Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Very delayed recap: Unwind Brighton!!

I finally have some time to write here about Unwind Brighton!  It might be a long post, but I don't want to forget what a fantastic time July was because of this Festival, so I'd better make it as long as it deserves.

Let's begin by saying that this was a Knitting and Fiber event held in Brighton (south coast of England) during the weekend of July 12-13th.
Well, for starters, all the comments I'll make will be written from an attendee perspective, since I did not work while I was there.  I had never been in a event of this kind, or taken any classes of any sort, so I decided to treat myself and come to England for my first time.  I believed I needed to know why people loved these events so much... After all I work full time in the knitting industry now, and I needed to do some research, right? ;)

Well, even though just before leaving life seemed to be conspiring against my departure (I swear, so many things happened at home, like being without electricity and water for a week!), once I was on the plane, it all started to work out perfectly.
I had planned a project to travel with me.  I had started it 2 weeks before leaving, which would have been enough to finish the upper half of the sweater, and just bring with me the "mindless" part of the knitting...

Japan Sleeves, working with Tosh Merino Light in colorways "Astrid Gray" and "Dirty Panther"
However, this is how far I had gotten by the time I had to jump on the plane.  I was certain I was not going to be able to do all the knitting and note-taking required to design-as-you-go on the plane.  But amazingly, the couple next to me were adorable, they just shut their eyes as soon as they got on, and I could enjoy countless hours of uninterrupted knitting...  In fact, I think I had never been so focused in work!  Needless to say, the travelling project didn't get any attention during my weekend in the UK, and it was finished 2 weeks later during yet another trip... But that's another story.

I arrived very happily awaited by my friend and hostess Julie (a.k.a. evieandlily on Ravelry),and we took an afternoon to relax and knit before driving to Brighton.  I always say this, but I am really blessed to have so many friends around the world.  And the weather was splendid!

On the way to Brighton, we picked up Veera, and we were all set for a long drive full of stories and laughter.  We arrived late at night to our accommodation, a super chic apartment we found via airbnb, in a very trendy and playful street in the North Laine of Brighton.  We met our other roommate Sarah who made us laugh at her enthusiasm all weekend!

So Friday arrived.  I had considered jumping on the Brighton wheel and sitting on the beach knitting all morning... But the weather had not contemplated my plans and it was cloudy and overcast.
It probably made it a magical morning all the same.  Just being there, standing on that beach, contemplating the sea... Thinking how far I had travelled the day before, and yet it always felt like Brighton was so close to home.  I am sure we all feel this way, the world has become so small.
I looked down, I couldn't believe it was really all the way across the ocean from my family.  My friends were there, the language was not unfamiliar... And then I see this little pebbles below my feet.  Yes, I was away from home indeed!  (we don't have pebble beaches here)

After visiting the incredible Royal Pavilion, we went for Lunch, and it was quite a shock because... Well, people started arriving! 

I met a group of amazing women, including Ysolda, probably my all time knitting idol.  I have knit only a bunch of her patterns (although probably more than from any other designer), but what I admire the most is her way of transmitting an idea and standing up for what she does.  -This is where my English fails me... I know I can communicate very well in English, but I lack the creativity I have when writing in my mother tongue.  I wish I could express this better!- I strongly believe that Ysolda's work has changed the way knitters perceive a knitwear designer's work during the last few (or not so few!) years.  I think her example and hard work has inspired lot of admiration and I know for a fact she was the first designer I kept looking at, wondering what new projects she was going to come up with.  I do remember waiting for the next issue of a magazine, or a book to come out, but Ysolda was the first independent designer I remember admiring.
I know she has inspired a lot of knitters like myself to work hard to become designers...
It was a very big table, and it was a very busy weekend.  I wish I could have said this to her! (Though I have a feeling she's been told this lots of times)

Sarah and Julie (my roommates), lovely Tiina from Titityy, Ragga, Bex, Bristol Ivy, Ysolda, that little head behind me is Veera, but in my defense she said she knew she was not in the photo, Ce from The Uncommon Thread, and Emma, one of Unwind's organizers.
As you can see, it was a table full of awesomeness, and I got to meet the über-adorable Bristol Ivy, who looks super cool, and is even cooler.  I just loved that I had time to hang out with her so much!

Friday was a parade of knitting celebrities, and I felt like such a fan girl all the time... I met so many designers, dyers, and all kinds of makers of the knitting industry!  I was so so excited that I had completely forgotten that I was jet-lagged, and suddenly crashed in the sofa before getting ready for dinner...  I was lucky to have my roommates, who took care of me as if I was a teenager with 2 mothers.

