Camden Hills Poncho

IMG_2486I have another finished object! My Camden Hills Poncho is done, done, done! It’s even blocked and ends woven in done!

I really enjoyed knitting this poncho. It’s a very simple design with just enough detail in the lace at the bottom front and the neck to make the knitting interesting and then a lot of stockinette stitches to finish it up.

The bottom front and back are knitted flat and then joined to knit in the round from the bottom to the top. No sleeves (sometimes it’s really nice to not have sleeves!) to worry about or attach at the end. This was a very satisfying knit and I’m thrilled to be able to wear it to work this week!

IMG_2487I knit mine in Berroco Ultra Wool in the Beetroot (33151) colorway. I used five balls nearly to the inch! I love this yarn. It’s a true worsted and it feels really nice while your knitting but it blooms really beautifully when it’s blocked. I also love the color of the beetroot. It’s a deep beet red. It seems to be the color of the year in my wardrobe!

Complete information is available on my Ravelry project page.

Gone knitting!


Girasol by Jared F

Girasol by Jared Flood

I’m so in love with this project that I want to marry it!

Three of us in the Wednesday night knitting class (plus our teacher) decided to knit the Girasol Shawl in the worsted weight version which makes an afghan. I really (REALLY!) loved knitting this and it wasn’t difficult. I loved knitting it so much that I absolutely will knit another one.

Girasol by Jared Flood is written for fingering/lace weight or worsted weight yarns. I think you could knit it in any weight of your choosing with appropriately sized needles. And they will all be gorgeous! The pattern is available on Ravelry.

The pattern itself is clear and well written and a cinch to follow. The most “difficult” part, in my opinion, is the cast on which is Emily Ocker’s Circular Cast On. I’m sharing Jimmy Bean’s Wool’s tutorial with the ever delightful Jeanne. Watch it a couple of times before attempting this cast on. It’s a beauty – for starting any project in the middle of a circle (hats from the top down, lace shawls, etc.) Sheer genius and it sits flat when pulled closed.

This cast on is originally in Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitter’s Almanac (a wonderful book, by the way. EZ had a most unique and visionary knitting technique.) It’s available on … click on the image below and you’ll be magically transported! (You’re welcome, of course!)


If you’re serious about knitting, you have to read EZ. Seriously! Anyway, back to Girasol …

I used Cascade 220 Superwash (because who wants a huge, wool-stinky, wet afghan to dry? Although, truth be told, I’m thinking of using wool for the next one. I may be crazy!) in a light grey tweed-y colorway. I love grey as a neutral and this will, theoretically, live in my atelier where I can throw it over my legs or fold it in half and wear it over my shoulders on a cold evening. Mine took nine balls (the pattern asks for eight and I may knit a bit loosely.) The edge stitches were (a little bit) boring – it’s knitted on the edge as you bind off and three stitches are “eaten up” when you knit six rows. There are 640 stitches. Got it? 🙂

The pattern calls for a US 9 circular needle and DPNs. I started with the DPN and then went to a 24 inch wire and then to a 32 inch wire and ended up with a sixty inch wire which was really a little bit too long. But it worked. I used my fabulous Dreamz interchangeable needles by Knitters Pride. I love them.

If you choose to knit this gloriously beautiful shawl/afghan, watch out and be aware when you start the edging. Just saying. I was in the car and everything was all bunched up and I started with the wrong side facing me and the edging on my blanket is “backward”. I think it’s very fitting, actually, and I chose to leave it that way.

Knit this pattern. I’m not kidding. You’ll love it. I can’t wait to see what mine looks like after it’s blocked … which will have to wait until our house is finished and furnished. Soon enough and I will be using it unblocked until that time. My knitting group is doing a Girasol for one of our members’ mother-in-law who recently lost her husband. I’m looking forward to my turn knitting!

Gone knitting.

Pouches Rock!

My second Wonderful Wallaby is off the needles. This one for my sister-in-law to give to a friend who is expecting a new baby in April. She requested it in pink … and since I was at the Black Sheep (teaching), I ran right back to the yarn room to see what was available in a baby-friendly pink that’s not too pink. (Because as much as I love pink for little girls, I also know that they get a lot … a LOT … of pink gifts.) And voila! I loved this one …

Ta-daaa! My yarn choice!

