From Russia With Love

Hello, my dear friends! So happy to be back here, thank you so much for all your kind wishes for my trip, I read every single comment, so sorry I wasn’t able to reply! I am finally in my hometown, spending time with my family and friends. I still feel a little bit overwhelmed, trying to fit in as much as I can into my days.

Though knitting was pretty much non-existent these days, I still have something to show you. My dear Granny Eugenia agreed to model her gifts of knitting from me. It is so amazing to make something on the other side of the world for your dear people and see how it warms their hearts… A huge lace shawl from Vogue Knitting made with local Mexican cotton I made for her two years ago…

Knitting and Travel

 Green Snowflakes cowl by Julie from Knitted Bliss I made a couple of months ago.

Knitting and Travel

My dear Granny is very shy and doesn’t smile, but believe me, she is a sweetheart. She was the one to introduce me to fiber crafts many years ago and she was the one bringing it back into my life when I needed it most… I will be forever grateful to her for this. Did you notice her cute crochet beanie? Improvised by her hardworking hands! So adorable!

Current WIP. In the last hours of packing I decided to change Rowan cotton yarn for Hawthorne Fingering by Knit Picks to make something simple – a throw or a a shawl maybe. Something I can knit during endless car and train rides.

Yarn

Yarn

I very rarely work with variegated yarn, but I decided I needed to add some color to my knitting routine. These shades are just gorgeous!

Yarn

I think I will make it in stripes to mix the colors. This palette reminds me of fall…

Yarn

Yarn

I know I promised to show you some Russian cuisine – cottage cheese pancakes with sour cream and cherries from my Dad’s garden is my number #1 food here :)

Knitting and Travel

My family and I are wishing you a great day! Thank you again for all your support, I always feel so deeply touched by it!

Knitting and Travel
This guy is so ridiculously happy to see me!

Hope to see you at Yarn Along!

P.S. Thank you so much for entering We Are Knitters giveaway. The winner is Ruth Shields. Congratulations, Ruth! Have fun with Udon Blanket Kit!


RELATED POSTS

Knitting and Crochet in the Countryside
Country Life
Knitting Shawl
Lace Shawl, Vogue Knitting.
Knitting. Fair Isle Cowl
The Gift of Knitting – Green Snowflakes Cowl.

Yarn Packing

Happy Wednesday!

How have you been? Taking a week break from blogging seemed like a century, I am so used to be here regularly! But life is pretty busy right now. I am getting on my 40+ hour trip across the ocean tomorrow and I still have lots to do. First of all is to decide what projects to take along with me. I am not comfortable knitting on the plane, as you never know what policies each company has about knitting needles and I don’t want my favorite pair of ADDI clicks to be taken away from me. Plus I don’t have any mindless zen knitting projects going on right now, I need to take careful notes of what’s going on my needles – not a perfect candidate for a plane ride. So I am packing my yarn safely into the luggage and taking a book instead to enjoy on the plane.

Stockbridge alpaca/wool blend, cotton/silk blend and Moeke wool are coming on a big trip with me!

Yarn

I deliberately took yarn for 3 projects, so I won’t have an excuse to pay too many visits to local yarn shops. I shouldn’t bring any more yarn into my stash. But I also know that I won’t resist the temptation of getting at least something from LYS – this is always so exciting to visit yarn spots in different corners of the world!

Yarn

The weather is very unpredictable in Russia, so I am packing my four sweaters – Gallery, Sand, Gesture and Journey. I planned to make one more alpaca sweater, but that didn’t happen… I am so excited to show Journey to my Granny!! It is such a dear to my heart design that I put my soul into! I am also going to meet my friend and hopefully we will be able to take many photos of it for the pattern release!

Handmade sweaters

I should be prepared though that I won’t fit into all my sweaters by the end of this trip, because, my friends, I am going to EAT. What I miss most about my home country, except for people, of course, is the food! Cottage cheese pancakes with Russian sour cream, kefir, sourdough fresh bread, sauerkraut soup, borsch… I can go on forever :)

I am excited and nervous about the trip. I am so happy to see my family after such a long time; meet with my dear girlfriends, share what is going on in our lives, cry and laugh; wake up in the morning in my parents’ house and hear how Mom is cooking something delicious in the kitchen; hug my dear grandparents and say how much I miss them; see the places of my childhood and just stop for a second to take a moment to be fully present and grateful…

I will be back here in a week (July 27th ) to announce a winner of We Are Knitters’ yarn kit giveaway. You still have 6 days to enter!

I hope you are having a wonderful week!

See you at Yarn Along.


RELATED POSTS

Cable Pullover Pattern. Organic Wool Moeke Yarn
Moeke Yarns Cable Pullover Pattern Preview – “Journey”
Alpaca/wool yarn
Yarn Mood
Moeke Yarn | The Gift of Knitting Blog
Moeke Yarn

Gesture Sweater FO + Yarn Giveaway.

FO – Gesture Sweater

Detailed post with the list of techniques used can be found here – Gesture Sweater. FO Details.

