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

Monday, February 26, 2007

Cabled Coronet hat finished

I finished my hat earlier this week. It has gotten a lot of use in the winter weather we have had.

Coronet hat pattern from by Alexandra Virgiel
Universal Yarns Inc. Deluxe Worsted Tweed 100% Wool
Size 8 needles

I really like this hat. The cabled band makes it look so dressy. I think my band may have been a little smaller than the pattern designer's. I knit the hat to the length she suggested and it seems just a little bit tall. But that leaves me plenty to pull down over my ears when it is cold.

I will definitely use this pattern again. I often make hats for charities. I think this will be a good one for that too. There is just something special about it.

This is the view outside my door yesterday. There is ice under about 8 inches of snow. Now you can see why I have needed a wool hat!

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

TOFUtsies (toe-foot-sies)

TOFUtsies "A Great Yarn for Socks" is what the label says. This is a gorgeous new yarn from South West Trading Company

It contains:
50% Superwash Wool
25% Soysilk Fibers
22.5% Cotton
2.5% Chitin

Chitin is fiber from shrimp and crab shells. It's naturally antibacterial! And it is machine wash and dry! Amazing!

My LYS the Rose Tree just got this yarn in. I had to bring some home to try! The colors are so bright and pretty and the yarn is really soft. It was really hard to choose a color, there really isn't a bad one in the bunch!

It knits beautifully. I am getting about 8 to 81/2 spi on size 2 needles. I can't wait to get started on a pair of socks from this!

Happy Knitting!


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Mystery ball-Coronet hat

I made lots of progress on my Coronet hat yesterday. I think it just needs a few more rows before I do the decreases. I had a little trouble getting the band grafted together. I don't think I have done any grafting of garter or purl stitches which this has a few of. It is not perfect but it will do. This is a fun pattern that I will probably use again. I make a lot of hats for family and charities. The band takes a little more time than ribbing but it is so much prettier!

I found a few more things in the mystery ball too. I forgot to include the stitch marker in this picture. There is also a bag of tea, a Werther's Original candy and a cross stitched sachet. The ball is still pretty lumpy and there are little bits poking out of it so there must still be a few surprises in there. I am afraid that my hat may not take all of this yarn and I might have to find something else to make so I can get to all of the goodies!

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Coronet and a Mystery Ball

Coronet is a free pattern from Knitty created by Alexandra Virgiel. I really enjoy the patterns that these designers share with us.

I am going to have to adjust the pattern slightly because my gauge is 5 spi instead of the suggested 4 spi. I have made dozens of hats though so I don't think this will be a problem.

I am using a Mystery Ball from a swap. We swapped balls of yarn in which is wrapped several little gifts. The rule is that you have to knit the yarn to find the gifts. The yarn is Deluxe Worsted Tweed 100% wool from Universal Yarn Inc. I really like the rose color.

I had to chuckle yesterday though. My 16 year old son was telling me to knit faster so he could see what was inside! He had already offered to rewind the yarn for me so HE could find out! He had been playing with the ball to try to see through the gaps and found out that there is something that rattles inside. It is killing him! Maybe I will knit slower! HAHAHA

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Little sweaters

I finished the knitting on the first of the preemie baby surprise sweaters. It is really cute! I need to find buttons for it yet. I am thinking I might crochet the sleeve seam shut across the top so it will be on the outside. With preemies they always seem to suggest that you make seams as flat as possible. I may continue the crochet around the neckline to give it a more finished look. The second sweater is started on a 10 inch needle above the finished one. They will not be exactly the same color arrangement, as you can see. I enjoy mixing it up with the stripes on this pattern.

As I was sorting through yarn one day, my 4 year old decided that he needed me to make a sweater for him. I had been planning to make the Wonderful Wallaby for some time but just hadn't gotten to it yet. We found 3 colors of this TLC Wiggles yarn. I have finished one sleeve and I am almost done with the second. Then it is on to the body. The main body will be blue to match the sleeves with the pouch pocket in yellow and the hood in red. Carl chose where he wanted to place the different colors. I hope I have enough of the blue or we may have to add some stripes to the yoke.

The Wonderful Wallaby is a Cottage Creations pattern. It is a seamless raglan with a knit on pouch pocket sized for tiny baby to large adults. If you do a search you can find lots of helpful information about knitting this sweater. It has been a popular one at the Rose Tree Fiber Shop where I teach. Two of the other teachers have taught it as a class several times now. This sweater is the dress up version of a sweatshirt. Hmmm, maybe I should make one for myself too....

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Monday, February 05, 2007

Sweaters big and small

First my Fairly Easy Fair Isle sweater:

I have been trying to get this one done because it is bitterly cold right now and I would really like to be wearing it! I finished the color work this weekend and knit the button band. I still need to knit the buttonhole band and seam up the sleeves and underarm.

I really like the fit of this one. I started with the small and increased to the medum at the sides. I think it will be a closer fit through the waist. My last one was rather loose there.

I am thinking about using the same basic pattern but with some cables or other pattern stitches so I can make it all in one color. The fair isle is nice but I don't really want all of my sweaters to look alike! I have enough yarn to make it in either red, black or an aqua green.

Now to the small:

I am working on a preemie size Baby Surprise sweater. It is an adaptation of Elizabeth Zimmerman's pattern. It is going to be so tiny! I will be making a second one as these are for a set of twins.

Okay, so here is the last one:

The Spiral Baby Blanket is getting bigger. It is about 12 inches from the center. I am not sure quite how large to make it. I am thinking that it should probably be at least 30 inches in diameter for an average size newborn baby.

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