Yarn

/Yarn

Amiga Sweater. Yarn.

This weekend was quite… I spent most of it at home cleaning, reading, working on WIPs, planning new projects and yarn baking (that’s how I call yarn winding). Here’s what I played with this sunny Sunday.

Cotton Yarn

It’s been awhile since I’ve made something on my knitting machine, so I’m casting on something new – Amiga Sweater. It will be a basic plain stockinette stitch classic sweater with round neckline. As many of you know amiga means friend in Spanish (feminine gender). This sweater will be a small gift for my dear Elena. You already know Elena, she became a huge part of this blog with her beautiful photography of my FOs. She is the one who makes me climb the rocks and trees, walk in heels in arroyo, climb the mountains with air balloons, wake up at dawn and – oh horror – look in the camera (my biggest fear I guess :))

There is a lot going on, we are both at the threshold of changes that the life is holding for us and we both need to take important decisions in our lives… Most probably we have only several weeks left together (nothing tragic!!!), so we try to enjoy this time as much as possible. Elena is going to travel to Russia this summer, so I thought a handmade custom knit sweater specially for her in soft cotton of teal color will be a perfect Thank you for all that we’ve been through together these several months.

Here are my freshly baked beauties.

Cotton Yarn

Just can’t get enough of them! This color reminds me of ocean – green or blue depending on light. So perfect for Elena’s blue eyes. The yarn is 100% Mexican cotton called Trigo (wheat in Spanish).  Incredibly soft!

Cotton Yarn

I want the sweater warm enough to wear in the plane, I know how cold it can get there. So I winded it double strand.

Cotton Yarn

The swatch was knit on a machine and this time I made sure it was big enough to avoid disasters of “misgauge” that I faced with Pure dress.

Cotton Yarn

I know I am going to enjoy working on this sweater a lot. It will be my 5.30 a.m. companion 🙂 It’s weird, but I just love to knit on my machine the first thing in the morning! I’m going to keep you posted on the progress!! Oh, and one more picture of this yarn – I am sorry, I just can’t get enough of these precious skeins!

Cotton Yarn

I hope you had a wonderful creative weekend!


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By | 2015-06-14T21:20:47+00:00 June 14th, 2015|Machine Knitting, Work in Progress, Yarn|16 Comments

Modification Series. Soho Dress. Part I.

My knitting monogamy wasn’t too long… I am still working on my Exploration Autumn, but when an email from Purl Soho with an announcement of a new pattern release came, I failed to resist.

I can totally justify it with following:

1. It’s Purl Soho and they never disappoint me.

2. The design is so ingeniously simple!

3.  I have a perfect stash yarn for this project. I’ve been breaking my head what to make with it for almost an year!

4. I wanted to join TTTKAL for the past week and this pattern is so perfectly perfect for it.

5. It is a free pattern, so why not?!

When I saw the pattern, I “saw” something different though. The pattern is amazing, but I want to modify it a little bit. It will be my new Modification Series experiment! Here is what I plan to do:

– I saw it in two colors. I am thinking to make a side purl panel in contrasting color.

– I am going to convert this tank in a dress. I know, I am incorrigible, it’s all about dresses. But it’s been awhile since I hand knit a dress, so I can indulge myself.

– The yarn will be of slightly different weight, so is the fiber content, hence the gauge will be different and I’ll have to make all the numbers all over again, but I don’t mind it – I actually enjoy it!

The yarn for this project is so special to me.

Yarn

I plan to knit the main body in linen/cotton blend – beautiful Italian yarn I got during my trip to Russia last summer. It’s been almost an year!

Yarn

I bought it in my home town’s LYS. It was my favorite yarn place, where I spent all my student money. I will always remember it…

Yarn

For the small side purl block I will use a skein from Araucania Yarns – a gift from my dear friend from her trip to Alaska 2(!!) years ago – seriously deep stash! Chaiten Solid is absolutely gorgeous 100% hand dyed silk, raw made in Italy and hand dyed in Chile. It’s such a special yarn that no pattern seemed to do full justice to it. It creates such an amazing fabric!

Yarn

I really wanted to use it in a garment rather than an accessory, but the yardage wasn’t enough. The idea to mix it up with linen/cotton blend in one garment came to me only when I saw the pattern from Purl Bee. I feel like both types of yarn and a pattern were waiting for each other to be brought together in this future dress.

Yarn

I named it Soho Dress. Let’s see where this modification experiment will take me! I will keep you posted on a progress!


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By | 2015-05-28T16:34:41+00:00 May 24th, 2015|Knitting, Work in Progress, Yarn|18 Comments

Exploration Autumn and Other Gifts Of Knitting

This week was weird… I spent most of it at home taking it easy. I feel much better now and ready to get back to work tomorrow. Being sick and locked up at home never bores me – a good book, yarn and needles/crochet hook are always by my side. It’s been awhile since I had to stay in bed almost all day and not run around. It felt nice. At one point I even felt a little bit guilty of enjoying my quiet time at home too much.