We Are Knitters. Gesture Sweater.

Happy Wednesday! This weekend we went for a long walk in one of my favorite neighborhoods and took way too many photos of the recently finished alpaca sweater. What can I say… This is one of the softest sweaters I have ever had. Thunderstorm season is fully on, mornings are foggy and rainy, so the first thing I do in the early dawn hours is to put the sweater on and drink a big cup of tea… So, so cozy!

We Are Knitters. Gesture Sweater.

I was a little bit worried about how it would react to blocking, but the sweater hold its shape and didn’t grew much, so the length is just perfect. Side seams also help to hold shape. Mattress stitch was so easy to work with this yarn – it is very smooth and silky and creates perfectly even practically invisible seam.

We Are Knitters. Gesture Sweater.

I think I know what I’ll wear for my 40-hour trip to my family. I always get cold on the planes and their acrylic/polyester blankets don’t help at all :) Gesture sweater is like a cocoon to wrap yourself in!

We Are Knitters. Gesture Sweater.

Did I mention how much I love those sleeves?! I added a couple of extra cm to them and the degree of coziness jumped up :) I will always choose way too long sleeves over classic ones!

We Are Knitters. Gesture Sweater.

The central cable panel is mirrored on the sleeves and creates a very dramatic effect. It was also a great point of interest while knitting – keeps your mind engaged!

We Are Knitters. Gesture Sweater.

As you can see neckline is slightly wider than the original version. It was very easy to modify – just a couple of extra stitches each side of a neckline.

We Are Knitters. Gesture Sweater.

Cozy, cozy, cozy!!! I am so happy I chose this kit, I know I will wear this sweater forever!!

We Are Knitters. Gesture Sweater.

Ok, I should stop bombarding you with sweater photos and get to business! It is GIVEAWAY time!!

I know knitters have a soft spot for fall and all the cozy things that go along with it. I know you are already dreaming of sitting on your sofa, drinking hot cocoa  and knitting away while leaves change their color… What about an extra cozy chunky easy to knit blanket to accompany you?!

We Are Knitters are offering you a chance to win one of their most popular kits – Udon Blanket. The kit contains 5 balls (200 gr each) of 100% Peruvian wool yarn; wooden knitting needles, the pattern, sewing needles and your very own label! The difficulty level is EASY, perfect even for absolute beginners. The stitch is basic and super easy to knit. It will be a great mindless relaxing zen knitting project and at the end you will get a great piece of knit decoration for your house! The winner will be able to choose her/his own color -Brown, Honey, Pink, Fuchsia, Red Klein, Blue Turquoise, Deep Turquoise, Beige, Bubblegum, Salmon… So are you in?!

We Are Knitters Udon Blanket Kit

To enter the giveaway follow this link – WAK Newsletter. By the way I am signed up to the company’s newsletter for a long time now and they send only helpful information – the discount codes/blog tutorials/new items in the store.

The giveaway is closed! The winner is Ruth Shields. Congratulations!

P.S. The kit was sent to me by We Are Knitters for a review. All the opinions and thoughts expressed are entirely my own.


RELATED POSTS

Textured Sweater. Machine Knitting.
The Gift of Knitting – Sand Sweater
Machine Knitting. Oversize Sweater
The Gift Of Knitting – Bamboo Drape Sweater
Knit Dress
The Gift Of Knitting – Ocean

Gesture Sweater. FO Details.

Gesture Sweater by We Are Knitters.

Gesture Sweater. We Are Knitters.

Happy Sunday! I am so happy to finally show you a finished sweater by We Are Knitters. But I am also sorry it is over, it was such a great knitting experience! This sweater is not just beautiful, but also very practical. I am definitely packing it for my upcoming trip!

Project Details

Pattern

Gesture Sweater by We Are Knitters. The pattern is pretty easy and basic if you are familiar with cable knitting. I followed it step by step only for one repeat and then referred to it once in awhile to check the shaping instructions – the knitting itself speaks to you and let’s you know when to cross the stitches for cables. It was a very engaging and addictive knit – just enough details to keep your interest, but easy enough to be a zen mindless knitting project.

Gesture Sweater. We Are Knitters.

Yarn

100% Baby Alpaca. When I received a kit and took all 13 squishy yarn balls out, all I wanted to do is just squeeze them :) This is probably the softest yarn I have ever worked with, it feels like marshmallow! The fiber created is perfect to wear next to your skin, it is not itchy at all and has a silky feel to it. I am also very happy with this color – natural beige takes different shades depending on light. I am definitely putting it on my to-buy list. It will make amazing oversize drapey sweaters! I was also pleased that the amount of yarn was exactly I needed – no leftovers!! Just a tiny ball left!

Design Details

Fit

Oversize drop shoulder sweater. The ease is around 6-8″. The fabric has a great drape, so all the extra inches of fabric don’t make you look huge, but gently “glide” along your body.

Gesture Sweater. We Are Knitters.

