Monday, 3 November 2008

Butterfly sweater finished

Enough posts about books - let's have something about knitting.

Fineshed the butterfly sweater (Let's Knit Series 11 - cover pattern). This was weeks ago just that I've got a new and huge project at work, which is draining all my energies at the moment, so I've got everything else, including blogs, on a very slow burner.

The stitch pattern is really simple - the only thing which was a challenge was the crochet adventure and I absolutely loved it. I bought the Clear and simple Crochet guide and this was a perfect start.

We had a mini KAL on ravelry - I've always regarded KALs as a waste of time -well, I have to admit I was wrong, as I really enjoyed knitting with a pal.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Let's Knit Series #13

New book out - beautiful lace and unusual combinations of stitches.

Links in Amazon Japan and YesAsia in the side bar.

Click the Amazon Japan icon (in the side bar) and you can look inside the book. Anyone up for the white sweater, with a high neck?

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

I'm in!

It's those little things we don't remember--like in the past when I already signed up for the Knitting Elegance KAL. So sorry for the trouble. Glad to be involved.
Sharon from Michigan

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Elegance Knit Cover - Episode 3: Body Parts finished

Not much to blog about this, it's going much easier than I thought. I followed the book charts for all decreases. Here is the front ready for the crochet border (did I mention I'll have to learn crochet soon?)

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Knitting Patterns Book - Pattern 133

It looks like this

and that's one thing you could do with it:

It does involve a very impressive stitch combination ( page 123 bottom) but in real life it's quite easy, as the symbols have quite a clear logic.

The 'hook' symbol over 3 stiches, in row 17, will be the theme of the pattern and it goes like this:

drop the third st over the first 2 sts then k,yo,k. It is well described in the book.

Row 21, first grey block ( from right to left):

First start with an yo. What follows next is a decrease symbol: two lines merging : one line is the next st and the other is the stitch coming from the far end of the block, from pos. 5. So just slip the next st on the right needle, then save the next 3 sts on a cn at front and now, that we have access to the st in pos 5, slip the stitch from the right needle back and work a left slanted decrease. Next just work the 'hook' symbol using the 3 sts from the cn.

Row 21, second grey block ( from right to left):

Save the first st on cn at back (it will be used in the decrease later on). Work the 'hook' symbol as above, transfer the cn st back on the needle, right slated decrease, yo.

Row 25, first grey block ( from right to left):

Transfer 3 sts on cn, keep at front. Purl the next st ( see the little horizontal line? that's for 'purl'), then work the 'hook' symbol as above using the cn sts.

Row 25, second grey block ( from right to left):

One st on cn at back, the 'hook' symbol then purl the st from cn.

Easy !

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Elegance Knit Cover - Episode 3: The Math

I needed to resize and go up a bit, so I just added two more rows of twisted stitches at each side. One row is over 3 stiches.

This gave me 144 + 6x2 = 144 + 12 = 156 stitches. It measures 49 cm unblocked and I hope to go to 53cm after washing and blocking.

And here it is what I've managed in about 6 rainy days.

A closeup.

The pattern is easier than I thought. Each side of the butterfly has one yo and one decrease in each row and it's quite obvious where to place them, as the pattern flows in continuous lines.

I am using Addi Lace needles and they are GREAT for the job, with all these twisted stitches. Do not even think of attempting this pattern or anything similar without lace needles.

Thursday, 3 July 2008


Finished the leaf white top.

and the indoor shot.

Easy knit, easy pattern.

Zarina is a bit too thin for this pattern and doesn't give much 'body' - I should have gone for a DK weight yarn but overall it's not very bad.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Elegance Knit cover - Episode 2: Swatching

I've swatched today and here is the result.

The pattern asks for a provisional cast-on, that's the blue border. At some point I will start the new adventure called 'crochet' and I'll try the border.

My swatch is over 28 stitches (needles size 4 mm) and measures between 9 and 10.3 cm - so I guess more or less I got the pattern gauge...

I need to achieve 55 cm across my hips, so I'm going to start the chart for the front part the way it is in the book( 5 repeats of the main pattern plus those filler rows) , PLUS 2 extra filler rows at each side. If this will still be small, then I'll declare it to be the 'back' and I'll start another front with another 2 extra rows of filler stitches. Obviously I could do a diet instead.

If this is still going to be too small (!) , there is always the magic of blocking. After all, we are talking lace here.

I 'kind of' like the yarn - apart from the fact that it splits badly in between the yos rows. I have no idea what to do about it - it happened with all yarns I've tried before ( Rowan 4ply soft, Jaeger extra fine merino and Zarina). I can't keep buying and trying new yarns, so this will have to do. But I am bit upset about it.

Otherwise it looks good.

A few words about the chart and symbols. Well, the pattern is easier than you might think, but challenging, as you'll work in pattern on both sides.

Here is a small part of the chart for the sake of discussing the symbols.

The 'swimming fish' is a twisted stitch : knit tbl.

The leaning 'swimming fishes' merging into a short line are decreases, where the stitch on top needs to be twisted. My general approach to this is to first twist the stitch that needs twisting by doing a 'slip knitwise - slip back' operation, then perform the decrease.

Apart from the twisted left leaning decrease, which is easier done with a k2togtbl.


Monday, 2 June 2008

Elegance Knit cover - Episode 1: Yarn

I'm definitely getting closer and closer.

