Archives for category: Gifts

Here’s a Christmas present that was given early to my mom when she was visiting after Thanksgiving. New York is colder than Washington state, so we both agreed it was a good choice for early gifting.

It’s another classic Elizabeth Zimmermann pattern to add to the ever-growing collection I’ve started.


Pattern: Ribwarmer by Elizabeth Zimmermann
Source: Knitting Workshop
Yarn: Rowan Scottish Tweed Chunky in “Lobster”; 3 skeins
Needles: US 10.5/6.5mm KnitPicks Options Circulars
Buttons: 2 black marbled toggles from M&J Trimming

Started and Finished: Late last summer (planning ahead is rare, but awesome)


Ribwarmer Collar Detail

Modifications: The original pattern is written for worsted weight but I really had my heart set on using this chunky red tweed that I had in my stash. I did some pretty simple calculations to change the counts for a thicker yarn although in retrospect I think the vest would be pretty nice as-written with a chunkier yarn. My mom is a tiny little woman so this fit her perfectly, but I don’t think the modifications made a huge difference for the intended size since the chunky yarn needs more ease than worsted anyway.

Ribwarmer Collar Detail

I trimmed the whole thing with I-cord and tried invisible I-cord buttonholes a la EZ which are really fun. The vest is knit in two pieces – the right side and left side (this was the predecessor of Elizabeth’s “Rorschach Sweater”) and seamed up the back after knitting (see picture below). All shaping is done using short-row-style mitered corners and as usual its all garter stitch, which means no purls allowed.

Ribwarmer Collar Detail

This is a quick knit – great for gifts if you’ve already exhausted someone with hats or scarves over the years. Also, this piece technically fits in the sweater category… so you’ll get extra brownie points for that. In true EZ fashion the pattern is so clever that it’s sure to keep you interested all the way through, even on a deadline.


I have three days of trials left and then we’re hopping on a plane and flying far far away from The Big Apple. Here’s wishing you minimal stress over the next 10 days. I’m shooting to have one more sweater for you before Christmas – stay tuned!

I’ve done a bit of Christmas knitting here and there between the Pi and waiting on more yarn for my Garter Stitch Blanket (that thing is a ravenous yarnivore). The first is an annual tradition – sweater ornaments.


I knit one each year – it’s a slow but steady way of sprucing up a knitter’s tree without them becoming a nuisance on your knitting list. My mom visited for a few days after Thanksgiving and knit one too, so this year we had a bonus alpaca ornament for tree-trimming (not pictured above).

These are knit top-down on double-pointed needles. I usually use a DK or worsted weight on US 3 or 4′s. I cast on 12 stitches, work two ridges of garter stitch and start increasing at four raglan points until it looks about big enough. Knit down on body and sleeves (I decreased a bit on the sleeve) and work the cuffs when it feels right. They’re very improvisational which is what makes them fun. They take under three hours to work and are perfect for all those little bits we compulsively save (knowing they’ll probably never be touched again). They’re great for a little hit of colorwork, lace, cables, stripes, handspun, or any other poison you might be craving at the moment but can’t justify in any other way.

I also finished the third installment of Koolhaas this week. I think this version wins the stitch-definition contest.

Kool III

The pattern is mine, available in the Holiday Gifts issue from Interweave if you’d like to knit it. For this one I used Malabrigo Pure Worsted Merino in “Continental Blue” on US 6 and US 7 needles.

The Malabrigo is, as always, uncannily soft and light. One thing I’ll note here is that it seems to be a bit less generous in the row gauge department, so if you’re trying to decide how many repeats to work for your head length, go with more rather than less if using this yarn. Number Three is a tad short but still fits the recipient. I might extend the ribbing a bit if it persists being bothersome.

Finally, since it’s Friday, I’ll leave you with a little handspun hit. This is a 2-ply merino heather from Copperpot Woolies, aptly named “Hot Rocks.” This was spun from a batt of deep reds, oranges and bright yellows. See the unspun fiber here.

