May 30, 2007

May I Present: The Central Park Hoodie

Pattern: Central Park Hoodie from KnitScene Fall 2006
Size: Knit in Med (size 36" bust)
Cast On: December 31, 2006
Cast Off: May 30, 2007

This knit was a great way to dive into cables. Both right and left twist cables are included, and though I've done them before, keeping track of which goes where was a great mental exercise.
Next time I would knit the body, the fronts and the hood all at once.

The pattern is made to fit very close.
If you knit this, I would go up one or even two sizes from your typical measurements.

Yarn: Karabella Aurora 8 in Color #23
Needles: US8 for body, 7 for button band, 9 to cast off

I picked up 324 stitches for the button band and knit the ribbing using two US Size 7 circulars (32" cables on both). This allowed me to knit the ribbing continuously. No button holes in my button band, and that's intentional. I'll be on the lookout for just the perfect single closure - a toggle or really cool button perhaps. For now, a size 3 bamboo dpn works just fine.

Many thanks to my hubby who played photographer this morning and got up early to help me catch the best natural light. All foliage and landscaping are courtesy of his handiwork!

Thanks to all the other Hoodie knitters on the Knit A Long site for your tips, and your inspiring photos. It sure feels good to have a grown-up garment all my very own!

And thanks mostly to YOU faithful readers. Just knowing that I could come here and do show-and-tell to such a wonderful group has kept me smiling all morning (even when I was weaving in the ends!).


May 28, 2007


The sewing bug bit me SO HARD this morning it was downright scary. I'm not a seamstress by any stretch, but I do admire the usefulness of sewing and I have friends who are superb at it, and they always inspire me to at least give it a try.

My machine is from the 1940's and the only thing I know how to do right now is make straight lines of stitches. That was all I neededto make these next few projects though.

Oh! I'm on a recycling track lately too, not to mention that and I'm determined that all hand made productions from this household must be made with materials that already reside here (quite comfortably so and usually undisturbed).

(all photos enlarge when clicked)

Mizan's Skirt - Repurposed Fabric

Mizan's Skirt 2- Repurposed Fabric
A toddler sized skirt made with material from a queen sized (bed) skirt

Simple Kids Pants 1

Simple Kids Pants 2
Easy kid pants (for baby up to children's size 7 ) made with tutorials found here and here. I'm sad to say that these were actually too narrow for Mizan to wear - seems I didn't account for enough seam allowance when I traced out the pattern from a pair of her pants. These will either be donated to charity, or I may cut them down into shorts and make them a baby gift if my sister delivers me a neice in October.

Snuggles Blanket 2 - Repurposed Yarn
One snuggle blanket for the Snuggles Project. I cut off the bottom half of a large crocheted coat that I bought at the thrift store for $3.49 last fall. My intention was to unravel and reuse the yarn as suggested here. Instead I just cut away this lower portion and machine stitched the edges together for a fluffy Snuggle. The other half of the coat became this:

CPH - SetIn Sleeve Cropped Shrug 2
A cropped shrug that I will likely give to my mom. I did a single crochet edge around the bottom to keep the stitches from unraveling. The single crochet border is done with some vaguely matching Encore wool/acrylic yarn. If she doesn't like it, I will donate this to charity as well.

Non-work related productivity feels rather good on a day off!

May 25, 2007

Take Time Off

Remember to take some time this weekend to enjoy the company of those you love the most (be sure to put yourself on that list too)

May 24, 2007

Well I'll Be

CPH Progress Report Day 1479 (or something like that):

I've had a nearly phobic apprehension to the attachment of the sleeves to my
Central Park Hoodie. Not for any good reason...just because this technique is very new to me and, like all brand new knitting adventures, it has the inherent potential to go very, very wrong.

But this time, it went right.

I give credit for this success to:
*This wonderfully clear tutorial on Knitty (I used the weaving technique plus mattress stitch)
*The tip I heard on the Stash & Burn podcast about finishing where Nicole suggested that it's easier to attach a tube to a tube - in other words, seam the body and the sleeve to the armhole first, and then attach them to each other. Worked like a charm, and no bunching!
*Dreamy David - the golden-voiced Aussie over at Sticks & String...with his show playing in my ITunes, I think I could be soothed into trying any new knitting technique. *swoon*

While we're on the subject of sleeves, if you're going to knit the CPH (
Cindy, Nicole), be warned - the sleeves fit snug! No, let me rephrase - the sleeves in your selected size WILL BE TIGHT. If you look closely at my arm picture, you'll see my skin peeking through. Cozy and warm, yes. Flattering? No. Knit and learn darlings! I suggest either factoring in more increases or just knitting the sleeves one size up - much easier to take in any extra bulk if needed.

I've got a new discussion topic in the works, so be on the look out for that. Tomorrow I'll post some more shots from the yard to start our long weekend off with some cheer.

