Pug Dog Sweater by Elizabeth Watkins

Look at this cute little guy!

This is my newest grand-dog, Gus. Gus is a Pug puppy and he’s absolutely edible. He has puppy toes and he’s in love with his dad (my son. I happen to agree that his dad is the bestest of the bestest!)

My son had asked me to knit a sweater for Gus because he’s going to be chilly this winter when they go out for their walks in New York City. I knit the first iteration in a pretty green but it was way too short. It fit perfectly around him but not with his harness. I also forgot to make a little hole where the harness will attach to the leash. So, when it came out looking like a crop top, I got back to knitting the second iteration in blue.

Gus in green

This pattern is a free pattern on Ravelry called Pug Dog Sweater. I knitted both sweaters in stashed leftover Berroco Vintage yarns. The pattern is sized for a lot of Pugs (and I’m going to try it for my Shitzu) from teeny tiny to sausage size. Gus doesn’t seem to be the typical Pug shape. He’s all leg (just like his father!) and he’s long and lean.

More information is on my Ravelry project page. I’m lindar on Ravelry. Follow my knitting antics on FB at Queen Bee Knits by LindaWarner or on Instagram @QueenBeeKnits.

UFOs Finished!

Like any “good” knitter, I tend to put off finishing projects that I don’t really want to do “right now”. I have a complete sweater sitting in time out waiting for me to seam it. A full sweater. One that I would like to wear but I really don’t love finishing sweaters. This one will take maybe 2 hours to finish … after many more hours than that of knitting it. Regardless, while the sweater sits in time out, I have begun and finished several projects.

Pussy Cat Hats in Pink and Gray … my pattern

Two Pussy Cat hats or Kit Kat hats. One is bright pink for those days when I feel like taking a stand and the other is grey for those days when I want to stand firm but not bring attention to myself. I like they way these worked out. I used Plymouth Yarns Encore Chunky yarn for both hats. Normally, I’d rather knit with natural fibers but these hats are soft and chunky and they knit up super quickly. I also can wash and dry them in my machine. I sent my original hat that I knit in Malabrigo Rios worsted yarn to my future son-in-law. He wanted a hat and I was happy to send mine and knit another for myself.

The pattern is mine.

Queen Bee Knits Pussy Hat

 

With bulky yarn and US 10 16″ circular needle, cast on 72 stitches. K2, P2 ribbing for 12 rounds. Knit around until hat is 9″ from cast on edge. Use a 3-needle bind off to cast off all stitches. Weave in ends. 

 

Feel free to use the pattern for personal use. If you want to give away hats, that’s fine. Please don’t sell these hats. Thank you.

A cowl for a customer. I have a customer who loves my knitted accessories. I’ve knitted her three or four tams in different weights and now a cabled cowl. The latest is a Bandana Cowl from Purl Soho which is a free pattern on Revelry or the Purl Soho website. She didn’t understand that the picture of the cabled cowl wasn’t really how a cowl worked. She was wanting a “dickey” that will sit down on her chest and around her neck rather than a cowl that solely goes around the neck. I’ve finished this one is Cascade 128 Superwash in a lovely teal colorway. It will match the hat that I just made her. She still wants another pair of hats. One in a yellow Cascade 128 and another in a Noro yarn.

I also finished the first block of my Cascade Knitterati Afghan MKAL. I love doing things that are a little bit different. I am not knitting with the same colors that the KAL is recommending (why would I do that?) but have picked one colorway so far that is a dark Granny Smith apple green. I’ve loved the color from afar for a long time and it’s high time to use it somewhere. Squares two and three have been released. I’ll likely knit square three before two because it’s a single color square and I have a single color yarn.

I have been knitting dish cloths for the daughters. It all started with sending three to my children at Christmas time. Daughter #1 asked for more so that they aren’t using paper towels any longer. They’ve been sent. In the meantime, I’ve knitted a few more for Daughter #2. And then I’ve knitted three tiny ones for the little California nieces. I’ve got to mail them away soon. The pattern is Grandma’s Favorite Dish Cloth and it’s a free Rarely pattern. These are all Lily Sugar and Cream yarns one is a pink camouflage colorway and the other simply made me think “Valentines Day”!

