Fast-Tastic Knitting!

Posted November 19, 2015 by joanmm
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , ,
Dearest Knitters,

I am so excited about this new Craftsy class, I just want to bust!

First some background:
I am not only a hand knitter, I am also a machine knitter. Years ago when I first started designing for knitting publications, the deadlines came so fast and furious that I had to find something to help speed up my knitting so that I could meet them.
I bought myself a very simple knitting machine and after I’d gotten over the learning curve, it made all the difference in the world. I could do yards of stockinette in literally minutes. Stockinette sleeves for a sweater? 20 minutes. Ditto a sweater back with side shaping and interior darts; done in 20 minutes.
But there is that learning curve and at the time I needed help in the form of lessons. So I bought Susan Guagliumi’s book “Hand Manipulated Stitches for Machine Knitting” and her videotape by the same name. The videotape was especially helpful, as seeing the techniques in motion is key for learning.
 In these lessons I learned everything I needed to know to use my machine which is a simple and basic plastic bed LK 150, and coincidentally is the same machine Susan used in her video to demonstrate.
It’s been about 18 years since discovering Susan and I no longer own a VHS machine, so imagine my delight when I saw her lessons have come to Craftsy!!!!


“Machine Knitting: Essential Techniques” is the perfect class to take if you already own or are thinking about investing in a simple machine like the one I use. So many knitting machines are purchased and then just stored away under a bed and forgotten, but these lessons will help get you over that learning curve and make your machine an essential part of your knitting repetoire.
Susan takes students through the basics of setting up the machine, showing what the parts do and then takes us right into the knitting. We learn to cast on, increase and decrease, do eyelets for lace, short rows and bind off.
We then take off into some other skills including ribbing, cables, and some alternative cast ons.
Then comes a very important lesson on troubleshooting which will make all the difference in your machine either becoming part of your knitting bag-o’-tricks, or living forlornly under a bed. Learn to fix mistakes, recognize when something is going wrong, take care of cast-on problems and essentially jump over the roadblocks that take the joy out of machine knitting. This is the part of the class that you will refer to over and over and is absolutely worth it’s weight in gold.
Let me just re-iterate, the lessons Susan teaches are for a simple, non-electric, non-computerized model knitting machine. Personally, I enjoy hand knitting too much to get into anything fancier. The machine is there for me to speed up the easy parts of the knitting, and then I hang my project back onto hand knitting needles for the fun/more difficult details.
So dear knitters, if this sounds like the machine knitting class you’ve been wanting to try, get it on sale using this link for a 33% discount.
Happy machine knitting!!

Rockin’ Your Stockins’: Cute and Cabled!

Posted September 17, 2015 by joanmm
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , ,

Do you love the look of over-the-knee socks but are a new knitter or DPN (double pointed needle) impaired?

No Need to knit in the round…

Work these beautiful cabled stockings flat on two needles then kitchener a seam up the back! Knit in sport-weight wool, these beauties will keep you cozy through fall and winter.

Here’s the pattern for just $6.75:

Yarn is here.

Cabled Two-Needle stockings



Whip Your Knits at Lambtown!

Posted September 16, 2015 by joanmm
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , ,

If you’ll be in or around Dixon, California the weekend of Oct 3-4, 2015, join me at the Lambtown Fiber Festival for my very popular “Whip Your Knits into Shape” fitting class! Read the description by scrolling down here.

Ready to sign up for classes?

Do it here.


Sew Your Own Bras!

Posted June 12, 2015 by joanmm
Categories: class workshop, Fashion, lingerie, sexy

I know we’re all knitters here, but I also know that many of us are bi and tri-craftual and have other nifty crafting skills in our bag of tricks.

If you know how to sew on at least an advanced beginner level and wear a difficult-to-fit bra size, then this review is for you!

Personally, I fit this profile in that I’ve sewn my own clothes since I was  teenager and I wear an odd 34H bra size. Clearly I cannot walk into a Walmart and pick up a few bras.

So I bite the bullet, go to my local specialty lingerie shop and spend between $60 and $80 each for bras that will last at the very most, two years.

Imagine my euphoria when I saw this Craftsy class, “Sewing Bras: Construction and Fit”!


Instuctor Beverly Johnson is a fount of information who has written three books on bra fitting and construction and a retailer who runs Bra Maker’s Supply in Hamilton, Ontario.

She also has a line of patterns, Pin-Up Girls, which she uses in the class. All materials needed are available from her store (they do sell online) and she also gives alternate resources.

Here is just a sampling of the subjects covered in the class:

-Measuring the body and choosing the correct pattern size.

-Choosing an underwire.

-Which fabrics will and will not work.


-Two info-packed lessons on fitting the bra

-Finally, the fun part, embellishing.

And here is another plus: you don’t need any fancy equipment, not even a serger! All that is needed is a basic sewing machine with a zig-zag stitch.

Take a look below at some of the lovely, well-fitting bras that students have made and go check out this class!


Lingerie/Outerwear Merger!

