Finished: Bamboo Vine Lace Tunic

July 2, 2008

Bamboo Vine Lace Tunic

Pattern: My own design.
Yarn: 3 skeins of Farmhouse Bonnie’s Bamboo
Needles: Addi’s circ 32″ US 7
Cast on date: Friday, June 27, 2008
Cast off date: Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Bamboo, what a wonderful fiber!

I am in love with bamboo… and I am in love with my bamboo tunic! It shines so beautifully and its heavy drape I heart. I am so incredibly inspired by this strong yet elegant and feminine fiber.

Inspiration for this tunic I found in a book called Knitting Lingerie Style. While browsing through the patterns, I found this:

Knitting Lingerie Style Knitting Lingerie Style2 Knitting Lingerie Style3

I was especially taken by the little bit of Vine Lace used by the designer in the neckline and bottomline. So I took that idea and incorporated it into my own design:

Bamboo Vine Lace Tunic4 Bamboo Vine Lace Tunic8

Bamboo is so incredibly drapey. It is the drapiest yarn I have ever worked with. You can see in these pictures what it does:

Bamboo Vine Lace Tunic7 Bamboo Vine Lace Tunic6

But honestly, the photos do not do it justice. You should see how it hangs elegantly around the body and how it flows and moves while you walk. I am so taken by this fiber. More than I have ever been by any other fiber.

Bamboo grows considerably after washing!

Please keep in mind that bamboo’s gauge changes considerably after washing. It grows in length as well as in width so please do yourself a favour and make a gauge swatch and then WASH it before you measure your gauge! That way you will not face unpleasant surprises when you wash your finished garment for the first time!

Also I have come to the conclusion that bamboo has a very strong will of its own. It is not only heavy, but it has a heavy drape. So forget about very fitted garments in this fiber!

Very content with the outcome

At first I was not so taken by the outcome of my project. This however, changed once I washed it and blocked it! I am so content!

Bamboo Vine Lace Tunic1 Bamboo Vine Lace Tunic3

Thanks for reading and untill the next entry!

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So Frenchy

April 2, 2008

 

skinny scarf4

 

It looks so frenchy, my skinny scarf made out of Cashmere 5 by Artyarns.
The beret, the scarf, my black fitted top… all that is missing is a Gauloise cigarette, et voila, je suis une femme parisienne.

skinny scarf3 skinny scarf2 skinny scarf1

This was a sweet little project, I just adore working with cashmere! The pattern that I used is just the feather and fan lace stitch on a needle size 8. I kept on going untill I ran out of yarn. Sweet and simple.

Remember this one?

Those of you who have been frequenting my knitting blog must remember this project:

Rip rip rip

Remember how I miserably failed with the increases at the middle section of my top? Here is a picture to remind you… I still shake my head and roll my eyes over it:

Too much pleads

After I ripped it back to start anew, I just was so sick of it that I tossed this sweater project in a corner. It took me several months to finally look at it again and to make amends.

Let me tell ya, this sweater is giving me some SERIOUS ATTITUDE. She is slappin’ me around. But… I persevered and this is how she looks now:

improved

I cut back the number of increase stitches considerably as you can see. The pleads are much subtler now and the thing does not look like some pregnancy outfit.

I will be working some more on this one in the next few weeks! I so want to be done with it!

Look at this cute design

Araucania Hat

I want to knit this hat so badly… designed by Jean Moss and featured in a Auracania pattern book/mag called Wandering Spirits.

SALLY WILL YOU PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ORDER THIS FOR ME???

Pretty please… like… yesterday?

 

brave little mushrooms

Thanks for reading and untill the next entry!


Finished: Hat “Portia” by Louisa Harding

March 20, 2008

FO Portia2

Pattern: Portia
Book: Venezia “Una Volta”, Designer Louisa Harding
Yarn: 1.5 balls of Grace-Silk & Wool by Louisa Harding
Needles: Addi’s circ 24″ US 5 and Addi circ 24″ US 7
Cast on date: March 19 , 2008
Cast off date: March 20 , 2008

Again a quick knit… 2 days!

Quick for sure, this lovely little beret pattern called Portia by Louisa Harding. However enjoyable… hmmm… not too much.

I had a hard time figuring out the lace pattern and saying aloud what stitch would come after the other stitch really helped me. Usually, I simply “understand” a lace pattern and I don’t have to count too much but this one… Oi.

Portia2

I persevered, however, and it is really a miracle that I did not make any mistakes. The outcome I simply adore!

