Sunday, January 27, 2013


Yesterday I did something I've never done: took a knitting class.

And it was so much fun! The class was taught by Nancy Bush, who has been researching and writing about Estonian knitting techniques for a number of years. After I signed up for the class, which was taught at Fibre Space in Alexandria, Virginia, I realized I had a book of hers, Knitted Lace of Estonia, which I have used for several years.

Nancy was teaching a particular style of knitting from Muhu Island, off the coast of Estonia. Our assignment was gloves. I signed up for the class because I want to get more experience with knitting with color and also knitting gloves and mittens.

Cuff knitted in Muhu tradition  

And learning started straight off with an unusual two-color caston that ended up in a braid. Then we learned about twining, which uses two strands of the same color yarn, and an absolutely fascinating way of working with colorways while knitting in the round.

None of us completed a glove yesterday, but we all learned these fascinating stitches. I finished the cuff when I got home and made some progress on the main glove part, as you can see from the photo. 

We all had a wonderful time. My thanks to Nancy Bush, my fellow knitting students, and Fibre Space.


Reah Janise

Saturday, January 19, 2013


Last week I wasn’t sure which new project to start, so I started both. The shawlette, however, was going to take longer because I was designing it, which is a painstaking process. So I set the shawlette aside to try the felted bag. (I’ve really wanted to make one for some time, so I was pretty much just looking for an excuse.)

Ready to go!
Rather than purchasing more yarn, I dug through my stash and found two full skeins of yarn leftover from two sweaters. The yarns and colors were similar enough that it seemed they could be knit together as stripes. One skein would only make a small bag and I wanted a size that would carry more than my keys and wallet.

Another design consideration was a pocket. Inside seemed best. One pattern I looked at made the pocket first and then knit it into the purse. I chose to add the pocket after, which also works.

I contemplated felting the strap, but thought it might be too springy. Several of the felted bag patterns I’d looked at used chains. However, I discovered that it can be tricky finding the kind of chain you want. I found a 38 inch chain at a craft store and two ¾ inch D-rings. I chose to use a button to close the purse. And since I also sew, I have a stash of buttons, one of which fit pretty well. (A great use of stray buttons!)

Striped Felted Bag
And now just a week later, I’ve got a new bag! (Pattern is here.)


Reah Janise

Sunday, January 6, 2013


So many ideas! But what, oh dear, to do?

I've just finished a pair of socks for my husband and now my mind is jumping around with all sorts of ideas on what to do next. Should I work out a sweater design with one of my Scottish yarns

Or should I try a felted bag? For some time, I've had my eye on knitting a felted bag. I've enjoyed sewing bags and I have several orphan skeins of worsted wool that might just do the trick. Having never done it intentionally, I'm rather intrigued with felting. Something new.

Multi-Blue Yarn Shawlette

Yarn for felted bag

But then I have some yarn that would make a really sweet shawlette. In fact, I have several yarns that would make great shawls and shawlettes.
I also bought some yarn to make my dear husband a sweater.

Oh, and I have friends who are expecting twins.

Pondering my predicament,

Reah Janise