Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Seriously - has it been that long?

So - I am at my knitting group today (it has been weeks since I have been able to join them) and my dear friend Susan mentions the blog, and that I haven't posted anything in weeks.   Seriously, has it really been that long?

I hate it when people apologize for a delay in podcasting or blogging or whatever, because we all have busy lives and you have to make time for the important things in life - but you know - the holidays, family, baking, knitting, working - I have all of the same tired, old excuses.  Sorry for the absence - but I'm BACK!

A few weeks ago, I showed the ear flap hats that I had been working on - and now here are my two incredibly handsome nephews modeling the finished products!  I enjoyed making them for Gary and Cody - and I hope they rock on the ski slopes!

Now that all of my gift knitting is done - I'm kind of at a loss of what to knit next.   I'm not saying I don't have several WIPs, or that I don't have about a ton of yarn calling me - but just nothing pressing to do.   I started a pair of socks to fill the void, until I am ready to tackle a new project.   I am using Three Irish Girls, Octopus Garden yarn, custom dyed for A Good Yarn in Sarasota.  I love love love the colorway and it feels good to be knitting socks.

Since I have been back in MI for 6 weeks of cold weather, I pulled out my stash of hand knit socks and started wearing them daily.  What I discovered is that many were made 7 or 8 years ago, and that after a few 10 hour days of standing on my feet in the pharmacy, I developed holes in several pairs.  I know that they served me well and that I have worn them a lot, but it is kind of like saying good bye to an old friend.   The holes are too far gone for darning, and I know I need to toss them...but for now, I washed them again and put them back in the drawer. 

What do you do when your hand knit socks get a hole?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

How about a sale?

Are you looking for one last minute project for Christmas?  This is so quick and easy, you can knit it up on Christmas eve, sitting around the fire, drinking some hot cocoa. 

I have a few Christmas Ornament kits that need good homes for the how about a 40% off sale?  Yup, you heard me correct!  You can purchase them from my etsy shop at  When you make the purchase, use the coupon code to get your 40% discount.  Coupon Code: Blog 12  

I promise to ship out your kit the next day, and will ship via First Class or Priority Mail -which ever is cheaper.  (to be truthful, hubby will actually do the mailing - he is my Director of Distribution!).

This is the Christmas Ornament Kit - it includes the clear ornament ball, pattern and yarn.  You just add US size 2 needles!

Regular price is $10.00 at my Etsy shop - but now available for $6.00 using coupon code: Blog12 (plus $3.00 for shipping).

Operators are standing by to take your call! (I'm kidding)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Show and Tell

I'm on a roll, getting my Christmas gifts done.   I think being back in the COLD Michigan weather has inspired me on these four gifts.   What do you think of these ear flap hats?

My nephews were looking for mohawk ear flap hats - I hope they like these!

For the less adventurous on my list, ear flap hats minus the mohawk!

The pattern I used for these is available on Ravelry, called Thorpe.  I kicked it up with my own fair isle designs and worked the ear flaps down to 3 stitches.   I made the Large size, but knitting the base of the hat to 6.5 ".

If you are looking for a quick knit, this is it!  It uses bulky yarn and knits up quick. 
Next post, more of my gift knitting!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Sorry for the delay in posting.  Hubby and I are in Florida, moving into our new condo.   We are only here for 5 days and I was hoping to spend two days moving and have the rest to lounge around and knit.   Best laid plans and all of that...   Needless to say, today is our last day here and I still have tons of stuff to do.

The real crime in all of this is that I haven't knit for about 4 days.  Gasp! Shock!  I have a few gifts that need to be done for Saturday, for Hubby's family Christmas party, and I need to get my knit on.  I guess there will be time to knit on the flight home tomorrow!  I plan to make it to A Good Yarn in Sarasota yet today, so that will satisfy my fiber needs.

Thats all for now - see you back in Michigan!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Now Available for Purchase

It is official. Our new pattern, Better Basic Mittens, has now been published.

You can purchase it from your local yarn shop (ask the shop owner to order it for the shop!)
or my etsy store ( or from Ravelry.

For you local knitters, you can purchase if from Your Local Yarn Shop, in Battle Creek, MI.
Stop in and meet Kelly J, the designer. She has some cute models for you to try on and decide which size you need. They are soft, warm and cozy - you will fall in love, I promise.

