06/04/2014

Fofo shawl release promotion (25% off)

Finally, Fofo has been published and there's a release promotion: 25% off until midnight of April 9th (Lisbon time zone), no coupon code needed :-)
Sadly, due to the intense rain and dark light I gave up taking outside pictures, for now. I'm very happy how this turned out, it's so soft and airy.
As my previous shawls, Fofo is a crescent shaped shawl knitted top-down. The main body combines a lovely flowery stitch on the center section and a wavy pattern on the sides, flowing into a delicate lace edging embellished with bobbles and finished with a picot bind-off (I included instructions how to knit an elastic bind-off.


 


 About yarn: I used 408.1 m/ 446.3 yds of Garnstudio Drops Lace and 418.6 m/ 457.8 yds of Garnstudio Drops Kid-silk held together (both lace weight yarn) but you may use only one thread and a different weight yarn (fingering would be a great choice).
Size is easily adjustable by adding more pattern repeats of Chart B.

Level: Intermediate

Skills needed: provisional cast-on, cable cast-on, Bobble, K, P, YO, Ssk, K2tog, M1R, M1L, S2kp, picot BO or elastic BO, M3, M7 (explained into pattern). Block the shawl and woven in ends.

Pattern format:
Both written instructions (line by line) and charts are provided.


Many thanks to
the Test group

21/01/2014

Pluma shawl - the 5th and final pattern of Ar Book

 Pluma is a fun seamless shawl worked bottom-up in a modular fashion. It starts with one module and for all the others, stitches are picked and/or casted-on as you knit. Take your time choosing a special yarn - it might be rustic, hand-spun, variegated or simply a different color scheme to truly make the shawl your own.
This pattern is easily customized by working more or less modules. As shown has 28 modules and 8 half-modules. It uses three colors of Beiroa (worsted weight yarn): 185.6 yards (169.7m) of color 688 (blue); 136.5 yards (124.8m) of color 685 (gray) and 163.8 yards (149.8m) of undyed yarn.
More info:
LEVEL: Intermediate
SIZE: 150 x 56 cm (59 x 22”)
MATERIALS: approx 444.3 - 510.9 m (485.8 - 558.7 yds) of worsted weight yarn, size 4.5 mm (US 7) circular needles and 5.5 mm (US 9) dpn’s for binding-off; tapestry needle; pins for blocking; waste yarn or a long circular needle
Skills needed: Cast-on (Jenny’s Stretchy slip-knot cast-on), short-rows, K, P, YO, M1P, M1L, S2kp, Ssk, Slip sts, K2tog, K3tog, P2tog, pick-up sts, weave in ends, elastic BO. Wet block the shawl and woven in ends.
Pattern format: Both written instructions (line by line) and charts are provided.

This pattern is only available as part of Ar:
an Eco-friendly e-book with 5 original shawl designs.
Many thanks to

27/12/2013

Neve shawl Christmas promotion: 25% off

The 4th pattern of Ar Book has been published at an introductory price, Neve will be 25% off until midnight December 31, 2013 (Lisbon time zone). Coupon code is SeniChristmasPromotion

This pattern is also available as part of my new e-book Ar: a progressive Eco-friendly e-book with 5 original shawl designs. (Noni, Sleepless Heart, Dueto and Neve are currently available and the 5th and last pattern - Pluma, is scheduled to be released in January).
 
Neve (the Portuguese word for Snow) is a crescent shaped shawl knitted top-down. The main body is worked in stockinette stitch followed by a pretty lace edging based on the flower field motif by newlace.blogspot.com. It finishes with a lovely picot bind-off.

Pattern is easily customized by adjusting the number of pattern repeats. As shown has 3 repeats of Chart A and used 399.6 m/ 437 yds of Schoppel-Wolle Boots (fingering weight yarn) for the shawl’s body and Garnstudio Drops Kid-silk (53.8 m/58.9 yds) and Garnstudio Drops Alpaca (21.6 m/ 23.7 yds) held together for the picot bind-off. The shawl measurements are 142 x 40 cm after being blocked.
 


