Saturday, 17 December 2011

Gnarled oak

A wonderful knit from coastal knits- a collaboration project from Alana Dakos and Hannah Fettig. As soon as I saw the preview I ordered the yarn - pigeonroof studios cassiopea dk from the states. The dyer had only 4 skeins in her etsy shop whilst the pattern calls for 6 skeins. I know the designer must add some extra yardage for safety but from past experience I know that for my size (XS-S) , 3 to 4 100 grams double knitting skeins are enough. The yarn is truly amazing ; exquisite colouring- love those silky shades of brown and green ,  it is  squishy with great stitch definition, and oh so soft against the skin.

Its a basic cardigan with striking embossed oak leaves on the yoke. Now I have this obsession to leave as little as possible yarn left overs and sometime I do go for the extreme. So here is what I've done ; started the cardigan from the bottom up, now doubting I haven't got enough yarn - made the body only 34 cm before starting the sleeves.  I've made a provisional cast on for the sleeves close to the armhole (about an inch) , join them to body and knitted up the yoke and cast off at the neck. Then rejoined the sleeves and knitted them downwards longer than stated up to above the wrist. Having finished the sleeves I had about half a skein left so without hesitation I inserted  a life line just above the rib hem of the body, cut the rib away, rejoined and  knitted downward until basically run out of yarn and then started the rib with the yarn frogged from the original rib.  A similar process was done here. I wanted to create a more slimline cardigan and I'm happy with the extra length skimming over the hips.

By the way the real stars here are my goats , the nanny with the collar is an old English pure breed. She is a definite character , goats are not as daft as sheep, there is a certain intelligence behind those alien eyes.. I'm milking her every morning and making  cheese.  Her two billies are called ,cough cough, Lunch and Dinner or in short Ed and Zed. But hey this is a knitting blog and I'm busy with holiday knitting , more of which later..

Sunday, 20 November 2011


I have started the popular Cria by Ysolda numerous times. For those of you in the know , Cria is being knitted seamless top down with an genius method of picking up stitches and using short rows to build up the neck and shoulders area. I'm really bowing and removing my hat here for Ysolda - just the calculations here for all the sizes, wow ! You have to pay attention for the garter stitch neck edges because there aren't any hems later on. I was unhappy with my knitting at first until I decided to slip the first stitch on the neck edge instead of knitting it - that created a tidier edging. I know some knitters added later on edging by crocheting or I-cord but for me the wet blocking was all what it took to smooth matters. Another struggle for me was to find the right yarn. I've started with some grey 4 ply alpaca and it looked good at start but then my fickle knitting heart decided to frog it all and invest in the real McCoy- oh yes baby , old maiden aunt, hand painted alpaca/silk dk ion-dubh (blackbird). Ysolda used it in one of her Cria samples. The yarn is beautifully dyed, colors changing ever so slightly between the shades of this sophisticated dull blue. You just know quality when you see and knit it - recommend !

Its a tight fit but I like it that way.

Cuff close up-the buttons were bought in Ally Pally this year from the textile garden stand- lovely selection of buttons there  and a good customer service..

See the cute little pockets?

Enjoyable knit and I wear it often , its a one to keep !

Monday, 31 October 2011

Live oak shawlette

This is a lovely quick and easy pattern from knitscene fall 2011, designed by Romi Hill. Romi conquered a niche with all her small shawl designs and pretty shawl pins. I've got other shawls of hers queuing on Ravelry , purchased her 2nd book of small shawls and even got a swirl copper shawl pin  in knitnation London 2010.

I chose to knit with Malabrigo sock, an old favourite-you just know it won't shed like a black dog in summer ... The color is Turner , very uunusual variegated between yellow-olive-aubergine-brown. I was not sure about it when it arrived , but it grew on me and looks striking on grey or brown . The lace bit is incredibly easy and I adore those leafy ends. Here are some photos, it is rather cloudy and miserable-apologies...


Be Happy and Keep Knitting !

Friday, 7 October 2011

Cambridge shawl

Couple of months ago my mother in law brought me a cut piece of paper from the Daily mail. It was Kate Middletton shopping in Waitrose and wearing a green shawl. My mother in law kept admiring it and gave me some guastly scratchy mohair from a charity shop. I got the hint. I promised to knit it for her. Her yarn was given back to charity. I still got self respect..

