Saturday, December 07, 2013

On the Road Again

These words mean quite a lot these days to me...

Two weeks ago, I fell and injured my arm while learning to roller skate.  No, I was not going fast, and yes, I was being very careful and only skating at our street back and forth... But I managed to fall all the same, and I injured my elbow.  The moment I hit the floor I knew there was something wrong in my arm, but I just came home quietly without saying a word and tried to make it all go away with some ice-patches.

Well, the pain did not go away after two very "cold" hours, so I had to face the truth and get to the hospital.  the news weren't all that bad...  There was no fracture in the X-rays or CAT scan, but there was some serious soft tissue damage, therefore I was bound to wear a cast for at least two weeks.  Two weeks!  A time when I was not able to knit... and I could only type with my left hand.

So, now that these 2 weeks are over and my cast has been removed, and even though my arm still hurts a great deal, I feel I am On the Road Again, dreaming of casting on 1,000 new projects and making new dreams come true...

On the Road Again is the name of a beautiful pullover I recently published:

Yes, I am taking my pictures at my street again... It's just so much easier! lol
This sweater will soon become a staple in anyone’s wardrobe with its classic lines and casual beauty.
It is worked from the top down, in the round. The cowl neck is detachable, giving you options for cooler or milder days. The handy front pockets are a great addition for storing your travel card or your cherry lip balm, but they are optional, so you can keep your sweater without them if you prefer…
All in all, On the Road Again is your perfect travel companion, but it is also perfect for staying inside on a chilly day.
Don’t sacrifice style or practicality… You can have it all with this lovely, versatile sweater!

I just adore the detachable cowl!!
Some Specs:
XS (S, M, L, XL, XXL, 3XL, 4XL).
Materials:I used Primo Worsted, by The Plucky Knitter (Merino/Cashmere/ Nylon – 100g/200 y): 6 (7, 7, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10) skeins.  You can use any worsted weight yarn that you love :)

And now, some other ways to wear it:

Sans cowl
Or sans sweater :)

Hope you guys like it!


Sunday, November 24, 2013

October... and November.

Where did these 2 months go?  I can't believe we are just a bit over a month away from 2014...  

I am starting to realize that I have ups and downs in my productivity...  During this year I have been in and out of love with many ideas.  Sometimes I thought that I had lost my knitting mojo, as we like to call it... but when it stroke back, I would start several projects at the same time.  Of course, this translates in a lot of patterns published at the same time!  And then... a period of nothing.  
I wish I could have a more steady creative rhythm... I am working on that, but still haven't quite made it.

October was a beautiful month for us.  We hosted some friends from Finland for a couple of weeks, and we dedicated the month to getting the house ready and spending time with them... I think I only knit a few couple of rows during that time, but it was so worth it!  We got to learn a lot about Nordic traditions and we even got to experience our wonderful Buenos Aires as tourists...

Also, I was gifted the most beautiful Finnish yarn, which I am saving for some special project...

I was being very active on social networks (you can find me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter), and October is a bit blank there... Getting back to my usual work routine was a bit hard also after all those vacation days...

But I am back and full of energy to start some new projects again!

I did publish some beautiful patterns in this period.  Things I had been working on in the previous months, and which I am really in love with.

I released Bello in October. 

When I designed Bello, I was looking for a sweater I could wear all the time, because I really adored the yarn I used for it.  I wanted something I could wear with jeans and a pair of boots…
I do love cardigans, but sometimes it is easier for me to throw on a pullover and not worry about what I am wearing underneath. So the decision was easy.
Bello is worked from the top down, in the round. It has an easy to wear shape, with flattering rib and cable details that keep the knitting interesting.


The design was named after the yarn I used, The Plucky Knitter Bello, and the colorway is Good 'Ole Pip, a mix between lilac and gray... really gorgeous.
These yarn is hard to get your hands on (I know it's hard for me to buy The Plucky Knitter yarns), but it can be replaced by any fingering weight yarn!  You can check out the project gallery to see what other yarns people used for this...

In early November I released another pattern that I loved: my Upper East Side hat.

