..with a little help from a friend-(ly bit of fabric)

Welcome to the next stop on the Hitch! blog tour.  I love, I mean really LOVE suspenseful black-and-white movies, and especially the work of Alfred Hitchcock.  If the drama of monochrome wasn’t enough, the slightly off-center camera work adds to the feeling of unease – love it!  When the call-out came out from Stepannie Tallent (author of California Revival), I didn’t just send in one idea.  I sent in 5!  It came down to two, and she let me pick my favorite – Our Gal Midge.  Today I will share with you a fun tip I use to keep my buttons supported on my knits, and I have a wonderful giveaway from my favorite stitch marker maker, too!


It is a one-piece, top-down contiguous shoulder women’s polo shirt, based on Barbara Bel Geddes character in the movie, Vertigo.


I knew that there would be plenty of glamour items submitted (I had submitted a couple myself), but I really loved how comfortable and confident her character was, and wanted to design something that every woman can wear, everyday.

It is worked in fingering wt yarn  – Opal from The Woolen Rabbit – awesome stuff with merino, silk, and cashmere on US4 needles.  It feels so soft, perfect for next-to-skin garments.  Neither I nor my model wanted to take it off so I could send it on to Stephannie.

One feature in particular that I love is the support and pop of color that a strip of fabric lends to a buttonband.  This garment is comfortable, but also very plain; so a little drama at the neckline is welcome. I’m making another Our Gal Midge, because I will be teaching it at our shop (Anacapa Fine Yarns, Ventura, CA) in February, and will be hosting a KAL in our Hitch! Ravelry Group in March.  This time I picked a lovely mustardy color, and I was able to order a fabulous fat quarter of dramatic fabric from Spoonflower that will really add a bit of pop.  Here’s how I do it:

1. Measure out a strip of fabric (dimensions per pattern instructions) –


2. Press the edges in –



I don’t have a buttonband ready on my new one yet, but here’s an idea of what it would look like….(continue on to step 3 below)Image

3. Sew fabric to right side of right knitted buttonband, then sew down buttons matching up with the  buttonholes on opposite band (see original Midge) –

hitch button options (1)

I used this same technique for a sideways-worked cap – The Bay Waters Watchcap:

Bay Waters Watchcap (3)

Bay Waters Watchcap (6)

Bay Waters Watchcap-(edt) (11)

It’s been over a year since I’ve seen my original sample, but this week we will be reunited!  Our Gal Midge is part of the Hitch! trunk show, starting at our shop,  Anacapa Fine Yarns – this week through December 7th, our annual Holiday Party.  We will have about 12 samples from the book – gloves, caps, sweaters, socks, cowls…a little of everything, and copies of the book for sale as well.  Make sure you drop in.

As a bonus treat, my favorite stitch marker maker, The Winemaker’s Sister, has made a special collection of non-snag stitch markers called, Dial M for Murder, just for Hitch!

Dial M for Murder st mkr pic2

Is it wrong to love the meat cleaver?  These come in three sizes to fit all your needles, your choice.  To win a set of these beauties yourself,  just leave a comment below telling me about your favorite Hitchcock film, or favorite Hitch! pattern.  After midnight, on December 10th I will use a random number generator to pick a winner from the comments.  I couldn’t wait.  I had to order 2 sets right away, so they are also available for purchase.

Dial M for Murder st mkr pic

Don’t forget to visit the next stop on the blog tour…..11/22013: A B-ewe-tiful Design

9/28/2013: Sunset Cat Designs
10/5/2013: Knitting Kninja
New! 10/05/13: Knit One, Heart Too Podcast
10/7/2013: Herrlichkeiten
10/8/2013: Knit and Travel
10/9/2013: Knit & Knag Designs
10/10/2013: Wooly Wonka Fibers
10/11/2013: Verdant Gryphon
10/15/2013: Impeccable Knits: Shifting Stitches
10/16/2013: Rewolluzza
10/21/2013: Knitwear Designs by Carolyn Noyes
10/22/2013: Peacefully Knitting
10/23/2013: Dark Matter Knits
10/24/2013: Turnknit: Dani Berg Designs
10/25/2013: SweetGeorgia Yarns
10/28/2013: doviejay knits
10/29/2013: Triona Designs
10/30/2013: Tactile Fiber Arts
11/4/2013: A Knitter’s Life
11/5/2013: Catchloops
11/6/2013: Yarn On The House
11/07/2013: Ramblings
11/12/2013: Hazel Knits
11/13/2013: Knitcircus
11/19/2013: indigodragonfly
11/9/2013: Fyberspates
11/25/2013: knittingkirigami
11/22013: A B-ewe-tiful Design


