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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays everyone! The end of this year has certainly been a stressful one, but I hope for more relaxing times in the coming year.

I'll be without email and internet until January 2nd, so if you happen to have a question about a pattern during that time, I'll get back to you then!

See you next year!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Office Update

Well, meet my temporary home office. Do you like the swift? Adds a nice touch, right? This will be my work space until I can go back to the office on Monday.

Temporary office

Don't mind all the monitors, the big dinosaur on the right blew out a few weeks ago and needs to be carried down to be recycled. The new shiny one is now jealously hiding behind the mac.

As you can see, the mac was fine. Luckily, the water damage was confined to the floor and the sprinklers didn't go off overhead. There was a bunch of sweaters that were on my floor that got wet, but most of it wasn't too bad. Thank goodness for imac with no cpu towers!

It was still quite a mess when I got into work on Tuesday and wasn't much better yesterday. They had the fans and dehumidifiers out in full force. It smelled like beer. Probably not a good sign.

Wednesday was our holiday party and we still couldn't turn anything on. They kept us busy making birthday cards for our Nov/Dec/Jan b-day babies. Glue, jewels and markers. Designers are very easily entertained. After lunch we got out the scrabble board and played until it was time to go party.

Our holiday parties are always a surprise and always tons of fun. One year was a scavenger hunt, one year bowling and karaoke, next year party bus and salsa lessons. This year our only clue was it was going to be more mature, but fun. More mature doesn't usually sound very fun, so we were skeptical.

So gathered at 5pm and were given aprons. Hmm, are we cooking? Sure were! We went around the corner to Rustico Cooking, learned some cooking skills and made our own dinner. I chose the red snapper table (with a chef that will be on the next Top Chef!) and caught the tail end of the demonstration on the hazelnut chocolate cake. We also had shrimp and asparagus lasagna, garlic mashed potatoes, fillet mignon, the red snapper and the hazelnut chocolate cake with chocolate sauce and vanilla bean ice cream. The cake was absolutely heavenly. Favorite dish of the night by a mile. Everything else was pretty good too.

Monday, December 08, 2008

All Dry!

Meret was all dry this morning after spending a night on the radiator. There was no way I wasn't going to be wearing it today and I was going to make sure it was dry. The office is usually a bit nippy on Monday mornings and when I saw the temperature at 30 degrees, I knew it wouldn't be an exception.


Meret Back

I really liked the way it turned out and it has just the perfect amount of slouch. Too little slouch and it sticks up off your head. Too much slouch and it would look like it's going to swallow me whole.

And speaking of the office, apparently very soon after I left tonight, there was a fire where our server is kept and then the office flooded. The sprinklers were also activated and everything was covered in water. Hopefully not stinky, been sitting in the pipes for 10 years water.

Samples, printers, scanners, computers. Everything was apparently wet. One one hand, I'd love to get an updated mac, but loosing all of those sweater files would not be cool. I have a back up external hard drive that was hidden behind the computer and under a shelf, only loosing recent work not backed up is better than loosing everything I suppose. Here's hoping that when I show up at 9am tomorrow to help clean up, it's not as bad as I think.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Stolen Moments

For the past few weeks, somehow I've been free of deadline knitting and have very much welcomed the little moments of knitting something for myself.

alligator scarf #2

In between all of the selfish projects, I've also completed another Alligator scarf for my sister's boss to give as a gift. This scarf is really a fun project and definitely wasn't any less fun the second time around. It's fun to see each section quickly become a complete alligator. I hope she wears it well!

Desert Sun shawl

I've been steadily working on Desert Sun, but it's had it's moments of frustration. A few weeks back I had dropped 4 stitches - 15 rows down. Argh! After a bit of breathing room, I picked it up last week and corrected the stitches. I then proceeded to drop 4 more stitches, but luckily saw them before they had the chance to go more than 3 rows down.


After working on the shawl all day yesterday, I was inspired by another knitters finished Meret on Ravelry to start one of my own. I had some leftover Lanas Puras Melosa Worsted from the Urban wrap and cast on right away at 10:30pm. I lost total track of time and was surprised to see that several hours had gone by and it was 1am. I haven't gotten lost in my knitting like that in quite some time. It felt really good.

