Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Caught up in the Christmas present making...

I just realized I hadn't write anything in my blog for 4 months. 4 months!!! wow, I have been caught up making Christmas presents and I started working at Michael's as a knitting instructor. It has been a lot of fun, but it has made a lot busier that I was before. To be honest, the Christmas presents are... in short supply this year... not enough time to knit as I wish I had. Still don't know if I am going to make it or not. Let me think, cleaning or knitting, that is the question... I have to get back to you guys on that one...

Arans with History

I was serfing the net yesterday and came across this really cool website. It is called They sell kits with the pattern and wool necessary to make an aran. What's neet about it is each Aran is related to a clan or a family name from Ireland. This particular one is the one from my husband's family name "Donahue". I would love to make it for him.

Maybe I should make one for my father in law too...

The kits come also with a complete history infornation of each sweater and were the clan (family) use to live.

Wouldn't this be a great Christmas present for next year ????

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


By the way I forgot to mention that I love CASHSOFT (Rowan). This is probably the softest and more forgiving yarn I have ever worked with. I love it!
Por cierto que esta lana de Rowan que se usa para esta bata es divina, es probablemente la más suave y buena para esconder imperfecciones o errores, con la que he trabajado en toda mi vida. Me encanta!

Sleepyhead Bathrobe

I am so exited about this project. I am all done with the body of the bathrobe from "And so to bed..." by Lucinda Guy (see cover picture of book below). I am making it two sizes bigger than the biggest size in the book as I always like to my make my daughter's items at least one size bigger than her current size. I knitted all the body in one piece with circular needles. It got harder as the piece got bigger and heavier though, but not having to sew it together it's worth the extra effort to me. Ya hice todo el cuerpo de la bata del libro "And so to bed..." (ver foto mas abajo de bata en la portada) Tejí todo el cuerpo en agujas circulares lo cual no fue fácil ya que la pieza era más y más pesada conforme avanzaba, pero con tal de not tener que coser las 3 piezas al final vale la pena el esfuerzo para mí.

This is how it looks closed: Así se ve la pieza cerrada:

Now I am working on the sleeves. I wanted to knit them at the same time in one circular needle, but I couldn't seem to find the way to do that. So I am using the magic loop but knitting only one sleeve at a time. It is a little bit borring to be honest. I will post a picture of the first sleeve when it is ready. Ahora estoy trabajando en las mangas. Las quería hacer las dos a la vez en una aguja circular pero no pude hacerlo, así que estoy usando el "lazo mágico" para tejer la manga en forma circular (para no tener que coser), pero solo una a la vez. Cuando tenga la primera manga lista publico una foto.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Frog Set is done!

The frog set is done!. Turns out the Jelly Beans Sock Yarn from Lion Brand has the same shade of green as the Green Chinese Merino Sock Yarn that I had. I washed it and got very very soft. I am very glad since this is for a baby, I wanted to make sure it wouln't be scratchy. I love how the set turned out! The hat is a bit bigger than the rest of the set but... the good thing about hats is that you can roll the brim if it fits too big... and next year it would probably fit just right.

El Juego de Rana ya está listo! Por pura casualidad la lana con la que había hecho el sueter combina de maravilla con la lana verde para medias que usé para el gorro y las medias or escarpines de rana. Me encanta como se ve... El gorro es un poco grande pero la ventaja con los gorros es que se pueden arrollar si quedan grandes y el próximo año quedan perfectos!

New love...

What to do ? I just fall in love faster, way faster than I can knit... I came across this design today and just can not resist it. Is from the Fall 2006 Luxe Collection from Classic Elite ( I can't wait to make it but I have like 10 projects ahead... and like 5 that need to be finished...

More and more I am convinced that cables are my passion. Nothing drives me more crazy than cables....

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

And so to bed...

Hello friends, I haven't write in a long while waiting to have a camera to be able to show pictures. Blogs with out pictures are borring... right?

Well I still don't have a camera but couln't keep waiting to post... What's up ???

1- I have been buying tons and tons of old issues of Vogue Knitting, Knitters and Interweave Knits magazines... But I am getting to the end of this new obsession since some issues sell for more than $10 on Ebay and now I am officially broke! Although I have been able to collect a realli nice collection of magazines and pretty soon I will be posting here a list of what are the best issues in my opinion and what issues are not worth to buy...

2- I have been trying to work in finishing all the unfinished projects and added two new projects. One is the Frog Set of Hat and botties for my friend's baby (not yet born, but soon to come...)

