21/03/2016

Tulipa Espiral

In the same day I released Tulipa Espiral, I discovered a music that I would like to share with you.

We are flowers, by Clem Snide

"There are things that we will never do
There are places we will never go
This much I know
And there are fantacies that are just that
And what if peaceful dreams just don't come true?
What can you do?

We are flowers blooming in the dark
We can make it smoke without a spark
And we are soldiers that will never fight
We can save the world in our bed tonight

You can make me laugh, I'll make you sigh
Protest nothing as I mix our drinks
What do you think?
Once we kill the lights, then we turn on
As our bodies fill this empty space
They move with grace

We are flowers blooming in the dark
We can make it smoke without a spark
We are soldiers that will never fight
And We can save the world in our bed tonight

We are flowers blooming in the dark
We can make it smoke without a spark
We are soldiers that will never fight
And we can save the world in our bed tonight
We can save the world in our bed tonight
We can save the world in this bar tonight"
------------------------
And here it is Tulipa Espiral. I invite you to check on ravelry more about the yardage details.
I’m so happy to call it done after three prototypes:-)

















































I used Lanas Stop Prima Merino for grays and the lovely Ovelha Negra Victoria (a Portuguese brand) for the contrasting colors.

This seamless shawlette is knitted on the bias with a pretty pattern that combines a lace detail on the edge with garter stitch. It has a cool spiral and asymmetrical shape, being a fun pattern easy to memorize.
It works well with both solid and semi-solid yarns, with only one color or multicolored. 

The flowery stitch employs short-rows using the shadow method and strategic bind-offs (hence the shallow shape). The shawl is finished with a lovely picot bind-off.



















Below is a prior version using the beautiful variegated yarn Dyed by Alfinete Sul. (afterwards I changed the picot bind-off and edging slightly. I also added a purl row to enhance pattern stitch and worked with multiple colors).

































More info
Materials: approx approx 500 m of fingering yarn; st markers; size 3.5 mm (US 4) and 5 mm (US 8) circular needles; tapestry needle; pins for blocking;
Level: Intermediate
Skills needed: long tail cast-on, K, P, YO, increase and decrease sts, bind-off sts, M6 (explained into pattern). Picot bind-off and short-rows (I used the shadow method). Wet block the shawl and woven in ends.
Pattern format: Written instructions only (line by line).
Pattern is a pdf file document and you need Adobe Acrobat Reader application to open it.

30/11/2015

Indie Designer Cristina Ghirlanda

Today I present you the Designer Cristina Ghirlanda aka minimi on ravelry also a participant in the GAL.

     Minimissimi Sweater Coat  

Hi Cristina, could you tell us a bit about yourself and how you started knitting and then designing? 
I was bit by the knitting bug in 2006. I remember that one day I was suddenly interested in knitting. Then I began designing things for myself and got many requests for the patterns. That’s how I got started. Nothing was really planned. 

How would you describe your style? 
I like designing things that I love to wear but I don’t think that I have a consistent style.
    Libellula 

    Polonaise cowl

Is there any pattern you were particularly proud of designing? 
Every single one. My designs are like my kids!
 
    Cala Luna

   Rainbow Trail

Which aspect of the designing process do you find more challenging? 
Writing patterns that are simple to understand to a variety of knitters.
 
And which one is more rewarding? 
The actual process of knitting! That’s why I don’t use sample knitters ;-)
 
Do you have any favourite theme, inspiration that guides you through your work? 
No really, in fact my works do not have cohesive theme. I let my instinct guide me most of the time. It is not the best business plan, I afraid.
 
And what about colours, is there any particularly shade that stands out? 
Pinks, grays and purples!


Matilde Cardigan

If you had the opportunity to learn a new skill what would it be? 
Steeking! Its irreversibility scares me!
 
