knit style, sweater love

Knit Style: Cabled Pullover

Knit Style: Rebecca Cabled Sweater

This flashback knit is an old favorite, the Rebecca Cabled Pullover. It's one of maybe 3 pullovers I've ever knit! Knit in Rowan Cashsoft, it's held up well over the years.

Knit Style: Cabled Pullover

Knit Style: Rebecca Cabled Sweater

Sweater: Cabled Pullover from Rebecca Mag #36
Yarn: Rowan Cashsoft Aran
Needles: US 5 & 6
{Original Post}
{Ravelry}
{Hat}

Knit Style: Rebecca Cabled Sweater

I also must let you know that I am obsessed with my hat. I bought it while touring the city with my good friend Dana and her husband Rob.  The moment I put this on my head I knew I wasn't leaving without it. Is it obvious I am really into grey?

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WIP Wednesday: Grellow

Grellow Chevron

I work at a yarn shop that is chockfull of yarns. Like literally to the ceiling. So sometimes I won't even notice a yarn until I have to do an inventory or a customer wants it.

This is Jasmine by Louisa Harding. A cotton, bamboo, silk blend with a bit of glitter to it. It was one of my "couldn't help" moments where I couldn't help but buy the grey and neon yellow. Throw in a little chevron action and we have ourselves a pretty spring cowl.

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Sweet Shawlettes: Book Review, Q&A, and Giveaway!

I am so pleased to be the next stop on the blog tour for Jean Moss's new book Sweet Shawlettes!

SweetShawlettes_cover

Jean Moss is a British knit designer that has worked with fashion houses of the likes of Ralph Lauren! Her newest book Sweet Shawlettes is filled with designs that are sure to please every knitter's neck and shoulders.

Here are a few of my favorites!

PolperroHR
FizzHR
MantillaHR

I am especially excited to try the Penumbra Cowl. It uses the simple Japanese shadow knitting technique – one that I have yet to try!

PenumbraHR
The patterns are well written and I like that she offers a bit of the traditional and non traditional style patterns. The pieces are divided into 4 sections Country, Couture, Folk and Vintage.

Jean was amazing enough to take time to answer some questions!

When did you learn how to knit?
Originally I learned to knit before I went to school because I wanted to be like my beloved grandmother who spent hours teaching me.  A fallow period ensued but my interest was rekindled in my teens when I started to make my own clothes.  It was the swinging sixties and I loved what I was seeing on the street and in magazines, but had no way of achieving anything similar other than to pick up my needles again.  From then on I was hooked. It never occurred to me that I'd ever be able to make a living out of it, especially as I had no formal training in design, but after getting requests for sweaters I'd made for the kids, I decided that it might be a way of making some extra cash from home.  No-one was more surprised than I was to find that very quickly I was presenting my designs to luminaries such as Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein and they were placing orders! It was a meteoric learning curve!

What made you decide to make the book Sweet Shawlettes?
The book came to me out of the blue when Erica Sanders-Foege, then a senior editor at The Taunton Press, rang to ask if I would consider doing it. The working title was Sweet Shawlettes, but Erica  assured me I could change it if I didn't like it.  However, for me the title had a certain broad brush appeal – whimsical, feminine,  could even be ironic – or it might have been that I'm just addicted to alliteration, but knowing how difficult it is to come up with decent book titles, I quickly applied the if it's not broken, don't fix it principle.  