Today I finished it up and it's blocking as I write. I hope it will be dry by tomorrow, it's gotten pretty cold here again so I'd love to be able to take it out on the town.

I always used to shy away from quick projects. If it wasn't a sweater, I wasn't interested. But I have found that there is a certain sense of accomplishment in being able to complete something in a day or two. While I will probably never fall into the category of an instant gratification knitter, now I know it never hurts to change things up every once in awhile and you get a finished object instantly wearable out of the deal. Not bad!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Urban Wrap

It's been a few weeks coming, but finally here is the.............

Urban Wrap
by Melissa Wehrle

Urban Wrap

Urban Wrap

The Urban Wrap is a simple, cozy piece sure to spice up any wardrobe. The curved fronts and extra long ties add a modern flair to an otherwise standard wrap cardigan. A quick knit worked in worsted weight yarn and stockinette stitch, it makes a great showpiece for your favorite variegated and hand dyed yarns.


-Lanas Puras Melosa Worsted: 100% Merino wool; 100g/215yd skein; 4 (4, 5, 6, 6, 7, 8) skeins Passion
-1 pair US 8 (5mm) straight needles
-1 US 8 (5mm) 36" or longer circular needle
-1 US I (5.5mm) crochet hook
-1 Stitch holder
-Tapestry needle

Finished bust: 30 (33, 37, 41.5, 45, 49, 53)"/76 (84, 94, 105.5, 114.5, 124.5,134.5)cm
Length: 22.5 (23, 23.5, 24, 24.5, 25.5, 26.5)"/57 (58.5, 59.5, 61, 62, 65, 67.5)cm

18 sts/24 rows = 4"/10cm in Stockinette stitch

A kit for the Urban Wrap is available at One Planet Yarn and Fiber (pattern is included).

or purchase the pattern by clicking on the button below


Psst: If you decide to purchase the yarn for this sweater later instead of the kit, enter the code "Urban10" at checkout at One Planet, it's good for 10% off the yarn for this sweater.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


The second edition of the Victorian Christmas stocking is finished! After the replacement yarn arrived 1 1/2 weeks ago, I worked tirelessly to try and finish it up before Thanksgiving - with a few weeks to spare! Tomorrow it gets dropped in a mailbox and I will await a very surprised Mom. (I don't think she really believed me last year when I said it would be finished before this Christmas. In fact, she didn't even know I had started making it.)

Now for the eye candy: [Ravelry entry here]

Victorian Stocking

Victorian Stocking detail top

Victorian Stocking detail leg

Victorian Stocking detail heel

Victorian Stocking detail toe

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Why Ravelry is So Awesome.......

Well, at least one of many reasons why Ravelry is awesome.

Stocking #2

About 2 weeks ago, I decided that I should probably get started on my Mom's Christmas stocking that was actually a gift last year. I figured it would probably be a good thing if I gave to her around Thanksgiving so she could put it up this Christmas as promised. Yes, I had to keep that promise.

Now, I had made the same stocking for my Grandmother and completed it back in April. I had bought 2 balls of Ecru, one ball of blue for hers, and one ball of red for my Mom's. What was left of the ecru, I split into 2 yarn cakes since I'm knitting with 2 strands. It looked a little short, but I had confidence I'd make it without a problem.

So I set out knitting and the ecru didn't seem like it was going to cut it, but I still had faith. I knit and knit and knit yesterday for hours and hours. I got to the point of starting the heel and guess what? I have about 15 yards of yarn left in each cake. No worries, I'll just get some more from Elann.com.

So I go onto Elann today and guess what (you probably know where we're going here)? Ecru either isn't being sold anymore or is out of stock. Panic mode sets in. Luckily a little sense is still left in my head and I think "what about Ravelry?" I quickly click over and thank goodness! A knitter has 2 balls of Ecru for sale!!!! I don't get too happy as I've been fooled before and crossed my fingers as I sent off a message to the seller.

