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Día de los Muertos

Meet Morty, our yarn version of a Día de los Muertos sugar skull! He will be featured in this week’s issue of KnitBits as we wrap up our Global Gifting series. I made Morty with about a dozen paper clips and the Ultra Alpaca left overs from my Sarape Shopper. There was no knitting involved and I expect that it would be a totally manageable fine motor skills activity for kids ages 6+ (adult supervision, please).


First, gather your supplies: 




Assemble the bod, using a chain of paper clips: 



Then start wrapping! 




At the head, wrap halfway up the paper clip and then bend it in half.



Wrap as you would to make a yarn ball, turning to make sure it’s building up into a nice even sphere.



Finish your doll with some ‘bone’ embroidery using stem stitch or running stitch. Norah assured me that my clumsy needlework was ‘folksy’ and ‘authentic’…I’m going to go with that! Secure a knot at the back of the doll: 



Then do your best stitchin’: 



You might want to bend the exposed edges of the paper clips slightly so that the wrapped yarn doesn’t slip off. You can use your Morty doll as a charm on a bag or as a pendant. He’s awfully jangly so I think I’ll turn mine into a marionette puppet!





espy excess

One story in norah gaughan volume 4 is all about excess fabric

That’s all I can say for now.


This week’s KnitBits patterns were inspired by the Icelandic tradition of the 13 Yule Lads, mischievous tricksters who wreak havoc around the holidays. 

While knitting the first of two Kertasnikir Boot Toppers, I didn’t pay attention to the issue of yarn dominance. I trusted that blocking would work its usual magic and that the Geode colorwork would be more prominent. I’m always trying to improve my knitting diligence so I did some reading and decided to pay more attention on the second Boot Topper. You can TOTALLY tell, I’m completely sold on the importance of yarn dominance. ( In other words, if you knit with both hands, it matters which hand holds the CC!)


Has anyone ever learned from a knitting mishap? Can we blame the Yule Lads for all our knitting accidents? 


the return of wedgette

For those of you working on wedgette, I have decided to present the bodice numbers in a diagrammatic way, well, like a worksheet, before I write them out.


With RS facing, pick up 172(196-220-244-264-288-312)sts along top edge of “skirt”. First row – K 43(49-55-61-66-72-78)sts, place marker, k 86(98-110-122-132-144-156)sts, place marker, k remaining 43(49-55-61-66-72-78)sts  Knit 4 more rows. Buttohole row –  knit 6, bo 2 sts, knit to end.  Knit the next row, and cast on 2 sts over bound off 2. Knit 3 rows. Next row (WS) – K 6 sts and place them on a holder. K to last 6 sts, place last 6 on a holder. Change to st st and work 4 rows straight begin neckline shaping.

Neckline shaping 

Dec row (RS)- k3, k2 tog, k to last 5 sts, ssk, k3. 

Repeat  dec row every 6th row 2(3-0-0-0-0-0) times.

Then, Repeat  dec row every 8th row 9(9-12-13-13-13-14) times.

(Meanwhile you will be shaping the armholes, and later the shoulders.)

When piece measures 2.75(3-3.25-3.5-3.75-4-4.25)” from top of skirt, ending with a wrong side row it’s time to separate the fronts from the back. Directions assume you are working one section at a time.



. turn, begin armhole shaping.

Bind off at  armhole 4 sts once, 3 sts once, 2 sts 1(1-2-3-4-5-6) times. Dec one st (following neckline necks as a model) 3(5-6-7-8-9-10) times

When piece measures 7(7.5-8-8.5-9-9.5-10)” from beg of armhole shaping, begin shoulder shaping. (You may still be shaping the neckline).


Shoulder shaping

Bind off at shoulder edge, 3(5-5-5-6-7-8) sts 2(1-4-2-4-1-1) time(s), then  4(4-0-6-0-6-7)sts 2(3-0-2-0-3-3) times.



With RS facing, join yarn to back and work armhole shaping at each edge.  Work shoudler shaping at each shoulder as described above.



With RS facing, join yarn to left front and work armhole shaping at beg of RS rows. (Continuse with neckline shaping as well). Work shoulder shaping at beg of RS rows as described above.



With smaller needles (2 sizes smaller) and WS facing, slip sts for right front holder to needle. Join yarn, p1, k1 (m1p, k1) 3 times, p1 – 9 sts. Work 1/1 rib  for the same # of rows as the front edge.

Trick – work the rib until you think it’s about right. Don’t’ bind off. Sew it to the front using the mattress st – one full st in and taking one row at a time. When you get to the top adjust the # of rib rows as you complete the sewing and bind off. For the left band, begin with RS facing, join yarn, k1, p1 (m1k, p1) 3 times, k1. 

a tease from NGV4

I feel a bit like I’m emerging from captivity, although not an unpleasant captivity, just an intense one. I spend the last month designing the pieces for the 4th Berroco volume with my name on it. Let’s refer to the upcoming book as NGV4 , eliminating the need to type my own name over and over like a crazed ego manic (or a little kid just learning to write). I swatched, I sketched, and then the hard part began. In order to actually make my ideas work I drew up very detailed schematics and wrote the first instruction. Wow, that took so much time! Why can’t I just do normal sweaters?! :)

Ok, I don’t really mean that, since I thrive on doing things I haven’t done before. So now, there are 14 sample garments (some, risky experiments and some, not so much) out there in the hands of a dozen of the best knitters I’ve worked with.

…the tease:

My pile of swatches.


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