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Storm Mountain Cardigan

January 21

I’ve been in a stash-reducing mood lately. I had a bunch of Rowan Felted Tweed DK sitting around for a pattern I decided not to make after all. What to do? Through the magic of Ravelry, I found the perfect use for all that yarn – Storm Mountain by Heidi Kirrmaier.

The pattern is simple to make. Worked from the top down, it uses raglan shaping for the sleeves and eyelet increases to create the pretty back. Heidi uses ingenious stitch count tables to make it very easy to keep track of the repeats and number of stitches at each stage along the way.

Storm Mountain_2_sml

As you can see, there are a couple of ways to wear the sweater; it can cascade down the front or be secured across. The open front was not so great outside in the winter snow, but will be just right in the spring!

Storm Mountain_1_sml

  Storm Mountain_3_sml

Being a seriously pear-shaped person, I needed the top part of the sweater to be smaller than the bottom part. I made the following modifications:

First, I cast on using cable method for firmness. I made the top half, down to about 7.5” beyond the yoke, in smaller needle sizes (#3 and #4); this gave me a tighter gauge as well as less garment width. Then I switched to #5 which gave me the gauge as called for in the garment for the bottom part of the sweater. I worked one fewer pattern repeats in bottom half, since I got the called-for length.

I struggled with the SSE as described in the pattern; clearly I was doing something wrong. I chose instead to do: RS first 4 sts: ktbl, p1, sl1,p1 RS last 4 sts: p1, sl1, p1, slwyibWS first 4 sts: p, k, p, k WS last 4 sts: k, p, k, slwyif

 I found the sweater easy enough for tv-watching and social knitting, with just enough going on to also keep it interesting.

Many thanks to my husband Steve for braving the snow to take these lovely photos!



Storm Mountain pattern

Rowan Felted Tweed DK

February Lady Sweater

February 7

During ten days of knitting madness, I made the February Lady Sweater, designed by the talented Pamela Wynne. I’d wanted to make it for the longest time, and decided it simply had to be worn at TNNA. I used 6 skeins of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted in the beautiful Island Blue color.

February Lady Sweater, Pam Wynne, Lorna's Laces, cardigan

 I found some cute buttons.

February Lady Sweater, Lorna's Laces, Pamela Wynne

I love the sweater’s swingy nature.

February Lady Sweater, Lorna's Laces, Pamela Wynne


February Lady Sweater pattern on Ravelry

Pam Wynne’s web page of  FLS modifications

Buttons were bought at the delightful Yarns at the Adobe in San Luis Obispo

Stitches Stitching, the Cardigan

February 8

I’ve joined the tradition of knitting a project for Stitches. With Stitches West just around the corner, I put the finishing touches on my second Tangled Yoke Cardigan, this time in a mossy color.

knitting, sweater, Tangled Yoke Cardigan, Interweave, Eunny Jang, Rowan Felted Tweed


I still take delight in Eunny Jang’s ingenious cabling around the cardi’s yoke. If I wasn’t worried about appearing obsessed, I’d make a third of theses sweaters in a straw color. Or maybe red. Or grey. Or… oh dear, how many colors does Rowan Felted Tweed  yarn come in?

knitting, sweater, Tangled Yoke Cardigan, Rowan Felted Tweed, Eunny Jang

Tangled Yoke Obsession

August 17

Do you recognize this ribbing? It’s from my all time favorite Tangled Yoke Cardigan. I know, I know. I just finished this in blue a couple of months ago. But here’s what happened…

My LYS was getting down to its last few balls of green Rowan Felted Tweed. I’d been eyeing it for weeks. I couldn’t justify adding it to my stash, since any more yarn could cause the cupboard to explode.  You know how it is when yarn lust meets pattern love. The situation called for immediate action, like casting on another Tangled Yoke Cardigan.

Tagled Yoke Cardigan Knitting Project

While flying to yet another family health crisis in another state, I was able to knit one sleeve. It’s twin materialized on the trip back home. (My yardage-per-flight-mile calculator seems spot on!) And I took comfort in knitting a pattern I know I love.

This is like mending that relationship that almost worked out. This time I’m going to do things differently. This  time I’m going to remember to try adding more short rows to the back for a better fit near the neck. This  time I’m going to pay more attention and fix mistakes before they become irreparable.