Tonight I heard back from the seller, and yes it was available and she'd mail it tomorrow! Happy day! Seriously, how did we ever make it before Ravelry?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Pattern Preview

Here's a quick preview of my soon to be newest neoknits pattern - Urban Wrap.

urban wrap

The urban wrap is a basic cardigan with a twist and knits up really quickly in Lanas Puras Melosa Worsted. This body can easily become a staple in anyone's wardrobe and did I mention the yarn is super cuddly and warm? My sample already made it's NYC debut on Tuesday - it was a bit on the chilly side, but it kept me plenty toasty.

I hope to tie up a few loose ends with the pattern in the next few days with a release early next week. Stay tuned!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Seemingly Quiet

It's been a little quiet on the blog lately, but there has been tons going on:

Rain at Stitch n' Pitch

On September 25th, I went to Stitch n' Pitch and sat out in the rain as the Mets pulled a 7-6 victory in the top of the 9th out of their bats. Kimberly, Anna, and Randi were my fellow brave stitchers, with photo credits going to Burt. Notice all the empty seats around? It was miserable, and cold! But they won - for us knitters of course! Too bad they didn't make it into the playoffs :(

New Design 1

Here is a new neoknits pattern in the works. Sweater and pattern are all finished, just waiting for a nice day to photograph! I hope to have this released by the end of the week.

New Design 2

And here is a second neoknits pattern in the works. This cashmere cardigan is just waiting for a collar. I really love the simple texture stitch on this one.

First hand dyed yarn

I also took my first dip into hand dying this week. I received this kit from Rita at Castlefibers in a Hillary Debt reduction swap a little while ago. The sock yarn is really yummy and I think for my first try, I didn't do too bad. The dye took well and didn't run a bit when rinsing. The red was supposed to be a purplish red, but it didn't quite come out that way - maybe it's Queens water! The other color in the kit was green, so I just decided to leave the other half white. I separated the skein evenly so I can finally have a go at some toe up socks.

Sea Tangles Sleeve

And last but not least, finally a progress shot of Sea Tangles! I've only been working on this between projects, but it's fairly slow knitting. I love the Habu Stainless Steel/Silk yarn and how it holds its shape, moves and bends. The photo doesn't do the yarn justice by any means.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Saw This on Topshop.com Today

I came across this sweater on topshop.com today. I'm biased of course, but I think I like my buttercup better :)

I have some progress on Sea Tangles to post once I stop being lazy....well busy. It's slow knitting, but I really love the project so far. I was hoping to get it finished before the weather got too cool to wear it, but it had to be put on the side lines for a few deadline projects that need to be attended to first.

Pair that with new fall sweaters hitting the stores, new fall patterns and my mind just has way too many ideas to ever knit them all. I wish there was a way to remedy that, but I guess I'll just have to prioritize. Sigh. Well if I look on the bright side, prioritizing is way easier on the wallet.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Popknits is Now Live!

If you haven't checked out popknits yet, what are you waiting for! It's live :)


Friday, August 22, 2008

Ravelympics Finish Line

I made it across the Ravelympics Finish Line tonight at 5:23pm! Finished with a few days to spare this time around. At the 2006 Olympics, First Aid came in close with about 15 minutes to spare!

Team Give Em Hill Knitters
Pattern: Daytrip Cardigan by me
Yarn: Lanas Puras Clarissa in Granite
Needles: Sizes 7 and 5
Start Time: August 8th 9:22am
Finish Time: August 22nd 5:23pm

Mods: I’m really a size S, but I wanted a nice tight fit around the bust, so I went with the XS instead. I lengthened the armhole by 1/2” to match the S, but didn’t have to modify the sleeve cap at all.

I also changed the location of the buttonholes adding one to the neck trim instead of all 6 on the center front placket.

Ravelympics Daytrip Cardigan

Ravelympics Cardigan

Ravelympics Cardigan

Friday, August 15, 2008

Popknits Fall Preview is Up!

Take a look!

I also just happen to have a pattern in this issue, buttercup. [Ravelry link] Buttercup was a really fun sweater for me to design and knit up. It was also my first try at intarsia - which really isn't as scary as you might think. Promise!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

More Guinevere Lace Help

After writing the tutorial the other day for decreasing in lace, I still wasn't happy and felt I needed to add some more info to the pattern to help. Decreasing in lace isn't always the easiest thing to figure out (I've certainly had my days!) so if I could pour over some graph paper and help make it easier, I figured why not?

