Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Tip - Design Your Own Scarf

Knitting scarves is popular this time of year. Whether you’re knitting for yourself or for holiday gifts, here are some simple tips to help you design your own unique patterns.

First, choose a yarn. Something soft and sumptuous, or something warm and wooly. Pick a fiber and a color that suits the recipient.

Second, choose a stitch pattern. Borrow a stitch design from a favorite sweater pattern, or browse through knitting books for ideas. The 365 Knitting Stitches a Year Perpetual Calendar is perfect for this. It’s full of possibilities!

Next, knit a swatch using your chosen yarn and stitch pattern. Cast on about 4 inches worth of stitches using the needle size recommended on your yarn’s ball band. Work the stitch pattern for about 4 inches. Evaluate your swatch. Do you like the way the pattern works up in the yarn you’ve chosen? Do you like the drape of the fabric? Adjust your needles at this point to create a looser, or firmer, fabric.

Next, check your gauge. Determine how many stitches to the inch you are getting. Decide how wide you want the scarf, and multiply your desired width by your stitch gauge. This will give you the number of stitches to cast on. For example, you would like a scarf that is 6 inches wide, and you are getting 5 stitches to the inch. You will cast on about 30 stitches. This number may have to change a little depending on the stitch pattern you’ve chosen. If you are working a pattern that is an 8 stitch repeat, you will need to bump up the number to 32 stitches. If you want to add a selvedge edge, you’ll have to add that to the mix.

Next, how do you know how much yarn to purchase? Here’s a rough guide for stockinette stitch. Multiply the desired length and width of your scarf. Multiply this number by your stitch gauge. Then divide that number by 6. This is the estimated yardage you will need to complete your scarf. Depending on the stitch pattern you choose, you might need a bit more. Better to error on the side of having too much, than to run out and not be able to get more.

Try this out; and as always, we are here to help! Please feel free to stop by The Naked Sheep for help choosing your yarns, finding a stitch pattern, and checking your gauge swatch. We're here for you!

Thursday, November 29, 2007


I received my invitation to join Ravelry well over a month ago now, and I just sat down today to really check it out. For those of you who don't know about Ravelry, it's a very cool site to help you connect with other knitters, organize your "stash", show off your works in progress and completed projects, get inspired; and basically spend hours upon hours thinking about your knitting possibilities!

There's a list of people waiting to be invited to join, and I encourage you to get your name on it! It's worth the wait. Now I just have to carve out some time to get myself set-up so I can post pictures, etc.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

What a beautiful fall weekend

Last weekend The Naked Sheep Cycle Team enjoyed a super fun and sunny weekend at McMenamins Grand Lodge in Forest Grove. There were daily bike rides, knitting, movies, knitting, games, knitting, live music, knitting, eating, knitting, drinking, knitting and general merriment! I had 4 days off IN A ROW! That was the best! Thanks to my wonderful employee, Kristin, for filling in for me while I was gone.

Here I am in my cute little beetle on a country road with Brad. We drove the route that they had biked the day before, so he could get some pictures of the beautiful scenery. He was very inspired by all the fall colors, and wants to do some painting. It was lovely, but there were some KILLER hills!

Things are busy and wonderful at The Naked Sheep. I love my job, and I love my life!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Time Flies When...

I can't believe it's been almost a month since I last posted. Time sure flies when you're running The Naked Sheep Knit Shop, being a mom to a son with big problems, being a mom to a son with no big problems, being a wife to the cutest and most wonderful man in the world, trying to spend time each day exercising so that I can do the above things better (and longer!), and let's not forget lots of quality time spent knitting!

It may sound funny, but knitting is like the glue that holds my life together. It helps to calm me. It makes me happy. It makes me feel productive. It's "me" time. It's not so much about the end result; although I am enjoying working on Christmas gifts for family and friends, and thinking about those special people as I knit for them. Knitting is more about the process. Slowing down...thinking...relaxing...knitting.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Too Cute!

Are these shoes just too cute, or what?! Thanks to my sweetie-pie, I finally got a pair!
A friend of mine saw them at Fred Meyer, and I immediately started the search for my size. I even had a friend who has connections with Converse trying to get me a pair; but no luck.

