16 December, 2006

Damn Errata.

We all make mistakes, including me.
On Geyl and Parthenope BOTH the increases are incorrectly charted. I know, I know...I said to think of the little black square as your stitch marker, which would be fine except you have to swap it with the yo increase. They should read:
slip marker, yarn over, work across row in pattern, yarn over, slip marker, knit one (this is the ONE stitch that the increases will fall on either side of). The markers mark the ONE stitch (stop me from finding a way to make a "one ring" joke, please, stop me!) and nothing else. There will only ever be the ONE stitch between the markers. The yarn overs feed into the main pattern section. Otherwise you'd have to be moving markers arond every time you added a new pattern repeat in and no one wants to do that. Yuck.

04 December, 2006


Parthenope (Parth-ehn-oh-pee) is the name of Florence Nightingale's sister. Little known random facts are one of my specialties. Florence and Parthenope were both unusual names for their day. There parents were like the sort of people who today we would equate with the kind of parents who would name their children Boxcar and Moonshadow. Parthenope was born while they were on their honeymoon in Naples (Parthenope being the ancient Greek name for that city). Florence was born a year later and they kept on the Italian city naming kick. While Florence was an academic child, Parthenope was artistic and, as the painting depicts, she was into the needlework. And I think it's a neat name. So here, finally are some pictures of Parthenope the shawl:

And now you can have one for your very own!

Parthenope uses 2 skeins of Shaefer Yarns "Anne" or 1120 yds of any laceweight yarn. Check out the back posts on http://knitandthecity.blogspot.com for the saga of the test knitting!

13 November, 2006


I love basil. I grow a lot of it on the island and eat pesto all summer long. I also love my cuisinart, which is actually my neighbor's cuisinart which I am more or less permanently borrowing. Here is my pesto recipe:
A bunch of basil, so that it fits comfortably in the food processor
A lot of garlic, less than a whole head but more than 5 cloves
some salt
a 2" or so cube of parmesan cheese
a couple handfuls of walnuts (yes, walnuts)
Pulse all together and drizzle olive oil into the hole thingy until it looks like pesto.
It's different every time.
There is essentially a basil shrubbery growing around our screen porch, which is where we spend a lot of time. It is also said to repel mosquitos, which are a problem on the island (which is essentially made up of warm shallow pools of water) and I am horribly allergic to mosquito bites. I get giant welts. Did you know that 20% of the people in the world get 80% of the mosquito bites? So they do love some people more than others. NPR told me so it must be true.

Basil is also a baby blanket. A really lovely one knit out of Dale Baby Ull on not tiny needles! It's done on #5 US/3.75 mm. Nice. It is done from the center out, like a square shawl might be done. It's knit in a really simple lace pattern that is mostly k3, p1 with one yo pattern row. It is bound off with a hemmed picot edge which kinda mimics those satin blanket bindings I liked as a child.
I knit this in the early summer, hence the name. And, on a crappy night like this I thought it would be nice to remember what a lovely summer we had.

Hmmm... I had more pics but it won't load them. One was really cute with my cat basking in the sun on the blanket. But, here's a pic of one I just started.

04 November, 2006


So here I am at Stitches East Convention and I am truly grateful to everyone who has sought out my patterns! I am almost completely sold out of Maude, Beatrix, Parthenope and Geyl. I think I underestimated the demand a bit. It really seemed like I had enough patterns but I am starting to doubt that entirely. I am trying to reserve enough for when Knitty D and the City are in our booth on Sunday (at 11:00 by the way!). I know I owe them both mad patterns!

And by the by, my love to Keith from DC who came to the booth (310-312, by the way) to buy a copy of each of my patterns! Kisses to you, my friend!

PS--I think they put drugs in the Socks that Rock, I now have a problem and was so convinced that it was somehow overrated. How wrong I was. I don't think I'm getting anything at Stitches except for a ridiculous amount of Black Bunny Fibers and Socks that Rock. The baby hoodie that Ed knit out of the Black Bunny Bulky makes me need to have even more yarn, and I really thought that when the yarn had it's own bedroom that I maybe had enough. I was horribly mistaken.

