Sunday, November 10, 2013


Did you notice? Plaid is big this season! Especially in fashion accessories.

In knitting, there are several methods to create plaid fabric. You can combine horizontal and vertical stripes which will involve doing some duplicate stitch embroidery or using bobbins to carry your vertical colors. Or you can got at it "fair isle" style, and carry several alternating colors across each row.

And then there is the mosaic technique. A lesser known way to create multicolor knits where you never, ever use more than one color per row. Now, how does that sound to all of you afraid of colorwork?

Here are a couple of plaid mosaic design examples.

The Block Party is an "eternity" scarf (shaped as a continuous ring) that uses both my Kettle Tweed in the multicolor, and Elfin Tweed in the solid. A perfect first time mosaic project. I am showing it here next to other designer plaids :)

For the more ambitious, try the Sunset Plaid cardigan. Worked in a Meadow Silk solid color, matched with a multicolor wool. 

The mosaic technique is achieved but knitting with whatever color you are using for the row, and slipping any stitches you want to keep with the other color. It creates a fairly dense fabric since it compresses the rows, so it is a good idea to use needles slightly larger than you would normally choose for your yarn weight. Barbara Walker includes several mosaic stitches (shown in charts) in many of her stitch collection books.

Mosaic is one of my favorites and I love the challenge of designing new charts using this technique. Have you tried mosaic before?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Anthropologie or me?

I subscribe to the daily Anthropologie email and the featured sweater in today's edition reminded me of my Mockingbird Pullover pattern. As you can see, it is not identical, but with similarities. Mine is worked in Seda Rustica, a lofty and soft blend of 70% silk and 30% baby llama. Yummy :)

So I ask you, where does the inspiration come from? Were both the designer of their version and I influenced by the same social elements? Ideas often just pop up in my head out of seamingly nowhere, but surely the subconcious is at work...

Do you find ready-wear sweaters and try to match a pattern for you to make? Do you have a favorite store or designer that inspires your knitting?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Classic Color, Classic Style

The first steps in designing a yarn from scratch is deciding what fiber content it will be and what weight and type of spin/twist/plies. Once we put our request in with the mill, they create a sample based on those perimeters. When it's ready, they send us a few skeins to try, often in natural color.

That was the scenario for our Cria Lace a lace weight blend of fine alpaca and tencel. So, not wanting to wait until all the colors were developed, dyed and delivered, I promptly began designing the very first garment with the natural color sample. And voila, the Olivetti Cardi!

Here are a few photos showcasing this design in today's Fashion Inspiration mood board.

Although Cria Lace is lightweight, I held 2 strands together to give me a gauge of around 5.5 stitches per inch. It turns this one yarn into two different ones, and at over 500 yards per hanks, a smart knitting choice! 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Traveling Stitches...

When I travel I always pack way more yarn that I could realistically use on my trip...just in case. I would not ever want to run out and stress over not having ANY projects!

Last week, I visited my parents in Mandeville, Quebec for a couple of days and came packed to the gills. Actually brought enough yarn for 3 projects, and I managed to complete one.

In honor of where I was, I named this shawl, what else, "Mandeville." It uses one hank each of 2 colors of Crock-O-Dye (65% superwash wool/20% nylon/15% silk).

The lower edging is worked first side-to-side in color 224 Neon Nights (check out how the colors striped naturally!). Most of the upper section is worked using color 734 Plum Black filling in using short rows.

We are inviting a limited number of knitters to "test knit" this project before I launch the pattern. A test knitter is a knitter who will knit their own sample, using their own yarn, and let us know of any pattern issues so we can correct before officially offering the pattern for sale. They get a free copy of the pattern (the original, and any final corrected version), and get to be the first select ones to work on it before anyone else. I will also offer a free copy of any of my patterns (your choice) once your test knit is complete, as long as you have met all the requirements. You can read about it here (note that this is a time sensitive project, so depending on when you are reading this blog post, the open participation may be closed).

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Nightime Knitting Creation

How often do you lay in bed at night thinking about knitting? If you are a bit like me, the answer is "a lot!"

