Posted in colorwork, knitting, knitting patterns, Oregon

Willamette Valley Tee – Finished!

I’m doing a happy dance because I recently finished up the Willamette Valley Tee. After many months of design, redesign, knitting, ripping out and knitting again, it was a huge relief to have finished this sweater design! Whew! See postscripts at the bottom of this page for details about sizes, availability, and test-knitting.

We had a great time at the photo shoot. The countryside was breathtaking, and it was a sparklingly beautiful day. You can see the expanse of the Willamette Valley, the inspiration for the colors in this tee, in some of these photos.

It’s great to now have space freed up in my brain for new designs.  I’ve just finished designing a little spa cloth for the upcoming mini summer spa swap in my Ravelry group.  Come check out the group here. We will be having swap sign-ups soon!

I’ll leave you with some of the photos from the photo shoot. Thanks for taking the time to stop by!

open view red barn (3) (1024x673)

DSC_0079 (683x1024)

In grasses, shading eyes (683x1024)

back of sweater 2 (862x1024)

another with old tractor (1024x683)

with old steam machinery (682x1024)

Grasses, with Valley behind (2) (683x1024)

Many thanks to Marianne for modeling the sweater and to her sister and family for allowing us to traipse all over their beautiful property. And for sending me home with homemade sushi! It is a gift to know such generous people!

knit equals joy

P.S. If you are interested in making this sweater, it is currently being tech edited and tested, and I anticipate that the pattern will be released in late summer or early fall. It is available in sizes 35, 38, and 41.

P.P.S. I am always on the lookout for good pattern testers. We’ve just started the test for this sweater, here, in my Ravelry group.  If you’re interested, let me know. Thanks!!!

Posted in colorwork, Knitting Technique, Knitting Tutorial, The Creative Process, The Design Process

Sweater Surgery, or How I Cut Into my Sweater and Lived to Tell About It

Last week I girded up my loins, picked up my scissors, and cut my sweater in half. Done with careful preparation, I survived, the sweater survived – and in fact it was much improved by the process.

The Problem

Here’s how knitwear design works for me: I try something. I like it. Well, except for just one thing. I rip back. I re-knit, and now it’s much better. But it’s not quite right, let me try this other color. At some point, I will determine to knit on no matter what. In the case of the Colorwork Tee, I knit the entire sweater before determining that, although I loved the torso of the sweater, I wasn’t happy with the fit of the yoke and sleeves.

So, I began again, armed with better numbers.  This time, things were much better! The fit was much more flattering.

sweater top
New yoke and sleeves

I’m not even going to show you the old yoke and sleeves, but here’s the section of the first sweater that I loved and kept. I could have continued knitting from the new yoke and sleeves and have knit all those rounds again, but…I thought that I had a better idea…grafting!

sweater bottom

The Plan

The plan was that, using Kitchener stitch, I would graft the top and bottom sections together. It would be an elegant solution that would save both time and yarn.

sweater top and bottom

Careful preparation was key to a successful operation. My motto, to misquote Bob Vila, was “Measure twice, stitch once!”

The Procedure

A Lifeline
~I learned this technique from a sock pattern, Basic Sock by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas. Insert the needle into the first leg of each stitch.  After the needle has been inserted into every stitch, the yarn can be unraveled down to the needle and the live stitches will remain on the needle.

Placing needle before cutting

Helpful hint for seeing the “first leg” of each stitch: use finger to push out the fabric.  You can see the separate legs more easily. I also find color changes to be helpful in seeing the separate legs.

To find first leg of st

After all of the stitches are on the needles…


…the fabric is ready to cut:

Sweater surgery

There was some weird problem unraveling, so I put in a new lifeline a few rounds further down.

Stitchy mess

Now I was ready to begin stitching. For instructions and a cheat sheet on how to work the Kitchener Stitch, read here.

Here, about 3 inches of grafting is completed (to the right of the needles):Some grafting completed

After grafting, there was a bit of a ridge, noticeable to the touch but not visible. Once blocked, though, it was practically imperceptible.

The Finished Product

I’m excited to share some much more professional looking photos soon, but here’s the sweater right after blocking.

Colorwork Tee

And that’s how I grafted 312 stitches and lived to tell about it!

