Alina

/Alina

About Alina

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Alina has created 412 blog entries.

Alpaca Wheat Sweater. Pattern Cocktail

Textured Sweater Knitting Pattern. Gift Of Knitting.

Vintage collection that I created almost a year ago for Moeke yarns will always be special to me. It is a combination of what I love in knitwear – nice drape, clean lines, textures and a mix of basic stitch patterns to create a unique fabric. As you might remember from my Wheat Photo Album post, I have gifted the original version to my dear friend, but after I received a gorgeous baby alpaca from my friend, I knew I wanted to recreate one version for myself to wear, because I love those cables so much! Plus I was in need of a knitting project where I don’t have to take notes every step of the way. So I started in Fall, knitting a couple of rounds here and there, and just like that, slowly but steadily, the sweater is off the needles almost 9 months later!

Instead of repeating the pattern as it is, I decided to play a little bit and make a pattern cocktail. Ingredients: baby alpaca by Magliamania, Wheat and Heritage sweater patterns.

– Shaping
– Raglan lines

– Elongated back
– Slip stitch center line

– Cables
– I-cord bind off at the hem

 

This baby alpaca is slightly thicker than the merino by Moeke, so I followed the instructions for size XS, instead of my usual S. It turned out just right – following my shoulder lines, but nice an loose in the body. Alpaca has such a nice drape and the fabric created is so soft, it is such a tactile pleasure to have it right next to bare skin. The whole experiment went pretty smoothly, I only had to rip once when I realized that the i-cord bind off is way too tight and pulling on the fabric. I  went up one needle size and redid it. Now it has the perfect flow around my hips.

Textured Sweater Knitting Pattern. Gift Of Knitting.

Here you can see that the raglan line shaping is done, following the instructions for Wheat, but the slip stitch raglan lines are from Heritage.

Textured Sweater Knitting Pattern. Gift Of Knitting.

Heritage and Alpaca Wheat

Wheat pattern, like all of my top down raglans, has a step-by-step yoke instructions, written individually for each size and to help you keep track of the cabling, it has a note after each yoke round what cable round you are supposed to work. Though I must admit writing this part of the pattern is pretty time consuming, in actual knitting it makes the whole process so much easier, especially if you are working on the project the way I did on this one – couple of inches in several days. So when you come back to your knitting, you have all the information that you need, without trying to figure out what cable round you are supposed to work on.

Textured Sweater Knitting Pattern. Gift Of Knitting.

 

I love knitting sleeves, when they have some cabling – even better. I just love those basic stitch crosses that create such a beautiful texture.

Textured Sweater Knitting Pattern. Gift Of Knitting.

Original Wheat and Alpaca Wheat

I hope you will experiment some day and mix design features of several projects in one. It is always nice to see different variations of one pattern!

Have a wonderful Sunday!


RELATED POSTS

By | 2018-06-17T15:14:04+00:00 June 17th, 2018|Finished Projects, Knitting|5 Comments

Knitwear Inspiration. Alex Pengelly.

Knitwear Inspiration

The knitwear inspiration of the month is a designer Alex Pengelly, who got her Bachelor degree in textiles and knitwear design more than 8 years ago and since then evolved as the artist and a creator in many ways.

Alex was a Digital Textiles Lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University and worked as a freelance designer for several years.

Challenging preconceived notions of knitting, her fabrics are created by hand fusing the artisanal skill of contemporary craft with a directional edge.

 

Knitwear Inspiration

A/W 2015 Orlando collection

Mixing mohair, angora, silk and innovative steel yarns, the collection combines feminine textures with structural layering. Featuring hand embroidery and technical hand inlay techniques the interchangeable pieces infuse the everyday wardrobe with a sense of luxury.

 

Knitwear Inspiration

A/W 2015 Orlando collection

I have a passionate interest in designing innovative knitted materials for the body. I am fascinated by the structural possibilities offered by knitted materials and enjoy exploring new methods of design development and construction.” – Alex Pengelly

 

Knitwear Inspiration

A/W 2015 Orlando collection

In October 2015 Alex joined Nike team as a knit designer.  It is amazing how much knit design actually goes into the process of creating the sportswear. I highly recommend reading the interview with Jessica Lomax, Nike’s senior tech knit designer and get the behind the scenes look at how the tech knit design team is working to create Nike collections, pretty fascinating!

