Monday, February 23, 2009

Pssssssst! Get your sneak peek here!

Hey you. Yeah, you! Want to get a sneak peek at something new and exciting? Great! Listen up and keep reading.

I'd like to unveil a working photo of one of my new designs called "Michigan Two-Season Boot Socks". This design will be featured in an upcoming book-- 50 Socks - 50 States. This huge multi-sock, multi-designer book will be released ONLY on CD, with special previews at the June TNNA show.

The publisher is Dr. Laura Andersson of Sirius Knitting Publications, also known as the Sock Guru of Crystal Palace Yarn. And not coincidentally, Laura is collaborating with Susan Druding of Crystal Palace Yarns, who will distribute the book.

50 Socks - 50 States is Volume 3 in the Friendly Socks series of books. If you aren't familiar with this series, it features multi-designer compilations and I know you will find some of your fave on-line designers within there. If you are familiar with these books, then you already know what a wealth of sock designs they contain.

The new CD will include sock designs covering the full gamut of imaginative sock fun including ribbing, beading, cables, cuffs, fair isle, intarsia, and lace. It will feature novel sock construction, directions for various sock knitting methods including top-down, toe-up, double-pointed needles, Magic Loop, and 2-circular needles. The designs encompass diverse sizes too! There are socks for babies, toddlers, children, teens, women, and men, as well as at least one holiday stocking!

Soon, you'll be able to find more pictures and details at the
Crystal Palace Yarns Socks and More with CPY Blog, on Laura's blog, and on the Crystal Palace website. I'll keep you posted here on my blog as well as this project develops. Oh, and there just might be a blog tour as well! and you know I'll want it to make a stop here.

The CD-only release will run $19.95 (plus shipping, where applicable) and will be available at many yarn shops as well as directly from Dr. Laura.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Shawl

All blocked and ready to show you . . . my Adamas shoulder shawl.




Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I got no WIPs, I got no UFOs

I got no projects on my needles at all. Not a needle in the house with any yarn on it. Can you believe it? I just finished my Adamas Shoulder Shawl/Scarf . . . a downsized and modified version of the original triangular version. It's blocking and I'll post a photo of it when it's finished.

I ended up frogging 3 long-neglected projects . . . all scarves. I don't like knitting scarves and I don't know why I always think it's such a good idea to start one. So, there aren't any languishing in bags any more. I keep having to tell Clapotis to shut up every time it begs me to cast on . . . it's just too much like a scarf and I'm afraid I wouldn't ever get it finished either.

It feels good to start a new year with nothing hanging over and the vast potential of fresh projects laid out before me. I've made a list of some of the things I want to make this year. Two things I'll be starting soon are Amused and the Mystic Star circular shawl KAL.

I finished my Curve of Pursuit Blanket this week as well, and over the holidays completed Vaila from Twist Collective. Here they are --

Vaila Completed

Oh yeah, and I also did a little shrug . . . a modifed version of One Skein Wonder, adding some 3/4 length sleeves. This is fantastic for wearing around the house on these very cold days we're having this winter.

One Skein Wonder Shrug - modified

So, off to finish up blocking Adamas and browse through the latest Verena magazine.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Feather in Her Cap

And it's another hat! This one is called Feather in Her Cap. It features a much beloved pattern . . . Feather and Fan . . . and is sized for ladies M and L. The yarn used here is Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky in Blue Ming. This pattern is available on Ravelry and here on my blog, and will be added to my website soon.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


A year after starting it, my beautiful Modern Quilt Wrap is completed. Abby and Emma are modeling it here for me. And so is the chair.

Modern Quilt Wrap

Modern Quilt Wrap

It was a very productive day, and I knitted up a ribbed hat from Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky in orange. It'll make a nice Christmas gift for a school mate, or if he doesn't draw a boy's name, Duncan would love to have it for himself.

Bulky Ribbed Hat

Notice the snow? Yep, it's winter all right. It's been snowing most of the last 3 weeks. Now that the ground is good and frozen, it's not melting. Many parts of northern Michigan are having a worse go of it than we are, but we're not too inundated yet. We had a white Thanksgiving, and I'm sure Christmas will be plenty white as well.