Gifts of knitting have been happening here. You might already know that I am slightly obsessed with Woolful podcast, trying to catch up with it every week. I was over the moon when I opened one of the episodes several weeks ago and saw that Alina won a pair of wooden needles from Brittany. I couldn’t believe it, so I checked every single comment on the previous post, but failed to find any other Alina there. Then I started jumping, seriously. It’s the first time ever I win something in a giveaway. This Saturday my “bundle of joy” arrived.

Knitting needles

Brittany needles are so smooth! Made by an environmentally-minded company from sustainably harvested birch, these needles come with an amazing story of a very hardworking family – Chris and Michri. It definitely shows that the needles were made with love and attention to every detail. Look how beautiful they are!

Knitting needles

Thank you, Ashley, for this giveaway!

Other gifts. July is not that far away that’s why I am working hard on knitting gifts for my favorite women in the world. Deep End for my Mom is cast off and is waiting to be blocked. Now it’s time for my dear Granny Lidia. She’s recovering right now from a knee replacement surgery and I have a sting in my heart every time I talk to her. She’s doing great, but I feel that she misses me terribly. Believe me, so do I… Being an ocean away keeps me from hugging her, spending a quiet evening listening to stories from her youth and enjoying the best cottage cheese pancakes in the world! There is no better way for me to say “I love you so much! Thank you for everything!” than with a handknit piece.

I chose Exploration Station pattern. It’s a fun project that gives you so many opportunities to experiment with your yarn stash. The original color palette is a little bit too sharp for my taste. Choosing colors is not my strong side and I love how Stephen helps with it – “Think about these colors as a family. If A color is a mom or dad, then colors B, C, D are the kids.” It was very helpful. I think it’s really important for the designers to include the logic behind choosing colors in the patterns. Not every knitter, me included, has a natural “feeling” for color.

So, I found my  color “family”.

Yarn Knit Picks

My Granny has the most beautiful, kind (and yes, maybe I am being a little bit biased here 🙂 ) hazel eyes in the world.I just can see her wearing it during Russian autumn when the world changes to red, yellow, brown and dark green – gosh I miss it! So, I am renaming Exploration Station to Exploration Autumn.

Yarn Knit Picks

The yarn I am going to work with is also a gift, from lovely Kelley. Kelley, thank you so much for helping to make this gift even more special! Palette, 100% Peruvian highland wool from Knit Picks in beautiful autumn colors – Sweet Potato, Salsa Heather, Tidepool Heather and Semolina. So lovely to knit with!

Yarn Knit Picks

I am really excited about this project! Will keep you posted on the progress!

Happy Sunday!


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By | 2016-04-10T08:51:45+00:00 May 17th, 2015|Knitting, Work in Progress, Yarn|11 Comments

New Dress Is On The Way

After the Violet Gift came off the machine, I got a new project to cast on. My very close friend Akiba asked me to make a birthday gift for a very special woman in her life. She thought a handmade dress will be the best way to show her appreciation and gratitude.

So, this week I was sketching, planning, choosing and winding yarn, knitting multiply swatches to find the perfect tension and breaking my head over the shape, neckline style and finished measurements of the future dress.

Machine Knitting

I am facing several difficulties. First of all, I’ve never met this lady in real life, so I don’t have the slightest idea what her measurements might be. Second of all, she lives in the USA and the dress is supposed to be a surprise which gives me zero chances to take any measurements myself or ask her to do it. The only information I have is my friend’s description of her body type, and her husband’s approximate notes of her height and weight. And from my personal experience men are not to be trusted in these questions. I have a picture of her where she wears like three layers of clothes. Not very helpful 🙂

It would be ok if I was going to make a sweater with a generous ease, but this is a dress. They can be completely unpredictable. My friend says that her friend prefers close-fitting garments and is very particular how they fit her. Great. I have no space for mistakes.

I literally have dreams about this dress. Two days ago the whole finished image came to me in a dream, I am not exaggerating – I really saw every single detail of it. I called my friend and described how I see the final design, yarn and color. She says this is so her style! Ok. This part is over.

Next. Measurements. As I said I have some reference points, again, based on assumptions and not the real measurements. So I started to look for standard measurements in hope to find some clues what I am supposed to get at the end. Oh, boy. Why, why do people call standard measurements “standard”, if all these standards are different from one another and one standard can be absolutely out of standard in other standards?!! I think it’s obvious now that I am freaking out about this dress. 🙂

I have one week left (!!!) to finish the dress and it seems like I am going to make it at nights as my day job is so crazy right now. No need to panic… At least that’s what I repeat to myself.

Anyway. I have the following ready:

  • Skeins of beautiful 100% cotton of my favorite neutral color

Machine Knitting

  • Final measurements with ease that I am still not 100% sure about, but I just don’t have time left to recheck and “retweak” all the numbers. So, my only option is to follow them and hope for the better.
  • The sketch of the dress.

