Tag Archives: Mason Dixon Knits

Heirloom Lace Doily Placemats

Heirloom Lace Doily Placement for Breakfast 


Heirloom Lace Doily Placement for Breakfast


Heirloom Lace Doily Placemat in Cesari Wool

Heirloom Lace Doily Placemat in Cesari Wool

My Heirloom Lace Doily Placement project is half done! I am using a free heirloom lace pattern that I came across on Ravelry. I choice Liz Snella’s  pattern since it had natural breaks for color changes; also it has text and charts which are helpful.  

For color changes, there are areas where there are 3-4 rows of knitting which works well in the finished project. 

The one issue I have with the pattern is that a K3Tog is used where a slip 1 K2Tog PSSO would give a much nicer line which would be a good design feature.

While I am generally not one to make utilitarian projects or knitted items that require more than one, of late, I have been on a lace doily kick. My mind likes the way that the knitting goes round and round while the pattern slowly emerges.

I give a tip of my hat to Kay and Ann of Mason Dixon Knits for their exploration of ways to use your knitting to decorate your home and spread your love. With this project, I’m accomplishing both. 

I tried the Two Color Lace Doily which is another free lace pattern and knitted one and a half doilies but I found the pattern boring for what I wanted to do. When I tried modifying the pattern, I didn’t like it so I frogged it and started a new pattern.

In knitting, it’s important to know when to frog your work. I think that it’s better to frog something that you’re not happy with rather than let the unfinished piece nag you from the depths of your knitting bag. What do you think?

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

Knitted Gifts-Spreading the Love

Many of my knitting friends are always making items that are presents for their friends, family and charity. It seems to be a way to offer their love and support. Therefore when my friend Amanda invited me to join her for her annual Webs Tent Sale pilgrimage, I wanted to make her something special to show my appreciation. As a fellow knitter who makes a variety of items with complex stitches, beading and vibrant colors, she knits wonderful shawls, sweaters, hats and handbags. Deciding what to make was a challenge. Since we were headed to Webs, the yarn mecca, bringing her some special yarn wouldn’t do. 

After much consideration and research on Ravelry, I decided to make her some hand knit washcloths. It was an idea right out of Mason Dixon Knits. It is a favorite book of mine since it opens up possibilities for projects that I might not otherwise consider such as knitted home goods. 

In fact, the first of the items that I made Amanda was the Warshrag from Mason Dixon knits. Since Amanda is a big fan of Good and Plenty, I made it in pale pine and black Rowan cotton. I think that it’s a hoot. This pattern is a great way to use two different color yarns and makes a thick material.

Good and Plenty Warshrag in Rowan Cotton

Good and Plenty Warshrag in Rowan Cotton

For the second washcloth, I used the 1911 lace star pattern. I have been enticed with circular lace patterns of late and wanted to try one on a small scale. Inspired by Brooklyn Tweeds’ Hemlock Ring, I want to make a round lace shawl using one of these old patterns with a fingering weight yarn.  Since purples and lavenders are among Amanda’s favorite colors, I used some lavender cotton from my stash.

1911 Star Doily -Knit in Lavender Cotton

1911 Star Doily -Knit in Lavender Cotton

Interestingly, I did fine starting the knitting and went full steam ahead until about row 21. My missteps included not using stitch markers to keep track of the repeats, not using the chart to help track the stitch increases, and not switching to a circular needle sooner. As a result, it took me a frustrating week of ripping and re-knitting but the result was worth it! I finished at Amanda’s house so she decided to block it herself. It’s a great first circular lace pattern (as long as you avoid my challenges!)

New Sweater Project – 2009 NaKniSweMoDo

100% White Alpaca & Gray Mohair   


100% White Alpaca & Gray Mohair


Have you ever found yourself staring at the yarn you wanted to use but weren’t able to start a project? I’m at that point now in terms of the next sweater that I’m knitting for the Ravelry NaKniSweMoDo (aka National Knit a Sweater a Month Dodecathon). I want to  use the 100% alpaca and the lace mohair with a tiny thread of silver (think Rowan Silk Haze)  that I bought at Silk City Fibers last month. 

