5/29/2020

Onni

The blog has been a bit silent during this strange spring. It's not because I'm not knitting and designing - quite the contrary. I've been working all spring on a color work book that Laine will publish later this year and I can't show off those knits until the book comes out. But in the midst of all that, I did find time to design this shawl.


What: Onni / Own pattern
How: Circular needle 3.75 mm
From: Tukuwool Hakamaa Fingering, 155 g

Tukuwool produces these wonderful special batches from local wool. When they offered this lighter than air, single-ply yarn from Kainuugrey-Rygia sheep that I've got to pet at Hakamaa farm, I of course had to knit something with it.


I cast on for this shawl before Christmas but unsurprisingly a dozen book-related color work projects have eaten up all my knitting time. I finally found a little slot in my schedule to finish the shawl and oh, what a pleasure it was to work simple garter stitch and lace for a while. Change is always so refreshing.


I named the shawl Onni, a Finnish word for happiness or luck. Happiness to me is letting the stithces slide on my needles, having a moment of peace, not having to think of anything for a moment.


Onni is an asymmetric, arrow-shaped shawl. It starts from one sharp corner, working increases on the sides and decreases in the middle. What makes this design so fun is the fact that half of the shawl is worked in squishy garter stitch and the other half is a combination of stockinette stitch, purl ridges and simple feather and fan lace.


The shawl gets its neat look from an i-cord edge all around the shawl. Don't worry, the i-cord is worked at the same time with the shawl body so no need to pick up millions of stitches in the end just to bind them off straight away. You can use the rest of the yarn to make tassels for the corners. I know, I wanted to - because tassels!


You can find Onni on Ravelry. Use the code HAPPY to get 20% discount until Sunday June 7th.


And that's not all, folks! My LYS, TitiTyy is taking part in a Finnish virtual craft fair and because of it they're offering a free Onni print to anyone purchasing Tukuwool Hakamaa Fingering to make the shawl. The offer is valid until June 7th when the virtual craft fair ends.

We're also hosting a KAL with Tukuwool over on Instagram. You can take part by tagging your shawl photos with #onnikal. The KAL ends on August 31st and, of course, we'll be giving out prizes.

4/12/2020

Eazy

I have a tendency to go for the more challenging knitting projects. However, this time I challenged myself to design something mellow and easygoing. And here's the result.


What: Eazy / Own pattern
How: Circular needle 4.0 mm

Since I wanted to design a relaxed and easy cardigan I kept the silhouette simple. The cardigan starts off by casting on shoulder stitches for the back. There's no neckline shaping at the back or front. The shoulders are shaped with short rows. The back and fronts are worked separately to the underarms and then the rest of the body is worked in one piece. The cardigan comes with waist shaping.



Since the silhouette is so simple I had to add a little something to keep me interested. So the cardigan got this amazing brioche braid at the center of the back. The braid is worked in one-color brioche with simple increases and decreases. It looks intricate but is quite easy to work and the pattern comes with both a chart and written instructions.



The brioche continues at the front edges, the hem and the cuffs - though without the braid pattern. You can use any stretchy bind off but I really recommend trying out Italian bind off. It gives the most beautiful finishing touch to brioche. If you're not familiar with the technique I've made a little tutorial video on my Instagram highlights.


The pattern is now available on Ravelry and it comes with sizes XXS-XS-S [M1-M2-L1-L2] XL-2XL-3XL-5XL with finished bust circ. 39.25-72'' / 98-180 cm. Use the code BRAID to get 20% discount. The code is valid through April 22nd.




The yarn was new to me. I fell hard for it at Edinburgh Yarn Fest and promised to design something special for it. It's a DK weight soft merino yarn from the British spinning mill, John Arbon Textiles. And the best part are the gorgeous heathered colors. I especially love this warm yellow called English Mustard. John Arbon were kind enough to offer a discount code for the pattern launch so in case you would like to try out the Viola DK, you can use the code EAZYCARDILOVE in their webshop to get 10% discount. The yarn discount is valid through April.

3/06/2020

Ekorre

My third sweater of this year is a real cutie pie! 


What: Ekorre / Own pattern
How: Circular needle 2.75 mm
From: Louhittaren Luola Kytöläinen II, 202 g

The story of this sweater begun last fall as we were headed for Lapland to go hiking amidst the fall foliage. A talented dyer has her shop along the way and I had never before had the chance to visit her store. Our hiking trip gave me the perfect excuse to finally visit Louhittaren Luola (Knitlob's Lair).


