I was organizing old pattern books this morning and came across this one. Yes, I actually bought this one and not too long ago either--2005. From the cover you would think 1970--lol. One pattern had immediately caught my eye, Ravelle. Interesting construction, very unique design. There were one or two others I thought would work up nicely as well. So I brought it home and added it to my ever expanding collection.
Shortly thereafter my Mom was leafing through the book and what pattern does she stop at? Yes, Ravelle (the apple doesn't fall far... etc etc). With dilated pupils she says we must find yarn for this. Holidays were approaching and she imagined this as a classy New Year's Eve topper. We found Berroco's Bonsai (now, alas, discontinued) and I worked it up for her. It is basically a long knitted scarf. When you are casting off, you drop the middle stitches to make that lovely draped effect. She always gets tons of compliments on it. It is a very striking piece and she can pull it off.
Here is another one I might have passed over. This is a Gedifra design, Frisetto.
What is with the badly sutured slashes?? I mean, did anyone actually make this one?? Without the slashes it is truly a classic boat neck dolman, and very flattering. I don't remember the yarn I used to knit it up (this was 2007 and I have trouble remembering what I did yesterday lately) but it was cotton blend. This was another one for my Mom and she gets tons of wear out of it, dressing it up and down.
I love knitting for my Mom. She so appreciates the time and effort it takes and she makes my work look good. Last year I made her a Ladder Sleeve Pullover in purple. Now she wants one in another color and she has been requesting a dress (yikes). I need longer days or another set of hands...
I had an idea for a pullover with an open work diamond panel on the front and back with a ribbed yoke--kind of a hybrid between raglan and round yoke construction. I wasn't sure if I wanted a high or low neckline. So I decided to build the pulIover by working the body's raglan portion from the mid-shoulders down and then work the yoke up from the top of the body up so I could decide as I was knitting where I wanted it to stop: off the shoulder, portrait neckline, or funnel neck.
I haven't seen many patterns out there offering options for customization and including the how-to. So I thought I would give it a go. I ripped back the bind off and played with decreases to come up with the portrait neckline and now I am working on a funnel neck version. If all the math works out and it looks great there will be a pattern with the 3 versions.
I will be looking for test-knitters for this one soon, anyone interested? You can contact me at email@example.com.
I have a bag of Berroco's Maya in my stash--mostly mocha colored, but also a few hanks of navy and cream. Maya is a lovely cotton chainette with a touch of angora. It is so soft and easy to knit with and it is machine washable! I had been thinking of using it for a wide necked raglan pullover with striped sleeves and contrasting trim at the neck, cuffs and hem.
On a recent rainy morning, with my dog-eared stitch dictionaries spread out before me and a cup of hot tea (with sugar and milk, thank you very much!) I started searching for a unique edging--something other than the usual knit/purl ribbing--for the contrasting trim.
This isn't the first time a stitch pattern has driven a design idea for me. I built a pullover around Stamen Stitch (pattern will be available this fall), and slipped stitch patterns I admired grew into my Slipped Stitch Cowl collection.
You are probably expecting to see something here about a lightweight tee or tank in linen, or cotton, or hemp--you know, perfect for spring and summer knitting and wearing. Since I have spent the last few months preparing for fall/winter commercial publications and anything I begin working on now would be wouldn't be ready for publication until the fall when knitters are gearing up for winter knitting I thought instead to offer you ridiculously cute pictures of darling little lambs frolicking on early spring days instead--ha!
I am currently working on two fall/winter garments that I will self-publish this fall. After that, I will begin working on a spring idea or two to release early 2015. And then my knitting year and yours will hopefully coincide!! That being said, unless you are trying to knit an afghan while sitting in the sun, it is not so bad knitting cold wear items in the summer. Think socks, mittens, hats, and garments that are knit in pieces and then seamed--anything that doesn't cover your entire lap and make you hot will work great.
I love this time of year. The trees are budding out, grass is greening up and the promise of blooming flowers is right around the corner. I have planted a pot of pansies that make me smile every time I walk by. Today I hope to grab my needles and sit in the sun for a bit, 'cause tomorrow the high is only going to be 46 degrees-oh the joys of living in the Midwest.
In December I received emails, only 1 day apart, from the yarn company and one of the magazines wanting to contract for my designs. I was beyond thrilled. Due dates for completion of the samples and written patterns were in February and March. I knew it would be kind of tight with the holidays and a vacation we had planned in January but I felt it was doable and was soooo excited that I accepted both.
