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Knitting Sweater
Knitting, Simple little things, Work in Progress

Keep on…

After losing my Back To Basics sweater in the hurricane…

Knitting Sweater

… I tried my best to recover another handknit – Raglan Pullover from Creative Cables. Unfortunately this one is lost as well. I couldn’t clean these unidentified spots. Plus the sweater was floating in dirty water for hours, so the smell is unbearable.

Knitting Blog Sweater Cables

 Bye, bye…

Knitting Blog Sweater Cables

But I decided not to give up on it, as I’ve been planning to knit it for a long time. Actually when I was knitting a swatch for it, I was choosing between rich burgundy red and grey-brown shades. Well, I guess red wasn’t meant to be knit. So, I am moving on.

 

Knitting Blog Sweater Cables

 

I remember reading one phrase that stuck in my head: The formula for success is simple: just double your rate of failure. I am back on track exactly where I started – a swatch…

Knitting Blog Sweater Cables

Sometimes sweaters, houses, people fall apart. So there’s nothing else to do but keep on going and… well, as for me, knitting.

Crochet Motif Tutorial
Crochet, Free Patterns and Tutorials, Tutorial

Crochet Motif. Step-by-Step Tutorial.

Crochet Motif Tutorial

 

I love little cute crochet motifs in my house. I put them on walls, on tables and on my Christmas tree. They are simple and quick to make, perfect for leftover yarn and bring crafty spirit to the house.

Couple of weeks ago I was randomly crocheting and came up with this crochet motif that you can start making for your Christmas tree. I know it’s more than a month away, but I guess it’s better to start early.

Here is step-by-step guide. I was using cotton yarn from my stash and a hook #5 (US – H/8). But you can experiment and try different hook sizes to make the motif bigger or smaller.

1. Choose any leftover yarn you have.

2. Chain 6 stitches

Crochet Motif Tutorial

 

3. Slip stitch into the first stitch to close the circle

Crochet Motif Tutorial

4. 12 half double crochet into the circle

Crochet Motif Tutorial

5. 2 half double crochet in each loop (you will get 24 half double crochet)

Crochet Motif Tutorial Crochet Motif Tutorial

6. (1 single crochet, 1 double treble crochet) 12 times

Crochet Motif Tutorial

* When you make a single crochet after a double treble crochet, make sure that a double treble crochet stays on the right side

Crochet Motif Tutorial

** So, at the end you will get this “bumpy” look

Crochet Motif Tutorial

7.(2 double crochet cluster stitch, 3 chain stitches) 12 times

(You will get 12 clusters and 12 spaces – “arches” formed with 3 chain stitches)

*Stitch explanation2 double crochet cluster stitch – yarn over, insert the hook in the first stitch, yarn over, draw yarn through the stitch (3 loops on the hook), draw through 2 loops on the hook, yarn over, insert the hook in the next stitch, yarn over, draw yarn through the stitch (4 loops on the hook), draw through 2 loops on the hook (3 loops on the hook), yarn over, pull through all 3 loops on the hook.

**Don’t miss any stitches, you crochet in every single stitch!

Crochet Motif Tutorial

 

8. 5 double crochet in every space (“arch”)

Crochet Motif Tutorial Crochet Motif Tutorial

9. (2 single crochet, 1 double crochet with piko, 2 single crochet) 12 times  (You will get 12 pikos)

*Stitch explanation. 1 double crochet with piko – yarn over, insert the hook in the first stitch, yarn over, draw yarn through the stitch, yarn over, draw through 2 loops, yarn over, draw through 2 remaining loops, chain 3, get the hook around the double crochet and join piko to the double crochet with the slip stitch.

Crochet Motif Tutorial

Now I have a place for my cute sheep 🙂Crochet Motif Tutorial

Happy crocheting!

white crochet dress
Crochet Inspiration

Friday Inspiration. Crochet Dress.

I love crochet. I love dresses.  Crochet dresses fascinate me . My First Crochet Dress was the first garment I made in my new found home, ocean away from my motherland.

white crochet dress

 

Vanessa Montoro is one of my favorite crochet designers. I have been following her career for several years. And every time, with every new collection she keeps surprising and inspiring me with her creations.

This dress is my favorite.

Crochet Dress
Photo vanessamontoro.com
Crochet Dress
Photo vanessamontoro.com

Vanessa Montoro produces exclusively handmade items which “bring the craft within the roots of history to life in midst of the industrialized century”. 

Crochet Dress
Photo vanessamontoro.com

Vanessa uses 100% hand spun silk and natural pigments such as onion bark, coffee powder, eucalyptus leaves.

Crochet Dress
Photo vanessamontoro.com

I like the way she brings traditional techniques and contemporary vision together.

Crochet Dress
Photo vanessamontoro.com

Her latest collection, Manhattan, features colorful short dresses, long dresses in neutral colors and even pants!

Crochet Dress
Photo vanessamontoro.com
Crochet Dress
Photo vanessamontoro.com
Crochet
Photo vanessamontoro.com

I love making dresses, but I haven’t tried a long one yet. Well, after looking at these dresses, it’s definitely on my waiting list.

Crochet Dress
Photo vanessamontoro.com

You can look up more Vanessa’s designs on her website Vanessa Montoro Hand Made.

