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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Craft Progress

I have been extremely busy with my new life at university. I have finished the third Piney Warmth Hat, but I haven't had time to photograph it. I am still making progress on my Union Long Beanie. Now that I'm in school, I don't think I will have time to make another fingering weight hat. DK or heavier will have to be my new normal. Without feeling progress, I'm not excited to pick it up, and when given the option, I'm choosing sleep over knitting.

I am now working on the decreases for the Union Long Beanie. After the decreases, I'll knit a button tab, add a cute button, and be finished! However, I doubt it will be finished in the next day or two with my class schedule. Do you have any modifications to your crafting schedule when school starts back? Any favorite "during crunch time" projects so your creativity doesn't wither?

Please comment!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Knitting in New Location

I have now moved to East Carolina University. For the first time in five days, I had a chance to knit a few rows. It was so peaceful knitting in the old laundry room on my floor. There were these beautiful rays of sunshine filtering through the windows and landing in pools on the black and white tiled floor. The whirring machines blocked out the hall noise while I worked on the Union Long Beanie. Even though I couldn't knit long, it was good to be back at it.

I've also purchased my first pet, a pink and purple female beta fish. As the tank I purchased was already  cracked, she is living in my friend upstairs. She still lacks a name, so if you have a wonderful fish name related to knitting or not, please leave a comment below. Thanks!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Original Piney Warmth Hats

After posting about my try three on the piney warmth hat, I realized I hadn't posted pictures of the first two piney warmths. Here they are, modeled by my gorgeous friend, Emma, over at Auburn Rose Photography

The hat is designed with cables, ribbing, and seed stitch (or moss stitch). I hope to be finished with the pattern writing shortly.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Try Three: Piney Warmth Hat

In this chaos of moving, I impulsively tossed an old notebook. I forgot that, scribbled on a page lost somewhere in the middle, were my directions for the Piney Warmth Hat that I designed. So, I pulled out a piney warmth that I still have. I am knitting another one and paying attention to the old one. I am knitting this piney warmth out of Merino Style, my favorite yarn from KnitPicks. Unfortunately, it was discontinued a few months ago.

I am making great progress on my Union Long Beanie. I'm almost ready to start the decreases! It will have a button tab on one side. I should start thinking about a button before I leave for school and don't have access to my button collection.

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Serged Pillowcases

A few days ago, my mom's new Brother 1034D serger arrived in the mail. After she watched a few videos to get it threaded, she had a meeting, so I got to serge my pillowcases to take to college. I was amazed how neat and fast using a serger was. The inside of the pillowcases won't ravel when I wash them and the seams won't be fall apart anytime soon with four threads binding them together.

Do you have any favorite fast craft projects? Please just leave a comment below. Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Baby Knitting

A few months ago, I mailed this rabbit to my Spanish teacher for his new baby girl. He emailed me these pictures of his daughter with the rabbit. It's such a blessing to see her enjoying her rabbit and, of course, her sister.

Do you have any favorite or funny gift-knitting stories? Please leave a comment below! Happy Knitting!

DownTown Knits

Last Saturday I visited another local yarn shop in Apex, NC called DownTown Knits.

The owner, Michele, has arranged the shop to have a spacious sit and knit area with lots of room for the knitters that gather on Friday for Knit Night.

I've enjoyed her variety of hand-dyed, natural fiber, locally produced, and designer yarns. I had never knit with Malabrigo or Manos before coming to her shop, and I now quite enjoy them.

I really like the knitting bag above: Keep Calm and Carry Yarn. The table above also features DTK's own line of yarn, Gather, a beautiful hand-dyed merino wool.

Michele has creatively grouped yarn, knitting bags, and knitted samples together throughout the shop.

There is a scarf-tree in the front window with several lovely, ruffled, variegated scarves.

Michele has a great baby knitting section complete with machine washable yarn, baby knitting books, like Itty-Bitty Nursery, shop samples of baby garments, and even a few baby hats and booties for sale.

I have really enjoyed admiring and gaining inspiration from the hat table. I think I might even venture to try entrelac (the hat pictured just above with the sunflower-like pattern) for this adorable tam.

I purchased Manos Maxima, a fair trade, kettle-dyed merino wool. Because East Carolina University's colors are purple and gold, I knew I would have to get this skein. I thought it would be fitting to knit a little scarflette, like the one in this post, to go with my purple dress for the fall. 

Please visit Michele's website at! Happy Knitting!

Family Knitter and Sweaters

Today I was delighted to learn from my paternal grandmother that her mother, Rosie Clay, my great-grandmother and namesake, was a knitter. I was so excited to learn this today; previously, I knew that several of my female ancestors crocheted and sewed most of their children's clothes, but had thought that I was the only knitter. My granny proceeded to show me the three sweaters that her mother knit and she even let me try them on. 

Rosie Clay had such an eye for detail. The sweater is knit entirely out of perfect stockinette stitch, the edge of the sleeves, collar, button band, and hem are crocheted scallops, and the front of the sweater is decorated with embroidered flowers and leaves. She also lined the shoulders and upper back of the sweater with thin fabric so that it would retain its shape. It is knit with 100% wool. She crocheted the buttons, as well.

