2013, Cardigan, Child, Colorwork, Flat knitting, Gifts, Knitting for Boys, seamless

Just Chill

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.

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2013, Knitting

Gift-Along

Gift-Along is a 2-month long event planned and organized by some independent designers on Ravelry. It is an event to share the joy with others through discounted patterns and knit/crochet-alongs and prizes.

Q. I am not a designer. What does this mean to me?

You can buy patterns from some of your favorite designers at a flat 25% discount. All the participating patterns are available at 25% off until November 15th.

Q. Awesome! Can I see all the discounted patterns all at one place?

You sure can. Here is the list of all patterns.

Q. How do I get this discount?

Use the coupon code ‘giftalong’ (without the quotes) when you checkout the patterns on Ravelry.

Q. Okay, bought some patterns, now what?

Well, the fun isn’t over yet. If you finish knitting the FO from any of the participating patterns, you are entered to win a prize. You need to finish the FO before Dec 31 and post a photo of the FO in the Official FO thread, you can win one of the many prizes.

Q. Prizes? Like what?

Digital patterns, yarns, small notions and so on.

Q. What if I bought a pattern before the GAL period?

You are still eligible, as long as the pattern is in the list of participating patterns. Note, free patterns are not eligible.

Q. Sounds great! Where can I get more info?

Right here on this group.

I am participating in the GAL too. You can get all my self published patterns at 25% off until November 15.

2013, Knitting, Tutorial

How To: Create circular/oval arrow in MS Word

I need schematics to include in my knitting patterns. This is always a pain point for me because I am not good at free hand drawing. I tried creating schematics with Microsoft Word and was reasonably successful. I know there are better tools, but I am not good at free hand drawing, so I go with MS Word which gives me already-drawn shapes. One issue I face with MS Word is the lack of oval or circular arrows in the library. I usually flick an image from the net or draw one myself (which doesn’t look like an oval arrow at all), but I had enough of these workarounds, so I decided to take this bull by its horns. Here is a photo tutorial for creating circular/oval/elliptical arrow in MS Word.

This tutorial is for Microsoft Word 2007. This should work in MS Word 2005 as well. The menu items and their positions may be different, but this functionality should exist in older versions of MS Word.

1. Go to the ‘Insert’ tab. Select ‘Arc’ shape under ‘Basic Shapes’.

2. Draw an arc. It doesn’t matter how big or small it is, because we will be changing it later.

3. Select the Arrow Style as shown. ‘Shape Outline’ menu is visible and enabled when the ‘Arc’ object is selected. Choose whichever arrow style you like. I chose the block, filled arrow here.

4. The arc will now have an arrow at one end.

5. Click and hold on the yellow circle on the non-arrow end and drag it down. You will see trace of the shape being drawn. Based on this, drag the mouse until you are happy with the shape.

6. Do the same with the arrow end. Click and hold the yellow circle and move it around until the arrow end is close to the non-arrow head.

7. Use the blue circles to change the width or height of the arrow.

8. Your arrow is ready to be used.

9. Use your shiny, new arrow in your schematic.

2013, Flat knitting, Lace, New Design, New Pattern, seamless, Shawlette, short rows

New Pattern: Penstemon

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

2013, Flat knitting, giveaway, Knitting, Lace, seamless, Shawlette, short rows, Spring, Summer

Name it and Win it: Pattern Giveaway

I am back with another giveaway. I have designed a crescent shaped lace shawl for which I don’t have a name. The shawl is knit bottom up and has pretty bell shaped flowers on the edge. I thought of naming it Campanula, but there are too many patterns with this name already. So, dear knitters, please help me name this pattern and you stand to win a copy of this pattern.

 

Here are the rules:

1. Leave a comment on this post with your suggestions. You can even tweet, if you want. I am affiknity on Twitter, so make sure you grab my attention if you decide to tweet your suggestions.
2. No limit on the number of names you can suggest
3. If I decide to use the name you suggested, you will win a copy of the pattern, sent to you as Ravelry gift or PDF e-mailed to you.
4. Contest ends on August 30 2013.
5. Winner will be announced once the pattern goes live.
6. As a thank you to the other participants, I will draw a name randomly who will win a copy of this pattern.

Put on your thinking cap and let me know what you would name this shawl.

2013, Knitting, Lace, short rows

Knitting in Brighton

I am at Brighton at the moment on a work related travel. The weather in Brighton is beautiful: bright and sunny during the day and cooler temperature late in the day. Took a walk down the beach and got to witness the exuberant night life here. Stag and hen parties all around with men dressed up in bikinis was worth a sight. The bikini-clad man did look ridiculous, but that’s the point I think. Have fun while you can, who knows how marriage will work for you, yeah?

While I am sick to the stomach that I am away from home and family for three weeks, I am trying to keep myself engaged with knitting. I am almost done with my lace shawl using the gorgeous yarn SweetGeorgia’s CashSilk. That is helping a little in keeping my spirits high. I am on the last few short rows now and the rows are just getting longer and longer with every iteration. Can’t wait to finish this.

Talking about knitting in Brighton, I was surprised to see Britain’s first woolen hotel is in Brighton.

Courtesy: The Gaurdian

The room looks cozy with the telephone cozy and lamp cozy. The bedspread is umm… epic. I wonder how long it took to knit the curtains! Don’t miss the stockinette print wallpaper! May be I should ask my office to book this room for me, huh?

2013, Cardigan, Flat knitting, New Design, New Pattern, seamless, Sweaters

New Pattern: Grown-up Hira

Hira is light and breezy and is great for layering on a cold summer evening. It can be worn over a pretty evening dress or make it casual by pairing with jeans and a tee. The beads on the collar and the sleeves jazz up the cardigan turning the simple cardigan into a special-occasion-wear. I just love the beads on the sleeves, if I say so myself.

Hira is knit from the top-down with raglan sleeves. After the body-sleeves split, the body is worked flat with waist shaping. Sleeves are knit in the round. Stitches for the collar are picked and worked flat, knit to the double the width with a garter ridge, over which the collar gets folded and sewn in place. Don’t worry, the sewing is on the wrong side, so not publicly visible at all.

Grown-up Hira is women’s version of Hira, so you can make a mother-daughter cardigan if you like.

Ravelry Pattern: Grown-up Hira by Anjali M.
Yarn Suggested: Madelinetosh Pashmina
Needle Size: US #6 4 mm for the body