IROKATA


I was planning to publish this design much earlier in the summer, but silly me for thinking that with major knitting deadlines and international moving I could keep up with all of my designated plans. Alas, making things works little by little! Finally got our furniture 2 days ago, and most excitingly my yarn and knitting chair. Would be nice not having to MacGyver things around the place on everyday basis.

I find, however, that a lot of my creativity thrives under pressure, so nothing like creating 7 new designs before taking that international move to keep one’s goals straight!


That time in April when things were warming up finally, I have started dreaming of wearing linen again and all the great benefits of it during a really humid summer as we have been having here on Atlantic coast. And keeping a close eye on fun color blocking trend of t-shirts, shoes, knits and everything popping in stores I decided to get my hands on some more of Shibui Linen. I have been looking forward to using that yarn again every since designing Sanagi dress previous summer, but using it as a single strand. Most of color blocking in my mind comes with a scary word to some – ” intarsia”, but this time I have decided to take a different approach.

Irokata – 色形 – from Japanese meaning “color form” or “essence of color” – is a great light summer tee that is designed to be worked flat and then utilizing some short rows for shaping and color direction, but nothing more complex beyond that. And in the end it is only 2 spots to graft and 2 mattress stitch seams that complete this summer tee.


The color placement lines are well thought-out as one can pick to do lighter front and darker back for a more visually slimming effect. Or the other way around, just like in the original to bring more attention to one’s shoulders and help to balance out body proportions.


Personally, I love to pay attention to every single detail and believe me there is a lot of deliberation and choice making goes into something as simple as why this increase method was used and not the other. To me, every design, however simple and minimal looking, needs to have that something special that any knitter can enjoy learning or doing with their hands for the sake of a perfect result. Maybe you can even spot the incorporated I-cord running along the sleeves’ edge. Quick and neat!


Irokata knits up fast even on US 4 needle, you start with less stitches and then you progress.
I now need one in a brighter color combination as well! Suitable really for any fingering weight linen or cotton or bamboo blends yarns that would provide enough drape and keep you cool with your favorite bottoms.



Queue IROKATA TEE on Ravelry

Level
Intermediate

To fit bust sizes
30-32 (34-36, 38-40, 42-44, 46-48, 50-52, 54-56, 58-60)”

Finished measurements
Bust 32 (36, 40, 44, 48, 52, 56, 60)”

Yarn
Shibui Linen (100% linen; 50g, 246yds/225m)
MC – color Tar 2 (2, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3) skeins
CC – color Ash 2 (2, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4) skeins


Source: New feed

Brenda’s Basic Baby Blanket

34 inch blanket in progress on 36-peg large gauge round loom

Peg-doubling 

One of the biggest complaints regarding the common large gauge looms (aka, Knifty Knitter, Boye, Darice, etc.) is you can’t make a baby blanket or afghan without seaming panels. Well, I just happen to have a solution to the problem: the peg-doubling technique. This technique makes it possible to create a flat panel that is double what is typically made on the round loom. In simplest terms, this is accomplished by:
  • casting on two stitches per peg & one stitch on the last peg;
  • knitting & shifting the top stitch to the previous peg;
  • knitting the bottom stitch; and
  • repeat across the row.  

Using the peg-doubling technique makes creating a blanket or afghan on the large gauge loom both easy and more portable for those who loom knit on the go. While designed for the large gauge looms, these techniques are easily adaptable to any knitting loom. The addition of edging, embroidery or other embellishment will make each blanket your own unique design.

Completed 34 inch blanket made on the 36-peg large gauge round loom

Double flat knit stitch
The stitch pattern used for this project is the double flat knit stitch (referred to originally as the 2-peg stitch in the Irish Washerwoman post), but other stitch patterns can be adapted to this technique, as well. The double flat knit stitch has become one of my favorite stitch patterns.  I’ve used it on many different projects, including berets, scarves, dish clothes, etc. It makes a nice textured stockinette stitch that resists rolling without using purl stitches and works very well with the peg-doubling technique.

