Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Knitting is Chic!

Even Chanel thinks knitting is cool!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Present for You

 It’s almost Christmas, and here is a present for you, my Bon Bons baby hat. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

PomPom Learn-to-Knit Kit

The holidays are fast approaching, and it’s time to start thinking about gift giving. My PomPom Learn-to-knit kit is unique, in that it comes with the scarf already cast on…by the time the scarf is finished the new knitter can easily work the knit-on cast on, which as we all know is the trickiest part of leaning to knit. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Sweater Bookmark or Ornament

1 ball Classic Elite La Gran mohair
(the best mohair on the planet!)
#6527 Chinese Red

# 7 needles

18” of ribbon of your choice

Cast on 12 sts. P one row and cont in STst (K on the RS, P n the WS) for 1.5 inches, ending on the WS. CO 5 sts, work across row, then CO 5 more sts for sleeves. Work even in STst for 1”, ending with a WS row. P on RS and bind off middle 4 sts. P to the end of the row.  Next row P and work to the BO sts, CO 4 sts and cont to end. Cont in STst for 1”. BO 5 sts at the beginning of the next two rows. Cont in STst for 1.5” and BO. With RS facing sew side and sleeve seams. Turn right side out, and attach the ribbon to the collar of your miniature sweater. Can also be used as a tree ornament.


When we’re knitting all is right with the world!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Puppet Kit Giveaway

My learn to knit Puppet Kit comes with all materials, along with fully illustrated instructions for learning to knit. The perfect gift for kids or beginners, ages 8 and up. Enjoy!

To enter, just follow the directions below!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A hand-knit for your iPhone!

Here is a pattern for you, which in a few hours will cozy up your iphone in cabled comfort. It’s also perfect for that last minute gift. Enjoy!

iPhone Cabled Cover

  • 1 skein Jil Eaton MinnowMerino in 4758 Rouge
  • Needles, size #8 and #4 and #8 cable needle
  • Tapestry needle
  • Place Markers

18 sts and 22 rows = 4” over stockinette stitch

  • Cast on 26 sts.
  • 1st row: p
  • 2nd row: k3, p1, k6, p1, k to end of row.
  • 3rd row: p3, k1, p6, k1, p to end of row.
  • 4th row: cable row – k3, p1, CB6, p1, k to end of row.

(CB^, Cable back 6, place first 3 sts on cable needle and hold in back of work, k next 3 sts, the k the 3 on the cable needle) Work this row on the RD every 8 rows.

Work in patterns for 5”, ending on the RD. K next 3 rows and BO.

Sew seam. 
  • With#4 needles pick up the 6 middle stitches on the back of your iPhone sweater – this will be easy if you insert your iPhone. Work in garter stitch for 1.5”.
  • Next row BO the 2 middle sts for the button hole.
  • Next row CO the 2 middle sts. K 2 rows and BO.

Voila! When we’re knitting all is right with the world!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Jil Eaton Knitting School Giveaway

With the holidays just around the corner we are giving away 12 copies of my book, Jil Eaton’s Knitting School, the complete guide to becoming a confident knitter. Books will be signed, and make the perfect gift for your knitting friends. To get one, please leave a comment on this post and share! Please include you email so I can contact you!

“Jil Eaton’s sense of color and style shines through again in this unique collection of knitwear designs for the entire family. She has designed projects for a learn-to-knit compendium with clear and precise how-to visuals, which makes this book a must-have for knitters of all skil levels. C’est magnifique!”

                                                                        Carla Scott, Editor in Chief, KnitSimple

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Noel, Noel

My trademark QuickKnit Christmas Stockings are a snap to knit on large needles in a bulky gauge.  And at 14” in length and 12” in circumference they are big enough for all of Santa’s holiday goodies. The Noel Noel pattern is available on the web and at www.classiceliteyarns.com, via shop-a-tron. This is the perfect time to make these charming stockings just in time for Christmas. Jingle bells, and happy knitting!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Lambikins Kit

My adorable Lambikins is a hand puppet with great personality, which brings a smile to young and old alike. It’s worked in a loop stitch that is very easy once you get the hang of it. It’s available at Webs online at www.yarn.com, and in your local yarn shops. Last holiday Vogue Knitting named it the best new kit!