I was invited to a Designer/teacher meet-up the night before the festival actually began, (even though I was not supposed to be there! It was only for people working!) and I totally freaked out.  I arrived to this restaurant, which took me ages to find, hidden among the mysterious and playful South Lanes, and was directed to the upper floor.  As I climbed up the stairs, I started spotting Ravelry celebrities all around: Added to the same stars I had met at lunch, Carol Feller was there, Amy from Madelinetosh!, Felicia from Sweetgeorgia, the sweet ladies from L'OisiveThé, Susie Myers, Karie Westermann!  I am probably forgetting so many people that I really loved meeting... And I felt like such an intruder.  The shy person took over, and I sat quietly at the end of a table, to sip wine with my recently acquired friend Tiina.  I thought so many things during those moments... I wondered whether I belonged in that dinner, everyone else seemed to know each other so well... and they looked so comfortable talking about their life and work.  I was coming from so far away, my country was so different! (For starters, don't freak out, but everyone would have given me a hug and a kiss in Argentina, even if they had never met me before)...
I wanted to meet people but I kept thinking whether I should just say hi and sit next to them, or shake hands (which we never do at home)?  Probably as soon as the glass of wine kicked in, I was able to speak to the lovely lady sitting right in front of me, discovering she was no less than Sharry, the creator of Buttonalia.  Amazing woman, she told me the story of her life, moving around the globe and how she came to create such special little treasures.

I only have phone pics of that dinner... This is me, totally freaking out in the corner. :D
After a while, I took courage and went to meet a few people I really wanted to say hi to and I shook hands with all of them.  I wonder if that was as awkward to them as it was to me, trying to restrain myself from kissing everyone (you MUST know I am very latina!)...
It was an amazing evening...  Just the perfect prelude for what about to come on Saturday.

On Saturday, the marketplace opened early, and we were all allowed into the Brighton Dome, a magnificent venue!
Oh my goodness... Just imagine.  Just imagine!  You know how crazy I am about yarn, right?  You've seen me take luscious pictures of skeins of wool, silk in every color... I adore independent dyers, I live for them!  Just imagine this little girl in a massive candy store!
I forgot to change the lens in my camera (stupid!), so my photos were very artistic, but not really descriptive...  Good luck the phone is quite good at replacing the big old camera sometimes... ;)

I won't bother you with the details of who I found there, but there were many favorites, and I discovered many new ones too!  Just check out this amazing list.  I got lots of beautiful skeins and inspiration for new patterns to work (after I am done with the things I needed to finish even BEFORE coming here!).

As always, one of the best parts was to hang out with my loved ones.  I met one of the knitters I admire the most in Ravelry, my dear Anne... And also my dear Vera who I had already met in February.  I think we made a beautiful bunch, the 3 of us.  We just couldn't stop crying!  I bet people could tell we were long time friends...

I was upset at first that this photo was out of focus, but then I really liked the way our skin looks perfect with the blur ;)
And, one of the happiest times was spent also with Ce and Veera, when we did a small meet and greet to show everyone our samples from our collection Interpretations, in The Uncommon Thread's booth.  LOTS of people came over to see the garments, and I felt really overwhelmed.  It was a good thing Veera was by my side.  I feel much more confident when she's around!

There was a theme going on with our patterned tops, apparently...
The afternoon had even more good stuff: I took the Color Theory class with Amy Hendrix, creator of Madelinetosh yarns!!

Oh yes, so totally worth it!
I have long time felt that my color choices are, well... Too comfortable.  I have my favorite palette, and I always tend to choose the same stuff.  Why? I thought that it was because I was afraid of color... Because I wasn't brave enough to try something different and that I was missing stuff!
Well, Amy's class was an introduction to color, which was amazing for someone like me who had never studied this before... I learnt how to combine colors, how to pair them up... and also how to choose colors that are good for me.  And guess what? I was not too mistaken ;)
So now I feel more confident, and I will try a different palette if I feel like, but I know I'll stick to my grays and blues and purples.  Apparently, I choose them cause they're good for me!
It was an amazing, amazing class, and Amy was a warm and stellar teacher.  I had a total fan girl moment at the end of the class and we took a photo of all of us together.

On Saturday night we went to the Pompom party, in a very cool pub near the beach.  Awesome times!  We hang out with friends, visited the pier at night and saw people dancing on the streets.  It was a long great day!