As you can read in the pattern description, this past April I visited for the first time the amazing city of New York.  It was a total love affair with it... The buildings, the people, the style all around, the lights, the life!  Oh, New York, even coming from a big city like mine, you cannot stop admiring such an astonishing mass of wonderfulness...

And when I cam back home, I got hooked watching Gossip Girl.  I know, most people don't understand how I could love that series so much!  I just can't explain it.  It was so easy to watch, everything they showed was beautiful, and ridiculously perfect... For some reason it made my knitting much faster while watching!

So, when this hat was made, I couldn't think of a better name for it :)

So this is just a simple hat pattern, worked from the rib up, with lots lots of texture.  You will need just 1 skein of DK weight yarn, I made mine using Madelinetosh DK in colorway Onyx (a dark almost black gray).

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Red Lipstick

Some time ago, I wrote a blog post about an awesome Red cardigan from Zara's collection, remember?
I talked about the inspiration, the yarn...

Well, a couple of months later, I have a finished cardigan to show you, and a new pattern to share...  As I said, September has been a very busy month!
The cardi is not exactly the same shape... It ended up being completely different than the inspiration, but I love its simplicity... Lipstick.

Lipstick is a simple, quick cardigan, with a relaxed look, but also with girly little details.
It is worked from the top down, in one piece, for minimal finishing. Knitted at a loose gauge, this little gem can be finished in very little time!
I chose a bold color for mine to compliment my very neutral wardrobe. I figured that if I still don’t dare to wear red lipstick, I might at least wear a very red cardi…


What I love about this cardi:
  • I knits up SO FAST!  I swear I didn't even notice I was knitting this, and suddenly Bam! it was ready.  Gauge is 4 st to the inch, which was such a rewarding change after so many fingering weight projects...
  • Love the relaxed (loose) fit.  Many times I stress about what the finished measurements of a sample will be after blocking.  With this style, I didn't need to be so precise, since an inch bigger/smaller would not affect the way the cardi fits... It is INTENDED to fit this way, and designed to be flattering with this feature.
  • Gotta love the longer back.  I mean, really! Why haven't I done this with all my sweaters?
  • The yardage used! I only had 2 skeins of yarn, so I thought this was going to be a cropped vest.  Honest.  I ended up with a very long, sleeved cardi.  Awesome!

XS (S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL).
This cardi is intended to be worn with quite a bit of positive ease (recommended 8”), which is built into each size.  I am wearing size M, and I have a 35” bust.

Finished Measurements:
Body circumference: 36 (40, 43, 47, 52, 55, 60) inches; 90 (100, 108, 118, 130, 138, 150) cm.
Upper arm circumference: 10 (10½, 11¼, 12½, 14, 15½, 17¼) inches; 25 (26, 28, 31, 35, 39, 43) cm.

Studio Worsted, by Neighborhood Fiber Co, 2 (2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 4) skeins. Shown in colorway Charles Village. You’ll need about 720 (760, 790, 850, 950, 1100, 1200) yards of heavy worsted weight yarn.
I really really loved this yarn.  The color is exactly as in the pictures.  This bright!

And, once again, I was very lucky to have a great group of friends who tested this in record time :)  They'll help you see how it looks on other bodies and shapes :)



Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Mixed Stories

September seems to be a really busy month!
Seems like nothing happened until August, and then Boom!, I have a bunch of stuff ready for publication.  And as much as I would love to hold on to some patterns and save them for later (like December, which is a very busy month for me, with the Holidays and family), the excitement is hard to control and I want to share everything with my readers as soon as it is ready...

So, I've had this little shawl pattern ready for some time now, and I decided to release it yesterday as a surprise:  Mixed Stories.

We took these pictures in Recoleta...

Before I tell you about this small pattern and how it came to life, let me tell you a love story about me and the yarns I work with.

I am a big fan of hand-dyed yarns.  They are special to me, and each of them means something different when I work with them.  I like to learn about who makes them, what inspires them, how each dyer works...  I like to read blogs, follow groups...  Sometimes I can keep up with all the wonderful things these dyers have to share... Sometimes my own work takes over and I get a little bit lost.
Each year I try to force myself to try at least one new yarn. It is hard, because each yarn I try, of course, I love.  And I become a fan, and in most cases, a friend of the dyers themselves...  (It is also a problem for your wallet!).

