A list of things I love in knitwear:
  1. Soft, squishy yarn
  2. Overly long sleeves
  3. Big collar
  4. Pockets
  5. Brioche
A list of things found in my new sweater pattern:
  1. Soft, squishy yarn
  2. Overly long sleeves
  3. Big collar
  4. Pockets
  5. Brioche
A coincidence? I don't think so.

What: Crush / Own pattern
How: Circular needles 5.0 and 5.5 mm
From: Skein Queen Crush DK, 485 g

Last year, my LYS TitiTyy moved to a bigger building and quickly started to fill all that new shelf space with new yarns. One of the new yammies was Skein Queen from UK. I was instantly drawn to all those glorious uncolors and just had to cast on for a sweater with this thicker Crush DK immediately.

The sweater starts at the shoulders. First, you'll work these little cable panels and then pick up stitches for the body which is worked in brioche. The brioche body is boxy and loose - although, the yarn is so heavy that it pulls down and creates a bit more fitted look.

The sleeves are worked in stockinette stitch with the cables running from shoulders to wrists. Finally, you work a long cuff in ribbing. The sleeves are meant to be extra long to keep your palms warm.

Since I can never settle for complitely mindless knitting, there's a cable looking pattern in the front - though it's worked with increases and decreases instead of actual cables. And, there are pockets! Because, pockets, you know!

My most favorite thing about this sweater is the huge squishy cowl. It's worked in brioche to keep it light and airy. The collar is finished with Italian bind-off which works magic with brioche. The cowl is so tall you could easily fold it in two but I like it most the way it's shown in the pics.

You can find the pattern on Ravelry with 9 sizes, XXS-XS-S [M1-M2-L1] L2-XL-XXL. Oh, and if you don't happen to use Ravelry, the buy now link should work fine even without Ravelry.

Thank you TitiTyylle for once again sponsoring the yarn for the design. I fell head over heels in love with Crush DK. It's a merino nylon blend and would work even for socks. And yet, it feels so soft I was sure it wouls have some cashmere in it!


Crazy pants

Do you always plan your knitting projects carefully? So that you won't end up knitting anything useless but only well fitting clothes that becoma instant wardrobe favorites? I try to. But sometimes something comes along and you just have to knit it regardless of whether or not you will actually use it once it's finished. This happened with crazy pants, a.k.a Marled mania leggings.

What: Marled mania leggings / Stephen West
How: Circular needles 4.5 and 5.0 mm
From: Scrap yarns, 434 g

I saw Stephen's crazy pants on instagram just before Christmas and they blew my mind. They were so awful and wacky that they were actually amazing. I had to have them. I was also looking for some mindless knitting for Christmas eve. And to top it all off, our living room is filled with scrap yarns that I could use for this project. As you can see, I was totally powerless. I had to cast on.

The interesting thing about these pants is that you work them using two fingering weight yarns held together. As the yarns run out at different times the stripining isn't so obvious but it gives a marbled look.

Since I fell in love with Stephen's pair, I copied from him the idea to use dark colors for the other yarn all the time. I organized my yarns into two project bags: one with all the greys, blacks and dark purples and blues, and one with all the happy bright colored and variagated yarns. Then, I just picked one scrap yarn ball from each bag.

The pants are worked top down. First, you work few inches of ribbing with an eyelet row for the string. Then, you work some room for the bum using short rows. And after that, you start work on the inside of the pants. You see, the right side of the pants is reverse stockinette - and who would want to purl all the way. The problem is easilly solved by knitting on the inside.

Once the time came to separate the legs, I saved some of the first colors of the right leg so that the start of the left leg wouldn't be too different. After that, I let the colors play out freely.

Finally, you work a bit of ribbing at the ankle, and you're done! I used two dark colors (black and grey) for the ribbing on top and ankles so the ribbing stands out a bit. The string I worked in i-cord.

Yep. So I just had to cast on because it was such a fun way to use up all my scrap yarns. However, it turns out I've collected quite a bit of scrap yarns during the past years and I didn't see any difference in their amount as I finished the pants. Even though the scale said I used almost half a kilo of scraps! On the other hand, it was really pleasant surprise that in all their wackiness, the crazy pants are kind of cool. And they're super warm. So I will definitely be using them a lot! And not just at home, I'm gonna take these babes out and about!


