Posts Tagged ‘nordic knitting’

Last night I finished my newly designed Moccasin slipper, and I was anxious to share it with you, so I have uploaded the pictures below.  I hope you like the design.

As I mentioned in the last couple of posts, this project was constructed using the Twine knitting technique  and shaped with short rows.

Here is a closer look at the upper toe section of the pattern.  I have  knitted a casing around the back and sides, which aligns with the casing I designed in the instep flap.   A 24 inch crocheted chain of both colors cinches the Moccasin in for a perfect fit.

The slipper on the right was my original pattern.  It is enough to say that I am pleased with the results of my labors.  I will be ordering the yarn for the second one, as this creation was done out of  my stash (my play around yarn).  I am planning on knitting snowflake knee socks to match.  I might even put them together.  Where I live it gets cold in the winter, and a extra Thermo layer would be nice.

As you can see the side chain, which can be done with a crochet hook or can be stitch as a embroidery chain stitch, pulls it all together.

This has been a fun project.

Happy knitting,


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I have a friend who is wild, and I mean “wild” about her chickens.  Having decided some time ago to design her a special pillow, I finally came to the conclusion that only a “chicken” would do.  Now, she isn’t into the average chickens, she prefers the exotic, and unusual, so enter the Golden Sebright Hen and Chicks.

This new design not only gives me a chance to do the many techniques of color knitting, but also gives me an opportunity to use various kinds of yarns for special affects.  The chicks are really little fuzz balls, so Mohair will give them a more realistic look.  The spotted area you see in the design is actually going to be a blend of black Mohair and one ply of beige grey fingering yarn.  I will also be using White Mohair on the chests.

The border was another matter altogether.  I wanted a lacy grid in the design you see, but cabling the black fingering yarn over the bronze, was much to bulky looking.  What to do?  I began to think “lace.”    I pulled out my lace silk and wool cone, and went to work, using white in the background, I worked “floating” chain loops between the stitches to form the design I drew on the pattern.  Here is the result.

This gave me the affect I wanted.  So I am now waiting for the Black lace yarn to be delivered, so I can get started.  Meanwhile, I will be knitting up swatches of the various shades and combination shades that I will be using in the main design, and recording them in my color chart for later use.

If you might be interested in learning how to knit these free floating chains, take a look at the “Wandering Chains” tutorial on my “Fun Stuff” page, or you can use this Floating chains tutorial.  I will be add to the info as I work on this project and develop the pattern for sale.

Just thought I would share –


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I was so glad to get this one done so I could send it to my grandson.  He has been checking on it’s progress the last few months, so now he won’t have to wait anymore.

I had great fun knitting this one.  I even knitted some extra leaves, which I placed in the front of the duck, stuffing them a bit to give it a 3 dimensional look.

One other thing I did differently from the last pillow was to make my own pillow form.  I discovered that most of the forms  (no matter what you pay for them) are made with clumps of fiber fill, often leaving a lumpy surface.  Of course, that is unacceptable when you have spent many hours working on one of these pillow tops.  The only solution-make it yourself.

I began the process with a sheet of Poly-fill quilt batting.   I cut two 17 inch squares, then machine sewed them together on three sides, using a long stitch.   I stuffed the middle with tiny pieces of fill, poked them in place with a #1 DPN, then whipped the open edge shut.  You could even use two thickness (sheets) for each side to unsure an even smoother surface.   Anyway, it  worked great.  It will also dry much faster as there is no cloth on the inside.

I will be making all my pillow forms from now on.

Now it’s time to box it up and head to the UPS store.  My grandson will be a happy camper!

I hope to have this pillow pattern available soon.  I will be starting my J’s Designer Pillow page soon.


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Unable to purchase all the necessary shades I needed to knit up the Wood Duck pillow for my grandson, I decided to make up my own by blending two single strands of colors together.   In the illustration below, the areas where I have used the blended yarns are marked with circles of various colors.

The red circle indicates the Steel grey/ Iris heather mix.


The next combination  in the green circle, is a teal/dark green mix.


The blue circle marks the side of the body.  In this section I chose to blend the Suede color with gold.  This combination allowed me to transition to the single gold color without a definite line.

All this is to say that you don’t have to settle for the color combinations that are out there.  You can blend your own.


1.  Select you colors.  Peel off the amount you normally use in your colorwork ( I use about an arm’s length).

2  Separate the plies.

3.  Tie one end of the two strands together.

4.  Lay the joined end of the two strands in the palm of your left hand.

5.  Lick or moisten the palm of your right hand and rub the two strands together vigorously for about 30 seconds-

inotherwords, “spit splice” the strands together.

