Wednesday, December 12, 2012

SERA pattern released


The pattern SERA just went live, enough time to finish one cowl as a Christmas gift....
Choose from 3 different yarn weights

What you need to make this
• Approx. 360 (400, 440) yards of fingering weight (dk weight, worsted weight) yarn
in Col1
• Approx. 50 (70, 90) yards of fingering weight (dk weight, worsted weight) yarn in
Col2
• Circular needle size US 4 (3.5mm), (US 6 (4mm), US 8 (5mm)) 24” or bigger
• Circular needle one or 2 sizes smaller as working needle.
• Scrap yarn for provisional cast on
• 3 buttons
• Sewing needle 

Gauge: 
6 sts = 1ʺ″ for fingering weight (5 sts = 1ʺ″ for dk weight, 4.5 sts = 1ʺ″ for worsted weight)
Size:
Approx. 46ʺ″ (117cm) circumference and 6.75ʺ″ (17cm) wide


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sneak Peak - Sera Cowl

It's no secret that I love to design garments which can be worn more than one way.
Sera Cowl is the newest edition to this collection. Wear it as scarf, infinity scarf or cowl....  and to give you even more choices, I wrote the pattern for 3 different weights of yarn.
The design will be published in the next few days. Stay tuned!

Monday, November 26, 2012

New Colors

New colors in my ETSY - Shop




90% Superwash Merino Wool, 10% Nylon

Fingering Weight, 4ply
Approximately 480 yards (439 m); 125 grams (4.4 oz.)
Needle size recommended US 0 – 2. 
Approx. 7-8 stitches per inch

Sunday, November 25, 2012

My Yellow Scarf - free pattern

Recently the daughter of very close friends asked me to make a yellow scarf with a certain kind of ribbing for her. 
It took me a while to find a yellow I really liked.
For the Scarf in the picture I used 2 skeins Cascade 220, 2415 Sunflower.

The pattern is an easy knit,  great for last minute presents and unisex.

Materials:

- approximately 405 yards of worsted weight yarn
  (includes the yarn for fringes)
- Needles size US 8 (5 mm)
- crochet hook any size for fringing
- needle to sew in ends

Finished Size:

- 67" (170 cm) long and 5.5" (14 cm) wide

Abbreviations:

K: Knit    P: Purl    Sl1Slip one stitch as if to purl with the yarn in the front. (If you continue with a knit stitch, bring yarn to back between the needles before the knit stitch is worked.)

Instructions:


Cast on 35 stitches.
Row 1: Sl1, K1, P2, [K2, P2] repeat to the last 3 stitches, K3.
Repeat this row until scarf measures 67" (170 cm) or desired length.

Fringes:
Each  end of the scarf has 10 fringes, which consist of 3 strands of yarn.
To cut them evenly sized, I wrapped the yarn around a CD cover and then cut them. 

In case you don't know how to add them to the scarf with your crochet hook, I found this video:










Sunday, October 21, 2012

Just Released - Farfalla



Farfalla is the Italien name for butterfly. These beautiful creatures with their colorful wings and elegance are fascinating to watch. 
Their transformation is mind boggling. With this shawl I hoped to reflect some this lightness and beauty and create a garment which can be worn in many different ways to transform your wardrobe.

To make this you will need: 
• Color 1 approx. 390 yard / 360 m of fingering weight yarn 
• Color 2 (wings) approx. 370 yards / 340 m of fingering weight yarn. 
• Circular needles size US 2 / 2.75 mm 32 inch 
• Needle to weave in ends 
• Stitch markers and waste yarn.
This pattern will be also available in German soon




Friday, October 19, 2012

New Workshop


A lot of times I see knitters / crocheters disappointed. The projects for which they invested so much of their precious time did not turn out as they hoped it would. Just recently I caught one of my friends just in time to prevent her using a very soft yarn for making  slippers for her son. This particular yarn would have never held up the wear and tear of this warm foot wear and she would have been very frustrated to invest time and money in this project. We found another fiber which was perfect.... 
This little event caused me to prepare a workshop to help people to make the most of the yarn purchase and knitting/crocheting time:

WHAT YARN SHOULD I CHOOSE?

Have you ever made a sweater you can wear now as a dress because it grew so much?
Does your shawl not have the drape you hoped it would have? Did you by yarn you don't know what to do with it?
As a designer I know how important it is to choose the right yarn to get the best results.

In this class you will learn
- about 
different fiber / yarn and their attributes
- which fiber / yarn works for which project
- how to read a yarn label

When:
Wednesday, October 24th, 7:00 - 9:00
Where:
Yarns With A Twist, 111 Willimantic Rd. (Rte. 6) Chaplin CT, 





Please call the shop to reserve your spot! 860 455 9986

Bring a yarn you don't know what to make with to the workshop.








Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I wish I could.....

.........go more often to NYC. I feel privileged to live in a more rural area with all the animals you can imagine walking through my back yard or crossing the street in front of my car like these wild turkeys.



But sometimes it's just nice to get inspired by a city atmosphere. On my last trip to NYC I was able to take a brief look at some shops in the Garment District. I think I never saw so many different buttons, trims, zippers..... in one place.