Posted in colorwork, Oregon, Oregon Coast, photography, The Coast, The Creative Process

Winter Ramblings

DSCN9374I’ve just finished up a few days at the Oregon Coast.  I come here every February, as a quiet, restful retreat by myself.  I will often take long rambles, beachcombing,  looking for the beautiful, the interesting or the odd to capture my attention.  City-combing, too, looking for interesting architecture, sculpture, artistic endeavors; flora, fauna, food; less often, because they move and you have to get their permission, people.

A huge chunk of the time here is spent knitting, of course.  Or, now, designing.  This trip, there was a lot of knitting, ripping out, and re-knitting.  I’m pretty sure this sweater now has its course planned out pretty well and all I have to do is just keep knitting…

Colorwork sweater, a previous version which included light blue and melon colorways:


Even though all of the inspirational palettes I was drawing from included the melon (and orange), I finally concluded that they were not going to work in this sweater because I hadn’t introduced them sooner.  They are in time out and are not even in the tub with the rest of the yarn.  Now I have a plan and will be working the greens, blues and browns back in throughout the rest of the fabric:

Colorwork Tee

There’s much more to be said about knitting on this trip, including the lovely Open Knit time at In The Wind Yarns and some new yarn (!), but that’s subject matter for another post.

Now, back from that little aside.

Within the last year, I started writing this blog, and I set up a Facebook page and Twitter account so that I could let you know when a new post was written.  In the blogging, I rediscovered my love for writing. For many years, it’s been put aside. I thought that since I write correspondence and I’m the Grammar/Comma Queen at work – I thought that because of these things, I was using my love for the language, I was writing.  But then I started writing the blog, and I recollected that, at age 8 or 10 or whatever, I wrote an essay on the results of tobacco use for our little neighborhood club.  I wrote an essay for fun, for goodness’ sake!  What kid does that??  I’ve loved writing all my life, and it’s been very rewarding to pick up the pen, so to speak, again.

It’s true that I don’t have the time to devote to writing that I would wish, and so I decided to post Wordless Wednesday once a week, to keep the blog active when I don’t have the time or energy to write something engaging.  I love photography, and now I want a new camera!

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog.  I appreciate your spending some of your time with me.  Wishing you a wonderful day.  Now, I’ve gotta pack and head back home!




Posted in colorwork

Colorwork Tee Update

Hi dear knitters and friends!  I am happy to report the progress on the Colorwork Tee! Sleeves have been placed on waste yarn, and I’ve worked about an inch more.  Testers will be needed before long (for size 38, and possible for sizes 32 and 40).  I need to work out some technical difficulties (i.e., purchase a new laptop with better capability, as currently the charting software makes my computer freeze up), and then I can get the tester’s pattern ready to go.  Yippee skippy!!!sleeve

colorwork tee



tinking one

Posted in colorwork, Oregon

…and we have color!

And we have color in the Colorwork Tee!  I’m at a place in the design where I can just start working from the needles (as opposed to drawing out a chart first).  I am excited to be working with Bronze again as well as to be adding in some Marine.   Unfortunately last weekend I got ahead of myself and divided for sleeves too early, so a lot of time was spent placing stitches back on the needles.

colorwork tee closeup

colorwork tee

My younger son claimed this green Wayfarer The Wayfarer Hat as his own.  I think it fits his style…




Jen finished her hat and posted this pic on her Ravelry page.  Love this picture!

Jen's Hat

Also over the weekend, DH and I went to the Coast and the weather was perfect for hiking and photography. Here is one picture of the Yaquina Head Lighthouse.  More pictures will follow in a future post.

by the lighthouse
Yaquina Head Lighthouse

Thanks for taking the time to stop by!  I hope you have a joyful week!!!

Posted in colorwork, knitting, photography, Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday: Colorwork


#18 New York Skyline Pullover, pattern by Renee Lorian
116-45 Basque Hat with Norwegian Pattern by DROPS Design
Ryan’s Hat, pattern by Pam Allen
Colorwork Sampler Hat
Fair Isle Sampler Hat, pattern by Mary Jane Mucklestone
raglan shaping
Colorwork Tee, design in process
Trevors_Hat_003 (1)
Ryan’s Hat, pattern by Pam Allen
Nightingale, pattern by Vintage Purls
Felted Tree, original piece
Grazing Sheep Bag, pattern by Kathleen Taylor
Posted in colorwork, knitting, Oregon, Photo Challenge, photography

Camera Lucida – Autumn Lane

DSCN5375 (2)
The Challenge:

 This week’s theme: Autumn Lane

1. the season after summer and before winter, in the northern hemisphere from September to November and in the southern hemisphere from March to May.

