a little gift for you…


Last weekend I traveled to Rochester, NY to visit my son. Since he’s in school there, I knew I would have a lot of free time…to knit! So I decided to pack up the blanket I’ve been working on for him. It’s slowly growing, but so are all those ends! It’s a project I absolutely love working on, but I knew I needed to stop the knitting until I got caught up on the sewing. Yikes!


So, knowing I also needed to balance the sewing with a little fun knitting, I brought along a bag of stash yarns, too. I’ve been feeling a little behind in getting the December Knitting Monthly project started, so I pulled together a bag of small balls with the intent to get the juices flowing.

A little tip: I like to wind my stash yarns into 15 and 30 yard balls. It helps me to know and organize what I have. Then when I’m ready for a project, I only need to concern myself with color.

I pulled together a nice color scheme then packed in a partial ball of Tahoe as the main color. I’d used Tahoe in Mirna and knew it would be luscious to use as a base for a combination of  textures and fibers.

Here’s what I came up with.


I basically started with making a swatch. Then I thought I’d sew it into a tube to make a wrist warmer. And I made another. I could have mixed it up a little more and used a different combination of the stash yarns, but there was enough variation in the ribbons that I decided to work both pieces the same.

But when it came time to sew in those 26 little ends, I just couldn’t make myself do it. I could not sew in one more end!

So I braided each group of three, left the tails hanging, and sewed on buttons- (you know I love buttons, right?) – to join the two sides, using the base of the braid as a buttonhole.

The pattern, roughly written:

You’ll need

  • approximately 10 yards of 12 different yarns (shoot for a worsted weight- combine 2 or more finer yarns as needed, but you’ll need 10 yards of each)
  • approximately 130 yards of your main color
  • size US 9 knitting needles
  • eight (5/8inch) buttons
  • darning needle (just for the two main color ends!)

Long tail cast on 30 stitches with the main color. Knit one row.

*Leaving a tail, knit one row, purl one row with one of the stash yarns

Knit 2 rows with main color.

Repeat from* until all 12 stash yarns are used.

Bind off with main color.

Braid each set of 3 stash yarns. Darn in main color. Sew on buttons to correspond to braids.

And if you’re in the Knitting Monthly, we take this idea a step further for the December project. Enjoy!

Why I love Wednesdays and the Importance of Deadlines

Know why I love Wednesdays?

It’s because every Wednesday I’m committed to sending a newsletter out to everyone on my mailing list.

I long ago discovered that I thrive on deadlines. The tighter the better.

And more recently I discovered I’m not nearly as productive without them.

After closing my yarn shop in late 2013, I went through a year of, well, I know no other word to sum it up with other than the 4 letter word LOSS. Not a topic for the here and now; let’s skip ahead.

Fast forward to fall of 2014. Almost a year ago, after my soul-searching period, I decided I needed to create a framework for myself. I needed solid deadlines that came regularly. I decided to announce to my readers that my newsletter would come out every Wednesday instead of the ‘willy-nilly when I get to it’ timeframe.

It’s kept me on track. It’s made me more aware, alert, and thinking all week long. I’ve been overseas and challenged with internet issues, but the newsletter must go on. I’ve been stunned with alarming news just before deadline, but by golly, I still wrote something! Because like I said, I thrive- truly thrive – on the deadline.

So Wednesday is my deadline day.

It grounds me for all my other days during the week.

Want the latest news? This is where I share pattern updates, knitting tips, stitch patterns, videos, or other news from my knitting world to yours every Wednesday sent straight to your inbox. Newsletter peeps always get the scoop first!

Don’t miss out!
Check out the archives page to take a look at previous newsletters.

Did you purchase Lucente?


I had a recent “knitting crisis” that really shook my world. I wrote about it in my newsletter this week, but want to reach as many people as possible that may have purchased Lucente, my best selling pattern on ravelry.

Last week I discovered an error in Lucente. It wasn’t just a typo, or a number off somewhere;- both of which would make me want to crawl under the table; it was the entire guts of the design. The stitch pattern!

I was (and still am) in such horror and disbelief that something like this could have happened. The stitch pattern should have been a purl based pattern, but was written up as a knit based pattern. How could that be, you wonder? I went back to my notes.

But my notes said k2tog! There it was in front of me. I guess that’s why I never doubted it. Not until one knitter wrote to me and questioned the pattern. She could see a difference between what she was knitting and the photo.

I just assumed it was in blocking. When the stitch pattern is knit in Tandem, from Tahki yarns,  as the original was- it spreads when it’s washed or steamed (in other words, blocked). It does look dramatically different. So I sat down and did two swatches. One I blocked and one I didn’t.

