Thursday, August 30, 2007

Spin Me Right Round, Baby!

Suzanne is WAY into spinning right now! She even made us take down the neglected Ashford and teach us how to use it. Here she is helping Cindy.

Suzanne just started in April, but she's very good already. She even won a second place ribbon at the fair. She is going to get an angora rabbit (at first, her husband said no; but then the ladies at Stitch and Bitch signed a petition to allow Suzanne to get her bunny, and it worked! Who said democracy is dead?) and spin right from the rabbit's back.
This is what Suzanne made.

This is what I made. (She claims there is a two week learning curve, but I don't believe it!)

Suzanne's Spinning Workshop begins Tuesday, September 25. Click here for more info.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Free Pattern: Tapestry Hat

Rowan Tapestry is a wonderful blend of 70% wool and 30% soybean fiber. It's soft, fuzzy, and with beautiful color variations. When we first got this yarn in last winter, I took a skein home to play with. I came up with this hat. Enjoy!

Tapestry Hat

1 skein of Rowan Tapestry (although some people said they needed a tiny bit of a second skein)
US 6 16 inch circular
US 6 DP needles

CO 99 sts, place marker and join in round. Work in K1, P2 rib for 1 inch.
Knit next round and increase 31 sts evenly (about every 3 st or so) across round. (130 sts)

Work in Mock Cable as follows:
Rnd 1: *P2, sl 1, K 2, pass slipped stitch over both knitted stitches, repeat to end.
Rnd 2: *P2, K 1, yarn over, K1, repeat to end.
Rnd 3 and 4: *P2, K3, repeat to end.

Repeat Mock Cable 10 times. Then, work Rnd 1 and 2 of Mock Cable.

Begin decreases as follows, changing to DP when necessary:
Rnd 1: K8, K 2 tog tbl, rep to end.
Rnd 2: K7, K 2 tog tbl, rep to end.
Rnd 3: K 6, K 2 tog tbl, rep to end.
Rnd 4: K 5, K 2 tog tbl, rep to end.
Rnd 5: K 4, K 2 tog tbl, rep to end.
Rnd 6: K 3, K 2 tog tbl, rep to end.
Rnd 7: K 2, K 2 tog tbl, rep to end.
Rnd 8: K 1, K 2 tog tbl, rep to end.
Rnd 9-11: K 2 tog tbl, rep to end.

Cut a long tail, and with tapestry needle, thread the remaining stitches and pull it tight. Weave in loose ends to finish.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Kentucky State Fair

This year, friends of the Knit Nook were well represented at the State Fair!

Suzanne Steiger (our crochet teacher) won for this adorable baby sweater.

Vickie Cassady (of fame) won a red ribbon for one of her felted bags.

Whitney Barter won a blue ribbon for her Entrelac Hat and Scarf set.

And not to brag, but I won second place for my Nantucket Jacket. Since the knitted and crocheted items are crammed into those cases (a quilter's conspiracy if you ask me), here's a better view of the sweater that won me my first KY State Fair Ribbon!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Happy Birthday, Leo!

Yesterday at 4:23 pm Tonya gave birth! Leo is 7 lb 2 ounces, 19 inches long, and has a full head of hair. Both mama and baby are healthy. As soon as we get pictures, I'll post them on the blog. Congratulations, Tonya and Craig! Welcome to the world, Leo!

Give the kids what they want

Whenever there is a child to knit for, the instinct is almost always to make them a sweater. Don't get me wrong, there are some adorable sweaters out there. Vi made this sweater for her granddaughter. The cables look like owls and you sew little shiny buttons for their eyes.

But let's be honest: how many times have you labored over a sweater for a little person only to have them complain, "But it's itchy!" or "Thanks, but I'd rather wear the $5 sweater from Target because it has my favorite cartoon character on it." I understand this situation because I have been on each side of this phenomena. As a child, I notoriously rejected handmade goods. "No, I don't want real macaroni and cheese, I want the powdered crap from the box!" "Thanks for laboring over this handmade sweater, grandma, but it's really itchy and pink and I'm a tom boy so I usually wear this hoodie everyday."

