Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Have fiber, need project!

Hello all! This is my very first knit-a-long. My name is Nikki and I also live in central NJ - soon to relocate to NYC! I have a beautiful hank of Sea Pearl that I bought at Rhinebeck, but I don't know what to make with it. I'm already knitting a sock and hesitate to cast on another, but I'm worried that I would run out of yarn with any other project. I am a small person and could possibly make a tank top or something....any ideas? More specifically, I have 500 yards of sea pearl, which is a lace weight yarn. Thanks!

This porridge is just right!

I know my Collette is on the way, but I also know it won't be here for probably several days yet. Doesn't stop me obsessively checking to see if the postman has arrived. On the hour.

While I wait to begin the Tilt Jacket I thought I would occupy myself with something else. Like socks. Ever since I knit my Mom a pair of those lush Cabled Socks, from Melanie Falick's Handknit Holidays, in BR Fourth of July, I have wanted a pair myself. The pattern calls for DK, and Fourth of July worked great. (Mom loved them!)

But... the skein I was dying to use for my current pair is Legend, in blues and greens, which is between sport and DK weight. I thought it would work, but I knit all the way down to the heel flap of the first sock, before I noticed it was going to be too small. I wanted thick, comfy slouch around the house socks, so going up a needle size wouldn't do it. I ripped, and abandoned the pattern.

As luck would have it, this came in the mail today! I didn't think I had room on my bookshelf for one more sock book, but this is one I will make shelf space for. It's just great, has loads of cool stitch patterns, and some really innovative techniques, and I found the perfect pattern for the Legend yarn - Mock Cable Waves, by Ann Budd.

The pattern calls for fingering weight, and has you cast on 80 stitches on 3.25 needles. I tried that, however, after working just half a pattern repeat it was clear that the socks would be too BIG. Beginning to feel a bit like Goldylocks here, I ripped again, and dropped down to 2.75's and it seems that now, finally, they are just right. (One of the things I like about BR yarn is that you can rip back without ruining it. It really will take abuse!)

So I'm knitting along now, and the fabric is a bit denser than I would normally knit this yarn, but I wanted thick house socks to begin with, so this works for me. The pattern has you drop a needle size again, after four inches, which is a very tidy way to achieve some calf shaping, without the fiddle of decreasing in pattern. I've never done that, always decreased for shaping, so I'm keen to see if this technique is a keeper. It sure seems easier. Will post a picture when I'm a bit further along.

Time to check the post again...

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Nice warm socks for cold feet

These are my new warm keep your feet toasty socks made from "Grandma's Blesssing". Yum! I love the colors and the feel of the yarn.


Sunday, January 28, 2007

Only the beginning.

I have been working on my pregnancy sweater that I was hoping to finish up before this up coming Wednesday. Work has kept me too busy and growing a baby has kept me too tired to knit at night. But here is what I have done so far. I have started one of the fronts of the cardigan and it seems to be going more quickly than the back. We will see. (knitted from 4th of July)

Joining the pack

Here I am joining my first knit along and it's my first time posting to a blog. Thanks to Briar Rose for this opportunity to join a knitting community. I've just started a shawl using Fourth of July. Will post photos in the next week or two.

Answers to your questions

I never know where to post answers to questions in the comments - so I thought I'd just create a post. If you'd prefer I don't just let me know.

Kniterella - I'm planning on making the Cherry Leaf Shawl from Victorian Lace Toady on page 134/135. The colors in the hank of Legend I have are very autumnal, and if I start now I should have it done in a few months. It's a big undertaking for me. I've never knit lace from a chart or knit the border on seperately, so it's a challange.

Chris - I used the Baby Cable Rib pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks. It's a 4 stitch repeat pattern. I'd send them to you to feel, but I'm afraid you'll have to pry them off my feet. ;-)

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

I moved!

