Thursday, May 31, 2007


So the past last couple days I had been working on the top from Brooks Farm yarn. After making a swatch and washing it, I realized that the gauge changed dramatically - the fabric stretched and became thinner. Though it played to my advantage because the knitting was much faster. So now I have finished the back and fronts and blocked it and they look great. I have also finished the sleeves which are going to be in a length of right above the elbow. I have also written the pattern for this top in sizes ranging 34" (36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46)".

This i s the back. I made it very contoured to hug the body nicely making for a nice shapely fit.

THis is the back:

A detail of ribbing and Lattice pattern near the edge of the garment.

The front pieces.

More tomorrow. Le

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Knitter's magazine Gallary

The Knitter's magazine Summer 2007 is up. You can preview many of the designs here. As I mentioned int the previous post, they have had my "Diamond Mesh" top as a candidate for the cover. Even though mine got the most votes ( thank you all you guys for voting), they chose Rick Mondragon's Ivory, Copper & Gold Top.

The 2 tops I have published there are here and here:

This is a detail from the "Diamond Mesh":

Here is the "Pleine Aire" top and the detail:


I have started working on the top for me from the Brooks Farm yarn I got in the Sheep and Wool festival. I have to make some pictures and put them up, so you can see how it's coming along. So far, I have the back finished and will work on the fronts today. It is a nice weather outside today, though, so we may run out to do something with the kids. They want to go to the pool, but we don't feel like cooking in the sun much, so might just pull out our small pool into our yarn. We'll see.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sense of Accomplishment

Today I have finished all the projects, paperwork and shipped it off to publisher. Ye! Makes me feel real good when I accomplish something tangible. Unlike when I clean the house and 2 hours later you can't tell what you did all day. That's one of the reasons I love to knit. I can do it anywhere, anytime, and you can see it for long time what you have done.

Knitter's Choice for the Cover
Today I have looked on the Knitter's magazine website and they have up the 3 choices for the upcoming Summer 2007 issue cover. You can vote on which cover you think they are going to choose here. I feel honored that they chose one of my designs "Diamond Mesh" as a candidate!


Finally we got some nice weather and the kids are running outside. I love to sit back and just watch them play. Today we went to a new library which has 3 stories! We spent there some time in arts and crafts section. My oldest one chose some books on drawing and even now being outside where she could ride her bicycle, she is sitting down, brought her books and art supplies and is drawing. I suppose it is an outdoor activity as well. I should really pick myself from the computer and weed the front yard. There are some nasty weeds growing after all the rains and now warm weather.


So it is the time of a year when kids are finishing school and we are getting ready to visit our family in the Czech Republic. We are, again, going for the summer; and I am lucky enough to be able to go with the kids for couple of months. Being stay-at- home mom and free-lance designer make this possible. It is definitely good for the kids to keep up with the culture and improve their Czech language. Towards the end of the school year, the kids are inclined to use more of the English than Czech. It gives them opportunity to spend time with grandmas and cousins.

While in the library, I also picked a few books on landscaping because we have a tiny piece of yard which we would like to plant something onto that is hardy and does not require too much maintenance. I know how much work a garden can be. My grandma has a vegetable garden, flower beds and a fruit tree. The work in the garden never stops; though it is rewarding as well.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Quiet Weekend

This weekend is our first weekend without our older kids; they both went camping with Brownies. We still had our youngest one at home, but she is very quiet when her sisters are not around – actually she is the quiet one even if they are around. So today I had done lots of knitting. Well, actually crocheting without too much interruption. I am working on a project for Vogue Knitting on the Go series and this has to be felted, so I was trying to finish it ASAP because it needs to be washed and I assume it will take at least 2 days to dry. So while it’s drying I can finish the other project for another VKOTG book I had put aside. Tomorrow I am hoping to sew all the squares together and throw it into the machine. Kids are getting in around 11 am, but they will probably be really tired and will want to rest. In the afternoon I have a baby shower to go to, so I will have to work on it in the morning.

After these projects are done, I want to jump onto making the tops for myself from the Sheep and Wool festival yarns. Yey. I can't wait to make something for myself for a change.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Busy, busy, busy...

This week I have received a great yarn for 2 more project for upcoming books from Vogue Knitting on the Go. I have about one more week to finish it, so I am in a little time crunch; hence no postings to my blog.

While waiting for the yarn arrive, I have knitted up swatches from the yarns I got from the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival and now I am thinking about what I want to make. I have something in mind and keep you posted; and I am looking forward to getting started on it. I have not knitted anything for myself in a long time making things for publications and my kids. So this is exciting. Pictures of swatches are still in camera, so hopefully I'll get them up tomorrow.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival

So today I went to the Fair for the first time. It was amazing: I've seen so much yarn like never before; but by the afternoon my head was spinning. I wanted to buy so many yarns, but I had to contain myself and keep myself focused on what I like to make from that particular yarn and had to consider the colors that will look good (in my opinion) on me .

