knot another hat

adventures in owning a hip and knitworthy yarn store


Cleaning house!

And boy does it feel good!

(BYW: this post was supposed to go up yesterday, but effing Blogger wouldn't let me upload pics for the last 24 hours. I was thinking about switching to TypePad, but then realized that you can't customize your design for the lower $5 monthly fee - only for $8/mon. Bogus)

First: this is not cleaning house, but I knit up the cabled hat pattern that my One Skein Secret Pal sent me with this beautiful Great Adirondack wool/silk yarn:

It was quick and easy and turned out beautifully! Thank you thank you thank you!

Quickie note: I never posted a finished, nicer picture of the Lotus Leaf Lace Tank from Interweave's summer Knits, so here it is.

On to the cleaning: I got motivated to clean up this pile of junk yesterday,

so I organized, and dug through some really old WIPs. First to go?

The Pacific Northwest Shawl. Frogged it. I just didn't like how the yarn was showing (or not) the pattern. I think that llama yarn is beautiful, it just is too dark for this garter lace pattern. I have some nice Lorna's that I will use when (and if) I start this pattern again. I'll try the llama on some other lace pattern this winter.

More cleaning:

These two purses were kits from Pussy Cat 2, and were knit by my mother-in-law last summer. She gave them to me to sew together and assemble, and I just now finally got around to it. They are really cute designs, but I can tell you that the finishing is not for the faint of heart. A good day and a half went into putting these two things together. All of the materials are included in the kits (thankfully!), but it requires some hand-sewing to get it all done. Great results, though!

Let's see - what else can I report? Sabrina, next door at the clothing store So Much Fun, got a crazy hair to knit a giant, ottoman-sized cupcake. Here is the cupcake in progress:

She used Cascade Magnum in Cotton Candy for the base (on size 17 circulars), and plans to mix cream Magnum and cream Gedifra Sheela for the top (on size 19s). I'll post finished pics of the whole cupcake ottoman tomorrow.

Last but not least, CK wanted me to take a pic of her beautiful chalk picture. She is so proud. :)


Sock Kit Swap Questionnaire

Hi Sock Kit Pal! I'm sorry I've been so delinquent in getting this done. No more procrastinating:

The Questionnaire:
What are your favorite colors?

I'm into greens right now, although I can get excited about almost any color.

Are you a new sock knitter? How long have you been knitting socks?
Yes, but I jumped in with both feet. I was a sock-knitting-hold-out, thinking that they weren't worth my time, until my sock teacher quit. I needed to teach myself to do socks on 2 circulars so I could teach the sock class at the store, so I grabbed Cat Bordhi's book and some traditional sock patterns and set to it. That was January, and I've since knit about 12 1/2 pairs of socks, some patterned, some plain.

Do you prefer solid or multicolored yarn?

What fibers do you prefer in sock yarn?
Wool blends, cotton blends, whatever.

Where do you usually knit socks?
Here at the store, in the car, at home watching TV, in the airport, where don't I knit socks?

How do you usually carry/store small projects?
In my purse/bag.

What are your favorite sock knitting patterns?
I don't think I have any favorites. I loved the Embossed Leaves socks from Interweave Knits, and I love everything in the Sensational Knitted Socks book.

What are your favorite sock knitting techniques?
I am definitely a cuff-down, heel-flap girl. I've tried toe-up, and I've done the hourglass (or shortrow) heel, but I always go back to my standby.

What new techniques would you like to try?
Um, I think I would like to try 2 socks at once just to say I've done it, but probably not as a permament change.

Do you prefer circulars or dpns for sock knitting?
Absolutely circulars.

What are some of your favorite yarns?
For socks? Opal, Mountain Colors, Koigu, Socks That Rock, Steinbache Wolle, Lorna's Laces.

What yarn do you totally covet?
Anything that I don't carry in the store, because that means it's just for me (and not a future store model).

Any pattern you would love to make if money and time were no object?
I'd love to knit my way through both the Knitting Vintage Socks and Sensational Knitted Socks books.

