Mixing Knit and Crochet

Last week was a bit difficult for me. Not only did my website experience a technical difficulty (these things happen, and this was just a hickup with necessary updates), but I also fell victim to a severe case of a stiff neck. I noted it on Thursday, mentioned it to Charming, and received strict orders not to knit and crochet. Which, imho, was quite harsh. I mean, how could continuing to do what caused the condition in the first place possibly make it worse!

… well, obviously I’ve sat with my hands on my lap through the weekend. Not knitting. I’m getting better, and I sincerely hope Charming will let me pick up the needles before too long.

Since I’ve been a bit achey, I haven’t been able to take outfit photos. Pulling on a robe was a task and a half all through the weekend, and I figured it might be best to just wait until I’m all better before struggling with corsets and such. So today, I wanted to talk a bit about a knitting related thing. The way I like to mix knit and crochet, that is.

This week’s featured product is still The Faux Cable Shrug. I’m extending its time in the spotlight for another week due to the website-issue. I hope to do an outfit post with it for Friday, but today, I wanted to shed more light on its crochet embellishment.

I love crochet details on knitted garments. A crochet edge can make all the difference to a knit item. The Faux Cable Shrug features a shell edge worked onto cast off edges. It doesn’t require much work or extensive knowledge of crocheting, but it does make a lovely detail, don’t you think?

Crochet edges are more often seen on shawls. A crochet cast off is a quick, easy way of achieving an edge that’s both tidy and elastic. Continuing to crochet a delicate border from there is irresistably easy. A crocheted edge can make a stockinette scarf appear more romantic…

… or it can give a subtle touch of femininity to an everyday shawl.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed adding crochet details to knit items ever since I first learned both skills. I’m actually working on a cardigan that features crochet flowers sewn onto a knit surface. It will be published later in the spring, hopefully mid-March!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the way I mix knit and crochet.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Faerie Dragon Shawlette

A while back, I showed you a shawlette made with wild colors. Back then, I promised to write it into a pattern. Well, I’m happy to announce, that today is the day I finally get to publish it. The beautiful vortex was renamed, and I am proud to introduce The Faerie Dragon Shawlette.

Again.

Faerie Dragon Shawlette

As I mentioned when I first shared the shawlette, I got two gorgeous skeins of merino-silk for my Birthday. They were very unusual colors for me, and the person who gave them to me was actually a bit antsy about whether or not I’d like them. Well, I didn’t. I loved them! I loved the yarns so much I really just wanted to sit down in the middle of the floor and start knitting right there and then.

I resisted the urge, but not for long. You see, the yarns screamed that they wanted to become a vortex scarf, and be together forever. My only doubt at this was whether there’d be enough for a scarf. I quickly decided that if the scarf would be too small to wear, I’d just hang it somewhere and look at it.

Turns out there was plenty for a scarf. After a bath, the scarf grew into a long shawlette.

Faerie Dragon With Black Dress

The yarns were an absolute joy to work with. The colors were vibrant and full of life, and the luxurious merino-silk was a sheer indulgence. I didn’t check to see how long it took to knit the shawlette, but it couldn’t have been more than two weeks. I worked The Faerie Dragon in garter stitch and eyelet lace, so it was a zero-concentration-required -kind of project. I actually picked simple stitches for this shawlette so that I’d get to admire the colors more closely when knitting.

Faerie Dragon Curve

The Faerie Dragon Shawlette is now available as a knitting pattern. It’s our featured product for this week and next so you’ll be seeing more of it in later posts! Since this is a winter accessory, I’m planning to create some warmer, layered outfits to go with it. And as you know, featured products are on sale, but only for VIPs. If you haven’t already, order our newsletter to gain access to these special offers.

Faerie Dragon - vortex scarf knitting pattern

I hope you’ll enjoy The Faerie Dragon as much as I enjoyed knitting it!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

WitchHunt Scarf

Every now and again, we all make something we’re not really that into. Sometimes it’s the design, sometimes the materials, often the combination of both. Not succeeding every time is the price of crafting. We invest our time and energy to a project only to realize it didn’t turn out quite as planned.