I moved my account over to the new blogger and it was so easy!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Finished Socks

This evening I finished my socks out of the Sea Pearl. They are the softest socks I've ever had on my feet. I can't wait till they totally dry and I can wear them next week.

My next project is a lace shawl out of the 1500 yards of Legend I have. I'm hoping to make a pair of socks with it too...

Blogger made us upgrade

Ok, team...Blogger made me upgrade the site. The notification said that automatic e-mails will be sent to all members prompting them of the process to update their log-ins.

If you have problems, e-mail me and we'll work through them. It also seems that everyone's name does not appear under 'Contributors', but you do have the ability to post (I suspect the 'missing' names represent those of us who will need a 'new' blogger sign in).

To ease the pain, I will remind you that the 'big drawing' for that fabulous Sonoma will occur in 4 days - Good luck to you!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Knit Ahead

From my archives, a knit-ahead! I completed this last fall, the Sleeveless Eyelet Sweater, using Sonoma. I purchased the Sonoma at the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival. It's photographed in my mother's garden in Fontana, Wisconsin. My vest obsession continues!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Ready for BIG TIME knitting

Nate and I have been doing bookwork all this week! yuk!!! that's what happens when we're so busy during the fall and late fall it's time to get caught up.
The girls and I went on a two day "design retreat" and momma (that would be me) fell down. It's a good thing that I'm limber....or that would have "left a mark".......Anyway I didn't break anything so we'll have some new patterns for you soon!
I have a new sweater that will be a free pattern that I'm testing one more time......
Also we have some new fibers coming really fun sock yarn with bamboo in it, one new alpaca, silk and merino blend and (wait for it.....) CASHMERE! 100% luscious cashmere......
So I'm off to dye! yay!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Greetings from NJ!

I got my invite the other day and so I wanted to say HI and introduce myself. I'm Chris (aka Buttercup on my blog) and I live in Central NJ. I was fortunate enough to meet Chris of Briar Rose at Rhinebeck and drop some cash there with her. I'm currently using Sea Pearl to make a pair of socks. Close up of the color on sock one is below. I'm just to the heel on sock #2 and hope to have the pair done by the weekend.
I'm really looking forward to seeing all your FOs. The sweaters below are beautiful and I can't wait to see them finished.

Cory - Your Mom's vest is beautiful!

Inquiring minds want to know

In the 1/23 issue of USA Today two books about knitting appear. I haven't read either so can't give a review, but just thought you might like to have the info. #1. "The Knitting Circle" by Ann Hood, to be published this week. She has also written "Somewhere Off the Coast of Maine.
#2. "The Friday Night Knitting Club", by Kate Jacobs. Julia Roberts has already signed to star in the upcoming movie.
I have been to NJ and PA and knitted my socks furiously on the plane over and back...picture soon. lois

Saturday, January 20, 2007

There is a 'back' to my sweater!

So....all of the photos didn't turn out so well - in Michigan we have limited sunshine this time of year that affects my photo quality as well as my upbeat disposition.

Trust me, there is a 'whole' back attached to the snippet of this picture and it is fabulous. I've decided to block it now and have already cast-on for the front.

Chris' colors are fabulous and I don't think a photo could ever really capture the true beauty of the fabric it creates. Especially since I consider yarn to be a 'total' experience i.e. sight, smell, texture...softness! I couldn't be happier with ALL aspects of this yarn!

I will get to knitting because with the sale and all, I couldn't resist enough Sonoma to knit that sweater for my husband...or maybe the Everyday Cardigan for me? I'm so bad!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Briar Rose Fibers Knit-Along

Briar Rose Fibers Knit-Along

I have my sock yarn! I need some needles! I finally remembered my username and password so I could blog. Kim dragged me into this kicking and screaming (ha ha). I must set down the latest baby sweater to pick up the socks. I swear I'll get the needles on Monday. :-) Looking forward to knitting along with all of you and my gorgeous new yarn - a picture will be posted when I have something to show! Theresa

My Beautiful Abundance

The Abundance Chris painted for me arrived early last week and it is simply stunning. It is soft and rich in color and truly abundant. I am so eager to get started on my Cozy shawl. Unless, of course, I manage to change my mind in the next few days. For now, I wanted to show ya'll how lovely my Briar Rose Fiber is and I didn't want to keep it under wraps.

