Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Knits 2011

Made especially for my husband Ryan. 
Ever since I saw these scarves hanging in Purl SOHO, I've wanted one of these kits.  It includes 4 hanks of 100% Indian cashmere and a pattern booklet with seven "manly" scarf patterns.  I chose the Zach motif.  

Made especially for my dad in Cascade Yarns' Superwash 128 in Charcoal.  
He can wear it for his walks this winter with the three consecutive cables in the front or in the back.  Whatever he likes best.  

Made especially for Jack's teachers, my dear friend Katy, and my sister-in-law Sarah.  
Knitted up in (left to right) Cascade Yarns' Magnum in Doeskin Heather, Blue Sky Alpacas' Bulky in Seaweed, and Cascade Yarns' Magnum in Rainier Heather.  Click here for my pattern.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kate's Faves of 2011

With 2011 coming to a close, I wanted to share some of my favorite items I worked with (or on) throughout the year...


No. 1:  Vintage Knits for Modern Babies by Hadley Fierlinger
If I could own only one knitting pattern book, this would be it.  (Mind you, if I could own only one technical book, it would be The Knitting Answer Book by Margaret Radcliffe, but that book is more like a textbook than a gift.)  Ms. Fierlinger presents twenty-five knits inspired by vintage garments from the '30s and '40s.  Some of my personal favorites are: Ruby Slippers (a.k.a. Baby Janes),  Wavy Cashmere Blanket, Modern Baby Bonnet, Wee Mittens, Cabled Booties, Apron Dress, and Petite Beret.  Click the ones in red to see my interpretation of Ms. Fierlinger's patterns.  $19.99

No. 2: More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson
Written by the owner of my beloved PURL SOHO, this one runs the gamut.  Knits for adults, children, babies and the home.  The pattern writing is impeccable, as is the photography.  Some of my favorites are:  Nesting Squares Baby Blanket, Cabled Fingerless Gloves, Easy Baby Cardigan, Spiral Seat Cushion, and Big Lace Scarf.  Click the ones in red to see my interpretation of Ms. Hoverson's patterns.  I also love that it is a hardcopy!  $27.50

No. 3: Kate's Lattice Lace Cowl
It happens every year.  I have grand plans to knit a gift for many of the special people in my life and no where near enough time.  So designed this one to knit-up quickly - and to keep some necks toasty this winter.  At just 3 hours each, I made a few of these over the weekend to gift-away.  Yay!  I love the yarn (See No. 7 below), and the 4-row lace pattern repeat keeps me interested.  I am also proud to announce that this cowl was featured on on November 30th!  See more about it here.

No. 4: Bella Baby Shrug
I found this pattern by Stefanie Japel randomly on  (She calls it the Whirligig Shrug.)
It is my favorite item I knitted this year.  See more about it here.

No. 5: Clover's Soft Stitch Ring Markers
I love these markers because they are so thin, so they won't add any bulk between the stitches.  About $6.

No. 6: Fancy needles!
I love my metal Addi Click Interchangable Set from Germany, but I also love to knit on regular ole straight needles.  And when I do, I want the fancy ones - like Lantern Moon Ebony and Knitter's Pride Dreamz.   About $9-$30 per set.

No. 7: Cascade Yarns' Magnum
When I need bulky yarn, Magnum is my go-to.  It comes in a ton of colors, looks more expensive than it is, and nothing knits up quicker.  100% peruvian wool.  About $22 for 123 yards.

No. 8: Anzula's For Better or Worsted
(First of all, I love the play-on-words.)  For Better or Worsted is hand-dyed.  I can't get enough of how the color saturation changes yard-by-yard.  Composed of superwash merino, cashmere and nylon, it is practical - and posh - and the hint of nylon gives it a perfect subtle sheen.  It's officially my favorite yarn of 2011.   About $33 for 200 yards.

