Click the picture to purchase the pattern.

"Cathy's Cowl"

Click the picture to purchase the pattern.

"Cathy's Hat"

This hat pattern is free with the purchase of the "Cathy's Cowl" pattern.

Friday, August 05, 2016

Let's. Do. This.

Knit One, Crochet Too, Creme Brulee DK (Discontinued)

This yarn sat in the "crafty stuff storage room", (otherwise know as "the room where I place things I don't want to deal with right now") for quite some time. I bravely ventured into that room a few days ago because I was searching my stash for a suitable DK weight yarn that would take me all the way to the finish line of the Ravellenic Games.

If you're on Ravelry, a popular social networking site for knitters and crocheters, you already know about the Ravellenic Games.  But to those who might not know, here is the gist of this popular event:

The One Rule To Rule Them All: Challenge yourself by starting and finishing one or more projects during the 2016 Summer Olympics. (Taken from the Ravelry website.)

I found the yarn years ago at a local Goodwill while I was thrifting for vintage Pyrex.  I figured now is the time for it to make it's debut.  And this, my dears, is what it is going to be:

Croeso Shawlette

Isn't she beautiful? I have wanted this shawlette for a while, so The Games were the perfect opportunity for me to knit it.  I have joined Team Ebony Elite Sistah Friends in the "shawl sailing" event.  This will definitely be a challenge for me because I will be working on this shawl while working on this tank top.

Let's do this, Ladies!

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Unemizo Capelet

I have a cousin who does not knit.


But I am waiting for that glorious day when she asks me to teach her.  It will go something like this:

Her: Will you tea-

And, before she gets the rest of the question out of her mouth, I will snatch a set of knitting needles and a hank of yarn out of my Afro.  And the lesson will begin.

Until then, I will just make her what she asks for.  Because: Love.

I went to visit her a few weeks ago and she went to Bella Filati Luxury Yarns with my friend Erica and I.  She saw the cutest capelet on a mannequin and asked if I would knit it for her.  It was this one:

Unemizo Capelet by Onanoko

She tried it on and it looked awesome on her.  So, I bought the Ito Kinu yarn suggested by the pattern, but I still have to buy the required mohair.

I really want to cast-on for this, so I'm hoping to get the mohair sometime this week. 

Monday, July 04, 2016

Andromeda II

Let me show you something.

I finished a thing.  A shawl.  And here is a picture of it:

Click the pictures to enlarge.
My BFF, pretending to be one with nature.  She ain't.

I love it.  I made this for a woman I know who loved my first shawl when she saw me wearing it.  She wanted a deep red color with a black picot edge.   I worked the pattern as written for the DK weight version of the shawl with a picot edge (You can also choose a garter edge.), except I added an additional repeat on the border.

The giver in me wants to make one of these for about 5 of my female relatives for Christmas.  The realist in me says, "Nope.  Your fingers will die.".  Gift cards it is.

Now that this is done, I can get back to working on this tank top design.   

Friday, June 17, 2016


It's growing...

Things are going slower than I wanted with this tank top, since I'm also working on a shawl with a deadline: I'm making another "Andromeda". I was just thinking that if you add the work I've done on the shawl to this tank, I'd probably be somewhere in the armhole area by now. 

I hope you all have an awesome weekend.  Me? This weekend will be filled with shawl knitting.  Tonight, I will be hanging out with a coworker for crafting and margaritas and quesadillas.  I'm in charge of cheese. 

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Coffee and Donuts

Occasionally, I get this notion that I must see what new knitting related items the creative folks selling through Etsy have to offer. Yarn bowls and stitch markers are my usual targets.

I try to look for unique things that I don't have, because what obsessed knitter do you know who doesn't have almost e-ver-y-THANG s/he could ever want in the knitting world?
Fancy set of knitting needles that you will cut somebody over if they look like they're thinking about touching them? Check.

Snooty yarn with a qiviut/silk/cashmere/angel hair fiber content, but you only have 6 inches because that's all you could afford (You're going to use it to make about three stitches in that sweater you're working on.). Check. 

Platinum stitch markers covered in flawless diamonds? Check.

