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The Gang Knits

Textured sweater pattern. The Gift of Knitting

Happy Sunday! As this month is flying by, I wanted to share with you what is on my needles and (finally!) on my crochet hook (it’s been a long time since I started a crochet project!). My new old sweater project is the updated version of La Flor that I have been working on almost a year already, putting it aside when I wasn’t 100% happy about it. For some reason I always saw La Flor as the perfect sweater to experiment with fiber, and when Wool and the Gang sent me their new yarn – Take Care Mohair! – for the review, I knew that was it – the perfect match! It is easy to knit and the gauge can be adjusted to the new yarn weight. But with mohair it is a little bit different – it is definitely not the fiber that you can use for any stitch pattern, but for some reason I was sure that it would work with La Flor one way or another.

Textured sweater pattern. The Gift of Knitting

Just like I thought knitting the pattern as it is didn’t give me the effect I was looking for, so I decided to change some things and in a way simplify the pattern to make it more suitable for more types of yarn. After playing around with stitch placement, I finally found the fabric that I loved – and now new La Flor is growing on the needles pretty steadily. It is the softest and squishiest thing ever!!! I only hope you can feel it through the photos. Take Care Mohair by Wool and the Gang is extremely light, but because of the nature of the thread, it has some volume that allows you to knit it on pretty big needles – I am using 7 mm (which is around 10.5 US size). As soon as I finish the sweater, I will make sure to add these adjustments as the extra pattern material, so you can experiment and knit familiar La Flor, but in different fibers.

Textured sweater pattern. The Gift of Knitting

Textured sweater pattern. The Gift of Knitting


This summer my friends from Wool and the Gang sent me one more package to review one of their most popular yarn lines – Crazy Sexy Wool. Super bulky and extremely soft Peruvian wool. Out of 30+ shades, I chose the neutral Ivory White (I know, I am sooo predictable 🙂 ).

Wool and the Gang, Crazy Sexy Wool . The Gift of Knitting.

For being that thick – you get 2 sts per 1″ – the thread is light, because of the nature of its spun. This spun has its disadvantages though – I know that it will start pilling pretty soon, but I can live with that – I have my sweater brush to put my knits back in order 🙂

Wool and the Gang, Crazy Sexy Wool . The Gift of Knitting.

And great news is that these bulky yarn balls inspired my to pick up my crochet hook and I am extremely happy with my swatches – will show you more as soon it is going to take some more wearable shape!

Wool and the Gang, Crazy Sexy Wool . The Gift of Knitting.

Thank you, WATG, for making me a part of your fiber gang 🙂 We are also going to prepare some great giveaways for you soon, and that always makes me happy!

I hope you will have a wonderful day today with your loved ones!


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By | 2018-02-15T21:22:54+00:00 October 29th, 2017|Knitting, Work in Progress|14 Comments

Wheat Sweater. Photo Album.

Wheat Textured Sweater Pattern by The Gift of Knitting

Happy Wednesday! Today I am sharing with you a visual story of a cozy merino sweater – Wheat from Vintage collection for Moeke Yarns. It was so amazing to see Nikki’s (@satellitejune) interpretation of it for the Doina lookbook photoshoot, but I couldn’t resist taking more knitwear photos as well. I love these photos, because they do have kind of vintage feel to it, just like the sweaters and yarn itself.

Wheat Textured Sweater Pattern by The Gift of Knitting

It is a true joy to see your projects growing on the needles and your versions of Wheat – I will never be able to express thorough words how it makes me feel! Thank you so much for sharing your progress – it is one of my favorite parts of creating knitwear – seeing how your idea sparkled something in a knitter and inspired her to pick up the needles and a skein of yarn!

Wheat Textured Sweater Pattern by The Gift of Knitting

Wheat, with its simple cable sleeves, slightly elongated back, shaped with short rows and loose gauge, that creates a nice drape and slightly oversize fit is perfect for everyday casual wear. It would be perfect for travelling when you need something cozy to wrap yourself into on the plane.

Wheat Textured Sweater Pattern by The Gift of Knitting

I am also very pleased to say that it fit perfectly one of my dearest women and I am more than happy to gift it to keep her warm and cozy! I know that she will cherish this sweater!

Wheat Textured Sweater Pattern by The Gift of Knitting

Wheat Textured Sweater Pattern by The Gift of Knitting

I hope to see more Wheats knit this season! Please, don’t forget that it is still not too late to join Moeke Yarns Ravelry group with your projects – there are amazing sponsors and great giveaways in the company of the most friendly and encouraging people!!!