Favorite kind of needles (brand, materials, straights or circs, etc)?
Addi Turbos.

Do you have a favorite candy or mail-able snack?
Ooh. Let's see. Chocolate is always a favorite, but not so practical in warm weather. Gummy bears are yummy. Love Gardettos, too.

Do you have pets? What are their species/names/ages?
I have one cat, Persian, Elsie, 8 years old.

What is your most inspiring image, flower, or object in nature?
A cherry orchard in early September.

Tell me the best quote you’ve ever heard or read.
De hombres es equivocarse; de locos persistir en el error. -Marco Tulio Cicerón. (It is human to err; it is fools who persist in the error.)

Do you have a wishlist?
Yes, link on the right.


Hip, hip, hooray!

The website is live! And it's beautiful! But don't take my word for it - go see for yourself!

In other news, it's newsletter time. Here is the first installment of the letter from me, which will be a feature in all newsletters from now on:

Letter from Sarah

When I sat down to prepare this month’s newsletter, I felt that something was missing from the current format. I brainstormed all of the different announcements, sound bites, etc that I wanted to include, but it didn’t feel like enough. Finally it dawned on me: I wanted to communicate more with you all, my customers, and to share more with everyone about our shared craft, or art as I prefer to think of it. And so begins the first Letter from Sarah.

Why do I say that what we do is art, rather than craft? Let’s think about art for a minute: art brings us inspiration; art provides peace and relaxation; art stimulates; art highlights creativity; art is therapy; art leaves legacies behind for those who will come after us. Doesn’t knitting also do all of those things? We each knit to satisfy something inside of us, the same something that compels a painter to paint, or a sculptor to sculpt. In the case of Sabrina, the owner of So Much Fun next door to the store, it is what compels her to knit a giant-sized cupcake ottoman. Stop by and see her progress and marvel at her version of knitting art. Take a moment to think about your art, what it means to you, and the role it plays in your life.

On that note, I would like to encourage everyone to take the next step in their knitting. For some that means trying circular needles for the first time; for others it might mean adapting a sweater pattern to better fit their individual body. Whatever your next step is, think about the rewards you’ll reap by taking that leap and broadening your knitting range. As the knitting “boom” plateaus, or even subsides somewhat, we all are challenged to find ways to maintain the excitement of our knitting. I personally believe nothing can do that better than finding a way to learn more, try something new, take on a challenge, step on up to the plate. For me, I plan to knit more sweaters, and knit them to fit. That means paying more attention to finished dimensions, and planning accordingly. Come on in and have a chat—I’d love to talk to you about the next step in your knitting.

Happy knotting,


Bing me, baby!

It's Cherry Season!

Doesn't this guy look like he knows what he's doing?? This is V's hubby, on his first day as All Around Driver Man for my parents' cherry operation. And here he is, only a couple of hours in and getting a crash course in driving an older-than-time forklift, whose brakes have stuck, and learning with a bad clutch on an inclince. NO PROBLEM!

This is Lori, knitter extraordinaire, who just finished a beautiful maternity tank top for her daughter-in-law. She took the Ann Norling garter-stitch cami pattern and customized it into a maternity top that will fit perfectly (out of Katia Idea Jeans)! Congratulations Lori!

And what are these beauties, you ask?? Why, they are none other than my amazing gifts from my amazing One Skein Secret Pal. This yarn is Great Adirondacks Wool Homespun, 85 wool and 15 silk, in a beautiful pastelly colorway. The package also had a great candle from Bali, a cabled hat pattern for the yarn, and a really nice card. We have a lot in common (it seems) in that we both seem to have had really frustrating grad student experiences. But we made it, didn't we! Thanks Secret Pal!

And last, but never least: like Father, like Daughter. Here's a candid shot of daddy and campbell, enjoying a little r & r on Father's Day. Both relaxed, both with mouths open. :)


Quick bit o' progress, and more thanks to Supa Dupa!

