2018, Baby, Cardigan, Flat knitting, Knitting, Lace

Norwegian Love

I love knitting baby stuff. They are instant gratification and they turn out so cute. So, when my cousin announced that they are expecting a baby, I was thrilled. Of course, I was happy for them, but I was also happy for myself that I can knit some baby things.

I zeroed in on Norwegian Fir cardigan. Cozy garter stitch and subtle lace on the raglan – what not to love? I decided to use Nako Hoşgeldin yarn (which I have in abundance, thanks to a recent visit to Pony store). This was my first time knitting with bamboo. Yarn is soft and has great stitch definition, but it splits like crazy. Thank my stars, I did not have to frog my knitting. Frogging this yarn will be a nightmare.

The cardigan turned out cuter than I thought. Yarn and the pattern worked out so well together. I made a few modifications to the pattern. The sweater looked too wide, compared to its length, so added an inch to the body and sleeves. I added more buttonholes as well. I had bought these cute buttons from Itsy Bitsy which added the right contrast colors to the monotonous blue sweater.

If I knit this sweater again, I will cast on 5-6 sts more for buttonband. Designer has not accounted additional sts for buttonband, so the cardigan puckers when buttoned up.

Also made these quick, knit booties to go with the sweater.

Patterns:
Cardigan: Norwegian Fir Top Down Cardigan
Booties: Baby Uggs
Yarn: Nako Hoşgeldin

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2018, Finished Object, Flat knitting, Knitting, Lace

Clapotis

Looks like all the knitters in the world have already knit or are knitting a Clapotis. I didn’t want to be left far behind, so picked up this gorgeous ball of Knit Picks Chroma in Pool Party colorway and started knitting a Clapotis.

While the pattern is pretty straightforward, I wanted to know how long a scarf would I get out of one ball of KP Chroma, so went digging into the bazillion projects on Ravelry and stumbled on this amazing group dedicated for Clapotis. Not only are there many helpful threads for customizing your clapotis, I found this awesome-sauce spreadsheet which gives you a row wise stitch count as well!

I started knitting mine using the spreadsheet and making sure I was on the right section and had the right count. Once I finished the increase section, the straight section was quite mindless. The part where you get to the stitch-to-be-dropped and actually drop it and unravel was super cool. I would knit away just to get to the next drop stitch section just to see the magic unravel (see what I did there?)

And I love how the Pool Party colors show up here. Bias knitting gives this scarf a cool diagonal coloring which looks wonderful. Post blocking, while I am happy with how my scarf turned out, I would have liked it better if it had been longer. Two skeins of Chroma would have given me a longer scarf.

This was a super easy and fun knit. I have another KP Chroma (in another colorway) and I know what I am going to knit with it.

2015, Knitting, Lace, New Design, New Pattern, seamless

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.

2015, Knitting, Lace, New Design, New Pattern, seamless

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

2014, Lace, Tutorial

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.

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.