Host a Knitting Shower!

If you are in the San Francisco Bay area and have a special bride or expectant mother in your life, consider hosting a “Knitting Shower,” and invite a group of special friends to create a unique gift!

I’d love to come and teach your group the basic knitting skills necessary to make a blanket square. The squares can then be assembled into an unforgettable one-of-a-kind gift that will be treasured for years to come!

A “Knitting Shower” is a fun opportunity to get together, learn a skill that will last a lifetime, and that will result in a special keepsake.

The fee includes materials, three hours of knitting instruction, and post-party blanket assembly.

Use the contact form to set up your “Knitting Shower” today!


Shhhh…It’s a Secret!

A secret? On the Internet? Well, yeah, if your husband doesn’t read your knitting blog!

Here are the socks I’m making for hubby’s birthday. Pattern taken from the basic sock recipe found in Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s book, Knitting Rules.


Pattern: The aforementioned Harlot
Yarn: Regia Cotton (blend for socks)
Color: Navy (color #50)
Needles: 1.5 (2.5mm)

Birthday: Knitting Pretties

My knitting pretties!

For my birthday this week, I got a few knitting pretties! First, I got a gift card & I purchased 2-at-a-Time Socks by Melissa Morgan Oakes. Because of my “Short Attention Span Theater” (also known as ADD), I’ve never been much of a sock knitter, but I do enjoy them, and knitting two at once is a stroke of genius for ADDers like me! I’m looking forward to checking out her companion tome, Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks.

While waiting for the amazing Gunilla to fix me up at my Knit Doctor appointment at GPY, I got to schmooze with one of my very favorite people, and spent my birthday discount on Nature’s Wrapture. Soooooo many little pretties to knit!! I rarely knit for myself (and the one thing actually for me on the needles, I left at the kids’ homeschool choir class! Only a few more days until I get it back!)

My Double Crossing Diamonds Aran* is back on track (thanks, Doc!), and we think the book screwed up, not I, with the Jewel-Tone Wrap*, so much knitting awaits!

*Ravelry link


I resisted for a very, very, very long time, but finally succumbed and made one. I scrapped the one I had started for my mom, and thankfully a friend hipped me to the Clapotis Excel Spreadshet. It made it easy peasy! And this was the result: the clapotis for a very special someone to me, who is leaving the state to marry her soulmate 🙂

Sideways Curly Fries Vest

The great thing about this stylish, versatile vest is that, since it is knit sideways, you knit it to fit your size. When you get to where your armhole is, you begin the armhole…It’s really that simple! Because it is knitted in this way, this pattern will “talk” you through construction versus giving specific numbers.

Blossom by Noro (color #12 used for sample):
6 skeins for large, fewer for other sizes
US size 10.5 needles (24” circular or 14”straight)
Tape measure
Stitch markers

Pattern Abbreviations:
CO = Cast On
BO = Bind off
PM = place marker
Sts = stitches
DI = Double Increase. Work a double increase like this: do a regular increase (knit into the front and the back of the stitch), but instead of lifting it off of the left needle, you knit into the front of the stitch again, and then lift it off, thereby making three stitches out of one.

Knitted cast on: knit a stitch without lifting it off, and place the stitch you just made onto the left needle.

With size 10.5 needles, CO 45, PM, CO 10
Row 1: Your first 10 stitches (up to the stitch marker) will create your “curly fry”. Do a double increase (DI) into each of these 10 sts. Slip marker and knit to the end of the row.
Row 2: Knit
Row 3: BO all stitches before the marker (29 stitches; one left before the marker), slip marker, knit to the end of the row.
Row 4: Knit
Row 5: Knit
Row 6: Knit, then turn your work and using the knitted cast on, cast on 9 sts.

Repeat rows 1-6 for 3 inches, then CO 12 sts at the neck edge (opposite the “curly fries end”).

Work until you reach your personal shoulder width. Bind-off as many stitches as desired for armhole. I bound off 25, some may prefer a deeper/longer armhole. You can find your number of stitches by measuring from the top of your shoulder to where you want your armhole to end, and then lay the measuring tape on a flat part of your knitting and count how many stitches that takes.

Continuing in pattern, knit until the width of your armhole is done (my width was 4”), then cast on the same number of stitches you bound off to make the armhole (this is done on the opposite end from your “curly fries”). Continue in this fashion, making your “curly fries,” for the width of your back, until you reach the opposite armhole edge. Bind off the same number of stitches used on the previous armhole. Knit the width of your armhole (again, keeping your “curly fries” going!), and cast on the same number of stitches bound off for the armhole. Knit the vest front for as many inches as you did on the other vest front, stopping 3” short of the edge. At the 3” mark, BO 12 sts at the neck edge to match the neckline on the opposite vest front flap. Your final BO row should coincide with a “curly fry” bind off row to have matching edge fronts.

