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Knitwear Review. London Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
Knitting Inspiration

Knitwear Review. London Fashion Week, Fall/Winter 2017.

Knitwear Review. London Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
Rib Knit Dress by Teatum Jones

Happy Monday! I hope you had a wonderful weekend and ready to start a new week! Today I continue to share with you knitwear pieces that appeared in new F/W ’17 collections. This time we “travel” to London. I was interested to see what designers might come up with, as London is famous for its diverse culture. To my surprise there were not that many knit items in each collection as you might expect for cold season, but I managed to find some to show you here.

Basics. Many designers preferred to keep it simple and don’t experiment. As a result there were a lot of basic knits that are easy to knit and wear. I think we, sweater knitters, all have/had at least one such piece on the needles – classic shape, easy stitches and simple colors.

Knitwear Review. London Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
Daks and Margaret Howell

A little bit more color from Jasper Conran. I am in love with the striped sweater. It looks so cozy and soft! Perfect for simple jeans and long walks. I especially like the stripe sequence – this is my weakest side in knitting and I am always interested to see how others play with colors.

Knitwear Review. London Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
Jasper Conran

Eudon Choi showed big chunky sweaters (looks like they are knit in fisherman’s rib) in simple earthly shades. The detail that attracted my attention is the neckline – something between classic crew neck and  turtle neck.

Knitwear Review. London Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
Eudon Choi

Color. I’ve found some interesting interpretations of the colorwork in several shows.

House of Holland and Huishan Zhang used graphic motifs and intarsia. The black-and-white sweater knit in angora or mohair looks pretty striking – such a sharp contrast. If we look closely on Zhang’s cardigan and sweater, we could notice that after the pieces were knit, each diamond’s contour is stitched with contrasting color – quiet interesting visual effect.

Knitwear Review. London Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
House of Holland and Huishan Zhang

Three ways to work with color by Teatum Jones and Joseph:

  • Stripes – sweater is knit in horizontal ribbing stripes with the contrasting thinner year running between rows.
  • Intarsia – pretty impressive and very hard to execute color work! But it offers so many possibilities!
  • Color blocking – cable sweater is “cut” in two pieces by contrasting colors. This is a great idea if you don’t have enough yarn for the whole sweater. I also thought it might look good with gradient effect.
Knitwear Review. London Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
Teatum Jones and Joseph

Extravagance. As usual, there are extravagant and over-the-board pieces to be found – designers usually use them to create an image/mood for the show and demonstrate the materials and stitches. What usually happens is that after the show the designers leave just some details from the piece (stitch pattern/colorwork/etc) to produce more wearable items based on these extravagant show samples.

Ports 1961 and Joseph used super chunky yarns and extremely oversize shapes.

Knitwear Review. London Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
Ports 1961 and Joseph

Fashion East threw on a real textile show! They mixed colors, different yarns, shapes to expand textile/knit boundaries and see what can be done with yarn. Though none of these pieces is wearable, they still remind that the knit/crochet stitches are so diverse and can be turned into anything your imagination allows!

Knitwear Review. London Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
Fashion East

Asymmetry. Burberry showed asymmetrical/multiple layers cable sweaters in neutral shades. Cables “run” in different directions mixing in with different stitch patterns. This effect can be achieved by knitting several pieces and seaming them afterwords, like the patchwork/quilt technique.

Knitwear Review. London Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
Burberry

That’s it for London knitwear review! I hope you’ve found here something interesting and eye-catching.

P.S. All photos are courtesy of Vogue.com and Vogue.co.uk


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Mohair Flor

Mohair Sweater

There are yarns and projects that seem to take their time before turning into a finished knit piece. My beautiful skeins of Take Care Mohair have been in my yarn basket for a couple of months now, I have been swatching with it, putting it aside, looking and comparing swatches and imagining what they would become one day. This yarn is so airy and light that I wanted to knit something very special with it, but at the same time quiet simple.