Let’s look at the details…

Not in the round

This beret is knitted flat much to my satisfaction! I am one of those knitters that doesn’t like to knit on dpns and really, I don’t mind seaming at all.

So decrease it goes, and then later seamed from the top down:

Decrease Portia Seam Portia

I used the mattress stitch for seaming and it went very well. Had a bit of a hard time when I hit the lace section but in the end, that went well too.

The result I love!

FO Portia3

No Modifications

The pattern calls for a yarn that yields a gauge of 22 stitches over 4 inches/10cm and that is exactly Grace-Silk & Wool’s gauge.

I like my hats to be very slouchy so I decided to go up a needle size and instead of a US 6, I choose to work with a US 7 hoping for a more bigger beret and my plan worked out fine (phew).

I did exactly what the pattern wanted me to do and did not bump into errata. Just the way I like it.

How did I like the yarn?

LH Grace-Silk and Wool

Delicious, just delicious this Grace-Silk & Wool by Louisa Harding. This blend of silk and merino just slides like butter through your fingers and feels light and lofty. It literally made my mouth water… no joke.

Lace Pattern in Portia

The sitch definition is just gorgeous thus perfect for intricate lace patterns. Besides that, it feels wonderful close to your skin! I am thinking of making a cardigan with this yarn.

I have nothing but praise for Grace-Silk & Wool! Bravo Louisa Harding!

Thanks for reading and untill the next entry…

Beach and red surf board


I am all over the Place

January 1, 2008

All over the Place

I am all over the place… usually, I have just one project going and I work on it untill it is finished before I proceed to the next. But all of a sudden, I got several projects on my needles.

Let’s take a look…

Fingerless Glove “Sally”

Fingerless Glove Sally

When I was working on fingerless glove Adrienne, I came up with this fingerless glove with button. I have named this one “Sally” in honor of Sally Palin, the owner of yarnshop Close Knit on Alberta Street in Portland.

The yarn that I am using is Suri Merino from Blue Sky Alpacas. In the next photo you can view how my design “evolved”:

Design progress

On the left you see my initial design, in the middle you see the first improvement of that initial design. On the right you the final design. I kept on working on the glove untill I was totally satisfied with the way it looked. Is it long enough? Am I satisfied with the ribbing? Am I satisfied with the way the little button is situated? How many stitches to cast on for the little strap? Finally after some time, this is the final design which to me looks tight and in harmony:

Final Design

As soon as I am happy with the final result, I am ready to write up the pattern and testknitting begins. Right now I am testknitting with Frog Tree’s 100% worsted Alpaca.

Frog Tree

There are 87 yards of yarn in this skein and I am assuming that it will be more than enough for a pair of fingerless glove Sally. However, I need to be a 100% sure before I put out the pattern for you to knit up!

All in all, I am happy with this cute fingerless glove… I especially like the button!

Sally

Tristan’s scarf and fingerless glove

Tristan's set

Next up are Tristan’s scarf and glove which I am making out of Misti Alpaca Chunky. I bought 3 skeins in Colorway Moss Green and want to get both scarf and glove out of these skeins.

For the scarf I use the same stitch which you see in the body of fingerless glove Sally:

Tristan's scarf 2

This is how it looks from the back side:

Tristan's scarf 3

I am not sure how this stitch is called… moss stitch I assume, but I am not sure. Anyways, in Tristan’s scarf I use this stitch in the middle part and the first and last 4 stitches are done in seed stitch.

I also made an attempt to make a very simple fingerless glove for Tristan. If you are familiar with my gloves, you know that I always knit them flat and later on I seam them. I tried to do it again with this chunky yarn but I am not happy with the outcome:

Tristan's glove

This yarn is chunky, thus creating enormous bulk at the seam. Me don’t like… me don’t like at all… Not tight and in harmony at all!

It looks cute though, but I am thinking of making this one with double pointed needles (ugh) to eliminate the seaming alltogether. In that way, I get rid of that bulk on the side.

Tristan's glove 2 Tristan's glove 3

Tomorrow, I will head out to Sally’s shop to get some US #9 double pointed needles and finish a pair of gloves. With the yarn that is left over, I will finish the scarf. And yes, you know it, I will post both patterns for free!

Last but certainly not least…

My mother in law, Christine, called me with a special request… She told me that on Christmas day, when she was all dressed up and ready to go to her daughter’s to have Christmas dinner, she did not want to put on her heavy coat and wished that she had a shawl to put over her shoulders.

In my book, Christine is a “really really very special person”, and yes, I will be happy to make her an elegant shawl. She loves the color black and she really would like a rectangular shawl.

