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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The hardest sweater I've knitted yet!

AKA, the reason that I've been quiet the past few months *g*  About the time that my son was born I ordered some yarn from Knitpicks, Shine Worsted in Currant, that was on clearance, to make this sweater.  It was in the Interweave Knits Spring 2011 issue and I fell in love with it instantly.  It's a modular sweater, which was a new technique for me.  Basically, you knit the first hexagon and then pick up and knit each hexagon off the last one. 



The plus is that you don't have to seam anything, the minus is that you have a lot of ends to sew in.  It took me about six months to finish, but I think the results were worth it.  See for yourself;


Because of the lace details in this hexagon this top has to be worn with a camisole underneath or, in my case, a long sleeve tee for the winter.  I've already received two compliments on it when wearing it out and about, however.  I don't know about you guys but I love getting compliments on anything I've hand-knitted, it helps validate all the time I put into a project!  The finishing on this one took a while - after knitting all those hexagons I had to pick up and knit the bobble bind off along the neck and bottom and the cap sleeves.  They add really nice interest, though. 

As soon as I finished it, though, I decided to focus on smaller projects for the rest of the year.  It was worth the time investment, but balancing my knitting between large and small projects keeps me entertained.
- D

Friday, July 22, 2011

And the winner is....

Mamculuna! 

Send me a private message with your address and I'll mail the knitting needle roll off on Monday *g*

Thank you, everyone, for entering, and rest assured, there will be other contests!

- D

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Stash Busting, Pt 2

Yes, another pair of socks.  What can I say?  They're fast, they generally only use one skein of yarn, and I can give someone something useful when they're done.  Of course, since this pattern is called "Baby's First Sock" I mistakenly though I'd gift it to someone with a newborn.  Ha!  They fit my best friend's three year old.  The pattern is from Interweave Knits Accessories 2009 issue, which I love.  I've made five of the patterns in this issue, which is a lot for me.  This was the first pair of socks that I've made that, instead of using short rows to shape the heel, just had me bind off using the three needle bind off method.  It was certainly easier.  Here are the socks;


As you can see from the skein at the top of the photo, the pattern didn't use as much yarn as I'd hoped!  I think I have enough left to make another pair.  I finished the socks last night, and I also finished the yellow and blue bag I've been working on for about a week.  I love this material - it screamed 'summer!' at me from across the store - though there's no denying that it's bright. 

Which I, of course, played up with the teal and yellow contrasting fabric.  I thought that this time I'd take some pics of my process, and the bag as it was being made.  Here's a shot of the interior;

It doesn't look like much, but on the left side is a pocket, next to it is an elasticized pouch, them five spaces for DPN needles and another pocket.  I have to sew it all flat before I assemble the bag and it becomes this;

(Recognize the yarn? *g*).  Similarly, when I'm sewing spaces for longer needles I use actual needles to mark where I'm going to sew.


That way I can be sure that I have the appropriate fullness of material between the pins.  As you can see, I have a fondness for bamboo needles.  All of this work goes into creating the bag's interior.



But since it's 90-something out and there's no A/C in my sewing room I won't be doing any more sewing today!  I'm going to hang out on the couch in the living room in front of our window unit & read a book, instead.

- D

Friday, July 8, 2011

Contest! Win a Free Knitting Needle Roll!

It's my first giveaway!  Enter to win a pink/brown toile knitting needle roll!


The roll measures approximately 10 inches high and 15 wide when laid flat.





It has individually sewn pockets for up to 17 pairs of needles - pockets grow in size from left to right.


And it fastens with a lovely pink satin ribbon. 

Entering to win is easy!  There are four ways to enter, and each counts as one entry into the contest.

1)  Leave a comment on this post.  That's easy!
2) Follow this blog (note: those of you who already follow me are entered to win automatically)
3) Link to this blog entry on facebook (send me a DM if you're afraid I'll miss it)
4) RT this post in a tweet

Each time you do one of the above, you're entered!  Simple as that *g*  Contest is open to residents of the US and Canada.  Contest closes in two weeks - July 22nd - at 5pm.  Winner will be posted here, so check back!