Although it was knit by my great-grandmother sometime in the 1980s, it fits me well and would be something I could see myself wearing with a pair of brown slacks. Because it is wool, it would be a wonderful layer to fend off the cold in the autumn and winter.

This second sweater also was knit in wool. It is knit in a basket weave or moss stitch pattern with a garter stitch belt. The hem, sleeves, and collar are bordered with scalloped crochet. 

Here is the detail of the third sweater, a men's medium, with a shawl collar, knit for her husband. 

In the picture above (with the man's sweater), it a linen placemat by my great-grandmother's aunt and a crocheted doily that my great-grandmother made. The linen placemat was made from linen that my great-great-aunt grew, processed, and wove. My great-grandmother then crocheted the edging on the placemat. 

I was amazed by the knitting and fiber history that I learned from my grandmother this trip. Do you have any family knitting or crafting stories to share? Please leave a comment!

Happy Knitting!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Twin Boston Whalers

I finished knitting a second hat from the Ella Rae Bamboo Silk in the Boston Whaler pattern. They are for a set of girl twins. Ella Rae Bamboo Silk has just enough yarn in the skeins to make two Fair Isle baby hats (with the plum as the background in one, and the pewter as the background in the other).

I ended up enjoying the reverse colors in the second hat more than I thought I would. I would definitely get Ella Rae to knit baby hats again. It would also make a wonderful hat for an adult.  Also, Heather Walpole's pattern is easy to work with. I'm going to experiment with substituting a different fair isle pattern in the stitch repeat.

Happy Knitting!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Warm N' Fuzzy

I just went to the new Warm N' Fuzzy in downtown Cary. It is absolutely fabulous! Everything is artfully arranged with plenty of space to sit down and knit, a table for pattern exploration, and many windows which give great light to see the yarn.

The owner, Rebecca Hart, has refurbished an art gallery into a light-filled, community-oriented, yarn-love space. It is stunning!

These adorable, crocheted birds greet all the customers in the shop's front window.

They have a computer set up to help clients look up patterns on the internet. It even has a crocheted stool cover!

I love how each corner is arranged so beautifully; here is a basket of hand-dyed yarns with a crocheted giraffe and alpaca pair beside it.

The sitting area is complete with classy couch with pillows and a coffee table for the pastries from La Farm Bakery and patterns.

The owner, Rebecca, hosts Knit Night every Thursday evening from 7 to 9. I went yesterday evening and had a lovely time. I made great progress on my Boston whale baby hat. Rebecca also helped me find a pattern for slippers that a friend had requested.

Left to right: Mari, Rebecca Hart, and Caryn.  Mari's website with her own knitwear designs is

I'll definitely be returning to Warm N' Fuzzy. Happy Knitting!

The Pink Boston Whaler

Last night, I knit the Boston Whaler in the colors pewter and plum. I had such a great time having another successful Fair Isle project. I'll definitely be using this pattern again.

Ella Rae Bamboo Silk is a new favorite yarn of mine. It has great stitch definition for the whale color work. It's also smooth and soft, which will be perfect for a baby's head.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Hillsborough Yarn Shop

After dropping my siblings off to stay at my grandparents, my mom and I stopped at The Hillsborough Yarn Shop and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Everything is artfully placed on shelves, or hung on hat racks. The knitting needles are stored in a repurposed card catalog. How creative!

The children's knitting book collection is complete with Missions Falls cotton, a rocking chair, and a hand-knit pig.

There is a mother and baby alpaca pair on top of the spinning rack of alpaca and wool-blend hand-dyed yarns.

The front window is graced with buckets of lovely yarn.

I love the Christmas wreath from red and green skeins of yarn.

Here is a super cute set of hand warmers and a hat.

I really enjoy how the owner, Anne Derby, arranged the baskets of yarn with pattern books that would use that type of yarn.

The coral, pink, and purple blend in the bottom right of this picture is just stunning. Wouldn't it make a lovely baby sweater?

The hand-dyed brown below is so subtle, yet rich with the nuances of brown.

I have enjoyed knitting leaf-motif hats and cowls, but this is an entire sweater of leaves!

This corner was so inviting. Light to knit by, a comfortable easy chair, a hand-knit blanket, and plenty of inspiration.

I definitely want to go back next time I'm driving through Hillsborough.

My mom purchased a baby fair isle pattern called Preppy Hats by Heather Walpole, that can be either pink bows for a girl, or whales for either gender. The pattern is also for sale on Ravelry.

We purchased Ella Rae bamboo silk to knit these hats. I'm going to do the whale versions, one in pewter and plum, and the other in mocha and navy. She's going to knit the pink bow version.

I also purchased my first Debbie Bliss yarn, Fez, which is 85% Extrafine Merino Wool and 15% Camel, in gray. The heathered purple is Ultra Alpaca from Berroco, 50% Alpaca and 50% Wool.

Please visit The Hillsborough Yarn Shop's website to find out more about Anne's lovely shop at

Happy Knitting!