Who doesn’t want a cozy blanket for the neck?

Welcome to my part of the world!  While we may not get the extreme temps of other places (average temp range is mid-50s to sweltering heat wave of mid-80s), we do need something comfy to keep the coastal chill off the neck.  My inspiration for the Chumash Cowl came from our home school field trips to the local park & museum, where docents would give us hands-on lessons about our local tribe.  I watched as my children learned about the early peoples of our area – what they ate, how they lived, and even say the toys they made from naturally seeping tar and broken shells (a form of dice).  (P.S. if you’ve ever read The Island of the Blue Dolphins, then you’ve read about a lost, local tribe from San Nicolas Island off the coast of Santa Barbara, CA, and the main character is based on a true story of the Lone Woman of Ghalas At.)



I love the woven texture of baskets; how one color is drawn vertically over horizontal ridges, so I was super excited to be a part of the Holla Knits! Accessories 2013 collection!  I applied this woven-basket idea to my cowl by wrapping stitches 2 & 3 times, and slipping them over garter ridges of a contrasting color over multiple rows.


I think that the reverse side of this application is just as intriguing, so working it as a Möbius just seemed natural.  Möbius knitting starts from the center and is knit out in a figure-8.  I love how quickly this knits up in bulky yarn, and it is long enough to wear as a scarf, or double it up as a super cozy, comfortable cowl.  You can even wear one layer of it over your ears like a hood, while the other twist keeps the chill of your neck.


A special bind-off that adds a yarn over creates the look of a blanket st, often used in embroidery.  It is also a stretchy bind off.  I’ve made two of these and I’m ready to cast-on another.  I just have to decide who I’m going to give my next neck-blankey to?


Be sure to stop in with Knits in Class tomorrow for the next stop on the blog tour.

Nov 12 – Wattsolak
Nov 13 – Mari Knits
Nov 14 – Knitters Pride – Subscriber exclusive giveaway
Nov 15 – Emily Greene Blue – Subscriber exclusive giveaway

Nov 18 – knittingkirigami
Nov 19 – Knits in Class – Subscriber exclusive giveaway
Nov 20 – Claire Sandow Designs
Nov 21 – Baah Yarns – Yarn giveaway
Nov 22 – Jill Draper Makes Stuff – Subscriber exclusive giveaway

Nov 25 – Lee Meredith – 2 subscriber exclusive giveaways
Nov 26 – Wooly Wonka Fibers – Subscriber exclusive giveaway
Nov 27 – Bumblebirch – Yarn giveaway

The new Jane Austen is here!

Today, the mailman is my favorite person.  He brought a wonderful surprise – my print copy and my first paycheck (for a non-self published pattern) for my contribution to Jane Austen Knits 2013

     I’ve been a Janeite for as long as I’ve been reading.  My Northanger Pelisse design, a full-lengthed coat with oodles of cables and lace, begins with a strip of I-cord.


I wish you could see the “buttons.” 


They aren’t buttons at all, but crystal clear beads with silver foil and sapphire cores.  They hide a snap closure sewn to strips of ribbon…



It is worked from the top down using the Contiguous method


This issue is full of wonders from cover to cover.  I’m making two other items from it…a men’s vest (A Vest for Charles)


I’m using Plymouth Encore, and the one alteration that I’m making is an afterthought pocket in a contrasting color.  I’ve set-up where I want the pockets to be, and will make them when I’ve finished the rest of the vest.  The son for whom this is intended wears a pocket watch, and this vest needs a pocket for a pocket watch, dontcha think? 