No. 9: Manos de Urguay's Silk Blend DK
My go-to for DK-weight yarn, Silk Blend is perfect when you want something sweet and soft.  The blended (variegated) line contains a few great masculine colors which are sometimes tough to find.   About $15 for 150 yards.

No. 10: Shameless Self-Promotion!  (for my gift certificates)
Need a unique last-minute gift?  Give a Learn-to-Knit gift certificate, and shop locally!
Classes meet Tuesday & Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings - or by special appointment.
Starting at $25 (1 class) up to $100 (5 classes).

What's your favorite knitting item of 2011?  Share your comment below.

Thanks, and happy holiday crafting!!
xo -k.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Kate's Lattice Cowl

Cowls are all-the-rage right now, and this spectacular one can be worked-up in just 3 hours.
Everyone loves a luxurious accessory that won't break the bank.  Create the look shown here - or knit a longer, extra squishy cowl that can loop twice around the neck - or a shorter one that is a bit more snug like a turtleneck. 

Not a knitter?  Coax that aunt who knits to work one up for you - after all, it's only 3 hours!

I get a TON of compliments each time I wear this cowl, and I bet you will too!

Visit my Etsy shop to purchase a pretty PDF version of my pattern for just $4.  Be sure to enter coupon code LOVEIT to receive the discount.  Click here.

Knit one up tonight (and send me a photo of yours in the morning)!
I would LOVE to hear how you do.
xo -k.

Friday, October 28, 2011

*Visit Purl SOHO; rep from * three times per year.

(The hand-knit owl and me.  See more of him here.)

Surya's One-Hour Cowl

My dear friend Surya is visiting from Colorado, and on Friday, we made her first pilgrimage to Purl SOHO.  She knitted her gorgeous cowl in ONE HOUR last night. 

 If only the yarn wasn't $37 per (35-yard) skein...

For instructions to knit your own, go here!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

STUDENT WORK: Rita's Shrug

Look at this gorgeous shrug Rita knitted over the summer.  Everything about it is perfect - from her seed stitch border to her yarn choice.  Which, by the way, is Cascade's Eco Duo - a blend of undyed baby alpaca and merino wool fibers.  Rita began taking classes earlier this year and has been knitting cowls, hats and hand warmers.

With the cool weather arriving, I bet the shrug will be one of her favorite accessories.  Thank you Rita for allowing me to share your beautiful work!  -k. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011


(November's motif, Cabled Eyelets, is pictured above.)

First Tuesday of Every Month beginning November 1st at 7:30pm
  • Knit a beautiful 12"x12" square with a different stitch motif each month. 
  • After you complete 12 squares, join them all together to create a gorgeous blanket you will be so proud of. 
  • Empower yourself as a knitter; you will no longer be intimidated by tough knitting patterns.
  • Learn every knitting pattern abbreviation I can find and the needle techniques to complete it.
  • Learn to knit cables, lace, bobbles, special ribbing, various increases and decreases, to read difficult knitting charts, advanced patterns and much more!
  • Use the stitch patterns you learn to create other special knitted items like scarves, baby blankets, cowls, etc. 
  • If you have a busy schedule, the 12x12 monthly group is perfect.  Just once a month - it is enough knitting to keep it fresh, and you will still learn a ton.
  • I took a class like this.  You will become a great knitter.  It works - I promise!  :)
All you need to know to join the 12x12 group are the knit and purl stitches. 
Make-up classes available if you need to miss a class.
$25 per month or 5 for $100 (+ supplies)  Includes extra-help when you need it.

Needles: One set of size US 8 straight needles will be reused each month.  
Yarn: Approximately 150 yards of worsted-weight yarn per month, plus 300 yards for finishing.  Yarn must be 100% wool.  Suggestions are Cascade 220 (That's what I'm using. Available at The Knitting Store  - 2 Poole Street in Oceanside 516.442.0722) - OR - Paton's Classic Wool (available at Michael's).   Keep dye lots in mind when making your purchases.

Upcoming dates: 11/1, 12/6, 1/3...
**Please call 516.477.4719 or email  to register.**

Thank you, and please join me on November 1st!

