From camouflage to over-dyed

I keep on with my goal of knitting patterns from my library. Colden is my first wool headband. This is a design from the book “American Spun: 20 Classic Projects Exploring Homegrown Yarn“. Anna Sudo, the author, includes twenty designs and several articles about yarns made in the United States of America.

I followed four pattern charts to complete this. It was not a “happy hour” suitable project. Per the pattern photos, there are two ways of styling the headband. One can have the knot up or down.

I knit with stashed fingering weight yarn. But, the original color striping did not favor the cabling texture. I then over-dyed the headband using acid dyes. The new color is rich; I am pleased with the result.

There was a lot of effort for a headband that I might or might not use. Seeing the glass half full: I am a more confident knitter today. Charts gave me headaches and hiccups not so long ago. I have now proved to myself that I have the patience to follow them. It is a good feeling!

Pattern:Colden from “American Spun: 20 Classic Projects Exploring Homegrown Yarn
Yarn:Patons Kroy Socks FX in Camo. Over-dyed with Sabraset acid dyes.
Project yardage:60 yards (55 m)
Knitting Needles:US 4 (3.5 mm)
Project Measurements :5.5″wide x 28.0″ long (13.9 cm x 71.1 cm)
Modifications:Slip first stitches for every row
Ravelry:Project page


Four percent = two pair of socks

Amazon, thanks for showing me “52 Weeks of Socks” at a discounted price. Sure, this Laine Publishing book could help with my goal of reducing stashed yarn. Sold!


This book has 256 pages; 52 patterns by 46 worldwide designers. The photography is lovely as is the quality of the paper.

While beautiful and inspiring, “52 Weeks of Socks” is a pattern binder. It does not read as a cohesive collection. It misses the mark in terms of standardization and clarity. For example, the same toe decrease is presented and worded differently from pattern to pattern. There are extensive errata: 20 of the 52 patterns have corrections. The errata are widely disclosed and available at the publisher’s website.

Finished objects

I completed two pairs of socks with stashed yarn so far. That is a whopping four percent of the total patterns of the book. I enjoyed knitting them; the socks flew off my needles. Keeping track of charts, and learning new stitches and techniques appeals to me. I love the challenge of working on non-basic socks!


I should have enough yarn to knit a fair number of patterns from this book. I will blog about WIPs and FOs in another post. Stay tuned!

PS: Laine Publishing just released “52 Weeks of Socks, Volume II”.

Anonymous scarf

I loved how elegant that scarf looked, so I decided to knit one. 

My enthusiasm on the project faded quickly. It was a slow and boring knit. The temptation to frog and run away was enormous. I did not quit; it was too cold for running away. Over the next several months, I wore a “product knitter” hat, poured some beers and finished a very long scarf. 

My lack of interest was not the pattern’s fault. As a matter of fact, I do not even remember what pattern I worked. No idea! What I do know is that I poorly picked my materials. I do not have the patience for knitting on small needles holding together two thin yarns.

I do love the drape of the finished scarf. This will be a nice winter accessory!

Have you continued a project that you now think should had been frogged? Have you gone blank on a pattern name and spent two hours looking for it on Ravelry? Tell me about it in the comment section… 

Project Details

Shorties in a new to me yarn…

I noticed a new to me yarn, “Cotton Collage” by Premier Yarns, during a recent trip to a big box craft store. I probably had a magnificent excuse for being in the yarn section of said store.

Two details immediately caught my attention: affordability and fiber blend.

I bought a skein of 246 yards (225 meters) for $3.50 USD on sale. Regular price is $4.99 USD. The blend is: 46% cotton, 33% super wash merino wool, 12% polyamide and 9% PBT which stands for “Polybutylene terephthalate”. This engineered material helps with the elasticity of the yarn. Read more: here.

With the help of a stitch dictionary, I came up with my own “sock recipe”. Pattern considerations: it had to be shorties and needed some structure given the yarn composition. Knitted on US size 1 (2.25 mm), I was able to finished a pair of socks and have leftover for a third sock. Two skeins for approximately $10 USD (before taxes) gets three pairs of hand knit shorties in a 79% “natural” material. Not too bad, ha?

