Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Knitting Garage at AL Stickle in Rhinebeck

A video of the Knitting Garage

I want to share this awesome video by Kristi Glass.
She is interviewing Leah Stickle, the owner of the Knitting Garage at AL Stickle in Rhinebeck, NY.  But don't take my word for it, see for yourself how neat the place is.  It may just give you the inspiration to come for a visit.
BTW there are a few glimpses of me in there towards the end as I was giving a lesson at the time.


Friday, August 5, 2016

The story of Mr Square Bear

For those of you who follow me on facebook, you may remember a free pattern I had posted a month or so ago:  "Magic Loop Teddy" by Julie Tarsha.

One knitter, Nancy, who feels more comfortable with using DPN's met with me to see how the bear could be worked up on double pointed needles.  We met at the Knitting Garage in Rhinebeck and both started the bear.  My preferred method of knitting small circumferences in the round is using two circular needles, but I wrote out extensive notes on how to distribute the stitches on four DPN's and knitted this cute Teddy on DPN's ;  thus the name:  "Mr Square Bear"!  
If you are like Nancy, an accomplished knitter on DPN's, and would like a copy of my notes, please let me know, and I will be happy to give you a copy (four pages seems a bit much to post here and also, they are hand-written).

The pattern is very well written and easy to follow and I feel inspired to knit up another Teddy on circulars.  I even have a yarn in mind ( a self-patterning sock yarn) and a name.  He will be Mr Square Bear's younger brother "Master Loopy Patches". 
I did find a small errata on the directions for the bear's sweater.  Round 7 should read; " k6,kfb around".  After round 7 you will have a total of 48 sts and are ready for the armhole bind-offs.

And now for the fun part:  A photo-shoot with Mr Square Bear: 

He likes to soak up the sun :)

You can find him on ravelry here:  Strickliese's "Mr Square Bear"
He also likes to sit in the shade

For some exercise he likes to climb trees :)

Have some fun and knit up your own bear (for yourself or as a gift). 
He or she knits up in no time at all (this one took just over a week) on DPN's, two circulars or using the Magic Loop.  Share your pictures on facebook :) here:  Knit With Doris/ Discover Your Inner Knitter

The head is done !

Just one more leg and arms :)

Soon he will have ears to hear.

He just needs a face and personality :)

Friday, July 22, 2016

New Classes at The Knitting Garage in Rhinebeck

From Sand to Socks

As the summer is winding down and the “barefoot in the sand” moments become memories, you may want to think about how to spoil your feet this winter.
I am offering three different sock knitting classes starting end of August. By starting early you can have your socks ready to wear and show off during this year’s Sheep & Wool Festival.

A.    Traditional Cuff down with heel flap, gusset and finished at the toe with the Kitchener stitch

B.     2-at-a-time toe-up with FLK heel. This is my personal favorite, easy to remember and great fit.  I held this class last Spring and here are some of the comments: “Doris made sure we understood all the instructions, even helping us by drawing little sketches” (Elyse);”All the little extra tips were wonderful and I look forward to knitting more socks” (Betty);”…explicit in your lessons.  Each lesson was broken down to the right amount of time and information.  I loved the class and look forward to additional classes.  Thank you” (Dale);” Your patience in explaining and demonstrating things was phenomenal.   I would recommend your classes to everyone!” (Anne)

C.     For the more experienced sock knitter who wants to try something fun and new:
Two-at-a-time one inside the other. This is the method referred to in the classic “War and Peace”. 
We will be doing a sample sock in worsted weight yarn just to get the idea of how this is done.  Of course you may start a pair in sock yarn if you feel confident enough.

Materials needed
For A.  Yarn:  For fingering weight version: about 350 -400 yards of fingering weight yarn
                        For Dk/Sport weight version: about 275 yards of dk or sport weight yarn
            Needles:  For fingering weight version:
Set of four double-point needles US 1 ½- 2 ½  (for a gauge of 32 sts=4”)
 For Dk/ Sport weight version:
Set of four double-point needles US 3  (for a gauge of 24 sts=4”)

For B.  Yarn:  You will need two equal amounts of yarn  If you are purchasing one skein and
                         want to give it to me prior to the first class, I can divide the skein into two balls
                        for you.  The total yardage should be 350-400 yards depending on foot size and cuff length.
            Please note:  If you prefer to knit your socks one at the time you may do so. 
                        You will still learn many new techniques in this class.
            Needles: You will need two circular needles of the same size;
US 1 ½- 2 ½ (for a gauge of 32 sts=4”)
It is best if the two needles look different.  I suggest one 16" cable and
                        one 24" cable or cables of different colors.