Fornicating Deer Hat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking of Valentine’s Day, I made my handsome and bald hubby a hat for Valentine’s Day this year. I used a navy and a gray worsted wool by Lamb’s Pride. A long time ago, I saw a chart on Pinterest and I saved it. It made me laugh and it is totally my husband’s sense of humor. It’s called the Fornicating Deer chart by Ann Rutten. It’s on Ravelry. Needless to say, I didn’t have a pattern to go with the chart but I looked at my expected gauge and decided to knit three repeats of the chart. I also decided that once the deer were finished that I would do my decreases and not finish the entire chart. He likes caps that fit tightly but cover his ears. When he came home after work the first day he wore it, he said, “hey hon, now I really have sex on the brain!” Yup. I think he loves his hat.

Oh, I need a better camera. The color is way off!

I do love to finish projects! Today I hope to finish a pair of bright orange work socks (the picture doesn’t come close to the bright “hunting orange” color) for my husband. He loves to wear the thick, warm Raggi yarn socks to work. He works outside in Maine in the winter. Enough said?

Gone knitting!

Moving, Test Knitting and Christmas

IMG_5849I can’t figure out what drove me to say “yes” to a test knitting project this close to Christmas when I knew I had several knitting projects that had to be completed before Christmas! What was I thinking? Oh, yes. Maybe I was thinking that the last sweater I test knitted for Lori was a big hit and I loved it and this one would be great, too?

So, I have set aside all the other projects in favor of “Open Star” by VersaciKnits. Lori designs classic and timeless sweaters for adults and children. I love her designs. Open Star is a cardigan with a classic shape and a unique stitch pattern that leaves a “lacey” look without being a lace pattern. Knit in a worsted- or aran-weight yarn, it’s a relative quick-knit. (I’d have had it done long ago if I hadn’t had to move into a new home two weeks before it was due to be completed.) Needless to say, my test knit is late this time. But I have enjoyed it … most of the time.

To complete this sweater, one has to be able to count to four and three. Sometimes this is a challenge for me. This is where I have made mistakes and had to frog back several rows (time after time.) To be fair, it can be a bit confusing when you get to the shaping of the shoulder and neck. But not confusing enough for me to have made so many silly mistakes. I think my head and heart were unpacking boxes when my hands were knitting.

I love the yarn that I chose and that is Quince and Co’s Lark in the Lupine colorway. The yarn is smooth and squishy and feels wonderful in my hands. It’s got a wonderfully soft hand and isn’t splitty. I love the color, too.

I am looking forward to finishing the sleeves so that I can assemble and wear this lovely cardigan … especially since this “winter” in Maine has been so warm. This would be the perfect “jacket” to wear out Christmas shopping!

Gone knitting!

My 3 B Street Shop is Open for Business

So, I’ve been knitting my fingers off for a couple of years between custom orders and have a lovely bunch of knitted garments … fingerless mittens, scarves, shawls, hats, socks and the like that I have wanted to photograph and get into my online shop.

Then, a year or so ago, I got a call from Laurie Barron (her mother was my eldest daughter’s junior high school English teacher and we have become friends) who was starting her own version of Etsy but without all the “extra” stuff. And the stores were going to have to apply and be “juried” so-to-speak. It keeps the workmanship levels up and the quality of the items in the shops is really high. Within the last few months, 3 B Street shops were in Beta mode and then went live!

Yesterday, we photographed my entire box of knitted items and I uploaded them to my shop. I hope you’ll agree that it’s a great sampling of knitted items and I am (as always) willing to knit just about anything custom for you, dear reader.

Without further ado, please visit my Queen Bee Knits shop at 3 B Street (dot) com. I hope you like it and always welcome  your feedback!

Gone knitting!

100 Years of Colorful

Yesterday I went to the Central Florida Fair which is celebrating its 100th year. Wow! 100 Years! Quite an accomplishment for a little regional fair. I’d never been to the fair before but my knitting girls brought it into my awareness and I decided to give it a try – trying new things is good for me!

The Knit or Knot Guild was doing demonstrations in the Creative Arts Building – which was air conditioned … for which I am eternally grateful as it was near 90 degrees outside. We demonstrated and taught knitting, crochet and spinning to fair-goers young and old. And enjoyed an afternoon of knitting together. As usual, I made a mistake in my knitting while my jaw was exercising and had to “frog” a dozen or so rows this morning. But it was such a fun afternoon!

We ate fair food.

My sugar-coated sweetie!

We saw horses, calves, 4H calf roping contests, bunnies, colorful people and chickens. Lots of wonderful chickens … a few of which were happy to pose for me!

