Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Wool Dryer Balls

I was shopping a few months ago and a man was buying a ton of tennis balls, he said his wife used them in the dryer, makes the clothes dry quicker because it prevents them from clumping together. Now I thought that's a good idea but I don't want my clothes to smell like tennis balls and be exposed to chemicals are released at high temperature, after all tennis balls are designed to work at ambient temperature.  So I made some felted wool balls out of an old wool sweater that was stained and some rough wool yarn.  

I was Christmas shopping yesterday and saw that Eileen Fisher is selling 3 balls for $29, comes in a nice bag and that her learning lab is offering a class on how to make them for $75.  So I thought I would post how I made mine here.  These are tennis ball size, Eileen Fisher's are bigger maybe 4.5" in diameter, but you can make them bigger by using more stuffing or wrapping more layers of yarn.

I cut the sweater into strips about 5" long.  

Rolled up each strip tightly into a cylinder.

Folded in half and sewed into a sort of ball.

Then wrapped yarn tightly around it until you can't see the sweater anymore and looks like a ball of yarn.

I used a needle to pulled the yarn through the ball tightly so it won't unravel.  I washed and dried it several times before it got to the final look.  The yarn unravelled a little the first time in the wash but I just rewrapped it.  Some of my knitting friends suggested using pantyhose or a mesh bag to keep it from raveling but I didn't and it worked OK.  

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Beta Brand Neck Pillow/Bag

My design has been selected as a contestant for BetaBrand's Bright Idea contest.  It's a crowdfunding website for clothing and accessories.  You can vote for this design at the link.  The pillow is a crescent shape sack

that you can use to fill with your clothing and make it a neck pillow.

Or when you get to your destination, use it as a purse.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Use Needle Gauge to Strip Herbs and Leafy Vegetables

I saw this at Sur La Table and almost bought it -

but then realized that I already have several needle gauges. I tried my Susan Boyle metal gauge and it worked great for rosemary.  I usually use my everyday tools for knitting (like toothpicks for cable needles in a pinch) so this is a reversal.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

More yarn from Plymouth and Free Download Available for Kid's Cabled Cardigan

Love Plymouth yarn for sending me another designer pack.

And my pattern Kids Cabled Cardigan which was published in Cast On Aug-Oct , 2014 is now available for free download on Red Heart's website.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Nine Rubies Designer Night

I realized that I had given away all my Convertible Cowl/Hats and so had a day to make another one.  This one is made form Plymouth's Arequipa yarn (complimentary from Plymouth Yarn).  I got it done barely in time but it's really soft and turned out well.

Here is a picture of all the designers at Nine Rubies.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Nine Rubies San Mateo on Sat. Nov 7 5-7 pm showing my knitwear samples

If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, come on by, there will be several other local designers there as well.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Demonstrating Knitting at the East Bay Mini Maker Faire October 18th

This is the set up of our demonstration  (The Machine Knitter Guild of San Francisco Bay Area) before the opening.  Lots of tweens, boys and girls loved playing with the knitting machines and adults too.  We were planning to use the  machine knit demo samples for yarn bombing but most of the kids wanted to take them home so the bombing wasn't very extensive. But machine knitting isn't a dying hobby if these kids are any indication of interest.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Counterpane Cardigan

My latest design is based on counterpane panels.  My own recommendation is to use 3-needle bind off rather then Kitchener the panels together.  Although Kitchener stitch made it look seamless,  it was tedious, although I got really good at it.

The pattern is available for free down load at Classic Elite yarns.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Tied In Knots Cowl

This is a really easy knit, all ribbed, tied and then finished with a 3 needle bind off. The yarn is Cascade Eco Duo and it's so soft that I bought some and will make one for myself.  The publisher kep the sample.  Some publishers return the sample but most don't.   It's published in 60 Quick Cowls.


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Knitting Machine at Deutsche Museum Munich

Seems that whenever I travel I find a knitting machine (see Lisbon entry September 2014).  This one is a Stoll commercial machine that can make all sort of fancy stitches.  Seems like there is a whole garment on the machine too.  Body on the left and sleeves on the right.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Beautiful Baby Dress

Another little girl's dress for Red Heart.  This one is available for free download in British English and German.  It is knitted in the round from the bottom up.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Sweet Sideways Dress

Knitted sideways with short rows. Adorable little model,  Pattern online for free at Red Heart, available in sizes 2-8.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Plymouth Yarn Freebies

I love surprises.  Nothing beats coming home to a pleasant one, free box of yarn samples to be used for submissions swatches.  Thanks, Plymouth Yarn.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Cable Cape Published In Cast On May-July 2015.

My latest design, top down, easy cables, increases between sets of 2 cables make the flare shape.  The cable is an easy 6 stitch pattern.  I actually subscribed toCast -On e-copy rather than paper this last renewal.  My knitting bookshelves are full and hopefully my computer won't crash and the magazines won't go the way of my itune songs.

This is knitted in the round from the neck down - in 2 sizes.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Free Stuff from Red Heart - Perks of a knitwear designer

I get a nice surprise today, a gift box from Red Heart yarn with a knitting tote bag, yarn and a digital row counter.  Yay!  Now back to designing my proposal using Plymouth yarn from my previous gift box.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Reversible Cable Scarf Available on Vogue Knitting Online Store

The scarf was originally published in Knit Simple Winter 2012 and now available as a PDF download.   Apparently the Vogue Magazine Family which includes Knit Simple waits two years between hard copy publication and release as online download.  It's a very easy knit, just cabling skills required and completely reversible, same on either size.  Hardblocking recommended.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Corella: Peplum Cardigan

Classic Elite Yarns just published my design Corella in their Birdsong booklet.  I love the pleats -formed by combining the cable, especially in the back.  The design is available as a hard copy book or online.  The yarn is a light sport weight silk blend.  Someday I will make  a dress with the same pleating.


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Butterfly Lace Scarf Update

Knitpicks had a one year exclusive on the pattern but the rights just reverted back to me.  I've gotten quite a few questions on exactly how the butterfly lace is done, so I updated the pattern with a step-by-step photo tutorial and released the updated version on Ravelry, Craftsy and soon Love Knitting (for European buyers who have to pay VAT.)  It's actually very easy once you figure out what the text means.  I guess the test knitter was very good, absolutely no questions.  Maybe designers should look for "average" test knitters so the questions would come before the pattern releases.