I agreed to submit a synopsis and by the time I'd finished it I was completely hooked on the idea.  Previously most of my books have concentrated mainly on sweaters, and this gave me the opportunity to explore a totally different form.  Shawls, capes, cowls, furbelows or anything that can be worn around the neck was the brief and I was thrilled to explore as many ways of interpreting it as I could.  It took me on an interesting journey exploring the construction, techniques, yarns and the history of neck wraps and I'll always be grateful to Taunton for offering me this opportunity. 
Can you describe your design process? 
In  all my design work I travel an identical road. Every design has its own cooking time – some simmer slowly like a casserole for months, while others are immediately on a fast boil and just tumble out. At the start of a book,  I usually try to give myself two weeks of displacement activities, like gardening, playing guitar or cooking, which seem to be good for propagating new ideas.  I do a rough drawing, then choose yarns and colours I'd like to use, then I swatch, swatch, swatch until I get a combination of yarn and stitch which seems to reflect the look of the design.  I always sketch the design on a person (I'm no great artist, but I find even if I draw a  stick woman it's invaluable for focusing on the proportions) and from there I'll try out different versions of it on a mannequin using any fabric I have around.  This gives me a very good idea of whether or not the design will work. When I have the version I like, I complete a specification sheet, then make the chart and schematic and finally crunch the numbers.  

 Thank you so much Jean for creating such a wonderful book! Buy your own copy here!

Lucky for you all, I'm giving one copy of Sweet Shawlettes away to one of my fabulous readers! Leave me a comment by Wednesday 1/25 (midnight EST!)

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For more stops on the Sweet Shawlettes blog tour visit these fabulous blogs!

Mon 2 Jan  more yarn will do the trick Jean Moss 
Tues 3 Jan wendy knits Wendy Johnson
Wed 4 Jan  knitgrrl Shannon Okey
Thurs 5 Jan  yarnagogo Rachael Herron
Fri 6 Jan  the knitter Rosee Woodland
Sat 7 Jan   rhythm of the needles Joanne Conklin
Sun 8 Jan knit purl gurl Karrie Steinmetz
Mon 9 Jan  craftsanity Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood
Tues 10 Jan   planet purl Beth Moriarty
Wed 11 Jan  sunset cat Stephannie Tallent
Thurs 12 Jan a really good yarn Julie Schilthuis
Fri 13 Jan  knit 1 chicago Lynn Coe
Sat 14 Jan    go knit in your hat Carol Sulcoski
Sun 15 Jan  redshirt knitting Erika Barcott
Mon 16 Jan  in the loop Cheryl & Ellen
Tues 17 Jan webs Kathy Elkins
Wed 18 Jan   zeneedle Margene Smith
Thurs 19 Jan knitspot Anne Hanson
Fri 20 Jan  urban yarns Alexa Ludeman
Sat 21 Jan   a friend to knit with Leslie Friend
Mon 23 Jan tentenknits Margaux Hufnagel
Tues 24 Jan fancy tiger crafts Amber Corcoran
Wed 25 Jan chic knits Bonne Marie Burns
Thurs 26 Jan the panopticon Franklin Habit

 

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Tutorial: Wrap Bracelets

I'm happy to bring you a tutorial on how to make the "Chan Luu" bracelets with the girl who taught me, Emily!

Emily, the bracelet master!

Bracelet Supplies

Materials: 
Leather cording, your choice in color. We used the 1.5mm thickness. You can also use other cords made of linen or a natural fiber for a vegan option. 
Beading thread, color to match cording 
Beads, size, color and type up to you
Needle, thin enough to pass through your beads (sewing needle works well, too!)
Larger button or bead for the end of bracelet 
Measurements: 
4 wrap bracelet 34-36 inches when cord is doubled 
3 wrap bracelet 20-22 inches when cord is doubled 
Make sure to wrap the leather around your own wrist to check for length and also allow enough cord for a knotted loop at the end to secure around the button. 
Let's Begin!
Take your button and thread it on the leather placing it halfway, folding the leather in half.

Tutorial Button placement

Step 1: Thread your needle and your first bead on to the jewelry thread, sliding it all the way to the opposite end of the thread – leaving yourself a 6" tail. Place the bead and thread OVER the leather cord with the tail of your thread coming from the bottom of the bracelet and working thread on top.

Bracelet Tutorial: Thread Bead

Step 2: Bring your needle behind the bottom cord, through the bead and out under the bottom cord.

tutorial bracelets

Pull Thread through.

Step 3: Bring needle from the bottom over the leather cord through the bead and under the top cord and pull tightly.