Then my sweetie-pie waltzes into Fred Meyer and finds a my size...on sale, even!

I love pink. I love sheep. I love these shoes!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Will Knit for Tattoos!

This sweet little guy, The Naked Sheep, is our shop logo and my very first tattoo. He's on the inside of my lower left leg. I got it earlier this year when I went to a tattoo show with some friends. I wanted to check out some local tattoo artists, and actually watch some people getting tattoos. I wanted to see if grown men were crying during the process. This cute little tattoo was a test, to see if I could handle the pain. Because this next photo is the tattoo I've been wanting.

I went to Atlas Tattoo yesterday and Scott did a beautiful job placing this design on the outside of my right leg. I'm very happy with it. Did it hurt, you ask? Well, actually, it did. Brad came with me and was sweet and supportive, as usual. He said it reminded him of when I was in the hospital in labor with our two sons, because I was lying on the table, utilizing the breathing techniques that I learned those many years ago. This tattoo is so awesome; it was definitely worth any pain.

Let me know about your tattoos. Especially if they're knitting related!

Thursday, September 6, 2007


Here is my bee fields shawl. I'm loving it! Progress is slow, but satisfying. This laceweight yarn from Bob is delicious!

Here's my little sister, Jodi; knitting and hanging out with me at The Naked Sheep. She's working on one of the samples for my Easy Baby Blanket Booklet, a very simple garter stitch blanket using Cash Vero from Cascade Yarns. It is incredibly soft!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

All Charged Up

I'm ready, but my camera isn't. I got my projects all laid out, ready to take their picture; but my camera needs to be charged up.

So I'll see you tomorrow!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

What a beautiful day!

Today is a lovely summer day. The sun is shining, and I'm going to take a chair out front and work on my bee fields shawl!

Here is my shawl through row 7 of the bee fields section. It's so much fun to work on. I'm enjoying the challenge!

This is my youngest son, Nick. He came into the shop today to help me open up, after we had a delicious breakfast together at Beaterville Cafe.

Nick is the one who came up with the name for The Naked Sheep Knit Shop. It was a couple of years before we actually opened; and we were all sitting around at my parents house, dreaming about opening a knit shop. We were brainstorming, and we all gave suggestions for the name of the shop. When our dream became a reality, we pulled out that list of names...and Nick's idea was the winner! Thanks, Nick!

And here is Riley, our sweet little shop dog. He's doing what he loves best; hanging out at The Naked Sheep, watching out for all of us knitters!
Good job, Riley!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Lovin' It!

Have I mentioned that I love my bike? It looks cute, and it makes me feel good!

Here are a few members of The Naked Sheep Cycle Team. This group started as a handful of people that wanted to do the Providence Bridge Pedal together, and is growing all the time! Last Sunday we rode from The Naked Sheep Knit Shop and ended up in Sellwood. We had dinner and adult beverages at a cute little restaurant, and then peddled home.

This Sunday we are going to go on a fun ride to Laurelhurst Park. We are going to wine, dine and kick back in the park while enjoying a free concert by the Providence Stage Band (big band music). Want to join us? Leave a comment with your e-mail address, and we'll send you an invitation to join our group!

I swatched the Bee Fields Shawl, and I've actually gotten about 25 rows into the shawl. It's fun to see it take shape. I'll post a photo tomorrow.

Brad and I are going to Harvey's Comedy Club tonight, and I need to choose the right project to take for knitting while laughing and drinking in the dark. I think I'll start a vest for Brad. We received the new Pastaza Paints from Cascade Yarns, and I'd love to knit with it! Stockinette stitch in the round sounds pretty safe to me.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


This is another finished blanket for the Easy Baby Blanket Booklet I'm writing. I love doing entrelac. I just finished teaching a class on it, and I'm planning on teaching it again this fall. This blanket was knit using Teseo, one of my favorite yarns from Cascade. I like the fact that you don't have to worry about changing colors, the yarn does it for you. It makes such an interesting fabric for scarves, blankets and even felted projects.

