Elinor Brown Knits

Knitting Designs by Elinor Brown

Category: blogger meetups

Chevron Love Mittens

Back in the Great Mitten Swap of ’08 in Boston, Julia Vesper made Maritza the most divine pair of handspun, hand-dyed, hand knit (and lined) chevron mittens. No one could leave them alone! We were all so very jealous of that lucky Maritza! You can imagine how excited I was to test knit her beautiful Chevron Love Mitten pattern last month! When she told me to pick any eight colors of the Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport line, I floundered. I think it’s safe to say that I have a problem with this yarn. Did I not recently write about this large Nature Spun remnant stash consisting only of reds/oranges and blues? What colors do you think I picked for my mittens?

Knitterly Things Chevron Love Mitten kit

As if I could resist…

A finished pair! 

Pattern: Chevron Love Mittens by Julia Vesper (pattern available on Ravelry, kits sold out but soon to be available again in the Knitterly Things shop)

Yarn: Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport

Needles: US 2.5 (3.0 mm)


Chevron Love Mittens by Julia Vesper

Aren’t the chevrons just lovely? The mittens and the free matching hat pattern also warm my stashbusting heart. This is a fantastic way to use up scraps. I would recommend Julia’s clear, straightforward patterns to anyone. Also, the color pairings she put together in her kits are truly inspired. 

Thumb gore

Although I have yet to block my mittens, I am thrilled with how they turned out. I should say, I had intended to soak these in a large wool wash this weekend to pack away my winter woolens, but then it snowed. Lesson learned. Never pack away wool before summer.

Boston Mitten Party

Another season, another knitterly meetup! This weekend, I met some dear friends in Boston for a knitting reunion, of sorts. We knit cowls like mad for our weekend in Philadelphia last spring but this time around, it was all about mittens. Sarah, Minty, Jennie, Megan, Julia V, Pam, Julia F, Nova, Ashley and I descended upon Boston knitters Maritza, Diana and Caro. Sadly, Staci, Meg and Christy couldn’t make it. However, Christy sent us happy and sad faces of herself so we carried her pictures around with us and photographed her doing peculiar things. Many local Boston area knitters came out to join the fun too! It was great to see Kathy, Maryse, Danielle, Femiknitmafia, Amy, Stitchy, Melissa, Kellee Adrian and Jess. I am sure I missed someone because so many people came! Of course, a knitblogger meetup of this size required a trip to WEBS, the overwhelming warehouse of yarn in Northampton. I exercised great restraint and managed to leave only $25 poorer.

On Thursday, I will post photos of the beautiful mittens Pam made me! As it is, I cannot seem to get the raw images off my camera so it will have to wait until I get home. But trust me on this one, Pam outdid herself on this pattern!

Pam made me some really badass mittens

I designed some very simple argyle mittens for Julia Vesper. Let us call them Vespergyle mittens, shall we?

Vespergyle Mittens

Vespergyle Mittens

Pattern: Vespergyle Mittens (Ravelry link)

Yarn: Harrisville New England Shetland

Needles: US 1.5

Click here for the free pattern!

Welcome, summer!

Thanks for your sweet comments about my new cowl pattern. You should see some of the others too: Nova’s Birthday Cowl, Caro’s Philly Cowl and I’m certain that Ashley and Minty are working up their patterns as I type! Look for them in the coming weeks because nothing says summer like cowl knitting.

While mowing last week, Aaron found a rabbit nest a mere five feet from our tomato garden. I had already noticed some leaves nibbled down to stumps. Sadly, this could not remain. The rabbits can have any plants but tomatoes! Lawanna told me how to move the burrow and so that’s what we did this weekend.

Moving a rabbit nest

Between this and a trip to a nearby farm with chickens, geese, turkeys, ducks, peacocks and ponies, Beatrix squeezed a whole childhood’s worth of Nature into two days. She was delighted, terrified and, most importantly, exhausted.

What's in the bucket?

And as for the bunnies, there were five of them and all five are still alive and settling nicely into the new burrow. I feel terribly guilty about uprooting helpless babies so I’ve been checking in on them every day.

I took some time this weekend to work on a few sewing projects. Here is the latest addition to the toddler wardrobe.

Blue daisy dress

Pattern: Butterick 3782

Fabric: Feedsack III Daisies – Blue by Windham Fabrics

I bought three yards of this on eBay last winter so you will certainly see more of it in the future. I used about a yard of it and made the size 2 dress, which is a little big (wide) but otherwise fits well. These tank dresses make diaper changes a breeze and allow lots of room to grow. I also like the idea of dressing my daughter in something that is not bubblegum pink from Target.

It's not my best zipper

While my zippering skills have improved, I admit that I ripped out two zippers this weekend. I am surprised and relieved that this zipper looks clean (there was a great deal of cursing setting it in).


The pleats were supposed to be basted in place until the bodice and skirt were sewn together. However, I rather liked how the stitching looked so I left it in place.

She thinks it's OK.