We stopped for an hour and I got to see the dyeing studio and did a fair bit of shopping as well. I was especially excited to finally get to test Kytöläinen II which is a beautiful handdyed light fingering weight yarn of Finnish wool. I'm always into local wool! And it didn't hurt that there was this stunning pearl grey tone that I paired up with a warm hazelnut brown. I was in the mood for color work. 



And color work it was to be. The yarns turned into this sweet sweater called Ekorre. The sweater is worked seamlessly top-down. The sweater has a round yoke with a woodland-themed color work pattern featuring acorns, squirrels and oak leaves.


The yoke ends with a purl ridge and the rest of the sweater features a simple stitch pattern giving the sweater a bit of texture.


I haven't fully embraced the fashionable bishop sleeve trend but I'm quite smitten with these sleeves where you stop the decreases a bit early to give a little more room above the cuffs.



One of my favorite things about this sweater is definitely the folded neckline. Provisional cast on and a folded neckband give the neatest finishing touch to a sweater. It also helps the neckline stay in shape.


You can find Ekorre on Ravelry and there's an introductory discount of 20% with the code ORAVA (squirrel in Finnish). The code is valid through March 15th. The pattern comes with sizes XXS-5XL, a finished bust circumference of 35.75-66.5''. The recommended ease is 4.75''.


With this sweater I finally got my last missing letter and now I have designs starting with all the alphabet from A to Z. And so will start the Anna Johanna Alphabet Challenge! The challenge being to work a design of mine starting with each letter. There's no deadline for this KAL. There's a KAL thread in my Ravelry group where you can come and chat and show of your projects. If anyone is goofy enough to complete the challenge they will get a signed diploma and my enamel pin - and of course get their name in the Hall of Fame.


2/14/2020

Kuura

This year's first issue of the Finnish craft magazine, Taito, is a special one for me: not only does it include my new sock pattern but I got to model all the designs! The Taito magazine team came to my town in search of snow and winter. Unfortunately, all we had to offer was melting ice, cold wind and icy rain. Ah, the glamorous life of a model.


What: Kuura / Own pattern
How: Circular needle 2.25 mm
From: La Bien Aimée Super Sock, 70 g

The inspiration for designs was frost and I immediately started thinking of socks with lace flowers. I found this beautiful icy colored Super Sock by La Bien Aimée and cast on.



The socks are simple with a simple lace on top - just the kind most people like to knit. But designing simple socks gets a bit boring so I decided to keep things interesting by writing the pattern in both directions - cuff down and toe up.


Some like to work their socks the traditional way, cuff down. And others prefer the more modern direction of toe up. So the pattern includes both directions and everyone gets to pick their favorite. Or, if you're a bit mischievous like me, you can make a mismatch pair.


I ended up making six socks all together! First, I made my sample pair - only to realize both socks had mistakes on them. The first sock (cuff down), I had made a mistake on the second lace repeat just after the cuff ribbing. The second sock (toe up), I had accidentally purled the middle stitch of the lace all the way. Yep, it should've been a knit stitch. So that's two socks that were set aside to wait for better days. Then, it happened that a dear friend of mine asked me to knit her a pair for their wedding and of course I did that - this time with no mistakes. four socks done. And finally, I had to unravel both of my sample socks and rework them and that gets us to a total six socks for this design.


Kuura socks have this beautiful lace on the instep. Depending on the direction of knitting, there's a little flower just before the cuff or toe. The gussets are purled which creates a fun little design feature.


The pattern in the magazine is only in Finnish but it will be available in English, as an individual download on Ravelry in June. (The horizontal pics are my own while the lakeside photos were taken by the Taito magazine team.)

2/10/2020

Budding

I've been looking forward to releasing this pattern! Last fall, I and bunch of other knitters got to have a sleepover at our LYS and during the night, I bought a sweater quantity of Brooklyn Tweed Peerie. I had been wanting to try it out for the longest time but never got around to it - until now.


What: Budding / Own pattern
How: Circular needles 3.5 mm
From: Brooklyn Tweed Peerie, 180 + 37 + 27 g


I'm usually into really muted low-contrast colors but this yellow was calling my name. I got three different colors because I wanted to try designing a color work sweater where the background color changes after the yoke.




