Finalizing things in Portland

April 29, 2010


Last Tuesday, we arrived in Portland to finalize everything here and put up our house for sale.

As soon as we got off the highway and before we even arrived at the house I said to my husband: “Drop me off at the yarnshop!”

He wasn’t even surprised. He too knows that my real home in Portland was my precious yarn shop Closeknit on Alberta Street.

Still a little bit of me in the shop!


It was so good to see my friends Jenni and Sharon at the shop as soon as I walked in,  and it felt so good to be surrounded by gorgeous colorful skeins of yarn! All the vibrant colors made me so happy!

I was also happy to see that some of my creations were still present at the shop and so beautifully displayed:


It was as if I had never left.

Packing and really leaving


It is funny how packing and moving out of our house, coincides with me moving from this blog to my website.

In the tangible world, I am packing our stuff into boxes and know that I will unpack and arrange everything neatly in our new house.

Moving from this blog to my new website is exactly the same. My web developer is importing all my old blog post to my new website, and once all those old blog posts arrive there, I have to rearrange and make everything tidy.

That is a lot of work, but all so worth it. Also we are fine tuning at the moment and really getting into details!

Needless to say that I am very busy at the moment… No time for knitting.

We plan to leave Portland for good coming Tuesday. I shed no tears for selling the house.

I shed tears for leaving my dear friends and yarnshop Closeknit behind…

Thanks for reading and until the next entry.

I broke through!

April 25, 2010


I did it! I broke through!

For the past few days, I wrapped my head around my website, figured out stuff, explored, played and got things done.

This morning, me and web developer Andy Bottman have had some e-mail correspondence in which I gave him my feedback and together we are going to make it happen.

We still have to get down to the nitty-gritty, and you know how the devil is in the detail, but I stepped away from the preconceived notion that everything has to be perfect.

I feel so relieved and free now… the only one that keeps you from doing great things, is yourself, so I have noticed.



You know, all the encouraging comments I have received over the past few days were so needed to pick me up and give me a push in the back.

Sometimes, when something bothers you, it is good to speak up and put it in words.

It is almost as if you break a binding spell by doing that. You set it free and let it go.

This also made me realize that it is okay to ask for help. And you all have been so generous to provide for such encouraging words. I needed that, and I am so incredibly grateful for you…

So… what’s next?


First of all, I feel so liberated, all I want to do is be happy and celebrate that I overcame this strange hurdle.

I truly feel like a flower has blossomed in my heart and I want to enjoy that feeling as much as I can today. Thank you my dear friend for helping me feel this way.

Next, I am going to dive in some more website things, which I am not going to bother you with. Unless you get excited about me talking about “Categories”, “Tags” and “Taxonomy”?

In the next couple of days, Andy Bottman will give me feedback and then it will be my turn again to take action.

I will report to you here what is going on so you can hold me accountable and keep me from slacking!

I am really really really so excited to show you what we worked on… see, my website is going to be an inspirational vehicle and I cannot wait for you to jump on with me.

Cannot wait for us all to buckle up, because it going to be a FUN RIDE.

Thanks for reading and until the next entry. Enjoy your Sunday!

Procrastination..? What is that?

April 22, 2010

I have been very productive over the past month. Very productive.

I finished 3 shawls:


Next up was the Hilde hat, and then several Nettie hats:

Hildehat2 RavelryNettieHat Photo 153

Aside from the knitting, I have been blogging regularly and even published two patterns with picture tutorials.

If you think I am taking it easy now, you are mistaken. Over the past few days I have been working on another hat pattern of which I have finished two prototypes, and a third prototype is laying flat to dry as I type this.


When it comes to knitting, designing and writing patterns, I am highly productive. I have no explanation how come.

Am I fully focussed, my goal is to finish a project as quickly as possible and move on to the next project without missing a beat.

Procrastination..? What the hell is that???

What is holding me back?

As productive as I am in knitting, there is one area where I am procrastinating like there is no tomorrow.

Not a day goes by and I am thinking about it.

Not a day goes by and I am asking myself why I didn’t work on it yet again.

And that my dear knitter is a project I have been stalling for the past 4 months: my website ““.

Web designers and web developers have been working on my website and now I have to take action. But I haven’t been taking action at all.


Reasons for my procrastination

Am I afraid that you all won’t like it?
Am I setting the bar too high for myself?
Am I too much of a perfectionist?
Am I afraid to fail?

Oh, Lordy… I need your help on this one, my dear friends…

As from today, I need to work on my website so that it finally can be launched.