So, I've been doing a lot of small projects lately. I've knitted another Meret for a Christmas gift for whomever one of the girls draws at preschool, and I have a little purse I designed for the other name they draw. The school is having a fundraiser this Friday evening, so I knitted up some hats, wristwarmers and a neckwarmer, then pulled several things off the shelves that I'd stockpiled for such occasions. All told, I think I donated 12 knitted items, one of my books, and Art donated two gift certificates for computer repair. Here are a few of the things I knitted up for the silent auction.

Bunny Hop Neck Warmer-5 Completed-5

Koi Hat Modified-5 Garden Variety 010


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Winter Lace Slouchy Beret

I've just completed a new design for a slouchy beret -- Winter Lace Slouchy Beret. Blocking opens up the lace pattern and gives the very relaxedslouch. For those who prefer a hat more along the lines of a tocque, then no blocking would be necessary at all, which results in a very textural and stretchy hat. Sized for ladies M and L, this was knit from Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky wool/alpaca blend on 6.00 mm needles. The rolled brim measures 20" (22") unstretched.

This pattern is available through Ravelry and here on my blog, and soon will be added to my website.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

52PPII #26 Completed and some other stuff too

I used my own Bella Catena Italiana pattern, modified the heel to incorporate ribbing, and modified the foot to ribbing as well. The yarn is Shibui Sock in Kiwi, knit on 2.00 mm needles.

52PPII #26 Completed

I've also completed a sweater for myself since my last blog post -- the Sweet Pea Coat by Kate Gilbert, and purchased from Twist Collective's most recent issue. I wore this today, and got nice comments about it from two total strangers. It's certainly warm, and today was a good day to try it out.

Sweet Pea Coat Finished

I've been knitting hats too. These are all three from Woolly Wormhead's Mystery Beret, which has come to be known as "Meret". The girls and I all have matching hats now. So cute, and such a quick and fun knit!

Terry's Completed Mystery Beret Emma's Mystery Beret
Mystery Beret, Clue 3 (Completed)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

52PPII #22, #23, #24, and #25 Completed!

Here are my pairs #22, #23, #24, and #25 for the 52 Pair Plunge II completed so far in October, all on 2.25 mm needles. These newborn sized socks are for the baby hope chest of a friend who’ll be having a baby next year.

22 – Fiesta Baby Boom in White Zinfandel

23 – Dream In Color Smooshy in Lipstick Lava

24 – Opal Rainforest in Papagei

25 РOpal Rainforest in Marienkäfer

Thursday, October 02, 2008

A study in berets . . .

So I wanted to make the cute Bohemian Beret from Casual Elegant knits. The pattern calls for Cascade 220, of which I have none, but I do have tons of Crystal Palace Yarns wool. I choose some Aran Marl and set to work on the first beret to see how it would knit up and felt for me.

I was expecting to have my own unique results, knowing that so much about felting is just a pure and simple crap shoot. I knitted the pattern exactly as directed, and felted it as specified as well. The top of the beret felted very well and evenly; however, the band didn't and was quite large. No problem . . . I basted a nylon thread through the band, gathered it to my desired finished size and felted it some more. The band did come down to size, but then the top became just a smidge smaller than I'd wear. Although, it would make a great beret for a guy or someone who likes to wear a head-hugging style of hat.

So, next I made modifications to the pattern to see if I could get something that worked with both my head and my yarn. I decreased the number cast on, thus reducing the band circumference. I increased the number of rows in the band and just before the increase round so that there would be a bit more "forehead coverage". And I knit the hat 1" higher than specified before beginning decreases. This worked much better for my yarn, and I really love the results I got with the Crystal Palace Yarns Fjord in Periwinkle.

I'd definitely make this hat again, with the modifications. It's just too cute!

Monday, September 29, 2008

4 Pairs of Socks and a Sweater

Well, I haven’t quit knitting socks… . though I haven’t posted in a while. I took a 2-week break from socks during August to knit Marnie MacLean’s Lily sweater, which I purchased from Twist Collective, and it turned out great!

