Habu Textiles KIT-90 Gear Linen Tunic by Setsuko Torii

I am amazed at the inspiration of Setsuko Torii to combine these five unusual yarns into a fantastic fabric with an interesting feel and drape; then, incorporating that fabric into an elegant garment design. The resulting tunic is amazing.

Gear Linen Tunic by Setsuko Torii in Habu Textiles yarns

I keep expressing amazement; that is how I feel about it,

going from this:

to this: 

Bodice – knit bottom to top
Skirt – knit side to side

to this: 

Knitting up, the most challenging part was figuring out the gauge.  Or not.

I didn’t ever really determine a gauge, I finally picked the swatch that felt best and went with it.
The gear linen is stiff and knits up into a crunchy fabric. The swatches stay however I place them; if I stretch them out width-wise, they stay stretched out, if I stretch them out length-wise, they stay like that, even after washing, blocking, tossing around, wadding up, and hanging.
In the end, the garment stretched out lengthwise, a lot.
To control the stretch, I reinforced the neckline and armholes with a chain stitch of DMC Coton Perlé 5.  I also used DMC Coton Perlé 5 for seaming.  

I knit the larger size to wear as a dress. 

I am delighted.

Habu Textiles a-29 1/4.4 tobi moire (Ravelry)
Habu Textiles a-1 2/17 tsumugi (Habu Textiles) (Ravelry)
Habu Textiles a-25 1/3.2 cork chenille (Habu Textiles) (Ravelry)
Habu Textiles a-60 shosenshi (Habu Textiles) (Ravelry)
Habu Textiles a-17 1/4.5 gear linen (Ravelry

April 12, 2022 at 3:27 pm 4 comments

One more souvenir from make. wear. love. retreat 2019: Crave Caravan Isham Road

Maine for Amy Herzog‘s make. wear. love. retreat and special yarn to remember it by.
I am lucky and glad I got to attend both a West Coast and an East Coast MWL.  Both were wonderful events in BEAUTIFUL settings, Monterey, CA and Phippsburg, ME, with many joyful memories. 

Sunrise, view from our room at Sebasco Harbor Resort

Of course I found a sweater to knit from Amy Herzog’s collection of designs. 

Amy Herzog Isham Road_2261 COPYc
Isham Road in Crave Caravan color Realm


I tried on the shop sample at Yarn Culture.  Not realizing it was the smallest size and is designed to be a oversized flowy top with 6-18 inches of ease, I thought it fit perfectly as a short sleeve top.  Embracing Amy’s advice to knit what you like to wear, I knit the sample size (40).

Isham Road by Amy Herzog
designed for oversized fit with generous ease

April 6, 2022 at 12:44 pm Leave a comment

Baby Knits – Yugo Sweater, Rose Baby Hat, Sweet-Pea and Merry-Jane Booties

I got a request for a baby sweater like the one I knit for my dad (baby’s great-grandfather).  Kind of an old man sweater, tweed, shawl collar, patch pockets.

For inspiration, I went yarn shopping online at Hazel Knits.  We exchanged email to discuss colors, and followed up with a safe socially distanced curbside pick-up.  Several shades of pink were lined up so I could ‘window shop’ and point to the one I wanted. EmojiEmoji


On to Ravelry to find a baby version of Grampa’s sweater…

Yugo by Marianne Munier in Hazel Knits Lively DK.

So cute I could hardly stop giggling.

And then I just kept going.

The yarn softened up marvelously after washing and blocking.

Sweet-Pea Booties by Bekah Knits in Hazel Knits Artisan Sock

Merry-Jane Booties by Bekah Knits in Hazel Knits Artisan Sock

1)  Provisional cast on.  Cast on edge later closed with a reverse Kitchener stitch.
2)  Shoe section knit in the round.
3)  Embroidered buttons.  As I recall, babies can put their feet in their mouths and I didn’t want to risk a choking hazard.

Rose Baby Hat by Marji’s Yarncrafts in Hazel Knits Lively DK,
details in Hazel Knits Artisan Sock

It still makes me giggle.



September 8, 2020 at 12:46 pm 1 comment

Souvenir Yarn: Schoppel Edition 3 Fingerless Gloves and Malabrigo Silky Merino Dress Beanie

Maine for Amy Herzog‘s Make. Wear. Love. retreat and special yarn to remember it by.
I am lucky and glad I got to attend both a West Coast and an East Coast MWL. Both were wonderful events in BEAUTIFUL settings, Monterey, CA and Phippsburg, ME, with many joyful memories.

View from our room at Sebasco Harbor Resort

The colors caught my eye.

Schoppel Edition 3 in color 2296 English Garden
from KnitWit Yarn Shop in Portland, Maine
NOTE: No color repeat in two balls of yarn.

Unusual colors for me, I kept coming back to it as I wandered around the shop, I was charmed.  Easter eggs.  I convinced myself they could be cheery mittens on a cold, gray day.


The color caught his eye.

