My Amethyst – Chevron Cardigan is finished !

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Tadah! I have finished my Amethyst – Chevron Cardigan!

I am quite pleased with the result. The cardigan is very light, but warm. Very pleasant to wear. I worked the neck in the same textured rib as I did the bottom, sleeves and front border.

I used small lovely coconut buttons:

Can’t wait to wear it 🙂

Love,
Asta

What is on my needles – Amethyst – Chevron Cardigan. How to achieve equal length of both front borders

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I am knitting the sleeve ribs, bottom ribs and front border of my Amethyst-Chevron Cardigan.

The beauty of knitting the cardigan top down is that I can decide on my rib design at the very late stage of knitting. I can see how cardigan looks like, what kind of rib it is asking for. Another very important advantage – the rib will be not too tight, as it happens when we knit from bottom. Every knitter knows the first few rows are more tight and then when we get into rhythm of knitting, it loosens.

With top down knitting the ribs are last parts we knit. Very bottom of the rib – it is the last rows of knitting. At the time of binding of we can make the last row as loose or tight as we want.

For this cardigan I chose to make textured rib. Cardigan is in stockinette stitch, plain, so this kind of rib adds much interest. It is very simple to knit: knit 2, purl 2 as normal rib. Only every 4th row (round) on the right side of the knitting purl all stitches.

 

Now when the bottom borders done, it is time for front border. I use the same pattern of the textured rib. What I do differently – I knit it not horizontally as usual, but vertically – top down as well. I want my borders on the both sides to be ideally the same size (length). When we knit in usual way – picking the stitches from the edge of the front, it is quite difficult to achieve this. First, it is quite tricky to pick the right amount of stitches to have not too tight or not too loose border. Second, if you picked the right amount of stitches on one side, it is not as easy to pick the same amount on the other side).

With the vertical border these problems do not exist 🙂 !
For this cardigan I cast on 10 stitches (that is the width of my border): slip edge stitch, purl 1, knit2, purl2, knit2, purl1, slip the last stitch, yo, pick the stitch from the side of cardigan, pull the new stitch through the slip stitch. Turn around.
In this way we knit one row of our border and pick the last stitch from the row of the cardigan. That’s how the length of the border will be the perfect – one row of the border = one row of cardigan body.

 

When we knit another side, our border will be exactly the same size (length), because it is the same quantity of rows in cardigan body. Remember, we knitted fronts and back of cardigan in one piece, so it is impossible to have different amount of rows.

There is another bonus of this vertical border – it is flattering as well, because it creates the line which runs vertical on the body!

I just love it!

Love,
Asta

What is on my needles

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This January I decided to take a little brake from knitting pattern making and writing.

Not to stop knitting or crocheting, no.

Just make something for myself with wool and for a change – not to be obliged to write a pattern, ha ha. Just knitting, knitting, knitting 🙂

I decided to make a cardigan with lovely Drops Flora yarn, which is 65% Wool and 35% Alpaca. It has lovely wooly feeling. Only it is quite fine yarn – manufacturer says 24 stitches x 32 rows to make 10x10cm square with 3mm needles. My gauge is a little bit different – 20 stitches x 28 rows to make 10x10cm square with 2.5mm needles. It will be a lot of knitting, but cardigan should be fine, not too bulky under the winter jacket. It still should be warm because of the wool.

A little bit of sketching, a little bit of calculations and here we go! Plain Amethyst colour body and chevron pattern sleeves (Amethyst, White and Black). Not sure will be making the whole sleeve with pattern, but will decide later as I knit.

I am knitting it top down, it is raglan sleeves. It means I will be knitting both fronts and back at the same time. All together at the chest it will be 206 stitches! Oh boy, it IS a lot of stitches 🙂 But that is what I wanted – just knit, knit, knit 🙂

I started knitting all parts in one piece – fronts, sleeves, back. I really like this about top down raglan sweaters – knit everything at once and do not worry about sewing and matching everything at the end. But in this case, when the sleeves are with pattern, body is plain colour, it is getting too much complicated. It would mean I must have separate yarn balls for the fronts, each sleeve (2 colours at the same time) and back. With all increases and colourwork it is a little bit too much. I decided to unravel everything and knit back and fronts separately, join them at the armpit line and continue in one piece (yes, the same 206 stitches before decrease for the waist). And the sleeves I am knitting separately, will sew them in afterwards. From the armpit I am knitting the sleeve in one peace as well.