What’s your favourite item to design? 
Sweaters!
Costanza
 
 If you had to design a different kind of item what would it be? 
Maybe shawls, but I’m not sure.
    Molinara

What’s your favourite season to knit? 
I love knitting in the fall. Summer is too hot to knit and winter is too cold. In spring I don’t feel like to knit as summer is approaching. Fall is just the right season, well, for the knitter, not for the designer, which should actually work ahead…
 
If you had to choose one pattern from this GAL to knit or crochet which one would you pick? 
I’m knitting Peekaboo by the talented Lisa Chemery. She has some amazingly cute patterns!
    Peekaboo by  Lisa Chemery

What’s your favorite aspect of this GAL? 
Getting in touch with other designers!
 
Would you like to share with us any new project? 
Probably I will release a vest pattern in December. The pattern is surprising succinct for a garment! I will also start a test knit for a striped pullover for kids.

Check out more about Cristina's work on
ravelry
Website
Facebook
Pinterest
Twitter

All the photos are Cristina Ghirlanda copyright and were used with her permission, except Peekaboo cardigan which is also credited.

26/11/2015

Indie Designer Jenny Wiebe

Today I present you the Designer Jenny Wiebe another participant in the GAL.

Hi Jenny, could you tell us a bit about yourself and how you started knitting and then designing?
Hi! First, and most importantly, I’m a mom of 5. I’ve got 4 boys, and 1 daughter. While I’ve known how to knit as long as I can remember, I really started knitting after I started having kids. I began with hats, and moved on to sweaters. I started to design on a whim. I saw a blouse I liked at church and thought, “Hey, I could totally knit that!” And so I went home, and did!
 Rhymes

How would you describe your style?
Haha. I don’t know. I guess it depends on what I’m designing. I try to design knits that people will actually wear. I’ve learned my lesson with many a sweater that my children won’t put on that comfort and ease are number one, and so I try to fit fashion into that.

Is there any pattern you were particularly proud of designing? I think that Grow Old With Me and Afternoon Knots are pretty cool. I love reading the project notes on Ravelry where people start out doubting that they are even making a sweater, but amazed at the end how it all comes together. Despite the initial worry, everyone ends up loving it!
 Grow old with me

    Afternoon Knots

What concerns the designing process which aspect you find more challenging?
I find delving into new techniques challenging. Most of my currently published patterns are top down raglans, although I’ve got many on the go in almost any construction you can think of. The prospect of designing, then grading a pattern in a new technique, though, is easier said than done.

And which one is more rewarding?
  To be honest, I love when people love my knits. I saw my first design “in the wild” this summer, and it thrilled me! I stopped the mom and asked if I could take a picture of her kid.

Do you have any favourite theme, inspiration that guides you through your work?
Because I have 4 boys, I’m always looking for unique, yet classic designs for boys. Girl designs are easier to come up with, but boys ones that really catch the eye are what I love.

 Orleans

Do you have any favourite technique and influence?
I just taught myself to knit continental, and let me tell you, it has changed my life!

And what about colours, is there any particularly shade that stands out?
If you look at my shop, it’s pretty obvious that I like stripes. But, I really like any bold, bright shades.

 Circe

 Walton Pullover

If you had the opportunity to learn a new skill what would it be?
I would like to delve into spinning and dying more. I’ve taken a spinning class, and I have a whole bucket full of yarn to be dyed, but I need more time (5 kids, remember!) to really be proficient in either.

What’s your favourite item to design?
Definitely sweaters. I’m not a sock knitter (yet) or a shawl knitter. I love seeing my kids in the sweaters I’ve knit for them.

 Thom with a TH

 Cadence and Hue

If you had to design a different kind of item what would it be?
I like knitting hats, too, but I think I’d like to design a fabulous cabled blanket one day.

What’s your favourite season to knit?
Living in the Great White North (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) with 7 months of winter, there really is only one season to knit for!