And don't even ask my mom about the Cabbage Patch kid fiasco.

During the Cabbage Patch kid scare of 1983-1984 when these dolls temporarily disappeared off the face of the earth during their height of popularity, I asked Santa for a Cabbage Patch kid. This is a terrible thing for any child to do to a parent. My faith in Santa hung in the balance and my mom and her friend decided that they would make Cabbage patch dolls for their daughters. Yes, that's right: hand sew a doll from a kit. And guess what? I didn't like it because it had short hair and "drips on it's nose." Typical.

So, give the kids what they want, and save yourself a little heart ache. Unless you are steeled against the sting of rejection, or compelled by the grandma/grandchild laws of nature, don't waste your time and energy on a child's sweater. Whitney had the right idea. Have to knit something for a four year old I'm not even related to? Here's a kitty, Kate to be more specific, made with pink and purple just to seal the deal. While the Knitty pattern calls for Lamb's Pride Worsted, Whitney chose to use Blue Sky Cotton.

But even this strategy isn't foolproof. Vi also made her granddaughter a Duduza doll. She was enthusiastic and immediately started playing fetch with the family dog with her new handknit. And how did Vi handle this insult? She's starting a hot pink blanket for none other than said granddaughter.

How can this be, you ask? The answer is simple. Have you ever seen Vi's granddaughter? She's adorable. It makes me want to knit something elaborate for her right now, even though I'm convinced she'll throw it on the floor of her closet.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

The Good, The Bad, and The Doggie

First the good news: both Jan and Laura have completely rocked the entrelac!

On the left, Laura has finished the Knit Nook Entrelac Hat (the class starts Sunday, September 30); on the right, Jan finished her second felted entrelac bag (for Christmas in July) and immediately started on her third! Jan, you're gonna be a popular lady this Christmas!

Now, the bad:

Trying desperately to satisfy a request for her son Joey, Margie has been knitting the Flame Sock for months. Out of Cascade Fixation. If you have ever tried color work with an elastic yarn, it isn't fun. And if you've ever tried knitting something black on tiny needles, it isn't fun. And thirdly, if you've tried knitting a knee sock for someone who is over six feet tall and wears a size 12, it isn't fun. Just look at Margie's face. Knitting this sock hasn't been that much fun. But she finished it. And when Joey tried it on, it doesn't fit around his calf. If you have any suggestions for Margie, please let us know!

And now, the doggie! Jan brought her dog Livi to the shop. She's a Portuguese Water Dog and a total sweetheart. Jan just got a new puppy (also a Portuguese Water Dog) and Livi just begged for an afternoon without him.

I only wish I could bring my dog to the shop and he would behave like this. Just look at him (sorry, the subject of dogs calls for a gratuitous pic of mine). He's a three-legged terrier. When he's not begging anybody to scratch him on his legless side (since he can't reach it himself), he's chewing things up because he assumes that if it used to be a plant or an animal, it must still be food. Needless to say, he's absolutely adorable and spoiled rotten.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Baby Shower

Last Sunday we hosted a baby shower. Lots of food, presents, and knitters. It was such a nice spread, we are thinking about having a Sunday potluck once a month. Margie made Benedictine, Paulette's husband made zucchini bread, and Vi made a delicious tomato salad with Cindy's tomatoes. Oh, and pregnant ladies showed up too.

Tonya is the most pregnant, so she opened presents first. Doesn't she look great for somebody 9 months pregnant in the middle of August?

And Holly opened up presents, too. She's not due until October, which most likely means she will receive no less than 500 pumpkin hats (I don't know about you, but I'm planning on making one!) Also, she was talking about knitting the kid a grub costume out of Organic Cotton for Halloween. Seriously, that would be the realization of one of my knitting dreams!

