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, October 25, 2007

Arnhild's Knitting Studio, Rauma yarns, Selbu mittens & Barnevott

I am so excited! I am going to be working with Arnhild of Arnhild's Knitting Studio!!!!

She is the US distributor for Rauma yarns from Norway. She also has written or translated scores of Traditional Norwegian patterns. The latest, which she gave me, is a book of patterns called Selbustrikk. It includes: patterns for votter, vanter, sokker, stromper, luer, and skjerf or in English: mittens, gloves, socks, stockings, hats and scarves. Such beautiful patterns!

Today I helped Arnhild fill some orders and learned how to make the invoices on the computer. It is going to be so fun to learn about her business. We are hoping that I can take over for her when she is gone to give workshops and classes. I think I have a bit to learn yet though.

Arnhild also gave me the new book by Terri Shea, Selbuvotter It is about the traditional Norwegian mittens from Selbu. This is a very well done book that Arnhild will be selling to shops. Ask your local yarn shop about it!

Now my first assignment from Arnhild came with yarn. Two skeins of Rauma Gammelserie Strikkegarn, one black and one white. The pattern I am going to make is #10 in Selbustrikk. It is a Barnevott or Child's Mitten. Click on the picture for a closer look.

So I have yarn, needles and pattern. I'd better get started!

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Mittens New and Old

I started this pink and navy wool mitten Monday night while at the Prayer Shawl meeting at our church. We are making hats and mittens for the International students too. One of the women asked how long it takes me to knit a mitten like this. I couldn't give her an answer at the beginning of the evening because I knit while doing other things, between other things and just about any time that my hands are free.

But by then end of the evening I had a better idea of how long it takes. I would say for this one with just a little bit of patterning it will take about 3 hours to make each mitten.

So, with that in mind I am wondering why this pink mitten for Amy has not gotten finished. I started this one some time last winter.

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Sock Success!

This time the socks came out the same size! I think they look great with my new clogs too.

So now on to the next projects!

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Bright Tofutsies Sock

This brightly colored Tofuties sock yarn was calling to me from the bin at the Rose Tree We have had such rain and gloom for days on end that I really need some sunshine. I decided I had to make some socks from it because the colors made me think of a sunny summer day.

I am going to try something different with this pair. I am not going to tell you what that is just yet. But I will let you know soon if it works the way I hope it will.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Simple knitting--Dishcloth

I have been doing a lot of sock knitting lately which is hard on my hands. I didn't have a mindless project that was on larger needles to give my hands a break so I started a washcloth Tuesday. These go so fast that I was able to weave in the ends yesterday and start another one.

I knit this while reading. Have you learned how to knit without looking? Elizabeth Zimmermann talks about doing that in her books. I get a lot more knitting done that way! I can read, watch TV, and visit with someone else and all the while my hands are creating something with yarn and sticks. I don't even think about it any more. But I often get comments about how can I knit without looking at my knitting? Try it some time. You might surprise yourself!

I love the hand knit discloths and don't have very many of them so I think I will keep working on them for a while. This one is plain garter stitch in Sugar 'n Cream Stripes. It is a new color that I found at Hobby Lobby. It is really bright and pretty. I need some bright right now. We have had at least a week of rainy weather. We need some sun!

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Blue Candy Wrapper Hat

My Candy Wrapper Hat class went pretty well. The circular cast on was challenging for most but they all did well and got a good start in the first class session. The second session we worked on the cables.

I started this hat in Lamb's Pride worsted so I could demonstrate the techniques the class was going to use. It helps keep me from grabbing someone else's knitting to show them how! I need to finish the hat so I can see how this yarn works up in the pattern. So far it looks like it will be a little thicker but I don't think it will affect the size much because of the cables.

You can find the pattern at my web site Denise's

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I just can't count!

This was my purse project so I had my little yellow tag with the basic information that I needed to make the second sock. The tag said to knit 16 rows of ribbing and 52 rows stockinette for the leg then start the heel flap.

Okay, I did that. Except when I had a chance to compare the socks the leg of the second one was about and inch longer than the first one! What did I do? I thought I had counted right.

Oh well, I am the only one who will notice so on I went. Turn the heel, knit the foot 65 rows...uh, oh....not much yarn left. Will I make it? Shape the toe and graft! Yea! It's done! Just enough yarn.

Out comes the first sock again so I can wash and block. But something doesn't look right here. Why is the second one shorter in the foot?

I pulled out the yellow tag again. Hmmm, there seems to be a note here at the bottom. (I used the same yellow tag for a previous pair of socks and made notes of the changes for this pair... I think.) The note says, "denim stripe foot-75 rows." Oh dear, it really is shorter!

Now, this yarn is machine wash and dry which I love and I know that it does shrink so I always make the socks about 1/2 inch longer because of that. I have had to take out the toe on another pair that became unwearable. So, I tried it on...nope, this is not going to work.

I don't have enough yarn to simply knit it longer so with the foot too short and the leg too long I had no choice but to frog it back to the leg. If I make the leg shorter I should have enough yarn to make the foot longer. Right?

When I was frogging I started counting again. I counted 52 rows on the leg again and held it against the first sock...too long. So I counted the rows on the first sock. Oops, there were 42 rows on that one...I didn't even count that right!

I think I will ask my 5 year old to count it for me next time! It might come out better.