Do you have any recipe, beverage that you would like to share with us?
I’m not much of a foodie. How about a book recommendation? My daughter is deaf and we just finished reading El Deafo as a family. It’s a graphic novel written by a girl who went deaf at age 4 and her experiences navigating life. Despite having a deaf child, I learned a whole lot of what it must be like to be her. It was an entertaining read, and enlightening as well.

Smocked

If you had to choose one pattern from this GAL to knit or crochet which one would you pick?
Just one?! I’ve got a whole list that I’d love to have time for, but, I’m slightly dying over Dasher by Ann Kingstone.

What’s your favorite aspect of this GAL? 
I love the community on Ravelry, how people from all over the world can join together so easily to share a thing we all love, but so much more. The GAL has proven to be a shining example of this. It’s not just about the sale, or the knitting, but the chance to commune with others who understand.

Would you like to share with us any new project?
Oh, I’m working on a secret sweater right now called Harvey. It’s another “Little Old Man” cardigan, and I can’t wait to get it off the needles. Watch for it in the new year.

Find out more about Jenny's work on her Blog and ravelry group

All the photos are Jenny Wiebe copyright and were used with her permission.

24/11/2015

Indie Designer Ela Torrente

Today I present you the Designer Ela Torrente aka KnittingEla on ravelry. You can find the Designer's bundle here.
     Dracarys 

Hi Ela, could you tell us a bit about yourself and how you started knitting and then designing?
I live and work with my family in the countryside near Milan. I’m a mom, a wife, a knitwear designer, a yarn maniac and an amateur chef.
I learned to knit from my mother and my grandmother, starting with some garments for my dolls. I had a long break during youth, then I found out Ravelry! It changed my life! Designing was a little how to follow the natural course of events.

How would you describe your style?
I like to think of my designs as “casual chic”. I like to think you can wear them everyday.
    Bob

Is there any pattern you were particularly proud of designing?
More than one! I am very proud of the popularity of Dirty Martini, which is the pattern with more projects I’ve ever written so far. But I love Ultraviolet in a special way because my testers were all enthusiastic about the fit, and this made me understand to be on the right path.
     Dirty Martini

Which aspect of the designing process do you find more challenging?
Waiting is the hardest thing. There is a time when you have to wait: a response to a submission, tests or the tech editing. This is the most challenging aspect of the entire designing process!

And which one is more rewarding?
Release, definitely!

Do you have any favourite theme, inspiration that guides you through your work?
Nature is always an unlimited source of inspiration.
 
Origami

Do you have any favourite technique and influence?
Top-down sweaters and short rows: I could not knit without!
     Ultraviolet
     Yvette

And what about colours, is there any particularly shade that stands out?
Not necessarily. I love the neutral colours and bold shades too. It depends on the design. There are no “right” and “wrong” colours, there is a combination of elements that works or does not. I try to work on the harmony between colours, shapes and stitch patterns.

If you had the opportunity to learn a new skill what would it be?
Crocheting! I can do a crochet chain. That’s all! I’d love to learn… some day.

What’s your favourite item to design?
I love sweater designing: I like to work on the different female shapes, sizing, emphasize the asset of every size… And then, math starts to please me!
    Ancient soul

If you had to design a different kind of item what would it be?
I’d like designing more shawls in 2016!
What’s your favourite season to knit?
There is not a season. I always love knitting. I can’t sit without moving my hands. Typically, if I’m not knitting, I’m cooking!

Do you have any recipe, beverage that you would like to share with us?
This is a recipe for a cake that I love very much because it is not “so sweet” and it is very quick to do.

Castagnaccio

Ingredients
300 grams of chestnut flour
1 cup of milk and one of water
1 tablespoon sugar
20 grams of pine nuts
20 grams of sultanas
a pinch of salt
a teaspoon of butter
a teaspoon of olive oil

In a bowl put the chestnut flour, salt and oil. Pour the milk and the water slowly, stirring to create a velvety cream. Stir in the pine nuts, raisins and sugar.

