Sunday, November 13, 2016

A Wonderful New Yarn Adventure

I am really excited to show you my newest yarn adventure, and my second blog home: Yarn Whirled....
Yarn Whirled is a new craft I devised last year, and I really think that knitters, crocheters, or any crafter with a stash of yarn, will enjoy making these adorable figures as much as I did.
My new book "Yarn Whirled: Fairy Tales, Fables, and Folklore" is coming out on Tuesday Novemnber 16, 2016.

Petrosinella/ Rapunzel for "Yarn Whirled: Fairy Tales, Fables, and Folklore".

And, as you can imagine, I look forward to knitting and crocheting some great outfits for these cute characters.

Princess Kaguya from "Yarn Whirled: Fairy Tales, Fables, and Folklore"

They are made completely out of yarn, and are really sturdy and firm, and are great for using up stash and novelty yarns.

The Snowman from "Yarn Whirled: Fairy Tales, Fables, and Folklore"

 I hope you will share my enthusiasm for this great craft.   My book is available on the Dover Publishing website, and at, as well as at numerous other book sellers and craft stores.

Please visit me over at, and at YarnWhirled on Pinterest and Facebook, for more exciting updates and videos.
I can't wait to hear your comments, and see your creations!
All my Best!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

A Giveaway, Vogue Knitting Live, and Sweaters!

                 My Bohus Inspired Cardigan from Vogue Knitting Winter 2016            Cascade Venezia Yarn       (photo copyright @Soho Publishing )

Yes, I know the title sounds like something from a random word generator! But, less blogging means more knitting : )

I am so honored to have been chosen to teach at Vogue Knitting Live in NYC in January 2016. VKLIVE is the premier knitting event in the country, with attendees, vendors and teachers from all over the world.  Teachers and authors who I have admired for years will be in attendance and I can hardly wait.  I will be teaching 3 classes- Stitch Gymnastics ( which is sold out), Irish Crochet Today, and Join the Club- a lively, interactive class about how to join various types, and twists of yarn, for fast and fabulous finishing. And, that brings me to the giveaway!!!


I have been given a ticket  from the event coordinators for 3 free days entrance to the incomparable VKLIVE MARKETPLACE! ( VKLIVE Facebook and Instagram )

To enter, just write your e-mail address in the space to the right for e-mails, or write your e-mail in the comment section below. And, if you want to become a follower on this site, that would be awesome, too! You will only receive an e-mail from me if you are the lucky winner. I will be picking the winner at random on December 26th.  Good luck!
Beaded pullover VK HOLIDAY 2016

 And now, to squeeze in some other pieces...
Above is my beaded pullover (#03 Fair Isle Yoke Pullover) from VK Holiday 2016.


 The pullover is knit in the round in  Plymouth Yarn Arequipa Worsted.  The yarn was soft and pretty and I sewed the beads on later, so that they would not interfere with the stretch of the sweater.

 Details Bohus Cardigan VK WINTER 2016

 The Bohus style is one I have always admired.  My modern interpretation has elements of the Bohus cardigans of the past, but I chose to concentrate the color-work on the sleeves.  The color-work has the textured purl stitches of the original beautiful Swedish sweaters, interspersed among the stockinette rounds.  The yarn (Cascade Yarns Venezia/ 70%Merino Wool-30% Silk) was scrumptious to work with- smooth and slightly glossy because of the silk, and perfectly elastic because of the merino. It is one of my very favorite yarns and my goal is to try to complete an iteration of my Bohus cardigan in Venezia to wear to teach at VKLIVE in January. Yes, I will be knitting, not blogging for the next few weeks : )

And lastly,
 2 great gift ideas- simple afghans in very current squares- one knitted, one crocheted.


  I honestly think I made each afghan in less than a week.  I deliberately designed them so that the edges would be perfect for  simple and smooth seaming together.


Even I was surprised at how quickly the afghans came together.  Naturally, because they  are constructed from half square triangles, the squares could be rearranged in any fashion to create a variety of patterns.
I hope you are all enjoying the warmer than usual temperatures, and finding the holiday season relaxing and joyous.
Happy Knitting!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

My First Book!

I am so very excited to announce the arrival of my first book- Month by Month Dishcloths!

Mixed Media Resources/Soho Publishing

 I am equally embarrassed to confess that it was published last August(2014), and that it has taken me this long to post its arrival on my blog, and on Ravelry ...