     I love to work finishing as I go, and I was really excited to see that the front edges are done this way as well.  Hooray for one-piece garments!



The other item is A Most Sensible Bonnet by Theressa Silver.  She is the author of Hat Couture, and a fellow contributor to Stitching In The Stacks.  I love this Dupioni Silk Ribbon from Midori.  The two-toned sheen will be awesome against the black of my hat.

As if those projects weren’t enough, I’ve been working on the October project for the Unique Sheep’s Playing in the Snow Club.  These colorful mitts are called “Toasties” by Allison George.  This is my first time working with Wild Thing, a merino/silk blend from The Unique Sheep.  I wish there was Feel-O-Vision on the internet so you all could experience how creamy soft this yarn is!  



Now the question is…will I keep these, or gift them?  Hmmmm…

What are you all knitting for the upcoming gift season?  Please comment and share.



4 outta sev[en] ain’t bad

As many of you know, I’ve been supporting the Indiegogo campaign for Anzula, and held a contest to increase awareness of this.  Congratulations to Shelley B for winning the pack of 15 mini-skeins of For Better or Worsted.  I also had two copies of my Chintz shawl pattern to give away,  There was a total of 4 comments, and I hate to see 1 person left out.   So I also wanted to say thank you to ikkinlala, paintermom, and Melissa Thompson for participating and gave each of them a pdf copy of my Chintz pattern.  Here’s some pics of what I did with my mini skeins:


There’s a really fun and easy pattern called sev[en] circle by Kirsten Johnstone.  I was able to get mostly 4 circles with my minis.  To minimize waste, I used a Russian join (see Techknitter’s blog post here).



See what else you can do with mini skeins on Anzula’s Pinterest board of ideas here.

New things are happening…

The second book that I’ve contributed to just went live today!

Hitch: Patterns Inspired by the Films of Alfred Hitchcock

My pattern, Our Gal Midge, (modeled by my excellent friend – Anne Lecrivain) is based on Barbara Bel Geddes character in the movie Vertigo.  I wanted to create a sweater that any gal could wear everyday.

Midge pics (4)(400)


Midge pics (6)

This uses the Contiguous Method by SusieM  to create to look of a set-in sleeve with the ease of one-piece knitting.  It also features a special buttonband (future blog post):

Midge pics (5)smaller

Speaking of blogs….there is a blog tour starting tomorrow:

9/28/2013: Sunset Cat Designs (you’re here! check back tomorrow for my post!)
10/5/2013: Knitting Kninja
10/7/2013: Herrlichkeiten
10/8/2013: Knit and Travel
10/9/2013: Knit & Knag Designs
10/10/2013: Wooly Wonka Fibers
10/11/2013: Verdant Gryphon
10/15/2013: Impeccable Knits: Shifting Stitches
10/16/2013: Rewolluzza
10/21/2013: Knitwear Designs by Carolyn Noyes
10/22/2013: Peacefully Knitting
10/23/2013: Dark Matter Knits
10/24/2013: Turnknit: Dani Berg Designs
10/25/2013: SweetGeorgia Yarns
10/28/2013: doviejay knits
10/29/2013: Triona Designs
10/30/2013: Tactile Fiber Arts
11/4/2013: A Knitter’s Life
11/5/2013: Catchloops
11/6/2013: Yarn On The House
11/07/2013: Ramblings
11/12/2013: Hazel Knits
11/13/2013: Knitcircus
11/19/2013: indigodragonfly
11/9/2013: Fyberspates
11/25/2013: knittingkirigami
11/22013: A B-ewe-tiful Design


ALSO…..I’ve been working on an entry in the Kelbourne Woolens Sweet Summer Sweater contest, and here is my finished sweater (worked in Kirigami construction):



KWSSSpics 800(20)



KWSSSpics 800(6)


KWSSSpics 800(18)

Now just to wait to see if I make the finals for the top 5..thanks to Joy Plahn for modeling for me!