6. Wet your right palm again, now push down on the combined strand and roll it away from you about 5-6 time.  This sets the twist.

7.  Move the blended strand to the left, so you can work the same process in the next section of yarn to your right.  Be sure to repeat the same number of rolls when setting the twist.  Continue this process to the end of the strand.

Your finished strand should look something like this-

The above strand is a combination of “Pumice Heather ” and “Iris Heather.”

*  If you find an area that didn’t get twisted enough, just wet you palm and work a few more rolls at that point.

Next time you can’t find the color you need, you might try this out.  It’s fun to see what color combos you can come up with.  When I need larger amounts, I use a drop spindle to re-spin the two strands together.

Have fun- KT

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It definitely is Spring around here, as the wild  flowers are blooming and the mountains are turning green.  Add this to the birds singing and the butterflies checking out the blooms and next thing you know I found myself drawing up a new pillow design of daisies and butterflies.

As before, this chart is gauged for 8 stitches and 11 rows, knitted with fingering yarn.  I will be using Knitpicks Palette yarn for this design.  The chart for the detailed crocheted lines and specialty stitches are included in the download.  The knitted cording instructions are in the PDF file listed below.

Of course, you can use the center motif on other projects.  Here is the pattern – daisies and butterfly pillow

For knitted cording instructions, Knitted Cording Instructions   This file includes instructions for joining knitted back.

Give it a try –


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OK!  I finished my Whitetail buck pillow top.  I put in in the wool wash, as I normally do.  Everything looked good.  The colors were sharp, no bleeding,

and then I looked down at the bottom.  Yikes!!!

  What’s this?

There in living color was a lovely yellow stain, just above the scroll.


Yes, I was,  well let’s just say MORE than disappointed, I was crushed!   I worked on it with Woolite, which usually takes out anything, but it would not move.   Thinking back, I remembered the day I brought in the wood, then sat down to work on the pillow.  Bad move-I didn’t wash my hands first.  Talk about dumb, dumb and dumber!   I know better, especially when  working with WHITE.


I can feel OK about this project because I experimented with several techniques, so this latest development is one of many lessons learned working out this pattern.

My husband has claimed it as his own, so instead of my original plan to knit a back, I will get a piece of Corduroy to make the back with.  He says he does not care if it has a small stain, he just likes the picture.  So…. it’s his.

I will call this my “signature” pillow- a yellow signature, that is.

So, on to the 16 inch version.  Only this time I’ll try to remember to wash my hands.

Maybe…..?  If I can remember.


Happy Knitting – KT


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One of the premier lessons in working with color is pre-planning.  Instead of just winging it, I have discovered that a few minutes of thinking through the placement of new colors, saves me lots of stress.   Because I chart all my pictures, it only takes a few minutes to go over the color changes and plan my attack.  My focus is always to eliminate  yarn ends that have to be woven in later, and to reduce as much bulk as possible.  Smooth and flat is the goal.

Below is an example of my thinking process –

Marking up the Chart

First, I look for those spots where I can work my new color in two directions.  The box in teal ( the eye) is a perfect example.

The “V”  indicates where I will make my new stitch by picking up the yarn in the middle of my long strand of white.  I will then have two long tails to work with.  One (A) will be used to go up the right side; and the other (B) will be used to go up the left side of the eye.  The “black” or center of the eye, will be worked with one single strand.  Just by using this method to work the white around the eye, I have eliminated 2 yarns ends that would have had to be woven in when the project was finished.

2.  The box in “yellow” indicates stitches that I have marked to be made later as “overlay stitches.”

3.  If you look closely, you can see two more “V’s” in the antler area.  Yes, I have found a couple of more places to use the double long tails.  I have also indicated the direction that I intend to work those ends.

All this is to say that no matter how you decide to work your color project, you will be much happier with the results if you take a little time to do some planning before you start.


Happy Knitting!


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Working out my “Painting with Yarn” series has challenged me to learn the various methods of using colors.  It is easy to draw the picture, but knitting it is a different story.

Everyone who has knitted Intarsia, and Fair Isle or Nordic knitting, know that it takes practice to get the tension right, especially when  knitting in Fair Isle- keeping those “floats” in the back from getting to tight or causing puckers is a common problem.   The same issues comes up when working in Intarsia, when lifting the yarn from underneath to change color. Keeping the tension on the yarn so it lays flat is the key- at least for me.

All these issues can make it a bit scary for someone who has never worked with color before- that was me about a 2 years ago.  Now, however, I can’t wait to sit down with my charts and knit away.

To that end, I thought I would start a“Colorworks” tip page.  I hope to share my experience with written instructions and illustrations.  The aim is to encourage the timid to give it a try.

