Monday, November 12, 2012

A very productive year...

If you have been following me soou mewhere else than my blog, then you probably know about all this...  But unfortunately, my blog got very neglected this year.  And it was a very fantastic one!  So I thought I could write a post to catch up and tell you all about it.

It started while I was writing my very first (and only) ebook: April Showers.
This ebook was a comission from Malabrigo, as a part of their Freelance Pattern Project.  It was the first time someone from a yarn company contacted me to work for them.  It included 4 patterns, and I loved every single one of them.  It was A LOT of work, more than I expected.  Suddenly, I realized that writing an ebook required more than just writing 4 patterns and publish them at the same time!! Hahaha...

After starting to work on this, Malabrigo asked me to contribute for their new book (coming in November to your LYS): Malabrigo Book 4.  This was huge for me.  It was and still is the first time a pattern of mine was published in print.  Malabrigo was quite specific with the request: It needed to be a pullover and I needed to use one of their most lovely colorways: Cumparsita, a deep red with black spots.  And this was my design:  Alcazar.

This became even more exciting when I discovered who the other designers featured in the book were... Imagine my suprised when I learnt I was going to be published in a book together with Gudrun Johnston, Stephen West, Kirsten Kapur...

At the middle of the year, we decided to remodel our house.  This took a big part of my day and for some months there was not much designing done over here...  But just before Fall (I mean Fall in the northern hemisphere) I could release some of my favorite sweater patterns so far, on which I had been working for quite some time:

Boxy, which soon became a favorite among my friends:
Dragonflies Jumper:

 And 2012 was a year of collaborations too!  I had the pleasure of working with 2 amazing dyers for 2 different projects: a Shawl Kit, and a Yarn Club.  My designs were:

The way from Brighton: offered as a Kit in Lioness Arts Etsy shop.

 Autumn Blush: Part of Sundara’s Yarn Lovers Luxury Yarn and Pattern Collection.

As you see, it was a very productive year!  I couldn't be more happy with all the support I have received from all my ravelry friends.  I created my group last year, and this one it has over 1000 members!
Go check it out here if you like, to read about my work more often... This blog is not properly taken care of by this designer ;)


Thursday, May 31, 2012

New (free) Pattern and KAL time!

This little knit just happened to be on the needles while I worked other more complicated things.  I worked on it every now and then, without paying much attention to it... Until one day I realized I was knitting the last row!  And that's when the pattern was born.

For me, this cowl was a very enjoyable knit for many reasons.
- The yarn.  Oh my God the yarn!  It's called String Theory Caper Sock, and the colorway is Didgeridoo.  The yarn was "borrowed" to me.  My friend Jenny sent me this skein and I was supposed to knit something for her with it.  So this cowl has already an owner.  I just feel lucky that I was able to know this yarn, which I would have not chosen myself.  It is beyond gorgeous!
- The size.  You have no idea how awesome it felt for me (who always has a huge sweater project in her bag) to be travelling around with this tiny project!  And I was sure that I'd have lots of fun without running out of yarn...
- The stitch pattern.  It has it all: cables and lace.  I am a lover of simple knits, but for some reason I always tend to choose intrincate stitch patterns.  This one was super fun to make, but easy to memorize. 

We'll be having a KAL (knit-along) during the month of June in my Ravelry group forum.  There will be prizes!  Come join the party if you like, we'd love you to share your progress with us.  Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New pattern: Tourist Sweater

Wow, it's almost June!
I am very happy to be able to show you my latest pattern: Tourist Sweater.

This tunic is the perfect go to pullover when you need something simple yet stylish. It’s a simple and quite quick knit, with a few twists that will keep the process of knitting it interesting, starting with knitting the collar in one direction, and the rest of the body in another.
Since it was designed to be the perfect traveling sweater (I made this specially thinking of our trip), it has a kangaroo pouch where you can put what you need to keep most at hand at all times. Finding the perfect buttons for the pouch adds the last touch of fun to the process of making the sweater.
It is designed for bust size ranging from 28/30 to 56/58 inches or 70/75 to 140/145 cm.
You can read more about it here.
Or buy the pattern here:

My sister took these pictures of me while we were visiting her in The Netherlands.  The daffodil gardens were perfect for a backgroud with this awesome yellow yarn.
The yarn I used is Malabrigo Merino Worsted, one of my favorite yarns ever, in colorways Frank Ochre.  A perfect shade of yellow.  Just perfect!

