Alina

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So far Alina has created 396 blog entries.

Travel Knitting

Knit Picks Yarn. The Gift Of Knitting.

Happy Thursday! I have some exciting news – this weekend I booked my flight to Russia! Can’t believe it’s been two years already since I last visited my family and I cannot wait to see everybody in 3 months! I will also be happy to take you along my favorite places and maybe some yarn shopping.

And of course I immediately started thinking about travel knitting. Though I am flying in summer, you can never trust Russian weather, so knitwear is a must! I am thinking of making a light loose sweater to travel in – I definitely need a touch of coziness for over 30 hours of travel. If you remember I finished a Gallery Sweater a couple of years ago, where I mixed Knit Picks baby alpaca/silk and merino to get enough yardage to make the sweater. I have more of these skeins in different shades and thought why not to repeat the experiment, changing the shaping a little bit. It will also give me excuse to clean the dust off my poor abandoned knitting machine – I wish I had more time to work on it regularly!!

Knit Picks Yarn. The Gift Of Knitting.

Another project I am thinking to take with me is my The Edge sweater, but in classic grey shade! As I told you before, after finishing this design, I knew someday I will cast in on in grey too, I am just so curious to see how it will turn out in this neutral shade! Plus, I am so craving to come back to its squishy 3D cabling!

Knit Picks Yarn. The Gift Of Knitting.

I wish I could take the needles in my carry on, but with all these new flight rules, I wouldn’t risk my favorite ADDI clicks. What about you? Do you associate travelling and knitting in some way?


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By | 2018-04-19T08:33:57+00:00 April 19th, 2018|Knitting, Yarn|16 Comments

Alina Cardigan

Textured Cardigan. The Gift Of Knitting for YOTH Yarns.

Some projects take a little bit more time to come to life than usual. The journey of this cardigan started in Fall, 2016 – I received amazing Father, 100% Domestic Rambouillet yarn, from YOTH yarns to experiment with. The cardigan flew to Texas in several months and then we had to wait for the yarn restock and all these little things that come along, but finally the test knitting is getting to the end and you will be able to cast on this design very soon.

Textured Cardigan. The Gift Of Knitting for YOTH Yarns.

Veronika, the owner of YOTH, named the design after me and I feel so honored to be a part of this amazing yarn company in some way! Also I am amazed by beautiful test knitters’ projects that you can check right now, following #alinacardigan hashtag on Instagram. The release date is very close and you will be able to get the yarn kits and the pattern directly from YOTH yarns.

I hope you are having a wonderful Sunday!


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By | 2018-04-15T08:03:53+00:00 April 15th, 2018|Knitting, Pattern|14 Comments

How To Knit The Perfect Edge. Ribbing and Binding Off.

How To Knit The Perfect Edge. Ribbing.

I published the i-cord edge tutorial a couple of years ago, but I still keep getting questions and emails about it. So, I decided to put together a whole post that I will devote to answering the most popular requests.

  • What stitch pattern can I use the i-cord edge with?

Basically, you can use it with ANY stitch pattern. But I would say that the i-cord looks the best next to the textured stitch patterns.

When used next to the stockinette stitch, there are some things to keep in mind.

  • The icord won’t stand out as much against the stockinette as it does against the textured stitches.
  • If knit too tight, it might start pulling the stockinette fabric. Make sure to swatch before you use it on a bigger project. If you see that the i-cord is puling the fabric, you will have to watch your tension more carefully and make i-cord stitches longer than the ones in the main fabric.
  • The edge will stop the rolling of the fabric, but you might have to adjust the number of stitches in the i-cord. Thinner yarns will require more stitches to keep the edge in place, with thicker yarns 3-st i-cord selvage might be enough. The only thing to know for sure what works best for you is to make a swatch.

The i-cord would look and behave perfectly with garter stitch, brioche stitch or any slip stitch textured pattern.

  • How many extra stitches to add to the stitch count?

Though I mentioned it in the main tutorial post, I still got some questions, so I decided to cover this question in a more detailed way.

For 2-st I-cord selvage you will add 4 extra stitches to your stitch count. For 3-st I-cord selvage you will add 6 extra stitches to you stitch count.

So, if you have the pattern, let’s say, for the garter stitch scarf that tells you to cast on 60 sts and you want to add the 2-st i-cord selvage to it, you will cast on 64 sts and if you are adding 3-st i-cord selavage, you will cast on 66 sts.

  • How to add the i-cord selvage to the cardigan bands?

This question cannot be covered in one post. If you are an experienced knitter and can easily modify patterns, here are some tips that can help you:

  • You can use the i-cord selvage only when the bands are knit simultaneously with the body or if the bands are knit separately and then sewn on the body of the cardigan.
  • If the stitches for the pattern are being picked up and the band is knit perpendicular to the main body of the cardigan, then you should use the i-cord bind off technique.

If you are more confident with following the pattern, The Choice is the knit that uses the i-cord selvage technique when the band is knit simultaneously with the body of the cardigan.

