Change is the only constant thing, said a wise man once. Some are welcome changes, some not so much. One change which always is welcome is the addition to a family, i.e. arrival of a baby. Don’t try to read something between the lines which doesn’t exist because I am talking about a friend. I have known him for over a decade now. I met him at my very first job, as part of a cultural event. We both are book lovers, so we naturally went onto become friends. Long after I quit that job and hopped onto a few more, we kept in touch, even if it is just for talking about books. He would buy gifts and books for my son, which was very heartwarming. Our friendship strengthened when he went on to marry a friend of mine. Two strong, independent persons coming together to start a new relationship, of which I was somehow part of. My joy knew no bounds. And when the couple called to tell me they are expecting, the first thing that came to my mind (even before I yelled Congratulations!) was what am I going to knit for the baby. I wanted to translate the warm relationship I share with the couple to the knitted items. I didn’t know how, but the knitted items needed to represent the relationships.
A quick dive through my stash turned up this yarn. The softest yarn in the most pleasant colors. I had picked this up on my visit to Singapore and was saving it for a baby to come by and claim it. I wanted this to be a relaxed knit, so my own design was out of the question. Sunnyside pattern seemed like a good choice. I see the twisting cables as the way our lives are twisted together, not in a messy, knotty kind of way, but in a way that looks beautiful and feels warm.
The stockinette part of Sunnyside is easy, and the cables keep it from becoming boring. Top-down, raglan construction with cozy, garter bands on the neckline, sleeve cuffs and the buttonbands.
As much as I love this yarn and can’t get enough of its softness, I did not like it for this pattern. The yarn is loosely plied, to an extent that it is splitty and the cables don’t stand out enough. I still like the end result. It may not be dense and sharp as I like my sweaters to be, but it is soft and warm, which I think babies will prefer.
I still have about half the ball of yarn left, so there will be a hat and may be booties in the near future.
Ravelry Project Page
Yarn: Patons Australia Big Baby 4 Ply
I am so pleased that Zeppa Shawl is released today. This shawl has a story behind it. I got this gorgeous yarn from Helen of Bessie May yarns after looking through all the lovely colors and finally settling on these three colors. I planned to make Entropy vest with this yarn. It was accepted by Petite Purls and they wanted me to use a yarn which was more commercial and available in the US. So, this yarn was set aside for future hoping a good idea would strike soon.
After a few weeks, I thought of using this for a circular yoke sweater with argyle pattern on the yoke. Interesting yes, but very difficult to implement. I knit up a sample in my son’s size (who loved it to bits, BTW) and released it for testing. None of my testers could get the yoke to work. After multiple revisions, I gave up and concluded that this yarn didn’t want to become a sweater.
And one fine night, as I was on the verge of dozing off, a light bulb went off in my mind and thus, Zeppa was born. I am still embarrassed by the failure of the sweater, but as they say, all is well that ends well. Even though Zeppa was ready long back, I had to wait until the weather turned colder. So, here it is, ladies and gentlemen, presenting Zeppa.
Zeppa is knit from the top-down, like typical half-circle shawls, with increases placed apart. Stockinette section is alternated with colorwork section which look like wedges using short rows. Colorwork stitch pattern is very easy since you are dealing with only one color on each row. This is a good candidate for stash busting as you can use multiple colors on a single wedge. The shawl is knit in DK weight yarn, which makes it a quick knit.
Yarn: Bessie May Smile
Zeppa is available at a reduced price of US $2 (yep, 50% off) until Sep 15 using coupon code “Zeppa50″. Add this pattern to your cart on Ravelry and enter the coupon “Zeppa50″ (without the double quotes) and you should see the discounted price.
This blog post is way too late, but better late than never, eh?
I was on cloud nine the whole of last week. My feet were barely touching the ground. And with good reason. I had a pattern published by Quince. drumroll. At this point in my designing career, this comes as a much needed opportunity to reach a wider audience and also to know how publishing works.
Quince and team (special mention to Jerusha for putting up with my too frequent mails) were so easy and helpful to work with. I was apprehensive since this was the first time I was working with them, but they never made me feel out of place. Jerusha, the lovely lady she is, always replied cheerfully to my emails, even when she had to give me a bad news.
This was also my first time working with Quince yarn and the experience was equally pleasant. Tern is perfect for texture and the color Quince chose for this design shows off the cable texture very well. Photos are gorgeous, as always with Quince.
