Sunday, November 30, 2014

Weekend Project: Upholstered Storage Bench

(Jordynn writing) 

I've had this bench in my living room for a while, and unfortunately it got chewed up by my puppy, Cooper. This weekend I decided to make it over for additional playroom storage. 

Here's the before: 

And here's the after: 

The fabric was from my stash. I also used this fabric for a DIY Boppy pillow, shown in these nursery pics

I used the directions from this blog post and pretty much muffled my way through it. Since I'm even lazier than the blogger who wrote up those directions, mine is much less neat underneath and on the inside. You can see that the parts around the legs are a bit lumpy, and I also half-assed the tubular part that goes around the sides. Somehow my measurements were way off and my sewing machine was not cooperating, so I just took in several inches with one seam and called it a day. That means the seams don't line up with the edges of the bench, but I figure the main person who will be using it is P. and she won't care. 

All in all, not a bad use of an afternoon, I'd say! 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Free Pattern: Seagrove Coffee Cozy

A few weeks ago, I bought this cool ceramic coffee mug at the local co-op.

Made by a local potter, it's perfect for my new resolution, which is to spend less on coffee by making it at home. So far, so good, except for one thing: it got too hot to hold. 

That's where this simple knit coffee cozy comes in. 

This was a quick little pattern I made up using some leftover worstedish grey yarn. Let's just say it is some grey Paton's Classic Merino (but really, who knows). It won't matter much for the pattern--just pick something worstedish and some size 8 dpns or two circulars (for the double circular method, which is what I used). 

Tada! Now I can use my beautiful cup. I named the pattern Seagrove after the town in North Carolina--Seagrove calls itself the "handmade pottery capital of the United States." If you ever get a chance to visit, you should. After checking out the displays at the North Carolina Pottery Center, you get a map and drive around the rural countryside, stopping in at the shops that interest you and chatting with the potters at work in their studios.

The stitch pattern in Seagrove echoes the crystalline structure of ceramic clay (on the right):

So, without further ado, here is the pattern.

Seagrove Coffee Cozy 


Size 8 needles - 2 24' double circulars OR dpns
Small amount of worsted yarn (about 50-60 yards)
Stitch marker
Needle for weaving in ends


Cast on 36 stitches.
Divide evenly over dpns, or for double circular method, place 18 stitches on each needle.
Place marker.
Join to work in the round, as follows:

Round 1-3: *p1, k2; repeat from * to end of round
Round 4: *p1, ktbl in the second stitch on left needle (leaving st on needle), k the first stitch, pull both stitches off needle; repeat from * to end of round

Repeat rounds 1-4  until coffee cozy is the desired length. (I repeated the stitch pattern five times).

Repeat rounds 1-3.

Bind off in pattern.


Weave in ends.
Put your coffee cozy on your favorite mug, brew some good coffee, pour and enjoy!

Cast on for this project at Ravelry!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

What did we miss?

(Jordynn here)

You may have noticed that, collectively, our output here at Knitty Professors has diminished over the past few years. If you look under our Books page, you'll see why: together and separately, we've been writing a lot. In addition to our new co-authored textbook, we've written single-authored manuscripts, columns in Slate and other publications, and online guides of various sorts. Not only that, but we now have three children, have moved three times, and have started three new career roles between us. Knitting time has to be worked in between laundry, playdates, and our mutual obsession with dystopian/fantasy fiction.

But we seem to have come up for air, at least temporarily, as a number of big projects are wrapping up. So what did we miss over the last, oh, two to three years? What have been your favorite projects, patterns, knitting books to come out?

One thing I've noticed as I've had the chance to hop back on Ravelry, for instance, is that I'm drawn to a different silhouette. Maybe it is due to my post-baby body, but I'm loving the slouchier, boxier sweaters like Princess Fiona, Ease, and pretty much everything Joji Locatelli has been designing lately. Four years ago I was in love with Fitted Knits, but now I'm dying to cast on for some of these looser sweaters to wear with tights and skinny jeans. It's all about the positive ease.

So I have a few questions for those of you who have been paying attention for the past few years.

Are superchunky knits over? I feel like my love for chunky cowls (like this one that I wore to the State Fair )has not abated, but is that no longer a thing?

And is everyone still obsessed with knitting triangular scarves?

What's the new Clapotis or Central Park Hoodie--the pattern everyone has to knit?

And what else is new, knitting friends?

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Fall Renewal

(Jordynn here)

For many, spring is the season that best represents renewal. But for us knitters, autumn is the time we find most rejuvenating: a time for new projects, new yarn, and another chance to break out our favorite knits. Here at KnittyProfessors, we are celebrating fall with a refreshed blog design.

