11/20/2017

SnOwl

So I designed a new sweater. Surprising, isn't it?

What: Snowl / Own pattern
How: 3.5 mm and 2.5 mm circular needles
From: Primrose Yarn Co. Sophia, 300 g
Ravelryssa

At this summer's knit festival, I spent a lot of time saying Oh! and Ah! at ILO yarns' booth. I was drooling over all the lovely Primrose Yarns Co. yarns and typically for me, I picked up the only colorless colorway. Except that it isn't colorless, it's just the perfect creamy white with tiny dark speckles. Perfect, I say!



And the yarn base, merino, nylon and cashmere. Oh my. It's unbelievably soft and felt amazing in my hands as I knitted it.



The lovely shop owners sponsored the yarn for me and I promised to come up with a design this fall. The color of the yarn demanded to be knitted into cables so that's what I did.


Snowl is worked top down seamlessly because that's how you knit every nice project. The sweater has raglan sleeves and there are three cables in the front. Otherwise, the sweater is all purls because I feel that reverese stockinette stitch is the best way to let cables shine.


The sweater has a V-neck and the neck band is worked with smaller needles. One of my favorite things about this design is that it's A-line. There's about 2''/5 cm positive ease at bust height and 6''/15 cm positive ease at the hem which makes this a nice, relaxed sweater. The hem is shaped with short rows such that the back is longer than the front.


But above all else I love the sleeves of this sweater because they're looooong. The MCN yarn base is amazingly soft and I don't know anything that tops soft overly long sleeves that you can wrap you hands in.



The sweater became an instant favorite and I've been using it all the time. The relaxed A-line is a perfect match for dresses as well as jeans. It's stylish and relaxed at the same time. You can knit your own favorite sweater by clicking the link below.




Huge thanks to ILO for sponsoring the yarn and to mom for these beautiful photos. Luckily, it doesn't show in the pictures but it was freezing cold and kept raining all through the photoshoot.


Did you wonder about the name? Well, the sweater was named after the colorway of the yarn, Snow owl. I just removed the extra letters.

10/19/2017

A story of a knitted napkin

Let's start from the beginning: I adore Disney's Little mermaid! It is the best animated film ever, not mention the beautiful soundtrack. My favorite song, Part of your world, was even played at our wedding ceremony.


What: Part of your world / Lily Go
How: Circular needles 3.5 ja 4.0 mm
From: Ginger's Hand Dyed  Yaketi-Yak 4ply, 91 g

Ravelryssa

And what does that have to do with anything? Well, a few years back I was visiting Edinburgh and going through yarn shops recommended by Ysolda herself and ended up at Ginger Twist Studios. It was a teeny tiny space filled with more yarn than I imagined possible for that room. I spent an hour trying to pick out something as a souvenier for myself. When I finally started reading the colorway names, it was a no-brainer: the colorway was called Part of your world. And if the colorway felt like it was dyed just for me, oh, how lovely was the yarn base! I fell in love with the merino/silk/yak blend. It was springy, plump and slick all at once. And the gorgeous shine from the silk! This skein was to become the most precious treasure of my enormous stash. I wouldn't use it until I found THE perfect pattern, even if it meant waiting for an eternity. 


But alas, I didn't have to wait too long. This summer I was browsing through Ravelry when I came across a mystery shawl KAL named after that very same song. A match made in heaven! I would knit my 'Part of your world' treasure of a yarn into a 'Part of your world' shawl. I went through the designer's previous work just to be sure the pattern would be worthy of the yarn - and it looked very promising. Then, all I had to do was to wait for August when the fun would begin.


I always enjoy knitting mystery shawls but shall I say, this time it felt like the designer wanted to do everything the hard way. The shawl started at the bottom edge by casting on several hundred stitches. No worries, except that it used picot cast on. Did you think picot bind off is a pain? Try picot cast on. Nuff said. It was slow going but, hey, I got through it.


Right after the picot cast on, it was lace all the way. Lace and beads. I really like knitting with beads though it takes a lot of concentration. But who thought it would be a good idea to knit lace on thw wrong side as well? This one wasn't for social knitting. Nope.

Even though it took a lot of concentration, I managed with the WS lace. But then it started to bother me that the twisted stitches of the lace weren't twisted on the wrong side. I know a vast majority of knitters hates twisted purls but if you're already knitting lace on WS rows, why stop there? 

Another thing bothering me was the use of (sl1, k1, psso) decreases. I'm so used to do ssk decreases that these really annoyed my aestethic eye. Why I didn't just trust myself in that I can replace them by ssk decreases, I have no idea.


So the shawl started off with a picot cast on, continued with beaded lace and then moved onto alternating garter stitch and lace sections that were shaped with short rows. It was beautiful as ever.

Except that. Yep. I did mention in the title that this shawl turned out about the size of a napkin.


I take part of the blame; I did choose the smallest size so my one precious skein would be enough. But I have knitted one skein wonders before and they have always been of adequate size. Nothing big but enough to cover the neck. I can't say the same for this one.


That's it for my treasure of a yarn. Been there, done that. Wasn't happy. Luckily mom already announced she would be more than happy to take this beautiful napkin.

10/01/2017

Hiplee

The knitters of a neighbour city have had a great knitting club this year where each month someone from the group has designed a pattern for everyone to knit. I actually have nothing to do with their local knitting group except that I absolutely love them, they're great folks. But it seemed this was enough for me to be included and they asked if I would also like to design something for them. And what could be better than to cheer up my friends with a knitting design!


