Random Knits

Basic Mitts

I got an order for some mitts recently for someone who loves color but wanted them to warmer than fingering weight yarn. So I started playing with DK weight yarn and below is where I’m currently at.

I haven’t decided if I want to write up the pattern yet or not. It worked up quickly and he’s been a fun knit. I’ll share the finished pair when they are both completed.

Happy making!

behind the scenes

So it begins…

I received happy mail from Canada today.

2 skeins of DK weight non super-wash wool.

I love the yarn from Campfiber Yarns! She does some great things and you should check it out.

These 2 skeins are hopefully going to become accessories. Hats and mitts, both crochet and knit.

I have no clue what the pattern will be yet, I just knew I wanted some yarn in this fabulous color. Making a hat and mitts from one skein of DK I think will be a neat gift idea for the future.

I have them all wound up and ready to go. I won’t use them to swatch out ideas, I will use some DK I have left over from another recent project. Look for swatches probably next week.

behind the scenes, Uncategorized

One Woman Show

Here at Azariah’s Fibre Arts I do 95% of the work. I hire tech editors and occasionally have help from family for photography but mostly it’s all me.

This means shooting and editing all my photos and videos. I do the graphic design pieces as well from my logo to pattern layout.

Marketing and social media. If you ever want to stretch yourself and see how many different things you can learn, try to sell the things you create.

I love all the aspects of this job though. It has kept my computer skills sharp and is fun to see how much editing has changed and how far technology has come.

Maybe someday it would be great to hire a photographer for some things or for someone to do my website, yes I do that too. But for now I’m happy just to get to do all this and share with you.

bed spread, behind the scenes, Swatching

Swatching for Coming Workshop

Here is a swatch in DK weight of a bedspread I’ve been working on in size 10 crochet thread.

The workshop is going to be how to use a pattern recipe, so that you can use the thread or yarn and hook combination that you desire.

The pattern will have numbers for starting points for blankets of diffet sizes in various weights of yarn.

Upon completion of the workshop you will understand how to work from a pattern or stitch dictionary that says something along the lines of “chain a number divisible by 9 + 2.” What does that really mean and how to use it to make what you want using the stitch pattern you desire. You can make anything from scarves to blankets with this skill in your arsenal.

behind the scenes, Brick and Mortar, Swatching

Math, definitely part of my process…

Getting these hats ready to go to the tech editor. Gauge is always part of a part and is minimal basic math. That’s how many stitches and rows or rounds per inch so that you can replicate the work I’ve done and it actually fit.

When there are different sizes then there is more math and not just basic everyday math, but geometry. You figure how much yarn used for one size and the number of square inches for that size and then how many yards use per square inch and then apply to the other sizes you want to make.

For me this is the owner part of the process. It don’t have the formulas memorized or even organized in one place because I don’t do it enough. I’m going to be doing it more though so I better get organized.

The other little bit of knitting that isn’t a hat, is a swatch for mitts using DK weight yarn. So far I like this needle size with the yarn. Next I’ll measure the swatch and do some basic math to figure out how many stitches to cast on.

Thankful for all those math classes in school. Didn’t feel very practical in the moment though I love numbers but very useful now.

Happy making!

Brick and Mortar, Swatching

Brick and Mortar in DK

I decided to try making the Brick and Mortar mitts, knit version, in DK weight yarn. So far, so good.

Less stitches and rows to get the same size finished piece. It goes faster and they will be a bit thicker than the ones made with fingering weight yarn.

I chose to do just two colors this time and have less ends to deal with.

The way the Brick and Mortar mitt patterns are written is almost recipe like. A really good recipe with lots of guidance so you can use any yarn you want. You have to be willing to swatch though.

This is one of those pieces where the item could be the swatch. Take notes! Without notes of yarn weight, hook or needle size,number of stitches and things like that, swatching doesn’t do any good.

I will make the Brick and Mitts free when you use the code “swatch it” when they’re released in March and it’ll be good through the end of May 2023.

Happy making!


Unpopular opinion: Swatching is helpful

Warning you may disagree with this post.

Swatching is helpful and prevents heartache later on down the knitting and crocheting road.

I recently recorded a video about why I think seatching is helpful and thought I’d share some of the stills I took during that shoot here.