Sunday was more relaxed... And that's when I completely left the camera at the apartment... It looked like all the highlights of the event had already happened, so I took the opportunity to finally sit down and knit (and eat!) while talking to Anne and Vera.  I was getting ready for the FIFA World Cup finals, which took place that night, and which we sadly lost (although the whole country was very proud that Argentina took the second place!).

The whole feeling about the festival was that it was fabulous... We kept meeting people everywhere saying 'can you believe this? or that?'.  Everything was close there, just a few steps away from wherever you might be.  So we could be having lunch and someone said: 'Have you seen this or that yarn? or needles? or patterns?'... You could just get off your seat, run back to the Marketplace and get it... And that's what happened to me (too many times to admit!).  What a fantastic weekend it was, oh God!  I'd give anything to be able to do this again!

Right after the game, Veera and I took the last train to London.  
We spent the most amazing couple of days there.  Visiting museums, walking bridges, drinking coffee and wine and making plans for the future (hint!)...  We were too busy to bring the camera around, so we only took snapshots with the phone, but really cool ones ;)

So, I just checked the clock and I've been writing this post for the last 2.5 hours... I'd love to tell even more (cause honestly, there's so much to tell!), but my boys will be here any minute and they will want tea and cookies...

Hope you enjoyed the recap, and stay tuned for  more news... For starters, the travelling sweater is finished (and it's SO AMAZING!), full of travelling memories, and will be published in a couple of weeks...  And many more exciting things to come!

Have a great week!

Monday, June 02, 2014

Out and about

Travelling has been a very important subject this year for us...!!  For many years, while my boys were growing up and we were finishing up the remodelling on our house, travelling was not an option for us.  Especially having small children made it almost impossible to plan even a weekend out.

But the kids are grown now, which means not only that they can come along with us on a family trip, but also, that their mum can leave them for a few days with daddy (although my heart was broken, I must admit!).

So last week, I took my own mum to New York City, on what we called a "girls' trip".  We travelled from Buenos Aires with our best friend Ale, and while we were there, we met other dear Ravelry friends too.

New York City just enlightens me.  That's all I can say about it!  

It was not my first time in the city, and certainly not the last one!  Everything about the life in this city makes me just... different.  I want to take in everything I see in with a big breath... If only I could keep all that inspiration in my brain forever...

Carol, me (naughty Carol!), the Statue of Liberty and Mum

And, there was quite a bit of yarn involved in this trip too!
As I have written before, Argentina is not a country with very steady economics.  Our currency fluctuates up and down all the time, which leads to change in the markets, and in different policies like currency exchange and trade.  Since January 2014, our country decided that each citizen can only get 2 parcels in the post per year.  This is no matter the content/value of what you get.  You cannot go to the customs and pay taxes for the rest, you can just get 2 parcels, and that's it.  

So! Just imagine what that means to someone who can't buy working materials locally...  
Yes, there was a lot of yarn involved, and I might have ordered 2 years of knitting's worth of materials, just in case...  My head is about to explode with all the beautiful things I brought home.  Some I can show, and some others are for more discrete projects...  But I'd rather show it all slowly, as the new designs start to come off the needles.  I forced myself to try out new brands and new dyers, and I was so pleasantly surprised.  So much talent!  I tell you, I am super super inspired!

There's quite a bit of travelling planned for the rest of the year too... Which keeps me occupied when I take a break from knitting...  So I might see you if you are going to be coming to Unwind Brighton.
I wasn't going to come at first... But after Dani (the organizer) revealed all the awesome classes and the vendors in the marketplace, I was feeling too tempted... (my pal Veera is going to be teaching a shawl class there, you must check it out!)

But I think the reason that made me go for it, was friendship.  There are many Ravelry friends who are going to be there, so this is another opportunity to make the world smaller and get to meet them in person.  One of the people I've been wanting to meet for many many years, but still haven't had a chance to, is my dear Anne (Anneleterme).  We have been writing to each other almost since Ravelry exists, always dreaming about the day we'll finally meet.  

I have more to tell about this festival, since I designed a pattern that's going to be featured in the programme all attendees are going to receive... But I'll save that for another blog post. ;)

Have a great week!!


Tuesday, May 06, 2014

It's May!

Hello dear readers,

Wow, what a beautiful month April was... It was hard to say goodbye to it and welcome May... But here we are!
I became one year older in April, which I don't really like... So, to feel a bit better about it, I saved a few releases for this time.  Two of them, you already saw: Inner Peace and Worsted Boxy.  But the most special one, came on April 22nd, with the release of Brooklyn Tweed's latest Collection: Wool People 7.

