Saturday, April 28, 2007

Free Pattern: Daisy Fly Dress

Daisy Fly Dress
Pattern by Kristin

This is a simple pattern that really showcases a very unique yarn that has been described on this blog as daisies and gingham, Katia Margarita. Shaping of the dress is achieved by changing needle sizes rather than by decreasing stitches. The dress is made wide and loose, making it ideal for growing babies. If the armholes are made longer, this dress could even be a cute toddler tank.

2 skeins of Katia Margarita (skirt)
1 skein of Katia Mississippi 3 (bodice)
16 inch circular needle in the following sizes: US 10.5, US 10, US 9, US 8, and US 4
Tapestry needle
US E/4 crochet hook

3 st/in using Katia Margarita and US 10.5
5 st/in using Katia Mississippi 3 and US 4

Finished size:
Bottom of the skirt: 28 inches circumference
Bodice: 18 inches circumference

This is approximately 3-6 month size. By making the armholes wider, this could fit as a tank top up to 3 years.


With US 10.5 and Katia Margarita, cast on 100 sts; place marker and join in the round.
Knit 2.5 inches.
Change to US 10; knit 2.5 inches.
Change to US 9; knit 2.5 inches.
Change to US 8; knit 2.5 inches.
Skirt should be approximately 10 inches at this point, but continue with US 8 for desired length.
(For a shorter dress, knit only 2 inches with each needle size. Skirt will approximately be 8 inches long.)

Change to US 4 circular needles and Katia Mississippi 3. Knit 1 inch.
Next round: Slip marker, Bind off 2 sts, Knit 48 sts, Bind off 2 sts, knit remaining 48 sts. Place first group of 48 sts on extra circular needle and work back and forth on second group of sts.
Purl back across sts.
Decrease row: Knit 1 st, Knit 2 tog, Knit to last 3 sts, Knit 2 tog, K 1 st.
Work decrease round next row and every following 4th row, continuing in stockinette stitch.
When bodice measures 2.5 inches, on RS row, bind off center sts as follows: Knit 14 sts (if on decrease row, K 2 tog counts as 1 st), bind off center 16 sts, knit last 14 sts.

Work each shoulder strap separately as follows:
Decrease each RS neck edge while continuing armhole decreases every 4th row until you have 7 sts left. Continue until strap is 2 inches from neck bind off (if needed) and put sts on extra circular needle.

Reconnect yarn to held 48 sts and work exactly the same.

Join shoulder seams with 3 needle bind off.

With crochet hook, work one row of single crochet along each armhole edge and neck edge.

Weave in loose ends, block if needed.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Yarn Harlot was in Lexington!

I realize that it would have been nice to inform you all that the Yarn Harlot is coming to Lexington (future tense) rather than the Yarn Harlot was in Lexington (past tense); and I'm sorry that I forgot to call you, Whitney, to see if you wanted to go; and I'm sorry that I forgot to announce my plans of going at Stitch and Bitch, Thursday or Sunday, to see if anybody wanted to go; but I wasn't sure I was going myself until I went, so there!

I went with Tonya. We were very excited that we not only found our way there without a hitch, but that we only had to circle the parking lot for five minutes to find a parking space. People must sense that she's pregnant and probably has to pee.

Tonya was also the brilliant one who actually read the paper that they gave to us at the door, and upon discovering that it was a schedule of events, realized that the Yarn Harlot, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee herself, was signing books that very minute.

So we got in line.
And I was really excited. (Notice my Mission Falls sweater--designed it myself, totally forgot what I did, will re-knit it one of these days and write down the pattern. Meanwhile, it continues to be the only sweater I have every made that I wear on a regular basis. And I have made a lot of sweaters.)
Oh, I digress--it's her, the Yarn Harlot! And she's signing my book!

And she's holding my sock!

And she's signing Tonya's book and will hold her sock presently (sorry, forgot to take a picture of that). Before we left, we gave the Yarn Harlot a Knit Nook t-shirt (one of the ones tied-dyed by the KY Bantu Fiberworks). It seemed weird not to leave a present.

And right next door, there was Stefanie Japel, of Glampyre and Fitted Knits fame. I am very much in awe of her. Seriously, I've been lurking on this girl's website way longer than on the Harlot's.
And here are the lovely ladies of Magpie Yarns who helped organize this event and even hosted a knit-in after the Yarn Harlot's speech. If you haven't been to their shop, you should really check it out. It's absolutely beautiful.

But before we saw the Harlot's speech, we attended a panel where Itty-Bitty Hats author Susan Anderson, The Knitting Circle and fiction author in general Ann Hood, and Stefanie Japel discussed their views of knitting, writing about knitting, how they got into knitting, and so on.

And then the Harlot gave her speech. Look at all of us! We're all knitters!

And here's Holly (again, I apologize about being secretive about going to Lexington so I didn't give others a ride down). Anyway, the important thing is that we went, we saw the Harlot, she was hilarious, we got some books signed, and we were home in time to gloat about it at the yarn store and watch the fireworks. I liked to think about them being in honor of the Yarn Harlot's visit to the Bluegrass, but somebody reminded me about the whole Derby Festival thing.

And finally, a picture of our Harlot socks, covered in the mojo of many knitters. Tonya thinks it's funny to make her sock look like a monster that's eating mine, but she's just jealous because the colors of my Cascade Fixation are so amazing. (It's the Broadripple sock.)

Monday, April 23, 2007

WIP and FO!

I'm glad to see that weather doesn't dictate knitting enthusiasm around the Nook. Here is a sampling of some of the Works in Progress and Finished Objects.

