Saturday, December 18, 2010

Pamelamama's New Blog & Contest!

Come here to find out the latest from the knitter/designer behind Wooly Wonder!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Frappe Wrappe

I do love summertime.  I love going to the pool.  I love gardening.  I love the vibrancy all around.  I do not love Iowa's humidity.  Yesterday was a rather unwelcome foretaste of the thick, hazy days to come as per summer in central Iowa ... it was only fitting then, that we enjoyed our first Iced Coffee Beverage of the season.  It quickly became obvious that my McDonald's Mocha Frappe had only one thing wrong with it (besides not being bottomless that is) and that was the way the cup was sweating all over everything!  Crochet hook, cotton yarn, and Ravelry to the rescue!  I present, my Frappe Wrappe

Friday, April 2, 2010


Since I mentioned whipping up a matching hat for the Sacque de Bèbè (pattern also posted below), I thought it only fitting that I give you the "pattern" for the hat that *I* whipped up. I use the term pattern loosely, because it's really just a set of general directions. (Does that make anyone else think of Monty Python? Heh heh heh - in your general direction ... I mean ... I'm sorry.) Here we have: Gezellig. (Yes, I am aware that I am mixing languages. It's my blog, and I'll mix if I want to.) You can find a downloadable pdf HERE.

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Gezellig: The Kleine Koozie Hat

Use a bulky weight yarn, nice and soft as this is for a baby's little noggin. I used Lion Brand Homespun, from the same skein as my Sacque de Bèbè.

Using a 12 inch pair of 5mm circular needles, or a set of 4 dpns, (or a looooong circ for magic loop, or 2 separate circs of the same size -whatever your preferred method of knitting in the round) cast on 40 stitches. I like to use the long tail cast on, as it creates a nice stretchy, but neat, edge.

Join in the round, place a marker if you like, and knit on in stockinette stitch (all knit rounds, since you are knitting in the round) for about 4 inches from cast on edge. The brim will roll up slightly, mirroring the rolled edge of the Sacque de Bèbè. You could always work the first 4 rounds or so in 1x1 ribbing or garter stitch if you'd rather not have the rolled brim. Now you will begin the decrease rounds. (Note: you will soon have to switch to dpns, magic loop, or 2 circulars if you have been using a 12 inch circ, as the circumference gets too small. I suggest using dpns, as you will need them for the i-cord finish anyways.)

(K2tog, K8) 4 times, 4 stitches decreased - 36 st.
Knit 1 round plain.
(K2tog, K10) 3 times, 3 stitches decreased - 33 st.
Knit 1 round plain.
(K2tog, K9) 3 times, 3 stitches decreased - 30 st.
Knit 1 round plain.
Continue decreasing in this manner 9 more times (18 rounds), having 3 fewer stitches at the end of each decrease row, and knitting 1 round plain in-between decrease rows. You should have 3 stitches left.

Using these 3 stitches, knit about 6 inches of i-cord. In case you haven't done i-cord before, let me explain. It's basically a cool (albeit tedious if it goes on for much longer than you are doing here) method of making a very thin tube. You have three stitches on one dpn, and knit them, onto the second dpn. Then slide them to the end of that needle - you are NOT TURNING your work - and knit them again, onto the first dpn. Again, slide them to the other end, and do NOT turn your work, ever. You will want to make sure you knit fairly tightly, because your first and third stitches will have a gap between them where you've gone to the next round (slid to the other working end of the needle) if you knit too loosely. HERE is a nice little video tutorial on how to knit an i-cord.

When the i-cord is long enough for your taste, K2tog, place this stitch back on the left hand needle, and K2tog again. Draw yarn through this last stitch, and weave it down into the i-cord. Now tie the cord in a little knot, loop it, or what-have-you, and your hat is finished! You know how you pop a tea cozy on the teapot to keep your tea at the proper temperature? You can pop *this* on your baby for the same general effect, but with much cuter results, obviously.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Oh, and PS -

Once I figure it out, there will be a PDF available for download from the Ravelry database.  I believe that will make me an official knitting designer! Or something.  I'm a little bit geeked up about it, if you haven't noticed. :)

Voila! Sacque de Bèbè

CLICK HERE to get to the PDF version for easy printout!

