Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Little Zauberball Sock

I had fun knitting a little Zauberball sock this week. My favorite pair of big handknit socks (these are the socks that get tucked into my rollabout so my feet have some covering in cold hotel rooms) are Color 1507 in the yarn known as Crazy Zauberball.

Wanting to try out the new Addi FlipStix, I cast on a bunch of stitches and ribbed for a few inches. Did a heel flap, turned the heel, and knit the gusset. A little foot knitting and a shaped toe followed.

Presto, Eduardo! There was the little Zauberball sock, and it was pretty much the miniature of my adult sized pair.

Zauberball Crazy -- sock weight yarn, 420 meters per 100 gram ball

Addi FlipStix -- set of 5 double pointed needles, one pointy end, one rounded end  I used the 2.75 mm size.

So should I write up this little sock into a pattern? Let me know!!

Happy knitting,


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Thumbs UP!

It's Week Three (Clue 3) of the convertible top mitten that is the July Knit Along project. This week we're knitting thumbs.

Designer Michelle Hunter gives two options -- an open thumb or a closed thumb. Both are easy to accomplish and won't take much time.

Unleashed Part 3 -- Knitting the Thumbs

FlipStix Double Pointed Needles for knitting mittens, socks, hats

As a reminder, the patterns for Knit Alongs are FREE. So even if you are not knitting along, you may want to add this design to your pattern collection. Come October (or January), you will be glad to have a special new mitten design to knit!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Tayberry Hat Pattern, Featuring Star Stitch

Sometimes it is good to try a new stitch pattern. I like knitting with Kenzie by HiKoo, a tweed look yarn that comes in softer, more rustic colors.

So when I saw the Tayberry Hat pattern with this star stitch in two colors it was a natural for me to try the design.

I'm using the colors suggested in the pattern, The deep red is Color #1004, Beetroot, and the orange red is #1005, Bayberry.

The design has a deep ribbing that uses knit two, purl two. The star stitch is a four round repeat that alternates between the two colors and gives a tightly woven look to the hat crown.

The hat is 10 inches deep with 3.5 inches of ribbing and the rest done in star stitch.

Here's a link to the FREE pattern:
Kenzie Tayberry Hat Pattern PDF Download

And HERE is where you will find the colors of Kenzie that we carry at Graywood Designs.

Beware! This is addictive yarn, very satisfying to knit, and lovely when it is knit up.

Happy Knitting,


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Introducing Addi FlipStix

Addi Turbo's newest needle, FlipStix

I'm pretty excited about this new tool from Addi Turbo, the FlipStix.

Here at Graywood Designs we are getting a new website ready and one of the tasks at hand is testing several of the pattern downloads that will be a feature of the new site.

I spent several hours recently with the Inchie Sockie pattern, knitting the little sock again in order to evaluate the layout and flow of the pattern. I used a set of FlipStix and absolutely fell in love with the smooth flow and ease of knitting with this innovative new tool.

Made from high grade aluminum, the colorful ultra-lightweight double pointed needles feature dual tips. Each needle has both a Turbo tip and a Lace tip.

A revolutionary design, FlipStix bring a wonderful smoothness to knitting with double pointed needles. The Lace tip is pointy and slightly longer. It is especially helpful when you need to squeeze in a delicate stitch, or for gathering both stitches for a decrease manuever like K2tog or SSK.

Each needle in the set is a different color. The metal is anodized for a soft touch slip feel which makes for fluid knitting, yet allows the stitches to hold to the needle.

The really big advantage here is that when you need the longer, more pointy tip, you can just flip the needle. 

As a start, we have stocked the 6 inch length in US #0 thru US #8 sizes. Be sure to try out a set on your next double pointed knitting adventure.

Happy knitting,


Addi Turbo FlipStix -- Set of 5 in the 6" length

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

July KAL (Knit Along): Summer Mittens!

Who in their right mind would be thinking about mittens in the middle of the summer? Knitters! That's who!

We are delighted to offer "Unleashed," a convertible mitten pattern as the next Knit Along (KAL) from designer Michelle Hunter and the fine folks at Skacel. Michelle calls this project a gem with a handy flip top. This mitten will be perfect for texting, walking the dog, or even knitting outdoors.

Yarn for the mittens:  Simpiworsted by HiKoo, a 55% merino superwash, 28% acrylic, 17% nylon blend that comes in 140 yard hanks (100 grams). Gauge: approximately 4 stitches per inch on US #10 needles.