Mohair Sweater

Meanwhile my La Flor sweater has been on the “cast-on” list for over 6 months. You know how I like experimenting and modifications and ever since I published La Flor, I really wanted to recreate it in a completely different fiber – something super soft, with subtle, almost blurred stitch definition. The choice of yarn can change the look of the same pattern drastically!

So, one day I was going through my stash thinking what might work and then I saw my mohair basket full of swatches… I thought it was perfect – textured La Flor‘s stitch looks very different on fabric created by mohair, the stitch definition is very subtle, almost imperceptible.

Mohair Sweater

I am using 7 mm needles and it knits up incredibly quickly! I am playing around with different stitch placements and taking my time to figure out if this is the perfect yarn/pattern marriage. As usual, I want to step back for a week and see if I still like the result enough to cast on, though it is definitely a challenge – I like it so much right now that want to cast on immediately! But I learned the hard way that the first excitement can be deceptive and it’s important to step back for a couple of days.

Mohair Sweater

It’s been awhile since I shared my current read. After Julian Barnes’ superb language style, it was very hard to find anything that I might enjoy just as much. Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 was definitely the right choice – I like the plot and, the most important part for me, the language. Just beautiful, even a few pages a day is a true joy!

Mohair Sweater

I hope you are having a beautiful week! I will see you at Yarn Along today!


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Knitwear Review. New York Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
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Knitwear Review. New York Fashion Week, Fall/Winter 2017.

Knitwear Review. New York Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
Fair Isle sweater by Adam Lippes

I never skip the opportunity to see new and unusual knitwear pieces and get inspired. It’s Fall/Winter 2017 fashion weeks season in the world of vogue and I thought it would be interesting to see what knitwear ideas the designers come up with in the new season. Several months ago I already shared NYFW spring/summer knitwear review and that post spiked quiet a contradictory discussion on one of the Facebook pages. So, before I get to the review, I want to remind that the runway show is a show and a lot of pieces do look unwearable and quiet out of this world, but for me there is always something inspiring to be found – whether it is just a small detail on the sleeve or the whole sweater.

Classic. Simple, cozy, oversize casual sweaters paired with the skirt seem to be the thing in fall/winter 2017. Mohair pieces by Dion Lee look so incredibly soft and light – I would live in them! Neutral and subdued colors are perfect for these wardrobe staples. And these sweaters are so easy to knit, though to create such wonderful drape, you’d have to use a pretty thin yarn.

Knitwear Review. New York Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
Dion Lee and Victoria Beckham
Knitwear Review. New York Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
Nicholas K and Brock Collection

Colorwork. I very rarely work with fair isle and intarsia, but some of the pieces from the shows are so wonderful that I might reconsider soon! Such a great idea by 3.1 Phillip Lim to use a completely different in structure/color fiber for intarsia in the dark blue sweater. The pink dress looks like the work of patchwork with subtle grey intarsia details.

Knitwear Review. New York Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
3.1 Phillip Lim

A little bit more extreme work with color: fringes, multiple colors and intarsia motifs. I wouldn’t recreate the whole sweater like these ones, but I would definitely love to add some fringe details to my sweaters!

Knitwear Review. New York Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
Zadig & Voltaire and Cinq a Sept

One more color techniques that attracted my attention – intarsia combined with embroidery and different materials. Victoria Beckham (in the middle) mixed knitting and sewing in one sweater – there are patches of knit stitches and the usual sewing fabric. I think it is a great way to experiment!! Delpozo went further and combined classic intarsia with beads, feathers and other unusual materials. Personally I would knit a simple grey sweater and embroider it with silver beads – definitely saving this idea for future projects!

Knitwear Review. New York Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
Victoria Beckham and Delpozo

Tory Burch is also giving us interesting ideas for color knitting. The green sweater’s yoke is work inside out showing all the floats. This is not the first time I see designers using the wrong side of the fair isle as the public one and I really love the effect created – the color pattern becomes slightly blurred. I also like the unusual stripes placement in the sweater in the middle, definitely worth taking a note!