I am so thankful for knitters and designers who offer their patterns to anyone who would like to use them, for free!  I want to give back in my own small way, and so:

Here is a free knitting pattern to make a cozy little sleep-sack style project for a newborn.  It is not so much a garment as it is a fitted blanket or a cocoon.  I found that my baby liked to be swaddled, and this was a quick and easy way to give her that sensation while I was holding her without having to mess with slipping blankets. Without modifications though, it probably wouldn’t work for sleep-wear, nor does it stay on a wiggly baby very well for very long.  It does make a very nice photo prop, especially if you care to whip up a matching hat.

  • Approx. 4 oz of soft, bulky-weight yarn such as LionBrand Homespun (used in models)
  • 9 mm knitting needles for knitting in the round (dpns, 2 circs, or 1 long circ for magic loop)
  • 3 stitch markers, distinguishable from each other
  • measuring tape
  • blunt sewing needle / tapestry needle
  • This project is seamless, and is worked in the round from the bottom up.
  • Gauge: sacque is knit fairly loosely – at about 2.75-3 stitches, and 4 rows, per inch, in stockinette.
  • Completed Measurements Laid Flat: 23 in. at top, back, 18 in. at front. Loses about 2-3 in. of height with rolled finish.  Width grows from 2 ½ in. at cast-on edge to 10 in. at widest point of opening.

Helpful links:

Cast on 12 stitches using Judy’s Magic Cast-On or figure 8 cast-on.  I find it easiest to do this magic loop style, or using 2 circular needles (both 9mm.)  You will have 6 on each needle.  (If you aren’t familiar with this technique, do try it!  It’s not as tricky as it looks, and has so many wonderful uses in knitting.)  If you would rather use something like the long-tail or cable cast-on, and then join in the round, you can do that instead. Just leave enough tail to cinch closed the bottom of the Sacque at the end.
Place marker at beginning of round. (BOR marker)
Knit 1 round even.
Increase round – (K1, M1, knit 4, M1, K1) repeat. You now have 16 stitches. (M1 = increase 1 stitch)
Knit 1 round even.
Increase round – (M1, K4) repeat to end of round – 20 stitches
Knit 2 rounds even.
Increase round – (M1, K5) repeat to end of round – 24 stitches
Knit 2 rounds even.
Increase round – (M1, K4) repeat to end of round – 30 stitches
Knit 2 rounds even.
Increase round – (M1, K5) repeat to end of round – 36 stitches
Continue in stockinette stitch till work measures about 6 inches from cast-on edge.
Increase round – (M1, K6) repeat to end of round – 42 stitches
Next round – place new (or move) your BOR marker after knitting the first 10 stitches. This marks the center front, and allows for short row set-up to be symmetrical.  (Note – if you used a circular cast-on such as the long tail and then joined in a round, you will not need to move your BOR marker.)
Continue in stockinette until work measures about 15 inches from cast-on edge.
Increase round – (M1, K7) repeat to end of round – 48 stitches (this will allow for a little flare out at the opening of the sacque.)
Knit 2 rounds, and place 2 short row markers (SR1 & SR2): K10, pm (SR1), K28, pm (SR2), K10
You are going to work 6 sets of short rows, which will raise the back of the sacque about 3 inches higher than the front. You can do more or fewer sets if you would like a higher or lower back edge.
Short Rows: Knit around to 1 stitch before SR2 (37 st). Bring yarn forward, slip next stitch knitwise, bring yarn to back again, and slip wrapped stitch back onto left needle. Turn work.  Purl across to 1 stitch before SR1 (26 st.) Bring yarn to back, slip next stitch purlwise, yarn forward, return stitch to left needle. Turn work.  Knit back across to 1st wrapped stitch. When you get to it, lift the wrap over the stitch and place it on the left needle behind the stitch, and Knit the stitch and wrap together, through the back loops. This will hide the wrap. Slip marker, and continue knitting to end of round.  Next round, after slipping SR1, you will come to the 2nd wrapped stitch (that you wrapped when you were purling).  Again, lift the wrap up and over the stitch onto the left needle so you can knit them together.  The pictures on the woolywonder forum linked above are very helpful for this technique.  If you have a short row technique you prefer, by all means, use it instead!  This completes 1 set of short rows. 
Continue to knit even to the end of the round.  Knit 1 more round before the next short rows.
Set 2 -Knit around to 4 stitches before SR2.  Wrap the 4th stitch from SR2 as described above, and repeat the purl row, wrapping the 4th stitch from SR1.  Turn and knit, closing the wraps as above.
Set 3 – no extra row between set 2 and 3.  Knit to 5th st. from SR2, wrap it, turn, purl to 5th st. before SR1, wrap it.  Turn, closing the wraps on return knit row again.  Knit 1 extra round here.
Set 4 – Knit to 6th st. from SR2, wrap it, turn, purl to 6th st. before SR1. Wrap & turn, close as above.
Set 5 – Knit to 8th st. from SR2, wrap it, turn. Purl to 8th st. before SR1. Wrap & turn, close wraps on return row. Knit 1 extra round here.
Set 6 – Knit to 10th st. from SR2, wrap it, turn.  Purl to 10th st. before SR1. Wrap & turn, close as above.
Knit 2 rounds even. 
Bind off loosely, weave in ends, and pop your baby in there!