On My Needles:  Month 1 - Cabled Eyelets

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Win a $50 Gift Certificate! (good for 2 classes)

*****Congratulations Debbie G. of Rockville Centre. Two-year-old Henry pulled your name as the winner of  Facebook/Blog $50 gift certificate! Looking forward to knitting with you.   10/7/11*****

There are 2 ways to enter:
1.  Click below and leave a comment with your name here.
2. Visit my Facebook fan page and leave a comment with your name there.

Don't delay!  One lucky winner will be selected at random on Friday, October 7.
And, of course, my current students are encouraged to enter to win too!

Fall is here; it's time to knit!

(Click "comments" below.  Leave one with your name, and hopefully you'll be the winner!)

Update: Child's Hooded Cardigan Sweater

I worked this one in Berroco's Peruvia Quick - 100% Peruvian Highland Wool in color Olive.
Sizes 2T, 4T and 5-6T.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

One-by-one Cowl

One skein.
One-by-one rib.

1 skein of Knit Collage Pixie Dust in Antique Garnet colorway.  145 grams, 35 yards.
Set of size US 35 needles

CO 8 sts.
Row 1:  *k1,p1; rep from * to end.
Work in patt, (1x1 rib) repeating row 1, until the skein is nearly finished.
BO in patt.

Lay work flat, then twist one end 360 degrees.  Keeping twist intact and using tails, sew the CO and BO edges together.  Enjoy!

NYC Yarn Crawl (and a Yarn Sprint)

The 3rd Annual NYC Yarn Crawl is approaching - September 30, October 1 and 2nd.

It is FREE, and no purchases are necessary in the dozen-or-so shops that are participating.  Every crawler receives a free raffle ticket, and prize baskets of gorgeous yarn are valued at $350 or more! You can read more about it here:

Rather than crawl, yesterday my mom and I sprinted to SOHO for a quick trip to our beloved yarn and fabric shop, Purl.  She handed the garage attendant the key and said, "We'll be back in an hour!"  I picked up one skein of Knit Collage's Pixie Dust in Antique Garnet for a cowl.  Pixie Dust is handspun of wool, mohair and camel fibers.  I also took home two skeins of Anzula's For Better or Worsted.  FBoWorsted is a superwash wool, cashmere blend with a touch of nylon for a beautiful sheen.  I picked hand-dyed color Terra Cotta for a baby sweater.  LOVE.

Not up for a crawl or sprint?  You can get yours online here.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Bloomberg Businessweek, August 15-28, 2011

HANDICRAFT WEBSITE ETSY, the online market for all things handmade, has 10 million items for sale.  Among them: a hand-knit coffee mug cozy ($13); a vintage Underwood typewriter modified to work as a computer keyboard ($799); a set of pickle forks ($60).  The oddball mix spawned Regretsy, a blog that commnets on eccentric Etsy finds.  The tagline: "Where DIY meets WTF," Regretsy may be an indicator of Etsy's success.  Since its founding in 2005, the site has helped turn the artisanal, locally source, bespoke-authentic movement into a viable business, at least for itself and a handful of its 800,000 vendors.  Sales hit $314 million in 2010, the first year Etsy was profitable.  Etsy freely acknowledges most of its vendors won't make a living on the site.  Yokoo Gibraan, who knits scarves for Etsy ($50-$150) in her Atlanta living room, is one who does.  "I work around the clock" to make about $90,000 in annual sales, she says, "but knitting isn't stressful - it's the best job I ever had." 
-Susan Berfield, Bloomberg Businessweek

(Click below to leave a comment.)

Friday, August 12, 2011

On My Needles while on vacation...

Aaaaahhh...a week on Fire Island with my family.  I was even able to sneak in some knitting on the beach and knitted this cowl - start to finish.  I'm not lying when I say it's a quick knit!