First stop I made and actually purchase something was the Tess Designer Yarns. Here is what her booth looked liked.

She had such a luscious, soft, yummy yarn that I just wanted every color she had. I enjoy knitting with yarns consisting mainly of one color and she had it all. I had hard time to pick only one yarn, so I said to myself to pick something very unusual. And that was the Microfiber Ribbon. Here it is:

My next purchase was Blue Heron Yarns Rayon Metallic (and again I followed the rule of picking something unusual, something I have not seen before) - 550 yrds and needles #7 to knit it won me over. Here it is:

Then I took a break from buying and looked around and went to check the animals. At that point I wished I had my kids with me; they would have enjoyed seeing the animals. Next year , the only way I could take the kids with me is if I took hubby with me as well. Here are a few more pictures.

While in the Main Building, I bought some cotton yarn for my daughter in her favorite color RED.

Before I left, I came across Brooks Farm booth and again was in awe. I love their yarn and picked Macero - supposedly a new yarn @ 550 yrds and I am guessing #7 needles. This size is my favorite because the garment is still very pliable and "thin", but it still knits up quite fast. Here it is:

Can you tell I really like this one?

Lastly, I bought Vulcan's Rest Fibers Prime Alpaca 100% Super Fine - 1/2 lb and 666 yrds @ $21.50. I could not resist.

Going to the Festival was great. I got great yarn- can't wait to start knitting. The only bad thing was that I walked for hours and my feet were killing me. I was really tired when I got home but it was all worth it.

Off to Maryland Wool and Sheep Festival

Tomorrow, looking at the clock, I guess today, I am going to the Maryland Wool and Sheep Festival. This is my first time, so I don't know what to expect much; but I am looking forward to going. I read some survival tips about going there, so I am all ready and set to go. Let you know how it went. Maybe I'll see you there...

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Progress Report on Above Knee-Highs

So I have been working on the Above Knee-Highs I wanted to make for so long. I’ve knitted it up to ankles and when I tried it on, I did not like how the decreases are shaping out and it fits little tighter than I would wanted it, so I will have to rip it out (yey!!) to above the calf and re-count it and re-make it. Though I really like how the pattern looks.

Here are some pictures:

Need to note that it is really tricky to take picture of such a long project on myself. Next time I hope to have better pictures - will ask hubby to take them.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

What frustrates you when you follow a pattern?

I learned to knit from my Grandma when I was just a little girl - about 6 yrs old. I grew up in communist country, in the Czech Republic, and then by far we did not have access to any patterns and pattern books for kids like it is common here. So I learned how to knit the basic stitches and then I was experimenting and trying to figure out how to make certain features of a garment, so I could make sweaters I saw in fashion magazines. At first I was "designing" for my dolls from my Grandma's leftover stash using just my imagination to make things work and I did not need any fancy terms and abbreviations. That approach stayed with me for a long time till about my teenage years when I first started to use magazines to follow patterns. That transition thoug was not easy for me at all because I could not understand the abbreviations they used. Then I came to the US, and I saw the vast offerings of patterns and knitting magazines and I loved the projects presented, but I could not understand it and that discouraged me - first it was written in English and second there were lots of abbreviations. Eventually my determination and perseverance to make that great looking sweater forced me to learn to understand it! Now I write patterns myself and try to learn something new about pattern writing every day.

SO, here is my question: "What frustrates you when you about following a knitting pattern? " When you respond, please identify your level of your knitting skills (beginner to advanced) and what would you change about patterns to make it easier for you to work with them.

How to Knit with “RUFFLES”

The Above Knee-Highs I am working on right now has a decorative edge using Lion Brands “Ruffle.” This is a similar technique I used for the Lost & Found – a knitted skirt attached to a Lacoste shirt seen in Knit.1 The Sports issue 2007.

Here it goes: First you work1 round of St st using main color yarn. Then you switch to Ruffles and work Reverse St st (purl on right side). At the beginning of the first round using Ruffles, you fold the yarn about 3”/7.5mm back to make double thickness, insert needle into fold, going through both thicknesses at 1/8”/ 3mm from top edge. Continue going through the double thickness until you run out of the "fold" (about 2 - 3 sts), then continue to purl using only single thickness.

In this fashion work for 2 rounds to last 3 sts of the 2nd round. Then cut the yarn about 3”/7.5mm beyond the end of rnd, so you can fold it back to make double thickness, purl 2 sts trough the double thickness and purl last stitch through the fold. Then you switch to your main yarn and start working St st.

If you need further help, please post in comments.