Saturday, February 11, 2017

Wygoda Tips and Tricks to marking lace knitting

My new lace design Wygoda just went live on knitpicks and ravelry this month.

For knitters who are a little intimidated about lace knitting, like I was, there are clearly some tricks that can make this lace-intensive cape a truly enjoyable knitting project.

 This rectangular cape is constructed started with an Estonian cost on, and off-set Estonian water lillies.
Front, back, and side view are stunning and impressive.

 The knitpicks yarn Paragon is ideal for this type of accessory. Knitpicks describes the yarn on the website:

Bounce, luster, and luxurious sheen - Paragon is the epitome of fabulous! Our newest sport-weight yarn is fabulously squishy due to fine Merino wool. Combined with Baby Alpaca for amazing drape-ability and Mulberry silk for a gorgeous shine, Paragon is sure to become your favorite yarn for projects.

First is the Estonian cast on. It is ideal because of the elastic properties. I have practiced from watching this you-tube video:  Estionian Cast-on

Step 1: Measure your yarn by wrapping it around your needle 5 times. This will equate to about 5 stitches. You can also measure about 1″ per stitch.
Step 2: Create a “U” with your yarn and place is in your non-dominant hand. Hold both strands together with the bottom three fingers of your hand.
Step 3: Insert your index finger and thumb into the loop you created and spread your fingers apart.
Step 4: Take your knitting needle and place it on top of the bridge of the yarn. Then scoop up the yarn going over the top and twist around. You should now have a loop around your knitting needle.
Step 5: Hold your yarn like a slingshot and using your knitting needle, pick up the outside strand of yarn on your thumb, going under and up through the loop on your thumb.
Step 6: Bring your needle over the top of the inside strand that is around your index finger and pick up that strand.
Step 7: Pull the strand back through the loop on your thumb.
Step 8: Release the loop from your thumb and tighten the stitch down. (one stitch added)
Step 9: With your thumb, pick up the strand that was around your thumb previously, but with the yarn attached to your knitting needle on the outside of your thumb rather than the inside.
Step 10: Pick up the inside strand of yarn on your thumb, going through the loop on your thumb and under the inside strand.
Step 11: Bring your needle over the top of the inside strand that is around your index finger and pick up that strand.
Step 12: Pull the strand back through the loop on your thumb.
Step 13: Release the loop from your thumb and tighten the stitch down. (one stitch added)
Repeat steps 5 – 13 until you have cast on all the stitches required by your pattern.
When you are ready to proceed and begin the lace portion take a moment and mark the chart, or the row by row details with the placement of markers. Between stitch 13/14 and 18/19.

It took me 2 tries to get it right. For you, if you follow my advice, you can do it already the first time.

The main difference to regular markers setting: THE MARKERS ARE 2 DIFFERENT COLOR YARN STRANDS.
Cut 6 in long contrasting color strands. I have used pink to mark the beginning of a pattern repeat and blue for marking the middle section of each repeat. Between stitch 13/14 and 18/19.  The last yarn marker shows the end of the last pattern repeat.

The reason to use yarn markers instead of round metal or plastic marker is important. The pattern has ssk and k2tog stitches that move to the right and then again to the left, where standard markers would have to be removed and re-set all the time.
With the yarn markers this 'problem' does not happen. 
When you arrive at the stitch where the marker should be set, reach behind the knitting (if you are knitting a right side row, the marker yarn end would be on the wrong side; if you are knitting a wrong side row, the marker yarn end would be on the right side) and pull the marker yarn strand up and over the gap between your stitches.
Regardless if the 13th stitch is a ssk or a k2tog stitch, the marker can easily be placed. You do't have to remove a standard marker first in order to accomplish the knitting 2 stitches together. The yarn is not in the way and can be left where it is. You will always be able to mark with the hanging strand from the back of your knitting.

If this does not make any sense as you read it. Believe me, be adventurous, try it! If it still does not make any sense, please e-mail me at, or contact me on
I am available and will make sure you will succeed.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

It must be said

It must be said

Crafting is a wondrous business. First I have accumulated almost 60 years of experience to come to this point. The internet has allowed me to start sharing that experience. In the past I could only share the finished crafted items, but now I can also share the instructions and you can craft a gift and pass on the joy it brings.