Lexi's in the background of this picture. She the youngest member of our Sunday knitting circle. Isn't she adorable? I love how when she's mad she says "Dang Darn it!" Just think, Holly: you'll have one of those in just six short years!

But I digress. Many hand knits were given and received. Holly made these for Tonya.

And we all got together and knit squares for baby blankets. Tonya said she was hoping she'd get one, but that's not the kind of thing you can ask for. Well, I'm glad we didn't disappoint!

Overall, the shower was a success. We even had an appearance by the Phantom Baby! Thanks for satisfying another knitting-related dream of mine, Vi!

PS: Explanation of Inside Joke

Whenever anybody wants to knit baby things, whether for a hope chest or as an example for the store, we began referring to the recipient as a phantom baby. At some point, a phantom baby became the Phantom Baby who is now the unofficial mascot of the shop. If you thought that the appearance of the Phantom Baby at a baby shower was morbid because it was like a ghost baby, you were sorely mistaken. The Phantom Baby is nothing if not an emblem of good luck.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Last Chance for August Classes!

If you haven't noticed (it is only 100 degrees with 1000% humidity out there) it's August! We have three classes coming up that need some students: Eyelet Cardigan, Fair Isle Hat (a Whitney original design), and Knucks. To entice you all to sign up, we will give you a $10 credit to apply to a future Knit Nook class fee and if you sign up with a friend you both also get 10% off of the class fee!

Call us (502) 452-1919 or email us for more info! Class descriptions are below.

Intro to Lace: Eyelet Cardigan
Learn how to knit lace and make this Blue Sky Alpaca cardigan. Materials not included, but 10% off all materials while enrolled in the class), $65
Friday, August 10, 17, 24, and 31, 6-8 pm

Fair Isle Hat
Get comfortable with using two colors and reading a chart while making this beautiful hat with Debbie Bliss cashmerino. Materials included, $90
Tuesday, August 14, 21, and 28, 6-8 pm need to be filled!

(Whitney made these Knucks out of Vicki Howell's yarn Craft, a mix of Organic Cotton & Milk Fiber!)

A Knitty favorite, these fingerless gloves make excellent gifts. While you will learn how to wield double pointed needles, knitting and purling skills are required. Materials included, $65
Sunday, August 26, September 2, and 9, 6-8 pm

Monday, August 6, 2007

Ruth's "Perfect" Baby Booties?

"Perfect" Baby Booties?

by Ruth Bennett

After looking for the "PERFECT" baby bootie pattern online, I found many that came close, but none seemed to be perfect for me...

So, I did what most knitters probably do & don't tell anyone: I took the best features from each pattern I found, tweaked the math to suit the way my brain works & wrote my own pattern.

I can only hope you will find this perfect for you.

Newborn to 3 months: 90 yards of sport or DK weight yarn on size 3 needles

3-6 months: 90 yards of worsted weight yarn on size 4 straight needles

Gauge: Worsted weight/stockinette/#4 needles: 5 sts/in

-Tapestry needles


-Two stitch markers (optional) #

Sole of Bootie:

Using Long Tail Cast On, CO 26 sts ( could use a provisional cast on & graft later...)

Row 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9: Sl 1 st knitwise, knit to end.

Row 2: Sl 1 st knitwise, k 1, m 1, k 11, (place marker)# m 1, k 1, m 1, k 1, m1, (place marker)#, k 11, m 1, k 1. (31 sts)

Row 4: Sl 1 st knitwise, k 2, m1, k 11, (move marker)# m 1, k 2, m 1, k 3, m 1, (move marker)#, k 11, m 1, k 2. (36sts)

Row 6: Sl 1 st knitwise, k 2, m1, k 11, (move marker) #, m 1, k 4, m1, k 4, m 1, (move marker) #, k 11, m 1, k 3. (41 sts)

Row 8: Sl 1 st knitwise, k 3, m1, k 11, (move marker)# m1, k 5, m 1, k6, m1, (move marker)#, k 11, m1 , k4. (46 sts)

Row 10: Sl 1 st knitwise, k 4, m 1, k 11, (move marker) #, m 1, k 7, m 1, k 7, m 1, (move marker) #, k 11, m 1, k 5. (51 sts)

Row 11: Sl 1 st knitwise, knit to end (remove markers)#.

