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We Ask the Editors: What Are You Proudest of Making?

Jun 22, 2009

Do you ever wonder what the experts are proudest of making? I thought it might be fun to know what the editors of Interweave Knits, PieceWork, Interweave Crochet, and Spin-Off thought were their finest craft pieces--so I asked them to share the best of the work of their hands with us.

The one knit I'm most proud of is the Rambling Rose Cardigan from Interweave Knits Winter 2006. In a DK weight with lace inserts, raglan shaping, and a long silhouette, it wasn't a quick knit, but I enjoyed the knitting so much I finished it in about a month's time. The yarn is a wool/cashmere blend from Karabella, the fit is very slinky, and I worked the sweater all in one color, unlike the original that uses intarsia for a two-color look. It's a wardrobe staple for me!

--Lisa Shroyer
Senior Editor, Interweave Knits

As long-time Knitting Daily readers know, sometimes it takes me a long time to finish a project (update: I did finish the sweater for my Dad after only twelve years).  So, the fact that it only took me two years to spin, design, and knit this domino sweater for my daughter Hannah gives me great relief. Here’s a picture of Hannah shortly after I finished it in January 2009. The spinning was a piece of cake, it was the knitting that took me a long, long time. The pattern will be in the All New Homespun, Handknit book that will be available this fall from Interweave. 

-- Amy Clarke Moore
Editor, Spin-Off

I first started writing about crafts at the urging of Weta Ray Clark, the Home editor at The News & Observer in Raleigh, NC. She kept nudging and cajoling until I said yes. It was the best idea I never had, that brainstorm of Weta's. Meeting and reporting on crafters was the best fun ever.

So when Weta fell ill with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, I did what I know best: bring together crafters to make a blanket for Weta, whose treatments left her chilled even on the hottest Carolina days. I asked  the newspaper's resident knitters and crocheters to make a strip of fabric 36 inches long. As anyone who has coordinated a blanket knows, everyone has her own tools for measuring, not all related to actual inches. So when the strips came in all sorts of crazy lengths, I laid them out and pondered. Initially, I attempted to make a merry blanket with edgy variable ends; it was quite terrible, soothing to neither eye nor soul. I pulled the strips apart, then kept nudging and cajoling until the strips lined up at the ends. I crocheted them together with various bright yarns, then added a deep crocheted ruffle, to create a bright confection of love.

Weta is no longer with us, but it is because of her that I am with you. I am glad to have helped transform the blanket from a wish to a warmth. It's what crafters do best.

-- Marcy Smith
Editor, Interweave Crochet

My mom was a very skilled and avid knitter. Regardless of what she was working on, she would stop to knit something for me—usually a new Fair Isle to match my latest ski clothes. But one day, I knew it was time, and I asked her to teach me. Although she was a very patient teacher, her eyebrows did raise when I announced that my first complete project would be a red cashmere scarf for my then boyfriend (it worked; he’s now my husband!). She wrote out a pattern, I bought the yarn and needles, and set off. Months and months passed; the planned Christmas gift was now to be a birthday gift; no wait, next Christmas! I finally finished it about two weeks before Christmas and promptly shipped it off to Mom for her to repair the numerous dropped stitches (I hadn’t given her enough time to teach me that part!). As usual, Mom worked wonders; Bob received his handknitted scarf, which he still wears. Of the handmade things I’ve made, I love this scarf the best—thank you, Mom!

--Jeane Hutchins
Editor, PieceWork

What things have you knitted that have made you the most proud? Leave a comment in our Forums--and maybe even upload a photo to the Reader's Gallery!

Thanks to our editors for sharing their proudest moments with us. We're all thrilled to bring good patterns and techniques to you so you can share in crafting and make something you're proud of, too. Need some more inspiration? This week, we have a special offer for those of you who wish to subscribe to all our fiber craft magazines. If you already subscribe to any of these magazines, we'll simply tag on a year to your subscription. We'll continue to supply patterns and information we're proud of and hope you'll continue to create.


Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily.

What's on Sandi's needles? I had to rip back a half-row of stars on the Star Light, Star Bright baby blankie because I dropped a yarn-over or three somewheres...all of a sudden, the stars were leaning a little bit too much to the left! So now I have a proper lifeline installed, as well as extra stitch markers. Onwards!

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DoreenC wrote
on Jun 28, 2009 11:41 AM

Looking at the pictures and reading some of the posts I have come to the conclusion that knitters knit because of Love. You have shared some of the most loving, heartbreaking, tear jerking reasons to knit. Your pride is about more than accomplished stiches and techniques, it is about overcoming, dealing with and celebrating life and all it contains. Thank you all for sharing your love and your stories. We have so much more to be proud of than what comes off our needles!

TerryW wrote
on Jun 27, 2009 10:24 AM

On June 22, 3 years ago my daughter lost twins that she was carrying. We were all devastated. I was in the middle of knitting an intarsia Fairy Themed Baby Blanket for one of the twins, when I got the phone call that her water had broke way too early. When I came home I saw the blanket on my chair just as I left it. I put it away and could not finish it nor pick up any knitting needles. Knitting was and is my life. I am handicapped and home bound with nothing else to do.  Months later at my daughters request she urged me to finish the blanket. I finally did. It got me knitting again. I gave it to her. Which she loves. She entered it in a county fair and it won 1st prize and best in show. It will never make up for our loss but it will always remind us of the love our family has for eachother. She now has a very healthy 2 year old that has a wonderful Farm Blanket. If anyone is on Ravelry you can see them there. I'm Fireislandlady. I will try to attach the pictures here. Terry

shayb wrote
on Jun 26, 2009 9:57 AM

AngelaB -

Can you please forward that email to me, so I can see what it is doing?

