Knitting On-The-Go

I have to cast on something new! I have an excuse. A pretty decent one. I think…

Today we took a three hour road trip in the early morning. It’s my favorite kind of travel – grab a car, a dog, breakfast and go whenever it takes you. No plans, no GPS. We found a peaceful place in the hills and spent a blissful Sunday morning reading and walking. But. My hands were itching! During the week I have so little time to devote to my stitches, that weekends just have to be full of knitting/crochet! The problem is that I don’t have a single WIP that could be done on-the-go. Right now I am working on my projects at the table full of notes, charts and who knows what else. Definitely unsuitable for a road trip. So, one more project then. Just one!

I thought it would be perfect time to plan some gift knitting. This summer I won’t be able to visit my family, so instead I want to send a parcel full of handmade items to my three most important women on Earth – my Mom and grandmothers.

I am looking at these two patterns to start with.

Shawl Knitting

Deep End by Heidi Kirrmaier

Shawl Knitting

Exploration Station by Stephen West

They are exactly what I am looking for. First of all, they are just gorgeous, aren’t they?! They offer a perfect opportunity to play around with color. They are calling for the stash yarn, which is perfect for Andi’s KAL/CAL. And they are simple enough to take on road trips.

Well, now when I finished justifying my knitting polygamy, what should I cast on first? That’s a tough choice.



By | 2015-02-15T15:18:32+00:00 February 15th, 2015|Knitting|10 Comments

Simple Little Things. Knitting, Reading, Clean Eating.

Small Things Yarn Along.

Enjoying a sunny afternoon after a long working day – with my WIP, a fascinating book and delicious food…

Knitting and Reading

KnittingSt. Brigid.

Reading“Our Amazing World of Nature. Its Marvels and Mysteries”, a beautiful collection of  essays on natural wonders, from the amazing life of a single cell to marvelous world of celestial bodies.

Knitting and Reading

Knitting and Reading

Eating – homemade organic basil pesto, prepared by our Montessori students, and freshly picked tomatoes from the organic school garden. In our world of “instant buttons” high-speed technology, it is so precious to share the experience of plant, cultivate and harvest  philosophy with our children.

Knitting and Reading

Knitting and Reading

Simple miracles are all around us… I hope you will find yours this week! Feeling grateful…

I hope you are having a great week!

By | 2016-04-10T08:59:14+00:00 February 11th, 2015|Books, Knitting, Simple little things, Work in Progress|2 Comments

Modification Series. St. Brigid. Part III.

First part. Second part.


Finally on the needles!

Modify Cable Sweater

After trying dozens of different stitch combinations for a horizontal band, I decided to knit the cardigan first and then trim it either with attached I-cord or crochet. All other options seemed too “heavy” for the hem.

Usually I try to avoid seamless construction, in my opinion seams add more structure and shape to the garment,but this time I decided to skip the side seams and knit the body in one piece. The cable panels will “hold” the cardigan without side seams.

Modify Cable Sweater

The main cable panel and two small cable panels are covering only the part of the cardigan, the rest is filled with stockinette stitch.

Modify Cable Sweater

Modify Cable Sweater

Basically the stockinette “space” is where all the shaping is going to happen. It will allow to do all necessary decreases/increases without interfering with cables. It’s a universal cable garment formula that I always use.

1. Determine how many  centimeters/inches you need to get at the end.

For example, 90 cm/35″

2. Make a swatch of each cable panel. Measure it.

Mine were 12.4 cm/4.88″ (small) and 28.8 cm/11.34″ (main)

3. Subtract from the first number the sum of all cable panels. In my case it was the main cable panel + 2 small cable panels.

For example, 90cm – (12.4 cm + 12.4 cm + 28.8 cm) = 36.4 cm/14.3″

4. Convert this number to stitches according to your gauge. And then “spread” this number of stockinette stitches evenly between the cable panels.

I am still not sure about the length of the cardigan. The cables are really “eating” the yarn. I’ll wait when the first skein is over to determine the total length.

To be continued…

By | 2016-04-10T08:59:31+00:00 February 8th, 2015|Knitting, Modifications, Modifications Series, Work in Progress|2 Comments

Modification Series. St. Brigid. Part II.

The first part can be found here – Modification Series. St. Brigid. Part I.


Cable Sweater

Pattern St. Brigid Photo Larisa

We are done with swatches. The next step is to “put” these cables on the garment. Warning: I am an awful, awful drawer/sketcher. All my childhood I was drawing cows that looked like dogs with hooves to everybody else except me. But, believe me, even the worst sketch really helps to have much more clear idea of what you want to get in the end. Here is mine.

Modify A Cable Sweater

I cannot rely on my drawing skills, but I really hope you see the same thing that I do. Anyway my idea is to put the main cable panel (#1) on the back of the cardigan and a small cable panel (#2) – on both sides along the front openings of the cardigan.

Modify a Cable SweaterAs you can see I put the additional cable on both of the sides of the main cable panel to “frame” it a little bit more.

One more thing to think about – the stitch pattern for horizontal and vertical bands of the cardigan. I cast on 20 stitches and tried different stitches and then put each of it next to cable panels to check if they look aesthetically pleasant.

Modify A Cable Sweater

This is the hardest part for me. I started knitting with garter stitch – ripped it off, seed stitch – ripped it off, then moss stitch – ripped it off… As soon as I figure it out what I want, I’ll cast on. Finally!

To be continued…

Part I.

Part III.

