Ruminations on knitting at 3 a.m. and home of the Giganto-blanket.

Ruminations about knitting at 3 a.m.

Hyperion Pullover

Hyperion Pullover by Laura Birek

Hyperion Pullover

I’m so happy to announce my latest pattern for Knit Picks: my Hyperion Pullover!

It’s named after the winding and hilly Hyperion Avenue in Los Angeles — home of the first Walt Disney Studios, inspiration to Joss Whedon and Angel, and just-plain-cool street near me!

Hyperion Pullover

The pullover is knit flat cuff-to-cuff, then the body stitches are picked up in the round and knit down seamlessly.


The idea was to have a light, airy, summer-y top you could layer over a camisole (or even a bathing suit!) — and the honeycomb lace stitch across the yoke and armholes gives just enough hint of skin without being too revealing.

Hyperion Pullover

The pattern is part of the Golden Morning collection, which you can get as an eBook or printed copy. You can also buy each of the patterns individually, if you like things a bit more a la carte.

I’d recommend buying the whole book because it’s an amazing deal — 15 projects for $14.99! That’s hard to beat! The rest of the patterns are gorgeous. Two of my favorites are the Astonish Top by Katy Banks and River Walk Pullover by Erica Jackofsky.



Aren’t they gorgeous?

28 (32, 36, 40, 44, 48, 52, 56, 60)” finished bust measurement; garment is meant to be worn with 0″ of ease

Knit Picks Comfy Fingering (75% Pima Cotton, 25% Acrylic; 218 yards/50g): Blackberry 24824, 4 (4, 5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 8, 8) balls

US 3 (3.25mm) straight or circular needles, or size to obtain Sleeve/Yoke gauge
US 5 (3.75mm) 24″ circular needles (or longer for sizes 40″ and above), or size to obtain Body gauge

Yarn Needle
Stitch Markers
Split-ring Markers or Safety Pins Scrap Yarn or Stitch Holder
Size F Crochet Hook (optional)

28 sts and 32 rows = 4″ with smaller needles over Honeycomb Lace Stitch, blocked, for Sleeves/Yoke
24 sts and 32 rows = 4″ with smaller needles in St st, blocked, for Sleeves/Yoke. (Because gauge is difficult to measure in the Honeycomb Stitch, a St st gauge is included for reference)
22 sts and 28 rows = 4″ with larger needles in St st worked in the round, blocked, for

Hemlock Ring Baby Jacket


hemlock-ring jacket

I don’t know about you, but I’m downright obsessed with Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed. I made one of his Girasole shawls back in 2009 and was so impressed with the pattern, I knew one day I’d be back for more.

So when my little niece was about to have her first birthday, I knew I wanted to knit her something special. I had this beautiful Julie Asselin superwash that was just begging to be used up.


I didn’t think I had time to design something from scratch, so I headed to Ravelry for inspiration. Of course, I fell down the Ravelry rabbit hole and started looking at blanket patterns, even though I knew I didn’t have enough yarn to make a blanket for my niece. This is what happens every time I go on Ravelry—it is the ultimate time suck. Too much pretty yarn! Anywho, I eventually found Jared Flood’s Hemlock Ring Blanket pattern, and it occurred to me that I might be able to convert the chart into a circle jacket.

Anyone who thinks the Pythagorean theorem is only for schoolkids clearly never got into knitwear design.

chicken scratch

That barely-legible drawing was my method of figuring out where to place the arm holes. Since you’re knitting from the center out, you just need to know at what length from the center you’ll stop and put in the armholes.

I figured the best way to do this would be to work backwards from the cross-back measurement. The Craft Yarn Council says this is 8.25 for 12 months and 8.5 for 18 months, so I went with 8.5 so I had a little wiggle room.


Using ye olde Pythagorean Theorem, and knowing both sides of the “triangle” would be the same length (hello, Mr. Isosceles), I figured out the length I’d be knitting to was approximately 6″. (I know there’s a faster way to do this – cross back divided by the square root of 2, but I’m showing my work!)

So I started the chart and knit it even until the piece measured 6″ from the center, or 12″ across the whole piece.

At this point you have to figure out the number of stitches to hold for the sleeves. I unfortunately don’t remember my gauge for this project, but let’s just say it’s 6 stitches per inch for the sake of calculations, and let’s say at this point our jacket has 228 stitches total on the needles.

Armhole depth = 4″ or 24 sts (as suggested by the Craft Yarn Council for this size)


So, to make a right angle, you divide your circle by 4. That gives us 57 sts. But we need to account for the number of stitches held, so we subtract the armhole depth from that number and get 31 sts.

So for this hypothetical sweater, I would knit 26 sts with scrap yarn (this acts as a holder and keeps two rows of stitches live for picking up later), then knit 31, then put the next 26 sts on another piece of scrap yarn, then knit to the end. On the subsequent rows you just knit with the main yarn until you’re ready to bind off. Here’s how it looked on mine:

Picking up sleeves

I used DPNs to pick up the sleeves, and then knit in a rib until the desired length.

sleeves ready to go

My main regret is not making the sleeves longer, but they’re still pretty cute as 3/4 length!

