Thursday, March 27, 2008

Faded Ribbons - Knitter's #90, Spring 2008

I wanted to share with you a new pattern of mine that is published in the upcoming Spring 2008 issue of Knitter's magazine #90. It is a very easy pattern to work - all the knitting is done in straight lines. The 2x2 Rib pattern around the waist gives this top a nice body fitting waist shaping. The sample is worked in Universal ROZETTI Alora . The yarn feels very light and airy; and it is perfect for a summer knit like this.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Long Vest (VK S/S 2008) Details

OK, so I finally got my Spring/Summer 2008 issue of Vogue Knitting. I have noticed that the details of my Long Vest (#6) are not very easily seen. This is unfortunately by the nature and color of the yarn. When I took my pictures at first with flash to portray the true color of the vest, I could not see the detailing either. Then I turned the flash off, and the detail became visible and those are the picturess you can see here; though, the color appears more as a plum brown. The color in reality is just like you can see in the magazine.

The yarn used in this sample is Conjoined Creations Dance Party.
The retailers in your area carrying this yarn are listed here. I would recommend using this yarn. Please make a swatch. Measure your gauge before you wet block it; then measure your gauge after you wet block it. This yarn stretched about 30% lengthwise for me. After checking your after-blocking gauge, use the row gauge for measuring the lengths given in the pattern. E.g. if you after-blocking your gauge is 4.5 rows per 1" (2.5 cm), and the pattern says work until piece measures 7 3/4", it would mean you knit until you have worked 7.75*4.5 rows = 34 rows. This might not measure the 7 3/4" at the time of knitting; but it will once you wet-block it.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Lace Cardigan Details

Oh I forgot; some of you guys asked me if I can post some more pictures of the Lace Cardigan and the Long Vest. Here are couple of pictures of my Lace Cardi (the Vest is coming in following post), so you can see the details of it. I have not gotten my Spring/Summer 2008 issue of the Vogue Knitting, yet. I think it should be on the stands on April 1 for those of you who want to make it. If I have not said it already, the yarn (Blue Sky Alpaca: Alpaca & Silk) is a dream to knit with.

Happy Spring!

Happy Spring!

Happy first full day of Spring everyone! I am very excited about this time of year when everything is getting ready to bloom and warmer weather is just around the corner. I love getting up with a sun filling my room and the birds singing when we are having breakfast. It reminds me of my childhood, of careless days, of everything fresh and new.

Today our spring break starts and it's nice to have the kids at home and not having to rush anywhere. The kids enjoy playing with their dolls and playhouses and most importantly they HAVE the time to do that. My eldest is a very creative one. She had bought herself a plaid painting kit and some canvas the other day to learn to make her own pictures and I think that's what she's going to do today, to practice so she can create some art for her room. I can't wait to see what she'll create. Kids imagination is vast. As adults, our minds are filled with so many "important" things we need to do in a day that there's not as much time left for creativity as some of us would like to. Thanks for having knitting in our lives; it can be squeezed into a few minutes here and there everyday and make our creativity unleash even in our hectic lives.

Currently I've been working on a project for a magazine and that's what I will do today. We will take it easy and enjoy the day without having to do anything. When I knit I like to listen to my
kids reading. We take some of my childhood books in Czech and I let the kids read them to me. It serves a few purposes: They practice reading in Czech, since they don't get to speak it as much as I'd like them to; and it broadens their vocabulary. They enjoy speaking in English more since it is the language of their friends and at this point Czech is the "unpopular" language with them. Further, this gives us an opportunity to spend some quiet time together. Sometimes we knit together and get to talk. These are times I have to treasure and remember before they hit the teenage years and it will be "boring" to do this with Mom.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2008 preview

The fashion preview of the new designs of the Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2008 issue is up on their website. You can see it here. I have 2 patterns of mine featured in this issue (see pictures above). It is the Lacy Cardi (the white one) and the Cabled Long Cardi (the brown one).

The Lacy Cardi is worked in soft and lovable Blue Sky Alpaca Alpaca & Silk yarn. It is a dream yarn to work with. It's very soft and after it is blocked it's even softer and reveals any lace (open) work beautifully. Be sure , though, to measure your gauge after blocking your swatch, because the gauge changes after blocking. If you skip that step, you are going to end up with a garment bigger than you intended after you wash it. You can read my review and some details about the yarn here.

The same goes for the Cabled Long Cardi . It is worked in Conjoined Creations Dance Party yarn and the gauge changes after washing and blocking the swatch. So please do NOT skip on this step before you start knitting to ensure a good fit. But I am sure you guys know all that it is crucial if you are working on a wearable garment. You can get away with skipping this step if he finished measurements of your FO don't matter (e.g. blanket). I have talked more about the Dance Party yarn in my previous post here.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Project, Project and Yarn

I have taken a little break from blogging, since I've been quite busy. I know, who isn't. I have gotten 2 projects to work on for mags, yey. I really enjoy this process of creating and seeing my sketches to come to life, what can I say.

Cape Collar Jacket
I have finished knitting the Vladimir Teriokhin's Cape Collar Jacket and blocked it, though I had not had a chance to sew it together yet, so it's just sitting there and waiting. But that's OK, I will get to it when I have time. I can't wait to try it on.

New Store
I have been also trying to figure out what website to use for selling my patterns other than Etsy store. Ravelry (you are on Raverly, right?) will be offering a direct PDF download upon payment, so the customer does not have to wait 24 hrs to have their pattern e-mailed to them. I am pretty good about sending the pattern within a few hours of a customer's purchasing (sometimes even minutes); though it is not the best way. Further, I am limited on what size of a document I may send via e-mail, so I cannot send a document having as many pictures as I'd like, or I have to compromise on the quality of the document. I like to include many pictures with my patterns so one can see the details of what they are working on. That's what I want in a pattern - to see what I am doing. So now I am working on formatting my patterns to a same layout, so when a customer purchases multiple patterns they can put it in a binder and easily find what they are looking for. As for the store, I think at this point I will just create my own website to offer patterns for sale. It is somewhat time consuming, but it will be worth it in a long run.

Yarn Review

I wanted to share a review on a new yarn I got my hands on. It's a Classic Elite Yarns Duchess. I just love it. It is a bulky yarn: it knits up on US 10.5 (6.5 mm) needles producing a gauge of 3 1/2 sts to an inch (14 sts = 4"/10cm) and makes a knitting project fast. But that's not why I like it. Its composition is 40% Merino, 28% Viscose, 10% Cashmere, 7% Angora, 15% Nylon. It has 75 yd (69 m) in 1¾ oz(50g) and it feels very nice against the skin. When knitting it seems to produce rather a stiff fabric, which scared me at first. But when it's washed and blocked it softens and feels nice and soft. It is easy to knit with; it does not split at all, and looks as a single ply yarn. In my opinion, it is a great yarn for a beginner. I will definitely use it again.