Don’t get me wrong. My blue Tangled Yoke Cardigan and I are still good friends. I just wore it on a lovely walk by Moonstone Beach the other evening. But the green one… well it holds such promise for happily ever after. If I can just get it right. This time.

posted under Projects, Sweaters | 1 Comment »

Tangled Yoke Cardigan

March 29

At long last I’ve finished the Tangled Yoke Cardigan. It soared to the top of my list of favorite patterns to knit. Eunny Jang’s genius in the cable design made it delightful. I kept wondering, “How did she think of that?” as I went along. I just love the long stretch of ribbing on the sleeves and bottom of the sweater as well.


I thoroughly enjoy the yarn. It’s Rowan’s Felted Tweed – the DK version. I was worried that the yarn would be scratchy, but I wore the sweater with just a shell on underneath and it was fine.  It’s the perfect spring sweater – light and just warm enough for cool mornings.

The color I used, Shade 141 Whisper, has been discontinued, but Rowan has come out with a bunch of other enticing colors. I can’t wait to use one of them to make another of these cardigans!


posted under Sweaters, Yarn | 9 Comments »

Smock Top Sweater

January 11

My Smock Top Sweater design, originally published in Knotions, is now available here. And its free!

The traditional style lends itself well to dressing up (maybe with pretty black slacks?) or dressing down (paired with jeans for cozy fall and winter gatherings). Its versatility makes it useful in a time when we are all trying to get the most out of our garments.

The sweater features a form-flattering ribbed body topped by feminine smocking. The turtleneck is knit with ever-increasing sizes of needles to drape softly at the neck line.

Knit from the bottom up, the body’s 2×2 ribbing flows seamlessly into the smocking pattern that adorns the chest. At the top of the smocking, the ribs flow up to match at the shoulder, making for a pretty join.

And now for something really fun….

I know I was a little intimidated the first time I tried to knit smocking. Like a lot of seeming challenges, once I tried it, I nearly laughed at how easy it is. I’ve made a YouTube video demonstrating how to make the smocking, in case you’d like a little guidance.

The updated version of the Smock Top Sweater pattern includes corrections, clarifications, and the addition of metric measurements.

The Smock Top Sweaters that I knit for myself are made from the yarn called for in the pattern, Rowan Classic Yarns’ Cashsoft DK. I adore this yarn! It’s soft against my skin, and the bit of cashmere  content gives it warmth without excess weight.

I caught Stella (my dress form) wearing it early one morning, hanging out by the last of my dahlias.

I hope everyone’s New Year is off to a great start. Happy knitting!

Another Favorite Thing

December 29

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad…

I started feeling kind of bad the other day when trying to finish up my Tangled Yoke Cardigan. I got stuck at the point of knitting the buttonband.

I don’t know about you, but when I find a pattern I like in a magazine, I tear it out and put it in an overflowing, stuffed-to-the-gills binder full of similar aspirations. Then I toss the rest of the magazine away.

I got to where the pattern called for making the buttonband, using the Glossary to make the button holes. Uh-oh. The Glossary had long ago been pitched along with the rest of that issue. Normal knitters don’t feel panicked at the idea of figuring out how to make button holes from any of a slew of reference books sitting right on their shelf. Or they could even ask for help. I know this.

Me, I panicked. I wanted to know exactly what that missing Glossary would have instructed me to do. Evidence to the contrary, I seem to think that the path to eternal bliss is to do Everything Just Right. So I had to make THE buttonholes as called for in the elusive Glossary.

Interweave Knits to the rescue! Did you know they offer CD’s containing their magazines? I happened to have the 2007 volume on hand. The Tangled Yoke Cardigan appeared in the Winter issue that year, so I was able to print the missing glossary page. Ahhh. The buttonholes are all done – just the way the instructions call for. Which makes me very happy, and qualifies the CD as one of my Favorite Things.



December 15

I’m still on Ohio time, apparently. My body (mind?) can’t seem to figure out its back in California. So here I am, wide awake and making coffee at 3:30 in the morning. The upside is that it’s raining and oh-so-peaceful. Perfect time for a fire and some uninterrupted knitting.


I’m on the home stretch on my Tangled Yoke Cardigan, one of my all-time favorite projects. I’ve picked up the stitches along the neckband base and marked where I altered the pattern a smidge to put a couple of decreases in that will (I hope) encourage the neckband to lie a little flatter. (You pick up the best warnings about these things on Ravelry!).


