Thursday, June 05, 2008

We've Moved!!!

In an effort to make things simpler......and hopefully will make me post more.......
all knitting content will be on my "Main Blog" from now on!!

West End Designs

Thursday, February 07, 2008

New Pattern!!

Whimsical Felted Cactus

(As seen in the Stitch and Bitch 2008

Page a Day Calendar)

This pattern was inspired by my many trips to Arizona. I instantly fell in love with the desert flora,

but being “gardening challenged” growing the real thing became impossible.

Now, no gardening care is necessary and I can still enjoy the beauty of the desert!!


Size 13 16” circular needle

Cascade 220 – 1 skein each of

Color #9407 and #9410 (heathered greens)

Color 4147 yellow (divided into two separate balls)

Stitch Marker

Yarn or tapestry needle

Polyester stuffing

Tropical silk flower (optional)

Decorative Pot

Toothpicks (optional)

Gauge : Not important for this project

Cast on 46 stitches with one strand of each of the green yarns. Entire cactus is worked with double strand throughout.

Place marker and join taking care to ensure stitches are not twisted.

Row 1-6 Knit

Row 7 ( begin increase rows)*K2 K in front and back repeat from * to end of round, ending in a K2 (61 stitches)

Row 8-12 Knit

Row 13 Repeat row 7 (81 stitches)

Row 14-17 Knit

Row 18 Repeat row 7 (108 stitches)

Row 19-22 Knit

Row 23 *K1 K in front and back repeat from * to end of round ending in a K1 (162 stitches)

Row 24 Knit

Row 25 (begin decrease rows) *K2 tog K1 repeat from * to end of round (108 stitches)

Row 26-28 Knit

Row 29 Repeat row 25 (72 stitches)

Row 30-33 Knit

Row 34 Repeat row 25 (48 stitches)

Drop darker green and attach yellow yarn, continuing to work in double strand throughout.

Row 35-38 knit

Drop lighter green and attach another strand of yellow, continuing to work in double strand throughout.

Switch to dpns if necessary

Row 39 K1 *SSK K5 K2tog repeat from * to end of round (38 stitches)

Row 40 Knit

Row 41 *SSK K3 K2 tog repeat from * to end of round. (28 stitches)

Row 42 Knit

Row 43 *SSK K1 K2tog repeat from * to end of round (18 stitches)

Row 44 K1 *SSK K2 tog repeat from * to one remaining stitch, K1(10 stitches)

Approximate finished dimensions (before felting) 16 inches (at widest point) by 14 inches. Dimensions do not have to be exact as each cactus will be unique.


Break yarn, attach tapestry needle and draw through remaining stitches to gather at top, pull tight and secure yarn.

To finish, felt by desired method until no stitch definition is seen. Manually shape and stuff with plastic shopping bags to maintain desired shape. Air dry.

Stuff dry cactus with polyester stuffing and sew bottom shut (stitching is not important here as this will be planted in the pot)

Add French knots in striped pattern down sides of “cactus” with yellow yarn, punch toothpicks through knots and into “cactus” for spines.

Do NOT use toothpicks in homes with children or climbing pets.

Attach flower to top (this can be omitted) and “plant” in decorative pot.

This pattern is for private use only. The pattern, images and products made from the pattern may not

be sold without the express written consent of the designer.

Saturday, February 02, 2008


I have a new friend, and we will call her "I". You know I like using initials only, to protect the innocent, or not so innocent. "I" is a new knitter. A new knitter with an obsession or as I like to call it, a hungry dog on a bone. Her mother in law started her on the path, fueled in part by me. Then she signed up for a class, which leads me to today's subject...inherited projects.

So, her first real "project" is a baby sweater. A top down, no sew raglan. Ok, experienced knitters, easy enough, right??? Well, it is not the first project I would give someone. The teacher who is somewhat of a knitting snob and has taken a dislike to "I", says "Oh anyone can do this". In my kitchen, she repeated the collar portion at least 4 times....... And to make matters worse, she promised this sweater to someone. She has broken rule #1 for gift knitting, do not tell anyone you are making them something, or what the object is because you will ultimately hit a snafu.

It is now referred to as the F-in' yellow baby sweater from hell. I go to visit her at her office. The sweater is in the bag, and has now made it past the collar and working on the yoke. This is where the fun begins. "Can you fix this"?? Sure. Well, now it seems that I have to finish it. I took it home. It is all over. "I" waved the white flag of surrender and I must pick up the needles and continue to wage war with this yellow yarn. Today while we have knitting time in my kitchen, I will find her some new projects, while I work on the sweater. Pictures to follow.

