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?