Disclaimer: I am publishing this in response to a number of requests for directions or a pattern for the first Sacque I knit for my own newborn.  I certainly don’t claim to have invented the idea, however, since I didn’t have a pattern or an example on hand either, just a couple of photos of similar projects, I dub this my “UNvention,” to borrow from Elizabeth Zimmermann.  This is my first time writing out a pattern intended for someone else’s (your!) use. I’ve tried to be thorough, yet concise.  I hope my directions are clear and comprehensible, but please do feel free to ask questions, point out any errors, or make helpful suggestions and other comments.  You can reach me on Ravelry, Yarnucopia, or by commenting on my blog at:  or by email:

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sacque de Bébé

Coming soon to this very spot - my first knitting pattern!  I knit the prototype on a whim, and didn't really (ok, didn't at all) keep track of the particulars.  Sample 2 is on the needles now!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

5 Minute Magic

It's not anything knit, or crochet, or even made of yarn. It is chocolate, and that more than makes up for any supposed shortcomings. Photo to come, if I remember to get one before diving headlong into the bowl this time...

Presenting: a warm, moist-but-not-soggy, oh-so-delicious chocolate cake, perfect for 2 people (or one hungry person), made in just a few minutes, and with only 1 dish and 1 fork to clean!

This is also known as "Chocolate Cake in a Mug" but I prefer 5 Minute Magic, because, it really is. Not to mention the effect this will have on the rest of your day -you'll see - it's nothing short of magical.

1/4 cup flour
3 TBS brown sugar
3 or 4 TBS cocoa powder
2 TBS milk
1 egg
2 TBS vegetable oil
2 TBS sour cream
2 or 3 TBS chocolate (or any other flavor) chips
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1. Use a fork to stir all ingredients together in a large microwavable mug or other glass dish. A 1qt Pyrex or Pampered Chef mixing bowl works well, as does a small corningware type of dish.
2. Mix till smooth.
3. Microwave on full power for 3 to 3 1/2 minutes (1000 watt microwave with a turntable, preferably).
If cake looks soggy, do another 60-90 seconds.
4. It may rise out of the mug - this is normal. When it stops rising and appears set, it's done!
5. Let it stand a minute while you get a spoon and some ice cream, fresh berries, or other toppings if you like.
6. Enjoy!

Monday, March 1, 2010


Came in just under the wire with my WIP - Dancing entry! The Birthday Lady Sweater is complete!! See details on my ravelry page or the Ravelympics Finish Line!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Yahoo! I have crossed the finish line and made it onto the podium! Okay, I maybe have chosen the easiest event for my Olympic Debut, but hey, an FO is an FO! ;)

Ariel Unwind:





And what is my prize, you may ask? I will show you:
A Genuine Bobicus Medal!

And, an Official Ravthlete Ravatar!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ravelympics Baby!!

I am ridiculously excited about the Ravelympics! Mass Cast-on tonight at 6:30pm CT. I have entered in the WIP-Dancing, Ariel Unwind and Hat Halfpipe events. Itching to pick up my needles!!


Saturday, January 2, 2010

On an unrelated note...

It's fun to write out today's date as such: 01/02/2010. It's a numerical palindrome. I like that.


As I venture (slowly, infrequently, and very humbly) into the field of "unventing" knitting patterns and techniques, I think a place to chronicle my adventures is in order. And so, here it is. I doubt very much of what I post here will be original, indeed, isn't it true that there is nothing new under the sun, really? All the same, it might be helpful to someone, and is already proving interesting, if not amusing, (to me at least), so we shall see what transpires.
Cast on!