Thursday, December 31, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The Stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Just in time for winter....we have Louisa Harding's Skater Scarf & Frost Hat. This exclusive pattern is on the cover of the UK's December issue of Knitting. It just hit the US newsstands this week.
The Frost Hat is similar to one of my favorite hats in Louisa's Little Cake book called Featherbed which is also knit in Thistle. I already have Thistle in the gorgeous green Holly color. Now which pattern shall I knit?
So many lovely Louisa patterns and not enough time to knit them all in time for this winter season.
If you pick up the magazine, you can also join the fun with the Skater Scarf & Frost Hat KAL in the Louisa Harding group on Ravelry. Be sure to read the errata for the Frost Hat in the KAL group pages, too.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Looking for a creative way to wrap up your holiday knit gifts this season?
Well, look no further than Target. I found this adorable red sweater gift wrap the other night at Target in the holiday department. Isn't it the perfect Christmas wrap for hand-knit gifts?
The adorable gift tag is by Knitterella...another perfect touch for any hand-knit gift.
Once the word gets out amongst knitters, I bet this red sweater gift wrap will sell out quickly.
Will you be dashing out to buy some?
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I am definitely a Fair Isle Fan today. I am getting ready to embark on my first Fair Isle projects out of the latest Rowan Magazine # 46. I am nervous to knit Fair Isle, since I am a tight knitter and knit English throw style. I will be knitting my Fair Isle in the one-hand method.
If you have the new Fall/Winter 2009 Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine there is a great article and step by step instructions for both one-hand and two-hand methods for Fair Isle knitting. The article called Fall for Fair Isle says "this colorwork technique is not difficult to master, requiring the use of only two hues in each row. After just a little practice, you'll be enchanted with the exquisite results." Sounds encouraging to me!
Do you remember the Esprit label back in the 1970's and 80's? At my recent knitting guild's retreat in South Lake Tahoe, I brought up Fair Isle and my Esprit vest. My knitting friend Beth and I reminisced about how much fun it was back in the day shopping at the Esprit outlet in San Francisco. You could always count on a long line to get in the Esprit outlet. Those were the days!
And, just so you know, the moths can't get to my Fair Isle vest...it is 100% acrylic. I still love it though and hope to knit a classic British wool Fair Isle vest someday! For now, I will keep to my small Fair Isle projects though...my mitts and a beret. Of course, I will let you know how I fair!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Have you snagged Issue 9 of The Knitter yet? I lucked out and found a copy a couple weeks ago. I am a big fan of The Knitter for it's classic British style.
I must say that Issue 9 of The Knitter shakes things up a bit with a more modern Bohemian theme. Since I was raised as a San Francisco Bay Area girl...I have a bit of a BoHo side, too. I found this issue to be fun, colorful and filled with modern takes on Tartan, Paisley and Fair Isle classics.
Enough said...let me give you a look inside:
Another beauty in this issue is the Carinthia Coat by Sasha Kagan. I recently discovered fashion designer Sasha Kagan when I lucked out and found a 1985 copy of The Sasha Kagan Sweater Book (her first book) filled with her fantastic Fair Isle designs!
Sasha's Carinthia Coat takes it's influence from different folk designs from around the world. The pattern can be knit with the black background as shown or with an alternative cream background. It is knit in UK Alpaca yarn and is knit in both Fair Isle and Intarsia techniques. I think it is stunning!
The Romany Tunic by Brandon Mably says "hippie chick" to me! It is knit in Debbie Bliss Luxury Tweed with it's colorwork achieved in the Fair Isle technique. This folk design tunic can be worn many different ways. How would you wear it?
Besides 12 collectable patterns the magazine has an interview with Alice Starmore, one of hand knittings most iconic designers. A few years back I found a vintage copy of Alice Starmore's Fair Isle Knititng and sold it on Ebay. It fetched a pretty penny but I later regretted selling it once I discovered who Alice Starmore is. Lucky for me, that book is now in reprint and I've ordered a copy.
The Knitter Magazine has proven to be very popular with it's US audience. Issues are often difficult to find. If you have missed out on an issue, you can always give shopping on Ebay or Ravelry a try.
For now, I am anxiously awaiting the next issue of The Knitter Issue 10 which is filled with British Classics and British Wool...my kind of knitting! After all...part of my English ancestry were wool merchants in wool towns in Yorkshire and Norfolk England.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Stephanie was a delight to meet. She is just like the girl next door. Very easy to talk to and very down to earth. She is naturally charming and witty. She speaks candidly and from the heart. I liked her Canadian accent, too.
As for knitting, I can report that she can knit really fast. While talking with her I noticed how fast she was knitting and not even looking at her work. I am in awe of that!
If you want to know just how fast she can knit... check out her Irish Cottage Knitting technique on YouTube. It will knock your socks off!
Monday, September 7, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
This week marked a milestone in my knitting. I finally finished my Clapotis!
I love my Clapotis but it was a bittersweet project that took forever to finish. I started it on February 23, 2008 and finished it on August 21, 2009. (Yes, you read that right!)
You could say that it was love at first sight for me and the Clapotis. Since I love everything French, I fell for the Clapotis the moment I saw it's adorable French cafe photo on Knitty.com.