By | 2016-04-10T09:00:23+00:00 February 4th, 2015|Knitting, Work in Progress|4 Comments

Modification Series. St. Brigid. Part I

Modify A Cable SweaterI am very excited to start our Modification Series where we can share our ideas and process of modifications in different projects! Here is what my usual initial process looks like.

1. Think of what you actually NEED to make.

2. Think of what you WANT.

3. Think of the silhouette style that fits you the best.

4. Look for the pattern.

5. Choose yarn.

So, here we go.

1. I need a long cardigan. Temperatures are “jumping” here right now – it can be 12°C (53°F) in the morning and 23 °C (73.4 °F) at midday. So you really need to dress in layers. Long cardigan looks like a perfect option to wrap myself up on the way to work. 

2. I want to knit and wear cables. Textured knits are the best! And the process of knitting cables is so perfectly balanced. It keeps you interest on the right side and you can completely relax on the wrong side.

3.  I think classic double-taper garment with 2″-4″ positive ease is what I want in this cardigan.

4. I never limit myself  when looking for a pattern. If I don’t find the perfect match, I just generally look at different kinds of patterns putting the key words into the search. In this case, it was “cables”. Basically I am looking for something that would strike me, something that I just have to knit. In case of St. Brigid, I fell in love with the central cable panel.

5. Yarn. I don’t knit with wool at the moment, because I currently live in a warm climate. I think this is the ONLY reason for my love/hate relationships with Baja California. Mostly it’s love 🙂 I always enjoyed knitting/crocheting with cotton though and it’s perfect for this weather.

So, here is everything that I need to start my mods experiment – type of the garment, pattern and yarn.

Swatch time!

Basically I “broke” the original pattern into “pieces”.

Cable Sweater

Pattern St.Brigid Photo Larisa

I made four swatches. Two stockinette stitch swatches. One of them – with one strand of yarn on 4 mm needles (I didn’t like the look, as I wanted something tighter). 2 strands of the same yarn worked perfectly with 5 mm needles.

Modify A Cable Sweater I chose the cable charts that I am going to use in my version. The central cable – chart D, and the side panels – charts C and E.Modify a Cable Sweater

Here is my gauge.

Stockinette stitch – 10cm/4″: 11.28 sts and 15.77 rows

Main cable Panel – 28.8 cm/11.34″

Side Cable Panel – 12.4 cm/4.88″

I always measure the swatch at least in four different places and then find the average. As you can see I don’t round my numbers, because it can really mess up with your numbers when knitting the garment itself.

At the moment I am working on all the numbers. My brain is boiling, but I love the challenge!

See you soon!

Part II.

Part III.

By | 2016-04-10T09:00:54+00:00 January 27th, 2015|Knitting, Modifications, Work in Progress|8 Comments

Modifications. Let’s Do It!

Ever since I cast on my first stitch I became a modifier. Mostly because I just never had a full access to yarn suggested in patterns. So I had to recalculate all the numbers anyway. And as I was doing it, a couple of changes would always slip through here and there in the original pattern. I very rarely look at the pattern as a whole. Usually my attention is caught by different details that I fall in love with and only then my mind starts examining the pattern itself. There is always something that I want to change, and it’s not because the patterns are bad, on the contrary – I am inspired by all the beautiful designs coming up on Ravelry and in my favorite knitting magazines. But it’s really hard to find a design that has it all – the garment style, the stitch pattern, the yarn, the silhouette shaping, the fit etc. And if I want to spend all these hours knitting a garment, I want to get something that I would actually love to wear.

I decided that I want to start Modification Series, where I am going to walk you through the process of all the modifications that I am doing in different patterns. Some modifications are very minor where I just change the color scheme, some are more profound, like changing the length, stitch pattern or the garment style.

Here are the examples of the modifications that I have done in some of my previous projects.

Off-shoulder Tank Top from Vogue Knitting.

Vogue knitting top

Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2008. Designer Cathy Carron

My version. The yellow top turned into a marine style top. Just a simple change of color can make a drastic difference.

Knitting top. Vogue Knitting

Long time ago I saw a crochet jacket. I didn’t like the jacket, but fell in love with the stitch. The only thing that was left from the original pattern is the crochet stitch that was first turned into a top…

Knitting blog Crochet Lace…then I modified my own “pattern” and turned it into a boat-neck pullover…

Knitting blog Crochet Lace… and then it also got modified and turned into a v-neck tunic.

Crochet Dress

As you can see sometimes you can just take one small detail from the original pattern and make something absolutely unique.

The knitters say – one repeated mistake can become a new stitch pattern.

When I couldn’t figure out the pattern of the edge of this beautiful shawl

Vogue Knitting Lace Shawl

Vogue Knitting, Early Winter 2013
Designer Lynette Meek

… I just went with the flow and got a pretty decent edging.

Knitting Blog Monthly

In this case I also fell in love with the stitch, not with the pattern. Just because I know this garment style won’t look good on me.

Knitting Textured Cardigan

Vogue Knitting Winter 2012/2013 Designer Shirley Paden

So I ventured into modifications and couldn’t be happier with the result.

Knitting cardigan

Just modifying the “background” stitch pattern and the edging can a give a sweater a new look.


© Sixth&Spring Books

Knitting cable sweater

At the moment I am working on a cable project and planning a lot of modifications. While I am knitting it, I am going to post step-by-step process of all the mods that are being done. I hope it will inspire you to look at different patterns with a new perspective and cast on something that you would never think of before!

 Mods are always fun. Let’s do it!

By | 2016-04-10T09:01:08+00:00 January 25th, 2015|Crochet, Knitting, Modifications|4 Comments
Load More Posts