Tuesday, November 14, 2006

OK. I give in. I'm Etsyfied!

I've spent the entire day trying to wade through the myriad changes at Etsy ( If you're not familiar with the site, it's a great place to buy and sell handmade things, and a perfect place to do your Holiday shopping.

The site became so popular that the administration decided to update it. The update is called V2 and it looks just great. The problem is: it doesn't work great - at least not today which is the first day. There are lots of kinks to be worked out which is understandable. The only problem is, these kinks are making it hard to sell things.

On the other hand, I did sell a set of crocheted coasters today. I have more sets to post as soon as posting becomes possible again!

I also have an amazing Mandala Table Mat for your casseroles at Thanksgiving or Christmas or just for gazing at:

Or... maybe you'd be interested in a totally outlandish Pink & Black Flowered Tea Cozy:

There's more like these at as well as awesome hats, scarves, and so on. If there's something special you'd like to have, contact me at Etsy or send me a comment here and I'll see what I can do!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Knits for the Tiniest Baby Boys

In the last entry I showed you some things for boys and men. Since then, I got a commission to make matching, but slightly different hats for 11 year old triplet boys. What fun! They are very excited and are working with their mother and me to design their own hats.

Here are some brand new baby boy knits. Now your littlest guy can wear a grown up sweater vest. I used heart shaped buttons because baby boys can be sweethearts, too!

These baby clothes can be seen and purchased individually or as a set at

I've made a similar set in pink that I will be posting at Etsy in the next few days. I don't ordinarily do pink and blue pastels, but this yarn, and these colors, were so irresistable. Also, I've somehow become fascinated by multiple birth babies and I though the set in pink and blue would be great for brother-sister twins.What do you think?

I only want to add that I adore my three children, but I'm SO GLAD that they were born individually, not all together!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Knits for Men & Boys

Re-reading my last few entries I see that I announced that one of my crocheted neckpieces would be in Lark Books upcoming Crocheted Fiber Jewelry. Actually... it's TWO of my necklaces will be in the book! So Exciting!!

I've been thinking about how hard it is to get handknits for men and boys. You rarely see them on Etsy or anywhere else. I can't imagine why since in my experience (1 husband, 2 sons) men like handknits just as much as women and girls (1 daughter).

Here are some of my handknits for Men and Boys. You'll notice that some of these "knits" are really crocheted. I've been doing more and more crochet lately. Let me know what you think about my menswear. Also, they can all be purchased at Etsy - either at or at If you write to me directly through the comments, I would be happy to knit or crochet something special for the Man or Boy in Your Life.

Really Big Men's Scarf

Gray Tweed Handspun Men's Scarf

Denim Blue Boy's Hat in Merino and Microfiber (So Soft)

Winter White and Blue Crocheted Convertible Baby Hat
(also available with pink trim for girls)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Who Likes Bumble Bees?

You can see from my last entry that I really like flowers. And what about that cute bee perching on the sunflower.

Yes, I am a gardener as well as a knitter and crocheter.

So here's my latest creation. Bumble Bee Fingerless Gloves:

If you want to know more about these and see more photos, please go to You can buy them there too!

I have lots of Autumn and garden inspired items in my Etsy shop.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Sunflower Harvest Collar

Here's something new I crocheted. I just love Autumn and Sunflowers, so this came to mind. The bumble bee on the center of the flower is a button that fastens the collar. Quite unusual, don't you think?

It's actually for sale in my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Fabulous News From Lark Books and New Fall Baby Knits

I just heard that one of my designs will be included in Lark Books Crocheted Jewelry book scheduled for Fall, 2007 publication.

Please celebrate with me!

Also, I'd like to show you some of my new fall knits for babies:
For more information (or to purchase) please go to

Saturday, September 23, 2006

3 Year Old Steals Hat

I've been doing a lot of custom work lately. Here's a photo of a hat I made for a customer to photograph babies in. Only thing is, her 3 year old son grabbed it and was photographed by Mom in the act.