Loom knitted picot edging
The picot edging shown on the blanket in this blog post was done using the same 36-peg large gauge round loom on which the blanket was knitted. It is a very simple technique that uses two pegs to work an I-cord picot; bind off one stitch; then pick up and add a new stitch. It’s done in a similar method to the picot bind off shown in my Patriot Pin post from two years ago.

Close-up of loom knitted picot edging
Instructional links
I’ve been teaching this class on the Yahoo LoomClass Group for the past week and we have one more week to go. In the meantime, here are the links to help you learn how to make your own basic baby blanket:

The 20 minute video focuses on making a sampler square to practice the peg-doubling technique, while the pattern instructions detail how to apply the technique to make the actual baby blanket. 

A separate video is available that shows how to add the loom knitted picot edging

Source: loom

SANKAKU


I had to laugh thinking how many times has it taken me to get this shot! Road to perfection requires lots of attempts while taking a photo by yourself or have a photographer do it. It took me 23 tries.

This new pattern design Sankaku Shawl may looks deceiving that someone even suggested that I should have re-named it “This is not Crochet!” as there were so many people who confused this knit shawl worked in crochet or broomstick crochet. Sorry to disappoint you folks, but not sorry as it IS knit.
Sankaku means “triangle” in Japanese and that’s the impression this patterning gave me while working it up. It’s a mosaic of positive and negative triangles that has clean edges yet is very malleable and can easily be scrunched into a voluminous scarf.


I am personally very intrigued that there are still so many methods and ways of knitting to surprise. I think looking like non-traditional kind of knitting it can be a good challenge for knitters to test their skills.
To be precise, working short-rows, dropped stitches and if desired to learn how to work backwards – lots familiar techniques for intermediate knitters, but even beginners can wrap their mind around it just with a little bit of effort. It certainly helps to expand one’s horizons in sense of understanding  knitwear from a different standpoint.


One of the biggest joys of being back to the States was the luxury of being able to go to a yarn store and feel and see all the beautiful colors and fibers in yarn available.
I have picked new-to-me yarn to create this shawl and what a pleasure this yarn is to work with.  
The Plucky Knitter Primo Sport has a unique blend of fibers and great tight twist of plies to keep the knit up fabric in a garment still very bouncy and crisp. And colors… let me say that I have been obsessed with the turquoise color for a while now as you can spy from my surprise hair color for the past or so year. But a good color that I love is called “Breakfast on 5th“… Think the color of the Tiffany’s box and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. That name is so smart! Sarah of The Plucky Knitter has been extremely supportive and a pleasure to work with. She and her team do amazing colors and no wonder The Plucky yarn is in such high regard and demand. All the yarns are colorfast regardless their intensity. What’s more, my local yarn store Fibre Space carries plenty of Plucky, so I know there is more of designs out of these yarns in my future.

Given the temperatures we have been having here in Northern VA this past week, summer knitting goes much easier while working on light sheer items. Sankaku Shawl first right into the category of fun summer knitting.
Not talking about designers like myself though, for us summer is a very busy season in preparation for upcoming cold weather, so in this household it’s lots of AC and cabled wooly knits in my lap.


And I know many might be curious but scared to try this pattern design, so to help and dispel any hesitation and mystery I have started a Knit-A-Long on Sankaku Shawl over at Olgajazzy Group on Ravelry. Please join us and share everything from your color and yarn choices and progress as well as if you need any help understand the technique. A photo tutorial is provided inside the pattern.

What will your Sankaku Shawl look like?

Some info about yarn and yardage
The Plucky Knitter Primo Sport (75% Wool, 20% Cashmere, 5% Nylon; 275 yards per 100g skein),
color “Breakfast on 5th”, 3 skeins.
OR 825 yds of any other sport weight yarn

$ 7.00

Source: New feed

Sunflower coasters

Popping in to share a fun quick project in honor of Earth Day (April 22, 2013) and International Sunflower Guerrilla Gardening Day (May 1). Sunflowers have much symbolism worldwide and in Native American culture as the “fourth sister” to the better known three sisters combination of corn, beans, and squash when gardening. It has also played an important part in American history and became the state flower of Kansas.