More info:
LEVEL: Intermediate

SIZE: 142 x 40 cm (55.9 x 15.7”)

MATERIALS: approx approx 453.4 - 521.4 m (495.8 - 570.2 yds) of fingering weight yarn; waste yarn; st markers; size 4 mm (US 6) circular needles; size 5 mm (US 8), size 6 mm (US 10) dpn needles for BO, tapestry needle; pins/wires for blocking;

Skills needed: garter tab CO (which implies provisional CO), cable cast-on, K, P, YO, M1R, M1L, S2kp, picot BO, M3, M5, M7 (explained into pattern). Wet block the shawl and woven in ends.

Pattern format: Both written instructions (line by line) and charts are provided. The st count per repeat is included and check boxes to keep track of your knitting.

Neve single pattern

Ar e-book (progressive e-book with 5 shawls total,
Noni, Sleepless Heart, Dueto and Neve are currently available, 1 more shawl will be added)

Many thanks to the
Test group

05/12/2013

Interview with Karen Troyer Ladman and giveaway!

 Eta: The winner has been picked! I used the random number generator) and the lucky reader is Linda! Please contact the designer specialKknits to receive your prize! Thanks everyone for your participation:-)
15.12.2013
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I present you Karen Troyer Ladman, specialKknits on ravelry., another G.A.L's designer who accepted being interviewed and talk to us a bit about her lovely work. If you want to get a chance of wining a pattern of your choice just leave a comment to this post with your contact (just one comment per person, please). I will randomly pick a winner and Karen will donate one pattern from her store. Thanks for your generosity, Karen!


Hi Karen! Could you tell us a bit about yourself and how you start designing?
I am a home daycare provider and mom to two boys who were adopted from China.
For a long time, I mostly knit square things (scarves, stoles, dishcloths). I was getting bored and a friend told me that shaping wasn’t that hard. I knit a pair of baby booties and I was hooked!
One day I was washing dishes with my Chinese Waves dishcloth when it hit me that the slipped stitch pattern would make and snuggly warm hat. It was like a puzzle making the pattern flow through the decreases, and I love a good puzzle. I published the pattern as a fund raiser for Love Without Boundaries (a charity that works with orphans in China).

How would you describe your style?
Crazy hand-knit lady? LOL. Hopefully not. I would call my style is classy sassy mom – no mom jeans, though.

Is there any pattern you were particularly proud of designing?
I love my Punto Mitts and Mittens pattern. It was a challenge to figure out how to continue the stitch pattern through the gusset and I love how it looks. I also like that the pattern includes a mitten option for extra flexibility.
 

What concerns the designing process which aspect you find more challenging and which one is more rewarding?
The most challenging part is figuring what ideas to develop. I have a sketch book full of ideas and don’t know which to work on first. As a busy mom, it’s also a challenge to find time to turn a idea/FO into a real pattern.
The most rewarding part is seeing other people knitting my designs. It’s so cool to see how other knitters choose colors and their own ideas in knitting my designs.


Do you have any favorite theme, inspiration that guides you through your work?
I’m inspired by how stitch names and knitting terms translate to real life feelings or happenings. My Crossing Paths Mitts were inspired when I had to knit a mitten for a mitten swap (a partner and I swapped right hand mittens). I wanted to convey that I was so happy our paths had crossed and when I found a cable called Crossing Paths, I found inspiration.

Do you have any favorite technique and influence?
I love cables. There is something very cool about how simply knitting stitches out of order creates twists and turns. Learning to cable without a needle revolutionized my cable knitting Now cables are as fast as straight knitting for me.

And what about colors, is there any particularly shade that stands out?
I love blues right now. Icy or deep, blue is speaking to me.

If you had the opportunity to learn a new skill what would it be?
I would love to learn steaking, but I’m just intimidated to cut into my knitting!

What’s your favorite item to design?
I am on a bit of a fingerless glove and mitten kick. And since they make such nice, quick gifts, it’s a great time of year to be knitting them.