What  I have in mind is a  sweater that I can use  by itself or with a jacket. To get some inspiration, I turned to some of my knitting books and didn’t find anything that fit the bill.

In the process, I decided that I wanted a sweater that had the feeling of lingerie to since the alpaca is delightfully soft and has a slight haze. While I didn’t find a specific pattern, I knew that I wanted a close fitting sweater with some lace added to it.

I remembered seeing Thermal in Knitty which has some great comments on Ravelry. While it is close to the image that was developing in my mind, it was too casual. Also, on closer examination, it is knit in the round with limited if any shaping. I wanted a close fitting garment so I decided to marry the best of  Thermal with a basic pullover with a scoop neck. Interestingly, many of the Ravelry posts complained about the use of the small needles. Since I made three tops using size 1 or 2s, this shouldn’t be a problem.

While doing my research, I saw the lace cuffs from Lace Style and decided to add them using the grey mohair.  I plan to use buttons to make the cuffs detachable.

Since I have a lot of the grey mohair, I am thinking of adding a sheer cardigan or wrap like the  Cardi Cozy in the new Mason Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines. (Please note that there are errata posted on Ravelry.) I will change the pattern since I don’t like the cables or the tie in front. (Of course, I don’t have to decide about this until I finish the white sweater.)

To further dress it up,  I am going to make a lacey grey scarf to add drama to the neck line.

Do you have these types of problems thinking about your next projects?

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

2009 Knitting Resolutions…Thinking about knitting and yarn

Since I got married earlier this year, my 2008 knitting resolutions were relatively succient and wedding related. I knitted the Essential Tank Top and started the Lily of the Valley Shawl (which now languishes as a UFO). As for the Silk Ribbed Corset, I decided to frog it after several attempts (and bought a beautiful Jenny Packham wedding dress.) That said, I knit the shawl for my wedding and a few other  tops for the honeymoon. I even have some wonderful pieces that I knit during our beach honeymoon in the Cook Islands. 

2008 was a year of serious stash enhancement mainly thanks to my husband who believes that I should never leave an important yarn establishment with regrets! The biggest contributions cme from the Joan Vass Sales (the knitwear designer decided to retire and sold her amazing yarn collection at $20.00 for box of 10 balls), the Maryland Sheep & Wool Fetival and the Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool Festival. Additionally, I visited some new wool purveyors during several trips with my friend Amanda including Tess Yarns in Portand and Loop and Rosie’s Yarns in Philadelphia.  The hubster and I made yarn stops at Chix With Stix, Webs and Purl By the Sea  as well. 

My 2009 knitting resolutions include the following:

1] Cables, cables and more cables. 2009 will be the year that I overcome my cable phobia. I have been avoiding cables since cabled projects caused me to abandon knitting twice in the past. (Of course, it’s possible that I may have moved onto other things without the cables.) I commit to knitting a sweater using cables most likely Elsebeth Lavold’s Hild.


2] Expand my lace knitting skills including a wonderful Estonia Lace Shawl for me. Having watched my mother wrap herself in the Triinu Shawl, I want one of my own. My knitting friend Georgia and I are starting a KAL for a pattern that I found online. For anyone interested in joining us, please drop me a line.


3] Finish my wedding related knitting. Instead of presents for those who helped with my wedding, I gave balls of wool. I still have one project in process and one to be started. Additionally, I plan to make a variation on a Jean Moss pattern for my husband as a belated wedding present.


4] Finally make the After Dark Robe and coordinated After Dark Nightie from Mason Dixon Knits in grey/white linen purchased at the Joan Vass sale.


5] Reduce my yarn stash by working with the wonderful fibers that I have acquired. Since I won’t be planning a wedding this year, I should be able to accomplish this. Of course, it will mean curtailing my stash enhancing activities!


6] Enhance my Ravelry profile and participation. Despite having been a member of Ravelry for over 1 ½ years, I mainly use it as a source of inspiration and better understanding of potential projects.


7] Visit new knitting establishments as well as the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival and the New York Sheep & Wool Festival (aka Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool Festival). Of course, this will involve some level of stash enhancement.


I hope that by limiting my knitting resolutions I will be able to succeed at accomplishing them. Of course, keeping this blog up-to-date is the unstated goal as well.