The yarn has high twist and it feels nice to knit with, in my opinion. The downside is the limited selection of only five colors. I guess one could over-dye and hope for a happy accident.

PS: I took notes of my sock “recipe” and will share here for free, of course, in the near future!

Review of Modern Daily Knitting Field Guide No.9: Revolution

Revolution is the ninth edition of the Modern Daily Knitting Field Guides (previously known as Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guides). At the time of this post, there are twenty-three tittles in the series.

Revolution is a compilation of four cable pattens beautifully designed by Nora Gaughan. As an added bonus, three of the cable motifs are fully interchangeable so the knitter can mix and match them between the cardigan, pullover and caplet patterns. The fourth pattern is for a beret.

All patterns have both written-out instructions and charts. The book is very reasonably priced and comes in digital (PDF) and/or paperback editions.

The paperback is nice to the touch and lovely to have in a library. The digital copy, where specific pages can be printed out and/or zoomed in, is practical. In a budget, I would choose the digital version over the digital and print combo.

Rounding up…

Having just completed the “Liberty Tree Pullover” design from this book, I can definitely recommend adding Revolution to any knitter’s library. Whether one is cable novice or expert, Nora’s patterns are well explained, easy to follow and enjoyable to knit. I can see myself casting on the cardigan and the caplet in the future.

Birthday knit

Soon after casting on, I realized this would be a quick knit. I enjoyed the process so much that had the pullover completed within two weeks. I proudly wore it on my birthday. Hope I can to knit me a birthday gift every year to come!

Chart and written instructions are included for the cabled yoke. I have knit cables on just a few occasions and had no issues with the ones for this project. Short rows are worked to raise the back of the sweater. There is not any waist shaping.

My notes…

I love, love how this pullover turned out and would recommend the pattern to any knitter without hesitation.

Finished Object: Papillon Creations Sampler

I finished my first cross stitch sampler!! I had to made a few modifications due to my inexperience measuring and cutting fabric to fit specific design sizes. When I noticed the original design was not going to work, I made the decision to omit several rows and move motifs around.

Nowadays, I use an online cross stitch calculator to get an accurate fabric size. The Yarn Tree calculator is a reliable online tool.

The pattern is a digital download of Flamenco by Papillon Creations. I stitched the sampler on 14 count Zweigart Aida in light blue/gray using two strands of DMC cotton embroidery floss in colors no. 924 and 926. Overall, I am pleased with the final result and look forward to framing the piece.

Stash: something stored

My stash was getting out of control! I had to put on my “Marie Kondo’s yoga pants” and organized it all the best I could.

How I keep an inventory of my stash?

Ravelry and My Library Things are the two tools I consistently use. An updated inventory system is key.

Yarns are accounted for in my Ravelry “Stash“. Each skein lists a number/location in my crafting room. The skeins are kept in labeled, clear plastic bags that are then stored in fabric buckets that I sewed myself . The XL buckets fit perfectly on the two bottom rows of my IKEA Kallax storage unit.

Patterns, either digital format or hard copies, are logged into my Ravelry “Library“. I also went way overboard cataloguing my books on the free and wonderful website My Library Thing. The books are stored following My Library Thing’s catalog.

PS: I have limited experience with my lovely sewing machine and still had success following this free pattern/tutorial.

PS no.2: Photograph here is a section of my stash [ modesty first :-)! ]

What’s next? How will I plan for a new project?

I will try to go to “My Library” when looking for the next cast on. My Ravelry “Queue” will include projects that intend to knit in the near future. Those projects will be matched with stashed yarn.

What is it that I am trying to accomplish? What will success looks like?

In 2023, I look forward to continue enjoying my craft using what I have in stash. Success will be refraining from buying yarn that I would not immediately use. Success will also mean letting go the thought that special yarn must be saved forever until I find the absolute perfect project for it.

Perhaps sharing my thoughts on stash management inspire another knitter out there! Drop me a line to send your encouragement, to knit along or make suggestions!

Learning new knitting techniques

This project kept me entertained with some cabling, simple lace and new to me cast on & off techniques. The mittens fit my hands perfectly.