But I didn't have stitch markers shaped like a cup of coffee and some donuts. 

I got them from here.  You get a mug and four donuts.  And you get to choose the color of your mug!

I love these so hard.  Remember that scene in Purple Rain when Apollonia rips out her earring and throws it to the ground to replace it with one Prince was giving her?  That was me putting my new stitch markers on the needles when they arrived. My old markers slid underneath the bed when I threw them.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day

Thank you.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


This yarn is a delight to knit with, and I'm happy with the way this tank top is working up so far. 

Click to Enlarge

It's difficult to see the cable and lace pattern since the stitches are crowded on the needles (and the stitch will need to be blocked to see more detail), but you can see it better in the swatch in this post

This yarn needed a bra badly because it is slippery and the yarn cake kept unraveling. I can't remember where I got this one from because I've had it for so long.  But if you need some, you can buy them at Jimmy Beans Wool.    

Click to Enlarge

I will show you more as this piece grows.  What are you guys working on?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


I had strict instructions; The BFF said that if I am going to design a tank top for her that the pattern must be able to be knit in the round because she "no likey" to seam.  EVER.  But I know that she is actually very good at it because I had her knit and seam one of my designs once and the seaming was so perfect that I have a shrine built in honor of her seaming prowess.   

Here she is.  All 184 stitches in the round.

 In this post, I mentioned I got as far as the sketch and swatch for this design, but it turns out that I actually have gotten a bit further in the process.  I was going through some old files on a flash drive and discovered that I got so far as to have this design charted in Excel. I learned to use Excel to chart my knitting designs using some of Marnie MacLean's blog posts.  If you're interested, head on over there and get some learnin'.

She describes using Excel for charting colorwork in this tutorial, but I've substituted colored squares for Stitch Mastery Knitting Fonts.  I usually chart an entire sweater on Excel, and this has helped me tremendously in being able to see the garment stitch by stitch.  It also helps me understand and plan for how increases and decreases will interrupt complex patterns like cables and lace; a lesson I learned while taking a free "design-along" course by Shirley Paden over in the We Love Shirley Paden Group on Ravelry.   

I spent last night making changes to the original design. You can see a bit of it in the sketch above the swatch.  

At first, only the front right side of the tank top was supposed to have this cable and lace pattern.  Now, I want it to wrap around to the right back.  That involved re-calculating the number of stitch repeats.  I am satisfied with my calculations, so, as you can see in the first picture, I cast on.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Contest Winner

Caroline (Fiber Tribe) my dear, you have won the contest!  Send your mailing address to niksknits@gmail.com and I will send you the prizes. Congratulations!!!!

Friday, May 13, 2016


The week is over!  My week wasn't hard, there was just a lot to do.  I had to give a poster presentation at work yesterday that went really well.  I'm tired, and when I feel like relaxing, I find a fancy wine glass from which to drink (There can be anything from water to Riesling in that glass, depending on what I need.) and maybe a knitting magazine or book to read.  

Imagine this: You're sitting at home with your feet up, browsing through a knitting book with some awesome patterns, all while a candle that smells like what the candle company thinks the ocean smells like is burning. 

You like that, huh?

Well, I've got something to give to you.

Click to Enlarge

Just tell me what you're knitting this weekend and how you're relaxing in the comments section by Sunday, 5/15/16 at 9pm and I will randomly draw one commenter's name.  The winner will receive a copy of finish-free knits, that beautiful gold embellished wine glass, and the candle, because I'm all about helping you relax.  You'll have to come back on Monday to see if you won. 


Wednesday, May 11, 2016


Design inspiration can come from anywhere, and pop into your head at any time.  Take yesterday for instance.  Right after I cursed out a driver (in my mind) for swerving in and out of my lane in rush hour traffic, a design popped into my head for a sweater with a swerving neckline.  I'm working on that one because I believe this design needs to come to life.  I might call it "Traffic".  Or maybe "&@$^*#%" would be a better name.

I have this notebook that contains sketches and notes for designs that just showed up in my head all of a sudden.  Many of them have gotten as far as being swatched.  I was flipping through said notebook and came across a sketch of a tank that I was designing for my best friend, but I didn't get past the swatch.  This, too, needs to come to life.