So sweet

I keep claiming that I never like to work the same pattern twice but I'm starting to think you might not believe me. Especially as I once again have worked the same design twice.

How: Circular needle 4.0 mm
From: Qing Fibres Silky Merino Singles + PetrichorYarns Merino Single x 2, 84 + 88 + 73 g

Last summer, I knitted this amazing shawl from the first issue of Laine Magazine. I used the most delicious yarns I could think of: merino single, merino silk single and Donegal tweed. And the shawl turned out stunningly beautiful. And totally looking like it should belong to a dear friend of mine. So I gave to her as a birthday present. And that was that.

It was obvious I would need to make one for me as well. Since the yarn choices for the first version were so great, I stayed on the same path. For main color 1, I chose a pale lavender colored merino silk single with candy colored speckles from Qing Fibres. And then I paired it up with a merino single from PetrichorYarns that had the same candy speckles on an almost black base. The yarn had all the colors of the galaxy and it was just glorious. And a perfect match for the lavender. Somehow, at the same time, these yarns really match and yet, they're almost like a black and white combo.

Now, the only problem was the edge color. Since I had decided this one was a keeper, I wanted the edge to be perfect too. So, I asked the dyer from PetrichorYarns if she could dye me this galactic purple I was longing for. As an answer, I got a picture of three perfect little skeins to choose from. Pretty fast, I'd say! When the yarn arrived, it was just perfect. Had I kep describing what I was looking for and sent her inspiration images of the galactic, electric blue-purple I wanted, I think she would have dyed exactly this color.

Then, all I had to do was knit. Like the first time around, the project was a lovely knitting experience. Once you get the hang of the shawl, it's mellow knitting. I wouldn't recommend this to a brioche novice or as social knitting project (even though I once again took it to a knit night). Especially this second time around, even the triangles seemed clear and had a logic rythm to them.

And just as I remembered, the last two triangles took forever to work through. It's so deceiving to think you have only two left but they keep getting bigger and bigger.

First, you work the body of the shawl with garter stripes and overlapping brioche triangles. Once the body is finished, you pick up about a billion sts and work the edge with the third color. The two top corners have a beautiful brioche pattern on them. The edge is also shaped with short rows so that it's wider at the top corners than in the sharpest corner. And finally, the billion sts are bound off using i-cord bind off.

Sure, it took time but I loved every minute of it. I could even see myself making a third one. But this one is mine even though my sister keeps on insisting these are her colors. But hey, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. I'm not falling for the color argument again! And besides, I seem to have found my way back to brighter colors. It's a big deal if an uncolor specialist like myself doesn't hesitate to wear a galactic purple next the her face. We'll see if I'll be embracing these vivid colors in anything else besides accessories.


Hip, hip, hurray!

It's a well known fact that I do not knit patterns twice. Or so I thought but now it seems I'm on a roll. Hubby wanted his own pair of Aada mitts so I made them for Christmas. Also, I cast on for another Nordic arrows shawl in November because the first one was so much fun and I ended up gifting it to a friend. And now, I've knit a second Hiplee. Although, Hiplee is just too nice of a sweater to not have two of them.

What: Hiplee / Own pattern
How: Circular needle 4.5 mm
From: De Rerum Natura Ulysse, 300 g

I designed this sweater for a local knitting club back in the summer. It was the pattern of October in a locely club with a new pattern each month. In January I got the rights back and put the pattern in my Ravelry store for anyone to buy. As there were so many eager knitter waiting in line, I thought we should have a KAL. And then, I thought I could take part as well because I've loved my firts Hiplee sweater so much.

Originally, I was planning to knit this second Hiplee in BC Garn Semilla Melange. Many people had found it to be a great yarn substitue for this pattern. But in the end, the gorgeous colors of Ulysse won the battle. I mean, just look at this divinly pale old rose. It took my heart at first glance.

For my second Hiplee, I worked the cowl with smaller needles to make it more sturdy. The pattern calls for bigger needles and I have a nice and loose cowl in the first version. But I felt it would be nice to have options. Both ways seem to be working great so the more the merrier.

Since my first sweater used up exactly six skeins, I didn't want to buy more this time either. I hate it when I have scrap yarns lying around the house. To make sure, I wouldn't run out of yarn, I worked the sleeves first. I adjusted the hem to make it just a few cm shorter to win at yarn chicken.

I'm so happy with how much others have liked the pattern. I'm not the only one with more than one Hiplee.