IT was impossible to see everything in the short time I had there. Good excuse to go back soon!!

New in my Esty shop:


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

New Yarn Colors

I just added some fun new colors to my Etsy shop

Come and check them out!


What else is new?

Patches Child is released and available.

 

$6


This fun cardigan is worked in strips which are joined as you go. Using a self-patterning yarn will create the unique patchwork look of the finished garment; if you decide to use a different color for each strip you will have a great stash buster project.To make this pattern suitable for boy and girl you have a choice between different necklines (crew-neck or V-neck) as well as a choice of edging (ruffle, garter st, ribbing). Instructions for placing the buttonholes on either side are also given.

Enjoy!



Picture by snoopydog from ravelry



Friday, July 6, 2012

Looking For Test Knitters


Are you interested to test knit this cardigan, Patches Child? It comes in 5 different sizes from child 2 - 8 and with a choice of different necklines,  finishing and edgings. Therefore I need more test knitters than usual. If you like to join you will find more information here
The pattern will go live at the end of July.

New in my Etsy shop:





75% Superwash Merino Wool Fingering Weight, 4ply Approximately 437yards (400 m); 100 grams (3.5 oz.)             Needle size recommended US 1 – 3. Approx. 7-8 stitches per inch                                                                                                Yarn line: Basel       Color: Roses & Lagoon










Friday, June 15, 2012

See who's looking at me...



This Catbird nest is sitting in a shrub in our driveway. It was the last picture I could take since a few hours later they all flew out.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Techniques: Blocking II

Blocking



What you need:


  • A large enough area to hold the full piece to be blocked. The surface should have a padded covering to receive pins. Iron board for smaller pieces, carpet, blocking boards you can buy in your LYS can be used. Some people like to use the interlocking puzzle mats  but be sure that they are colorfast before using them. Some people like to cover their surface with a checked fabric to make it easier to pin the pieces to size evenly. 
  • Pins: They should be rustproof. T-pins are ideal since they can be easily placed and don't disappear in the knitting.
  • Some people like to use blocking wires. These are especially helpful for lace knitting.
  • For steam blocking you need either a iron, handheld steamer, steam iron and a pressing cloth. This could be either an old pillow case, kitchen towel or some fabric which is not to thick.
  • Tape measure
  • Spay bottle

Pinning a piece for blocking:

  • Put the piece on the blocking surface right side facing. This way you have more control about what is happening during the blocking process. This is especially important if you work with a piece which has pattern stitches like cables. You don't want to flatten the structure of your pattern stitch through too much steam, stretching....
  • Keep all the pieces straight and even as you pin them, smoothing them from the center out. This is where a checkered surface helps...
  • Make sure that the measurements of your piece are accurate. (For a sweater for example: finished bust measurements, arm length, length, arm width....) Through blocking you can add some length to a piece but be careful not to over stretch.
  • Be careful to place the pins close enough (approx. 1" / 2.5 cm) so that you don't create scalloped edges or leave marks. 
  • Pin matching pieces like front and back of a sweater side by side to make sure that they are both blocked to the accurate size. If the pieces should be of identical size you can block them on top of each other.

Techniques


Steam Blocking:


For this method you will use either an iron, or steamer. Never place the iron directly ono your knitted piece.

  • Pin your piece out to the desired dimension.
  • Wet your pressing cloth and wring it out so that it is damp. You could also use the spray bottle.
  • With the hot iron slightly press down on the cloth so that the iron barely touches it. lift the iron and then go to the next spot on your piece. Don't move the iron on damp cloth with pressure since friction, water and heat might the fiber you block cause to felt.
or
  • Pin
  • Don't use the pressing cloth and set your iron to a steam setting. Float the iron over the surface of you to be blocked piece without touching, forcing the steam through. Let the fabric dry and cool.

Animal fiber: 
Wool, Alpaca, Cashmere, Llama, Camel but be sure to set your temperature carefully
Plant fiber: 
all of the  plant fiber except silk, they can stand warmer temperatures than protein fiber
Man made fiber:
not recommended
Synthetic blends: 
If the plant or protein fiber content is high possible but only on low heat and very carefully.

Wet Blocking


Wet blocking is a great method if you need to add length to your garment.


  • Wet the pieces of the garment.
  • Press out the excess water using towels.(Never wring -- some fibers are fragile when wet and you can damage the fabric this way!) I usually roll a piece gently into a towel.
  • Pin and let the pieces dry, usually over several days.
Fiber you can use for this method:

Animal fiber:
Wool, Alpaca, Cashmere, Llama, Camel
Plant fiber: 
This is not my preferred blocking method for this type of fiber
Synthetic blends:
Good method for this type of fiber.

Spritz blocking


This method is very good for delicate fabrics and fiber since it is a very gentle process.

  • Pin
  • Using a spray bottle, spritz the pieces until damp and let dry.

Suitable for all fiber types.



