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February 05, 2010

Hearts

Inspired by this and this, I made this:

Heart

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will find them gradually, without noticing it, and live along some distant day into the answer. (Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet)

December 12, 2009

Happy Holidays - 2009 edition

Happy Holidays to all my loyal readers and friends! We're anticipating all the festivities here and have plans for some new traditions. I hope it all comes together.

We had an ornament exchange at the shop and I'm kicking myself for not taking photos of each ornament - all of them were handmade and adorable! Most of them were knitted and one was smocked. And now that the exchange has taken place, I can finally reveal the one I made:

Holiday Sweater, Berroco Minutia
[Ravelry] [Flickr]

The pattern is a free Berroco pattern and part of their annual "Minutia" patten collection:

Minutia
Minutia 2008
Minutia 2009

The first time I knit one (same pattern), I used worsted weight yarn and it looks a bit more dense and full than the one I knit with a lighter worsted weight. Here's the first one:

Holiday Sweater - Berocco Minutia

I made some mistakes on it, so I kept it for my own tree. I have another one almost finished and seamed (using a different pattern) and I'll share that one when it's finished. It's ridiculous how much I enjoyed making them!

And the one I got? A sweet little elf, full of personality and sass:

Spud_and _Chloe_Elf.jpg

Here's his free pattern on the Spud & Chloƫ blog: Tiny Elf

So if I don't manage to get back here before the end of the month, Happy Holidays and Happy 82nd birthday to my Dad today:

Dad


October 27, 2009

Holiday Ornaments :: FREE Patterns

This morning, I've been searching Ravelry for some fast and easy holiday ornament patterns and thought I would share a few of these with you:

* Fetching Knits' Cheers Mini Sweater [Ravelry], by Cheryl Niamath
* Hogwarts Mini House Sock Ornaments [Ravelry], by Marie White
* Miniature Knitting Bag Ornament [Ravelry] by Sharon Spence
* Holiday Bird Ornament, by the Purl Bee (Thanks, Kim!)

In addition to using them as actual tree ornaments, you could also use them as gift toppers.

I'm in the midst of holiday gift knitting and other deadline knitting, so there's not much I can share here (photowise) on the blog, but you might catch glimpses of WIPs in my Flickr photostream or on Ravelry. Although I did very little holiday knitting last year, I'm making up for it this year and thankfully, I got an early start. I'm working on a large crochet project and a few smaller projects like hats for family members in colder climates.

And in about a month, I'll be putting last year's ornaments on the tree - both of these were purchased at Anthropologie for 75% off -- and I couldn't have made either of these cute ornaments that inexpensively on my own:

Anthropologie - Knitter Ornament


AnthroSweaterOrnament.jpg

Happy holiday knitting!
UPDATE: October 29, 2009 - Added additional link for free holiday ornament patterns

Continue reading "Holiday Ornaments :: FREE Patterns" »

August 04, 2009

Susan B's Ripple Afghan Pattern

Although my favorite crocheted ripple pattern is the Soft Waves Ripple, I've had several people contact me requesting free patterns and I found Susan B's appears to be one of the most popular. It's slightly different than the Soft Waves Ripple -- it features pointed peaks rather than a softly rippling pattern. There are a few great examples on Flickr here and here. The Ravelry pattern page is here: Easy Ripple Afghan by SusanB.

FREE Pattern - Susan B's Ripple Afghan

For the basic stitch repeat, I created this .jpg with notes to help you visualize how the pattern works.

Another great free ripple pattern is the one found here at Attic 24. Be prepared to spend some time viewing her awesome projects! She has excellent step-by-step photos and uses the conventional UK crochet instructions in which a Treble (tr) crochet is equivalent to the US Double (dc).

Do you have a favorite crocheted ripple pattern? If so, please share!

I'll be teaching a 2-hour class in September and October based on the Soft Waves Ripple in Jan Eaton's book, 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns: Exciting Patterns to Knit & Crochet for Afghans, Blankets & Throws. If you're local and you already know how to crochet, call the shop and sign up!

July 09, 2009

The Fast and the Finished

Meet "Georgia," the cheeky monkey interpreted as a knit (and crocheted) coffee cup cozy:

Sock monkey cup cozy based on a free pattern on Ravelry
[Flickr] [Ravelry]

As soon as I finished (!), washed and blocked my Soft Waves Ripple, Jr., I grabbed the yarn and pattern for this quick project fix. From start to finish (if you already have the yarn and buttons) the cup cozy can be completed in about two hours. I had so much fun making this. A few months ago, a co-worker of mine at the yarn shop shared the free pattern she found on Ravelry (designer: Alejandra Quiroz) and we each bought a skein of the Manos Wool Clasica "Naturals" and split it three ways. I loved knitting with the yarn -- especially the lighter-colored one that I used for the monkey face. In the skein, it's lightly marled; you don't really see the potential until it's knit. It looks a little bit rustic and wild, and it makes a perfectly cute monkey.

