Hi Knitty Gritty Fans!


There have been a LOT of changes on the web since my episode aired back in 2007! You may have noticed that the pattern is no longer available on the DIY website. I’m not sure why it’s gone from there.

Here’s the new link to the free pattern.

I hope that you enjoy it!

Book Review: Ori Ami Knits

Ori Ami Knits by Olga Buraya-Kefelian and Vanessa Yap-Edmund

Though it came out earlier this year (copyright is 2010) this book just recently found its way into my hands. I’d seen the photos of the garments on Flickr, but hadn’t had a chance before now to read the text and look at the patterns. I’m really impressed by this book!

The layout is very understated (and sophisticated) and the text is easy to read, printed on a while background. Each piece is sized with at least TEN (and sometimes MORE!) sizes, from a 32-inch bust to a 50-inch bust! The schematics are clear and give LOTS of measurements, so that you’ll easily be able to choose the proper size, and see right away if you need to make any modifications for fit. Ori Ami Knits is self-published, and is really at the high end of what that can mean. It’s a hard-bound book, printed on high-quality glossy (but not too shiny) paper, with full-color photos throughout. The photos show the garments from all angles, and the model (Olga herself!) is not obscuring any parts of the garments, so that you really know how things are going to look and fit. I’m sure that each garment was also knit to fit Olga, and nothing is pinned or taped. What you see is what you will create.

I’m known for knitting from the top down, but I’m not immune to the beauty that seamed garments can possess. Because of my background in science (specifically Crystallography) I especially love pieces that use geometric shapes in interesting ways.

This quotation from the introduction to Ori Ami Knits is a great descriptor of what you’ll find inside its cover:

“Folding. Pleating. Draping. Combining textures. These are the concepts driving this collection.”

Olga Buraya-Kefelian is known for the way that she plays with knit fabric, sometimes layering strips of fabric to create a garment, like this one from Interweave Knits:

Or gracefully folding and draping the front panel of a garment, as in this sweater (also IK):
Akomeogi Tunic::IK Summer 2009

In Ori Ami Knits, Olga and her co-designers take the concept of knit fabric manipulation to another level. They create cubes, diamonds, and trapezoids, as well as soft clouds, dimensional draping, and gauzy layers.

(For larger images, view the Ori Ami Knits collection on Flickr.)

The book really stands apart from other knitting books in that the garments are designed from an intellectual standpoint, and are pieced together in ingenious ways. Each piece has something interesting about its construction, whether it’s an asymmetrical front panel, drawstrings at the shoulders, or ingenious layering of fabrics. Ori Ami Knits is designed to keep your interest as you knit and at the same time add artistic, well-fitting garments to your wardrobe. Ori Ami Knits has its own website with information about its authors, photos of the knits, and a page where you can place your order. So far, the book isn’t listed on Amazon.com, but you CAN special order it through your local knitting store.

Digging out from under the pile of LATE WORK

Office window, complete with leaves falling down outside.
Looking out my office window…golden sun, golden leaves falling down.

Here I am in the office with 2 hours and 15 minutes to myself! What to do?

I’ve got one more pattern from the early deliveries of my new book to edit. I have two deadlines, one for the first 10 patterns, one for the second. I turned in 10 last month, and they’re ALREADY back for first edits!

I have 10 more patterns to write (and 10 more sweaters to knit with the help of my friend Cathi.) I also have two sessions of “Convert Flat Patterns to Circular Knits” going now, and a session of “Design Your Own Shawl” starting on the 30th, and my in person fingerless mitts class in two weeks.

So, there’s a plethora of things to work on.

I’m not really sure how things got so backed up on the to do list. I think part of it goes back to my mom’s illness. She’s doing well, but at the time she went into the hospital, she was our only babysitter. After her surgery (she had a blockage in her carotid artery removed) she’s been focusing on her health and spending time with her friends, which is AWESOME! At the same time, we’ve gone from seeing her every day to two or less days a week.

I think that what happened is that I had planned my fall schedule thinking I’d have more help with the kids. When you freelance / work for yourself you have to plan months in advance. I think I was in a slow time (summer) and just stacked too much on my plate, thinking that it’d all work out.