Lily blocking-1

During September, I’ve finished four pairs of socks –

Pair #18 (below, right knit from Tausendschon sock yarn in Sommerlavendel and my own design on 2.25 mm needles)
and Pair #19 (below, left knit from Wollmeise sock yarn in Pfauenauge/dark intensity in the same design as pair #18 on 2.25 mm needles)

18 and 19 finished-1

Pair #20 (knit from Dream in Color Smooshy in Lipstick Lava and my own design on 2.25 mm needles for ladies 10” foot)

Beauty Queen-1

Pair #21 (knit from Superwash Worsted in Canton Teal, remnants from my Lily sweater, on 4.50 mm needles sized to fit an infant)

Cookie A Class Sock-1

And I have Pair #22 (also my own design, in Shibui Sock in Kiwi and knit on 2.0 mm needles) cast on and knit this far:

52PPII 22-1

Friday, September 12, 2008

Dawn Leeseman is in the House! Casual Elegant Knits Blog Tour Continues

Today, I’m happy to welcome Dawn Leeseman to my blog as part of the blog tour she and her co-author, Faina Goberstein have underway. She’s here to talk with us about felting.

Their book,
Casual Elegant Knits, includes four felted projects. There are a felted beret in two sizes, two large bags, and a smaller purse. The beret and bags are modeled by a man, however they are definitely suitable for a woman. One distinguishing feature in their felted designs the incorporation of edgings that help to tailor and define the shapes.

Me: Dawn, welcome to my blog! I’m so happy to have you here. As you know, felting is one my passions, along with sock knitting. I jumped into felting about 4 years ago. How about you . . . when did you pick it up?

Dawn: I had knit for about 10 years before I discovered felting in the 90’s, but did not really design a felted project until I started designing professionally. My first felted design is the Scalloped Tote written for Y2Knit in 2003. The top features a feather and fan lace pattern. I had never seen the use of any stitch pattern, especially lace, used in any of the published felted patterns and approached it from the “What If” standpoint.

Me: I love that you were fearless in doing something new with your Scalloped Tote design. I find being able to innovate something in a project very satisfying. What is it about felting that you find most satisfying?

Dawn: I love the way that the knitting is transformed into something totally different. I also like that it can be a bit unpredictable, especially when designing from a swatch that you have felted. However, what is also great about felting is that no matter what, you always end up with something. Even if the project does not turn out, you can always use your imagination to create something else, perhaps using the cut and sew method or simply using the fabric to make some flowers or trim for another project.

Me: Felting is not without its ability to strike fear into the hearts of knitters. What is it about felting that you consider to be the most challenging?

Dawn: That would be the flip side of what I like the most, that bit of unpredictability can be difficult when I want something very definite and the end product defies all of my predetermined calculations. Another challenge is when interchanging yarns; you can’t assume that a yarn with the same ball band information with felt in the same way.

Me: So tell us a little about your design process.

Dawn: Once I have determined what I want in my finished project then I choose the yarn type For the most part I like to stay will a basic wool and tend to steer away from my beloved novelty yarns. For the most part I like to use yarns that I know will give me good results time after time.

Me: One of the remarkable things I’ve learned about the designers I’ve encountered is how generous they are with sharing their knowledge with knitters. Do you have some felting tips to share with our readers?

Dawn: Of course! First, work in all ends to the wrong side and check your work for any dropped stitches before you began felting. Second, take care that you stop the washer before it goes into the spin cycle as this may set creases that cannot be removed. Finally, take the time to shape your damp project. For a felted bag I use a box covered with a plastic bag that is the same dimension as the finished bag, I like this form to fit snugly inside so that I get good definition.

Me: I’ve had my share of horrible felting-gone-wrong moments. I'm sure you have as well. Do you have any advice to offer about how to avoid the most common felting pitfalls?

Dawn: Oh yes, I have! Do not put anything in with your felting that sheds lint. This can be permanent. I used a towel one time to help in the agitation process and ended up with lint embedded in the felted fabric, I was unable to remove the lint and it spoiled my project.

Also, do not use yarn from your stash that you assume is wool without felting a swatch. I keep my yarn leftovers sorted in plastic containers. Some of the acrylic wool blends look so much like wool that somehow a leftover skein made it into my wool container; it was missing the ball band. I was trying to use up some stash and worked for hours on a bag. When I put it in the washer, I agitated for what seemed to be forever, and still no felting.

Me: Dawn, you’ve had some longevity in the knitwear design world, do you have any insights, hunches, or crystal ball gazings into what the future of felting will be and what trends we may expect?

Dawn: I have seen felting really evolve over the past ten to fifteen years. Designers are experimenting with so many elements of design. They are combining wool with novelties, and using unlikely stitch patterns with stunning results.