The kit contains my MinnowMerino yarn, and hand-made button eyes. Perfect for holiday gift-giving, either as the kit, or as the hand-knit puppet.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Martha Stewart’s new One Pot book

Martha Stewart has a brand new book, One Pot, which has fabulous recipes for one-pot dishes, many of which are perfect for autumn dinner menus.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Jil Eaton Knitting School Special Sale

I am offering a pre-holiday special sale of my Knitting School book…

Learn from the Master – knit for the whole family..
Jil Eaton guides you through the wonderfully varied world of knitting from proper gauging to ceating lace, helping you investigate the possibilities and discoverwhat works best for you. With over 18 years of teaching and design experience and a popular column in KnitSimple magazine, Jil is a true master of the craft. Nineteen lessons and corresponding QuickKnit projects  will reveal the marvels she can help you create.

"Jil Eaton’s sense of color and style shines through again in this unique collection of knitwear designs for the entire family. She has designed projects for a learn-to-knit compendium with clear and precise how-to visuals, which make this book a must-have for knitters of all skill level;s. “C’est magnifique!”

            `_ Carla Scott, Editor in Chief, KnitSimple

Send $12. in US funds to Jil Eaton, Small Pond Studios, 52 Neal Street, Portland, Maine, 04102, or use paypal, and we will send you an autographed copy. Let us know how you would like it autographed…perfect for holiday gift-giving!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Perfect Dog Jackets

I have a number of felted and hand-knit dog jackets available for puppies and small dogs. Email me at jil@minnowknits.com if you are interested. Prices are very reasonable, and the felted jackets are really great for keeping your pooch dry and comfortable…and are stylish and chic, to boot!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Holiday Gifts

Now that we are out of our gardens it is time to review our yarn stash, and make plans for all those charming holiday gifts. Hats and mitts and socks and scarves, weekend knits and spare time knits…all to be stashed away for the holiday gift giving celebrations. My trademark QuickKnits are perfect for instant gratification, too!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Planting the Tulips

Years ago we lost a huge tree in our yard in an ice storm and it made a beautiful sunny spot for a flower garden. Every year we plant 800 tulip, daffodil and hyacinth bulbs, to the great delight of our neighbors. It is a gorgeous display, worth all the garden work!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Perfect Knitting Kit

I do a lot of teaching and always recommend The Perfect Knitting Kit to my student. Here's how to make yours!

The Perfect Knitting Kit starts with a small, clear zippered case, such as those you would find in the cosmetics department. It is absolutely perfect to hold all your knitting basics and because it is clear you can peek inside to find that elusive tool that has dropped to the bottom. Having a portable kit in this manner allows you to switch it out to work with whatever current project you are knitting. My personal kit case is from Agnes B, discovered on a trip to Paris; try to find a case that gives you pleasure, as it will become the backbone of your knitting life.

Here are my recommendations for the right items to include in your kit:

  • A pair of small, very sharp scissors; make sure you dedicate them for yarn only!
  • Yarn needles - I prefer the Japanese Chibi needles with bent tips that come in little plastic cases that are easy to spot in your kit, and are available everywhere now
  • A retractable measuring tape; mine is in the shape of a sheep, and there are many other adorable variations now on the market.
  • Yarn T-pins and yarn safety pins are essential for pinning and marking.
  • Long and short stitch holders; the elegant coated metal English Aeros are always in my case. There are also plastic Japanese versions that open at either end which work very well
  • Stitch markers; split-rings are good as they are easily moved or removed, much better than the closed rings.
  • Cable needles; I recommend straight cable needles, including size 3, 6 and 10 US, in bamboo or wood.
  • A small calculator – essential!
  • Point protectors, both large and small; these clever items keep your work on the needles, and they protect your knitting from stray needles.      
  • A needle size and gauge ruler, which you will use constantly. And for those of you with an iphone there is an APP for needle sizing!
  • Two crochet hooks, 1 small, 1 large, perhaps a D and a K.
  • The so-called “Dentist Tool”, with one crochet hook end and one smooth pointed end, an unusual and invaluable tool, and probably my favorite accessory! You can find this tool on the web at www.patternworks.com.
  • A pen and small notebook, for notations, row counting and those quick to sprout design ideas. If you have an idea and don’t jot it down it can often disappear!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