Have a nice crafty weekend.

Knitting blog knitting machine
Finished Objects, Machine Knitting

Simple White Sweater

Basic white sweater that can be effortlessly thrown on with jeans was on my must-knit list for ages, since I learned how to cast on. But I was always distracted and tempted  by complicated and challenging patterns. But finally I got to it on my knitting machine.

Knitting blog knitting machine

This sweater has been in WIPs for a long time. I started it in summer and finished it in October. It’s a paradox, but my machine knitting projects take me more time to finish than hand knitting. Maybe because I always do my own numbers for machine knitting, so a preparation takes much more time. Plus I don’t do machine knitting as much as hand knitting.

The sweater is a standard drop shoulder boatneck pullover with a slightly shaped waist and rolled up sleeves.

Knitting_blog_knitting_machine_11

 

Reverse stockinette stitch.

Knitting_blog_knitting_machine_3

 

The ribbing for the hem and sleeves was done by hand and then put on a knitting machine. The rib pattern is called “seed knit rib“. I’ve seen it in Nicky Epstein’s book “Knitting on the Edge” a long time ago. It’s a perfect ribbing if you don’t want your sweater to be pulled too much at the hem and sleeve cuffs.  

Knitting_blog_knitting_machine_6

 

 

Knitting blog knitting machine

Pieces were put together by crochet slip stitch.

Knitting blog knitting machine

The sweater is made of soft 100% cotton yarn. I love the feel of it on my skin – so soft, cozy and light, but warm enough for cool mornings and nights.

Knitting_blog_knitting_machine_7

 

 

Knitting_blog_knitting_machine1

I am so happy that I actually made it after planning it for 4 years!

Knitting machine Yarn
Knitting, Machine Knitting

Musings Of a Handknitter on Machine Knitting

Odile-recovery is still going on here… Yesterday I finally got to my knitting machine, which was wrapped up in blankets and hidden in a closet during the hurricane. It survived, but needs some oiling. As it’s almost impossible to buy anything in half destroyed shops right now, I should probably wait for another couple of weeks before using it again.

I started to think about buying a knitting machine a couple of years ago. For multiply reasons.

Reason #1. I LOVE knitwear. I can’t get enough of it. I love basic stockinette stitch garments, but as a handknitter I prefer complicated and challenging patterns over which I can break my head. I have tons of projects planned, I think a lifetime is not enough. I know there is always hope, but also there are times when you have to face a dreadful reality – it’s impossible to knit twenty garments a month. So, at some point I thought if I really want to get to my basic knits, knitting machine is a good way to go.

Reason #2. Experiment. Knitting machine gives me more freedom in bringing my ideas to life. I can experiment with colors and different forms of shaping before trying it in handknitting. It is my white canvas.

Reason #3. My stash. All these colorful squashy balls of yarn deserve to be put in action.

Knitting machine Yarn

Having thought everything through, I decided to buy my very first knitting machine one year ago. After reading dozens of reviews, I chose Silver Reed LK150, one of the most basic and simple models.

Knitting machine Yarn

To be honest I imagined that the instruction for the knitting machine would look something like that:

  1. Choose the yarn you like
  2. Choose the style of the garment you would love to make
  3. Press a button
  4. Come back in 30-60 minutes to pick up the garment

Ha! So far from the truth…

I must say it was not love at first sight. Honestly, I was a little bit intimidated by it. It looked so unfamiliar, so not knitting.  But after a while I understood that I’d found a new “yarny” hobby – challenging and truly enjoyable.

Machine knitting takes time to master, just like handknitting. There is a variety of techniques and little secrets that make this craft fascinating.

To my surprise, it’s so much closer to handknitting than I thought. I wouldn’t label the garment made on the knitting machine as handknit, but handmade for sure. The time put into it and the amount of work that you actually do with your hands are definitely not comparable with the mass production knitwear.

So for me, a passionate handknitter and crocheter, machine knitting is a completely different and challenging experience.

I always wonder how other handknitters see machine knitting. Let me know!

Knitting blog Books
Books

On my coffee table…

Knitting blog Books

It was a happy mail day yesterday. After losing a lot of precious books in the hurricane, we are building back our library.

Knitting blog Books

Here they are:

1. Stephen Hawking “A Briefer History of Time”. 

After I started working in a Montessori school, I became obsessed with astronomy and physics. And that is said by a girl who has a degree in humanities and never ever in her life would imagine  voluntarily opening a book with numbers or (oh, horror!) formulas.  But here I am. After watching all possible documentaries on the latest studies of the universe, I decided I was ready for this wonderful book. I even signed up for Khan Academy to remember the basics of mathematics and physics.

2.  Shirley Paden “Knitwear Design Workshop. A Comprehensive Guide to Handknits” . 

I always modify patterns. I haven’t made a single item without modification. I almost always substitute the yarn and knit with a completely different stitch gauge. So, to avoid knitting disasters, I decided to  dig more deeply into the logic behind knitwear construction. Usually I modify intuitively and almost never do numbers, but it’s time to start. If you do something, do it well, right?

3. Marshall B. Rosenberg “Nonviolent Communication. A Language of Life”. 

I think this book is essential for teachers, doctors, parents, human beings… Yep, for everybody.

Off to reading…