Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Jems Collection

Introducing The Jems Collection

Pattern: Diamonique
Sizes: XS/S(M,L/XL,XXL) *
Bust: 32(36,40,44) inches
Yarn Requirements: Patons Brillant - 4(5,5,6) balls
or any light DK weight yarn
Needles: US 3 (3.25mm) circular & US 5 (3.75mm) straights
Gauge: 20 sts - 26 rows per 4 inches

*Sizing Note
There are only four sizes in this pattern. The sizes for XS/S and L/XL are multi-fit. For the smaller of the two sizes it will have a slightly looser fit, for the higher it will have a closer fit. This sizing is required to reduce confusion in working the lace pattern.

Pattern: Ruby
Sizes: XS(S,M,L,XL,XXL)
Bust: 30(32,34,36,38,40)
Yarn Requirements: Southwest Trading Company Pheonix- 3(3,3,4,4,5) skeins
or any worsted weight yarn
Needles: US 6(4mm) circular & US 8 (5mm) straights
Gauge: 16 sts - 24 rows per 4 inches

Price: $5.50 (both patterns are included)
Buy Now

Once purchased, the file will be emailed to you in pdf form.


Sunday, January 29, 2006

Knitting is pleasant

Most things I do in my life have a level of competitiveness. I was in high level classes in grade school, I competed locally and nationally in sports, I went to a competitive engineering school as one of the few women in my program and I now work for a competitive company in a department where I am the only women. For those reasons, I refuse to give in to the competitive-snobby nature of making clothes(sewing/knitting).

Making clothes is something that I LOVE. I've been doing it since I was 11 years old and I refuse to let anything ruin it for me. So while I mentioned that interesting incident in my last post, please know that it doesn't get me down. The good things that I have encountered with my sewing and knitting far out weigh the bad. Heck, I've met all of you...well not physically met.. but you get what I'm saying.

The good side of knitting is the thing I'm trying to impress upon the girls that I work with at the Girls Club. "Knitting is pleasant" was something that I started saying as a joke. One girl was saying "Ha Ha,look, I have more rows than you" and I countered with we aren't going to talk like that because (in my fake british Mary Poppins accent) "knitting is pleasant". Now the girls will use it anytime conversations stray or attitudes creep up.

So my new mantra is "Knitting is pleasant".

And because it is so pleasant I'm going to share with you some knitting loveliness straight from the UK.

It's the Glimmer kit from Kim Hargreaves .
I've been drooling over this for a long time and thanks to the generosity of my parents, this was another one of my Christmas presents. It took a little while to get to me because they were out of the color or Summer Tweed I wanted but Kim and her mother Kathleen kept me updated on the status of my order and sent it as promptly as they could. I really want to dive in but I'm going to hold off until after the Knitting Olympics.

I finished the latest design. Here is a preview.

I'm finishing up the details and the pattern should be posted Tuesday.

And before I go, Latoya Denise tagged me for the "4 Things" meme.

Four jobs in my life:

1. Software Engineer
2. Cell Phone 411 Operator: Ding! "Sprint..What city and state?"
3. Customer Service Rep for GMAC. " I'm sorry your car got repossesed sir (snicker, snicker) but you haven't paid your bill in 3 months. What did you expect?"
4. Sales Associate at JoAnn's (Employee discount. Enough said!)

Four movies I could watch over and over:

1. The Last Dragon
2. Chasing Liberty
3. Brown Sugar
4. Coming To America

Four places I have lived:

1. Cleveland, Oh
2. Rochester, NY
3. Atlanta, GA
4. Rochester, MN

Four places I have been on vacation:

1. New York City
2. Toronto
3. Miami
4. Las Vegas

Four websites I visit daily:

1. USAToday.com
2. Elann.com
3. yrnews.com
4. Newsgator - for all my daily blog reading.

Four of my favorite foods:

1. Ice cream
2. Red velvet cake
3. Potatoes (in any form)
4. Anything my grandmother/mother/aunts cook

Four places I'd rather be right now:

1. On a beach in Miami
2. New York City
3. Getting a massage
4. Anywhere with my friends

Four bloggers I am tagging:

How hasn't been tagged for this? If you haven't consider yourself tagged.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Knitting is so vicious!

Jen made a comment the other day that knitting and knit blogging is competitive. Well last night I got to see it first hand.

Every Wednesday is SnB night nite at Helios Coffeehouse and there is no prejudice to who can join. Everyone's welcome.
I arrived at 6:30 and started knitting. Shortly there after about 6 women I've never seen before walked right past me and sat down at a table. They looked at me several times but never really spoke. Then another two girls came in, looked at me, and sat on another couch. The regular SnB'ers don't really show up until around 8pm but when they did (12-15 peeps), the others didn't join us and still didn't speak. Now it could be coincidence that 8 women just happened to want to knit on Wednesday at Helios and I understand that not everyone wants to join a group but let's be real here. The SnB listserv is over 200 people and Helios is a very unique and specific place to choose. Did they really not know? But to wrap up my thought, last knit I was introduced the cliqish nature that knitting can have. I found the whole thing interesting but rather funny.