And just because I love this little guy so much and we aunties are like this....  Here is another piture of my Tourist sweater in action, the moment I met my Godson: Noah.

Hope you guys like it!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Contest time! / Concurso!

Hello everybody!
The word is out:
I will be publishing a collection of Springtime patterns on April 17th, sponsored by Malabrigo, as part of the Malabrigo Freelance Pattern Project.  We want to keep the patterns a mystery until the release date, but maybe you would enjoy a sneak-peek?

Hola a tod@s!
Ya no es más secreto:  El 17 de Abril voy a publicar una colección de patrones para Primavera, esponsoreados por Malabrigo, como parte del  Malabrigo Freelance Pattern Project.  Queremos que los patrones sean un misterio hasta el día del lanzamiento, pero a lo mejor les gustaría un adelanto?

Pile of knits!.jpg
I thought it would be fun to have a contest my ravelry group.
2 winners will win a copy of April Showers, a collection of 4 patterns inspired by rain.
Here is how it works:
  • To enter the contest, you need to go to the group board and enter this thread:
    Post a picture of a project that you made for springtime. It can be anything: a cardigan, a shawl, a tank top… It just needs to be something that reminds you of spring. Photos do not need to be artistic! The idea is that you share your creations, which can inspire other knitters… If you want to, please share with us which pattern/yarn you chose and why you chose them.
  • Only members are eligible to win the prizes, so please join or group. New members are always welcome! (to be able to join the group, you need to have a ravelry user)
  • Only one post per person, please…
The contest will remain open until April 16th midnight. Then we’ll do a draw with the post numbers and we’ll know who the 2 lucky winners are.
Good luck everyone!

Me pareció divertido hacer un concurso en mi grupo de ravelry.
2 ganadoras se llevarán una copia de April Showers, una colección de 4 patrones inspirados por la lluvia.
Así funciona:
  • Para participar del concurso, tienen que ir al grupo y entrar en este hilo:
    Posteen una imagen/foto de un proyecto que hayan hecho para primavera.  Las fotos no necesitan ser artísitcas!  La idea es que compartan sus creaciones, que pueden inspirar a otras tejedoras...  Si quieren, compartan con nosotras qué patrón/lana usaron y por qué los eligieron.
  • Sólo los miembros del grupo pueden ganar los premios, así que porfa únanse al grupo!  Siempre es lindo tener miembros nuevos! (para poder unirse al grupo deben ser miembros de ravelry).

  • Sólo un post por persona porfa…

El concurso estará abierto hasta el 16 de abril a la medianoche.  Después haremos un sorteo con los números de los posts y sabremos quiénes son las 2 afortunadas ganadoras.
Mucha suerte a todas!!!!!

Monday, March 05, 2012

In red / En rojo

I have some projects that I want to show you...  In red.
Even though hot Buenos Aires made it quite hard to get these done, I managed to finish them with some help from my air conditioner.  Our weather has changed a lot, and it feels like our city is turning into a tropical weather place.  We no longer have cold winters (I rarely wear my heavy weight sweaters), and our summers seem to last longer and longer.

Tengo algunos proyectos que les quiero mostrar... En color rojo.
A pesar de que la calurosa Buenos Aires hizo bastante difícil que pudiera terminarlos, pude hacerlo con un poco de ayuda de mi acondicionador de aire.  Nuestro clima ha cambiado un montón, y pareciera que nuestra ciudad se está convirtiendo a una con clima tropical.  Ya no tenemos inviernos fríos (apenas uso mis sweaters gruesos), y nuestros veranos parecen ser más y más largos.

This is my Jenica Hoodie.
Esta es mi Jenica Hoodie.

If you didn't read the story of this sweater, you can do it here.  I love the way it came out!
Si no leíste la historia de este sweater, podés  hacerlo acá.  Me encanta cómo salió!

Some shots of the back:
Fotos de atrás:

The yarn I used for this project/pattern is Madelinetosh Chunky, a glorious yarn.  It seems a little heavy when you knit it, but it softens up a lot after blocking.  And it didn't eat up that much yarn!  The best part is that it knits up at a big gauge, so the knitting goes FAST!

El hilado que usé para este proyecto/patrón es Madelintosh Chunky, un hilado glorioso.  Parece un poquito pesado cuando lo usás, pero se suaviza un montón cuando lo lavás.  Y no llevó tanta lana!  La mejor parte es que se teje con agujas grandes, así que el tejido avanza RÁPIDO!