I checked my copy and the entire blog did come through.  I would like to try and investigate what is happening with yours.



SisuSocks wrote
on Jun 25, 2009 5:03 PM

I'm crazy about knitting socks, so my proudest achievement so far has been to design and make several original sock patterns -- and they all turned out!  I entered some of my socks in the county fair and won a blue ribbon for my efforts.

ClareanneL@2 wrote
on Jun 24, 2009 5:51 AM

In 1996 I picked up my first copy of "Piecework"   I saved the article"Knitted Cotton Coverlets". Finally in 2004 I made the Coverlet square in fine merino yarn as a shower gift for my niece.  In 2007  I made it again, this time in a gorgeous wool worsted as an heirloom for my daughter.  I was also making "The Great American Aran" afghan for both my daughters, but she instisted she wanted one like "Beth's" .Two weeks ago I gave another niece the converlet square afghan again in worsted for her wedding shower.  You can stick a ball of yarn, and short needles in your pocket and off you go.  Someday I would love to make the "Lace square" in the same article. I only hesitate because it is knit on dbl pnt needles.I am now a subscriber to Piecework and Interweave!  I just can't knit fast enough for my liking. I am most proud to have created true heirlooms for these wonderful women. Wish I knew how to attach the pictures.  Happy knitting!

ClaireL@4 wrote
on Jun 23, 2009 12:14 PM

I was proud when I managed to make some leg warmers for my daughter, a 13 year old dancer. It was tricky because she has those skinny dancer legs so I had to sneak a pair of her leg warmers out of her room, trace them, then fiddle with stitch counts to get a match while also writing down the numbers so I could reproduce it  a second time. And it was a great success. Other items that I have knit for my daughter have lived in her closet (very hard to please a female teen) but this was popped right in her dance bag and worn a lot.

LilyP wrote
on Jun 23, 2009 11:32 AM

Mine was this baby neckdown cardigan with a hood and l love the buttons I chose for it.

JoyJ wrote
on Jun 22, 2009 11:41 PM

the very first project I ever knit and was proud off because it was not a school project was a scarf and beret that was knit in fair-isle. this was the most challenging piece I had ever done, I was around 13years, and was determined to conquer the rows and rows of instructions that went, k1a, k2b, k3c, etc.. this is before charts.. and I finished and gave it to my brother, and he wore them with pride :)

mogurt wrote
on Jun 22, 2009 5:32 PM

When I 19 yrs old, I wrote a pattern for an afgan. It has cables, twists &bobbles. Ive knitted only 6 or 7 times over the past 40 yrss, but each time I make this blanket, pleases me to no end. The last time I knit this afgan was last year. I used an ecco wool and I finaaly made it for myself!

MaS wrote
on Jun 22, 2009 4:13 PM

I never knitted lace before and I saw the russian lace scarf in Piecework and fell in love. I made it for the girlfriend of my youngest son. I have no pictures but it looks sort of like this ( I did it in pewter Zepher).

oh gosh, I do not know how to make that a hyperlink.  Well it can be copied and pasted in a browser.  I hope my scarf is as beautiful as the picture I copied.

I am very proud of myself for finishing that scarf.

marianne in Atlanta

JaimeG wrote
on Jun 22, 2009 1:28 PM

Jean, You would let your cat near a cherished cashmere scarf? I hope she's declawed!

flora@8 wrote
on Jun 22, 2009 1:24 PM

Dear Ms. Smith,

I am a relative of Weta Ray-Clark, we grew up together in Wharton Texas.  Thank you for such a heart felt story.  I have shared it with other family members.  We loved her very much and are glad to know she was also loved by many special people.  I was very suprised by your story.  I crochet and love it.  Again thank you for the story.  May God bless you.

Flora Allen

Houston, TX

otterwise wrote
on Jun 22, 2009 12:58 PM

The thing I am most proud of making/designing would have to be my "Cloud on her Shoulders" shawl. Like many of us, I have lost people near to me from cancer. I know that sometimes the slightest weight is a burden, and that chemo is a very physically chilling experience. So I made this shawl. $1.00 from each pattern sold goes to Susan G, Komen, but an even greater satisfaction is hearing the stories behind the shawls people have made. One person in particular made a Cloud shawl for her mother, who lived in France. She intended it to be a constant reminder to her mom that she was always in her thoughts. Later, when her mom passed, she received the shawl back, and uses it to feel close to her mom. I still get a bit choked up when I think about it.

So, the Cloud on Her Shoulders shawl is the creation of which I am proudest.

If you are interested in the pattern, it may be found on patternfish, and ravelry.

AngelaB wrote
on Jun 22, 2009 12:46 PM

Did you know a part of every email article is missing (compared to the online article)?  Example, the paragraph for Lisa and Amy is missing from my KD email.  This has been happening for months.  Didn't know how else to get the word to you ....