Thanks to everyone for all the nice comments on my latest projects. The Diamonique pattern may be a little delayed. That's because I've been working on a variation of the top that I want to include.

This was the version I originally intended to make before I came up with the other. The neckline is a little wider than I want so I'm going to rework the front.

And when you get a chance, check out Lauren's Project Spectrum .

I'm usually very "anti-bandwagon". I don't like to join everything that comes along. I want to join because I really like the idea behind it. Lauren's idea is a good one.

The point of Project Spectrum is to create something using the colors designated for that month and it can be anything. Knit,crochet,bead,embroider,whatever. For me this will help me break out of my mold of pinks & reds and push me to try new colors.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

My sock truth

On the eve of the sockapaloooza sign-ups, I have come to a realization about me and sock knitting. I only like to make plain socks. No lace, no overall ribbing,no nothing. For me socks are my busy work. Something to do when I really don't have time to invest in a large project. Something to carry in my purse in case of long boring wait at the doctor's office. I like socks but not enough to slave through a repeating pattern on size 2 needles. So to all the people that do intricate sock patterns....I salute you but it won't be me.

I started some footies in Claudia Handpainted Yarn. It looks similar to Koigu but feels so much better. Footies are my favorite type of sock and this is great as a knitter because that means I only need one skein of yarn to make them.

I'm in a mood to finish some things before the start of the Knitting Olympics so I finished "My So-Called Scarf" today.

I'm also finishing the Lacy Sweater that's been sitting around for awhile. I only have a sleeve to finish so that should be done soon.

And making her debut is my "diamonique" top. I wore it to the "Fine Wines and Rhymes" event a friend held at his house. He hosted about 35-50 people for a wine tasting and poetry reading. It was nice although people didn't get as dressy as I thought they should have. Never the less, I looked nice and received a few complements. I wore the top with a black matte jersey skirt and knee-high stilleto boots.

I may post this pattern but if I do, it will definitely be for a price. This little bugger was hard work.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

I Spy

The Interweave Knits preview is up and I spy photographic improvements. Yes that's right people, I spy the usage of the proper undergarments.

Thank you IK. Pretty photography makes me happy! My faith in you is restored.

I Spy .... A Challenge

Stephanie has thrown down the gauntlet and started the 2006 Knitting Olympics to coincide with the Winter Olympics.

Did you know that Dale of Norway designs the official team sweater for the US Ski Team and you can buy the pattern? I didn't. Here is a pic . But I digress....

The point is to pick a personally challenging project and start on the first day of the Olympics, Feb 10, and finish by the end of the games, Feb 26.

I've decided to be on Knitting Team USA and I will be working on the Martha Cardigan from Rowan 37. This will be challenge because it will be my first cardigan, it has a button band (my first), and it's knit on US 3 needles.

Are you up for the challenge?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Needlecase tutorial

Here are the instructions for making a needle case. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Supplies needed

1 1/4 (1.25) yards of fabric *
2/3 (.667) yds Peltex interfacing.
1 yd ribbon
1 dressmaker pencil or tailors chalk for dark fabric
straight pins

Final measurements approx. 15 in x 7 in folded.

* I suggest sturdy home decor fabrics. JoAnn's has colorful canvas-like fabrics which I use. They average $6.99/yd.

Cut two pieces of material. One piece 28 inches long. The other 6 inches. Cut each piece in half along the fold line.

Take a larger piece and fold to create a 6 inch pouch. The final length of the piece should be around 16 inches long after folding. Pin in place and iron flat.

On the back of the material, using your pencil, draw a straight line at 7.5 and 14.5 inches along the pouch. These will approximate your fold lines. In between these lines draw lines every 2, 1, or .75 inches. This depends on your needle sizes. 2 inch for large needles and dpns, 1 inch for medium, .75 inch for small.

Sew along the drawn lines to create the needle sections.

Take other large piece of material and cut it to match the size of the sectioned piece.

Now with the strip that you just cut off, fold it in half along the length. Measure 4.5 inches from fold to edge and then trim off excess from the open edges.

Take one of the smaller pieces cut earlier and match up edges to create another pouch. Pin in place.

Mark at 7.5 & 14.5 inches and sew across lines drawn. You will have three sections.

Lay other small piece across the the sectioned piece so only wrong sides show.

Fold the fabric in half and cut through all layers to round out the edges.