So, what better way to say “green” than to knit up a stack of sunflower coasters? These are such a fun and quick project to do, once you’ve mastered the cast on/bind off technique for the petals. Not only are they great for coasters, but these large six inch diameter sunflowers can be incorporated into hats, handbags, scarves, afghans, kitchen accessories and home decor. While the petal technique is explained in detail in the Sunflower Coasters pattern, I hope to do an accompanying video tutorial when time permits. 

Please leave comments if you enjoy the pattern. If you have questions, email me using the contact information in the About Me section of this blog. Also, feel free to share pictures of your sunflower creations.

Source: loom

Happy Easter!

As usual, I’m running behind. However, I wanted to share pictures of my little ducks. This was such fun to do and sort of evolved as I made them. The big duck is made in two main pieces (head & body), but the little duckie is in one main piece. The most difficult part of designing these for the loom was making the beaks. The feet are still forthcoming, but I just had to show them off for Easter. 
The white basket is the larger 24 peg version of the Jelly Bean Basket. The eggs are decorated revisions of the original Easter Eggs pattern.
I am particularly proud of the seamless cast on on the little duckie shown below.
Hope your day is just duckie!

Source: loom

CIRCLES+DOTS

    When I think of the time Pam Allen has asked me to design a collection for Quince & Co I kept telling myself “is this real life”? I suddenly got transported back to the times when I was starting my knitting career and looking forward to every issue of the IK that she curated at the time and browsing through numerous books that she authored in the the local yarn stores. And now I get to do this! This excitement is quite often followed by some amount of self-questioning – would she like these sketches or not? To work with someone who has been in the industry so long has tremendous amount of my respect and reverence and I certainly didn’t want to disappoint. When all the sketches got accepted (!!!) and the next stage was to pick the colors for the whole collection I couldn’t contain myself as things just got even more real.


The inspiration for the Circles + Dots palette served this image for the Finch release as it comprised a harmonious combination of brights and neutrals, especially those hues of turquoise and orange, the colors that my blog used to be. And although I studied art at school for several years my sketching skills often leave much to be desired, however they conveyed the intent.

As you can see some designs went through transformation. The entire process is about making decisions what to add or what to get rid of in a finished design and it is done so to improve the wearability of the actual knits.
My initial idea was to make this collection a story of exploration into knitwear where dots and circles are represented in all kinds through various knit techniques. My interest in polka dots in particular started back in 2011 when I designed my Mizutama shawl in search of wanting to create a polka dot looking shawl without going the obvious route of intarsia. It got me thinking that there are more ways possible to create circular shapes with various looks and patterning in knitwear and I wanted to gather them together for a collection in such a manner that would show the correlation but have different placement, yet feel cohesive and “together”. 2 garments and 3 accessories comprise this collection. I thoroughly enjoyed working the gradually decreasing in size eyelets for Flotilla Mittens and working the three-dimentional texture of Cowry Hat. Even more so developing a special stitch pattern for Effervescence Cardigan, the stitch that looks both eyelet and cables at the same time.
This creative process is slow and lengthy but all the efforts are worth it in the end. When I saw the final images, I was really stunned by the great light , composition and complimenting styling done by Quince&Co that brought the entire collection together in a beautiful narrative that I am very proud to be a part of.

I will let the images speak for themselves though, you can view an entire lookbook to enjoy pretty photography here

Compass Pullover


Cowry Hat



Effervescence Cardigan



Flotilla Mittens



Gyre Scarf



You can queue and favorite all the garments and view the collection on Ravelry here.
And please share your thoughts and impressions about Circles + Dots with other knitters in Olgajazzy designs group on Ravelry. I would love to hear some feedback and color choices for your own knits from this collection!

This collection is available as eBook for 18.00 and all patterns are also available individually.