It was a beautiful, sunny day, as most spring/summer days in Buenos Aires...

Time went by, and I fell in love with many yarn companies, as you might have seen if you read my blog or follow me on Facebook (Joji Knits) or Instagram (@jojilocat).  And I try to be a good groupie!  So, as it turns out, this month of September, is a special month for The Plucky Knitter fans.  They celebrate with events, contests and prizes, and they call it Plucktember (you can read more about this in their Ravelry group).
I knew this special month was coming, and I tried to have my Bello design ready in time, but I couldn't make it... The sample took longer than I thought, so this wasn't going to be ready until October...

So as I watched September aproach I began to wonder if I still had the time to create something small for Plucktember...  I don't have a very large stash, and therefore, I only had one single skein of Plucky that could become something small...  It was a beautiful skein of Plucky Feet in colorway "Vignette".  And well, she told me it was time to work with her... So Mixed Stories was born.

I designed this shawl around a little skein of yarn… It was totally inspiring, which is good! But too inspiring can be overwhelming…
Do I want to make something simple and minimalist? Or something with lace? Or Something with cables!?
Do I want a delicate and romantic shawl? Or something more casual, for comfort wear?
I tried to picture myself wearing this piece and see what circumstances I found myself in… But the images kept coming as mixed stories…
So here you have it, a little gem born from many ideas… With cables, and lace. Romantic, but also casual… Hopefully it will join me in many adventures.

Do you have a special skein that inspires you too?

Finished Measurements:
49 inches (122½ cm) from side to side and 21 inches (52½ cm) from top to bottom at deepest point (after blocking).

Yarn: Plucky Feet by The Plucky Knitter (90% Merino-10% Nylon, 425y/115g) – 1 skein.
Needles: US 6 (4mm) knitting needles.
Stitch markers, blocking accessories.

Hope you guys enjoy it!  More soon!


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Cold Breath...

Do you feel it? Fall is almost here, and winter is just around the corner, whispering with his cold breath… Brrr!
If you are like me, you long for cooler temperatures, when you can curl inside your favorite sweater. This is all what this design is about. Cozyness all around!
Fantastic soft and squishy yarn makes the whole sweater just… perfect.

I'd like to introduce my first collaboration with The Uncommon Thread yarns: Cold Breath..

I am so happy about this!!!
I have been a friend and a fan of Ce's dye work for a long long time, probably since her beginnings.  I've had the opportunity to knit with her yarns more than once, always admiring her incredible talent to make simple shades more rich and complex... And I especially admire her taste creating GRAYS (it is my favorite color to knit with, and probably it's the same for many knitters too!).
So last year we began dreaming of working together to create a sweater kit.  Yes, it took us 9 months to get it done, but it's ready!

Since we worked togehter in this project, the patten is only available as part of a KIT at first.  This means that from today, Wednesday September 11 until December 2, you can buy the pattern from The Uncommon Thread's shop, but only as part of a combo with the yarn I used to make it.

The finished sizes for the sweater are:
Bust circumference: 48 (50, 52, 56, 60, 66, 72) inches; 120 (125, 130, 140, 150, 165, 180) cm.
Mid-arm circumference: 8¾ (9¼, 9½, 11¼, 12¾, 14½, 16) inches; 22 (23, 24, 28, 32, 36, 40) cm.
This is a very oversized sweater, and it is intended to be worn with a great amount of positive ease (recommended about 16-18” positive ease). Do not be afraid of this! There are a lot of details that will flatter your body, like a smaller armhole opening, slimmer sleeves, and the feminine cowl neck.
I am wearing a size M, and I am a 35” bust.

The yarn requirements are: 6 (6, 7, 7, 8, 8, 9) skeins.
The yarn I used is called Lush Worsted, and it is super yummy. :)

The kits are sold internationally, so you can order from any place in the world.  The prices quoted include international (worldwide) shipping.

If for any reason you cannot buy the kit (I know you cannot get international parcels in many countries, or maybe you already have some yarn in stash that you think is perfect for this?), then you will be able to buy the pattern alone, but it will only be available as a Ravelry download on December 2.  And I promise: this yarn is to die for!!!