Best wishes for 2009!

2008 FOs and UFOs

As 2008 draws to a close, I have been reviewing my knitting for the year and my growing list of UFOs. Due to our wedding, much of the first half of the year was focused on the big event. As a result, 2008 was not as productive as 2007 in terms of finished objects (aka FOs).



  • Essential Tank Top in pink cashmere/silk bought at Silk City Fibers – Pattern from Lace Style
  • Woodstock Sweater in beige mercerized cotton bought at Silk City Fibers – Pattern from Sculptured Knits by Jean Moss
  • Wedding Shawl in grey Jaggerspun Zephyr bought at Sarah’s Yarns – Inspired by Victorian Lace Today
  • Honeymoon Cami in white silk bought at Sarah’s Yarns – Pattern from Knitty
  • Honeymoon Vest in Noro Sakura in blacks/greys from The Point – Pattern loosely based on The Knitters’ Handy Book of Sweater Patterns
  • Leaf Lace Kimono in Noro Lilly bought at The Point – Pattern from Interweave Magazine Summer 2008
  • Baby Kimono in yellow cotton bought at Silk City Fibers – Pattern from Mason Dixon Knits
  • Warshrag in Rowan pink and black cotton bought at The Point – Pattern from Mason Dixon Knits
  • Souvenir Socks in Crystal Palace bamboo blend bought at Colorful Stitch
  • Lace Ribbon Scarf in white silk bought at Sarah’s Yarns – Pattern from Knitty
  • Lace Ribbon Scarf in pink/purple Koigu bought at Loop from Knitty
  • Saffron Tunic in Beige Jaeger Sienna Cotton bought at Webs – Pattern from Sculptured Knits by Jean Moss
  • Purple Chevron Sweater in purple Twinkle Toes from Tess Designs – Pattern inspired by Interweave Chevron Tank Top
  • Sister’s Purple Vest in Kyoto bought at ArtFibers – Pattern loosely based on The Knitters’ Handy Book of Sweater Patterns
  • Shetland Triangle in Berrocco NaturLin Green bought at Purl by the Sea – Pattern from Scarf Style
  • Triinu Shawl in Grignasco Top Print Pinks/Purples bought at Smileys NYC Sale – Pattern from Lace Knitting in Estonia


2008 UFOs (Unfinished Objects – a graceful name for knitting that still languishes on a set of needles buried somewhere in the knitting basket)

  • Lily of the Valley Shawl in white Jaggerspun Zephyr bought from Sarah’s Yarns – Pattern from Lace Style
  • Silk Ribbed Corset in Jaeger 100% white silk bought from Webs(will probably be frogged and used for a wonderful shawl)
  • Laced-Front Sweater in white/butter merino/silk blend from Tess Yarns bought at MDSW 2007 – Pattern from Knitted Lingerie
  • Apres Surf Hoodie in magenta merino blend  bought at Joan Vass Sale May 2008- Pattern from Interweave Magazine Summer 2008 – Honeymoon project
  • Sister’s Lace Ribbon Shawl in grey angora/silk bought from Knitty City – Pattern from Knitty
  • Dad’s Classic Ribbed Pullover in Italian wool blend bought from Silk City Fibers – Pattern from Sally Melville’s The Purl Stitche
  • Raha Scarf in blue alpaca bought at NYSW – Pattern from Lace Knitting of Estonia
  • Dreaming in Orange – Noro Lilly Ribbon Lace Scarf
  • Mom’s Black Lace Scarf in alpaca/silk laceweight bought from Knitty City – Pattern from Barbara Walker’s A Treasury of Knitting

(Not documented is the Navy Mohair Lace Scarf which is still waiting to be finished. Since it is in mohair, it is easier to finish than frog!  It is still left on the needles from last year.)


While last year, I was inspired to finish my projects. I found that not having any knitting in the queue can be a challenge if you can’t decide what to make.  I hope to finish many of these UFOs in 2009 while adding new projects with different challenges.


My biggest piece of advice is not to knit any part of your wedding outfit. It’s waaay too much pressure and the planning is enough pressure on its own. That said, I was glad to have the wedding shawl and other honeymoon tops to wear.  Also, bringing knitting on my honeymoon allowed us to have souvenirs of a trip to a place that didn’t have lots of touristy trinkets.