Kelly's husband Mike did the photos - they are so cool, I had trouble deciding which pic to use.

Don't you need to knit some mittens right now??

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sneak Peak - coming later this week!!!

Better Basic Mittens

pattern by Kelly Jensen

Worsted weight yarn - 200 yards

Three sizes

US 6 circular needles (two)

Are you ready??

Yes, I bought more yarn!

Black Friday was a success!

I enjoyed spending the morning with other like-minded people, who consider yarn shopping to be their top priority on the day after Thanksgiving. Lots of knitters at Your Local Yarn Shop in Battle Creek, Mi, getting great deals at 8 am. We stayed until 11:00, when it was time to pluck the butt, er, well, I mean pull a feather out of Tom Turkey's rear end.

I did buy yarn for several Christmas gifts:

Autumno for fingerless mitts for my niece

Dream in Color Classy for Winter Socks for Son #2
(knitting for him is a little boring, all blacks and greys!)

Ty-Dy Wool for our NEW pattern Better Basic Mittens (maybe for me??)

Not a surprise, but they will all be knit using KalamazooKnits patterns. The fun will be to see if I get them all done for Christmas, right?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Black Friday???

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving,spending time with your loved ones. We all need a day to slow down, and be thankful for all that we have. Sometimes I get a little melancholy remembering holidays from the past, but I try to stay in the present and appreciate the family members I can spend the day with.

But what about the big shopping day tomorrow! This is where the knitting obsessed can show their true colors! Yes, I am getting up early to go shopping, but guess where I'm going? Am I headed to Best Buy? maybe Target? Not on your life!

I am meeting the girls at 7:30 a.m. to look for some great buys at my local yarn shop. Yes, we will be hitting Your Local Yarn Shop in Battle Creek, MI for their Black Friday festivities. Good sales, good friends, lots of knitting, maybe we'll even stay until it is time to go out for lunch! Life is good.

I think it is time to pick up the needles. I am doing a second knitting of the pattern I designed for A Good Yarn in Sarasots, FL. I am using Dream in Color lace yarn (can't remember what it is called right now) I like to work through a new design a couple of times myself, in addition to having it test knit! This time it works out great, because I plan to give the shawl for a Christmas gift to my MIL.

Hope you find your kind of bargain tomorrow!

Monday, November 22, 2010

We have winners!

The transition back to Michigan took longer than I anticipated. Complicated by a couple of days busy with my 4 year old grandson.

Winners of The Winter Sock pattern are all six folks who posted on my blog. If I can link to your email, I will send you the pattern soon. If not, send me an email at I will reply with the pattern.

Thanks for leaving your comments

Are you ready for Thanksgiving?

I am not ready, at all. I am working my "other job", as a pharmacist from 9 to 6 on Tuesday and Wednesday, good thing my husband is the cook in our family!

Happy Turkey Day!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pack up the Yarn

It is time to pack up my yarn and head north for the holidays!

We flew down to Florida about a month ago, and my biggest concern was what yarn to bring, what needles, patterns ... you get it, don't you? It is never about the clothes or shoes - just the knitting. Since we will be back after the first of the year, I am going to keep some needles and yarn down here (gasp, what if I NEED them???), to cut down on what I am hauling back and forth.

It all sounds so simple, and is kind of embarassing to admit - but I hate to be parted from my knitting "stash". I love to look at it, feel the yarn and plan my next project.   I know when I get back to Michigan, life will be hectic, between the holidays, family, friends and work...but there will always be time to knit!  

So this is what I am leaving here:
- a full set of Knit Picks options - the nickel ones  (I LOVE them)
- a few pair of Knit Picks small size circs - 2's, 3's, etc.
- Hand Maiden Sea Silk - enough for a shawl - but a summer shawl, so probably won't be knitting it up north
- Jitterbug sock yarn (for Ann Zilboorg's Magnificent Mittens & Socks) - this will take "thinking" to get this project started, so probably won't happen in December
- Brookes Farm silk yarn - for another shawl
- Kauni Effectyarn - I have enough of this to have some both places!
- random balls of sock yarn, Noro sock, Cascade superwash worsted.

Then there is one of my huge WIPs (work in progress)- a Krystel Seyfarth Masai shawl.  I am about 3/4 of the way done with this beast, but haven't worked on it in months.   I need to follow a chart for this one , so I will wait to do it in January down here is Florida.