What type of shawl does one make for a very classy and stylish lady? A lady that always wears the most elegant dresses, high heels, perfect hair and make up?

With this in mind I set out to find the perfect yarn for Christine. After I found the perfect yarn for her, I dived into my stitch dictionaries to find a suitable stitch for her shawl. After several evenings of searching, I came up with the following three stitches and made swatches:

Swatch #1: Vine Lace. A very elegant lace stitch with only 4 row repeat.
Christine1 Christine2

Swatch #2: Double Wing, open work version. Almost make me think of Art Noveau/Art Deco Style.
Christine5 Christine6

Swatch #3: Scroll Pattern. Makes me think of wings of birds. Has a Japanese feel to it, in my opinion. Both front and back look very pretty.
Christine3 Christine4

I very much like all three patterns and will send the swatches to New York so that Christine can choose which one she likes best. I am so curious which one she will like best!!!

Thanks for reading this long post and untill the next entry!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! MAY ALL YOUR WISHES COME TRUE IN 2008!


Manos Silk Blend and other goodies!

December 10, 2007

Manos silk blend

After my misfortunate Too-Much-Pleads-Freaking-Looks like a Pregnancy-Top adventure, I kind of felt bummed out… what better way to cheer myself up with some new yarn: Manos Silk Blend…

More of that later, first some other Inspirational Goodies!

Inspirational Goodies

Don’t you just LOVE to get some crafts supplies?Ooooh, I always feel like a little kid whenever I get some of those goodies!

Today, I went with some friends to a quiltshop in Multnomah Village to get the most beautiful buttons and some fabric. Do I have a project in mind for it? Of course not, but I am sure I will in the near future! We all know that feeling don’t we?

These large buttons make my heart beat faster… I grabbed the last two available at the shop:

Buttons

And this beautiful Japanese fabric with Dogwood print…sigh… LOVE it!

Dogwood Japanese Fabric

After the quiltshop, we went to an Antique Market and I found these gorgeous vintage sewing patterns.

Vintage Patterns1

Can I sew? No, but they are a wonderful inspiration for knitwear design. I just love love love the schematics given and would very much like to see that with all knitted patterns.

The femininity in these patterns just rock my world:

Vintage Patterns 2 Vintage Patterns4

And look at these ever so elegant necklines. You know I am going to design a top with a neckline like that!
Vintage Patterns3

And this wonderful low cowl neckline with cute button(right model)…sigh… wouldn’t that make a beautiful sweater or coat?
Vintage Patterns5

I am telling you, I am so inspired!

Manos Silk Blend

feather and fan fingerless glove

First of all, thank you all so much for giving me advice on my top! I really appreciate that and it encourages me to go on and not to give up…

I did have to step away from the project this week though. You see, if I don’t finish something in more than 3 weeks, this knitter gets anxious. And besides that, I needed to cheer myself up and what better way to do that with some new yarn: Manos silk blend.

I was thrilled when Manos silk blend arrived at Sally’s shop Close Knit and immediately purchased three colorways to play with: bleu dark grey, light grey with soft pink and finally variegated purple.

I wanted a a mindless project so I chose to play around with the feather and fan stitch.

The feather and fan stitch is one of may favorite lace stitches and you can make so many variations. Usually, it is given in a 18 repeat stitch pattern but I fooled around a bit and used 24 repeat pattern:
24 st repeat feather and fan

And this variation is with a 30 repeat pattern with extra stockinette rows in between:
30 st repeat feather and fan

And finally, I used a variation in which I omit the yarn overs and replace them with Kfb increases:
Purple variegated

In the end I finished two scarves. I blended the bleu dark grey Manos with a dark grey Kidsilk Night, and the light grey with pink Manos got blended with a light grey Kidsilk Night. The Kidsilk Night has ever so subtle sparkles!
manos silk blend and kidsilk night

Playing around with the feather and fan stitch and the luscious Manos Silk Blend put me in a better mood and inspired me to design a new fingerless glove:
Feather and fan fingerless glove2

It’s cute, I am happy with it. As soon as I am completely satisfied, I will write up the pattern and issue it for free!

Well, it is time to pick up my top again. I will work on it in the next few days and see what will happen.

Thank you so much for your readership! I really appreciate it..

Untill the next entry!


Free Pattern: Double Dayflower Scarf

October 17, 2007

Double-Dayflower2 Double-Dayflower3 Double-Dayflower1

A few months after I first learned how to do a knit stitch and a purl stitch, I was ready to venture out to lace. I was in awe of those knitters who could do lace and would browse the knitting forums and lurk in every thread were lace was discussed.