This fall also marks a renewal for Katie and I, as we are finally finishing up a monster project that has been in the works for over four years: our textbook, How Writing Works. With this project done, we'll be able to cast on (hrr hrr) for some new endeavors.

As we near the final stages of this project and a few others, I finally have a few hours to sit down and take stock of some knitting projects that have been on hiatus for a while. My cat, Leo, graciously offered to help model.

First up is the Fisher Queen. I've been looking high and low for years for a top-down, in-the-round Fisherman's sweater pattern and finally found this one by Jennifer Dassau. I can't believe it hasn't been knit more often. It calls for bulky yarn so I'm using some Paton's Classic Wool I had from a frogged project, held double.

The construction is neat: you start with two rectangular shoulder saddles and then knit down from there, eventually joining to work in the round. I'm finally finishing up the body of the sweater, and just need to finish the arms and neckline. Hopefully I'll be done in time to enjoy it this winter--if more deadlines don't derail me. 

Check out my Ravelry page for this project here

The other project is a design I'm working on for a toddler Fair Isle sweater. My designs often come about when I'm looking for something in particular and can't find a pattern that suits. In this case, I wanted something colorful that my daughter can wear on top of a variety of different outfits, and I thought polka dots would be a fresher take on traditional Fair Isle. Here it is so far, with Leo modeling it as a cowl. 

Did I mention I have the most patient cat ever? 

And here's the lovely view out my back window. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Sedimented Pouf

Jordynn here.

I've been obsessed with Katie's Sediment pattern forever, but haven't had the chance to complete one of my own--until now. I took the Sediment stitch pattern and combined it with the Pickles Puff Daddy pattern.

I worked with about four strands of worstedish weight yarn at a time, and honestly did not pay that much attention to the number of stitches I cast on. It was more than the Puff Daddy indicated--maybe 75 stitches? Then, I just kept knitting in the sediment pattern until I was tired of it. 

I like how it turned out! I love that the Pouf Daddy pattern suggests an old duvet or comforter for stuffing--it works perfectly well, and is a good way to make use of something you might otherwise throw away. 

This is actually designated for my work office, which needs a little softening to make it look less institutional. But it also looks quite nice in my family room! 

Check out this project on Ravelry here

Friday, October 10, 2014

This Baby Quilt is Totes Adorbs

Jordynn here.

It turns out that somehow most of my friends are amazingly talented crafters. Want some evidence? Check out this adorable quilt for P. that my semi-regular crafting group put together.

Everyone in the craft group made a couple of squares. Notice the "Hey Diddle Diddle" theme? L., our crafting coordinator and guru, came up with that idea and machine pieced the quilt. Then, we had a couple of quilting bees to finish it. It finally came together right around P.'s 1st birthday and will be perfect for her transition to a toddler bed. 

The quilt also features a snake, since P. was born in the year of the snake or "Little Dragon."

Here she is checking out the cat and the fiddle.

Like I said, talented friends. And lucky baby!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Katie Rose here.


Hello Madame Luscious Noro Mobius Scarf (free pattern!). I've knitted so many scarves over the years, but I keep coming back to this one—the one I knitted on my honeymoon in Tokyo back in 2007 for the love of egg salad.

Paired with some simple Cascade 220 Tweed handwarmers. (Pattern to come.) I only knit and wear handwarmers (well, unless it's snowing), mostly because I'm married to my smartphone. 

(Oh, and to that guy I went to Tokyo with. Don't forget about him. I'm still married to him, too.) View #2:

That cold morning sun felt so good on the wool that I was finally permitted to wear. I'm convinced that southerners make good knitters because we appreciate it more—less of a chore, less time of the year to do it during, and dang it if I didn't wear the scarf home that afternoon even when it was 68 outside.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Circular Needle Storage: A Mystery of the Universe

Katie Rose here.

As long-time readers of this blog already know, Jordynn and I rarely knit with straight needles. In fact, I don't think I even own them any more. I do, however, own three different sets of interchangeable needles (Denise still being my fav), and a bazatrillion (that's a real number) of regular circular needles. 

I also keep buying cases in which I try to store, in an organized fashion, my circular needles. And yet they always end up looking like this.

I've tried everything to keep them organized, and I always fail. 

And you can see all sorts of really nice needles in that picture: Addi Turbos, Addi Lace, some of those square bamboo ones that I can't remember the name of but feel really cool when you are knitting socks. 

Whatever. Organizing circular needles is like folding fitted sheets or figuring out what happens when something goes into a black hole. 