As always, I am incredibly humbled by your generosity and support, and I am happy that you like my designs and ideas... I know many times they are not the most common things to make, so I am amazed that you guys like them!!!


Wednesday, September 04, 2013

A hug from a friend

Back in April I was lucky to be able to meet 3 very special friends who live in the US: Maggy, Carol and Shannon, you might remember I talked about them in this post.

These lovely friends gave me a very special gift, a skein of yarn spun by Shannon herself.  I know very little about this yarn.  I still don't even know what type of fiber it was made of!  All I knew was that it was special, and it was made for me.

So at first I though I should design something for it... But what?  What would do it justice?  Would people know where to find this kind of delicious yummy handspun?  I didn't save it in a box in my stash... I kept it in my WIP basket all this time, trying to figure out what to make with it.
And then it stroke me: The present was for me, and I could really use some time off from work... Which meant I didn't need to design something with it, but just enjoy it and play!

So I just cast on a few stitches, worked a Garter St tab, and then started a plain stockinette st shawl.  You know, the kind where you K2, yo, k to marker, yo, k1, yo, k to end, yo, k2. :)
It was soooooo much fun to just sit with my knitting on the couch and knit without taking notes or following some drafted directions!  It was totally worth it, and it helped me finish some other patterns that were lacking corrections or edition.

So here I present you what I made with it, I called it "A hug from a friend" (link to my Ravelry project), cause when I wear it, it feels like my friends are here with me, even though we live so far away.

As you see, I couldn't help it, I had to add a fringe.  I know, these are not for everyone, but I just LOVE a good fringe!  I think it makes a shawl more fun and casual... And I actually do wear the fringed ones.
The fringe is a knitted-on border, and since I was really relaxed while doing it, you might see some of the stems nearer to each other than others...  I call it a shawl with personality.

Hope you are enjoying your knitting too!


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Make a Wish ♥


Make a wish!
I wish for a cardigan that will hug me, and warm me… I wish for something luxurious, but yet easy to wear, a piece that I can dress up or down. I wish for a color that will make me happy and beautiful, and softness that will make me smile…
Why not make it true?

Once again, I had the privilege of working with the great Sundara, and together we came up with Make a Wish.  She created this color for me, and I created this pattern for her yarn.  A dreamy collaboration!
The yarn we used is Sundara Fingering Silky Merino, and she is currently offering the color I used (Make a Wish), and 3 other luscious colors in case Purple is not for you.
This is a circularly shaped cardigan, with lace details in the edgings and back. This flattering little sweater is worked seamlessly in one piece, with top-down set in sleeves.

To fit chest: 30/32 (34/36, 38/40, 42/44, 46/48, 50/52, 54/56, 58/60) inches. This sweater is supposed to be a little “loose fitting”. If you are choosing between 2 sizes, I would advise you choose the bigger one.

Yarn: Sundara Fingering Silky Merino (50% Silk/50% Merino – 150g/500y), 3 (3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5) skeins, shown in colorway Make a Wish.
Needles: US 4 (3.5mm) and US 2½ (3mm).

I hope you guys like it!  I had a great time working on this, and I had some wonderful help from a group of friends who helped me make sure the instructions are correct.  You can check out our gallery of finished projects on Ravelry if you want to see this in different bodies and colors :)

Hope your dreams come true too!


Monday, August 19, 2013

Leftovers Hats

You know how things are when kids are little... Life is not easy!  It is blessed, that for sure, but it can get quite complicated, especially with 2 babies (my second son was born when my first was 18 months old)...  So we didn't think of holidays much back in those days, I have to be honest...

But a couple of years ago, my husband and I decided our boys were big enough to travel comfortably, so we started travelling as a family.  Oh, what wonderful times we've had together!

We have always gone to cities where it is really cold, so as I looked through our photographs, I noticed that we always look the same!  Cause we wear our jackets all the time, in our pictures we are always wearing the same clothes... So I thought that if I made new hats for everyone, 2 or 3 for each, then we can rotate them, and we won't look like all our pictures were taken the same day.