Half of the sleeve is done! I decided to have pattern only at the top of sleeve, the rest of it will be plain colour. Not much left to knit – finish this sleeve, knit the other one, sew everything together, knit the borders, sew in the buttons. It seems a bit late to knit the winter cardigan, as the spring is coming already. But I hope to make it soon to be able to wear it this season. It seems I am always a bit late when it comes to knitting to myself 🙂 How nice it would be to knit the summer cardigan in winter and vice versa?

What about you? Do you knit for yourself in advance, for the next season? 🙂

Love,

Asta

In love with foxes

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in love with foxes

So in love with foxes lately!
I am making knitted pillows with foxes, knitted socks with foxes, quilt on the go with foxes… I shared with you my process of making pillows with foxes in my previous blog posts.

They are such a beautiful animals. Just look at them 🙂

Photo by Hans Veth from Unsplash

 


Photo by Ray Hennessy from Unsplash


Photo by Sunyu from Unsplash


Photo by Victor Benard from Unsplash

They are so georgeous and mysterious animals. Cute and elegant at the same time.

No wonder that as a result of my admiration design for knitted foxes pillows was born:

I have nearly finished making pillows, you will see the result in the next blog post soon!

Love,
Asta

How I design and make my knitted foxes pillows, part 2

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I have finished the knitting part of my winter foxes pillows – I made 2 of matching designs. The fronts of the pillows are knitted and the backs will be fabric – I will sew it with sewing machine.

I was very lucky to find perfect fabric for the back. Where I found it? In fancy fabric shop? Noooo. In Ikea! 100% cotton  – that is what I wanted. It is quite thick, perfect for home textiles.

I like very much Ikea gives credit for the designer on the selvage. Jennifer Idrizi is Swedish designer. She designs for Ikea and other companies. My favourite collection of her designs for Ikea:  http://www.jenniferidrizi.com/ikea-hemmafest-limited-collection-2017/

Fabric – sorted, now it is time for buttons. I was pondering, shall I put the buttons at the back, or should I leave slip in opening.
It is a pleasure to sew buttonholes with modern sewing machines (I remember dreading the projects which included buttonholes when I was a teenager – because you had to measure and sew very precisely).
Today my Brother Innov-Is 35 is doing the job very well  – just stick in the button to the special sewing feet, pick the stitch, press the foot – and it does job for you 🙂

And I love the buttons! Especially all sorts of the wooden ones 🙂

They are simple and lovely, aren’t they?
I will show you the final result in my next blog post. I hope to finish writing the knitting pattern by that time too!

Love,
Asta

 

 

How I design my knitted foxes pillows, part 1

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I am planing the new project – knitted cushions. The front will be knitted and the back will be of the matching fabric.

I am making it with Stylecraft Special DK yarn. I chose a cooling greys, white, black and contrasting copper:

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They will have wintery, but cozy impression 🙂

For now it is planning and pondering stage, creating design:

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Later I need to decide about the opening at the cushion. Opening will be at the back. Shall I leave it just as opening or shall I put wooden buttons?
(I do love wooden buttons ! 🙂 )

Love,
Asta

It has been a while

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It has been a while since I last time posted here.

Gosh, so many things in my life has changed! I quitted the job which I was not enjoying doing any more. That was a huge step! Yes, the job was well paid, but highly stressful and I was in that industry many years. Then I changed the country I am living – moved from Lithuania to United Kindgom. Then I met my partner and love him very much!
My lovely daughter is grown up now, she works as volunteer on RV Heraclitus (Research Vessel Heraclitus) project http://www.rvheraclitus.org/ . The Ship Heraclitus was in seas for many years, now she needs renewing. A lot of work needs to be done and I am very very proud my daughter is part of this.