Unfold and sew along the edge, trim seams, and turn inside out. Iron.

Place the smaller sectioned piece, sectioned side down along the top of larger sectioned piece. Pin in place.

Cut the ribbon in half and pin a piece in place on the edge.

Place the other large section over the sectioned pieces, right sides facing. Place Peltex on top and pin all pieces in place.

Sew edges with a .5 in seam allowance, making sure not to sew all the way around. Leave a hole about 7 in long. You will use this to turn the material inside out. Trim the seams making sure to clip the corners. Turn inside and iron.

Edge stitch around entire needlecase making sure to stitch close the 7 inch hole. Fold the case in thirds and iron. Stitch down the fold lines as closely as possible to one of the section lines.

With case folded, place the other piece of ribbon and sew in place.


Monday, January 16, 2006

Kid Things, Grown Up Things.

Grown Up Thing

Sometimes I can do responsibly adult things instead of spending all of my money on knitting and sewing. This weekend I was an adult and went and bought my first toaster and crockpot.

Introducing Mr. Toast T. , Mr. T for short, and Crocker.

Here at Chez Saun all inanimate objects get a name and these are my two newest man servants. Crocker was a little rebellious and decided to ruin my first attempt at crockpot cooking. Disgusting doesn't even begin to describe it.

Kid Thing
After Crocker ruined Sunday dinner, I decided to play with the ice cream ball Mamacita got me for Christmas from Red Envelope . Great soft-serve in 15 minutes. Yum-Yum.

Grown Up Thing

I'm going to a get-together this weekend and the requested attire is "haute couture". In reality people won't be wearing runway fashions but they will be snazzy. I want to finally wear something I've made but none of my current knits fit the bill. I'm not in the mood to sew so I've come up with a knitted design. It's got some lace and will have a deep v-neck. I'll be wearing a cami under it but I like the idea of this very see-through sexy top. I'm using Patons Brillant yarn.

This is a pic of the back.

With the weather in the 60's and 70's I'm more likely to wear this than the fair isle sweater I was working on. I've set that aside. The lack of sweater weather keeps me from being motivated to knit with a wool/alpaca blend.

Kid Thing
I don't think I've ever mentioned it but last year I began volunteering at the Raleigh Girls Club . (It's part of the Boys & Girls Club , just a seperate building just for the girls.) I like volunteering. I do various things, homework help, play games, but I tend to help out in the craft room. Well it turns out that the girls want to learn to knit so guess who volunteered to teach them.

Last week was the first week of the official knitting club. Teaching them to cast-on was a mess so I just cast-on and got them started. One girl took to it instantly. A few others struggled a bit but they'll have it soon. Others just don't have the attention span. They want to be apart of the group but they don't know how to pay attention. It is a challenge but I'm determined.

And finally, I've been tagged by Kelly for the "5 weird habits" meme.

The first player of the game starts with the topic, "5 weird habits about yourself". People who get tagged need to write an entry about their five weird habits, as well as state this rule clearly. In the end you need to choose the next 5 people to be tagged, and link to their web-journals. Don't forget to leave a comment in their blog/journal that says "you have been tagged" and tell them to read yours.

1. Maybe not so weird but I eat my M&M's in order. This habit used to drive my mother crazy when I was a child. Dark brown, light brown, orange, yellow, red, blue, green. If I'm absolutely forced to eat them out of order I still must eat the green absolutely last.

2. I like to eat baking soda. I stick my finger in the box and then lick my finger. My grandma taught me to use it to settle an upset stomach. I just like the taste.

3. If I'm playing my favorite song , "So Fine" by Mint Condition, I must listen to it until the very end. I can't fast forward past it or turn it off in the middle. Even if I'm in the car and late for something I must finish the song.

4. I hate folding laundry. I will wash it but won't fold it. It can sit on the floor in my bedroom for weeks before I break down.

5. I have a fear of falling trees. When I was about 15 there was a crash in the middle of the night that woke up everybody in the house. The next morning I went down stairs to look out the window to see thermometer and forgot to put on my glasses. All I saw was this big blob that looked like a ship sitting in the front yard. The tree had fallen over. Luckily it fell aware from the house and cars. It was a huge tree. Freaked.me.out! I fear all storms and the possibility of falling trees. Can you say anxiety attack?

I'm not tagging anyone specific but if you want to do it , then you've been tagged.

Sunday, January 15, 2006


The Regine pattern is now available in the free pattern section. Enjoy!

Pattern: Regine
Sizes: XS(S,M,L,XL,XXL)
Bust: 32(34,36,38,40,42)
Yarn Requirements: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece 5(5,5,6,6,7) skeins
Needles: US 6(4.00 mm) straight, US 5 (3.75mm) circular

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Now that I've counted the stash it's time to move on to some new projects. I feel the need to make a dent in my supply. My girl f.pea has requested that I show how I make needlecases, so this weekend I will make one and devise a photo tutorial for everyone.

