Monday, November 29, 2010

I'm having a Cyber Monday sale on my pattern Hestia!  It is 20% off today, Monday November 29 and Tuesday November 30 with the coupon code "cybersale"

That's all the news I've got now--I haven't been knitting much due to a minor hand injury, and I'm way behind on my photography due to never being home during the daylight!  I hope to make up for that this week.  At least the knitting.  Unless I do some early morning photo shoots I may  not have time to photograph things until Sunday. 

I hope everyone celebrating Thanksgiving had a warm, delicious, love-filled holiday.  I know I did!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Look Who's Blocking...


My High Line Shawl!  I admit to wearing this a few times before blocking.


In fact, I put it on immediately after I cast off the final stitch and wore it while I added fringe!  It is so cozy, and I cannot wait for it to dry so I can wear it again! 

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Importance of a Name

Juliet may have said That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet (Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, 2.2), but I have to say that in the case of knitting patterns, I do not agree.

 A name is your first impression.  It may draw you in or repel you.  It may intrigue you or disgust you.  Ok, disgust may be taking it a bit far, but I admit to being one of those knitters who may be inclined to buy a pattern simply if I like its name or the story behind it.  Silly, I know, but I find myself driven to satisfy the same kind of knitter/customer that I myself embody, so while I was completely in love with my new plaid shawl pattern, it felt incomplete without a name.


Being that the showcase of this shawl is the plaid, I knew I could either go the prep route or the punk route for my name inspiration.  I threw around a few ideas, but nothing really stuck out as a winner or sang to me in any way.  A knitting friend from Angelfire Studios gave me some advice, and I started googling, listening to lots of The Clash, The Ramones, Sex Pistols, Patti Smith, and reading up on the stories behind the songs.  Still, it was my lovely sister Sarah who led me to Sheena is a Punk Rocker

Well the kids are all hopped up and ready to go
They're ready to go now
They've got their surfboards
And they're going to the discotheque a go go
But she just couldn't stay
She had to break away
Well New York City really has it all
Oh yeah, oh yeah

Sheena is a punk rocker
Sheena is a punk rocker
Sheena is a punk rocker now
Sheena is a punk rocker

The lyrics really spoke to  me.  Simple as they are, they embody what punk rock meant to me, especially in high school.  It's the perfect escape--just like knitting a great shawl.  And couldn't you totally see Sheena rocking this one?

The pattern is now with some wonderful test knitters, and I hope to have it ready for release in approximately 3 weeks.  I knit this sample in two colors of Malabrigo Sock, Black and Indiecita, and a size US 5 needle.  More details are on my ravelry project page, and more information will be available upon the pattern's release.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Finally Featherweight


I've been wanting to knit Hannah Fettig's Featherweight Cardigan pretty much ever since the patten was released.  I knew that this would be just the perfect little cardigan to throw on over anything and class up almost any outfit.  I couldn't knit such a staple wardrobe piece in just any yarn, now could I?  Perhaps this is why it took me a year and a half to choose the best possible yarn for the project.  I changed my  mind a few times, as I am apt to do, and finally decided that it was just not the time for me to knit Featherweight.  Then one day in September I suddenly had a craving for a yellow/orange sweater.  Instead of buying one like a normal person, I set out to find the best yellow-orange yarn for my skin tone and knit a sweater.  After settling on Madelinetosh tosh lace in Warm Maize, I instantly knew that the yarn needed to become a Featherweight Cardigan. 

Pattern:  Featherweight Cardigan
Yarn:  Madelinetosh tosh lace in Warm Maize
Needles:  US 5
Modifications:  I lengthened the body by about 4 inches but knit everything else according to the pattern--even the rolled stockinette collar that so many have modified.

I think the most amazing thing about this pattern is that I managed to knit it from one single skein of yarn!  Sure, that yarn happens to have 950 yards per skein, but I still expected to dip into the second one.  


At first I foolishly tried to photograph this sweater by myself, and as you can see from the above shots, that didn't work out very well.  Luckily I managed to catch my mom one day when we were both available during the waning daylight hours for proper outdoor photos.  No more dreaded mirror shots!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Another Hestia

After I wrote the pattern for Hestia and knit my original sample in tosh sock, I decided to test out another yarn, Malabrigo Sock.  I intended to use my sister Sarah as a model for this pattern, so I knit a smaller size than the one I would want for myself.  However, Sarah went to Ireland in August and hasn't come home yet.  I decided to put on the sweater I knit for her, and even though it's kind of too small, I still enjoyed wearing it.  If I lose a few more pounds, this sweater will permanently become mine.  Sorry, Sarah!

Pattern:  Hestia by Jacquelyn Ridzy (me!)
Yarn:  Malabrigo Sock in Impressionist Sky
Needles:  US 6

While Malabrigo Sock does create a very soft, light fabric, I think I prefer a slightly thicker yarn like tosh sock for this pattern.

If you have knit this pattern, I'd love to feature you on my blog!  Email me photos and tell me about the yarn you used.  I'll feature you in a special blog post!

Monday, November 8, 2010

New Pattern: Hestia

The idea for this design was born nearly a year ago when my LYS Angelfire Studios received its first shipment of Madelinetosh tosh sock.  I was completely taken by the colorway Turquoise (shown above) and I knew I had to make it into a cozy flyaway cardigan to show off the tonal variegation of the yarn, keep me warm but not boiling, and add another gorgeous layer that will work with almost any outfit.  I couldn't find a pattern for what I wanted, so I set off to write my own.  After a lot of ripping, reknitting, testing, and perfecting, I have a garment and pattern that I am proud to share.

 Hestia can be worn so many different ways:  open, belted, pinned, tied...your imagination is the limit.  I've worn mine so many times since I finished knitting it nearly 3 months ago.  It has quickly become my favorite cardigan.

Hestia is for sale on

Materials: 3 (4, 4, 4, 5) skeins of Madelinetosh tosh sock or 1100 (1250, 1380, 1500, 1700) yards of fingering weight yarn
US 6 40” or longer circular needle or size needed to obtain gauge

US 5 circular needle or double pointed needles or needles one or two sizes smaller than those needed to obtain gauge
US 6 double pointed needles
2 stitch markers (at least one should be removable)

Gauge: 5 stitches and 7 rows per inch in blocked stockinette stitch using larger needles
Sizes: XS (S, M, L, XL) with a measurement of 12 (13, 14, 15, 16) inch back width (between armhole seams).