Finished: A top called “Attitude”

June 7, 2008


Pattern: My own design based on Tubey! I named the top: Attitude.
Yarn: 5 skeins of Venezia Worsted
Needles: Addi’s circ 24″ US 5 and #7
Cast on date: November 21 , 2007
Cast off date: June 7 , 2008

Hurray! She is finished!

My, my… It sure has been a journey with this one! Because of all the attitude this top gave me, I accordingly named her “Attitude”.

Readers who have been frequenting this blog for a while, might remember it all started lasted november when I had an idea for a top design.

Choosing Venezia Cascade Worsted

My design was inspired by Cassie Rovitti’s Tubey Sweater as seen on
After I drew out the design, I started swatching, casted on and soon enough I was well on my way.

Start of the shrug on dpns finished shrug Ribbing k1,p1 full twist HF4

Trials and Tribulations

This top gave me some serious attitude. The first bump in the road was when I increased waaaay too many stitches for gathering!

Too much pleads

Ooff, all the ripping back that I had to do… numerous times!

Rip rip rip

Seriously… this project gave me a headache more than once…

Happy with the endresult

Looks good, huh? I am happy!

Attitude4 Attitude3

I am so glad to finalize this project… It took me a long time to finish it!

If you want to read all entries on this project click here.

Here is a close up:


Yay, I am so proud of myself!

Thanks for sticking with me on this one everybody… and thanks you so much for your tips and encouraging words. I really appreciate that, you all kept me going.


Thank you for reading and untill the next entry!


Here we go again

June 2, 2008


For the past couple of days I have been working on my grey top… I wish I could write to you this: “Hurray, she’s finished!”.

However… I lament. Dang it. Here we go again with this top…. Again not to my liking!

I made too much side increases at the end which resulted in way too much flare! Sigh. I know with how many intervals to increase to avoid too much flare, yet I did not apply it.

I could leave it like this, and simply don’t care. But I know I will not wear it. And dang it, I am going to wear this thing!!! So rip rip rip it went. AGAIN.


That’s what you get when you want to knit a garment without a pattern!

Chase away the grey

Needless to say that I am not in a good mood tonight. I am so done with this top! “Stop it with the attitude already”, I want to say to her! Bah…

Oh well, let’s chase the grey away by looking at some pictures I took last weekend!



Thanks for reading and untill the next entry!

So Frenchy

April 2, 2008


skinny scarf4


It looks so frenchy, my skinny scarf made out of Cashmere 5 by Artyarns.
The beret, the scarf, my black fitted top… all that is missing is a Gauloise cigarette, et voila, je suis une femme parisienne.

skinny scarf3 skinny scarf2 skinny scarf1

This was a sweet little project, I just adore working with cashmere! The pattern that I used is just the feather and fan lace stitch on a needle size 8. I kept on going untill I ran out of yarn. Sweet and simple.

Remember this one?

Those of you who have been frequenting my knitting blog must remember this project:

Rip rip rip

Remember how I miserably failed with the increases at the middle section of my top? Here is a picture to remind you… I still shake my head and roll my eyes over it:

Too much pleads

After I ripped it back to start anew, I just was so sick of it that I tossed this sweater project in a corner. It took me several months to finally look at it again and to make amends.

Let me tell ya, this sweater is giving me some SERIOUS ATTITUDE. She is slappin’ me around. But… I persevered and this is how she looks now:


I cut back the number of increase stitches considerably as you can see. The pleads are much subtler now and the thing does not look like some pregnancy outfit.

I will be working some more on this one in the next few weeks! I so want to be done with it!

Look at this cute design

Araucania Hat

I want to knit this hat so badly… designed by Jean Moss and featured in a Auracania pattern book/mag called Wandering Spirits.


Pretty please… like… yesterday?


brave little mushrooms

Thanks for reading and untill the next entry!


December 5, 2007

Too much pleads

Sigh… methinks I increased a tad too many for my center pleads! It is absolutely not to my liking.

What..? You think it looks okay? It looks not too bad? You have got to be kidding me:


Ugh… thumbs down on this one!

Rip, rip, rip it goes!

Rip rip rip

Eh… what can I say? It’s a learning curve for sure…

Now if you all will excuse me… I think I am going to pour myself a glass of w(h)ine.

Have Faith

December 3, 2007

Have Faith

For the past few days I have been working my ever so slowly progressing knit 1, purl 1 with full twist rib. My hands were hurting, I was constantly thinking about how slow this stitch was and worst of all, I lost interest in the project.

