Introducing Ayrton


Classic and understated, this top-down knit lace poncho captures every shade in the Opal colourway and highlights the gem-like shine from the tussah silk and merino blend of Anzula’s Croquet. It is easy to customize to a longer or shorter length.

I find it fitting to introduce you to this design on International Women’s Day. Why?

The stitch design pays tribute to Hertha Marks Ayrton, an electrical engineer, feminist, physicist, and inventor.

Ayrton, detailIn 1899 she became the first woman to read a paper (“The Hissing of the Electric Arc”) at the The Institution of Electrical Engineers. In 1906, the Royal Society awarded her the Hughes Medal, and in 1915 she invented the Ayrton Fan that British troops used in WWI to protect against poison gas in the trenches.

For more information about Ayrton, please see:

The pattern is available for $6 and immediate download at ravelry | craftsy | etsy.

Next week I’ll write up a bit more about the design. Enjoy!

knitting in public

This coming week is World Wide Knit in Public Day! (I know. It used to be just on one specific Saturday, but it “now takes place from the second Saturday to the third Sunday of June each year; making it a week long celebration of knitting and other fiber arts”.)

I don’t knit in public as much as I used to, my commute no longer involves trains only a flight of stairs. I do try to work in public whenever I can, and I almost always have a project with me.

I took this shawl to the sound a few weeks ago.

I took socks on a short hike in Devil’s Den Nature Preserve in CT.

My knitting likes coffee as much as I do. ;)

A pair of socks often shared my train seat with my tom bihn co-pilot (I reviewed that bag here).

2014-06-13-trainknitting2 2014-06-13-trainknitting3
I used to knit quite a bit during my commute. I sometimes miss that regular distraction-free knitting time.

Where do you knit in public?

If you looking for a project to work on in public, afghans for Afghans is specifically collecting wool baby hats and socks for ages newborn to one year during the month of June. Questions? Please visit their site. Note: please do not send preemie hats.

one of those weeks …

Not all weeks go according to plan. This was one of those weeks. While progress was made on items in my knitting basket, it ended up with two detours: first, I need to completely recover (my right arm hurts making it difficult to knit or focus). The second is that we are providing a loving foster home to a new mama and her five kittens for the next few weeks while they grow big and strong so they can be adopted and spayed or neutered.

It’s still a bit early, but I’ll close with the current status of Peony Watch 2014. These are one of my favourite flowers (my most favourite is the montaulk daisy).


what i’m working on …

I thought you might like a glimpse into my project bag…

I’m finishing up some sample knitting for Shannon Okey. Her new colourwork mitten book, Frozen: Aurora Borealis Mittens, is available for preorder now (at Cooperative Press and as ebook on Ravelry). These are knit in FiberOptic Kashmir and the paintbox is delightful to work with.



I’ve also been swatching in some very beautiful Anzula Yarns. This project is finally taking shape after my first swatching almost a year ago!


This design will be a hybrid one, incorporating weaving, crochet, and knitting with options for substitution if you aren’t wanting to do one of the techniques. The zoom loom is quite a bit of fun.

adding: Anzula was on their local news this morning for a short feature, made in the valley! Congrats!

I finished my third pair of footie socks! I have 12g of yarn (about 50 yards) left. These socks make me really happy. There will be many many more. This isn’t the world’s best photo, but the third pair was fresh off the needles and the other two had just been washed. Now if the weather would just behave…


What are you working on?

TNNA Recap, part I

Last weekend I was at our industry trade show, the TNNA Summer Show. I was there to help Happy Fuzzy Yarn in her booth. It was a different show than last year for many reasons such as location, time of year, and it was held the same weekend as another big event, the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. That conflict caused many to choose between the two events. There were a few exceptions, and I am in awe that Clara Parkes managed to attend both!

It was a wonderful show and I’m still processing all that happened during the whirlwind four days.

Would you like to see some of the beautiful yarns I was playing working with all weekend? These are 3 of 17 new colours this season of Corrie Sock, 4 oz (114g)/435 yards (395m) of fingering weight yarn in a 75% Superwash Corriedale wool/25% nylon blend.

Aren’t they lovely? If you’d like to see these in your LYS, speak up and ask your LYS owner to contact Happy Fuzzy Yarn.

Can’t wait for me to write up more thoughts? here’s another preview!

a spring KAL for Ben Weatherstaff’s Friend

Ben Weatherstaff's FriendHappy May! This month there’s a KAL (knit-a-long) happening over at Ravelry, for my pattern, Ben Weatherstaff’s Friend.

While this little robin is a quick knit, I like to keep things low-key. We’re all busy and I’ve fallen behind on many a KAL… so while I’ll post advice weekly, I urge everyone to knit on their own schedule! There’s no being late to join or falling behind. Refer to the tips when they work for you!

Each Tuesday in May, I’ll check in at the KAL thread with advice and suggestions for each step in this pattern.

BWF-springtimeWeek 1 (Tues 06 May) – Yarn options & Knitting beak & feet
Week 2 (Tues 13 May) – Knitting the wings
Week 3 (Tues 20 May) – Knitting the start of body
Week 4 (Tues 27 May) – Knitting the entire body & finishing

Please join in!

Don’t have your own copy of the book yet? While I highly recommend the entire book, What (Else) Would Madame Defarge Knit?, you can now purchase just this one pattern as an instant PDF download (other single patterns are coming soon).

Or if you’re at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival this weekend you can buy a copy of the book at the Cooperative Press booth!

Where will I be this weekend? I’ll be in Indianapolis at The National NeedleArts Association Summer Trade Show.