Zig Zag Jacket from Knit One Knit All

This morning, my kids woke me up at 6am and I stole the few morning minutes to sit in my sunroom and finish the Zig Zag jacket from Knit One Knit All (Elizabeth Zimmerman’s garter stitch patterns) that I’ve been making for months for my mother in law.  Low and behold:  it’s beautiful!

Zig Zag Jacket from Knit one Knit All

There is only one problem with it.  It’s too small!  It seems that my 3″ border is actually 2″, which shorts me a full 4 inches in circumference.  The good news is that when I measured the sweater, it was exactly 4 inches short on the circumference.  The bad news is that I have to do the enter border and all the sewing up the back all over again.

Knit a little, measure, then knit some more.   Now, I have to make that statement into a keychain and hang it on the knitting bag so that I always remember to measure, then continue knitting.  At some point while doing the border, I even remember thinking “Hmm, that border looks a little small.”

New friend, new internet toy

I just friended DoctorKnitter (read her excellent post on knitting for your congressman or senator – I am thinking Scott Brown).  We met at a maple sugaring event through the Mass Audubon Society.

From her Ravelry profile, I stumbled on this fun internet toy:

visited 12 countries (5.33%)
Create your own visited map of The World

Have you already tried yours?

Places to travel next:
Brazil, Israel, Finland, Norway, Italy, Ireland, Iceland, Australia, India, … and the list goes on.

Very simple cabled headband

I made this headband for a fundraiser at my daughter’s school.  I like it because you can really make it any size, say a matching one for mom and daughter, and it will still look elegant.

Easy Cabled Headband for women Here is the woman’s version:

I got a sample of this yarn from Margaret at Mostly Merino when I was browsing her booth at the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival at Rhinebeck. I was blown away when I started knitting with this sample, it’s a really beautiful, well designed yarn.

Yarn: Remnant (less than ½ a skein) Mostly Merino, navy.

Needles: Size 5, you can use circular, double pointed or straight

Gauge:  About 6 sts/in in pattern.  The width of the headband is 2 ¾” and the total length with 18 crossovers is 22”.


Cast on 18 sts.   (If you would like a wider headband, add extra seed stitches on each side.) Following the chart below, make 18 crossovers, for a headband approximately 22” long.   Try it on as you go along – you’ll want it to be tight, but not too tight or it will ride up, and not too loose since it will fall down. 

Easy cabled Headband for Women

A note on edge stitches: Start the row by slipping the 1st stitch knit-wise and purling the last stitch in every row.  This will create a nice braid effect on both edges.

Here is a video of the finished product:

What knitting project to pack when travelling

This always gets me.  Every trip I take, the hardest thing to think through and pack is knitting.  Space, interest in project, available knitting time all must be carefully assessed.  I’ve always thought that socks projects  are an easy choice, but there are other options.

So, I’ve come up with some guidelines on what to pack.

When you have all the space in the world (for example, you are driving for a weekend away):

  1. You need a time consuming project – say a pair of socks or a thin sweater.  I say thin sweater because it’s  hard to travel with a large sweater. Socks are good because you can work on them for hours and still have something to do the next day.  And if you either get end caps or use 2 circulars, you are unlikely to pierce anything in your bag.
  2. You need a quick project – say a hat or a headband (like the Very Simple Cabled Headband).  I like hats and scarves because you can basically bring a few knitting needles of the approximate size that you need , a ball of yarn and come back with a finished product.  And you can feel accomplished!
  3. You need a TV project.  A TV project has minimum shaping, so you’re not constantly counting stitches, has either no pattern or has a very easy to remember pattern – think k1, p1 rib.  This is especially helpful when visiting relatives and you will be watching TV or going out to movies.   Think the body of a top down sweater that is knit in the round.  Without a pattern, you can knit with abandon.
  4. Bring a few projects – I’ve always found, without fail, that something I bring does not work out because I’ve either forgotten a pattern or the needles break or the yarn isn’t right, and I am sitting idly with nothing to occupy my hands.

When you don’t have space at all (you are flying and your partner absolutely refuses to pay for an extra piece of luggage for your knitting or going on a car trip with 4 other adults  in one small sedan).  You have to consider the following:

  1. Consider climate – don’t knit heavy wool in the Caribbean and don’t knit thin cotton in Norway.  It won’t come out right and you won’t like it.  Bring an interesting project, that’s compact – think child clothing, or a cowl, or a stole.
  2. Bring an established project, that you’ve already made some progress into but that still has lots of work.  Say, if you’re making a sweater, you’ve done the cowl, but not the body or sleeves.
  3. Don’t bring anything – consider buying your project there.  Places like Florence, Italy have really good knitting stores where with some adjustments to the metric system you can get what you need.  (Can you guess where I’m itching to go? No pun intended.)  You’re taking a bit of a risk here, but it may pay off. I love buying yarn in far off places, the only tricky thing is picking what to knit.  You’ll need a pattern and unless you can either a. access Ravelry and download something or b. read the language of your country of destination, you may be stuck with beautiful yarn and needles and nothing to make from them.

Most often, when I travel on a plane, I will bring a shawl to crochet.  Blasphemy to many knitters, but it’s true – I also crochet.  The hook is easy to transport, it’s unlikely to poke anything or anyone, and it will keep you busy for many, many hours.   A knitted shawl works well, too.  And if you play your cards right, you might even get a chance to wear your creation before you return home!

Forgive me budget, I have sinned

Yesterday, I had an appointment downtown.  I was running a few minutes early and it just occurred to me, that there was an excellent yarn store just around the corner.   This does not happen often.  Thankfully, I live very far from any such temptation.  Not to mention I have been working dilligently at reducing my stash size.  But alas, here I was, with time and opportunity.

I am now the proud owner of two Rowan Big Wool Fusion balls in a pink and white (on sale for $12 each) and 2 hanks of Dream in Color Classy in Ruby River (pink and purple) not on sale for $19 each – I took the last 2. The Big Wool will become the next winter’s hat for my daughter and the Dream in Color hanks will be another A String of Pearls Sweater for girls (pattern coming soon). Can’t wait!


Last night I had an idea.

What if I take the sweater that I don’t like, made from a yarn I love and re-knit it.   I don’t like the sweater because I have a long torso and it’s really meant for women with a shorter torso so the waist hits me in the wrong place.  Also, the cowl is nice and warm, but it’s too much and it’s hard to layer.

It’s too late to back out – you can see why below. This was probably a bad idea.  First of all, I don’t have a pattern for the cardigan that I want to make and even a search on Ravelry has come up short.  Second, I probably won’t have enough yarn to even make the cardigan.  But I dove right in, as usual, and the sweater is now almost all in large balls of yarn.

I’ll have to create my own pattern for this.  Don’t get me wrong, there are many patterns out there that create perfectly fine comfy cardigans, but I want it to be one piece. I hate seaming and I think that it looks awkward, especially on yarn this thickness (2.5 sts to the inch).

Wish me luck! I’ll post something if I can actually figure out how to make this cardigan from the top down.

Knitting in one piece

I started this blog as a repository for patterns that I create as I knit for my children.  Often, I get frustrated by patterns that make separate back, left front and right front for a child’s sweater, not to mention the 2 sleeves.  That’s a lot of unnecessary seaming at the end, not to mention cutting of  yarn.

A few years ago I started making my own patterns, most of which I based on something that I wanted to make in one piece.  I’ll be honest – it’s possible that there are patterns out there that are similar to what I’ve done, but I just haven’t had the time to look for them when I need to make something.

I will document these on Ravelry (DariaMark is my name there).