She's worried he may have stretched it, but I assured her that Merino wool can always be steamed back into shape. Love that stuff, don't you?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The KnittingGuru Crochets Again

I've been working away on some crocheted jewelry projects I was asked to submit to an upcoming book published by Lark Books. This has been a really interesting experience as I tried to vary my style and materials as much as possible, and also to submit as many ideas as I could come up with. My deadline is Friday and I'll post some photos after that. Stay tuned in!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Hippo chic?

I just saw an obscene (meaning look away from it) design on Lucia's site -- the Knitting Fiend. It was from Bambini Kuki, so I went to look at that website.

Here's what I found. This particular design is actually called Hippo chic. Appropriate, no?

Can you believe this? Fancy knitting, all right, but DO YOU WANT TO LOOK LIKE A HIPPO? Not me. Let's use our knitting skills in the name of good design. Remember the Bauhaus saying - form follows function. In terms of clothing, that should mean what you're wearing makes you look good and feels great to wear. This outfit does neither. I've been seeing more and more of such technological wonders that are true design failures.

Just my opinion, folks....

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Montreal Again?

Just returned from ANOTHER trip to Montreal. Of course I also bought two more huge bags of yarn from La Bobineuse de Laine. They actually wind up the yarns you want there so that you end up with a totally original plied yarn. I bought cottons galore again and avoided their acrylic which is a fiber I just hate. It feels like plastic or the petroleum it's made from. I wish they had wools in stock.

I have no photos today because I'm too busy finishing up the crocheted jewelry that Lark Books requested. That was another great benefit of selling on Etsy. And no, I still haven't heard back from Teen Magazine, but neither have they returned my knitwear, so I'm still hoping.

By the way, on this Montreal trip it took THREE HOURS waiting at customs while they opened and searched EVERYONE'S car trunk. I do like being safe, but boy, what a drag! Previously it never even felt like going to another country when visiting Canada. I wonder what the customs agent thought about the giant bags of yarn?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Haven't Heard Anything Yet, But Keep Thinking About that Little Box in Santa Monica

No, Teen Magazine has not yet gotten in touch with me. The photoshoot is supposed to be on Friday. I'm psyched at the whole event, even if the photos never make it into the magazine.

However.... please keep wishing me LUCK!

Monday, July 31, 2006

Haven't Written Lately, but WOW - Here's Some Great News!

I just heard from Etsy that Teen Magazine wants me to send them three of my items on Etsy for possible inclusion in a photo shoot! The items are: My little red hair flower barrettes, my huge flower necklace/hairband, and my sexy pink flowered shrug. I'm really excited. Here are photos of my designs.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

What's the KnittingGuru Up To Now?

I'm always looking for small things I can make to introduce people to my knit and crocheted items. First of all, not everyone can afford handknits because they are very time intensive and therefore not cheap, especially if fine quality yarns are used (as I always do) rather than Walmart acrylics. Secondly, I want customers to be able to see first hand the quality of my work and finishing techniques.

So..... Here's my latest little pretty - Crocheted Flower Baby Barettes.

The flowers are 1 1/4" in diameter.

You can see in the photo that I sew the flowers securely to the clip without the use of glue, so that the barettes can be handwashed.

They come in pairs on my Burry Babies cards. I package them in plastic zip-lock jewelry bags to keep them clean and neat. They're only $6 a pair + $1 s&h, so people can sample them for a very modest investment. They make a teriffic gift, too, and I always provide free gift-wrapping when asked.

These are available by writing directly to me through a comment on this blog or by going to The photos show the pink and red ones, but I can make these to order in almost any color you can think of, so please do write to me.

They sold within minutes of my posting them, so I guess people can tell just how cute they look on babies!

