crochet

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The Gang Knits

Textured sweater pattern. The Gift of Knitting

Happy Sunday! As this month is flying by, I wanted to share with you what is on my needles and (finally!) on my crochet hook (it’s been a long time since I started a crochet project!). My new old sweater project is the updated version of La Flor that I have been working on almost a year already, putting it aside when I wasn’t 100% happy about it. For some reason I always saw La Flor as the perfect sweater to experiment with fiber, and when Wool and the Gang sent me their new yarn – Take Care Mohair! – for the review, I knew that was it – the perfect match! It is easy to knit and the gauge can be adjusted to the new yarn weight. But with mohair it is a little bit different – it is definitely not the fiber that you can use for any stitch pattern, but for some reason I was sure that it would work with La Flor one way or another.

Textured sweater pattern. The Gift of Knitting

Just like I thought knitting the pattern as it is didn’t give me the effect I was looking for, so I decided to change some things and in a way simplify the pattern to make it more suitable for more types of yarn. After playing around with stitch placement, I finally found the fabric that I loved – and now new La Flor is growing on the needles pretty steadily. It is the softest and squishiest thing ever!!! I only hope you can feel it through the photos. Take Care Mohair by Wool and the Gang is extremely light, but because of the nature of the thread, it has some volume that allows you to knit it on pretty big needles – I am using 7 mm (which is around 10.5 US size). As soon as I finish the sweater, I will make sure to add these adjustments as the extra pattern material, so you can experiment and knit familiar La Flor, but in different fibers.

Textured sweater pattern. The Gift of Knitting

Textured sweater pattern. The Gift of Knitting


This summer my friends from Wool and the Gang sent me one more package to review one of their most popular yarn lines – Crazy Sexy Wool. Super bulky and extremely soft Peruvian wool. Out of 30+ shades, I chose the neutral Ivory White (I know, I am sooo predictable 🙂 ).

Wool and the Gang, Crazy Sexy Wool . The Gift of Knitting.

For being that thick – you get 2 sts per 1″ – the thread is light, because of the nature of its spun. This spun has its disadvantages though – I know that it will start pilling pretty soon, but I can live with that – I have my sweater brush to put my knits back in order 🙂

Wool and the Gang, Crazy Sexy Wool . The Gift of Knitting.

And great news is that these bulky yarn balls inspired my to pick up my crochet hook and I am extremely happy with my swatches – will show you more as soon it is going to take some more wearable shape!

Wool and the Gang, Crazy Sexy Wool . The Gift of Knitting.

Thank you, WATG, for making me a part of your fiber gang 🙂 We are also going to prepare some great giveaways for you soon, and that always makes me happy!

I hope you will have a wonderful day today with your loved ones!


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By | 2018-02-15T21:22:54+00:00 October 29th, 2017|Knitting, Work in Progress|15 Comments

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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By | 2017-05-23T05:40:52+00:00 March 29th, 2017|Crochet, Knitting, Yarn|13 Comments

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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By | 2017-02-12T08:00:29+00:00 February 12th, 2017|Crochet, Yarn|15 Comments

Craft Goals

Yarn

Happy 2017, friends! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and had some time to relax. Honestly I barely felt the holiday spirit this year – was way too busy with too many things. But I am definitely not complaining, I love everything that I do and every day I feel grateful for the opportunity to work – it is my best form of meditation.

As you might have noticed The Gift Of Knitting looks slightly different now. I hope you like it and find it easier to navigate, there are still some changes I want to make. I am working on it!

This past weekend I looked back at the goals that I set for myself last year, including the craft goals that I shared with you in December 2015:

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  • Improve my machine knitting skills
  • Crochet more
  • Take careful notes of my projects

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I definitely feel much more confident with my LK-150, though I didn’t finish as many projects as I planned. One thing I know for sure is that the best and maybe the only way to get better at anything is to practice. Theory is great, but until you put it into use, you won’t see major changes.

Crochet… Absolute fail!!! I was working on a couple of crochet projects, but they were both frogged. But the good thing is that both of the unfinished pieces gave me a new idea for something fun to try, hopefully it will work out.

The last goal was definitely achieved – yay! I learned how to discipline myself in knitting and keep track of my experiments. Doesn’t sound like too much fun, as just knitting away without breaking my head how to put it into words in the clearest way possible is way more time and effort consuming, but it pays off when I receive “Thank you” notes from you!

And that leads me to my main craft goal for 2017 – sharing as much as I can here! I am really short of time these days, but I have numerous plans and ideas that hopefully will come to life during next 12 months. I really want you to find here inspiration to create, because it makes life so much brighter!

Here is to inspiring 2017!

Do you have any craft goals for new year?


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By | 2017-03-04T07:17:26+00:00 January 4th, 2017|Crochet, Knitting, Machine Knitting|26 Comments

May. Adiós.