By coming Sunday, I must at least have given my web developer something to work on. Please, please, please hold me accountable for that.

I really need your encouragement in this one.

There. I asked for your encouragement. See, I am not perfect.

I have insecurities that plague me, and I am afraid of failing.

But didn’t I promise that I would reach for my highest potential?

I can reach it, I know it. But sometimes, I too need just a little bit of help and encouragement…

Thanks for reading and until the next entry! Wish me luck, I need it!

Free Pattern: Nettie Hat

April 18, 2010


Inspired by the Felicity Hat designed by Brooklyn based crafty queen Wanett Clyde, I am presenting to you the Nettie Hat.

Special thanks to Wanett Clyde for granting me permission to publish the Nettie Hat for free here on Getting Purly With It. Wannet’s Ravelry name is “Nettie” and to honor her I named this hat after her!

The Nettie Hat is an easy stockinette stitch based hat which I offer you in two different versions. (Scroll all the way down to get to PDF files.)

Nettie Hat Version 1 is knit in the round using US5 and US7 circular 16″ (yarn used in this picture Malabrigo Silk/Merino):


And Nettie Hat Version 2 is knitted flat using US7 circular 24″. This version has a fun element to it: ruching which bunches up at the base of the hat (yarn used in this picture Madeline Tosch DK):


How to create the ruches

I think the Nettie Hat version 1 is pretty straightforward; in the round, decreasing for top, and there you have your hat.

Nettie Hat version 2 might need a mini picture tutorial, so here we go!

Version 2 is knitted flat and after you are done with decreasing for the top, and you have threaded the remaining stitches and fastened it off, your piece should look like this:


In the above picture my piece is laying flat to dry because I wet blocked it. I always wet block my pieces, you don’t have to if you don’t want to.

Wet blocking is optional but I have to say, it does eliminate somewhat the curling of the edges since this piece is knitted in stockinette stitch.

Seam the sides of hat together using the mattress stitch aka invisible seam stitch:

NettieHat5 NettieHat6

If you don’t know how to do the mattress stitch, go to, click on their “tips” tab, scroll down until you hit “mattress stitch” and watch the video.

Once it is seamed, bunch up your hat by pushing the end up along the your seamed tail:


How far to bunch it up is all up to you. Do a little bit, see how you like it and if you want some more ruching, go ahead and bunch it up some more.

I like the outcome of Nettie Hat version 2:

Photo 60

NettieHat NettieHat2

The many different yarns I used for the Nettie Hat

This hats needs 140 yards of  light worsted weight or heavy DK weight yarn.

So far I have used the following yarns:

Venezia worsted by Cascade, Malabrigo Silk Merino, Madeline Tosh DK, and Cotton/Bamboo by Classic Elite.

I think it is especially nice when you use somewhat slouchy fiber such as silks, cotton, bamboo mercerized cotton, rayon. Great since we are heading into warmer weather!

And now for the PDF files!

Click on the links below to get the PDF files of your Nettie Hat:

Nettie Hat Version 1

Nettie Hat Version 2

I am leaving you with a slide show of all the yarns I used to make the Nettie Hat.

Have fun with your Nettie Hat! Wheeeeee!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

How I celebrate

April 16, 2010


A few days ago, when I was strolling down 18th in the Castro district in San Francisco on my way to Imagiknits, it suddenly occurred to me that I started this blog 3 years ago.

I also realized that I had never celebrated any blog anniversary!

While any excuse to buy yarn is a good one, a third year celebration is a pretty legitimate one too… So I got me some Madeline Tosh in Scarlet, and to stay in color, I treated myself on some delicious strawberries.


Happy 3rd anniversary to Getting Purly With It, and here’s to many more years!

A learning experience

When I started “Getting Purly With It” back in April 2007, the sole purpose was to write about yarn and knitting simply because I could not shut up about it.

Being a fairly newbie knitter at that time, I could not stop thinking about knitting and desperately needed an outlet to get it out of my system. Otherwise, my head would explode.


Soon enough, I had the urge to not only write about yarn and knitting but to also produce picture tutorials and issue free patterns.

This pushed me into digital photography and I wanted to be a better photographer. I went from working with a point and shoot camera, to exploring an entry level DSLR.


Then in 2008 I decided to work with models to showcase my knitted items, and although it was quite scary to me at the time, I did it.


Finally, I had enough confidence to publish patterns for sale!

This is it2

Step by step, little by little, I have learned so much from blogging. It has been such a great learning experience for me, and I am very curious what more knowledge I can obtain, and how to broaden my horizon.

The purpose of this blog

Back then, the purpose of this blog was only to write about my knitting progress and that was basically it.