$18.00

All images in this post are © Quince&Co/Carrie Hoge

Source: New feed

RAKURAI

Past December marked my 3 years of living in Japan. In a way it feels that time flew by so fast and at the same time I can’t grasp all I have seen and done while living here. Not that I have done a great amount of traveling around the country. But there are these weekends and holidays in this freelancer’s world when I get a chance to get away and appreciate what surrounds me and marvel at it!

Not to be rude, but I think many visited 1 day tours take us to popular touristy spots so I lost count of all the castles that we got to visit and I can’t identify many of them because their architecture quite honestly the same. Kakegawa castle or Odawara castle.
However, being me as someone obsessed with details I always tend to remember surroundings and the grounds more vividly. In this case, I just love these geometric streamers that most sacred places in Japan are decorated with. To my westerner eyes they look very origami and very Japanese – called “shide“. In Shinto they represent a lightning, sacred trees and many places are marked with a thick piece of rope and shide. Then last year I happened to visit famous Ryōgoku Kokugikan Stadium in Tokyo for sumo wrestling and I noticed that these same streamers are decorating the belts of most prized fighters, but in this case they are called “gohei“. In either case those lightning looking streamers are used to bless and cleanse.




To embody this geometric detail into my work I have decided on the zigzag looking scarf that is made in an unsual sort of way. 落雷 RAKURAI (jap.) (noun) – means “thunderbolt”, bolt of lightning”.
It’s a fun scarf that is worked in the round while those hills and valleys are shaped at the same time. It’s completely reversible and is worked using only a single skein of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in this gorgeous color called Tomato. A vibrant orange with enough red to make this accessory pop! Winter in Japan in most parts is very grey and snowless and it gets dark very early, so the need for brighter object around to liven up an eye feels like a necessity.


My main goal while working this fabric was to try to keep it flat and pointy just like a piece of paper would. But it would still look great if you try to wrap it around your neck and not just look decorative on your coat. And voila – an origami, or in this case more 2 dimensional kirigami for your neck!

Here are some pattern specs:
LEVEL
Beginner Intermediate

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS (blocked)
Width 3.75”
Length 56”

YARN
Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light (100% superwash merino wool; 420yds/384m; approx.115g);
1 skein in Tomato
OR 420 yds of any other fingering weight wool

NEEDLES
US 3 (3.25 mm) dpns or 2 circulars

GAUGE
28 sts and 36 rnds in 4”/10cm over St st swatch worked in the round

On Ravelry

USD 6.00

And to kickstart good will of this New Year (even though the Holiday festivities and gift giving season is already over for most part) the upcoming posts featuring my 3 different scarf designs are going to have a giveaway attached to it!!!


The haul to the winner!
A pdf copy of Rakurai Scarf pattern
1 skein of Madelinetosh TML in Tomato (original yarn and color used for Rakurai scarf)
A set of US 3 double pointed wooden DREAMZ needles by Knitter’s Pride
A tape measure from Namaste
A needle gauge wheel from Craftsy

What do you need to do to enter?

  • Leave a comment on this post telling me what was the scarf pattern you knit last or knitting at the moment with valid contact information (Ravelry ID, email)

Make sure to do all that by end of Saturday, 11:59pm EST,  January 12, 2013. Thank you all for participating! Entries are now closed!
And I will announce the winner Monday!

Good luck and Happy Knitting!
Source: New feed

AYASE CARDIGAN

When we just moved to Japan 3 years ago and settled down into the place we are calling home we were too busy with unpacking. Once things gained their normalcy, the real Japan has started to sink in every time we went outside. The way I am, the things I notice often are ones that we skip or don’t notice in our fast-paced lifestyles, those things draw my attention quite often and inspire me now on the daily basis. I try to document it and remember. Every single corner is full of inspiration here, whether it’s a tile pattern or a design on a grocery bag or something so trivial as a manhole cover by my house.
Japan is notorious for their manhole covers – each city, location has a different design and makes it so unique yet decorates a plain street in an unusual way.
Several years ago I joined this flickr group – Japanese Manhole Covers. There are really some amazing works of art there!


