Today is the first day of Spring! I thought I’d share a little glimpse of my new design, which is decidedly spring-like :)
The pattern probably won’t be ready for another 3-4 weeks, so stay tuned!
Now that my latest design, Miss Daisy, is available in my Ravelry, Craftsy and Etsy stores, I thought I’d share a few of my test-knitters’ versions. This round of test-knitting was a real treat, and I’m so pleased with how the pattern works out in all different sizes! (all photos are used with permission. Clicking on photographs will take you to each project page on Ravelry).
Some yarns are so pretty, you just have to have them. You don’t think much about what you’ll make with them. That’s what happened with my Malabrigo Worsted in Alpine Pearl. It was so pretty as a skein, so I just bought it. But when I used it a few years ago to make a Trendy Shawl I ended up feeling that it wasn’t the best use for it. Knit up in garter stitch, it seemed a bit muddled or messy to me. Not to mention, the yarn was too bulky for a shawl and I barely wore it. So my shawl got frogged and my beautiful Alpine Pearl lay dormant in my stash.
I was looking to knit a goodbye gift for a friend, and needed something practical, a useful item that wouldn’t be too high-maintenance but still would feel luxurious. I thought about my Alpine Pearl and searched Ravelry to see what others had made with it. I came across a beautiful project on Ravelry, which highlighted the variegation of the yarn perfectly, without the elegant design being obscured by the color changes. A match made in heaven!
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted (Alpine Pearl colorway)
Time to Knit: a couple of days per mitten
My mods: no mods!
What I thought about the pattern: Great. Well written, good layout, easy yet interesting to knit. Thanks to this pattern, I learned how to cable without a cable needle finally! I love it!
What I would do differently next time: nothing! This is a great go-to pattern for gifts. Very nice.
EDIT: Thank you everyone for your suggestions! I have selected MISS DAISY to be the name of this new pattern, after a suggestion I got on my Facebook page. Congratulations to the winner!
Ta-da!! Look what just fell off my needles. Do you want to help me find a name for it?
If I select your suggestion, you win a copy of this pattern AND any other one of my patterns!!
Here’s how to participate: either follow this blog, “Like” my Facebook page, join my group on Ravelry, or follow me on Instagram, and leave me your suggestion in any of these places.
If I select your idea, you win a copy of this pattern AND any other one of my patterns!!
Contest closes on Friday, Feb.7th.
(Please allow until the end of the month for this pattern to be written up, edited and tested)
I’ve come to love shrugs. Shrugs are pretty great. Especially when they are teeny-tiny!
1) They take no time at all to knit.
2) They are perfect to use up that lone skein of luxurious yarn laying in the corner (you know the one, you impulse-buyer you).
3) They are versatile: They dress up a simple shirt and jeans look, and they bring out the colors of a pretty dress.
4) They are the perfect present for little ladies, who seem to have a fondness for them.
Have I mentioned that I have a little lady of my own now? She is still itty-bitty and doesn’t have much say when it comes to the contents her wardrobe yet. I wish I could spend hours sewing and knitting intricate, time-consuming things for her, but since that isn’t possible anymore, I want to maximize the bang for my buck so to speak.
All this to say: I am so excited about this little shrug I’m working on! The design isn’t quite finished yet, but everything is falling into place I think, and here’s a little preview/teaser just for you.
So. New Year resolutions. Yea or Nay? (I almost wrote “yay”, ha)
I have a few resolutions floating in my head, nothing set in stone. Perhaps writing them down here will make them more likely to happen!
One thing I want to do this year, for my own sanity really, is to carve out some time for “selfish knitting.” My definition of this would include knitting more things for myself of course (rather than just for my children or for gift-giving). But also, and this is trickier for me to do: not always knitting with a potential design in mind, or heavily modifying an existing design that falls short of what I want.
Rather, the idea would to just knit recreationally sometimes, mindlessly really, from a great pattern that someone else has completely worked out. Trying to get back the feeling of meditation that you can get from the act of knitting, knitting in the round, stitch after stitch to create a sea of stockinette, or chanting the instructions to yourself as you work a lace repeat.
So: here’s my first Selfish Knit of the year, which I did as part of a Knitalong on Ravelry– A first for me! That was fun!!
Pattern: Sprig by Alana Dakos, a “preview” from the upcoming Botanical Knits 2 collection
Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers in Birch Heather
Time to knit: about 3 weeks, but I knit most of it in 10 days.
My mods: I started with the smallest size for the neckline because I wanted to make sure that it wouldn’t gape. Then I increased until I got the raglan stitch counts for the second size, and added the number of underarm stitches of the third size. So I ended somewhere between size 2 and 3 for the bust and sleeves. My detailed mods are visible on my Ravelry page.
What I thought about the pattern: A really neat and clever design, surprisingly straightforward and pretty fast to knit. I loved working the neckline, I will definitely use this idea of working “attaching as you knit” in the future. I liked the little finishing touches, which make the sweater look really polished. I do think it fits well but I had to mix-n-match the stitch counts to achieve this. On the other hand I am not getting the boatneck effect, but honestly, even though it looks lovely on the model with nothing underneath, I wouldn’t love it as much with a bra-strap or t-shirt peeking-out of it.
What I would do differently next time: I wouldn’t use Cascade 220, which is one of the yarns that is suggested, the resulting fabric is a bit too stiff, lacking drape. I was hoping it would grow a bit during blocking but it did not budge at all, which is a good thing in general! The alternate yarn suggested is 50% alpaca, so the drape would be better, though I’d worry that the gorgeous neckline details might get lost in the alpaca fuzzies.
I think I might also skip the waist shaping altogether, it’s a bit snug-fitting at the moment (leftover pregnancy weight notwithstanding) and possibly make longer sleeves, though that might mess up with the balance of the design.
The other day I was sorting through baby clothes (this is a big part of my life nowadays!) and I came across this lovely little cardigan that I had painstakingly made for A while I was pregnant with him. Here’s a photo of him at 4 months wearing it:
It’s a pattern called “Korrigan” by a fantastically talented French designer (her line of yarns is also gorgeous). I remember that, even in a 6-month size, it seemed to take forever using fingering weight yarn (I used madelinetosh merino light in the Candlewick colorway).
I was really proud of the result, it looked really precious and beautiful, and had that special heirloom quality.
Z now wears this little cardi often, and seeing her in it brings back so many memories of her brother as a tiny baby. I love that these sweet hand-knits that I poured a lot of love into are being worn by my second baby as well :)