After a while, there is no point in fighting it, so I just turn on the old iPad and start putting ideas together. I came up with this new Fashion Inspiration board last night, around 1 a.m.

I can just see those pants (plaid is big this season) with the Winter Butterflies pullover. And those shoes! Too cute :)

The Brae Tweed yarn used is the loftiest and softest, totally the opposite of what tweed yarns often feel like. So it's a pleasure to knit with and to wear---both important features :)

The design uses raglan shaping, with a wide neck band. It's a bit like a baby circular yoke. No shaping intrudes in the pattern stitch panels, so you don't have to worry about keeping the pattern going while making decreases, which sometimes gives some knitters trouble. Because of that, it is a good choice if you want to try your hand at your first sweater with a bit of lace.

Monday, October 21, 2013


Just got back from a weekend in Rhinebeck and the NY Sheep and Wool festival. I saw lots of people wearing knit and crochet fashion. So many colors, so many fibers, a feast and overindulgence of inspiration!

I saw some cute, well put together outfits, with a sweater at the center of it all. This prompted me to create a mood board built around one of my new fall design: Twin Peaks Cardi, pattern 2056.
You can see more photos of this sweater on Ravelry (and order a digital copy there, too).

The yarn used is super soft Seda Rustica, a blend of rustic silk and baby llama. I designed 11 rich colors to select from. Check those out here. It is worked from the bottom up in one piece with no side seams. The traveling ribs form a triangle on each side and continue under the arms. The instructions are given as charts.

Do you like to work from charts, or do they confuse you?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

One of my designs in Knitter's Magazine!

It doesn't matter how many years I've been doing this (30+) and how many times I've had designs in print, it's always exciting to see! Kind of like handing over one of your babies and seeing it again after being pampered, powdered and dressed for the camera.

When you work with publications, you turn in your finished design months ahead of it reappearing in print, and sometimes by then you forget how it looks. So I was pleasantly surprised to receive these beautiful photos. They do showcase well the stitch pattern, worked in Cozette, a buttery soft yarn new to Knit One, Crochet Too for spring.

The Seafoam Shells shawl pattern can be found in Knitter's Magazine issue K110, on pages 72-73, and is available now. You can see more in this issue here.

I worked the shell edging first, side to side. I then picked up stitches along the straight edge and worked a few rows on all the stitches. To begin filling in the upper section, I started working short rows, adding more and more working stitches each side until all stitches are worked across each row. The trick to make the upper edge curve in a little, and help the shawl stay better on your shoulders, is to bind off the stitches firmly at the top edge.

The main pattern stitch was originally a solid stitch without any yarn overs. I tweaked it to include the yarn overs and give it a more openwork lacy feel. Both lace patterns, for the edging and the main section, are given in chart format.

Although I have not been good about posting regularly, just know that it is all the KNITTING I am doing that is keeping me away from the keyboard. My deadline to finish the fall/winter collection is fast approaching, and all shall be revealed soon :)


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Back From 3 feet of snow...NOOOO!!!

Darn those ipad apps. They promise you everything, and some fail miserably. That is the case of the Blogger app I installed before I left. Yes, it allowed me to write a post while I was away. And no, it didn't work at all when it came to adding photos. And what is a blog without photos. Do you really just want to read my ramblings without a colorful pause here and there? Nope. Didn't think so.

Like this beautiful sunset that played out for us in late afternoon.
Postcard perfect! And here is the pier right across the street from where we stayed...
And this is what it looked like back home in Maine while we were sticking our toes in the warm sand...
This cute couple got married in all the whiteness snow affords (30+ inches of it). Such a pretty photo, I had to share. The lighthouse in the background is located on the campus of Southern Maine Community College. It is a beautiful setting (even in winter!), right on the ocean on the shores of Casco Bay, in South Portland, Maine.

I did a photoshoot there last year. Here is the very same lighthouse, minus the white stuff.
Yes, I promise, spring and summer are on the way, and this tank will tempt your needles. I call it the "Sea Lavender Tank" (pat #1908) and it is worked in Nautika, a silky (but very affordable) microfiber blend that knits up quickly on size 8 (5mm) needles. It would be cute too worn over a tee :).