Invaluable YouTube tutorials:

Project details:

  • Pattern: Isokon Mitts; sold individually on Ravelry. Also included in a book published in 2015 called “Loop’s 10”. Ysolda Teague, the designer, provided both chart and clear written instructions.
  • Yarn: Stashed Lornas Laces Shepherds Sport Multi in the “42-Cool” color way. Sadly, Lornas Laces went out of business in 2021.
  • Needles: Knitter’s Pride Karbonz Double Pointed in Size US 3 (3.25mm).
  • Ravelry: Project page.

Fully Finished & Happily Displayed

Thanks to countless hours watching FlossTubes (YouTube cross stitching podcasts), I have learned that cross stitchers call a project “finished” when they are done with the stitching and “fully finished” when they project is framed, sewn into a pillow, etc. With this project, I found both stages equally satisfying as I practiced relatively new to me skills such as backstitching, lacing and framing.

The details…

  • Pattern: “Lazy Days” by Durene Jones, published in Cross Stitcher magazine May 2021
  • Stitch count: 89 high x 60 wide
  • Thread: DMC (22 colors)
  • Fabric: white Aida 18 count
  • Pre framing: project was laced on the back. Sides were secured with 5/8 in. (16mm) bead pins
  • Frame: 8×6 in. hand painted with a mix of teal blue and yellow acrylic paint. Finished it with an antique wax.

Tip Tok Tank is Done

Thanks  Emily Bolduan from Maker Maker for designing this cute free pattern. I have made just two modifications: (a) used worsted instead of recommended sports weight yarn and, (b) changed needle size to US 6 (4.5mm). With these changes my gauge was 20 stitches vs 21 stitches in 4 inches as suggested in the pattern with the recommended yarn..

The after blocking measurements aligned for the most part with a Medium size :

  • Bust circumference=34 in (approx. 86 cm)
  • Lower body length=18 in (approx. 46 cm) ** longer than suggested **
  • Upper body length=8 in (approx. 20 cm)
  • Neck width=9 in (approx. 23 cm)

The cotton & wool blend yarn, O Wool Balance, is lovely to knit with. It has great stitch definition and is very light weight wise. All the project details are also documented in my Ravelry page.

New Project: Tip Top Tank

Even though I have plenty of projects that could keep me busy for a year or two, I thought it was a great idea to cast on a new one. Blame the North American heat waves for the lack of common sense.

I cannot put this project away! The pattern is easy to follow and the yarn, despite being a cotton blend, does not hurt my hands. There were no warranties that a cropped tank would look good on me. Go figure! Therefore, I am performing sweater surgery now that I am confident that I have enough yarn to complete the tank. I cut the sweater at the ribbing band, pickup stitches and am adding length to the whole thing. Love how is turning out.

The fine print….

  • Pattern: “Tip Top Tank” designed by Emily Bolduan from Maker Maker. There are plenty of free patterns on the designer’s website.
  • Yarn: O Wool Balance Worsted Weight (50% Cotton & 50% Merino wool). Color is Butterstone.
  • Needles: ChiaoGoo US 7 (4.5 mm). Changed needle size to get gauge as pattern is written for Sports weight yarn.
  • Ravelry project page

Finished Object: Nith River Mittens

These mittens traveled across four states over the past weekend. But, despite my good intentions to finished them on the road, the weather was too hot to be working with wool. They were done inside my home with the comfort of air conditioning a drink and a podcast.

The paid pattern is well written and even includes a picture tutorial of the Latvian braid. I also used a YouTube video as additional help (linked below). Unfortunately, the mittens are too snug for me. All my fault as I did not get gauge nor had enough yarn to pick up all the stitches required for the thumbs. I might to re do the thumbs entirely with the contrast color (handspun yarn).

The details…

  • Yarns: Mission Falls 100% SW Merino (discontinued) for main color, Merino/Bamboo handspun blend for contrasting color no. 1 and Alpaca handspun for contrasting color no.2. All Aran weight.
  • Needle: ChiaoGoo circular needles in US size 4
  • Pattern: “Nith River” by Whole Earth Education
  • Latvian Twist Tutorial by Karen Dawn Designs:
  • Ravelry: Project Page

I would knit a size up and add length to the cuff if I ever knit the mittens again. Perhaps as well would use a smaller needle size for the cuffs.

