Welcome to Project Knitway or should I say Project Renottaway? It's my cyberspace place to post my favorite things...thoughts about family and creativity and design. One of my favorite things is making stuff, specifically clothing and accessories from fiber and metal. So you'll see a lot about that here. I also love spending time with my family, so there will be a bit about that too. When I'm not with my family or in my studio, I am most likely at nextdoor, my store. I have always had a store ever since I was a young woman. I started with a weaving store called the niddy noddy in Waukesha eons ago. I ended with nextdoor in Brookfield. It's my dream store filled with great clothing, especially denim. Really nice women work and shop there, it's a fun place to be. You can find us there every day and online at www.shopatnextdoor.com So come for a visit here and there.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

There is Hope

There is HOPE. Today we delivered our gifts to Hope Center in Waukesha. The bags were filled with scarves, hats, gloves and sweaters. Thank you to all of you who purchased our Project Knitway coupons to help make this possible. And thank you for

                     Shopping at Nextdoor


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Orange You Glad

Orange...just saying the word makes me happy. It's one of my favorite colors and this season one of the fashionable colors to wear. Thank goodness, after all that grey. Orange is said to be a power color. Some believe it heals and others say it increases your appetite, stimulates enthusiasm and sparks creativity. Whatever the color orange does, I just know I enjoy working with it, wearing it and decorating with it. A few examples...

I recently knit this sweater using different shades of orange. I kept the bright orange yarn throughout the piece & added other shades as I knit. It's a fun sweater to wear with strands of orange & brass beads. The body of the sweater is just your basic rectangle, but I switched it up a bit by knitting triangles for the sleeves, creating an interesting "flutter" sleeve. 

This year I decided to carry the color orange throughout my shade gardens in hopes that I will have bright bursts of color well into fall. I planted five hundred of these little flowers and have already been rewarded with a beautiful view. An extra bonus, hummingbirds!

 Oh, and yes there I am with my orange jeans and my new orange hair!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Conundrum...an intricate and difficult problem. That's what I had on my hands or in my hands with my latest knitting project. I had discovered a simple sketch in an Italian knitting book that both intrigued and confused me. Since everything was in Italian and metrics, I had little to go on except for the sketch, a long rectangle. It was a bit of a shock to this self proclaimed queen of rectangles that there could possibly be one more rectangle that I hadn't already explored or designed. So I took the challenge. 

The first part was easy, knit a rectangle 20 inches wide and 100 inches long. I chose to do this on my standard knitting machine, one I hadn't used for sometime. More about that another time. The tricky part was shaping one end at an angle, but I managed to do that by increasing one stitch every row at the beginning. I was quite proud of myself when my piece came out to be a close match to the drawing.

The conundrum developed when I started to "put it together". I made this drawing up for you in color, something I didn't have to begin with. You start by folding the piece and joining the angled end to the side (the black lines being the seam, about 18"). Next you join the "red seams" and then the "blue" seams. Sounds simple but it's quite confusing manipulating this long piece of fabric that wants to curl and twist upon itself. I finally cut out a paper pattern and taped it together to get the idea. I was beginning to think that I might just have a long piece of nothing on my hands when it fell into place. It's an interesting piece with lots of design potential. What you can't see very well from the photo is that it's a combination of a shrug and a poncho, very dramatic. I knit a second one narrower and shorter with also a nice results. The conundrum was solved. RRT

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What Shawl I Do?

Every woman knows this dilemma.  You have an occasion to go to, you have the perfect little sleeveless dress, but you have nothing to wear as a wrap. You head off to the mall or your local boutique for a solution without much success. Of course everyone suggests that if all else fails, carry a shawl. Yes that works. It's easy, it's affordable but... I don't know about you,  I never know what to do with the dang thing. It starts up around your shoulders doing its job, but inevitably ends up in the crook of your arms. It hangs there in a tangled mess. You can't move freely, give a hug gracefully or worst of all, hoist your  glass without some fringe dangling in the wine.  Never mind, RRT Designs to the rescue. 

All you need is a lovely long scarf or shawl and a needle and thread. Fold the shawl in half and sew a 6 to 8 inch seam along one edge of the shawl as shown. Of course if you have a sewing machine handy, all the better.  That's it, you have your "cape shawl".  You'll quickly see that when you put the shawl on it drapes in the back like a cape, sits nicely on your shoulders and hangs gracefully down the front. You can add a pin or a small snap for closure if you like and you're good to go. 
fyi...I sewed with a light thread so you could see the seam. Obviously it would be better to use a matching thread.

Oh and by the way, we have an excellent selection of scarves and shawls at nextdoor. Stop by, pick out your favorite one and we'll even convert it to a cape shawl for you. Shawl we see you?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Shawl We Dance?

For as long as I can remember, I have loved shawls and scarves. My mother always had one artfully tied around her neck to go with a cute outfit that she no doubt made for herself. And when I discovered weaving, it was a natural item to create on a loom, long and rectangular with fringe. I have made many scarves over the years, woven, knit, crocheted, hand dyed, screen printed,...not to mention the 800 plus "scarves for shelter" with Project Knitway. My interest in scarves seems to be renewed every spring, this year being no exception. It's the perfect addition to brighten up a tee or add a little warmth on a cool evening. Thanks to Hollywood, the popularity of scarves has dramatically increased to the point that everyone is wearing them. It's not uncommon now to see a young woman artfully wrapped in a colorful scarf at the grocery store. Very French! Of course I'm never satisfied until I have added my own twist to the subject, so in the days ahead I'll be sharing some new ideas on scarves and shawls with you. Just to wet your appetite, I have included a few photos of some of my scarves plus a link to my favorite video clip of Glenn Close discussing French women and their scarves in the movie Le Divorce. Enjoy and check back for more on the subject...because we shawl see. RRT

link to clip from Le Divorce (sorry about the beer ad)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Perfect Day

I have always said the perfect day for me is a combination of exercise, creativity, relaxation and a good book or movie. So when I returned from my walk, I headed into my studio. Remember my window shades? Well I decided to screen print and stencil some designs on them. It was great fun and I really love the results.

The shades are just velcroed to the glass, so I can take them down at anytime with no difficulty or unsightly mess. The whole printing experience was so much fun that I decided to treat myself to a new toy, a thermofax machine. It promises to be lots of fun, an easy way of making silk screens for more printing projects. So I'll be sharing all that with you soon. Hope you had a perfect day too!