Knitwear Review. New York Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
Tory Burch

Öhlin/D and Whit presented wonderful sweaters – simple and classic shapes with very beautiful color play. The first sweater is knit using the usual fair isle technique and then contrast color knitted stripes are woven into the fabric – love it!

Knitwear Review. New York Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
Öhlin/D and Whit

Carolina Herrera is classic and feminine, as usual. Colorful, but monochrome sweaters with a bit of texture and classic fit. Would knit and wear all of them!

Knitwear Review. New York Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
Carolina Herrera

More subtle colors and textures from Sies Marjan and Eckhaus Latta. Though the sweater in the middle is menswear I would definitely cuddle in it – love the neckline and the textured sleeves.

Knitwear Review. New York Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
Sies Marjan and Eckhaus Latta

Neutral knits were also abundant. Those knits by Brandon Maxwell, Michael Kors and Oscar de la Renta are quiet extravagant – cropped shape with exaggerated shoulders, one sleeve sweater paired with a sleeve scarf (that is definitely something new!) and super oversize sweater with extra long sleeves.

Knitwear Review. New York Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
Brandon Maxwell, Michael Kors and Oscar de la Renta

More neutrals by Oday Shakar and Sachin & Babi. The sweaters are wearable and very beautiful – classic crewneck knit in yarn with a sheen, bell sleeves and casual cable sweater. I would definitely knit the last one!

Knitwear Review. New York Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
Oday Shakar and Sachin & Babi

One of my favorite neutrals is this simple and elegant dress by Lela Rose – look at the cable combined with beads details!

Knitwear Review. New York Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
Lela Rose

Two sweaters that attracted most of my attention are by Prabal Gurung – though the shapes of the sweaters are quiet extreme, the details are mesmerizing! Cables, fringe, ribbing, beads – so many unusual details!

Knitwear Review. New York Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
Prabal Gurung

Two simple, wearable and knit inspiring sweaters by J. Crew and Adam Lippes. I love the yoke on the blue sweater – such a classic, yet modern design. And the beautiful travelling ribbing on white sweater is going on my to try list!

Knitwear Review. New York Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
J. Crew and Adam Lippes

J. Crew created a truly wonderful collection – light, feminine and very wearable and “knitable”. Off the shoulder cozy grey sweater is on my must-knit list for ages! And what an unusual way of combining fair isle and cables in green pullover! Absolutely beautiful!

Knitwear Review. New York Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
J. Crew

That’s it for NYFW review and I hope you’ve found here something interesting, something inspiring and maybe something funny 🙂 Fashion week is in London right now and I am definitely going to watch out for more knits!

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


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Crochet Valentine

Crochet Hearts

I am not a big Valentine’s Day girl and I don’t think I’ve ever made anything Valentine’s related, except for the obligatory paper cards we had to make at school :), but this year I decided to join Meredith (who is such a big inspiration for me!!!) from One Social Girl for her #TheSocialHeartProject. Her idea is to crochet/knit/sew/etc a little heart, attach a sweet and encouraging note to it and put out there, in the world. It doesn’t have to be romantic, it’s just a note of kindness that might brighten a day of someone… I also had an idea to attach notes of gratitude and put them everywhere in the house and every time you find one of them, you’ll be reminded of the good things you already have in your life.

I knew exactly what yarn I am going to use for the crochet hearts – my December KnitCrate had the perfect yarn surprise for me! I can finally show it to you – I am being very careful of not revealing the monthly package content too early so I don’t spoil the surprise for any other KnitCraters 🙂

KnitCrate

December package brought two very generous skeins of Baa Baa Bulky Merino by Ewe Ewe Yarns, two hat patterns (for beginner’s – Shaggy Beanie; for more advanced knitters – Pineapple Expressions) and delicious dark cocoa. What a treat!