For C.  Yarn: For training version: about 110 yards each of two different colors of Worsted weight yarn.
                       For actual socks:  about 400 yards of sock/ fingering weight yarn.
            Needles: For training version: US# 7 needles DPN’s or two circulars or one long circular
                                    Plus one additional needle of the same size (DPN or short circular)
                                    Plus one cable needle (for working the decreases). For a gauge of 20sts=4”
                           For actual socks: US# 1-2 ½ needles DPN’s or two circulars or one long circular
                                    Plus one additional needle of the same size (DPN or short circular)
                                    Plus one cable needle (for working the decreases). For a gauge of 30sts=4”

For A. 1. Thursday 8.18. 11am-1pm stretchy cast on
            2. Thursday 9.1.  11am-1pm heel flap, heel turn
            3. Thursday 9.8.  11am-1pm gussets
            4. Thursday 9.22.11am-1pm toe, Kitchener stitch

For B.  1. Wednesday 8.24. 11am-1pm Judy’s magic cast-on
            2. Wednesday 9.7.   11am-1pm check gauge and determine width, make template
            3. Wednesday 9.21. 11am-1pm FLK heel
            4. Wednesday 10.5. 11am-1pm Jenny’s stretchy bind off

For C.  1. Monday 8.22.  11am-1pm cuff set up, start ribbing
            2. Monday 8.29.  11am-1pm check work, leg, heel flap
            3. Monday 9.5.    12 noon-1pm heel turn
            4. Monday 9.26.  11am-1pm gusset, foot
            5. Monday 10.3.  11am-1pm toe

All classes are held with a maximum of three attendees. 
With any more I would not be able to give you the one-on-one time I like to bestow on my students.
The cost for classes A. and B. is $ 125 and includes patterns and hand-outs.
The cost for class C. is $140 and includes pattern and hand-outs.

Please note, too, that I am flexible in regard to when and where to meet.  If you are interested in a particular class, but cannot make it to the times posted here, I am happy to hold the class at a different time more convenient to you preferably with a minimum of two attendees.
To sign up e-mail me at

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Summer Socks


Tony's summer socks

Summer Socks in CoBaSi                  

I finally understand why Tony likes to wear the hand knitted socks other than for the fact that I made them.  With a size 11 foot the 9-11 socks you can buy are too small and the 11-12 socks are too big... He  has a total of eight (!) pairs of hand knitted socks, but even the craziest Englishman (as in the song "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" by Noel Coward) stops wearing woolly socks when it is 90+ degree out there.

So I did some research looking for a cotton blend sock yarn and found the HiKoo CoBaSi by Skacel  which is a Cotton, Bamboo, Silk and Nylon blend, perfect for summer!! The skeins are 220 yards each (a steal at $9.50), so you don't have to divide a bigger skein for your 2-at-a-time sock knitting. The yarn feels awesome! So soft and squishy :)
But it gets better:  My LYS, The Knitting Garage, in Rhinebeck just started to carry this yarn <3 <3
For those of you who don't want to knit socks:  This is the yarn called for in the very popular 14 Carat Poncho by Michelle Hunter (as in Knit Purl Hunter). This pattern is a free ravelry download! (click on the link).
And you can use it for all sorts of your summer knitting (shawls, tank tops etc.) which calls for a fingering weight yarn (you get the picture).  On ravelry you can find three pages of patterns which specifically use the CoBaSi yarn; many of the patterns are free.  Click this link or put in "CoBaSi" in your pattern search:  Patterns using CoBaSi.
I knitted the socks in a simple 1x1 ribbing toe-up and two-at-a-time in just 16 days.  I used the methods which I had just taught in a class in Spring. An easy to remember method which lets you integrate all sort of patterns if you want.  If you are interested and missed that class, you may be happy to hear that I will offer the class again this Fall as well as two other Sock knitting classes.