Not a baby but you really like these? They look great on BIG GIRLS too and I can make them in sophisticated colors if you wish.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Photos of Montreal Yarn

Here's some of the yarn I bought in Montreal while on vacation last week. I got much more than this at the wonderful prices this shop offers, but these two are probably my favorites. Of course, there's also the white and cream yarn with variegated metallic and a gorgeous pumpkin boucle, but you get the idea.

See yesterday's entry for the address of the wonderful shop in Montreal. They don't have a website, but might respond to letters asking for samples. I can't guarantee this, however.

Montreal was such an inspiration. Not only are the shops filled with beautiful and unusual clothing, but the huge outdoor fruit and vegetable markets were a color and texture sensation! These markets made the large farmer's market at Union Square in NYC look toy-sized. I WISH I could shop every day at the Atwater or Jean Toulon markets.

Now I have to continue unpacking, doing washes, and eventually updating My readers must be wondering what happened -- No Knitting Tip of the Week for more than a week. What a naughty KnittingGuru!!!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Wonderful Week of Wandering in Montreal

Just back from a fantastic week in Montreal and wanted to tell you all about a great yarn shop I found there. The name of the store is Magasin de Fibre L.B. Inc.
or AKA La Bobineuse de Laine.

The store is at 2279 Mont-Royal Est and it has tons of industrial yarns on cones. The ones I picked up are worsted weight all cotton yarns in luscious color combinations of about 6 or 7 fine yarns mixed together. I have tried to upload the photo, but keep coming up with disc error, whatever that means. I will try again later, because I know you want to see this yarn - it's just great.

Did I mention that the price was CHEAP?

If you live in or near Montreal or are going there for a vacation (which I recommend) don't miss this store.

Did I mention that the Jazz Festival was going on and I spent DAYS listening to FREE JAZZ?

Sorry for all the capital letters, but I am very enthusiastic about this trip.

Now I must run and wash a weeks worth of clothing and put away all my yarn and other goodies. Be back soon....

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Baby Flower Bracelet ------------------------------- An Early Morning Amusement

Here's a little something I whipped up this morning as I thought about how I REALLY need to update my BurryBabies website. I'm almost finished, but who has the time to get it to the last stages - proofreading, adding new photos and descriptions, rewriting text, connecting all items to Paypal?

So instead, I was thinking about how people now buy beaded bracelets for their babies and how I NEVER would have put one of those on my three babies -- too much danger from chewing on beads and choking!

So I crocheted this little flower bracelet that has no beads, no buttons, no snaps -- just 100% cotton yarn and a lot of love. Look: I'm a frustrated non-grandmother. How do you think Burry Babies got started anyway?

Here's a photo of the little flower bracelet. If there's a baby you love, it's up for sale on Etsy for only $4.00!

Hope you have a happy day today!
I think I'll just go make some more baby bracelets.

Monday, June 19, 2006

An Answer from the KnittingGuru ------------------ How to Knit Half-Linen Stitch

Recently Linda wrote to Ask the Guru:

"I am trying to find instructions for a "half linen stitch". Have you heard of it?"

The KnittingGuru answers:

I am familiar with this stitch. It isn't always called Half-Linen Stitch, however. Barbara Walker calls it Woven Stitch, for example. Most knitting stitches have numerous names and sometimes this causes problems when we try to research them.

One thing that's important to be aware of is that this is a very dense stitch. It belongs to the category of stitches called Slip Stitch and as such it involves slipping certain stitches over two (or more) rows. This is sometimes called Mosaic Knitting and it's an interesting technique in that you can knit fabrics that have patterns without using two or more colors in the same row. You are always knitting with only one yarn at a time for the whole row. The slipped stitch can be made with the yarn in front of the work or behind it. This gives two very different textures.

