Monday, October 8, 2007

Some knitting, some jewelry, some fiber madness

Let's start with the knitting. I finished my Tangled Yoke Cardigan from the fall Interweave Knits. It's no exaggeration to say that this may be my all-time favorite knitted sweater. The tweedy green yarn is a beautiful color, and the cabling around the shoulders is gorgeous. I like the deep ribbing on the body and sleeves, especially since the garter rib doesn't pull in tight the way that a regular 2x2 rib would. And for once, I made a sweater that's lightweight enough to wear in Virginia.

Even Zoe likes it. But then, she's not very discriminating -- she firmly believes that all wool was intended to become a cat bed.

Pattern: Eunny Jang's Twisted Yoke Cardigan, Fall IK
Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed, 9 skeins of "herb"

As for the jewelry, the recent mention of my stitch markers and pendants in Knitty has been great for business, as you might imagine. I've had a number of sales (from Australia even!), and have gotten some wonderful feedback. Thanks everyone! I'd better get another batch made up quick ... stock has run low again.

And as for the fiber madness, I've got two fiber-related weekends coming up! This coming weekend, I'll be taking classes at Stitches East in Baltimore. I'll be in Two Hands Two Colors, Freeform Potpourri, and Fair Isle Knitting. Two of these classes will be put to immediate use, as I've already bought the yarn for Eunny Jang's Autumn Rose pullover. And then, the next weekend, I'm going to Rhinebeck. I hadn't been planning to go, but then I found out from a friend about a reunion of our high school class -- that same weekend, and only 100 miles away. I almost had to go then, right?!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The fall issue of Knitty is online . . .

. . . and I'm so excited! Back in June, I sent off a necklace and a set of stitch markers to the product review folks at Knitty magazine, hoping that they might put them into the "Cool Stuff" section of the fall issue. I've been obsessively checking for the new issue since Labor Day, and it finally went online this afternoon. And there they are -- my "knit" pendant and a set of "I (heart) yarn" stitch markers. Click here to see the Knitty column, and on this link to go to my shop.

And now I have to get back to reading Knitty!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Lots of finished projects -- not all knitting

I'm shocked by the date of my last post. I knew it had been awhile, but I had no idea it had been so long. I've accumulated lots of finished projects in the meantime. My favorite is this messenger bag:

This is the "Cheery Os Book Bag" from Tink Knit. The original has lots more circles, but I liked the way it looked after I finished the first row, so I stopped there. The front flap is knitted and felted, with the circles needle-felted into place. The yarn is Ella Rae Classic, eggplant and a variety of other colors. The body of the bag, though, is sewn from a buttery soft black leather that I bought on a recent trip to New York at Leather Impact. This was my first time working with leather, but the leather was so soft that I didn't have any trouble with it.

I also finally finished another bag that I knitted and felted weeks ago. This one is the medium-size Adventure Bag from Noni Patterns.

I used some Brown Sheep yarn that I've had sitting around for several years (it was supposed to be a sweater). The lining is from Purl, in New York.
The knitting was easy enough, but I was a little intimidated by sewing in the zipper. Luckily, it went in straight on the first try.

Those are the main knitting projects, but I did make these socks while I was on vacation.

I've also got some non-knitted items to show off today. I got a shiny new Bernina sewing machine last weekend, so I've got a few sewn projects as well -- a cute pincushion, an eyeglass case, and a composition book cover made of some adorable cowgirl oilcloth.

I'm feeling the urge to try a patchwork quilt next . . . but first I ought to finish that cardigan I've been knitting.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Quidditch Sweater for A Crafty Daughter

I promised my daughter a Quidditch sweater to wear to "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," and I delivered it just in the nick of time. I wove in the last yarn end about three hours before we left for the movie. And true to her word, Crafty Daughter wore the sweater to the movie, despite the sweltering summer heat. Here it is:

The pattern is from Charmed Knits, by Alison Hansel. I adjusted the size to halfway between the small and medium. I made one other modification, as well -- I knit the sleeves in 2x2 ribbing throughout, rather than doing a 1x1 ribbing at the cuffs as called for by the pattern.