 These are 2 of my favorites.  I think they would make a great wedding shower gift, or great wedding favors!

But, happily, the delay is not because I have a  been world class procrastinator, but more because I have been so busy with other book and magazine projects.


When I was approached with the request to design a  booklet of 24 crocheted dishcloths,  I was  both thrilled- and surprised.  Up until  to that point in my design career, I had mostly submitted complex and difficult patterns- usually knit with relatively fine needles.


 Designing with bulkier yarn, and in crochet was a new venture for me, and I am delighted to say it was wonderful.  I loved the instant gratification of a small project, and the relaxing process of working a simpler design.

It was quite a shock to walk into my local Joann Fabric and Craft  store and see my booklet on the shelves! I was also really excited to see that it is now for sale on a number of great yarn and craft websites.


It is such relief to have had the time today to blog about this book! Next post,  I hope to catch up to some of the other fun projects that have kept me away from the computer: )
And I would like to express my most sincere gratitude to Trisha Malcolm, Alexandra Joinnides and Vanessa Putt, for giving me this opportunity, and for being understanding when I kept calling asking for "just a little more time, please"... and to Jack Deutsch whose great photos made the simple, sublime.


But, of course, I am  most grateful for the readers who have made it down to the end of this post. Yes, it is now fall, and my last post was in February.  Thank you!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Sweater Weather or 3 things to make on a cold evening....

Snow days and knitting projects are a perfect combination! This has a been the perfect winter to hunker down where it is warm and dry, and to make serious headway on a variety of projects.

The KNIT. Sweater above is a sweater I designed and knit for the incomparable VOGUE Knitting Live Show which was held in NYC in January, and will be in Pasadena, Ca. soon. It is a simple knit and a snuggly sweater.  The pattern is available for FREE on the Vogue Knitting website. This is the link- KNIT.SWEATER.  Let me know if you make one- I love pictures.  I have already seen some wonderfully creative variations, including one on Ravelry by Peg Starbuck.

And, if the idea of a knitting a big winter sweater seems daunting, then I have another great option for the timid or time challenged!
 I was also asked to design mini sweaters for a garland to raise awareness for SAVE THE CHILDREN.  December 2014 was designated as "Make the World Better with a Sweater" month, and December 12th was "Sweater" day.  The pattern for these addicting little sweaters is also free on the VK website! I have been amazed by the cute sweaters I have seen on Ravelry pages.  I have a feeling that there will be a number of homes decorated with knit garlands next year!

Finally, if you are not motivated to make a big sweater, or  even many little sweaters,  a phone sweater may be your perfect option! This pattern is also part of the Save the Children Campaign, and once again, the pattern is free.
 I was very happy to have been asked to be part of something so exciting.  I have been so busy recently with so many projects, that I have been unable to post as regularly as I would like.  In fact, when I looked at the designs I planned to write about, I came across these patterns and decided to post these instead. 
These cold winter nights are made for relaxing projects, and hopefully someone will enjoy making one of these!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Not really work...

 I am really  delighted to share these pictures of  the  Open Front Cardigan sweater I designed and knit for the Early Fall 2014 issue of Vogue Knitting Magazine.

VOGUE Knitting Early Fall 2014, photo by Paul Amato for
  I think this often, but I really mean it this time when I say that I want to make this sweater for myself. And, the great styling makes it look so refined.   I love this picture.
 The cardigan  was easier  to make than it looks, mostly stockinette with some simple eyelet rows. 

VOGUE Knitting Early Fall 2014, photo by Paul Amato for
 The lace inset is not difficult at all- just a little bit more concentration required  : )
I opted for a folded over hem, as it is one of my favorite finishes, and gives weight to the light weight cardigan.  Again- simple- just a few extra stockinette rows, and a "purl on the right side " turning row. The soft color of the Manos del Uruguay Serena yarn  is sublime .
The sweater and some other lovely pieces can be found in the Early Fall issue of Vogue Knitting 2014.

Now to my title.  I came across this quote by J.M. Barrie- of Peter Pan fame. "Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else."
Put any thread and implement(needle, hook, embroidery needle, tatting shuttle...) in front of me, and there is not much else I would rather do. 
 But, lately the days have been rolling into each other as I have been fortunate enough to have been given a number of contracts.
 I have been staring at a post-it with "UPDATE THIS BLOG" for ages.  Long enough that I have sweaters from the Fall 2014 issue of Vogue Knitting to add to this post!