Texture

I fell in love with the central cable the moment I saw it! I am working right now with wide cables in my cardigan and I can’t get enough of them! So easy to knit, and it creates a very modern look.

Gesture Sweater. We Are Knitters.

Baby alpaca is just perfect for it! The cable turned out very “squeezable” and not stiff at all!

Gesture Sweater. We Are Knitters.

Neckline

I modified a neckline a little bit. The opening in my version is slightly wider than recommended in the pattern. I think it works better for me. The neckline is trimmed with crochet slip chain (step-by-step tutorial) + 1*1 ribbing. I already wore the sweater and the neckline sits perfectly, but I think for a firmer finishing I would use two strands of yarn. I’ll see how it holds the shape in the future, if I notice that it loses shape I will just re-knit it with two strands – I have just enough yarn left for it. Shoulders were sewn together with the horizontal shoulder seam. Here is a great tutorial to follow – Should Seam.

Gesture Sweater. We Are Knitters.

Sleeves

If you remember, I was working two sleeves at the same time; I like this method a lot, as it allows me to keep my gauge consistent and get both parts done at the same time. I went a little bit crazy with the length, I just couldn’t stop – the sleeves reach my finger tips! This is my favorite length for sleeves, it makes the sweater so cozy!

Gesture Sweater. We Are Knitters.

Next week I will post about a big yarn giveaway for you from We Are Knitters. I had so much fun collaborating with this company. The team is helpful, friendly and very passionate about what they do. I will definitely support them in the future!

Have a great Sunday!

P.S. The kit was sent to me by We Are Knitters for a review. All the opinions and thoughts expressed are entirely my own.


RELATED POSTS

We Are Knitters. Baby Alpaca.
Gesture Sweater. Alpaca Heaven.
cable cardigan pattern
Reindeer From the Woods. FO Details.
Hand Knit Shawl
Exploration Autumn. FO Details.

Things I Learned Because of Knitting

Happy Wednesday!

I know some of you had a long weekend with their families – I hope you had fun!

This weekend I was rereading the interviews I did with all the amazing crafters – World Crafters. I asked all of them what their craft meant to them and what “gifts” they get from it. I love their honest and open answers and it is amazing how sometimes such simple little things as a handmade craft can change so much in your life!

Yarn

As for me one of the greatest gifts I got from the craft is the desire to learn, not for work, not for school, not for university, but just for myself. Here are some random things I learned from knitting.

Things I Learned Because of Knitting

  1. Value my time. Before knitting I used to come home from the university/work, do something here and there and all of a sudden realize that it was already late, I have to go to bed to get enough sleep before the next day. Right now I am much more conscious about my time and organize it is much better, because I want to fit in as much creativity as I can into my daily life!
  2. Photography. I am definitely not a professional photographer and I have tons to learn, but because I really wanted to capture the texture, color and overall beauty of a handmade piece, of yarn or to visually share some knitting/crochet techniques, the words “exposure”/”shutter speed”/”aperture” mean at least something to me now and I am fascinated and eager to learn more and more!!! Before knitting I was absolutely indifferent to photography, but right now I have my favorite photographers whose work I admire and would love to learn more about this form of art.
  3. Being more open. Most of the time I am an introvert. Though I love working with people, my happiest place is being alone with nature or at home. I used to be very suspicious of social media platforms and only after I started knitting, I realized how much I wanted to meet new friends to share my passion with!
  4. Being more aware of slow fashion. During my university years I was slightly obsessed with Vogue, I loved this visual library of textiles and forms, but I never looked at them from the maker’s perspective. I am still fascinated by it, but right now I am more interested in the story behind a piece of garment. This is why I love so much Knitting Inspiration series – it is not just about fashion, but about people who put their heart and soul into their work!
  5. You can learn anything if you want to philosophy. I was brought up in the post Soviet Union society where the change of a life path or professional path was frowned upon. It was a common philosophy to believe that if you are bad at math at school, you are definitely a humanitarian and you should stay so for the rest of your life :) I am so happy I shook this off and I feel so much more free and open minded.
  6. Being more fiber conscious. I am very careful now when choosing clothes in the store. I almost never wear synthetics right now and always try to opt for natural materials. I am also extremely interested in all the diversity of fiber out there, I love researching about their origin, properties and use!
  7. Mistakes are the lessons, not failures. Life is amazing, isn’t it? You learn such big things from such simple little things as a handcraft. But I got the philosophy of looking at mistakes in my life as something that I need to experience in order to learn something rather than a drawback, it may sound ridiculous, but this realization came to me through knitting and is spread in all areas of my life now.

I would love to ask you what did you learn from knitting (crochet, spinning, weaving, sewing, painting, embroidery…)?

Joining you at Yarn Along.

Have a wonderful day today!


RELATED POSTS

Machine Knitting. Textured Sweater.
Thoughts On Creativity
Moeke Yarns
Knitting and The Law of Gravity
knitting blog
Sunday Thoughts. The Fear of Talent.