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So far Alina has created 384 blog entries.

Crochet Lace Stitch #tbt

As soon as I found this lace stitch in one of the Japanese crochet magazines, I wanted to use it immediately. I loved its construction, it looks absolutely stunning in a garment.


The stitch pattern is easy to remember and really addictive. You just want to keep going and going.


Actually I found it so addictive that I made several garments with it – two beach cover-ups for my friends, a top and a light pullover for myself. It was interesting to see how the stitch “plays” with different colors – my favorite neutral shade and a strong violet.

Crochet Top

Knitting blog Crochet Lace

As the stitch is pretty busy, it doesn’t give you too many opportunities for shaping. For the waist shaping I used hooks of different sizes and a couple of filler stitches. Other than that it’s a perfect crochet stitch – easy to remember, fast and absolutely gorgeous!

Knitting blog Crochet Lace

By | 2015-07-27T18:49:44+00:00 October 16th, 2014|Crochet, Finished Objects|0 Comments

Textured Cardigan. Vogue Knitting

The first days after the hurricane we were completely cut off from the rest of the world, as the fallen electricity poles and trees blocked the way out of the house. Obviously all the classes at school were suspended. So, among this mess, I had all the time on my hands to start something new, fresh and challenging.

I found my almost torn apart Vogue Knitting Winter 2012/13 edition in the bedroom, floating in the water. I dried it on the sun and was happy to find out that all the instructions were readable.

Knitting Cardigan Vogue Knitting

I chose the pattern for the Textured Jacket by Shirley Paden that I wanted to try months ago, but never had time for it. Well, after the hurricane I had no more excuses – I was stuck in the house, the school was off, no electricity and no Internet.

I chose the local yarn, 100% mercerized cotton of light beige color that I always have in my stash since I’ve tried it for the first time. This shade looks classy and elegant with any garment and any stitch pattern.

Knitting Cardigan Vogue Knitting

I remember starting this project 1 year ago, but I stopped after having knitted the swatch. The stitch pattern seemed really time and yarn consuming to me, but oh, so beautiful.

Knitting Cardigan Vogue Knitting

Knitting Cardigan Vogue Knitting

This stitch pattern doesn’t let you relax, you need to follow the chart and the instructions row by row really carefully. But that was exactly what I needed – to stay focused on one thing at a time. So, it was a win-win situation – I didn’t let myself to become overwhelmed with the last events, but create something absolutely stunning.

Knitting Cardigan Vogue Knitting

I am still working on it, modifying it a little bit. Let see what will come out of it. I’ll keep you updated!



By | 2016-04-10T09:07:47+00:00 October 14th, 2014|Knitting, Work in Progress, Yarn|0 Comments

Knitter’s Treasury

When the first shock after Odile passed, I sat down to revise my knitter’s treasury. Fortunately most of my stash survived, though some precious balls of yarn are lost forever. Here they are, dripping with water; others are in a trash basket.


The books, Vogue Knitting,The Ultimate Knitting Book and the Knitter’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns, are torn apart into pieces. Some of my projects are also not repairable. The recently finished Back to Basics sweater, knit from the beautiful blend of linen and cotton was found outside of the house, looking quite beaten up

Before Odile

Knitting Sweater

After Odile

Knitting Sweater

I had to send it to the trash, as the holes in the sleeves are huge and I don’t think it’s possible to wash it. Bye, bye, sweater…

Knitting Sweater

The raglan pullover that I started just one week before Odile was almost finished. I was knitting the sleeves for it just before the hurricane. The yarn for it was literally swimming in water and the back and the front pieces are covered with dirty spots. Maybe I’ll be able to recover it later. Can you believe it?!! I am living in the house without windows and thinking about how to recover the handknit sweater.

Though it’s definitely not the most pleasant experience of throwing away the soft cotton balls of yarn and handknit items to the trash, I am truly enjoying each day right now, just because I am here, safe and healthy with my family and the roof above my head. We are slowly recovering the house and I’ve come back to work.

Life is good…

By | 2014-10-12T08:32:37+00:00 October 12th, 2014|Knitting, Odile, Simple little things, Yarn|0 Comments

Crochet Cardigan #tbt

Usually when I set my mind to create something of my own, I don’t write down my ideas and almost never do numbers. Maybe I should start. I create along the process just with the vague idea what I want to get in the end. This cardigan that I made 1 year ago falls into this category.

Crochet Cardigan

I bought the yarn, 100% mercerized cotton, and started trying random stitch patterns. My mind drew a picture of a vintage lace cardigan that can be thrown on with jeans, dresses and long skirts.

Crochet Cardigan

The result – a classic V-neck cardigan with ¾ sleeves. The waist shaping was achieved by changing the hook sizes. The neckline was trimmed with the basic single crochet stitch.

Crochet Cardigan

Though I was initially making the cardigan for myself, right now it’s approximately 2 500 km from me. Our friend’s parents came to the town last Christmas and we invited them to have a dinner with us. When my friend’s Mom saw the cardigan in my room, she just couldn’t believe that it’s possible to make something “so precious” (these are her words – I am not bragging!) with hands.  Next minute I was wrapping the cardigan for her. According to my friend his Mom doesn’t take it off and treats it like a real treasure. Well, there is nothing more fulfilling for the knitter to know that her creation is in good hands.

Crochet cardigan


By | 2015-08-19T06:48:02+00:00 October 9th, 2014|Crochet, Finished Objects|0 Comments

Odile 2014, the knitter’s point of view

Taking into account the last events I am so happy that I am alive and able to write this post.