Hot Rocks 2-Ply Merino

Unfortunately I won’t be doing much spinning over the next two weeks. The final stretch of the semester isn’t shaping up to be too kind to my knitting and spinning (The Minstrel is sitting in the corner, yarnless and pouting already). Good thing for you I’ve got two finished sweaters to write about (already photographed!) for which I’m very excited. We’re not going to let school choas ruin holiday-blog-fun-time. Not on my watch.

See you soon with a sweater or two.

When the temperature finally dropped, the spinning bug came back with a vengeance. I’ve only had time here and there to spin a little in the evenings, but after a month or so, I’ve accrued a few beautiful additions to my stash. Maybe you could use a little visual fiber pick-me-up this morning? I know I could.

Cool Hand 2-Ply
“Cool Hand”; 2-Ply Falkland wool from FatCatKnits; 4 oz. spun from this

Lazy Daisy 2-Ply
“Lazy Daisy”; 2-Ply Superwash Merino from Pigeonroof Studios; 4 oz. spun from this

Espresso Batch 2
“Espresso”; 2-Ply Superwash Merino from HelloYarn; 10 oz. spun from this

The palette turns out to be rather fitting for this time of year, eh? I’m scheming a handspun scarf with the “Espresso” batch, since I have about 10 oz. The others will probably be gift hats, although I haven’t made any decisions on holiday gifts this year. I’ll probably employ my regular policy: knit as usual until December 20th. Assess finished objects and assign gifts if they are available. No guilt allowed. (This has proven much more effective than trying to stick to an unreasonable regimen of deadlines – effectively ruining the joy of knitting during the best time of year)

Fall Spinning

Enjoy the rest of your week. I’ve got some heathered merino on the wheel to keep me busy if I can find a free minute aside from schoolwork and knitting time. Keep your sweaters on!

The Big Garter-Stitch Baby Wave is coming to pass… but not before these hot little booties get some blog action! Here’s a quick pattern that’s so cute it’ll get just about anyone’s biological clock ticking!

Saartje Booties III

Pattern: ‘Saartje’s Bootees‘ [PDF] (or via Ravelry)
Source: Saartje Knits
Materials: RYC Cashsoft 4-ply in ‘Spa’ (one partial skein)
Needles: US1/2.25mm
Buttons: 4 teensy iridescent ones cut from mussel shells

Started and Completed: June 2007


Saartje Booties II

No modifications on this pattern. This is a quick knit and the booties are TINY. From my virtually non-existent experience with babies, I’d say these are fit for an average newborn, although I made the larger size of the two listed in the pattern. The great news is that you could work these in just about any weight of yarn to fit babies of all sizes, colors and creeds! I sort of have an impulse to cast on in a super tweedy dk wool… but I think I should wait. It’s probably time to return to the world of adult knitting for a time, don’t you agree?

Saartje Booties I

And speaking of adult knitting (and more garter stitch), the Adult Tomten Jacket is DONE and let me tell you, it is a piece of work. I will do my best to serve it up this week sometime. I love it so much that I’ve already worn it several times, despite the summer heat and general ridiculous-ness of wearing a chunky garter-stitch sweater in July. In New York.

Thanks for all your vacation e-mails and comments. Oregon was, as usual, amazing and I’m sort of bummed about being home. We were stranded in Dallas for 30 hours coming home which was an absolute nightmare and also accounts for a very long and silent homecoming recovery. Things are pretty much back to normal now, so I should be hanging out around the ‘Tweed a bit more. Hope you all had a happy 4th of July!

You all recall the little honeymoon phase I had with the February Baby Sweater from Knitter’s Almanac over the summer, right? And then the running-out-of-a-dyelotless-yarn moment when that honeymoon abruptly ended?

Well, Sundara hooked me up with a fill-up in December and this weekend I finally picked up this project again.


Yes there are two and no these are not for twins.

I debated on whether or not to just continue with the old sweater, striping in the new color with the old, despite a noticeable difference in ‘dyelots’. I knew I’d be bothered by that in the end. Especially since I now have enough of the new yarn to make a bigger, better version (I went up 2 needle sizes also, to play up the lace and to accommodate the baby’s current age. ehhhh…). Yes that’s right – I took the high road.