I knit the samples using sport weight wool (DK weight) with size 8 needles and then with size 10 needles. If you were knitting stockinette, you would probably use size 4 or 5 needles with this yarn. With Half-Linen Stitch, the size 8 needles yielded an extremely thick fabric with no drape. Even with size 10 needles the fabric is quite thick. You will also find that compared to stockinette, all slip stitch patterns have a gauge with many more rows per inch and often with many more stitches to achieve the same width. Be on guard about this! You cannot substitute slip stitch for plain knitting in a pattern or you will end up with a VERY SHORT garment and maybe a very narrow garment, too!

This is how the Half-Linen Stitch is knit:

Cast on an odd number of stitches.
Row 1 - Knit 1, *slip 1 stitch with yarn in front, knit 1* repear from * to * to end.
Row 2 - Purl.
Row 3 - Knit 2, *slip 1 stitch with yarn in front, knit 1* repear from * to * to end.
Row 4 - Purl.

Here are photos of the Half-Linen Stitch shown on both sizes 8 and 10 needles. I have also shown the "slip with yarn in front" component of the stitch. By the way, this is a very simple stitch to knit.

This photo shows the yarn in front of the slipped stitch.

Now the yarn is placed behind the needle in preparation for knitting one stitch.

This photo shows the Half-Linen Stitch done on size 8 needles with sport weight yarn. It would be suitable for a very heavy and warm winter jacket with no drape.

This is the same stitch and yarn knit on size 10 needles. It is still thick, but has a softer, more open texture. It would be suitable for a warm sweater.

This is the Half-Linen Stitch knit on size 10 needles with two colors. Rows 1 & 2 are knit in light gold and Rows 3 & 4 are knit in black. Doesn't this make a great tweed? Can't you see this as a fabulous fall jacket?

Here's my swatch with one of my KnittingGuru Swatch Cards attached for my records. I know never to trust to my memory about these statistics and so I always use a card. You can buy these in the KnittingGuru Boutique.

I hope that Linda and the rest of my readers found this discussion to be clear and helpful, and that you'll try this stitch next time you want something really warm to wear or use as a blanket.

For other interesting Knitting Articles please check out KnittingGuru. I am always happy to answer your questions at Ask the Guru.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


This week on KnittingGuru I have a visual tutorial
on making Bigger Better Bobbles. There are 13 photos
showing details, so please be patient as this useful
tutorial downloads. See it at:

Also New at KnittingGuru:

A Cool Blue Waffle Textured Long Cotton Scarf
with Vintage Button Decorations $25.


A New Knitting at the Beach Kit --
A Deep Pink (Magenta) Textured Knit Bag
with a 1950s Vintage Button.
The kit includes an instruction card, yarn, &
the button, and is packed in a lovely gold gauze
drawstring bag. $10.95

You can see the scarf and bag at:


Not only am I knitting like a fiend and designing kits, etc. but also I am having major renovations done at home. This is taking physical energy, but most of all psychic energy. Oh, the mess, the phone calls, the forgotten tasks, THE MONEY ITS COSTING.....

Anyone out there who has gone through major renovations, tell me how you manage to keep the rest of your life going. I'd really like to read your comments.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Where Does the Time Go? ................................ Or, Time Flies When You're Knitting & Listening

I can't believe how long it has been since I last wrote here. Of course, I did take some time off for Memorial Day Weekend - 4 days in fact! We heard a truly great Shostakovich concert that really revitalized me. I'd never heard his Preludes & Fugues before and was amazed how much like Bach they were, and yet in an entirely different spirit. Very exciting music!

I never do stop knitting, however, no matter what else is going on. Here's one of a series of skinny cotton scarves I've been knitting. This one's hot pink with semi-precious bead decoration. This works just as well as a belt, and offers so many ways to wear it as a scarf. I'm posting a lot of photos of this so you can see the variations. In fact, it reflects the theme and variations of the Shostokovich music I so loved!

You can get this scarf at my Etsy store now. I will be putting it in the KnittingGuru Boutique soon,

I do love comments and questions, so let's have some feedback here, OK?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Flowers Are Blooming in More Ways than One

The flowers are blooming in my garden and it's hot! I always want to have something to get my hair off my neck in the heat, but I hate those ugly elastic holders.

