Author Archives: twostrands

About twostrands

Traditional knitting with a colorful twist. Website = MaryAnnStephens.com.

Fishy Booty

…Or, how to get maximum cuteness from one tiny pile of sock yarn scraps… The Fishy Booty design is knit circularly and seamlessly, using mainly garter stitch, with a few priceless little rounds of stranded garter stitch (which is explained … Continue reading

Posted in Knitting, Mary Ann's Designs, Norwegian Knitting, Technique, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Nomad Earflap Hat

Knit in Dale of Norway Hubro yarn at a super speedy, yet oh-so-cozy  3 sts/inch.  Choose any 3 contrasting shades of Hubro; you’ll need 1 ball of each.  (If you have some Hubro on hand, you’ll want an entire 100g … Continue reading

Posted in Knitting, Mary Ann's Designs, Norwegian Knitting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Dale Kits page added for out-of-print goodies

At the top of this page, on the far right, you’ll see a new “Dale Kits” tab.  Click it and you’ll land on a new page here on the Two Strands blog where I’m building the long, and growing, list … Continue reading

Posted in Free Knitting Patterns, Knitting, New From Dale of Norway | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Two New Knitting Classes – Stranded Mittens and Circular Booties

Please note: These classes took place in 2011; they are not offered currently. I had a wonderful time teaching the Fair Isle Hat class at Keep Me In Stitches a few weeks ago.  In fact, I think everybody had a … Continue reading

Posted in Knitting, Knitting Classes, Mary Ann's Designs, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Perfect Mitten Blockers, on the Cheap

Right about now, I’d guess quite a few of you are finishing up Mitten #2, and you’re looking forward to that sparkling moment when you present your beautiful work to a (hopefully deserving and endlessly appreciative) special someone.  Before you … Continue reading

Posted in Knitting, Mary Ann's Designs, Miscellaneous, Technique | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Zinnia Mittens, Twist Collective Winter 2011

Yippee, the new Twist Collective is out!  There are so many beautiful designs in this issue! I’m honored to have my Zinnia mittens among them: The links: Zinnia on Twist Collective, main pattern page Zinnia on Twist Collective, detail page … Continue reading

Posted in Knitting, Mary Ann's Designs, Norwegian Knitting, On Twist Collective, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Snowbird Hat

My Snowbird Hat, knit in Dale of Norway’s Hubro, a tremendously soft, chunky 100% wool yarn which knits up in a blink.  The PDF for this design is sold through Ravelry.

Posted in Knitting, Mary Ann's Designs, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’ll be teaching a class for my Vogue Knitting hat

Please note: This class was offered in 2011; it is not offered currently. I’ll be teaching a class for my Vogue Knitting Fair Isle Hat #08 this November / December with the wonderful folks at Keep Me In Stitches, here … Continue reading

Posted in Knitting, Mary Ann's Designs, Norwegian Knitting, Technique, Uncategorized, Vogue Knitting | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Creating Knitting Pattern PDFs

I’m often asked “What special software packages do you use to create your knitting pattern PDFs?” and the apparently surprising answer is “Nothing special, really!”  Ninety-nine percent of my work is done in Microsoft Excel (for charts) and Word (for … Continue reading

Posted in Knitting, Mary Ann's Designs, Technique, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Snow Day Hat…

…or “How I Survived A Sweltering September With One Easy Project”: And all it took was 2 balls of Dale of Norway Freestyle yarn (plus a lot of wishful thinking.) Are you starting to “Think Snow”, too?  Here’s the PDF, … Continue reading

Posted in Knitting, Mary Ann's Designs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dale Book NR 235: “Julevott Adventkalender”

That’s Dale of Norway’s Book NR 235 and it’s in stock (for now) at Kidsknits.com.  It includes instructions for several winter and Christmastime gifts to knit, such as hats, mittens, scarves, afghans, ornaments, etc., including the “Julevott Adventkalender” (mini-Christmas mitten … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to make a tassel

