Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Vogue Knitting Fashion Preview Spring/Summer

Ok, I know that this issue is already on sale in the US but here in Sweden we always have to wait for treats like knitting magazines. After seeing the preview for this issue, I'm not sure it will be worth the wait though... maybe I'll skip the magazine and wait for the occasional pattern sale on the website to get a couple of single patterns online. Here are some of the models...

 Project Runway is one of my favorite shows and I even watch the reruns when I get a chance. I remember the season when Irina Shabayeva won. She had some awesome knitwear in her winning collection, garments that managed to look classy even if they were in bulky wool. So to see the three patterns that Irina contributed with in this issue is a bit of a disappointment. I can't imagine anyone wanting to either to knit or wear them actually. Will be interesting to see if there will be any projects listed on Ravelry out of them. I might be wrong!

 This top is cute. I like that it cooperates different stitch patterns. By Wenlan Chia, always an interesting designer in my opinion.

 Exquisite lace wrap! 

 Pretty top. I can imagine it being even sheerer than this for a romantic layered look.

Interesting take on this cardi, especially in the back. Not sure what I think of it though....

Is there any pattern in this issue that you fancy or are planning to make?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Blocking mats

The first time I saw a knitting tool like this - a blocking mat - I thought: How smart, they use the kids play mat for blocking their knits. I didn't know that mats like these are actually sold as knitting tools. I want one! I like the KnitPicks set with which you can put together as many pieces as you need so it's easy to store. But I assume that those foam mats that you can buy for kids room will work well too and might be cheaper to buy. I also heard you can use a yoga mat with the same result. I've used the iron board so far but it doesn't really work well with larger pieces. If you don't have mats like these, what do you use?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mindless citron

I keep on with my mindless knitting.. I have a couple of designs of my own that cry for attention but I pretend that I don't hear. I longed for making something more in Malabrigo Lace and decided to give the poplular Citron by Hilary Smith Callis a try. There are nearly 10.000 projects of it on Ravelry! My God. I can understand why it's so popular though. 
- It's made for a popular and fabulous yarn.
- It's a scarf but not the lacy kind. (ie not too complicated).
- It's so versatile. Goes with jeans AND a fancy dress. Add beads to it and you even have a wedding citron.
- One skein will be perfectly enough! (so it says).
- It's so light you can carry it with you and knit anywhere. 
- AND unlike many other scarves you don't have to cast on millions of stitches to begin. THREE is enough!
However, the rows are getting longer and longer... I've seen that the ruffle at the end calls for over 500 stitches a row. And you will need to make more that ten of them. Snooze.

Some of the knitters on Ravelry say that they immediately cast on a new one when they finished their citron and others say that it was such a boring knit that they will never do it again. Remains to be seen how I will feel about it. So far I like it! Here is the pattern if you want to try it yourself!

UPDATE: the pattern calls for two stitch markers. I always try to avoid using markers if I can and in this case I find it totally unnecessary - all you need to remember that the first three and the last three stitches of every row is in garter stitch. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

New multicoloured yarn

Stitchdiva has added a couple of new yarns on their website and I immediately fell for Fanatic, a multicoloured yarn with long color lenghts. It means the that the colours shift sloooowly, which looks great on a sweater! And the colours available seems amazing, I want them all! I have been looking for a yarn like this but haven't found any in my town. It's 77% acrylic though. I don't mind non-natural material per se but I just hate garments that make your hair go all static.
Fanatic, see all colours here.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

In my little corner of the world

I haven't been blogging as much as I use to, partly because of a coctail of diseases haunting us lately - like stomache flu yuack! - but mostly because of the sudden death of a loved one. RIP grandpa...
It's in tough times like this that you really get to think about what really matters and what you're doing (and not doing) with your life. Since he passed away, which was nearly two months ago now, I sometimes feel like I'm standing at the top of an abyss, staring death in the eye. And I also have a lot of flashbacks from my childhood. Or as Bono puts it I'm at a place called Vertigo...

