Sunday, January 5, 2014

Winter Mystery KAL - Helpful Links & Knitting Tips

If you are participating in my current Winter Mystery KAL, below are some very helpful links for the different knitting techniques that we are using. Also, I have recorded a video to show you how to knit the two cable twisted stitches that are incorporated in the KAL design.

Vera's Twisted Cable Stitches How-to Video:

Increases used in the KAL:

KRL – Knit Right Loop 

KLL – Knit Left Loop

M1L - left leaning increase: 
insert the left-hand needle, from front to back, under the strand of yarn which runs between the stitch just worked and the next stitch on the left-hand needle. Knit this stitch through the back loop. 
M1R - right leaning increase:
To work a right-leaning make one, insert the left-hand needle, from back to front, under the strand of yarn which runs between the stitch just worked and the next stitch on the left-hand needle. Knit this stitch through the front loop.
How to knit the Estonian Braid (also called: Lateral Braid & Vikkel Braid):
[English Video]- you may not want to watch the entire video because she shows you how to do each stitch (which is a repeat, over & over again), forward to the end where she shows you how to end the braid round, that part is important. 
[English Video #2]- Proverbial Knitter
[Photo Tutorial #2]- scroll down to see the tutorial

Here is the Video that I recorded in English on how to knit a nice and tight Estonian Braid so that the stitches aren't too loose in the subsequent row.

Hier ist das gleiche Video in Deutsch, wie man die Estonian Braid schön feste strickt, so dass in der nächsten Reihe die Maschen nicht zu locker sind und schön gleichmäßig aussehen.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Knitting an Enclosed Button Band

Since I could not find any online tutorials on how to knit an Enclosed Button Band (or a button band that has its own facing), I decided to take photos of my knitting process and to post them here.

While I was searching for information on how to knit such a button band, I found tutorials on how to sew on a knitted button band facing, but I wanted to do this seamlessly. I also found a steeking related blog tutorial by Katie Davies that showed a similar process to what I wanted to do, but "my" button band was not steeking related and my band has ribbing and is 2" wide. 

I am currently knitting a poncho that I am designing. I am calling it the "Thirty-one Flavors Poncho" since I sketched out the idea for this poncho on a Baskin Robins paper bag (that is all what I had handy at that moment:
You have to use what is handy when inspiration comes! 
The shawl collar is knit first and then the button bands are added. When the collar folds over, the wrong side of the collar is on the public side. One of the things that I wanted to avoid was to have the seam of the wrong side showing where the stitches for the button band had been picked up. I think that I succeeded:
You see the "rolled" looking seam? 
If I had simply just picked up stitches at the collar and knit the button band ribbing, it would show the seam. I quite like the outcome. It almost looks like a knitted welt or an i-cord, wouldn't you agree?

Let me explain the knitting process:

1. With a long circular needle that was the same size as I was planning on knitting the button band with, I picked up & knitted the button band stitches as I normally do. The only difference was that I ran a bright colored yarn around the yarn that I was using to pick up the stitches, almost like running a life-line. 

2. This way, I was able to see the yarn that I had used to pick up & knit the stitches at the back. (Later I will run a second thin knitting needle through the loops in the back in order to cover the "seam" that was created by picking up the stitches.)

I think you can see it better here.
3. After I finished picking up all the necessary button band stitches, I worked 3 rows in stockinette stitch:
Row 1 (wrong side): purl all stitches.
Row 2 (right side): knit all stitches.
Row 3 (wrong side): purl all stitches.  
At that point, I stopped working that part of the button band, don't cut the yarn, leave it attached.
After 3 rows of stockinette, shown from the wrong side of fabric. 

4. Next, I used a very fine long circular needle to pick up the loops from the wrong side of the fabric:

5. Once I had picked up all the loops from the wrong side of the fabric, I pulled out the pink yarn ("life line") and worked 2 rows of stockinette stitch, using a long circular needle that was one size smaller than the needle size of the button band needle and the yarn that I had used for the other side of the button band. 
Row 1 (wrong side): purl all stitches.
Row 2 (right side): knit all stitches.
I have to admit, especially the first row was a little fiddly to purl and I had to really watch it that the stitches on the other needle did not slip off. 