V1, pictured on the left, is how much you can get out of one 100g skein of worsted on US6′s. V2 on the right is using 200g on size 8′s and will have more than enough yarn. And now that my guilty conscience has been quelled, I can rip V1 and make a hat for myself with that beautiful yarn, being the selfish knitter that I am. (To be more truthful, the ripping occured late last night in a fit of inspiration.)

In case you’re wondering, I’m not only knitting for babies right now. I’m finishing up a couple things and then I’m setting my sights towards reinjecting some of my deflated Work-In-Progress sweaters with a renewed wintry vigor.

And because sometimes I can’t help myself:

Green Cake

Happy Monday, all.

I’m taking a breather here in Portland with my brother and his wife. I’ve had the luxury of spending most of the last day knitting, drinking coffee (Stumptown, we’re not worthy), and playing with the dog. I can’t complain.

I thought I’d do a quick post from the road: Progress resumes on the Swish Top-Down Raglan.

Swish Raglan

I also had a chance to shoot some photos of an old project that I completed last year (read: accosted my brother with the camera at the breakfast table). This was my bro’s Christmas gift last year – I was happy to see that he continues to wear it often, especially in this brisk beautiful weather (wow Portland is gorgeous right now)

Shedir in Action 1

see the artsy version here

Its ‘Shedir’ from Knitty’s Breast Cancer Awareness Mini-Issue. Knit with Rowan Calmer in ‘Coffee Bean’ on size US 3 16″ circulars. I’ve always wanted to make another for myself, but I’m just too cheap for non-sale Rowan.

More to come from the road. A proper California update, and meeting with the wonder herself! Happy Halloween!

I’m happily reveling in the cold weather. It seemed like such a long time coming and I’m glad to be wearing handknits in some way, shape, or form on most days. Since it seems like a big month for socks… and I know realistically I wont be knitting any this month (surprise surprise), I thought I’d at least let you know that I’ve actually been wearing my whopping one pair from the past year

Log Cabin Socks
log cabin socks from ‘handknit holidays’ in rowan cork
I hadn’t really been all that excited about these before. It turns out I’m not a big fan of thick wool socks (or thick-wool-anything for that matter. This statement is only 90% true). BUT, these have been great to wear around the apartment, especially when the barefeet hit that cold hardwood floor in the morning. I’ve even thrown them on with the birk clogs for work on some of the colder days. Scandalous!

Also, you may have noticed an air of silence shrouding the whole EZ baby sweater issue? Well, that’s because I’ve run out of yarn before finishing. I’ve run out of a dye-lot-less, hand-dyed yarn. And I like the project too much to tear it out and use another one. I knew I didn’t have enough from the start. I knew I’d run out… but I knit it anyway. So I can’t complain… but I’m weighing my options. I’ll be seeing Sundara in a week and a half when I go home to Seattle, so maybe we’ll figure something out together. If not, I’ll just use a contrasting color for the garter cuffs, and make a short sleeve sweater. It’ll drive me crazy that the garter yoke and cuffs will be different colors, but hey, I’m sure the baby will be a bit less judgmental. Here’s the most recent shot, although I’ve added about 4 or 5 more inches to the body since.

February Baby Jacket Progress

What will be the fate of you, little one? We’ll have to wait and see. Baby is due mid November, so I have some time to flounder. And it’ll take me all of 3 hours to finish once I get some yarn that works.

When indecision strikes…. sometimes my strategy is to take a completely unforeseen direction. I guess you could also call this ignoring the problem…? Details.

There has been some progress on the cardigan front – I finally purchased the yarn for my Saddle Shoulder Aran. I actually ended up picking up (buying online) Classic Elite Skye Tweed on sale in a beautiful color that I was not able to pass on. Of course there is much Beaverslide still in my future, just not yet.

There are some babies being born in the world. I wanted to make something for one. I’ve wanted to try the Knitters Almanac (EZ) February Baby Sweater for some time. Who is always one step ahead of me in all things Zimmermann? Well it seems like Elli is. She made this one and in doing so made my decision for pending-project a whole lot easier.

February Baby Sweater (EZ) - Yoke 2

its not much so far, just a garter stitch yoke. I would have knit more, but I’m taking a trip to Chicago this weekend and wanted to save the project for the plane. With such a wee little sweater, I had to control myself the last two nights or I would’ve probably finished before leaving on my trip (I don’t have much room in my small bag for any in-progress large projects) (sock knitters, no admonitions necessary).