A few folks have asked me how I made the tassel on my Fair Isle Hat that’s in the Fall 2011 edition of Vogue Knitting.  Not too surprisingly, to save space and to fit more designs into their biggest issue … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ruth’s Tiger Lily

I want to share with you a wonderful photo I recently received from a very talented customer: That’s Ruth modeling her green version of my old Tiger Lily Jacket design.  Isn’t her knitting just beautiful?!  And I love those Falk … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fair Isle Hat in Vogue Knitting Fall 2011 – chart errata

There are few things I enjoy more than bumming around bookstores, so I generally prefer to pick and choose my knitting magazines from my favorite stores, rather than to receive them all via subscription.  Recent events might force me to … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fair Isle Hat, Vogue Knitting Fall 2011

ETA: Link to PDF available through Vogue Knitting. That’s my “#08 Fair Isle Hat” that just came out in Vogue Knitting Fall 2011.  While I was waiting for the black and white Cascade 220 Sport to arrive from Vogue Knitting … Continue reading

Posted in Knitting, Mary Ann's Designs, Vogue Knitting | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A few Heilo shades added to the Yarn on Sale page

Check out the updated Yarn on Sale page – I’ve added 4 discontinued shades of Heilo – yep, H-E-I-L-O –  to the clearance page!

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Dale’s Ladybug design in my Girlybug colorway

Dale of Norway has an extraordinary number of beloved designs for children, but I guess the most beloved of all would have to be their “Marihone”, or “Ladybug”, sweater. I have more than a few customers whose first reaction, upon … Continue reading

Posted in Knitting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Booties for a Special Day

OMG, these were so much fun to make!  I’ve done so many adult-sized things lately that I had nearly forgotten the thrill that comes from the quick turnaround of knitting little babies’ things.  Of course, I wasn’t looking for lightening … Continue reading

Posted in Knitting, Mary Ann's Designs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Wintergarden now available as PDF through Ravelry

I have two quick bits of news for you.  First, I’ve finally gotten around to formatting my ladies’ Wintergarden Pullover as a PDF and it’s now available through Ravelry. Secondly, it turns out Gracie is a knitter!  (I guess that … Continue reading

Posted in Knitting, Mary Ann's Designs, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Links to the 3 new Dale books on Kidsknits.com

Oslo 2011 Book 228 Baby Book 229 Kids Book 230

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Yarn on Sale

I’ve just made a bunch of updates to the “Yarn on Sale” page.  (See also top right of menu.) Definitely check it out – there are some beautiful deals here!  Since they’re predominantly discontinued yarns, email me at mas “AT” … Continue reading

Posted in Knitting, Miscellaneous, Special Sales | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Dale Books: Oslo 2011 NR 228, Baby NR 209 and Kids NR 230

We’ve just received a shipment of three brand new Dale books, with instructions in English.  Hopefully, they’ll be up on the website before long. But, in the meantime, click on the links below to see gorgeous full screen PDF photos … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tulip Mittens, a Fair Isle / Norwegian / Turkish stranded knitting design

I knit my ladies’ Tulip Mittens in 3 shades of Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift jumper weight wool –  two 25g balls for the medium blue, “Merlin”, one ball of the light “Natural White” and one ball of the dark “Prussian Blue”.  … Continue reading

Posted in Knitting, Mary Ann's Designs, Special Sales, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Happy Thanksgiving – a free chart

Click on the image to see a larger, clearer version.

