Friday, February 11, 2011

Knitting in the QCA

Ever since the Crafting at the Convent weekend this past January, opportunities for knitting in public have been popping up everywhere! First, though, I'd like to show you some pictures of the projects I finished that weekend. I started a Paper Dolls sweater this summer while I was visiting my family in Marinette. It was designed by the fabulous Kate Davies of one of my favorite knitting blogs, Needled.

I made a few modifications to the pattern.For one, I knit it much, much longer than the pattern called for. I have a very long torso, so I usually need to add at least five inches to sweater patterns. I added some skinny horizontal strips to break up the body. For the actual paper dolls, I added pigtails and omitted the eyes and mouth. I though they looked a little bit skeletal, and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't cut in facial features if I were making real paper dolls. I also cast on using a tubular cast-on and worked in K1P1 ribbing in one color. I don't usually like corrugated ribbing because of how the purl bumps pop out. It just doesn't look right to me, but I did see some examples of the sweater on Ravelry that looked amazing with the corrugated rib. I'm just set in my knitting ways, I suppose. Oh! And the yarn I used was Un-Spun Icelandic from Schoolhouse Press that I bought at the Sow's Ear in Verona, WI.

The other project I worked on was designed by one of my former favorite knit bloggers, Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed. I made the Beaumont Tam using the exact yarn and colors suggested in the pattern, which can be found in the booklet Made in Brooklyn. I say former favorite because Jared used to host a really warm, friendly blog that was a wealth of knitting information and beautiful pictures. In the past couple of years he has become very well know and his patterns are extremely popular. As his popularity rose, the blog became less and less inviting, in my opinion. In the old days of Brooklyn Tweed I loved following projects through multiple posts and learning in depth about the yarns and techniques used. The blog was an open dialogue between readers and Jared. As of late, I feel the new Brooklyn Tweed is merely a means of churning out patterns to a captive audience who fell in love with the old blog. The posts lack depth and almost always contain a link to a pattern for purchase. This is just my opinion, of course, and all of the patterns Jared creates are gorgeous, which is why I've knitted several of them. Enough of my ranting, though, here is my Beaumont Tam!

There is talk of getting a knitting group together with the fine knitters that were at the convent, possibly meeting in Dewitt. This is still in the early stages of planning, but while we are figuring out the details, there are some more established groups that I'd like to put out there.

First up, the day after the convent, a co-worker brought in an article from The Dispatch and Rock Island Argus, called A Community Knit Together. The article detailed a knitting group that meets Tuesday Nights at the Fairmount Branch of the Davenport Public Libraryat 6:30 pm.  The group is the Fireside Knitters and what's so cool about them is that they create blocks that are then sewn into afghans for the knitting charity Warm Up America!. Warm Up America! was created by Evie Rosen, who just so happens to be a great friend of my grandmother's. Together they worked at Evie's shop, The Knitting Nook, in Wausau, WI. The shop is not open anymore, but my Grandma Marge has given me some of her stash over the years and other fun stuff like this awesome canvas duffel bag!

 The next group I want to tell you about is called, believe it or not, The Knitting Nook. The Knitting Nook is a new group that meets on selected Wednesdays at the Buzz Cafe in Eldridge.  I read about it in this article from the Quad Cities Times. After reading the article, I tried to find contact info for the founder, Tammy, but I couldn't. Imagine my surprise when I signed on to Ravelry today, and there was a message in my inbox from Tammy herself! Apparently she knows Miss Effie, and she stumbled upon this blog in Ravelry! I'll definitely be making an appearance to this group soon. Their next meeting is next Wednesday, February 16 from 3pm - 5pm. You can RSVP at the Knitting Nook blog, which is linked above.

Also important to note are the knitting nights at Serendipity Yarn Shoppe. They have a full calendar, including knit nights on the First and Third Thursdays of each month at the shop in Muscatine at 6 pm. I've been to their knit nights quite a few times and they are always fun!

This post is pretty long, so I'll sign off for now. But soon I'll tell you all about the knitting workshop I'm taking with Susan B. Anderson!!


  1. Hi Laura,
    I enjoyed the knit group in Muscatine myself. Glad to have met you tonight and hope our paths cross again soon.

  2. I really love your paper dolls sweater! The stripes were a great idea. I made one too if you want to check it out at
    I did pigtails and probably should have omitted eyes like you did! I used rainbow yarn so they kind of came out looking like "smurf girls on fire" according to my 9 year old son! lol! I love this sweater so much and I love yours as much as mine!