Alina

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On my coffee table…

Knitting blog Books

It was a happy mail day yesterday. After losing a lot of precious books in the hurricane, we are building back our library.

Knitting blog Books

Here they are:

1. Stephen Hawking “A Briefer History of Time”. 

After I started working in a Montessori school, I became obsessed with astronomy and physics. And that is said by a girl who has a degree in humanities and never ever in her life would imagine  voluntarily opening a book with numbers or (oh, horror!) formulas.  But here I am. After watching all possible documentaries on the latest studies of the universe, I decided I was ready for this wonderful book. I even signed up for Khan Academy to remember the basics of mathematics and physics.

2.  Shirley Paden “Knitwear Design Workshop. A Comprehensive Guide to Handknits” . 

I always modify patterns. I haven’t made a single item without modification. I almost always substitute the yarn and knit with a completely different stitch gauge. So, to avoid knitting disasters, I decided to  dig more deeply into the logic behind knitwear construction. Usually I modify intuitively and almost never do numbers, but it’s time to start. If you do something, do it well, right?

3. Marshall B. Rosenberg “Nonviolent Communication. A Language of Life”. 

I think this book is essential for teachers, doctors, parents, human beings… Yep, for everybody.

Off to reading…

 

By | 2014-11-09T15:11:34+00:00 November 9th, 2014|Books|6 Comments

Friday Inspiration. Cables.

The weekend is here. I am still in search for a pattern to cast on. So many temptations out there.

I am so fascinated and inspired by this hand knit sweater from last year’s collection by Nellie Partow. I love everything about it – garter stitch background, shaping and, of course, a cable panel, which is so structural, almost architectural.

Knitting inspiration

Photo nelliepartow.com

This hand knit dress features the diamond cable pattern. I love how textured it is.

Knitting inspiration

Photo nelliepartow.com

Nellie Partow used to work with such brands as Calvin Klein and Donna Karan before starting her own fashion line. Nellie describes her style as “refined minimalism”. She plays around with basic silhouettes, but always adds her own personal touch to old classics. Nellie is not only a fashion designer, but also a professional boxer. Wow!

You can look up more of Nellie Partow’s designs on her website.

Have a nice crafty weekend!

By | 2016-04-10T09:06:25+00:00 November 7th, 2014|Knitting Inspiration|2 Comments

Textured Jacket.Wearing.

Knitting cardigan

The weather is absolutely beautiful right now. I can’t believe this sky color, it looks surreal… The mornings are cool, windy and perfect for knitwear. I had a chance to wear my Textured Jacket last weekend. It’s raveled here.

Knitting cardigan

Hand Knit Cardigan

I love its neutral color – it looks completely different in the morning and evening light.

Hand Knit Cardigan

 

Hand Knit Cardigan

As the jacket is pretty “busy” itself, in my opinion it looks better when worn with simple clothes – jeans or dresses of basic silhouettes in neutral colors.

Knitting_vogue_51

The only concern I have is that it might be difficult to take care of it. The textured fabric + neutral color can be challenging to wash. If you have any tips, please, let me know! Other than that it’s so comfortable. I can’t resist wrapping myself up in its cables and twists!

These photos were taken in one of my favorite local spots. This is Estero (or Estuary). It is a beautiful place full of vegetation and magnificent birds. The river runs all the way from the mountains and is surrounded by trees, bushes and beautiful flowers.

Knitting cardigan

Before the hurricane there was a lovely path running along the river. Every morning you could see people running, biking, stretching, walking with dogs… In the afternoons it was a perfect place to sit on a bench reading a book, knitting or just looking around, savouring the moment and this beautiful life…

Knitting cardigan

After Odile many trees are gone, the river is two times wider and there is no sight of the path or the benches. But it’s still very special and dear to me. I can’t wait for winter to come when Estero welcomes dozens of different kinds of birds. It is such a great experience to go there with our Montessori class and observe birds, little animals, different kinds of plants…

I also used to teach my small pilates class here last year. I wish I had more time for it right now.

Throwing in some pilates moves 🙂

Knitting cardigan

 

Now I am at this exciting stage of choosing the next project… So many gorgeous patterns out there. What is on your wait list?

By | 2015-07-20T17:11:02+00:00 November 6th, 2014|Finished Objects, Knitting|6 Comments

Textured Jacket. Vogue Knitting. Details.

You probably remember that I started this project back in September.

