Tower of Yarn

April 16th, 2013

My radio DJ husband reorganized his massive collection of CDs, and discovered that he no longer needed this dandy metal rack. So I snagged it for my yarn. Or more accurately, a modest portion of my current yarn stash. The rest is still boxed up in the closet. I made it a point to put all the really enticing skeins out in the open, so they will remind me to knit with what I’ve got instead of buying more.

Yarn Tower

I had no idea I had so much Knit Picks stock already laying around. They keep having these great sales, and I just can’t help myself. I also unearthed a surprisingly vast quantity of lace weight yarn. I feel some collars coming on…

A Good Excuse to Knit

January 30th, 2013

I’ve been knitting again lately. First the seaman’s caps. Then a flurry of tiny garments for a special wee someone, who’s impending arrival is causing much excitement amongst the family and friends of a certain bosom chum of mine. And now in preparation for a series of knitting and crocheting classes at a local store.

girl knitting

It’s been years since I’ve taught knitting, and I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve been brushing up on basic technique, tricks of the trade, and patterns for cables and openwork. I even started a Tumblr for the classes.

On the knitting side, I plan to offer a monthly intensive for absolute beginners, plus weekly sessions for intermediate knitters who want to expand their skills. If you’re an intermediate knitter reading this, whether or not you’re in the San Luis Obispo area, what sorts of techniques would you like to learn? What’s always baffled you? What do you wish you could do better?

As for crochet, I figure a monthly beginner class, intermediate class, and lace class will be a good mix. Any suggestions on that front are welcome too of course!

Condensed Collar

August 23rd, 2012

Last month, a young friend admired my crocheted lace collars, so I made one in her size.


Here it is, all pressed and ready to go. Only she did ask for a rainbow colored collar…which I haven’t quite figured out how to pull off. Any ideas?

Grecian Pattern Collar

November 27th, 2011

I’ve finished another one. Also from Cornelia Mee’s 1846, this is the “Grecian Pattern” collar. This is definitely better looking overall than the last — though I think I might like the first collar a tiny bit better if it were executed sans edging.

Grecian Pattern Collar

I love the way the front corners are worked on the diagonal. They look so “finished!” I redid this collar three times, and still didn’t get some of the details quite right. The directions aren’t terribly clear, and sometimes have to be tried out a few different ways. And the number of stitches NEVER comes out correctly. I begin to think it’s going to be trickier than I realized to translate these patterns for modern use.

In the meantime, I am having a blast working through the originals, if only to see what they look like! I’m already well into the third collar pattern, imitating point lace. Each is a surprise, and I am in awe of the clever methods of forming the corners — which are, after all, the focal points of the collar once it’s sewn onto your dress.

Completed Collar

October 25th, 2011

Here’s the correctly sized collar, crocheted “in imitation of Brussels lace.”


You may recall that I made this collar last week too — but didn’t trust the original pattern (from 1846) and ended up with a collar that fit my husband’s neck better than mine, and he’s quite a well-built fellow. Just between you and me, I don’t know that I’m overly fond of this collar. The last two rows (which account for the chain stitch borders) are a little silly, and even look kind of sloppy in places. Hopefully they will neaten up a bit when I block it.

I may also make another version and leave the last rows off entirely. But I did have to see how it looked according to the pattern. It’s such fun to follow patterns without pictures — you never know how they’ll turn out. Perhaps it will look better over a dress too.

Next up, Grecian Pattern Collar, also from 1846.

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