Mason Dixon Knitting – Brooklyn Bound

I bought the first Mason Dixon Knitting book as the reward for finishing a consulting project. I was enticed by its approach to knitting items for everyday use as well as the After Dark Nightie and Housecoat.


One of my knitting friends sent me their new book, Knitting Outside the Lines, last month when it first appeared. There are a number of projects that I’ve been eying.


Being a late arrival at Mason- Dixon knits and the owner of their new book, I wanted to catch up with them on one of their New York area readings. Since I wasn’t able to make the Manhattan venues, I decided to venture across the river to Brooklyn and was pleasantly surprised. The walk from the depths of the subway to the auditorium at the Brooklyn Museum was trimmed with beauty from the decorations in the subway to the greenery of Prospect Park to the Arch at Grand Army Plaza to the library.

Eastern Parkway Subway Stop for Brooklyn Public Library is a Cultural Experience

Eastern Parkway Subway Stop for Brooklyn Public Library is a Cultural Experience


Subway Art at Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn - Creative Inspiration

Subway Art at Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn - Creative Inspiration

I dressed for the occasion in my After Dark Nightie. Due to the weather, I wore it as a jumper with a long sleeve black shirt underneath it. Both Kay and Ann were impressed and graciously signed both of my books. They had never seen anyone were it in public!


In addition to the usual trunk show of knitted objects from the book, they had a slideshow that documented their journey. Powerpoint even helps knitting authors! Their talk gave insight into their inspiration for the book as well as behind the scenes looks at its creation. It was well worth the trip!


Mason Dixon Knits in the Flesh at the Brooklyn Public Library

Mason Dixon Knits in the Flesh at the Brooklyn Public Library



Mason Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines Samples on Display in Brooklyn

Mason Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines Samples on Display in Brooklyn

Baby Kimono and Warshrag on Fire Island Beach

We were lucky to sneak in a couple of days on Fire Island after our honeymoon. Fire Island is a shelter island off the southern shore of Long Island which is like a piece of heaven on earth (although nothing like the Cook Islands!)  While my husband wind surfed, I knitted on the beach. In addition to my honeymoon projects, I had two small projects which is unusual for me.


Summer 2008 on Fair Harbor Beach

Summer 2008 on Fair Harbor Beach

Leaf Lace Kimono Progresses on Fair Harbor Beach

Leaf Lace Kimono Progresses on Fair Harbor Beach

Honeymoon Vest Arrives at Fair Harbor

Honeymoon Vest Arrives at Fair Harbor

Sunset on Fair Harbor With Boats

Sunset on Fair Harbor With Boats

Sunset on Fair Harbor

Sunset on Fair Harbor


For a friend who was pregnant, I made a baby kimono from Mason Dixon Knits. It’s a wonderful piece of knitting that’s easy to do. I had checked it out on Ravelry and fund numerous versions of it. I made it in a butter yellow which could work for a boy or a girl.


Heartbreakingly Cute Baby Kimono in Yellow Cotton

Heartbreakingly Cute Baby Kimono in Yellow Cotton


For a friend’s knitting bee, a group of us decided to make her a basket full of hand made washcloths. It was like a KAL. We all used Rowan Cotton and the wash cloth had to be nine inches square. I was excited since I had wanted an opportunity to test out the warshrag pattern also in Mason Dixon Knits. I bought black and pale pink for my washcloth which I called “Good and Plenty” since it was the same color as the candy! I must say that it was a fun pattern to knit and gave me an opportunity to test out another way to knit two colors that made a nice texture.


Mason Dixon After Dark Nightie-The Saga Continues…

Due to the improved weather on Fire Island, I was able to accomplish some hard knitting on the beach. As a result, I finished both the front and back of my nightie to the armhole!

Knitting in the Fire Island Dunes

Nestled in the dunes to stay out of the wind in Fire Island and knit

 Mason Dixon After Dark Nightie on the Beach

Mason Dixon After Dark Nightie makes progress on the Fire Island beach

Due to the chill that’s lingered on the beach, I’ve got my Misti Alpaca rolled neck sweater just in case. It was another Summer of 2007 project. I bought the Misti Alpaca 80% pima cotton/20% silk in Los Angeles at the Knit Cafe.