31 October, 2006


Stitches is coming to the Baltimore Convention Center this weekend and The Pattern Factory will be there. I will have hard copies (nice pretty shiny ones) exclusively at Rosie's Yarn Cellar. Maude and Beatrix, who we know and love will be there accompanied by:

Basil, a little lacy baby blanket done in Baby Ull. It's really easy and a good first lace project if you've been contemplating something you are a little intimidated by. The chart is very simple, it's a 4 row repeat and 3 out of 4 of the rows are knit/purl rows. It also has a nice little hemmed edge reminiscent of that satiny blanket binding I liked to rub on my face as a child.

Graydon, a sport weight sock shown here in Dale's Tiur, but that would look just as smashing in Claudia Handpaint or Drops Alpaca, anything soft and smushy. Again, an easy knit/purl pattern with a 4 row repeat. I made these last year for a family member who has somewhat ineffective heating in their home in Massachusetts. I think they were an instant hit.

Also, finally out of the vault is the long awaited Parthenope. She will, perhaps after Stitches, get a post all her own. I love her. Sorry the picture is so small, I don't know why it is like that.

And the shawl that started it all, Geyl. This was the first pattern I did with the intention to publish myself. She's waited patiently for a while but it was worth the wait.
Ahh, curses, and she has to wait more. The picture won't load.

25 October, 2006

Pictures! Good ones!

Laura took beautiful pictures this weekend of Maude, Parthenope and Geyl (which no one has seen yet, unless you were at Rosies last week). They are absolutely lovely! Soon, oh yes soon, I will have copies and will show you all!

06 October, 2006

My very first errata!

We all make mistakes.
On the Maude pattern after you do the first 15 rows as written you are to continue as established doing bias stitch pattern 1 (increasing). It reads:

1. *ssk, yo*, rep from * to * to last stitch, k1
2. inc 1, k to end.
3. *ssk, yo*, rep from * to * to last 2 sts, k2
4. inc 1, k to end.

Well, that works fine for swatching but it seems that it ought to read:

1. *ssk, yo*, rep from * to * to last 2 sts, k2
2. inc 1, k to end.
3. *ssk, yo*, rep from * to * to last st, k1
4. inc 1, k to end.

Hope that helps!

25 September, 2006


Today I received a lovely email from the first person to purchase one of my patterns. Jenny has completed Beatrix and I must say, it is awfully lovely. Way to go!
If anyone else has pics feel free to send them my way, I love to see what people are doing with my patterns!

03 August, 2006


So we are home on the island again after a hot and sweaty week in Philadelphia. I had a lovely time moving into our new house after we spent 10 hours cleaning up after the disgusting art school boys who lived there before us. But, I got to see Wendy, Christina and the gang at knitting circle and that made up for the weekend of moving hell in 110 degree heat. It is supposed to feel like 113 tonight on the Eastern Shore--and I thought that it was supposed to be cooler in the country! My house feels like a sauna and Max and I are holed up in my studio (the only room with air conditioning because of course it's more important to keep the wool and textiles at a constant temperature than to keep me at one) with a very hot dog watching Simpsons on the fold out sofa bed mattress which we have dragged in onto the floor. Pathetic. I'm not leaving this room until Fall.
Alas, it is time to add another pattern. I am trying to add a new one each week, but I am sure that I'm bound to loose a few days here and there. I started this in September of last year right after our lovely beastie dog, Quentin, had died of gastric lymphoma. I needed a pattern that was pure comfort and happy. I also needed to use my brain and stop dwelling on the sad. I love this pattern. It has a homey feeling. It is my all time favorite shawl, and I have a LOT of shawls! The pattern is a good mix of mindless knitting and concentration at the end of the row. It is knit from side to side and the edging is knit at the same time. The pattern is simple and the shape is suprising. There is not any shaping except for increasing on one side to the point of the triangle and then decreasing again to the other side, but when laid out it does a Farosese style bat-wing or seagull in flight kinda thing. Totally not on purpose! I love when that happens. It is really really great and not just 'cause I made it but 'cause it just is.