Knitwear Inspiration

Photo: NIKE

I hope you enjoyed this little read and inspired to pick up your knitting! Have a wonderful day today!


RELATED POSTS

By | 2018-06-13T08:19:46+00:00 June 13th, 2018|Knitting Inspiration|2 Comments

Tributary Yarns

Tributary Yarns

Today I would like to share with you not just a yarn photostory, but more a life story where yarn and knitting play such an important role. I’ve “met” Andrea quite some time ago when I stumbled on her blog This Knitted Life and completely fell in love with her writing. She has such a great sense of humor and it feels like you are chatting with a friend who GETS you. I’ve been following Andrea’s knitting journey since then and could not be happier for her when I saw the IG post about starting her own hand dyed yarn label – Tributary Yarns. What I loved about it is that Andrea took us along on the journey since the very beginning, sharing all ups and downs, successes and disasters along the way, showing that it is not always easy to follow your dream, but perseveranc , faith and love for what you do will help to get through!

I hope you will enjoy our talk about yarn, life and how it is OK not to get it all done.

Tributary Yarns

I always wonder how a dream is born, how out of many paths out there we choose the one that resonates with us. Would you share your experience with it? From your posts, I have a feeling that you have finally found something that makes perfect sense to you, like you were always supposed to be doing this. Was it always your goal to create your own yarn label or this dream has grown along your knitting journey?

If you would have asked me a year ago if I ever planned to dye yarn and launch Tributary Yarns, I would have laughed and said hek no! I loved following indie dyers online and supporting them through my work on This Knitted Life, but I never thought I would become one myself.

At the time, I had casually pursued milling and dying the fleeces from my former neighbor’s small alpaca herd. (I am a passionate believer in locally sourced, sustainable products.) Nothing clicked and the idea fizzled. I remained focused on my knitting design work and writing for This Knitted Life. I love writing about knitting almost as much as I love knitting.

Then I divorced and moved out on my own, sharing my five-year-old son between households with his father. It was a hard transition. Not just emotionally, but economically. I have a good day job, but it wasn’t enough. I wasn’t thriving. Divorcing was a clear step in the right direction, but I needed more.

Yes, Tributary Yarns was born from my knitting journey and love for the craft. It is also a product of necessity and a raw yearning to simply survive and create a place for myself and my son, on my own terms. Tributary Yarns does make perfect sense to me. I can apply my grit and determination to my craft and promote sustainably-sourced fiber. With a young child, the ability to work from home at odd hours is also vital.

(You can read more about the three-part story behind Tributary Yarns here: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.)

I love when people are sharing their daily rituals and routines, as I believe the simple mundane things we do every day actually shape our life and the bigger picture. Do you mind sharing the typical for you day? How do you balance work, yarn dyeing, knitting, motherhood and life in general?

I really struggle to fit it all in. I have a vision for how everything should be, but then I run out of time 20% into my list. The remaining 80% simply must wait.

I’m typically an early riser. I was up this morning around 6:00 and patrolled the garden while my water boiled for tea. I like to inspect for snails and other pests that might threaten the fruits of my horticultural endeavors. It was foggy this morning (I live near the Pacific), and the power lines were crackling in the coastal mist.

Morning tea is a sacred time for me. I settle into my spot on the sofa, flip through social media, take in a bit of news, and sometimes knit a couple rows if I can. After that, it’s go time, and I don’t sit down again until 8:00 or 9:00 at night. This morning, I took a quick shower before photographing and labeling some new colorways I wound into skeins late last night.

I boxed up the yarn and went to wake Reed up, which was no easy feat. He’s been sleeping a ton lately. I think he’s going through a growth spurt. I had already opened the curtains to no avail. Eventually, I turned to unreasonably loud music and an announcement of breakfast. Still no luck. When I finally threatened breakfast would soon be over and we needed to get in the car, he emerged from under the covers, giant teddy bear in tow, and sat down drowsily to eat some toast and berries before I tossed him in the shower.

We were running late (always!) and scurried out the door around 8:30, pausing on the way to drop off the box of newly labeled yarn on Sunni’s doorstep. Sunni lives nearby and owns the LYS in town (Yarn in Eureka, California). She’s taken on the challenge of hosting my yarn for online sales on her website, bless her heart.