We've been uploading patterns in the Ravelry store for immediate download (don't we just LOVE instant gratification!) You can download it yourself, or you can ask your favorite store owner to do it for you through the Ravelry "in-store sales" program.

You can click to download the pattern.

Since my knitting world is always topsy-turvy, I am currently working on our fall/winter designs. I have a few ready to go...and will post some previews here as soon as the patterns are done :)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Leaving for CA! Yes!

I am leaving tomorrow morning for California. 4 days of work, followed by 5 days of play.

The stress of getting ready is intense. Especially deciding what knitting project(s) to bring. Bear in mind that we have shipped many, many yarn samples already, and that I'll have access to all that yarn should I run out... One never knows. Best be prepared than risk the chance to go into major withdrawal. Know what I mean? Yes, I knew you would.

In my last post, I showed you the front of a sweater with a pretty motif in the center. As promised (to myself) I used that motif in another design ('cause it IS so purty :), and here is what it looks like (the pink one):

It will be a sophisticated 20-inch wide stole. The off white background is a finished scarf. Love it.

Cria Lace is the yarn used. It is not yet available (it is a new yarn for fall), but we will have our stock (so we can ship to yarn stores) around the end of February. I will make a BIG effort to have these patterns ready to go around that time too, so that I may satisfy the "sweet knitting" tooth of all.

The yarn comes in 18 beautiful colors making it extra difficult (at least for me) to decide which to use next. Let the drooling begin...

Back to packing. I may need a 2nd suitcase...just for yarn and assorted knitting paraphernalia.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

My weekend knitting project

What did you miss since I last posted in October? Well, I registered the domain name "mydailyknit" so that you can now access this blog directly by typing "".

And mostly lots of knitting. What else, right? At least that is the only important thing I remember anyway. :)

This coming Thursday I am leaving for TNNA, a national needle arts trade show (not open to the public). We exhibit at 2 shows per year, and this one, is in California. Living in Maine, I am looking forward to a bit of warmth. Especially with the sub-zero temperatures we just had this week. Brrrrr. Good knitting weather, though. Hey, the silver lining, people!

I am bringing my iPad to stay connected (sad state of affair that I can't leave home untethered to the internet...). Last time I tried to post via Safari on the Ipad, it wouldn't let me scroll past one screen's worth. So that didn't work. Don't really want to type below the screen and not see what I wrote. So I just downloaded the Blogger app and am hoping that will fix that problem. The ratings on this app, however, are not so good. Keeping fingers crossed. I'll try to share photos with you. Maybe even of knitting celebrities. I've got connections.

Ok, about is what I am working on this weekend.

A raglan sleeve pullover with a center motif, worked in Brae Tweed. I chose color Caramel. It's a light color clay. Yummy, and so is the yarn. Brae Tweed is a softly spun blend of 60% merino wool/20% baby llama/10% bamboo/10% donegal. And it feel very nice on the fingers, and on the body when worn :)

See, told ya. Yummy :)

And here is a close up in black & white 'cause sometimes texture pops like that.

This is the front of a pullover. I have the first sleeve almost done. What happened to the back, you ask? I like to do things out of sequence (and really, most often there is no sequence of consequence...humm). Actually, in order to preserve my arm (yes, it is still hurting. I got a cortisone shot back in December, plus some therapy, and there is a residual pain inside the arm above the elbow...), I am enlisting the help of my friend TJ, who is a great knitter and knits at the same gauge as me. I send her body parts,,, I mean sweater parts, and she makes and adds the missing parts, so that we have a completed sweater in the end. I call those my Frankenstein sweaters.

The pattern will be available in late March. And we've started to make patterns available through Ravelry - for both knitters, and for shop owners who want to order for their in-store customers.

I like this pattern stitch so much that I am planning to design a feminine stole using our upcoming new yarn to make it (Cria Lace, fine alpaca and tencel). Imagine wrapping yourself in those flowers (or x's and o's, whatever your eyes see) in a delicate yarn. Ahhhh...

Ok, enough dreaming in color, now I have to get back to finishing that first sleeve!

Happy knitting,