Wednesday, March 21, 2012


This can be a touchy category of yarn.  Most of the mohairs I've run across are the ones that leave you feeling like you've rolled in fiberglass.  I really never touched a mohair I liked, even blended as in Brown Sheep's yarns.  Admit it, you've been there.  A yarn labeled "kid mohair".  Everyone you've spoken to love it.  It's this fluff attached to a nylon binder that underwhelms and leaves you literally scratching, fluff flying everywhere and the patience of a saint required when you need to frog back.  So with all this negative review of the stuff, why on earth am I writing up a blog entry?

Enter in Colinton Australian Angoras.  I'm currently knitting up a White Lotus Stole in their 3000 Ultrafine Laceweight.  And it's like no mohair I've ever touched before.  No itchies at all, no blobs of fluff shedding off the stole.  I had to rip back-slowly because of past experiences-and it didn't catch on the fluff.  This is a sturdy, 2 ply laceweight yarn that's smooth and 100% kid mohair.  No nylon binders in sight, no bouclĂ© curls.  And the colorway is a wonderful deep golden color called honey. 

The stoles and shawls come in these great kits called Tucker Boxes.  Everything you need comes in the box, except for the knitting needles, steel crochet hook and blocking materials.  You even get samples of Unicorn Fiber Wash solutions. 

The pattern itself is designed by Jackie E.S. of Heartstrings FiberArts.  It’s well written, easily memorized, and knits up quick. 

I’m super excited about this opportunity.  And I’ve borrowed a picture of the yarn from Colinton, just because my camera seems not to do the yarn justice.  When the shawl is less of a blob with beads I’ll post pictures of it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Next Generation

I'm not sure if I've ever really said how I became a sock knitter here.
I walked into A.C. Moore on a day they were having a knitting group there. One of the ladies was working on a loom, and another was working on a sock. I asked her if sock knitting was difficult, and got the snarkiest "No" I've ever heard from a knitter. I vowed to learn, and haven't looked back since.
Which brings me to the point behind this post. Last Friday I was at my LYS with a friend who needed sock yarn to make her DH a pair. There was a young woman and her mother, and they seemed a bit overwhelmed. The shop owner was busy, so I offered to help them. Turns out the daughter was working on her first pair of socks and was stuck at the heel, and was considering putting them aside and starting an easier pattern. She was from Wisconsin (I also gently pointed her in the direction of Elizabeth Zimmermann and Meg Swansen) and the shop owner there had given her a pattern that was confusing, but had kindly highlighted most of the instructions for her size. We plopped down on the couch, and with her mother taking notes we worked our way through the dutch heel instructions. I gave them my email address in case there were any more problems, but I doubt there will be. She seems to be a natural, she had done the heel flap and leg correctly, great sized stitches, a born knitter! I then went about my business, and the young lady walked up to me with money, saying thank you. When I told her to keep the money, her mother came around the corner, they were both astounded.
As I told them, I was so happy to see someone her age picking up this wonderful craft. Helping someone to understand it, to me, is its own payment.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Skullie Mitten Pattern Available!

Yup, you can now purchase the pattern online.  So many people love articles of clothing with skulls on them, this is one more way to show them off.  Mitten pattern has charts and is knitted using the fair isle technique.  Only $6.00, you can use any kind of worsted weight yarn.  Make sure you share any pictures of the finished mittens!

skullie mitten


Thursday, February 23, 2012

House keeping

Which is something I'm truly bad at.  On this blog it means that I'm trying to put in new pages and share all the places where my original designs are available.  Currently I only have the things done for South West Trading Company.  There will be another page to purchase my original self published designs, and one that will list the books I have patterns in or have done sample knitting for.  There will probably also be a page for my handspun, as that still goes on in the background at Chez Terrapin.  I would post more, but a lot of it would read as still working on that mystery project, more pug pics!
Jonelle handed off 2 sweaters to Rick Santorum with 2 more on the way.  I really have myself to blame for missing the deadline.  I knew in my head that I had to move it, but if I don't like an element, I have to rip it out.  Then I came  down with the mother of all headcolds, and completely lost a day to sleep.
Oh, and as a side note, there will be a spot to order some of my jalapeno jelly.  Next batch I'm adding habanero as requested by his hubbiness.  And yes, I know there's a little squiggle over the N, but I can't figure it out.
Feel free to leave a comment or a link to pics of things you've made from my patterns.  That could be a page all by itself!  I'm sure at the moment it would be mostly the Hunting Socks pattern!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Knitting for public awareness

Jonelle from had a great idea. Rick Santorum wears knitted vests. What a wonderful way to bring hand knitting into the public eye then for us to band together and make him some. No matter what your political affiliation, this is a way to get our work seen nationally.
Contact Jonelle at, or join us on