The cables crossing in the back take the centre of the attention in this hoodie, but it has so many little details that make it beautiful: horizontal braiding in the yoke, side pockets with smaller braids, roomy hood…
Knit from the top down, Jenica is not a traditional cardigan… It is built in a way that will make you have lots of fun while working it. You will be going from one piece to another, changing directions… The heavy weight yarn makes this pattern a very fast knit, and since it is seamless, very little finishing is required.


El cruce de trenzas en la espalda se lleva toda la atención en esta "hoodie", pero tiene tantos detalles que la hacen hermosa:  trenzas horizontales en el canesú, bolsillos laterales con trenzas más pequeñas, capucha amplia...  Tejida desde arriba hacia abajo, Jenica no es un cardigan tradicional... Está construido en una manera que te hará entretener un montón mientras lo tejés.  Vas a ir de una pieza a la otra, cambiar de dirección...  El hilado grueso hace que el patrón sea muy rápido de tejer, y ya que no tiene costuras, se requiere muy poca terminación.

With my leftover yarn (about 1.5 skeins), I decided to make something for the men in the house too, so I made them each a hat.  I hope they wear them, cause they always complain about woolen garments.  Can you believe it?  Even though I have tried to knit them with the softest yarns ever, they keep saying my knits are itchy....
Con el hilado que me sobró (más o menos 1 madeja y media), decidí hacer algo para los hombres de la casa también, así que les hice a cada uno un gorrito.  Espero que los usen, porque siempre se quejan de las prendas de lana.  Pueden creerlo?  Aunque usa los hilados más suaves que existan, ellos siguen diciendo que les pican....

Mariano, Charly, Sebi

You can read more about these here.
Pueden leer más acá.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The sample / La muestra

As some of you may know, I work for a very lovely yarn store in Buenos Aires.  It is called Milana, and it was my favorite yarn store since I started knitting.  Two and a half years ago I was offered a job there and it immediately became my dream job.
I do a lot of things there, though I am actually very little time at work.  And among other things, I help design new products and find suppliers.
So a couple of days ago we decided we were going to sell faux-fur sweater fronts (Clarification: faux fur is 100% synthetic and no animals are involved in its production).  I cannot find a picture of exactly what we are trying to make, but it would be something somewhat similar to this:
So we found a supplier of ecological fur and I had 2 samples made for us.  I need to knit a sample and make a small pattern for the customers to see how a sweater would look like using these fronts, and I am quite nervous about it!
This is not my knitting style at all.  I think I would happily wear something like this, but this is totally out of my comfort zone when it comes to knitting.  I hope I don't screw it up!
The yarn I am going to work with is called Mapuche.  It is a wool/acrylic/llama blend that sells really well at the shop.  The color is very beautiful, it is a heathered beige that has some brown, gray and white fibers blended in.  Really matches the fur I am going to use.
So if I can get a nice sample done, then we'll be ready to sell them.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Summer / Verano

As soon as the summer arrived in Buenos Aires, all my organization went away!  I just couldn't keep up the blog as I had planned to do every Monday...  We spent some weeks in a summer house where we had no internet connection, and though I could answer emails and catch up with ravelry through my phone, blogging through it seemed quite like an impossible task! (Mind you, I have a very tiny and cheap cell phone...)
En cuanto llegó el verano a Buenos Aires, toda mi organización se fue por el aire... No pude mantener el blog como tenía planeado, de actualizarlo todos los Lunes...  Pasamos algunas semanas en una casa de verano donde no teníamoc conexión a internet, y aunque podía contestar emails y ponerme al día con ravelry con el teléfono, bloggear con él patercía una tarea imposible! (Sepan que tengo un teléfono bien quititito y barato...)

The good thing is that I got to spend some precious time with the 3 men of the house (hubby and sons) and they spoiled me a lot.  We have some great holidays!  Charly and I are always amazed about how kids grow during the holidays...  Does this happen to you too?  They seem to accomplish so many things when we parents are around and free to play, talk, teach...  Of course we try to give them quality time during the rest of the year, but to me, 15 days of Mom and Dad exclusively for them make quite a difference!
Lo bueno es que tuve tiempo de estar mucho con los 3 hombres de la casa (maridito e hijos) y me re mimamro.  Pasamos unas vacaciones hermosas!  Charly y yo siempre nos sorprendemos con todo lo que los chicos crecen en las vacaciones...  Les pasa a ustedes también?  Pareciera que logran tantas cosas cuando los papis estamos alrededor con tiempo para jugar, hablar, enseñarles...  Por supuesto que tratamos de estar con ellos durante el año todo lo que podemos, pero 15 días de Mamá y Papá sólo para ellos hacen una gran diferencia!

