Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Episode 17--Knitting Frenzy, and a Word about Posture

Wow, I have been BUSY for the last couple of months.  I have been knitting like crazy!!!

If you want to see some of the projects I've knitted, visit me on, username TheWannabeKnitter, or go to the wannabe knitter group, and you can see pictures and links to the different things I've been making.

For the fingerless gloves I've been making, I used Berroco Ultra Alpaca wool.  I used a modified version of the "fetching" pattern (linked in the previous episode)

For the caterpillar scarf and heartwarmer cowl, I've been using Knitpicks Swish Worsted, perfect for kids clothes.

The shawl I made is called the Navdanya Shawl.  Not too difficult, but the yarn was not fun to work with.

For the guys in my family, I am making Manly Mitts and a Hat Fit for a Boyfriend.  They are made with Berroco Ultra Alpaca in Black and Gray.

I also made a Lacy Keyhole Scarf for my niece for Christmas.  I made one for my mom last year using Noro yarn.  This time it is done with Berroco Ultra Alpaca.  I also made a pair of modified fetching fingerless gloves out of the same color.

Between all these projects, and not mentioned on this episode are the massive amounts of dishcloths I have made for neighbors, friends, and family.  I've been using Granny's Favorite Dishcloths pattern.  It is super easy to make, and I LOVE using these in the kitchen.  As soon as the holidays are over, I am going to make a bunch for myself.

I have been getting physical therapy for a pinched nerve and have found a theracane or the body back buddy a great tool to work out the knots in my back, especially if I am at the computer or are knitting for extended periods of time.  Even just a normal walking cane would also work.

I also found a very handy product (no pun intended) to help my fingers out when I am knitting or playing instruments.  They are gloves just for the fingers.

I am headed to the beautiful rocky mountains of the West for Christmas.  I have been making a list of all the products, tips, etc. . . that have helped me out this year.  If you'd like to add a few of your top picks for 2012, send me an email at

Watch for the next episode of the Wannabeknitter's Top Picks!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Episode 16--Announcing the winner of the KAL

Thank you to those who participated in the KAL.  SANTEAUX from BC, Canada won the drawing.

Also, thank you to Cindy for providing the beautiful bag as a prize.

I made 5 pair of "fetching" fingerless gloves for a "favorites" party.    I learned how to do an afterthought thumb from a lady in our LYS.

See you next time!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Episode 15

There is still time to participate in the Knitalong.  I will be randomly choosing one person to receive a prize, that includes a gauge, a book (The Secret Language of Knitters), and a gorgeous project bag provided (and made) by my good friend Cindy. Here is a picture of what the bag will look like:
Participate in the KAL, and you could get a
lovely project bag like this!
1. Knit a dishcloth by choosing a skill you want to learn/improve.  
2. Post a picture of it on my Ravelry group, under "September 2012 Knitalong (KAL)", along with a brief description of what skill you worked on.
3. On October 1, I will randomly choose one person who has completed the above and you will win a prize.

Norwegian Purl stitch (for Continental knitters)-- I learned about this new method that I want to try out!

If you are ever near Columbus, OH this time of year, go and visit Young's Jersey Farm.  They have a large wool gathering every year.

I bought some lovely gradient yarn (cotton), dyed by Wolle's Yarn Creations.  Her blog is  The color ways is "Capri"

What I've been working on/FO:

Bella's Mittens (Twilight).  The yarn I am using is Debbie Bliss Glen.

My Annis Shawl is finished!!!!  See previous episode for details and links.  I'm starting on another one for my mother-in-law.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Episode 14: Wear it! Don't Eat It!

Don't forget about the KnitAlong that will begin September 1-30.  See last episode's show notes for details.

I'm almost finished with the Independence Day Pillow (Which should have been finished last month!)
See for more details.

The shawl I am working on is the Annis Shawl, which introduces me to two new skills--short rows, and Nupps.  I had a little bit of trouble with the Nupp stitch until I found the tutorial on how to do a Nupp with a *gasp* crochet hook.  Much easier now.