               

I posted before about submitting knitted items to the fair, didn’t I? Without expectation, I submitted the Señorita Lolita sweater in the “Other” Knitting category and won a second place ribbon. I also submitted my Cambridge Shawl in the “Shawls/Scarves” Knitting category and won a third place ribbon. Yay for me!!! I also will be receiving a check for $30 which, as one of my knitting gals said, I can use for buying more yarn. (Like I need more yarn!?)

I feel very proud that my knitting was acknowledged by a judge and am already thinking ahead to next year’s fair and what I can submit … especially since I know better what the categories are and what gets submitted! Look out world, the Queen Bee’s on the prowl!

Gone Knitting!

1. belonging or pertaining to the origin or beginning of something. 2. new; fresh; inventive; novel

I’ve been working on designing a line of original dog sweaters and coats for a year or so now. I just came across the notes I took from a teleconference with a friend who has been in the garment industry (for people) for her entire career and whose wisdom and experience I truly value. We had talked about having twelve (TWELVE!?) designs and changing out the fabrics for the seasons. Well, the seasons may be do-able but no (freaking) way I’ll have twelve designs any time soon! A girl’s got to make a living and without taking my little business all the way to an Andean village where women can knit for me, I need to get these patterns written, tested and knit up a few samples.

I have four designs at this point in time that I can use as my base.

The Señorita Lolita, a sassy dress with a ruffled skirt and a big colorful flower on the shoulder. Fingering weight yarn makes it more time-consuming to knit but makes the little dress flow-y and light. I just sent my first iteration of this sweater off to the Central Florida Fair as my submission to the “Other” category. Submitted with this photograph of my little Lola (“Whatever Lola Wants…”) who is my inspiration for the design.

The Boyfriend is a classic turtleneck sweater knit in bulky yarn which makes it pretty quick to knit up unlike it’s sibling above. The design is based on the women’s sweaters with the same name that are bulky and loose and snuggly … hoping that the feeling of wearing a boyfriend’s sweater will translate to the feeling of caring for your fur baby.

The MacTire. Irish knit-style cabled sweater with a turtle neck collar. Right out of the pages of GQ! (Is that still in print?) I love this sweater with the “hugs and kisses” cable down the back. Also a relatively quick knit as it’s in a bulky wool, it’s simply classic and appeals to my Irish roots.

MacTire (mock teerah)

Last but certainly not least is the Nor’Easter Coat. Seed stitch is one of my favorite textural stitches and with this bulky or super-bulky wool, it is a visual thrill. The stitches are tightly knit and make a really warm coat for chilly days. I’m working on the finishing touches to the pattern. This may be my current favorite!

Patterns to come!

Gone knitting!

Design – 2012 Trends

I’m already laughing because the original title to this post was written “Design – 2010 Trends” … and it’s true that I am not a fashion plate, what the heck gives me the chops to design? And my response to myself is, “it’s for dogs!”

I do believe that fashion trends are created by the industry solely to give designers and fabricators job security. Those of you who are fashion-driven (I do not belong to this group) will be drooling over the new colors and styles paraded across magazines and runways and city streets. I just happen to be missing that gene. But, dressing my dogs … that’s a whole other situation!

Bright colors seem to be the trend and lots of pattern. The Señorita Lolita is still in vogue (no, not the magazine) and I still believe that neutrals and traditional cables like the MacTire are timeless. This little coat is really cute – celery green and with the fabulous seed stitch texture. I have to find the right buttons to go along with it … perhaps one that is feminine and one that is masculine (for obvious reasons.)

I knit this coat with a super bulky merino wool by Rowan called “rowan big wool”. It’s 100 gram ball (at approximately 87 yards) was just enough to make a coat for a or 11 pound dog … with a little bit of wiggle room depending on button placement. The shade that I used (29) is a light celery green … one of my favorites! I love knitting with this wool. It’s soft and not at all splitty and knit up it’s light weight but really warm. Care for this wool by washing in cold water by hand and dry flat. Never wring hand knits – simply roll them up in a big towel and press the water out of the garment, unroll and dry flat.

Rowan has a bunch of beautiful patterns FREE on their website! You’ll need to register but, trust me, it’s worth it! Their patterns are beautiful and plentiful!

I think the second draft will have to be in a tangerine orange color as the Pantone color of the year is “tangerine tango” a vivid red-orange that would look so wonderful on my boy, Boogie! I never liked “orange” but find myself wearing it today! Go figure! I’m so stylin’!

So, off to the yarn store in the world wide web I go.

Photos to follow soon of all my finished projects!