The nearby city is called Ayase, hence the name for my new design – Ayase Cardigan, named after the city where I first saw this manhole cover design.
In fact I knit two of these cardigans – one went to be worn by my mother almost 2 years ago, just because she loved it so much and she couldn’t wait for me to publish the pattern. And I really had to find time to knit a second one so I can release this pattern for all the knitters out there!



I’ve decided to design this cardigan to be knit top-down with the circular yoke and have all increases take place within the actual cabled tiers to create a smooth transition of the pattern from yoke into the body. After many hours of math and brainstorming I am really proud of this pattern. I’ve managed to create 10 sizes and keep the pattern’s cables and texture intact. And the pattern is completely written out for each size, that will make following the instructions much easier for one knitting it.



The cardigan includes short-rows for the back as well as incorporated and applied I-cords as trims, which creates clean finishing lines. I’ve used clothing hooks for closure. While many may choose other methods for closure or just leave it open, I love how cardigan’s silhouette changes if you close different hooks. And I can certainly see it belted with a skinny contrasting belt for a different style look.


Some pattern specifications:

Ayase Cardigan on Ravelry

SKILL LEVEL
Intermediate

TO FIT BUST SIZES
34 (36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46, 48, 50, 52)”

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS (CLOSED, NOT OVERLAPPED)
Bust: 34.5 (36.5, 38.5, 40.5, 42.5, 44.5, 46.5, 48.5, 50.5, 52.5)”
Length from back neck: 23.75 (23.75, 24.25, 24.5, 24.75, 25.25, 25.5, 25.75, 26.25, 26.5)”

YARN
Fibre Company “Organik” (70% organic merino, 15% alpaca, 15% slk); 50g/98yd; color Magma; 10 (10, 12, 13, 13, 14, 15, 15, 16, 16) skeins
OR 960 (980, 1085, 1120, 1255, 1315, 1375, 1435, 1490, 1550) yds of other worsted weight yarn

NEEDLE
US 8 (5 mm) circular 24”, or size to obtain gauge
US 8 (5 mm) set of 5 dpns or 2 circulars
US 7 (4.5 mm) set of 2 dpns to work I-cord Bind off

OTHER
Stitch markers, tapestry needle, scrap yarn, crochet hook, 10 hooks and eyes
GAUGE
16 sts and 24 rows = 4” over washed and blocked St st swatch using larger needles

$ 7.50

I am giving away 3 copies of Ayase Cardigan pattern! 
Just leave a comment on this blog post with your valid contact information (Ravelry ID or email) by Thursday, November 22nd, 2012. Entries are now closed!  THANK YOU!
And I will draw and announce 3 lucky winners on Saturday, November 24th. 
Remember to Like OLGAJAZZY page on FB as well to increase your chances of winning!

Join Olgajazzy designs group on Ravelry
Source: New feed

MOKO-MOKO


Time to get your needles prepped and ready for a new cowl in town. Meet Moko-Moko! In translation from Japanese Moko-Moko means “fluffy”. That was the first impression my Japanese friend Kumi when she saw me working on it. The dimensional allover texture of this fun cowl looks very intricate, but in fact it’s a beginner project but you still can learn several new techniques by making it!


This pattern is very easy to customize, the most important two aspects when it comes to choosing right yarn is to pick correct fiber content yarns and getting enough yarn for the entire dimensions you are intending. The animal fibers like wool, cashmere, alpaca, camel, bison and their blends are the best since they will help to preserve the usual texture.


And knowing my passion for versatile garments, the cowl is big enough to serve as a capelet or if you work it longer – as a bolero shrug and even a snood.

My yarn choice for Moko-Moko fell on a new-to-me Jones&Vandermeer yarn called Clever Camel, which is 100% camel in aran weight. It’s very airy although it’s plied and very strong. I love how the company site actually gives you description where the fiber for this yarn came from and where it was processed before it finally got into a pretty skein and ended up on your knitting needles.

I am very intrigued by other yarns available from Jones&Vandermeer and I see a sweater in my future made out of Moo Cotton, a heavy-worsted weight yarn of milk fiber and cotton bled which feels amazing in a swatch and reminds me of the discontinued Rowan Calmer only Moo Cotton is without any acrylic in it. Great option for those allergic to wool! And I am still salivating over Minkle (Mink + a bit of Sparkle!) and Real Pearl yarns.