Sunday morning, 14th of September, was perfect. I woke up early as usual, wrote the blog post about a lovely yarny gift given to me by a talented girl, walked with the dog, read a little bit, had a breakfast with my husband… Lovely, lazy Sunday. My favorite time when I can fully relax after a busy week and dive into knitting and crochet.

I checked the weather as the local government cancelled the school on Monday because of the hurricane Odile coming. We are pretty used to it as August and September are hurricane months. Usually we get heavy rains and the next day everything is perfect again. Well, not this time…

At first it was even pretty – the skies became dark, cloudy and the perfect silence covered the town.

Knitting blog Odile

Knitting blog Odile

Then it started to rain. Nothing special, except that we lost the power and the Internet. We lit candles and had a lovely dinner. We decided to take some precautions and spend the night on the bathroom floor, just in case. Well, this decision, as it turned out later, saved our lives.

Around ten the wind started to blow, the sound of the rain was putting me to sleep. Suddenly the wind became much stronger, all the windows started to shake. Next second we heard the sound of the broken glass – the window in the living room was out. We put the armchair and the table against the door, it didn’t help. Five minutes later our door got smacked out, next second – the window. We jumped into the shower and covered ourselves with blankets to get some protection from the glass.

We spent the rest of the night on the bathroom floor, covered in water, listening how the house is being destroyed and just hoping that the roof and the walls would stand against the wind. As we found out later the wind was blowing 300 km/h.

The morning came… We opened the door…

Knitting blog Odile

Knitting blog Odile

I felt like I got into one of these “end of the world movies”.  The house looked like someone dropped a bomb on it. All the windows were out, the floor was completely covered with the broken glass, the front door – 10 meters away from the house.

When we came out on a balcony, we understood we were the lucky ones. The city was half destroyed. The electricity poles broken in half, lying across the street with the high-voltage wires on the trees; houses with no windows, houses with no roofs, houses with no walls, houses covered in water up to the windows…

Knitting blog Odile

Though the world was falling apart around us I had just one thought in my head – “I can’t deal with this right now.  All I want is to boil some hot water, make tea, clean at least one piece of furniture from the glass and… knit.” I guess my mind was seeking for something familiar, something that would help me to keep going.

The first days after Odile were the hardest. No electricity means no water in our neighborhood. We couldn’t get out of the house, as the street was blocked with the fallen trees and the electricity poles. We couldn’t even go to the store and buy the food. Basically there were no stores – almost all of them destroyed. No internet, no phone connection, nothing to use to get in touch with friends and family. Just four days later the principle of the Montessori school where I work managed to get to my house. Upon seeing each other safe and healthy we couldn’t talk, just cry.

The days were slowly passing by… The simple tasks like washing the dishes, cleaning the house, washing the clothes were challenging to perform without the tap water. It really makes you appreciate a lot of things that were taken for granted.

People were slowly recovering from the shock and coming back to their lives. The town woke up. The damage that was suffered is immense and it will take months to get back to normal. The helicopters, government ships and planes were circling the town, bringing food, water, clothes for those in need. Odile brought a lot of destruction, but it also brought a great deal of good things with him.

People would go out on the streets, helping their neighbors, cleaning, sharing their food with the ones who needed it more… We met amazing people, made new friends, cooked meals together, made campfires, ate marshmallows, played the guitar and cheered up each other.

And, of course, I was knitting. Every day, several hours a day. I found a skein of luxurious yarn in my stash that survived in Odile, 100% silk, spun in Italy and handdyed in Chile.

Knitting blog Odile

I’ve had it for more than a year, but it was so beautiful and precious that I was always waiting for the perfect time and for the perfect project to start casting on. Well, that was kind of a perfect time for it… I know I am the one who always says There’s never too much yarn, but let me give you a tip: better to knit your yarn stash before seeing it floating in the water with the broken glass.

Whenever I had a heavy feeling about what had happened, I would pick up my needles and keep on knitting and knitting with this soft, silky, delicious yarn. Such a joy. Thank you, Odile, for making me get to it already! Don’t wait for the perfect  moments to come, make them NOW.

Knitting blog Odile

During all this time the knitting became my anchor that was holding me in one place without letting me drift in the sea of despair, panic or fear. This is not the first time when the knitting and crochet helped me to keep going during the hard times.

I feel so grateful to be able to write this, to breathe, to walk, to knit, to crochet…

Every day is a miracle. Thank you!

By | 2015-06-05T22:17:41+00:00 October 6th, 2014|Odile|0 Comments

Yarn Art. Ojo de Dios

This beautiful mandala was given to me by a very talented girl – Marina Sunshine

Yarn art. Ojo de dios


Mandalas, or Ojos de Dios as they are called in Mexico, have become really popular later as the decorative element for the interiors.

Yarn art. Ojo de dios

But they still preserved their initial spiritual message in them. As Marina explained to me, the process of making a mandala is like a meditation for her. During the process she is very concentrated. She doesn’t have any particular plan before starting the project. She intuitively chooses the colors and puts them together.

One mandala takes approximately 20 hours to make

Yarn art. Ojo de dios

Marina says: “To weave mandalas you can use any kind of yarn – thin and thick, natural and acrylic, one colored and melange. There are no strict rules but one: follow your feeling and sensations -they will show the way to oneself. To the TRUE self” 

That’s a great project to use your leftover yarn, I am sure you have a lot in your stash.

The backside of the workYarn art. Ojo de dios


For those who want to start making their own mandalas, Marina posts small tutorials on her Facebook page.

Yarn art. Ojo de dios

As for me, I really love this piece in my house. And what I know for sure is that Marina put all her soul into making it. Thank you, Marina!

By | 2016-04-10T09:08:13+00:00 September 14th, 2014|Yarn|0 Comments
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