KnitCrate

I tried the yarn right away, because this is what happens when I get something new – I just have to get familiar with it before it can join my yarn basket. Baa Baa Bulky Merino has a great bounce, knits like butter and creates a great stitch definition. It will be perfect for baby knits, as it’s washable and isn’t itchy. Though if you are strongly against superwash yarns, it is not for you. I also tried it with the basic single crochet stitch and it worked really nice – afghans are definitely a great project for this yarn.

KnitCrate

If this is the first time you hear about this monthly surprise yarn project, you can read my full review with all the pros and cons here – Monthly Knitting Santa. KnitCrate Review. And don’t forget that you can always use my special 20% discount code for your first KnitCrateGOK20.

So, back to the crochet hearts. They are so addictive to make. You think of making 8, maybe 10, but end up with 20 of them! I used the pattern that Meredith shared on her Facebook page along with the step-by-step video tutorial – you will see how easy it is. I actually timed myself and one heart took me approximately 1 min 45 sec to make. It will also be a great project for all the scrap yarns that we all have and that are too good to throw away.

Crochet Hearts

If you prefer knitting, then there are tons of patterns out there – simple garter stitch heart or a lace heart, for example. You can also share your photos on social media with #TheSocialHeartProject hashtag. Spread the love! Thank you, for a great idea, Meredith!

Happy Sunday!


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Ode to Heritage

Moeke Yarns. Heritage.

Getting to know yarn during the swatch process, taking photos of the beautiful skeins is the best way for me to get inspired not just in craft, but also in life in general. I’ve been so busy these last months feeling like I am doing it all, but not really finishing anything, that I just needed a quiet weekend morning with my camera, some flowers and yarn – it’s like a meditation for me. I hope you will also enjoy this little photostory and pick your needles today…

Moeke Yarns. Heritage.

I didn’t think that I would love any other Moeke yarn more than I love Elena, but when I started swatching with the new batch of Heritage yarn, my heart skipped a beat. What a fiber…

The new batch is slightly thinner and softer than the one I am using for my blanket and it creates such a wonderful fabric – with subtle neutral color variations, amazing drape and lightness. It will make perfect season-less garment – it will be light and soft enough to wear next to the skin for a summer evening; and it will also make a great layer piece for colder months.

Moeke Yarns. Heritage.

Even winding the skeins doesn’t feel monotonous – I just love watching how the thread is slipping through my fingers and how colors form into a beautiful and unique pattern…

Moeke Yarns. Heritage.

The swatching is over and I am quiet happy with the idea that I came up with, usually I am very critical and it takes me weeks to get the result that I like, but this time it went pretty smoothly and just clicked. Hope to show you the result as soon as I can!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Moeke Yarns. Heritage.

Looking forward to seeing your projects at Yarn Along today!


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How Sweaters Behave After Long-term Wear

Knitwear

Today I would like to come back to some of my old knits that I finished during the last 2-3 years. The reason for this little flashback is to talk about how these pieces of knitwear “behave” after a certain amount of time. Surely they all look fresh and crisp once fresh off the needles, but I think it is important to see them after they have been through lots of wear in “real” life. It will allow us to make some decisions about yarn/stitch pattern/shape for our next project. Sweaters are a big investment of time and money, so it is definitely worth analyzing the end result.

La Flor.

Yarn – Wool of the Andes (100% Peruvian Highland wool) by Knit Picks.

I can say that I’ve been wearing La Flor a lot – dog walks, road trips, running errands in town, cozying up in it during chilly mornings at home… It is been a year since I finished it, so it’s been enough time to see how it behaves.

The stitch pattern is still crisp and stands out against the stockinette stitch background; the shape hasn’t changed at all – it fits just the way it used to. Yarn started pilling a little bit on the hem and ribbing of the sleeves, but nothing drastic. Overall I am very happy with how it looks like after a year of wear.