At first I thought it would be a passing trend, however I see that it has earned a place in the knitting world. I think that designers will continue to surprise and delight us in the future.

Me: Dawn, you and I have both designed some patterns for Crystal Palace Yarns. I think we both started doing some things for them at about the same time.

Dawn: Yes, we did. I began working with Crystal Palace Yarns in late 2004 after meeting one of their yarn reps, Marge Okuley. I had shown my portfolio to her and she liked my work. She recommended me to Susan Druding, the owner. Susan sent me some sample balls of yarn and I worked up some swatches and sketches. She liked my ideas and we have been working together ever since.

I have not done any felted projects for Crystal Palace, but have admired your work Terry. What are you currently working on?

Me: Thanks, Dawn! That makes me very warm and fuzzy!

Right now, I’m in the throes of the 52 Pair Plunge II and since June, I have completed 19 pairs of socks. As an added challenge, I've set myself the task of designing as many of the pairs I knit as I possibly can, so you can expect to see more sock designs popping up on my website in the coming months.

I’m fairly well serially monogamous when it comes to knitting, so I don’t have a whole lot of unfinished projects started. I have a Modern Quilt Wrap by Mags Kandis in progress, as well as a wrap of my own design cooking on the needles. And always a pair of socks! I have a few felting projects percolating in my brain, too. Always multi-tasking!

However, very near on the horizon, I see many of your felted berets from Casual Elegant Knits on my needles for Christmas gifts for friends, family, and teachers. I just love that beret! What can you tell me about it?

Dawn: Thanks! That is one of my designs. Even though Faina had not done any felting prior to the projects in the book, she gave me great input as to what she envisioned for our collection. She even test knit and felted the beret. It was her first felting project.

Me: Well, it looks fabulous! It’s a great way to assure beginning felters that they also can have that kind of success.

Congratulations to you both on such a great collection of designs, and on the publication of your book. Thank you so much for joining me today, and have a great time on the rest of your blog tour! I’ll be checking in tomorrow to see your stop at the blog of Liz Moreno.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Casual, Elegant Knits Blog Tour -- Here on September 13!

I'm pleased to announce that my blog will be a stop along the way as Faina Goberstein and Dawn Leeseman tour the blogosphere talking about their wonderful new book, Casual, Elegant Knits from Martingale. This collection of gorgeous, knit-lust inducing patterns was released this past July, and I can't wait to talk to the authors here on my blog about it.

More specifically, we'll be chatting with Dawn Leeseman and I'll pick her brain about felting, which you know is a knitting subject close to my heart. Be watching my blog and tune in on September 13 to see what Dawn has to tell us about felting and about Casual, Elegant Knits.

If you are interested in following the tour, the schedule is listed below, along with links to the tour stops. The tour launched yesterday with the first stop at the blog of Lynn Hershberger. Pop over and see Lynn's interview with Faina and Dawn, and be sure to catch more of the tour at the sites below.


Lynn Hershberger
Sept 4th

Carol Sulcoski
Sept 5th

Cindy Moore
Sept 6th

Amy Polcyn
Sept 7th

Connie Chang
Sept 8th

Marie Grace Smith
Sept 9th

Susan Lawrence
Sept 10th

Marnie MacLean
Sept 11th

Sept 12th

Terry Ross
Sept 13th

Liz Moreno
Sept 14th

Donna Druchunas
Sept 15th

Jennifer Tallapaneni
Sept 16th

Kristi Porter
Sept 17th

Joanne Seiff
Sept 18th

Simona Merchant-Dest
Sept 19th

Monday, August 18, 2008

Pair #16 for 52PPII is completed -- Chainlink

Pair #16 is finished. 2.25 mm needles, BMFA STR lightweight in Scottish Highlands, and my own new design called “Chainlink”. The pattern is still under construction and will be available soon. It will feature instructions for both top down and toe up construction, and be sized for Ladies M and L.




Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pair #14 and Pair #15 for 52PPII Done!

My pairs #14 and #15 completed in August are a contribution to a book project. Pair #14 is in Louet Gems Pearl in Sandstone. Pair #15 is in Louet Gems Pearl in Caribbean Blue. Both are knit from the same design (mine) on 2.25 mm needles. One is knit top-down and the other toe-up.