Posted June 8, 2015 by joanmm
Categories: Fashion, lingerie, lingerie knit, sexy, shaping knits

I’ve never kept my attraction to lingerie a secret. The soft colors, romantic shapes and lacy details have been a never ending source of fascination for me. Imagine my delight at finding Big Name Designers were of a like-mind for Summer 2015.

That said, you might be surprised to find that I believe a little goes a very long way with lingerie-inspired garments intended as street or office wear. There is a fine line between sexy-edgy-classy and inappropriate-desperate-slutty and this season some designers proved that they weren’t quite sure where that line lay.

Here are just two examples that illustrate the range:

In the first two photos below from designer Betsey Johnson, we see how not to work a lingerie-inspired outfit. (Don’t get me wrong, I love Betsey, it’s just that her taste level can get a bit questionable at times..)

Too much skin, too much sheer, too much cheap all in two little outfits. Nothing implied or left to be flirty. ‘Nuff said.


Lingerie Inspired do's and dont's

Lingerie Inspired dont’s and do’s

In the second two photos from designer Tracey Reese, we see lingerie-inspired done right. Note the restrained structure of the eyelet details balancing the soft shapes in the first outfit and the weight of the maxi skirt softened with sculpted lace in the second design.

They are pretty, soft, feminine and will not get you arrested in public or get too much of “that kind” of attention.

So when we want to add lingerie inspiration to our wardrobes we are really looking for a hint of a reference to undies rather than a literal interpretation.

Try these ideas for streetwear to imply lingerie style:

-Think of lace more as trim for a top or the hem of a skirt rather than an entire lace dress.

-Choose a color close to the pinky-peach shade of vintage nighties.

-Try a bias-cut maxi skirt similar to a 30’s nightgown and knit a bed jacket-style topper to wear with it.

-Knit a clingy sweater with style lines that suggest an old fashioned corset to wear over jeans or trousers.

It can be a lot of fun adding these touches to your closet, so enjoy looking cool, pretty, and feminine all summer long!

Looking to Knit some Lingerie Style?



My book, Knitting Lingerie Style, contains projects for everything you’ll need to dress yourself from the skin outward.

From panties to garter belts/stockings to camisoles/sleepwear and even an underwire bra, we’ve got foundations covered.

Then check out patterns for the outer layer – from a party dress to a jacket and skirt as well as a selection of pretty tops.

There are so many lovely projects in this book (33 to be exact-that’s about $1 each!), it will keep any knitter busy for a good long while.

Buy Knitting Lingerie Style for $32.95 and get:

– a personalized, autographed, hardbound copy

-ANY single pattern of your choice from our website!

This offer is good until June 19th, 2015.

Remember to write which pattern you’d like in the message box upon checkout so we can include it in your order!


Craftsy: More than just Knitting

Posted December 29, 2014 by joanmm
Categories: Uncategorized

 As a teacher for, I enjoy the little perk of being able watch any of the classes offered, so in the coming weeks I’ll be doing reviews of classes that interest me.

Some of the classes that have caught my eye are of the cooking variety (did you know Craftsy offers cooking classes?!), and this is my first of several cooking reviews.

A Better Cook in Ten Dishes

I wish I’d had access to a class like this when I was just starting out cooking. Back in the days when one could dial 411 for information, I called in asking how to bake a potato.

I’m only a slightly better cook now and still need help from time to time which is why I loved reviewing this class.

 Martha Holmberg takes the student through ten dishes that not only render a lovely and tempting finished product, but she also points out techniques that normally would only be learned at the elbow of a seasoned cook. This is the kind of teaching in which following along and backtracking to watch over and over is so wonderful with the Craftsy platform.

Martha starts us off with a beautiful salad; how to choose the greens, what flavors to combine, and gives us a basic recipe for dressing that she riffs on to create all kinds of yummy flavors.

 For me, this segment is worth the price of admission to this class, as I have a refrigerator door full of commercial dressing bottles. What I would prefer instead is to have several bottles of basic ingredients and create any of the wonderful dressing suggestions Martha gives us.

  She then takes us through eight gorgeous entrees, including but not limited to, Salmon in a Packet, Garlic Crusted Pork Roast, Lasagna, Braised Chicken with Apples, and hi-lo versions of two cheese dishes made with her Basic Bechamel sauce.

 She brings it all home with a lovely Fruit Crisp and Ice Cream for dessert.

 There is nothing difficult about her recipes and Martha gives wonderful tips on choosing produce, fish, cuts of meat and other ingredients, which to me is as important as how to prepare them.

  All in all, this is a class I highly recommend for the advanced beginning to intermediate cook. Great information, excellent presentation!


Double Duty Gabrielle

Posted December 9, 2014 by joanmm
Categories: Fashion, knit, sexy, Styling guide

Gabrielle is one of those styles that knits up so quickly and fits so well, that I enjoyed knitting it in both the sleeveless vest version and the jacket version.

The Gabrielle Jacket  was SO flattering when I tried it on, I just had to work out a new Styling Guide for it. So not only is it a flattering garment, it is a wildly versatile one as well.

See for yourself:


This gorgeous jacket knits up so quickly in Cascade Pacific Chunky on size 10US needles, you’ll want to make both versions for yourself as well.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 216 other followers