In this episode I feature a clip that I recorded at the Mid-Ohio Fiber Fair of Paul from corny  He explains all about this interesting new fiber made of corn.  

Have a fabulous Labor Day Weekend and see you next time!

My daughter, decorating the alpaca mittens

Click on image to enlarge
Happy Knitting!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Episode 13: Knit-Alongs (KAL)

Here are today's notes:

Knitalong, by Larissa Brown and Martin John Brown.
The pattern I made is called Meathead hat

Donna Druchunas' class: Knit Shop Workshop

Knitalong project, Independence Pillow,  with
Michelle has great video tutorials for button holes, mattress seam, and invisible horizontal seams.

Wannabe Knitter KAL --Skill builder dishcloth
In September we will have a knitalong, and this KAL is specifically to build knitting skills.  The challenge here is to choose a skill you wish to improve (ie. purling, lace, cables, color work, etc. . .).  Cotton or a cotton/bamboo mix is the best type of yarn to use for this project, and is fairly inexpensive.

Knit a square using the skill of your choice, and then post a picture and an explanation of what skill it was you worked on.  At the end of September, I will do a random-number drawing and give a prize to one person who finished the challenge.    To be eligible to win, a picture of your finished project must be posted.

That's it!

TINK= "knit" spelled backwards.  when you have to undo a small section of knitted stitches, it's called a "TINK."

I visited the warehouse for

Twisted Sister yarn, colorways Zazu "Blue Curacao"

Tofutsies yarn is made from chitin (shrimp and crabshells).  It is supposed to be antibacterial, and great for making socks.  Warning:  DO NOT USE IF YOU ARE ALLERGIC TO SHELLFISH!!

Free classes on

Know your Wool
Short Rows

They also have free classes on Modern Buttercream, Sewing Machine 911, and Craftsy block of the month (quilting).

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The calming effects of knitting

I just wanted to say that sometimes I get feelings of anxiety and overwhelm because of all the demands in my life.  Today was one of those days.  It's been building up all week.  All this unpacking and organizing is overwhelming for me.  I finally got out a hank of purple yarn in my yarn stash, set up my swift on the kitchen table, and proceeded to roll up the hank of yarn.  My daughter helped me. I then sat down and started making a gauge swatch.  This particular yarn, hand dyed from Chile, is perfect for making socks.  I'm still determined to make myself a pair. By the time I finished the swatch it was way past midnight, but I felt a lot calmer.  I am amazed at how calming knitting can be.  It helps me keep my mind off the daily stresses of life and feeds my inner desire to create.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Our household goods arrived last Saturday, and I have been busy, busy, busy.  In this episode I included a visit my family took to an Anglo Saxon Village, just 15 minutes from our old house in England.  It's called West Stow Anglo Saxon village.  This particular day, there were re enactors trying to recreate what life might have been like during the Anglo Saxon era.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Episode 11: I'm Back!

I am back from my 3-year European vacation, and ready to learn more about knitting, and hopefully improve my skills.  Columbus is a great place to improve knitting skills.  I have already met a few knitting experts, and I have found that the more I learn, the less I know.

Columbus has three knitting stores (I have only visited one), but the one closest to my house is Knitting Temptations.  The ladies are extremely helpful, there are different classes, and they have knitting groups three times a week (all for free!)

On my cruise I was working on the Little Shells shawl by Holly and Ella.  I used Debbie Bliss Pure Silk wool.

I have also been working on the Clarus shawl, as taught by Laura Nelkin at

I also learned how to wind a ball of wool so that you pull from the center.

I made ANOTHER baby cocoon, this time for my new little nephew, born on July 4th!
Welcome, little soldier!  I used Lion Brand Quick and Cozy to make the softest cocoon ever!

I am doing my very first Knit Along (KAL) with Michelle from  She offers video tutorials to help build skills along the way.  In this KAL, we are making a pillow.

I am currently taking a class from on Lace Shawl Designs by Miriam Felton.  I bought some cotton wool from Walmart just to practice different designs.  I got a little sidetracked, and found a dishcloth pattern that I thought I'd try out.  I tried out "Vineyard" by Danielle Cote.  Scroll down for the English version.