Needles for the mittens: US #6 and US #8 double pointed.

So-o-o, here's what we are offering for this project -- NEW needles and NEW yarn.

We have added FlipStix to our needle lineup. FlipStix are double pointed needles manufactured from high grade aluminum. They feature dual tips -- one end is an Addi Turbo tip and the other end is an Addi Lace tip. When you need to have that more pointy tip, you just flip the needle!

Simpliworsted comes in six colors of marl and four colors of multi colors. The yarn has generous yardage, crisp stitch definition, and unparalleled softness. Check out all these colors on our website, choose yours today, and place an order.

Simpliworsted Marl

It's summer! We're knitting mittens! We're crazy! So what!

Happy knitting,


PS  Just so you know. Michelle is suggesting a solid color for this project, so I'm out on the limb offering the marls and multis here. If you'd like to follow her lead and use a solid color, consider using another of our excellent worsted weight yarns. I would suggest a superwash yarn like Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Superwash. Try a red, like Shane's Red. You canot go wrong with a washable, durable quality yarn. 

PPS As always, you don't HAVE to use double pointed needles for mittens! You can knit this project using the magic loop method and a long circular needle, 32" length recommended.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Where Have You Been, Graywood Designs

It's been a long, long time since the last blog post and, yes, there is a reason for that pause.

Here at Graywood Designs we are making the shift from one website interface to another. The new site has some "backroom" features that we have been yearning for, so those of you who are regular customers will notice some new things.

Coupons. Yes, we plan to offer coupons via our Graywood Knits emails and our Facebook page. That will be kind of cool. Right now we don't have that capability and we know that many of our customers would appreciate some fun offers. Coupons will bring us that possibility.

Downloads. You will be able to download PDF patterns and knitting helps right on our new website. Our free patterns will be available there as well as our for sale patterns. 

Events. We offer four regular KALs (Knit Alongs) and those will be right up on our home page. Front and center, that's where we want our events to be, not buried three clicks deep on the blog or in a hard-to-retrieve email.

More yarn, more colors. The best thing about our website, though small, is the multiplicity of yarns and colors that we offer. We've expanded colors and yarns, and plan to add even more.

I say this somewhat guardedly, since having a lot of yarn is not the focus of the website. Instead, we strive to offer yarns for discriminating knitting -- natural fibers, blends of fibers, colors that go beyond the ordinary. And we strive to do that by bringing you hand picked yarns. We'd like a yarn purchase to be a reasonable purchase, yet we know that good results start with the best fibers that you can afford.

Excellence in Tools. Most knitters have lots of needles but only use certain brands and sizes from their stash. We are aware of the cost of the more expensive needles like the Addi Turbo line that we carry, but we also know that those myriad of hours that you spent knitting using really good needles will be hours of pleasure, not frustration. So, we stock premium tools that work. Period. End of sentence. No apologies here.

Finally, the new website will be coming on line sometime this summer, Lord willing and the creek don't rise! So I hope you will bear with us and be looking forward to the next best thing as we move from one "house" on the web to another one with a newer look. Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, happy knitting,


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

April Knitting: Japanese Short Row Heel & Softie Hat

It's always good to try something new. Michelle Hunter's April KAL toe up sock features a Japanese Short Row Heel that uses the big plastic pins instead of a conventional wrap and turn.

Take a look at this heel and maybe give it a try. In the video, Michelle uses a baby sock as a sample in order to show the Japanese Short Row Heel method.

You'll find the directions for this heel turn in Week Two of the KAL. Michelle Hunter, designer of the KAL projects, includes a You Tube video that details how to make this unique heel turn.

Michelle says that this heel turn is similar to a standard short row heel. She finds it is easier to construct. This method uses pins in place of the wrap and turn.

The video is almost 19 minutes long, but I found that I kind of got the idea of what she is demonstrating by watching the first half of the video. Even though I'm not knitting along with this sock project, I think I'll cast on a smallish sock with worsted yarn and give this heel turn a try.

We have a selection of yarns suggested for this sock design on our website. Be sure to check out the colors.

Finally, since it is April and it is very windy some days when I'm out for my daily walk, let me suggest my Softie Hat design as a lightweight hat to wear in spring. Knit using sock yarn, it is a great hat for keeping your ears warm without crushing your hair. The pattern is a FREE PDF download on Ravelry.

Happy Knitting!