And did I mention I was finished with the Ripple?! I have to admit that I was really sick of it towards the end and so glad I chose to make a smaller version of the blanket. To recap for those who haven't seen my notes on Ravelry, I used Cascade 220 Superwash (about 15 different colors). I started with a Boye 4.25mm (G) crochet hook but lost it (probably somewhere in the sofa) and finished with a Susan Bates 4.25mm (G) hook. Each stripe was 2 rows of the ripple pattern, all double crochet stitches. As I've shared before, this ripple was one of my motivations for wanting to learn how to crochet in the first place, so I'm pleased I stuck with it and finished it. I'm already planning at least one more, slightly wider and longer, for my sister Jayne who requested a pink / brown / white color scheme.

Finished_Ripple_jr.jpg


Finished_Ripple_jr2.jpg

For those of you who are local, the blanket will be at Twisted Yarns for a while. Feel free to squish it.



February 04, 2009

Arm warmers

Toast Arm Warmers by Leslie Friend

While Erica was here over the holidays, I started and finished these useful Toast arm warmers. Because our late-December temperatures fluctuated wildly -- sunny and warm one day, chilly and gray the next -- I needed a little something to carry with me to keep me warm (and even accidentally wore them to bed one night). They were perfect.

Kim had generously gifted me with one skein each of the same Classic Elite Portland Tweed that Leslie used to knit her Toast and Toasty mitts. They're both lovely neutrals with spots of unexpected color. It was such a smooth and speedy knit -- there's a tiny bit of viscose in the fiber that gives it slightly more elasticity.

Classic Elite Portland Tweed from Kim - Chronic Ennui
Classic Elite Portland Tweed in Black Forest and Folkestone

In the last couple of weeks, I've received some long-awaited copies of my Japanese family "koseki." Koseki are family registries that show births, deaths, marriages and more. I received the koseki for both my grandmother's and grandfather's families. The translations gave me some valuable information along with official names and dates to enter on my family tree.

Japanese Family Registry - Koseki

I learned that my grandfather and his siblings were raised by their uncle (Toshiyuki) after their father (Motomichi) died. I learned that my grandmother's father was adopted and that his birth name was "Gohee Noda." This is enough information that I can now request koseki for my great-grandfathers and great-uncle. I'm grateful to Mr. Eric N for his translation help -- I learned from Lisa that older koseki are very difficult to translate, so I'm appreciative of Eric's help in translating the older ones.

November 18, 2008

Self-striping hat

Self_Striping_Adriafil_Knitcol.jpg

Yarn: Adriafil Knitcol, approx 1 skein
Pattern: Self Striping Hat

I'm knitting hats for all three of my kids; I just sent four hats to Erica (including a Kittyville hat), so now it's time to focus on hats for the boys. The hat pattern I'm sharing (via the .pdf download above) isn't exclusively for kids' self-striping hats -- you can upsize or downsize the pattern to fit your gauge and head circumference. For instance, if I have a worsted-weight yarn (4 to 4.25 stitches per inch), I can usually cast on 80 to 88 stitches and end up with a hat that fits an average adult. Plain hats are fast and fun to knit (and great for stashbusting), but I also have a few more challenging hats on my list to knit:

Norwegian Star Ear Flap Hat by Tiennie
Windy City Hat by Jodi
Capitan Hat by RosiG

. . . and this is where you leave a comment pointing me to YOUR favorite hat pattern -- I'd love to know what your favorite hat patterns are.

Comments closed due to SPAM - contact me via the email link on my sidebar if you have any questions.

August 21, 2008

And now . . . something simple

Who doesn't love a baby hat and everything it represents? I get a little nostalgic whenever I see a wee knit hat. And because I like to have access to basic, unembellished knitting patterns, I put one together for you so that you can use it as a starting point for your own baby hats. I wanted this basic pattern to be something that one could use to teach knitting with double-pointed needles with 4 DPNs rather than 5; and on the Ravelry page for the Very Basic Baby Beanie, I also included suggestions for yarns that can be found at your neighborhood discount store if you aren't close to a local yarn shop. If, however, you regularly visit your local yarn shop (and I hope you've already discovered this wonderful resource), ask them to point you to a sportweight merino or wool; then find your favorite color and knit a baby hat. I'd love to see it! The free pattern link is in my sidebar if you don't have access to Ravelry.

Basic_Baby_Beanie.jpg

Thank you all for sharing your favorite summer reads in my last entry! I added a few of them to my "To Read" list on Good Reads. I'm still going through my emails and comments so your suggestions are all going to end up on that list. I'll read 'em all. I might not be a fast knitter, but I am a fast reader.

And to clarify some of what I wrote about knitting sweaters; I want to assure you all that I totally push the boundaries on sweater-WEARING - just not necessarily sweater-KNITTING! In my lifetime, I've bought so many sweaters and I have worn a few to death. There's one charcoal gray wool cardigan in my closet that I've had for at least 16 years and it still looks good. I really wish I was a knitter back when my kids were outgrowing their sweaters faster than I could buy them replacements. I simply understand better now the dynamic of knitting up north. It's more for survival than fashion. I'm fascinated with it really. I love all the little factoids I learned about our northern neighbors who knit sweaters - like the fact that they opt for natural and neutral colors for their sweaters. I envy the fact that there is an accepted tradition of knitting functional and wonderful sweaters that are passed down for generations. Perhaps I secretly want to be Canadian, eh?