Sharing the Rainbow…

  • I love color. I love lots of color….and soft, squishy things. So when I get my favorite things from my hometown, it’s so much better. I grew up in Fresno, home of the Fresno State Bulldogs, and once the site of the California Bowl (remember that?). It is hot there, and I mean really hot. The whole month of August hovers above 110 F. I can’t even imagine working a boiling hot dye pot in those conditions. However, that is just what my favorite yarn company does to create the awesome colors of the rainbow I share with you now….


  • They have generously given me 15 mini-skeins of “For Better or Worsted” in all these lovely colors! I wish I could keep them, but I’m glad to share them with you all, just so you can see how great they are, too. Here’s a Pinterest board for mini skein ideas:

  • Anzula Mini skeins
  • Anzula is having an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds to make this cool yarn company even cooler by putting in air conditioning. You can help by visiting their campaign headquarters at Indiegogo.

To make these lovelies your own, head over to their Indiegogo fund-raiser, view their video clip, then come back here and post a comment telling which way to beat the heat you like (i.e. I wonder who’s bum is on the ice block, hmm), and/or which perk you think is most awesome, what your favorite colorway is, or what project you’d like to do with “For Better or Worsted.”   Please share, facebook, tweet, or tell your friends about the giveaway.

Feel free to share, tweet, or tell your friends about the giveaway.  I’ll also be gifting two other lucky winners with my Rathmore pattern, which uses For Better or Worsted. – See more at: http://wedonothaveaknittingproblem.blogspot.com/2013/09/good-things.html#sthash.npAHzgZw.dpuf
Feel free to share, tweet, or tell your friends about the giveaway.  I’ll also be gifting two other lucky winners with my Rathmore pattern, which uses For Better or Worsted. – See more at: http://wedonothaveaknittingproblem.blogspot.com/2013/09/good-things.html#sthash.npAHzgZw.dpuf

Anzula minis (1)

Be sure to visit their Ravelry group, too as each week they have designers, like myself, giving away a pattern as a perk.  You will see my Chintz shawl pattern in a future perk coming soon.  But you don’t have to wait until then, as two lucky winners can win a copy of my Chintz pattern for their own. 

The contest will run until  midnight (PST) on Oct. 9th, so you have until then to leave your comments. After that I will use a random comment generator to pick the winner of this fabulous rainbow of yarny-goodness, and the two patterns.

Sometimes the best button isn’t a button….

Since last month I’ve been working on my submission for the  Kelbourne Woolens: Sweet Summer Sweater Contest. 

I started with a sketch, and a swatch, and have been happily knitting away.  It’s always a happy moment when the bit of yarn in your hands starts to become the thing you envisioned. 

It starts like this…


and this….


and before you know it, you have something like this…


This garment will have only ONE seam/ graft  that runs from sleeve to sleeve, across the front.  It will feature a keyhole in the center front….


and the sleeves can drape open (as in the sketch) or close around the forearm with the aid of a “button” (read on).


A modified form of the classic “feather & fan” lace motif with elongated points flows around the main body, making a decorative, yet stretchy fabric that is flattering to most body types…


The edges are finished as-you-knit with special I-cord edge technique (and it even works purlwise)…


AND…..(here’s the button – no button part)  if you opt to have a simple sleeve closure, you are not limited to using buttons only.  I have these amazing beads that I’m going to use. 


They actually are heat sensitive, and react by changing colors.  I mean, really, how awesome are Mood Beads!  They reflect all the colors of my design, and have a beautiful design of their own.  I think they are the perfect jewelry to my sweater.




So here’s how simple it is…..knit a lacy tube from the hip to the armhole, put half on stash yarn.  Cast on a sleeve, knit across the back, and cast on another sleeve.  Work back and forth to the shoulders.  Split the sleeve, cast on again, and work just the other half of the sleeve and one front part-ways.  Repeat for other sleeve/ front combo, then join fronts together to close the keyhole.  Work just another 4 inches, bind off the sleeves; then fold the fronts down to seam/ graft.  Block and weave in ends.  To keep color bands on the sleeves, a simple form of intarsia is worked, and the main upper bodice is Stockinette st.  

I’ll be finished soon, well before the Sept. 30th deadline, and will post pics on Facebook, Twitter, and Ravelry.


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