A New Name

It seems fitting that the first day of the New Year, I spiffy up my old blog with a new name and a new look.

48 hours ago, I had no intention of doing any such thing. But when I noticed that I had forgotten to renew my knittedgems domain, I quickly scrambled to recover my precious blog. Yes, I know I haven’t posted to my blog in months. There is no time. I fall into bed at the end of the day. Chasing a toddler and homeschooling two 5-year-olds is exhausting work.

Even though nothing magical is going to happen tomorrow. I will still be too busy to write a blog post more than once a month. I couldn’t let it go. It is precious to me. I’ve sunk long hours into writing posts and publishing patterns for the blog.

My first knitting project published on the blog was an afghan that I named “Ode to Quilting”. It took me days to sew all those little pieces together. Many long days.

When I was done cursing and sewing, I sent the afghan to Jennifer Marsh. Her art project at the time was to decorate an old gas station in NYC. She is now trying to decorate a NASA rocket through her new project, the Dream Rocket.

Years have passed and my blog has grown. I have talked about everything on it: gardening, card making, cooking, vacations, holidays, babies being born, a daughter being adopted, and my latest endeavor of homeschooling. Attached to the blog is a pattern store with several of the knitting patterns I have designed.

No, I couldn’t let it go. However, I also wasn’t going to pay $4,000 to buy my domain back. Um, no. It’s not that precious to me.

Instead, I chose a new domain. A domain named after me: mariehaigh.com

I have my own name! I couldn’t believe it was available. And it suits me to a ‘T’.


New-ish Pattern, a Striped Twirly Skirt

I made this skirt for Elly 2 years ago.

You can tell it has been a long time if you look at the picture of Elly wearing it. She looks like such a baby with all that chub!

Yet, it was only after finding a test knitter last year that I was motivated to complete the pattern.

While visiting the Please Touch Museum with my dear friend and my godson, I took more pictures of Elly in the skirt. My favorite picture was of Elly showing off its twirling abilities while running in circles!

The specs of the skirt:
Sizes Available:
To fit ages 3 months [12 months, 18 months, 24 months, 4 years, 6 years ] with approximate waist measurements ** [17, 17.25, 17.5, 20, 21] inches / ** [43, 44, 44.5, 51, 53.5] cm

MC: Malabrigo Merino Worsted [Aran-weight, 100% Merino, 210yds/190 m, 3.5oz/100gm skein] color 61 Butter 1 [1, 2, 2, 2, 3 skein(s)]
CC: Claudia Hand Painted Bouclé [Bulky weight, 78% Kid Mohair/13% Wool/9% nylon; 432yds/395m, 7oz/200gm skein] color Red Wagon; ½ [½, ½, 1, 1, 1 skein]

US 7/4.5mm 16-inch circular needle
US 8/5.0mm circular needle or size needed to obtain gauge. Length of needle will depend on skirt size selected; also, a longer needle might be desirable for the ruffled skirt hem.

Supplies needed:
Tapestry, or blunt sewing, needle
Sharp sewing needle and sewing thread
¾-inch wide elastic (for waistband)
Large safety pin

Recommended Skill Level:
Easy (Basic stitches, simple color changes, simple shaping and finishing)

$5.00 USD

The pattern can be purchased here on my website, Ravelry, Craftsy, and Etsy.

Thank you!

Baseball Blanket, a new pattern

With Phillies baseball season officially starting tomorrow, it gives me great pleasure to release a baseball knitting project.

A blanket for the baseball enthusiast!

It is an easy and fun project to work on while watching your favorite baseball team. The blanket is knit entirely in garter stitch so you can keep your eye on the ball. Three sections are knit separately and then seamed together to form the shape of a baseball. Shaping is created through simple yarnover increases, k2tog and ssk decreases, cast on rows and bind off rows. The yarnovers also serve as a visual guide of where to put the baseball stitching.

Knit one to take to the game today!

Price: $5.00 USD

This blanket would fit perfectly in a baseball themed nursery too!

I originally designed and knit this blanket because I needed my firstborn child to have a baseball blanket. Dan and I are huge Phillies fans. Of course, our daughter would be a Phillies fan too. Already, she shows great enthusiasm for the game.

Go Phillies!

More information about the pattern can be found here or on Ravelry.

Thank you to Nihart Photography for the beautiful pictures. More of her work can be seen at nihartphotography.smugmug.com.

Accepting My Limitations

When I first sarted publishing my knitting designs, I strived to do everything myself. I sketched my design, ran the numbers, knit the sample twice, wrote the pattern, edited the pattern, took pictures of the sample, wrote marketing material, and promoted my design. I learned a lot. Over the years in an effort to focus on what I do best, such as coming up with new designs and writing patterns, I have learned to parcel out the tasks that I do not have a calling for. I now have a wonderful tech editor that I trust to fine-tune my patterns and catch any gross errors. This year, I finally admitted to myself that I will never produce professional quality photos. Below are my attempts to take photos of the baseball blanket.