February Baby Sweater (EZ) - Yoke 1

the real reason I’m showing you this, is just to say that I’m happily consuming more of my Sundara stash. What a great experience it always is. Have you tried her yet? This is the worsted superwash merino somewhat solid “green over yellow.” I had showed it to you as part of my Sundara haul a few months back. I am enjoying this way too much.

Well, I’m off for what I hear is an even windier city than usual. Have a great weekend!


the slough of vacation knits continue to reveal themselves. This piece was already gifted and can now be shown publicly. You know the pattern, I’ve seen them all over. I love it though.

Shetland Triangle 2

Pattern: “Shetland Triangle” by Evelyn A. Clark
Source: Wrap Style (Interweave Press)
Materials: Sundara Yarn Aran Silky Merino hand-dyed ‘Burgundy over Brown’(2 hanks)
Needles: US 9 KnitPicks Options (my first time)

Start Date: 19 August 2006
Completion Date: 3 September 2006


Shetland Triangle 3

Modifications: None really, other than the obvious subbing of an aran weight for lace weight (one of my favorite moves). I used the shawl calculator here (sidebar) to figure out just how many repeats were possible with what i had. I scrapped the last patterned row (and obligatory purl row) before the bind off to get a more subtle scalloping along the edge. For this one, I liked that look better.

Shetland Triangle 5
This particular lace pattern is ridiculously simple to follow, but I couldn’t help being drawn to its curvilinear quality. When it comes to lace, I am much more of a fan of organic, curvilinear, and sinuous (Madli, Print-o-the-Wave, etc) rather than more geometric pattern motifs (DFS, Faroese, most things in A Gathering of Lace, etc.) Of course I appreciate all sorts of lace patterns, but I find myself drawn to certain styles over others. With the Shetland Triangle, I love how the leaves are formed by undulating rows converging together towards a center point and then bending outward again with yos.

Shetland Triangle 1 Shetland Triangle 4 Shetland Triangle 6 Shetland Triangle 8

You can knit this thing on auto-pilot, and add as many repeats as you want (I love when a pattern works out like that). Use any yarn, any weight, and get something that is preferable to you, regardless of how many you’ve seen before.

Shetland Triangle 7

And I can’t put this post up without saying a short word about the yarn: this is definitely the most luxurious yarn that has ever graced my needles. When it was over, I was desperate for more, sad that it was done, and excited that it happened. Sounds like a torrid affair, doesn’t it. The color trumps everything – no matter how hard I tried, the pictures cant explain to you the depth and saturation. Hand-dyed by an artist, its no wonder it was so mesmurizing throughout. Not to mention how it feels… (butter)

There’s still one more shawl I have yet to show you, but I think I’ll make you wait a little longer for it, since I’ve got very little knitting going on presently.

so now no one can say i never knit socks. (i never do, though)

Chimney Socks 1

Pattern: Generic Toe-Up; Womens S/M; 60 stitches (See details below)
Materials: Sundara Sock Yarn (2 Skeins in “Chimney“, 1 Skein Color 012)
Needles: US 1 Aluminum DPN’s (unknown brand)

Started: 20 August 2006
Completed: 29 August 2006


Chimney Socks 6

Anatomy: Casted on like this with Solid color, increased to 60 Sts, switched to Hand-dyed yarn, work to heel, switch back to Solid, short-rowed a heel with YO wraps like so (using Solid), stockinetted my way up to a 1×1 ribbed cuff and finished it off with this.

Technically, this is my first real pair of socks – you know, using real sock yarn, tiny needles, and all those little heel/toe tricks i read about everywhere. It was enjoyable, there was something satisfying about knitting such tiny stockenette stitches. I’m happy to add it to the repertoire, but I’m not going crazy for it. I’m still a sweater and hat junkie at heart. I will say, I am a little more interested in reading about sock construction, which is probably a good thing, since there is way too much of it out there on the internet! Ha!

Chimney Socks 2 Chimney Socks 3 Chimney Socks 4 Chimney Socks 5

To tell the truth, my favorite part was shooting the photos… but that comes as no surprise, does it?