Long, long ago I teased that this would be an upcoming pattern.

This summer I knitted another sample, since the original went to live with my sister-in-law. In September I got the pattern written up and charted. And with the vague goal of publishing it before the end of October, I was proud of myself for getting the pattern to my editor before Columbus Day.

Now here I sit, on the last day of the month, having received the edits from my editor two weeks ago, without a new pattern to share with you. I know, I know. The benefit of self-publishing is that my deadlines don’t really hold any weight. and the one who is most disappointed is me.

But still. I was doing so well…

I am convinced that October is a temporal black hole. I’m pretty sure that December will be one as well, so I’m hoping I can get a few personal things accomplished in November.

I continue to hope that I can share my new hat pattern with you next week. Cross your fingers for me!


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Warm and Colorful Tree

As I mentioned earlier this month, I was involved in a planned yarn bombing at the school my children attend. The pieces needed to cover a tree out front were gathered, constructed and assembled in the couple of weeks leading up to Art Photo Oct 10, 6 15 04 PMNight by a group of parents. During the day of the event, the parent leading the charge got most of the large pieces assembled on the tree, so that during the event some of the taller students could assemble pieces on the branches and students without practical sewing experience could embellish the piece.




The panel that I put together is around the trunk of the tree before the split. The big purple “swatch” was going to be one quarter of a blanket for my daughter, but in the end I didn’t like it with the other three panels and I had made. So it was replaced by a fifth version. My girl is 7 1/2, so that piece has Photo Oct 10, 6 15 51 PMbeen in my stash for over nearly 8 years. Finally it has found a useful life keeping something warm and protected!

During the event, my daughter did a little sewn embellishment and my son added a few googly eye stickers.



The result is a fantastic installation and if the art teacher has her way, this will not be the last yarn bomb on Art Night.Photo Oct 13, 6 02 32 PM

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Indie Knit and Spin 2014

I have been remiss in not mentioning this upcoming Pittsburgh event, because suddenly it is less than a month away!

Indie Knit & Spin
a Pittsburgh Yarn and Fiber Artists’ Festival
Saturday, November 15th from 11am-4pm
Wilkins School Community Center in Regent Square
7604 Charleston Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15218

The website is here – and is the place where you can find the full list of participating vendors as well as the list of classes. That’s right, classes! A new edition this year, and one that I am excited about since I am a teacher.

I will be teaching my Introduction to Stranded Knitting class in the third session from 2-4pm. So there is plenty of time for you to shop before you join me for class. There are only 8 spaces and the class fee is $4. If you always meant to take Photo Aug 10, 3 48 53 PMthis class from me at Natural Stitches and never got around to it, this is your chance. I can’t say for sure whether I will ever have the opportunity to teach it again.

Scroll down the class list page to read more information about what you’ll learn in the class. And if you sign up, PLEASE DO THE HOMEWORK. It is not a lot of homework, but it will be hard to get through everything in the 2 hours that we have if you don’t do it.

I will also be hanging out at in the vendor area before my class, and you will be able to see samples of my designs at several booths. I hope to see you there!

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Mill Run Mitts

My September pattern release was planned, and yet still managed to be a last minute scramble. I had been working along on the pattern through the month, and expected to release it before October began. But then, I heard from Amy at Ross Farm that not only had they gotten into Rhinebeck (yay!), but that they were also headed to a festival the weekend of September 27th-28th. At the same time, I realized that I would be home with the kids on September 25th. Meaning that this was the ideal day to publish the pattern on several accounts, and I needed to get my act in gear to meet a specific deadline instead of a nebulous one.

I went to sleep on September 24th with a completed pattern and edited photos. I woke up the next morning, only slightly before the kids, and starting the pattern publishing process. Even with everything “set-up” on ravelry, it still tends to take me a couple of hours to do the work. I tend not to post my personal projects until the pattern is set-up, I change my ravatar to show off the new pattern, and I write customized announcement posts for every ravelry group on which I share the news. Not to mention posting some tweets and obsessing over whether I picked the right cover photo. None of these things are hard, they just take a couple of hours when you put them all together.

So by the time I was done with the barebones marketing, my kids had watched over an hour of TV and I was still in my pajamas. I don’t really feel much in the way of mom guilt…but it definitely seemed like it was time to put down the laptop – as much for me as for them, since I didn’t want to spend my whole day off staring at a screen.

<Insert excuses here about why it has taken me nearly a month to blog about this pattern. I don’t want to write them and you don’t want to read them.>

Here are my Mill Run Mitts!


