The Knitterly Hooker

Posts Tagged ‘handmade’

Pattern release: Instincts

In designing, knitting, portfolio, stash busting on May 25, 2017 at 6:26 pm

Instincts is an expression of authentic emotions conveyed by colors that are outside the scope of aesthetically coordinated hues. This fair-isle hat is simple, yet makes a bold statement.  Be bold in your color choices.

Pattern is available via my new website: 


Stash gripes

In knitting, stash busting on October 27, 2015 at 9:47 am

My stash is plentiful. Although most knitters don’t complain about this problem, I have to. It’s old. It’s not great quality. Sometimes I’m motivated to use it, sometimes I’m not. I don’t want to dump it though.

I’ve used some to make mittens and probably use it all to make the garter projects I identified before.


That’s the progress I’ve made. I did these 2 at a time.One is done…the thumb of the second has to be done, as well as seaming. Then both need weaving.

Greatness of Garter

In community challenges, events, knitting on July 20, 2015 at 9:55 pm

My summer has been easy breezy. Much easier than I anticipated, but even still, my calendar has been filled to capacity. There is little time to knit and I have summer brain drain lol. I was trying to do my green tank, which is pretty simple but the outcome- disastrous, and I had to frog. The ribbing and stockinette were much too much for me to think about. I decided to return to my tried and true garter stitch.

Garter stitch makes my brain flow much better! No room for errors. No frogging. Just knitting. And more knitting. It’s mindless and somehow that translates into easier and faster project work ups. I swear.

I’m working on Cascade Scarf no.2 for my ESK mitered square KAL entry. I’ve almost finished a square in a matter of hours. At this rate, I’m giving myself like 2 weeks to complete the scarf, but I don’t know….I have parties to attend. Ha!

On a mission

In community challenges, finished projects, knitting, portfolio on June 25, 2015 at 8:19 am

Since the start of ESK KAL, I have been as involved as I can be. With life happening, there has been very little knitting. I knit in the mainframe of my mind…planning and calculating. There’s loads of ideas! They say when you visualize something you want to do it will get done…so that’s what I’m doing. I’m saving that energy to jump start my knitting dreams, projects and goals. The in between time is frustrating…to not externally express my internal creativity.

I’ve mainly been making hats; specifically Sand Bank. One every couple months it seems like, but it’s something. It’s simple and relatively quick. I made this particular one from Dream in Color in Lipstick Lava. I used 2 balls, alternating a ball every row. I’ve never done that before, but I saw that there was minimal pooling and whatever else yarn does. It was gentle graduated blending of the colors. I had restart the cast on literally a million times…I counted. I swear! Lol I’m glad I was watching Marvels Daredevil…well, maybe that’s why I had trouble casting on! Even though it’s hot, I’ve managed to finish it for my Chunky Knits KAL achievement.

I’ve also managed to gain more badges and just requested 3 more, as well as submitted for 1 KAL. My badge patches are coming along and I couldn’t be prouder of myself!

So what’s my mission?
1. Try and get all the badges I set out to get.
2. Finish my knit t-shirt.
3. Make more knit time.

More to come.

First in 2015

In finished projects, knitting, portfolio, stash busting on February 4, 2015 at 12:15 pm

Along with being first is a sense of pride and accomplishment. It means having done better than others…being distinguished. Being in first place means accepting a lot of praise and being exemplary. There is a lot of responsibility when one is first with an expectation to be great. A lot of unsung praise comes during the process of becoming first; a lot of work and dedication. It takes a lot not to quit.

I am pleased to announce my first finished object (FO) for 2015…Purl Soho’s Structured Alpaca Cowl. It was finished just in time for the NY cold weather.


I started this in January 2015, but I had to rip back some and I used a lifeline because I was lazy, not because the pattern is difficult. It’s not a difficult pattern.

I used a new yarn I’ve never heard of called Woolfolk in the DK weight, FAR. I must say, it is the most scrumptious, affordable, softest, cashmere feel yarn that I have ever used! This yarn doesn’t pill because of it’s chain structure, but does have a nice, non obstructive halo.

Christmas knitting

In community challenges, knitting on November 13, 2014 at 5:35 pm

The time of year when your head bursts with anxiety because that plan you had to begin Christmas knitting in January was an epic fail … is now. Now, when it’s a month before Christmas and you have not one knitted gift as you so meticulously planned. Sarcasm. Fear not, there is hope here.  I found this on Facebook and shared on my page.  The emailed pdf came relatively quickly and I like it!  There are some helpful strategies in planning those pesky projects! Ha! I suggest starting in your stash!



Design: Hira, the process

In designing, finished projects, knitting, portfolio, stash busting on July 27, 2014 at 10:18 pm


I started designing Hira on July 1, 2014. Inspiration for the stitch pattern came from blanket square I donated to La Casita Yarn Shop Cafe, for which the final product would be donated to Warm Up America. This stitch pattern is called diagonal grain stitch. There was something wonderful about doing this stitch pattern and I decided to take it to another level.

