Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I am on the COVER!

Well, not exactly. I am not personally on the cover, but rather my design of a felted crochet rug I have made for Vogue Knitting on the Go: Felted Crochet book is. This is very exciting. On the left you can see the image of the book.

The title is available for sale now; you can order it here. It was released in January 2008. Anyways, I wanted to share this news and a few pictures of the rug.

I really had lots of fun making this rug because it is very easy and the repetitiveness of the project is quite soothing. The different colors make it interesting and give it a modern look - if I say so myself :). You can make it your own just by using your favorite colors. Here are a few pictures of the rug and the process of making it.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Forecast Is Done

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving and could squeeze couple hours of knitting in. I certainly did: I was a busy bee. I have finished my project for Knitter's magazine. All I have to do now is to proofread the pattern, pack it all and send it off.

I have also finished cardigan for me:

Name: Forecast
Designer: Stefanie Japel
Yarn: 4.5 skeins of Red Heart Soft Yarn
Size: 39"
Needle Sizes: US #8 and US #5
Patter: found on Knitty here (free pattern)

Modifications I made:
I have used different yarn with different gauge, so I had knitted a bigger size than I would otherwise. I have knitted the torso longer; therefore, I used 2 more buttons than called for in a pattern. And biggest change I made is that I omitted the collar and added my own by knitting it on after the cardi was done.

How you can work the same collar as mine:
If you want to do the same change, skip the first 12 rows of the pattern. With smaller needles, CO 78 (78, 86, 86, 86) sts and start working as of pattern from Row 13.

When the cardi is done, with smaller needles and WS facing you, pick up 80 (80, 88, 88, 88) sts along the neck edge starting at the point where button band meets the fronts. Next row (WS of collar): p3, k2, *p2, k2*; rep from * to last 3 sts, p3. Next row: k3, p2, *k2, p2; rep from * to last 3 sts, k3. Rep these 2 rows until the collar measures 1 1/2" short of desired length. Then work 1 row of St st, *3 rows of Rev St st, 2 rows of St st; rep once more from *, 3 rows of Rev St st. Bind off in pattern in the last row. Then CO sts along the collar edges in the same manner as for button bands and work 4 rows of Rev St st. Bind off in the last row. Finish by sewing the band to neck edge.

Here you can see the detail of he collar.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Today we went for grocery shopping for our Thanksgiving meal tomorrow, so we'll be cooking all day, though I hope I will squeeze some knitting time in.

I have not been posting for a while. I had been working on a project for Knitter's mag and I am about 3/4s done. Speaking of Knitter's, I have gotten an e-mail newsletter from Berocco; and they have a project worked in their yarn on the cover. So for you guys who have hard time finding the Knitter's gallery on their web site here it is - their Winter 2007 KNitter's #89 preview.

I have also been working on my Forecast Cardigan by Stefanie Japel. I have half of a second sleeve to go to be finished. I want to figure out if and what kind of collar I want to add to the cardi. I really like how it's turning out.

I'll post some pics tomorrow.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Progress on Forecast & New Pattern

Today I worked on Forecast some more. I am really enjoying this easy and relaxing knitting on this cardigan. I have worked about 260 yards of yarn today. I think I am about half day done. See my progress in the pictures.

Also today, I have written a pattern for a new project I will be working on for Knitter's magazine. I am looking forward to this one. Tomorrow I'd like to jump on it and start knitting it. For right now I will have to put the Forecast on hold or work on it on the go. I do not like to take my "to-be-published" projects on the go with me because I do not want to make mistakes and having to rip it out; and most importantly, I do not want it to get dirty. You know how it is with luck.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Tadaa! New Pattern's Done

So today I have formatted and finalized my new pattern Red Cabled Cardigan Hoodie. It is a body-fitting cardigan with a hood forming a nice collar when it's down. The fronts have a simple cable run from bottom to top; both the back and the sleeves are worked in a simple rib pattern, which makes this cardigan to fit perfectly to a body without any shaping required.

The cardigan is worked in one piece to underarms and then divided into fronts and back and finished separately to minimize sewing. Further, the cardigan was designed, so that no button holes are worked in; instead, the closure is made up of 4-stitch I-cord tubes sewn on once the cardigan is finished - very simple. This creates a decorative element to this cardigan. The cardigan could be also worn without the buttons and closed only with a belt.

It comes in a wide range of sizes (listed below) and I have included also the materials needed to make it. Now you can buy the pattern in my Simona's Designs Shop here, or you can click on under Buy My Designs Here to get to my store.

2 (4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16) yrs

Chest - 22 (24, 25, 28, 29, 31, 32, 33)"
Length - 12 (14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 23, 24)"
Shown in size 10 yrs (chest - 29").