Feeling pretty smug, I took a picture to send her.

Then I started to take a picture of a close-up of Lucente.

That’s when the paranoia sat in. They were different. The knit based pattern criss-crossed with an upward slant to the right and clear stitches knit together – creating an angular mesh. But Lucente didn’t. It created a more rounded mesh.

knit based



I panicked and sat down with my needles again and worked a p2tog where I’d worked a k2tog before. I didn’t even need to do a second row. I could see it immediately.

Yikes- what to do?

That’s when I stopped writing the newsletter I was going to send and started working out a plan. If you get my newsletter, you’ll know I was stunned to the point I could not even write; I simply wrote a quick  “I am in the midst of maybe the worst knitting crisis in my life this morning. When I recover I’ll tell you all about it.”

I thought back to when I knit Lucente. It was during my trip to Italy to teach the Knitting in Tuscany workshops in the fall of 2013. It was such a simple stitch pattern that I must have neglected to even write it down. Based on the chronological order of where I found it in my notes, it must have been well after the trip ended and I’d knit several other sweaters from that collection- Tuscan Knits- by then. I still suspect the purl based notes are somewhere- but that’s the problem with knitting and traveling- or not keeping all notes in one place (as I do now).

When you look at the listing on ravelry of Lucente, you see these two photos:

Photo by Jack Deutsch for Tahki Stacy Charles, Inc.
Atlanta Mesh Top, knit based, Photo by Jack Deutsch for Tahki Stacy Charles, Inc.

The blue version is Lucente. The gold version is Atlanta Mesh Top. They are listed together on ravelry under the name of Lucente because Tahki Stacy Charles published it in their Metro Knits book this spring under the name of Atlanta Mesh Top. There are no errors if the pattern was purchased based on Atlanta because it is a knit based pattern. The problem is for those that bought Lucente based on MY model garment.

Lucente should read p2tog instead of k2tog.

Looking at the two photos, it’s understandable how the stitch pattern might go undetected for so long. The Lucente photo does not show the stitch definition clearly- but that’s another subject for another time.


So this is what I did (after a hard work out on my rower followed by long yoga session); I first split the two patterns apart and uploaded both into ravelry under Lucente. Then I wrote an apologetic note to all who had purchased Lucente with the links to both corrected versions (and a coupon to download another pattern of mine at no charge). In the end, they got 3 patterns for the price of 1. Not exactly lemonade out of lemons, but it’s the best I could do. For now, when you purchase Lucente, you get both versions. We may eventually separate them into two individual listings, or combine them both into one pattern listing the two different stitch patterns. What do you think?

Ravelry isn’t the only place Lucente was purchased and I’m still reaching out trying to find anyone who may have bought the hard copy from me at a show or through my website. If you did, please let me know!

And to everyone that purchased Lucente, my sincere apologies!


My big summer knitting project

When my daughter went off to college, I made her a blanket for the dorm. We got together and talked about colors but the rest was left to me. I love surprises, and wanted to make it special in a way she wouldn’t expect. So I decided to knit a message into the blanket with shadow knitting. You can see some of the words here. “No place like home is where the heart is.” There’s also a K in one corner, a U in another- she went to KU- and a heart in still another.

shadow knitting: no place like home
no place like home shadow knit blanket

So fast forward another few years and my son is now leaving for college. I asked him what kind of blanket he’d like and he was very specific. He has a store-bought gray knit blanket for his bed now that he likes, so he modeled it (size-wise) off that one. He wanted a black and white one originally, which changed to black and gray, then finally to black, medium gray, and light gray.

We got together and talked about the design. All along I just assumed I’d do it in shadow knitting and he would be so “wowed” – but no, he’s got his own aesthetic and is pretty creative himself.

I showed him a whole book of Barbara Walker’s mosaics, which he carefully pondered. I know he liked the geometric quality, but everything was just a little off in his mind. I told him to think about it and draw something for me later. I was already beginning to feel this project was going to take on proportions I hadn’t expected. This is what he sent me when he got home:



OK. Intarsia, right? Just couldn’t be anything else.

I ordered the yarn and took one skein of each color with me as one of my to-do projects last month in France. I swatched and sent photos to him for his approval. With one change, this was the final swatch:


His correction: The t’s (crosses) I had made inside the medium gray should really be + signs instead.

I felt charged and ready to go. I wanted to be ready to cast on as soon as I got home, so I needed to know the size. So I texted him…

Imagine my surprise…


Wow. Again, OK.


ray's blanket
after week one
two weeks later
two weeks later

Lucky I love intarsia.