Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The KnittingGuru Crochets

I don't just knit, you know!

In the last couple of days the warm weather made me think --- Flowers.
Instead of getting to work in my garden (which does need my attention!) I took out my cotton yarns and crochet hook and made some pins, hair ornaments, and flowered chokers.

Here are two of the Posy Pins I made. One is Hot Pink with Lime Green trim. The other is Purple with Hot Pink trim. I'm just thinking of more color combinations. Any suggestions?

If you want one for yourself or for a Great Mother's Day Gift, email me or check them out at the Etsy store.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Working Away at New Knitting Kits

I've been working away on some new knitting kits that I will be putting on my KnittingGuru site. The Hip Denim Blue Shrug is now available in kit form and I am excited to say that I FINALLY found a good bag to put the kits in. It's very heavy weight and glossy silver with a thick silver rope handle. I found it in a crazy little store in NYC after searching online for months. This is a sturdy bag and really nice looking, too. I now have KnittingGuru Labels for the bags.

I also found a great little gold mesh bag to put my new mini-kits into. I will post some photos soon. Right now, I need a break from a whole day spent writing out pattern instructions and putting together the booklets that go with the kits. This blog is all about working as a knitting designer. Well, design is just one of the multiple hats I wear, and shopping for good looking bags to put my knits in as well as writing instructions is more time-consuming than you might think. Do I sound grouchy? Just tired, really.

Anyway, here's a preview of my new Multiple Personality Scarflette Kit:

Four colors, three finishes (beads, ladybug buttons, picots), and only one stitch. AND only one row to the stitch. What could be simpler or more fun to take on vacation in a gold mesh bag?

I will have these kits up on my website
KnittingGuru by next weekend. I hope you will check them out.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Glow in the Dark Knitting Needles?

Just this Saturday I updated my KnittingGuru site's Knitting Tip of the Week. This week we discussed knitting needles made from many types of materials.

Today I just saw an item in the Sunday New York Times about knitting needles with L.E.D. tips that glow in the dark. Will wonders never cease? Will knitters ever be satisfied? Where exactly will this stop?

Are these for knitting in movie theaters? In the middle of the night in bed? On dark car rides? In the woods at night? Someone ... please ... explain!

Anyway, I thought you knitters out there might like to see a picture of the Glow in the Dark Knitting Needles, so here it is....

An Object Lesson for Would-Be Online Knitting Professionals

Here's why it's so hard to turn what you love into your work:

It has just come to my attention that the person who originally set up my KnittingGuru website mis-typed my email address in the Ask the Guru link. Therefore, some people who have been trying to send knitting questions to the KnittingGuru have not been able to if they tried to connect from that page. Of course, everywhere else on the site the address was correct, but that doesn't stop me from having a frustration fit! Why didn't I catch this error sooner?

If you or anyone you know has tried to send me a question, please know that I fixed the link this morning and that you can always reach me at I look forward to getting more knitting questions, and regret any that I may have missed.

Meantime, this week at KnittingGuru we are discussing Knitting Needle Materials: Pros & Cons -- Which Needles are Best for You? If you have any questions about knitting needles, or any other knitting questions, please send them to me.

Finally, I have put the Scarflettes on and also on and hope you will look at them. They make great little gifts for Mom on Mother's Day as well as nifty summer accessories for anyone who wants to add a little punch to their appearance.

I will soon have these Scarflettes made up into kits for knitters and have also finished preparing a knitting kit for the Hip Denim Blue Shrug.

Right now, I'm working on flowers for hair, wrist, & neckline. More on this soon.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Technologically Challenged, but Still the KnittingGuru

I seem to have been having lots of problems with this blog today. However, I'm very happy with my knitting. Thank goodness, that always works out for me.

My latest items are Scarflettes that I am knitting for the warm weather. I will be making them into Mini-Kits for knitters to take on vacation this summer. They are just a little something to take to the beach or playground, or to knit on the train. Can you take them on a plane with you now? How about if you use plastic or bamboo needles? Anyway, these little scarves should best be knit on tiny needles meant for kids. The work goes faster that way.

The Scarflettes I have knit are samples for the kits I am making, so I am selling them for only $10 each. They are 100% soft cotton yarn plus beads on the hot pink scarflette. You can contact me directly at if you are interested, or I have some posted on under my shop name - you guessed it - knittingguru.

Here are some preliminary photos:

Who is the KnittingGuru?

I did promise to identify myself next time, so I have posted my profile. I also promised at my last writing to post photos of the Springtime Felted Handbag I made recently and of the Knitting Kit for the Dawn at the Shore Lace Scarf in a Shetland design. The scarf looks like Monet painted the yarn. It was really a pleasure to make.

The unusual thing about the Springtime Felted Handbag is that it is knit sideways. I found that this resulted in a lovely rep-looking fabric and I intend to do it again.

The Dawn at the Shore Scarf is for sale as a knitting kit at
The Springtime Felted Handbag may also be purchased at

This is a repost of a post I made on April 14th which I lost while I was trying to edit it. Oh well, I have a way to go when it comes to blog technology. I may have lost two people's comments in this process, unfortunately. Sorry.