Malabrigo Silky Merino in color 472 Nocturnal
from Halcyon Yarn in Bath, Maine

My husband said he saw a good purple yarn, you know, “if you want to buy some yarn”. EmojiEmojiEmoji
Indeed, he had found this violet Malabrigo Silky Merino, silky intense color and luster.  I pointed out the silk content, not the usual stuff I use to make his hats.
We decided it would make a fine Dress Beanie, after all one needs to keep one’s head warm even on special occasions.

September 7, 2020 at 4:36 pm 1 comment

Churchmouse Classics Simple ‘Tee’ in Shibui Rain

Pattern: Churchmouse Classics Simple ‘Tee’
Yarn: Shibui Rain
Color Blocking: Sally Melville’s Knitting Pattern Essentials 

I don’t usually go for color blocking.
I did not have enough of one color to make a whole sweater and decided to give it a try.

This yarn is from the last time I went to The Weaving Works when they closed the shop. I found this yarn in a basket, not enough of a single color for a garment, so I picked two colors thinking I could do something with it.

I considered stripes, but remembered some color blocking tips from Sally Melville’s classes and chose Churchmouse Classics Simple ‘Tee’ with it’s basic shape to work with color blocking.


Added 2 rows stockinette curl around the neck. The plain (un)finish of the neckline did not look great with this yarn.  100% cotton is heavy yarn, the extra knitted band provides structure to support the neckline.
1)  Pick up stitches evenly around neckline on the Right Side (RS)
2)  Knit 2 rows stockinette (RS) on garment needles size (#7)
3)  Bind off on larger needles (#10)

Added 5 rows of stockinette curl to the cap sleeves.  The sleeves were insistently curling into my armpits (yes, after wet blocking), the extra band of stockinette curling the opposite direction tamed that.
1)  Pick up stitches around the armhole (RS)
2)  Knit 5 rows stockinette (RS) on garment needle size (#7)
3)  Bind off on larger needles (#10.5)

Added color blocking using proportion tips from Knitting Pattern Essentials by Sally Melville.

March 28, 2020 at 12:15 pm 3 comments

Hands Up! & Feet On The Table Trois Kits from Black Water Abbey Yarns

Mitten and Stocking kits from Black Water Abbey Yarns, which I am very sad to see is closed.
Patterns are available on Ravelry (linked below) but the kits are history.

Hands Up! mittens (back)

Hands Up! mittens (palm)

Feet on the Table Trois stockings

I bought the kits in the Marketplace at Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat. I was walking past Black Water Abbey Yarns eyeing the tiny stockings and mittens and stopped dead in my tracks when the idea hit me; she saw me suddenly stop and asked “What are you thinking?!”.

A garland of mittens and stockings, her eyes lit up, I picked two kits and she customized them by swapping yarn colors so the two kits would coordinate better.

There was plenty of yarn so…


Everything is better with POM POMS!


January 29, 2019 at 2:23 pm 1 comment

Poetry In Stitches page 166


aka “Leaf Stripe Cardigan with Velvet Trim (Page 166)

Poetry In Stitches by Solveig Hisdal

Sweater kit with Hifa 2 yarn.
The sweater knit up (no buttons or lining) weighs 546 grams.
I made two 8″x8″ swatches and had plenty of yarn leftover, enough for a hat, maybe mittens.
Hifa 2 is light and springy. The colors are rich, colorfast and very very little stray vegetation. It blocks wonderfully, the yarn blooms and stitches become more uniform and smooth.

The orientation of the two yarns affects the knitted pattern.  It is important to keep the colors in the same order (or in the same hands).
I chose the lower row.

BLOCKING: curling eliminated, yarn blooms, stitches even out and relax to a gentle drape.

Before blocking

After blocking

There are long carries in this pattern, up to 11 stitches. I kept my floats to 4 stitches or less by catching them.

Reverse side

Buttons from much missed, The Button Emporium & Ribbonry in Portland.

Ravelry is always a great resource. Comparing the photos in the book with examples people had knit provided clues on sizing/fit and what I wanted to modify.
Another clue: The Poetry In Stitches photo shows the sweater body is carefully folded at the sides hiding a lot of armpit bulk commonly seen on drop sleeve sweaters with no body shaping.


1) Worked back and forth, knit and purled.
Because I can.
Steeking has ZERO appeal to me.
Reference:  The knitting experience, book 3 COLOR by Sally Melville

2) Neckline is knitted in, instead of cutting the fabric.

3) Reduce bulkiness of drop shoulder style.
Reference: Knitting Pattern Essentials by Sally Melville
– shoulder shaping for better shape and less bulk down the sides
– modified drop shoulder for better fit and reduced bulk
– reduced the sleeve increases for a less bulky sleeve

4) Knitted hem – Provisional Cast On + K2tog hem closure
– provisional cast on
– continue 18 rows of pattern
– fold the hem
– Row 19 (first burgundy row) K2tog using one provisional cast on stitch with one main body stitch

5) Knitted trim instead of velvet ribbon.

6) Added grosgrain ribbon around the fronts and neck instead of a fabric lining.

