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

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas knitting

I can finally post pictures of the bags I made as Christmas gifts. Unfortunately, in the usual rush to finish and wrap things I didn't get pictures of some of the finished bags. The one that I spent the most time on was the Theatre bag for my daughter Jessie who is a theatre major at University of Iowa.

This bag just kept getting bigger and bigger! It took 7 skeins of Lamb's Pride Bulky yarn. I was knitting a skein a day for a while. One of my children suggested that I could just tell her that I had made her a suitcase!

The bag is loosely based on the messenger bag from Knitting for Peace. Then I duplicate stitched the tragedy and comedy masks on the front flap before felting it. It is still a good sized bag but my daughter was thrilled with it. She talked about how many things it was going to hold and was very excited!

The other felted bag I made was a pink and blue purse sized bag for my DIL. This one was also Lamb's Pride Bulky yarn. I folded the sides in and ran the handles through them so the top of the bag would close up a little bit. It is very cute. DIL was very pleased too.

I also made a crocheted purse for dd, Lisa, in her favorite green. The pattern for that one was the Exchange Bag from the Happy Hooker. I will have to see if I can borrow it for a picture.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Cabled Panta

There are 2 free patterns for this Panta that I have seen. One is on Craftster and the other one is from Drops Design. Of course I couldn't leave it at that so mine has several differences yet is sort of similar too.

I used a Red Heart acrylic yarn and size 7 needles. This makes a 20 inch headband that is about 6 inches wide. Adjust if necessary but remember that it will stretch and it is good to have it a little bit smaller than your head circumference.

The edge stitch will be kept in garter stitch throughout.

RIGHT TWIST--Abbreviated RT (uses 2 stitches)
k2 tog making sure NOT to drop stitches off, then placing the RH needle between the two stitches, knit the first stitch letting both stitches drop off the needle.

Cast on 19 stitches.

Section 1:
Row 1: k1, (p2, k2) 6 times, wrong side
Row 2: k1, (k2, p1) 5 times, end k3 = 19 stitches, right side
Repeat rows 1 and 2 until this section is 2 inches, end on a row 2

Section 2:
Row !: k1, (p2, k1, inc1 by knitting into the front and back of next
stitch) 5 times, end p2, k1 = 24 stitches
Row 2: k1, (RT, p2) 5 times, end RT, k1
Row 3: k1, (p2, k2) 5 times, end p2, k1
Row 4: k1, (k2, p2) 5 times, end k3
Repeat rows 3 & 4 until this section is 2 inches(total of 4 inches
from cast on). Substitute row 2 for row 4 every 8 rows or more often
if you want the cables to be closer together.

Section 3: Working the same way increase in each knit section on the
wrong side and keep the Right Twist going on the right side.

Row 1: k1, (p2, k2, increase 1) 5 times, p2, k1 = 29 stitches
Make this section 2 inches also.

Section 4:
Row 1:k1, (p2, k3, inc1) 5 times, p2, k1 = 34 stitches
This section needs to be about 8 inches and now you will decrease at
the places you increased before.

Section 5:
Row 1:k1, (p2, k2, k2tog), 5 times, p2, k1
Continue ribbing pattern on wrong side and cables on the right side
for 2 inches.

Section 6:
Row 1: k1, (p2, k1, k2tog) 5 times, p2, k1
Continue ribbing, ending cable pattern in this section. Section
should be 2 inches.

Section 7:
Row 1: k1, (p2, k2tog) 5 times, p2, k1
knit for 2 inches-try around head if you can and knit more or less to
fit. Bind off and sew together or knit together.

A PDF version of this pattern is available at my web site.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Do you call these hats or headbands?

I decided to try the Calorimetry pattern from Knitty for my nieces. It came out okay I guess but I think I like the Panta! better. So I made another one of those too.

The Calorimetry makes me think of hats that I wore as a child they were made sort of like this but they had a tie at the bottom corners that were tied under the chin. Maybe that is why I don't like it as well as the Panta!

These are made from acrylic yarn because I don't know if the girls might be able to wear wool and they will be easier to wash as well. I think I will make a couple more so they can have a choice of colors.

I also have an idea for a very simple cable pattern for the Panta! I will share that with you when I get it done.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


I have been doing some fun little projects for gifts. These are some of the washcloths. I noticed something very unusual when I was making the third one.

The peach one and the first green one are knit using the DW washcloth pattern with the 38 stitches it suggests. I really like the pattern that it makes with a verigated yarn like this. The horizontal bars break up the blocks of color nicely.

But, I wanted a bigger cloth for a face cloth. So, using the same skein of yarn I cast on 46 stitches for the next one. I was extremely suprised at how the colors pooled! It looks so different than the others.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Knitting for Peace

Knitting for Peace: Make the World a Better Place One Stitch at a Time by Betty Christiansen.

This is a book that really called out to me. I can barely resist a charity project!

Knitting for Peace contains some wonderful stories of giving and many stories that will tear at your heart. Whether you knit caps for babies or chemo patients, sweaters and socks for children in orphanages, or shawls and blankets for children and adults in your community,
you too can give something of yourself to others and help make the world a better place.

I have participated in many projects of this kind. There were quilts for Project Linus one year. Then there were charity challenges with one of my online groups. That really got the ball rolling.

We did:
Warm Up America afghans for a women's shelter,
hats for chemo patients,
mittens, hats and scarves for an orphanage,
baby hats, booties etc for a maternity center,
and scarves for the Red Scarf Project.

I have also made socks and sweater vests for Children in Common,
baby caps for Caps to the Capital,
a quilt for Birthright that I helped our homeschool students make in sewing class,
prayer shawls for friends and loved ones through our church's Shawl Ministry,
and mittens to warm the hands of the children of our international college students.

I loved reading about war time knitting and the beginnings of the Red Cross. We knitters always have the desire to "do" something don't we?

There are some great pattens in Knitting for Peace from the very easy afghan square or blanket to more challenging sweaters, mittens and socks. My current knitting project is from this book but it is a Christmas gift this time. I will have to wait to post pictures later so the recipient doesn't find out about it. It is a great pattern that I had not found elsewhere so stay tuned and I will let you know what I made.

So, I hope that gives you some ideas to start with. Won't you join me and do some Knitting for Peace in 2007?