Yesteday, I read Jared Flood’s post on his BrooklynTweed blog in which he talks about how long-duration projects remind us of where we’ve been as we’ve knitted them. He says each project has its story. My Tangled Yoke Cardigan’s story is interwoven with my mother, as so much has been this past year….

I started this sweater in North Carolina, the start of September ’08. My husband and I took my mom to the Biltmore for her 80th birthday. It was one of those “whims” otherwise known as intuitive thoughts. Or nudges from a higher power.


My mother’s an amazing, very accomplished woman, fit and smart and lively. It was a challenge to keep up with her as we hiked miles through the woods – and keep in mind this was in the Olden Days when my husband and I were runners. Little did we know that 11 months later would find Mom unable to even stand or speak.


The North Carolina trip was filled with the awe-inspiring interiors of the Biltmore House, long walks through Olmstead-crafted gardens, the tastiest birthday cake we can remember, laughter, story-telling, and horses. I’m so grateful for the time we had together before the stroke stopped Mom in her tracks.

Happily unaware of what was coming, and a fine argument against omniscience, I think I finished half the body and one sleeve of my sweater during that trip. Flash forward a year plus some, as I finally get around to the Tangled Yoke neckband, I’m glad Mom’s back in her home after months of rehab from her stroke. I’m glad I was there to intercede when she was given the wrong medicines. (Dope up my mother??? No way!) I’m glad I have the great good fortune to be able to make sure she has good care. I’m glad she has fabulous friends who come to see her all the time, braving the frustration of one-way conversations. A step at a time, Mom can navigate her hallway if not the wooded trails. Her spirit is phenomenal. A gift to her daughter.


Run, Mama, run.

Santa Fe Mitts & Smock Top Sweater

August 26

I’m just full of exciting pattern news today!

First, the pattern for the Santa Fe Mitts is complete. You might remember that I originally came up with the idea from an ill-fated trip to Santa Fe. They were meant for my husband to wear when photographing in the cool New Mexico mornings. Instead he decided to break his elbow. Is that akin to the curse of the boyfriend sweater?

Here’s a re-creation of what might have been, had the photography workshop not gotten derailed:


The design is sized for a Mens’ Medium and Large. The hand is fair isle, and the pattern is charted in full color. The mitts feature a ribbed thumb. At the top, the stitch count decreases from the hand area so the ribbing stays snug around the fingers and the mitt doesn’t droop. And still speaking of ribbing, the cuff is meant to be long, so wrists stay warm even when bending.

Reflecting Southwest colors, I chose Lorna’s Laces Sock yarn for the oranges, blues and green. I wanted a rock and bark feel for the background, and elected to use some heather colors in Regia 4-Ply Wool. The sock yarn makes the mitts washable, a good idea for guys. My hubby does a wonderful job when he does the laundry; asking him to hand-wash delicate knits would be pushing it, though.

Here he is, recovering from a long day shooting pictures:


And showing he’s a tree hugger at heart:


The motifs I use in the design reflect, I hope, a Native American heritage, with hints of local mountains, water, and trees.


The design calls for small quanities of some colors. I’m going to make socks out of the unused portions of the skeins and balls. I’m thinking of using the Regia as a main color, since it wears so well on the foot, and then making a cool design for the leg out of the beautiful Lorna’s Laces.

In other news, I’m excited to have my Smock Top Sweater design included in the new issue of Knotions, the online magazine. There are more pictures of it along with the pattern itself on Knotions, but I wanted to post one I’m particularly fond of. I shot this very early one morning, and loved the way dawn’s light made the flower arrangement glow. It reminded me of old Dutch Masters still lifes – sort of a moody quality, but with colors that pop.


Thank you, Jody, for providing me with the opportunity to have my pattern published in your online magazine!

Pieces of Tangled Yoke

December 29

I love Eunny Jang’s beautiful Tangled Yoke Cardigan. I’m making it out of Rowan Felted Tweed, which I also love. I worried that the yarn would be too scratchy, but as I knit along it seems to get softer. Maybe it’s just my hands growing numb!

Eunny is one of my absolute faborite designers. What an imaginative brain she has! Here are the pieces of the cardigan, ready for assembly once my friend Alana at NeverNotKnitting shows me how! I just can’t wrap my head around how the arms attach to the body. So for now, here are pieces of Yoke.

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