Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Word I Wish I didn't Know

You guys might remember an earlier post of mine in which I freaked out a bit about the fibers some spinners choose to work with.

I just came across a new word in a spinning context: "Chiengora."

As in "chien," French for dog.


[double gag: the word was used in an add for a used drum carder--the seller was raving that it had carded her "chiengora" well. but now i don't want to buy it.]

[note: if the seller of this carder is reading this, i apologize if i hurt your feelings. it's really a pretty drum carder. i'm just skeeved out by the knitting with dog hair thing.]

Friday, November 21, 2008

New Pattern Coming Soon at PopKnits

Katie’s new pattern, Harper, will be featured in the new PopKnits. The preview is live already—check it out!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Knitty Professors Holiday Gift Guide, Part 5

For Anyone

A knitted pillow in a neutral color:


This Wreck Tangled blanket has nerd appeal:


According to the designers, “The design consists of 14 different rectangles, all with the same area. The total area of the rectangles is equal to the total area of the background.”

Holiday items are also fun. Take these cute holiday stockings from 


Or how about these Dickens Mice? They’d make cute Christmas ornaments:



As would these adorable gnomes:


I’m also working on a pattern for my own holiday felted ornaments, coming soon:

ornaments 024

ornaments 020

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Knitty Professors Holiday Gift Guide, Part 4

For Your Mom/Sister/Best Friend/Girlfriend

I love the texture in these Daisy Stitch Handwarmers:


Magic Mirror Mittens from


Since all of our gift guides need at least one nerdy reference, how about the Chromosome Cap:


Or DNA tank?


And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention some of our own patterns:

Flatiron Mittens


 Mrs. Whatsit’s Neckerfuffle

(Coming soon at!)


Chopin Handwarmers


Happy knitting!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Gamekeeper: Husband's First Sweater

1/7/2009 Update: This sweater, along with 7 other patterns, will be a part of the Knitty Professors Winter 08/09 Collection, to be released on Jan. 31, 2009.

I designed and knit and finally finished a sweater for my husband M.A.P. I used Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool (2 skeins, with a little left over) mostly because it was inexpensive, and this is my first experiment in men's sweater knitting.

I'm going to reknit this in some pretty green Cascade 220, with a few modifications, before writing up the pattern. It will appear in our Winter 2008 Pattern Collection (coming out in early January).

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Jane Goodall Errata

The Jane Goodall pattern as written indicates 5” of negative ease. This should read 5” of positive ease (give or take a few inches).

So, if your bust measurement is 45” the 48” size would be appropriate. The goal is to have a few extra inches so the sweater will be loose fitting.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Knitty Professors Holiday Gift Guide, part 3

For Little Ones

Duck Soup is a super cute sweater for babies:


I love the multi-colored toggles.

I also love this Scandinavian hat:


These legwarmers are both functional and fashionable. Moms I know say they love these for keeping kids’ legs warm. I’m planning on making some for a little noodle I know…


Of course, we can’t exclude educational toys for the future nerds of the world, such as Baby’s First DNA Model:


And the Knitted Alphabet (for an early education humanities focus):


For older kids, how about this cute alligator scarf?


Or this unisex Twisted Tree Pullover? It’s inspired by Yggdrasil, the World Tree of Norse mythology (definite nerd value here!):


Happy knitting!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

New Yarns!

I've been at the wheel and here's what I came up with.

First, this is the first of my Recycled 2-Ply line, colorway "Beaufort." I dyed some raw wool bought from Woodberry Crossing in Maryland a bright orange, then spun singles with it. I plied the singles with a pale blue yarn from a 100% wool recycled sweater.

Next, I have the first of my regular 2-Ply line, colorway "Azalea." Mostly Romney from Cranberry Moon farm in MA. Dyed three shades: brown, pink, and blue. Carded the colors separately, and alternated different colored batts as I spun singles. Plied singles together.

Last I have another batch of 2-Ply, this time 100% Icelandic wool from a small farm in VA. I bought 3 fleeces from this farm, one white, one dark brown, and one grayish. For this yarn, I dyed some of the white fleece a lilac color and carded it together with natural-colored brown fleece. This might be my favorite so far.