Polish Merino Wool

This Kromski Polish Merino wool is part of my 2021 Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair (SAFF) stash. The eight ounce combed top was very reasonably priced. At twenty-seven micron count the wool is not the softest Merino on the market. Yet, the fiber was well prepared and spun nicely into approximately 800 yards of two ply DK weight yarn. The color is “Mossy Green”.

I would definitely buy this fiber again. There is additional fiber information and photos of available colors in Kromski’s website.

Roadtrip Amusement

We are headed north where my daughter will compete in a tennis tournament. These days, for long drives, I require as much entertainment and snacks as the toddler next door.

I am packing a skein of deep stash Mission Falls yarn, some handspun and notions for a new cast on. The pattern,”Ninth River” by Whole Earth Education (Ravelry link), seems to be simple enough to keep me busy on the road and calmed at the courts. Let’s see if magic happens and they bag content comes back in the shape of two nicely finished mittens.

It promises to be a hot weekend. I am also packaging some Vermouth.

Handspun Socks

I have to confess that I had never worn any hand knit socks despite owing at least ten pairs. It had been against my nature to use something “treasured”. I am working on changing those feelings. I do not want to be attached to objects. What I really want to treasure is the craftiness and experiences creating the objects.

The simple pattern is “Socks 101” from the book “Knitalong: Celebrating the Tradition of Knitting Together” by Larissa Brown and Martin John Brown. I bought a second hand copy for almost nothing.

I divided 100 grams of the handspun Targhee in half and knit with two strands on size US eight needles. The socks turn out to be rustic, comfy and a perfect fit. They make me happy!


Ravelry project page

Larissa Brown’s website

Full Coverage Cross Stitch – Part Two

First post about this project can be found: here.

I finished stitching “Bicycle Afternoon” a Dimensions Gold Petit kit. What is left is to add the back stitch to improve the definition of the piece.

A few notes:

  • Some stitchers recommend doing the backstitch along with the full cross stitch. Once you finish with the full crosses, it takes a lot of will to continue working with the backstitch. Agreed!
  • I ran out of several colors due to (a) changing the fabric to a higher count and (b) doing all full crosses. I substituted with stash DMC threads and do not think it adversely impacted the final look of the project.
  • I am a fan of the parking method. It helped me keep track of the project and made it more manageable.

I will be back to show the fully finished piece (hopefully sooner than later).

Full Coverage Cross Stitch

I have done some research on full coverage cross stitch methods. What follows is what is functioning for me. Sharing is caring. Hope this helps if you are new to full coverage!

The Parking Method

This YouTube video served as a good introduction of the parking method. I am stitching bottom up; from left to right and then right to left in the following row.

This other video gave me the idea to park “leftover” threads. With this, the ends are trapped in the back as new stitches are put in. I then cut any thread excess on the front side. It is a time saver!


I use the “Notes” application to keep track of my stitching. First, I take a picture of the chart. Then I move said picture to the “Notes” application on my iPad where I can zoom in and also highlight what I had stitched. On the same note, I keep a log of the stitches; not too complicated since I work on 100 stitches increments. As of now, I have 69% of the chart completed (7,300 of the total 10,560 stitches). I have not started any of the backstitching.

Project Details

  • Kit: Dimensions Gold Collection “Bicycle Afternoon” Item No. 65077.
  • Cloth: Changed to Aida 14 count. The kit comes with a very stiff Aida 18 count.
  • Threads: Using two threads for the entire piece deviating from the instructions where additional threads are worked on some areas of the chart.

Stitching in Linen: First Impression

I finally got my feet wet on stitching on linen fabric. I decided on a fairly simple, geometric chart. It is “Quaker House Samplers” from Carriage House Samplings. For the fabric, I went with a 28 count from Charles Craft in color “Sand”. For floss, I went with good old DMC in colors 169, 730 and 924.

Going from Aida to linen was not easy for me. My stitches do not lay as neat as I would like to. Also, I found difficult to count on such loose woven fabric as Charles Craft. I ended up with a few unintended “personal touches”. Like the house that I modified to align it with other chart motives that I “misplaced”. Oh well, if this end up in the Goodwill someday, it will be easy to track down to the stitcher.