And it IS working out, but just much much more slowly than I had envisioned.

So, my apologies to the people who may be waiting on me! There IS hope!

We recently hired our first ever babysitter! She’s coming 3 mornings a week to just be here and play with Mazie and Olive while I work in my office. It’s really nice because we’re all here together, but I can kind of sneak into the next room and work while I listen to them play. Her name is Maya and she’s a really awesome fiber artist and GREAT with kids. I’ll post about her one of these days!

OK, now we’re down to 2 hours worktime left….I’d better see to that To Do list!

Today we really took advantage of the fall weather.


Usually my mom takes the girls on Tuesdays, but today it didn’t work out. We had a pretty busy day, and had lots of Girl Time. I love Girl Time. (Though, truth be told, I probably could have used a day of solid work!)

We started out at the library. On Tuesdays at 10:30, they do a Toddler Time with finger plays, songs, stories, and a puppet show. Today’s was especially interesting because Miss Sandy, the children’s librarian was sick, so another librarian took over. Sandy is really mellow and sweet, and today’s was really deep-voiced and highly animated. She also used a felt board, which really switched it up.

I wish I had some pictures from that, but they don’t like you to take pics because there are so many little kids (whose parents may or may not want their kids’ photos on the internet.)

Mazie really likes to dance, so she’s always up front and center. She also likes to be the first one to hug the teacher at the end. On Fridays at Rythm Roundup, they break up into Snuggle Partners at the end and play “Rainbow Connection” with the lights dimmed. The first week that we went, Mazie was MY snuggle partner, but lately she wants to snuggle one of the teachers. She can somehow tell that there’s a certain status about the teachers, I think. You’ll think this is totally cheezey, but the first time we went and snuggled to Rainbow Connection, I cried. I’m not kidding. I remember seeing that Muppet Move in the THEATER when it first came out. It was so unreal to be holding my babies and hearing that song!

After the library, we went to the park to play. I took a whole bunch of pictures!


Olive Bea

sliding down

After the park, we met Nathan for lunch. Actually, Mazie wouldn’t get in the car, so Nathan drove to meet us and then we all went together.

Olive, Mazie, Nathan

Mazie and Olive do really well “out to eat.” They make a big mess, but they really behave well.

Mazie and Nathan

After lunch, we went to ANOTHER park and walked around and did some swinging. Then it was naptime. Then pretty soon, Nathan was home from work and we started the dinner-bath-stories-bed routine.

The days go so fast.

I’m teaching LIVE…at home and away

…a new design for fingerless gloves. Do you like my subtle “Zia” pattern??

Spending today getting everyone ready for the weekend! We (Me, Nathan, and Olive) leave tomorrow for Alexandria, VA, and Mazie’s going to spend the weekend with Grandma!

I’ll be teaching to a sold-out classroom at Fibre Space, which is always a total treat. I’ve known Danielle, the owner, for years and we always have a good time! It’ll be a 2-day workshop on how to design your own sweater. The sessions are going to take place in an Irish Pub!! Woo! Can’t wait!! It’s going to be so fun to get out of town, especially to an area that we spent a lot of time! (I went to grad school in Baltimore.)


Mazie had gymnastics this morning, and though I don’t have any pics, let me assure you that it was FUN. She’s learning how to listen to the teacher, wait in line, do the (I want to call them “tricks”, but I know it’s something else) in the correct order…and share with people. It’s really great. All the while she’s also burning off a LOT of energy and learning to move her body. Love gymnastics!!


All these fingerless glove photos are showing up because I just decided to teach a workshop locally at The Studio at La Buena Vida. Guess what…it’s a class on Fair Isle fingerless gloves. The class will teach the basics of Fair Isle, while also teaching colorwork in the round, thumb gusset, stretchy cast-ons and a picot bind-off. I think fingerless gloves are a great accessory for New Mexicans, especially those of us in the South! We don’t really need full-on mittens here, but we want cute little fall / winter accessories to knit!


The class will be on November 20 & 27 from 1-4.
If you’re interested, call The Studio (575-589-4323) for more information and to sign up.