First of all, everyone has been captivated by the Elsebeth Lavold yarns we started carrying, particularly the Silky Wool. Mitzi loved this sweater, but wanted something a bit brighter. The On Line Egyptian cotton she chose couldn't be more perfect.

Mitzi always looks so put together, her style is as cheerful as she always is, and we think this sweater is just going to be ideal!

While the rest of us will stay up every night in December to finish another Irish Hiking Scarf, Vi has gotten a jump start on her Christmas knitting. She has finished the tea cozy from Knitter's Stash.

And speaking of knitting for others, Pam has started a pair of skull socks for her 17 year old son. (It must be contagious because Margie is starting a pair of flame socks for her son.) With the help of Ann Budd's book The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns, Pam developed this pattern on her on, even the color work! Pam is thinking about submitting her socks to the state fair. Can you believe that she just learned how to make socks six months ago?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Perdues in Paradise Alpaca Farm

Last Thursday was the annual shearing at Perdues in Paradise Alpaca Farm in Taylorsville, KY. Suzanne Steiger (, her three-year old daughter Paloma, and me were there!Paloma was apprehensive of the alpacas. She even hesitated when given a chance to nuzzle with a baby alpaca.
Paloma is crazy. Look at how fuzzy he is! (And his fiber is the softest and most expensive.)

But to her credit, the shearing was a bit intense. They tie the alpacas down when they shear them. The alpacas, being sensitive animals, are none too pleased and make groaning and bleating sounds.

But these guys totally know what they're doing. Every spring, they come all the way from New Zealand to shear animals all across the country.

And here's the finished product.


Still, Paloma felt much better outside the barn, hanging out with the "alpaca dog" as she called him.

The Knit Nook will start carrying roving and yarn from Perdues in Paradise Alpaca Farm in a few weeks. Nothing like farm fresh fibers!

Friday, April 20, 2007

We're on!

The Knit Nook is the example for how to make a business profile on, a national city guide site. Check it out at on the Local Videos section.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Shrug Contest (I won)

We've had this book for a while, but as soon as I looked through it, I knew exactly what I wanted to make.

Not that I'm a shrug person, but this shrug is adorable, the Brioche Lace pattern is just the right degree of challenging (a.ka. it looks challenging but is relatively easy), and shrugs are just a great way to showcase new yarns without making another scarf.

Also, I knew I had to make this shrug because Tonya wanted to make it, too. We're like Jennifer and Mylea: the powers that control the universe seem to require that we always want to knit the same projects. Except Tonya wanted to make her shrug out of Louisa Harding Kashmir Aran in a pretty powder blue.

I chose something completely different. I decided to use Louisa Harding Coquette for the ribbing and Online Alpha Egyptian cotton for the body. Margie says that it looks like chocolate cake with caramel icing.

And not that you have to race just because you're knitting the same thing, but there was definitely a contest element surrounding the shrugs. And I won. Hands down.

Tonya has since torn out her shrug. She says she wanted to use her yarn to make baby Leo a sweater instead. Beating a pregnant woman--drunk on hormones, distracted by opposing waves of hunger and nausea--isn't necessarily a remarkable victory, but I'll take my successes as they come. I totally won the contest. Yes!

(The shrug has since been finished and is up in the store. More pictures to come.)

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

FO Alert!

Cindy only started knitting this time last year. She was immediately a good knitter--her first garter stitch scarf is immaculate, every stitch pulled snug to guarantee good gauge--but she suffers from a disease that cripples most knitters: perfectionism. Except for socks (and yes, she's already knitting socks like a crazy lady after one calendar year of knitting) every project finished was utterly disappointing. Sweaters don't fit exactly right, patterns are convoluted, things just don't work out. And as much as we all have tried to explain that this is what knitting is like-- the highs are dizzying, the lows gut-wrenching, the yarn soft and irresistible, and the patterns incomprehensible--Cindy can't help but beat herself up. She stared at her fourth sock, limp on the dpn, a second sock in all its dreariness and sighed, "I just can't knit anything that turns out right."

She needed a confidence booster. Big time.

I gave her this book and said, "I know that you can do it."

And she did.

This is Cindy's first color work project and it's perfect.

(If you would like to make your own, the Slip Stitch class starts Wednesday, May 30.)

In other news, Irene has finished her Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton tank top, adapted from the Knitty pattern Asana . (I'm wearing the Clementine Shawlette, from Interweave Knits and made from Blue Sky Alpacas Alpaca Silk. If you would like to learn to make this, the class starts Sunday, April 22.)

Irene chose a beautiful shade of blue, labored over the pattern, changed the pattern, doesn't like how it fits, and is going to change it again.

It must run in the family.

Kimber Baldwin Patterns

We have just started carrying patterns by Kimber Baldwin, a designer from the Cincinnati area. While she offers many beautiful lace patterns and kits, you've got to see her designs for babies.

This is the Frog Princess set. The dress alone is adorable, but the whimsical hat and the little lace socks just jack up the cuteness of this little outfit to a whole new level.

And here's Quackers. While it's a pretty traditional baby set, the hat might be the most adorable thing I've ever seen. Do you notice the tiny webbed feet on the bottom of the ear flap ties? I've shown this to about fifty people in the store during the past week, and everybody squeals just a little when they notice that.

Actually, the pig hat might be tied with the duck hat in overwhelming cuteness. His nose is a coiled I-cord. Don't imagine a pudgy little baby wearing that hat because it just might send you over the edge.

All of these patterns are sold for $8.00, or $5.00 for either just the sweater sets or the hat and booties sets. For more information on Kimber Baldwin, check out her website here.