Denise's NeedleWorks

Denise's Needleworks

Location: Ames, Iowa, United States

I am wife to Jeff, homeschool mom to 8, a knit and crochet teacher and totally addicted to knitting, crocheting and other fiber arts. After knitting, crocheting and sewing my own clothing from the age of 10 on, I studied textiles & clothing in college. That lead me to 25 years of custom dressmaking and alterations work, while sewing, knitting and crocheting for my growing children. I have worked in the yarn industry for the past 3 years and have been designing my own knitting patterns. Visit my web site at Find me as DeniseInIowa on

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Gift exchange!

One of my groups had a gift exchange and I got a present today!

Size 8 circular and straight needles, size 11 circular needle, a needle threader and a tiny Victorian scissors. Now I can put the sewing scissors back at the sewing machine.

Just the sizes I use for my knitting. The size 8's for worsted weight and size 11 for the bulky. They almost always give me the right gauge.

And since I love to have multiple projects on the needles I need lots of needles!

Thank you Von!!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Running out of yarn


I have been working on some Christmas gift knitting. I wanted to get a fast start on this so I would know if I needed to order more yarn. Well the gift is about 1/2 finished and I have used more than 3/5 of my yarn. Now sometimes my math isn't very good but...I think I need more yarn to finish this one.

On other fronts I have 3 other projects started. They seem to be going well right now. Well, except for the fact that I am not working on them while trying to get this other one far enough along to see if I need to order more yarn.

I also have several other projects in mind for gifts that I haven't even started. Lets see...hmmm, I think I have some yarn that will work for that one....oh and the nieces....yes, I think I know what to make for them this year.....I'm not gonna tell though!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family at our house this year. I had to do a little bit of knitting this weekend to recover from all of the cleaning and cooking!LOL

Green Snowflake stocking was finished last weekend and is listed for sale on my web site.

I had the Christmas Tree stocking about half finished before Thanksgiving so I was able to finish that one and make another stocking this weekend. These will be going up for sale on my web site too.

My sister-in-law was looking at the Christmas Tree and just couldn't grasp how I got the colors in the right places. I found it hard to explain in a way that she would understand. Maybe you can only understand if you have done it?

The Rose Hearts stocking is so girly looking. My girls are getting too old for such things but I am sure there are still some little girls who would love this sort of thing. It was fun to work on.

I decided that I better stop for a while and make some Christmas presents instead. So, while I will be knitting, I may not post much about it. I have several projects to make for family members who might read my blog.

Sorry guys! No peeking!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Christmas Stockings again

I am back to making Christmas stockings again. I had the blue fair isle stocking hanging in the Rose Tree Fiber Shop to advertize my class. The owner called me the other day and asked if I wanted to sell the stocking now that the class was finished. She had a customer standing there who wanted it. Thinking that I didn't have any other plans for it I said sure.

Later I remembered that I had written the pattern and could be selling it in the shop! A pattern sells better with a sample though, right?

So I had to make another sample stocking...

These come out so beautifully in this yarn. This one is also Lamb's Pride Bulky in green, white and rose. The yarn was on sale at least... and if you bought 6 they were cheaper...

So.... I am now working on yet another stocking. This one will have a bright Christmas red with the green and white and it is going up for sale on my web site. My son, who does the web site work for me, made that suggestion. Of course as I work on them my brain is generating all sorts of new design ideas that I could try...

So keep an eye out for more both here and on my web site.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Fall Cables Cardigan progress report

This one has been going slowly because I have been working on other projects too. I have the back knit to about 9 inches now. The first sleeve is waiting until I know how the armhole will fit on me. I have long arms and really want the sleeves to be long enough to fit well.

I love doing cables! These are 8 stitches wide and 8 rows tall, pretty easy to do. My mind has been full of ideas for the next cable project.

Lace Pelerine (poncho)--finished!

I finally finished! This was fun to knit but the rows just keep getting longer and longer! The lace pattern is beautiful and not difficult to do.

The pattern is Elizabeth Zimmerman's Pelerine from one of her Spun Outs. Yarn is Knitpicks. I thought that since I ordered it all at once that it was all the same. I should have checked! As it turned out 2 of the skeins were Wool of the Andes natural and 2 were the newer Bare and they are different colors!!!! Can you tell? The top 1/3 and the bottom band are darker, almost yellowed looking.

I was planning on leaving this natural colored but I may have to dye it. I am hoping that washing will help.

I wish ponchos would have been popular a few years ago. They would have been great for when I was nursing my babies!

Some finished mittens, some not so finished

I have been experimenting with lots of mitten patterns lately. These navy mittens are made of one strand of worsted weight yarn on size 10.5 needles. I used the Gifted pattern. Then I felted them. Now they are nice and thick to keep a small child's hands warm!

I have another pair started with 2 strands of the navy wool and size 10 needles in the same pattern. I probably won't felt those. They are pretty tightly knitted.

Next I decided to try a sideways mitten pattern that was posted to the Knit Baby Surprise yahoo group. Sorry I can't share the pattern with you. The gauge was supposed to be 4-4.5 sts/in with size 5 needles. I tried one strand of Nature Spun worsted first...nope, too small. I was getting 6 sts/inch! Then I tried 2 strands with the size 5, that was too tightly knitted to be a comfortable mitten...5 sts/inch. I was getting closer. So I changed to size 8 needles and 2 strands and low and behold...4.5sts/inch...a sideways mitten.

Here it is before and after folding. I still need to sew it together. I am thinking about trying to crochet it all around the edges. I think that would look nice.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Knitting weather

About noon today, after raining all morning, we heard several loud claps of thunder and it started to snow! Our first real snow of the year after hitting almost 80 degrees just 2 days ago!!!

Makes me want to go knit!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The first of many mittens, I hope

I was given a large batch of navy wool yarn by a member of our church last week. We have a prayer shawl knitting group that she was thinking might be able to use it.

I got to thinking of all the international children who's parents are students at the university here, many of which are from warm climates. They come to our church for English classes, dinners and to worship with us. Mittens to keep small hands warm came to mind and what better than wool to do that?

This is the first pair that I have been working on. I am using Kate Gilbert's Gifted pattern as a guide but my yarn is worsted weight instead of bulky. I would like to felt these slightly to make them warmer. I am hoping that they will fit someone's small hands. I may try a different pattern for the next pair. I would like to try using 2 strands of the worsted.

Kid Mohair shawl/scarf is finished!

I finished it!! It took to skeins of the Kid Mohair on size 11 needles.

It can be worn as a shawlette or a scarf. There are so many colors in this that I can wear it with almost anything I have. This is going to be a fun accessory!

More Maltese

My youngest, modeling a blue and purple Maltese hat. It is a little bit big for him.

This one is made from 2 strands of heavy worsted weight yarn on size 11 needles. It is nice and thick and warm. The yarn was some nameless balls in the sale bin at my LYS. I think it was 50/50 wool/acrylic.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Modeling the Maltese

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Maltese Hat

Isn't this a cute hat! Well, maybe it's just me. It was really a fun hat to knit! Even more fun is the fact that it fits everyone from the 4yo to me! It sits a little differently on each of us but it is very stretchy.

This is from Elizabeth Zimmerman's Spun Out #9 using Woolease Chunky and size 11 needles. Needless to say, it was very quick to knit. I started it this morning and finished it before my student got to knitting class tonight.

It has been getting into the low 20's at night already so I had been thinking about hats. This one really covers up the back of the neck and ears nicely. It should be great for playing in the snow!

I can see more of these in my future!

Note: I used about 3 ounces out of the 5oz skein of Woolease Chunky so somewhere around 100 yards was all this took.