Saturday, September 13, 2014


You all know about the Quercus Socks? Well, when I originally saw the Oak leaf motif and decided to reverse engineer it to the oak leaf and acorn motif, my plans were for a sweater for Bill - who has a thing for Oaks. But at the time I didn't have the money for a sweater's worth of yarn, so I contented myself with making him a pair of socks. Then our birthdays rolled around (they are about a week apart, so we we make it a week long celebration) and my Mom - who had admired the socks and listened to me babble on about how much I love the pattern and had really wanted to make a sweater - gave me the money to buy yarn!

I spent weeks reading through my Elizabeth Zimmermann book collection and scribbling diagrams and calculations on post it notes, and finally it was time to cast on.

oaksong i

I settled on a mash up of EZ's Saddle shoulder sweater and Saddle shoulder hybrid with shirt yoke constructions from Knitting Workshop. Using some slightly altered numbers for EZ's Percentage system from Jacqueline Fee's Sweater Workshop.

oaksong i

the Oak panel is modified/reverse engineered from pictures of several different sweaters featuring one similar, and an Oak leaf motif (with no acorns) available at the The Knitting Fool The side cable patterns are from Barbara Walker's Treasuries with only minor tweaks to help them fit.

oaksong i

Overall I stuck to the regular saddle shoulder pattern (every round body eating, then sleeve eating, then a few more body eating, before doing the saddles) but made the saddles a bit wider – somewhere between the with of the normal saddle shoulder and the width of shirt back variation – by doing fewer sleeve eating decreases, and then just knit the back half of the saddles over the back of the sweater to meet in the center like the shirt back variation.

oaksong i

I was originally going to do a full width oak motif on each sleeve, but I decided to only do half, which made fitting everything in a bit easier, but I still wanted it mostly centered on the side of the arm, so what I ended up doing was knitting the panel centered on the outside of the arm and doing the increases so that they formed a sort of visible seam along the inside of the arm, but then working the last two increases on only one side of this ‘seam’ to push the motif towards the back. (I attached the sleeves to the body with the center ‘seam’ well… centered)

oaksong i

This still left the motif a bit more centered over the top of the shoulder than I wanted so I converted a handful of the single body-eating decreases into double decreases to eat up the extra back sleeve/saddle stitches - effectively shifting the ‘center’ of the saddle towards the front. I still ended up with the back saddle one stitch wider than the front, but I don’t think it’s terribly noticeable or detrimental to the fit.
I had so much fun knitting Bill's sweater that I started to really want one of my own, and since Mom had given me more than enough yarn money...

oaksong ii

I made a few minor tweaks: making the arms shorter and the upper arms a bit bigger around, adding a few more stitches around the body and more short rows across the back.

oaksong ii

I Love the sweaters and now Bill and I can be all Matchy-Matchy when we go the Rhinebeck this year!

oaksong ii

Yarn: Knit Picks WOTA Superwash in noble heather and persimmon heather
Needles: US size 6 (4mm) for the ribbing and US size 7 (4.5mm) for the rest.
Ravelry project pages: Green, Orange

Bill's sweater has about 4-5 inches positive ease and mine has about 1 inch negative ease.

oaksong ii

I made a Ravelry pattern page here for the sweater and you can download the rough recipe I used and the charts from there. Just be warned it's really rough and I don't know how well it will adapt to other sizes. No matter what, you should really read Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Workshop sections on sweaters, especially the saddle shoulder variations, or my instructions may not make very much sense.

3 oaksongs
1 oaksongs

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Finishing a cross stitch bookmark

How to finish a cross stitch bookmark when not working with already prepared bookmark fabric:

no moon bookmark

Before you start stitching, be sure to cut your fabric with at least 9 extra squares on each side for finishing.

bookmark 1
blanket stitch

Stitch your bookmark pattern, then fold the sides to the back leaving 3-4 empty squares on either side of the stitching. Tack the edges down - you can use a blanket stitch like I did, or a simple running stitch, or any decorative stitch as long as it isn't too bulky.

bookmark 2

Flip the bookmark over and carefully trim the corners. Then pull out the horizontal threads to create a fringe. Be sure to leave at least three empty squares between the fringe and the stitching.

bookmark 3

bookmark 4

Wash and Iron your bookmark. Remember to keep the bookmark face down so that you do not crush the stitches.

bookmark 5

Carefully glue a piece of felt over the back of the bookmark to protect the back of your stitching.