If you had to design a different kind of item what would it be?
I have several shawl ideas I want to develop, but they haven’t risen to the top of the queue yet.

Regarding the knitting world, what’s your favorite season?
I love cold winters. It’s a great time to have a pile of wool on your lap as you’re knitting.


 If you had to choose one pattern from this GAL to knit or crochet which one would you pick?
I have already knit an Eskimo Hat (by Ellen Anderson – lnand) and a Sugar Pine Hat (by Aimee Alexander – getknitty). Those are gifts, but I plan to make Fightin’ Words (by Annie Watts – wattsolak) for me! Sorry, I guess that’s not one, is it?

What’s your favorite aspect of this GAL?
I love bunch of Indie Designers has come together to create a fun, gift-knitting event. Indie stands for independent, but this has been a total team event.

Would you like to share with us any new project?
I am having a KAL (knitalong) in the Fingerless Gloves Fanantics group on Ravelry in January. I can’t reveal too much, but I’m really excited about using traveling stitches in this project.

You can find more about Karen's work at ravelry and at her blog, thanks for reading and remember to comment if you'd like to get a change of winning one of Karen's patterns!

03/12/2013

Piu-piu mystery KAL revealed

November and December have been busy months - a mystery K.A.L is going on and each week a new clue has been released. Last weekend clue 4th (the last one) was finally reveled. There is a giveaway at my group, as a thank you to the knitters that participated and concluded the shawl, check out all the info there.

And finally, here are some pictures of my three piu-piu shawls:

My first version was knitted with hand spun yarn Dona Maria (orangina colorway), is 114 cm wide by 56 cm long (44.8 x 22”) after being blocked and used 421.2 m (460.7 yds). Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a second skein, even though I inquired about it, sniff, sniff, and because I had to finish it, I had to adapt it as I could. I’m not thrilled with the outcome, some modifications had to be done: 6 repeats of Nest pattern (instead of 8), 11/2 repeat of Wings pattern (instead of 3) and a picot BO (instead of a knitted-on border). I ended with 1 gr left! Note to self – never again work with hand spun yarn unless I’m absolutely sure that there’s a chance to get more yarn if needed! This project was educational in many ways.




My second version was knitted with Malabrigo lace (123 Rodhesian colorway) is 145 cm wide by 67 cm long (57 x 26.3”) after being blocked and used 795.1 m (869.5 yds). Yes, that’s right, almost 800m of yarn! It ended up quite big and fluffy.


Modifications done: 7 repeats of Tiny leaves, 4 repeats of Big leaves and 5 repeats of Wings pattern. Frankly, some rows and particularly the knitted-on border, seemed endless, what was I thinking?! Well, it’s done and it’s very soft and pretty (if I may say), the only downsize is that in some places the yarn felted (even though it was washed with appropriate soap and cold water), it’s not very noticeable, though.


 Because I felt that writing a pattern for lace yarn it might be a deal breaker, specially because of all the techniques involved and by the fact of having to increase the number of rows to be knitted to get a good size, I decided to work a third version, this time with sport weight yarn.
And here is my third and final version!

Purple piu-piu piu-piu used 582.4 m (636.9 yds) of Kauni Wool 8/2 Effektgarn and is 137 cm wide by 67 cm long (53.9 x 26.3) after being blocked. During blocking I didn’t pin the scallops to get a ruffle effect. I really like Kauni colorway and the gradual color transitions; I think it works great with this pattern.
As explained in my previous post I believe that heavier yarns (such as sport), with subtle variations are the best choice, since they seem to emphasize the textured appearance of this shawl and also its diagonal lines. Another attractive detail is that if you’re working with variegated yarn, the knitted-on border most likely will have a different colorway adding visual interest to the knit.




As you can see Piu-piu is an asymmetrical shawl, highly textured. It’s knitted bias in one piece, starting with only a few stitches on the needles and it has a cute ruffle border and attractive lines hence to the different patterns used – lace, mock cables, textured and elongated stitches. In the end a knitted-on border is attached. This design is now available as a full final pattern (without clues).