What has not changed is my love for creating, coziness and coffee!

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I do create a lot lately. I knit, crochet and sell my designs on Etsy shop. I opened my Ravelry store and Craftsy as well. And you know what? I love it! It is so satisfying to see people like something I created.

So I better go back to making and see you very soon! 🙂

Love,
Asta

 

 

Overlay crochet

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My latest explorations with overlay crochet. After seeing amazing blanket at Lilla Bjorn blog here http://www.lillabjorncrochet.com/2015/11/about-winter-blanket-by-emma-aldous.html, I was so curiuos to try this technique. It is not that I have never seen it, but probably the time to try it came now. Oh, that blog ot Tatsiana Lilla Bjorn is just amazing. She has some free pattens as well,  I tried this one http://www.lillabjorncrochet.com/2015/06/circles-of-sun-mystery-cal-general.html  Well, yes, I did some moderations, but the rest I kept like in her pattern. The result is here:

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I am quite happy with the result 🙂

Red slippers for Valentine Day

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Working – knitting- working 🙂  !

I’m knitting the new slippers  – for comming Valentine Day. Work in progress:

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Lovely bright red color.  I will share finished item and PDF pattern on my Etsy shop soon.
I liked reading today’s Etsy blog post about Emily McDowell and her shop     https://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2014/featured-shop-emily-mcdowell/   She is real inspiration.  And especially one of her cards, saying: “I know:being single on Valentine’s Day can suck. But it is’s so much better than dating some idiot”   https://www.etsy.com/listing/172158628/being-single-on-valentines-day-can-suck?ref=shop_home_feat_4  Ha ha !  so true! How many people do you know, who are dating or living together only because they are used to, “everybody does this”, “I have to be with somebody” ? How many of them are together not because they like and love each other, but because they are afraid to be alone, with themselves? It is not a secret – being alone and being lonely is not the same thing. You can be lonely in the middle of the crowd. And it is perfect to learn to be alone, feel comfortably and happy with myself. I think it has big value. When I’m happy and peaceful with myself, I can share it with somebody I want. Is not that great? And I am the one with whom I’ll going to spend all my life :).  So better to be friends 🙂 .
So why not to  knit beautiful red slippers for lovely you? 🙂

House wall painting

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One day somehow I came up with the idea – what would it look like to paint my house (outside) in different way?  I like the personal looks of the homes – both inside and outside.  It is good to feel that people are living comfortably in house; house is full of life and creativity. It is not necessary to have new expensive fashionable things and to do modern house repair works  – which usually looks nice, but is the same everywhere and is not personal at all.  What if I coud give a little bit personal look to my house? I was also inspired by  lady from http://katwise.com/art.html . She is so brave woman! Kat is true inspiration! And the Heather from youtube videos about tiny houses : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8dfeIJ9RPY .  I am so happy we can share wonderful ideas with people who are far away from us physically, bet very close in soul. Thank you, both ladies !
Soooo , let’s get to work!
I shared this idea with my painting friends and our teacher.  We  meet and  paint once a week in wonderful craft and painting supplies shop. It’s like a club! 🙂   So I offered this opportunity for friends – to get experience by painting on my house wall. Should I tell I was very happy when they agreed?
It’s the beginning – evening before painting day  – the “before” look:

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I can tell it is very spontaneous creation – we did not had clear plan or strict sketch  – we only came up with the idea – “it could be mandalas”. I love mandalas! Even if my friends never painted mandalas before, I was lucky they agreed to this idea!
Timid begining:
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Painting and designing on the way.
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Expert discussion:

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even rain can not stop us:

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but when the rain water starts dilute paint – it’s not good. So we had to stop that day.
Here comes the sunny day:

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Look, how sun rays are playing on the texture and colours:

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And the result for now:

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Even if it is not finished yet, I already like the result. Than you, thank you, thank you, my friends!!!
P.S. there are some more photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/94022692@N08/sets/72157635451308839/