I'm so inspired by everyone's progress. Such wonderful vests and socks and sweaters! I am glad to be a part of this knit along and look forward to casting.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Two Rosebuds

For the last few months, my personal knitting has been mostly about building my vest wardrobe. It appears that I'm not alone with my love of the vest--I've had "vest awareness" regarding print and television media. The winter issues of KnitSimple and Knitter's were pretty vest heavy, although KnitSimple called one sweater with cap sleeves a "vest." Not in my world. I've seen vests as wardrobe for television commercials, and the most memorable one, an argyle vest on the host of the Food Network's "Everyday Italian," worn with a crisp white shirt. I love the design of the Rosebud vest. The little lace/cable detail is so feminine, and I think a v-neck is always flattering. The brown/red and rust Rosebud I knit in November, with some custom dyed Sonoma. I was surprised to have quite a bit of yarn left over, and when I knit another using Sonoma again, I wanted to see if I could make it just a little longer. I like the cable feature to be deep, and the first I knit with eight repeats of the stitch pattern. On the teal mix one, I went for nine, to make the vest 1.5-2 inches longer. I'm in the process of assembling the piece, and have just enough left, I think to finish off the armholes. To save yarn, I did the shoulder bind off and side seams using a worsted weight yarn out of my massive stash. I'm contemplating another Rosebud, which would make five (I've knit two out of other yarns, check the November archives of my blog for details), and, after seeing it knit in Abundance, I'm wondering if there's enough to knit the largest size. Chris, what do you think?

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Grandma Tilly.....or why my yarns are named after roses

Kim asked another question about the names of the fibers.. like Sonoma and Fourth of July and such. They are all named after actual roses. Whether they be climbers, tea roses or hybrids. I have roses all around my in fact is so prolific (Collette) that we couldn't even count all of the lovely peach colored, beautifully fragrent flowers one year. One beautiful "rugosa" is outside my workshop window and in the spring has an enchanting scent that comes in to greet me when I least expect it. My dear grandma always had beautiful beds of tea roses and as a child she would let me take one or two buds home. The challenge was to see how long I could make the rose last in a vase with an asprin in the water. My grandpa would fill the bed with old dried corncobs from his grain mill for mulch over the winter. I remember my grandma would buy bare root plants from the nursery and leave them in a bucket of water for a week to get the sprouts going......
My grandma was the one who taught me EVERYTHING...gardening, sewing, yeast roll making and crocheting... she crocheted lovely doilies and I have a wonderful collection of them that I use everyday...
She died at 92, crocheting up until four days before she passed away..I want to be just like that when I grow up!

Painterly thoughts

Kim asked me if I name my colorways.....I'll just take a moment to explain that to everyone, as I get asked that question a lot. No, I don't name them, because I actually "paint" the fibers, I don't use formulas.......
Sometimes you get these wonderful surprises when one color sort of melts into the next color......
This is really important to know as you purchase any "hand paint" want to make sure you have PLENTY for your project. Even though I try very hard to match things for people who are going to run out of's rather hard.
We are expecting lot's of snow here and maybe freezing rain!! Can you say "SNOW DAY"???
Alas, that doesn't mean as much to me as it used to, with my kids out of the house. The only thing that would mean "SNOW DAY" to me now, is if the power went out and I could knit by candle light.


Here's the back of the new cardigan......and my new socks because the back is a boring photo! The new cardigan (which doesn't have a name yet) is knitted with one strand of Sonoma and two strands of Fourth of July........the socks are just 2x2 rib in Fourth of July........I like to make both tops of the socks and then do both heels at the same time. Yes, I know that means two sets of needles......but the process is so much easier if I do one, then another right away because it's still fresh in my mind. You could put the first sock on holders, I suppose......

