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.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Life is grand.

It is very difficult for me to believe that some of the friends that I went to college with now have GRANDchildren.  You know how your brain feels when you try to wrap it around a concept and it just keeps going round-and-round because it can't fully accept it?  Yeah.

I think it's because I still think of us as those 20-something-year-olds we were back then.  We are now awesome 40-something-year-olds, but since many of the memories I have of them were made while we were in our twenties (I haven't seen many since then), my brain is trying to make the adjustment. 

I am saying all of this because I am making a baby sweater for one of my "Grandma Homies".  How could I say, "No", when, after requesting a baby sweater, she promised she'd brag about my knitting skills to her friends?  The pattern that I chose to make is "Trellis" from Knitty.com.

Picture is from Knitty.com
Click to enlarge
I'm knitting this in the 6 month size and my goal is to finish this quickly.  I have completed the back and left front, and I'm almost done with the right front.  I think I might work the sleeves two-at-a-time to make this go quicker.  This is the second time I've knit this sweater and I love it for the "wow factor".  Non-knitters see the fancy stitch acrobatics of the cables and think you're a knitting goddess.  This sweater will only take two balls of Cascade 220 Superwash (I wish a sweater for me only took two balls of yarn.). 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

You Can Never Have Too Many

I need you to take a few moments and gaze upon the beauty of my new yarn bowl.
(Click the pictures to enlarge.)
I often browse Etsy for beautiful yarn bowls, and my recent browsing session did not disappoint.  I purchased this bowl from HardwoodSpindles and I'm so glad I did.  Shipping was fast; I ordered this bowl last Friday, Mr. Johnson emailed me to tell me that he will mail it on Monday, and I received it today. 

AND it was reasonably priced at $45.  There were a few different styles left the last time I checked, so if you want one, you best head on over there ASAP.

Of course I didn't NEED another yarn bowl:

But when you see something this beautiful, the next thing you know the screen reads "Thank you for your order.".  I've already started using it to hold the yarn I'm using to make this beauty:

"Compton" from Rowan's "Alpaca Colour" book.  (The picture is from Rowan's site.)

I really thought that I would be done with knitting the pieces last night.  I mean, I was in a groove, honey, and knitting like the wind because I was SO CLOSE to being done.  But when I got to the shoulder shaping of the right front, I realized that I forgot to reverse the shaping as written for the left front.  The neckline of the sweater is at my shoulder and its shoulder is at my neck.  AGONY!  Believe me, I thought about just switching my neck and shoulder around to keep from having to rip the knitting, but that would have been WAAAAY harder.  So I put it in "time out" until I'm not mad anymore.  

Just looking at this picture makes the pain fresh again.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

"Superstar" Day 7

Well folks, today is the last day of my "Knit and Crochet Superstar" feature.  Today's free pattern is "Ocean".

 I truly want to thank Cat Morely for the opportunity to show my work.  It's been awesome. 

*Click here to read about what the "Knit and Crochet Superstar" feature is on the Cut Out and Keep website.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

"Superstar" Day 6

A few years ago, it dawned on me that I hadn't knit anything for three of my brothers. So, I decided to design a hat for each of them. "Cables and Ladders", the Knit and Crochet Superstar* day 6 free pattern, is one of those hats.  I wish I had a clearer picture (you can make it a little larger by clicking on it), but hopefully you can appreciate the 6-stitch cables and the ladder pattern formed by alternating purl rows and knit rows. 

*Click here to read about what the "Knit and Crochet Superstar" feature is on the Cut Out and Keep website.

Friday, June 12, 2015

"Superstar" Day 5

Ah, it's day 5 of my "Knit and Crochet Superstars" feature* and today's free pattern is "The Republic"-Toddler Edition.

I tend to love miniature versions of things (One of these days I'll show you the dollhouse I'm building.). I remember that when I was done knitting this tinier version of  "The Republic" hat, I just squealed with delight. If you don't have a toddler in your life, you'll just have to make a baby so you can make this hat.  It's that cute.  


*Click here to read about what the "Knit and Crochet Superstar" feature is on the Cut Out and Keep website.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

"Superstar" Day 4-"Lillie"

The free pattern for day 4 of my "Knit and Crochet Superstars" feature* is "Lillie".
Click here to go to the pattern.