Estoy haciendo este juego de gorro y escarpines de rana para una amiga muy querida que está a punto de dar a luz. Verdad que está tiernísimo?

Isn't it adorable ??? This is a free pattern available at :

I already made the booties and I am in the process of finishing the hat. I found the instrucitions a little bit off as the gauge is not clearly stated and I had to "frog" the booties to make them bigger. For the hat I am using 10 stitches more that what calles for toddler size, but again I am looking to get a baby size hat that will last at least a couple of winters. I am using doble strand of green sock yarn. Hopefully I will be able to post a picture soon as I finally ordered a new digital camera from .

I started a project from the book AND SO TO BED... It is the robe in the cover of the book. I also got the materials to make the doll shown in the cover but I haven't started that yet.

This book is sooo beautiful. I have an amazing collection of knitting books and I consider this to be the most beautiful one, the way it is lay out and the graphics is incredible. I actually enjoy looking at it with my 6 y.o. daughter very often. I am planning on making everything in this book.

Este libro es precioso. Lo considero el más bonito de todos los libros de tejer que tengo. Frecuentemente me gusta mirarlo con mi hija de 6 años. Planeo hacer casi todos los proyectos en este libro.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Knitting Fevers...and stages

Last Friday, we went to Borders and I picked up Wendy's book. I had had such a blast reading through it. I read out laud the part were she talks about discovering the meaning of the word "stash" and discovering eBay at the same time and how dangerous this combination was... I laugh really hard when I read this part and my husband just said: "Man, you guys are like... Twins" LOL

I also enjoyed reading about the different stages she went through with her knitting as I always think about these things. It made me think about the fevers I got as I discover first, more expensive yarns and patterns from companies like Sirdar or Tahki. I was suddenly going crazy trying to find their patterns and yarns. Then I went into a knitting book fever, then a designing fever, then I discovered Dalegarn and Sadnesgarn, then discovered Alice Starmore and got almost all of her books but since they are so expensive I only kept a couple and sold the others, and now I am in a Knitting Magazine fever. I have dedicated the last month to carefully document and acquire all the issues I can get my hands on of Vogue Knitting, Knitter's and Interwave Knits.
(Knitting is such an expensive Hobby...)

The reason I love these magazines is: in Vogue is almost impossible to go wrong, in every issue there are at least two or three things I want to knit and the level of complexity is very high. What I like about Knitter's is that some of them have Elsebeth Lavold patterns never published anywhere else and I am a huge Lavold fan. Unlike Starmore's sweaters, Lavold items are modern while keeping a lot of the traditional techniques and artistry of traditional knitting. Although of course I love and plan to knit some Starmore sweaters as well. I agree with Wendy, as she states in her blog that the quality of this magazine had decreased in the last few years though. However, the issues of the 1990's are worth tracking down specially if you like Aran knitting and cables in general.

Interwave Knits has some outstanding issues although a few are not worth to keep in my opinion, so I just sell the issues I don't like. to my surprise there so many different tastes in knitting, that I have found that there are people willing to buy almost any kind of pattern. As I reflect on this, I realize that even I had change my taste over the last couple of years dramatically as my skills improve and things that I use to like, now I just don't care for. So, there you go, this is my current stage, knitting magazines. What is yours?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Alice Starmore copyrights paranoia

As much as I admire Alice Starmore's work, it is hard to continue being a fan of her when she shows such a paranoia regarding her copyrights.

Just yesterday, eBay removed one of my listings because I had taken pictures of a couple of the designs inside one of her books that was for sale. She took the time to email E-Bay requesting the listing to be removed. Now, the estrange thing is that as far as I understand, you can take pictures of things, what you are not allowed to do is to use for example the picture taken by someone else and use it in your listing. This is what the eBay copy right tutorial says:

"That's right! When you copy a manufacturer's pictures or product description, you're violating its copyright. That's why you should write your own content and take your own pictures."

So, if I took my own pictures, just to describe the book I was selling, how am I violationg copy rights?

I have been an Ebayer for 6 years, when trading knitting patterns (buying or selling) usually you have to see a picture of what your are buying, otherwise how in the world are you going to know if you are going to like it, specially when what you are buying is a book that costs over $150, people should not buy it without seen it first, don't you think?

The Girl from Auntie has disclosed this issue in her blog (see favorite blogs in the right side of my blog). She says that Alice even got to the extreme of asking a Nordic website called traditional knitting, to remove pictures from their gallery of finished items, these where pictures of Alice Starmore Designs that people had knitted. If things keep going this way, pretty soon we won't be allowed to knit her sweaters... In which case, what would be the point on buying her books?