I've started my fair isle sweater. I had to restart because I didn't like how the pattern looked. I'll show some pics on that after I work some more of it.

As for the latest, Sunday I started some caps for my aunt. She's undergoing chemo and I want to surprise her with a few. I finished the last one tonight and they are currently blocking in my "blocking" room aka the guest bathroom.

I used the following yarns: kool-aid dyed Patons Merino (rusty red), Jo-Anns Stellina (red), Tahki Como (black), and Misti Alpaca Cotton (purple). I tried hard to find yarns that I thought were soft and that wouldn't get too hot so she can keep them on all day if need be. I couldn't completely stay aware from wool but I tried my best.

Monday, January 09, 2006

And the winner is.....


She guessed a whopping 223, which I thought was a little crazy until I finally counted my stash.

Here is what 220 balls of yarn look like.

I'm really shocked and slightly ashamed at the total size. I knew I had a lot but this is ridiculous.

Here is what Heather has won.

2 skeins of Cascade 220, a mini photo-album, some Dove chocolates, and a knitting needle case made by me.

Thanks to everyone that stopped by and played.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Happy 100th post!!! (with a contest)

Happy 100th post to me!

This is an accomplishment let me tell you! There are very few technology-related habits that I can keep up with. Playstation..everyday for a month, then stopped. I used my Palm Pilot for 2 months then I stopped and switched back to my trusty post-its. So this blog right here is amazing. I've surprised myself by keeping up with it for so long. I have to thank all of you who read it, because if you didn't I would have stopped long ago.

In celebration of the momentus event I have devised a contest. It's lame and cheesy and probably been done before but it's all I've got.

The Contest:Guess how many balls of yarn are in my stash?

The contest will run until next Monday January 9, at which point the person with the closest guess will get a prize. I'm still working on the prize but it will be a good one, I promise. I don't have the slightest clue how many there are. That's why the contest goes til Monday. I'll be doing a little counting and organizing over the weekend.

Here's what I've been working on lately.

This is the "Regine" top I finished which during my vacation. Although the picture doesn't really show it well, this top is supposed to show off your cleavage. There's another fancy french word for it that starts with a "D" but I don't know how to spell it. Decollage? Something like that. But anyway, I named it after Kim Fields' character "Regine" on Living Single. There was a marathon on the Oxygen network the day I designed it. I thought the name was appropriate since Regine loved to show off her "cleave".

It's made out of Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece. This will be another one for the free pattern section once I type it up.

Last night I worked on a chart for a fair-isle type sweater I'm designing.

I'll be making it out of some Nashua Worsted Weight.

That's all for now. See you Monday. Happy guessing!


Jen & La have started the war of all wars. A war of ugly, if you will. It's an "Ugliest Avatar" meme.

Yahoo! Avatars

Go to Yahoo! Avatars and create the ugliest avatar you can think of. I call mine "Winter Rodeo Gretel". If you are reading this then you've been tagged. Have fun!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Because I have nothing else.

Because I don't have much time to write out a decent entry I will entertain you with random crap.

Check out Lake Superior State University's 2006 List of Banished Words

Today Woot! has random calendars for $1. Think of it as a calendar slot machine. For up to $3 you will get 3 calendars. You don't know which one but you will definitely get something.

The Christmas Gift I bought for myself...

Kiehl's Unusually Rich But Not Greasy At All Hand Cream . Every knitter should have some. Seriously. A little pricey but really worth it.

Resolutions: I don't have any. I don't really believe in them. If it's something I need to really do why wait until January 1 to start. Do you have any?

Crazy Craving: I have this crazy craving from some Rowan Summer Tweed.(You thought I was going to say something about food didn't you?) It's my favorite yarn although I've only used it once. I really, really, really (Is that enough reallys') want some. For what project...I have no clue..but I still want some. I stalked out some at JimmyBean's this morning but I can't decide on a color. I think I want to make a jacket out of it. What do you think? Sunset, Raffia, Summer Berry , or Gold ?

Blog reads: If I haven't left any comments on your blog lately I apologize but having time to read and comment has been minimal. Thanks for any comments you left on mine.

If you haven't notice my mind is like a sales bin after Christmas...a scattered mess. I now need a vacation from my vacation. Going home to all the relatives is way more mental and physical stimulation than I'm used to. These people never sleep. I scheduled a massage from Friday and it can't get here soon enough.

My next post will be my 100th. Maybe I'll take the time to come up with something momumental..well....hopefully. Maybe a contest? We'll see.