I began designing them in early March. I had a swatch done before my annual weekend away with some very good friends, and during the quiet hours of Saturday afternoon I figured out the math for the first mitt. It was not the only thing I worked on all weekend, but by the time I got home on Sunday the first one was done. (Mill Run is the name of the cabin where we were staying. :-)


Finishing the pattern took a while because I really wanted to offer the mitts in a range of sizes, and grading a mitt pattern is more complex than grading a hat pattern. It also got picked up and put down a few times between March and November…see previous posts about changing jobs and busy summer…not really compatible with new math challenges!

This project all began when I saw the laceweight that Ross Farm had in their booth. I could not resist it…but I wasn’t really excited about designing a laceweight shawl at that moment. The chocolate and cream of the Leicester Longwool just called to me to be used together. The resulting fabric is even nicer that I expected, and is surprisingly soft given how rustic it looks. But if you are not one to wear rustic wool on your wrists, I’m hard pressed to imagine any laceweight yarn that wouldn’t work well with this pattern. The alpaca version is super soft and warm, without being heavy. The color changes and textured stitches keep the project interesting, but the stitch pattern is not complex.Mill_Run_Mitts_Angled_Close_2_medium2

I wore the alpaca mitts while we were fall camping a couple of weeks ago, and the warmth they gave off was amazing. I didn’t realize how warm they were keeping me against the chill of the breeze until I took them off to assemble dinner. Within minutes, the cool air was traveling up my coat sleeves and giving me a chill.

Novice crocheters should note that it can be tricky to see where to put your hook in stitches made with laceweight yarns. Also, if you choose darker shades of yarn, be sure to work in good lighting conditions.

Required Skills: The cuff is worked flat and crocheted together to form a loop. The rest of the mitt is worked in the round from the wrist up. The stitch pattern uses typical crochet stitches, as well as spike stitches, and crochet through the back loop & rear loop. The pattern includes descriptions of all stitches and a photo tutorial for locating the rear loop. Directions are written, not charted.

Gauge, after blocking:
28 sts & 20 rows = 4″ (10cm) in half double crochet ribbing
28 sts & 19 rows = 4″ (10 cm) in half double crochet
6-row pattern repeat = 1 1/8″ longMill_Run_Mitts_Close_on_Hand_medium2

Hooks: U.S. Size B (2.25 mm) or size needed to produce noted gauge

Finished Measurements – Hand Circumference:
S (6 1/4″ – 16 cm) [M (7 3/8" - 18.75 cm), L (8 1/2" - 21.5 cm),   XL (9 3/4" - 24.75 cm)]

Natural Brown & Cream Sample – Ross Farm Heritage & Rare Breed Fibers Laceweight yarn, 100% Leicester Longwool, 250 yds/skein, 1 skein each
Medium sample used approximately 150 yds of brown and 100 yds of cream.

Green & Purple Sample – Cascade Yarns Alpaca Lace, 100% Baby Alpaca, 437 yds/50g, 1 skein each, Color A: “Lake Chelan Heather”, Color B: “Thistle”
Medium sample used approximately 130 yds of Color A and 75 yds of Color B.

Good Substitutions:  Any laceweight yarnMill_Run_Mitts_Colored_Flat_medium2

Additional Supplies: Tapestry Needle, Scissors, Locking Stitch Marker (optional to note beginning of round)

Tech Editing by cmuralidhara.

Due to the nature of electronic pattern sales, once you have downloaded a pdf file of the pattern, there will be no refunds issued.


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In the Works: Yarn bombing

I feel like I have a lot to share and no time to write. Not unusual for fall, really. Sometimes September through December feel like the shortest months of the year.

At the very least, I will share what has been occupying all of my free time this week (as well as time that should be spent washing dishes and folding laundry…).

The art teacher and some parents at the elementary school my kids attend are planning a yarn bomb as a part of the school’s 3rd annual Art Night. I am not actively involved in the PTA, but since this activity is right up my alley, I could not resist.

The current assembly includes my swatches, a couple from my LYS and more from friends. This panel needs one more row of swatches and an inch or two added to the edges. Crocheting them together is pretty fast, and I’m doing some infill work as well to get to the right size.

It’s a nice little diversion, and I’m excited to contribute at the school, but I haven’t found a new pastime in yarn bombing. :-)

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In the Works: Crackerjack

The final Cincinnati Reds game of the season is underway. I’m caught up on the knitting of my Crackerjack and I have even woven in the ends at the beginning.
 My goal is to knit the last stripe, weave in the ends, and graft the ends together tonight. And then putting it in a blocking bath before I go to bed.
 I have enjoyed the knit and I’m ready to have the finished object!

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In the Works: Crackerjack

After being over a month behind, I decided to catch up on a Crackerjack this weekend. I’m going to want this project when the season is over, and if I got any further behind I was worried that I would never finish it.
 Despite the bands of losing stripes, I really like it!

 I’m sure it will look even better when it is blocked. :-)

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