Adiós is the monthly series of crafty notes and captures of this beautiful world.

This month’s Adiós I decided to do something different and instead of sharing sunlit photos, I am going to take you on a short night walk. You’ve already seen La Parroquia in the daylight, but I really wanted to show how it is transformed into a beautiful and mysterious castle at night.

Knitting and Travel

 May is the hottest month here, and the evenings are warm and velvet… I love how busy streets get empty and the town disappears in soft lights, quiet music and occasional roars of thunder in the nearby mountains…

Knitting and Travel

May Crafty Notes

1 FO, 4 WIPs, 1 fail 🙂

 Journey sweater. Honestly, it is my favorite sweater I have ever made. I enjoyed every single stitch of it! It was a challenge to design, but now the pattern is finally finished and being tested. I couldn’t be more grateful to my wonderful test knitters and Ioana for all the help!

Crochet dress experiment is still in the swatch stage. I am trying to find the perfect stitch pattern for it and can’t decide whether to make it holding one thread or two. I hope it will start taking shape in June.

Sand sweater. Love this textured experiment on my knitting machine! It is definitely much more time consuming than the stockinette garments, but this texture is worth it!

Arizona sweater. Having fun with an amazing Contiguous method!

Moeke cardigan. I am swatching for the second design for Moeke fall collection. The only thing that is clear for now is that it is going to be a cardigan. All the rest keeps changing in my head and hands.

Kram cardigan was with me for so many months. But I finally said goodbye to it and admitted that it isn’t going o work out. Oh well, always something to learn!

One more exciting thing – two my dear knitting friends just got their projects off the needles and they used my patterns, I cannot express how happy it makes me! Zeta’s Reindeer is so stunning – I love the color and yarn she chose. Zeta, thank you so much for all the support during these almost two years! I am so grateful I’ve found you here!

Dear Ioana just finished her La Flor  – I love the neutral shade and the oversize look she chose! This is exactly how I envisioned it to be knit someday! And her cozy photos are so dreamy to look at!

This was my crafty May. Thank you for being with me! June is promising new projects, new World Crafter and fun giveaways for you!

I hope you had an amazing month!

Joining friends at Yarn Along today.


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By | 2016-06-01T06:17:42+00:00 June 1st, 2016|Adiós|21 Comments

Inspiration and Frogging

Happy Wednesday!

This week I am having craft ups and downs. While the pattern for Journey sweater is still brewing in my computer (I am the slowest pattern writer ever!), I started swatching for a second project with Moeke. By the way, you should definitely check #Journeysweater hashtag on Instagram (if you don’t have one just click the link) – Josh and Saskia are posting so many photos of their progress! Can’t wait to see their Journeys!

moeke-yarns-17-5-14-2

Swatching part is always such a challenge for me – I am inspired by so many stitch combinations that narrowing down the choice to just a couple of them is the hardest thing in the world! Elena yarn is inspiring to work with… It’s so different from all yarns I have ever used and I am curious to see how that or this stitch will appear.

moeke-yarns-17-5-14-3

My crochet project is unfortunately not doing so well. The pattern doesn’t have anything to do with it, I am using it more like a guideline than the instructions. My first problem was the gauge that kept changing on me, I restarted the whole thing 4 times because of that! Then I realized that I cannot just crochet straight without shaping as the pattern suggests, because the yarn I chose (2 threads of mercerized cotton) is creating a very firm and stiff fabric and the cardigan will pucker without shaping. With this kind of fabric, it has to be pretty fitting. So, I restarted for the 5th or 6th time. Still, no luck – to taper the cardigan perfectly I would have to decrease every second row and this is what it creates:

crochet-17-5-14-2

Do you see how the fabric puckers on the sides? It happens when the decreases are stuck up too close to each other in a very stiff fabric like this one, but it also puckers if I don’t decrease, because of a big difference between the hips and the waist 🙁 So, after struggling and struggling with it for weeks, I have to admit my defeat. Frogging. Yes, I am frogging it. This is the first project in 2 years that I am frogging. I can’t stand frogging. I love the yarn, but it is just not suitable for this project. I have to choose something soft and woolly for it to wrap myself in this wonderful cardigan. But not now, I have to take a break from it.

Things to learn from this experience:

  1. Don’t try to make yarn into something that it is not.
  2. Don’t crochet hip length tapered garments in a stiff fabric.
  3. Know when to stop. (I had a feeling I had to give up on it after the 4th ripping out, but I loved this relaxing crochet rhythm and deceived myself).

crochet-17-5-14-1

I hope you are having only great experience with your projects! See you at Yarn Along.


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By | 2016-05-18T06:18:39+00:00 May 18th, 2016|Crochet, Knitting, Work in Progress|18 Comments
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