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.

1/04/2020

Ohla

New Year calls for a new design! I hope this wintery wrap will bring the snow back.


What: Ohla / Own pattern
How: Circular needles 4.5 mm
From: Shibui Knits Staccato + Silk Cloud, 190 + 62 g

I fell in love with the lace insert of my Alho sweater that I published in December. So much so that I had to use it in a shawl design too. I think you can figure out where the name of the shawl comes from.


Last spring, I designed a luxurious silky cardigan, Sulo, and I had a lot of yarn left over from that one. Now, those yarns turned into this delicious, huge yet light shawl. The cardigan was a luxurious combo of fingering weight merino/silk held together with lace weight mohair/silk. Since it was such a superb combination I saw now reason to change the recipe. Expect for the part that the lace inserts are worked in just the lace weight yarn just like in Alho sweater. This gives the lace such a delicate, exquisite look. It reminds me of spider webs full of those little diamonds from the morning dew. 



I like trying out different shapes for shawsl. But do not be fooled, I would never leave it at just that. This shawl maybe rectangular but it sure isn't worked straight.


Ohla does start at the short end of the rectangular with casting on stitches but the ribbing is shaped with short rows and after that the main body of the shawl is worked on the bias. At the other end, there are short rows to straighten the ribbing just before bind off.


Even though these little tricks make this an interesting project, most of it is really simple stockinette stitch with a bit of lace. The are a few rows of lace worked on the WS but just few - and the majority of the shawl is just stockinette stitch and ribbing.


That's it! A soft, airy and delicate shawl. I haven't really been designing rectangular shawl before so this stunning shawl stick turned out really useful with the wrap. I've been drooling over this beautiful Mountain Sheep Shawl Stick by JUL designilta for year so I was super excited when they wanted to collaborate. I truly love the shawl stick and in addition to it, I got a little discount code to share with you. Use "JOH20" to get your own Mountain Sheep Shawl Stick with 15% discount.


Oh, and finally, as the shawl features the same lace as my Alho sweater you can get the shawl with 50% discount on Ravelry if you also purchase the sweater (or have already bought it).

12/12/2019

Alho

I'm sure many knitters know how you can knit your feelings into your projects. A shawl worked during grief can carry some of that sorrow. But you can also weave happy emotions into your knits, like this sweater that carries my roots.


What: Alho / Own pattern
How: Circular needles 3.0 and 3.5 mm
From: Holst Garn Noble + Isager Silk Mohair, 107 + 47 g

Alho is the name of an old farm. It's the name of the land that gave life to my great grandfather, my grandfather, and then, my mother. I've never lived there but it is the land I belong to. The land gave its name to this sweater because the delicate lace reminds me of grains and soil.



I couldn't stand mohair. It was a nasty long fiber that tickled and irritated my skin. While half of the knitting world was obsessed with mohair and used it in every second pattern I didn't want to take part in such a folly. Until of course, I did. You see, when you combain mohair with silk it turns into a heavenly soft and fluffy fabric. And once I went down that road there was no going back. 


Most sweater patterns use mohair silk with another strand of yarn to give the fabric that lovely halo and fluff. I wanted something a bit different and came up with a sweater that's mostly worked with two strands held together but there's lace that's worked with the silk mohair alone.


A lace weight silk mohair makes the lace pattern so delicate that I can't even.


Next on the list was finding a nice lace pattern. I fell in love with this lace chart that I think was supposed to be leaves but turned upside down it reminds me of grains. And grains reminded me of soil and roots - and so began the sweater called Alho.



Alho is knit seamlessly top down. It has a round yoke with a beautiful lace insert. The sweater comes with plenty of ease and an A-line body. It has 20 cm / 8'' positive ease at the bust and the body widens towards the hem. The sweater is cropped and the back of the hem is shaped longer with short rows. The pattern also comes with instructions for an optional bust dart.


The sweater is worked holding two strands of yarn together: a light fingering weight yarn and a lace weight mohair silk yarn. The lace is worked in just the mohair silk. I made my sample in Holst Garn Noble (wool + cashmir) and Isager Silk Mohair (30% silk).


The pattern comes in 11 sizes for finished bust circumference of 38-70'' / 95-175 cm. I recommend choosing a size with 8''/20 cm positive ease at the bust. All my new patterns come with this extended size range and once the year end work load eases off I will be adding sizes to my older patterns as well.


You can buy Alho on Ravelry and there's a 20% introductory discount until Christmas Eve using the code ROOTS.


What: Alho / Own pattern
How: Circular needles 3.0 and 3.5 mm
From: Lotus Yarns Mimi Plus + Lang Yarns Lace, 150 + 75 g

As you can see, I've made two Alhos. This darker version is the one I had to cast on right away as I had the idea for the sweater. I was in such a hurry that I skipped swatching. Let's just say there was a lesson to learn.


My gauge was way off from what I based my calculations on so the sweater turned out a lot bigger than intended. Even the neckband was too wide. So I made a sweater-size swatch and re-calculated everything based on that. The pattern will give you the fit of the lighter sweater above.