  • Do you slip stitches knitwise or purlwise?

The stitches are supposed to be slipped always purlwise.

  • How to use the i-cord edge when changing colors?

This question cannot be covered in a couple of sentences, I will make sure to create a separate tutorial for it!

  • How to use the i-cord edge with the ribbing?

The i-cord edge is perfect for using with ribbing patterns! As a matter of fact, I have used it in all my patterns with the split ribbing edge. You can find it in different variations in Journey, Ivy, Mohair Flor and The Edge.

Abbreviations

  • Sl – slip.
  • wyib – with yarn in back.
  • wyif – with yarn in front.
  • st/sts – stitch/stitches.
  • k – knit.
  • p – purl.

Double Selvage with 1×1 Ribbing

Double Selvage works great with 1×1 ribbing. The best way to use it is next to the purl stitch on the right side – this way the selvage will blend in with the main pattern and will look like a continuation of the ribbing.

Instructions:

Row 1 (RS): Sl 1 wyib, k1; p1, *k1, p1; rep from * to last 2 sts; sl 1 wyib, p1.

Row 2 (WS): Sl 1 wyib, p1; k1, *p1, k1; rep from * to last 2 sts; sl 1 wyif, p1.

Repeat Rows [1-2] for a double i-cord/selvage with 1×1 ribbing.

Triple Selvage with 2×2 Ribbing

Just like in case with the double selvage, it is recommended to place purl stitches of the ribbing next to the i-cord edge on the right side.

Instructions:

Row 1 (RS): Sl 1 wyib, sl 1 wyif, k1; p2, *k2, p2; rep from * to last 3 sts; k1, sl 1 wyif, p1.

Row 2 (WS): Sl 1 wyib, k1, sl 1 wyif; k2, *p2, k2; rep from * to last 3 sts; sl 1 wyif, k1, p1.

Repeat Rows [1-2] for a triple selvage/i-cord with 2×2 ribbing.

  • How to bind off the i-cord edge?

Binding off the i-cord is not much different as binding off in pattern any other stitch, but let me walk you through this visually, so you can have a better idea.

How To Bind Off a Double Selvage

(To see a bigger picture, click on it)

 

How To Bind Off a Triple Selvage

(To see a bigger picture, click on it)

Just one more little tip for the finishing. The i-cord edge is ideal for hiding the ends – just thread the yarn inside the “tube”!

How To Knit The Perfect Edge. Ribbing.

I hope I answered most of your questions and you will successfully use this technique for your projects. I will also copy paste these answers and the link to the tutorials to the main post, where you will be able to find everything in one place.

Have a wonderful Sunday!


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By | 2018-04-08T08:37:01+00:00 April 8th, 2018|Free Patterns and Tutorials|8 Comments

Yarn Along

Knitting Blog. The Gift Of Knitting

Happy Wednesday! This month I decided to join Ginny’s Yarn Along again to share what I am reading and some knit update. It’s been awhile since I read anything in Russian and I missed it so much – I love the diverse and unique Russian literature. The main reason is that it is not easy to get the book in the original language for the reasonable price when you are on the other side of the world. And though I love the feeling of holding the real book in my hands, my new Kindle definitely has its advantages. I am almost done with Yefremov’s Bull’s Hour – it is a third book in trilogy, a sequel of Andromeda Nebula and The Heart of the Serpent. It is a space fiction tale that portraits the utopia world where people on Earth reached the perfect state of the government, where there were no wars, nations, weather cataclysms, etc, all people had great health and devoted themselves to science and work. Though it does contain lots of communist propaganda, it is still a fascinating read with great ideas and interesting point of view of what it would be like to have the society like that. It is like the opposite of Orwell’s 1984.

Knitting Blog. The Gift Of Knitting

As for knitting I am working on a summer sweater in Daisy yarn and using the cutest stitch markers from Creating with Sticks. There is a test knit going on of my cardigan that I designed awhile ago for YOTH yarns and one of the testers were using these markers – I ordered them immediately!

Knitting Blog. The Gift Of Knitting

 

The markers come in two sizes – the bigger size can fir the needle up to US 17 needle! And I am even wearing one as a ring right now, because they are just too adorable!

Knitting Blog. The Gift Of Knitting

Visit Yarn Along to pick up ideas for a good book and a knitting project!


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By | 2018-04-04T05:39:25+00:00 April 4th, 2018|Books, Knitting|7 Comments

Knitwear Inspiration. Scarlett Mae Adams.

Knitwear Fashion

This month I decided to bring back one of my favorite features on the blog – Knitwear Inspiration. Technically I’ve never stopped hunting for new knitwear designers and ideas and realized that I have bookmarked so many of them that it is worth sharing it here monthly – maybe you will also pick up some techniques and shapes knitwear industry comes up with.

Today’s crafter is Scarlett Mae Adams, she is not an established “official” designer yet, but she is a fascinating knitwear student who is definitely will bring something innovative to the industry.