I finished the first project at the end of January. In early February as I was beginning the second, I heard from the other magazine--which just happens to be my favorite. They liked my design submission but wanted to use it for a theme other than the one I submitted for and asked if that would be okay. Seriously? YES! I received the yarn March 10th and today I emailed all pattern info and schematics to the tech editors and shipped the sample! A special shout out to my husband who drove the entire way on a long road trip back and forth to Steamboat Springs, CO, just to give me the knitting time I needed to get this last one done--thank you sweetie!.
Aside from my house being very, very dusty and a new callous on the pointer finger of my right hand, this has been a wonderful experience. The process has taught me so much. I have grown as a designer because of it and I am so thankful for these opportunities to grow JoJo Knits and to connect with people in the knitting/fiber industry.
So where will you see these designs? Sorry, all must be kept secret until publication in the fall, no names, pictures or particulars allowed. I will surely let you know they come out.
Tonight, a big martini is in order! The dusting can wait 'till tomorrow.
Months ago I began knitting hats for our new granddaughter Ariya. She was born last May and is so precious, and so easy going, not to mention pretty as can be, but I digress.
Our daughter, Ariya's mommy, loves flowers so I wanted to do flower themed hats for the baby. I used Rowan's Wool Cotton 4 ply which is delightfully soft and well suited for baby items. Here are the three that hats that made the cut.
I like having small projects like these on the needles. They are so portable. I knit practically the entire beanie on a long flight home just before the holidays.
What is harder to do... knit a hat for a darling little baby girl or get a good picture of her in it when it is finished? We took a zillion pictures of Ariya in these hats last weekend. She likes wearing them but keeping still for the camera is not her idea of fun. If she is awake, she is crawling and climbing stairs and pulling herself up or chasing after her big brother. She is happy to walk if you hold her hands. I am sure walking on her own is right around the corner. She smiles and laughs all the time and is so sweet, but again, I digress.
By the way, Happy New Year everybody!!
Wow! October 1st! Where has the time gone?
It was a very busy summer for me--mostly good busy, but also busy caring for elderly parents and the emotional roller coaster that that entails. Knitting and wine and dear friends, separately and collectively, help me survive. Overall life is very good and I am blessed.
Last weekend at the lake I was working on my latest design for a fall pullover when my good, and very old, friend Marty stopped by to see if I had any 'treats' for him. He lives four doors down the lake with good friends of ours. After a little snack he decided to stay and keep me company. He looked so cute in his orange bandana that I could not resist snapping this picture of him.
Marty, it turns out, it is same exact color I have chosen for the pullover... 'Roasted Pumpkin' (Shepherd's Wool from Stonehedge Fiber Mill). Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not :)
Knitting patterns often have really strange names. Recently I've come across a Skagit, a Gozo, a Gregale... Where do these names come from? Is there a pattern name generator out there I don't know about? I name my patterns simply and descriptively but Marty's visit was a sign. Instead of naming this one 'square neck open mock cable pullover' I'm thinking "Martie". Much better, don't you think?
I am enjoying knitting Martie. There is enough going on each row to keep things interesting and Sheperd's Wool is lovely stuff. Pattern coming soon!
Next I wanted to play with the Niebla colorway and decided on the slipped rib stitch for it. I love how this one came out too.
Thank goodnes for my smart phone which I used to take these pictures of myself. I need a model, or a willing photograper, or both!
Shortly I will release a pattern booklet for one hank Rios cowls in all 4 stitch patterns--5 if you count that 'crinkled' is reversible!. They are fun, fast projects and a great intro to this yarn. Of course any medium weight yarn can be substituted. Think about crossing a few Christmas gifts off your list with these easy knits and remember, your pattern purchase will help someone in their fight against cancer.
So many projects, so little time. I should concentrate on one project at a time but I have a little ADD when it comes to my craft. One thought leads to another and am off on another track completely. Not helping is my car. It steers itself toward my LYS. I never get out of there without new skeins that are clamoring to be something while scattered about my work space are skeins that called out to me on my last visit. They join the patterns in progress of being written, swatches of stitiches I would like to try, samples with finishing required etc etc...
Anyway... here are a few things near the top of my list.
We are counting the days until grandbaby #5 arrives. My husband's daughter, Janell should deliver her baby girl any day now. This event inspired what I hope to be a series of baby hats for 6 to 18 month old girls. Here is the first one, a little daisy beret, made in Rowan Wool Cotton. It is a bit to big for this doll but you get the idea.
Today I plan to swatch a couple different stitches for the second hat. The gauge is small so I'm not sure if either of these will show up well. At this point, I'm kind of leaning toward the raindrops... Which do you like?
Next on my list is to build an everyday sort of sweater based on one of my favorite everyday sweaters.