Wheat Textured Sweater Pattern by The Gift of Knitting

Wheat Textured Sweater Pattern by The Gift of Knitting

I hope you enjoyed this little photo album and inspired to knit this sweater!

Wheat Textured Sweater pattern is available for $7

Thank you for your support!


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By | 2018-02-02T20:54:46+00:00 October 25th, 2017|Knitting, Pattern|11 Comments

Knitwear Review. London Fashion Week, Spring ’18

Knitwear Review. London Fashion Week. Spring/Summer 2018

Cardigan layers by Palmer Harding

London designers were very diverse as usual – there was everything from proper suits to absolutely crazy clothes-sculptures in all kinds of materials. The same tendency was reflected in knitwear pieces – classic beige sweaters, unusual constructions, unexpected mix of materials and colors – you’ll see it all.

Emilia Wickstead, Daks and Margaret Howell offer proper tops and classic sweaters paired with casual pants and skirts. Simple, practical and comfortable are probably the best words to describe these pieces.

Knitwear Review. London Fashion Week. Spring/Summer 2018

Knitwear Review. London Fashion Week. Spring/Summer 2018

But this kind of description of knitwear definitely doesn’t apply to the rest of the knitwear items that appeared during this season in London. The rest is pushing the boundaries in many forms.

Teatum Jones and Ports 1961 are changing the idea of how you can wear sweater sleeves.

Knitwear Review. London Fashion Week. Spring/Summer 2018

Preen by Thornton Bregazzi and Pringle of Scotland mixed knitwear with the fabric. If you look closely at the sweater by Preen, you will see that this is basically the collection of different swatches put together with the piece of fabric. Well, there is an idea what to do with all these swatches you have accumulated during all these years of knitting 🙂

Knitwear Review. London Fashion Week. Spring/Summer 2018

Christopher Kane mixes ruffles of fabric with simple rib knit dress and uses fancy yarns to create dresses. And Joseph creates the classic sweater, but spices it up with the super oversize fit and the use of bulky ribbon yarn of the uneven texture.

Knitwear Review. London Fashion Week. Spring/Summer 2018

Pringle of Scotland uses macrame, machine knitting and crochet for its summer knitwear line.

Knitwear Review. London Fashion Week. Spring/Summer 2018

A burst of color and graphic patterns. Chalayan sticks to the solid sunny color, layers and the mix of mesh pattern with the simple stockinette stitch.

Knitwear Review. London Fashion Week. Spring/Summer 2018

Stripes, rhombus, chevron and color blocking in many shapes, textures and stitch patterns by Emporio Armani, Marques’ Almeida, House of Holland and Markus Lupfer.

Knitwear Review. London Fashion Week. Spring/Summer 2018

Knitwear Review. London Fashion Week. Spring/Summer 2018

And finally the dresses, of course! Julien Macdonald uses all possible crafts – macrame, machine and hand knitting, crochet, weaving, etc – to create his fit forming super fancy dresses.

Knitwear Review. London Fashion Week. Spring/Summer 2018

And Teatum Jones creates basic rib knit dresses with the unusual sleeve set-in method.

Knitwear Review. London Fashion Week. Spring/Summer 2018

That’s it for London Fashion Week knitwear review! Definitely very contradictory selection, but I hope some details got your attention 🙂


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By | 2018-02-02T20:56:19+00:00 September 28th, 2017|Knitting, Knitwear Review Fashion Weeks|7 Comments

Rain Sweater. WAK Pima Cotton. FO Details

We Are Knitters Textured Sweater

Happy Sunday! I hope you are having a wonderful weekend! If you remember this summer I published one more visual yarn story with Pima cotton yarn by We Are Knitters. At that time I was so busy with my day job, life in general and finishing the patterns for Vintage collection that I was craving for some unplanned, unpredictable and easy going knit. I “blindly” cast on and dived into this experiment on-the-go.A couple of months later this sweater came off my needles.

We Are Knitters Textured Sweater

Project Details

[box size=”large” style=”rounded”]Pattern[/box]

Not that much planning was involved in this sweater. The only thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to use elongated slip stitches – I just loved the smooth stockinette stitch fabric created by Pima cotton yarn and I felt like the slip stitches will create these “drops” of texture that will stand out, but not interrupt the simple background stitch. And as I was a couple of rounds in the neckline, I had another idea – what if to turn the dropped stitches into travelling across the sweater pattern. As soon as I tried it, I loved it and the rest is history 🙂

The name for the sweater – Rain – came in the middle of the project. In my eyes the diagonal lines of the elongated dropped stitches looked like drops of rain running along the window on a gloomy day.