Linen, I will not give up yet. I am stubborn. I am coming back to you….After a little break.

Spotlight: Eco Yarn Studio Advent Calendar

My husband surprised with a yarn advent calendar back in December 2021. My first ever! It was so fun to open woolly packages on random days.

The worsted weight bundle included seven mini skeins (44 yards each) and one full size skein (220 yards). In total, there are 528 yards for a nice size project. The 100% Peruvian wool was naturally dyed with plants by Anastasia from Eco Yarn Studio.

I would love to support this Canadian shop again in the near future and wanted to showcase it here as I believe any knitter would relish working with this amazing yarn.

2021 Knitting Activity

My goal during the pandemic years had been to stay healthy (mentally and physically). It is not a small undertaking. Frequent exercise and crafts sessions have been extremely helpful.

Still, It is kind of surprising that I managed to finish some projects and not cast on a ton of others. Some of these items have been blogged about, many have not (yet) been documented.

  • Finished Objects: Six hats, two pullovers, two face towels, cowl
  • Works in Progress: Vest, cardigan, blanket
  • Happily frogged: Shawl, mitts

My 2022 goal will remain the same: being healthy. I am also looking forward to many hours with my yarns, spinning wheels, cross stitch charts and any other crafts that float my boat and help with my goal. Happy New Year!!

Third is (still) a charm

I did it again! I knit another Rikke hat. This one was a birthday gift for my mom, who attempted to steal Rikke no.2. To be honest, I don’t get tired of knitting this pattern.

Enjoying the process and the product is priceless!

  • Pattern: Rikke hat by Sarah Young. Free on Ravelry.
  • Yarn: Malabrigo Rios in colorway Pocion (Spanish word for potion).
  • Needles: US 7 for brim and US 8 for body of the hat.
  • Ravelry: project page.
  • Modifications:
    • Cable cast on – 96 stitches
    • Crown decreases: k12, pm…

Fully Finished Cross Stitch: Harvest Alphabet

This is a design from Cecilia Turner, the artist behind Heart in Hand. The free chart can be found in the “Designs” section of her blog. I substituted the call for Weeks Dye Works for DMC threads. And, used three different browns for the alphabet.

I finished it as a big tag. Drawing the template, lacing the back and adding a decorative border took more mental power than the stitching itself. It also required some “Husband, please read the eyelet instructions and follow them. Call me when you are done”.

  • Pattern: Harvest Alphabet (Heart in Hand)
  • Cloth: Zweigart Aida, natural, 14 count
  • Thread: DMC 301, 838, 938 and 3782

A hat and its possibilities

This lovely pattern was part of a yet another KAL that I started with frenzy but then put aside and didn’t finish by the deadline. I keep getting “F” on my KAL report cards!

I absolutely love this simple hat pattern. But, I don’t enjoy knitting with cotton. Hopefully, the hat will provide some warmth this winter. And, also hopefully, it will be comfortable to wear. If this hat doesn’t work out, my plan is to frog and knit dish clothes with the yarn. I am trying to look at a half full of glass (for a change!).

The details:

What is my newest handspun?

Here is my new skein of handspun yarn. Despite my good intentions to spin all four ounces on my electric wheel, I switched to my trusty Louet Julia half way into the project. I lost way too much fiber due to breakages and tension issues spinning on the e-wheel. Still, I have a decent amount of yarn for perhaps a hat.

Vintage Butterfly

The April 1989 issue of Just Cross Stitch has just couple of patterns that I would stitch and perhaps $1.25 was not exactly a bargain but I couldn’t resist thrifting it.

I stitched just the butterfly of the chart and changed all the thread colors. I also hand dyed the cloth. I am delighted with how it turned out.

  • Chart: “Australian Butterfly” by Kimberly Hattaway, published on the magazine Just Cross Stitch (April 1989).
  • Cloth: Hand dyed Aida 14 count
  • Fabric Size: 6 1/2 x 71/2 (cut to fit my modification)
  • Thread: DMCs 400, 452, 646, 938, 3802 and 3813