Tutorial

Repeat by bring the needle over the top of the leather cord through the bead and under the bottom cord.

bracelet tutorial

Bring needle up through the bead one more time ending with the thread coming out from behind the top leather cord. Pull tightly.

Step 4: Thread another bead and bring it down to the leather cord. 

Thread a new bead

Step 5: Bring needle over the the top cord and under the bottom cord holding bead in place with your fingers.

bracelet tutorial

Step 6: Bring needle over the cord, through the bead and under the top cord. Pull thread through.

bracelet tutorial

Thread another bead on the cord and conintue adding beads as in Step 5 and 6 until desired bracelet length.

Secure your last bead as directed as first by pulling thread through at least 3x. Tie a knot with the cord and thread at edge of bead. Cut thread. Tie 2nd knot allowing a space large enough to fit your button through.

Finished Bracelets

Make a full arm's worth and be the envy of your friends.

Shops on Etsy that sell beads: 
If you're local so SF there are our favorite bead places:  
The Bead Shop, in the Castro
General Bead, downtown 
Successories in the Button Box, Noe Valley 
 
Happy bracelet making!
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Whale Watching at Point Reyes

My husband and I decided to go up to Point Reyes to see if we could catch some of the California Greys heading south this past week. 

Hey Lil' Lighthouse

Where is the horizon?

We waited and watched.

Looking for Whales

and watched.

Gorgeous Coast

And while we watched for whales, something else was watching for humans.

Deer doing some People Watching

To my sheer delight (I screamed) we did see about 5 of them coming up for air right by the lighthouse. I have never seen a whale in real life it truly was thrilling!

I also have never seen a coast so beautiful. 

Gorgeous Coast

I was amazed both by the beautiful landscape and the amount of cows and farm land there was (sorry i didn't get a proper photo of them). I now get all those commercials about how happy cows come from California, I mean look at their view!

Squinty McSquints at Point Reyes

I think I scared a cow with my over smiling. I can't help it, it was simple awesome.

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Do you Chan Luu?

Its been a long time since I've made my own jewelry (circa 2003 in college when I decided to string a multi stranded seed necklace during finals week – I'm a multi tasker.) And to be honest after teaming up with Stella & Dot I figured that was never gonna happen again. Never say never ahe?

Enter my friend Emily and her fabulous bracelets. While working at the shop one day she was accosted by several customers asking her whether her bracelets were Chan Luu. She happily replied she made them and then offered us a lesson!

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Emily was a fabulous instructor and armed with some red wine and procecco we were all happily getting our Chan Luu on. 

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Murielle even brought out her head lamp! (A must for every knitter IMHO.) After we worked up a big hunger making our bracelets we were treated to a delicious pallella made by the host's husband, Gary.

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To which we happily dined on.

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We all chose different styles and colors and it was fun to see the different varieties. I doubt this will be the last time we get together to make some!

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Thank you Linda for hosting, Emily for the fabulous instruction and Gary for the food (and being the photographer!) Looking forward to making more!

Finished bracelet

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WIP: Finishing what you started

Swatching

A new year gives me that squeeky clean feeling, like starting a new quarter in school, cracking open a fresh notebook promising this time to keep your notes all organized.

In a way I almost feel like Mike Holmes from Holmes on Homes. Finding old knits, ripping them apart and starting them over to make it right. 

It is with that in mind that I am re-starting my arrowhead vest. Made in April 2010 and had all intentions of getting the pattern out there but I didn't. Now, I am re-working the pattern in Fibre Co. Acadia, a gorgeous light yarn. It's part of my new goal of 2012 – get things done!

Here are a few other things that I want to Get Done in 2012:

– Stash bust! It's time I give some of my yarn a new home. 

– Submissions! There's a deadline coming up and I need to focus and get some designs going.

– Balance between work knitting and knitting for pleasure.

– Keep up the blogging!

– Publish a pattern every other month. (I am not going to say monthly because that's a bit cray cray – BUT if I manage to do it, it will be a BONUS! hah!)

Thank you always for coming by and reading! I'm looking forward to a fabulous 2012!

M