Enjoy your new bookmark!!

no moon bookmark

(Cross stitch chart for this bookmark is available here)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Socks and other exciting things.

So It's been a while since I posted about them – my poor toe-up Bayerische have been languishing while I worked on other things. But I finally got my behind into gear and got working. Once I sat down and worked on them exclusively the knitting sped past and it didn't hurt that I was very eager to wear them. I love the pattern!

Bayerisches done 2

yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Kettle Dyed in Jay
pattern: Toe-up Bayerische (rav link)
Ravelry Page


And in other sock news I've been designing again!

First up:
Is It Spring Yet?

is it spring
yet set one 1

I had a lot of fun putting these together, I love the lacy twisted stitch and cable flowers and the lovely Lacey vine ribbing on the back give the leg lots of stretch.

is it spring
yet set one 2

from the pattern page:

Winter just seems to keep going. Everything is cold and covered in snow, and all I really want to do is get outside and see some color! These socks are all things I wish I could be seeing outside by February: bright flowers and trailing vines and leaves of spring! The front of the sock sports flowers highlighted by twist stitches and cables, while a twining cable climbs up the side and an undulating vine rib decorates the back.
This sock is 72 stitches around, please feel free to knit a a gauge that will give you the best fit.
Options for both a Short Row Heel and a more traditional style Gusset/Flap Heel are offered.

Available via Ravelry for $3.00


and even more exciting, I have a pattern for sale via Knit Picks too!

Quercus Socks

Quercus socks
model 1

I designed these with Bill in mind. I Love the oak leaf motif, and Really wanted to make a sweater with it, but didn't have the yarn for one. The oak motif would not get out of my head, so I finally gave in and started poking around a sock idea and this is what I came up with.

Quercus socks
model 3

from the pattern page:

This is an earthy toe-up sock, originally designed for my husband. The central oak leaf and acorn panel is flanked by an engaging yet simple twisted stitch braid, with a lace style ribbing on the back of the leg reminiscent of rows of little acorns. The pattern invokes feelings of hiking through an English forest.
This sock is 73 stitches around, please feel free to knit at a gauge that will give you the best fit.
options for both a short row heel and a more traditional style gusset/flap heel are included.

Quercus socks
model 2

you can purchase this pattern for $2.99 via Knit Picks

Friday, May 23, 2014

I knit bow ties now, bow ties are cool

sorry, I couldn't help myself.

knit bowtie

this was a fun little knit. Quick and cute!

pattern: Eleventh bow tie (rav link)
yarn: leftover Knipticks Stroll
needles: US 1.5 (2.5mm)
Ravelry Page

I knit the first half as written, but then the second half I just made a big rectangle ti give the bow tie a bit more body, since the ones I saw that knit both in the pattern looked a bit too thin/floppy about the middle.

blue knit

Bill Loves it! It took him about a hour of back and forth between computer with instructions and bathroom mirror to get it tied properly, but he's already planning a Halloween costume around it.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A tale of two shawls.

One day while my parents were down visiting, Mom mentioned that Grandma was always complaining of being cold, so I decided to knit her a shawl.

I knew I wanted it to be warm so I decided to go with fingering weight over lace, and I had the perfect yarn already in my stash. It took me a while to finally pick a pattern but I eventually settled on Zilver.

gmas purple
zilver done

Yarn: Knit Picks Memories in Rocky Mountain Dusk
Pattern: Zilver (rav link)
Ravelry page

The knitting went pretty quickly, and while I was working on it TW was fascinated, and asked several times for me to knit a green shawl for him.

I had a random skein of Knit Picks Bare so I took some Wiltons cake dyes and dyed it up in shades of green.

I wanted to be sure to get the most out of the yarn, since I couldn't get any more, and I knew that TW would get more use out of a shallow obtuse angled scarf shaped 'shawl' than a deep right triangle type shawl, so I went with the Baktus construction and weighed my skein frequently and saved just enough yarn to make some cute tassels for the ends.

TW was so happy when it was time to block it and I laid it out that night. Then he got up extra early to check if it was dry yet the next morning. I think it's pretty safe to say he loves it, and it will be a perfect scarf come wintertime!

llamas green
shawl onllamas green
shawl tied

Pattern: Baktus (rav link), with a few modifications to make it longer and narrower.
Ravelry page

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A moment of silence for a faithful blanket, gone too soon.

Ok, maybe that was a bit melodramatic.

