Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Madaket Mittens

Madaket Mittens by Heidi Todd Kozar. Blue Moon Fiber Arts Yaksi DK
Recently I had the pleasure to work with Blue Moon Fiber Arts Yaksi DK. You HAVE to get your hands on this yarn. It is soft and warm and so scrumptious. I designed these mittens to take advantage of all that goodness. Really they are crazy warm. I took them for a test drive on one of our extremely cold days last week and they kept my hands toasty warm. I realized I spent most of my walk rubbing the inside of my mitten because the yarn felt so lovely.

The second daughter is jonesing for these so they may have a new home soon.

A friend asked me recently about the names of my patterns. Madaket is the village on the western end of Nantucket Island where I grew up. My dad built us a cottage near the beach there when I was about 5 years old. Twenty eight years ago Rich and I took the original cottage off it's foundation with a crane (well, the contractor did the heavy lifting), built a new first floor with three bedrooms, two baths and a foyer, then we (they) lifted the original cottage back up on top of the first floor and it became our living room, dining room, kitchen and powder room. It is a tiny cottage still but much more in tune with our needs as a family. It was the center of our summers and still looms large in all our vacation plans. As a child I spent all my summer days wandering around Madaket on foot and on my bike and fortunately my girls had much the same experience. Afternoons were always spent at the beach. It was a glorious childhood and I wanted to celebrate my island with this design. Madaket can also be a brutal place in the winter, taking the brunt of terrible storms. So a warm pair of mittens are mandatory for any winter beach walks.

I hope you enjoy making these as much as you I know you will love wearing them.

(I did notice that BMFA is out of the Yaksi DK, but Tina promises it will be back soon.)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Class

I'll be teaching the Monomoy Cowl in my Introduction to Stranded Color Work Class at Bo Peep in Ligonier on February 21st at 10 am. 
Hope you can join us...

 

Stranded Color Work looks so difficult and complex, but once you learn a few simple tips and tricks you will be playing with color and yarn in a whole new way. In this class you will learn a Provisional Cast On, knitting while holding the yarn in each hand, weaving in the carried yarn, yarn dominance, how to tension your yarn for even stitches, speed swatching and blocking. There will also be a discussion of various color work techniques. Once you have mastered the techniques in this cowl you can move on to more difficult color work projects, perhaps even a sweater!!!

Class Length: 3 Hours
Experience Needed: Comfortable with knitting and purling, casting on, binding off, able to crochet a chain. Some experience knitting in the round helpful but not necessary.

Class Materials:
Yarn: 1 Skein each of two contrasting colors of Kenzie; 50% New Zealand Merino, 25% nylon, 10% angora, 10% Alpaca, 5% Silk Noils, 150 yds per 50g skein. Colors used 1015 and 1010 (Or any worsted weight yarn) A smooth waste yarn, cotton preferably, in worsted weight, about 48”.
Needles: US # 4 (3.5mm), 16” circular needles. OR SIZE NEEDED TO OBTAIN GAUGE. (Bring a selection of needles to try.)
Crochet Hook: Size G or as large as Size J.

Call Bo Peep at 724.238.4040 to sign up.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Sexy


Near the end of our whirlwind trip to Rhinebeck last October, my girl Donna and I stumbled up the stairs into Buffaloo Wools traveling RV of yarn. I felt I have tumbled down the rabbit hole of yummy yarn. I snatched two bundles of Sexy Minis and raced to the check out before anyone else could grab them.

When I hand wound them at home I was struck by the saturation of the colors. Silk really does take the dye so well. But when I started playing with color work patterns they all ran into each other. Finally I went for the easy and classic. A chevron always works and it did here as well.

I wish there was feel-a-vision. You really must feel these mitts to appreciate them. Don't take my word for it go to Buffalo Wool Company's website and order some for yourself. The pattern is a free download on Ravelry. Hope you like it.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A year (or two) in Knits




































Mitchell turned two last week. I realized when I dusted off the old blog it has been almost that long since I last posted. It is time to make amends. It's been a busy two years with a few tears but many laughs and giggles. Not too many snuggles (our boy doesn't sit still for snuggling), but adorable smiles and kisses. I did wrap him in wool as much as one grandma can.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Monomoy Cowl

Just a drive by to post that I have a new pattern available. I wandered in to Boo Peep with my BFF the other day and spied the luscious colors of Kenzie Worsted. I was smitten. Bought two skeins without a second thought. As soon as I walked in the house I started charting a tiny Norwegian pattern and swatched to see if I liked the fabric. I DID! I immediately cast on and was finished with a new cowl by bed time. I wore it the next day on my run and I wished I had one in all the colors. It was warm and not at all scratchy. Pretty enough to earn me lots of compliments.