I think I will introduce her today to the MDK Ball Band dihcloth. Hey if you are going to be obsessed, why not go all the way. You all know what fondness I have for those, right???

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Cashmere Found!

Look what I found!!! FOUR skeins of worsted weight cashmere in a gorgeous deep purple. There is about 400+ yards. Now the question here is what should I make with it?? Any ideas??? Please leave a comment if you know of a great pattern for this beautiful yarn!!!
Dear B (thanks for your comment!), and the other inquiring cashmere knitters.....

While I would love to say that these balls of cashmere goodness rained down from the sky, I found them hidden in the bottom of one of my yarn "tubs" that we all have!!!! I have no idea WHY I purchased it or for what. Chances are I was sucked in by both the color and softness!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Another Hat!!!!

So when last we spoke, I confessed to my complete lack of concentration and the ability to follow a simple rib pattern. Well armed with a fresh skein of Lorna's Laces and my size 7 circulars, I started, and completed the ribbed hat!!! Lookee here:

I love this hat! No, I mean LOVE. Why?? Well Mark used to tell me I looked horrible in hats and honestly, after seeing a few photos of me on vacation, I do. But this hat looks, dare I say it, not bad.I have been running lately (mostly inside due to some lower leg injuries that occurred in days of yore) but sometimes I run the beach. And I do need a hat. Really now, it is windy and cold, and yet I refuse.

So if you are down in Hull, MA and you see a runner on the beach in black with one bad ass hat, and you think, that looks like the Irving Park colorway from Lorna's Laces, that would be me. And it wouldn't be so bad to stop me to say hi, I just might need a break!

Next up, mitts to match!!!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Pictures for YOU!!!!

And finally, we have my gift knitting from 2007.......I made all of this in such a short amount of time, I needed super quick knits with no concentration allowed. It was a rough Fall, to say the least!

First we have "Fetchings". Honestly this is one of my favorite patterns of all time!! Super quick and in my opinion, make the best gifts!! If you got a pair as a gift, wouldn't you be thrilled?? I paired them with matching earrings. These two are knitted using Mission Falls 1824 Wool (another favorite). Another pair was made in red pepper using Knitpicks Swish, but the photo did not do them justice!

Next up, we have the Ribbed Cap from 101 One Skein Wonders. This is an easy hat, very comfortable, minimal shaping and cute. Both were gifts. Well, let me rephrase that, one ended up gifted. The other had to be ripped out!!! I got to the decreases on the gray one and realized the rib was supposed to be K2 P2!!! Heh. See??? I told you I cannot concentrate!! Both were knitted in Cascade 220. This pattern might end up to be my old standby hat!

I saw this pattern on Mag Knits and knew I had to knit it. It's great! And easy 12 row repeat that looks more complicated than it is! Knit in Swish from Knitpicks in the Camel Heather colorway, this yarn blocked like a champ!!! I think this took me 4 days! I made this for a friend and he LOVED it.
Last but not least.... I learned a valuable lesson of practice what you preach. I purchased some time ago, Morehouse Merino to make the "leglets" from their free pattern section. This is a great stash buster, if you ask me! About 200 yards or so of worsted weight! Who doesn't have that in their stash??? And I just love the length, they can be worn "dancer style" slouch over the heels. Great for yoga! Well, little did I know that the 2 skeins were so very DIFFERENT. LOOK!!! I was shocked. I didn't alternate skeins and I paid the price. Well, now they are mine because I couldn't give them away like that, right?? I did love the wool, it was soft, squooshy and very warm! So I made another pair in Lorna's Laces in the Black Purl Colorway.....much better.

And right now I am making a ribbed cap for me, in Lorna's Laces Irving Park for my beach runs.....and so far I am using the correct rib!!! :) More later........ I promise to try to update at least once a week........

Friday, January 04, 2008

Can it really be over a month since I updated?? And yes, the pictures I promised are still in the camera. I will get to them this weekend!!! I am still finishing up some gifts....I am so behind this year!!

And thanks for all your kind compliments on my pattern featured in the Stitch and Bitch 2008 Page A Day Calendar!! I am February 1st!!! I still have yet to see it. My bookshop was out of them, and I am still waiting for my free copy, which should be here soon....I hope!!! For those of you who do not have it, I will be posting it as a freebie shortly!! And there is another freebie pattern in the works as well. My "goal this year" is to make a pattern each month and post it here. I am feeling much more creative these days!!!

Just a drive by update to let you know I am still here....and knitting......

Pictures this weekend, it's a promise!