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So far Alina has created 396 blog entries.

Gifts Of Life

Knitting group

Happy Sunday! I had a wonderful weekend that started with a great surprise – I discovered a small local knitting group and joined them for a coffee on Friday. It was such a great feeling to be around knitters and chat about tools, patterns and yarns. I brought my Wheat – it is the perfect project to carry around, even though I am almost finished with the body, it is still not too big to carry around and a great mindless stockinette stitch knit, though I can’t wait to get to the cabling on the sleeves.

I was also happy to show my new knitting friends Add One Stitch Knitting and it was amazing to see the reaction in real life. One of the main goals of the book was to show the beginners that all knitting is basically juts two stitches – knit and purl – and by learning those they can create beautiful textures. I saw the genuine interest and excitement about it and I really hope to see some finished projects from the book soon!

Saturday brought more simple joys – the local organic market is in its full bloom and I just love this place for wonderful hardworking people who care about nature and sell delicious produce.

Knitting group

Also today is the last day of Round 1 voting in 2018 MDK March MayhemWheat sweater is nominated in Sweaters category!!! I hope you will take part in this fun tournament of patterns today and vote for your favorite patterns!

Have a wonderful Sunday!


By | 2018-03-18T09:11:47+00:00 March 18th, 2018|Uncategorized|8 Comments

Japanese Knitting

A couple of months ago I saw the review of Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible  book at Knitted Bliss. Julie presented it in such an alluring way that I immediately ordered the book! First of all, it is just beautiful to look at. I am so judging it by the cover, because it is stunning – intricate textured stitch pattern in neutral shade just makes you open it and browse for more. The content didn’t disappoint me either – 250+ unique stitch patterns presented in minimalist format.

Hitomi Shida created absolutely magical stitch patterns, from lace to cables – each of them is a small masterpiece. What I also like about them is that each pattern consists of several elements and you can easily “break it down” and use just a part of a pattern if it seems too busy for this or that particular project. I did something similar when designing Journey sweater a couple of years ago – browsing through a huge collection of stitch patterns and “filtering out” the elements that appealed to be and then putting the puzzle together. Now I have a great resource that I am sure I will come back to again and again.

Actually one of the elements in a beautiful stitch pattern caught my attention and I can’t wait to “draw” it on this merino fabric. 

It is worth mentioning that Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible doesn’t provide any step-be-step written instructions – only charts! All the symbols are explained in a detailed and clear way and some techniques are showed in the tutorials at the end of the book. Personally, being a visual knitter and always knitting from a chart, I love this approach – it allows to fit in more information in a less cluttered way, but if you prefer knitting from the written instructions, you might find it challenging at first to use this book.

I hope you are having a great weekend!


By | 2018-03-11T07:35:53+00:00 March 11th, 2018|Books, Knitting|24 Comments

Knitwear Review. London/Milan FW, Fall 2018.

Knitwear Review. London/Milan Fashion Weeks, Fall 2018

Knit pullover with intarsia and sequins by Brunello Cucinelli

For the second knitwear review of Fall 2108 season I browsed Milan and London runway reports to filter the knit pieces that seem interesting enough to look closely at.

Neutrals. Love this trend – beige and off white seemed to be prevailing in knitwear in many designers’collections.

Love this presentation by Central Saint Martins (one of the most famous art and design education centers based in London). The white dress is my favorite – if you look closely you will see that it is entirely knit in simple stockinette stitch, but with the use of yarns of different weight and textures – starting at the neckline with fine gauge and finger weight yarn the dress gradually transitions to a more bulky gauge and thicker thread.

Total knitwear looks –  sweaters + knit skirts in stockinette, cables and seed stitch.

The tendency of combining casual knitwear and more elevated pieces started in New York continues in Milan – classic shapes, simple colorwork and some sparkling!

Colorwork. You will find it all – stripes, intarsia, fair isle..

Wrapped in knitwear in color and neutrals.

Extremely oversize sweaters.

Interesting shapes – from classic pullovers to puffed exaggerated shoulders and layering of knit fabric.

Have a wonderful weekend!!