Posted in Free Knitting Patterns, Mary Ann's Designs, Miscellaneous, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rosalia Encore: the longer version

I used Dale of Norway Falk for my original Rosalia, mainly because of the great range of colors available in that line.  But there are plenty of other sport weight yarn options you could use, like Dale of Norway Heilo … Continue reading

Posted in Blogroll, Knitting, Mary Ann's Designs, On Twist Collective, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Rosalia: a Fair Isle / Norwegian / Asian design

My “Rosalia” is now out in the Winter 2010 edition of Twist Collective. For those of you asking “What was she thinking?!?!?!?!”, I offer the following excuses: When I was a child, unless it was Christmas or Easter, we simply … Continue reading

Posted in Knitting, Mary Ann's Designs, On Twist Collective, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The dearest beast is dead, long live the dearest beast!

Ah, autumn, at last!  I hope you all had wonderful times this summer.  We did, too, although the summer began with great sadness: we lost our dearest beast, Bubba.  He was 14 1/2 years old – downright ancient for a … Continue reading

Posted in Free Knitting Patterns, Knitting, Mary Ann's Designs, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

“Norwegian Sweater Techniques for Today’s Knitter” by Therese Chynoweth

I’ve been looking forward to getting my hands on “Norwegian Sweater Techniques for Today’s Knitter” by the wonderful Therese Chynoweth. At last, it made its merry way to my desk last week.  What a treat!  I’m so delighted by this … Continue reading

Posted in Knitting, Miscellaneous, Technique, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Amaryllis Hat knitting pattern PDF added to Ravelry

Okay, okay, I give up! I’ve just added the PDF for my ladies’ Amaryllis Hat to my Ravelry store. It just kills me to say “No!” to knitters! When the Amaryllis Hat debuted on my Kidsknits.com site a few months … Continue reading

Posted in Knitting, Mary Ann's Designs, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A blue by any other name

<a name=”2645695659″></a> I get all sorts of interesting emails from my customers.  This morning, I received an interesting question that sparked off a delightful inquiry.  I hope you’ll enjoy the results as much as I did. The question: “On the … Continue reading

Posted in Knitting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Answering the dreaded PDF question

I like knitting pattern PDFs.  I’ve bought a few myself.  In fact, even though I’m usually more inclined to relish diving into a long, deliciously-complicated, painstakingly drawn out design process for most anything I knit, I needed to knit a … Continue reading

Posted in Mary Ann's Designs, On Twist Collective | 9 Comments

Amaryllis Hat, a Fair Isle / Norwegian knitting design for a ladies’ hat

My new ladies’ Amaryllis Hat coordinates with my old Amaryllis Mittens.  Kits for the hat and/or mittens are now available through my Kidsknits site.

Posted in Knitting, Mary Ann's Designs, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vancouver – Back at it!

I had a little time this weekend to finally get back to my Vancouver v-neck.  The solid portions make for great spectator knitting but, boy, am I ever happy to be back into colorwork!

Posted in Knitting, New From Dale of Norway, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vancouver V-neck 21302 – errata

I’m plugging along happily on my Dale of Norway Vancouver V-neck. However, I have stumbled across a couple of minor errors in their Vancouver V-neck #21302 pattern that I thought I’d mention, since I know many of you are just … Continue reading

Posted in New From Dale of Norway, Uncategorized, Vancouver 2010 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Polar Chullo on Winter ’09 Twist Collective – a Fair Isle earflap hat design

Polar Chullo, sized for adults, knit in Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift That’s my Polar Chullo design which you can now find in the Winter 2009 Edition of Twist Collective.  The pattern, either printed or as an emailed PDF,  yarn packs and kits (pattern … Continue reading

Posted in Mary Ann's Designs, On Twist Collective, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

A dpn bag with a pedigree

Remember “Home Ec” class?  If yours was anything like mine, maybe we shouldn’t even dredge those dreary memories up.  Fast forward to 2009 and I bet you’ll be impressed with some of the ideas that are swirling around the “Family … Continue reading

Posted in Miscellaneous, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vancouver Progress Report #2

I’m just past the base of the neckline now.  I think it really helps to put a marker on either side of those steek stitches so that you know exactly where to make your decreases:

Posted in Knitting, New From Dale of Norway, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Transatlantic Name Calling