 

We Are Knitters Textured Sweater

[box size=”large” style=”rounded”]Yarn[/box]

Pima cotton by We Are Knitters. When WAK asked me to review one of their summer yarns, I knew pima cotton will be the perfect choice! This definitely my favorite type of cotton to work with – it;s amazing how soft and smooth it is and what beautiful fabric it creates – light, with crisp stitch definition and great drape! The other thing I wanted to point out is that the yardage for this yarn balls is so so so generous – I used just 3 (!!!) skeins for the whole sweater! I definitely have more that enough left for at least one more project!

We Are Knitters Textured Sweater

[box size=”large” style=”rounded”]Design Details [/box]

As this sweater was planned as a zen knitting project, I kept things very simple.

We Are Knitters Textured Sweater

Minimal neckline shaping that looks something between round neck or boat neckline, top down raglan construction with longer armholes for a relaxed fit, minimal shaping in the body and classic i-cord finishing.

We Are Knitters Textured Sweater

My favorite detail of this sweater is sleeves – the elongated travelling drop stitch pattern used for the central panel in the main body mirrored in on the sleeves, running from the elbow all the way down to the cuff. I think it not only creates an interesting design detail, but also makes it so much more fun to knit the sleeves – you will be addicted to see how the “rain drops” are being painted by your needles.

We Are Knitters Textured Sweater

We Are Knitters Textured Sweater

Thank you, We Are Knitters, for this fun collaboration! I really hope I’ve managed to show the beauty of this fiber in this sweater.

We Are Knitters Textured Sweater

[box size=”large” style=”rounded”]Test Knitting[/box]

If you like the sweater, please, let me know if you’d like to see it turned into the pattern and if you are interested in test knitting it. I will use my notes that I’ve made along the way and will finish the first draft of the pattern for Monday, October 2nd. Test knitting basically involves knitting the piece, sending me your notes/suggestions along the way and taking photos of the progress and the final piece and creating the Ravelry project page with all the notes and photos. You can also post about it on your Instagram account and the blog, if you have one. The deadline for finishing the sweater (including your photos of the finished piece and your notes) will be for Monday, November 13th (6 weeks from October 2nd). If you think, you can make it, please, send me an email at alina@giftofknitting.com or Ravelry message. Thank you so much!

We Are Knitters Textured Sweater

Have a wonderful Sunday!


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By | 2017-09-24T06:58:20+00:00 September 24th, 2017|Finished Objects, Knitting, Pattern|9 Comments

Knitwear Review. New York Fashion Week, Spring ’18

Knitwear Review. New York Fashion Week, Spring 18.

Knit Cardigan. Simon Miller

The season of fashion weeks has started and I am keeping a close watch on the knitwear pieces appearing in designers’ collections. Most of the them are not devoted to knitwear per se, but there is always something to find and see how knitwear is incorporated in the whole look. As usual, New York designers are edgy, unconventional and a little bit on the crazy side. Let’s see what techniques, forms and stitches are being used for the upcoming spring, 2018.

The tendency that seemed to prevail during New York fashion week was to combine classic knitwear sweaters in neutral shades with more elevated pieces like sparkly skirts, romantic dresses, high-waisted pants and even ball gowns. The main focus is on the material – cashmere, angora, wool, cotton…

Sally LaPointe, Brandon Maxwell and Brock Collection:

Knitwear Review. New York Fashion Week, Spring 18.

Knitwear Review. New York Fashion Week, Spring 18.

Knitwear Review. New York Fashion Week, Spring 18.

More casual sport looks were created with loose and off the shoulder sweaters made in variety of techniques, including intarsia, brioche and embroidery.

Monse, Baja East and Dion Lee:

Knitwear Review. New York Fashion Week, Spring 18.

Knitwear Review. New York Fashion Week, Spring 18.

The collections are made for spring, so cropped tops were in abundance, in all their shapes and colors.

Knitwear Review. New York Fashion Week, Spring 18.

Brandon Maxwell, Zimmerman and Milly

Zadig and Voltaire played with color stripes and gradients.

Knitwear Review. New York Fashion Week, Spring 18.

Michael Kors offers to match the color of your knitwear to the rest of the outfit.

Knitwear Review. New York Fashion Week, Spring 18.

Knitwear Review. New York Fashion Week, Spring 18.

Graphic designs created with intarsia and stripes by Colovos and Zimmerman

Knitwear Review. New York Fashion Week, Spring 18.