I could have worked on one of my other projects, but this one's perfect for the beach.  I have the pattern memorized, and it's easy to put down and pick up when I need to refill a sand pail with water or rescue a sand crab.  :)

Class resumes next week.  Hope to see you ladies!

Tuesday, August 16th, 7:30 - 9:00 pm
Wednesday, August 17th, 7:30 - 9:00 pm
Please RSVP a day or two prior if you would like to join me.  Thanks!

Friday, August 5, 2011

On My Needles: Rosette Lace Scarf

I'm calling this one the "Ultimate Lace Challenge" for my knitters.  
So, which of you ladies will be first?!

Welcome *new* knitters!

A warm welcome to my *new* knitters from Spring and Summer 2011:
Maureen B.
Maureen Q.

A couple of them came to me already knowing the basic stitches.  A few had never held a set of needles.  Nonetheless, they are all doing fabulous with their projects.

At Tuesday evening's class, three were working hats in-the-round and on double pointed needles for the first time, one was working the Lattice Stitch Cowl, one was working the One-piece Baby Cardigan for her first grandchild-to-be, and one was learning the purl stitch.   I am so proud of these women and their dedication to their craft!

Thank you, and welcome to the club!  -k.

On My Needles: Cabled Baby Booties

Straight needles and mock cables make these little guys so much easier than they may appear!

Monday, August 1, 2011

On My Needles: Organic Cotton Market Tote

In a few weeks, I hope to fill this one with some goodies from Rockville Centre's farmers market.

PS - I love to knit lace!

On My Needles: Cabled Drop-stitch Mobius Scarf

After spending four sessions in July teaching my knitters to fix their knitting mistakes, they may think I'm completely nuts when they work this project.  Just before binding-off, we'll drop a few stitches all the way down to the cast-on edge.  Yikes!

When it's finished, it can be worn as a mobius scarf (think: long, twisted loop),  as a cowl when looped twice around the neck, as a scarf, or around the shoulders as a shawl.  Talk about a multi-purpose accessory!  

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Welcome Baby Isabelle!

Meet sweet baby Isabelle who was welcomed by my friend (and knitter) in June!

Here she is modeling a beanie with earflaps and I-cords knitted in seed stitch.
I worked this one in Cascade Yarns' Cash Vero DK - extra fine merino and cashmere, as soft as a newborn baby's skin.

Thanks to Isabelle's mommy for sharing her photo.  :) 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Update: Lattice Stitch Cowl

You're sure to be a master of cables and knitting in-the-round after completing this beautiful pattern.

1 1/2 skeins of Cascade Yarns' Eco Duo, a baby alpaca and merino wool blend
Size US 10 or 10.5  circular needle, 16" length. Any longer will not work!
1 or 2 classes, dependent upon experience = $25 or $50 (+supplies)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Blocking Basics

The bottom band of this sweater has been bothering me; it was always creeping up.  (See above) So I finally blocked it.

There are several methods for blocking.  Since this yarn is 100% baby merino wool, I went for my favorite - the wet blocking method.

Soak the item in a bowl of room-temperature water for  a few seconds while squeezing the sweater.  Do not wring or twist.  Do not use hot water.  A few seconds is enough - just enough time to snap this photo.  Squeeze excess water from the work, RESHAPE and lay flat to dry.  A few rust-proof pins may be necessary, but my sweater behaved just fine without being stuck.

For more blocking basics, visit Interweave's tutorial here.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Learn-to-Fix your knitting mistakes

Empower yourself and join me for a special session!  
All my knitters are encouraged to attend.

Tuesday, July 5 at 7:30pm 
Wednesday, July 6 at 7:30pm 
Saturday, July 9 at 10:00am 
Wednesday, July 20 at 7:30pm 
$25 + your supplies
Some techniques you will learn-to-fix are dropped stitches, running stitches, to turn a knit stitch into a purl stitch and vice versa, to un-knit, and when all else fails, how to frog! 

You will need to knit a small swatch* before class that will be used in the lesson. 