Then when I finally got past that rib section, I had to knit my second section which was knitting and purling all through the back loop.

Dear reader, I became desolate… my hands were hurting even more and purling through the back loop seemed merely impossible so I let that go.

Even this section was so incredibly slow and then it happened. I lost faith in my project. The gates of doom opened and I started to worry: what have I started? This thing will never ever be finished! And if I do finish, it will probably look like crap!

My thoughts were spiraling down and at one point I really did not enjoy knitting this project anymore…

So… I had to have a little talk with myself. Have faith, I said firmly to myself. Have a little faith that it will come out okay. Negative thoughts will only get in the way of your creativity. Put that aside, lift your mind from it and get on with your work… okay?

Okay, I replied and picked up my work again!

Look at how wonderfully the first 2 section came out… the rib is tight and crips, the horizontal lines of the second section is just what I visualized it to be:

Now I can start with the third section of the body: making the pleads in the middle of the front and back part. These pleads are made by increasing using the KFB technique: knit in front and back of several stitches.

Now comes the question: how much stitches to increase? How to figure that out?

First I determine the exact middle of back and front of my work and mark it (little bird marker). Then I put markers on 2 times 10 stitches on either side.


The increases will occur within these markers. Within the green markers I will increase every stitch. In the area outside the green markers, towards the orange markers I will increase every other stitch.

I did not make some difficult calculation, I am just winging it and hope for the best.

At the same time of the increases, I will make decreases on the sides every 4th row.

Now fingers crossed!


Sometimes a project is a bit difficult and not so enjoyable… pair this with negative thoughts and you want to drop everything.

Two things you can do: follow the negativity, or put it aside and trust that you will make something beautiful. When thoughts are spiraling down, know that you can stop it. Bring it to a halt, lift your mind, and let the creativity flow.

Thanks for reading and untill the next entry!

Following my Heart: Part 3

November 30, 2007

Right after we got married, my husband and I had to get ready for a traveling life. My husband had been offered a job that would entail traveling throughout the USA. We felt so adventurous when we gave up our appartment in Manhattan and most of our belongings!

I vividly remember that feeling of freedom: leaving all that we belong behind, and just take off like that. Just him, me and 2 suitcases….Weeeeeee!!!

Toronto, Canada – Chicago, Illinois


The very first city we traveled to was Toronto in Canada. Just like in Manhattan, there were a lot of high rise buildings and just like in Manhattan, I felt so small in Toronto!

I spent many hours walking up and down Yong Street, wandering through the underground pathway malls, going to the Farmers Market building and figuring out how the transportation system was set up.

Everything was so incredibly foreign to me… I have to admit, I was kind of intimidated… I found everything to be SO BIG!

After a month it was time to travel to Chicago.


Again, everything seemed so incredibly big to me; the streets, the malls, the buildings… just everything. Like a little scared mouse, I would carefully walk the streets of Chicago. I was so incredibly shy and had to get used to the way people were and talked to each other.

I was so happy to see that downtown Chicago was adorned with flowers that reminded me of home: tulips!


It was in this town that I started to take pictures of the things that would catch my eye. And I was especially visually interested in some sort of patterns like these:

Patterns Patterns2

Not knowing why I was so visually interested in those images, I did not think about it and just made a lot of pictures. Now, two years later, it all makes sense…

It was such an exciting time for me… getting married, travel to two major North American cities, seeing so much new stuff. Fabulous for sure, but late at night, when all the excitement would die down, my mind would wander off to the Netherlands to my friends and family… and a pain in my heart was felt.

Af for Knitting
All stitches are picked up
After picking up all those stitches, I started with my rib section: knit 1, purl 1 with full twist, meaning that every knit stitch will be knitted in the back of the loop.

Now I am a fairly fast knitter, often times, my projects just fly off my needles and I make much progress. This k1, p1 ribbing with full twist, however, is so incredibly sloooooooooooooow. My word, it is killing me. What have I done, I ask myself. Why did I choose this painfully sloooooooooooow stitch????

When I see the results, though, I remember why… gasp, so beautiful! I love the crips and tight stitches! How pretty it looks. I am very very happy how this turns out.
crisp and tight stitches 2
Crisp and tight stitches

Just a few more inches…sigh… and then I can start with the second section of my garment. So far, so good!

Ribbing k1,p1 full twist

Thanks for reading and untill the next entry!

