Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring Break

Spring break is a special week for me. Instead of planning a trip somewhere far, warm and full of excitement, I use this time to become a hermit and cloister myself at home. Perhaps it's that little bit of introvert in me that says to stay in during my time off from the crazy school days (and my, are they ever crazy). I wear flat shoes instead of heels, read books and watch silly British movies just for the accents. Oh, and I knit.

Project: Peaks Island Hood by Ysolda
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage 2.5 skeins in Oak
Needle: US 10
Buttons: coconut wood, 1 inch diameter

I whole-heartedly love this hooded scarf. The color is the most perfect green. The variations in the yarn make it look like the mosses and lichens on rocks growing in the shady parts of Bidwell Park. Magical.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

something with a bow

it turns out, i can knit a lot of garter-stitch while walking around OSH. two OSH workers commented on my ability to perform my hobby while living out my "normal" life.

i originally bought this yarn to make some cute kind of anthropologie-esque vest. after ripping this "anthropologie-esque vest" out 4 times, i realized this yarn wanted to be something else. it wanted to be something easy. something cute. something with a bow.


quick, simple, fun and fantastic.

Yarn: wool-ease worsted weight yarn in "Sienna"
Needles: US 8
Pattern: my own: CO 16 stitches. knit garter stitch for about 2 feet or as long as desired. BO all sts. tie the garter stitch strip into a bow and sew the CO and BO ends together. use a bit of yarn to tie down the bow to the headband portion if the bow sticks out too much.

loves it.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Lost Year

it's been nearly a year since my last post. (i'm alive)

see, last year was my first year as a full-time high school science teacher. it was insane, fantastic, and immensely time consuming. i was THE science teacher at a 7-12 school and i had a 45 minute commute each way, which meant there was little time left for anything else.

this year, however, i am teaching science at Inspire School of Arts and Sciences in Chico. i still don't have much free time, but i WILL be getting creative again. In the spring semester i teach an elective class that i'm calling "fiber arts." it's an introductory class covering knitting, crocheting, hand sewing, machine sewing, weaving and dyeing. seriously. i know; pinch me, i must be dreaming.

the students at this school are refreshingly clever, creative, and inventive. they all seem desperate to set themselves apart and be unique; but in that endeavor they are a family. it almost feels like the "misfits" crew from Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. basically, they're awesome.

they've inspired me.

i hope to get inspired enough to make some new patterns in the future. for now, here's the missing year in pictures (many things were knit but i didn't get the chance to photograph them. bummer.)

baby "moc-a-soc" for a friend's baby boy (i made two...naturally)

checkered baby blanket for another friend's new baby bo

wisteria scarf from twinkle weekend knits, twinkle yarn in baby pink (2 skeins)

chunky cowl. plymouth baby alpaca, 1 skein, stockinette in the round on size US 15

"Jane" by Jane Richmond. I lost the yarn band...but it's wool. also made it in yellow like the original pattern for a friend, but i didn't get a photo.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Butterfly Beret Pattern - FREE!

Butterfly Beret
By Rachel Iufer

Special thanks to Katie Blackman for modeling!


22 sts to 4 inches, 30 rows to 4 inches in stockinette


Rowan Felted Tweed (191 yds) 1 ball. Shown in green (avocado 161) and purple (sigh 148)

US 4 (3.5mm) 16” circular needle
US5 (3.75mm) 16” circular needle and double pointed needles