Gone knitting!

Finished!

I have finished a few projects and wanted to show them to you!

I finished two hats – one for my son, and one for my shop. The son  one is from a pattern that he found and you, too, can find it if you click here. What I like about Staci’s patterns and site is that she includes tutorials that you can click through to and follow. They’re lovely – and my son needed to have just that hat! (And he loves it … and promises a photo when he gets his phone fixed!) For now, however, here’s a photo that I took of the hat. My son picked the colors!

A Hat for my Boy!

I made another hat from the leftover yarn from my boy’s hat. So, the colors are the same (duh!) I switched up the pattern but kept the ear flap style. It’s likely that I’ll send it to one of his roommates because he reported that they all wanted one! If not, it will be in my shop. Click here for complimentary transportation to Esty (dot) com!

I have also finished a “Boyfriend” sweater for my friend Harriet’s 4-legged fur family. My little guy tried it on and it fit him. I have heard that Harriet’s little dogs are a bit pudgy – too many treats? – so, we’ll try it on one of them and we’ll get another one done for the second little darling. I’m making them just like my little dog’s sweaters because I love them! Harriet will, too!

Lovers’ Mitten – Great Valentine’s Day gift!

I’ve finished a “Lovers’ Mitten” to add to my Etsy shop. It’s Valentine’s Day red. Hope it (and it’s pink sister shown here) will sell this month … and I have yarn to make one or two more! They’re a little bit kitchy but they’re fun. And if it’s cold where you are, think about it – you can walk down the street with the person you love and hold hands without them being frozen stiff at the end of your walk!

I’ve also finished a pair of fingerless mittens intended to be a gift but then I realized they were going to be a duplicate gift so they’ll go into my shop. I think. Or I’ll save them for my … well, if I tell you about it, then the cat is out of the bag, so to speak. Let’s move on!

On the needles …

One almost finished pair of wool and silk fingerless mittens for my shop – they’ll be done very soon.

One half-finished black sock for my son. He’s the one who said he didn’t want me knitting him sock but this will be the third pair that I’ve knitted for him … the second that he specially requested. Ha! I knew he’d love them … who wouldn’t!?

I have 2 of my swatches from the class that I’m taking from the Knitting Guild Association finished. I’m working my way through their process with the goal of becoming a certified Master Knitter. It’s quite prestigious – but I think I can do it. The only part that makes me squishy is thinking about designing a human garment! Yikes! But I do have an idea – my sister Abbie has this really cool, unstructured sweater that I’d like to use as my inspiration.

I have a pattern for another pair of fingerless mittens sitting on my work table in my Atelier. I bought some really pretty red- and another lovely teal-colored yarn and will be making one pair as a gift for a super special friend and another for me.

I also want to make myself a tea cozy. Have you ever seen the book and patterns by Loani Pryor? She’s the Queen of the Tea Cozies! Visit her website/blog by clicking here. She offers a couple of free patterns on her site. I will likely try one of them but also really covet her book(s)! On my Amazon (dot) come wish list! I’m drinking tea daily and am wrapping my tea pot with a towel to keep it warm in the morning. I’ll also be making a tea cozy as a Christmas gift. Trying to think ahead!

Goodness, I’ve gone on … time to hit the hay so I can photograph the finished objects tomorrow and get some more knitting done!

Gone sleeping!

 

Finished Objects

I’ve been wrapping up a few UFOs again and thought you might like to see some photos of them and hear what I thought about the yarn and patterns, etc.

Prima Dogma by Queen Bee Knits first order is ready to go out. I’ve finished two sweaters for Jan’s fur family (they live out in the San Francisco area). Jan has two Japanese Chins and these sweaters are for her little girl.

First, my original design, “Señorita Lolita”

"Senorita Lolita" - custom knit for Jan

I originally bought some wool fingering weight yarn in a peachy pink. Jan had asked for a pink color for this sweater but left the shade to my discretion. I started knitting and decided I really didn’t like the yarn and ordered some Koigu KPPM in their solids color way. I love the way this sweater turned out. It’s pretty and feminine and the ruffle is just right. I also knitted the flower in various “scraps” of fingering yarn in KPPM and wools that I have in my stash. The first flower I knitted was way too dull but this one – I especially like the way the green leaf turned out – I think is just perfect!

