"Cathy's Cowl"

Click the picture to purchase the pattern.

"Cathy's Hat"

This hat pattern is free with the purchase of the "Cathy's Cowl" pattern.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Hi everyone! 

My knitting/crafting room is being featured on the Cut Out and Keep website.  Go take a look.   

Monday, December 03, 2018

...a lot like Christmas

It was supposed to be a quick operation, really.  I was supposed to choose ONE type of Christmas card to make to send to friends and family.  Choose a relatively simple design that was quick to make so that I could just quickly whip up a bunch of these suckers and be done with it.  But I'm a bit "extra", so I should have know this plan was doomed from the start.  I've known myself for 45 years.  I should have known better.

I chose this card that I learned to make at a Stampin' Up gathering at Laurie's house using the "Wishing You Well" stamp set:

Picture from stampedgreetings.com
This card was easy because all the images are done with stamps that could be loaded on my Tim Holtz Stamping Platform to quickly stamp images for multiple cards. 

Image panels drying.  They just need the flowers stamped.
It was originally a birthday card, but I changed the sentiment for Christmas.  Here's my version:

My colors were a little different because I used what I had on hand, but the effect is the same.  I had about 5 of these cards. I made more, actually, but there was a "smearing incident" with an ink that took days to dry and I ruined a few. 

But I couldn't stop there.  I'd recently taken a trip to Betty's Creative Studio and picked up a cool Christmas die, so I had to use it.  Betty's had a sample card on display (the one on the left) and I used it as inspiration to make my card.

Then there was Pinterest, and more cards came:

Many of the cards were inspired by something I saw on Pinterest.  I might not have had the exact dies/colors used, but there are elements of my cards from the inspiration cards.  Many of them were literally made on the fly by me throwing a bunch of Christmas related stamps/dies/papers on my craft table and picking things I thought would go well together.  Some of them have sparkle and shiny stuff because I believe that Christmas should blind you.  Sight is overrated.

But wait, there's more:

So much for being simple.  I'm having so much fun making these, though, that I don't mind putting in the extra work.  I see them as my gifts to the recipients.  I just hope that they don't toss these bitches in the trash so soon after the holidays are over.   

I met a woman a couple of years ago that I had to train to use a lab technique that allows you to analyze DNA.  After spending a few hours with someone, you're bound to discover things about them.  I found out she is crafty and that her craft of choice is card making.  We are now very good friends.   

This obsession is all her fault.  And I love her for it. 

I'm sure I'm going to make more Christmas cards.  Follow me on Instagram and Facebook to keep up with my shenanigans. 

Monday, October 01, 2018


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I've been sitting here, knitting on this light blue tank top as if I don't have that other project in the bag to finish. 

Good old-fashioned neglect.  THAT project is a shawl.  “Haruni” to be exact.  And I’m really close to being done with it.  I was working on it consistently until I walked into JoAnn Fabrics and started flipping through this book:

Just looking at the cover tank top warns you that the book will contain projects worthy of starting immediately, and cheating on any project you are currently knitting.  There’s a major “problem” with this book.  That "problem" is that you’ll find it very difficult to be able to chose what you want to knit first.  After much internal struggling, I decided to knit Haddonfield.

Picture from Ravelry Page
It's knit in the round until the armholes, where you split then work the front and back separately.  I don't think I've ever knit a sweater in the round, having been taught that seams are needed for structure.  But I'm starting to challenge this teaching and start knitting in the round anyway because I like the idea of working the front and back at the same time.

I am knitting with Berroco Modern Cotton, which is the yarn suggested in the pattern.  I will wear this as a shell over long-sleeved shirts, since the weather will start to get cooler soon.  I will probably be able to wear it as a tank top once before it gets too cold. 

I'll lay my hands on Haruni again, once I'm done.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

I saw this project to make a framed yarn ball on Pinterest one day:

Let me tell you: I didn't choose this project, this project chose me.

You see this, and you just need to have it in your life.  That's just the way the world works.  So, I accepted my fate and gathered the materials per the instructions

I knew I had what I needed to make this.  The only thing I had to purchase was the black 11" X 14" picture frame.  Cost me 8 bucks.

I didn't have really thick cardboard lying around, so I had to sacrifice the top of a shoe box that house a cute pair of red boots.  

I like to think that Kenneth would be honored to know that his box was used for such a noble cause.  I drew the circle with a compass since I just happened to have one lying around, because: nerd.  I must suggest, though, that you use a piece of cardboard that is thicker than this.  When I wrapped the yarn around the circle, the cardboard would buckle the more yarn I wrapped around it.

