behind the scenes

Mitered Squares

I have finally finished that last project and now I can start another! I’m not a monogamous stitcher but I do try to limit myself and meet the same deadlines I give my testers.

I will be starting a mitered squares baby blanket. This one will be knit but I also have plans for a crocheted version as well. I have already searched a bit to see how mitered squares work.

When I want to do something that is new to me I search the internet first to get an idea of what has been done.

The knitted ones I found, no I didn’t look at ALL of them on the internet, we’re made by decreasing. I don’t want that for this project, that’s more work than I want to put in this go around. I’m thinking more of a recipe so that the blanket can made any size, with any square size, using any yarn you want.

I also want to make this a join as you go, modular piece, maybe with different square sizes but we’ll see about that last part.

Comment below what size squares you’d like to make and what you would make from them.

Happy Making!

behind the scenes, Brick and Mortar, Swatching

More Swatches

I’m sure you all probably think that all I do is swatch because that’s mostly what I’ve been sharing here. The swatches are needed but also I have been only working on one project and it can only be shred so much.

These swatches are needed for a video shoot later this week. They are videos for the Brick and Mortar Accessory patterns that will be released next week.

I will be shooting videos for both knit and crochet and for both right and left hand knitters and crocheters.

Here are my swatches or the beginnings of them and a note for what I’m doing. I shoot in batches but don’t edit that way. This combination works best for me.

Some are specific stitch techniques and some are finishing techniques. I love to help stitchers learn something new and level up their stitches.

What would you like to learn?

behind the scenes, Swatching

Swatching at the Coffee Shop

One of things I have added to my weekly routine this year is going and working on the computer at the coffee shop down the street. I am not a coffee drinker but they made their own chai and it is good.

I also take along a bit of yarn and either needles or hooks to work on an idea between files. Today is some orange worsted weight from Cascade and crocheting mitered squares.

I’m using my newest crochet hook. It is from Crochic Styles and I love their work!

The sounds of the steamer and espresso machine as well as the click, clack, ding of a type writer fill the air. This is a coffee where people come to hang out and work. There’s a psychology professor, a prepped and many others who come through. I’m not distracted by their conversations but I do “listen” with interest.

These are my swatches for the afternoon. At 9 is single crochet, noon is double crochet and 6 is half double crochets. I am doing them with increasing because then you can stop when it’s the size you want instead of guessing.

The crochet hook is called Say Yes! and is a size J.

The files I was working on are for a workshop that I am hoping to launch in April. I will be doing a beta test of it, if you want to be part of it sign up for my newsletter because that’s where I’ll share that info.

Happy Making!

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!


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!

Las Cruces Shawl Vest


I am happy and excited to share with you that I am finally making progress on the Las Cruces Shawl Vest, crochet version, that isn’t stitching. I have begun writitthe pattern and have hopes to get it out for testing in the next couple of weeks!

My start on the Las Cruces Shawl Vest, crochet, with my great grandmother’s measuring tape.

This version uses only two colors. The modified elongated single crochet makes the piece look the same on both sides.

The chevron pattern is easy to memorize and this will quickly become a carry along piece that you can work on at groups, meetings or visiting with friends.

If you are interested in testing email me, message me on Instagram and comment below. I’ll get in touch with you and add you to the list.

These yarns are fingering weight 100% non super-wash merino wool. From Campfiber Yarns in Canada. The purple is called Cave Dwellers and the yellow is called Pineapple Delight. I love her yarns!

Happy making!

bed spread, Swatching

Bed Spread

This is a piece I have been working on for almost a year now… I am enjoying it but it is slow because I am using crochet thread and a size 6 steel hook.

My grandmother loved bed spreads in this weight of yarn and the color I’ve chosen is also in honor of her.

I have 10 or 12 balls of this color. Way back when thread would go on sale for $.99.

I wrote up the directions and sent them to my Mom. She worked it p up using fingering weight yarn and a US “D” crochet hook. Below is her swatch.

I’ll keep working on it and eventually it will get done. The goal, aside from a bed spread in honor of my Grandmother, is to make it into a teaching opportunity about swatching, gauge and how to use a pattern that say “chain a number…” Also how yarn weight and hook size make a difference in the size of the finished piece.

I’ll find the instructions and post them here for you all to play with too.

Brick and Mortar

Brick and Mortar Shoot

These hats and mitts are all finally finished. I still have to finish writing the patterns but all the stitching has been completed.

My hubby took me to breakfast this past weekend and I decided to do a shoot while we were there. Here are some of the photos. All are unedited and I haven’t chosen any for the patterns yet. It was a good shoot though.

Las Cruces Shawl Vest, Swatching

Swatching board

I went back to swatching board for the Las Cruces shawl crochet version, see previous post to catch up if needed.

As promised on my Instagram Live, see IG bio to watch replay, here are the pictures I took of my progress.

First attempt in actual colors.

This is the one I started after lying to myself about the swatch being okay.

The pink one is a pattern from a book. The red and green isn’t quite right but looking at it now I could have lied to myself again…

I got smart and have at this point started asking my daughter for help and her thoughts. She told me to keep trying.

Here are the 3. The bottom is my final pattern.

I have now worked the first 5 rows of the pattern in the final colors. My daughter is pushing me not to really look at the work until I have worked as many rows on it as I did in the swatch in the photo above. I’m about half way there. Stay tuned.