New Pattern: Arushi

Arushi (first rays of the sun) is a crescent shaped shawl knit from the bottom up. The pointy edges and the lace portion are worked back and forth and the stockinette crescent shaped is worked using short rows. The lace stitch is charted and written instructions are also provided.

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While the sample is knit in laceweight yarn, this shawl can be knit using light/fingering weight yarn also. Use bigger needles to get the right drape with heavier yarn. The finished size and yardage will vary if heavier yarn is used.

IMG_2826_medium2Arushi by Anjali M.

Arushi is available at 25% off till Sep 30. Use coupon code ArushiForWalkCollection at Ravelry check out.

New Pattern: Purvi

Purvi translates to “from the east” and is also the name of a popular Hindustani raga in Indian classical music. Purvi is sung during dusk – just when the sun goes down and the breeze from the east brings the temperature down a notch – the time when Purvi shawl can keep your shoulders warm and add to the beauty of the evening.

 

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Purvi is knit from the top down, starting with a garter stitch tab. The body of the shawl features a pretty leaf lace pattern which seamlessly evolves into a bigger leaf pattern. Charts and written instructions are provided for the lace stitch patterns. Adventurous knitters can optionally place beads on the pointy edges.

The sample is knit using Malabrigo Sock in Lettuce colorway. The shawl can be made using lace yarn, but the gauge and finished size will vary.
Purvi is available at a promotional price of $3 until May 10, after which it will be listed at its full price of $5.

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Ravelry Pattern: Purvi
Yarn Suggested: Malabrigo Sock
Needle Size: US #10 6 mm for the body

Charting Lace in Excel: Tallying Increases and Decreases

I have used Excel to chart lace and cable stitches and have found it very helpful and easy to use. I use the keyboard characters for standard symbols like k2tog, ssk, yarn-over etc. For cables, I sometimes use made up symbols (>>>> means right leaning cable over 4 sts) or rely on free knitting fonts that work with Excel. I chart one repeat of lace and once that is done, tailoring it to suit my needs is very simple with cut, copy and paste. Excel is very helpful in grading too, but that is not what I want to share here.

I was charting a large, complicated (for me) lace for a shawl recently. After the first cut was done, I sat down to swatch it only to realize my stitch count was off somewhere. On some rows, I had extra stitches, while on some, I was falling short. It is easy to manually count decreases and increases when your stitch doesn’t span too many columns, but in my case, I was dealing with a 75 column x 40 rows chart. Even if I did muster the courage to manually count it, I would never be sure I had done it right. I decided to use Excel’s in-built functions for help. I have used basic math functions like SUM, SUBTRACT, ROUND etc for grading, but had never tackled a problem like this before. A little sniffing around gave me COUNTIF.

I am using the above chart as a reference.  You can click on these images to see a larger version. There are too many k2tog, ssk and yos, so manual counting is a bit difficult. I want to tally my decreases and increases for every row. I set up a column which gives me the count of yarnovers. I need to know how many times the character ‘o’ appears in every row. The formula to use is COUNTIF(H3:AJ3, “o”).

This formula counts the number of times ‘o’ appears from celss H3 to AJ3. Similarly, set up formulas to count other characters also.

 

The last column TALLY should subtract the decreases from the increases, i.e. YO-SSK-K2TOG-2*DD. We multiply DD by 2 because double decrease reduces the stitch count by 2. If the cell shows zero, then your stitch count is fine, if not, you need to fix your chart. Copy these formulas on all the rows of the chart and you can verify your stitch count on the all the rows.

Here is my setup. See the number ‘2’ on two rows there? That is the reason my stitch count was off. I deleted the yarnovers at the beginning and end of both rows and now the stitch count is intact.

Here is the new chart with tally being all zeroes.

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

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.

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?

New Pattern: Tara Shrug

I am so excited that my Tara Shrug is published as part of Knit Now October Issue.  I worked on this design almost 6 months back and just when I was ready to self-publish it, I saw the call from Knit Now and they were looking for quick knits. Since then I have been patiently waiting so that I could show this pattern off.

Photo Credit: Knit Now

Tara shrug is a great last minute gift for the little star in your life. The lace is simple and easy to memorize with all wrong side rows being ‘resting rows’. The shrug is knit flat as a rectangle in the openwork diamond lace pattern. After working the sleeves ribbing, the shrug is seamed at both ends to make sleeves. The body ribbing is knit in round.

Sizes: 2 (4, 6, 8, 10)
Chest sizes: 20 (22, 24, 26, 28) inches

The shrug is intended to be worn with 1-2” of negative ease as the lace section stretches when worn.

Photo Credit: Knit Now

 

Ravelry Pattern: Tara Shrug
Yarn Suggested: Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply
Needle Size: US #3 3.25 mm for the body