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Briar Rose yarn giveaway -- coming soon!

You may recall there being talk of having periodic giveaways of incredible Briar Rose yarn. The first drawing will be on January 31, 2007 for three beautifully dyed skeins of Sonoma...

...see, I told you they were incredible!

Chris' original post teased us and I know you are anxious for the opportunity to hold these skeins in your hot little hands.

Names of all who have joined by January 31st will be entered into the drawing, so all of you have a chance and one of you will actually get to open your mailbox and find this yarn- start planning your project.

Now, if you would excuse me, I must go back to my knitting!

A new member

Greetings from Louisiana!

This is my first KAL, and my first project with a Briar Rose Fibers yarn. (I stumbled on this KAL after I received my yarn.)

I have two hanks of Sea Pearl (which is just yummy!). I have adapted the After Hours Shawl pattern (also from Briar Rose Fibers) into a three panel shawl. Hopefully I will be able to ball it and cast on this weekend!


Friday, January 12, 2007


Hello, fellow knit-alongers! It's taken a while for me to get on board, and thanks much to Kim for helping to set me up! I've been a Briar Rose Fibers enthusiast since the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival last September, which I attended with my mom, who is not a knitter herself, but has a very extensive hand knit wardrobe. All knit by me. We both went crazy for the Tuscany Tank. I just loved how four unexpected colors could come together and make a garment with so much dimension. The simple pattern design really lets the yarn be the star, and makes a garment that can be a versatile wardrobe piece. I had a dozen other projects in the works, but the lovely colors and intoxicating smell of the dye made me want to set aside other projects and just get going with this fiber. So, over the past few months, I've been doing a knit-ahead! I made this tank for my mom, for helping me this past year with some shows I participated in with my dog sweater enterprise, Lucky Penny Hand Made. My mom and I are both fans of the vest. Before her retirement, she worked in a doctor's office, and a vest was a sensible piece to be worn under a lab coat. She has a quite a large collection. All knit by me. For myself, I work in overheated buildings, and find a vest perfect for that. I also declared sleeves more or less obsolete in my sweater wardrobe after I wore out the elbow of my favorite handknit sweater. I love that this piece can look great on a young girl or a mature lady. It looks cute on my mom!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A New Hat

I have never made anything in Garter Stitch. Strange, I know. So, I decided to make a nice hat and scarf for some extra warmth this winter. I'm not sure what fiber this is, as I have had it for over a year and the tag has long since disappeared. Maybe you can tell Chris? Probably hard to with this photo. I decided on a simple project since my January is going to be crazy busy. This will fill in the small gaps of time I spend waiting for appointments and in the van to pick up my daughter from school...and if I finish this I have a cabled hat and scarf pattern in mind. Oh yeah, the pattern for this is adapted from a Yarn Girls pattern.

More information

The yarn used in my "Knitting Pure and Simple" sweater was "Abundance". I ordered two skeins from Chris and used all of one skein and a small part of the second knitting size 42 chest. I am a size 12 but didn't want it to be formfitting. I alternated yarn from the two hanks and I have enough yarn to make a vest for my adult daughter. There are 850 yds in a skein and the pattern calls for 1075yds. This is the nicest yarn I have ever worked soft.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

My sweater is snow resistent

Here is the first official photo of my KAL sweater. I originally designed a sweater with cables, but quickly decided that the yarn was so fabulous that the cables overpowered it. It is quite content to stand on it's own.

Out came the cables and I am much more pleased with what is going on now. My future favorite sweater will be a fitted 'v' neck - very simple to be worn all of the time.

A bird tells me that I may find the other skein of this fabulous yarn in my mailbox tomorrow - my fingers are crossed!