For the back I've added placement instructions when you reach lace pattern 2. For the front, I've added placement for lace pattern 1 and 2. This includes both left and right panels with the stitch pattern mirrored on the right panel (gotta love the symmetry).

I've emailed out new links for the updated pattern, but if for some reason you did not receive one please email me at neoknits AT yahoo DOT com and I'll send over the updated version right away.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Guinevere: FAQ decreasing in lace

Q: When I get to pattern 2, where do I start in the chart when decreasing? How does that work?

A: When decreasing in lace (or increasing for that matter) the most important thing to remember is to make sure every yo is paired with a decrease. Why? Well, a yo is an increase and if it is not paired with a decrease to keep the pattern balanced, things can get very ugly very quickly! Of course there are exceptions to every rule, but we aren't talking about those types of lace patterns here.

So, after doing the specified shaping, and a yo/decrease pair do need to be left out then what happens? Any extra stitches left over are then replaced with either knit or purl stitches (depending on the pattern you are working with - it's usually the ground stitch).

In the case of Guinevere (using size 33 for example) (click on any chart to enlarge):

Here is chart 2 with the first 2 decreases marked out in blue.


The directions say: Dec Row: (RS) K1, ssk, work in pattern to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1.

But what does this really mean in terms of where you start your pattern on the chart?


Looking at the chart, you have a k1, followed by a yo, ssk. That's not going to work because you need to add in a decrease. So this yo, ssk pair will need to be dropped.


And at the end, same thing. You need to slip in a k2tog decrease, but you have a yo, k2tog in your way. This yo, k2tog pair will need to be dropped.

Now let's replace the dropped yo/dec pairs with what is actually happening:


So our first row now looks like this: K1, ssk, k2, k2tog, yo, k1, *yo, ssk, k1, k2tog, yo, k1, rep from * to last 7 sts, yo, ssk, k2, k2tog, k1. The k2 stitches in bold are added to take the place of the replaced yo/decrease pair we had to take out to keep the stitch count correct. (These stitches are circled in blue on the chart)

For row 3 the only change is we have one less stitch at the beginning and end. So instead of beginning and ending with 2 stitches, we now only begin and end with 1 stitch.

Now let's take a look at our next decrease at row 5:


Again, the first and last yo/decrease pairs are going to be in the way so they need to go.


And here is our chart with the decreases added. So row 5 now looks like this: K1, ssk, k1, yo, ssk, k1, *k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k1; rep from * to last 6 stitches, k2tog, yo, k1, k2tog, k1.

Row 7 doesn't involved any decreases, but now because we've decreased 2 stitches on each edge, it still affects the pattern and the first and last yo pairs need to go:


So for row 7 we now have: K3, yo, k1, sl1-k2tog-psso, *k1, yo, k2, yo, sl1-k2tog-psso, rep from * to last 4 stitches, k1, yo, k3.

And so on.

A tip to help keep track of the changing pattern:
On a piece of graph paper and with a pencil, mark out a few pattern repeats + the beginning and end stitches. Then mark in every decrease (like my blue side seam line in the charts above). Erase any yo/dec pairs that interfere with your shaping and add in your decreases and changes in pattern as needed.

Shaping in lace does take a little bit of practice, but with a little bit of patience, it will all start to make sense!

Other helpful resources:

- Majoring in Lace by Eunny Jang (part 3 talks about shaping)

- Beyond the Basics: A Primer in Lace
by Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer (Interweave Summer 2006) Part I of article

- Beyond the Basics: Lace - Shaping Your Garment by Eunny Jang (Interweave Fall 2006) Part II of article

Ravelympics: Day 2

Day 2:

Pretty boring, but here is progress for Day 2 - we have another sleeve:

ravelympics: day 2

Not doing too well for day 3, but I think I can make up for it during the week. I had a chance to get out of the house and meet up with Connie for some delicious brunch in the city this afternoon. I hear french toast helps keep up the knitting strength. (At least I heard that in my mind!)