Deep breath, Deep breath.  Okay, I can leave all of this here and we will be reunited before I know it!  After all, I have much more yarn waiting for me when I get home. 

Don't forget to leave a comment on the blog for the pattern giveaway.   I will be travelling tomorrow, but will announce the winners once I get settled in Michigan.   

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Holiday gift knitting - free pattern contest

Holiday Gift Knitting! Have you started it yet? Or do you resist the siren's song to share knitted love with your family and friends?

I usually give some hand-knit gifts each year. On Christmas day a few years ago, I felt like Mrs. Weasley (from Harry Potter, Ron's mom, who knit sweaters for all of her kids!).  I didn't give sweaters, (but then I didn't have magic knitting needles like Mrs. Weasley), I gave everyone worsted weight socks. Actually, I didn't give my oldest son a pair, because I was sure he wouldn't be interested in them at all. He was in his early 20's and way too cool for that, I thought.  However, when he noticed he was left out of the flurry of handknit socks, and he said he was disappointed that he didn't get some too! You can be sure he got a pair in January, and he won't be left out again.

I used my "Winter Socks" pattern for these gifts. I noticed that everyone seems to wear them around the house when we dial down the thermostat, to keep their toes warm. Usually by the next Christmas, a few pairs need to be replaced.  I consider that a good thing, since it means they got lots of wear over the year. 

Tell me what you are knitting for gifts this year. Leave a comment on my blog before Friday at midnight ET, and I will draw a name or two. The winners will get a copy of my Winter Socks pattern!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Design Time

I am working on a new design for "A Good Yarn" in Sarasota.  They want to start their own line of  unique patterns sold only by their shop, and they asked me to develop their first one.

This particular project excites me for several reasons:
- I usually have one of "these" items in my knitting basket at all times - right now it is my favorite type of project to knit!

- This will be the first time I have designed this type of knitwear - so it is part of my continued growth as a hand-knit designer.

- I have some great yarn for inspiration.   I don't know about you, but yarn is often the starting point for my designs.  I see it, I love it and I want to make the perfect object for the yarn.  I want it just so, so I design it myself. 

Since I can't give you the details on the design, I can tempt you with the yarn.

Three words might say it all for you:  Three Irish Girls   
My favorite weight of yarn:  fingering weight

Oh yeah, I almost forgot - custom dyed colorway exclusively for A Good Yarn.  

This is called "Sea Flower" and I love working with it!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Florida Knitting

Several years ago, when we started coming to Florida for the winter, I told my husband that there were two things that could make my life in Englewood perfect - the most important item was a yarn shop.
(I'll save the second item for another post - it might sound strange to you, so it needs some explanation).

I know many of you can relate to this - but when I'm not home, I miss my knitting group up in MI.  They are the best group of women - smart, funny, kind, sharing - and good knitters too.  I think of them every Wednesday morning, having coffee at Panera Bread, and catching up on each others' lives.

I still miss them, but I've found a new "knitting home" in Florida that fills the gap! 

Last year A Good Yarn opened in Sarasota, and it is everything that I love in a yarn store.  A wonderful shop owner, who has great taste in yarn, and a fun, talented staff.  It is the kind of shop that welcomes knitters and has a place for them to sit and knit.  They host a knit night every Thursday, and it draws a diverse group of knitters.   I love it there - and they have made me feel like I belong.

A Good Yarn just celebrated their one year anniversary, and held a fun open house this past Saturday.  Check out this cake - how perfect is that?

Happy Anniversary to A Good Yarn, and thank you for making my life in Florida "more perfect".

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Lions, Tigers and BLOGS....Oh My!

Two weeks ago, during knit night at my LYS (local yarn store), I met a charming young lady.  I was showing her how to knit in the round on two circular needles (my prefered method over double points!) and she indicated that she is a publicist.  

Here she was - a tech savy, 20-something knitter - who knew the ins and outs of advertising.  As a small business owner and hand-knit pattern designer, I couldn't resist asking her opinion on ways to market my patterns (can you guess where this is going?) - yup - she thought the weak link in my web presence was that I didn't have a blog.

So Megan, this blog is for you!   Thanks for encouraging me to take the next step.

Please join me on this new adventure - as I share my thoughts on knitting, my hand-knit designs in process and my search of fun in the sun - with knitting needles in hand.

Let's get this party started!