* 4 (5, 6, 6, 6, 7, 8, 9) 1.75oz./50g ball (each approx. 137yd / 125m) of Elian Klasik (100% Acrylic) in color #212 red; OR 450 (600, 680, 750, 830, 960, 1100, 1240) of any comparable DK weight yarn.
* One pair of circular US size #6 (4mm) 24" or 29" or 32" long (depending on the size you are making) needles OR SIZE TO OBTAIN CORRECT GAUGE
* One pair of dpn US size #3 (3.25mm) needles OR SIZE TO OBTAIN CORRECT GAUGE
* Cable needle (cn) - optional if you can cable w/o it
* Stitch markers
* Stitch holders
* Tapestry needle
*5 wooden 1 1/4"/ 3 cm long buttons with 2 holes

*22 sts and 32 rows = 4* square over St st with US size #6 (4mm)
*27 sts and 32 rows = 4* square over Rib patt with US size #6 (4mm)

As I have stated in my last post, I have started knitting Stefanie Japel's Forecast cardi, which I like very much. I am posting a few pictures as I promised. You can see that I have omitted the collar because I don't think it would look very good on me being rather top heavy; even though I like the on Stefanie. What I am planning to do is to knit on a more conventional collar in a pattern of the bottom part. I'll see how it goes.

I am using a Red Heart Soft Yarn (because I got tons of it on sale - $10 for the project!). I hope I am not going to regret it and that the yarn will hold up good. Does any of you have any good/bad experience with this yarn? Let me know. I don't mind using it, since I am mainly knitting this to learn how the process of knitting from top to bottom works. But I still would like to wear the cardi.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

You Learn Something Every Day

Couple of days ago I had started knitting Stefanie Japel's Forecast I have seen on Ravelry.com. I loved the fact that she designs her sweaters and cardigans from top down to minimize sewing. I'd like to knit a few top-down garments to be able to design a few of my ideas that way. I think it is a great technique; the only drawback I noticed is that you can design sweaters with yokes or with raglan sleeves only(at least from what I have seen so far).

I have seen Eiknit's (her screen name on Ravelry) Forecast and she had a very interesting tip she found on the net. Here is the link for it. The lady works bobbles without turning her work to purl the bobble. She works the bobble as to work an I-cord by sliding just knitted stitches on left needle and knitting them again. Again, you can see the tutorial here. I have tried to knit the bobbles that way on this garment and I like it very much: It is easier to make the bobble.

I have been making a little bit of progress on the Forecast and I am hoping to post some pics tomorrow. It is nice to knit something that already has a pattern; this way I can just grab my bag and make it on the go.

New Book

Yesterday I have gotten a book in a mail I had been waiting for some time because I was not sure when it was going to be published exactly. It is the Stitch Style: Socks, where I have 2 of my sock designed featured.

I got the book with this first cover, though on Amazon the book is featured with the 2nd cover.

The first socks featured are Vandyke Lace Socks. These were fun to make because I had combined an eyelet stitch pattern with the Vandyke Lace Stitch (one of my favorite stitches) and it turned into a nice pair of socks. Further I added a crochet scalloped edge and ties to the cuff. This was my first time knitting toe-up socks.

I also made a pair for my daughter, in reality these were the original design, which I altered to fit the women's size anklets.

The second socks featured in the book are Textured Socks with Flowers. This pair of socks is knitted from cuff down to toe. I worked it in cellular stitch pattern. I embellished the socks with knitted flowers and dangling beads.

Cabled Cardigan Hoodie

For past couple days I had been working on the pattern and I have finally finished it. Now I am formatting it and putting pictures, charts and photos together, so it should be done within couple of days.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Ravelry and FO

As I might have said before, I have finally gotten my invitation to join Ravelry. I have spent tooo much time on it so far. It's a really good place to see what other knitters and designers are up to, what's on their needles. I love to look what others are working on with the yarns I have. I love the forums and group chats.

On Monday I have sent off my 2 projects I was working on for Vogue Knitting. It was a rather short deadline, so I was pulling a few late nighters, but I am glad I have finished on time. Now I have time to focus on other things.

First, I desperately needed to clean up. When I design or work on a project, I do not have time put things away and pull them out again because I work throughout the day an hour here and an hour there, depending on what my kids are doing, so it would be a waste of my precious time to tidy up each and every time. But it is really hard for me to see the mess around me- see pics below (it stresses me out - I'm probably weired that way), so I was happy I had some time to clean up yesterday (how odd that I was happy to clean up!?). Anyways.

Here I am organizing my magazines and other materials, so I can find what I am looking for. Big problem for me when in the mess-zone, I know what I am looking for, but I don't know where exactly it is located. Frustrating. Though, not anymore (at least for right now). :-)

Right now I am writing a pattern for the Red Cabled Hoodie Cardigan for children. I'd like to have it done in a few days (only if it was not for the Ravelry and me spending too much time on it, ah) . I'd like to list it under this month's featured patterns. Further, my eldest daughter has been nagging me for a shrug for some time, so I am swatching for that as well. I am thinking I am going to give a try to designing it from top, since I want to make it an easy knit. We'll see, I'd like it to be easy enough for kids to make it themselves.