Check my blog for the companion photos as Blogger is being testy - again!

Sweater using Chris' yarn

Finally, we figured out how to post a picture. This is a "Knitting Pure and Simple" pattern #9724. It is knit from the top down on circular seams. You do have to pick up along the neck to finish that edge, but I am a novice and had no problems. The wool is soft and warm. Now I'm on to the socks. Will post a picture of those soon.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Sucked In

Help me. I've been sucked into the KnitALong by the Kniterella! Theresa

Quick & Easy!

I started the Rosebud Vest on Thursday and was blocking it by Friday night. I sewed it up Saturday and wore it to church on Sunday! Of course I had some help along the way. First, we had a knitting afternoon at Panera, which got me started. Second, my husband went to a bachelor party on Friday night. Before he went, we stopped at Blockbuster and I rented 3 movies. It was great! Tons of knitting time!

The yarn I used was Abundance. It is a classic worsted weight fiber that is so easy to work with. The pattern calls for Sonoma, but we thought it would be fun to see if Abundance would work - and it did. I also have more than enough left over to make a hat or something to go with it. Maybe a small felted purse.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


WOW! I just got my yarn on Friday and I can't wait to knit. I promised myself that I wouldn't start on the XOXO hat and mittens until I have finished a hat that I'm working on for my granddaughter Maeg. The Briar Rose yarn is fabulous though, it's sooooooo soft and the color is wonderful! I got the Sonoma in a colorway that has lots of blues, greens, burgandys, and a little bit of gold.
Ok, so I gave in last night and rolled my hank into a ball just so I could feel the yarn and see more of the color. Still beautiful. I'm a very "old school" knitter and love my yarn rolled into balls rather than the short, fat cylinder that the ball winder makes. Why do they call it a "ball" winder? The end product sure isn't a ball.

Friday, January 05, 2007

A sock

I just completed this sock (soon to become a pair) for my niece. I had hoped to get them done for Christmas, but obviously that didn't happen. They are going to be too big for her anyway, so I am saving them to give to her next Christmas. I am so going to be on top of Christmas gifts for 2007. :-)

This pretty little sock is knit with Fourth of July, using Yankee Knitter Designs Classic Socks pattern. I love this pattern and I think I am addicted to socks. Yes, I admit it. I am addicted to socks. Strange, since I think I once said that "I will never have any desire to knit socks". Then, while at the Iowa Summer Sheep and Wool Festival last year, I just couldn't keep my hands off the Fourth of July and the sample socks we had in the booth. I started my first pair that weekend, and there was no turning back.

Briar Rose Fibers Knit-Along

Briar Rose Fibers Knit-Along

Well....I didn't do so well on the last post as I am just learning how to do it...thank you Chris. When I figure out how to post a picture, I'll show you my new sweater and the socks I am presently knitting. I'm happy to be a part of this Knit-Along. It's definitely going to help to banish the winter blues.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Briar Rose Fibers Knit-Along

Briar Rose Fibers Knit-Along

a better picture

Hopefully this comes through as more true to life color of my yarn...I WILL cast on today!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

I have my yarn dyed

It only took me two tries to get exactly what I wanted.....these are really dark, so the photo may not show up well. I like REALLY dark tones...and browns and greens and navy.....I am going to re-create Amy's Sweater that I made for her for Christmas, and I will write the pattern as I go along ........don't hold your breath waiting for it....though I may go faster than if it were during festival season...
yay! winter knit time! yay!

Lickety-Split Knit

I had three baby/toddler sweaters to do before Christmas... and two were done and this was the last one to be done on Tuesday, the day after Christmas.

Now that I have these three sweaters done (which are done with Brair Rose Fibers Sonoma) I am moving onto my own sweater.

I have choosen to go with the Fourth July, which Chris hand painted just for me, so I am really excitied to get this project going. I hope to have it done before the end of the month, so I have a few months to enjoy it before Spring comes around. We will see...