The yarn is the huggably soft Debbie Bliss Cashmerino. The red is aran weight, color #611, and the yellow is DK weight, color #12. The yellow wasn't available in aran, so I had to mix two different gauge yarns to get the perfect Gryffindor color combination. I knit a swatch first to see if they were compatible, and was very happy to find that the combination worked beautifully.

The sweater is scheduled for its next wearing at the Harry Potter 7 release party this Friday night -- I hope Borders is very well air-conditioned!

Friday, June 29, 2007

My first original design

Don’t you love the Noni bag patterns? If you’re not nodding enthusiastically right now, it must be because you haven’t seen them yet – so go check out Noni Patterns.

On the past two Saturdays, my friend R. and I took a wonderful class with Noni herself (Nora Bellows), called “Design Your Own Felted Bag.” And that’s exactly what we did. Nora talked us through the process of looking for inspiration, sketching ideas, and then translating those ideas into knitting patterns. At the second meeting, she shared her tips for finishing – that critical step that makes all her bags look so beautifully handcrafted. And with Nora’s help, I made this beautiful bag:

Here's a photo of the other side, where the colors are somewhat different:

I’m beaming with pride at how well it turned out, and can’t wait to use it. Look at the beautiful silk brocade lining:

and the nifty magnetic snap closure and pocket:

It’s even got feet!

Thanks Nora!

Suzanne’s Felted Lattice Bag
Yarn: 4 skeins of Classic Elite Lush, 4 skeins of Noro Kureyon
Needles: size 11, knitted with 2 strands held together

jewelry for your knitting . . . and for you

I haven’t posted in awhile, because I haven’t managed to get anything finished in weeks. One of the things that has been taking up my time is the launch of my Etsy shop:

My last post was about some sterling silver stitch markers that I made for my Secret Pal from the Knitty board. If you make handcrafted items, I’m sure you’ve heard your friends say “you should sell those!” This time, when my knitting group friends said that, I decided to follow up on it.

My shop is at, “your place to buy and sell all things handmade.” Etsy is a great site that lets handcrafters set up individual shops, and allows buyers to interact directly with the artisans. My shop, which is still small but growing, features stitch markers, pendants, earrings, pins, and charms. There’s a sampling of items over there to the left – click on any of the pictures, or on “acraftylawyer” below the pictures, to be routed to my shop. (If you click on “Etsy” or “Buy handmade,” that will take you to the Etsy home page, rather than to my shop.)

These pieces reflect my love of bright colors and simple shapes. Maybe I’m crazy to be selling stitch markers when there are so many others out there, but I think these are special, and I hope they find an audience. So please check out my shop, and read my profile there. And while you’re there, take a look at some of the other amazing Etsy shops, too.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

New Stitch Markers -- posted at last

A few weeks ago, I made some stitch markers for my Secret Pal from the Knitty board Spring Fling. I decided not to post a photo here until she had received them, to be sure she didn't stumble across the photo before the package arrived. Well, the post office sent the package into limbo for nearly three weeks, eventually returning it to me a couple of days ago with my flawlessly correct address overwritten with an incorrect one. In the meantime, though, I made her another set, and at long last, they've been delivered. So here's the photo I've been waiting to post:

It was the Secret Pal exchange that inspired me to design a set of stitch markers -- I'd never made any before, but thought it would be fun to combine two hobbies, knitting and jewelry making. The markers are made of printed paper set into sterling silver bezels, and coated with clear resin. They hang from the needles on sterling silver split rings. Here's another set that I made for myself:

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival (and socks)

I spent several hours on Saturday at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. This was only my second time there, but since last year I've taken up both spinning and sock knitting, which are reflected in the day's purchases. I left home early to be sure I'd arrive by the 9 a.m. opening. That's because I wanted to join the sock yarn madness by getting in line at The Fold to buy Socks That Rock. I got in line around 8:35, with maybe about 20 people there ahead of me. The wait was pleasant enough, though -- I worked on a sock, and chatted with the other knitters. I even got a gift -- I admired a sheep pin that a woman behind me was wearing, and she pulled out a bag and gave me one!