Here is info on the Cahokia Mounds, across the Mississippi River from St. Louis.  At the top of the mound, you can actually see the St. Louis Arch.

My daughter and I are attending one day at the Mid-Ohio Fiber Fair on August 18th, in Newark, Ohio. I'm so excited, it's my very first fiber fair!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Episode 10:Travels and Charity

I have been so busy lately with traveling as well as getting ready to move.

Here are the notes from this episode's show:

I visited Lyme Park, where they filmed "Pemberly" in BBC's Pride and Prejudice.
I also visited Highclere Castle, where they filmed Downton Abbey.

Baby hat patterns:

Baby bunny hat
Baby Bear Hat
The Trendy Baby Hat can be found on

Here are a few photos of my travels and projects:

 Highclere Castle, aka "Downton Abbey"

 Lyme Park, aka "Pemberly"

Here are all my finished hats!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Episode 9: Interview with Ms. Mac

I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did. Gina MacFarlane was such a delightful person to visit with. I wish I could have shared all the conversations we had, but this will have to do.

Episode 8

I have had this on iTunes for over a week, but haven't had time to actually post it on the blog. I hastily got it up on the web right before leaving for Sweden and Denmark. Now I am back, and between all the things I have to do, I am taking a break to get it up on the blog. Hope you enjoy.

Show notes:

Here is info about the Anglo Saxon Village I visited.
The tool my daughter used is called a Lucet
We got my daughter a French Knitting bee with a pom pom maker.
Next step for my daughter: knitting looms.

The scarf I made for my mom was taken from Stephanie Japel's class, "Knit Lab" on The wool I used was Noro Wool--Silk Garden.

The scarf I'm working on is called, "Kudo Waves Scarf," shown to me by one of my viewers and fellow ravelry friends, and is a free download on I also used Noro wool for that project.

I finished my fingerless gloves. I used the pattern in Ann Budd's "Book of Patterns." She also has an iPad app of the book, so if you have an iPad, check it out.

I love finishing my projects with the super stretchy bind-off. I tend to be a very tight knitter, and this bind-off is a big help. View the tutorial on YouTube by Cat Bordhi here. The proper title of this bind-off is Jeny's surprisingly stretchy bind-off.

The sock I tried to make was a Paton's pattern, Spiral Sock. I don't think I'll attempt it again, though.

I mentioned Cat Bordhi's sock book, "New Pathways for Sock Knitters," but failed to mention a reason why I actually liked this book. She has a baby size version of the actual sock, so you can practice the techniques before spending so much time making an adult-size sock. I will try some of her patterns again.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Episode 7--Special Episode: National Wool Museum of Wales

Here is the promised special episode of my visit to the National Wool Museum of Wales. I didn't even know it existed until I came upon the sign whilst driving through Wales with my family in February. So the recording was impromptu, and the young man (I forgot to ask his name!) said it was okay for me to share this with you. Sorry it took so long. I have been having a wonderful time with my mom, who is currently visiting me here in the UK. In fact, we went back to Wales last week. I interviewed another yarn enthusiast, which I will be sharing with you in a future episode.

Hope you enjoy--I sure did!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Episode 6

In this episode I show my finished object--my skywalker shawl--yay!
For tutorial on how to make this shawl click here.

I am currently working on a shrug by Lily Chin, "Five Ways Cabled Shrug," knit in Classic Elite Lush, in Lilac. I bought it here, and I don't know if they have lilac color anymore, as I got it on sale. The pattern can be found by searching on, or you can find it in Lily Chin's book, "Power Cables."

I am also working on simple fingerless gloves from Ann Budd's book, "The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns: Basic Designs in Multiple Sizes and Gauges." I am using a yarn I bought at my lys.

Review of iPad app: KnitCompanion

I reviewed the iPad app, KnitCompanion, available in the iTunes store (also available for iPod). Click here for tutorials to see if KnitCompanion works for you.

Please, if any of you have a link to a tutorial about how to close the thumb gap on fingerless gloves, please leave a link in the comments box. Thanks!