Please reserve your seat asap!  (Class size: limit 5)

*Swatch instructions:  
CO 12 sts.   Work in 2x2 rib (*k2, p2; rep from *) for 8 rows.  Switch to St st (Stockinette stitch) and work for 8 rows.   Please bring a crochet hook if you have one.  The bigger the better.   If you purchase one, metal is preferred.  To make the lesson easiest on yourself, I suggest knitting the swatch with chunky yarn and large needles (size 11, 13 or 15).  If you need some chunky yarn to work this swatch, please let me know.  I have some extra. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Another Bella Shrug

Since the Baby Janes don't require a ton of yarn, I knitted this shrug with the remainder of the Manos de Uruguay silk blend yarn.  My brother and sister-in-law picked it out for me while they were in Marfa, a wonderfully quirky town in Texas.  If you love the silk/merino blend as much as I do, I bet you can find some at a LYS (local yarn shop) or order some here from PURL in NYC.

The pattern is sized for 3 months all the way up to child size 12(!) and is one of the most well-written patterns I have worked.  I get a ton of compliments on this shrug.  I bet you will too.  The pattern is available here on Ravelry and is WELL WORTH the $5 bucks for the download.

Let me know how it goes!  (Not a knitter, coax that aunt who knits to work one up for you!)

And here is baby Bella herself modeling the original Bella Shrug.  She's just the cutest thing!!  Thanks to her mommy for sharing this photo.

(Click below if you would like to leave a comment.  Thanks!)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

On My Needles: Lattice Stitch Cowl

This one is knitted with a 16" circular needle and a cable needle.  It's my first time knitting with Cascade Yarns' Eco Duo, a baby alpaca and merino wool blend - SUPER soft.  Both fibers are undyed, so the colors come straight from the animals!

I have about 6 of the suggested 27 inches complete.  I'll be sure to show you when it's finished.

(Click below if you would like to leave a comment.  Thanks!)

Color Block Blanket

Knitted with love for my cousin Erin who is expecting her first baby in August.
Before shopping for the yarn, I took a peak at her gift registry to coordinate the colors with her Pottery Barn Kids' Madras Bedding.

This is a great project for beginners to really perfect their knit and purl stitches.  There are a few tricks along the way, including the Provisional Cast-on, to keep things interesting.

(Click below if you would like to leave a comment.  Thanks!)

Meet the Mariner

The Mariner Pullover from Interweave Knits magazine, Weekend 2010 issue.
Sizes 6-12 months...all the way up to women's extra-large!

I knitted this one in Kraemer's Perfection Worsted yarn in color Fauna, a pale grayish-pink.  It's adorned it with mother-of-pearl buttons.  Perfection is a superwash merino and acrylic blend.  Machine wash, tumble dry.  That's perfection in my book!

The stitch pattern running down the front is Half Linen Stitch and requires a technique called "short rows" - something that is common is when knitting socks.  The sleeves are worked as cast-on extensions of the body, so when you bind-off, there's very little sewing to be done.  For those of you who have knitted the One-piece Baby Cardigan, this will sound very familiar.

(Click below if you would like to leave a comment.  Thanks!)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Welcome Samantha!

After waiting for her for six years, Samantha Nicole joined my dear friends Jodi and Josh on March 25th.  

I was thrilled when her beautiful birth announcement arrived yesterday and delighted to see her pictured with her blanket I knitted.  It's based on Lion Brand's Garter Stitch Baby Throw pattern - a great one for beginners.  

Welcome Samantha!

(Click below if you would like to leave a comment.  Thanks!)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tree Warmer

Each winter, one of Baltimore's LYS (little yarn shop) owners invites her students to knit a warmer for the tree outside the shop. Look at all the beautiful yarns and stitch patterns. The tree hugger is my adorable niece Olive. And thanks to my sister-in-law Sarah for sharing this one.

Reminds me of the Wall Street bull-cozy crocheted by Olek, a New York-based artist in December 2010.  

(Click below if you would like to leave a comment.  Thanks!)