What is left:

  • To do all the math, I hope to finish it tomorrow.
  • Knit a dress on the machine
  • Block the dress
  • Put it together by hand
  • Add finishing touches by hand

One. Week. I think I need a big piece of chocolate cake. And milk, please.

Off to my knitting machine. Wish me luck 🙂

Machine Knitting

 I hope you had a lovely weekend!


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By | 2015-05-22T21:09:54+00:00 April 26th, 2015|Machine Knitting, Work in Progress, Yarn|14 Comments

Gifts of Knitting. New Old Yarn and Giveaway.

Something absolutely amazing, magical and mind-blowing happened to me last week! And only knitters will understand how amazing, magical and mind-blowing it was!

Ok, you already know that I happen to live in Mexico right now, in town with no yarn. Sounds scary, right? Getting new and good yarn is a real challenge for me, but most of all I am frustrated about the fact that I am a lonely knitter, absolutely devoid of the company of other knitters, of the opportunity to attend any fiber related events and yarn stores. So, the last events seem absolutely incredible to me! The world is so small and full of miracles!

A couple of weeks ago three completely different women contacted me to say that they know one amazing knitter who happens to be in town right now and I absolutely have to meet her. It was so bizarre – these three women didn’t know each other, but thought about me during the same week and were kind enough to put me in touch with a fellow knitter. How amazing is that?!

What happened next was like a scene from the movie. These things just don’t happen in real life, at least in my life! 🙂 A fellow knitter turned to be Kelley! If you know Knit Picks, you know Kelley. Kelley and her husband founded this amazing yarn company in 2002. We met, we talked and talked and talked, about everything “knitty” and “yarny” in this world! My friend who came with me was a little bit lost – she couldn’t understand the most we were talking about 🙂 We really spoke one language – yarn, knitting, crocheting, favorite knitting blogs and designers and so on and so forth… It was so fascinating for me to have somebody in “real life” to talk to and share my passion!

Kelley knows better than I do how hard it is to get yarn in Mexico. The choice is basically restricted to cotton, which is pretty good quality, and acrylic. She offered me her stash yarn that she probably won’t be able to use. What?! Yarn?! For me?!!! I must be dreaming! To cut a long story short, I found myself with this treasure.

yarn

How, how, how is it even possible?!!

I admit. I cried. I’ve never ever in my life touched such a beauty. I’ve read about it, I saw pictures, I dreamed about it, but I’ve never even put my hands on this kind of yarn – Peruvian highland wool, merino wool, silk, alpaca… All these words were filling my dreams, but not my hands. I was so touched by Kelley’s generosity, openness and desire to share her knowledge! I promise to put this treasure in good use! What an incredible gift, a gift of knitting, to find a new friend who shares your passion…

And I have a gift of knitting for you! Lovely Julie from Knitted Bliss is offering you a copy of her new cowl design that I had a pleasure to test knit.

Knitting Cowl

Hyperballad cowl pattern gives you the opportunity to work with beautiful cables and lovely texture of broken rib stitch. In one pattern you will find instructions how to make two cowls. The smaller cowl will use only 1 skein of DK yarn, a perfect project for leftover yarn! With just two skeins you will be able to make a bigger version to wrap yourself in its gorgeous cables!

To enter this giveaway leave a comment below and let me know –  will this cowl become a gift for you or for somebody else? The winning comment, randomly chosen, will be announced on Friday, 24th of April!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend!


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By | 2016-04-10T08:52:54+00:00 April 19th, 2015|Yarn|34 Comments

New Beginnings. Deep End Shawl.

New beginnings…
Knitting YarnThis yarn pyramid is about to be turned into Deep End shawl. The pattern was in my Ravelry queue for many weeks and I am happy to finally get to it. It will be an in-between project to work at during road and hiking trips and casual no-brainer knitting time. After rummaging in my stash I found local 100% cotton yarn – Eulali. I am going to use five colors instead of six recommended in the pattern, as nothing else seems to match.

Knitting YarnThe shawl will be a part of Andi’s KAL, April is the last month so I better hurry up with it! Summer is just two months away which means I have to really start working on gift knitting for my dear family – this July I am planning to send a parcel with handknits to my Grannies and Mom in Russia. I feel sad of not being able to visit this year. The most that I can do is to put all the love and warmth of my hands in each stitch… The shawl will be perfect for my dear Mom!

Knitting YarnThe colors are so fresh and all about spring! I think this is the first time I am using so many colors in one pattern and choosing them wasn’t easy! I feel like an artist with a palette of water colors 🙂

Knitting YarnThe pattern recommends 3.25mm (US 3) needles, well, knowing myself I went down to 2.5mm and the gauge is actually matching perfectly! Garter stitch, I missed you!

Knitting YarnI hope you had a lovely weekend!


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By | 2015-05-22T21:19:38+00:00 April 5th, 2015|Knitting, Work in Progress, Yarn|16 Comments
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