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Episode 5

I'm so sorry I haven't posted a podcast in the last two weeks. I was sick the first part of February, and then we went on holiday to Wales. This episode is a bit longer than I'd like, but I talk about my Wales trip, and some of the things I learned.

Here are some of the links to things I talked about in this episode:

I'm almost finished with the "Skywalker Shawl." I have been learning how to lace knit from the, "Mastering Lace Shawls" class by Laura Nelkin

Knitting Book: Stitch London, by Lauren O'Farrell
Also, see her website,

Liverpool's "Superlambbanana"

Wales' unusual paper: "Sheepoopaper" (Some of the description of their products are quite "punny")

Until next time, "Happy Knitting!"

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I'm on Holiday

Hi, all!

I am currently sitting in a pizzaria in Liverpool. I can see the Beetles museum from where I am sitting. Earlier we took a tour of that museum, and before that we went to the Maritime museum. After lunch we are heading over to the large cathedral, one of the largest in the world.

I meant to catch up on knitting on our four-hour drive yesterday, but if anyone has ever traveled through England, you know how crazy it can be to get around. Needless to say, I felt myself getting motion sick, so I opted to watch other knitting podcasts instead. Even though England is smaller in size than my home country, it is more difficult to travel here. There are frequent roundabouts if you are not traveling on a major motorway. But, the views are beautiful, even in winter. We drove through the Moors, which are barren and brown, and many herds of sheep can be seen from the road. I was tempted to buy a set a sheers, and a spinning wheel, but the cold made me resist! The barrenness has to be beautiful in the summer, when the heather is in bloom. Fields and fields of purple flowers! I wish I could see it now. It's been a long winter.

Tomorrow we are headed to Northern Wales, and then we will be going to Swansea and Cardiff on the southern coast of Wales this weekend. I am so excited. I hope to find some great wool shops. After all, there are about 11 million sheep and only 3 million people in Wales. They have to have some wool! My friend in Swansea said she would try to set an appointment up with a lady she knows who sells wool out of her home. My birthday is this Friday, and I told my hubby I wanted wool. So he's off the hook. Other plans include seeing the places where my ancestors were from. I have ancestors from areas near Swansea, and they immigrated to the United States in 1855.

I promise I will record another episode when I get back. My goal is to do 2-3 podcasts a month.

Well, gotta eat dessert and run! Have a fabulous week, and happy knitting!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Wannabe Knitter Episode 4

In this episode I show off my very first lace project. I also talk about wool translation (British vs. American names for wool), and what frogs and lace have in common

Next week I will be going to Wales for my birthday! Yeah!! Did you know there are about 3 million people in Wales and 11 million sheep? I will be on the lookout for wool shops. I'll try to take photos that I can share with you!

Because I will be gone, I will not have a podcast up until the following week. My goal is to do a minimum of two podcasts a month. So join me next time when I return from my holiday.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Wannabe Knitter is Now on iTunes!

I finally was able to load my podcast onto iTunes so now anyone can subscribe and download them to their various devices.

Thank you for watching!


Episode 3

Here is episode 3 of Wannabe Knitter. In this episode I talk about what my kids are doing with yarn, my mishap with trying to knit a gauge with lace yarn, and my new WPI (or "whoop-i") tool. About the WPI tool--you could also just use a ruler to measure the WPI, and forgo making one out of cardboard or a pencil.

Like the fireplace? Well, I actually had it there because our boiler was broken, and my house was FREEEEEZZZZIIIINNNGGG. But, I thought it added a nice touch, don't you?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Episode 2

Here is episode 2 of Wannabe Knitter. In this episode I discuss progress I have made, new projects, how I organize my projects, my accessory bag, and my knitting cards. I also talk about why I am thankful for my hands, and talk about the "Knitting Lady."

Also, I have started a group on called "Wannabe Knitter." If you have any questions, ideas, suggestions, advice, please leave a comment below, or email me at wannabe

Please be patient as I get it up and running in iTunes. We are still working on the technical side of things. Thanks for watching!