My goal for 2017 is to let my imagination guide my crafting spirit.

Yes, I want to be published in a magazine.

Yes, I am continuing to publish all my knitting and crocheting adventure projects on

Yes, I will continue to offer some of my designs as they can be adapted to knitpicks yarn

Saturday, November 5, 2016

As time flies

I have not done enough. This thought keeps creeping into my head every now and then. I use this thought to reflect on the things I have done and if they were positive.
Looking back to the time when I wrote the last blog entry it seems, at first: I have not done enough.
Letting that thought provoke my memory for a few seconds: NOT True!

I have generated a new sock pattern. As in proper Yarn-Stube fashion, the socks were for my friend. The pattern was a side product from that. I have named them Pink Pearl, after the color of the incorporated row of pink beads.
How to bead the stitches is part of the pattern instructions
No matter how the socks are worn, cuffs up or down, the beads are visible either way.

This is the pair that went to Seattle. Made from a skein of knitpicks Hawthorne fingering yarn.

This is my pair, made from a skein of Oink fingering in bubble gum.

I also worked on a new design and am finishing up writing the pattern (sizing the vest for different sizes) for swellegance. I must declare here that Ruben has been very patient. He still is not allowed to wear the vest. Just a few more days......

You probably wonder what the new design is. 
Well, there are actually a few in my head but one was on my needles already and my thoughts keep going back to it. Knitting for me is not just to get a pattern figured out, complete the sample, photograph it and sell it. For me there always is an idea for something with a person in mind. A friend saw me working on the design and commented. She said: It is strange that I love this color so much and always have, but there is not one piece of clothing in my wardrobe made of this color. I am planning on changing that with something made from this: 

 The world would not be whole or fair if there were not a made out yarn little something for me, right. Every now and then, there is time for me. I did want to learn the really strange art of knitting in a weaving pattern. It is called entrelac. Enticed by the images in a basic entrelac knitting book, I had to try it.

And, now I wear it. The pattern is called Lornas cowl and is already published in english on ravelry. The name is simply from the yarn that was used for this small, but highly effective neck warmer. This was my first time knitting with Lorna's laces and it will not be my last. The thread is spun tight enough for the knitting to be so easy and there is not splitting, no imperfections through out. The finished cowl has a shine to it and it does warm exactly where it needs to.

 Overall, I can proudly say, I am doing it! Life, intertwined with knitting.
In the next few weeks knitpicks will be publishing Motrose and Swellegance. Just in time for the winter knitting season. Yes, I have done enough this summer!

Oh, let's not forget, it is winter knitting season and giving season. I must be working on something. You bet! Stay tuned!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

how long is a shawl???

I am knitting a lace shawl and can't make up my mind about 'how long' does the shawl have to be.
It is about 6 inches wide, and currently both halves are 28 inches long. How much more do I have to knit?
Any input is appreciated.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Summer heat

Yes, there always is a fabulous summer in California. That is nothing unusual.
What is going on in my knitting world is just as hot as the weather though, and pretty unusual. The ever growing engagement with Knit Picks is remarkable. The new 100 % silk yarn line Luminance was introduced end of June and a call for new designs was issued.
I submitted a pattern for a vintage-looking shawl I had made for myself years ago and the pattern was accepted. So guess what:  I have the great pleasure to knit with 100 % silk in Meditation. The yarn feels super soft and the color is strikingly light blue, with hint of mint. I can't wait until it is completed and blocked. As you can see, I am knitting both halves at the same time. The marker is needed when knitting 2 pieces at once. It marks the beginning edge of the first piece right side. It helps you see very easily if you knitted across both pieces before turning and knitting on the wrong side.

I do have another design finished that was made from Knit Picks yarn Palette. It's a striped men's vest. Last Sunday morning we took a trip to the cactus park and took these pictures.
Meet Swellegance and it's features.

young hip styling......
sh, don't tell anyone the vest was made for Ruben (on the left)

Appealing to today's professional, or more to the women who want to make a vests for them.

The stripes are patterned as well and make this simple piece, stunning.

Can you believe, Ruben is planning on wearing this in the Garage to work on motor cycles?

