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In Search Of World's Finest Wools
Books, Knitting

In Search Of The World’s Finest Wool. Review and Giveaway.

In Search Of World's Finest Wools

A few weeks ago I got an email from Firefly Books with the offer to review one of their newest books –  In Search Of The World’s Finest Wools. After reading book’s description I said “yes” immediately, because I knew right away – every crafter would love to have it on the coffee table! And I was definitely not disappointed – I can honestly say this is one of the most inspiring books about fiber I have ever come across!

Dominic Dormeuil is the fifth-generation president of the Dormeuil Cloth Company that creates high-quality fabrics from natural fibers. He travels the world to select the best wools and learn more about techniques and traditions. For this book Dominic joined forces with photographer and writer Jean-Baptiste Rabouan, who specializes in ethnographic reports. Together they created “A Tribute to the growers and artisans of wool”  with stunning photography and touching stories behind each fiber.

In Search Of World's Finest Wools

In Search Of The World’s Finest Wools takes you on a virtual journey to Greenland, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Ladakh, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Peru to discover the stories behind growth and production of qiviut wool, cashmere, Taewit wool, pashmina goat wool, Shetland wool, merino, mohair and vicuña.

In Search Of World's Finest WoolsWhile reading the book I was looking through my own stash and seeing it in a completely new light! All these fibers have sooo much history before turning into the skeins that bring me so much joy!

In Search Of World's Finest Wools

I love how the book talks not only about the fiber itself, but also about the political and geographical conditions of the region; the role of the fiber in the life of the community and, of course, people who are so passionate about their work. The photography is absolutely breathtaking!! It was a true aesthetic joy to look through every page.

In Search Of World's Finest Wools

I must admit I tried to read it as slow as possible, savoring each chapter, studying each photo and imaging this life, so close to animals and fiber… Thank you so much, Firefly Books, for such a great gift!

In Search Of World's Finest Wools

I am also happy to say that Firefly Books are giving you a chance to win one copy of In Search Of The World’s Finest Wools! Please, check my Instagram later today for all the details of the giveaway – @giftofknitting. The giveaway will be open worldwide and I will announce a winner this Thursday!

Have a great day!


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Heritage Test Knitting and Elusive Creative Genius

Inspiration

Happy Friday!

This week I listened to one of the old TED’s talks by Elizabeth Gilbert, where she touches upon ups and downs that anyone who lives a creative life goes through in one way or another. I listened to this monologue before, but I like to come back to it every time I feel like I need encouragement and reassurance to keep going in the creative part of my life. In this wonderful and touching speech that I really recommend listening to if you haven’t already, Elizabeth talks about her own creative process and so-called “elusive creative genius” that might be responsible for our creative endeavors. I think it is such a refreshing and inspiring speech that can be applied to any aspect of our lives whenever you feel stuck and need a good push to just keep swimming! It is a great way to start a weekend 🙂

As for my own creativity progress this week, I am happy to say that my wonderful test knitters, Ioana and Sandra, are 90% done with their Heritage sweaters and it means that it will be published very soon!! It will be my first contribution to Moeke 2017, I am really grateful for all the amazing comments I received about it and I hope you will like it once it is 100% done. Three more patterns I am working on (oh, I will definitely need my Elusive Creative Genius to show up for his part of a job!!) will be published in August/September as a part of MY Make Along 2017.

Heritage Sweater Pattern. Moeke Yarns.

I hope you had a great week and excited for the weekend! See you on Monday!


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TRUI Magazine Publication

TRUI Knitting Magazine

Happy Monday! Today I want to share with you my excitement: it was a happy mail kind of weekend – I finally received my copy of TRUI magazine that I did the interview with back in December. TRUI is a knitting and crochet magazine from Netherlands that features yarns, patterns, interviews with designers and fiber inspiration. I was lucky to contribute to this issues with La Flor pattern translated in Dutch with beautiful photos by Ioana who knit her cozy oversize version in beautiful yarn by Wol zo Eerlijk.

TRUI Knitting Magazine

It is such a surreal thing to see my work printed in an actual magazine! I could never imagine when swatching for La Flor and The Choice that they would end up featured – feeling so grateful and honored…

TRUI Knitting Magazine

TRUI Knitting Magazine

Thank you, Katelijne, for featuring me! It was a pleasure to work with you!

Have a wonderful week!


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Pom Pom Socklets. FO Details.

Pom Pom Socklets

FO – Pom Pom

Well, I guess I am a sock knitter now 🙂 Finished my first pair and though they aren’t perfectly perfect, I love these socks – super soft, playful, made of cotton, ideal for summer. Thank you, my fellow knitters, for converting me :).

Project Details

Pattern

Pom Pom Socklets by Purl Soho is one of the cutest socks patterns I have ever seen. Perfect for beginners with very clear instructions and photos for the visual help. Though it was my first sock project, I didn’t have any trouble following the instructions once. Definitely recommend it!

Pom Pom Socklets

Yarn

SilverSpun by Feel Good Yarn Company from December KnitCrate surprise box is a blend of combed cotton, nylon, spandex and silver. It is very soft, sleek and stretchy – I loved working every single stitch with it. The only thing that I wasn’t happy about is how the red color left spots on the white background – you can see a few smudges. I am always careful when washing the pieces made in more than one color, because you never know how it will behave. Though I put the socks in the cold water and left them for literally 30 seconds, red still washed slightly out and left the spots.