One day, I stumbled across a lace thread over at Knittinghelp.com. The knitters were discussing a lace pattern called “Dayflower” and one knitter in particular wanted to double this pattern but did know how to.

Other knitters came to the rescue and at the end of the thread somebody wrote out the whole 16 row repeat pattern and doubled it! I immediately copied the pattern and stared at it for many days.

There are knit two together (k2tog), slip slip knit (ssk), purl two together through backloop (p2tog tbl) and purl 3 together through back loop (p3tog tbl) and my word was I intimidated!

What the hell are these abbreviations and how to knit them??? I had not to fear because Amy Finlay from Knittinghelp.com has excellent videos on how to do those stitches!

So I took a deep breath, got me some Noro Silk Garden colorway 205 / colorway 218 and some Addi Circulairs # 9 and bravely casted on…

Colorway 205
Double-Dayflower3

Colorway 218
Double-Dayflower2

It was hard for me in the beginning… but I did not give up and diligently kept on going. And this was the result:

Double-Dayflower2a

I had so much fun knitting it that I also knit this pattern in Noro Silk garden # 84.

Double-Dayflower1

I have had so many compliments on this scarf!

Double-Dayflower1a

Many thanks to the lace knitters over at Knittinghelp.com for writing out this pattern. And since it was posted for free, I made a pdf file for you to down load this Double Dayflower Pattern!

Double DayFlower

 

Have fun knitting!

Note added 10-23-07:

If you have never done lace before, maybe it is good to try the feather and fan scarf first…! If you are pretty confident you are ready for the Double Day Flower, go for it!

 


In which I slip into a Funk…and get pulled out.

June 22, 2007

I slipped into a funk… I was wandering so deliciously in my world of color, imagination and joy when suddenly I hit this grey wall which confused me so much that I lost my balance and slipped into a funk.

Oostindische KersGroen

Life is not all about joy, laughter, love and happiness…

Once I dreamt that a dark energy came rolling at me. I still recall its terrifying sound…it was the sound of a heavy rolling and crushing all destroying millstone. I could see images of hate, hurt and pain. Luckily, the terrifying millstone of dark energy rolled passed me and I heard it say: “I too exist in this world. Do not deny me or underestimate my force, because if you do, I come knocking at your door.”

I remember how I bowed my head in my dream, and how fortunate I felt that the millstone rolled passed me and did not crush me.

Slipping into a funk is part of life. The art is how you deal with it, and even more interesting in my opinion, how you get out of it or should I say how you get PULLED out of it.

OostIndische Kers

Things that made me smile

This past week I received two packages that made me smile. The packages were both related to knitting…

The first package was literally a bundle of joy in the form of sweet little thank you letters from kids that have seen and touched two pairs of gloves I had handknitted.

You see, through this blog, I came into contact with a woman who teaches knitting to preteens in a summer program. Once she told me about this I had sent her two pair of gloves to inspire and motivate those kids and to show them that even if you are a beginner knitter, you can make simple little things like gloves.

Kids… you don’t realize how much your letters have made my day! THANK YOU!

Another package that made my day was a package from She-Knits. I had entered into a blog contest in which you had to name one of Sheknit’s stitch markers. Check them out here.

I came up with the name Twinkle Twinkle Flower Star and I won! My prize were these super cute little stitchmarker birds:
Birds

Thank you so much She-Knits! It was sun entering into your contest!

Yes, little things like this can pull one out of a funk…

Not only these two things made me smile… there were many many other things that made my day. For that I am truly thankful.

As for knitting

I will let the photos speak for themselves… The old Feather and Fan stitch is a simple yet beautiful lace pattern. It is by far one of my favorite patterns. For this little summery scarf, I used just one ball of SWT Bamboo colorway Parrot. I adore it.

Click on the little photos to enlarge:

Bamboo SWTDSCN9029Feather and Fan2Feather and Fan3Feather and Fan4Feather and Fanbag

Yarn: SWT Bamboo colorway Parrot
Needles Size: 5
Pattern: shortened Feather and Fan Stitch. Usually, the Feather and Fan pattern is a 18 stitch repeat but I shortened it to 12.

Cast on 48

Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: *(k2tog) 2 times, (yo, k1) 4 times, (k2 tog) 2 times; repeat from * to the end of row.
Row 4: Knit

I repeated these four rows untill I ran out of yarn.

Last but not least I would like to end today’s entry with a picture of a beautiful Rose after an early morning rain shower… for all you out there who happen to be in a funk: hang in there. Just ride it out. It will pass. I promiss.
Rose
Free pattern