Stitch markers

Tapestry needle to weave in ends

Knit, purl, increase, decrease, knitting in the round, I-cord, bind off


k2tog: knit two stitches together as one
ssk: slip two stitches knitwise. Insert the left needle into the front of the two slipped stitches and knit them together as one.
M1: Insert the tip of the left needle from front to back into the bar between the stitch that was just knit and the next stitch on the left needle. Knit into the back of the bar to twist and close the hole. 1 stitch increased.
Butterfly stitch: Take the RH needle and scoop up the 5 strands from bottom to top, knit one stitch and with the stitch on the RH needle pull the stitch loop down underneath the 5 strands and over the top creating an elongated stitch that gathers the 5 strands slightly.
Butterfly pattern:
Rows 1,3,5,7,9: *knit 5, bring the yarn to the front and slip 5 stitches purlwise, bring the yarn to the back* rep form
Rows 2,4,6,8: knit all stitches
Row 10: *knit 7, butterfly stitch* rep form
Rows 11,13,15,17,19: *bring the yarn to the front and slip 5 stitches purlwise, bring the yarn to the back, knit 5* rep form
Rows 12,14,16,18: knit all stitches
Row 20: *knit 2, butterfly stitch, knit 7* rep form
wyif: with yarn in front
bytb: bring yarn to back
PM: place marker
sl: slip the stitches purlwise
SM: slip marker


With smaller needles, cast on 92 stitches. Place marker and join in the round.
Work in k1,p1 rib for 1 inch, or approximately 7 rows.

Switch to larger circular needles.
Increase row: *k1, M1* 2 times, [k2, M1] 44 times, *k1, M1* two times. 140 stitches.
Rw 1-60: work butterfly stitch repeat 3 times over the next 60 rows.

Begin decreases (move to double points when needed):
Next Round: *wyif sl5, bytb, k2tog, PM, k1, ssk, wyif sl5, bytb, k5* rep form 7 times (126 sts)
Rnd 2: k all stitches slipping all markers
Rnd 3: *wyif sl 4, bytb, k2tog, SM, k1, ssk, wyif, sl 4, bytb, k5* rep form 7 times (112 sts)
Rnd 4: k all stitches slipping all markers
Rnd 5: *wyif sl 3, bytb, k2tog, SM, k1, ssk, wyif, sl 3, bytb, k5* rep form 7 times (98 sts)
Rnd 6: k all stitches slipping all markers
Rnd 7: *wyif sl 2, bytb, k2tog, SM, k1, ssk, wyif, sl 2, bytb, k5* rep form 7 times (84 sts)
Rnd 8: k all stitches slipping all markers
Rnd 9: *wyif sl 1, bytb, k2tog, SM, k1, ssk, wyif, sl 1, bytb, k5* rep form 7 times (70 sts)
Rnd 10: *butterfly stitch, k1, SM, k2, butterfly stitch, k5* 7 times
Rnd 11:* k2tog, SM, k1, ssk, wyif sl5, bytb* around
Rnd 12: k all stitches slipping all markers
Rnd 13: k1 *SM, K1, SSK, wyif sl 3, bytb, k2tog * at the last stitch k2tog with the first stitch of the next round
Rnd 14: k all stitches slipping all markers
Rnd 15: k *SM, k1, SSK, wyif sl 1, bytb, k2tog around until last k2tog use the first stitch of the next round
Rnd 16: *SM, k2, butterfly stitch the the strands, k1* repeat until the end of the round ending on the butterfly stitch
Rnd 17: K1, *sm, SSK, k2tog* until the end, use the first stitch of the next round for the last k2tog
Rnd 18: knit all stitches and remove all markers
Rnd 19: k2tog around (7sts remain)
Rnd 20-21: k2tog 3 times, k1 (4 sts)
Rnd 21-23: k around (i-cord)
Rnd 24: k2tog, k3tog.
Pull yarn through loops and weave the end in securely.

Weave in all ends.

