Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Where does the time go? Seriously? I feel like I've got a list of things to knit - and not just stashed yarn that MIGHT turn into something - but a list of things I HAVE TO knit for people ASAP.

First up is the sweater I'm finishing for my neighbor, Louise. When Ken and I moved into our home 4 years ago and Louise found out I knit, she mentioned a "bea-u-tif-ul" sweater she had never finished. Every now and then I would show her my WIPs and she would, once again, tell me of her unfinished sweater. Over this past summer, her mom stopped by one afternoon and said "Louise tells me you knit and I was wondering if you can help me with something". Turns out it was Louise's mom who had been knitting the sweater and she was wondering if I could help her finish it as a surprise for Louise. Of course I said yes and a few days later found the sweater hidden on our front porch. Here's where it starts to get interesting. The pattern, as I was told, is from an old Better Housekeeping-type magazine that is no longer published. My guesstimate dates it to the 70s or early 80s (at best). The "cream" yarn is probably an acrylic and I was given the working yarn and an extra ball, with no ball bands. The back and two fronts were knit as separate pieces and the arms were knit flat from the cuff to underarm. All the pieces were then joined on a circular needle to continue for the yoke. The work stopped three rows after the joining. Because the sweater sat so long in storage, the safety pins that were clipped to it (denoting what each piece was) began to oxidize and caused the yarn to turn a light brown-tea color. However, the unused ball is probably still closer to the original state, so when I use them together the difference will be obvious...and there's no getting around this. I've been reseaching dying acrylic...which is not easy...and am entertaining the idea of letting the whole sweater soak in a "tea bath" for a day or two. I hate to detract from the original sweater - but I would be remiss to not make it the best I could. After charting the lace/bobble pattern I ripped back to the original join, corrected the stitch count and have gotten 5" done of the yoke. It's a slow process. Mainly because bobbles and I are NOT the best of friends. I've finished the working yarn that was attached and have started using the last ball. I hope I don't run out of yarn because then I'll have a bigger dilemma on my hands than just correcting the color. At this point I probably have 6 hours of work left for a Christmas deadline.

Next on the list is a cardi for Ken. I've started it. The back piece is done and I've started the fronts (or was it the sleeves) as two at a time. This is really a quick knit from the Norah Gaughan Men's booklet - but it's also been easy for me to set aside to work on samples and test knits BECAUSE it's for my husband. Oh, and I've also lingered because it will require a zipper which I: a) don't have yet; and b) have never attempted. Hooray for new and scary techinques!

Lastly, I told the kids I would knit them dinosaurs when I bought the pattern back in July. JULY! I have the yarn - they each got to pick their own ball of Noro - but I can't muster the energy to knit on dpns or knit "little" things. Too many ends to sew in and sew together. I'm bad with knitted toys that way. They are a quick and fun knit with a great end result...but the process, well, not so much.

I'm currently working on yet ANOTHER baby blanket (my 5th or 6th this year?) for a co-workers adopted grandson. She's really a great lady and her son and his wife deserve a handknit. But my heart isn't as into it as I would like so I've just been knitting it on the train. It'll be done by the weekend, no doubt, but eh is the best I can say.

Well that's it for me...just a reminder to sign up for the Rhinebeck Giveaway Contest (you can win via Twitter or cell phone now!) if you haven't already!

Happy Knitting!

Monday, September 28, 2009


Since so many wonderful folks are not on Twitter I have decided to open the contest up cell phone users too! All you have to do is enter your phone number in the Comments section of the form and I'll send you a text message if you're one of the names drawn that hour! Easy as pie...but not quite as tasty!

Oh, and here's a fun posting on my latest sample for Kaleidoscope - love them!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Getting there...

I've gotten such a great response from everyone in the knitting community about my Rhinebeck contest and while my website isn't exactly "ready" for every day can start signing up for the contest - hooray! Blog readers are the first to spread the word!

I'm still looking for notions to include in the prize bags (especially buttons or pins!). If you know of anyone, please have them contact me asap.

Also - I have a yarn company on board who will donate either a Worsted or Fingering weight - but would love to include another vendor to donate the other. Know of anyone who might be interested and has a fabulous product line and would like some exposure? Please send them my way!
Thanks again for all of your continued support!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Rhinebeck Give Away!

I've gotten a little further along in my Rhinebeck project and am working on additional sponsors (the current line up is still being kept a secret a little while longer). If you're part of the knitting community and would like some exposure, I promise this contest is for you!

What I'm looking for (donations of at least 4...or more...since there will be 4 BIG prizes and some "runner's up" prizes each hour)
  • notions...anyone who makes custom stitch markers, or buttons
  • needles
  • misc (t-shirts, bags, etc)

What I already have:

  • Patterns and swag from a Designer
  • Shawl pattern
  • Gift cards and swag from yarn shop/online retailer

I will gladly pay for shipping of these items - please let me know if you or a friend would be interested (pm me at choochooknits at hotmail dot com)

Thanks everyone!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Rodeo Round-Up

Well folks there's been a lot going on at choo choo knits so I'm wrasselin' up a run-down for y'all!

I've been test knitting some patterns for Stefanie Japel (Glampyre) over the past month or so. The first two were children's patterns using Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted...let me just say, this yarn is absolutely delicious...seriously, get me a scoop, stick it on a cone, and I want to eat it! And did I mention its MACHINE WASHABLE??? Such a plus when it comes to knitting for kids. I believe the pattern is off at the tech editor for finally approval and should be available in the coming week or two. I'll also be test knitting an adult version of a child's sweater (no info yet) so stay tuned for more info!

I am also sample knitting Seneca from the new Jared Flood booklet using Classic Elite's Lush (50% Angora / 50% Wool). If your budget doesn't allow angora I'm thinking a great substitute would be the new Vintage Wool from Berroco (which is soft and washable!). This sweater is on the intermediate level so you'll have your challenge with the cabling and yoke section. Stay tuned for final photos.

The "Dora" shawl pattern is coming along great and should be ready by mid-October (the latest). The combination of lace, construction, and design make this the perfect gift knit! I used Frog Tree Alpaca Sportweight for the original but will use some stashed Ultra Alpaca Fine (Berroco) for a secret holiday gift - shhh :o)

Other patterns that will be published soon are "Japel's Wings" (top down raglan combining leave motif and fitted elements using a worsted weight yarn) and "Scarsdale" (a cabled summer sweater with simple elements using a dk weight yarn).

Also in the works...I'm proud to annouce...a NEW WEBSITE! Details coming this fall...stay tuned!

I'm also working on an event for Rhinebeck which is expected to be a unique and exciting (and FUN) project!

Hope all is well with you and your knitting - drop me a line so we can catch-up properly!

Happy Knitting until next time!