Last week, all eleven new Heilo colors arrived.  What fun! Delving into that colorful pile of woolly goodness brought back memories of leaping into piles of freshly-raked leaves and revelling in nature’s colors or filling goodie bags from the candy … Continue reading

Posted in Knitting, New From Dale of Norway, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vancouver V-neck progress report #1

All three of my sons play football,  so I’m a very busy spectator, this time of the year.  Vancouver is the perfect project for my purpose – simple enough that I can blast through the stockinette portions without missing any … Continue reading

Posted in Knitting, New From Dale of Norway, Technique, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Boggled by Toggles

Have any of you seen the ready-to-wear version of the Dale of Norway Vancouver sweater? You can see a great photo of it here.  Now compare that one to the handknit version shown in DofN’s Vancouver 2010 Book 213 here.  … Continue reading

Posted in Knitting, New From Dale of Norway, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Birds of All Feathers – a stranded and felted knitting design

The “Birds of All Feathers Bag” pattern is for sale as a downloadable, personal-use PDF through Ravelry. The first time I was out in the world on my own, I encountered one particular problem: Apparently, I was too friendly.  I … Continue reading

Posted in Knitting, Mary Ann's Designs, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Decisions, decisions…Fun with choosing yarn colors

I really want to make the new Vancouver v-neck, but I’m not the copying type. As much as I like the light blue model… I feel the need for a different colorway. So… I’ve been playing around with some possibilities. … Continue reading

Posted in Knitting, New From Dale of Norway, Technique, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 21 Comments

Vancouver 2010 is in!

Just a quick post to let you know it’s here; I’ll post links as soon as Phil gets a chance to add it to the site. (BTW, it’s $13.95 + s/h) Update:  here’s the link to the Vancouver book on … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Two Strands Headband, a free knitting pattern

Some folks in my Two Strands Ravelry group recently asked me to recommend a great project for a first try at stranded knitting.  I could point out a few  fine places to start but, to tell you the truth, I … Continue reading

Posted in Blogroll, Free Knitting Patterns, Knitting, Mary Ann's Designs, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

First Glimpse

Although the US pattern booklet for Dale of Norway’s new Olympic design won’t be released until mid to late August (whaaaaa!), they’ve sent out a peek at some of their new designs for Vancouver: Of course, there will be the … Continue reading

Posted in Blogroll, Knitting, New From Dale of Norway | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Marisa brings Høxbro to the nursery

Once in a while, I’m lucky enough to receive photos of some of the truly gorgeous work my customers do.  Here’s one showing a magnificent baby blanket, knit by Marisa from Portland, OR.  Marisa used Dale of Norway Baby Ull … Continue reading

Posted in Blogroll, Knitting | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Like the blog? Join the group!

I’ve just started my own Ravelry group, “Two Strands”.  I’m hoping it will grow into a fun place to discuss stranded knitting in general and my work in particular.  You’re all welcome to join in the fun, talk about whatever … Continue reading

Posted in Blogroll, Knitting, Mary Ann's Designs, New From Dale of Norway, Technique | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vancouver 2010 in Fall 2009!

I’ve just hung up from a conversation with folks at Dale of Norway US and, boy, do I ever have good news for knitters!  There will be a Vancouver 2010 Dale of Norway sweater for the Olympics.  It’s scheduled to … Continue reading

Posted in Blogroll, Knitting, New From Dale of Norway | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Free Knitting Patterns from Dale on Kidsknits

Dale of Norway has just issued several free – yep, you read that right…”free”  – knitting patterns as PDFs for ladies’ summer knitting.  We’ve just put them up on my Kidsknits site. You’ll find them here. Have fun!