I wish I could have silent place to go to when things get crazy. Imagine a place free from work, problems, kids, spouses, pets. Where I could just BE. Breath. And craft. I am so jealous of people that have their own craft rooms! We live in a two roomed flat now so I guess I could just forget about it. But some day...

Nice craft space with bright colours and easy access to a green garden.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A bowl with yarn

I don't think that I would have appreciated the concept of yarn bowls so much if I didn't have cats. When I knit and yank the yarn it happens that the ball rolls down from the couch and over the floor, sending quiet signals to my two cats to come and play. And even if they leave it alone it always end up strands of cat hair in the yarn. Problem solved with a yarn bowl! Here are some to explore, all from Etsy, all handmade.

Lamb shaped from A Speer Ceramic Studio.

Teal yarn bowl from Uturn.

Bowl with scrolls from jampdx.

Shiny and black in stoneware from Dragon Pottery

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Cute - and some not-so-cute - knitted bags

I want an orange handbag for spring. I have had a sort of love/hate relationship with the colour orange all my life. We're on speaking terms at the moment and it seems to be one of the trend colours for spring as I feel like I see it "everywhere". I've spotted orange shoes, sweaters and pants that I like - but no handbag. Well the hunt continues. I made a Ravelry search for bags just for fun and here's a handful of what I found.

Will start with this felted one, a favorite I've had in my queue for years. I first spotted it on a blog and then spent many hours trying to make up the pattern myself. That was before I found Ravelry and voilĂ , suddenly the pattern was just THERE and hundreds of people had posted pictures of their bag. But I STILL haven't finished it.
By Ishi-knit.  Bag in picture by Jillyolly on Ravelry.

Formal Boot Bag, free pattern by Laura Irwin here. This is a gem! It's partially felted and looks great with a metal chain like the original but I also like it the way raveler rbharper made it, with snap closure. And in orange!

Bag with cable pattern from Drops, free pattern here.

And then I found some that were eh.. not so cute.

Tentacle bag from Yarn Visions, pattern here.

 Uterus Drawstring Bag by Just Stitched. Eh, what? I guess the name says it all! No lack of imagination here...

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Knit your own dog

If you're a dog lover you should really check this out. You can not only knit your favorite breed but also enter it into a monthly Best in show! If you look at the previously winners you can see that they are actually very well executed, not only the knitting but also the patterns. You can buy the patterns on the website (there is one for free.) See them all on

Friday, March 2, 2012

Pixie please

Haven't really managed to realize any of my own ideas this month. I just haven't had the energy to go through the trial-and-error process that my designing involves. I have just blindly knitted patterns that I'm already familiar with. So far one cowl and two headbands (gifts), one crocheted bowl and two pixie hats. One was for Isola, she looks so cute in it I could just eat her up. Ok, not so good pictures but she just looks so cute in this one I had to post it.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Gems from the library

Believe it or not but I don't own a single knitting book. And I have an extensive book collection. Every time I flip through a knitting book at the book store it seems like at least a third of it is about how to knit and purl and how many different types of yarn and needles there is. I don't need to pay for stuff I already know. So enter the local library. Their book selection is really underestimated. I picked up several different yarn craft books today, and since I only borrow them, I don't have to feel bad if I don't make a single project from them.  Here are two of them;

Knitting never felt better by Nicky Epstein. I love the touch of felt and would love to felt more. I used to make little hats for Isola when she was newborn but I stopped when I got tired of the unpredictability of the process. (What, swatches? What's that?) This book shows many different ideas and inspired me to felt again. Almost.

Beyond the Square: Crochet motifs by Edie Eckman. I suck at crochet. Not that there is anything wrong with the outcome (mostly) but it seems impossible for me to learn the terminology, let alone learn to read a chart. I constantly need to check the instructions again and again, sometimes even to differ a single crochet from a double crochet! It's really all gallimatias for me. But it's fun and I LOVED all the squares in this book, would love to make a multicoloured baby blanket of them. But the thought of  weaving in all the loose ends freaks me.
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