Point is, I give up. 

To the first person to solve this problem in the comments, I'll send a free pattern of mine of your choice. (If I've already tried your suggestion and/or already own the case—like my Della Q one that is gorgeous, way expensive, and didn't work either, then your entry doesn't count.) 

At her wit's end, but very excited to hear some suggestions,
Katie Rose

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Things to come!

Katie Rose here.

It's officially September, which means that, although it is 90 degrees here in North Carolina, it's time to start knitting again.

I have a number of patterns I'll be writing up for free to share on the blog here, so check back soon for that.

Here's some photographic evidence of my business this summer. School started last week. Momma has time again.

We're also thinking of moving over to Wordpress for our blogging needs. Blogger has been great for the past 6 years (or 7, or, man, whatever but that's a LONG TIME), but now we've outgrown this platform for real.

We'll give you lots of warning before that happens, though. The URL will be, which we already own.

Also, I'm not sure if Jordynn and I ever mentioned this, but we're both pretty active on Twitter. I'm at @krgpryal and she's at @jordynnjack. Come check us out online. (She's very professional. I'm kind of a maniac.)

Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

FO: Baby Cowl

I'm finally getting around to posting some pictures of finished projects I knit for Pod.

First up is this baby cowl, which I whipped up last week during a final blast of winter weather.

I used some army green Plymouth Encore that was left over from Iva's Poodle Sweater.

Is it practical for a baby? Does a baby really need a cowl? Um, no.

Is it adorable? Um, yes.

See more details on my Ravelry project page.

 - Jordynn

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Fairway on a Snow Day

We here in North Carolina were recently visited by winter storm Leon. (Seriously? First of all, we "named" two inches of snow. Second of all, "Leon"? That's like the name of a nightclub.)

So I decided to break out a warm sweater that I designed a few years ago, Fairway.

Snow-Day Sweater time.
Fairway is a top-down raglan cardigan knit in a worsted-weight yarn. It has cables and bobbles and ribs for lots of texture.

Bobbles bobbles everywhere.
I knit my Fairway with some yarn I kettle-dyed, so the color gives it an added dimension.

In honor of Leon, I've reduced the cost of Fairway from $6.00 to $4. You can buy the pattern on Ravelry by clicking the button below.


Bye, Leon. Thanks for the sweater day.
- Katie Rose

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Meet the Wrights

Katie Rose here.

For those of you just arriving, this is a blog about fiber arts: knitting, crocheting, spinning, sewing, and anything else in between.

When I started this blog back in 2006, I swore I would never blog about my cat(s). There were lots of reasons for this.

The first reason is logical: cats have nothing to do with fiber arts. Why would you blog about cats on your fiber arts blog?

The second reason is philosophical: blogging about cats on my fiber arts blog seemed like a step down a slippery slope toward dowdy-hood. "There goes that crazy knitting cat-lady," they would say. (Who this mystery they is I have no idea.) It was the principle of knit-plus-cat-blogging that bothered me.

Then I encountered a problem. Her name is Richard.*

Richard Wright, the yarn thief

Richard reminded me of the reasons why knitbloggers blog about their cats.

CATS FREAKING LOVE YARN. It's an indescribable and immutable passion that transcends boundaries and perhaps even time and space.

My yarn is kept nowhere near the den. She goes down to the far-away reaches of the downstairs studio, pulls balls off the shelf, and brings them upstairs, where she stashes them under couches and cabinets to pull out and play with when the mood strikes.

She weighs all of four pounds.

This is her step-brother, Orville*:

Orville "helping" pack up the Xmas decorations

When we first brought Richard home, she weighed 1.5 pounds. Orville took one look at her and decided she was just too much for him to handle. He snuck away on a six-week sabbatical. Then he came back and rejoined the household with an almost unbearable smugness, as pictured above.

And just so you can have the complete picture of what a wretched cat-lady I've turned into in my old age, here's Wilbur, AKA, Wil-Bear, or just simply The Bear, since he weighs 20 pounds. For some perspective, Richard is about the size of Wilbur's head.

Wilbur is just sleeping. Don't be concerned--he's certainly not. Apex predator here.

Anyways, back to cats and yarn. Yarn seems to be part of cats' genetic makeup.

Either that or Cascade uses catnip in their dye.

Not the intended use of Cascade 220. Richard does not care.

*Yes, Richard is a girl. Get over it.
**Yes, all of our cats have the last name "Wright." We need a Frank Lloyd if anyone has a cat that needs a good, if chaotic, home. Must be spayed/neutered and able to deal with smug yet histrionic Orville.