Soon after TW was born my pi lap blanket got soiled, but we were new parents and we were not up to washing and blocking delicate woolens. It got put aside, and a while ago while cleaning I found it balled up on the floor, shoved in a back corner behind the dirty laundry bins.

I pulled it out and threw it in a wool wash bath without really inspecting it.

When I laid it out to block it this is what I found:

chewed up

so sad.

Oh well, gueas that just means I need to knit a new one.

Friday, February 28, 2014

More knitting for yarn

After TW's Wallaby I didn't really have any big projects so decided to pick up a few more knitting jobs just to have something to do (and hey, more yarn!)

first up was a really nifty colorwork tam:

pansy garden
tam blocking 01-22-14 top

Pansy Garden Tam (rav pattern link, web link here)

the pattern came in a kit with pre-wound balls of jaggerspun wool. It was very clearly written, and while a few of the colors came a bit close to running out, it turned out great. I love color work, and this was such a pretty design!

pansy garden
tam blocking 01-22-14 side

Rav project page here


After the Tam there was a nice trip Through the Woods!

through the
woods finished

The Through the Woods hood (rav link) was great fun to knit. And I think I want one for myself too!

I was almost done when I ran out of yarn, so the great lady I was knitting for sent more, with the request for a pair of matching mitts:

through the
woods mitts 02-18-14

Thorough the Woods Fingerless Mitts. (rav link) by the same designer.

Both of these projects were a lot of fun, the cables were simple, but very classic looking, and I just love how the hood turned out.

Project links: hood, mitts.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

A Wallaby for TW

after knitting the last three projects I had earned enough yarn for a Wallaby! (rav link, purchase online here or here)

I had purchased the pattern even before TW was born, and I’m so glad I did.

Nice and warm
for a lunch picnic

The pattern is written in a very chatty manner, but after a few read-throughs it was really easy and everything went together very nicely!

I knit with a slightly thicker yarn than called for (Manos Del Uraguay Wool Clasica – which is Aran weight), and about a size and half bigger than TW's current size, so it is nice and warm and should fit him for a couple of seasons.

first wallaby 1-14-14 3

He loves it, but says that it 'tickles' (itches) so he has to wear a long sleeved shirt underneath.

This was my first 'big' sweater and I had a ton of fun with it and it went by so quickly! I can't wait to knit more sweaters!
Ravelry project page full of more detailed notes, here

first wallaby 1-14-14 back

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Knit for hire

So, I've wanted to knit a new swater for TW for a while, but money is tight and we don't have the spare cash to buy any new yarn. What is a knitter to do?

Knit for it!

There are a few "Will Work For Yarn" and bartering type groups on Ravely and I've been putting my self out offering my services in hopes of earning enough yarn for a sweater.

And I did! More on that later though. First, here is what I've been making:

Denver Cowl

denver cowl
done 10-07-13

yarn: Miss Babs Yowza! What a Skein in Copper City
needles: US 8 (5mm)
Rav project link

Lovely yarn and easy fun little pattern.


Herringbone Poncho

poncho done 1

yarn: Blue Sky Alpaca Worsted
needles: US 17 (12.75mm)
Rav project page

this one was hard,the big needles were really hard on my wrists. And I've hard so many good things about the yarn, but it took 7 skeins, and 4 of them had knots! And it was spun in such a way that there was very little spring to it.


Lovely Ribbed Cowl

lovely ribbed
cowl 11-26-13

yarn: Blue Sky Alpaca Suri Merino
needles: US 7 (4.5mm)
Rav project page

Super easy knit, and OMG amazing soft yarn, I looked forward to knitting this it felt to nice in my hands!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Rhinebeck 2013

NY sheep and
wool 2013 1

What to say about New York Sheep and wool 2013? Fun!
TW had a grand time checking out all the animals, he kept us going so much that I didn't get many pictures, but believe me, there was a lot going on. I wore my Arachne's Veil shawl, but didn't get any pictures.

NY sheep and
wool 2013 2

NY sheep and
wool 2013 3

I was able to take a break and go check out the Ravelry meet up while TW and Bill went to look at the traveling zoo animals. And then they wandered off to make volcanoes in the sand.

Making a sand

before we met back up to have lunch


TW was particularly interested in watching sheep being groomed and sheared.

NY sheep and
wool 2013 4

and of course got to meet some Llamas!

llamas are

and here's a gratuitous shot of my favorite sheep, the Jacob:


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