The other good thing is that a lot of knitting gets done during the holidays, and also a lot of pattern writing that hopefully I will be able to share with you soon.  I did publish 2 new patterns in ravelry, and I am sorry I missed the opportunity to show them off here in the blog the moment they were released.  But here they are now!
La otra buena noticia es que pude tejer bastante estos días, y también pude avanzar escribiendo patrones, que ojalá pueda compartir con ustedes pronto.  Sí publiqué 2 patrones en ravelry, y lamento haber perdido la oportinidad de mostrarlos acá en el blog en el momento en el que fueron lanzados.  Pero acá están ahora!

The first one, is my all time favorite sweater: Flyaway Hoodie.
This pattern was not an easy one to write.  For some reason we hit a lot of stones in the way and I had to re-write it a dozen times.  Testers were so great helping me out with this one!  After a lot of hard work and editing, the pattern was finally ready to be released and we did it the first days of January.
El primero, es mi sweater favorito de todos los tiempos: Flyaway Hoodie.
Este patrón no fue fácil de escribir.  Por alguna razón tropezamos con un montón de piedras en el camino y lo tuve que volver a escribir una docena de veces.  Las testers me ayudaron muchísimo con este!  Luego de un montón de trabajo y de edición, el patrón estuvo listo para ser publicado y lo hicimos los primeros días de Enero. 

The cardigan is built from the top down.  I find this method a little bit more difficult to design with.  You need to do a ton of maths, and all the hard work is always first!  You need to check how the shoulders are going to fit, how the cables are going to flow over it... But, I know why knitters love to work sweaters top down:  You really can try them on before the "whole lotta knitting" is done!  You can easily adjust sizing by working fewer/more rows, more increases...   You can make the sweater as long as you want, and also you can make the best use of your yarn and yardage.
Este cardigan está construido desde arriva hacia abajo.  Esta manera me resula un poco más cmplicada para diseñar.  Tenés que hacer una tonelada de matemásticas, y todo el trabajo pesado está al principio!  Tenés que revisar cómo sientan los hombros, cómo fluyen las trenzas sobre ellos... Pero yo sé por qué a las tejedoras les encanta tejer los sweaters desde arriba hacia abajo:  Te lo podés probar antes de que "todo el montón de tejido" esté listo!  Podés hacer ajustes muy fácilmente sin equivocarte.  Podés hacer el sweater lo largo que lo quieras y asegurarte de usar toda la lana que tengas.

A view of the back:
Una vista de la espalda:

And I want to show you a close up of the buttons, which for me, were a great find!
Y les quería mostrar una vista de los botones, que para mí, fueron un gran hallazgo!

Apparently a lot of knitters/seamstresses know this shop, but I didn't and I loved it!
Al parecer, un montón de tejedoras conocen esta tienda, pero yo no, y me encantó!

I purchased these buttons almost 2 years ago and saved them for something special.  When we visited the Malabrigo factory with my friend Ale, I brought them with me, and I chose this yarn for these buttons.  I think the combo came out great and it is just as I imagined it.  I had never chose yarn for buttons before... Usually it goes the other way around... :D
The yarn I chose was the fabulous Malabrigo Rios, and the colorway is Paris Night... Oh my goodness.  I am completely crazy about this yarn.
Compré estos botones hace casi dos años y los guardé para una ocasión especial.  Cuando visitamos la fábrica de Malabrigo con mi amiga Ale, los traje conmigo, y elegí un hilados especialmente para estos botones.  Me encanta cómo quedó la combinación y es exactamente como me lo había imaginado.  Nunca había elegido lana PARA UN BOTÓN.  Generalmente es al revés!
La lana que elegí es Malabrigo Rios, y el color es París Night...  Qué hermosa!  Estoy completamente loca por esta lana.

I will post some pictures of some finished Flyaway Hoodies in another post, as I don't want this one to be so long and I have so much to tell about.
Voy a postear algunas fotos de otros Flyaways terminados, no quiero que este sea tan largo.  Tengo mucho para contarles!