Mineral Heather sweater.

Yarn – Wool of the Andes (100% Peruvian Highland wool) by Knit Picks.

I finished it in December, 2015 and have been wearing it a lot as well. The weird thing is that though the yarn is absolutely identical to the one I used for La Flor, pilling is so so much worse. Right now it is not so bad, but after the first month of wear the sweater was just covered in numerous tiny wool speckles. I had to use the razor every single time I wanted to wear it. Other than that the sweater is perfect after a long time of wear – holds its shape, the color didn’t fade at all, the ribbing is also in its place. So, I would definitely recommend Wool of the Andes, it is a great wool!

Knitwear
La Flor and Mineral Heather

Gesture.

Yarn – The Baby Wool (100% Baby Alpaca) by We Are Knitters.

The yarn was so lush to work with – incredible soft and silky. The sweater also turned super soft and cozy. I’ve worn it a lot in the house, during walks and was basically living in it during my trip to Saint Petersburg. Finished in July, the sweater is 6 months old. Well, I can say for sure that there is a price to pay for its wonderful softness – it pills like crazy! If I wear it next to a back t-shirt, I have an alpaca t-shirt after that 🙂 Other than that it holds its shape and color  very well and I am still very happy to wear it, even with all the pilling.

Journey.

Yarn – Elena (100% organic wool) by Moeke Yarns.

Probably my most worn sweater since I finished it. I wear it on its own or under a jacket, over the past 6-7 months it’s been everywhere with me. I am super happy about how it looks and fits after all this time of use. The cables look exactly the same way – they didn’t stretch at all! And the yarn doesn’t pill at all – it literally looks like new! It is not the softest yarn in the world, that’s for sure, but what a sturdy and durable wool!

Knitwear
Journey and Gesture

Reindeer.

Yarn – Gloss DK (70% wool and 30% silk) by Knit Picks.

My Reindeer cardigan is more than one year old and it holds its cables and shape beautifully, though the yarn starts to look a little bit fuzzy will pills, so I will have to take care of it. But overall it is in beautiful shape and makes a great wardrobe staple!

Knitwear
Reindeer

Now let’s take a look at some of the pieces I made from plant fibers and see how they hold up! Plant fibers usually don’t pill, so if you take a good care of them they will always look like new. They do have their own drawbacks though…

Wildflower dress.

Yarn – Eulali (100% cotton) by Omega.

One of my first projects and my favorite crochet dress. I wear it quiet a lot during the summer; it’s 2,5 years old and it is perfect! The shape is exactly the same as it was when I just finished it – didn’t stretch at all and the color is not fading. I do take a very good care of it though – I wash it by hand and let it dry flat in the shade, so the sun doesn’t destroy its color. The yarn is pretty stiff, but it softens up after a few washes. The fact that I used a very small crochet hook also helped to keep the dress structured and not lose its shape.

Bamboo drape sweater.

Yarn – 100% bamboo (I don’t remember the company name unfortunately).

My two favorite things about this project are the drape and the color, both of them are in perfect condition. The only thing that might be bothering me is that it is very easy to get the pull/run in this fabric. And it will be really visible as the fabric is so sleek and smooth.

Soho Dress. Yarn – Lino (cotton/linen blend) by BBB filati.

One of my favorite projects. I must admit though that I haven’t been wearing it a lot for some reason, but from a few wears the fabric didn’t change, except for a little stretch in the underarm area. But I left it raw and didn’t trim it at all, so that might be the reason. I will have to come back and do that so it doesn’t grow more. But overall a great look after 1,5 years. This yarn is definitely a great investment!

Knitwear
From top to bottom: Wildflower Dress; Bamboo Drape; Soho Dress.

I hope this little overview helped you in some way and now you know what to expect more or less from the knitwear pieces you create from the similar yarns!

I hope you are having a great week!

See you at Yarn Along!


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