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

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.


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

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.



I was in need of a white lace cardigan that would go with all my clothes. And, of course it should be knitted top down in one piece. So I designed one.

What: Lala / Own pattern
How: Circular needle 4.0 mm
From: Manos del Uruguay Fino, 200 g

Since I decided on the cardigan need two weeks before our summer trip to Scotland, I also desided that two weeks would be enough time to design, calculate and knit the cardigan. And, if one is a crazy enough knitting lady, one might actually finish the cardigan a few days before the trip.

Since I was in a hurry I had to optimize the time I had. One cannot design a cardigan without knitting a swatch but that takes time. Since the cardigan starts at the back of the neck with the shawl collar, I used the left side of the collar as my swatch. I chose the number of sts for the collar so it worked well with the lace pattern, knitted and blocked the little piece that would be the left side of the shawl collar. Handy, and quick! Though, it did look funny while knitting that the other side of the collar was all neat and blocked and the other wasn't.

Lala is a lace cardigan with shawl collar and raglan sleeves. It starts by knitting the left side of the collar, picking up sts and knitting the right side of the collar to the opposite direction. Then, you pick up some sts at the bottom edge of the collar and make room for the sleeves with raglan increases. There's no waist shaping, so once you leave the sleeve sts on hold, it's straight forward knitting.

The sleeves have no shaping as well. They're straight and a bit oversized. It makes them really comfy. The cuffs and the hem have a long twisted ribbing. The cardigan has buttons that took quite some time to choose. I love this kind of cardigans where you get to show off a few special buttons. I found my wooden buttons few years ago on Etsy.

As usual, the pattern has 9 sizes, XXS-XS-S (M1-M2-L1) L2-XL-XXL. You can purchase your copy by clicking the link below:

The yarn I used is Fino by Manos del Uruguay. Its 70 % merino and 30 % silk. It's fingering weight, although it has more meters, 450 m. I actually made my Lala with just two skeins!

I knitted the sample in size M2 so two skeins should be enough for the smaller sizes. For the M2 size, I'd recommend to buy three since we all have differing tensions and I only had a few meters left over. I thoroughly recommend the yarn. It's one of the softest I've ever knitted and feels like cotton candy. The silk gives it a nice shimmer and drape.

If the yarn and knitting were fun, writing the pattern wasn't. It took so much time to get all those charts finetuned. And I won't be writing another lace pattern any time soon. The pdf file is long because all of those charts but you can leave out the other sizes so you won't have too many pages to print. The pattern includes both charts and written instructions

My test knitters made so cute cardigans I might have to make a few more myself. The name of the cardigan comes from the fact that the lace reminds me of tulips. Lala means tulip in Bosnia.