I chose a dk yarn from my stash, rowan  ryc classic cashcotton dk in a pleasing spring green color. It is drapey and soft . I'm just not convinced if its going to stay like that after washing.. The pattern is easy to memorise after few rows. The ruffles are knit as you go by using short rows. On I went with the job - its going to be her xmass present. Here are the photos ;


I hope she will like it !

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Cornwall and a Crocheted bracelet

We took a break in Cornwall couple of weeks ago. It is such a beautiful part of the country .

The is a path way on which you can walk to St Michael's mountain but the tide was too high up. So all are queueing for the taxi boats.

Intricate use of shells..

So charming.

Our Lodge was 2 miles away from Polperro (above). To my delight I found this yarn shop there, and as a souvenir I bought enough yarn to knit Dahlia.


In Padstow I bought a silver crocheted bracelet (St Ives Silver) ; I like it a lot  it and I like that it was crocheted.

The last days of the Summer, enjoy them while you can. :)

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Elisa Sawlette

A charming shawlette by Tiziana Samurai [ravelry link]

Destashed a ball and a bit of kidsilk haze. Interesting construction of using short rows. The turning point of the short row-hole being created- is part of the design. Also worth pointing the designer's clever method of creating even nupps.

The yarn perhaps is too fuzzy to show off the design but the results is  light and airy useful little shawl. Berta fully agrees.. :)

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Old rose wrap

Few years ago I visited the knitting and stitching show in Alexandra palace, London and noticed an intricate wrap wore by lady  in the 'Loop' stall. I've complimented her and when the lady herself published the pattern I was delighted.

I mainly knit but this is  crocheted .The beauty of it is that you can join the squares as you go and the joining itself contributes to the pattern. Its all looks complicated and intricate but after completing few squares the pattern is memorised and it is very relaxing enjoyable crocheting. The old rose wrap calls for a variegated Malabrigo sock and a solid color. I think its important not to create too much color pooling so the way this yarn is dyed is just perfect for the pattern. I've chose a mix of purple and green - 'rayon vert' for the main section and then a sophisticated blue - 'cote d'azure' for the edgings and 3D roses. I've changed the pattern a bit to look more like the original version I saw but I did not add the loopy edgings; instead went for a lacy picot trim.

The pattern is so versatile , because of the buttons and button holes locations. I've tried to show some of the ways it can be wrapped- a shrug, a poncho, a scarf, a cardigan..

Very pleased with my summer project !
Keeeeeep knitting :)

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Marion Foale-Red Alert

The last few months been very challenging and as a direct results knitting time was significantly reduced.In March 2011 I have started a beautiful pattern by Marian Foale. It was published in woman's weekly a while ago so its not even known in Ravelry. I immediately then cut it for safe keeping. It is a simple summer cardigan with a few purl lines near the garter hems and cuffs.

I chose Malabrigo lace -'sealing wax' color and work in a tight gauge of 35 sts per 10cm. I decided also to shorten the body length. The knitted fabric is light as a feather and the color is ever so slightly variegated between warn rich red to light orange. The hems and cuffs are knitted using 2 strands of yarn which give the cardigan some stability. It was a slow progress but I love the end results. Here are some photos taken today hurriedly in between rain wash outs .

Happy knitting ..

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Cashmere harvest !

We all know how pricey is cashmere wool.. but there are other ways to get it cheaply. My sister lives in Kansas where garage sales culture is flourishing. She always buy me cashmere tops costing nothing really. mere few dollars. One of the purchases she gifted me was this lovely soft ,oversized ,grey cashmere cardigan.

I wore it a lot , and when few holes started to show I've decided to unravel it. Now this is machine knitted and the yarn is extremely soft and fragile as you can expect from 100% cashmere lace. There is a warning here , not all machine knitted garments can be unraveled ! It is easy when you know what look for in the seams... I had a tutorial from my friend Eddie, about the fine crochet line running through the seams, in which I'm very grateful for. Here is a link to her blog regarding those issues.
And a few photos from the harvest;

  • the unravelling.

  • Unwashed skeins

  • My lovely gorgeous soft cashmere cakes ..delish !

Friday, 22 April 2011

My knitting heiress !

It took several attempts to teach my eldest the art of knitting. Her being left handed did not help either. But last year something have clicked and she started to produce wearable garments. My heart is filled with joy as she is really enjoy the knitting and progressing in her understanding of the different techniques.
Here she is with her own  knitted garter scarf and Ysolda's hat. They are not flawless but who cares..

Adi registered in ravelry as tinytangler, why don't you make her feel welcomed and be her friend ..x