Monday, April 17, 2006

A Trip Inside the Mind of a Knitwear Designer

My latest knitting adventure is the HIP DENIM BLUE SHRUG. I knit this on size 11 needles and I must say that this shrug is a wonder to wear -- lightweight, gorgeous, and knit in a lace mesh stitch that makes it perfect to wear year-round. This is a really sexy garment!

Here's what I was aiming towards when I designed this:

* Style - It's got it! Great over a dress, jeans and tank top, or a sweater. No edge finish because it doesn't need it. No sleeve gatherings because they would be lumpy in such a thick yarn. Mid-arm length so the wide sleeve ends don't dip in your pasta sauce when you dine al fresco.

* For Travel - Packs into a small square that fits in an overnight case or carry-on bag. Also weighs less than a pound.

* Color - A fabulous blue that will go with all your jeans and most other clothes.

* How to Wear - Just slip your arms through the ends and go. Doesn't mess up your hair like a poncho. Doesn't fall on the floor like a shawl.

* Warmth - Will keep you warm but not too hot. A must for all vacations.

I knit this from the softest, cushiest yarn I have ever used. It's 50% Merino wool and 50% Microfiber and feels like a cross between chenille and suede. I placed the shrug on my website for sale.

Several people have written to ask me to make this shrug into a kit, so I am working on the pattern booklet now, and will be ordering more yarn. It takes a couple of days to make my pattern booklets because I not only include color photos of the garment, but also step-by-step instructions without abbreviations.

A digression: I know knitting magazines need to use abbreviations to save space, but it causes lots of problems for new knitters and sometimes even for experienced knitters. I've been knitting all my life, but I never say in my head -- sl 1, k1, psso -- while I am knitting. NO - I repeat in my mind - slip one, knit one, pass over -- Don't you???

So I do not use abbreviations in my booklets. What I do though is to write instructions broken up into small steps, just as I did when I taught school. It's too easy to get lost when following multiple instructions written as if they were sentences in a paragraph. Also, I feel it is my responsibility to ensure that all of my kits end up as satisfactory garments. Therefore, I always include my email address in the booklet so that knitters can get in touch with me in the unlikely event that they have a problem knitting the kit garment. For clarity's sake, I also include charts when needed and laundering instructions. Moreover, I wind all the yarn in center-pull balls with the inside end VISIBLE to the knitter. Don't you hate to have to stick your finger into most center-pull balls and root around trying - and usually failing - to find the end? Then you wind up with a big mess of yarn that you have to deal with while you knit. So I'm careful to leave the end out of the ball for easy knitting.

Is this a lot of work? Yes it is! But it's worth it to me to produce something of quality. I hope you will check my website at
to see my kits and custom garments.

Here are some photos of the soon-to-be-a-kit HIP BLUE DENIM SHRUG:

You can buy this shrug at

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Wednesday, April 5th, 2006 - A Snowy Day of Introspection

I finally worked out some of the kinks in this blog and can now see how to post photos. This has been a crazy day with snow in April, a not-unheard-of, but rather unusual happening in New York. I spent some quiet time knitting a sample shrug in a wonderous yarn that is 50% merino wool and 50% microfiber - talk about silky! The yarn is a blue similar to jeans and will make a delicious covering for year round wear. I'm trying to decide whether to make it into a kit or just produce them for sale.

As you may have guessed, I am trying to turn my love of knitting into a vocation. Hence, my two knitting websites:

The Burry Babies site needs some major overhaul which I am working on. It should be vastly improved within the month. KnittingGuru is working out well, except I MUST get shopping carts on the site soon. It's really fragmenting to try to do all of this alone - designing, web-design, marketing, publishing, as well as updating the site weekly with new Knitting Tips. Whew!

Anyway, I'm not complaining because I love it! Here are pictures of my favorite Knitting Kit so far. It's called Mango Fizz Scarf:

Would you believe that there's only one pattern row in this scarf? My aim is to present well-designed scarves that newish knitters can make to get away from doing garter stitch all the time. So far, the inexperienced knitters who have bought these are doing well according to their emails. They are promising to send me photos of the finished scarves and I can't wait to see them.

I will sign off for now, but next time I really should give a little history of where all of this is coming from and my background.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

KnittingGuru Joins the Blog World

This feels like taking first steps on the moon, but here goes. Being knitting-obsessed, I find that having two knitting related websites is not enough. No, I need to blog like the rest and connect to more and more knitters. Give me another knitter and I never run out of things to talk about.

My knitting this week has included finishing an Impressionist painter-like lace scarf and a new felted bag in chartreuse and purple - two of my favorite colors. I will post pictures soon -- hopefully tomorrow!

Last week my major knitting event was finishing the Springtime Baby Layette someone ordered.

I will keep this short and sweet for now, but look forward to hearing from other knitting bloggers as I take my baby steps.