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Knitcrate
Knitting, Yarn

Embracing Color

Knitcrate

We are almost half way through March (how did it happen?!) and I am finally free to show the contents of my January and February surprise yarn boxes! KnitCrate is such an out-of-the-comfort-zone-pusher for me – usually in the yarn store, I go straight to the shelf with neutrals and probably wouldn’t even consider most of the shades, but opening January and February boxes, I was “splashed” with colors! I am also super excited about February’s extra – lavender bath bomb by Etsy artisan Petting My Unicorn (I think the name is genius 🙂 ). Such a sweet and thoughtful item to add to the package…

Knitcrate
February Standard and Socks Box

I love how one small skein can sparkle the ideas. One of January’s skeins (far on the right) is a hand dyed worsted merino by ModeKnit Yarn. As soon as I saw it, I remembered that I have hand dyed lace weight skeins by Knit Picks in my stash that I wanted to mix in one of my projects, just like I did for the Gallery sweater – holding two strands of lace yarn together. I really loved the effect it created in Gallery and wanted to recreate something similar, but more playful and colorful. Though I wasn’t sure if the yardage was enough, that’s why i put it aside for awhile; but with this new worsted weight skein, I definitely have enough for a sweater! First I want to swatch on the knitting machine and experiment with different stripe sequence. Yay, super excited!

Knitcrate
“Shadow” by Knit Picks and ModeWerk Worsted by ModeKnit Yarn

February colors by Mrs. Crosby loves to play remind me of my Wall sweater… I am definitely going to use them together. I have an idea, but will have to check if the yardage will be enough. I wouldn’t add anything to this color combination – it is perfect as it is!

Knitcrate

As spring is definitely here, I am ready to dive more into colorful and playful shades in my knitting. It is always nice to change things a little bit once in awhile… Thank you, KnitCrate for an inspiration! If you ever decide to sign up for it or sign up your friend as a gift, make sure to use my special discount code GOK20 for 20% off your first package.

Knitcrate

I hope you are welcoming spring in your part of the world!

Have a wonderful day! Make sure to check Yarn Along for knitting and reading ideas!


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Knitwear Review. Paris Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017/2018
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Knitwear Review. Paris Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017/2018
Sweater by Chloé

This is my last knitwear review from Fall/Winter ’17/18. It’s been an amazing creative exercise for me to get to know so many ways of working with color, construction and fibers. In each piece I’ve found some details that I will try to explore and interpret in my own way in my knitting projects. Today I am sharing with you knitwear pieces from Paris.

Chanel showed basic sweaters and crochet+knitting+embellishment dress of classic shape.

Knitwear Review. Paris Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017/2018
Chanel

Sonia Rykiel presented a pretty big collection of outwear and sweaters with patchwork, inside out fair isle, asymmetric hems, lace and cables.

Knitwear Review. Paris Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017/2018
Sonia Rykiel

Chunky, oversize and exaggerated colorful sweaters from Balenciaga and Paul & Joe will definitely keep you warm.

Knitwear Review. Paris Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017/2018
Balenciaga and Paul & Joe

Textile performance by Undercover where fabric plays the main role. It is quiet amazing to see how knitting can take pretty much any shape! The designer wanted to let his creativity flow freely and present the utopia world where there is no judgement and where “everybody would be equal”.

Knitwear Review. Paris Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017/2018
Undercover

Paco Rabanne and Wanda Nylon showed cozy, loose and drapey sweaters, dresses, skirts and even pants.

Knitwear Review. Paris Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017/2018
Paco Rabanne and Wanda Nylon

Color was presented in form of intarsia, fair isle (note how the designer is interrupting the classic fair isle motif with the letters running along the yoke) ans stripes (this cozy, light mohair sweater would be my ideal stay-home-all-weekend sweater).

Knitwear Review. Paris Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017/2018
Isabel Marant, Loewe and Chloé

Unusual techniques – crochet bobble stripes, dropped stitches, gradient transition from knit to fabric. The last one is especially fascinating to watch – fair isle is gradually mixing in with light polka dot fabric and inch by inch changes into light skirt. If you are like me obsessed with exploring every single detail of the fabric, here are the links to high resolution photos that you can zoom in to see all the techniques up close – crochet cardigan and sweater-dress.