Pom Pom Socklets

Modifications

The initial idea was to knit the socks in silver color and add the contrasting pom pom. But, as I mentioned in my WIP post, I decided to rip out the sock when I noticed that there might be not enough silver yarn. I read through the pattern a couple of times, carefully looked through the photos to get the idea of the construction, because you can’t really make modifications to the pattern if you have no idea about the logic behind it; it seemed pretty straightforward so I just switched to the red color as soon as I started the heel. As I reached the toe, I put one sock aside and started the second one and knit it to the same spot to find out if I have enough yarn for both toes. I didn’t, so I switched to red color again for the toe. That’s a great way to save you from all the consequences of yarn chicken game and trouble of ripping out.

Another modification I’ve made is the number of stitches picked for the gusset. Just like I mentioned in my Raglan Armhole tutorial, sometimes the recommended amount of stitches isn’t enough to close all the holes. I picked 2 extra stitches on each corner and decreased them on the very next round coming to the recommended number, but avoiding all the trouble of closing the holes.

Pom Pom Socklets

Design Details

The main detail that attracted me to this pattern is the pom pom. Super adorable and playful. I’ve made them with the simple fork, but I am definitely putting the real pom pom maker on my must buy list. I loved the Pom Pom Maker review by Julie from Knitted Bliss and I know that I need it in my life 🙂

Pom Pom Socklets

Helpful Notes

So, to sum everything up, here are some notes that you might find helpful:

  • If you are an absolute beginner and have no idea how to manage double pointed needles, especially if the set-up rounds seem way too tricky to you, check this tutorial Casting On With Double Pointed Needles. It’s definitely worth to try and learn a new skill.
  • Be careful with knitting two colored socks, make sure to check how the colors work on the swatch to avoid any disappointments later.
  • If you don’t have a pom pom maker, check this very helpful video tutorial how to make pom poms using just a regular fork! It took me a couple of attempts, but at the end they turned out fine. Just make sure to use very sharp scissors!

Have a wonderful weekend!

I have to work tomorrow, but it promises to be something exciting, so I am actually looking forward to it!


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Earthly Shades

Wool Yarn

Though spring weather is in its full bloom, the sun is shining and the temperatures heated up, I am still in the sweater weather mood, being drawn to earthly shades and cozy wool. I even created a special Pinterest board to virtually give me the taste of warm fires, misty mornings and rainy nights. I know that in a couple of weeks, I’ll be happy knitting with my cotton and linen skeins again, but for now it is all about woolly fibers.

This weekend was a little bit rough for me, so I needed to escape into my yarn wonderland. Between busy knitting Moeke sweaters for September and working on other dozens of projects, I’ve been playing with my stash yarn and some leftovers.

Wool Yarn

Having DROPS in my yarn basket again brings so many memories. It is one of the most popular yarn brand in Europe and I loved working with it when I go home. Andes line is one of my favorite – beautiful color palette, interesting texture of the thread and delicious mixture of wool and alpaca. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have already seen it in my insta stories last week.

Wool Yarn

I also finished a big project with Magnum that I can’t share with you now, unfortunately, but the good news is I have two skeins left. I decided to play around with the crochet hook. I don’t think I ever used 10 mm hook for any of my crochet projects; all my crochet dresses and cardigans were made with tiny hooks to create a very subtle fabric. Volume created by roving yarn is so unusual and inspiring…

Wool Yarn

I hope you are inspired to pick your yarn today 🙂

Have a great day!


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Sock Knitting

Sock Knitting

After 8+ years of knitting, I am finally working on my first pair of socks. It was about time, right? Being a devoted garment knitter, I was so into the sweater construction, that casting on something different didn’t really occur to me. But if you are a part of this wonderful online knitting community, you are destined to see all these amazing socks popping out on the blogs, Instagram and Ravelry. I am still awed with these beauties by Tahnee from Woollen WildernessRainbow and Evening Stockings  this girl is a queen of sock knitting for me!

And just like that my Pom Pom socklets started to grow on the needles. There are so many firsts for me in this project – first project on DPNs (I use magic loop for everything in my knitting), first heel, first gusset… The most intriguing part is the construction, as I have no idea where I am going and where the instructions will get me. It is like reading a new exciting book with an unpredictable end.

But as always in very first projects that are some hidden pitfalls. First of all, I am a very loose knitter and if the yarn label recommends 5 mm needles, I go to 3.5 mm to get the gauge. And it is not a big problem in sweater knitting, as the needle size range is enough for me to go down with the needle size, but socks are already knit on 2.75 mm (US 2), the smallest size I can get down to is 2 mm (US 0) and I am still a little bit on the loose side. So, there is a big possibility that all the socks I knit will be slightly too big for me. Will see till FO.

Another thing I was wondering about is the yardage. When it comes to sweaters I can estimate easily if the yardage is enough and with socks it is a guessing game. The initial idea was to knit the whole socklet in silver color and add the contrasting pom pom. But then in the middle of the project I started doubt if the yardage will be enough for both socks. So, I put them aside to figure what to do.

Sock Knitting

I had an idea to knit the heel in contrasting red color, I was inspired by all the amazing patchwork socks my Granny knits. So, ripping out and starting all over again with the new plan.

Meanwhile my February KnitCrate sent an amazing sock yarn along with the pattern to cast on. I’ve never worked with the speckle yarn before and was too eager to cast on to see how the colors change. This is what great about learning new things – I start trying unfamiliar things! The problem with this project is that the pattern is written for teh magic loop and I don’t have a decent 2 mm circular needle, so I have to “translate” the instructions to DPNs, well I always enjoy the challenge, so that’s OK.

Sock Knitting

It feels nice to have an in-between small project on the needles to work on here and there whenever I have a free minute. Learning new things is definitely worth it – it is such a great boost for creativity! And though my love for sweater knitting is bigger than ever, I am always happy to “welcome” new projects.

Sock Knitting

Feeling a little sad that Yarn Along will be gone, I will miss seeing so many projects and books recommendations in one place. Thank you, Ginny, for hosting it for so many years – we had fun!!!

Have a great day!


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