Search This Blog


Provisional Cast-ons Part I: Crochet

A provisional cast-on is a type of cast on that is created using waste yarn that can be easily removed to reveal live stitches.

It can be very useful if you want to later knit in the opposite direction (as for scarves and stoles when you want to make both ends of the piece identical, for example), or whenever live stitches might be preferable to a cast-on. In my About Town skirt pattern I use a provisional cast-on to create a knitted in elastic waistband casing. In my Adalida Cardigan pattern, I use a provisional cast on to knit a curved lower edge across all the main pieces after they have been sewn.

There are many methods for creating a provisional cast, you may find you have a favorite that you use all the time, or you may vary them according to project or whim! The Crochet Provisional Cast-on Follows::


Adalida Cardigan

Well my Adalida Cardigan pattern is finally up on Ravelry, and will be coming soon to Knit Picks and PatternFish. . . I absolutely love the fit and details of this pattern and I hope you do too. It's very figure flattering.

 My thanks go out to Stacey and the kind folks at Knit Picks for providing the photos and including this design in their Independant Designer Program.


Hand Painting Yarn and Roving for Spring

It's almost Spring! With the vernal equinox fast approaching, I find myself craving new and vibrant colors. This is also the time of year that brings back happy childhood memories of coloring Easter eggs.  If you were anything like me, as a kid you wished you could dye something those beautiful colors that would last a bit longer than an egg. You can! Wool and other protein fibers, as well as nylon, dye beautifully and permanently with acid dyes, and Easter egg dyes happen to be just that. This year I am hand painting some yarn and roving in a fresh springtime palette, so the kids don't have all the fun.


From Rags to Stitches

My Love Affair with Garment Design.

It all began when I was four years old.  My mother had a bag of old tablecloths and old clothes, her ragbag, from which I was free to pick and choose fabrics to cut up and sew as I saw fit.  With these I conceived and laid out countless patchwork tablecloths that never got sewn, and sloppily practiced my hand sewing.

Most importantly I used her rags to design and sew my first dress. I did this, as the four-year old I was would say, all by myself.  My parents were both shocked and amused that I did this. 

They were even more shocked and amused by the two patches, stuffed with cotton balls, that I included on the outside. Makeshift breasts.  It was dubbed “The Booby Dress.”  Sadly, these “boobies” were quite square and unnatural looking.  I quickly deduced that to avoid laughter I should have made small round pillows and placed them on the inside of the dress, thus creating a more natural profile.  Such was my first experience with design.