center street knits

Checkin' In

Hello there, blogosphere!  So sorry for my delay in posting (I'm sure you saw it coming).  We have been enjoying our time as a family of three and getting used to new schedules and agendas.

 Blogging, and sadly, knitting too, have seemed to take a back seat in the past couple of weeks.  My urge to knit has been returning to me- I'm excited to get on Ravelry and search around for some cute baby girl knits.  I know I must have some project ideas saved in my favorites, and now that things are finally falling in to place here on the home front knitting will soon return!

Today I took Elise out for her first visit to a yarn shop.  We stopped by Center Street Knits in Northville. She loved it... can't you tell?

Truth be told the little peanut was all tuckered out and slept the whole time- but at least we have some photos to remind her of her first trip the the yarn shop!

Did you happen to notice her super-cool sheep shoes for her special visit?  That's right- we've got a future knitter on our hands. 

I'll be back on the blogging soon- I still have at least one tutorial that I was working on for Craft week that never got published.  My ear warmer inspired by Anthropologie's Plaited headwrap is still in the works. 

In order to do up a tutorial, we needed to make a new headwrap to show the step-by-step instructions on how it is assembled.  The knitting is *almost* finished- we can soon show the end result. For those of you who have emailed me about the pattern- it is on it's way, thanks for your patience!

Improv Hat and Cowl Patterns

Earlier this week, I posted my selfish knitting projects. Both the hat and the cowl were a super easy knit, and in a couple evenings, I had a new matching set.

I jotted down some notes as I went, and as promised, will share them here. I will most likely get around to putting these in PDF format to have available on Ravelry someday, but for now I will just post them here on my blog. After all, there needs to be some sort of benefit for being a loyal reader, right?

These patterns are relatively simple and quite suitable for a new knitter. If you have not yet knit in the round, challenge yourself to do so. You may feel like you are all thumbs when you start, but by the end you will have it down!

**A general note about the amount of yarn used: Joe gave me 5 skeins of Ella Rae Latte(from Center Street Knits) for Christmas. I knit the hat first, and it used up about 1 1/2 skeins. When I knit the cowl, I just kept going until I ran out of yarn. Although the yarn is a bulky weight, I think it knits up a little thinner than a regular bulky. For a 50g skein, there is 82 yards. This means for the hat I probably used about 120-130 yards. Check my hat gauge against yours to see if your yarn it going to work- you may need to use a different needle size.

Improv Hat

100 g bulky weight yarn
(I used about 1/2 skeins Ella Rae Latte)

Circular needle, 16-in length, size 6 & 7 (4.25 &4.5 mm)
and one set of dpn, size 7 (4.5 mm)

19 stitches and 26 rounds= 4 in(10 cm) over stockinette stich

Cast on 80 stitches with size 6 circular needles. Place marker. Join, being careful not to twist.
Cuff: Work k1, p1 cuff for 6 rows

Switch to larger needles.
Round 1: *k8, m1 ; continue from * to end of round (90 stitches)
Round 2: knit
continue in stockinette stitch until hat measures 8.5". Since you are working in
the round, you will just be knitting(no purls)

Begin decrease rows (switch to dpns when you can no longer work on circulars)
Round 1: *k7, k2tog; repeat from * to end (80 stitches)
Round 2: knit
Round 3: *k6, k2tog; repeat from * to end (70 stitches)
Round 4: knit
Round 5: *k5, k2tog; repeat from * to end (60 stitches)
Round 6: k2tog across all stitches (30 stitches)
Round 7: k2tog across all stitches (15 stitches)

Break yarn, leaving tails about 8" long. Draw yarn through remaining stitches
and fasten off.

Improv Cowl

200g Bulky Weight yarn
(I used about 3 1/2 skeins of Ella Rae Latte)

Circular needle, 29-in length, size US 13
(double strand of yarn used)
8 stitches and 17 rows= 4"(10 cm) over seed(moss) stitch


With two strands of yarn held together, cast on 93 stitches. Join, being careful not to
Round 1: *k1, p1; *repeat from * to end
Round 2: *p1, k1; *repeat from * to end

Since the whole cowl is worked in seed(moss) stitch, and there is an odd number of stitches, you will k1, p1 for the whole cowl. Just continue to repeat this until the cowl is the length you want it. Mine is about 6" wide, but I would have gone longer if I didn't run out of yarn! The shape is a very long circle(about 54"), that you can wrap twice around your head/neck.

For all the new knitters, you can do this! Even if you have never read a pattern before, try to figure out as much as you can, and ask me any questions you have.

For the more experienced knitters, let me know if there are any mistakes or changes I need to make.

PS...sorry for the deja vu pictures. My usb flash drive broke this week so I have to use pictures that are already on my computer until I get a new one!


Today I met up with Brittany of My Mom Thinks I'm Swell. We have been following each other on twitter and in the 'blogosphere' for a few months now. I will often tweet about how much I love Center Street Knits in Northville and she happens to live only a few minutes away. Besides having the wonderful opportunity to chat and catch up in 'real life', Brittany was also able to give me some great photography tips. She also helped me snap some shots of my newest design.

Here's a sneak peek:

Check back tomorrow as I should have the pattern ready(along with more pictures and details!).

The lovely ladies of Center Street Knits have been putting my Autumn Orange Cowl pattern to use! They have been knitting it in Blue Sky Alpaca Bulky and I love the result. I took some pictures on location to spruce up my pattern pictures. Thanks to Nancy for a beautiful shop to take pictures in and to Brittany for these wonderful photos and for teaching me how to get 'smudgy' background pictures!

This last picture I am so excited to share- I feel like a proud mother. In reality, it is a proud wife moment. This is Joe's swatch from Craft Day. He learned cables! Impressive, yes?

Center Street Knits in Northville, MI

This is a post that I have been looking forward to writing for some time now. Why? Because I want to tell everyone I meet about this place! It is quickly becoming a home away from home for me. When I think I am going in for a 'quick trip' I am always surprised at how easily that 'quick trip' can turn into a two- three hour visit!

I discovered Center Street Knits a few months ago, when it was only about a month old. I was looking for a certain type of yarn and found that this was one of the only stores in Michigan that carried it. I thought to myself, "Center Street Knits in Northville...I've never even heard of this place!" And I stopped by the very next day.

The moment I walked in I was blown away. Everything was exactly the way I always pictured my 'dream yarn shop' should look. Hardwood floors, exposed brick wall, beautiful natural light, ample (and quite stylish) seating. The yarn is all quite organized and not overly cluttered in any way- quite aesthetically pleasing!

After talking with the owner, Nancy, for a few minutes, I knew that we would become fast friends. We share very similar tastes on all things knitting, which means she has all my favorites in stock: Rowan, Blue Sky Alpaca, Cascade, Spud & Chloe, Debbie Bliss, and many others too! She also stocks beautiful books, including Kim Hargreaves, my favorite designer!

Oh... and she is currently the only shop carrying a new local designer... can you spot my slippers and pattern on the table above?

Although their website has not been fully launched yet, you can visit them online here and stay posted. They will also have a blog once they get everything up and running- I'm so looking forward to that!

If you are in the area you must stop by and say 'hello'! If not, make a day trip- Northville is a beautiful area with many lovely shops to browse. Make sure you end the day with a stop to Guernsey Farms Dairy for some Oatmeal Cookie Ice Cream... you won't be disappointed!