The fact that companies like AMAZON show the inside of their books for sale and even have an option for users to post pictures of the books inside, tells me that maybe Alice is exaggerating a little bit and I really don't see what is she accomplishing by having my listings removed. I am just going to list them right back, this time just with a picture of the cover. So what?

Unlike other type of books, knitting books need to be seen before buying them because other wise you might be investing in patterns or material you are not interested at all.

If you don't want anyone to see your designs, maybe you should make them for your own enjoyment instead of publishing them on a book.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Setting Priorities

Guys, I have such a hard time choosing which of my planned projects to knit, remember in a past post I showed you "my next two things to knit", well scratch that, I was waiting for the yarn to knit the cabled shirt in Vogue Knitting and meanwhile got another yarn for another project so I started that, it is another project from another Vogue Issue made with FILATURA DICROSSA BRILLA. Oh! how am I loving this yarn !!! I heard of people saying they loved it and now I can see why. The fabric it produces is beautiful ! It has a great drape and such a fresh feeling and the colors are so nice. Anyways, I will try to take a picture of it as soon as I can as my camera perished in action...

The issue that I wanted to bring up is how to set priorities when you have such huge amount of projects you want to knit. I was thinking about this and decided that there is no point in starting a bunch of projects. At least I have found this very unproductive and it seems like you never finish anything. So, I allow my self to have two projects, one that is easy and portable and one that is harder and requires full attention. So, with that in mind, I am trying to use two criteria for choosing my next project. 1. How eager (exited) I am about this project and 2. Need.

I never thought about #2 before, until I read in a book about the importance of knitting based on need. So, I went to my closet and chose the colors according to what I need and also decided that I really need some nice tops to wear with skirts for church and stuff, so that is why I am knitting tops right now. I just finished the turquoise top and I am still finishing a top that I made last year from GEDIFRA Highlights 101. This top took me like 4 months to knit because of the small cables it has. It has was equally hard to finish it. Once it was finished (sewn together), I realized that the shoulder bands were too long, so I had to undo the shoulders 1.5 inches and sew them back together only to discover after blocking, that the arm opening needs more definition, so I am going to have to add a finishing border to it. Wow! So much work! I hope I can get to wear it some time soon.

I also force my self to work in finishing every other week. Right now I have 4 project awaiting finishing. So that is the only way I can get it done. I, like most knitters, HATE FINISHING!

Anyways, I wonder if other knitters go through the same questions when selecting the next projects and what parameters do they use to choose what to knit next once they finish a piece.

My mind is always in the search for new challenges and projects... So my motivation to continue working in what I have already started is the possibility of wearing the item soon. I also look at the amount of yarn I have used up and the amount of yarn left to motivate myself and keep me going ...

I wonder how other people deal with these issues...

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Canadian Living Magazine Website

Wow! what a great finding! These are only a few pictures of the beatiful patterns available for free in the website of the Canadian Living Magazine. I want to make the tea cozy for my mother in law. I felt in love with it since I saw it in the book Mindful Knitting but I did not want to buy the book just for the tea cozy pattern right? Well, what a nice surprice to find the pattern available at Excerpted, with permission by the distributor of the book Raincoast Books. Check out this great website which also have wonderful tips for the home and plenty of yummy recipies!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Aran Knitting YAHOO Group