Thanks as always for stopping by!

May 22, 2007

Keeping me in stitches

I've recently started going back to regular knit nights with my local knitting group (Our Yahoo group name is InStitchesWPB - you can join us by clicking the title of this post!). We meet once a week at Panera's (oooooh the tempations!!)

I guess I'm giving away my answer to the solitary vs. social knitter discussion topic, huh? ;)

Keeping Me In Stitches
Click any photo to go to my Flickr page for details.
As you can see, the mystery knit is coming along quite nicely....muhuhahahaha! :)

May 20, 2007

New Knit

I've made some good progress on my next project and as I was getting ready to write and share with you what it will be, I got the urge to keep this one under wraps. Not because it's a gift or because I want to tease you guys with suspense. More because I think a big reveal at the end of several weeks will just be more fun. There's a lot of color in this knit and I think I'll just give you a glimpse for now. I'm loving it so far. It's being done on my Size 11(8mm) Options needles in Noro Iro (no spoilers if if I mentioned this to you before).

Noro Knit - WIP May 20 - 1

This yarn has such a nice even flow of stripes and because it's all natural fibers, I use the spit felting method to add new skeins and just keep knitting, knitting, knitting. When this project is finished, my knit wardrobe will be up one garment and my stash will be down 660 yards - assuming I use it all up. Whatever doesn't make it into this project will become a scrap bag or a modified Calorimetry.

Noro Knit - WIP May 20 - 2

Progress Report: My Central Park Hoodie is now hooded! I am at the point in the hood where I would normally bind off the row and then seam that row later to join the top of the hood. Thanks to suggestions over at the Knit A Long I'm going to leave the stitches live and use Kitchener stitch to join the two sides instead. I left live stitches on the shoulder seams for a 3-needle bind off after doing short row shaping for the shoulder edges, and I really prefer this to the traditional bind off seam. You can read some more about that here, or email me if you have questions on doing this for your own project. The remaining items to get this hoodie on my back - sleeves to set in (shudder), and a ribbed button band to pick up and knit. I have decided against making actual button holes, so this should be fairly standard ribbing. Like a good knitter, I have already marked off my rows in sections of 20 stitches to make it easier to know how many stitches I will need to pick up in between each marker. The trick will be re-calculating that stitch number now that blocking has...shall we say "extended" my row gauge quite a bit. Note for next time - wash the swatch.

Love it when you come by, let's do this again real soon, ok?

May 18, 2007


This article makes me want to be very conscious about not complaining too much when I just can't understand something on the first (or fifth) try:

Read about Ann Pruitt

May 15, 2007

Yarn Shopping: Online or In-Store? Let's Discuss...

I was so impressed with the turnout for our last round table discussion that I thought I'd pose another question this week. Call me nosey, but I love hearing from you guys instead of just rambling on and on about what I haven't finished knitting yet :)

Another topic that has come up among my knit buddies is the option they choose most often when shopping for yarn, needles, and notions. At one time I was convinced that knitting and crochet are completely tactile hobbies; that in order to know if you'll enjoy knitting with a fiber, and if it's right for the project at hand, you've to to "be there" with it. Now that I'm more exposed to the online yarn peddlers, I often feel that I can get plenty of information about a yarn and how suitable it is just by doing a little research at my computer. Fantastic distraction from productive work, let me tell you.

Sites like
Yarndex and the Knitters Review give a wealth of information about a yarn: it's fiber content, suggested needle sizes, gauge, and colors. On the Review site, you even get...well, reviews from those who have actually tried it out. Buying online also makes it fairly easy to comparison shop. With all the options available, you could have shopping carts ready and waiting all over cyberspace until you've found the deal that's worth snatching up. That would be tough to do in real life, even if you lived in a place littered with local stores (and if you do, please send directions ASAP).

But what about kicking the tires? I've heard from some stitchers that it's just not the same if they can't see the colors "live" and slip the skein through their fingers to get the real feel of it. Heck, in some of the friendlier yarn shops, you can sit right down and do a gauge swatch before any money changes hands. There's also the human factor - talking face to face with a shop owner about what you'd like to make and if a substitution will work well. Should you get 6 skeins or 7? Does this particular shade of green on you say "spring!" or "hangover!"?

Where do you shop most of the time? Are you always just a mouse click away from a UPS delivery? Or do you prefer the touchy feely part of yarn hoarding collecting? What things help to determine the decision when you are ready to buy?

Are You a PayPal Junkie or Local Shop Regular?

Let's discuss!

ETA: It's never too late to join the discussion! Thanks to all of you who have chimed in already. Speak up whenever you choose, and encourage others to do so as well. There is much to be gained by examining the perspective of another person, and you're welcome to do that here any time. :)

May 9, 2007

There's Hope!

