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.



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).