All of these are available on my Etsy shop.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Knitty Professors Holiday Gift Guide, Part 2.

Things to Make for Others: For Your Boyfriend/Husband/Brother/Dad/Insert male relation here

These are all small projects that should be quick to make and well appreciated by their receivers. Men’s knits are particularly tricky, in my opinion, because they have to be masculine, practical, and comfortable for men’s oh-so-delicate skin. Further, you should also gauge the project with relation to the amount of knitting required in order to avoid the dreaded boyfriend + sweater curse. Accordingly, we use the following rating system for each idea:

image - Low risk project. Acceptable for male friends, boyfriends, relatives, etc.

imageimage- Moderate risk project. Not recommended for new boyfriends, but acceptable for all other male friends/relatives.

imageimageimage- Somewhat risky project. Not recommended for new boyfriends, but acceptable if you’ve been in a serious relationship for a while.

imageimageimageimage - High sweater curse potential. Knit only for non-boyfriends, or if he’s your husband. Even then, he should be begging for it.

So here are our ideas.

1. Toques

imageToques (or what some people call “knit hats,” “toboggans” or “stocking caps”) are generally acceptable for any type of male gift-giving. The only risk is that some guys do not like toques and refuse to wear them. This may be for style or comfort purposes (i.e. “I’m too cool to wear a hat” or “My body temperature is such that I never require a hat, even in sub-zero temperatures.) Toque aversion may also be due to the phenomenon that my sister and I used to call “itchy toque head” syndrome. So be sure to use extra-soft wool or perhaps some kind of blend. Malabrigo would be extra nice.  On to the patterns.

There aren’t any patterns Jared (aka Brooklyntweed) designs that we don’t like, but the Turn a Square Hat is especially nice.


For boys, this great new pattern just went live at Knotions:


Of course, while we are listing toque patterns (yes, I call them toques), I wouldn’t overlook Mr. Fatty, which Katie designed:


2. Scarves

imageimageScarves are a quick and easy knit, but (as with the case with hats) they need to be super-masculine, unless you are giving it to a guy who is European or otherwise somewhat metro in persuasion. Even then, go for simpler styles and patterns in subdued colors. Here are some ideas:

The Randall Herringbone Scarf.


This one is made with DK weight yarn, so it looks a little less bulky.

The Moss Rib Stitch Scarf from Cashmereblend. This one is not only designed by a boy knitter, but modeled by boys on Ravelry. So I’m thinking it passes the test.


And finally, as the Knitty Professors we can’t help but love the DNA Helix Scarf.


3. Mittens/Gloves

imageimageimageSome guys consider themselves too manly to wear gloves. Like my dad. Others will only wear leather gloves. Like most other guys I know. So knitted items are a bit risky. On the other hand, handwarmers/fingerless gloves seem like a possible bet for some guys. I’m really not sure though… Do guys really wear these?

Take Dashing for instance:


Or Knucks (without the letters):


I guess they may be good for men who are guitar players or who otherwise require finger dexterity in cold locations? Proceed with caution.

4. Sweaters

imageimageimageimageThese are fine for your dad, grandpa, your brother, your uncle, your cousin, husband or whoever else you can think of. But boyfriends must not be given sweaters until/unless they are begging for it.

First up is Durrow (first published in MagKnits and now available at Knotions). It’s free, it’s fitted, and the ribbed body shows off a manly physique.


Check out this version from Laurie M. who knit it seamlessly.

Also check out this boys’ version.

Next, it is Jared to the rescue again with the Cobblestone Pullover.


This sweater looks great in subtly variegated or tweedy yarns. Again, the fit is key:


The cabled or fisherman’s style sweater is a bit riskier yet. I’d only recommend this if you are knitting for a man who is a dedicated sweater wearer. If you can get your hands on this Phildar pattern, though, you might have something suitably sleek and fitted:


Otherwise, there’s Dylan Goes Electric from the Summer 2005 issue of Interweave Knits:


Also, look forward to a new men’s sweater pattern from the Knitty Professors in our Winter 2009 Collection… which we hope to have ready for you in January!