On the cover: Devlan Pullover by Bristol Ivy

My design for this collection is called Seacoast, and it is a beautifully simple yoked pullover.
It was my first time working with them, and I can't tell you my feelings when I finally saw it, brilliantly styled by Brooklyn Tweed, on this stunning model:

The model just makes me want to cry.  She's so beautiful.  Look at her hair...

This flattering beauty relies on clean lines and a flirtatious open neckline for arresting elegance. Worked from the top down, the circular yoke begins with a slipped-stitch rib that gradually introduces the new stitches. A few short rows beneath the yoke raise the back, and gentle waist shaping creates a classic, feminine effect.  You can read more about it on Ravelry's pattern page.

The sample was made using Shelter in the colorway Fossil (Oh, the most perfect creamy tweed), and I was amazed at how light this yarn was... Just under 7 skeins (350 grams) for a full sized sweater.  Impressive!

In the meantime, I've been staying busy knitting, knitting, knitting...
One of the projects I've just finished, I'm calling it the Grandpa Cardigan, until I find a better name for it.  Actually, I am not even sure if it looks like a Grandpa style cardigan at all.  This is the image I had of this style:

But when I swatched, I realized I didn't have enough yarn to make it so roomy, so I modified it a bit...

The yarn I am working with comes from Germany.  It's WalkCollection's BFL DK, and the colorway is called "French Lilac".  I only had 5 skeins of this.  It is 100% superwash BFL wool, and the skeins are 100g / 246 yd.

I received this yarn back in January, when I was at the summer house, and I immediately wanted to work with it... But for some reason, in my head, I just couldn't find the perfect project for it.  The dilemma was that my designs tend to have too many feminine details (like lace inserts, funny shaping, buttons, ruffles, bobbles, fringes...) and paired with this ultra-feminine color... It almost seemed like too much.  I adored the color, and really wanted to make it work... But all my ideas, when I pictured them in this color... they looked like a sweater made for a princess.  And, well, that's not really my style.
I must say I thought A LONG time about what kind of design would be perfect for this yarn.  It is such a beautiful hard-wearing base, that I wanted it to be a garment that could be worn for a long time.  And then I realized that the best was to go to the basics, that's when the grandpa style cardigan hit me, and it totally made sense.

I began to picture a basic cabled cardigan, paired with jeans, a basic T-shirt or a denim shirt... Yes.  This was the perfect concept for this base and color!

So, I don't have any "good pictures" of the work in progress, but I did post a lot of them in Facebook and Instagram, if you do follow me there.

Don't worry!  It has a button-band and a small shawl collar... The ties were just for trying it on ;)

I worked it from the top-down, completely seamlessly.  It was fun, and quite an accomplishment! But now I have to transform this into a multi-sized pattern, and it is taking a long time... It's hard to give instructions on how to place the cables correctly when you are increasing for the neckline and for the armhole shaping... Looks like I'll have to spread the directions into sets, for the different sizes.  That's OK, I don't really mind doing so... But some parts will only be charted out, or else the pattern will be 40 pages long ;)
It is funny, because it is quite a simple design!  But in order to be precise with the cable placement, and not to let things for the knitters to figure out, lots and lots of words are required.

The sleeves are set-in sleeves, and they are worked from the top down too.  I picked up stitches around the armhole opening, and worked a sleeve cap using short rows.  Here again, the cable placement for each size is easy but different, so more charts are needed.

What I learn from it?  A new technique!  I worked a TUBULAR BIND OFF for all the ribbing bands (bottom hem, cuffs and front bands).  If you haven't tried it yet, you have to do it.  It's amazing!  I watched this video by Very Pink, and after a couple of stitches I was ready to do it on my own, with out help.  The finishing is just... perfect, since I felt that this cardi needed polished finishing details in order to look Grandpa-style, but neat.

So! This baby is finished, and I won't show you the final pictures until the pattern release...  which is probably going to be during a more season-appropriate time... Maybe with a winter time collection? ;)

Have a great week!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Inner Peace


I think there's only one thing I don't like about my work, and it's that it can be lonely at times... I don't have any colleagues who live nearby that I can talk with about work...

So when my favorite dyers offer to work on a collaboration, I must confess I have butterflies in my stomach with happiness, cause it means we'll get to work together for a long time, and it's a promise of a successful pairing.