First: Props where they are due - - -

My Supa Dupa Secret Pal has been at it again, this time sending me State of Grace perfume from Philosophy, and a lovely card (pictured here nestled in my newly planted containers on the store balconey). THANK YOU!!!!

And this is my progress on the Leaf Sweater. Not much. About 3 1/2 repeats on the Leaf pattern, on the back. I have 2 repeats left until I get to shape the arm holes. As I mentioned earlier, not much knitting going on right now in favor of (who am I kidding? I don't favor it at all, but whatever) website work and newsletter work.

Other tidbits - new shipment of books to go on the shelves (not all new, some reorders, but still fun):

And a HUGE stack of vintage (60s, 70s and 80s) needlework magazines, gifted to me from a customer/store knitter. I'm going through them slowly, culling out the save-worthy from the garage-salers. HIGHLY entertaining, especially the 80s.

Work work work!

I'm so sorry for the long delay between posts. I have been in overdrive to get the last of the website ready for our big Grand Changing of Everything, which will hopefully be the weekend of the 24th and 25th (one week!!). And it is going to look FANTASTIC! I am very, very excited about all of the hard work that has been done my by designer Helen Hendricks of Pinduli, and programmer Chris Tsongas of They are amazing! But - this has made for very little knitting time, and even less blogging time, so my apologies.

It's also newsletter time here at the store, and I have been working with my class teachers to get the next schedule all figured out. Stay tuned! One highlight? Dye workshop and wine night, on July 24th, where you can dye your own yarn, drink wine, and enjoy appetizers.

More posting later today, with pictures of Leaf Sweater progress...


Finished Lotus and changing gears

The Lotus is Completus. Now let's talk about it.

Specs: Lotus Blossom Tank from cover of Summer Interweave Knits 06
Size: 39"
Yarn: 3 skeins Southwest Trading Co. Bamboo (100% bamboo, 250 yds)
Needles: Size US5 circular

When I first finished it, I was shocked to discover that it was TOO BIG. A lot TOO BIG. How could this be? I said to self. Self said, Well, what size did you make? I said, Well, certainly not the smallest size because that was only a 33" bust. Self said, So what bust size did you make? Hmm, I said, I'm not sure. Let me consult the pattern.

At which point I screamed with horror (well, not really), because as I read the finished measurements, I saw that the next size up from 33" was 39". Yup, a six-freaking-inch jump. And I did not pay an ounce of attention to this fact when I got started. Not one lick of thought went to the fact that there was SIX inches between the two sizes, and that my actual desired size lay smack in the middle of them. I could have accomodated this somehow, had I thought it through, but no.

Lesson? You are never too far along in your knitting to be a complete DUMBASS.

So - we move on to salvage efforts. Because, you see, I am not a frogger. At least not a frogger of completely-finished-and-otherwise-perfectly-beautiful things. Especially not when they are meant to mostly hang in the store, with the occasional wearing by yours truly. So what was a girl with a 36" bust to do? Well, for one, the front neckline gaped open horrendously:

So I decided I would pick up some stitches across the front straight edge and do a couple more rows of garter and bindoff, and then sew it to the right and left neck edges. I picked up 8 fewer stitches than were originally on the front neck edge, to stabilize:

(By the way: the above picture is accurate in color representation - the others got a little over-exposed by the flash...)

And viola! It worked perfectly - no more huge, see-my-rack neckline. And I tried it on over my shirt and it didn't look too bad (aside from the fact that I had on a blue sleeveless blouse), giving me the brilliant idea of trying it on when I get home tonight over a nice, crisp, white button-up shirt. Cross your fingers for me that this is the final trick I need to make this here Lotus Tank a Perfect Lotus Tank.

OK - I am so sick and tired of dealing with Blogger's inability to get my photos uploaded that I am going to try out blogging them from Flickr for a while (hence the new border).

So - now that I am liberated of one major project, I am, of course, ready for another. You may remember the Leaf Sweater (from an advertising section in the spring Vogue) out of Lana Grossa New Seta that I swatched a long, long time ago. Well, I am starting that sweater, but changing from the purple to the green. I've cast on for the back and am loving it so far.

