I’m Teaching!


Anyone who knows me knows that I’m quite a talker–so teaching is pretty natural for me. But this time, instead of teaching sleepy college students, I’ll be working with eager Yarn Shop and Yarn Company folk to help them learn to create great graphic designs for their businesses!

I will be teaching, Make Your Newsletters Pretty: Graphic Design 101 at the TNNA Winter Trade Show, held in San Jose, California. San Jose in January–makes my Minnesotan heart  so happy.

For those interested in my class, we’ll be covering a whirlwind of great graphic design practices. For each topic I’ll give you some pro tips and also some rookie pitfalls to avoid. Though I will focus on newsletters, these topics will also help you with your Class Schedules, Patterns, Business Cards, Postcards or anything else you’d like to create. Join me to learn about design layout, typography, photography, good use of color and much more. We’ll be working with Microsoft Word, but these strategies will work with most word-processing or design software. Comment, or email if you have any questions at all.

I can’t wait!

New pattern: Inhabit Cardigan

As soon as I finished creating my Inhabit pullover, I knew that linen cardigan would be nice to have as well. So here it is, the Inhabit Cardigan.


Same easy to knit design, this time in Quince Sparrow–also a wonderful linen, though just a teensy bit lighter than Euroflax, so your fabric will be a bit more open. I love the nice drape with linen. Now, if it would only get to be summer!


XS [S, M, L, 1X, 2X, 3X]
(Shown in size L with 10 inches of positive ease)

Bust circumference: 41[45, 49, 52, 57, 61, 65] inches
Length: 22[23, 23.75, 24.5, 25.25, 26, 26.5] inches
at center back

24 sts/29 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch after blocking

• Yarn: Quince Sparrow [100% Organic Linen;
168 yd/155 m per 50g skein]
[MC] Moon; 7[7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 9] skeins
[CC1] Blue Spruce; 1[1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1] skeins
[CC2] Fundi; 1[1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1] skeins


Block me on this

Knitters need to block their finished knits–I think everyone can agree on this.* I take a strong stand against steam or press blocking, I just don’t think it does a good enough job and hand knits often need a little cleaning up when their done. Wet blocking is the way to go. I don’t feel inclined to write out my steps on how to do this; there are a ba-zillion pages on the internet to tell you how.

unblocked knitting

unblocked knitting


blocked knitting

blocked knitting


You might want to read some of Mason-Dixon Knitting’s tips, I love these women: smart and sassy. I want to be them. And then there is Soak School (love that name) brought to you by the creators of Soak, a rinse-free laundry soap.

I do have one personal take on the subject: block with a towel and pins even if it’s not a shawl.


This is my alpaca version of Inhabit. I'm waiting for my model to come home from school, and then I'll show it to you.

This is my alpaca version of Inhabit. I’m waiting for my model to come home from school, and then I’ll show it to you.

I’ve been avoiding purchasing a blocking board. We live in a smallish house already full to the brim with Stuff. Stuff everywhere. I take adding another piece of equipment very seriously. But I really need to pin this sweater. An alpaca version of Inhabit, those edges really want to curl. It will loosen up when hung, alpaca has been a favorite fiber for a long time, I have confidence that when dry, it will be fine. But this means that my usually method of patting and laying out to dry is not enough. I must pin. Enter a big fat stripey towel (a fabulous value found at Marshall’s).

Be sure your pins are stainless, I cannot stress this enough. Unless, of course, your knitted piece is rust-colored. Then you’ll be fine. (kidding!)

Lay out the wet sweater, measure at the critical point and smush or stretch to match your desired size and pin down those curls. Let the air do its job. If you like, put a fan over it to keep the furry beasties at bay and encourage quicker drying. There. You’ve blocked your sweater and it is now ready to show the world.

*Blocking, the final step of finishing your knits. In the simplest terms, hand washing your piece and laying it flat to dry. It will do wonders for evening out your stitches, opening up your lace, spreading your piece to the proper size. Blocking will make you happy. Always block.

I’m in Knitty!

And when I say, “I’m in Knitty, I’m in Knitty! Here I am modeling my new pattern just published by Knitty. I couldn’t be more excited about it.Inhabit_IMG_9316

Called Inhabit, because its just the kind of sweater that I want. In fact, that’s how the design began. My local yarn store had their Louet Euroflax on sale and I decided to design just the pattern that I would want to knit and wear.


Simple knitting, stockinette, bottom up in the round. Easy to wear, pop it on over your tank top, collared shirt or even your swim suit. Mostly black, but with a little bit of color. Loose gauge because Summer!


Knitty is full of wonderful patterns that are free! Go check out this issue, see mine and all the other fun new spring patterns.

P.S. And a big Thank You to my talented daughter who shot the photos. Tamara has learned to compose a shot that makes even a chubby me look nice.

New Pattern: Not Too Sweet Mittens


Found in my stash was some nice chocolate and bright red yarns. A cute striped mitten was born. A row of red hearts to be a little “valentiney” but not too much–the women in my family are not that sweet.

Easy and fast mittens with well fitted thumb gussets. There’s plenty of time to get these knit before the big holiday for sweethearts.