Since I decided not to use the recommended bra straps, I required paper and pencil to figure out the specifics of the tank top straps. Based on my measurements, I allowed for a 7 1/2 inch armhole.  To add to its s*x appeal, I started the neckline six rows after I started my bind off. I’m making the front and back the same.


Overcast Knitting on Fire Island

Despite yesterday’s seemingly endless rain, the wet has moved on leaving low hanging clouds across the horizon on our stretch of beach in Fire Island. My boyfriend and I were among the brave souls who watched the tides break across the beach. I managed to add 10 rows to the After Dark Nightie before a light sprinkle caused us to retreat to the house for fear of more showers!

Deserted Fair Harbor Beach 082207

The silver lining was that it gave us an opportunity to wear my knitted creations. Here’s a shot of my boyfriend in the rust colored v-neck I made him for his birthday although he was too shy to appear in this blog. (I wrapped the yarn up as a present and gave him the finished sweater two months later when I finished knitting it.)

  The sweater is a pattern from Teva Durham’s Loop-D-Loop. As I do with many of my projects, I changed the fiber. I substituted raw silk that I purchased in a 2 pound cone from Silk City Fiber last December. I had bought the yarn to make something for my boyfriend since it’s a great color for him. (BTW, I had enough silk left over for what I call a recycle project, something made from the remains of another project where I no longer consider the fiber as part of my stash.) The silk was so unforgiving that I needed to purchase my first set of Addi Turbos (which I have avoided since my knitting tends to be loose) but knitting with either plastic or bamboo caused my hands to hurt after a couple of rows.

Rust Sweater on Fire Island

Mason Dixon After Dark Nightie

I was a late arrival to Mason Dixon Knits. (It’s probably my adversion to following the crowd.) I bought the book earlier this spring as a reward for finishing a frustrating work project. I was inspired by its philosophy of using knitting to create everyday items. Most alluring for me were the nightie and robe. (Also, my interest was picqued by Julia Trice’s posts about knitting the After Dark Nightie on her blog “Mind of Winter”.

Therefore,  it should come as no surprised that my first project was the Mason Dixon After Dark Nightie. For many knitters, I’m sure that this project seems like a major undertaking. Given the yardage required (810 yards), I figured that it was similar to a sweater where instead of knitting sleeves you just knit more of the body. Some of my fellow knitters (as well as my mother) can’t believe that I would put all of this work into something that I couldn’t show off to a lot of people!

The pattern calls for 3 balls of Euroflax Originals which can be expensive for an experiment in lingerie knitting that might not get worn too much.

As I do with a lot of my knitting projects, I’m making some changes. I’m substituting Egyptian cotton for linen since it is much easier on the hands for knitting. I am using Lang Yarns’ Fiorina, an Egyptian cotton that has 115 meters or 126 yards per ball.  I snagged 10 balls in periwinkle blue at the Joan Vass sample sale last year for a mere $10.00!

Periwinkle Cotton Yarn

The nightie has been my major project this summer. Its grapevine lace border has allowed me to expand my lace knitting experience.  The first few rows drove me crazy since I invariably had the wrong number of stitches at the end of the row and had to undo the entire row to find my error. Eventually, I got the hang of it. Here’s a close up of the detail. 

Grapevine Lace Detail 

Since one side of the nightie seemed like an over whelming task, I’m knitting the front and back in tandem to ensure that the sizing is similar. Also, once I finish half of it, I don’t feel like there is a major undertaking facing me. (It’s the logic many folks use for knitting two socks at the same time. So far it seems to be working.)

Here’s a shot of the nightie to the hips. I marked the beginning of the decreases so I can match the front and back more carefully. (Note: Both the back and front are at about the same point.)

Nightie to the Hips

 While I’m knitting the nightie as tight as I can, it is still rolling on the sides. So far, I’m pleased with my results.

The Mason Dixon pattern calls for the use of bra straps which adds the lingerie feel of the nightie. Instead, I’ve decided to modify the pattern to make the top portion more like a tank top.  Hopefully, this will leave me the option to wear it as a dress if I so choose later.