Many knitters tend to show how much they love you by knitting things for you. If we're crazy about you and we want to give you a gift, the first thing we may think to give is something we've knit. Sometimes our love runs so deeply that we want to express it with our hands...use that thing we love so much to show you just how much we love you.
I loved my Aunt Lillie deeply, and she died years before I learned to knit. I suppose that she would not have spent another winter in Chicago being cold, why, with all the stuff I would have knit for her. This sweater was designed years ago, and I like to think that it is something that she would have worn.   

*Click here to read about what the "Knit and Crochet Superstar" feature is on the Cut Out and Keep website. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Superstar-Day 3

Today is Day 3 of my Knit and Crochet Superstar* feature, and the free pattern offered is the "The Republic" scarf which matches "The Republic" Hat. After designing the hat, I felt that it needed a "scarf-y" companion. 

*Click here to read about what the "Knit and Crochet Superstar" feature is on the Cut Out and Keep website. 

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

"Superstar"-Day 2

Day 2 of the Knit and Crochet Superstar feature is the free pattern for the "Christmas Bailout" scarf.  Click here to read the original post that described the reason for the name. And in case you missed  yesterday's post, you can click here to read about what the "Knit and Crochet Superstar" feature is on the Cut Out and Keep website. 

Monday, June 08, 2015


Click here to go to my "Superstar" page.
Cat Morley, founder of the craft site, "Cut Out and Keep", contacted me one day to ask me to be one of their "Superstars". The "Superstars" feature is one where free patterns of designers are showcased every day for a week. Talk about feeling completely honored!

"Cut Out and Keep" is a web community where you can share your crafty projects and tutorials. But it's not just for knitting and crocheting. I think you should head on over there and click around.

Watch this cute video about their story:

So, since I'm the "Knit and Crochet Superstar" for this week, one of my free patterns will be featured on the website each day for 7 days.  Some of them you may have seen before.  But there are a couple of new patterns that I dug out of my notebooks and decided to offer for free. The first pattern offered this week is "The Republic Hat".  

Monday, May 11, 2015

Under Construction

Hi Guys, I'm changing the look of my blog, so you might notice some things not working like they should. If you need anything or have questions, just email me at niksknits@gmail.com. You Better Be Knitting!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Snow Day

I was driving home after work yesterday and decided that, before the "crap-ton" of snow descended upon Raleigh, NC, I wanted to make a pit stop to get some reading materials to ward off any boredom from being home all day. According to my handy conversion chart, "one crap-ton" of snow in the south = 1 inch. We got around 5-6 crap-tons today, which is a lot for us, and causes the city to shut down. 

I ended up getting these from Barnes and Noble:

I want to speak Spanish more fluently, so I decided to join a Meetup group dedicated to teaching you to converse in Spanish and understand native speakers. While I was in Barnes and Noble, I decided to browse the language section, where the original plan was to purchase a nice, wholesome, Spanish dictionary. I ended up leaving with this:

Since I want to be a well-rounded speaker of Spanish, I felt that this book was a necessary addition to my study materials. I'm lying; I just bought the book because it made me laugh. Just so you know, though, there are more than just dirty words and insults in the book; there are also common slang phrases. You never know when you will need to use some of this stuff in emergency situations.  For instance, you never know when a situation will require you to call someone a "skank" (una macarra).

I don't think my teacher would like a beginner learning slang since she's trying to teach us the proper way to speak. But I have made flash cards of some of the phrases from the book that make me laugh. I'll keep these separate from the other cards. 
The book says this says, "Oh no she didn't! She did not just try to mac on Susie's boyfriend!". 
What would a knitter's snow day be without knitting? I have also been working on finishing this Chicago Bears hat for a friend. You can't see it very well, but that white section has cables like the orange section. I plan to finish this today, since I only have to close the crown.   

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

You're Welcome

You have a little over two weeks to finish knitting presents.  Stop crying.  Like a superhero, allow me to save your knitting life this Christmas (I need to knit myself a fabulous lace cape.).   

I want to remind you guys about the quick knitting patterns that exist on this here blog.  The patterns listed below are worked in chunky/bulky weight yarn, and all are free except for Cathy's Cowl and Cathy's Hat patterns (You will get both patterns together for one price of $4.00.).

Cathy's Cowl and Hat

Christmas Bailout Scarf

The Republic Hat

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Hot Stuff

This is the season when I tend to zero in on things that, in my brain, have become synonymous with fall.