Since I am in the middle of working on my Whitetail Buck 14 inch pillow, I will be using that for my illustrations.  When I am done with the project I will put the pattern on my website for you to upload.

OK!  Here goes!!  First tip!

NO- hold it!  I have to clear up a couple of things first.

First off, I dislike using yarn butterfly’s.  I can’t tell you why, but I just do.  I prefer pealing off two arms length of the yarn and just letting it hang around.  I prepare for this method by rolling about 1-1 1/2 inch balls of all the colors I need in the project.  Then I throw them all in a plastic Ziplock bag.

Next- I always use a spit splice to add yarn to my strands if needed.  I do this by unwinding about 2 inches of yarn.  I tear off about 2 inches of one of the plies.  I repeat this with the ends of the yarn I am going to add to.   I wet both ends in my mouth then over lap the two, one ply strands, making sure that they are at least 3/8 inch beyond the tear.  With the strands laying on the palm of my left hand I rub the strands vigorously together, finishing by rolling them in one direction to match the twist of the original yarn.  This method does not produce lumps or bumps that show in your work.  It is worth the time is take to do it.  And… when you get good at it, it just take a few minutes to do.

NOW, here goes!!!

 Colorworks tip #1 –

Let’s start with the scroll edge of the pillow.

The above sample chart is part of the border around the motif.

The illustration above shows how I inserted a new gold strand of yarn, picking is up in the middle to make the first stitch. This leaves two  long tails on both ends ( A and B).  The arrows show how I plan to use the tails to created the needed stitches;  tail A goes up and to the right; tails B to the left.   The White yarn is carried across and worked as needed.    I use this anytime I see that I will be working  the yarn in two directions.  I did this a lot in my Tropicana Rose Pillow. I saved me hours of weaving in yarn ends.

Below is the actual stitch illustration.

(X =The gold strand of yarn that I have been working up the side with.)

B/A = the first stitch of the new strand.

Above is the actual layout of this portion of the chart in stitches.  You can see clearly how each end of the tail of the one strand is utilized, then X finishes off the scroll.

The A and B tail ends will be woven in later.

I posted this just to wet your appetite!

Happy New Year!!!!


PS- That little “PU” in the chart, reminds me to pick up the white yarn to be carried across.

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Merry Christmas to All

I had a few spare minutes today, so I decided I would share this pattern with you as a Christmas bonus.

WTB – ski sweater pattern

This pattern has instructions and full charts.  It uses both Intarsia and Fair Isle techniques.  It can be easily shortened or lengthened by adjusting the main color areas.

If you need special help with sizing, feel free to contact me and I will help you.

* If you notice that the Whitetail buck in the sample above doesn’t look quite like the one in your pattern, it is because I have been paying close attention to the coloring of the Whitetails that visit us everyday, thus the changes.

You will also notice that this is a pic of the basic knit, and I have knitted my bushes in red only.  I do this because I it reduces the floats and allows me to put in the additional Fall colors later as overlay stitches (whole and half ones).

Right now, I am working on a 14 inch pillow version of this motiff, and will upload it when I am finished.

Happy knitting and Happy New Year


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This last month as I began working on my Wildlife series I found myself back in the mood to paint some more yarn pictures.  The White Tail Buck motif spurred me on, so here is #2 in the series- I just couldn’t put it aside.  I’m on a roll!!!

I realize that the digital renditions are not the real thing, but it does give one the luxury of seeing what the finished work will look like – almost.  It also gives me an opportunity to judge the balance, and color combinations; besides, never in a life time could I knit up all my ideas, I would have to live to be 200 plus.

All the charts in this pattern are detailed.  They include many variations and applications for you to consider, along with instructions for the special stitches I use in the finishing details.

The charts can be applied to the front of a sweater (Eagle motif options), incorporated into an afghans design (sportweight) and adapted to needlepoint project.  This particular pattern is charted for 8 stitches and 11 rows using a #1 (2.5) needle, knitting with fingering yarn, but I always include the charts for sportweight yarns as well.  All of the patterns are set up for knitting, thus the grids are composed of  rectangles, not squares. There is also a cameo grid applied to each version, which is one of the many options available.

The main pattern is set up for a 14 x 14 and 16 x 16 inch pillow tops, however, I always knit the whole pillow, (see my Tropicana Rose design in the pattern gallery)- I love using texture stitches on the back.

Bottom line for me is the artistic creation.  It’s been great fun, and very rewarding.

Pictured below are version I and II

 “Majestic Eagle”

  It will be on the shelf soon.   I hope you like it!

Happy Knitting!


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