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, January 31, 2008

New Assignment

Arnhild's knitting retreat is coming up in just 3 weeks! We decided that we needed more samples of the new patterns that have come in from Rauma in Norway. My assignment is to make this stockinette children's sweater. I don't have the pattern picture to show you so you will have to wait to see what the rest of it looks like.

It is made in worsted weight yarn: Rauma Vamsegarn

The pattern uses what is usually considered the wrong side of the fabric. The stripes blend together more this way. I just need to knit a little more on the back and then it is on to the sleeves!

There are other things that need to be knit up for the retreat. I will be busy knitting and planning for the next few weeks!

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Out with the old, In with the new

Since the mittens were done I decided I needed to cast on something new. Well, it isn't new exactly. The Baby Surprise Jacket pattern has been around for quite a long time. You can find it in Elizabeth Zimmermann's books and as a separate Spun-Out pattern, all from School House Press.

I wanted to try out the Rauma Babygarn. It is a wonderfully soft, washable, 100% wool baby yarn. And there are lots of colors to choose from, not just the usual baby pastels. I can think of lots of projects that would work well in this Babygarn.

I started knitting this little sweater thinking that I would try to take some progress pictures along the way. It knits up so fast though that I suddenly realized that it was almost finished and I hadn't gotten a single picture of it. So here it is, almost finished. I think I have less than a dozen rows to knit now before I sew it together.

This sweater is a little piece of origami. First you can see it flat as I have been knitting it. The last picture is folded together the way it will be finished.

It is an amazing transformation! I am convinced that Elizabeth Zimmermann was a genius.

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Children's Selbu mittens finally finished

I finally got these finished this week! Aren't they cute?

These are from Rauma's Selbustrikk pattern book:

Barnevott #9 to fit 7-9 years

Rauma Gammelserie yarn

Size 2 needles

Check out Arnhild's Knitting Studio for sources.

I am finding it much easier to follow the charts now. This is my third pair of Norwegian mittens so far. Rosie has asked me to make a pair with a moose on it for her. She saw a pattern she likes in this book. I guess my mitten knitting days aren't over yet.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Some 2007 knitting I can finally show off

Tofutsies Weave Socks

I mentioned this project in October. It was an entry for a sock design contest so I couldn't give too much away then. Now that the contest is over I can show them off. Oh, and I got second place!

I love the bright colors of this yarn but I was disappointed with the way my first pair turned out. Two of the colors blend together as you knit to make a spiral of a totally different color! So with this pattern I decided I wanted a way to interrupt that spiral and have each of the colors stand out individually.

You can see in the close-up view the spiral that started in the cuff and also how the weave pattern changed that.

I really like the results! The pattern will hopefully be available on my web site soon.

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Happy New Year!

Then end of 2007 was rather stressful for me. I had some health problems before Christmas which put me in the hospital for a couple of days and I spent the next couple of weeks having tests and seeing doctors. I am feeling better now but still don't have an answer to what was going on. Hopefully the problem won't return.

I had a great year otherwise. Our kids are growing up way too fast. As you can see from the Christmas picture we have quite a crew!

I, of course, got a lot of knitting done mostly while waiting for kids or attending events and practices. The good news is that I completed 83 projects this year, the bad news is that there are a lot of projects which are still waiting to be finished.

Here is a brief list of the completed items:

32 hats
16 dishcloths
7 pair mittens
7 afghan blocks
6 pair socks
5 prayer shawls
4 baby sweaters
1 scarf
1 pair booties
1 spiral baby blanket
1 Wallaby child's sweater
1 Fair Isle adult sweater
1 headband

I am looking forward to working more this year with Arnhild. We have big plans for her business! Coming up in February is the Annual Arnhild's Knitting Studio Retreat and in Summer of 2009 there will be a Knitting Tour of Norway. That will be really fun!

I hope you all have a great year!