Knitwear Review. Paris Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017/2018
Loewe and Nehera

Basics always find their way into each season, there hasn’t been anything better invented yet.

Knitwear Review. Paris Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017/2018
Atlein, Paco Rabanne and Dries Van Noten

Dior created beautiful gradient shades of deep blue and textures. You can see more details how the bobbles form the pattern here, make sure to zoom in – bobble sweater.

Knitwear Review. Paris Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017/2018
Dior

This weekend I watched the documentary “Dior and I” about the behind the scenes process of creating collections. Though the movie is mostly about the creative director of the house, I fell absolutely in love with people in Dior’s atelier, who actually bring the ideas to life. I was amazed by their knowledge and skills, passion for textiles and fabric, and a great love for their craft. I especially found it fascinating that most of the crafters there have been working in atelier for decades, I only dream to have their skills one day!

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

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


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Textured Sweater Pattern
Knitting, Yarn

Pattern Writing Dilemmas

Textured Sweater Pattern

As I you already know, I am working on several patterns for Moeke 2017 knit collection that will be live in September. The first sweater knit in light Heritage yarn is almost ready, there is some ripping out/reknitting has to be done, but overall it’s done! The testing will start this week, you can follow the testing progress on Ioana’s and Sandra’s Instagram accounts.

I have love/hate relationships with actual pattern writing – I do enjoy the logic challenge, it’s like solving a puzzle, but grading… I think it is important to have as many sizes as possible available, so any knitter can make it for herself, but the grading part can become tricky at some point, especially if there is an unusual stitch placement involved. I am old-fashioned, I guess, and I like to use physical pen and paper before organizing everything into a systematic way on the computer. The funny thing is that when I come back to these scribbles after the pattern is done I can’t decipher it myself, but somehow during the actual process I manage to navigate in all these hectic notes.

Textured Sweater Pattern

The hardest part is to actually keep going and don’t get distracted by new projects and ideas, before the first one is done. At least this is how it works for me – I have to get done with one thing 100% before I allow myself to move to something different. I feel like it makes me stay more focused and not spread myself too thin. But just look at this lovely merino for my next project – how can you NOT get distracted?! Staying strong here 🙂 Only random swatching is allowed!

Textured Sweater Pattern

I am really looking forward to sharing with you all the projects I’ve finished over the last two months – I’ve never knitted so much in such a short period of time. But meanwhile, it is all about Heritage sweater and this absolutely gorgeous yarn…

Textured Sweater Pattern

That’s it for my weekly knitting update! What are you working on? Join Yarn Along to share your projects and reads! I am still reading “Catch-22″ and some non-fiction.

Have a great day!

And happy Women’s International Day!


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Sweater and cardigan by Laura Biagiotti

Designers at Milan fashion week didn’t disappoint – I’ve found 100+ knitwear pieces! All of them different and interesting in their own way. It was hard to choose the pieces for this review, I tried to group them and filter out the tendencies that seem to prevail.

Cropped sweaters. Cropped shapes with bell sleeves and very tight ribbing at the waist appeared in many collections in different interpretations – classic and elaborate stitches, bright and neutral colors, textured and plain fabric. They look quiet dramatic and remind me of 80’s  in some way.

Knitwear Review. Milan Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
Aquilano Rimondi, Les Copains, Fay
Knitwear Review. Milan Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
Philosophy di Lorenzo and Elisabetta Franchi

Back to Black. Though knitting with black yarn isn’t that fun, the result is definitely worth it – it will probably become the most versatile and wearable sweater in your wardrobe. Seems like oversize sweaters are still ruling the knitwear world and it is easy to understand – they are so comfy and cozy to snuggle in!

Knitwear Review. Milan Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
Les Copains and Krizia

Color was presented in all forms and shapes – stripes, intarsia, graphics, patchwork…

Missoni, known for its amazing work with color (just remember their famous chevron colorful patterns!), presented a knitwear collection that is bursting with color! There are dozens of knitwear pieces – sweaters, skirts, dresses, pants. If you are interested to see all of them, you can find the photo report here.

Knitwear Review. Milan Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
Missoni

Stripes never get old. I absolutely loved how Les Copains added contrasting color blocks to classic navy/white stripes. Alberta Ferretti makes the stripes gradually grow wider that creates unusual visual effect.