If you have travelled as a group, you might know that it is important not to loose your group, so I decided to use bright leftovers to make matching hats for the whole family.

I am making these using straight needles and knitting them flat.  Once I am done knitting the hat, I sew them and weave in ends, though I must confess I am totally postponing the weaving part :)
Also I'd love to add a neon yellow pompom to each of them, so that I can locate the kids easily in the crowds, but the boys are not too happy with the idea (although they are really tempted by anything neon).  The neon yellow I am using is Tosh DK in Edison's Bulb colorway.

How do I make them?
I CO a certain amount of stitches, I am not being to precise with these.  For the kids' ones, I CO 86 st for the ribbing, and then I worked 4 rows in 1 color and 4 rows in another.  Then I switched to stockinette, increasing about a 20% percent of the stitches (increased to 102).  The stripes are not random, actually they go in a sequence: 4 rows, 2 rows, 6 rows, 4 rows...  when the hat measured 6 inches, I worked decreases for the crown.  I divided the stitches in groups of 10 (I left out 1 stitch for each seam), and I decreased a stitch from each group  every 2 rows.  Then I drew the yarn through the remaining stitches (10) and seamed the body.

As you can see, their hats are done, but now that I've made a couple, I am dreaming of new projects, so my husband's one is currently in this state, and it looks like it's going to stay this way for some time...  I am going through a terrible "startitis" crisis!

Here in Buenos Aires winter is already leaving, and we are having warmer, longer days...  However I always, always dream of new sweaters... I have some Arroyo yarn from Malabrigo that's been calling me for a long time... Long time no Mal on my needles!  I'll have to remedy that soon.

Hope you have a great week!!


Sunday, August 11, 2013

From Dubai with Love

Before I tell you the story of these hats, let me tell you some things:  

I have a brother.  In fact I have 2 borthers and a sister, but my brother Marco is quite the extrovert of the family.  Marco likes to go skiing, a lot.  And he also likes handknits, a lot.  He had asked me to make him a hat for a long time (I eventually made him one, see this post), but I mostly knit garments that are going to become patterns, so I always told him "yes, some day I'll make you one...".

Marco is very supportive with what I do, and for that reason he checks out my knitting Facebook profile often. And that is how he came up with the idea of asking my Facebook followers to make him a hat.  And yes, the AMAZING community of knitters out there answered him!!  Yes, I know everyone says the same, but I cannot believe what a wonderful and generous kind of people we knitters are...  And neither did Marco.

So last Tuesday, the mailman rang the door, and I received the most awesome parcel coming from... Dubai.  My friend Jocelyn, from Dubai Knits, sent my brother no less than 4 knitted hats, and she also sent me some yarny goodies.  Thank you so much Jocelyn!!!

I knew she was waiting to hear what we thought of the hats, so I asked my eldest son, Nano, to model them for us.  Let me show you the lovely hats I received for Marco!  All of them were made using the yarn that Jocely dyes herself.

Gray: I couldn't find the specs for this one in her notebook, but it is my absolute favorite.

 Red: Found it!  Pattern is Exeter, and she used Dubai Knits BFL Sport in colorway Spit the Pips.

Blue: Couldn't find it... Nano's front teeth are so ready to fall off... Can you notice?  He's so big!!!

Green: Found it! Pattern is Rib-a-Roni, and she used Dubai Knits Cloud Nine (my absolute favorite base of all the ones she used), in colorway Pacific.  This is the softest most comfortable hat ever, and my kids are already fighting for it :)

Jocelyn also sent 2 skeins for me to try out her yarn, so I am ready to make some more hats for the hubby. 

Dubai Knits: BFL Sport (Left) and MCN DK (Right)

So this blog is about to get really busy with hat action.  Hope you don't get bored. :)
Have a great week!


Thursday, August 08, 2013

Boxy and Buttony

You might have read it somewhere else already, but I do have a new pattern out!  It's called Boxy and Buttony, and well, I guess the name describes it well.