Photo © Quince and Co.
Texo Shawl is knit using fingering weight yarn and is knit from the top down, starting from a garter stitch tab. The shawl shown in the photo is 60″ deep with 26″ wingspan. It is perfect for chilly summer evenings. A knitter on Ravelry is knitting this as a nursing cover! You can buy a copy of Texo Shawl on Ravelry or on Quince’s website.
Punto Shawl is an asymmetric, crescent shaped which is easy to drape and interesting to knit. The shawl features plain garter rows interspersed with colorwork wedges with pointy edges half the way and curved edges on the other half. The shawl is worked sideways with wedges and the crescent shape achieved using short rows.
Punto Shawl uses the variegated yarns to its benefit by breaking up the colors using slipped stitches. Use the same CC yarn as shown in the sample or be adventurous and use different yarns for each wedge. Instead of using variegated yarn, you can use different solid yarns for each wedge.
Punto Shawl makes a great set with Punto Cowl and Punto Hat. You can buy the shawl pattern alone or grab all the three patterns in one ebook. You can get 30% off either the Punto Shawl pattern or on the Punto ebook using coupon code ‘PUNTO!‘. Hurry, sale will end May 11, midnight, India time.
Ravelry Pattern: Punto Shawl by Anjali M.
MC Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Worsted
CC Yarn: Malabrigo Sellecion Privada
Needle Size: US #9 5.5 mm for the body
Tanvi by Anjali M.
I sent out an update to Tanvi on Ravelry last week. There were one error in the intro text (or the romance text as it is called) which said that the sleeves are knit after the body, while the actual pattern instructions were to bind off the sleeves when the yoke is complete. I got a question about this from a customer and I had to correct this error and send out an update.
This also gave me the chance to migrate this pattern to my new template. I searched high and low for resources for creating/buying templates and finally zeroed in on this MS Publisher template. I customized it heavily to suit my needs and I like how it turned out. I have been using this for all my new patterns and I like how easy it is to change the colors with just one click. I have stopped using MS Word for pattern editing and rely heavily on Publisher now. Here is my jazzy, new template. What do you think?
I have been a lurker on the Contiguous Sleeves group on Ravelry since a long time. I was introduced to this technique by Elena Nodel when I test knitted her Tomboy Vest. Since then, I wanted to knit more sweaters made with this technique, but as it always happens, never had the time. When Just Chill was put out for testing, which uses a combo of saddle shoulders with contiguous sleeves, I utilized this great opportunity to learn this technique better. Of course the handsome sweater was a factor too.
Just Chill is seamless and knit top down. The two toned look, combined with the saddle shoulders make this sweater very handsome and masculine. The pattern is beginner friendly, with clear instructions. The only tricky part for a beginner could be the attached I-cord for the buttonbands. Well, what is the fun in knitting a sweater which doesn’t offer any challenge.
I chose Knit Picks Shine Worsted in Platinum and Willow. I even had perfect buttons to go with it. Love the wooden look of the buttons. I am racking my brain to recall where I bought this, but it is drawing a blank.
This sweater is headed to Ahmedabad to meet its recipient, Vihaan, a handsome little nephew of mine. He is the latest addition to my huge, extended family and this is my welcome gift to him. My cousin lost her first baby just before she was due for delivery, so this baby is so much more special for her and for us all. Here is wishing Vihaan a long and fruitful life in this world.
I am a great admirer of designers who churn out beautiful shawls, one after the other. I love the delicate lace and the airy fabric, but never had the courage to design one myself. On one of the casual page-turning of a Japanese lace stitchionary book, my eyes stopped at a particular stitch. I loved the combination of curved outline and the straight lines in the body. I started fantasizing about converting that into a shawl. After a long journey from swatching the stitch, adding a border and another transition lace stitch, Penstemon was born.
Penstemon is knit bottom-up, starting from the lace edge. The stockinette body is shaped into a crescent using short rows. The lace part comes as a chart and written instructions too. I knit this using the gorgeous SweetGeorgia Merino Silk Lace which is soft and squishy and has a beautiful shade of colors. Using fingering weight will yield a bigger shawl (and yardage will vary too).
Ravelry Pattern: Penstemon by Anjali M.
Yarn Suggested: SweetGeorgia Merino Silk Lace
Needle Size: US #6 4 mm