BO all sts. Sew shoulder seams. Weave in all ends and enjoy!

Copyright 2006-2014 Marie Stroughter
All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, by any means (electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the designer, nor can the finished product be sold.

Rene’s Humane Helpers!

It’s Homeschool Service Project time again at Casa Stro. This time, my daughter is asking all knitters to help out with cat toys for our local Humane Society. Here are the details:

PATTERNS can be found here (furnished by the charity, though modifications below have been approved — pdf format — requires Adobe Reader*).

MODIFICATIONS: Toy #1 (sock): Sock can be knitted, try using this pattern (please stuff with lavender or chamomile, no catnip allowed per charity request).

Toy #2 (braid): I-cord can be substituted for fleece (i-cord tutorial here.

DEADLINE: The end of September (2009)

DETAILS: I will be posting a tag to use to designate the project. When completed, please use the tag provided. We’d also love a picture of your project. If local (as in, you know us and know where we live!), contact me and I will get them from you. If you are distant, please consider donating to your local shelter in my daughter’s name using the tag provided and send us a picture, so we can count it in her grand total!

BONUS THANK YOU! If you are local to the area and are a “youth knitter” (high school or under), and made a toy for the project, you are invited to take a tour of the facility with us in the Fall (just include your contact info with your project).

RAVELRY GROUP: If you are on Ravelry and want to join our project group, click here! Thank you for your support!

* free Adobe Reader

First Pair of Socks Completed!

I’ve knit socks before…just never 2 of the same one (also known as a pair, I believe!). Thus, last night at Guild, I finished Sock #2 of this pretty little set.

Interesting knitting irony: I made them for hubby’s birthday (which is tomorrow), but he ran around this morning saying he could not find socks (I guess I should be doing more laundry than knitting…???). Anyhoo, I whipped these babies out, and sent one happy hubby off to work in style!


Yarn: Colinette “Jitterbug” in Oyster Blush
(1 skein, with less than a yard left over! Woot!)
Needles: US size 2 (toes, US size 1)

My ADD Sockette!

Those of you who really know me, know that my ADD prevents me from fully appreciating the sock knitting….LOL! Tiny needles? :::::shudder:::: But here’s proof that old dogs can learn new tricks!

What’s amazing about this sock is:

  • I used the short-row toe/heel method I had just learned at Stitches on Friday
  • I whipped this baby out in no time
  • I actually re-did the heel 3 times (I would have chucked it in the UFO pile while declaring sock knitting is for the birds BSL (Before Sock Love!)
  • I created/adapted a pattern!
  • It’s called My ADD Sockette because:

  • It’s wildly colorful like my personality
  • Short blips of color like my attention span
  • It took very little time to knit, thus, did not exceed my ability to attend to it
  • Specs:

    Yarn: 100% Merino by Creatively Dyed Colorway: Annato
    Needles: Magic looped using US #2

    Afghan Squares For Pine Ridge Reservation

    I managed to whip out two Caps For Connor, and no sooner were they in the mail, when I saw this post from Chez Insanity about the Afghan Squares For Pine Ridge Reservation project. (Note, that last one is a Ravelry link, so Non-Ravelers will not be able to see it).

    The description says, in part, “Pine Ridge Reservation is the poorest spot in the USA. The average life expectancy for residents is only 47 for males and early 50s for women. The unemployment rate is 90% and the teen suicide rate is four times the national average. Basics such as running water, heat and food are scarce for many residents let alone jobs and health care. These challenges are particularly difficult to deal with given the geographical isolation of the Rez and the incredibly harsh climate.”

    The group is creating squares for blankets for residents of the Reservation. A Lakota woman is seaming them all together.

    This has all the earmarks of yet another great Homeschool Service Project! C’mon, join in!

    Caps For Connor

    If you are on Ravelry, please consider joining the charitable crafting group Caps For Connor. A member there has a son whose best friend (8-years-old?) was just diagnosed with a very rare, and very aggressive form of brain cancer. All the kids are shaving their heads in support. However, it’s Winter…in Wisconsin! So the effort is to create caps for all the kids to show their solidarity in school colors. Deadline is 12/5. See group for details. (Note: If you are not on Ravelry, the link will not work)

    The frequent ramblings of a formerly forty-something fiberartist . . .

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