I am actually proud of this photo but it focuses on Elly more than the blanket.

Now compare my photos with the ones taken by Nihart Photography.

I love this one with Elly in it. I plan to enlarge it and hang it in our living room.

Yes, I think all my future designs will be photographed by Nihart.

The Hexagon Swatch Changes Everything

The plan before I knit the swatch was to make an afghan out of 12-inch hexagons knit out of Manos del Uruguay and my handspun.

With the first hexagon finished, I’ve changed my mind on just about everything.

I love the demo colors so much that I no longer want to use my handspun yarn. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough Taos yarn for the entire afghan, so I’ll have to dig through my stash for a complementary yarn.

Knitting the hexagon and picking up the stitches after completing each section made me want to come up with a way to cut down on the need to knit so many sections and in turn pick up so many stitches. The easiest way to reduce the amount of hexagons needed to make an afghan would be to increase the size of each hexagon. Therefore, I plan to approximately double the size of each hexagon.

Knitting the hexagon also made me realize that the gauge didn’t match my estimate of 4 stitches per inch. Rather than a 12-inch hexagon, I ended up with a 9-inch hexagon.

I’m still unsure how I want to piece all the hexagons together. Should I make a circular afghan or a traditional rectangular afghan?

This exercise has made me hesitant about casting on for Elly’s blue and orange skirt. I really ought to knit a swatch first to make sure my gauge is accurate and to make sure the yarn is a good fit for the pattern. Sigh. And I was looking forward to starting it this weekend.

Call for a Test Knitter

While knitting the baseball blanket, I made an error in counting the number of rows knit. The center piece ended up being 4 rows too short.

During the finishing phase, I was able to manipulate the pieces so that even an experienced knitter would be hard pressed to notice. Heck, I’m not sure that I could point out the error now.

Before publishing the knitting pattern for the baseball blanket, I would like to test knit it again just to make sure that it was a personal counting error and not a mathematical error in the pattern. Unfortunately, I simply don’t have the time to knit it myself what with juggling Elly, knitting swatches for the new designs I’m working on and dabbling in my other hobbies. Besides, I hate knitting the same thing twice.

Though I plan to post my call for a test knitter in Ravery’s Testing Pool group, I wanted to post it on my blog first. I would love to work with a Loyal Reader rather than a complete stranger.


  • Test knit the 3 sections only. I will handle all the finishing work. Sample to be kept by me upon completion unless negotiated otherwise.
  • The blanket uses garter stitch throughout. The shape of each piece is created by the following increases and decreases: k2tog, ssk, yo, and kfb. The test knitter should be comfortable with these stitches.
  • Yarn to be provided.
  • My gratitude along with a small tip sent via Paypal to be given as compensation. Additionally, the test knitter will be acknowledged in my pattern.

If interested, please contact me directly at knittedgems@gmail.com for more details.

Thank you!

Creative Juices are Flowing

Though I feel like my mind has been muddied since Uncle Willie’s death, it must have woken up the creative side of my mind. After months of not coming up with any good knitting designs, I’ve made a list of 8 not too shabby ideas in a week.

Two days ago I cast on for a new project that will hopefully become my next published pattern.

I’m using Eos by Unique Sheep to test out the pattern.

I had some leftover from the Something Blue stole that I designed for them 3 years ago.

It is good to be back in the saddle again. I had missed the rush of dreaming up a new design, crunching the numbers, picking out the perfect yarn, feeling the yarn slide through my fingers and watching the pattern take shape.


According to my Ravelry project page, it only took me 1.5 years to complete.

To be honest, it’s not truly finished. I need to single crochet an edging. Of course, first I need to relearn how to crochet. Afraid that it wold take me another 2 years to add the edging, I called my mother-in-law to ask for help. Not only did she agree to crochet the edging, she agreed to do it while on vacation in Mexico. Isn’t she wonderful? I didn’t even have to bribe her with chocolate.

After the edging is on, I’ll give the blanket a good blocking. Then, it will be truly finished.

Of course, I’m not waiting for the banket to be completely finished before casting on a new project. My little girl NEEDS wool soakers. I have gorgeous wool just begging to be knit into a soaker. Besides the quicker I make Elly a soaker, the quicker I can start the project I’m head over heels for: Mommy and me ponchos.

Party Preparations

I’ve been knitting up a storm in an attempt to gift this to Elly on her birthday.

I only have 2 weeks to sew the peices together and add the stitching. (You do know what it is, right?)

To make sure the idea I stole from the Cake Boss would work, I made Rice Krispie treats today.

The cake itself will be Devil’s Food cake topped with white and red buttercream icing.