Knitting Textured Cardigan

Vogue Knitting Winter 2012/2013 Designer Shirley Paden

I wanted to knit this pattern for almost a year, but I was a little bit intimidated by the intricate stitch pattern. But I am so glad that I eventually got to it. I am really happy with the result!

Knitting Textured Cardigan Knitting Textured Cardigan

Designer Shirley Paden challenges us with the interlocking twists and florets pattern. The result is a stunningly textured fabric.

Knitting Textured Cardigan

I’ve made some modifications to the sweater.

  • Though Shirley offered to knit this jacket with considerable ease, I chose more close-fitting style.  To my taste if you knit a textured pattern with a lot of ease, it makes you look bulky.
  • Waist shaping was achieved by changing needle sizes.
  • I crocheted ties, instead of knitting them. Chain of 50 stitches and single crochet one row. I put them a little bit lower – on the waist line, instead of the bust line.

Knitting Textured Cardigan

 V-neck shaping.

Knitting Textured Cardigan

 I chose simple garter stitch trimming, instead of I-cord.

Knitting Textured Cardigan

I omitted the collar.

Knitting Textured Cardigan

Sleeves. I knitted the cuff using Chart 2 for 1 1/2 pattern repeats using 3 mm needle (US 2 1/2), then switched to Chart 1 using 3.5 mm needle (US 4).

Knitting Textured Cardigan Knitting Textured Cardigan

I used crochet slip stitch for seams.

Knitting Textured Cardigan

I am so happy to have it in my closet. It is very special to me.

Knitting Textured Cardigan

Thank you, Vogue Knitting!

Other posts about this project:

By | 2015-05-31T08:35:03+00:00 November 3rd, 2014|Finished Objects, Knitting|8 Comments

October. Adiós.

October is gone.

Knitting and crochet finished projects

And I must say it was quite the month. After being hit in September by Odile, aka “the most intense landfalling tropical cyclone during the satelite era” in our region, my life became quite hectic. We lived most of the month in the house without windows, that had been smashed out by Odile; I came back to work and we were putting our dear Montessori classrooms, organic school garden and other installations back together. So, basically, October was the cleaning month.

But among all this mess, broken windows, destroyed walls, problems with the electricity, water, internet and so on, I was knitting and crocheting. Every day, even if just a little bit. It helped a lot to deal with tension and stress. And I must say it was one of the most productive and crafty-satisfying months that I had ever had! I finished 4 WIPs!!!! Some of them have been craving for attention for months.

Knitting and crochet finished projects

 Four garments. I am all dressed up for November!

Knitting and crochet finished projects

 My faithful companion in daily long walks.

Knitting and crochet finished projects“Yep. She’s finished them. Four of them”

The seasons finally clicked. I can feel the autumn in the air. It feels nice…

Knitting and crochet finished projects Knitting and crochet finished projectsBye, bye, October. Thank you for everything.

Knitting and crochet finished projects

 More about October projects in sweet November…

By | 2014-12-29T20:21:54+00:00 November 1st, 2014|Adiós|2 Comments

Friday Inspiration. Volume Knitting.

How about this skirt for the Halloween costume?

Knitting inspiration

Photo from sandrabacklund.com

Sandra Backlund, a Swedish knitwear designer, creates one-of-a-kind pieces that shock and inspire at the same time. Sandra uses both machine and hand-knitting in her work.

Edgy. Provocative. Exaggerated.

Knitting inspiration

Photo from sandrabacklund.com

Her signature style in knitting is the structure and volume. Though she uses basic techniques, her vision of knitting is far from conventional.

I love these huge bobbles.

Knitting inspiration

Photo from sandrabacklund.com

 In one of her interviews Sandra said that the perfect piece of knitwear for her is all kinds of knitwear dresses. Being obsessed with dresses myself, I fell in love with her masterpieces.

Knitting inspiration

Photo from sandrabacklund.com

Knitting inspiration

Photo from sandrabacklund.com

The big question is how and where do you wear them? I would need a good prep talk to put on one of these designs.

Maybe this one. The skirt is gorgeous and actually wearable.

Knitting inspiration

Photo from sandrabacklund.com

Look up more of Sandra’s designs on her website. There are no patterns for sale, but there is definitely no lack of inspiration for a knitter.

Have a nice crafty weekend!

By | 2016-04-10T09:06:43+00:00 October 31st, 2014|Knitting Inspiration|3 Comments
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