Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Act Natural

Here's a little drawing of my latest work in progress, Joan Fuller. Pull it on over a dress or jeans for a concert at the park, or pair it with pajamas and a good movie (and of course a ball of yarn and your favorite sticks).

I think it's hilarious that I can't pose naturally, even in a cartoon.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Snow Fun

Sometimes I get a little pang of envy when I hear about knitters meeting at the corner cafe, or toodling down the block for movies and pajamas, or approaching another knitter in the grocery to learn more about their shawl.  None of that happens where I live. But envy, yuck, such an ugly thing; I am embarrassed.  Because really, this is where I live:

This is the back of my Mom's barn.  She lives next door.

my teenager

This is the way we spent today. It's February vacation, and we have gorgeous, fresh snow.

While out on the trails, about ten miles from home, we came across one of my high school girlfriends.  She was on her way to work, on her Ski-doo.  She's a bookkeeper.

Two weeks ago our snowmobile club had our annual Cookout at the Lookout, complete with fireworks in the snow.

My kids fish, hike, ski and snowmobile, my friends commute on Ski-doos, I can drive a go-cart to my Mom's, and I can back up to a hot wood stove when my bum is cold.  The livin' is good here, yup.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Which is My Left Again?

Here's a peek at my next cardigan, Joan Fuller.  I am inspired lately by the texture and nostalgia of aran knits, as well as a hemline that dips lower in the back.  My hope is this cardigan will be short enough in the front to showcase something special at the waistline, such as a spectacular belt.  There will also be an unusual treatment at the sleeve hem.  I'll share a sketch soon.

the back

For now, I would like to step up on my stitch marker pedestal. Stitch markers have saved me more times than I would like to admit.  Left and right are really challenging for me (I have no tattoos, but if I did, a tiny "L" on my left hand and a tiny "R" on my right).  Left and right in knitting is twice as confusing: Left as I'm looking at it?  Left as worn?  Which is my left again?  Left and right in pattern writing is three times as confusing.

Enter the left and right stitch marker.  Really, one could use merchandise tags with 'left' and 'right' scrawled on them, but I like my knitting to feel pretty.

I am not a jeweler; the following is a quick lesson in how I make stitch markers.

the fixed ring is actually part of a clasp 

1.) Line up beads and bend wire 90 degrees:
Use these small pliers to make a clean 90 degree bend:

2.) Next,using these kind of pliers with rounded tip

wrap wire around to make a hook:

3.) Slip onto an earring wire

and coil the end of wire around the wire holding the beads:
sorry so blurry

4.) Snip the tail with these:


I use earring wires for the markers that need to come and go from the needles mid row, and also as row markers (my patterns usually have a "Row 0" for counting purposes).

I hope you're having a great weekend.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Dress + Cardigan: Installment 2

dress no.2 by odacier
dress no.2
Thanks for dropping by!  This is a posting of my second project of Dress + Cardigan: a Codependent Study.  Dress no.2 is a quilter's cotton that has been in my stash for years, and a twin to dress no.1 (they were cut at the same time, along with their triplet -- another day).  I have been surprised by a couple of things already in this journey.  This fabric didn't excite me much all folded on the shelf, but I really like it sewn and washed.  Also, a dress like this with a slip and a pair of tights is ridiculously comfortable - nothing to fuss with or tuck and retuck.

dress no.2 escape hatch by odacier
invisible escape hatch

Dress no.2's companion cardigan is Fannie Fouche, pattern available today.  It is knit from Ball and Skein's Providence yarn, a scrumptious merino with stretch and squish.

FF cover by odacier

back 2 by odacier
My Grandfather, Pop, was stationed in France during the First World War and for a few months after Armistice Day.  He sent rosy,  hopeful and comforting letters home to his Mother, Fannie Fouche Hardy.  This design is inspired by the styles of the time plus a little bit of today’s hopeful and comforting approach to styling.
underarm detailff 2 by odacier
Knit from the top down, with the sleeve caps knit at the same time as the yoke, and then separated into sleeves and body.  A seamless path, a knitter’s journey!  The decorative stitch patterns on the front and back are easily memorized.

30-32-34-36---38-40-42-44---46-48-50-52 inch bust circumference

Ball and Skein's Providence Wool (shown in Sea Grass)
5-6-6-6---7-7-8-8---8-9-9-9 skeins
200 yds - 4 oz (115g)
Variegated yarn is not recommended for this design.  If using a semi-solid, such as Providence, alternating skeins every two rows helps to prevent color pooling and maintains the rich overall depth of color.

1000-1080-1130-1180---1280-1350-1410-1480---1590-1660-1720-1790 estimated yards

20 stitches and 27 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch on larger needles

US sizes 6 and 7 suggested: 40“ circular (or longer if available) and sets of double pointed needles.
A set of US size 4, any length or style, for the belt.
Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain gauge, as every knitter creates their own unique gauge.

  • 9 Stitch markers: 4 to indicate shaping, plus 4 of a different color or style to indicate decorative stitch panel boundaries, plus 1 locking marker for row counting.
  • Tapestry needle for weaving in ends
  • Stitch holders or waste yarn
  • 9 buttons of your dreams
Short rows (instructions included), knitting a small circumference in the round, magic or traveling loop, ‘at the same time’ shaping.

This pattern has full descriptions, diagrams, written directions and charts.  Some directions are written two ways for clarity, and there are also some handy tips included.  My hope is that an intermediate knitter finishes this sweater feeling confident that they have a new technique or two in their arsenal.  As a result, there are many pages to this pattern.  Printing it in black ink only and using both sides of the paper will help to conserve, if that is a concern for you.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Friday, February 1, 2013


dress no.2 and Fannie Fouche by odacier
dress no.2 and Fannie Fouche, a photo by odacier on Flickr.
I'm sitting at the entrance of the Hilton in Freeport, Maine, the location of Spa, a knit and spin gathering. I have the bird's eye seat for people watching. Folks parade by decked out in lovely handknits, all smiles, and many with a skip in their step. Everyone seems to know each other, or maybe I'm imagining that part. Funny how yarn brings people together.

Here's a sneak peek at my next Dress + Cardigan couple. I'll be releasing the pattern the week of Valentine's Day.