Ta-daaa! My yarn choice! Plymouth Yarn “Encore Tweed”

Knitting for babies and children really requires washable yarn. I sometimes break this rule … especially when I’m knitting for people who I know well. But when I am knitting for people I don’t know, I assume that they’ll want garments that are easy to care for. Thus, acrylic or blends are essential. The yarn I chose is Encore Tweed by Plymouth Yarn. It’s a worsted weight blend of 75% acrylic, 22% wool and 3% rayon. Stretchy, soft, washable … and a great price point at $7.50 a ball (I needed three. Color W464, Lot 67839.)

I decided to make the smallest size possible which is a 2T because if the baby is born in April, she will be 8 months old in December and with rolled up sleeves, this size will likely fit well with a little room for growth. I always put my children in sweaters that grew a little bit with them. Because I was knitting a gift, I did knit a swatch for gauge. If it was for me I might not have done that but I wanted it to be sized accurately. And away I went.

Bottom's UP!

Bottom’s UP!

This sweater is constructed from the bottom up and knit in the round. (Hear this, NO seams!) The instructions are very clear and easy to follow. Two needle sizes needed. Sleeves can be knit one- or two-at-a-time which is my preference so that they are sure to be the same size. I’m sorry that I didn’t take a photograph of my sleeves in process. On this particular pattern, I like using scraps of yarn to hold the few stitches for the underarms both on the body of the sweater and the sleeves. (Makes the “pits” very flexible.)

Here’s a great tip! If you start with the sleeves, you can consider them your swatch. For those who don’t like to swatch, you can start your project right off and if your gauge is off you have a lot fewer stitches to pull out.

Splitting up for the neckline

Splitting the stitches for the neckline … and then on to the collar and hood!

The sleeves are attached very simply by stitching them onto your needles along with the sweater body. Decreases all around for the shoulders and we’re getting closer and closer to a finished garment.

At the neckline, the stitches split and you knit back and forth for the neckline and hood (if you choose to add one … and I love children’s hats with hoods!) Again, very simple. The only “glitch” that I can see in the pattern is that there is a repeat of a few knitted stitches on the edge of the hood, which I am too much of a perfectionist to accept. So, I chose to knit all of the edge stitches on one side and purl all edge stitches on the other side. That way, I get a “perfect” edge. You’ll see what I mean when you knit this cutie!

At the end of the hood, you’ll graft all the stitches together with a Kitchener stitch and ta-daa!!! I added a tassel to the hood because I really liked the hassle that I added to the first WW that I knitted for my niece. All you have to do is graft the underarm stitches and all the seaming is done. Don’t you love that!? I sure do! Use a long piece of your seaming yarn to tighten up the “holes” at each side of the underarm. This is a trick you can use in lots of patterns.


Just a few underarm stitches to graft … that’s it for seaming!

Underarm "holes" are easily tightened up!

Underarm “holes” are easily tightened up!

So, there you have it once again. The Wonderful Wallaby. I love this pattern so much that I am knitting one for myself in oatmeal-colored wool. You can be sure you’ll be seeing it when it’s on the needles!

Wonderful Wallaby in pink!

Wonderful Wallaby in pink!

Queen Bee Knits label is placed on the inside of the bottom … don't want it rubbing baby's neck!

Queen Bee Knits label is placed on the inside of the bottom … don’t want it rubbing baby’s neck!

Tassel … my addition

Tassel … my addition

Gone knitting.

Big Brother’s Slippers

When I was in Louisiana visiting my brother and sister-in-law (I really would rather call her my sister but then that would be confusing), I was asked to help with a knitting project. Kathy had tried to knit a pair of slip-on felted slippers for my brother and kept having a problem. With the cooler weather coming soon (all of us in the south can’t wait for cooler weather in the fall and we’re typically the last to get it!) she didn’t feel like she had the energy or inclination to attempt to learn it and so I picked up her yarn and needles and attacked the project.

