Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cheery Cherry Tea Cozy (a new pattern & preliminary photos)

Finally! A tea cozy cute enough to display on your tea pot year-round...

Cheery Cherry Tea Cozy, drying after a very light fulling

My favorite kitchen designs come from Scandinavia, which often feature ruby red, snowy white, and robin's egg blue. I also happen to like cherries -- always have.

So when we moved into our cottage with its pale aqua-blue walls, there was only one thing to do: Hunt down yards of retro cherry fabric, a perfect-red throw rug, a bunch of yarn (of course!) and get creative.

The result (well, one of them), you see before you... A lovely tea cozy with a draw-string top, juicy intarsia cherries, and chocolate-brown trim. Makes me hungry just thinking about it!

Another view of Cheery Cherry Tea Cozy, sans tripod

Cheery Cherry comes in two sizes to fit classic tea pots. The sample above was made with Ella Rae Classic Wool in light blue and dark brown, a few yards of red and green from my stash, and US#7/4.5 mm circular needles.

The intarsia pattern is straightforward, and you have the choice of knitting cherries on both sides, or only on the front. You could also work the cherry chart on one side and a stranded or embroidered pattern on the other. The options are limited only by your imagination.

Want some Cheery Cherries of your own? The pattern will be available for purchase and immediate download on Ravelry no later than Wednesday, 2 December.

Just in time for last-minute holiday gift knitting (yes, it's that quick and easy).

Meanwhile, to my US (and expat) readers, and to everyone else who celebrates tomorrow's holiday: I wish you and yours a safe and happy Thanksgiving Day. May it include some quiet time for relaxing with your knitting, crochet, or other artistic endeavor. Enjoy!

(BTW: Sorry for the poor photo quality...I can't find my tripod, and my camera is having issues dealing with reds. I'll post some better photos when the cozy is dry and I can put it on my tea pot.)


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Knitting is Fun...Right?

I meet many knitters--usually, though not limited to, advanced beginners--who become frantic about real or imagined mistakes. They rush up, breathless and anxious, saying they "don't know how to fix it," they "don't know how to 'go back'," or even that they "think it's ruined" ("it" being their projects).

More often than not, the real problem knitters face is their agitation, which prevents them from really seeing what's going on and how best to address it. Honestly. Once a knitter progresses past the ultra-beginner stage, he or she possesses the power to diagnose and fix 90 percent (or more) of mistakes.

Prescriptions for fixing an error include:

  • Un-knitting one stitch at a time (AKA: "tinking"--tink is knit spelled backwards)
  • Ripping back many rows (AKA: "frogging"--because "rip it" sounds like a frog: ribbit, ribbit...), then putting the stitches back on the needles without twisting them
  • Looking for suggestions and knit-fixes on the Internet
  • Finishing the project and then go back with yarn and tapestry needle to close a hole or gap
  • Learning to "be Zen" about mistakes, to renounce perfectionism and live with small errors
My very first--and imperfect--wheel-spun skein (circa 2006-07)

Whatever the fix, it's important to slow down. Take a deep breath. And another and another, until you calm down. Maybe put your project down for a day or two and come back to it.

Do what you need to do to alleviate anxiety. For only then will you be able to: (a) really see the alleged "problem" and (b) identify how you want to fix it (or not).

And that's my tip -- one of the best I have to offer: Relax. Breathe. Knitting is fun!


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Toesicles: A new (unisex) sock pattern!

Luxurious. Toasty. Sexy. Well, that last one depends on your point of view.

But, hey! These socks are perfect for holiday gifts... They knit up quickly, look impressive, and fit frosty feet of the female and male varieties!

And I'll bet, if you ask my husband, he'll say warm toes are sexy any day of the year. (Since the alternative tends to be my warming them on him.)

The pattern is new -- I just posted it on Ravelry today, so pop on over and pick up a PDF of your very own. You know you want to...

Not a Ravelry member? That's OK -- you can use PayPal. Drop me a line at, send your $5, and I'll gladly send you a PDF.