Monday, April 16, 2012

Impavido, more than a shawl


Impavido, means unafraid and bold. I chose this name for my new design as impavido being a part of my New Years resolution. With this versatile shawl / stole you will not only make a statement but also have endless options of wearing it due to strategically placed button holes and and buttons....
For this sample I uses approx. 800 yards of Kauni solid and 300 yards of Kauni Effektgarn color EQ. The piece is worked flat using short rows and a easy slip stitch pattern for the color work.

 Enjoy!




















If you run out of ideas there is always the turban style.




 The models had fun with this!!



Time to relax!




I selected this post to be featured on Knitting Blogs. Please visit the site and vote for my blog!


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Techniques: Blocking 1

One day S., a great knitter, came into the LYS where I teach desperate and disappointed. Her lace shawl she had just finished looked all crumbled up and shapeless. She told me that she came to show it to me before she frogs it or uses it as food for the wood stove.
Innocently I asked S. if she had already blocked it. She looked at me with this big question mark in her eyes. After I blocked her shawl S. was very surprised about the difference this made to the work she was ready to dump. The lace patterning showed, the shape came out fabulous, stitches evened out and it had a beautiful drape. We were both happy that her gorgeous work didn't end up feeding the wood stove or  in a waste basket.....
Now they live happily ever after ;-)

This series about blocking will help you to find the right method for the fiber you were using in your knitting and give your work a great finished look.

Advantages of Blocking:
  • It sets the stitches and evens them out. A good way to fix little boo boo's.
  • With edges unrolled and evened out, seaming will be much easier and pleasant.
  • Lace and other pattern stitches will show better.
  • The size of your piece can be adjusted to a certain extend. 
  • The drape or how the garment hangs will be much nicer.
  • The color of hand-dyed yarn will look even more vibrant.
 unblocked

blocked


The fiber I'm working with determines how I block it. Some of them can be weakened or destroyed if you use the wrong blocking method for them.
Therefore it's important to know a little bit more about the different kind of fibers which are out there and some quick facts which are important for blocking:

Animal (Protein) Fibers:

  • Wool: The fiber can be bent over and over again without breaking and springs back to the original shape (good memory). Due to the overlapping scales on the surface the fiber will felt when the combination of heat, friction and moisture is applied. (The scales interlock and fuse)
  • Mohair: Lightweight fiber from the angora goat has similar attributes as wool but is less resilient and weaker when wet.
  • Alpaca and Llama: Long fiber from a Alpaca or Llama, which is has much less memory than wool and garments stretch and get out of shape easily when Alpaca is not blended with other fiber with more memory. Alpaca is very weak when wet.
  • Cashmere: Fiber from the Cashmere Goat. Extraordinarily  soft with similar attributes as wool when wet.
  • Camel: Hair collected from Camels. Very strong fiber which is not very receptive to dye.
  • Angora: The very short fiber comes from the Angora rabbit and is extremely soft, fluffy and warm. 
  • Qiviut: Fiber combed from Alaskan musk Ox which is 8 times warmer than wool and finer than Cashmere.
  • Yak
  • Silk: Silk has a protein structure even though it's not a hair. It is not resilient and will stretch easily if not blended with other fiber. Very fragile when wet.
Plant (Cellulose) Fibers :
  • Cotton: Stronger when wet but much less elastic than wool and stretches out easily. The lack of resilience make flaws in knitting tension show.
  • Linen: Fiber from the stem of the flax plant. Stronger when wet. softens through washing. Garments show wrinkles more easy.
  • Ramie: Strong, linen like fiber with little resilience which washes well.
  • Bamboo: Fiber from the bamboo plant. Lack of resilience makes the fabric stretchy and flaws in knitting tension show.
  • Tencel: Man made fiber made from bleached wood pulp which has similar attributes as cotton. Heat can be applied.
  • Rayon: Man made from cellulose obtained from cotton lint and wood chips. Heat can be applied. Bigger garments will stretch.
Man Made (Synthetic) Fiber:
  • Polyamid, Nylon: Strongest textile fiber (therefore often used in sock yarn), durable, lightweight and elastic. Heat sensitive!
  • Acrylic: Imitates wool but has a lack of insulation qualities. Heat sensitive!
  • Polyester: Helps to make garments wrinkle resistant and holding the shape. 
  • Polypropylene: Has insulation qualities.
  • Metallic Fibers: Heat sensitive!


Different blocking techniques for different fibers will be the content of the next post about blocking......

Friday, April 6, 2012

LLTS stands for....

.......Long Live The Scraps.  LLTS is  a blanket recipe I wrote  to use up odds and ends of yarn. It can be done on any gauge, size or pattern stitch. Not long ago I held a blanket drive for charity where people were using this pattern. I was blown away by the cute wool baby blankets the Wool-Aid knitters made. Heideh, (heideh) on ravelry, made this one:








Finally, I finished mine too. I used  yarn which was donated for charity, a sturdy wool yarn
with a light storage smell to it. I soaked it, hung it to dry outside and , oh wonder, it soften and lost its garage fragrance.






The blanket is worked in strips which are attached as you go. The blanket is fully reversible. The clean two-colored ridge on one side adds texture and depth.







The other side is smooth and only a very fine line shows that it was worked in strips.
The best thing: There is now sewing involved.


This blanket will keep a child in Tibet warm.