More info

LEVEL: Advanced Intermediate – Stitches used: K, P, Ptbl, M1, M3, M5, Kf&b, Yo, Dyo, dropped/elongated sts, M3tog, M2tog, special BO, Ssk, K2tog, P2tog, S2kp, P2togb, P2togtbl, K2togb, Sl1wyib, K2togtbl, K3togtbl, T2R, T2R, knitted-on border.
 I recommend this pattern for knitters with some experience knitting shawls due to the different shape, special stitches and techniques used.

SIZE: approx 137 cm wide by  67 cm long (53.9 x 26.3”)

MATERIALS: 582.4 – 669.7 m (636.9 – 732.4 yds) of sport yarn;  size 4 mm (US 6) circular needles; tapestry needle; 1 marker, pins or wires for blocking.

PATTERN FORMAT: Both charts and written instructions (line by line) are provided. The instructions are very detailed with photo-tutorials and links to videos.


02/12/2013

Interviewing Nuria Pastor

If you've read this blog or visited ravelry lately, probably you've heard about the G.A.L.- a multi-designer promotion to help you kick your holiday gift-making into high gear! In that spirit, I've interviewed Nuria Pastor, bezencilla on ravelry, she designs both knitted and crocheted accessories and kindly agreed to talk us a bit about her lovely work.

Hi Nuria! Could you tell us a bit about yourself and how you start designing?
Hi Inês! I’m a 37 year old Spaniard, living in the Netherlands with my boyfriend and working in Marketing and Advertising.
I’ve always loved all kinds of crafts; sewing, painting and crochet used to be my favourites. I have been crocheting for over 10 years and around 5 years ago I started designing accessories. When I began working on www.redsewingbox.com I decided to learn how to knit and for the last year I’ve been designing and loving every minute of it.

How would you describe your style?
When I started designing crochet patterns my style was young and playful, also bulky and very quick to make. With the time I’m more into knitting, making accessories more feminine and complex but very interesting to make and elegant to wear.

Is there any pattern you were particularly proud of designing?
I like all of them, but my favourite pattern so far is Sea Line Shawl, it is a delightful shawl, with a very inspiring and versatile stitch pattern.

What concerns the designing process which aspect you find more challenging and which one is more rewarding?
 It’s very easy to have ideas and draw them on paper, but the most challenging part to me is making them to look the way I have imagined. In that sense I try to learn as many techniques as possible to bring the best one to my designs.

Do you have any favorite theme, inspiration that guides you through your work?
Yes, the sky and the sea with all their elements are my main inspiration. I like walking on the beach to relax and let my mind wander.
 Do you have any favorite technique and influence?
I prefer working seamless and top down garments, also like shaping them using short rows, my favourite one is the German method, so easy to make. I love reading Elizabeth Zimmermann’s books; I’m amazed by her talent, so clever.
  
And what about colors, is there any particularly shade that stands out?
Blue, purple and grey are my choices, but the natural shades are great to work with too.


If you had the opportunity to learn a new skill what would it be?
I’ve recently taken a course on double knitting that I have really enjoyed; I still have to master it though!
What’s your favorite item to design? I love making shawls, but smaller pieces are very rewarding too. My queue is full of them! 

If you had to design a different kind of item what would it be?
Maybe cardigans, they are useful and offer many possibilities for design.

Regarding the crocheting/knitting world, what’s your favorite season?

Winter, right after Christmas, there is no rush to make anything other than knit and enjoy.

If you had to choose one pattern from this GAL to knit or crochet which one would you pick?

I have chosen many already, shawls, hats, cowls… but the one I love is Annabel by Georgie Hallam I hope I can make a few of them for my nieces!

What’s your favorite aspect of this GAL?
I think it’s great that we can share, have fun and relax all together while making projects for the holiday season.
 Would you like to share with us any new project?
Yes! I have just designed a knitted version of my Yellow Submarine Baby Booties. The pattern is being tested and will go live very soon.
 You can find more about Nuria Pastor at http://www.bezencilla.com. and Red Sewing Box.
Thanks for reading!