Though spring weather is in its full bloom, the sun is shining and the temperatures heated up, I am still in the sweater weather mood, being drawn to earthly shades and cozy wool. I even created a special Pinterest board to virtually give me the taste of warm fires, misty mornings and rainy nights. I know that in a couple of weeks, I’ll be happy knitting with my cotton and linen skeins again, but for now it is all about woolly fibers.
This weekend was a little bit rough for me, so I needed to escape into my yarn wonderland. Between busy knitting Moeke sweaters for September and working on other dozens of projects, I’ve been playing with my stash yarn and some leftovers.
Having DROPS in my yarn basket again brings so many memories. It is one of the most popular yarn brand in Europe and I loved working with it when I go home. Andes line is one of my favorite – beautiful color palette, interesting texture of the thread and delicious mixture of wool and alpaca. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have already seen it in my insta stories last week.
I also finished a big project with Magnum that I can’t share with you now, unfortunately, but the good news is I have two skeins left. I decided to play around with the crochet hook. I don’t think I ever used 10 mm hook for any of my crochet projects; all my crochet dresses and cardigans were made with tiny hooks to create a very subtle fabric. Volume created by roving yarn is so unusual and inspiring…
After 8+ years of knitting, I am finally working on my first pair of socks. It was about time, right? Being a devoted garment knitter, I was so into the sweater construction, that casting on something different didn’t really occur to me. But if you are a part of this wonderful online knitting community, you are destined to see all these amazing socks popping out on the blogs, Instagram and Ravelry. I am still awed with these beauties by Tahnee from Woollen Wilderness – Rainbow and Evening Stockings–this girl is a queen of sock knitting for me!
And just like that my Pom Pom socklets started to grow on the needles. There are so many firsts for me in this project – first project on DPNs (I use magic loop for everything in my knitting), first heel, first gusset… The most intriguing part is the construction, as I have no idea where I am going and where the instructions will get me. It is like reading a new exciting book with an unpredictable end.
But as always in very first projects that are some hidden pitfalls. First of all, I am a very loose knitter and if the yarn label recommends 5 mm needles, I go to 3.5 mm to get the gauge. And it is not a big problem in sweater knitting, as the needle size range is enough for me to go down with the needle size, but socks are already knit on 2.75 mm (US 2), the smallest size I can get down to is 2 mm (US 0) and I am still a little bit on the loose side. So, there is a big possibility that all the socks I knit will be slightly too big for me. Will see till FO.
Another thing I was wondering about is the yardage. When it comes to sweaters I can estimate easily if the yardage is enough and with socks it is a guessing game. The initial idea was to knit the whole socklet in silver color and add the contrasting pom pom. But then in the middle of the project I started doubt if the yardage will be enough for both socks. So, I put them aside to figure what to do.
I had an idea to knit the heel in contrasting red color, I was inspired by all the amazing patchwork socks my Granny knits. So, ripping out and starting all over again with the new plan.
Meanwhile my February KnitCrate sent an amazing sock yarn along with the pattern to cast on. I’ve never worked with the speckle yarn before and was too eager to cast on to see how the colors change. This is what great about learning new things – I start trying unfamiliar things! The problem with this project is that the pattern is written for teh magic loop and I don’t have a decent 2 mm circular needle, so I have to “translate” the instructions to DPNs, well I always enjoy the challenge, so that’s OK.
It feels nice to have an in-between small project on the needles to work on here and there whenever I have a free minute. Learning new things is definitely worth it – it is such a great boost for creativity! And though my love for sweater knitting is bigger than ever, I am always happy to “welcome” new projects.
Feeling a little sad that Yarn Alongwill be gone, I will miss seeing so many projects and books recommendations in one place. Thank you, Ginny, for hosting it for so many years – we had fun!!!