7) Decorative seaming using Catherine Lowe’s Couture Method Joinery Bind Off 


April 13, 2018 at 11:09 pm Leave a comment

Mountain Goat Wool Happiness

Goat Hat

Handspun Enchantment Lakes mountain goat wool
on Brooklyn Tweed Altair hat

The Enchantments are enchanting.
A beautiful place.
With mountain goats.
Lots of them.
They are kinda scary.


And their wool.

I started collecting bits I found on plants and rocks, my husband and brother, joined in. We had to keep moving or I would have spent all day gathering wool. I ended up with two handfuls of goat wool.

On the grueling hike out, I thought and thought about my little bit of goat wool…
not enough to knit a project…a bit of trim…
and I knew just the hat:

Brooklyn Tweed Altair
Photo by Brooklyn Tweed

The arches remind me of mountains and Loft colors Sweatshirt, the color of the granite, and Button Jar, the foliage in The Enchantments.

The goat wool was pretty dirty (I worried abouts pests and poo, but kept stuffing it into a ziplock bag inside my pocket).
I went online and researched how to clean fleece…
and worried.
I resolved to wash it in hot water…
and hoped to avoid felting it…
…and resigned myself to a felt goat sewn onto a hat if it came to that.

Success!  Clean goat.  No felt.

Second finer cleaning, picking out the hairs, and stuff I call “goat funk” – vegetation, skin, poo, whatever; I washed my hands a lot.
In the end I had 2 grams of fluffy fluffy goat down. As soft as any fiber I’ve ever touched.

I don’t spin.

On to Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat 2017 with goat fluff in hand, to ask the experts for advice. At a demonstration booth, the spinning expert described my goat down as “finer than cashmere” and declared,
Judith MacKenzie could spin this”.

Well, that was discouraging,
until I spoke to Judith.
I saw Judith at an evening event,and told her my goat wool story; she invited me to come by her classroom the next day with my goat fluff, she would show me how it is done.
After feeling so discouraged earlier, I was walking on air (Judith does that to people!).
Next day at noon, I showed up with goat fluff in hand.
I was mesmerized, Judith produced a strand a yarn out of the fluff, like water pouring out of a pitcher. Beautiful.

I wondered how long it would take me to learn to do that.
I must have looked like a lost puppy. Judith took my goat fluff home with her.

Three weeks later, this beauty arrived in the mail, along with photos Judith had taken during the spinning process.

Judith’s photos:

ready to begin, goat down, tea, and cookies
mountain goat singlebeautiful 2-ply mountain goat yarn

Also at Madrona, I took Franklin Habit’s “Embroider Your Knitting – Level One” class on Friday. He suggested couching as a method for my goat. Couching keeps the precious fiber on top of the fabric, it avoids using up a lot of yarn on the reverse side and avoids the wear and tear of pulling the yarn through the fabric.

Couched embroidery of handspun mountain goat on handknit hat

I started by drawing a goat on paper and tracing it onto some interfacing, then basted the outline onto the hat with orange sewing thread.Next, embroidered the outline through the interfacing (and basting) with laceweight cashmere.I verrrry carefully cut away the interfacing, then I just winged it on the couching, lots of trial and error.  I did those horns at least five times each!

February 19, 2018 at 8:58 pm 9 comments

Churchmouse Swingy Linen Skirt

Great pattern.
Great yarn.
Great skirt.

Churchmouse Swingy Linen Skirt in Euroflax Sport

Swingy Skirt is swingy

It feels a bit risky while knitting the skirt and hoping the prepared swatch will prove true; the final gauge is achieved after machine washing and drying.
The skirt knits up HUGE, but the trip through the washer and dryer really works, the knitted fabric comes out much smoother, the stitches more even, and it softens.

BEFORE wash & dry (Left) and AFTER wash & dry (Right) swatches

September 10, 2016 at 9:10 pm Leave a comment

crochet dad

As far back as I can remember, my dad was crocheting with fine cotton.

A small sample of my dad’s crochet:
There was a doily on every table.

I remember my mom starching the flowers propped open with cotton balls.
My dad’s Boye crochet hook priced at 15¢
He learned from his mom.
My grandmother’s crochet and embroidery:


Back in the ’70s, he tried to get me hooked with this kit (puns happen):
but by the time I was 8 inches into it, it was 8 years out of style…

…I would totally wear that skirt now.

June 19, 2016 at 12:45 pm 3 comments

circular and double pointed knitting needle organizer

Circular and double pointed needles wrangled at last. 🙂
Convenient, practical, and presentable.

Starting with this Receipt File from The Container Store.
The whole thing expands accordion-style and the sections are separate all the way to the bottom so dpns won’t migrate between sections.
When full of needles, the file is too big to close.

I folded the cover back and slipped it into a train case (by World Traveler).
The large case fits perfectly with a little extra space for stitch holders and crochet hooks.

It has a perfect spot for my favorite needle gauge!

Since the train case comes in a set of two, I can use the smaller one for travel.

May 8, 2016 at 6:54 pm 2 comments

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