Knitwear Review. Milan Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
Les Copains and Alberta Ferretti

Graphics. Rhombus shapes by Versace are achieved by intarsia and sparkly embellishment over the finished sweater. Philosophy di Lorenzo created a beautiful blue/black contrasting piece – I never thought that I would like such a sharp color contrast in knit garment, but this one looks pretty harmonious.

Knitwear Review. Milan Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
Versace and Philosophy di Lorenzo

Intarsia. Designers are “drawing” with knit stitches all kinds of shapes and pictures! One angle intarsia looks so beautiful, but will be so hard to achieve – the body and the sleeve have to be perfectly aligned.

Knitwear Review. Milan Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
Krizia and Tods

Next three intarsia pieces are absolutely exquisite! The first grey sweater with the beautiful motifs on the folded collar is just stunning! The beach scene intarsia is a a piece of art to me – it is so hard to “translate” a picture into knit stitches. I would wear the last sweater every single day – I loved how fuzzy yarn created the blurred affect, looks like  beautiful oil painting…

Knitwear Review. Milan Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
Stella Jean, N21 and Alberta Ferretti

Messy Intarsia. When you don’t feel like weaving in ends… 🙂

Knitwear Review. Milan Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
Cristiano Burani and Laura Biagiotti

Embellishments. More and more designers mix embroidery with different materials on the knit fabric to add extra texture and sparkle.

Knitwear Review. Milan Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
Laura Biagiotti and Prada

Neutral Basics. My favorite trend 🙂 Classic, cozy, timeless pieces – knitwear at its best!

Knitwear Review. Milan Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
Laura Biagiotti

Basics with the twist. Traditional stitches, neutral conservative colors and unusual cut. The poncho-sweater is such a great alternative to a heavy coat.

Knitwear Review. Milan Fashion Week. Fall/Winter 2017
Jil Sander and Les Copains

That’s it for Milan’s knitwear review. So far it’s been my favorite collection of knits, we’ll see what Paris has to show next week.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

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


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Debbie Bliss. Paloma.
Yarn

Chainette Yarn

Debbie Bliss. Paloma.

Every time I talk to my Granny about knitting in times of her youth, I realize how lucky we are. She grew up and lived most of her life in times of the Soviet Union when the stores, any stores, were empty and you couldn’t get such things as furniture/clothes, forget about yarn! I remember her stories how she was waiting for a friend to come from Moscow to bring her yarn – pink acrylic skeins, very rough and pure quality, but it didn’t matter, it was actual yarn that was enough for a scarf and a hat. She considered herself very lucky – most of the times, she was just unraveling old sweaters to reuse the yarn.

So, each new and unusual skein for me is the reminder to be grateful for such small and simple things in our life such as original and beautiful yarn that bring so much joy! And I love to celebrate it with yarn “photostories” 🙂 One of my “fiber goals” for this year was to try unusual yarns, particularly the chainette yarn. It is quiet an unusual way to spun the fiber – the thread is basically a tube made of knit stitches, like a tiny i-cord.

Debbie Bliss. Paloma.

I have my precious skeins of cotton/silk blend by Rowan (that are waiting way too long to be turned into a sweater!) that are made using the similar technique, but very different from this Paloma alpaca/wool blend from Debbie Bliss. Rowan “flattened” the tube and wrapped it with thin silk thread; whether Paloma has a lot of volume and space inside the “tube”. Woolfolk yarn, that is on my must-try list, uses the similar technique to spun some of their gorgeous skeins.

Debbie Bliss. Paloma.

This technique creates a bulky yarn that knits incredibly fast, but the piece is so light  and airy that it feel like it was knit in DK. I guess it happens thanks to all the air trapped inside the thread.

The exciting thing is that this kind of spun can be done at home! I had this idea for a long time – the tube thread can be made from a very thin (lace/fingering weight) yarn using the i-cord maker! It will take time, of course, but if you have lace weight yarn in your stash and are scared to cast on a garments with it, because it will take quiet a lot of time, you can turn it into bulky chainette skein that will be perfect for cozy sweaters and quick to knit accessories. To speed up the process check this incredible tutorial  How To Knit I-Cord the Fast Way. How amazing is that?!

Debbie Bliss. Paloma.

I hope you are having a wonderful week and feel spring coming to your part of the world!

Debbie Bliss. Paloma.

Will see you at Yarn Along!


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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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