We are almost half way through March (how did it happen?!) and I am finally free to show the contents of my January and February surprise yarn boxes! KnitCrate is such an out-of-the-comfort-zone-pusher for me – usually in the yarn store, I go straight to the shelf with neutrals and probably wouldn’t even consider most of the shades, but opening January and February boxes, I was “splashed” with colors! I am also super excited about February’s extra – lavender bath bomb by Etsy artisan Petting My Unicorn (I think the name is genius 🙂 ). Such a sweet and thoughtful item to add to the package…
I love how one small skein can sparkle the ideas. One of January’s skeins (far on the right) is a hand dyed worsted merino by ModeKnit Yarn. As soon as I saw it, I remembered that I have hand dyed lace weight skeins by Knit Picks in my stash that I wanted to mix in one of my projects, just like I did for the Gallery sweater – holding two strands of lace yarn together. I really loved the effect it created in Gallery and wanted to recreate something similar, but more playful and colorful. Though I wasn’t sure if the yardage was enough, that’s why i put it aside for awhile; but with this new worsted weight skein, I definitely have enough for a sweater! First I want to swatch on the knitting machine and experiment with different stripe sequence. Yay, super excited!
February colors by Mrs. Crosby loves to play remind me of my Wall sweater… I am definitely going to use them together. I have an idea, but will have to check if the yardage will be enough. I wouldn’t add anything to this color combination – it is perfect as it is!
As spring is definitely here, I am ready to dive more into colorful and playful shades in my knitting. It is always nice to change things a little bit once in awhile… Thank you, KnitCrate for an inspiration! If you ever decide to sign up for it or sign up your friend as a gift, make sure to use my special discount code GOK20 for 20% off your first package.
I hope you are welcoming spring in your part of the world!
Have a wonderful day! Make sure to check Yarn Along for knitting and reading ideas!
This is my last knitwear review from Fall/Winter ’17/18. It’s been an amazing creative exercise for me to get to know so many ways of working with color, construction and fibers. In each piece I’ve found some details that I will try to explore and interpret in my own way in my knitting projects. Today I am sharing with you knitwear pieces from Paris.
Chanel showed basic sweaters and crochet+knitting+embellishment dress of classic shape.
Sonia Rykiel presented a pretty big collection of outwear and sweaters with patchwork, inside out fair isle, asymmetric hems, lace and cables.
Chunky, oversize and exaggerated colorful sweaters from Balenciaga and Paul & Joe will definitely keep you warm.
Textile performance by Undercover where fabric plays the main role. It is quiet amazing to see how knitting can take pretty much any shape! The designer wanted to let his creativity flow freely and present the utopia world where there is no judgement and where “everybody would be equal”.
Paco Rabanne and Wanda Nylon showed cozy, loose and drapey sweaters, dresses, skirts and even pants.
Color was presented in form of intarsia, fair isle (note how the designer is interrupting the classic fair isle motif with the letters running along the yoke) ans stripes (this cozy, light mohair sweater would be my ideal stay-home-all-weekend sweater).
Unusual techniques – crochet bobble stripes, dropped stitches, gradient transition from knit to fabric. The last one is especially fascinating to watch – fair isle is gradually mixing in with light polka dot fabric and inch by inch changes into light skirt. If you are like me obsessed with exploring every single detail of the fabric, here are the links to high resolution photos that you can zoom in to see all the techniques up close – crochet cardigan and sweater-dress.
Basics always find their way into each season, there hasn’t been anything better invented yet.
Dior created beautiful gradient shades of deep blue and textures. You can see more details how the bobbles form the pattern here, make sure to zoom in – bobble sweater.
This weekend I watched the documentary “Dior and I” about the behind the scenes process of creating collections. Though the movie is mostly about the creative director of the house, I fell absolutely in love with people in Dior’s atelier, who actually bring the ideas to life. I was amazed by their knowledge and skills, passion for textiles and fabric, and a great love for their craft. I especially found it fascinating that most of the crafters there have been working in atelier for decades, I only dream to have their skills one day!
As I you already know, I am working on several patterns for Moeke 2017 knit collectionthat will be live in September. The first sweater knit in light Heritage yarn is almost ready, there is some ripping out/reknitting has to be done, but overall it’s done! The testing will start this week, you can follow the testing progress on Ioana’s and Sandra’s Instagram accounts.