P.S. All photos are courtesy of


By | 2018-03-09T08:14:07+00:00 March 9th, 2018|Knitwear Review Fashion Weeks|6 Comments

Spring Knitting

Spring Knitting

Happy Sunday! As spring is heading towards us with the speed of light and deadlines are growing and getting closer, I am trying to fit 10 minutes of selfish mindless knitting into my days, just because it feels good. This lush forest green baby alpaca is like the massage for the hands – feels incredible soft and silky. When I saw Wheat sweater in green color on @galt_houseofyarn account, I just wanted to recreate it in this color so badly. If you remember, I gave the original sweater to my friend, so this one is going to hug me 🙂

Spring Knitting

I also thought that it would be great to take some design details from the Heritage sweater and make something slightly different – so the shaping, sleeve cable and the body shaping are from Wheat and the central slip stitch chain and slip stitch raglan lines are from Heritage. So, basically I have two my designs on the needles 🙂 It is perfect for this yarn – lots of stockinette stitch knitting to enjoy these delicious skeins.

Spring Knitting

Apart from this project, I am playing with swatches in hand dyed sunny merino silk and brand new yarn by Knit One Crochet TooDaisy – a very interesting linen, silk and hemp blend, as soon as I get to know it better, I will tell you more about it.

Hope you are having a wonderful Sunday and will have time today to pick up your needles! Thank you for being behind the screen!!

P.S. I am sorry I didn’t have a chance to write the post during the week and announce the winner for Vogue Knitting. The Ultimate Knitting Book. The random number generator picked Gigi! Congratulations, Gigi, you will receive your copy soon – I will contact you shortly for more information!


By | 2018-03-04T09:10:31+00:00 March 4th, 2018|Knitting, Yarn|5 Comments

The Edge. Cable Sweater Pattern.

Textured Cable Sweater. The Gift Of Knitting for We Are Knitters.

Happy Sunday! Today’s post is devoted to The Edge sweater, a textured knit with an unusual 3D cables, running along the body edges.

Textured Cable Sweater. The Gift Of Knitting for We Are Knitters.

Whenever I start the pattern, I imagine how you are going to knit it and what you will get from it. The Edge was created with the knitter in mind who is looking for a wearable piece of knitwear which is engaging to knit, but the one that won’t require your 100% concentration all the time.

Textured Cable Sweater. The Gift Of Knitting for We Are Knitters.

Design Details

3D cables. This is the main design detail around which the whole sweater was created. The traditional cabling technique is slightly changed in this design, adding a little twist (pun not intended 🙂 ) to the cables which results in more volume and texture contrast against the stockinette stitch background. It was really important for me to place the cable right next to the plain fabric – so you can enjoy the mindless knitting time between crossing the stitches. If you place a traditional cable next to the stockinette stitch without adding any additional texture contrast, the cable would look somewhat flattened and with this technique I managed to avoid it and create the volume – it seems like the cable is growing out of the fabric. It also blocks beautifully and is not stiff at all. The great thing about these cables is that you get lots of in-between stockinette stitch knitting time. For me it seemed super fun and engaging – to look forward to the next cross of stitches.

The cabling is very easy, but for more visual help I added a step-by-step photo tutorial where I show you all the 3D crosses.

Textured Cable Sweater. The Gift Of Knitting for We Are Knitters.

Chevron Seed Stitch. Why not to throw in the traditional knit/purl texture in the sweater design? Adds a great contrast to the cables, vertical placement visually lengthens the body, the chevron adds the geometric feel to the design and seed stitch “bumps” always look great!

Textured Cable Sweater. The Gift Of Knitting for We Are Knitters.

Elbow Patches. Some vintage touch to the modern design – I sprinkled the chevron seed on the elbows, mirroring the central texture panel. Again, something to look forward to while working on a simple stockinette stitch sleeve.

Textured Cable Sweater. The Gift Of Knitting for We Are Knitters.

Finishing. The Edge is framed with classic 1×1 ribbing on the hem, sleeve cuffs and the neckline.

Textured Cable Sweater. The Gift Of Knitting for We Are Knitters.

Textured Cable Sweater. The Gift Of Knitting for We Are Knitters.

Construction. The sweater is a seamless modified drop shoulder knit. The body is worked bottom up and then the sleeve stitches are picked up from the armholes for a top down knit. This allows you to modify the length of the body and sleeves.

Textured Cable Sweater. The Gift Of Knitting for We Are Knitters.

Yarn. The Petite wool is something between heavy worsted and aran weight, but the nature of the spin allows a nice drape without bulking up. It knits up easily and creates a great stitch definition.

Textured Cable Sweater. The Gift Of Knitting for We Are Knitters.

General Pattern Information

B O D Y  S I Z E S:

XS 32″ (81.5 cm)

S 34″ (86.5 cm)

M 38″ (96.5 cm)

L 40″ (101.5 cm)

XL 43″ (109 cm)

XXL 46″ (117 cm)

3XL 50″ (127 cm)

F I N I S H E D   M E A S U R E M E N T S:

Chest/Bust at Underarm: 39 (41, 45, 47, 50, 53, 57)” (99, 104, 114, 127, 134.5, 144.5) cm.