This is a modern and contemporary pattern with clean lines and a boxy fit.
Despite being Boxy’s little brother, this pattern is worked in a completely different way and features lots of details that make it quite unique and interesting!
It is worked from the top down, seamlessly. It has an oversized fit, but with slightly less fabric. The main sections of the sleeves are worked at the same time with the body, and a faux button-band outlines the shoulders.
A textured panel in the front helps to add visual interest to an otherwise simple and minimalist sweater.


Hope you guys like it!  I do love it a lot, and I have been wearing it so much!  It is perfect for fall and transitional weathers (we are facing Spring down here), and it goes with all my wardrobe.  In fact, I have recently discovered that about 90% of my clothes are either white, black, gray or denim blue, and I am perfectly OK with that :). 

For my sample I used one of my go-to yarns: Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light.  Great yardage, great price and LOTS OF INSPIRING COLORS! I want to knit them all!  The color I used is called Ink, and it is the most glorious Indigo-blue.

It's been ages since I published my latest patterns, part of the Hopeful Knits collection (I don't think I even blogged about those, what was I thinking?), so I was really looking forward to my first release after my break.  We are now chatting about the pattern in my Ravelry group, so you can pop by and say hi...

I have another pattern soon to be released... Can't wait to show you!  I know, not many patterns for this fall, but I did put a great effort in each of them.  Thank you for your constant support!


Wednesday, August 07, 2013


Oh, sunny, stylish Buenos Aires...

I was looking for a place to sit and knit... but it was taken.  She had the perfect spot.

I suddenly feel the need of taking a photo of each corner in BA.  Probably not all of them are this crowded, though.

Monday, August 05, 2013

About Cashmere

A couple of months ago, I received the newsletter from The Plucky Knitter announcing they were releasing a new yarn based called Plucky Bello.  You will not find it on their site, probably, because they don't hold much stock of it... But you can certainly see what it is about, here in the Ravelry yarn page.
They offered it in a couple of updates (updates are the "events" when a famous dyer uploads all their stock of yarn for sale -whether if it is already dyed or for preorder-, and people go crazy buying all they can as soon as they can), and I was lucky enough to get me some 3 skeins in a really gorgeous, gorgeous colorway.

Plucky Bello in colorway Good Ol' Pip
 What stroke me about this yarn was the high content of cashmere in it, since it has no less than 45%!

Well, let me say that you can definitely tell this is half-cashmere.  It is really really so soft and yummy!  The base is a fingering weight, slightly on the shorter side regarding yardage, since the put up is only 380 yards (compared to most fingering yarns I am used to, which are over 400), but is does bloom really nicely when knit up, so you could also use it for patterns which call for sport weight.

The color was quite a surprise, since my monitor is a little bit crazy (cheap laptop's fault), and I thought this was a perfect gray.  But if you can see the true color (if your monitor is OK), it is actually a lilac-gray, so subtle, so beautiful! 

After finishing other projects I had in my queue, I started working on a small pullover pattern, which is nearly done.  I had to be very minimalistic with it, since 3 skeins of this are not taking me too far... So I finished the body with a wee bit over 2 skeins, and I have now 93 grams to work the sleeves.  I'd rather show you some really nice pics when it's done, so here's my swatch, and you can check out some i-phone pics of the WIP in my Ravelry page:

I hope I can have a pattern for this soon!  I am really enjoying it a lot!

After working with this yarn, I came to realize how much I've loved working on all my projects which involved a yarn with some cashmere in it.  I know, that's no surprise, but silk is also luxurious, and I don't enjoy it that much...  Or even alpaca, I love it, but cashmere is different...  Maybe it is the small fuzzy halo?  You know, most people hate halo, cause it means that the garment is going to pill, but I actually think it's lovely.  I just try to remember that the softer and finer the fiber, the more likely it is to pill.

I have been trying to remember how often I knit with this fiber, and I thought I'd show you my cashmere-content projects:

Imagine When,worked in Sundara's Fingering Merino-Cashmere 
Even Flow, worked in The Plucky Knitter's Primo Sport

To Infinity and Beyond, worked in String Theory's Caper Sock
Dragonflies, worked in Lioness Artes MCN DK
Aaaaand that's all!  OK, I think I need more cashmere stuff in my future...  Off to stalk my own stash.

Have a great week!