Grease a cake mold and bake for 1 hour at 200 degrees Celsius.
When the cake is cool, you can sprinkle icing sugar. Enjoy!

If you had to choose one pattern from this GAL to knit or crochet which one would you pick?
Too hard! I picked some of my favorite designs in my Pinterest page.

What’s your favorite aspect of this GAL?
I got to know very talented designers who I had never noticed before and lots of fun persons. I’m quite shy, and this is occasion helps me a lot to know amazing people!
Would you like to share with us any new project?
The coming months will be full of surprises! This year I have published my second eBook: “a Study in Single” in collaboration with Malabrigo Yarn, and I started my first sweater Club that's ending in September 2016. I can anticipate that I will make more individual patterns!

     Mina

Find out more on Ela's

All photos are Ela Torrente copyright and were used with her permission.

23/11/2015

Indie Designer Clarice Gomes

I present you the Designer Clarice Gomes aka clariceg in ravelry, check out the Designer's bundle here.
 Hi Clarice, could you tell us a bit about yourself and how you started knitting and then designing?
I learned to knit, crochet and sew when I was a child, but I always preferred knitting. As a young adult I knitted mainly cardigans and sweaters for the entire family. I used magazines for inspiration, and adjusted forms and sizes to my needs and preferences. I spent some years without knitting and when I picked up my needles again I discovered Ravelry and became aware of how much I didn’t know about knitting!
I learned a lot as I started following patterns, but I always changed something on my projects and gave them a personal touch.
Later I started writing my own patterns and sharing them with my knitting group. Their reaction made me want to continue, and now I can’t even imagine me not doing that!

How would you describe your style?
I like to create wearable items, simple and fun to knit.
 Balaustrada

Is there any pattern you were particularly proud of designing?
My shawl Mares. I really like the shape, and the way the pattern forms gentle waves on the edge. I saw it knitted in hand spun yarn, like the one I knitted, with indie dyers’ yarn, with commercial yarn, and it always looks gorgeous. And the project photos are really amazing.

Mares

As far as the designing process is concerned, which aspect do you find more challenging?
I knit using the Portuguese knitting style (with the yarn around the neck). With PK, the purl stitch is the easiest. The great majority of patterns and reference books are written considering knitters who prefer to knit instead of purl.
This preference is even used to promote patterns: “all knit” or “no purl”.
If you only use the purl stitch instead of the knit stitch, the result you get is sometimes different with garter stitch or knitting in the round.
So, for patterns worked in the round or with garter stitch, I usually give separate instructions to allow knitters to work knitwise or purwise.
Sometimes it’s like writing two different patterns in just one! For instance, with Entretém (all knit / all purl cowl), to obtain the same relaxing rhythmic work, the number of stitches you cast on is different. With Juras (an almost all garter stitch shawl) I considered writing two completely different sets of instructions, including the graphics, before arriving to a satisfactory solution.

Entretém 
 Juras
Which of them is more rewarding?
The feedback from the knitters, see how happy they are with their projects.

Do you have any favourite theme, inspiration that guides you through your work?
I really like traditional lace knitted patterns and to convert them in wearable and stylish items in nowadays life.

Do you have any favourite technique and influence?
I discovered Niebling’s work long time ago, and I was fascinated by his capacity of creating knitted lace inspired by nature. He used charts to make his knitting patterns accessible to everyone in a really innovative way.

And what about colours, is there any particularly shade that stands out?
I let myself be tempted: I have two dyers and one spinner amongst my friends and usually I just look at their beautiful skeins and choose. Sometimes I ask one of them to surprise me with a colour for a specific new project.
 Luna 
If you had the opportunity to learn a new skill what would it be?
I have a lot to learn about stranded knitting. And socks: can you imagine I only ever knitted one type of heel?

What’s your favourite item to design?
2015 was the year of shawls: I really couldn’t stop creating new ones! I released 5 as a self-published designer, one was published in a magazine (Plassard, number 117) and I have a new one ready to be tested. So I guess this makes shawls my favourite item to design, for now.