As a lifelong designer and admirer of fashion, I was delighted to receive a copy of The Gospel According to Coco Chanel, Life Lessons from the World’s Most Elegant Woman by Karen Karbo, published by skirt!  Chanel was a fashion legacy who continues to inspire women all over the world. This book is a funny and stylish take on Coco Chanel, full of relevant life lessons for modern women. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Out of the Garden

OK knitters, it’s time to come out of the garden and think about your autumn knitting projects. It’s been a beautiful summer here in Maine, but fall is in the air, which always gets my knitting gene in gear. It’s the perfect time to come up with plans for your holiday gift knitting, too…

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

New Patterns

Here are my latest two patterns, and I've just released a mini collection. My dress patterns are all best sellers, so I am including a dress design in every collection. The Smocked Daydress sports a charming smocked bodice, which is quite easily knit. The Swedish Sailor pullover is a color blocked sweater worked entirely in garter stitch…perfect for beginners and experts alike. enjoy! You can find them here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Best Materials

When I began designing, oh so many years ago, children’s patterns were knit on tiny needles in soft color palettes. Often the yarns were synthetic, as they were meant to be washed. I have always counseled knitters to use the very best materials available and there are wonderful yarns available today. When developing my MinnowMerino® we searched high and low for a yarn that could be machine washed, but one that was also lovely to knit. We finally sourced the pure merino in Peru. Most “super wash” yarns, as they are called, are made by spinning and dyeing the yarns, and then they are treated with chemical products that result in yarns that are slippery, without a lovely hand. They also can come apart in the wash, a very distressing result. My yarn, however, washes the shorn wool before spinning and dyeing; the result in a beautiful yarn with a micron count one point away from cashmere, yet it is definitely machine washable. Hope you’ll try it out if you haven’t already!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


I’ve been designing and publishing for over twenty years and the photo shoots never cease to amaze me. We have a simple set, a white seamless and a few thoughtful props, but the giant banked lights are intimidating. Intimidating for anyone, never mind a two year old. We have had many a melt-down, but we always get our shot, and only once have we had to reschedule the shoot. My photographer, Nina Fuller, is amazing, working magic with the little ones. Never a dull moment!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

How to Make a Gauge Swatch

Even if you're knitting for your family pet, you need to get the correct gauge so the garment will fit properly. You should always do a gauge swatch before starting any project using the yarn and needles called for in the pattern.

To begin your swatch use the needles suggested in the pattern, and please remember they are only a recommendation, a place to begin!  Cast on the number of stitches necessary to make a 4”/10cm swatch, plus 6. Knit 3 rows. Always knit 3 garter stitches at the beginning and end of every row, and work straight in the pattern called for until the piece measures 4”, then knit 3 rows and bind off. Lay the swatch on a flat, smooth surface. Measure inside the garter stitch frame; you should have 4”/10 cm exactly. If your swatch is too big, or you have too few stitches per inch, change to a needle one size smaller, and repeat the process. If your swatch is too small, or there are too many stitches per inch, change to the next larger needles. Changing one needle size either up or down at a time and keep knitting swatches until you achieve the correct gauge. Eventually you will begin to know your knitting style; I personally start my swatch one needle size down from the recommended size, as I knit fast and loose. The number of stitches per inch or centimeter is the most important. If the row gauge is eluding you, you can adjust as you work through the pattern, but you may not have enough yarn. We all knit differently with various needles and yarns. Always do your gauge swatch with the exact needles you will be using for the specific project too…there can be a difference in gauge between plastic, metal or bamboo needles on the same yarn! Check your gauge again after working about 4 inches just to be sure you’re still getting the correct gauge.