VOGUE Knitting Fall 2014, photo by Paul Amato for   
This is another favorite of mine.  I have wanted to make a blouse-like sweater for a while.  I love folkloric pieces, and the raglan shaping and inset openwork helps mimic the peasants tops that were my inspiration.  The inset is not tricky and the embroidery is very basic- straight stitches, knots and lazy daisy stitches.

VOGUE Knitting Fall 2014, photo by Paul Amato for
I have a second sweater in the same issue.  This, chosen by my editor right from the runway design was designed to showcase Rowan Tumble yarn, a wonderful chunky wool to work with.  The sweater has the cozy feel of a grandfather cardigan, and works up so quickly.  That is a pleasure, too.

VOGUE Knitting Fall 2014, photo by Paul Amato for  
Both sweaters are in this current issue of Vogue Knitting.
 Yes, I have to admit, the back log of other pieces, and the fear that another issue would be coming out soon compelled me to post today. 
 And, if you have had the patience to read down this far,  hopefully you won't mind if I show you one more picture....

@Sixth and Spring Books

 The mittens are from a wonderful book,  60 Quick Luxury Knits.

  I love the Cascade Venezia yarn .  It is a perfect blend of wool and silk.  And the colors are scrumptious!
 On the other hand, even though it is keeping me so very busy,  there isn't much that I would rather be doing!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

My Very First Cover!

And here it is...
© Vogue Knitting Crochet 2014, photo by Rose Callahan

I am so excited.  My dress is on the cover of the current  Vogue Knitting Crochet 2014 Special Collector's Issue.   It is a lush crochet tank dress made with absolutely scrumptious Koigu  Premium Merino yarn- a beautiful hand dyed merino of exquisite feel and texture. The magazine went on sale in bookstores and news stands on May 7th.

© Vogue Knitting Crochet 2014, photo by Rose Callahan
 Although the dress may look complicated it is  a simple tank dress with appliqued motifs.  I enjoyed making the motifs so much, I became a little over zealous and made too many! Crochet is perfect technique to use to achieve organic and dimensional forms, and it is so rewarding to see them develop as you work.

 The 3 dimensional flower trend is everywhere on the runways from J Crew  to Chanel.

J CREW Collection Flower Shell

Chanel Resort 2015
Definitely a little unusual, but fun and feminine at the same time.

I am also proud of another garment I have in the same issue, Garment # 6, the Tunic Length Shell.

© Vogue Knitting Crochet 2014, photo by Rose Callahan

 This is a simple filet/ double crochet piece.  Not hard to make, but surprisingly  required a little more concentration than the tank dress did.  The yarn, Jade Sylph is a perfect warm weather blend of cashmere and linen, soft and durable.  I call this my "Downton" sweater, because I watched and re-watched episodes this winter as I designed, wrote the pattern and crocheted this sweater. 

 I received an extraordinary e-mail from the editor of VK,  Trisha Malcolm, letting me know that my dress had been chosen for the cover. She was so charming and kind, and I really appreciate that she took the time to inform me personally.  Naturally , it made my day!

I consider myself very fortunate to be able to work with such talented people.  The photographs are amazing, and the editors are all so helpful and knowledgeable.  This was really an honor.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Vogue Knitting Spring/ Summer 2014

I was very happy to receive my copy of Vogue Knitting Spring/ Summer 2014.  Although knitting for the summer seems counter-intuitive, I love to make warm weather garments. No sleeves, quick and easy!  And, I seem to have more time in the summer to unwind with a simple project.

VOGUE Knitting Spring/Summer 2014, photo by Paul Amato
I designed this tunic and knit it from the scrumptious Lorna's Laces Pearl yarn.  I think it would be gorgeous over white linen, or as an on -trend color block beach coverup.
VOGUE Knitting Spring/Summer 2014, photo by Paul Amato

It is a great primer for different  lace techniques and simple intarsia. The tabard style will flatter many different figures.  There is so little finishing that it is a quick and easy knit.

I am really excited about 2 or 3 -actually 4- yikes 5! new items and I will be posting again sooner rather than later.  I 'm delighted that all of those months of perpetual work are finally coming to fruition.  I can't wait to share more pictures!