Good luck, everyone!
- D

Polka Dot Fun

Lately every time I've been at the fabric store I've been drawn to bright, cheerful colors and prints.  It must be because it's been sunny and hot here.  And I've been having a lot of fun playing with that color when I sew.  For example, on this bag I played on the colors in the polka dots with both my contrasting fabric and my zippers and thread. 


The pocket is reddish-orange reclaimed linen (it was a tablecloth!) and the zipper is white.  Elsewhere on the bag I used yellow thread that pops against the red.  On the inside I did something different - there are two places to store needles.  One is for longer needles - I created a place along the bag's side like this;

For four needles, and I also sewed places to slide five DPN needles next to the elasticized pouch.

I dropped the spaces lower than the pouch's height so that the needles wouldn't get lost *g*  Since there's a place on the other side of the pouch for a circular needle this bag is perfect for those projects like hats where you switch between circular and DPN's.   Because this bag has two zippered pouches, plus some of the interior features took more time, it's slightly more than the pink/brown bag.  But I just love it - it's so cheerful that seeing it hanging in my sewing room makes me smile every time!

- D
 ps - if you're interested, this bag is up for sale at www.denastolldesigns.etsy.com!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Stash-busting!

My goal this summer has been stash busting.  I have a lot of leftover yarn from various projects, a half skein here, a skein there...and I'm running out of storage room!  Plus knitpicks is having a sale and I want to buy more ;)  I usually try to alternate bigger projects with smaller stuff but after becoming thoroughly frustrated with a sweater pattern riddled with errors I decided to go for stash busting instead.  My first project was the Dayflower Scarf, my second were these socks;


I find that I prefer knitting children's socks to knitting socks for adults - with adult socks it takes too long and I'm bored by the time I finish the first one.  I used knitpicks Swish worsted yarn, and I love the blue color.  Hopefully they'll fit by winter!  I still have a half skein left, so I'm debating seeing if I have enough to make another pair if I shorten the leg.  The pattern is free - Classic Elite Cabled Baby Socks - and quick, it only took me a day for each sock (knitting in front of the TV at night).  I think I want to knit more baby socks - does anyone else have a favorite pattern they'd like to share?

- D

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Current Project

I just finished this scarf, and I love it!  I bought the yarn, Dark Horse Fantasy, from a friend who was cleaning out her stash, but with only two skeins I'd never been able to find a good project for it.  The colors, the variegated pinks and purples, are some of my favorites, so I selfishly wanted to make something for myself *g*  Last week I found the Double Dayflower scarf pattern on ravelry and decided to give it a go.  I'm very pleased with the results.

And another, closer look.

This is the first and only Aran weight yarn that I've enjoyed working with - it didn't feel coarse against my hands when I knitted. 

My current knitting bag just goes to show that I've never met a toile I didn't like,  I've already made bags with blue/white and black/white toile so when I saw this pink/brown at the fabric store I had to have it. 


This is the first bag I've made that had an elasticized pouch on the inside, my thought being that it could hold a center pull ball of yarn and someone could knit right out of the pouch. 

On the left is a pocket, on the right spaces for five DPN needles (or pens!).  The pouch turned out so well that I've added it to all the bags I've made since.  More pictures of this bag will be going up at denastolldesigns.etsy.com, but right now it's so gorgeous outside that I've decided to play hooky and go for a walk.  The sewing machine will still be here when I get back!

- D







Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Welcome!

I am a stay-at-home Mom who loves to knit and sew.  My passion for both hobbies led me to designing and sewing my own knitting bags.  Everything out there on the market didn't have enough pockets for me, or I didn't like the print, or it was too expensive, so I took my picky self to the fabric store and went to work.  The result was Dena Stoll Designs. 

Since I also love talking about my works in progress I created this blog to feature my bags and whatever project (or projects!) is currently on the needles.  I'll be posting photos of my knitting bags, and running contests and giveaways.  More details to come.  For now, thanks for stopping by, and Happy Knitting!