2. a division of a road marked off with painted lines and intended to separate single lines of traffic according to speed or direction.

This week your challenge is to interpret autumn…the lane that separates the end of summer and the beginning of fall. Capture the beautiful colours of trees…the ripe and tasty autumn harvest…the fine cross line between worlds that are so close but so far apart…

The possibilities are endless…show your artistic side and be bold…try different perspectives and share your own personal take on one of the most beautiful seasons that transforms nature into an unforgettable painting.

This is my most autumnal pattern yet. I went out at dusk one November evening last year to find some leaves and some light.  The fall colors were amazing, and I have some pictures of this little pumpkin in and amongst beautiful red and golden leaves, but this photo is my favorite for this photo challenge. I love that it’s an almost literal rendering of the challenge.

I have to add that I love fall.  I love the colors. I love days like yesterday, when it was cool enough to bundle up in a warm sweater, yet I could still feel some warmth from the sun.  I love looking forward to Halloween, my birthday, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I love the flavors of pumpkin, apple cider, hot cocoa.  I even love football!   Mostly I love the warm light of the autumn sun’s slanting rays and the way it turns everything golden in the evening.

Check out Julia’s My Red Page‘s weekly Camera Lucida Photo Challenge.

Julia’s instructions state:

The content of the post is completely down to you, share just the photo or be even more creative and tell us the story behind the scene, make it your own.

#cameralucida, Autumn Lane

Posted in colorwork, knitting, knitting patterns, Ravelry

Mini Colorwork Pumpkins

I love fall.  It is my favorite season of the year.   I love fall colors.  I love the way the slanting rays of the dwindling sun cast a golden glow over everything.  I love pumpkins, gourds, many-colored ornamental corn, fall apples, fresh apple cider.  I love the crisp evening air that signals fall’s arrival.  I love trips to the pumpkin patch, carving pumpkins, pumpkin bars.  Truly, I love everything about fall.  And even though we’re not quite there yet, something about today’s weather made me think about fall.  Which made me think about fall decorating.

Last year, I wrote this little pattern for fall.  Of course, I didn’t see my inspiration for it until fall was already in full swing, so the pattern was released late, right around Halloween.  This year, I want to share it now so knitters will have time to make the pumpkin, or several, in time for Halloween and/or fall decorating.

Inspiration for the Mini Colorwork Pumpkins. When I saw this in the store, I realized that knitting patterns featuring the motifs right on the pumpkin itself were few to none.


Colorwork pumpkin in black and gold. I love this color combination:

DSCN5363 (2)

Jen made this fun colorwork pumpkin with spider. I love how she integrated it into her fall decorating!  Several spider charts are included in the pattern.


Meg made this lovely pumpkin with tonal yarns:


Pattern details:

Quick and easy, Mini Colorwork Pumpkins are perfect for Fall, whether you want to decorate for Halloween or Thanksgiving. Make several in different colors and yarn weights, and choose from 6 different charted designs. At about 3 1/2 inches tall and 3 inches in diameter, they knit up very quickly.

Charts include Mini Spiders, Mini Spiders Alternating, Booooooo, Art Nouveau Leaves, Tall Spiders and More Tall Spiders.

To purchase this pattern online, click here:

Posted in colorwork, design, knitting, The Creative Process, The Design Process

Colorwork Tee Progress


Photo from

I’m pleased to report that progress is being made on the colorwork tee design I’m working on.  Fabric is taking shape!

The Sweater

Here is the back of the sweater so far, designed using information garnered from the swatch discussed in What I Learned from the Swatch.  Soon the sweater will transition into the Espresso and Carrot colorways (see end of post).

Colorwork Tee

The sweater front is top secret for now (!)

I’m planning to write the pattern in at least three sizes which will approximate women’s small, medium and large.   As I get further along, I’ll know whether I will be able to add in any other sizes.  If you are interested in test-knitting, please let me know – although right now, given that the unexpected often occurs during the design process, I don’t know exactly when the test will start.  More info to come later.

I’m so excited to see the finished sweater design and pattern!  Thanks for taking a look with me!

Sand, Espresso, Pickle, Black, Lagoon, Melon, Earth, Carrot, Moss, Bronze, Rose, Mist