With Sundara Yarn, this is especially true. I have yet to find a color of hers that I don't think is inspiring.  In a certain way, I think our styles are very similar, so her yarn and my designs go very well together.  For this latest collaboration, we chose the color, we discussed all the little design details, and we even chose photographs together.  It was indeed, quite a change from the solitary work.

For this design, I used her Fingering Silky Merino base, in the colorway "Snow Clouds", the most delicate pearly gray.
(Actually, this was the last skein of yarn I could bring into the country using the mail.  From now on, no parcels are allowed into Argentina.  They will all be stopped at customs and probably held there without notice... That is not making my job any easier!)


This single skein fingering project will enlighten your day and lift your spirits!
This shawl is worked from side-to-side using a mesmerizing yarn that subtly reflects light as it moves. As usual, the design was produced from that light deep down inside that drives all of our emotions. It came at a time of inner reflection and thus, I’ve named it Inner Peace.
Peace is an energy that comes from within, it is being in control of your inner monster when it makes you feel greedy, selfish, angry or spiteful. It is taking a step back and doing what you can do to make YOURSELF better and no longer expecting others to make it happen for you.
Like our knitting, peace is something we have to work at, to fashion with all our might. It is a magic you have to make time for every day and something that will make your world all the more easy to bear.
Work on this shawl and imagine your personal inner peace, what does it look like to you and what can you do today to change our world for the better.
Peace starts with you, own it!


You can find more information on the pattern here.

Working with Sundara is a big pleasure, and I can say that the projects we've worked together are among the happiest ones I've published.  Here you can see some more of our team work:

October 2012: Autumn Blush
March 2013: Imagine When
September 2013: Make a Wish
Hope this inspires you...

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Worsted weight Boxy


A few weeks ago, I started experimenting with Malabrigo Rios, because I wanted to make a worsted weight version of one of my most popular patterns: Boxy.
Lots of people liked this pattern, but many knitters told me that they were afraid of that much knitting...  So after a couple of years after I released the original version, I decided it was time to give it a go at the modified one.
What I remembered very well about Boxy was that it was crucial for the yarn to drape, otherwise it's just a big sweater, and not as flattering...  I needed a yarn that could be blocked and stretched to a very loose gauge, and possibly, that wouldn't shrink back to it's original state afterwards.
Rios is a 100% Superwash merino yarn with a very soft twist, and I thought it would be perfect for it.  It's available in a great variety of colors, it's quite inexpensive, and most importantly: I can buy it locally, which is very unusual.
The colorway I chose is called "Niebla", which means fog.  It's a soft mix of grays, beige, yellow and even a tiny bit of purple, which create a very neutral looking hue, but more complex than most neutral toned yarns.

 I made the whole prototype in less than a week.  It was so much fun to make, as my Mom and I were working the back and front at the same time (1 piece each), and we were racing each other.  It really is a very quick project, and the testers also were done in a very short time.

So gladly, the pattern was published very soon, so this can be your next transition weather staple (it is for me! only I am transitioning into winter)...


You can find it on Ravelry now!  And if you have already purchased the original one through Rav, you can get this new one 50% off (no coupon code needed, you just put it in the cart and the discount will be automatic).

Hope you like some instant gratification knitting for a change ;)


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Non work-related WIPs

I was cleaning the house today, trying to tidy up a bit... so I started organizing my knitting bags too.  There were lots of bags with yarn that needed to be arranged, and knitting projects lying around the house in different rooms.

As I was putting everything away, and leaving out only those bags which hold knitting projects, I suddenly realized I had 4 WIPs (works in progress), which is somewhat unusual for me... But the most unusual thing is that 3 of these are not related to work.
Why not related to work?  Well, cause even though I am not using any patterns for these, I have no deadlines and no intention of turning these projects into patterns.  These projects are just for the fun of knitting...

Since this blog is mostly about my knitting patterns, I think it's a good change to show these little projects, even if there's nothing too exciting about them!

I started Fedde's Vest when I was travelling in Europe.
I was visiting Gent with my friend Vera (Maanel), and she took me to a cute Phildar shop, where they sold mostly ready-made garments.  But at the back of the shop, they kept a stock of Phildar's yarns!  I must admit I wasn't crazy about most of them, but then I found these beautiful balls of Laine Coton, in the most perfect "Boy" colors.  I just knew I had to make something for my baby godson Fedde...

The yarn is just beautiful.  I had never tried a combination of Wool and Cotton before, and I absolutely love it!  I think I paid like 4 EUR per ball, which is not bad at all.  It has lots of tiny plies, arranged in a beautiful rounded structure.
Look at those stitches, they are so even and pretty!