Nowadays I define the purpose of this blog differently:

The purpose of this blog is to inspire, encourage and to help everybody who is interested in knitting. With my passion for knitting and the fire that I feel in my heart and soul, I hope to reach out to you and inspire you to knit.

Evaluating GPWI51

This wonderful thing that we knitters do, with just two sticks and some strand, still grips me with much wonderment and I am in awe of the capacity that we have to create.

Knowing that there are knitters out there who have made items from my patterns and who have gifted these items to loved ones, fills my being with warmth and gratitude.

Knowing that there are newbie knitters out there that felt encouraged to take their knitting to the next level by choosing one of my patterns with picture tutorials, gives me infinite joy.


This little light of mine…

I would like to thank you personally for reading this knitting blog of mine.

I am having lots of fun around here and I hope you do too!

Ever since April 2007 I have gotten over 110,000 views and I am very grateful for that…

Thank you for letting me shine my light!

Photo 132

Reminiscing my Favorite Yarn Shop

April 13, 2010


My husband’s job allowed us to travel all over the USA, and oh lucky lucky me, I therefore visited many different yarn shops.

I have visited  yarn shops in Philly, Manhattan, Boston, San Francisco, Orange County, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Atlanta and many more places I have long forgotten.

Of all the yarn shops I have visited, my absolute one and only  favorite one is Closeknit on Alberta Street in Portland, Oregon.

Closeknit’s charisma and friendliness


I still remember how I was warmly welcomed when I first set foot in Closeknit back in November 2006. Sally, the owner, was so incredibly friendly and I felt at home immediately.

Sally’s entire staff embraced me with friendliness, always asking with genuine interest what I was working on, and always quick to help when I would run into a problem with my knitting.


Closeknit soon became my favorite place to hangout, to find inspiration and to connect with other knitters. Within Closeknit, I found and built my community and made many friends.

And the yarn selection…OH MY GOD…it simply swept me off of my feet!

leftover yarn In a Frenzy9 LH Grace-Silk and Wool

Literally all of my designs have been inspired by Closeknit’s incredible yarn selection.

I started as a customer at Closeknit’s and soon came to be an employee.

Needless to say that I miss Closeknit terribly.

What makes you frequent a yarn shop?


Closeknit is all I desire in a yarnshop. In that cute little shop I have found:

  • Friendliness and warm welcome
  • Charismatic, helpful and very knowledgeable staff
  • Community
  • A cozy place to sit and knit comfortably
  • Killer selection of yarn, notions, books and patterns

I am so curious to hear what you look for in a yarnshop.

This morning, I asked this very same question on Twitter, and several knitters responded. But I want to hear more stories…

Make me happy and make me smile… tell me, dear knitter, what is your favorite yarn shop and why?

I would LOVE to hear your stories…

As for knitting: progress on the Nettie Hat

Photo 60

Today I have been working on a third prototype of the upcoming Nettie hat.

I have decided that I want to publish two versions.

The first version will be in the round and is pretty straight forward.


The second version, however, will have an interesting twist to it.

It will be knitted flat:


Then seamed up the side with the mattress stitch technique:


Finally,  I will have you bunch up the lower part of the hat:


I like how it comes out:

NettieHat NettieHat2

If this is too much fuzz for you, no worries.

Nettie Hat Version 1 will be knitted in the round, but will not have those gathers in the back.

Patience, my pretties! Nettie will soon be ready for publication!

Thank you for reading and until the next entry!

Chasing away the Gray

April 11, 2010

New Chapter4

It is a gray and dreary Sunday here in downtown San Francisco…

The sun is nowhere to be found, dark clouds are hanging gloomy over the city and raindrops are telling me to stay put in our little apartment studio on the 28th floor.

For just a split second, my spirits are leaning over to the gray side, but quickly lift when I look at all of my beautiful and colorful yarn.


All the vibrant colors make me smile! But wait, it even gets better when I touch and feel my soft balls of yarn… it takes me to that happy place where I drift away in delight and everything is all right.

Coloring my world


Color plays an important role in my creative process.

It is often times that I am completely taken by a color and I just have to work with it because it simply soothes my soul.

Choosing a color for a particular project is therefore an important and dare I say delicate part of my knitting process!

The more I love the color, the more excited I will be to touch and work with it.


Surround yourself with gorgeous colors that speak to your soul, and I guarantee you, it will make you smile!

As for knitting

I finished my Hilde Hat designed by Kristin Alexandra from the blog Voolenvineknits and I simply love it!