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Ravelympics: Day 1

As of 8:00am yesterday, the Ravelympics are now officially underway!

Day 1:
I had intended to begin on my ride to work in the subway yesterday and just barely managed to grab a seat. I usually go for the front of the train, but I had to make a mad dash up the stairs as the train was arriving, so I got stuck in the middle. Luckily a guy had a huge bag on the bench and another woman asked him to politely remove it. Score! Just enough room for her and I to sit down. Yes, it was a REALLY big bag!

Things started off slowly, but by the time I got home, I managed to crank out an entire sleeve on day 1. Not too bad!

ravelympics: day 1 progress

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Long Awaited Tatami

For those of you who have been waiting, Tatami is now available (again!) And big thanks to Sundara for graciously allowing me to republish it!

by Melissa Wehrle



Tatami Back

Louet Gems Sport (100% Merino Wool, 100g, 225yds/205m); 5 (5, 5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 8) skeins Caribbean Blue

Actual yardage: 986 (1021, 1127, 1171, 1261, 1404, 1521, 1651)yds

1 pair US 5 (3.75mm) 36" or longer circular needle, or size needed to obtain gauge
1 US size D (3.25mm) crochet hook
1 stitch marker
Tapestry needle

Fits bust size: 33 (35, 37, 39, 41, 45, 49, 53)"/84 (89, 94, 99, 104, 114, 124.5, 134.5)cm, shown in size 33" with 0" ease.

Finished Measurements
Finished bust: 33 (35, 37, 39, 41, 45, 49, 53)"/84 (89, 94, 99, 104, 114, 124.5, 134.5)cm

Length: 23 (23, 24, 24.5, 25, 26, 26.5, 27)"/58.5 (58.5, 61, 62, 63.5, 66, 67.5, 68.5)cm

24 sts and 31 rows = 4"/10cm in Stockinette stitch with US size 5 needles.
24 sts and 31 rows = 4"/10cm in drop stitch pattern with US size 5 needles, before dropping sts.
18 sts and 31 rows = 4"/10cm in drop stitch pattern, after dropping sts.

To save time, take time to check gauge.

buy now

Monday, July 28, 2008

Tatami Progress

Tatami has been coming along well (past the 1/2 way point!) and I'm so excited to get this finished up for several reasons:

1. I can't wait to get the pattern back up for sale.

2. The Ravelympics start in 12 days! Yay! My project will be my Daytrip Cardigan since I have the yarn and I've never made one for myself.

3. I bought yarn for Sea Tangles last friday and I want to start NOW! And in case there is any wonder why I want to start now, feast your eyes on this lovely eggplant silk/stainless steel from Habu:

silk/stainless steel

If you haven't checked out Sea Tangles closely, you need to. It involves an Excel spreadsheet that changes each time you print or open up the file. I love the true randomness of this pattern and it challenges my sense of order to the core. Sometimes I need a project to challenge my linear way of thinking, and it's nice to let it go for once.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Errata, It Happens

Sigh, even the best attempts to catch all errata aren't good enough and I apologize for that.

There was a small, but important boo boo in Row 1 of Lace Chart 2 for Guinevere (written instructions were correct) (File name guinevere_v1 only):

lace pattern 2

And there is also a mistake on Lace Chart 1. The written instructions are correct, but the chart was wrong on Rows 2 and 4.

lace pattern 1

An update email with a new download link has been sent out to anyone who had purchased the pattern, but if you did not receive an email, please contact me at neoknits AT yahoo DOT com and I'll take care of it right away.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Up Next........

Remember Tatami? She's been unavailable for awhile now, awaiting a new yarn since Sundara discontinued her Sport and Worsted Weight Merino (gosh, I loved that yarn!) Sadly, Sundara has not found a suitable replacement yet, but she has graciously allowed me to republish the pattern under neoknits. So I am happy to report that Tatami will be available again (in PDF form) very soon!