Row 12, 14, 16, 18: Sl 1 st purlwise, purl to end of row.

Row 13, 15, 17: Sl 1 st knitwise, knit to end of row.

Shape Toe/Top of Foot: (Short Rows)

Row 19: Sl 1 st knitwise, k 28, ssk, turn.

Row 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34: Sl 1 st purlwise, p 7, p 2 tog, turn.

Row 21, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31, 33: Sl 1 st knitwise, k 7, ssk, turn.

Row 35: Sl 1 st knitwise, k 4, m 1, knit to end of the row. (36 sts)

Row 36: Sl 1 st purlwise, purl to end of the row.

Row 37: Sl 1 st knitwise, (YO, k 2 tog, k 1)* to last 2 sts, YO, k 2. (37 sts)

(This makes 12 eyelets for a "shoestring!")

Row 38: Sl 1 st purlwise, purl to end of the row.


Row 39, 41, 43, 45, 47, 49, 51, 53, 55: Sl 1 st knitwise, (K2, p 2 rib)* to end of row.

Row 40, 42, 44, 46, 48, 50, 52, 54, 56: Sl 1 st knitwise, p 1, (K 2, p2 rib)* to last 5 sts, K 2, P3.

BO in pattern. Leave a 26 " tail.

Turn to WS. Use tail to sew up selvedge edge. Turn RS out & shape toe with fingers.

(I suggest you use Backstitch for Stockinette rows & CO, mattress stitch for garter stitch rows...)

Thread a ribbon or 3 s I-cord through your eyelets to make your "shoelace."


-Instead of a ribbed cuff, feel free to tweak the math (to make an odd or even stitch count) and make a cuff with 18 rows of Garter Stitch, Seed Stitch, various other ribbings, simple cables, or whatever stitch pleases you.

-You can also change the look of the bootie using different materials as the "shoelace."

-You can also use bulky weight yarn, 100% wool yarn & size 10.5 needles...felt them down to size. Too cute!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Ruth: the most prolific of the pregnant knitters?

This past Sunday, we hosted a baby shower. Blogful Holly and Tonya were in attendance. Blogless Ruth used this opportunity to show off what she's knit for the little sprout so far. She brought a box. A full box.

A lot of the pieces Ruth made are of her own design. Like this adorable bunny hat.

Or these Booties in the Round, knit in the most stimulating colors for developing baby genius brains. (Ruth has given us this pattern and it will be posted free on this blog.)

Or in sold colors if outfit coordination trumps brain improvement.
Or Ruth adapted other people's patterns and made them her own, like this baby hoodie turned shearling chic (and modeled so nicely by Colleen).

But like I said, Ruth brought a box. So as she displayed her hand knits, the pile started to grow.

And grow...

Until it practically covered our entire table! Ruth says when the baby outgrows most of these items, she's donating them to the Center for Women and Families. Wow. Pregnancy is just the gift that keeps on giving! Way to go, Ruth!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Charity Knitting Alert

Irene needs Beta Club hours, so of course she is using her knitting skills for the greater good!

The Creative Stitch, a yarn shop in Boston, is collecting Duduza dolls for the Vermont-based organization CHABHA (Children Affected by HIV/AIDS). The dolls are used to pack medical supplies sent to Africa and are given to the village children. You can read more about this effort here.

We will be collecting Duduza dolls until the first week of September. These dolls are great stash busters, easy to knit, and are for a great cause! Click here for the pattern.