The pattern is from Let's Knit Series #11, Elegance Knit. The book is listed on the right side of this page, you can collect the ISBN etc. but it looks like it's not available any more. Neither in Amazon Japan nor in YesAsia. How many times did I tell you to buy it???

So, received the original yarn this morning : Tasmanian Merino , colour 701 ( off-white, light cream), 14 balls, 40 gr each.
I've ordered through JAA Japan Auction Agency ( which is a bit cheaper then Crescent) and from this Japanese yarn shop.
Here it is:

Prior to any knitting, I feel we need a good strategy with this pattern. Maybe getting in a proper Tasmanian mood first...

Anyway, bit more about the yarn.
The gauge is 22 on 5-6 needle size. The only yarn with identical gauge in my stash is Jaeger extra fine merino DK.
Comparing these two yarns : the Tasmanian Merino is a bit thinner - I would say 15-20% thinner.

That's how they got the same yardage in a 40g ball.
Stay tuned, next episode will be about swatching, the chart, and the twisted decreases.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Let's Knit Series #3 - White top

Decided to revive this blog a bit - here is a top I've started a few days ago.
It's from Let's knit Series #3 - the book is listed in the list on the right side of this page.

I'm determined to reduce my stash before jumping into buying new yarns again. Nice, isn't it? I mean knitting from the stash.

More about the 'leaf' challenge here.
The yarn is Zarina (Filatura di Crosa) ,on 3.5 mm needles and it looks very good up to now.

The problem is I only have 7 balls - I'll have to see how far is this going to take me, the firts ball is already gone, I'm into the second one.

It will certainly have very short sleeves.

Friday, 9 May 2008

Elegance Knits again

I am absolutely obsessed with this top and I'm desperately trying to find out the original yarn.

For those of you who asked, the book is called Elegance Knits, Let's knit series 11 and it's listed on this page, on the right side, where all the other books are, - with links in Amazon JP and YesAsia.

Here are the requirements

hopefully somebody will help me translate this.

Up to now I've tried Rowan 4 ply soft - too thin, Zarina - didn't like the twist in the twisted stitches, Debbie Bliss cotton blend - too splitty... call me fussy, but I need to get this right as I will be probably knitting it for the rest of my life :).

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Keito Dama 135

Just received this Keito Dama magazine this morning.
The link above is in Amazon Japan, unfortunately the book is out of stock in YesAsia.

It has lots of unusual cabled patterns and delicate combinations of lace and cable motifs.
This vest bellow is my favourite and hopefully I'm going to start it very soon as it is, or a a short sleeve cardi.

And on top of everything I was so happy to find an article dedicated to our Romanian lace point tradition.

Can't describe my surprise to open a Japanese magazine in England, and see a picture of my Romanian hometown.

Lace point is really popular in Romania, probably the most popular handcraft - and everybody is designing and creating their own patterns.
My mother is a real expert, needless to say my house is full of similar doilies and tablecloths.
I'm glad somebody finally got an interest on it.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Shawl #3

Finally, after nine months, I finished my shawl.

This is Shawl #3 from the Let's Knit Book 11.

I started it last May, and just finished it this week . . . and even that would have taken a lot longer if I hadn't eliminated two of the pattern repeats (grin).

The yarn was Zephyr's silk/wool in color, "Curry." I used JUST over one skein. (As in, about 3 yards of yarn from the second skein--just enough to bind-off the last 30 or so stitches.

I'm relieved to have this done (finally), but have enjoyed working on it . . . mostly. As much as I love the look and feel of Zephyr, we just don't really get along. (It's a long story.)

It sure came out pretty, though....


Saturday, 2 February 2008

Beautiful knits

I recently came across Ishi's Knitting Diary. Most of her patterns are from Japanese magazines and I thought they'll be a great inspiration for us. Just pay a visit and you'll be in for a treat.

With Ishi's permission, I will publish here her latest FO - this beautiful sweater - pattern from Let's Knit Series.

The motif is very similar with the one I've used for my white top - but heavily modified towards the neck line, in order to achive the overall decrease. Ingenios and elegant.

Saturday, 5 January 2008

New Style of Heirloom Knitting

It's not the Am Kamin which is the winner with me, but the oak leaf and the acorn motif.

So I had to try it - in line with my new resolution of knitting only from my stash - as I just discovered this nice green yarn ( too long forgotten).

Here it is:

and it's really easy.

Or to be more specific it became easy when I've realised that the twisted symbols (or the 'flying fishes') are NOT 'ktb's but strand increases. They are suppose to be oriented towards the right (the bold ones) or towards the left, the plain ones.

A brilliant explanation here: Strand Increase. Read this and you'll be fine. The Strand Increase(1) is for the bold twisted stitch, the Strand Increase(2) is for the plain one.

Next challenge is the mini chart A (8 stitches). It's about a small 'bobble' and a cable - because you would like to 'push' the bobble a bit away from the leaf main body.

So it goes like this: save 3 stitches on a cn at the back, knit the bobble according to the mini chart for the bobble (5 stitches reduced to one) then purl 3 from the cable needle. Easy.

Chart B is the bobble on the other side, and it is symmetrical. I trust my readers to be able to figure it out.

My swatch above has two mistakes, unfortunately I'm too lazy to go back a long way to correct anything. First there are two purled lines in the acorn pattern and I missed one - then I've lost one or two stitches from the background at some point, so my main leaf is slightly leaning towards the left. Sorry :).

Let's just call it the Leaning Oak Leaf in a windy day.

The book can be found here in YesAsia. Or just collect the ISBN number and feel free to google.