These swatches are examples of some of the swatches I’ve done over the last couple of years. Some are knitted and some are crocheted. I think three, we’re experiments for actual projects I wanted to make.

You’re probably wondering if I swatch for projects before I start and the answer is yes. Click the “Swatches” category tag above this post to see other examples. Usually those swatches are ripped out after notes and photos so that I can reclaim the yarn for the project.

What are all these other swatches for then? Various things. Learning new techniques, trying out colors and even long term stretch tests or felting limits.

Swatching helps to save heartache by learning earlier that those colors don’t work together or that fabric is too stiff or too loose. If possible look for a piece of the project that can be a swatch, such as the sleeve. For socks and hats I usually just get started. Blankets and shawls, swatch.

It’s all knitting, crocheting, yarn, needles and hook so why not do it? Just swatch!

Happy Making!

behind the scenes

Working Out of the Studio

Now that I have finally settled into some routine here in Las Cruces, with everyone at work, school and accepting that my paying job is going to keep changing, I decided to add in working out of the studio once a week.

Last week I went to a coffee shop that is so close to my home, that for those of you familiar with the 360 app, I didn’t leave either circle. This week I went half a mile from home. This shop makes there own Chai and it is so good.

Got a window seat!

Working out of the studio forces me to work on things that I might not want to but need to and when it’s all I take, ya know that’s what gets done.

I’m working on workbooks for the workshops I want to shoot this year. I’m enjoying the process of making templates so that I have cohesive looking workbooks and know that all the info is there.

Where is your favorite place to stitch or work?


Stacked Enchiladas

Here are some step by step pictures of how to make the stacked enchiladas. Scroll to the bottom for recipes.

A thin layer of sauce in the pan to start.
Tortillas, meat, sauce, cheese.
Repeat until last layer is tortillas.
Top layer of cheese.
Broil for a few minutes to brown and crisp.
All the layers.
Served with black beans, queso fresco, lettuce, tomato, sour cream and avocado.

Stacked Enchiladas

I love this meal. It was my way of using corn tortillas for enchiladas without having to roll them. When we lived in Colorado we called this enchilada layers. We when moved to New Mexico, I learned that this is actually a thing and they are called “stacked enchiladas”.

Serves 4 – 6

1 pound of ground beef or turkey
1 small onion, diced
1 recipe or packet of your favorite enchilada sauce. I use red.
12 corn tortillas
2c of shredded cheese, any kind that melts

Brown the beef with the onion. Drain.
Prepare your sauce and warm it up.
In a deep round baking dish assemble the enchiladas.
Coat the bottom of the pan with a layer of sauce. This helps it not stick so much. Layer 3 tortillas in the bottom. Layer of meat, about 1/3 of the mixture. Layer of sauce, just enough to cover. Layer of cheese, about 1/4 of the cheese. Keep doing this until the top layer is the last 3 tortillas. Cover in as much of the remaining sauce as will fit in the pan, top with remaining cheese.

Bake at 375F for 20 minutes.
Broil to crisp top if desired.

Serve with black beans, queso fresco, lettuce, tomatoes and sour cream.


Blocking Day!

Yesterday was blocking day. In Colorado my studio was large enough that my blocking table was always set up. Here that isn’t the case. When I need to block something here I have to set up my table on the back patio. I watch weather for rain, not often and wind. Neither were happening yesterday so I was good to go. So glad I can block outside here in the winter.

I set up my 6 x 6 foot table, cover it with the foam floor mats and a sheet. This session I had some swatches and a large, very large shawl.

I soaked all the items in water, which thankfully is available out back, then let them sit for a couple of hours.

When I was ready to block I took my salad spinner outside to spin out the excess water.

I did the swatches first, because they are little and easy. Then I tackled the shawl.

These swatches are the examples for the how to read knitting charts workshop I will be teaching at the Las Cruces Knitting Guild in February. If it goes well I plan to make it into at least a workbook and maybe a video class. If you think you might be interested in that please share in the comments below.

While it turned out to be bigger than I was expecting it was easier than I was expecting. I pulled out and blocked each of the points along the edge and then just made sure everything else was smooth. No wires needed anywhere. I did have to add a couple of smaller mats because the shawl isuch bigger than the table.

The Fantastitch Shawl from Stephen West