14 sts x 16 rnds = 4″ [10 cm] in Stockinette stitch after blocking.



6 (6, 7, 7, 8, 8, 9) skeins of We Are Knitters “Petite Wool” (153 yds [140 m] in 3.5 oz [100 g]; 100% Peruvian wool) in Spotted Pink.

List of techniques used:

  • 3D cable – the step-by-step photo tutorial, written instructions and chart are provided.
  • Basic knit/purl texture – written instructions and chart are provided

I would love to thank my wonderful test knitters – Michelle, Uiko, Quynh and Ginta! Please, check their amazing projects in the pattern gallery!

Big thank you to my friend Elena for helping me with the photos for this post – you are the best!!

And, of course, We Are Knitters – thank you so much for giving me 100% creative freedom and for the opportunity to make one knitter happy. Yes, it is yarn giveaway time! Please, check my Instagram @giftofknitting today to enter The Petite Wool giveaway! The winner will get enough yarn to make The Edge sweater and choose the color! The pattern is NOT included in the giveaway.

And speaking of giveaways – I am happy to send the pattern copy to the randomly chosen winners -Alix, Margaret, Kate G, Magoo and Pixiewear, you will get your copy today! Thank you for being here and for commenting!

The Edge sweater is available for $7.

I am running an introductory 15% discount on the pattern!

No code needed! Just add the pattern to the cart and it will be automatically discounted.

Thank you for your support! Happy knitting!


By | 2018-02-25T09:40:07+00:00 February 25th, 2018|Knitting, Pattern|7 Comments

The Edge Sweater. FO Details.

Cable Textured Sweater. The Gift Of Knitting for We Are Knitters

It’s been a busy time here on the blog – I am finally finishing all the projects I have been working on at the end of 2017 and happy to present them to you. Today I am sharing my new sweater design which will be released this Sunday – The Edge Sweater.


The journey of this sweater started one year ago. I was swatching for one of my new designs and desperately wanted to include extra cozy voluminous cables that would really pop out against the stockinette stitch background, but nothing quiet worked the way I imagined it should. But after browsing through endless cable variations, I’ve found a very interesting interpretation of the classic cable – created with extra rows of fabric inside the cable, it produced the extra volume effect I was looking for. For that particular design I was working on at that time, it didn’t quiet work, but I made a note for myself to come back to it as soon as the “right” yarn comes along. The moment I touched The Petite Wool – I knew that was it!!!

Cable Textured Sweater. The Gift Of Knitting for We Are Knitters

The original stitch wasn’t 100% satisfactory for me, so I played with it for several weeks until I modified it the way that suited the yarn, the design and the general look of the sweater that I had in my head. And the rest is history – after months and months of planning I finally cast on and… finished the sweater in 7 afternoons!!! This is my personal record! But I just couldn’t put it down and all the planning definitely payed off – I didn’t have to rip off any part!

Cable Textured Sweater. The Gift Of Knitting for We Are Knitters

One of the main points of interest of this design are 3D cables – slightly different from the traditional cable technique, this method produces extra volume that really stands up against the stockinette stitch background. That was really important for me – I wanted to keep the rest of the sweater simple and plain, and the classic cables do not pop up that much when placed next to the stockinette stitch fabric.

Halfway through the sweater I had another idea – what if I add elbow patches on the sleeves that will mirror the center textured stitch?! Well, here they are and I am in love with them!!! It adds a slightly vintage feel to the sweater…

Cable Textured Sweater. The Gift Of Knitting for We Are Knitters

The seamless construction, modified drop off shoulder sleeve, texture and extremely soft and cozy wool – I can sincerely say that I am extremely happy with this new edition to The Gift Of Knitting Designs family 🙂 And I hope it will sparkle the inspiration in you to pick up your needles!

Cable Textured Sweater. The Gift Of Knitting for We Are Knitters

On Sunday I am going to tell you about the sweater in more details and host The Petite Wool giveaway from We Are Knitters!! You will have a chance to win a bag of these cozy skeins for your Edge Sweater!

But meanwhile, I am giving away 5 copies of this design today!!! If you leave your Ravelry ID in your comment, you are automatically in the giveaway!!

Thank you for being here!


By | 2018-02-22T09:34:25+00:00 February 22nd, 2018|Knitting, Pattern|28 Comments
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