of fantastic yarns for them,

~wrote up all the patterns.

The physical book layout, photography, and production are starting in mid-January, and the file will go to the printer by early March. The book’s target release date is early June, 2014.

With a three-week window wide open before me, I’ve begun selecting yarns for a new book project because god forbid I should have nothing to do between now and mid-January. This new secret project has an exciting theme, a gorgeous color palette, and a bit of a bias toward luxury yarns in small, affordable quantities (although many of the featured yarns will have user-friendly price points). I’m stoked!

Here’s a peek at the prototype for one of the projects already nearing completion:

IMG_2160

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I haven’t seen much of this lacy cable design out there, and really wanted to try something new to me that would be easily memorized but would also develop a satisfying pattern reveal as it grows on the needles.

I’ll leave you with a few images of Chicago’s holiday attire:

IMG_2040

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For a couple of frigid days, new snow covered every surface, and holiday lights were the only things warming the view at night.

IMG_1874

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A little dusting of icy “confectioner’s sugar” on the rooftops:

IMG_2035

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even the river began to ice over, but as soon as it warmed up ju-u-st slightly, these mini ice floes broke free and skimmed down-river.

IMG_2135

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Snowing…!

Just in time for weekend guests to arrive and enjoy this winter wonderland.

IMG_1757

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll be entertaining them all weekend, but will be back next week.

Meanwhile, I’ve been working on some new knitting surprises, and here’s a sneak peek:

IMG_2027

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These gorgeous buttons are vintage brass from 1920, embellishing a new project inspired by the same era. The yarn is Sundara’s Aran Silky Merino, a delicious 50/50 blend of silk and merino wool.  More soon!

Like A Kid In A Candy Store…

There’s an infinite variety of things to do in the city, but a very finite amount of time and money with which to do them!

In the past week alone, I’ve attended the holiday party at my mother’s assisted living facility, finalized more of the material going into my new knitting book and started designing patterns for the next one, hosted a holiday party for my neighbors in our building, made a return trip to Chicago’s new Eataly to meet friends there for dinner (and definitely won’t go back until after New Year’s as it was a complete and utter madhouse), and decorated our little holiday tree:

IMG_1991

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It looks a bit sad and lonely on the windowsill, but it suits us: I like the simplicity of the manzanita branches and the mix of ornaments we’ve collected over the years. It has the added advantage that it doesn’t have to be taken to the curb after New Year’s (although the ornaments do have to be returned to their boxes). And Shadow, for some reason, leaves it alone. This is the same cat who used to bat at the glass ornaments and try to eat the pine needles in the years when we still brought home a “real” Christmas tree!

Among the events I look forward to every December is Chicago’s One Of A Kind Show and Sale at the Merchandise Mart. This year’s was as terrific as ever; packed with people, but full of lovely gift ideas. This gigantic wreath constructed of yarn balls definitely made me smile!

IMG_1886

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It seemed that there were fewer painters and other fine artists, and many more jewelry vendors than in past years, but jewelry was not on my shopping list. Instead, I found an adorable monster doll for friends who are expecting their first child this month:

IMG_1897

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were also several clothing and hat vendors. I haven’t seen such imaginative – but wearable – garments and accessories outside of exclusive little boutiques, and it was fun to try on things that I admired but wouldn’t necessarily wear.

IMG_1882

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Confession: In the category of things I most definitely WILL wear, I did find a hat that practically leapt into my arms and demanded to go home with me. I’m a sucker for great millinery, and Karyn Gingras of Lilliput Hats had such a gorgeous, elegant collection that I Could. Not. Resist. Photo to come…

Holy Hat Weather!

Finally stopped equivocating about the button choice for my Lucy Hat, and decided just to get on with it. Of the three options I wrote about recently, I went with one simple vintage black glass button, 1 1/2″ in diameter, enhanced with knitted leaves in the same charcoal gray yarn as the hat’s woven stitch band:

IMG_1977

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ignoring the fact that I look like a total dork in the photo above, let’s examine the details:

IMG_1981

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The leaves clearly refer back to the hatband, and the glittery button has its own simple impact. Wanting it front and center, I tucked the base of each leaf underneath the button’s edge when stitching it into place.

IMG_1980

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The staggered placement of the leaves also subtly accentuates the curve of the short-rowed hat brim, another element of the Lucy Hat that really appeals to me. All in all, I’m pleased with the end result.

Now, back to my Monomania cardigan! I’ve started the armhole sections, and will have photos soon!