You will be a happy knitter for life if you get the correct gauge!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Nicky Epstein's Signature Scarves Review

Everyone loves Nicky Epstein's fabulous patterns, and incredible technical prowess. In this book she has adopted her hallmark embellished style for a collection of over 40 scarves. All knitters from beginner to advanced will be delighted with this very creative collection. Published by Nicky Epstein Books.

Visit www.nickyepstein.com.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tree Topper Baby Hat Kit Giveaway!

Knitters can enter to win this adorable baby hat by taking part in this giveaway. The kit includes yarn and baubles and complete instructions. Happy knitting!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Rexi in the Studio

Rexi Martine, my cockapoo, loves to hang out in the studio with me. She even has her own handknit bed. The pattern for the bed is available in my books, Top Dog: Twelve Quicknits for your Big Best Friend, which you can find at my distributer Classic Elite Yarns and at local yarn shops.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Getting Stitched on the Farm

If you enjoy knitting blogs, you might enjoy my favorite knitting blog "Getting Stitched on the Farm with Kristen Nichols". Kristen lives on a bucolic sheep farm in Western Massachusetts. Kristen is an enormously talented designer and her blog captures life on the farm intertwined with knitting and other design inspiration. 

Meet Kristen!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Baby Hats

Baby showers are always delightful and my Bon Bons baby hat patterns make the perfect shower gift. Knit up in my Jil Eaton Cottontail, they are washable and perfect for newborns.

The patterns are available on my Ravelry shop. Happy knitting!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Learn to Knit

As summer vacation is approaching you might consider teaching your child to knit with my Learn to Knit Pom Pom Scarf kit. Uniquely, it comes with the scarf already cast on the needles and by following the illustrated instructions, kids can learn to knit. By the time the scarf is finished they can easily do the Knit-On Cast-On. Casting-On is often the most difficult thing to learn, so this kit enjoys great success.

Kits are available in your local yarn shops and via Classic Elite Yarns. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Mini Collections

Here are the two new patterns in my mini collection for May 2014. These patterns are available as pdf downloads through my Ravelry shop.

266QK Smocked Day Dress
Little girl¹s sleeveless dress with smocked bodice and ruffles.

6 months (1 - 2 - 3) years

Jil Eaton CottonTail

267QK Swedish Sailor
Child¹s color-blocked boatneck pullover

6 months (1 - 2 - 4 - 6) years


Jil Eaton MinnowMerino

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Knitting for Your Noggin

This week I wanted to share an article that talks about the benefits of knitting and how it can have similar effects to meditating. Keep knitting and keep your brain happy!

As part [of] its "Inside Your Brain" series, CNN recently took a look at how knitting affects your noggin. Findings indicate that knitting can be an effective treatment of PTSD. This has to do with how knitting has similar benefits to meditation, which helps "dampen internal chaos." 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Color Inspiration

Most knitters are gardeners and I am no exception. Every year we plant 800 tulip bulbs in my side-garden. It's a gorgeous display and tulips have certainly been one of my inspiration when choosing colors for my yarn lines.

I encourage you to go out and enjoy the bounty of spring and get inspired for your own creations!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book

I teach classes and workshops around the country and my students are always asking for my favorite knitting reference book. And I always reply Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book by the esteemed editors of Vogue Knitting is the best of the best. Everything is explained clearly and techniques are beautifully illustrated. I recommend every knitter have it on their bookshelf.

You can find it here!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

New Website Design

Hi everyone, after being on the DL with eye surgeries I'm back in the studio and will continue my weekly blogs. We're delighted to announce our newly redesigned website minnowknits.com. There are many new features including my Classics pattern collection available as downloadable pdfs as well as two ebooks, All Dressed Up and Park Avenue Kids. Let us know what you think!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Park Avenue Kids

Cozy Cardi

The second of my new downloadable ebooks, Park Avenue Kids, is a collection of five occasion-ready garments for little girls and boys in merino wool, cotton and mohair. Party togs for stylish tots, in worsted weight.

Here is a wonderful review from Crochet Addict UK.

Hope you enjoy this collection!

BonBon Cape

Festive Vest

Jumping Jack

Party Frock