I'm gearing up to do the swatching for my bee fields shawl. Check back for a picture soon!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Bee Fields Shawl

I found it! The perfect shawl to knit with Bob's new laceweight. Okay, I realize that pink doesn't have a whole lot to do with bee's; but the shawl is beautiful, and I love pink! This lovely laceweight yarn is now available at The Naked Sheep Knit Shop!
Thank you, Tif'eret, for the tip! Here's a photo of Tif'eret and the rest of the Friday Morning Knitting Club at Di Prima Dolci. Come and knit with us from 9-11am the 2nd and 4th Friday of every month.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Easy Baby Blankets

I'm currently working on a pattern booklet containing patterns for easy baby blankets. We've had a lot of requests for this at the shop lately. This is a very simple feather and fan blanket using Cascade Baby Alpaca Chunky. I was playing around with a seafoam green skein in an earlier post, but this buttery yellow was just asking to be made into a baby blanket. It was so lovely to knit up (and quick, too!); and will keep a little one nice and warm in the winter. I'll be including about 6 patterns in the booklet. I've completed 2 and am working on the other 4. I'm trying to think of a clever name for the booklet. Right now I have the title "Easy Baby Blankets" on my mock-up. But I'm hoping for something with a little more pizazz. Any ideas?
This is some lovely handspun yarn that my friend, Bob, brought into the shop the other day. He sells his handspun/hand-dyed yarns under the label SpinneMann...and they are just delicious! I've had the privilege to knit with several of his creations; and the result, as well as the process of knitting, is always a joy! We are thrilled to be a source for Bob's yarns, as well as to have Bob as a teacher! This is some lace weight merino wool, dyed in a colorway that is just calling my name. I've never knit with lace weight before...any suggestions on what I should make?

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Happy Anniversary to Us, Again!

So many special occasions to celebrate. Last month was our 23rd wedding anniversary, and this month is the 2 year anniversary of The Naked Sheep Knit Shop! It has been a fabulous 2 years, and I am looking forward to many more! I'm thrilled to be doing what I love (I can hardly call it a job on most days), to be surrounded by creative new friends, and to be able to share what I'm passionate about with others.

We are celebrating with a huge Sale and Celebration beginning Wednesday, July 4 through Sunday, July 8. We're actually closed today, and I'm in the shop getting things ready. We have tons of stuff to give away, and there will be a storewide sale all week! If you're reading this and you'll be in the Portland area this week, stop by and say Hi!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Friday, June 22nd, was our 23rd wedding anniversary. Let me just say that I am more in love and happy with my husband, Brad, than when we met almost 25 years ago. He is the funniest, most creative guy I know; and he still makes my heart skip a beat when I see him. I'm so thankful that we connected so young, so that we can have many more years together! I not only love Brad, I really do like him. He is so fun to be with.

He's also an important part of the shop. What would we do without our VP of Everything?! I feel so fortunate to have such a supportive, talented and funloving husband, business partner and best friend.

Happy Anniversary, Brad!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Finish 3...Begin 3

Here are 3 projects that I recently finished.

Project #1: baby blanket using Cash Vero

Project #2: ribbon vest using Ischia Silk

Project #3: felted messenger bag using Cascade 220

All three projects are for the shop.

And here are 3 projects I recently started.

Project #1: another felted messenger bag using Cascade 200 (this one is for me!)

Project #2: a felted basket liner for my bike, which has been named Betty (the bike, not the basket liner). I wanted to name it Daisy, because it's covered with daisies; but I was told that this was too obvious a name. This project is also for Riley, since it will allow him to ride comfortably in the basket; after Brad installs the seat belt, of course!

Project #3: the beginnings of a shawl using Cascade's Baby Alpaca Chunky. Not sure that this one is going to go any further for the might have to wait for fall. But this yarn is so wonderful, I just couldn't resist knitting up a bit. There are so many wonderful colors available!

We're going to go to see the Rose Festival Marching Bands tonight at PGE Park. We went a couple years back, and it was fabulous! Hmmm, I wonder which knitting project should I take?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


I realize that it's been a whole week since I last wrote; and I was trying to figure out how I let so much time go by. We did have a big Spring Sidewalk Sale at the shop last Saturday; and I was busy preparing for that, but that isn't the real reason that I was procrastinating my next post.