April 06, 2008

Completed :: Leaf Lace Scarf

Leaf Lace Scarf.jpg

I love scarves. I love living in a place where our winters require lightweight accessories and no bulky outerwear. And most of you already know that I adore green. So when I saw this color of Malabrigo merino laceweight on Spritely Goods, I had to have it. Although several knits distracted me from finishing this scarf as quickly as I would have liked, I devoted myself to it completely in the last week and finished it the day of my root canal.

In the past, I've started several other BIG lace projects only to make mistakes and get frustrated. This leaf pattern was something I could manage while watching television or when sneaking in some early morning knitting time.

And then there's dreamy red laceweight yarn:

Alpaca with a Twist - Fino - Ruby Slippers
Alpaca with a Twist, Fino: "Ruby Slippers"

While it seems this soft red yarn could easily distract me (once again), I've instead rescued another lace project from hibernation. So to satisfy some tactile desires, I did nothing more than wind the red yarn and swatch with it. Now it will sit for a while until I find the perfect pattern.

Before I close, I also wanted to share this cute little accessory bag from Splityarn:

Splityarn Toadstools

It's adorable and functional. I'm using it to carry stitch markers:

blue and green stitch markers from Funessa
Stitch Markers from Funessa

March 30, 2008

Noro Kureyon Felted Scraps Tote Bag

Noro Kureyon Felted Scraps Tote Bag with Leather Handles
See more details regarding the tote on Ravelry

Noro Kureyon Felted Scraps Tote Bag with Leather Handles

Almost four years ago, I knit this tote bag with my Noro Kureyon leftovers -- I'd knit three Booga Bags and had a smallish amount of leftover Kureyon and then scored a bargain on a couple more skeins. I had this idea to knit a tote in order to have a good project to take to Tuesday night Sit & Knits. When I finally finished knitting the bag, I felted it and had plans to sew handles on it and use it as a knitting bag. I purchased an inexpensive handle but ended up feeling indifferent and uninspired about it -- I was not at all excited about attaching it the bag, so I kept the tote in a pile of finished knits in my closet. A few months ago, Twisted Yarns received a shipment of Grayson E handbag accessories and leather handles in assorted sizes and colors. The 25" handles were exactly what I wanted, so I bought them. They have pre-punched holes and handles were easily attached to the bag by backstitching a double strand of DMC Perle Cotton (Col 9038) and now I love this bag! There are some great Grayson E handbag patterns available now also.

Click here to download my pattern.


January 13, 2008

Twisted Knitter's FREE Patterns

Manos Drawstring Bag
FREE patterns are on my blog sidebar

The wonderful Ravelry folks have now made it possible for knitters (whether or not you are on Ravelry) to download FREE knitting patterns. I'll be updating my sidebar (to the right of this entry) as I add more. Thanks for checking them out!

Staci is now teaching a beginning lace class at The Knitting Nest using my Leaf Lace Scarf Pattern. I'm happy to allow you to use this pattern as a teaching tool -- just ask (like Staci did).

By the way, I'm getting through my emails and writing overdue replies, but I have to admit that I'm *also* taking some time to knit and check in on a few blogs. I have to share this awesome entry from the Yarn Harlot.

January 10, 2008

Well-loved socks

One year later . . .

These were the socks I knit for my sister for Christmas in 2006. She sent them to me when I sent her another pair this past Christmas. She told me she loved them and provided proof:

One year later . . .
.

And this is the Wollmeise Brombeere that I had left over when I knit her these socks:

Wollmeise Brombeere - leftovers

I'm thinking I have enough for my first attempt at mending socks. Tips anyone? Ideas?

This will be a short post for now, but I wanted to thank those of you who left such helpful and encouraging comments (and sent private emails) in my last post. I am pursuing some leads you all have given me and have discovered that a native Japanese speaker will actually have a more difficult time translating to English in an understandable way. He/she can translate in the SPOKEN native Japanese language, but then I would have to have somebody translate THAT. That explains the difficulty that my uncle had providing me with a translation. I had to set aside the pursuit in favor of some unexpected crises this past week, but it remains at the top of my mind -- even though I haven't been able to sit and reply to the emails some of you have left. Please know it is very much appreciated.

For those of you new to my blog, this is my maternal grandfather:

Grandfather
Born April 1891, Kyushu - Died January 1939, Tokyo

and this is my grandmother:

grandmotherblog.jpg
Born June 1898, Kyoto - Died June 1959, Tokyo

The samurai ancestry is on my Grandfather's side.

October 22, 2007

Pattern - Leaf Lace Scarf

Leaf Lace Scarf
Leaf Lace Scarf

$1.99 Pattern - Leaf Lace Scarf

I believe that the pattern is correct as written, but please let me know if you have any questions regarding the pattern or the instructions I've provided. If you knit one, I'd love to see it!