O Primo
 
 Novena
If you had to design a different kind of item what would it be?
Mitts and socks would be a good challenge. Maybe a top or a sweater.

What’s your favourite season to knit?
I prefer autumn, the anticipation of the new projects to knit and wear feels great.

If you had to choose one pattern from this GAL to knit or crochet which one would you pick?
It’s impossible to choose just one! There are great designers, some I already knew (Corrina Ferguson - all her shawls are in my favourites) others I just discovered (Josh Rykes – I can’t resist those patterns!), and there are really tempting patterns I am looking forward to start knitting.

What’s your favourite aspect of this GAL?
Thousands of knitters sharing their projects, learning, being supportive of each other.

Would you like to share with us any new project?
I’m currently working in a new shawl, to be released in January. It will be crescent shaped, with a construction I haven’t used before.

Thank you so much, Clarice! 

Find out more about the Designer on
Ravelry
Facebook

All photos are Clarice Gomes copyright and were used with her permission.

21/11/2015

Seamless Felted Sheep Shoes

I loved knitting this slippers, I participated as a tester and it was a pleasure knitting these cute slippers to Marianne Mueller. The pattern is very well written and so complete - 170 pages! It has a large range of sizes and all my favorite techniques, I felt this was written for me. I learned a new thing – how to knit double soles, there are great tutorials included into pattern, not only for the sole but for other techniques as well and step by step photos showing how the sheep is done and attached.
"The unique construction of these slippers is seamless and simple - perfect for crafters who enjoy only having to weave in ends to finish. A pair of slippers in a smaller size can easily be finished in a day. The sheep is knit separately, and then sewn onto the slipper top before felting.

The slippers can be made with either a single sole, or a double sole for a warmer shoe. The nice thing about the double sole is choosing the three colours - the colour of the inner sole can run like a line between top and sole on the outside of the shoe.

This 170 page pattern e-book includes detailed instructions for 42 different sizes! Every size imaginable is included, from tiny doll feet to huge 15” feet. A special sole design ensures comfortable well-fitting slippers, with different instructions for right and left, and a narrow heel. Each size has its own instructions.. The pattern book also includes several step-by-step photos, and pattern notes on the knitting techniques used, and on felting in general.


I got gauge using 9 mm needles and after felting (40º cycle, about 1 hour, 800 rotations) I ended up with a perfect 38 size, exactly what I wanted."

I bought the yarn in Aldi before volunteer and didn’t have in my stash any gray, brown or black, so I combined two shades of blue with white and I’m very pleased with my sheep, it’s darn cute.

Look at their eyes!

Look at their ears!

Look at their tail!
If you're not much into toys you may ignore the sheep and just knit the slippers plain, they will look great too. Check out more cute photos in ravelry  Shaun's Slippers - Seamless Felted Sheep Shoes.

Outonal Classic edging

 
One of the shawls I knitted this year was Outonal, an asymmetrical seamless shawl, knitted on the bias in one piece. The main body is worked in garter stitch with a lace edging resembling leaves and berries.

This time I didn’t break the yarn for the knitted-on border and turned the corner with short-rows. My favorite method so far (and I tried a lot!) is shadow short-rows. Here’s the link.
 
Below are some pictures showing the change.
 
Here is a picture of how it looked before.
 And a couple  of pictures of how it looks now, see my ravelry project page for more info.
I used 1 skein of the beautiful Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball 100 (color 1505), a variegated yarn that enhances shawl’s diagonal lines. If you don’t want to sweat as I did, I advise you to buy more yarn. Size is easily adjustable by adding more or less pattern repeats.

This change was suggested by a couple of knitters and I thought I should give it a try. I must say I’m very happy with the outcome. I’ve uploaded this file which is now available through ravelry, so if you purchased this before, check out your ravelry library for the update. Enjoy!