2014-10-02 16.08.25

Not as cute as my niece, though! She’s just adorable.

cutie pie!

Have you ever used a non-apparel knitting pattern to make a sweater? I’d love to see it!

Custom Pegboard Organizer – for less than $35!

Custom Pegboard for under #35

Custom Pegboard for Craft Room

I made this custom pegboard for my craft room / office and wanted to share the steps with y’all because it was SO easy and quick to make! I’ve had the pegboard up for over a year now, and it’s so great to have my tools handy at any moment. I never have to dig through bins to find my scissors, or wonder where I put my sewing needles. And the best part?

The whole project cost less than $35! Hard to beat, huh? So here are the thingsĀ I used:

(Note: some of these items cost more online, but you can find them cheaper IRL.) Then you need to buy whatever hooks work for your needs. For instance,

I got some Magnetic Clips, a Hook Assortment Set, and later I got a Wire Mesh Basket (not pictured). There are so many accessories you can find!


After putting down a drop cloth, I masked off vertical strips with my wide tape, then spaced my masking tape in the gaps.

Taped Up

The goal was to do a few layers of paint to create different opacities. So I first did a light spray over the whole thing and let it dry. I then removed the masking tape ONLY:

First Coat

Then I did another coat, let it dry, and removed the wide painter’s tape:

Second Coat

After taking off the final bit of tape, I decided I didn’t want any of the original white showing through, so I did one final light coat of paint:

Final Coat

I thought that looked pretty good! So I let it dry overnight before hanging.

Hanging the pegboard

This part required a bit of help. I got my boyfriend to help me position the pegboard in the right spot, then I marked the corner holes with a pencil.

Here are the anchors, washers and hex nuts I used:


The hex nuts were just to keep the board a bit away from the wall so the pegs could go in easier. If I could do it again, I’d put another screw with a nut behind it directly in the center of the board. This would help the board from warping and bending towards the wall. But it works fine without it.

And the anchors were used so the screws didn’t pull out of my drywall. The whole unit isn’t too heavy, but when you get a lot of things hanging on it it could become a problem. So unless you’re drilling directly into a stud, I’d recommend using anchors of some sort.

Here’s what the corner looked like once I was done:


And the finished product!

Custom Pegboard finished!

I’ve since hung all my sewing thread and bobbins up, and it’s become a very useful organizational tool in my craft room.

Do you have any unique ways to organize your craft room? Let me know in the comments!

The tale of my first handspun FO

Nocturnal Knits
A quick story in pictures.

I found an Ashford Traditional spinning wheel on Craigslist for a great price, so I bought it. (Molly likes it.)

I found this beautiful Dicentra Designs blue and green Bluefaced Leicester fiber at A Knitted Peace in Littelton, CO. (I was there for a wedding.) So I bought that, too.
Dicentra Designs Fiber

Spinning this wool was a total joy. The single was just gorgeous on the bobbin.

I was tempted to leave it a single, but I wanted to practice chain plying so I plied it up.
Plied up

And then balled it up for knitting.

At some point I lost my notes about the yardage and yarn weight, so I just decided to start knitting a simple triangle shawl. That way I could just knit until I ran out of wool.
2014-12-30 15.22.39

Every 4-6 rows I added a row of eyelets by doing YO, K2tog across. Couldn’t be simpler. Before blocking it was pretty small and nubbly.
2015-03-02 16.03.11

But with some wet blocking I was able to reclaim 10″ in each direction.

And now I have a cute little triangle scarf/shawlette! Maybe next time I take a selfie I’ll brush my hair…
2015-03-03 11.46.51

2015-03-03 11.47.00

Free People “Big Sky” wool blanket


Oh look, it’s a special Giganto-Blanket for the 2014 Free People holiday shop!


I was a pleasure to work with Free People, and I love how the blanket turned out. There’s only a limited supply at Free People, but you can also check out my Etsy shop for more gigantic-wool goodness.


(Images courtesy of Free People.)


Patterns for Sale
Free Patterns

Original Patterns

Giganto-blanket $4.99 -

Giganto-blanket FAQ page

Balos Cover Up
Balos $5.99 -

Hyperion Pullover
Hyperion $4.99 - Buy @ Knit Picks

Pikabu Boot Toppers
Pikabu $1.99 - Buy @ Knit Picks

Cabo Cardi
Cabo Cardi $4.99 - Buy @ Knit Picks

Slippery Slope
Slippery Slope Sweater $7 -

Perpendicular sweater - finished! $3.99 -

Refine School
Reform school - finished! $3.99 -

Gondola Cables

Free Pattern!

Kaleigh Kap

download free pattern


download free pattern

Tessellated Cowl
Tessellated Cowl Free Pattern!

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