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge
So for my next knitting trick, watch me pull a tank top with an offset V-neck out of my hat. 

Monday, May 09, 2016


I am not normally a shawl knitter.  I get most of my knitting kicks from making sweaters, vests, and tanks.  But sometimes I will see a pattern out of my normal repertoire that makes me feel like I NEED it in my life.  Andromeda is one of them.

I started Andromeda during that period when I started being adamant about focusing and finishing the patterns that I started.  It's a beautiful pattern that was great fun to knit.  I was even able to work on it during knit-night with the girls because the cable and lace stitches weren't difficult; I could run my mouth and still get this done.

There are instructions to make this with either DK or fingering weight yarn.  I chose to make it with the suggested Madeline Tosh DK in "Scarlet".  The pattern suggests two skeins, but I had to purchase a third skein because I ran out of yarn before finishing the lace border and the picot bind-off.  You can choose a garter stitch edge instead of the picot edge, if you prefer.

Made with Madeline Tosh DK in "Scarlet".
The model for the shawl is my awesome cousin, Denise.  I went to her house to take her to lunch for Mother's Day, and I took the shawl with me so that she could help me get good shots of it.  I had a lot of fun taking these pictures because she's very funny.  (Click on the pictures to enlarge.)

I love this picture of her.

It was over 80 degrees outside while she modeled this scorching hot wool shawl.  I'd like to give her a round of applause for not dying. 

Friday, May 06, 2016


I'm just going to leave this teaser right here.  I blocked her last night, and she is still pinned to the floor of the craft room.  I'll give you a full picture of what this is on Monday.  I hope you all have an awesome weekend!

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

I have no idea what these are going to become:

A hat? Somehow incorporate these into new sweater designs?  Socks?  A shawl?

I simply do. not. know.  As a matter of fact, because I know you know that I don't know what these are going to be, if you ask me what I am making with them, I will give you this face:

'Cause I don't know.

I'm going through a serious shawl phase right now, so this might be a sign from the Universe that at least one of these hanks will magically be turned into a shawl.

I got these dreamy skeins from the Carolina Fiber Fest we had here in Raleigh at the end of March.  The one on the left is from Twist Fiber Studio, and I can say for a fact that there was so much yummy yarn that it was difficult for me to make a decision about which skein to take home.

And what I said about the yarn from Twist Fiber Studio goes ditto for the hank on the right from HauteKnit Yarn.  I had a budget when I went to the fiber fest and walking into this booth had me thinking, "Psssh, WHAT budget?  I can live off of the awesome that is this yarn.".  At one point, I was just walking around with multiple items in my arms, but my need to stick to my budget made me put some back.  I swear it was like ripping my heart out.  You MUST have a budget when you go to these events because you will definitely leave broke.  I guess I can always head over to the Etsy shop and buy more.  

Monday, May 02, 2016


I finished this sweater months ago, but let me tell you one thing: Knitting this baby sweater for a friend's grandson was a lesson in teaching myself to use ninja-like focus when finishing projects. 

I was tired of having unfinished knitting lying around the house due to my "start-itis", so I had to put my foot down when it came to starting new projects: DON'T START A NEW ONE UNTIL THE PREVIOUS ONE IS FINISHED (unless it's absolutely necessary).

A groundbreaking idea, I know. 

I swear I wanted to take a better picture of the sweater.  I was even going to call Annie Liebovitz ("Liebo" to me, since we're such good friends and all.*) and have her take superstar pictures of my creation.  But before I knew it, I'd packed up the sweater before I got the chance to. Instead, you get this quick iPhone photo I took to show my friend: 

"Trellis" by Britta Stolfus Rueschhoff.  Knit in Cascade 220 Superwash, Color 821.

I was so proud to have finished that I wanted to mail it ASAP.  I also didn't want much more time to pass because this is a growing baby and I'd made the 6 month size.  I believe the child was 3 or 4 months old by the time I mailed it.

I've seen a picture of the baby wearing it, and he looks so cute!

My job here is done. 

*In my dreams.