26 July, 2006

What would you do if you were stranded on an island?

My partner and I are looking for someone to act as caretaker for our house on Smith Island for some part of or all of the next two years. It would be rent free in exchange for paying the bills (electric and phone)and basic maintenance, and the contingency that we come and stay some weekends. This would be absolutely perfect for someone who wanted to get away and write or make art. There's not a lot of money to be made here, you are seperated from the mainland by a 40 minute ferry ride and there's not many possiblities for work on or off the island. Odd jobs and working on the water keep folks going. People who are handy--carpenters, mechanics and such--would be in demand here! It is a wonderful and inspiring place, however, for someone who desires to live simply and get away from it all. There's no cell phone reception, no DSL, and 3 TV channels on a clear day. Ahhh...I shall miss it! If this sounds intriguing to you drop me a line.

23 July, 2006


This pattern is in one of the vintage knitting books I have, from Columbia Yarns-which was in Philly coincidentally. I'm not sure of the year but there are some clues: There is an interesting pattern for an "Auto Robe" which is a sort of afghan for the backseat of your obviously unheated auto, so there were cars about. But there are no patterns for men in the service, which seem to be included in most WW1-era knitting books. It's hard to say, I guess it could also be from pre-WWI or the 20's, but I have some books from the twenties and the photos have a different quality. Well, in any case there was a pattern for a baby sweater that was really cute and seemed like a good simple pattern that people would really like to knit up. I love love love reworking old patterns, it's like solving a puzzle sometimes. Especially with the really old ones where they don't even include a picture! Also, it's interesting to see knitting has changed. Problem with this one was--as with most old patterns--there was no gauge, no sizing. So, there was nothing for it but to swatch and calculate and cast on with notebook and pencil ready at hand. The sizing is all weird for babies in these old patterns, the proportions are different then we are used to and the armhole depth is always impossible. Who wants to spend 10 minutes shoving a newborn's arm into a tiny hole? But I guess if nurse was doing it who cared?! So I came up with a reasonable approximation with a much looser gauge (who wants to knit at 36sts/10cm?)and sized it for 3-6mos, 12 mos, and 18-24mos. Oh, and I also opted for a button instead of all the ribbons. I don't think there are many people who are able to tie those elaborate bows anymore, and if there are they are probably really into it in a way that would be a little creepy.
The pattern for this little sweater I'm calling "Beatrix" is available at Rosie's and I have formatted it into .pdf (painstaking!) so you can buy it here! How exciting! Check out the link on the sidebar!

22 July, 2006

will and won't

I suppose I should say a bit about myself, but I will keep it brief. I live on Smith Island, which is a small island in the Chesapeake Bay. It is Maryland's only remaining inhabited island accessible only by boat. There are about 250-300 people who live here, in three towns: Ewell, where I live; Rhodes Point, which used to be called Rogue's Point and was once a popular pirate hang out; and Tylerton which is actually it's own tiny island and you need a boat to get to it.
I do a lot of textile things some are art and some are craft and that is a whole bigger discussion for someone else's blog. But, I have decided that I should put my stuff out there for all to see. It seems to me that this is now the only way to get stuff out there. I have avoided the computer all these years and now I must give in. I will post lots of photos of stuff and have patterns for folks to buy and talk a bit about how I work. I will not discuss my pets, lovelife, what I had for dinner, or what I think of other people. I also won't ramble on purposelessly about my views on certain yarns or craft related gadgetry, who's making what and how precious it is. I have worked in yarn shops and taught knitting for almost 10 years and I get paid to do that.
I have been designing my own line of patterns this year. The company name is "The Smith Island Pattern Factory." All the designs will eventually be available as .pdf files you can purchase from here. I have a few designs available now at Rosie's Yarn Cellar. This one is called Beatrix (which I am trying to a picture of but I don't know if it's working). I will post more about the pattern later.
Now I will go and see if this all works.

the beginning...

and so i enter the 21st century.