And last but not least, here is Jason's camo sock in garter rib pattern.

6.10.06 004
Originally uploaded by S-Nitter.


Pictures, as promised

Finally, some pictures! A wee bit tardy, but here is my finished Moebius bag from my workshop with Cat Bordhi. The design was a custom design following Cat's formula, including a built-in, no-sew pocket (no sewing on the whole bag, as a matter of fact). I did it with a single strand of Cascade Pastaza on a 47" size 11 addi circular. I'm very pleased with it, except that I would have liked to have felted it a bit more. I had to pull it, though, b/c the bag part was getting too small. So next time (if using Pastaza) I will make the bag opening bigger.

Next! Finished Koigu socks. I really loved working with this yarn (I was a Koigu virgin). I liked the toe up styling with one BIG exception: binding off. I hate how wavy the edges look when they're not being worn. I know - who sees them when they're just in your drawer, but it still bugs me. I will probably be going back to my tried-and-true cuff-down heel-flap socks. But - I love this colorway and can't wait for a chance to wear these (probably not til the next rainy day, or fall, whichever comes first).
Last (of the knitting), but not least by far, the Lotus Tank blocking. I sewed down the straps to the front last night and have picked up and finished one armhole. I tried it on and it is TOO BIG. I will discuss this further when I have finished pics, maybe tomorrow or Friday. Too big, but oh so pretty . . . :( I have some ideas for re-shaping it to make it fit better (don't laugh!).
On to the really fun stuff (skip this if you are only here for the knitting). Monday was CKs 3rd birthday, and we took her to the Oregon Zoo. She had a blast (as did we, b/c watching her is more fun than watching the animals!). The weather was beautiful, and we had a full day. Below is CK with my mom riding the zoo train.

Another shot of CK on the train:

And finally, CK in all her dress-up glory. Queen of the World, if you ask her. This haughty pose was purely instinctive and not requested by the photographer, if that tells you anything. This wonderful getup was a birthday present from her Aunt Tracy, and included velvet cape, tiara, glasses, beads, and high heels. Or as Jason put it, the Complete Elton John Dressup Kit.



I left the USB cord for the camera at home!! I'm so mad - I was all set to show off pics of:

Lotus Tank Blocking
Koigu Socks Finished
One CK Sock Finished
Camo Socks Started
And CK's Wonderful Birthday at the Zoo.

I know you are are terribly sad to miss these picks. We don't get internet at home until tomorrow so y'all'll just have to wait! Bummer!


Comment away!

I have (temporarily maybe) turned on anonymous comments so my secret pals can comment (if they so desire).

Sorry no pics - I've lent out my camera for the weekend.

The lotus tank is done and needs to be lightly blocked and then sewn up.

Koigu socks are getting closer.

'Bout to start some Lorna's Camo socks for hubby. I'm think some simple-ish pattern from Sensational Socks. . .

Move has gone well, but we have a lot of CRAP with no place to put it. Hmph. And that's after sorting out great big boxes and boxes of donate and garage sale stuff. How'd we get all this stuff????????

I have totally forgotten to post a pic of the finished mobius bag, and will do that when camera gets back.

Go here and donate to the fight against MS. There are AMAZING prizes to be had for people who donate over $10. I threw a skein of Fawn alpaca from Miner Creek Farms (available soon on the spankin' new website) in the prize mix. Yummy.

Speaking of the website, I am meeting with the programmer on Tuesday and it will hopefully be going live very soon. Enough already!

Lastly, in an effort to pretend it hasn't been raining for the last two weeks solid, here are 10 things that mean summer to me:

1) the chtch chtch chtch chtch of the sprinklers in the orchards
2) sitting out on a freshly mowed lawn
3) rising early and being able to sit outside in the sun with a cup of coffee
4) sitting outside with a drink on warm nights
5) cherries, cherries, cherries
6) influx of new and diverse people
7) bbqs and margaritas
8) camping
9) campfires
10) 100 degree days when the air is so still you can swim through it - love it.

What means summer to you?