Ergo, my latest invention: the combination bracelet & ponytail holder!

Looks charming on your wrist and great in your hair. Don't you love to get something that serves a dual purpose?

Crocheted over a pony tail elastic, so this is stretchy and will fit anyone's wrist or ponytail. The 2" flower is so cute. This could easily be hooked onto the strap of your bag or a belt loop on your jeans. All cotton and washable, too.

This one's in purple with blue, but I can make just about any color you dream up. Just email me. You can get this one at my Etsy shop now.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Multiple Personality Scarf Kit Finally Available - Great for Those of Us With Many Moods

You take a book with you when you go to the beach don't you. It's called Beach Reading. So I thought, what about Beach Knitting... or Mountain Knitting... or Anyplace Vacation Knitting? Then I decided to give my customers lots of choices: There are four scarves to choose from -- Hot Pink with Beads, Cornflower Blue, Purple with Lady Bugs, or Green.

You can read more about these, including the price, on KnittingGuru.

You don't want to drag a lot of stuff to the beach, right? So I designed the patterns to fit on two postcard sized, double-sided, full-color heavy weight cards. And then I thought, this needs to be in a portable bag, so I packaged it in a gold gauze drawstring bag that you can carry your knitting in.

I hope everyone enjoys their day at the beach and/or has a Great Vacation!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Another Question for the KnittingGuru - How to Make Bobbles

Suzan wrote to me last night asking about how to make a mini-bobble - a stitch she read about in a pattern given online. I must say that I find MANY errors in online patterns. I guess you often get what you pay for and some designers are less careful when posting patterns than they would be if they were submitting the pattern to a publication. Therefore, Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware)!

Anyway, bobbles are usually made by knitting several times into one stitch and then immediately decreasing back to the one stitch. The pattern Suzan is attempting only has you knit three times into the one stitch -- therefore the name mini-bobble.

Here's Suzan's question:

Can you explain about making a mini bobble? Here are the directions: knit one, purl one, knit one all into the same stitch, (this is where I get lost). You will now have 3 stitches from ONE stitch on your right needle. (I don't understand one stitch. I am thinking I should have 3). Take the tip of the left needle and lift the furthest away over the top two then lift the 2nd over the first one. I understand the lifting, but when I start the next row I am short a few stitches. I am 1/2 way finished with this and really don't want to put it up. Any help would be great and thanks for your time!

The KnittingGuru answers:

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I decided to knit a little swatch to demonstrate each step of the stitch. Many photos follow with a description under the photo.

........... Here is the first knit stitch.

Here the yarn is brought forward to prepare for a purl stitch.

The purl stitch is made and the yarn is brought behind the left needle to prepare for the next knit stitch.

All three stitches have been made in the one stitch and taken off the left needle.

Of the three stitches made, stitch 1 is being passed over stitches 2 and 3.

Of the three stitches made, only stitches 2 and 3 remain on the right needle.

Here stitch 2 is being passed over stitch 3.

Here the bobble is completed. You are back to one stitch. No stitches have been lost.

This is the mini-bobble. In my opinion it's too mini to bother with.

Here's the same bobble made with 5 stitches instead of 3. I think it looks much better.

This photo shows the mini-bobble (bottom) and the 5 stitch bobble (top). You can see that the mini-bobble is not too visible and the 5 stitch bobble is more effective.

This is a photo of a Better Bobble. It is made by knitting into the front and back of the bobble base stitch 5 times rather than knitting and purling into the base stitch.

This photo shows both 5 stitch bobbles. You can see that the Better Bobble (on top) has much more stitch definition and stands out more from the background knitting. I will give a tutorial on how to do this in next week's Knitting Tip of the Week on KnittingGuru.

I hope this was helpful to Suzan and to many other "bobblers"!

You may want to return to KnitingGuru now.

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