I started the project while riding on the train to London, and I honestly thought (in my innocent mind), that I was going to finish this in a couple of days, which would have allowed me to leave the vest with the recipient before returning to Argentina.
Silly me, I only knitted during that train ride, and then never again during the rest of the trip!

I am working the vest on straight needles, cause I am always faster (though really, it doesn't get much slower than this), and I plan to seam the sides when I am done.
I cast on 50 st, worked in 2x2 ribbing for a few rows, and then switched to a broken rib, which was quite easy, but looked more elaborate than a garter st vest.

I already finished the front, which was made in a similar way to my Felipe pattern (a free pattern, by the way, and always works beautifully!).  Just a few rows of 2x2 ribbing, and then divided for neck opening and shoulder straps.
As you can see, the back is halfway done, so I don't know what is keeping me from finishing it...  Perhaps I have the secret dream of going back to The Netherlands to deliver it myself, and kiss him hard for days and days...  Cause really, look at those cheeks!

A few weeks ago, I received a visit from the US, so we did a lot of walking and sightseeing.  I was working on the Unwind Shawl at the time, which allowed for some mindless knitting time...  But then, all of a sudden, my project was finished!
I had plans for a new sweater design, but that required some planning ahead, and I didn't have time to do that... I needed a new project! (don't ask me why I didn't pick up Fedde's Vest at this point, cause I don't know).
So I took out a bag of yummy leftovers of Malabrigo Worsted, and I started a Cowl/Scarf whatever thingy.

I am not thinking this too much ahead, I didn't even plan how the colors are going to follow each other... And I might send this to my sister if I ever finish Fedde's Vest.  She really liked my knitted cowls, so I think she'll enjoy this one too.

I am making striped triangles using short rows, and I think I am going to add solid triangles in between.  I am not sure if it's going to look great with these colors, but I certainly LOVE this yarn, and this project just makes me happy, so I look forward to working on it a bit more.

And a few days ago, Nano, my eldest kid, was watching me as I was pinning down a finished pattern sample.  He knew I had been working on this sweater lately, so he was absolutely sure that my needles were not very "occupied" at that very moment...  And he kindly said: "Well, are you done with this one? Would you make me a sweater?  It's been a while since you last made me a sweater.  You've made me hats and scarves, but no sweater, Mum".
How could anyone say no to that?  

I think he had some ideas about a rainbow colored sweater, but I didn't have any rainbow colored yarn in my stash.... So I told him I could use some of the yarns in my stash that are not destined to become a pattern.
We spent some fun time together, going through my stash bins, and we found the yarn I was already planning to use.

I think I bought this yarn about 5 years ago.  At the time, I couldn't afford buying yarn abroad, so all I would knit with was acrylic, cotton or very coarse wool (and even coarse wool was very hard to find, and a expensive for us).  

But one day, touring around the "Yarn District" in Buenos Aires, I found that one of the yarn stores had this sale bin, with balls marked at a very affordable price (almost the same price as acrylic).  I came closer, and I discovered these balls were Filatura di Crosa Wave, which is a gorgeous wool/silk blend, extremely soft and yummy.  Honestly, I think this was the most beautiful yarn I had ever seen at the time, I just couldn't believe the people at the yarn store had no idea what they were selling!  They had probably bought some closeout lots of it... Who knows?  No one had ever sold balls like these in Buenos Aires.  

I was so excited, that I didn't even care that the colors were a bit dull.  Slowly, as we saved my pennies, my local knitting friends and I bought all the stock from this store, and I have knitted already several projects with it.  These are some of my last balls, so it was indeed a good purchase in the end.  All of it has been used for great projects.
It is an amazing yarn, it has a tweedy look, and wears extremely well... So I think it will be perfect for Nano's jumper.  

I don't know why, but I decided to make this one on circular needles.  I am starting from the bottom up, and I cast on 156 st, for a circumference of 78 cm.  What??? My boy is so big... His sweaters are already as big as the XS size in my patterns... where did the time go?  I remember when I used to make him sweaters in a couple of days...

I think I'll randomly add stripes to the upper half of the body and sleeves... In no particular order.  We'll see how it goes.  I am loving it so far, and I can't seem to be able to put it down to work on my YES work-related WIP...  Which is not such a good thing! 

Hope you are enjoying your WIPs too!