Kate Gilbert is the talented designer that designed the Clapotis. She had lived in Paris and discovered the French women's flair for wearing scarves. She designed the Clapotis as a diagonal drop stitch scarf. It can cleverly be worn as a scarf or as a shoulder shawl. It was published online on Knitty.com./Fall 2004 Issue.
I was late to jump on the Clapotis bandwagon. (Over 12,000 have been made and posted on Ravlery.) I did not discover the Clapotis until February 2008. That is when I started knitting lessons at my LYS Knitique and signed up for the Clapotis class. My Clapotis was modified to be a larger shawl version. It is knit in two skeins of Blue Heron's Rayon Metallic, color Deep Water.
By now you are probably wondering why it took me a year and half to complete my Clapotis. Well along the way I became what I call a "flitter knitter". I do a lot of flitting about knitting and don't always knit! I also became a blogger about knitting. And, I also knit a lot of other things during my Clapotis journey.
I recently reunited with my Clapotis and remained a faithful knitter to it. I couldn't wait to finish it. Then the worst of things happened...I ran out of yarn! I only needed a small amount to finish it. It hardly warranted buying an entire skein (at $44.00) to complete it. So Knitique and I put a knitter's "call for help" out for more Deep Water yarn.
Lucky for me, the call for help was answered. Nancy a knitter at Knitique had a small ball left of Deep Water she saved from another project. She graciously brought it in to me at Knitique so I could finish my Clapotis. My Clapotis is now finally finished thanks to Nancy.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
It's time to start thinking about fall knitting.
Tweed appears to be the big knitting trend for fall. I adore tweeds. They are so very British! My knitting teacher Danielle at Knitique says "we are going to see a lot of tweeds this year".
According to Debbie Bliss online her new fall/winter magazine will include updated British country classics in a feature called "The Need for Tweed"! Debbie is also introducing a new tweed yarn called Donegal Luxury Tweed Chunky.
Speaking of tweed, I think it's time I pulled my Debbie Bliss Aran Tweed (discontinued) bag of yarn out of my stash and knit up a cute tweed capelet for fall. I plan on knitting the New Vintage Capelet pattern available on Ravelry.
So the countdown is on. Only two weeks to go until the Fall/Winter 2009 Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine hits US stores on September 3rd! I can hardly wait! I have really enjoyed the first two issues. How about you?
By the way...has anyone made the Debbie Bliss scone recipe from Issue One? They looked really good!
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
I was a lucky knitter and found Issue 7 of The Knitter magazine last week. It's cover told me in an instant that this issue was all about pretty knits! Summer florals are this issue's theme.
Let's have a look inside!
Kaffe's inspiration for his Damask pattern came from a fragment of a beautiful 18th Century Spanish silk damask. His damask flower motif was worked over a striped background of 10 to 14 colors with no more than four rows of each color. The original pattern called for DK and chenille yarns. His new updated version uses Rowan's Pure Wool DK and Kidsilk Aura and 11 colors.
The pattern says that no special techniques are used for the pattern. The knitter will rely on picking up stitches and grafting to avoid seams. Hmm...perhaps this will be my first Shetland shawl to knit?
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Little Cake is Louisa's 22nd pattern book and it's a gem! To me, the designs are quintessentially British and ultra feminine! The lovely designs take me back to another romantic, bygone era!
I always adore Louisa's capelet patterns. I can't wait to knit up her new capelet Fiddlers Green from Little Cake. It is knit in one of Louisa's new fall yarns Thistle.
I can't wait to buy this book! I recently asked Louisa's west coast rep Cindy about the book. Cindy says "the Little Cake book is marvelous. She put a modern flair to the traditional British cape!" Cindy says the book should hit the shops in August.
That cape Cindy is talking about...just happens to my favorite pattern in the book. I can't wait to knit it and the Featherbed beret to match from the book,too!
Queen of Hearts is Louisa's 23rd pattern book. Earlier in the year when I met Louisa Harding on her California trip, she said that this fall book was inspired by "fairy walks" with her children out in the Yorkshire woods. She said the book will have a winter wonderland feel to it.
Well, Louisa was right. Queen of Hearts does have a winter wonderland feel to it. The designs are a bit more whimsical and flirty yet still remain couture. An Alice in Wonderland influence is quite evident in the pattern names and heart motif in many of the designs...hence the name Queen of Hearts.
I will, of course, be buying this book, too!
Cardigans is Louisa's new hardback book due out October 2009. It is being published by Sterling Publishing.
I recently asked Louisa via email about her new Cardigans book. This is what she told me:
"The Cardigans book is a comprehensive compilation of many of my cardigan patterns that have been published in the yarn books. There are no new designs but many have been reworked and photographed in different yarns to show the versatility of the patterns." She goes on to say that "I hope it will do well. It should be a great resource for yarn stores who have customers come in asking for a cardigan pattern."
Brilliant idea, Louisa! How nice to see your classic cardigans updated and knit up in new yarns. I know I will be pre-ordering this book. I just love all of Louisa's classic and couture knitwear designs.
As always, Louisa's yarn pattern books and books are visually stunning. All photography is done by her talented husband, photographer Stephen Jessup. She and Stephen are quite the collaborative duo! As a team they even designed the interior layout of her new Cardigans book.
I can't wait to add all three of these books to my Louisa Harding library collection! How about you?
(All designs are by Louisa Harding. All images are by Stephen Jessup found at Knitting Fever and Sterling Publishing.)