After that, it was a full day of school for Reed and work for me. Reed spends tonight with his father, so I worked an extra long day at my day job to get in some additional hours. I was home around 7:00, did some dishes and laundry, and then tied in some ends for a sample cowl I just finished knitting to promote my Drainage DK. After that, I worked on these questions and tried to make some progress linking the products on my site to the LYS website. I could really do without all the techy aspects of running a website, but I’ve come to accept it’s a necessary evil.

I probably won’t dye more yarn until the weekend. I’ll often do a small batch or two once or twice a week, after Reed’s asleep. Typically I do my big dye sessions every other weekend when Reed’s not home. I take over the kitchen with pans and tubs, subsist off take-out and the mercy of others, and have at it. Dying yarn also helps to keep me busy and get through the days when Reed is not home. A year later, I’m still very much grieving the loss of so much time with my son.

Tributary Yarns

How do you come up with the colors for Tributary? Is it more of a careful planning or more of improvisation?

At first, I had this vision for very natural, gentle colors. There’s a reason my yarn label is called Tributary Yarns. I work professionally as a hydrologist and focus on river and ecosystem restoration. I love water, stone, and waves. Nature. Earth. All of it. I started off dying a lot of muted, blended colors that reminded me of places that I loved. My colorways tend to be named after streams and other places where I live. I also dyed some pinks and bright colors, because I love those shades as well. Honestly, the pinks and vivid colorways tend to be more popular and sell better, as do speckly colorways.

I tend to do bolder, wilder color combinations with my Stream Sock base and stick with my original eco-spectrum on my River Silk and Merino fingering. I just dyed a big batch of my sustainable Watershed Worsted in these very dark, moody blues, purples, and greens. I call them The Tides. I think I was having an emotional day and it came through. I have some colorways that I really like and have been repeating, but at least half of my dying is always a new color combination. I feel like I’m still having fun exploring new approaches to dying and assessing what works. Dying yarn is limitless, so I don’t want to shackle my potential by dying the same shades over and over.

Tributary Yarns

Has anything changed in your approach to knitting after you have started your yarn brand?

Knitting remains core to who I am as a person. Mostly I find I have a little less time to knit because I’m so busy processing yarn. I do feel quite proud of myself when I knit with yarn I dyed myself. It’s satisfying. I have still been designing, but honestly can’t find the time to write up the designs and knit samples. Someday I hope to be successful enough to hire a support team and realize the full potential of my comprehensive vision. In the meantime, I just plug away, one stitch at a time. I have to remind myself that I’m just one woman, not an army.

Tributary Yarns

What would your advice be to those who have a dream, but are afraid to go for it? What is the first step, in your opinion?

I tell Reed to dream big every day. Do what you love. Stay the course. This Knitted Life and Tributary Yarns have not been an overnight success for me. It’s not like I started my endeavors back in 2013 and gained 5,000 followers overnight, all eager to buy my latest pattern. Hek, I still don’t have 5,000 followers and couching my unwavering pursuit of Knitopia as a fiscal success is probably a stretch too. That publishing offer has yet to land in my inbox, nor have I had time to put together an actual book proposal. But I’m a big girl. I know our dreams don’t boil down to followers or money. Or even writing a book about knitting. I do value my time, and I don’t want to waste it pursuing a non-viable dream. I’m trying to earn a living here. So I can take a knitting vacation.

I think there’s a difference between a hobby and a business, and I recognize that line is blurry for a lot of people starting out with fiber-related businesses. You must be passionate about your dream. Being successful takes a lot of grit and hard work. For every success, there are ten failures. At least. If you aren’t passionate, weathering the bad days can become impossible.

Love yourself. Believe in yourself. Surround yourself only with people who believe in you. Work hard. Work harder. Wake up and do it all over again.

Tributary Yarns


River Silk and Merino is a fingering weight yarn that would be perfect for your shawl projects! As for me, a garment knitter, this green beauty inspired me to come back to my knitting machine after more than a year break! I just see it in my head – a loose reverse stockinette stitch drop shoulder pullover with a beautiful drape and silky sheen. I will share my experiment here, of course!

Visit Andrea’s cozy space at This Knitted Life (make sure to make yourself a nice cup of something and get ready for beautiful and fun read!). You can find and shop Tributary Yarns at yarn-fun.com

I wish you a wonderful Sunday!