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Bohemian Girl


Spring is in the air and it's time to get back in tune with nature and evoke your inner gypsy.  There is nothing more exhilarating than feeling feminine and free!  I've chosen to include some modern day styles with an heirloom flair giving a bohemian quality to this set.

Bohemian Girl is a collection of 4 patterns: three sweaters and a beautiful infinity cowl.

Back-buttoned cardigan worked in DK weight yarn, shown in Lioness Arts' MCN DK

 ...Are you a Freebird?
"If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me?"
Say goodbye to long nights of knitting.  The looser gauge of this top down beauty will fly free right off your needles and before you know it you will be moving on to your next adventure.
Crafted with easy lines, this sweater's magical shape will charm your artistic spirit.  Its dazzling detail of buttons down the back will allow you to be free to express yourself: whether you choose unmatched buttons or matching, you are the artist here... Feel free to stay unrestricted by reality.
The flattering neckline and dazzling detail of lace down the set in sleeves will attract attention from the masses shouting “one of a kind!”

Boho cowl, worked in DK weight yarn, shown in Malabrigo's Silky Merino

...Are you a dreamer?
Turn your dreams into a reality and take a dive into this must have accessory. Throw aside all your cares… don't worry, it won't be hard! The ethereal spark of lace may look difficult but really it's not. This one was designed to travel across your needles effortlessly like a gypsy traveling from town to town.
This sheer and fun luxe lace accessory will make you feel ultra-feminine and will look good with just about any outfit, dressing you up or down depending on how you wear it….
Dream a little dream frolicking in this fun cowl.

Circular yoke cardigan, worked in Sport weight yarn, shown in Malabrigo's Arroyo

...Are you an artist?
Reflect your inner light out onto the day and paint the world as you see it. Grab their attention and make a difference. This top down, light hearted cardigan boasts a flattering shape with a little modern flair.
The intricate lace feather pattern in its circular yoke adds femininity and suggests enlightenment. For those chilly nights the convertible collar can be worn up or down making it a versatile wear.
On your next jaunt through the park, wear your Feathers in the Wind and maybe even some feathers in your hair, make a statement and run free.
Romantic loose cardigan worked in two shades of fingering weight yarn, shown in Madelinetosh and Northbound Knitting

...Feel like expressing yourself?
Channel your inner romantic with the high-drama of this one-of-a-kind cardigan. The delicate lace inserts and creative construction of this sleeve first, top down cardigan will keep you smiling all the way as you knit the entire sweater in one piece.
The slightly boxy shape is flattering to all sizes and will keep you feeling hopelessly romantic as its drape frolics around you all day.
There is a huge opportunity for you to add your own flair by combining colors in a delicate or playful way. Choose your own path, make your own statement, live freely today.

This season, as you frolic to your next destination wearing one of these beautiful hand knit designs, consider mixing it up by wearing it along with something a little more edgy like a worn in tee, your favorite torn jeans or add some leather to juxtapose the feminine with the edgy and modern. Choose to be unafraid, go bold and mix some hard details in with these soft lines and really take the world by surprise.



Saturday, March 08, 2014

Unwind (in Brighton)

I would really like to give this a great introduction, because it is a very special project for me, but sometimes I am not the best writer...  So I will get to the point.

Dani, owner and creator of Lioness Arts Yarns, is a very creative soul.  We have shared many projects together, and I've been happily following her through her many adventures in the world of knitting.  But this time, she has started a project that requires a lot of work and strength; a dream which is finally coming true, and which will bring something awesome to her home town. 


So Dani is organizing the great Unwind Brighton, an event with classes, talks and an incredible (and I mean INCREDIBLE) marketplace, where the best of the best is going to be available for all attendants.  It will take place on July 12-13 of this year.

The schedule is just awesome.  Classes by knitting stars like Veera, Ysolda, Ragga (Oh, how I wish I could take her steeking class!)... And the vendors are also amazing, I would be doomed in that marketplace.  So many people I dreamt of meeting one day... they are all going to be there...
But I won't be able to make it this time.  It's just too much travelling for one year, and I couldn't make all the numbers match ;)

But the lovely Dani found a way for me to join her in the spirit, and to join everyone who is going to be there too!  This little shawl I am designing right this moment will be featured in the Programme that all attendants will get with their tickets for classes or marketplace.  This programme will have all the info about the event (schedule, classes and maps), and my pattern along with another one (still don't know who's the designer of that one!).

So, I am not saying that this little pattern will convince you to come to Brighton, but at least go check it out!

