Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Last Design 2009

I had hoped to get this out before the last day of fall, but am settling for the end of the year. Here is 'Orli', a design for girls aged 2-6. The pattern, however, is yet to be published. Hopefully by this weekend. I wanted to get photos up so I could include this as a finished project in 2009, even if the pattern isn't complete. That counts right?

I really enjoyed this one. My first top down raglan. I love the top down design. No seaming. How fantastic!

Knit in Sereknity Sweet, an amazing blend of 50% alpaca, 30% merino and 20% silk, it is asymmetrical with the right side knit in one color for a bit of fun.

Stitches are picked up to add the front ruffle and it closes with snaps instead of buttons for a cleaner look.

Great for layering this winter or will be good over short sleeves in the spring.

My daughter is modeling a size 4 with plenty of room to grow.

Pattern will be up soon!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Botanical Bath

Introducing the latest item in the Uma Joy Botanicals line...

My bath salts are crafted with therapeutic Dead Sea Salts infused with an intoxicating blend of plant essential oils. No fragrance oils, artificial colors or preservatives here! All packed in a contemporary glass jar, suitable for repurposing. 12 oz. of pure goodness.

Now available at Poppy Seed Studio. Sherry has an AMAZING store...if you haven't checked it out, definitely worth a visit.

Monday, December 7, 2009


I am having so much fun with this upcycling project. Here is a reversible bonnet made of an upcycled 100% merino wool sweater and an upcycled 70/30 wool/rayon skirt. The plaid wool blend is super soft and quite thick. Paired with the charcoal gray merino, this little hat is virtually snow and windproof.

Oh, and it is reversible. Fun! I handknit i-cord ties in 100% wool and appliqued on a little heart...

Now available on Etsy and just in time for snow. Yay:)

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Here's a peek at my latest venture...children's hats created from recycled wool sweaters. Now available in my Etsy shop!

The idea is to upcycle high quality wool sweaters that have been damaged or would have otherwise lived a sad existence in the back of a closet into one-of-a-kind fun hats for little ones. And at the same time, creating something new without using new materials...more eco-friendly. Even the fleece lining in this bonnet is upcycled.

I love the idea of turning something old into something new. The challenge is to make it look fresh and as always, well crafted. Though these two silhouettes are quite classic, perhaps the color combo or embroidery details will be enough to stand out a bit from others.

There is much satisfaction in thinking of new designs and the immediate gratification of a finished product (in comparison to knitting...which has it's own satisfying qualities, but as I am not a fast knitter, immediate gratification is not one of them).

Although these are made for wee little noggins, my 2 year old wanted to model the Nordic Star Bonnet...which works on her as well.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Now that the frost covers the pachysandra in the morning....

And our little gardening tools left out overnight...

And with Thanksgiving quickly approaching, it was time to harvest the root vegetables...

This beet is a fine specimen, don't you think? And just in time to mail off for the Beets for Dwight project on Ravelry! Thanks to Sarah for the pattern, which I altered a bit for my own preferences. A fun little knit for those of us who love Dwight Schrute...and root veggies.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Soap Update & Calendar News

Just a quick post to announce that my soaps will now be available at Sun Moon Stars Herbals. They are having their grand opening this weekend which coincides with the Salmon Falls Mill Artists open studios. A very cool event where the artists open up their doors and you can wander around the old mill checking out everyone's work. I will also be there this weekend selling the famous Rollinsford Public Library Semi-Nude Fundraising Calendar....featuring my husband as Mr. January 2010. Come and get one before they are all sold out!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Preparing for Winter

Fall is winding down and I'm finding myself in a rush to get ready for cold weather and snow. I've double checked the snow gear for the girls, bought snowsuits and boots and have finally have finished these classic socks that have been sitting around for A YEAR (yes, pathetic ... especially since it took only 2 days to finish them once I focused my energy.) I knit them for my oldest, but she doesn't want to wear them, so the little one did some modeling for me this time. Just some basic boot socks made of 100% wool which should be nice and warm. I'm not a huge fan of sock knitting, dpns and the whole making a second one, but these were quick and fun.