The Importance of a Gauge Swatch

November 27, 2007

Choosing Venezia Cascade Worsted

When I first found out about knitting blogs, I would scout them night after night to find those knitting blogs who would show me in detail the proces of their knitting project. I would absorb every little detail they were talking about and I was mesmerized by every single step they took.

In this entry I would like to do the very same thing. Step by step and in detail I will show and tell about my design, based on Cassie Rovitti’s Tubey.

Start of the Shrug

This design basically consists of 2 tubes: the Shrug and the Body. In this section I am going to show and tell how I determine how much to cast on for my shrug.

My gauge swatch tells me that I have a gauge of 6 stitches to 1 inch in stockinette stitch. So, how will I know how much to cast on?

First, I measure my biceps: 12 inch. I know I have 6 st to 1 inch, so 6×12=72 stitches. However, I want some negative ease in my shrug because I want it to be very close fitted so instead of casting on 72 stitches, I will cast on 60 and keep my fingers crossed it will come out okay. You see, much that I do is trial and error and hoping for the best!


I cast on 60 stitches on dpns for the start of shrug and work in the round:

Start of the shrug on dpns

After 4 inches, I will stop working in the round but instead work back and forth because I want to start with the opening of my shrug:
Working back and forth


Unfortunately, I cannot get rid of the dpns yet and change to striaght or circulair needles. I have to wait untill my work lays flat enough. Only then can I get rid of the dpns:
Cannot change to circulair needles yet Time to change to circ Changed to circ


Now comes the question: for how long do I have to work in straight stockinette? When do I join in the round again to finish my shrug?

I measure my cross back width from armpit to armpit: 19 inch. I keep in mind though, that I want to be able to move my arms around and I do not want the shrug to pinch me in the armpits. So I add 1.5 inches to my 19 inches for ease.

Now I know that from the point I started working back and forth, to the point I am going to join in the round again, I have to work 20.5 inches in straight stockinette:
Measure crossback width Measure crossback width 2

After 20.5 inches measured from where I started to work back and forth, I change back to my dpns, and work for 4 inches in the round again:
Change to dpns again Now finish the shrug

After working for 4 inches, I bind off and mark both side openings of my shrug:
finished shrug

Start of the Body

Now I have to determine how much stitches to cast on for the body. Let’s go back to my swatch and look at the top section:
determining gauge for body 2

For my swatch, I casted on 40 stitches. I see that it yields 5 inches. However, I want my top section to stretch. So I slightly stretch my swatch and look how much inches it then yields:
determining gauge for body

Notice that while slightly stretched, my swatch of 40 stitches yields 6 inches. With this information, I can calculate the number of stitches per inch: 40 divided by 6 = 6.6

I determine my gauge to be 6.5 stitches to 1 inch in knit one, purl one pattern with full twist.

I measure the circumference right above my chest: 34 inches.

34 inches x 6.5 stithces = 221 stitches. However I will cast on 5 stitches less. Don’t ask my why… I just want to cast on 216 stitches because 216 just sounds right… (giggle).


Now I have to pick up stitches and cast on stitches for the opening in the front. I have 216 stitches to divide for front and back so 108 stitches for each side.

The back side is easy, I just pick up 108 stitches. Before I do anything, I divide the back section in bite size sections. That way it is easier for me to divide those 108 stitches more evenly:

Bite size sections

For the front side, I have to create an opening of about 10 inches. So in the end I will cast on 60 stitches for the neck opening and on each side of the front of the shrug I pick up the remaining 24 + 24 stitches ( 60 + 24 +24 =108)

Now all 216 stitches are accounted for, they are neatly picked up and/or casted on:
All stitches are picked up

Now I am ready to start the body with my knit one, purl one (with full twist) rib!

This entry may be a bit too techical, but hopefully this will give you good insight why a gauge swatch is so important. Also by doing this I want to show and tell you EVERYTHING, so that there are no mysteries in how to create your very own garment.

Once again, I am just a rookie knitter. Instead of being intimidated and instead of saying to myself that I am NEVER able to make my own design, I say to myself: Nancy, you figure it out. You can do this. Now do it.

Maybe it will work, maybe I will totally screw it up. Either way, only one way to find out. And that is by just doing it. With each mistake that I make, I learn. With each succes that I make, I gain more confidence.

Thanks for reading and untill the next entry!

Previous entries on this sweater design:

Conceptualization of a New Design