Monday, May 23, 2011

Yet another diversion...

It seams that I just can't finish a project without at least one diversion.... And this time, it is a very cute little elephant that I made for my son Alexandro. He really likes it, and that is no surprise!

 This was a test knit for another designer on Ravelry. I saw that in the Free Pattern Testers group and I just could not resist.... The pattern is called Trumpy the African Elephant, by Claire Sibley. It is fairly easy, the only challenge were the British crochet instructions, I am more used to the American ones, and generally much prefer charts anyway - whenever possible, but other than that, it is a well written pattern and if You are thinking of creating a toy, I'd recommend it. I decided to add a bowtie to it, but it would be very easy to improvise with the outfits, maybe create a vest or a skirt to alternate looks. Well, it's all decided on this one, he's a boy, so no skirt... :) I am still awaiting on what his name will be, not Trumpy though, I guess, - sorry Claire :))

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Snowcloud in the middle of the summer

This is an impulsive project, but I start to believe that these turn out the best... I am in the middle of testing another shawl - the Sunset Shawl. I will tell You the story of it, once the testing is complete, as I want to shoot a few more nicer photos, but here's a sneak-peak:
This is a colorful lace shawl, and my test knitters are trying out some very attractive color combinations, too. One of my favorites at this moment is a light white to beige color combination in a Scandinavian yarn called "Plötulopi". I have never tried it, but I love the look so much, that I ordered some of that yarn just last night....

The thing is, that I am an unbelievably impatient person, and I kept going through my stash again and again till I came up with something that is somewhat satisfying me till my Plötulopi arrives. I decided to use a light blue lace weight merino in combination with white kid-mohair for the body - the look is nearly glowing! I have a few options on how to go for the border with either changing the light blue to a slightly darker shade, or, most likely, I will change the white mohair to grey and keep the blue. Despite the generous size of this shawl (my first version measures over 2m wingspan), this is a very fast knit. The body knits up very quick, and the border offers enough interest not to get bored with it. This shawl will be done in no time.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


I am happy to announce the release of Windcatcher - airy, light, very delicate lace shawl. I have to say I am very proud of this pattern. Before writing it up, I did some research about what makes a pattern good, and tried to use all advice I found. Clear instructions, pleasant layout, big, clear, easy to read charts, most commonly used knitting symbols. I have received a very positive feedback from my test knitters, and I am in fact considering  doing a remake for the patterns I already have published to match the same standard.
All of my test knitters have voted this pattern suitable for beginner lace knitters, mentioning following reasons:
  • easy to read lace in both - body and border patterns
  • easy to memorize the pattern
  • has no complex stitches
  • easy to pick up and knit without getting lost in the pattern
I agree with them, but I would just like to remind that a beginner knitter and beginner lace knitter are not exactly the same things. This will be an easy project - even as a first lace project - for those, who are comfortable with knitting in general. As there are a lot of yarn overs, You will need to keep a steady tension for the pattern to look nice and even. That being said, it really knits up in a breeze, so it's one of those knits that are easily finished and less likely to stay in a pro-longed Work-In-Progress status.

One of my test knitters has added beads throughout the body of the shawl - right on top of each double decrease. It looks absolutely stunning! I love it so much that I might just end up doing another Windcatcher, beaded this time.

At the moment the lace part is done in charts only, I might also add written instructions later on, if there are requests for that.
While I have done both my shawls with a relatively small needle, I am a really loose knitter. Normally I'd suggest using a needle size US 3-6, 3mm-4mm, or even 4,5mm for a fingering weight yarn. I have calculated the pattern for 5 different sizes, it is easy to adjust the size as you knit.
Here are a few more photos:

This shawl is available as a pdf file download for $6.00
You can also find Windcather on Ravelry.
Happy knitting!