Many ideas flooded my mind, but I decided on a cowl. Once that was decided on, the construction quickly came to me. I knew I wanted a hem, because previous experience told me that this stitch pattern curls like the dickens! I would have preferred to make this in the round, but making the calculations to do so did not come to me (Perhaps when you do it, you can tell me how), so I decided on a flat construction and obviously that means seaming is involved. I was up for that.

A yarn shop went out of business and I thought what better time to buy “good” yarn for this design. So I bought 4 skeins of a Lang Viviene, but in hindsight, I realize I should have purchased 5 or 6.

I’m not sure how other designers go through their drafting or pattern development process, but as I knit, I wrote out the pattern….VERY carefully. I took really good notes. As I mentioned in earlier posts though, I was knitting late at night and I was tired, so I often woke up to several mistakes; ripping back a few rows.  My process was also slowed by the heat and work obligations, but I pushed through with the a/c and leaving work early (read: on time).

As the design progressed, I became concerned at how wide it was. When I “tried it on” on the needles, I kinda liked that gathered neck look so I shifted gears to do some decreasing.  I decided that the decreasing should go in the stockinette portion of the top hem.  Why? Mainly because I’m not good at “decreasing in pattern” and I hate math and wasn’t trying to figure it out. That’s the absolute truth!

When I began using the 3rd skein, I became fearful, that there was not enough. The 4 skeins were used up rather quickly, and when it came to binding off, I barely made it. I had 4″ to spare! Obviously, there was not enough to tack down the top hem or seam period, so I improvised and used embroidery thread.  I absolutely loved seaming with the embroidery thread as there was barely any bulk.  I’ll definitely be using this more often.

I don’t normally bathe and block my pieces, but I decided it was best practice.  I used a capful of wash and a bucket of lukewarm/cool water.  I let the piece sit in that for about 20 minutes.  Here is when my heart jumped out my throat….I picked it up and this had become so humongous! I panicked.  I decided that it was going to work out and roll dried and pinned it for the blocking process.


While pinning it down, I discovered, what I then thought would be the back, had a nice heart shaped detail. With all this heat, it surprisingly took 3 days to dry! It was so large, and I thought it could be an oversize cowl.  It works as an oversized cowl, but I thought I could do better.  So I played with my design and soon discovered that my heart shaped back was better as a front and the body shimmied nicely down over my shoulders; so a capelet Hira became.


I was just so thankful that this design became a reality. I took about 3 hours taking photos and another 2 editing them. Just a few hours to type up the design…and this was done on one of the days Hira was drying .

I am content with my pattern and I hope you all enjoy it when it arrives!

Almost there

In designing, knitting, portfolio on July 15, 2014 at 7:19 pm


Hira is my latest design; a cowl. There are only about 5″ left. There have been minor delays but more progression than not and I am pleased. I feel like a proud mama!

Proud mama will return to post upon successful completion of Hira.


Sew Perfect

In designing, knitting, sewing on May 4, 2014 at 7:59 am

I was just wondering to myself how to improve my sewing and better incorporate it in my knitting. I thought about my fall sweater Hettie, and the ribbon I placed on the buttonbands. I thought about this because although I love my sweater, I didn’t 100% love how I sewed on the ribbon trimming on the buttonbands. Because I love the aesthetic of the ribbon and I know I’ll be using it again, I wanted to know how to do it better. Behold the miracle of the internet and I found this blog with very clear instructions with very professional looking results. What I would do differently from this blogger/sewer extraordinaire did though, is probably put the ribbon on the wrong side of the button band instead of the right side, although I have seen sweaters withe ribbon the way demonstrated. I also found this great video tutorial.

I hope that you will consider this finishing touches on your handmade knits. Enjoy!

Captain Hook

In finished projects, knitting, sewing, stash busting on April 13, 2014 at 10:56 am

Aye, aye dearies!

You see, I’m not much of a sewer and especially not by hand.  But if there is one thing I know, it’s to pay attention to detail.  The smallest detail makes the biggest difference.  When it comes to my handmade items, no matter the frustration and the time consumption, I do it.  Ribbons, buttons and hook and eye closures are amongst the features that make my handmade pieces that much more special.  They serve a functional purpose but also add aesthetic.  I love coordinating colors and not necessarily matching, just for that extra pop.

Today, I am that much closure to finishing my Fall project (well, now Spring sweater). I’ve had some set backs, but I’ve bounced back. It took me 2 days to put in the ribbon trim; 2 hours to tack down the hem and about 1 hour to sew on a pair of hook and eye closures.  I’m not sure that I felt defeated that I would have to hand sew so much of this project, but I was definitely up for the challenge.  Sewing hook and eye closure was a bit tricky (and a first) for me, but I found a great video to help me and I made my own adjustments according to my needs.

My hand sewing skillset undoubtedly and admittedly requires more finessing, but I am more than willing to work on it.  I am well pleased with myself and these results.  I was just beside myself when I saw how beautifully the fit of the sweater was; the perfect placement of the hook and eye and crispness of the ribbon were astounding!

The last leg on this project, it putting on the buttons, weaving in some ends and sewing the corners of the hem. I am done!

Toot, toot!