The shawl is not "simple", but it is very easy to work, and it only takes one skein... So you can scroll the marketplace looking for the perfect skein and cast-on that very same day!  Who knows, maybe a night of chatting with friends, wine and good food will make you finish that very same weekend.

It is worked from one end to the other, in different sections.  There is some short-row shaping, some seed st... Some lace...  But there's no need to read a chart! So really, it's the perfect travelling project.

The yarn I am using is a single skein I had in my stash, so I thought it would be perfect for those singles we all have, or that we just want to buy with an impulse.
This is Cozy Merino Fingering by Walk Collection,  and the colorway is called "Blueberry Juice".  The skein is 400 yards, so that's exactly how much the design will take (as I am obsessively weighing it all the time)...

So!  If you are going to be in Brighton this July... My little pattern will be there to say hi!


Thursday, March 06, 2014

Interpretations: behind the scenes

One month has already gone by since Veera and I published our first collection (Interpretations), but I still feel it as if it was yesterday.  It could be because I took some time off from work in February, but it is most probably because it was the most meaningful project I was ever involved in, and I still enjoy reading all the comments people make about it...  Therefore, and since I haven't published any new patterns ever since, I still feel the need to write about it... 
But, since this is all related to our past, I decided to work this post with black and white pictures.  Hope you don't mind!

It was one year ago that Veera and I started dreaming of working together in a small collection of patterns.  One of the things that intrigued us the most about each other was how different the places where we live were...  She was up in the cold North, shovelling snow, as I was fighting the terrible heat of the summer in Buenos Aires.

A year went by as we slowly made this project come true.  We saw the seasons go by on both sides, welcoming warmth and cold, sun and snow.

As we shared our daily views by email, I guess we always knew this project was an excuse to finally get together and meet in person.  The question remained unspoken until we finally decided to do a photo-shoot in my hometown Buenos Aires, the place where we met for the first time.

A walk in Caminito, La Boca, Buenos Aires

So how did we plan this?
We both wanted to model our own designs.  It would have been lovely to find some models for this, but we thought that modelling ourselves was part of giving our identity to what we had made.  After all, we both design what we love to wear, and we wanted that to show through the pics.

As much as we love photography, and we love doing everything ourselves, modelling, styling and photographing twelve garments in one day was not going to happen unless we had a helping hand...  So with the help from an awesome photographer friend, we planned the photo-shoot in a magical forest, just outside the city center.

The forest was indeed magical!

Twelve designs make this collection, and they all required a different outfit.  They all had to travel with us in pristine conditions.  Just imagine us the night before, ironing and making everything look pretty.  I must admit I am not a "fashion" person, so putting all this together might have been the hardest task of all!

Soft projects: Laneway on top and So Close below.
But it worked, when we put everything together and did a try-out for the first time, it just worked perfectly.  We might have forgotten some earrings here or there...  But considering that we were travelling around that forest with all our belongings, I think we did pretty well at keeping the outfits as planned ;)

Yes, we found 12 pair of fitting shoes.
We also got to be spoiled a bit...  It felt strange to have someone do our make-up and hair, but I must say I was surprised with the results!  Hmmm, maybe I should consider learning how to do my make-up properly...

Veera and I have very different skin tone, so it was lovely to see how she used different make up techniques for both of us.

You can just imagine our anticipation and excitement while all this was being done...  All this work was just about to be photographed on us, and we were so eager to tell everyone what we had been up to!  Thanks God my Mum and my dear friend Ale were there to help too (there was just so much we needed to carry with us!

Mom, taking care of the Rhythm theme: Fine tune and Make space.
In only 3 hours, we managed to photograph all 12 garments.  I must say the credits go to the photographer, who managed to capture everything we needed in the photos extremely well.  Rafa knows nothing about knitwear, as he specializes in fashion and social photography.  So I was a bit worried (at first), that he wouldn't understand how the main object in the photos needed to be the knitted item.

Photo-shooting Fade

My concern was completely unnecessary, as he proved during the first session, that he knew exactly what he was aiming for... And we loved it!
If you want to see all of Rafa's photos, you can see our Look book (in case you haven't already done it) here: http://www.interpretationdesigns.com/#!lookbook/cson

After photo-shooting Thoughts

I know I have said this so many times... But this project was so.much.fun!  

I wanted to thank deeply to all the people who have sent beautiful comments of encouragement, congratulations, excitement... Those who have made a review, or shared a post... Everyone has helped to make this such a beautiful experience.  Thank you so much!!!
And if you have no idea what this is all about... Come on! Take a peek at what we made.... Here :)