Knitwear Fashion

Knitwear students usually work with creating textiles first before turning them into the garments and they have an absolute freedom experimenting with stitches, shapes and forms. One of the latest Scarlett’s projects is called Forms of the Body where she is exploring different techniques to create volume and texture of the knit fabric.

Knitwear Fashion

I love her approach of using every tool in her box, literally and figuratively, by combining basic stitches with more advanced techniques and playing with tension and yarn weights.

Knitwear Fashion

The result is the unique textiles that later can be interpreted in the garments. It is once again fascinating to see how vast the knitting world is and how amazingly flexible the knit textiles are.

Knitwear Fashion

All photos are courtesy of @scarlett.mae.adams

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend! I’ll see you next week!


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By | 2018-04-02T07:45:35+00:00 April 1st, 2018|Knitting Inspiration|7 Comments

Daisy

Knit One Crochet Too Daisy. The Gift Of Knitting.

Some time ago Jesse, the owner of Knit One Crochet Too, contacted me with the offer to try their brand new yarn and create a summer pattern for it. As soon as I read the fiber content, I knew I would love it even before touching it – linen, silk and hemp blend. I have a weak spot for plant fibers, especially when they are mixed in one skein – it makes it even more enticing. I also had a chance to chat with Jesse and talked about the company in general and Daisy. I am happy to share this mini interview with you here.

The company exists since 1996, it is more than 20 years old, how do you think it has changed over the years?

The company has been around for over 20 years and is now on it’s 3rd owner, me! Susan Levin and Gloria Tracy were the first owners, they had started the company in California by developing their own knitting products and patterns. Then in 1999 they brought yarn into the company, they had a very successful run but realized they wanted to stick to developing products instead of yarn. In 2004 Helene Rush purchased the company and moved it to Windham Maine. There she was able to grow the yarn collection  and show off her amazing pattern writing skills.  When Helene was ready to retire ( she was designing about 50-60 designs a year on top of running the company) she reached out to me and I was more than excited to step up and bring it into a new era. I am hoping to inspire knitters with our yarns, designs and passion for the art.

Knit One Crochet Too Daisy. The Gift Of Knitting.

 

You’ve taken up the company from a different owner – was it hard? How did you keep the balance of keeping the essence of the company and still add your own personal touch to it?

Yes, it was no easy task taking over this company. Mostly because I didn’t work for Knit One Crochet Too before, and I wanted the transition to be smooth for shops and slowly change the company into what I want it to be. Honestly,  I was still deciding which way I wanted to take the company when I bought it. But over the first couple months I was able to really dive in and figure out where I wanted to take it.  I feel that I have been doing a pretty good job keeping the identity of the yarns strong and just adding a new look to the designs. Helene Rush ( the previous owner) is such an amazing designer that most of her designs are timeless. This has helped me when I was too over whelmed at times to come up with a new design for a season, I could just rephotograph one of her gorgeous garment and give it new life. This Spring/Summer  it has all come together, The Copenhagen Collection, really shows where we want to take the company. With fresh looking designs in inspiring locations.
Knit One Crochet Too Daisy. The Gift Of Knitting.
 
Would you tell us a little bit about Daisy – your new summer yarn. How did you come up with this blend of fibers?
When I was thinking about what I wanted for my first spring/summer yarn as the new owner I knew I wanted it to be a hemp/linen yarn. I love the feeling of linen knits once they have been washed and blocked and being based in Florida that was a blend we would be able wear all year round. After, talking with our Mill in Italy we were able to create this gorgeous yarn that combines the typical feel of linen/hemp with the soft feel of silk. Daisy is a 3 ply blend yarn (38% Linen, 32% Silk, 30% Hemp) where each ply is one of the fiber contents, when the fiber is dyed each content takes the dye differently. This create a lovely depth to the yarn. Since we were planning on doing our photoshoot in Copenhagen we decided a cute name for the yarn would be Daisy, it is Denmark’s national flower. Also, because  when I met my husband the first present he ever got me was a Georg Jensen Daisy necklace ( it is a cute enameled daisy, that I never take off).

I have been swatching a lot with Daisy these past weeks. It is slowly being turned into a light sweater that I hope I will share with you this spring. The yarn really got the best qualities from all fibers – the thread is strong, durable and creates great stitch definition. The fabric created is lightweight and drapes beautifully with a delicate sheen. Made from plant fibers the sweater won’t pill and will be great to wear next to the skin on a hot day – linen/silk/hem are breathable and have a very good absorbency. And the great thing is when the temperatures cool down, you will still enjoy wearing it – this blend will also help to lock in the warmth of your body! Blocking is essential, hemp just has to be washed to bloom – the fabric will soften with each bath, without any fiber degradation. This is the beauty of the good quality plant fibers!

Knit One Crochet Too Daisy. The Gift Of Knitting.

I hope you enjoyed this little yarn photostory and inspired to pick up your summer WIPs!


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By | 2018-03-28T07:42:54+00:00 March 28th, 2018|Knitting, Yarn|4 Comments
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