About 4 weeks ago I found a Yahoo group in Aran Knitting. That is how I learned about a book called ARAN SWEATER DESIGN by Janet Szabo. Everybody in this list "worship" Janet and her book so I went ahead and got it from her website . The book is wonderful, it is a complete design workshop specific for Aran Knitting. Janet is also the Administrator of the Yahoo group which is extremely strict about content. Janet reads every email and decides if the content is relevant or not. Many posts get deleted because she considers that only postings related specifically to ARAN should be published. Therefore, conversations on other knitting related subjects are deleted and don't even make it to be published in the list. I wrote to Janet expressing my desire of the group to have a more relaxed guidelines regarding posting, after all, all group members in the list are Knitters first, and Aran lovers second and most of us knit many things, not only Aran items. As long as the subject was related to knitting, it seemed appropriate to me to be allowed in the group. This seems to be the position of several people since Janet wrote a note to the group saying that "many people continued to ask her to allow other knitting related postings". The interesting thing is that my post and those other postings requesting a slightly different posting guidelines were never published to the list. They were deleted by Janet before they went into the group. It is sad to me that instead of moderating the group, Janet is censuring it to the extreme of not allowing any opinion that is different than hers in any way. Yes, it is true that she founded the group, but what is the point on opening the membership to the public if only your opinion is allowed?
Janet sent an Administrator Note to the group letting us know she was temporarily going to shut down the group due to the non related postings and people (like me) asking her to have a more open posting policy. Janet unkindly invited these "new members" to "go chit-chat somewhere else".
Janet states how she is tired and wants to take a break from the group which is understandable since she exercises such a controlling and time consuming supervision over it. In my opinion, she should take a big breath and relax and let people enjoy their conversations on knitting and aran. Needless to say, I unsubscribed to the group and head up for friendlier waters. I finally was able to subscribe to another Yahoo group on knitting and another one for socks which so far seem very friendly and more focused in the fun of knitting.
I respect Janet Szabo a great deal for her personal and knitting career achievements and whish her the best in the future but I think she is exaggerating a little bit at macro-managing a yahoo group that should be a relaxing outlet for her instead of a daunting task. It would be a lot more fun for her if she moderated the group instead of censure it. Loosen up Janet! Life is too short to stress out over little things, there is so much to knit too...

Thursday, April 20, 2006

What's next ?

My next two projects will be the Short Sleeve Pullover by Mari Lynn Patrick featured in Vogue Knitting Spring / Summer 2006, page 70 (right) and the Sueter with Honeycomb Pattern featured on the cover of Rebecca No 29. I can't wait to make those !

Estos serán mis próximos proyectos. No puedo aguantar las ganas de hacer estas dos blusas!

Silk Summer Top

This is the project I am working on right now. The back of the top complete. I got inspired to make this project by a pure silk yarn I have gotten last year from India. I had no idea if I was going to have enough yarn but to my surprise I made the entire back in size S with only one hank ( I have 3 more). I combined the yarn with some Moda Dea Tutu in the same color that I found in my stash and made a wave pattern with it at the base of the top. It is hard to appreciate the wave pattern in the picture though.

Este es el proyecto en el que estoy trabajando ahorita. La parte de atrás está terminada. La lana fue la que me inspiró para diseñar esta blusa. Era una lana de pura ceda que compré en Ebay de la India. Es de color turqueza. La combiné con Moda Dea Tutu que es una lana con tiritas de papel gindando también en el mismo tono de turqueza. Tenía miedo de que no me iva a alcanzar pero para mi sorpresa me tomó solamente una bola para hacer la parte de atrás en talla Pequeña. (Me quedan 3 más) La lana con tiritas forma un patrón de olas en la base de la blusa. (foto a la izquierda) Aunque es un poco dificil apreciarlo en la foto.

Heather Heart Sweater

I am very proud of how it came up, but I still need to rip the neck and do it again reducing the number of stitches to give it a nicer shape. I also have to do more work in calculating the sizing as the sleeves turned out a bit too long for Rachel. And also... I have to write the pattern which is everywhere in my different little note pads that I have around the house. :-(

Jelly Bean Polo Baby Sweater

This sweater takes exactly one ball of Lion Brand Magic Stripes for the size 3/6 months. It is not finished. I want to do some embroidery in the wider stripes in the front of the sweater and still have to waive in the loose ends and of course... write the pattern. That is, if I manage to find all the notes I have around the house.

Designer in progress...

Here I am... A frustrated knitting designer or a designer in the early states... I am not so sure but I do like to design and have a notebook full of sketches of my designs. Lately, I finished one baby sweater, the Heather Heart Sweater and right now I am working on a summer top design. The drawing, the swatching, the knitting and ripping are all OK. My problem is with the writing of instructions which seems so boring... And take time away from the knitting itself. I find my self writing notes in different pieces of papers everywhere while I am knitting, hoping I will remember how I did this or that later when writing the instructions. I have to make an effort to write the pattern as I knit or my designer career will not get too far... LOL !

Aquí estoy yo la diseñadora frustrada o la futura diseñadora en proceso, no se. Ultimamente eso es lo que he hecho diseñar. Hice un suerter the bebé, un sueter para Rachel de corazones, y ahorita me estoy haciendo una blusita de verano en ceda pura. Me encanta todo el proceso de diseño, dibujar el proyecto, hacer las muestras, tejer, deshacer y volver a empezar, medir, todo eso no me importa. El problema es que me da mucha pereza apuntar las instrucciones porque es aburrido y me quita mucho tiempo de tejer que es lo que en realidad quiero hacer. Bueno, voy a tener que diciplinarme a escribir el patrón mientras tejo o de lo contrario mi carrera como diseñadora no llegará muy lejos.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Made this vest in one week!