I originally chose the plain, light gray fabric on the left in the picture below for the background, but I didn't like it because I wanted something more interesting.

So, I walked around Hobby Lobby's fabric section until I found something that I liked.

The yarn ball is a little off-centered because I didn't want to cover up the Eiffel Tower.  I hung this behind my sewing/craft table, and I couldn't be happier with it. 

I didn't want the hanging string because I have a dog now.  A big one.  I'll tell you about him later.  But he likes yarn and dangly things, and I believe that if he saw a piece of dangling string that he would make it his life's mission to grab it.  

I'm back.  I'm just going to continue blogging like this two year hiatus never happened.   

Friday, August 05, 2016

Let's. Do. This.

Knit One, Crochet Too, Creme Brulee DK (Discontinued)

This yarn sat in the "crafty stuff storage room", (otherwise know as "the room where I place things I don't want to deal with right now") for quite some time. I bravely ventured into that room a few days ago because I was searching my stash for a suitable DK weight yarn that would take me all the way to the finish line of the Ravellenic Games.

If you're on Ravelry, a popular social networking site for knitters and crocheters, you already know about the Ravellenic Games.  But to those who might not know, here is the gist of this popular event:

The One Rule To Rule Them All: Challenge yourself by starting and finishing one or more projects during the 2016 Summer Olympics. (Taken from the Ravelry website.)

I found the yarn years ago at a local Goodwill while I was thrifting for vintage Pyrex.  I figured now is the time for it to make it's debut.  And this, my dears, is what it is going to be:

Croeso Shawlette

Isn't she beautiful? I have wanted this shawlette for a while, so The Games were the perfect opportunity for me to knit it.  I have joined Team Ebony Elite Sistah Friends in the "shawl sailing" event.  This will definitely be a challenge for me because I will be working on this shawl while working on this tank top.

Let's do this, Ladies!

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Unemizo Capelet

I have a cousin who does not knit.


But I am waiting for that glorious day when she asks me to teach her.  It will go something like this:

Her: Will you tea-

And, before she gets the rest of the question out of her mouth, I will snatch a set of knitting needles and a hank of yarn out of my Afro.  And the lesson will begin.

Until then, I will just make her what she asks for.  Because: Love.

I went to visit her a few weeks ago and she went to Bella Filati Luxury Yarns with my friend Erica and I.  She saw the cutest capelet on a mannequin and asked if I would knit it for her.  It was this one:

Unemizo Capelet by Onanoko

She tried it on and it looked awesome on her.  So, I bought the Ito Kinu yarn suggested by the pattern, but I still have to buy the required mohair.

I really want to cast-on for this, so I'm hoping to get the mohair sometime this week. 

Monday, July 04, 2016

Andromeda II

Let me show you something.

I finished a thing.  A shawl.  And here is a picture of it:

Click the pictures to enlarge.
My BFF, pretending to be one with nature.  She ain't.

I love it.  I made this for a woman I know who loved my first shawl when she saw me wearing it.  She wanted a deep red color with a black picot edge.   I worked the pattern as written for the DK weight version of the shawl with a picot edge (You can also choose a garter edge.), except I added an additional repeat on the border.

The giver in me wants to make one of these for about 5 of my female relatives for Christmas.  The realist in me says, "Nope.  Your fingers will die.".  Gift cards it is.

Now that this is done, I can get back to working on this tank top design.   

Friday, June 17, 2016


It's growing...

Things are going slower than I wanted with this tank top, since I'm also working on a shawl with a deadline: I'm making another "Andromeda". I was just thinking that if you add the work I've done on the shawl to this tank, I'd probably be somewhere in the armhole area by now. 

I hope you all have an awesome weekend.  Me? This weekend will be filled with shawl knitting.  Tonight, I will be hanging out with a coworker for crafting and margaritas and quesadillas.  I'm in charge of cheese. 

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Coffee and Donuts

Occasionally, I get this notion that I must see what new knitting related items the creative folks selling through Etsy have to offer. Yarn bowls and stitch markers are my usual targets.

I try to look for unique things that I don't have, because what obsessed knitter do you know who doesn't have almost e-ver-y-THANG s/he could ever want in the knitting world?
Fancy set of knitting needles that you will cut somebody over if they look like they're thinking about touching them? Check.

