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

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Knitting Pictures!

I finally found some time to take pictures of the knitting I have been doing. I really have been knitting but just hadn't found time to blog about it. I have spent that past couple of months trying to keep up with Arnhild's business as well as my own business and taking care of my family. I found some time in there to knit apparently too, as you can see!

There are hats and a cowl to go to charity. These will probably go to our church for their fall hat and mitten drive. I have been working on a couple of hats in ISU Cyclone colors, red and gold. These are the kind of knitting that I do while watching Rosie's basketball games or reading email. The striped one was finished at the last game, which they won in overtime!

Another hat and cowl set that I finished recently is this beautiful white cabled set. It is made in Rauma Vamsegarn, a worsted weight wool. The pattern is newly translated pattern -- Rauma 84-10. This one will be displayed at the Arnhild's Knitting Studio Retreat to be held in Ames in late February. The pattern will be released at that time.

I finished the sleeves for the Norwegian Man's Sweater a couple of weeks ago. I have been awaiting further instructions from Arnhild for the finishing. I have started that now. I will need to sew with the sewing machine along the center front and the sleeve openings and then I will cut through the knitting to make openings to attach the sleeves and the button bands. I will be taking lots of pictures as I do that. Arnhild and I are making up a book to give the students who are taking classes in our new Fiber Arts School. We are going to include lots of photos of the techniques involved in making these sweaters and other knitting projects.

And finally I have been learning how to knit socks from the toe up. I have knit dozens of socks from the top down but this takes some different techniques. It has been a challenge sometimes but I feel like I am learning a lot as I go. I have been wanting to learn how to do this because I have some sock yarn which is hand-dyed. I can't get more if I run out and the ball is a little shorter yardage than some that I have used. With this method of making socks I should be able to use up all of the yarn and still have my socks completed. I always worry when knitting from the top down that I will not have enough to finish the toe!

This is a photo from about a week ago. I have both of the socks past the heel now and one is almost finished.

I will try to update more as I work on the Norwegain sweater. It also needs to be finished in time for the retreat in February. There may be some other projects on my list for then too. I'd better keep knitting!

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Knitting Needles - Pewter Buttons and Clasps

The Norwegian sweaters that I have been making lately usually take pretty small needles because of the fine yarns. I had found that these sizes were often not available at local craft stores. Rauma carries a full line of PT needles in a wide variety of sizes and types. I have added some of them to my online store. I am hoping to expand the available sizes in the near future but for now I have the ones most commonly used.

Here is what they look like. The circulars are very smooth for fast knitting with soft flexible cables. The double pointed needles come in a set of 5 and have a slightly grippier feel.

I also have a nice selection of Norwegian Pewter Buttons and Clasps. These are the real thing from a factory in Norway. Unfortunately, the factory we have gotten them from has ceased production. We are in contact with a different supplier and hope to have arrangements made with them soon. These are some of my favorites. You can see all of them on the Buttons and Clasps page.

I will need to pick buttons for the Man's Norwegian Cardigan that I have been making for my husband. I think maybe the ships would look good on it. He might like that.

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

I did get back from Michigan...

really I did. I really left you all hanging though didn't I? Sorry about that!

We had a wonderful time in Michigan with the classes, the people in the classes and with the owners of Threadbear Fiber Arts Studio. Then things got very busy for me!

Arnhild has been in Norway since mid-November so I am in charge of her business as well as my own. Things have been going well for both. We had great sales before Christmas and after when everyone decided to spend their Christmas money. I have packed a LOT of yarn!

I have been working on some knitting for Arnhild's annual retreat. There will be new patterns and samples to show off there. I took the sleeves for the Norwegian Man's Sweater along to Michigan and got the first sleeve mostly knit. Since then I have managed to get the second sleeve mostly knit. It has gone much more slowly because I have had so many other things to do. This one needs to be finished in time for the retreat as well. Deadline is the last weekend of February. I still have a lot to do!

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