Lastly, I keep meaning to blog the lovely socks I knit in transit to Philadelphia last weekend. As I was catching up on blog reads this morning, I saw that Tiennie practically wrote my post for me! As it turns out, we both started a pair of socks with some Sundara yarn on the way to Philadelphia, we traveled to the same yarn shops and we finished our socks on the way home. The travesty is that we missed each other by mere days!! I suppose this means I should be looking for excuses to travel to Seattle!

Fancy Silk Socks

Pattern: Fancy Silk Socks for a Child of 5 or 6 Years from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush

Yarn: Sundara Sock in “Dahlia” from Nova

Modifications: I separated the cuff and the leg with two rows of purl. Also, I did not knit the lacy cables down the stockinette ribs because I thought it looked like overkill in the book. As it turns out, I should have waited a day or two for Terhi’s magnificent version. I might need to give these another try. Katy also just started a pair. See? All the cool kids are doing it. You need a pair.

Fancy Silk Socks

As it turns out, I missed a glaring error with the one sock until it came time to take the FO pictures: one of my lace panels abruptly stops on its way to the heel flap. I would never frog a sock back to the heel once the pair is deemed finished so I will live with a little imperfection. Pam sealed the deal by pointing out that less lace will make the heel more sturdy in shoes.

See how that lace pattern doesn't continue? Oops.

In the end, a 72-hour pair of socks? What a deal. I wonder if this is what it would be like to be unemployed and kid-free (or, in college) as a knitter. I could knit the world socks! Stay tuned for more sewing and a mad rash of startitis!

I left my heart in Philadelphia

Last Friday, I took my last exam then promptly drove to the airport to meet up with Ashley, Caro, Christy, Diana, Jennie, Julia, Maritza, Megan, Minty, Nova, Pam and Specs in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, Nova hurt her back and Jennie got sick (and then got a PhD!) so I missed them, providing plenty of reasons to plan another knitting weekend. The rest of us communed over good food and even better yarn for a weekend of knitting-related silliness fun.

KBC v1.0

(check out Flickr for details and photo credits)

I scored an amazing cowl in a little swap we planned. Diana knit me the most beautiful, silky blue cowl in a traveling rib pattern.

cowl by bestitched

Would it be in bad taste to wear it every day? I cannot stop looking at my lovely cowl; the color is very striking!

lovely silk

Look at the stitch definition! Stunning! The yarn is Tilli Thomas Fil de la Mer and its content is 70% silk and 30% sea cell.

eye catching stitch pattern

I knit a cowl for Minty out of Blue Sky Alpacas Alpaca & Silk held together with Plymouth Royal Llama Silk. Actually, I knit three cowls for this swap (more on the other two later). I could not decide which one she would prefer so I brought all three and let Minty choose.

A cowl for Minty

She picked the first one I made! I admit to liking this one the best, even if it is the simplest of the three. Here’s Beatrix modeling it before I left.

Minty's Cowl

Pattern: modified Gloria Cowl

Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas Alpaca Silk (in Mandarin) and Plymouth Royal Llama Silk (in #1880)

Needles: US 8

In the interest of brevity, I will save the other cowls and the pair of socks that I started and finished over the weekend (incredible!) for my next post. After Maryland Sheep & Wool this year, Lolly commented the dread she felt about the post-festival blog post: there is so much to say, so many pictures, so many links. I feel the same way about my weekend in Philly. For that reason, I will let Flickr do the rest of the talking. Needless to say, it was great fun and I look forward to a sequel!

Catching Up!

Thanks for your positive comments about the new design and the new pattern! It’s good to be back. It’s been a busy month chez ExerciseBeforeKnitting and I’ve missed all of my blog friends quite a bit! Fortunately, I was able to meet up with one of those bloggers in real life last weekend! Aaron, Beatrix and I were in Portland for a family event and staying on the same block as Knit/Purl so I met Christy there for some great stash expansion and terrible photo-taking. We had a great time and we both came home with some Shi Bui sock yarn and cheap Rowan Kid Classic.


I have three or four scarves made out of Kid Classic so I thought I’d add to the color range with some red. Every summer for the last few years, my LYS has sold this for cheap at a sidewalk sale and I’ve made scarves with it. I don’t believe I could ever stand a sweater made partly of mohair but it does make a light but very warm scarf.


Since my Sunrise Circle was almost done when I left for Portland, I threw a new project in my bag so that I wouldn’t have to carry around a huge, bulky sweater. It was the most rational thing to do, really! I cast on for DROPS Jacket No. 91-8 with some Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Coal. Because I couldn’t quite make the stitch gauge, I imagine my jacket will overlap in front a bit but I’m fine with that. I’ll probably buy a nice pin to tack it closed. I now have the fronts, the back and one sleeve done with another sleeve and lots of border ribbing to go. And then there’s the seaming on the Sunrise Circle…


That’s a big pile of pieces in need of seaming. *sigh* These days, it’s easy to work in knitting time while studying but finishing requires my full attention so it will have to wait!