RELATED POSTS

By | 2018-06-10T07:12:57+00:00 June 10th, 2018|Knitting, Yarn|0 Comments

Alina Cardigan Pattern

Textured cardigan pattern. The Gift Of Knitting for YOTH yarns

Alina cardigan designed for YOTH yarns is live! I would like to thank you for all amazing words you’ve sent, I am so touched by your support and happy you like the pattern. I would also love to thank YOTH yarns for this collaboration. It was a true joy to knit with Father, this yarn is so easy to work with and it gives this perfect crisp stitch definition that makes the cables really stand out. I am also quiet in love with how YOTH team styled the cardigan for this beautiful photoshoot that I am happy to share with you here.

Alina is a top down seamless cardigan featuring the compound raglan shaping for a better fit around the shoulders. The beginning of a cardigan is just a breeze – good old stockinette stitch in worsted weight yarn – you’ll be done with yoke pretty fast. And then the fun part begins – cable sections placed in staircase order gradually meet in the center of the back. The same sequence in featured in the front.

Textured cardigan pattern. The Gift Of Knitting for YOTH yarns

The cable is mirrored on the sleeves, starting slightly lower than the elbow level and finishing with the i-cord trim for a clean look.

Textured cardigan pattern. The Gift Of Knitting for YOTH yarns

Textured cardigan pattern. The Gift Of Knitting for YOTH yarns

After you are done with the body, the stitches are picked up for a simple 1×1 rib shawl collar shaped with short rows to create generous volume around the neck. The hem and the side bands meet in slightly rounded corners. The edge is also trimmed with the i-cord.

Top down construction allows you to control the length completely to your taste – the pattern gives tips on how you can adjust the length without losing the pattern flow.


Textured cardigan pattern. The Gift Of Knitting for YOTH yarns

 

A big THANK YOU to all our amazing test knitters and technical editor who helped to bring this project to life! You can find Alina Cardigan in YOTH’s Ravelry store and also enter yarn giveaway they are running on their Instagram page. You can win a bag of Father to make your cardigan!

Hope you are having a great weekend and thank you so much for your support!


RELATED POSTS

By | 2018-05-27T07:53:26+00:00 May 27th, 2018|Knitting, Pattern|21 Comments

Gifts Of Life – Marina Walk

Knitting Blog

At sea I learned how little a person needs, not how much” – Robin Lee Graham

 

Knitting Blog

When I need to think and get out of my routine a little bit, I get into the car and drive to the nearest place where you can hear the sound of waves crushing and the air is filled with salty drops. It brings me back to myself, to life and lifts me up no matter what.

In this post I would like to share a special to my heart place – a marina, found a little bit outside of town. There is something soothing about walking in the sunset light, listening to seagulls, looking at boats and wondering where they have been and what they’ve seen. I bet each of them has a nice story to tell.

Please, join me for this little walk. I hope you will enjoy.

Knitting Blog

Knitting Blog

Knitting Blog

Knitting Blog

Knitting Blog

I hope you are having a wonderful week!

Love, Alina


RELATED POSTS

By | 2018-05-24T11:03:51+00:00 May 24th, 2018|Gifts Of Life|3 Comments

Sunday Loves

Happy Sunday! As much as I love sharing with you finished, blocked and all pretty knits, I think there is a certain beauty in a WIP’s mess with its uneven stitches, loose threads and open stitches. It shows behind the scenes progress that I personally cherish as much as the final result. My experiment with mixing Heritage and Wheat has moved to the sleeves stage and this is definitely my favorite part of the pattern. New summer knit in Daisy is waiting to be blocked and threads have to be fixed, this is my plan for today. I am looking forward to see how the yarn will open up after a nice bath – so far the fabric feels so smooth.

Another weekend plan is to continue my current fascinating read – The Diary of Anne Frank. I have no idea why I didn’t read it earlier though always had it on my must-read list. I decided to combine a good read and practicing my Spanish grammar, hence the Spanish translation. From my experience, this is the best way to learn the language, even if you don’t understand everything and it takes more time this way while you are looking for a certain word in the dictionary, with the time the language sort of sinks into you and before you know it, you speak it. I also downloaded Quizlet app – a great tool to learn new words and practice them, highly recommended!!!

I hope you are having a wonderful Sunday!


RELATED POSTS

By | 2018-05-20T08:47:42+00:00 May 20th, 2018|Knitting|7 Comments
Load More Posts