What: Hiplee / Own pattern
How: Circular needles 4.5 and 5.0 mm
From: De Rerum Natura Ulysse, 300 g
Ravelryssa

For a long time, I've had a bunch of lovely organic merino from De Rerum Natura in my stash. And now I finally had the perfect idea for those skeins.



I wanted to design a sweater with a turtle neck starting from the top but that it would have enough shaping at the neck that it wouldn't feel too tight. My neck is very sensitive and I usually don't get along with high collars.



So there would be a turtle neck, short row shaping at the neck, overly long raglan sleeves and it should also be twisted ribbing. But to keep it from being boring, I placed the raglan increases and waist shaping a bit differently.



The raglan increases of the sleeves and the back are placed as usual but the front raglans aren't next to the sleeves. I placed the front raglan increases in the center of the front. This also makes it easy to tell which side is the back and which is the front when I'm dressing up in the morning.


And once I had started, I decided to have some fun with the waist shaping as well. The waist decreases and increases are placed on different sides of one stitch such that it creates an optical illusion as if there are only decreases.


Finally, I wanted to split the hem and make the back a bit longer than the front. I figured continuing with the twisted ribbing would make for a nice flowing hem with the split. So, I worked the hem in broken twisted ribbing. It made for an interesting surface and brightened up the design.


The sleeves also have the broken twisted rib. While knitting, I didn't know whether I would actually like the fabric but once I blocked the sweater it became my favorite part of the garment. Beforehand I was also a bit nervous wheter the turtle neck combined with ribbing would make for a terrible 90's vibe but luckily I was worried for nothing.


The robust and airy organic merino was the perfect match for the pattern. It feels light yet super warm. I've used this almost every day since I finished it. And once it gets colder, I think I'll wear this through the winter.


For the next three months, this sweater design is just for the knitting club but in January, it will be available for puchase on Ravelry.

9/29/2017

Sand storm

Back in summer, I received a lovely email asking for an interview for a Finnish knitting magazine. There would be an interview, some pictures from our home and a pattern I would design. I set to work right away.


What: Sand storm / Own pattern
How: Circular needle 3.25 mm
From: Cardiff Cashmere Classic, 40 g
Ravelryssa

My husband works near a great yarn shop and in the spring, I had asked him to go shopping for me. He brought me some surprise yarn but boy, was I surprised when I saw that the shop owner had sent me so goodies: two skeins of the softest cashmere. Thank you, Snurre!


The soft little skeins demanded to get onto my needles straight away. After a little brainstorming between me and the yarn, we desided that I should knit them into a hat.


I wanted a light autumn beanie. You know, something simple, with just cables. But as always, I had to come up with something a bit more interesting. Then, I remembered seeing my friend do an envelope bind off on a hat. So that was it!


The beanie has a high ribbed brim after which it's just sand storm cables. At least in my stitch dictionary the cable motif is called sand storm. Then, the beanie is finished off witht the envelope bind off. Simple and fun.


I love the end result, even if I'm a bit biased. The yarn is soft and fluffy - as cashmere should be - but it doesn't break. The pattern is only available in the Finnish Unelmien käsityöt magazine and it has two sizes for the beanie. I'm going to pull my new beanie over my ears and enjoy autumn.

9/07/2017

Smell the flowers

Can you believe I've run out of wips? This recently finished shawl was the last ufo I had, and oh my, how nice it is to cast on something new on a clean slate. Well, not so much a clean slate as a dusty sofa, but you get the point.


What: Nuffield / Own pattern
How: Circular needle 3.75 mm
From: Frida Fuchs SCHNIEKE Single + Madelinetosh Merino Light, 258 + 14 g
Ravelryssa

I started this project long ago in the early spring. These pennant shaped shawls with increases at the edges and decreases in the middle have been on trend for a while now. I too wanted to try designing one.


The shawl has a fun shape and is brightened up by contrasting colored stripes and lace sections that both keep growing bigger and bigger. The shawl is finished off with a picot bind off. The lace is such that there are decreases and yo's on the wrong side as well but the pattern is simple and easily memorized.


Knitting this shawl starts at the sharpest corner. Once you have worked enough increases so that the bottom edge is of desired length, the rest of the shawl is shaped with short rows until the "dent" in the middle is filled up. If this sounds confusing, you haven't knitted one of these shawls before and you should because it's totally fun and entertaining. Because I wanted to knit all the short rows in the lace pattern, the final lace section is humongous. But I like it. I think it gives the shawl a very delicate look.


The yarn is my most recent yarn love, Frida Fuchs SCHNIEKE Single. It's not only lovely single ply merino but it has a luxurous 30 % silk which gives the yarn a beautiful shine. And the colors! Oh! The shawl used about 2.5 skeins of the main color. So now I have enough left overs to make a pair of fingerless mitts to go with the shawl. For the contrast color, I used Tosh Merino Light in a gorgeous copper color.



I named the shawl Nuffield, after Nuffield College in Oxford. I was viting the place with my god daughter and she wouldn't go inside because she wanted to stay in the garden smelling all the spring flowers. It reminded me that you should always have time to smell the flowers, which brought my mind to the main color of the shawl, Hanami. It was a good thing also to keep in mind while knitting the endless lace rows of the final section of the shawl. Yes, you should always have time to smell the flowers and enjoy the moment - even the boring endless lace knitting moments.


Now I need to decide if I have the energy to write the pattern for this shawl.