Remembering the good stuff: 2011 – the knitting

Basic hat for hubby

I’ve said it before – I’m a slow knitter. But if it’s about enjoying the process then I call this hobby a great success. Here are my favorite projects from 2011.

Look UP Valentine2

I started off strong and yarn bombed a tree in my city’s downtown area. Hubby even helped and has suggestions for next time we go out into the night.

Tesserae Socks by the fire

I finished a pair of Anne Hanson’s Tesserae socks out of a lovely rare gem of Blue Moon Socks that Rock for hubby. I loved the pattern and have plans to knit more.


In March I knit a beret for me that I’m still in love with. I didn’t expect to love it so much but the pattern (Spring Beret) was fun and the subtle sparkle of the Kollage Glisten yarn was a perfect pairing. I love wearing it everywhere and it makes me feel so very stylish.

my baby bootie

Spring brought sock camp and more yarn bombing.

My Kind of Saturday Cowl

This sweet Irish Girlie Knits “My Kind of Saturday” cowl is knit from another unique Kollage yarn made out of recycled jeans a fantastic idea and perfect for Summer items. I love what Anne Hanson did with the sport weight version – designing around the casual jeans theme of making it look bandana-like. Take a gander at her gorgeous photos

As mentioned earlier this week grandma loved her Knit Like Crazy River Run Mitts.

And the knitting that brought the biggest smiles…

Wee Pumpkins! – So. Much. Fun.

Knit work in progress – Knitting with recycled jeans

Kollage Riviting - yarn from recycled jeans

I’m working on a cowl from my good friend and fabulous designer Carrie from Irish Girlie Knits. “My kind of Saturday” is a casual and Summery little thing knit with a yarn made from recycled jeans by Kollage Yarns.

Kollage Riviting Yarn - made from recycled jeans

While I loved the concept of upcycling old jeans, I didn’t expect to love knitting with it. I’m much more of a wool kind of gal, and rarely knit with cotton. This yarn has completely won me over.

Irish Girlie Knits Design - My kind of Saturday cowl pattern

And the pattern is simple and only needs one skein so it is a perfect way to test the yarn for yourself.

But you’ll probably be like me and start imagining all kinds of items that would be perfect for it. Like a toddler’s top or a little girl’s dress.

Pattern: My kind of Saturday Cowl
Yarn: Kollage Yarns Riviting

Disclaimer: I took the photos for Irish Girlie Knits and Kollage Yarns and I was given the skien I’m knitting.

Lightbulb moments thanks to the wonderful teachers at Sock Camp

A.K.A. Homer Simpson “Doh!” moments.

Camp jabberwonky schedule

One of the many things that make Sock Camp a bargain is that over 4 days, each day, we all get to take a 3 hour classe from the most bestest fantabulous people in the knitting world. People who know their stuff like cats know when you pop a tuna can. And when people this knowledgeable open their mouths to talk knitting, even their side comments are diamonds. Every year I have these moments during camp where I hear something new and working with fiber changes forever.

And then we all put on silly hats and dance the ‘Fudderwack’ and it all flies out of my head.

This time I managed to scribble notes in margins and here are a few I can still decipher:

When blocking, let your item soak AT LEAST 30 (!) minutes in order for the yarn to fully “bloom” (Anne Hanson)

If you need to frog stitches and can’t “unknit” put it down and walk away for an hour or so. I thought it was just so you don’t throw it across the room, but the stitches will “set” like hair on curlers making it easier to put the needles back. (Anne Hanson)

Anne's Swatches

The above picture shows how the same stitch pattern can look very different in various yarns. Swatching helps you “marry” the pattern to the yarn so you get the look you want. (Anne Hanson)

Sock yarn is intended to “sproing” back into the original shape vs. fingering which is intended to block out. (Both Anne Hanson and J.C. Briar mentioned this. I think they were trying to get it through our heads that you can’t knit something with sock yarn and hope it will block out in a different shape. This was quite the d’oh! moment.)

When reading a chart, the row numbers listed on the right side indicate the “right” side of the item. Numbers on the left – the “wrong” side. (J.C. Briar)

Use binder clips to temporarily join for working in the round while you check to make sure the item is not twisted. (J.C. Briar)

The great #sockcamp teacher hoop-off: hoop-pro JC Briar vs. hoop-rookie @knitspot (Anne Hanson)

Last, and perhaps most important: To properly hula hoop, you move your hips back and forward, not around and around. (Stephen – whom I have to thank for the above photo)

If you went to sock camp and have knitting helpful hint to share, and I missed it, or just forgot. Please let me know.