I am currently working on a fingering version of Moko-Moko in Wollemeise Twin on size US 2 needles, but using same cast on instructions as I did for the green one above in Clever Camel. I plan to keep knitting on it till I run out of yarn.
If you are wondering for when you customize a pattern that has a big repeat like Moko-Moko, how would one know if leftover yarn if enough for one more full repeat and not waste time knitting and ending up having only to rip back? My advice is to weigh your first full repeat (take it off the needle or transfer live stitches onto some scrap yarn) and make a note how much 1 repeat weighs. Then when you get close to the end of your skein you weigh the leftover to determine the verdict.

Several test knitters who were kind to give Moko-Moko a try shared with me that the pattern was very addictive and hard to put it down. And as it’s rather a quick knit (even if you to to chunky or even bulky weights) one can certainly whip couple of them in time for more wooly Xmas presents! Pattern, yarn, needles – GO! Happy Knitting!

Queue Moko-Moko Cowl on Ravelry


$6.00
Source: New feed

AMASEI SHAWL


In translation from Japanese Ama-sei 亜麻製 means “flaxen”.

This fun rectangular shawl is a beginner knitting project for someone who wants to learn how to knit lace. The combination of fingering linen and cobweb merino yarns together create wonderful drapey accessory yet it’s cosy and comfortable. Perfect for chilly summer evenings as a wrap and it’s easy to bundle up in colder weather.
With a simple pin I got at Churchmouse yarns and teas this summer I turned this shawl into a cardigan.


And I love the slouchy look of this makeshift cardigan in the front.


Or just more like a basic scarf scrunched.

  

Please enjoy free pattern below, please do not copy and re-post text/chart of the pattern elsewhere. Just link to this post. Have questions? Just ask!

Queue on Ravelry

Skill Level
Beginner

Finished size
Approx. 70″ length and 23″ width (blocked)

Yarn
Yarn A:
Habu Textiles XS-21 Linen (100% linen), (763 yds/698 m per 100g/3.5 oz), 2 skeins
OR
Habu Textiles XS-55 Linen (100% linen), (370 yds/339 m per 48g/1.7 oz), 4 skeins

Yarn B:
Habu Textiles N-75 Fine Merino (100% wool), (747 yds/683 m per 28g/1oz), 2 skeins

NOTE: Yarns A and B are worked together throughout in the sample shawl, but if desired you can omit Yarn B and work with a single strand of Yarn A only.

Needles
US 5 (3.75 mm)
OR use size needle to obtain gauge

Other
Markers (optional)
Tapestry needle

Gauge
20 stitches and 32 rows = 4″ in St st with 1 strand of A and 1 strand of B held together

Notes
To help keep track of lace pattern, separate each repeat by placing stitch markers at the * indicators in the pattern below.

Directions
Holding both yarns together, cast on 118 stitches using the long-tail method.
Work 6 rows in Garter stitch (knit every row).

Row 1 (RS): K1, *p1, k2, ssk, yo; repeat from * to last 2 stitches, p1, k1.
Row 2: P1, k1, *p4, k1; repeat from * to last st, p1.
Row 3: K1, *p1, k1, ssk, yo, k1; repeat from * to last 2 stitches, p1, k1.
Row 4: Work same as row 2.
Row 5: K1, *p1, ssk, yo, k2*, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, p1, k1.
Row 6: Work same as row 2.

Work rows 1-6 for a total of 67 times or until shawl is desired length, keeping in mind that a larger shawl will require more yarn. Make sure to save enough yarn to work the final border rows.

Work 6 rows in Garter stitch. Bind off all stitches loosely on the next row.

Wash and block.


Red box represents a single pattern repeat.
K – Knit on RS, Purl on the WS.
P – Purl on the RS, Knit on the WS.
YO – Yarn over.
SSK – Slip, slip, knit those 2 slipped stitches together.
Source: New feed