6. Next, I worked the two rows as if in the round, for one round. (This means that I now had finished 4 rows for the outside band and 3 rows for the inside band. I used the respective needles for each side, but I "swung" the yarn around the ends to work the bands in the round, so that there is no opening/gap at each end of the button band.)

7. Now it was time to connect the two sides into one. I simply did this by either knitting-2-together (k2tog) or by purling-2-together (p2tog), the parallel stitch from the front and the back needle (similar as to when one knits a three-needle-bind-off without binding off) based on the ribbing pattern that I wanted for the button band (namely: K3, P3). 

View from the right side of the fabric. 

What the finished row looked like from the right side of the fabric. 

What the finished row looked like from the wrong side of the fabric.
8. Then I continued working the button band in the ribbing pattern to its desired width. The "seam" is covered by stockinette stitch fabric.

Finished button band from the wrong side of the fabric. 

Finished button band from the right side of the fabric. 

I really like the outcome! 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Route 66 Sweater

Here is one of my new designs... knitted in Madelinetosh Merino Sport in colors dirty panther (black) & lapis (blue).
Hier ist einer meiner neuen Designs...gestrickt in Madelinetosh Merino Sport in Farben dirty panther (schwarz) & lapis (blau).

Gauge/Maschenprobe: 20 sts/4"(10 cm)
Sizes/Größen: XS (S, M, L1, L2)[XL, 2XL, 3Xl]

The pattern is almost ready and is being tech edited. The diagonal Stripe is worked by knitting decreases and increases. It is simple to knit.
Die Anleitung ist fast fertig und wird gerade überarbeitet. Der diagonale Streifen wird durch Abnahmen & Zunahmen gestrick. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Nebuleta Shawl

I just published a new pattern for a shawl that I named: Nebuleta

This pattern is available in English & in German! 
Diese Anleitung gibt es in Englisch & in Deutsch! 

This beautiful two-colored shawl is worked from the top-down in a simple and elegant lace pattern. The shawl measures approx. 64” in width & 30” in height after blocking.
Dieser schöne zweifarbige Schal ist von oben-nach-unten im einfachen Krausmuster gestrickt. Der fertige Schal misst ca. 163 cm in der Breite und 75 cm in der Höhe.

Fingering Yarn, Color 1 – 400 yds/365 m; Color 2 – 360 yds/330 m
The shawl was knit in Anzula Nebula (84% Superwash Merino, 16% Sparkling Nylon)(400 yds/365 m) which is a brand new yarn not added to the Raverly database yet. 1 skein of each color.

18 sts & 20 rows = 4" in garter stitch after blocking
18 M & 20 R = 10 cm in Krausgestrickten nach dem Waschen und Spannen

U.S. 6 (4 mm) – 40” (100 cm) circular needle/Rundstricknadel


16 stitch markers, tapestry needle
16 Maschenmarkierringe, Stopfnadel

To get the points to stick out, pull the points while blocking the shawl and use pins to hold the points into place while the shawl is drying:
Um die Zipfel zu bekommen, nach dem Waschen, beim Spannen, die Zipfel ziehen und mit einer Nadel zum Trocknen feststecken. 

Die Anleitung ist durch Ravelry bzw. Paypal für $5 U.S. erhältlich: 
The pattern can be purchased for $5 through Ravelry/Paypal: 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Cooking Liberian Food

This weekend, I do not have much knitting time. I am cooking and preparing for my boy friend's visit in a couple of weekends. We met in 2005 when I was in Monrovia, Liberia (West Africa). His sister Vero was my best friend in Liberia. I met him at her house one day. He was visiting from the U.S. (he has U.S. citizenship).

Dieses Wochenende habe ich nicht viel Zeit zum stricken. Ich bin am kochen um Essen vorzubereiten when mein Freund kommt am Ende des Monats. Wir haben uns in 2005 in Monrovia, Liberia (West Afrika) kennengelernt. Seine Schwester Vero war meine beste Freundin in Libieria. Ich habe ihn dort auch bei ihr zu Hause kennengelernt. Er ist zwar gebürtig von Liberia, aber lebt schon seit langer Zeit in den USA. Er war auch aus Amerika zu Besuch.

I don't have much time to cook during the week and next weekend, I will be too busy too. Thus, I figured that if I cook up all the food now, freeze it, then I just will have to cook some rice and heat up the "soups" (that is what they are called in Liberia).