Though it’s spring season, I still managed to find some cable knitting! Matthew Adams cable skirts are definitely something new!
Knitwear Review. New York Fashion Week, Spring 18.

Knitwear Review. New York Fashion Week, Spring 18.

Prabal Gurung and Adam Lippes cable sweaters

I am happy to see that crochet dresses keep appearing in every spring/summer season. Beautiful craftsmanship by Jonathan Simkhai, Ulla Johnson and The Row.

Knitwear Review. New York Fashion Week, Spring 18.

Knitwear Review. New York Fashion Week, Spring 18.

That’s it for New York fashion week knitwear review! Next stop is London, let’s see what UK designers come up with in terms of knitwear!

Have a great day today!

P.S. All photos are courtesy of Vogue.com


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By | 2017-09-28T08:32:25+00:00 September 20th, 2017|Knitting, Knitwear Review Fashion Weeks|6 Comments

Vintage Collection

Cable sweater knitting pattern

Happy Sunday! If you are following me on Instagram and Ravelry, you already know that Doina knitwear collection for Moeke Yarns is live! To say that we are all excited is to say nothing! It just feels so good to present the result of many many months of work, we’ve been through quiet a few bumps along the way, but at the end it did work out great. So, today I would like to tell you a little bit about my contribution. At the moment the sweaters are flying from the photo shoot with the talented photographer @satellitejune back to me and I’ll be excited to get back to them and create my own visual knitwear stories for you to enjoy here 🙂

My contribution for Doina is Vintage collection that includes Heritage, Ivy and Wheat sweaters. It took me awhile to come up with the name for the collection, but as it often happens to me, this kind of things come to me spontaneously. Our initial idea with Ioana was to create designs that would become staple wardrobe pieces, timeless and wearable. And so I thought how great it would be to make sweaters that will be knit by you and stay in your family for a very long time and become “vintage” one day. I know for sure, Moeke yarn can definitely handle the wear well! This is my little dream 🙂

Heritage

Seamless sweater pattern with the travelling cable and 1×1 rib side panels.

Textured Sweater Pattern

You are already familiar with this sweater. It was quiet amazing to see the response to this design – thank you so much for all the love and support sent my way!!! Love to see its growing project gallery and your mods (what a smart sleeve detail)! Looking forward to see more pieces flying off your needles!

Ivy

Seamless turtleneck cable sweater.

This design took me more time than Heritage and Wheat put together. I knew for sure I wanted to create a cozy turtleneck with the eye catching cable panel running in the center of teh front and back, but to find the perfect stitch combination was not easy, nothing felt quiet right for a while. There were 20+ swatches rejected – I just couldn’t catch this “aha” moment that I am always looking forward to in any design. Only after a couple of months of daily swatching, I finally came up with the stitch combination that I knew would work for it.

Ivy is a top-down turtleneck sweater with the yoke shaped as the compound raglan. For your convenience the yoke shaping is written out individually for each size in a concise manner that is easy to follow. The sweater is knit holding two threads of yarn to create a cozy warm fabric. The cable panel is running in the center of the body both at the front and back. The “background” fabric is knit in basic stockinette stitch. The hem features two small side slits for a better fit and the back is slightly longer than the front.

Depending on the amount of ease you choose, wear it as a fitted piece or as a cozy oversize sweater!

Wheat

Seamless sweater pattern with the simple cable running along the sleeves.

Cable sweater knitting pattern

Moeke merino yarn is extremely soft and delicate and I wanted to make justice to it and show it off in a simple way. Slightly uneven thread creates beautiful fabric. Wheat is a top-down sweater with the yoke shaped as the compound raglan, which creates a natural line running along the shoulder – something between the classic raglan and set-in sleeve. For your convenience the yoke shaping is written out individually for each size in a concise manner that is easy to follow. The body of a sweater is knit in basic stockinette stitch and the back is shaped with the help of short rows, which results in a slightly elongated shape at the back.The hem is trimmed with the twisted i-cord that creates a nice texture contrast with the stockinette stitch body. The main detail is the simple cable panel running along the sleeves. If you are new to cables, this will be the perfect project to learn – the cable twists are very simple and the instructions provided are both in visual chart and written form.

Please, join us in Moeke Ravelry group and share your projects – there will be amazing giveaways with the prizes from the sponsors!!

Thank you for your support and I hope you will have a wonderful day!

As for me we are getting ready for the storm, hopefully it won’t hit us too hard! What a crazy weather this season!


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By | 2017-10-26T10:54:00+00:00 September 17th, 2017|Knitting, Pattern|19 Comments
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