Inspiration Book – Tin Ceilings

When we were in Sydney, we stayed at the Mercantile Hotel. It’s a pub on the ground floor with modest rooms above, built in 1915 or so. I loved the tin ceilings at the Mercantile, and there seemed to be a different pattern in every room.

Mercantile 001

Mercantile 002

Mercantile 003

Mercantile 005

Mercantile 006

Mercantile 010

Mercantile 012

Mercantile 013

Mercantile 014

Mercantile 016

The textural, repeating patterns seem like they would be (very roughly) adaptable to knitting. Maybe as a cushion or an afghan. I’ll be mulling it over.


Handspun Showcase Shawl

Woo hoo!  I did it!

I went from this,


to this,

spinning 015

to this,

Handspun Showcase Shawl 054

during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

I am very happy with it.

Handspun Showcase Shawl 037

I designed this shawl to let my one precious skein of handspun really sing in an unfussy setting. I wrote up the pattern here. The darker yarn is Cascade 220 Heathers in charcoal gray.

Handspun Showcase Shawl 060

I’m glad I went with the shallower shape, since that makes it wide enough to wrap generously around the shoulders. Even broad shoulders like mine.

Handspun Showcase Shawl 045

The edge is just a couple rows of garter stitch, so it has to be blocked pretty severely to lay flat.

Handspun Showcase Shawl 062

As a result, it’s a bit lighter than you’d think for something made from worsted weight yarn.

Handspun Showcase Shawl 057


Coming out of hiding

Last night I mentioned that my first trip to Rhinebeck is coming up.  As I was writing that I realized that, indeed, Rhinebeck is only two weeks away!  What should I wear?  It seems that everyone who’s anyone is making a Rhinebeck sweater (as those in the know have for years, of course).

I haven’t started (or finished) any new sweaters recently, so I was thinking hard about what I could whip up in two weeks. Then I remembered this:

DPP hibernating

It’s my Pinstripe Pullover that I put in storage back in March.


I have about two inches left of the body to do before I start the sleeves. Think I can finish it in time?

WIP Wednesday – Sweater Edition

First of all, I’m delighted to report that I’m very close to finishing Wicked.

Wicked End

I’ve re-blocked Serrano, and the shoulders are working out much better. Now the only question is what I ought to do for a closure, which is a topic complicated enough to deserve its own post.

Cathode is also coming along nicely.

cathode 3/25

I’m about 2/3 of the way done with the bottom ribbing, so I can probably finish in a few weeks. I’m trying to finish Cathode before Serrano, because Serrano is lacy and light enough to wear well into spring. I know the bottom part looks preposterously small, but it’s very stretchy. I also think that negative ease is important with something like this, since it has the potential to really swallow me up if it’s too big. I had considered lengthening the sleeves, but I think I’ll stick with the short sleeves. I had also considered doing a smaller collar (which is why I did a provisional cast on at the neck) but I might as well do the big goofy one. It’s never going to be a “normal” sweater, I might as well follow the spirit of the pattern and make it totally nutso!

And now for the bad news. DPP had been relegated to a space bag to wait out the summer.

DPP hibernating
(There it is, hanging out with Tailored Scallops)

This project had really become a slog, which is heartbreaking considering that it’s my own pattern.  But it was a slog the first time too, and as I’ve discussed, it put me off knitting for a few months.  This project embodies knitting angst for some reason.  Part of it is just the way things have worked out – as of this writing, Foliage is still on the Ravelry Top 20.  I’m a little bummed that after my initial success DPP has been, shall we say, noticeably less popular.  But again, as we’ve discussed, knitting is my HOBBY.  The fact that DPP has become a slog, for any reason, justifies a time-out.

DPP 3/25

But the good news is, I’m almost done with the body and I like how it’s turning out. Some time this fall I’ll pick it up with renewed energy, and it will be finished in no time.

My own DPP – Sizing

I hope everyone is having a great holiday season.  I have much gift knitting to discuss, but I think that’s best wrapped into a larger year-in-review post, since I don’t know where to start and I’m about to be without my computer for a few days. I’ve decided instead to begin my series on knitting my very own Pinstripe Pullover (I did not choose the word “dainty” and I always forget to use it). I intend to document my progress in meticulous detail, since this blog really dropped off when I couldn’t share what I was doing the first time around. Also, I hope that my commentary will be helpful to those who decide to make it for themselves.

I started it on Election Day, but I had to abandon it for holiday knitting right after that. When I picked it up again for the trip I saw that my tension was REALLY wacky (probably from all the drama of watching the results) and I had made a mistake. I want this sweater to be perfect so I ripped it out and started it over, so I’m right back to where I was at the end of Election Day.

I hesitated in starting my own because I agonized over what size to make (ironic, huh?). I have a 42 inch bust, so I was right in between sizes. I decided to make the 40.5 inch size because the pattern as knit with Alpaca Silk has quite a bit of horizontal stretch to it.

Here you can see the swatch I did for the Interweave sample. In the unstretched state there are just about 7 stripes (28 stitches) in four inches.


When the swatch is stretched, I can get six and a quarter stripes (25 stitches) to cross those four inches pretty comfortably.


Using that math, it could fit a 46 inch bust, not that that’s what I would recommend.  Once I’m done with this I would love to get several other women to try it on so we can do our own size 12 Interweave Gallery.

I am heading out to Chicagoland to visit my Grandma until Tuesday. My mom, dad, and sister are coming too, so it’ll be a holiday visit to Illinois with the original Mooney clan, just like old times. The Pinstripe Pullover is a great project for travel to visit family, since that nice deep ribbing requires little concentration.  When I return, I’ll begin my year-end series of posts!

Dainty Pinstripes Pullover

As many of you noticed earlier this week, I have a sweater pattern in the Winter 2008 issue of Interweave Knits, the Dainty Pinstripes Pullover.  This has been such a surreal, exciting experience that I had an “I’ll believe it when I see it” attitude about the whole thing, and I didn’t really tell people about it.  Well here it is!

Nov 2008 004a

Here I am taking a page from the Kate Gilbert playbook:


I’m delighted with the photo spread, particularly because some of the photos are next to a marble fireplace, similar to mine, my favorite feature of my house and next to which I knit a lot of the sweater.  I’m particularly excited that the photo in the lower left of the magazine page above shows the back detail, because it’s my favorite part:


It’s less obvious from the photos what’s happening in front. There are increases there too, arranged to look like princess seams:


The whole thing is knit in the round, with raglan decreases sporting one pinstripe each:


That picture should also give you an idea of how the pinstripes are created.

On election day I started my very own in pink and purple, but I haven’t worked on it since. I didn’t want to jinx anything, and I have Christmas knitting to work on! I am so excited to be able to show you the version I’m knitting for myself as it takes shape. While this has been a very exciting experience, it was a very lonely one. I knit the whole sweater in three weeks, which kind of killed my knitting mojo (and the blog) for awhile. But I’m back! And now that the sweater is public, I have renewed enthusiasm for knitting, blogging, and designing.

Wa na na na na na na na BAT SHAWL!

(doesn’t my sister have pretty hair?)
My bat shawl pattern is available in the new AntiCraft.


I knit this last summer. It was one of the secret projects I worked on on my road trip. While I knit it over the summer, I didn’t finish writing the pattern until about a month ago, at that’s the pattern I was referring to in my post at the beginning of this year.


It all started with the swatch of the bat motif in the Walker Treasury Project. As you can see, the first comment was mine, and the idea came to me pretty much immediately.

This pattern probably won’t be as widely used as Foliage, but I am still psyched to get it published.  The Anticraft is obviously the only suitable home, and I’m really glad that they liked it!