The first thing that I cooked is Jollof Rice. This is simple to prepare and is super tasty. My girls love this rice. If anybody is interested, let me know and I will post the recipe.
I made several bowls worth - just before going into the freezer
Next, I prepared three "soups" - one is with okra, another with pumpkin seeds and a third just with plain sauce.

Goat soup with greens in a sauce prepared with palm oil
Beef soup with a creole type sauce prepared with palm oil

Goat soup made with small beans, greens prepared with palm oil
Of course, there is fufu that is eaten with almost all West African meals. I do not like it at all! But he does and so do my daughters.

Fufu - ready to go into the freezer

I had to fight my girls away from the food!

Off into the freezer...

I will also prepare another Liberian dish Palm Butter Soup with some chicken or goat. I have to go to the specialty shop to get the meat. I prefer chicken but I am outnumbered.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Photo Shoot in San Diego

I have several new patterns that are being released. Obviously before a pattern can be published, it has to have some good photos to show off the design.

My daughter Amie models a lot of my designs because she is young and very pretty. She was in San Diego for the weekend, so I met up with her and her boy friend on Saturday morning in beautiful Balboa Park.

First, let me show you my new pattern designs: At the bottom of each photo is a link to the pattern on

Practical Spring or Summer Cardi
This lovely cardigan is knit in 100% linen yarn, Shibui Knits Linen, which is a fingering weight yarn. Others have knit this cardi in 100% Merino or Merino/Silk blends and it looks just as fabulous in those yarns. It is knit from the bottom up in seamless construction. The should seam is connected using a 3-needle-bind-off. The sleeve stitches are picked up from the armhole and are knit from the top-down. Sizes: XS - 3XL

Seeing Stripes Cardigan

This cardigan is knit in lace weight yarn that is held double with a 20 sts = 4" (10 cm) gauge. The striping is a result of mixing the two colors together, color 1 & 1, color 1 & 2, and color 2 & 2. The entire cardigan, up to size XL can be knit using only two skeins of yarn! I used the fabulous Anzula Yarns, Wash my Lace yarn. Each skein has 990 yards. Sizes: XXS - 4XL

Princesa Preciosa
Sleeve Detail Princesa Preciosa
I am in love with the delicate look of this sweater! It is knit in seamless construction from the top-down and has raglan sleeves. It is knit in fingering weight yarn, Anzula Yarns Milky Way, but any light fingering or regular fingering weight yarn will work for this design. I am making myself a second one because this sweater looks great with a casual pair of jeans or dressed up with a nice suit skirt or slacks. The sleeves are knit 3/4 length, but they can easily be lengthened since it is knit from the top-down and can be tried on while still on the needles. Sizes: XXS - 3XL

Jolie Fleur - 3/4 Sleeve Version
3/4 length Sleeve Detail
Jolie Fleur - Short Sleeve Version
Close up of Front Flower Detail
I am very excited about this pattern because it is knit from the bottom-up in seamless construction! The set-in sleeves are knit at the same time with the upper body. Thanks to my fantastic test knitters, the sleeve and armhole fits perfectly in all of the sizes! This is a great alternative construction method to top-down knitting when there is a lace pattern that needs to be knit from the bottom-up. 
This pattern has instructions for short sleeves and 3/4 length sleeves. It is knit in fingering weight yarn. Sizes XXS - 3XL

This shawl was still on my needles and was not ready to be photographed during our photo shoot, but I had to squeeze it in! It is knit with 2 skeins of 400 yards of fingering yarn. It is an easy knit, all garter stitch with strategically placed increases for the shape. If you know how to knit and make yarn overs, you can knit this shawl! It measures at 64" wide and 30" deep.

Now I want to share some other photos from the photo shoot:

Isn't this just the perfect location?!

Waiting for me to set up...

Amie messing around, sticking out her belly!

Her boyfriend trying to do the same...

In love with the big pole...

Gorgeous Balboa Park

Scoping out more locations....

This fountain is perfect!

...and you thought Amie was sweet!

Aren't they a cute couple?
Tamarah & Erna keeping entertained...
More Views...
Statue in Balboa Park
Scenery while walking back to the car...

YES! We are done!!!
Tamarah carrying all the samples...