Fire is one of those things.  Don't be alarmed, you won't find me maniacally skipping around the neighborhood setting piles of leaves afire.  But if I did, I'd totally look like this:

Yes, I'd wear the same outfit Jimi's wearing.
 No, I like my fires small and well contained in the form of burning candles.  I always want to buy ALL the scented candles this time of year.  Well, not all of them because some of them are funky.  If you've been in the candle aisles of some stores here in Raleigh, NC and heard a lone candle-sniffing lady exclaim "This don't even smell right!", it was probably me (When I'm upset that a candle's scent isn't up to par, somehow my grammar falls by the wayside.).  I am equally vocal when I am impressed that a candle smells exactly how the label says it's supposed to smell ("Yes, I will take 50 of those "Birthday Cake" candles, Sir!").

Hot tea is another.  Rooibos is my favorite tea in the whole wide world, but I can totally be convinced to try others. Which is why I must stay away from Teavana stores in the mall because the sales associates stand outside with samples, ready to give you the first hit of whatever they're pushing for free.  Next thing you know, you don't have any more money and the bills are due.

Afghans.  My goodness, I love to wrap up in afghans during this time of year, preferably those that I've made.  I haven't purchased an afghan in a while because of guilt.  You see, I've had a quilt top sitting in the craft room for what has been almost two years, and it just needed to be quilted and bound.  Every time I'd see an afghan I wanted in a store, I talked myself out of buying it because I COULD have a new afghan if I just finished mine.

I really wanted to use it this year, so I decided that now was the time to finally finish it.

I LOVE it!

Oh honey, believe me when I say that there are many imperfections in this quilt.  There is a technique called "stitch in the ditch" where you stitch in previously stitched seams (the "ditches") in the quilt top to connect all three layers of the quilt sandwich (the top, batting, and the back).  It is supposed to be nearly invisible but there are many areas where I kind of veered away from the ditch:

I don't point out imperfections to down myself.  I do it to show you that you can be proud of the things you've made, even though they are less than perfect.  Kind of like when superstars post selfies wearing no makeup to show us regular people that they, too, can sometimes look like hell but still be awesome.

I'm proud of this mitered corner in the quilt binding, so I'm making you look at it.
This is my very first quilt and I want to thank my friend Merrie for teaching me the basics and for being super patient with my slow ass. Merrie said that the colors make the quilt look like fire, and that the colors alone would keep me warm.  I love that.

Monday, June 02, 2014

I see dead people...sort of.

I have lived in this house for about two years and never knit on the porch.

I thought about it many times, but never got around to it.  Well, yesterday I got around to it.  And I liked it. There was a nice, cool breeze blowing and the shade from the porch kept the sun from roasting me.  This is a preview of the back of my sleeveless vest design.  I'll give you more details about that later.   

I bought new nail polish and swatched all of them on one hand. 

Dear dead people...don't start none, won't be none. 
You see the fence that my needles are pointing to?  It is right across the street from my house.  There is a cemetery on the other side of it.  I think the builders of the neighborhood put that there so that the residents aren't all "Ewww! Dead People!".  This strategy works well because I really don't think about them much.  Out of sight, out of mind.

Sometimes, though, if I listen really closely when I am lying in bed at night, I can hear "Thriller" playing.  As long as they keep that party on the other side of that fence, we're cool.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Put Your Name On It

Look at my new knitting bag:

I promise that I won’t let you get all raggedy like my other knitting bags.  Of course, I made that promise to the other bags, but you’re different.  I “put my name on it”, so it must be real.

I bought this from my BFF, Erica Hauge, who is a Thirty One consultant.  Thirty One is a company that sells personalized bags, totes, and purses. 

I immediately saw myself knitting from balls of yarn stashed in those pockets when she showed me this bag.  This one is called the "Zip Top Organizing Utility Tote" and cost $35: adding my name was an additional $7.  The name of the print I chose was "Paradise Pop" (There are many to choose from.).  Here are some other views:
This is the back.
There is another mesh pocket on the other side.
The Top

If you'd like your very own, you can place your order through Erica Hauge's page here.  There is a current special for the month of May where you can get 50% off of the thermals shown above with the purchase of $31 worth of items.  If you're interested in being a consultant, contact her about hostess gifts you can receive.