Hmmm...It would seem that I might just survive this "eating right for better health" thing after all.

P.S. I knew you guys wouldn't let me down - our knitting discussion in the comments has been a real pleasure for me to read. Thanks for weighing in!!

May 7, 2007

Knitting: Social or Solitary?- Let's Discuss...

I'm part of a few forums and groups online, all yarn related of course.
I don't always have the time to actively participate in some the discussions that go on, but every now and then a topic gets me to come out of hiding (lurkdom) and make a statement to these "strangers" in my online knitting community.

This was the case recently when a thread member posted the question:

Are you a social or a solitary knitter?

Now, the person who originally posted the question submitted her position first (solitary knitter by choice), then she opened it up for discussion to the group. I found the responses fascinating!

So I'm throwing this one out to you dear readers. How do you prefer to stitch - solo or as part of a group? Are you a Knit Night Junkie, or do you do your best work in the solitude of your own space? If you do love to Stitch 'n Bitch, what do you love about it? If you don't go for the group thing, enlighten us as to why.

I'm going to resist posting my own answer here for now (though I'm thinking most of you could guess); I don't want your answers to be a reaction to mine - I would just love it if we could stack the comments with a good conversation on this point.

Let's discuss!

May 4, 2007

Friday FO: That's a Scrap!

Whew!! The titles just get hokier as the week draws to a close don't they? Mercy. visitor/commenter
Amanda asked that I show some of the scrap bags I make as I knit my way through the stash.

Happy to oblige, Amanda!

After a couple Episodes of the Gilmore Girls (Season One DVDs, I'm catching up)...

Scrap Bag in progress

After watching this week's episode of Lost online, then a knit quick lunch...

Scrap Bag - in Use

Scrap Bag - Resized

Yarn: Made with leftover bits of
Paton's Classic Wool - the gray; this was left from my Irish Hiking Scarf
Cascade 220 - the dark brown; leftover from my sister's clogs
Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed - the light brown stripe near the top; also featured in my Katia lace scarf.
Needles: Size 8 (5mm) dpns; my gauge was a bit tighter than recommended, but I think this is just a suggestion, you can make this bigger or smaller, dense or loose.
Pattern: This Cider Moon pattern is simple! It's like making a hat in the round, but with eyelets in the "brim" for the I-cord straps.

Hmmm..I could see these done sooooo many ways. Felting them, adding buttons, some eyelash trim, beaded cord handles. Go crazy - there's hope for those remains and one ball wonders after all! If you do make some of these, I wanna see!

And if not scrap bags, then try something smart and lovely like Nicole did.

Thanks for stopping by! MWAH~

May 3, 2007


What stash is complete without a load of yarn scraps? You know - the little odds and ends. The loose bits from the end of the ball. That "not quite enough" yardage that ends up tossed to the bottom of the bag, or into a scrap box like at my house. We've all got them. And in this case I must learn to love mine. See, I didn't add them to my yardage count, but that doesn't make them any less here. Though I wish it did just kind of dissolve them into nothingness since they're not on The Sheet. No such luck.

They do serve a good purpose though They are a great reminder that you have actually MADE things. That things have been knit and crocheted and in some cases even made and then gifted. It can restore your confidence that you are not in fact the world's worst pack rat.
So what to do with them?

Well, I'm going to start with making some of these to start. Goodie bags, gift bags, yarn totes. Call them what you will, I choose to call them Stash Busting Beauties! Care to join me?
The pattern is right here.
How are you using your scraps and bits? I love small, manageable projects like this for my "in between" projects knitting. What do you prefer?

May 1, 2007

Feels Good

Today I mailed off 17 skeins of yarn to Interim House, a treatment home for women in Philly. I've heard about this around the web for a while and I've had some yarn in my stash just begging to be sent off for this purpose (Yes, I did manage to leave the ickiest of the acrylics here with me, this is charity after all).

A little bit about the program from
their site:
Interim House is a comprehensive women’s substance abuse program that includes a six-month residential treatment program, an intensive outpatient program, and an on-going outpatient program. Founded in 1971 as the first women’s residential program in Pennsylvania, Interim has a proven track record of success. To qualify for participation in Interim House’s programs, clients must be women who are dependent on alcohol and/or other drugs or have a recent history of substance abuse, be 18 years of age or older, live in Philadelphia and have a low income. One of the many strengths of the program is their ability to hire qualified alumni of the program as staff members.

They have a photo-rich
blog that is worth checking out. I think it will inspire you to re-purpose some of your stash skeins too.

Please email the blog author Kathryn Duffy through her profile if you have questions about what they will accept, but from what I understand yarn, needles, crochet hooks, books, and notions are all welcome. She'll send you the address for shipping too.

I can certainly relate to this craft as therapy. My introduction to knitting and crochet and all the new found connections that have come with it are a gift. Pay it forward, right?