Once I joined the crush inside the booth, I managed to squeeze my way back out with these, in Little Bunny Foo Foo, Waterlilies, Mystic Kelp, and Henpecked:

It was only about 9:15 at that point, so I raced off to see if I could get some Koigu, too, but it turned out the Koigu folks hadn’t made it to the festival after all. Since I didn’t have another crazy sock yarn line to stand in, I just started wandering around to check out all the other vendors. By the time it was over, I had acquired all these goodies:

Bamboo knitting needles with glass tops, from Sheila and Michael Ernst; one fat skein from Seacolors, for a felted bag; and baby alpaca from The Fibre Company.

Terra yarn from The Fibre Company, at a great price; a case for circular needles; and some gorgeous glass buttons from Moving Mud. I plan to design a felted bag around the big blue and gold one. No idea yet what the others are for, though.

Lots of gorgeous, fluffy fleece from Grafton Fibers. This should keep my spindle going until next year’s festival!

And while I was photographing all my goodies from the Festival, I finally got around to getting a picture of the socks I finished last weekend.

Pattern From Sensational Knitted Socks, beaded rib stitch, knit toe-up.
Lorna’s Laces in the Gold Hill colorway, on size 0 needles

Saturday, April 28, 2007

EZ Baby Surprise Jacket

I've spent the past week working on an Elizabeth Zimmermann Baby Surprise Jacket, for a cousin's baby shower. I knit like a maniac for days because I couldn't wait to see how this ingenious design was going to work. The sweater is knit entirely in garter stitch, in one flat piece. The finished knitting looks like this:

A little bit of folding, and it starts to look like a garment:

Fold a bit more, sew up the shoulder seams, and you get this adorable sweater:

I'll definitely be making more of these.

Pattern: Babies Garter-Stitch Surprise Jacket, from Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Workshop.
Yarn: Socks that Rock heavyweight superwash merino in the Barney Rubble colorway, 7 oz/350 yds. The sweater used all but a few yards of the skein. This yarn was a great choice for a baby garment -- beautiful colors, very soft, and machine washable.
Gauge: 5 sts per inch on size 6 needles.
Modifications: My only variation was using a slightly heavier yarn than the pattern called for, 5 sts per inch instead of 6. This first time around, I couldn't envision the finished product enough to even think about changing it. Next time, though, I think I'll put the buttonholes one ridge closer to the edge of the jacket.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Shetland Triangle Shawl

Well, here it is -- my first post on my new blog! A couple of people on the Knitty Coffeeshop responded to my posts about this shawl by asking to see photos, and this seemed like as good a way as any to make them available. I'll post more later as I figure out how to use Blogger, but for now, here's the shawl:

Shetland Triangle Shawl, from Wrap Style.
Knitted in Alchemy Synchronicity yarn, Foxglove colorway, on size 7 Addi Turbos.

I followed the example of another blogger by using a heavier yarn than the pattern called for, and by eliminating rows 13 and 14 of the edge pattern to make the scalloped edge less pointy.

I really enjoyed making this shawl. The yarn is the softest I've ever used -- 50% merino and 50% silk. These photos don't do justice to the color, which is a rich, purple-red that reminds me of the color of red onions. The curving leaf-shaped design looks complicated, but the pattern was simpler to memorize than I expected. I finished the shawl in under a week. And while I was excited to see the finished product, I was a bit sorry to be finished with it. I may make another, maybe larger, in a different yarn. Maybe just a different color of the same luscious yarn.