We've had a few warm, wonderful days to enjoy and an overflow of visitors. They were flying all around basking in the sunshine and making their way into our house, which the girls thought was fun.

We built terrariums and captured a few to keep inside before letting them go. A very fun project that will keep our house green as winter approaches.

This bright oak was full of leaves last week, but has dropped most of them already. Now that we've changed the clocks and darkness comes so early, I'm finding myself excited to cozy up on the couch and work on wool mittens, hats, socks, scarves and sweaters. The thought of keeping loved ones warm with my handknits is keeping me more focused than usual. Hopefully a few of my own designs will get completed in this frenzy. I love knitting season!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

6 Months Ago and a New Family Member

Back in February I went to the NETA Spa, Knit and Spin conference in Freeport, Maine and met a vendor there with beautiful glass buttons and beads. Beverly, from Shipyard Point Glassworks, and I got together last month so I could show off some of her artwork in my designs. Such a wonderful way to add something extra special to a hand knit garment. After all, you simply cannot add mass produced buttons to a sweater knit by hand! Here are a couple of examples of her work that will be seen in my work over the next few months.

Also, back in February the girls were dreaming of adding a new member to our family as pictured in my oldest's artwork.

Well, last week we adopted her, or maybe she adopted us. Either way, she's a great addition to the family. Welcome Pino!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Better Late Than Never

I feel like writing and not only about knitting or soap. Not that I have a lot of particularly interesting things to say, but just that I've had this running narrative in my head for months. Perhaps actually writing down some my thoughts will help sort things out and provide a bit of entertainment for those of you actually taking the time. Thank you in advance.

If you are familiar with the type of June & July we had here in Northern New England, you would not be surprised to hear that we
still do not have ripe tomatoes. I started these babies from seed back in March and due to excessive rain and lack of sun, it is mid-August and here I am, still waiting patiently. I transplanted 16 seedlings and can count a measly 14 green tomatoes. All I can hope is that they will ripen before the first frost and we will get a taste of freshness, though not enough to freeze away for the pints of tomato sauce I dreamed about back in the Spring. Still, it has to beat eating those fake orangey-red ones from the grocery store. My sunflowers are late as well, but this one 6-footer is beautiful, don't you think? Trying to keep a positive spin on things...

And speaking of keeping a positive attitude...I declined a job to teach a biology class this fall in favor of focusing my energy on creative endeavors. I do wonder if that was a wise decision, given our less than prosperous financial situation, however something, way in the back of my subconscious, tells me it was the right way to go. On the up side, the head of the program asked if I wanted to teach a knitting class instead. We decided that a hat workshop would be a good choice to attract a range of knitters and be a small enough project to complete in 3 meetings. The fall Vogue Knitting has a great feature on hats and we decided that #9 the eyelet cap and #10 the cabled cap would be good projects for beginner and intermediate knitters. I knit up #9 and am very happy with the results.

It is knit in stash yarn, Dreambaby DK, which is, unfortunately, acrylic and nylon. Not even a hint of natural fiber. I have to say that it is quite soft and will be easily washable. There is a new resolution in my house: stick to stash yarn until I have worked through at least 1/2 of my stock. Financially, it makes sense to do this, but I also need to come to terms with my yarn addiction. I can't seem to walk into a yarn store without purchasing
something, whether I need it or not.

This also leads to something else I need to come to terms with: my procrastination problem. I submitted an idea for a project and was given the go ahead a month ago. The deadline is Oct. 1. I have not cast on. I should be in a bit of a panic, but strangely I am fairly calm. Knowing that there will be a frantic rush to finish, and my family will suffer, but it will be completed and mailed in on time doesn't change a thing. I'm choosing to use my free time this morning while my husband is out with the kids to write this post. Why do I do this? Maybe it's because I work better under pressure. The thrill of racing and wondering if I can make it? Maybe it's because I have always just done this for as long as I can remember. Staying up until 2 am to finish a 6th grade book report and throwing a fit, then surprisingly getting a good grade. Old habits are hard to break. Anyways, here is the stack of (non-stash) yarn sitting on my desk waiting patiently...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Myriad of Possibilities

OK, well maybe not a
myriad but I really love that word and thought it was a good fit for this simple, yet versatile wrap.