Hello fellows, after been stocked with that ribbing sweater for long 4 months I really, really, needed some instant gratification. So, I made this vest with NORO silk garden. I plan to make a matching bag and a matching hat with the rest of the skeins that I have left from the bag. One insteresting thing is that it only took 4 skeins and not 6 like the pattern was calling for. This pattern is in the Vogue Knitting Magazine Issue Winter 2004/05 Page 104.
Después de estar atascada con ese sueter por largos 4 meses... necesitaba un poco de gratificación inmediata, así que hice este chaleco con una lana japonesa llamada NORO que cambia de color al ir tejiendo. Es una lana muy popular por sus lindos colores. Solo me tomó una semana y planeo hacer una cartera y un gorro con la lana que me sobró. El patrón está en la revista Vogue Knitting Invierno 2004/05 pag. 104.

Here it is finally my FULLY FASHIONED RIBBED sweater

Here it is finally, my fully fashioned ribbed sweater from Classic Elite TWEED 2. I have so many complaints about this design, like I said before. I should've known since I saw the picture in the pattern book of the model hidding her arms in the back... that the fitting is not very good. I wish they should've pull the fabric a little (since the ribbed stitch is elastic) to get the gauge, in that way the body would have been a little bit more fit, closer to the body. My biggest problem with the fitting is that the sleaves barely fit in the armhole. I literally had to sew 3 or 4 stiches in the body per each couple of links in the armhole. The result, the armhole is tight, while the rest of the sweater is loose, wuk! Not very femenine. Besides that, the neckband, like I predicted, is going to need to be folded in a corner shape in the join between the front and the back. I plan to do this with a sewing machine and then, cut it !!! Yes! cut the excess. I am also very tempted to shape the sweater more in the waist using the same method. This sweater is not worth the effort. The conception is good but the designer failed to accomodate the sleeves properly in the armholes, the instructions for the neckband are incomplete, the cable openning instructions in the V neck are wrong, and the fitting of the sweater is too loose considering that you are using an elastic stitch.
Este es mi suerter de Classic Elite Tweed 2 ya terminado. Tuve muchos problemas con este patrón y por eso no les recomiendo tejer este modelo. El sueter queda muy suelto, pero las bocamangas son muy apretadas, lo que hace ver el sueter un poco raro. Además hay que coser a máquina las esquinas en la parte trasera del cuello para que tome forma y las instrucciones de la trenza que se habre al frente en el cuello están equivocadas. Yo planeo tratar de arreglarlo con una máquina de coser y luego cortarlo!!! Sí cortarlo! El concepto del sueter es bonito pero el diseño no está bien hecho y el suerter no queda bien. Con razón en la foto la modelo estaba escondiendo las manos atrás para entallar el sueter un poco y evitar mostrar las mangas. No vale la pena tanto trabajo, no recomiendo este patrón. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Thank God Christmas is over!

Wow, I worked so hard to get my Christmas presents done ! hooo, but amazingly the three things I was knitting got to their destination right on time on Christnas eve.

This is a picture of one of the things I was making. It is a dog sweater for my father in law's new puppy "Chelsea".

After the Holidays are over, I was able to concentrate in my sweater and I am almost finished. I have so much to say about the experience with that sweater... it actually inspired me to start a new blog just to post mistakes in knitting patterns, ha ha ha. Then I decided it is going to be anctual website called "" I will let you guys know when it is ready to launch!

Corrí tanto para tener mis regalitos de navidad listos para la Navidad que no tienen idea... La casa estaba hecha un desastre porque yo como loca teje y teje. Al fin por dicha llegaron a tiempo las cositas que estaba haciendo, entre ellas este sueter para el nuevo cachorrito de mi suegro que se llama Chelsea. Luego de que sali de los enredos de la navidad, pude dedicarme a terminar mi sueter que ha sido una aventura total debido a todos los errores en las instrucciones, al punto que me inspiró a diseñar un sitio de internet donde la gente pueda mandar todos los errores que encuentra en los patrones. Se va a llamar ya compre los derechos para ese nombre y estoy trabajando en el diseño. Ahí les hago saber cuando este listo y operando...