Here's my dilemna. In my last post I said that I was going to finish two current projects before beginning anything new. Well...before the day was over, I gave in!

I started this baby blanket using Cash Vero, an oh-so-soft new yarn from Cascade. It's a wonderfully luscious blend of wool, microfiber and cashmere. I didn't have anything knit up with it in the shop, and so I decided it would be perfect in a baby blanket. I'm sure that you agree, I had no choice but to start this project.

And my good friend, Laura, is making me the most beautiful king size quilt ever. Bright and colorful and just lovely! This is the sweater I'm making her to say thank you. You can understand that I just had to start this project, also.

I feel better now that we have this out in the open. And ironically, these may just be the two projects I finish before starting anything new! Thanks for listening, and understanding, the confessions of someone who knits too much!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Friday Morning Knitting Club

These are some of the ladies that come to our Friday Morning Knitting Club at Di Prima Dolci Italian Bakery. We meet the second and fourth Friday of each month from 9-11am; and the bakery is just a block east of The Naked Sheep Knit Shop. We've recently been referred to as the Naked Knit Ladies; although we've been known to have men join us, also!
This is a wonderful group of knitters; diverse in age as well as skill level. What a fun time we have knitting, chatting, drinking coffee and eating Italian pastries. My favorite is the ham and cheese brioche bun. Nummy!
This group is open to anyone who is interested in gathering for knitting, conversation and lots of encouragement. It's a great place to ask for help, get a second opinion, or just have someone ooh and aah over your project! Join us!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

It's All About the Buttons

Here is the darling Minnowknits Baby Sweater (Confetti #190) that is getting mailed off this week to San Diego. Check out the clever square buttons that the wonderful woman at Button Emporium helped me to find. I think the cream buttons on the red placket goes well with the cream and red checks at the hem of the sweater. So cute, even if I do say so myself :)

This is the Summer Cardigan from one of my very first posts, finished and all buttoned up. These buttons are so awesome! They are a see-through pink and they are flower shaped. Perfect. Simple buttons for this fun and somewhat busy yarn.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


I finished Riley's May sweater. Isn't he a sweetie? He even seems to enjoy posing for the camera.

Of course, there are always the bloopers! Even good little doggies have bad days :)

Back to finishing...yesterday I finished up my Summer Cardigan and a little Minnowknits baby sweater I'll be sending off to San Diego for Logan Wyatt. I'll be heading to Button Emporium tomorrow morning to choose the perfect buttons for these two projects. I'll let you know what I find!

I've decided that I'm going to finish up two more projects before I start anything else. The questions is, can I hold out?

Friday, April 27, 2007

I Want to Ride My Bicycle!

I did it! I bought myself a bike to get around the neighborhood. I thought that this would be a great way to get to the shop each day, go to the grocery store and run other errands. It's the cutest thing you've ever seen, and it coordinates beautifully with The Naked Sheep Knit Shop colors!
Queen songs keep running through my head as I'm riding: "I want to ride my bicycle" and "Fat bottom girls, get on your bikes and ride!" Makes me smile :)
Brad installed my basket yesterday. Now I just need to figure out a secure way to fasten Riley in, and we're off!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Riley's May Sweater

Does this little guy look like he needs a sweater, or what?! Don't worry, Riley; help is on the way! This is Riley's May sweater...he's going to be a sweet little bumblebee. My son, Nick, once remarked that I was embarrasing Riley by dressing him up. To that I replied, be thankful it's not you anymore! I think that Riley secretly enjoys his personal wardrobe! He wants to do his part to support the shop!

My two boys, Cory and Nick, are also big supporters of The Naked Sheep; and they help out any way they can. They wash windows, put away yarn, take out the garbage, and even wear sheep costumes! Oops, I guess I do still get to dress them up!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Ludo, for Brad

This is the sweater that I'm knitting for Brad from Elsebeth Lavold's new pattern book; the pattern is called Ludo. It's an interesting, very easy pattern that gives the illusion of cables.

The pattern calls for Cable Cotton; and I'm using one of the new spring colors (#019 Blue). It's such a fabulous yarn to work with. I love the soft, springy fabric it creates.