It is simply knit flat with La Boheme (such a luxury!) in loose moss stitch with evenly dispersed stripes of Yang.

The lovely shawl pin comes from Nuance where Evelyn is also kind enough to carry my soaps.

It's the first thing I've knit for myself in a long time. I wanted something that I could wear often and in different ways.

Here are the basics for making your own Myriad:

Yarn: 1 skein of each (see above)
Needles: US Size 15
Gauge: not critical however my Myriad knit up at 2.5 sts/inch in Moss Stitch
  • With La Boheme, CO 106 sts and work in moss stitch for 4 inches.
  • Change to Yang and work 2 rows in pattern
  • Change to La Boheme and work another 4 inches.
  • Continue in this pattern until you have worked through the entire skein of La Boheme (approximately 12 inches from CO edge)
  • Change to Yang and work in pattern for 4 inches.
  • Bind off all stitches
I only wanted a bit of sparkle dispersed in the mohair and found that 2 rows of Yang was just the right amount for me, but add more or less as you wish.
The more Yang you add, the more you can get out of the La Boheme, unless you have splurged and purchased more than one skein. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Simple Summer Dress

Well you wouldn't know it was summer around here. Raining for days on end and chilly nights. If the sun ever does decide to show itself I have a simple design using some wonderful bamboo yarn. This little bodice only used one skein for the size 2 dress and about 1/2 yard of cotton fabric.Pattern coming soon...

Friday, June 26, 2009

Summer 2009

Welcome to the new look of Uma Joy Designs! Something else for you as well....a look at my Summer 2009 line of botanical soaps. After years in the making and sharing with my family and friends I am finally selling my soaps. So exciting!

You will still be able to find my knit designs here as well. I'm just expanding into another creative direction. I have dreamed of working at my passion for too long. Now in my 40th year and with the girls getting a bit older and my mind and body getting more sleep (finally!) it was now or never. I just could not choose between my love of knitting and my desire to experiment and create natural soaps which are good for your body and the environment. So I'm doing both! 'Made by Hand for a Small Footprint' applies to both my knitwear patterns for children and my eco-friendly soaps.

No artificially colors, fragrances or preservatives for your body or to get washed down the drain into our water supply. Made with plant oils and scented with pure essential oils it's gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin. We have used nothing but my soap on our girls since they were born! These botanical treats are wrapped in handmade papers and labels printed on 100% recycled paper.

And if you live in the Northern New England area they are currently available here and here to support local businesses. I will also be at the Front Street Market in Rollinsford, NH on Sunday July 12th from 9am-3pm. I'll be showing my kids knitwear designs as well, with patterns available for purchase. Come by and say hello! I'll be updating my Etsy shop soon so if you aren't in the area, I can send you some botanical goodness in the mail, staying green using my daughters' artwork for packing material...the perfect solution for what to do with all of that beautiful creativity once it's time on the refrigerator door has passed:)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Autumn Harvest Jacket

I know it isn't even officially summer yet and here I am posting a pattern for Fall 2009! I'm still getting used to creating patterns for off seasons. I knit this little jacket earlier in the Spring for Brown Sheep Yarns and they just showed it last weekend at the TNNA Summer show.

It's knit in Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Superwash Wool Bulky which is a fantastic wool that is nice and squishy and has superb stitch definition. The main color is Grey Heather (SW04) and the contrasting trim is Blaze (SW145). If you've never used Brown Sheep's Superwash Wool before, check it out! They have an amazing color selection and they are a family owned company right here in the USA.

My oldest has been practicing her modelling moves...

The bulky wool knits up quickly and the pieces are seamed together with set in sleeves and optional patch pockets for collecting acorns, of course.

...and fun toggle closures...

Check out Ravelry and Flickr for more photos. Published as pattern leaflet number #0922 for Brown Sheep Company.