I used a silk/bamboo blend by Ella Rae in a deep Fuchsia color and am happy with the result!

In this hat pattern, twisted knit stitches create defined lines and end up in cute willow buds. I was entranced by the symmetry of these lines and willow buds and had a hard time putting my knitting down.

Chasing away the gray7

Only in the last part of the hat did I make a slight adjustments. Right at the decrease rows, Kristin will have you make about 9 willow buds that gracefully come together at the very top.

Instead of 9 willow buds touching each other at the very top, I knitted only 5:

Chasing away the gray6

Also, to get gauge, I used needle size US 7 instead of US 5.

I am happy with the outcome…

Chasing away the gray4 Chasing away the gray3 Chasing away the gray5

I wore my Hilde Hat all day today.

It chased away the gray..!

Chasing away the gray2

Thank you for reading and until the next entry.

Our Ability to Inspire

April 8, 2010


Last Saturday, my friend Chris Tolomei took me on an East Bay yarnshop tour. We had a wonderful day, with lots of yarn fondling, good lunch, a photo shoot of the Miss Jenni Shawl, and lots of conversation.

After our day together, I was filled with new blogpost ideas about photography and specifically photography with models.

A few days later, I had an energetic telephone conversation with my new friend Jennifer Iannolo, the woman behind Foodphilisophy“and CEO/Chief editor of Culinary Media Network.

We talked about all kinds of inspiring topics; new media, social media, following your passion, socializing with like-minded people, giving each other a helping hand and what not.

After our conversation, my head was simply spinning and lots of ideas swirled and swirled around me.

Encounters like these excite me to no end. I love how we have the ability to touch each other and give each other new ideas and new visions.

Our ability to inspire


Today, I would like to make you aware of your ability to inspire.

Sometimes, without even knowing it, you inspired somebody.

Maybe it is something you said, something you wrote,  something you made, something you wore,  or a helping hand that you offered. Or maybe it is because you were just simply kind.

Also, if you are inspired by somebody, let them know! It will put a smile upon their face, I promise!

As for knitting


Yesterday I went to yarn shop Imagiknit to get me some yarn for two projects: the upcoming Nettie Hat and Hilde Hat.

For the Nettie Hat I purchased a silk/merino blend by Malabrigo and I did a quick test knit. I like how it came out:


I did not come to knitting this hat if it wasn’t for Wanett Clyde. She is the one who inspired me with her Felicity Hat!

At this moment I am working on a lovely project called Hilde Hat by designer Kristin Alexandra from the blog Voolenvineknits. I found Kristin through a knitter named Telma from the blog Knittyornice.

So far I am loving the progress of my Hilde Hat and I am using a silk/bamboo blend by Classic Elite. Perfect for summer wear!


Thank you Chris, Jennifer, Wanett, Kristin, Telma and oh so many others out there for your spark of inspiration.

Keep on sharing, because your spark gives me plenty of ideas to share in return.

We are all interlinked and we are all in this wonderful thing together!


Thank you for reading and until the next entry…

Reaching for my Highest Potential

April 6, 2010


Today, very suddenly, I got completely overwhelmed by gratitude.

I completed a red pair of “Sally Gloves” and had just finished a hat made out of golden thread, when it hit me hard.

Here I am in San Francisco, so happy to be with my husband, and doing the things that I am so very passionate about: knitting, designing and blogging.

I don’t need to worry about work, I don’t need to worry about health issues, I got a roof over my head, plenty of food, and a whole lot of loving from my man.

Dear reader, I thank the Universe on my bare knees for this wonderful situation.

What great opportunity!


Not only am I in a wonderful situation, I also have all the tools and materials at my very fingertips to execute my passions.

I got my laptop, my camera, a whole suitcase of yarn, all kinds of needles, stacks of books and last but not least my most important tool: myself.

See what is happening here? I am given a great opportunity to reach for my highest potential. And I should handle this with much respect and much gratitude!

I pledge to reach for my highest potential

I pledge to:

  1. Reach for my highest potential
  2. Be focussed on designing
  3. Write patterns and share them
  4. Produce picture tutorials
  5. Work with beautiful yarns
  6. Inspire and help other knitters
  7. Bring forth beauty, grace and elegance
  8. Blog at least 3 times a week

I am so jumping up and down of excitement right now! YES!
You better hold on to your seats for the next several months…

As for knitting

Over the past couple of days I made a pair of red Sally Gloves and also a golden color mercerized cotton hat.

For the Sally gloves I used a ball of dk alpaca, given to me by my friend Elizabeth, and I used the cutest buttons ever: vintage style pin up girls!