I have love/hate relationships with actual pattern writing – I do enjoy the logic challenge, it’s like solving a puzzle, but grading… I think it is important to have as many sizes as possible available, so any knitter can make it for herself, but the grading part can become tricky at some point, especially if there is an unusual stitch placement involved. I am old-fashioned, I guess, and I like to use physical pen and paper before organizing everything into a systematic way on the computer. The funny thing is that when I come back to these scribbles after the pattern is done I can’t decipher it myself, but somehow during the actual process I manage to navigate in all these hectic notes.
The hardest part is to actually keep going and don’t get distracted by new projects and ideas, before the first one is done. At least this is how it works for me – I have to get done with one thing 100% before I allow myself to move to something different. I feel like it makes me stay more focused and not spread myself too thin. But just look at this lovely merino for my next project – how can you NOT get distracted?! Staying strong here 🙂 Only random swatching is allowed!
I am really looking forward to sharing with you all the projects I’ve finished over the last two months – I’ve never knitted so much in such a short period of time. But meanwhile, it is all about Heritage sweater and this absolutely gorgeous yarn…
That’s it for my weekly knitting update! What are you working on? Join Yarn Along to share your projects and reads! I am still reading “Catch-22″ and some non-fiction.
Designers at Milan fashion week didn’t disappoint – I’ve found 100+ knitwear pieces! All of them different and interesting in their own way. It was hard to choose the pieces for this review, I tried to group them and filter out the tendencies that seem to prevail.
Cropped sweaters. Cropped shapes with bell sleeves and very tight ribbing at the waist appeared in many collections in different interpretations – classic and elaborate stitches, bright and neutral colors, textured and plain fabric. They look quiet dramatic and remind me of 80’s in some way.
Back to Black. Though knitting with black yarn isn’t that fun, the result is definitely worth it – it will probably become the most versatile and wearable sweater in your wardrobe. Seems like oversize sweaters are still ruling the knitwear world and it is easy to understand – they are so comfy and cozy to snuggle in!
Color was presented in all forms and shapes – stripes, intarsia, graphics, patchwork…
Missoni, known for its amazing work with color (just remember their famous chevron colorful patterns!), presented a knitwear collection that is bursting with color! There are dozens of knitwear pieces – sweaters, skirts, dresses, pants. If you are interested to see all of them, you can find the photo report here.
Stripes never get old. I absolutely loved how Les Copains added contrasting color blocks to classic navy/white stripes. Alberta Ferretti makes the stripes gradually grow wider that creates unusual visual effect.
Graphics. Rhombus shapes by Versace are achieved by intarsia and sparkly embellishment over the finished sweater. Philosophy di Lorenzo created a beautiful blue/black contrasting piece – I never thought that I would like such a sharp color contrast in knit garment, but this one looks pretty harmonious.
Intarsia. Designers are “drawing” with knit stitches all kinds of shapes and pictures! One angle intarsia looks so beautiful, but will be so hard to achieve – the body and the sleeve have to be perfectly aligned.
Next three intarsia pieces are absolutely exquisite! The first grey sweater with the beautiful motifs on the folded collar is just stunning! The beach scene intarsia is a a piece of art to me – it is so hard to “translate” a picture into knit stitches. I would wear the last sweater every single day – I loved how fuzzy yarn created the blurred affect, looks like beautiful oil painting…
Messy Intarsia. When you don’t feel like weaving in ends… 🙂
Embellishments. More and more designers mix embroidery with different materials on the knit fabric to add extra texture and sparkle.
Neutral Basics. My favorite trend 🙂 Classic, cozy, timeless pieces – knitwear at its best!
Basics with the twist. Traditional stitches, neutral conservative colors and unusual cut. The poncho-sweater is such a great alternative to a heavy coat.
That’s it for Milan’s knitwear review. So far it’s been my favorite collection of knits, we’ll see what Paris has to show next week.