For Tatami #2, I've picked out Louet Gems Sport in a lovely shade of Caribbean Blue. DB was kind enough to pick my order up for me from Knitty City this afternoon. He even carried it onto the subway, clear bag and all. I'm such a lucky girl.

louet gems sport

I've also been working on a secret project for One Planet in Lanas Puras Melosa. In this pile, there are 2 sleeves, a back and 1 front. Magically, the 1 front is off by .25 sts and .5 rows per inch, so it is a little wider and considerable longer than it should be. I still do not know how that happened, considering everything was knit in the span of 3 days! I thought that this could only happen if a project languished for months or years? No, apparently not. Why does gauge always have to be so cruel?

Secret project for One Planet

Monday, July 07, 2008


Introducing my newest neoknits pattern:


by Melissa Wehrle



Guinevere back

Guinevere detail

Guinevere is the perfect little cardigan for the warmer weather. This cap sleeve cardigan is full of little details and interesting textures. Two different lace stitches make up the bottom then continue on to a jersey/reverse jersey fully shaped neck finish. The body is then completed with 1x1 rib cap sleeves. Even though the body is knit flat, very little finishing is required! No buttonholes or picking up stitches here

HandMaiden Fine Yarn Flaxen; (65% Silk/35% Linen, 100g, 273yds/250m); 3 (3, 3, 3, 4) skeins Sangria

Actual yardage: 570(625, 690, 770, 840)yds/521 (572, 631, 704, 768)m

1 pair US 5 (3.75mm) straight needles
1 pair US 4 (3.5mm) straight needles
1 pair US 2 (2.75mm) straight needles
1 US size D (3.25mm) crochet hook
1 stitch marker
Tapestry needle
(2) 1/2" buttons
2 small snaps
Sewing needles and thread

30 (33, 36, 39, 42)"/76 (84, 91.5, 99, 106.5)cm; shown in size 33"/84cm with 1.5"/4cm negative ease.

Finished measurements
Finished bust: 28.5 (31.5, 34.5, 37.5, 40.5)"/72.5 (80, 87.5, 95, 103)cm
Length: 18.75 (19.25, 20, 20.75, 21.5)"/47.5 (49, 51, 52.5, 54.5)cm

24 sts and 28 rows = 4"/10cm in Stockinette St with US size 4 needles
20 sts and 32 rows = 4"/10cm in lace stitches with US size 5 needles
26 sts and 37 rows = 4"/10cm in 1x1 rib with US size 2 needles

Pattern is 18 pages long and includes:
- written and charted instructions for lace patterns
- detailed schematic
- fully charted neck shaping for each size (both right and left sides)
- suggestions for fit modification
- flat knit construction with minimal finishing (shoulder, side, and armhole seams only)


P.S. A note about the sizing. Usually, my size range goes above a size 42" bust, but for this particular design, I really felt the larger sizes needed a dedicated plus size pattern. There are just too many special design changes for the larger sizes to truly make it a successful style for ample knitters. I do plan on adding larger sizes later on down the road (complete with appropriately sized garment pictured).

P.P.S. I've added a tutorial on decreasing in lace for this project which can be found here.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Sneak Preview

Before I leave NYC for the weekend, I wanted to post a little sneak peek of my newest neoknits pattern: Guinevere.


I really loved the way this sweater turned out and I hope you do too. Keep posted for the official release some time next week. I hope everyone has a safe, wonderful and relaxing holiday!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Design Update

I've been working my knitting fingers to the bone trying to push out some new designs and for once, I can finally say 2 of them are for neoknits! One is the plus size version of Sesame, but the other is brand new.


For the new design, I'm working with Handmaiden Flaxen and I love this yarn. Usually, I'm not a big fan of linen because it's a little rough on the hands, but combine it with silk and it's a whole different experience. However, the rough, textured look of the linen has been preserved. I love the way it has worked up in the lace pattern.

And the color of the yarn? The transitions between colors are so slight, they just melt together. The ladies at Handmaiden certainly know their craft very well.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Monday Yarn

Three cheers for Monday yarn!


What do we have this week?

Kaalund Yarns "Classic Two" in Wine

I'm thinking about making Ene's Scarf or maybe one of Knitspot.com's lovely shawls with this laceweight.

Lanas Puras Passion
Lanas Puras Melosa Worsted in "Passion".

This one is earmarked for a design already. I love this color! The camera can't do it justice, the color is so saturated and juicy looking.