Snooty yarn with a qiviut/silk/cashmere/angel hair fiber content, but you only have 6 inches because that's all you could afford (You're going to use it to make about three stitches in that sweater you're working on.). Check. 

Platinum stitch markers covered in flawless diamonds? Check.

But I didn't have stitch markers shaped like a cup of coffee and some donuts. 

I got them from here.  You get a mug and four donuts.  And you get to choose the color of your mug!

I love these so hard.  Remember that scene in Purple Rain when Apollonia rips out her earring and throws it to the ground to replace it with one Prince was giving her?  That was me putting my new stitch markers on the needles when they arrived. My old markers slid underneath the bed when I threw them.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day

Thank you.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


This yarn is a delight to knit with, and I'm happy with the way this tank top is working up so far. 

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It's difficult to see the cable and lace pattern since the stitches are crowded on the needles (and the stitch will need to be blocked to see more detail), but you can see it better in the swatch in this post

This yarn needed a bra badly because it is slippery and the yarn cake kept unraveling. I can't remember where I got this one from because I've had it for so long.  But if you need some, you can buy them at Jimmy Beans Wool.    

Click to Enlarge

I will show you more as this piece grows.  What are you guys working on?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


I had strict instructions; The BFF said that if I am going to design a tank top for her that the pattern must be able to be knit in the round because she "no likey" to seam.  EVER.  But I know that she is actually very good at it because I had her knit and seam one of my designs once and the seaming was so perfect that I have a shrine built in honor of her seaming prowess.   

Here she is.  All 184 stitches in the round.

 In this post, I mentioned I got as far as the sketch and swatch for this design, but it turns out that I actually have gotten a bit further in the process.  I was going through some old files on a flash drive and discovered that I got so far as to have this design charted in Excel. I learned to use Excel to chart my knitting designs using some of Marnie MacLean's blog posts.  If you're interested, head on over there and get some learnin'.

She describes using Excel for charting colorwork in this tutorial, but I've substituted colored squares for Stitch Mastery Knitting Fonts.  I usually chart an entire sweater on Excel, and this has helped me tremendously in being able to see the garment stitch by stitch.  It also helps me understand and plan for how increases and decreases will interrupt complex patterns like cables and lace; a lesson I learned while taking a free "design-along" course by Shirley Paden over in the We Love Shirley Paden Group on Ravelry.   

I spent last night making changes to the original design. You can see a bit of it in the sketch above the swatch.  

At first, only the front right side of the tank top was supposed to have this cable and lace pattern.  Now, I want it to wrap around to the right back.  That involved re-calculating the number of stitch repeats.  I am satisfied with my calculations, so, as you can see in the first picture, I cast on.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Contest Winner

Caroline (Fiber Tribe) my dear, you have won the contest!  Send your mailing address to niksknits@gmail.com and I will send you the prizes. Congratulations!!!!

Friday, May 13, 2016


The week is over!  My week wasn't hard, there was just a lot to do.  I had to give a poster presentation at work yesterday that went really well.  I'm tired, and when I feel like relaxing, I find a fancy wine glass from which to drink (There can be anything from water to Riesling in that glass, depending on what I need.) and maybe a knitting magazine or book to read.  

Imagine this: You're sitting at home with your feet up, browsing through a knitting book with some awesome patterns, all while a candle that smells like what the candle company thinks the ocean smells like is burning. 

You like that, huh?

Well, I've got something to give to you.

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Just tell me what you're knitting this weekend and how you're relaxing in the comments section by Sunday, 5/15/16 at 9pm and I will randomly draw one commenter's name.  The winner will receive a copy of finish-free knits, that beautiful gold embellished wine glass, and the candle, because I'm all about helping you relax.  You'll have to come back on Monday to see if you won. 


Wednesday, May 11, 2016


Design inspiration can come from anywhere, and pop into your head at any time.  Take yesterday for instance.  Right after I cursed out a driver (in my mind) for swerving in and out of my lane in rush hour traffic, a design popped into my head for a sweater with a swerving neckline.  I'm working on that one because I believe this design needs to come to life.  I might call it "Traffic".  Or maybe "&@$^*#%" would be a better name.

I have this notebook that contains sketches and notes for designs that just showed up in my head all of a sudden.  Many of them have gotten as far as being swatched.  I was flipping through said notebook and came across a sketch of a tank that I was designing for my best friend, but I didn't get past the swatch.  This, too, needs to come to life.

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So for my next knitting trick, watch me pull a tank top with an offset V-neck out of my hat.