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Tuesday, September 24, 2002
Lots of plans for this forum... but for now I will give you the latest on designs in progress. I have been working on two items to get into print as soon as possible. One, Stonehenge, is a lovely dk weight tunic for women. Originally it was to be knit out of hemp, which I still plan to do, but after several test knits I decided to make it of an organic cotton wool blend called Cotton Comfort by Green Mountain Spinnery.  The hemp is lovely and wonderful to knit with, but I am a novice in designing with the fiber. Hemp will swell a bit when washed, making it soft and drapey, and this changes the finished measurements of the garment. I still need to work on the proportions of the unblocked garment to the blocked garment. So, I went ahead with the Cotton Comfort so I could get the design out there quicker, and I am very excited about it! I will post a photo of it soon.
The second design is called the Country Coat. It is simple enough for the beginner knitter, but has great style! The coat is sized for infants through about age 12, depending on the 12 year old! I am sizing it by chest measurement so it will be easier to choose the right size. The stitch pattern is a wonderful textured Irish Moss Stitch and the lapels overlap to give extra warmth. This is an ideal fall/winter jacket when a heavy coat is just too much. Here are some photos of the first two test knits, and a third one in the largest size is coming along shortly. As soon as the final test knit is done, (about 2 more weeks?) it will be photographed and ready for distribution.
These of course are infant / toddler sizes. The proportions on the larger sizes is quite different. The blue coat should have three buttons, but alas I only had one! haha! By the way, the finishing on this coat is minimal, no button bands, just a simple crocheted edge in slip stitch.
A close up of the stitch pattern... and very cool button! Wish I had more!
Thursday, September 26, 2002
I have finished a baby cap for my new niece or nephew! Here is a picture of it before I finished. This is a Dale of Norway pattern from their newest book, and anyone who knows me realizes this is a feat for me because I just don't get along with size 0 needles! But I have to say I enjoyed it, and am looking forward to casting on the matching sweater today!
Also, thought I would share a photo of my yarn stash... we all have them, and I know I enjoy seeing other peoples stashes. Makes me feel like I am not so strange after all! So here ya go! (This is my public stash. I also have a closet full as well, but it is unforgivably messy and I won't shock you with the sight of it.)

Tuesday, October 08, 2002
Besides filling orders and general business I took a small break from my work related knitting to start a wonderful sweater from ROWAN. It is called Heather, and can be found in Kim Hargreaves book "A Season's Tale". I am knitting it out of Rowan Kid Classic in the shade Wild. It is a luscious kid mohair blend... really yummy to work with! It is so nice to knit someone elses design from time to time. I learn a lot about how other designers approach garment construction this way. Here is look at my progress up the back:
 If any of you would like to send me photos of your completed Gifted Hands designs, I would love to have a knitters showcase. This would be great for others, and myself, to see how your yarn choices, etc, made my patterns your own! Please email me jpegs of your completed projects to giftedhandsknits@hotmail.com.  Thanks!
October 13, 2002
The back of the Rowan sweater is finished and now I am working happily up the front, but not as quickly as I have lots of business related knitting going on this week. I thought I would post a photo of the socks my 11 year old daughter is making for me. She is using Opal sock yarn on size 2 needles. Here is the first one, and she is about a third of the way on the second one. Can't wait to wear them! So nice when someone else makes you a pair of socks. Especially your daughter!
October 14, 2002
Gifted Hands is busy completing a book of wonderful new patterns, and here are some photos of one of author's daughters.  This is the Pom Pom Hat, which comes in 5 sizes, and two styles, with a matching scarf.  You can see it is positively irresistable when on the head of a little sprite like her! Too cute!!!
     
October 28, 2002
I was inspired by a cat named Izzy (please view Wendy's Knits ) on a knitting blog that I read each morning! This is my kitty, Nimue (named for the wife of Merlin the Wizard). Nimmie hunts yarn at night while I am asleep and always makes a nice pile of it right out side my bedroom door! Today when I came home she was napping on the knitting I had left on the sofa... I thought she was too cute to go unnoticed... so, voila' Nimmie!
October 30, 2002
Wow! My next personal knitting project came in the mail today from the Isle of Lewis, Scotland. Yes, you guessed it, I am finally going to make myself a Starmore fair isle. This one is called Firebirds and was designed by Jade Starmore. Here is a photo of the INCREDIBLE wool! Will post a photo of my progress once I get started!