I love the girls! They are so cute. Look, one of them is on the phone… with Santa perhaps?


Next up is a hat made out of golden mercerized cotton. I took the Felicity Hat pattern, designed by the talented Wanett Clyde from Brooklyn, and heavily modified it.


Today, I contacted Wanett to ask her permission to publish this heavy modified Felicity pattern for free on my blog.

I am so happy to report to you that she agreed to it! So in the next few weeks, this hat pattern will be released here on Getting Purly With It.

Wanett’s Ravelry name is Nettie… so guess how this soon to be released hat pattern is going to be named..?

Lots of exciting things are going to happen around here… I simply cannot wait to share it all with you!

Thanks for reading and until the next entry…


Free Pattern: Miss Jenni Shawl

April 4, 2010


A luscious Feather and Fan Shawl, knitted with two different yarns held together.

You are going to knit two identical pieces which are later on joined with the three needle bind off technique.

The main body consists of the Feather and Fan pattern stitch, however with a slight variation.

In this post you will find:

  1. Picture tutorial
  2. How to wear your Miss Jenni Shawl
  3. Pdf file with pattern Miss Jenni Shawl (scroll all the way down)

The material: two dainty yarns


For my Miss Jenni Shawl, I am using two balls of Kidsilk Haze by Rowan (color 627) and two balls of Lace Merino Silk by Karabella (color 7211).

My favorite customer at Closeknit called Sharon, who became my dear friend, gave me the inspiration to work with these beautiful reds!

These two yarns combined together make for a very chique effect.

With one strand of Kidsilk Haze and one strand of Lace Merino Silk held together, cast on 56 stitches.


Make two identical pieces!

Make your first Feather and Fan piece. Do not cast off but put it aside on a needle holder or spare 24″ circ. needle.


Now start your second piece:


Where to stop within the pattern

I will instruct you to stop within the pattern after row 8, which is a wrong side row. Do row 8, and stop right there. If you turn your work around, it should look like this:

Three needle bind off2

I will have you stop right there for the sake of symmetry; it will line up perfectly with the three needle bind off and I like how it looks.

Getting ready for the three needle bind off

When you are ready for the three needle bind off, make sure the Right Sides of your two identical pieces, face each other:

Three needle bind off6

Align your two pieces neatly and you are ready to do join the pieces together:

Three needle bind off7 Three needle bind off8

Some useful tips for binding off

My working needle in this project is an Addi Turbo lace circ. needle.

I love working with those, but I dislike binding off with it because it is quite slippery. So I change everything to my wooden needles to bind off.

Three needle bind off9

Also, to bind off I use a needle size that is one size bigger than my working needle. Since my working needle is a US8, I am using a US9 to bind off.

I do this because the three needle bind off can be quite sturdy and tight. To relax it a bit, I am throwing the US9 needle in the mix.

Three needle bind off and its effect

Three needle bind off10

You are ready to do the three needle bind off.

If you have never done this before, go the cast off section of, scroll all the way down and see how Amy Finlay does it.

Afterwards, your piece should look like this:

Three needle bind off11

And all laid out it should look like this from the wrong side:

Three needle bind off12

And like this from the right side:

Three needle bind off13

Wetblocking and drying

Three needle bind off16

This part is optional…

I always wet block my pieces and lay them flat to dry. I soak my piece in luke warm water, with a drop of Eucalan.

After blocking, I lay my piece to dry peacefully on my drying rack:

Three needle bind off15

I love how the stitches are all evened out after blocking. Looks neat and tidy!


Besides that, my shawl grew about 7″ after I blocked it. I like that!

How to wear your Miss Jenni Shawl

You can wear your Miss Jenni Shawl for a night out over a dress or you can wear it casual.

Loop it around your neck and have the ends hanging down at the front:


Or wear it like in previous picture but make a knot in front:


Or throw one end over your shoulder so it is visible from the back:

2 6

Or fold your piece double, put it around your neck, and pull both end through loop:


Very special thanks to my friend Chris Tolomei from the blog alice thelma for taking such wonderful pictures of me and my Miss Jenni Shawl!!!

Great photography job, Chris!

And now for the pdf file for the Miss Jenni Shawl!


This shawl is named after my dear friend Miss Jenni.

She is a sweetheart and loves the Feather and Fan stitch.

Love you much sweet Miss Jenni, this one is dedicated to you…

For the pdf file, click on the link below:

Miss Jenni Shawl

Enjoy and Happy Easter!!!

Previous posts about this project:

Old Shale aka Feather and Fan

Yay for three needle bind off!