Slippers in Process

I have to say, it was a very odd construction method but the finished slippers looked fantastic! The pattern is one that I’ve seen a million times but had never knitted before. It’s Fiber Trends Felt Clogs (designed by Bev Galeskas). It was knitted in a worsted weight wool (I can’t remember what brand it was) doubled throughout the pattern. Kathy had chosen black for the sole and a charcoal gray for the top of the clog. *If you’re a new knitter, this pattern is do-able BUT do not use black! It’s so hard to see the stitches! I’d suggest using two very contrast-y colors! At least the first time!

If you are careful to follow the pattern instructions as they are written, you’ll have a really lovely and warm pair of slippers after felting!

Felting tips –

Put the slippers into a zippered pillow case so that little bits of wool don’t gum up your washing machine. I say this from experience, folks! I’ve paid the repair man to come to fix my machine TWICE!

Washer setting should be hot water cycle. You can add extra hot water by boiling it on your stovetop and adding to the washer. The hotter the water, the quicker the felting will happen. That said, WATCH your slippers carefully … check every ten minutes! It would be very sad if you felted the slippers too much and they’re now too small! You can always felt slippers a bit more to make them smaller but you can’t make them bigger.

Put 3 or 4 pairs of old blue jeans into the washer with your slippers to help them felt better (more evenly and more quickly).

You can use rubber gloves to fish for the slippers in the hot water when you’re checking.

I would also suggest that you wring the slippers instead of letting them go through a spin cycle because sometimes felted garments keep their creases caused by spinning! I like to roll my wet wool items in a towel and step on them to get out the extra water. Then shape with my hands and sit on another towel to dry. If you’re lucky to live in a cool, dry, sunny place, put your wet slippers outside in the sun!

I did knit the double sole for my big brother’s slippers and Kathy is going to add a leather sole, too so that Rick can go outside with his slippers. They turned out really well and I am so happy that I could help my family stay warm this winter!


I am looking forward to knitting these again! I have so much great yarn in my stash that will felt well … maybe Christmas gifts?

Gone knitting!


Maine Fiber Frolic 2012

It’s pouring and the brave souls who have fiber for sale in tents today … well, suffice it to say, I’m darned glad I went yesterday morning!

I was so engrossed with fibers and chatting with people (mostly vendors this year) that I neglected to take more than one photograph … silly me! Here is the one picture that I did take.

Beautiful critters!

I did happen to make a dent in my yarn budget, too. (The one that doesn’t exist!) Remember my former post where I said that I had brought up enough yarn from my stash in Florida (and patterns, too) to knit for the whole summer? I had promised myself that I wasn’t going to buy a lot of new yarn this summer. Fortunately it was a promise to myself and I’ve blown it!

I’m really excited about my purchases, though! I bought a couple of hanks of “Maine Lobstah” superwash sock yarn. (Clever Maine marketing!) I loved the color way and I have been wanting another sock project … now I have several! This yarn is super soft and I really hope it knits up as nicely as I think it will. Check out Maine Woods Yarn‘s Website!

Maine Woods Yarn & Fiber - Maine "Lobstah" superwash sock

I also splurged on six hanks of Seacolors yarns. These yarns are solar hand-dyed in seawater and it’s a pretty clean and cyclical process. They also happen to come from Washington, Maine where I went to summer camp (many moons ago). So check out Nanne’s site and see what a wonderful business and life she has created in Maine. And if you fall in love with her farm, you can even buy a “share” and spend a week (or more) there each year with Nanne and her precious pups.

I bought three colors: a salmon-y color, a green/salmon-y variegated and a blue. With my purchase I got a free pattern for a “Boxy Cardigan” which I plan to knit up. It will be salmon with some thin blue stripes and then variegated at the bottom. Sleeves will be as long as they decide to be but also likely in the salmon with blue stripes. This one will be unique and special. I just wish I had my winder and swift with me this summer!

Seacolors Yarn

We have the wood stove cranking today and it’s pouring and gray outside. It’s truly a stark difference (even) from yesterday. I’m so glad I chose to go to the Fiber Frolic yesterday … I was a happy camper!

I’m already looking forward to next year!

Gone knitting!