I have a somewhat old-fashioned style. I love 40's fashion. I'm so happy when I manage to design something that fits my oldish style spot on but still feels contemporary enough to wear today. I think Budding nails it.⁠





So my sweater quantity turned into a nifty little joyous cardigan with a round yoke full of flowers. The cardigan has long sleeves and a cropped hem. Budding has positive ease yet a close-fitting hem ribbing ending at the natural waist making it comfortable and stylish at the same time. As this is a cropped design, I added instructions for an optional bust dart.




The cardigan is worked in the round and cut open once finished. I know, I know, I can hear your screams of horror all the way here. Steeking can sound super scary but it's quite easy and the sweater will be quite safe. You just need a non-superwash yarn. Woolly, rustic yarns can be re-enforced with crochet while rounder fibres might need sewing machine seams before cutting. And the trick to steeking is that knitted fabric wants to unravel top-down, not sideways. That's why cutting won't kill your new sweater. The pattern comes with a photo tutorial for steeking so do not be scared. I re-enforced my cardigan with couple machine-sown seams and stitched the raw edge into place onto the wrong side. 





I know that there will always be knitters for whom there's no amount of encouragement that  would make them try out steeking. So Budding includes instructions for a pullover version too. I also asked some of my test knitters to make this as a pullover so you can go through their projects on Ravelry to decide if you want to make yours as a cardigan or a pullover. 




You can find Budding on Ravelry and if you use the code FLOWERS, you will get the pattern with 20% introductory discount.




I'm also so happy to be able to offer you another code: you can get Brooklyn Tweed Peerie for your own Budding at a 10% discount from Brooklyn Tweed's online shop with the code 'BuddingCardigan' until February 24th. If you use this link, the discount should be automatically applied.




1/19/2020

Grain

Lately, I've been knitting just colorwork and I don't see an end to this whim. This design here kicks off my year of colorwork sweaters.


What: Grain / Own pattern
How: Circular needle 3.5 mm
From: Blacker Yarns Tamar 4ply, 293 g

For couple years already, I've been shopping yarn with colorwork sweaters in mind. Yet, I haven't been knitting or designing them. It just so happened that it did take quite some time to get my colorwork design groove on. But one Saturday last fall, I sat down on my computer and spent the entire day working on colorwork chart ideas. I finally got in the flow and now the yarns I've been acquiring are finally making their way onto my needles.



Once I got over my designing block, I was in such a hurry to cast on that I didn't bother to really swatch. I did make a teeny tiny swatch of this lovely grain pattern but I made it in a different yarn. It just so happened that the yarn didn't have enough contrast and hence, I didn't have enough motivation to finish the swatch. Once I found a new yarn, I didn't have the patience to make a new swatch and decided I could just use the one I had kinda made in that other yarn. I could just barely measure the gauge for 5 x 5 cm and was happy with that. Spoiler alert: I shouldn't have been.


Hindsight is 20/20 and I can now tell you my impatience had a price. Once I finally got to cast on my sweater I actually finished it in just 8 days - only to find out that it had about 30 cm (12'') more ease than what I intended. It took my 8 days to knit and 8 minutes to pull apart. Surprisingly, I didn't mind at all. You see, I had finally got a hold of my wips and was working on only one project at a time. It was nice but every time I finished something, I was feeling low with the empty needles syndrome. I didn't mind unraveling my new sweater because it was a really nice knit and now I knew what I would knit next.



They do say that a sweater is the proper size swatch for a sweater... I took just few hours to r-calculate everything and I made this nicely fitting new sample in just 7 days. In oh my, it's a good one!


Grain is a simple and beautiful colorwork sweater. The round yoke has two rows of grains and the hem has these little sprouts just before the ribbing which is worked with the contrast color. The sweater doesn't have waist shaping, just few decreases from the underarms to the hem.


I have fallen hard for the cropped sweater trend and this sweater is a perfect example. I wear dresses and high waist skirts a lot and a cropped sweater is the perfect pair for that style. Some test knitters made theirs longer so you can check out their projects on Ravelry and Instagram.


The yarn was a new one for me. Tamar 4-ply by Blacker Yarns is a fingering weight, non-superwash yarn from 100% British wool. It's a rustic, woolly wool. In the recent years, I've concentrated more on these natural, less treated yarns. But the design works well with SW merino too.


As I said, Grain is the first colorwork sweater of the year but certanly not the last. You can find it on Ravelrysta and there's an introductory 20% discount with the code WHEAT The code is valid through next week.



We've been having a crappy non-winter winter and there's no snow around. If there's anything positive about that we managed to take these autumnal pics in December.