Blocking makes a difference! I use a plate and the steam of my iron to block my hats. They stretch and get fuzzy with wear (especially if you wear them in the rain. The green hat is a year old and the purple is fresh off the needles)

added note on size:
The original pattern leaves a wide hat brim. If you find it to be too loose, you can cast on only 80 stitches and increase to 140 stitches by increasing as *K1, M1, K2, M1, K1, M1* around.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Long Time No Blog...

it seems that getting my credential and becoming a real science teacher proved to be more time consuming than i thought. oh, that's right folks, i'm the real-deal now (and i have the job to prove it!)

i have been knitting since my last post (oh my, almost a year). i'll post a few things that i have photos of now. also, i'm currently in England on a fantastic trip with my wonderful mother! (more on that later)

here are some knitterly things:

pattern: ribbon lace scarf from
yarn: malabrigo sock chocolate brown, one skein
needles: US 3
mods: none
verdict: my favorite scarf yet :)

pattern: just enough ruffles by cosmicpluto (pattern on ravelry for small $)
yarn: malabrigo silky merino (forgot the color) 2 skeins
needles: size 9 circs
mods: different yarn, but it gave the scarf a flowing texture that was awesome!
made for: my good friend katie, who lived in istanbul at the time
verdict: fabulous

this is just in the works, from vogue magazine a while back...i'll finish it someday...probably....maybe...

PATTERN UPDATE: butterfly beret
I've been making a few more butterfly berets so that i can tidy up my pattern notes (the decreases are very particular) and i'm hoping to have a (free!!!) pattern up on the blog soon (don't ask me what that means....gosh, a month maybe?) keep checking.

well, i'm about to go to bed in the town of Fowey in Cornwall, England. can i just say this place is GORGEOUS! wowee. pics of the trip to come!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

cute, tiny IGK

IGK: instant gratification knitting

i needed it badly.

the gifted purple sweater was made just in time for my cousin Lucy's 1st birthday. She looks smashing in purple.

This short sleeved wrap sweater has a fun picot edge around the neck that i just adore. it ties around the back too. Lulu is a fabulous model on her toy car.

just plain CUTE (the sweater's not bad either)

Pattern: Polly by Martin Storey (RYC book)
Yarn: RYC cashsoft DK
Needles: US 3,6
mods: none
verdict: loves it

I also made a quick clutch for my friend Coco (she's trading with me, i send her knitting, she sends me homemade jam)

i freaking love buttons

and a magnetic snap closure (pretty sweet invention, i do declare)

pattern: my own (its a rectangle with a hem.)
yarn: mission cotton 1824 in rust
needles: US 6
verdict: loves it

IGK was completely necessary for me. I have some long term projects that have had to wait on the back burner because of my busy schedule. Getting a teaching credential is the most ridiculous process. with all the work i'm made to do (with out pay) and classes i have to take you'd think that teachers make a million dollars a year or something. Don't get me wrong, i love it so much. it's rewarding and fun, but it's also very hard and draining. finding time to knit can be a challenge. i'll definitely have to minimize my christmas knitting this year (or just make really tiny projects)

these two projects turned out great, and i'm very pleased with them! :)

Friday, August 01, 2008

give it a spin

so i've been knitting sweaters lately (both in purple). one is for me and one is going to be a gift. I'm knitting "flo" by kim hargreaves and i love it!

the knitting is really very boring. the fun bit happens at the end when i'll add mohair ruffles to the front of the cardigan.

the gift sweater is coming along nicely. more on that later, but here's a peek.

my brother recently came back from a long europe trip, and while he was in denmark he picked out some yarn for me. he surfed knitting blogs to find a yarn shop and did and EXCELLENT job picking out the yarn

it's 70% angora, 10% wool and 20% polymide. this stuff is SOFT and the color is gorgeous (green is my favorite. good job little brother!)

i also decided that i needed to give spinning a try (not that i need another reason to increase my yarn stash). inspired by my little bit of yarn spinning in nazareth, i bought some wool fiber (louet) and got a new drop spindle and went to town.

i'm actually not sure what i'm supposed to do once i have too much on the spindle. how do i make room for more? i have a book on this, but i'm too lazy to find the book. i think the yarn looks pretty :) ooooohhhh colors.....

do you ever get hung up on a certain color? i really like purple right now. i'm not sure how long this will last. maybe just one more sweater....