Posted in Blogroll, Free Knitting Patterns, New From Dale of Norway, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sleepy Monkey Blanket, a reversible stranded baby blanket knitting design

Monkster has something he’d like to show you: That’s my Sleepy Monkey Blanket which I designed for the Spring 2009 edition of Twist Collective. No, that’s not a second blanket – it’s reversible! Nifty, huh? My 3 boys aren’t babies … Continue reading

Posted in Blogroll, Knitting, Mary Ann's Designs, Norwegian Knitting, On Twist Collective | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Postwar Mittens on Winter 2008 Twist Collective – a stranded knitting design

Woohoo! The Winter 2008 issue of Twist Collective is out and guess who got a chance to join in the fun: Click here to go straight to my mittens. (Thankfully, they’re infinitely better with the camera than I am. And … Continue reading

Posted in Blogroll, Knitting, Mary Ann's Designs, Norwegian Knitting, On Twist Collective | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Steeks

A number of knitters have been looking around this blog, wondering where the heck I’ve hidden my steeks article. Actually, it’s on my Kidsknits store site, right where it’s always been. You can get to it through the menu bar … Continue reading

Posted in Knitting, Mary Ann's Designs, Norwegian Knitting, Technique | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Chrysanthemum Mittens – a free knitting pattern for ladies’ Norwegian mittens

UPDATE:  This pattern has been moved to my new knitting website, MaryAnnStephens.com.  Here’s a link directly to the free Chrysanthemum Mittens page.

Posted in Free Knitting Patterns, Knitting, Mary Ann's Designs, Norwegian Knitting | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Fair Isle Repeat Offenders – managing motif layouts in Fair Isle knitting

We all learned at a very young age that even numbers split nicely and odd numbers create those troublesome leftovers, remainders. For some, that thought alone is the only seed needed to sprout an appreciation for optimal knitting design layout. … Continue reading

Posted in Knitting, Mary Ann's Designs, Technique | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Chrysanthemum Mittens and the Mystery of Hauk vs Heilo

UPDATE:  This post discussed the fine points between the two long-ago-discontinued yarns used for this free pattern.  While I can’t get you those yarns anymore, my free Chrysanthemum Mittens knitting pattern pdf is available on my new website, MaryAnnStephens.com.  Here’s … Continue reading

Posted in Blogroll, Free Knitting Patterns, Knitting, Mary Ann's Designs, Norwegian Knitting | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

How to knit a hem

A few knitters have asked me lately how I finish a knitted hem. I just came across the above old photo and thought it might be useful in answering that question. This photo shows how I slipstitch the hem inside … Continue reading

Posted in Knitting, Norwegian Knitting, Technique | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Monkster Gets Stranded – Free Knitting Pattern for a Fair Isle style teddy bear sweater

I’ve just added the free knitting pattern for these Norwegian Teddy Bear sweaters to my Kidsknits.com site. You’ll find links to this and a few other free knitting patterns I’ve designed on the left-hand side of my homepage, Kidsknits. You … Continue reading

Posted in Blogroll, Free Knitting Patterns, Knitting, Mary Ann's Designs, Norwegian Knitting | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Svale Tank Book 172

And now, for something completely different! Ordinarily, if I want to produce wonderful effects with color, 99% of the time, I prefer stranded knitting over other methods. It’s a very rare day that I’m working on a monochrome project, such … Continue reading

Posted in New From Dale of Norway | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Rosy Outlook Vest – a Fair Isle style knitting design

I’ve just finished my new Rosy Outlook Vest. It’s made in 7 colors of Dale of Norway “Daletta” 100% washable wool. It’s knit at a gauge of 27×27. That’s slightly looser than the ball band gauge of 28×38 – the … Continue reading

Posted in Blogroll, Knitting, Mary Ann's Designs | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Grafting 911 – How to save your knitting with kitchener stitch

Knitting patterns start with the presumption that we will all follow every direction to a “T”. Experience teaches us that none of us is perfect, and, no matter the skill level, we will all eventually make some mistakes. Furthermore, it … Continue reading

Posted in Blogroll, Knitting, Norwegian Knitting, Technique | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments