by Kerrie James


Back in the U.S.A.

Posted on August 3, 2012 at 8:45 PM Comments comments (9)

If you are reading this, Thank you! Also, if you are reading this, you are likely an online friend and are aware of my recent hiatus and may skip the following few sentences. Mid-June we began our pack out and travel from Germany to the United States. It has been 9 1/2 years since we lived in the continental USA and we are more than excited about this new journey in our lives.

July 6, 2012 we signed a lease and are now renting a charming little house in my homestate of Rhode Island (RI). While our property is still not here, we are living 'camp style' on loaner furniture from our local Loan Locker. Hopefully our property arrives in the next week!

In the meantime, Potter Craft has been kind enough to send a new book for review/giveaway which I hope to have up for you soon. I have not had an awful amount of time to commit to knitting, crochet, sewing, designing or spinning but have indeed made time for each! Please keep checking the site for these updates in the coming weeks.

So, let's see who is still keeping up with me; Leave a comment please!

What I'm working on this week: 

Knitting/Design: A shawl series due for release in Spring 2013

Crochet: New Spa Cloths for the new house!

Spinning: Corriedale Samples from Cary Smith's Corries.

Sewing: Mostly repairs ;)

Don't Be A Bubble Head, Back It Up Baby

Posted on February 8, 2012 at 4:05 AM Comments comments (1)

February already!  It is an extremely cold and snowy day here in Germany, a perfect time to update my often neglected blog and website.

So, two weeks ago my husband had the boys for the day and I thought it would be a perfect Me day.  Take a soak, read, watch some television (something I rarely do!).  The idea of taking a long bath was too enticing and the thought of catching up on Downton Abbey while doing so seemed like a perfect combination, not to mention a time saver.  Our bathroom, literally, a room with a bathtub, shower and sink, is long.  On one end is the tub, the other is the shower.  Since I was to take a bath, I thought I would set up my laptop on the chair near the shower, that way I would not risk splashing my computer with bubbles or water.

Bath drawn. Check.

Towels near. Check.

Candles lit. Check.

Computer ready. Check.

Press play and soak!

I watched approximately 15 minutes when I decided the water could stand to be a bit hotter.  For some very strange reason, I pulled the plunger and turned on the water in one quick movement sending a spray of water directly onto my computer.  I jumped out of the tub, citing a few expletives, and flipped my computer upside down, hoping gravity would save me.  I then turned it off and again, flipped it upside down, grabbing the towel and drying off as much water as I could.  I thought I was safe... the water had only just touched the computer and I was quick to act.  I took the computer to my bed, placing it upside down and open a bit, looking somewhat like a teepee.  Then I realized I was naked, save for a few bubbles stuck to my skin, and dripping wet.  I grabbed a towel.

I brought my laptop downstairs to open the back, pull the battery and possibly the hard drive.  Damn, I could not find the appropriate tools!  In a situation where every second counts, I found myself growing frustrated.  After finally finding the right micro-tools, I pulled the items from my laptop, placing them all on the window sill near the heater.  Then I prayed to Steve Jobs that after a few days of drying out, all would be well.  Six days passed before I had the courage to reassemble my laptop and give it a try. 

Hard drive. Check.

Battery. Check.

Every tiny screw secure. Check.

Power button. Ummmm....  Power button! ... Nothing.

Perhaps overly optimistic, I did not get discouraged.  Realizing that the computer had not been charged for seven days, I thought I would simply plug, charge and try again. 

After one hour, it was plain that my beloved MacBook Pro (MBP) was dead. More trouble shooting and several Recovery program sessions later, my MBP was confirmed to be no longer working.

I have tried so very hard to stay positive and not be too upset but I keep thinking about All.The.Photos. in my MBP.  How I had been using my MBP almost exclusively for the past year and a half and though I had thought quite often of backing up my MBP to my nearly empty terabyte external hard drive, I never quite got around to it.  How I have been working on a book of 18 patterns for the past year and nearly Every.Single.Note. was in my MBP as I had resolved to use it instead of papers which I always lose and misplace.

So already February 2012 and I've already learned a valuable, if not painful, lesson.

Focus Friday

Posted on November 20, 2011 at 4:20 AM Comments comments (0)

A little behind but posting nonetheless!  For this Focus Friday I'd like to remind you all that the Quasi-Mystery Tam KAL is ongoing until the end of November.  Don't forget to post your FO in the finishers thread to be inlcuded in a prize drawing December 1st.  All details can be found here.

And now for a little review:

60 More Quick Knits

ISBN: 978-1936096213

2011 Sixth & Spring Books

As the title suggests, 60 quick knits designed for use with Cascade 220 Sport.  A fantastic collection of hats, mittens and scarf projects featuring bobbles, cables, colorwork and some easy lace,  ranging from beginner to experienced.  With the holiday season fast approaching, this book will get great use!

#10 Bobble Gauntlet Mittensby Cheryl Murray photo © Jack Deutschsearch

#29 Cabled Beanieby Nichole Reese photo © Jack Deutschsearch

#51 Nordic Tube Scarfby Cheryl Murray photo © Jack Deutschsearch

#51 Lace Stoleby Faina Goberstein photo © Jack Deutschsearch

Ravlery, Amazon and even Sixth & Spring do not provide photos for all the projects in the book, which is unfortunate becuase some of my favorite projects in this book are not listed (yet).  Below are some of my favorites, please excuse the iSight shots.

The very first project, #1 Bobbles & Lace Slouchy Hat, is beautiful and would be a great quick gift knit.

#36 Cabled Block Scarf is comprised of several blocks, knit on the bias, and then seamed together.  This would be a great gift for either a man or a woman.

#43 Fringed Scarf is another great unisex choice.  A simple, handsome design.

#47 Fair Isle Tam provides just enough challenge for Intermediate knitters new to colorwork and not quite ready for multi-colored fair isle.

Wordless Wednesday

Posted on November 16, 2011 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (1)

Minecrafter's Socks I

Minecrafter's Socks II

Minecrafter's Socks III

Quasi Mystery Tam II

Mystery Shawl by Pat Shaw

Hex by Cookie A


300 gr Wollmeise Lace


Posted on October 4, 2011 at 1:55 PM Comments comments (1)

Since I missed Monday's post and tomorrow is Wednesday, I thought I'd make a combination post, hope you don't mind!

To start, if you haven't yet heard, the Quasi-Mystery Tam KAL has begun.  All details can be found in the dyod*Studio Ravelry group.  If you do not belong to Ravelry and would still like to knit along, please send me a PM.


As always, life is busy here, I've been knitting when I can.  I aim to knit at least 6 pair of (adult) socks between now and next fall, so I am taking the Sock Knitter's Anonymous Sockdown Challenge 'serious' for once.  I finished my September's challenge and have cast on for October's challenge.  I plan to knit my Kananaskis pattern for my DH and am using Trekking XXL. 

September Sockdown Complete


I've also been working on a scarf for the KnitPicks website and there is still so much writing to do for designs worked a year or more ago - In fact, the Quasi-Mystery Tam is one of those designs! 

Between knitting and domestic duties, I've found time to make some delicious chocolates.  I had ordered some silicone candy molds from Amazon in several shapes, these were the favorites:



Making the chocolates was a lot of fun and, while they are not perfect, the kids loved them and they tasted great!

I haven't done any sort of sewing since I finished the summer skirt.  As for spinning, I've filled a bobbin about one half full of the Targhee and still have quite a lot of spinning ahead of me.  I have discovered a few new-to-me books and items, however.  I will not review all of them today but this one especially captured my attention:

Wendy Knits Lace by Wendy D. Johnson

ISBN: 978-0-307-58667-4

2011 Potter Craft

Since Wendy is most known for her well-loved toe-up sock designs and books, I was very curious to discover where this particular book would take us.  It seemed perfectly plausible that the book would be all about knitting shawls with sock weight yarn.  And yet, it isn't.

What it is full of are a very well balanced selection of knitting patterns, all containing lace.  Shawls, yes, but also gloves, a pullover, cardigan, cowls, mitts, mittens, hats, a camisole and of course, socks, 21 patterns in all.

True Love Stole

Vintage Kneesocks

For those intimidated by lace, this book would be a great introduction.  Start with simple lace trimmed gloves, work your way towards a lace tam and then tackle a lace shawl.  Patternwise, there truly is something for every knitter.  My favorite?  I am rather in love with the Seashell Cami:

Seashell Cami

Focus Friday

Posted on September 30, 2011 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (0)

This week the focus has been not only on some deadlines, both knitwise and pattern writting, but also on the giveaway, attempted crochet-along (CAL) and upcoming Quasi-Mystery Tam knit-along (KAL).  I've also been reviewing several books and products but won't get to those until next week.

The giveaway winners were announced on Wednesday; I've been gathering prizes suitable while I wait for mailing addresses. 

As for the CAL, I would really like to get this off the ground again and will.  I do have many, many deadlines knit-wise and so, I am planning to (re)start this CAL just after the holidays.  I do apologize once again to the few who have shown interest in the CAL.  Please hang in there! 

And finally, the Quasi-Mystery Tam KAL will officially begin tomorrow.  The pattern will be free for the months of October and November, after which the name will change, the file re-formatted and then up for sale.  Anyone who actively participates in the KAL will receive the finished file in December; for this reason, email addresses may be asked and will be kept in confidence.

Wow, I know I've been swamped but after writting this brief update, it seems like nothing!  Dontcha hate that?

Wordless Wednesday

Posted on September 21, 2011 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (1)

Abalone in KnitPicks Gloss.

Abalone in KnitPicks Andean Treasure.

DD and Quasi-Mystery knit.

Make It Monday

Posted on September 20, 2011 at 1:40 AM Comments comments (70)

A little late on this post but still, I've made it!


First, I'd like to make an announcement.  Next week is my birthday and to celebrate, I am hosting a giveaway.  Answer the Knitter's Meme (below) in the comments below to be entered for a chance to win one of three 'surprises'.  Contest will close 00:01 CET 27 Sept 2011, at which time I will conduct a random drawing.  



Hand cream?

Round or flat?



Coffee or tea?

ML, 2 circ or DPNs?

Tight or loose?

Semi or variegated?

Top down or bottom up?  

Pick or throw?

Paper or PDF?

Sharp or blunt?  

Ball or cake?

Back to Make It Monday:

Over this past week I managed to wrap up a few loose ends.  I still have many more projects to finish of course, but I'm happy with the current accomplishments (no photos today):


- Both Abalones finished!  Some initial photos were taken but I need to get out sometime this week to get some better, more professional (ha!) shots.

- I actually finished the summer skirt, it is fully lined and looks great but ... I relied too much on my dress form and so, fit is not quite what it should be.  I will have to remove the yoke and adjust the waist just a bit by way of deeper darts along the back.

- This past week I also managed to make a few loaves of bread, both white and sourdoguh, but never thought to take photos.  I plan to do some more baking and breadmaking this week so I will try to take photos then

- If you haven't heard, The cowl pattern, Weinstock was released this past week.  My samples are worked in Malabrigo Rios but this pattern will lend itself well to any hand-dyed or variegated yarn.

- I did get out and take some photos this past week.  I wanted to get some shots of my darling daughter but I had to make it playful so as to get her cooperation.  I told her I had to shoot some knits (In fact, I did but not the knits we took along) and she went into creative director/model mode.  She is awesome and every day I am in awe of the wonderful young woman she has become.  x






CAL: Options Explained

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 4:16 AM Comments comments (0)

So the flower motif is simple enough but I suppose my throwing a few alternate options at you may have created some confusion, for that I apologize!

I've worked 2.5 flowers, shown below:

The first flower on the left is an example worked as written. This flower has a larger center and is slightly taller. 

The middle flower is started with a magic circle and omits the sc round.  This is the option I chose to work as it requires less yarn.  It is not the best looking optoin, IMO, but works for my situation (working from stash only).

The last flower is started with a magic loop instead of ch 5 and continued as written (although I ran out of yarn to finish the flower).  To me, this is the best looking flower, the center is smaller and the sc round helps to create a defined center of the flower as well as add structure.

I hope this helps explain the added options and why you might choose one over the other.

Crochet Lace Afghan CAL Begins!

Posted on May 31, 2011 at 7:06 AM Comments comments (2)

Firstly, if you are new and have landed here in interest of the Crochet Along (CAL), Welcome and thank you!  


Next, you should know that while I have sewn and knitted for more than 15 years, crochet is actually pretty new for me and I am likely to make some mistakes along the way.  This is a learning process for each of us.  There aren’t any rules per se except have fun, don’t take this CAL too seriously and be polite.  If you would like to join along and share your photos and possibly join any discussion in Flickr, please request an invite here.


In general, I dislike feeling there is only one way to do something.  I enjoy having options and making choices.  Even if the decision making isn’t always easy, I’d much rather have a choice between options.  And so, this CAL will offer a few options along the way.  


The design is very simple and requires some basic crochet stitches such as: ch, sl st, sc, dc and some decreasing.  As mentioned in previous posts, I am working from my stash and crossing my fingers that I have enough yarn, my materials list is only an guesstimate based on how many inches of yarn are required for each type of stitch and how many times those stitches will be performed.  I may be way off needing more yarn (or having to rip back) or having much yarn left over... all part of the adventure!


I also plan to back my finished afghan with a simple quilted backing in a solid color, most likely ecru.  This is optional, but suggested, and instructions will be included for this as well.  It would be best to finish the afghan to determine the actual dimensions, before purchasing/cutting the fabric.


So let’s begin!

Flower Motif:

Choose one color and:

Ch 5, sl into 1st ch to close circle.#


Ch1, sc 11, sl into ch to close round.##


Ch 12, sc into center, (ch11, sc into center) 10 times, ch 11, sl into 1st ch to close round.


# Instead of making Ch 5, etc, you can make a magic circle.

## Instead of performing this round, you could skip straight to the next round.  This will save approx 1 ft of yarn per flower.



How many to make?  Read below to find out:

First, please, oh please, do not be scared of a little math!  And if you just can't seem to help yourself, please just skip over this next section.

Using a kitchen scale, weigh one skein, only (no tags, etc), note weight on paper. (Number a): ex.100gr.

Choosing 1 color, make 10 daisies.

Using a kitchen scale, weigh the 10 flowers, note weight on paper. (Number b):  ex. 20 gr.

Divide a by b as a/b. (Number c): ex. 4.4

Multiply c by 10 (10 flowers). This is the maximum number of flowers you will be able to make: ex. 44

Note: you may consider taking these steps for each color (A, B, C), as some dye colors hold differently in the same fiber.  Ex, blues are often heavier than yellows.

Begin making your desired number of flowers.

My Afghan Flower Count:

Color A, Blue    44

Color B, Rust    43

Color C, Wine    43

Schematic for planned afghan:

I am still only half-way through making flowers and I had a week head start!  I hope this portion will keep us busy for 2-3 weeks.  If you have any questions or comments, please message me at support [AT] dyodstudio [DOT] com, Subject: CAL.

Please share your photos in the Flickr group, if you are not a memeber, please request an invite.  Invite your friends!

To close, a little birdie told me there may be prizes ;-)


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