The other pattern was published last week, and it is called Purple Storm.
I am so happy about it... I actually made myself a Jacket.  A Military Jacket!
El otro patrón lo publiqué la semana pasada, y se llama Purple Storm (Tormenta Violeta).
Me encanta!  Me tejí una chaqueta!  Una chaqueta militar!

I chose to work this pattern in the traditional way, from the bottom up.  I couldn't get it to look the way I wanted from the top down, and I really needed to get it right.  I wanted those shoulders to be in the right place to add later the epaulettes (those bands on the shoulders).
I learned to make Half-linen stitch which added the perfect structure to the more important areas: the bottom band, cufs and epaulettes.  This stitch produces a very un-stretchy fabric that can lay perfectly flat without curling, which helped to give this sweater the very "Jacket" look.
And I also added pockets.  I am trying to add them in as many of my sweaters as I can.  I am always looking for a place to keep my hands, specially during the photoshoots, so they do come in handy...

When the jacket is worn open, it is supposed to look like ruffled in the front, because of the neck shaping.  I am not sure I showed it right in this picture:
 Elegí tejer este patrón en la forma tradicional, desde abajo hacia arriba.  No podía lograr que quedara como yo quería de la otra manera, y realmente necesitaba hacerla bien.  Quería que esos hombreos quedaran en el lugar correcto para agregar las charreteras.
Aprendí a tejer punto "medio lino" que le dio la estructura perfecto a las áreas más importantes: la banda de abajo, los puños y las charreteras.  Este punto produce un tejido bastante rígido que no se estira, y que puede quedar perfectamente chatito sin curvarse, que ayudó a darle a este tejido el look de "Chaqueta".
Y también le agregué botones.  Estoy tratando de agregarlos a todos los sweaters que hago.  Siempre ando buscando dónde meter las manos, especialmente en las sesiones de fotos... Así que me vienen bien ;D
Cuando la chaqueta se usa abierta, se supone que tiene que caer en cascada, como un volado, pero no creo que lo haya mostrado bienen las fotos...

But you get the idea.. I hope?  Testers were also great for this project, and I will show you more Purple Storms in future posts.
The yarn I chose for this project was incredible.  It was Malabrigo Twist in colorway Purple Mystery.  I know I always say the same thing about the yarn I work with... But what can I say?  I get to play with very nice yarn!
Pero se dan una idea... Espero?  Las testers también me ayudaron un omentón para este projecto y les mostraré más Purple Storms en otro post.  
La lana que elegí era increíble.  Es Malabrigo Twist en color Purple Mystery.  Ya sé que siempre digo que la lana es hermosa, pero bueno!  Es que siempre tengo la suerte de poder jugar con cosas bonitas...

I thought it would be nice though to compare both yarns.  They are both manufactured by the same company, which I admire and love very much.  I specially love the fact that they are so close to Buenos Aires and I get the chance to visit them by just taking a ferry...

Rios is a superwash yarn.  It is a worsted/aran weight that knits up at a gauge of 18-19 st to 4 inches (10cm).  I think that because of its superwash treatment it behaves the way it does (I don't know anything about this process, I am just speaking based on my experience with different yarns, which I do have).  The knitted fabric is light, drapey, and super soft.  It is great for making warm clothes that look really light and feminine.  Cardigans with A-line shaping are the perfect choice for this yarn, because you can show off the way the fabric "flows".  My only trouble with this yarn is that you need to be super careful when you wash and block your garment.  It can really stretch out during the process and I needed to patt it to its original measurements many times.  If you are careful not to stretch it, it bounces back perfectly and you will end up with a perfect garment.  Believe it or not, a sweater can bounce back over 4 inches in the bust measurement when it dries up.

Twist, on the other hand, is not a superwash yarn.  But it is not just a regular merino... It is the softest merino ever!  I don't know if Malabrigo uses the same wool to make Worsted and Twist, but the latest cerainly feels so mcuh softer to me!  I couldn't stop working with it.  It was like knitting with butter, I tell you!  The yarn has like a million plies, all tightly twisted.  But even so, it is not stiff and it is such a pleasure to work with it.  I found that I could knit garments with more "structure" using this yarn.  It holds better the shape and when knit at a tight gauge (17 st to 4 inches) it creates a very dense fabric.  I know it will pill (I hasnt' pilled yet, though), but I can live with the pilling.  I think it is the price we need to pay to have sweaters as soft as this one. :D

Well, sorry about the super long post!
Promise I will go back to my regular updating routine....