"Boyfriend" a PrimaDogma by Queen Bee Knits design

Lola was kind enough to model twice – she is not the dog who loves to wear clothing – and this is the “Boyfriend” sweater knit for Jan’s Japanese Chin. I love the colors of this sweater. I knit it with Cascade Yarns Baby Alpaca Chunky and it was a pleasure to knit. The yarn is so soft and will be so warm on those Northern California wintery days! This pattern is a seriously altered version of the sweater in “Dress Your Dog” by Sys Fredens. It’s designed to be bulky and loose like a boyfriend’s sweater would be. I think it looks adorable on Lola and can’t wait to see Jan’s photos.

Fingerless Mittens - I'll be knitting until the cows come home!

Three pairs of fingerless mittens that I’ve knit for my SIL, Annie, who will be gifting them to some lucky ladies! The grey pair on the left is knit with pure alpaca DK weight yarn from Maine. I bought it at an alpaca farm in Washington, Maine. It’s so soft and will be warm … but alpaca is well-known to also be very light weight. This one pair took approximately 8 hours to complete but I love the way they turned out. Needless to say, however, I had to find another pattern that didn’t take quite so long if I am going to get the rest of the 15 pairs finished and delivered before Christmas (or sometime next year!) The two pairs on the right are simpler construction and knitted in a DK weight wool from Maine, too. This is a hand-dyed wool from French Hill Farm in Solon, ME that I bought at a farmer’s market. I loved the rich ocean colors that go from purple to turquoise to limey green and then to yellow. I also love this pattern – it’s simple and lets the yarn be the focus.

And last but not least, the most recent threesome. More fingerless mittens. (I haven’t even woven in the ends of the left-most pair yet).

On the left, grey wool fingerless mittens that are about as simple as they come but I really like this pattern and will be making more of these. They knit up quickly in worsted weight wool and I will be embroidering a snowflake on the back of the hand to give it a little bit of character. The two green pairs are knitted in a more “Aran” cabled pattern – and I love, love, love cables. It must be my Irish heritage that comes out through my fingertips when I get sticks and string together. The yarn is a 50-50 alpaca/wool blend and it’s lovely yarn. Also worsted weight, this pattern knitted up in about 3 hours per glove … not too bad. I seem unable to knit up a glove in much less than that and 6 hours each pair isn’t an awful lot of time to spend. Wish I knitted a bit faster but I don’t.

I’ve discovered a great knitting in the round tip, though for knitters. If you criss-cross the first and last stitches (pass the last stitch to the left needle to knit first and pass the first stitch to the right needle to knit last – here’s a youtube video that shows you how to do this a bit better than my explanation. Love it! And she’s absolutely right, the little divot at the beginning (I always just started knitting) is gone! Woo! Hoo!

Gone knitting!

 

Personality Plus

So, I designed this pattern for a competition – I won “skein-ettes” and had to make them into something. What better than a sweater for my “little girl” (aka Lola).

Animal lovers know how each little critter has a personality all their own. My brother has two big dogs. One is afraid of her shadow and hides behind the kitchen table. The other is just “one of the boys”, my fourth nephew, and always wants to play – drops slimy soliva-covered popped ball pieces (chewed frisbees, bits of sticks or firewood, plastic water bottles, shoes he grabbed indoors, etc.) at your feet morning, noon and night. He never gives up.

Ever watchful Lola. Ever sleepy Boogie!

My little dogs each have their own personality: Boogie is a “stoner” … he’s very trainable and has “sit”, “down”, and “give me five” but he is not a self-starter. Lola is the “alpha” dog in the pair;  she’s independent, and as nosy and bossy as dogs get. She’s a whopping 9 pounds dripping wet … go figure. In order to get Boogie to go outside, we call, “LolaBoq Come” … most of the time we get both dogs. 🙂

Anyway, I digress …

I have a first Prima Dogma by Queen Bee Knits order. The first sweater, “Turtle” is finished and ready to ship. BUT the yarn that I originally bought for the second sweater just wasn’t doing it for me. I ordered a second skein and cast on this morning. I love it – and I want to recommend it to you knitters out there in blog-land! It’s called Koigu KPPM. The one I bought this time is one of their solid colors but they have an endless line of wonderful colors sure to please every person’s taste. I’m buying mine at JimmyBeansWool.com because their service is very quick, their prices are reasonable and they’ve got a great selection. I think I could knit with only Koigu and be happy. I just ordered their last book … I’ll report on it as soon as it arrives.

So, off I go to knit AJ’s baby girl a pink Señorita Lolita sweater (Prima Dogma by Queen Bee Knits’ first design) … gone knitting!