I normally have several sweaters going for Brad, but right now I just have this one. I'm hoping to have it finished up for his birthday in July.

I appreciate having a husband who is so supportive of my love for knitting. He doesn't just tolerate wearing things I make for him; he actually enjoys receiving and wearing hand knit sweaters and such! I sometimes have students or customers that say that their spouse or partner would never wear anything they knit (for many different reasons); that makes me sad. But it gives me one more reason to believe that I made the right choice almost 23 years ago!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

And Yet Another Sweater for Me

This sweater is on the cover of Elsebeth Lavold's newest pattern book, The Sunny Side Collection. I'm actually knitting 2 sweaters from this book; one for me and one for Brad, my VP of Everything. I'll talk about Brad's sweater next time.
For myself, I'm knitting the wrap sweater shown on the cover. It's called Meadow. I'm using Cotton Frappe, Elsebeth's newest yarn. It's a really cool cotton with a thin polyamide wrap. I chose the variegated color called Meadow Mix. It's knit at 5.5 stitches to the inch, and I had to go down to size 3 needles to get the gauge; I tend to knit loose with cotton yarns. I really love the texture that this double broken rib pattern is creating.
This is one of Elsebeth's better written patterns. Her patterns tend to be vague, with a lot of assumptions. They also tend to have errors. I'm pleasantly surprised with this one. I've finished both sleeves and am to the armhole on the left front.
One of my customers is knitting the same sweater, and we started at the same time. So we decided it would be fun to have a little race. She started on the back and is now working on the left front. I'm saving the back for last. So I'm not sure who is ahead. But it's fun to have a little knitting rivalry going on! Good luck, Cheryl!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Spring Shop Model

This cute little Ribbon Vest is knit with Ischia Silk. I found the pattern in Silk Knits by Elaine Eskesen, a lovely book.

Besides knitting sweaters for myself, my sweet dog and my VP of Everything; I enjoy making shop models for The Naked Sheep. Owning a yarn store definitely feeds my knitting addiction. As new yarns and patterns arrive, I feel the need to "test" each one out personally. Not such a bad thing, there are definitely advantages to touching and working with the yarns myself. Also to become familiar with what patterns are available and how easy or difficult they are to follow. The problem is starting more projects than I finish. But I do tell my students that it's not all about the finished product; we need to enjoy the process. Good advice for myself.

This Ribbon Vest will be happily displayed in the shop very soon.

Happy Knitting.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Another Sweater for Me!

This one may look familiar. It's from Knitting Pure and Simple, the same designer as the Summer Cardigan from my previous post. But this one is called the V-Neck Shaped Cardigan. I like it because it has some side shaping at the waist, and really fun bell shaped sleeves. I'm really excited about the neckdown sweaters. No seaming at the end is very appealing; and they are flattering for most body types! I'm using Pima Tencel (another wonderful Cascade Yarn).
The sweater is knit in stockinette stitch with seed stitch edging. But you can doctor it up and add some cables or texture to the fabric. There's something to be said, though, for the zen of knitting one row, and then purling the next. This is a good movie theater knitting project.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Drop me a line

Let me know what you'd like to see and read about. Write a comment and let me know what's of interest to you. But, be patient with me. This is all new to me.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Summer Cardigan

Project #1 is the Summer Cardigan from Knitting Pure & Simple. I'm using Sierra Quatro from Cascade Yarns, color #86. This is one of my favorite yarns; it's a really nice blend of 80% cotton and 20% wool, easy to knit with. Finishing this sweater is high on the list of priorities since I'm teaching it as a class this spring. I'm using Bryspun circular needles, which allow me to knit longer because they're a flexible plastic, easy on my hands and wrists.

New Beginnings

Spring is here, a time of new life and new beginnings.

This knitting blog is a new beginning for me. I thought that this would be a fun way to record my knitting adventures, for myself and anyone else who is interested!

During the next few days, I'm going to gather up all my knitting projects in their various degrees of being done, take pictures, and post them on the blog. I'm hoping that this will help me to finish up some of these projects. While I love new beginnings, it feels good to have happy endings, also. Wish me luck!