The Pocket was a special trick. All patterns call for a Gauge Swatch. With this pattern the gauge swatch is being turned into a pocket. So you don't have knit that piece twice. The other trick and great feature of this pocket is that it has the stripes going the opposite direction than the vest which allows the pocket to be much larger. The size now can accommodate a larger phone. There also is a button to close the pocket, so the phone does not slip out, when working in the Garage, ha ha

Now I have to finish the pattern. Writing takes a little longer than knitting the sample. Writing this pattern is especially difficult because I want to make sure it can be knitted in all sizes, from small to XXL. It will also need graphics with the garment measurements for each size. All I can say is: I am working on it!

On my last blog I showed the yarn I purchased to make some shirts that can be washed and are also dryer safe. Look, the red shirt is done. It is on its way to Adelle as a present for her second birthday.
I have tried out the claim that this yarn, even though it contains wool, is washable and dryer safe. It is true! The sample I did, looked and measured the same before and after it was washed and dried.

Seriously, knitting is my passion and it is taking over my life. The retiring slowly idea has taken hold. The extra days off, are filled with my passion. I feel happy, over all healthy, relaxed and grateful to be able to experience all of it.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

So the story continues...

Spring is in the air again....I am lucky to have the chance to experience Spring Air for the 63rd time. It is a grand event, not too cold not too warm, and exciting enough to start something.
I have to start something. So I am.
- Final training push for a 1/2 Marathon in June.....I can't help it. Running makes me feel accomplished.

- Final submission to KnitPicks for my Shawl/Stole Design. See Me went live this week. Publishing a knitting design makes me feel accomplished.

- Final decision on the next children's project is made. This project is still only in my head, but the yarn has been decided. Washable, dryable, that was the main requirement this time. Bergere de France, Ideal delivers. I can see it now, the A-team with lace tops, playing in Seattle.


- Final touches are worked on my latest sleeveless vest for Ruben. The V-neck stitches were completed last night. Now it just takes time to knit the second front panel and sew it all together. It never is as easy as it sounds, though. For this vest I want to incorporate a pocket that will hold a 'smartphone'. We all know that the size keeps growing and with size comes weight, and with weight comes the challenge to keep the pocket from stretching when the phone is inside it. Should I perhaps try the sideways stripes instead of horizontal stripes, or what if I make a pocket out of ribbing used when you want a nice snug fit, same as the border. I am most assured by my brain cell's that this problem will be solved TODAY!
So stay tuned, the results will be shared with you.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The old and the new

By know everyone knows that I work fulltime, run, cook, sew, crochet and knit.
As life is in transition, we all know it never stays the same RIGHT!, the order of things occurring is slowly changing. What is first becomes last......and what occupies us most of the time drifts into the background or completely goes away.
- I am preparing for no more working. No more driving in 18-lane highway traffic every morning and evening. That is what I now look forward to the most.
- My running has been helping me to relive the stress created by my job. Now in my 60ties I know not to expect this to be possible endlessly. Sooner or later I will have to slow down to walking.
- Cooking might be one of those activities that are on the borderline, not sure if I will be doing less or more in the coming years. If it stays the same, 3 to 4 times a week, I would be ok with that.
- Sewing has not had a grip on me for a while, but projects are piling up. The bedrooms need new curtains. The material is already in-house. I can see the days, months ahead, with my friend the sewing machine and a Netflix Season of some kind or other.
- Crocheting has my interest and with more time there will be more of that coming from me in the future. I am on the lookout for crochet charting software. Once I found that, watch out crafting community!
- Knitting, my passion. I don't think I could ever do less and can't wait to have more time for much, much more knitting, creating and sharing.

This week was very exciting for me because a ravelry group decided to offer one of my sock designs for a KAL (knit a long).The group is creating 12 pairs of socks, one pair a month. My Rozanna's socks is the March 2016 selection.

It is nice to see the effect my work has on others. The pattern is creating socks and eventually comfortable, warm feet for someone.

In the knitting world comfort and warmth are words mostly associated with 'winter knitting'. So it is not a surprise that I am currently working on a sleeveless vest for Ruben. He wanted stripes. So stripes he will get, but the Renate way.

OK, as you can see, I am busy. On a rainy day, like today I am sure the back for this vest will be done in no time.