Monomoy Cowl is a little ditty to practice your stranded color work skills. Kenzie Worsted from Hikoo is made in New Zealand and distributed by Skacel. It is 50% New Zealand Merino, 25% Nylon, 10% Angora, 10% Alpaca, and 5% Silk Noils. It has the hand of a crunchy Silk, the softness of Alpaca, the Angora halo and the warmth of Merino. In other words, scrumptious. I hope my model will be available for a proper photo shoot this weekend. But I have had requests for the pattern so wanted to get it up online. Enjoy!


Saturday, February 9, 2013

My Blue Period

 I have entered my Blue Period...for a very good reason. I am a grandma to the most handsome baby boy on the planet. Mitchell Thomas Logan came into our hearts a little early (two months, but who's counting) and filled us all with joy from the moment we laid eyes on him. He has his daddy's feet, his mommy's cheeks, his great-grandpa's hair and the sweetest, most beautiful smile any grandmother every saw. We all love you Mitchell and can't wait to bring you home from the NICU!!!

These are just a few of Mitchell's new woolies. There will also be blankies and booties and more sweaters. The yarn selection includes from the right Tanis Fiber Arts Yellow Label DK, Pattern: Thorpe, with modifications for a preemie.  Unknown yummy sock yarn from stash edged with Anzula Squishy, Pattern: Embraceable Ewe Designs and finally Spud & Chloe Fine, Pattern: Embraceable Ewe Designs. The new designs will be available eventually. (We are driving an hour each way to the NICU every day which leaves little time for pattern writing or editing...)

I love working with all these yarns, they are soft and comforting with beautiful color gradations. Work knitting is certainly taking a back seat to keeping this baby warm.



Sweet dreams Mitchell!!!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Mastery...not so much.

I consider myself a confident, not cocky, but confident knitter. I have been a published designer for over 20 years and have taught knitting about that long. Malcom Gladwell in his wonderful book  Outliers defines mastery of a task occurring after 10,000 hours of practice. I am pretty sure I reached 10,000 hours of knitting in my late 20's. Hey, I learned very young and grew up on an island with no movie theater for 9 months of the year, back in the days when you only got three TV channels. Do the math, it was that or drink.

My husband asked me recently if I had ever had a student at the yarn shop where I teach stump me in three years of teaching. I answered honestly,  no, I had never been stumped. I do not consider myself a knitting know it all but I knit for hours every day and like most knitters I know have an extensive knitting library. All that reading eventually sticks.

But this week it is all gone. I have completely lost my knitting mojo and to the most inconsequential of knitting projects.  I regularly cast on 500 stitches for very complex multicolor Fair Isle sweaters and then cut them open with barely a fair thee well. This little cowl I designed kicking me in the butt is humilitating on many levels. It is due in two weeks, (rather than two days) which is wonderful because I spent 10 hours casting on and ripping back 5 times in one day. It is a simple cabled cowl, in bulky weight yarn. I knock these things out in a day, usually.  Hubris gave me a smack down. Apparently I can't count. I thought I had counting mastered pretty young too. But I have seen the errors of my thinking and now know that counting to 130 is beyond my capabilities. I can't know that I can't count until I knit 9 rounds of ribbing (each of the five times) on those 130 stitches and then set up for the cable pattern. Then it is blaringly obvious I can't count.

So let this be a lesson...don't count your cables before they are set. Or you'll be tempted to start drinking, ask me how I know.

Now just because I think every post should include pictures... some gratuitous Thanksgiving photos.


 There were pies, apple and pumpkin...but man do those pans look beyond dingy. Yikes!
 There was a boat load of stuffing, really a boat load, that bowl is massive...
 There was a monster bird...
 There were handsome men and cute young women...they would like you to know that he came in 4th in his age group and 39th overall out of 630 runners, and Caty came in 6th in her age group in the Turkey Trot!!! (Macy very sweetly walked with her old mom and kept me company).
 A groaning board of food and family...
 And perhaps best of all... a husband who cleaned up my awful mess.
Oh, and Charlie was home!!!!