So many pretty colors

Thursday, June 23, 2016

About Healing and Knitting

Crafting to heal

I have been quiet for the past month, grieving the death of my Mother-In-Law and the missed opportunity of one last visit which was scheduled for this July/ August.
Although miles away in England, she has been much of a mother to me during the past 34 years and I miss her dearly.  She is leaving a big void not only for my husband and children, but for me, too.
I could talk about her, there are so many memories.  Mum was always there without meddling, showing interest without trying to control; she walked that fine line ever so well.  Her favorite charity was Muscular Dystrophy as she had lost her eldest grandson to the disease and she had asked for donations to that charity at her death. I could share to try and paint you a picture of the person she was, but instead I want to talk about how I am coping during this past month.
Over the past years I have posted several articles (mostly on my facebook page)  on how the act of knitting improves brain function and mental health.  I can testify to this.
Knitting has helped me.
Following Mum's death I felt tightly wound and afraid to unravel.  Trying my best to help Tony and our children through their grief and gaining comfort by spending time with family and friends.
What helped me at least as much however was simply to sit down and knit, focusing my mind on the task and forcing my hands to oblige, creating something tangible, something beautiful...
There were the harder projects which forced me to focus, especially since I was changing the pattern to suit my taste and there were the easier projects when I could let my thoughts go and memories came flooding while my hands rhythmically did their work and let me find some inner balance.
There were a few lessons during which I focused and shared and took care that the pattern was understood.
So I am slowly finding my Inner Balance and Equilibrium...
I want to thank all of you for cutting me some slack during this time and thinking of me and my family (love is a great healer).

Here are some of the things I knitted during this past month (Click on the links to find more information on pattern name, yarn used and project notes).

Turkish Bed socks

A project of another kind

I also made this little pillow as a gift to my son's Mother-In-Law who just got her US Citizenship:

Materials needed (all available at AL Stickles) 

  • 1 pillow insert 15" x15"
    • 1 bandana
      • a couple of star shaped buttons

Thursday, May 19, 2016


My Spring/Summer Classes promise lots of fun and knitting satisfaction.

Get ready for summer with these accessories. 
Some of these knit up in no time at all and are small enough to take along wherever you go.
Please note that I am very flexible with the class schedule and if you are interested in a specific class, but can’t make it to the posted date, I can add a class on a day convenient to you or switch the date.  All classes are for a maximum of three students.
For all classes I am giving two choices of dates.
Wednesday, June 1st 11am-2pm

Wednesday, June 29th 11am- 2pm

#12 Skirt by Norah Gaughan  (Vogue Knitting) This is a fun flared swingy skirt worked seamless.  In class we will go over the pattern, practice unfamiliar stitches and get started.  No, you will not finish this in class, but you are always welcome to come back with additional questions or problems.
What you need: 920-1265 yards of Sport weight cotton yarn or other fiber of your choice and a US# 5 circular needle.  The $5 pattern is included in the class fee.

Average difficulty rating:  Easy
29 ratings with 1 very easy and 10 very difficult
20 ratings between 1-3.



Wednesday, June 8th 11am-2pm

Wednesday, July 6th 11am-2pm

Turkish Bed Socks by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas  This is a great low sitting summer sock to wear in your clogs, keds etc (NO, you do not need to go to bed in them).  I just finished a pair myself. They are knitted one at the time and the instructions are given for DPN’s, but this can also be knitted on two circulars.  Half of the sock is knitted flat, and then joined in the round.  You should get most if not all of the flat knitting done during class.
What you need: 170-175 yards of fingering or sock weight yarn and US# 3needles (either DPN’s or two circulars).  The $5 pattern is included in the class fee.


Average difficulty rating: Easy

850 ratings with 1 very easy and 10 very difficult
718 ratings between 1-4.

Wednesday, June 15th 11am- 2pm

Wednesday, July 13th 11am- 2pm

Leftie Shawl by Martina Behm So, you have been knitting socks lately and have a lot of pretty sock and fingering weight yarn left over?  This is a great pattern to use up and show off those leftovers.  You will learn how to do German short rows and get started on the shawl.  You will get at least 1-2 sections finished J
What you need:  At least 420 yards of fingering yarn for the MC plus leftover yarns of the same weight (Buy some unicorn tails if you want!)  US# 1 ½ -US# 2 ½ circular needle (depending on your tension and desired denseness of finished shawl).  The $5 pattern is included in the class fee.

Average Difficulty rating: Easy

1590 ratings with 1 very easy and 10 very difficult
1265 ratings between 1-3.

Wednesday, June 22nd 11am-2pm
Wednesday, July 20st 11am-2pm

Jersey Knit Bracelet by Vanessa Christenson  This is a finger knit and you should be able to finish this during the class.  Using your fingers instead of knitting needles may feel awkward at first, but you will get the hang of this.
What you need:  Three fabric strips of 1 inch width approximately 58 inches long. Jersey is a good choice for its stretchiness.  Alternatively you could knit three strips or use some pretty 1” wide ribbon :).  The pattern is free. 

Average Difficulty rating:  No ratings

All Classes are $55 and include the pattern when applicable. 

Additional help with the project is also included in the class fee.

Please call or e-mail me to sign up.      845-430-7619