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!