confessions of a knitting fiend

New Pattern: Paprika











I love hand-dyed fingering-weight yarn. My LYS stocks some great fingering yarns in a variety of lovely colors, but sometimes only in two skeins each.


My goal in designing Paprika was to get a garment in a range of sizes out of two skeins of fingering. This open-front vest is sized by back width, rather than bust circumference, so you’re not forced to make a larger size to accommodate the extra bust inches (that don’t want to be covered up by this vest, anyway). As shown in the second photograph, the elasticity of the fabric allows the option for a dramatic front closure.


The body is worked in stockinette, with some subtle back shaping. All armhole shaping is complete before the lace begins, and both front and back have a little gather at the beginning of the lace section. An almost invisible ribbed edge is worked throughout the piece to provide stability and prevent rolling, and this ribbed edge is continued along the neck edge, creating a simple, smooth, and stable edging.


No seaming or picking up stitches! If you can decrease, make yarn overs, and work a three needle bind-off, you can knit this vest.



Introducing Kennebec



Today, Brooklyn Tweed launched Wool People 5 and with it, my Kennebec cowl.

This extra-long cowl can be knit with Shelter, or with Loft held doubled, and to a shallower or deeper depth. The above version in Sap has an 8-inch depth. Below, in Sweatshirt, it is worked to 11 inches.

ImagePhotographs available courtesy of Brooklyn Tweed and Jared Flood.



New Pattern! Garden Wall: sideways knit triangular shawlette in light fingering weight yarn (instructions included for fingering too). Garter stitch book-ended by cables. Simple and classy!

Dulse Hat and Mitts available singly, and Briggs finds its inner child

You may have spotted them in Cecily Glowik MacDonald’s lovely book: Landing. My Dulse Hat and Mitts are now available for sale as individual patterns through Ravelry.

Dulse Hat uses approximately 150 yds of fingering weight yarn. It features a gathered detail and subtle lacy bands.


The gather and eyelet detail is mirrored in the cuffs of the Dulse Mitts. These cozy, classy mitts call for approximately 200 yds of fingering weight yarn.


Coming soon:


Briggs Kid is the child version of my Briggs Street, published by Quince and Co. Still worked in the soft and squishy Osprey, available in 41 incredible colors. I had such a hard time picking one color combo, so I just picked two! Sizes available: 2-12

Also in the works:

1: Baby Briggs, worked in Quince’s worsted-weight Lark, and featuring a button opening in the yoke for easy dressing. Sizes available: 3 months-24 months.

2: A worsted-weight women’s pullover perfect to wear while poring over dusty volumes in the study on a wintry night.


I’m a pedestrian by choice. I walk to the grocery store, walk to the yarn shop, take the bus when it’s snowing baskets of kittens. For a girl who loves slapping her soles on the pavement, I do love me a good road trip.

I love getting in the car and going I-don’t-know-where. I love driving late-night and sharing the road with truckers. I love the sun coming up at the end of my driving shift. I’ve become less adventurous over the years, but put me behind the wheel of a car with a full tank of gas, and I’ll go as far as it’ll take without care or worry.

I missed my road trip this summer, so it’s understandable that while knitting these accessories, my mind was lusting for adventure and travel. Thinking of the crazy stories you come home with that no one can relate to or appreciate. You just had to be there.



Latitude and Longitude are the basics required for any voyage, and these accessories are simple staples worthy of their names.



Traveller’s Mitts are for exploration. They bridge the gap between the warm and cool climes of your journey, and keep you fingers free for finding change for coffee or tolls, or for the endless scanning of unfamiliar radio stations in the wee hours.



Now we have reached the more whimsical leg of the journey. Windmills are what Don Quixote sees on his chivalrous quest, believing them to be giants. His imagination and fancy transforms an ordinary sight into something extraordinary indeed!



Army of Chickens is my own romantic wandering from the ordinary to the absurd. I see little chicken feet, all lined up and ready to do battle. Against whom? I suppose that’s a story to be told in a future accessory…


Whether you’re a wanderer who’s just itching for the next adventure, or a knitter who’s looking for the perfect arsenal of accessories, the Wanderlust Collection is sure to help.

New pattern: Tulsa

ImageThis is Tulsa: a light and airy prairie top knit in fingering-weight yarn. The Plucky Knitter’s Primo Fingering lent just the right drape.

ImageTulsa can also be knit as a sleeveless tank for summer wear.

ImageThe eyelet rib yoke detail on front and back is smartly framed using skinny cables and slipped stitches.

Briggs Street and color

About a month ago, Quince and Co published my Briggs Street pattern. Knit in soft and squishy Osprey, Quince has 41 beautiful colors to choose from, and I’ve been having a blast coming up with new combinations.

This is a versatile piece than can look good on a variety of body types, and picking out just the right colors is the first step.

A friend with broad shoulders told me she avoids round yokes because they just aren’t flattering. The gentle curve the round yoke construction gives these stripes has a surprising diminishing effect. If you have broad shoulders, consider light, subtle colors like Twig (light brown) and Bird’s Egg (light blue), shown above. Another great combination would be Delft and Clay, shown below (top left).

If your shoulders are narrower than your hips, you can bring the focus up by choosing a bold contrast color to go with your subtle main color, like Frost with Winesap (top right) or Bark with Apricot (middle left). Remember, the bolder color should be the contrast.

If your ultimate goal is to make your bust look less busty, or not call attention to a less-than-smooth belly, choose a dark color, then accent with a muted or light color. Peacoat with Pomegranate (middle right) and Storm with Dogwood (bottom left) would be perfect for making the middle less noticeable.

For dessert I’ve included a bright and lovely color pairing that I’d love to see a daring knitter knit: Rosa Rugosa with Split Pea (bottom right).

A note on sizing

This sweater can look great worn with either negative or positive ease. Choosing the right ease for your body’s shape can mean the difference between your go-to sweater and the one you want to love, but end up giving to your niece.

For broad shoulders with a slender and less shapely middle, stick as close as possible to your actual bust measurement. You can go up or down by about 1″ and get a sweater that’ll fit you well. Omit the waist shaping if you don’t think you need it.

If you’re narrow on top and wider on the bottom, stick close to your actual bust measurement, but make sure the sweater stops 1-2″ above your widest point. This may mean stopping short or adding a little length. Also consider working 3/4 instead of full length sleeves. This will keep the end of the sleeve from calling attention to the hips.

With an hourglass shape (top and bottom are close to the same measurement, but that doesn’t have to mean curvy) you can go either way with this sweater.  Choose the size just smaller than your bust measurement for a formfitting sweater, or up to 4″ larger for a great layering piece.

Got curves but you’d rather not showcase them? Go up in size, but not too much. One full size up from your bust measurement should suffice. Also, make sure the measurement at the top of the arm is larger than your actual top arm measurement (about 1″ should do it). A nicely fitting sleeve will always help a sweater out.


The first change is my blog location. My previous posts can be found here.

The second is that I’m going to try posting more than just my patterns. If I stick to it, you’ll be privy to my thoughts and feelings, including – but not limited to – venting about the design process, ranting about yarn that won’t behave, raving about needles I just can’t live without, and sharing techniques that are totally the cat’s meow.