For my Birthday, I got a skein of hand-dyed yarn. I love shades of red, and this 80/20 Merino/Bamboo had the most delicious tones of red. It’s named WitchHunt, and dyed special pour moi. The yarn was really light, and I chose to work it with 3mm needles. I usually go for larger needle sizes due to impatience, but it’s actually kinda nice to sometimes work with smaller needles. 

Due to the small needles, I wanted the easiest stitch repeat ever. Garter. It makes a nice, fully reversible surface, and works really well with self-patterning yarns. After a few inches of knitting, I noted two things.

Working a shawl on small needles takes FOREVER.

And the yarn had shades of brown hidden into it.

These facts combined slowed me down quite a bit. I worked on the garter scarf whenever I was in between projects, and was pretty eager to pick up something else.

Despite my eagerness to pick up another knit, I finished the scarf. It took a whopping five months, but I finally got it done.

I got bored with garter at some point pretty early on, and worked simple lace stripes into the garter scarf. Then I noted they made knitting even slower, and counted my lucky stars for not committing to a full lace project. I knit the scarf as long as I dared, and still had a third of the skein (now of course a ball) left!

I toyed around with knitting a lace border to the scarf. The thought scared me a little, so I went with a crochet edge instead. I’m really happy with this choice. Crocheting was a lot faster than knitting, and gave the scarf a cute, frilly finish.

A this point I was actually pretty pleased with the scarf, and though it is a pretty basic scarf with nothing fancy to it, I considered turning it into a pattern.

And then I washed it.

Dying yarns is a challenging venture. There are many, many things that can go wrong with the process. I don’t feel that nice having to say this, considering they just went into business in dyeing yarns, but this skein bled like crazy. After washing this scarf, the bathroom looked like I’d killed someone in there.

The shape of the scarf is actually pretty nice. Blocking it would bring more shape to it and open the crochet lace, but I don’t really want to introduce it to water ever again. The scarf’s obvious dislike toward moisture keeps me from wanting to wear it, too. What if it rains and the scarf gets wet and starts bleeding? That’d be a “goodbye, coat” -moment.

As you see, sometimes we end up making something that doesn’t quite work. The reason why I wanted to show this garter scarf is to remind you that designers mess up, too, and more often than we’d like to admit!

This post will also set the theme for this week and next. I’m trying to get a new pattern out for Friday, so we’ll be focusing on shawls!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Grey In The Making

Cardigans aren’t only fun to wear. They’re fun to knit, too! I’m currently working on two new patterns for cardigans. Both are quite deep in the making, but I wanted to give you sneak peaks  of my works in process anyway. These designs will be fun to mix and match, and easy to knit up. Instead of funky details, these cardigans feature classic shapes.

Lately, I’ve developed a liking toward grey. It’s soft and neutral, and, well, let’s face it, easier to knit than black. Grey is subtle and elegant, and never goes out of style. The color dictated the style for the first cardigan. I wanted it to have classic lace and a V-shaped neckline. The yarn I chose for this cardigan is thick and heavy, and 100% cotton. This makes the finished (well, almost finished, I still need to weave in ends and sew in buttons) decadently heavy and delightfully warm.

I like raglan-sleeves best of all when it comes to cardigans. Knitting a top down raglan cardie is fun and relaxing, and the shape is comfortable to wear. For this style, I wanted something different. Most top down raglan cardigans have a round collar. With this design, I wanted to create a V-shaped neckline. This took so much brain work I had to turn to google for help. I found a blog post with instructions on the general process of knitting a V-neck for a raglan sweater. When I looked again, the post was nowhere to be found. I’m starting to think I might have dreamt it!

I wanted to work lace for the hem of the cardigan. Feather and Fan was the perfect choice for this design. It’s easy to knit, and the result is just lovely. The sleeves are free of lace, but they come with the option to work in purled stripes.

I’m not a big fan of after thought -buttonlists. I like to work them in while knitting, or not at all. This cardigan has seed stitch button lists. They’re worked in from cast on, so the’re will be no tasks waiting after cast off. When you’re done, you’re done. Well, there will be a few ends to weave in and buttons to sew, but no knitting buttonlists!

I really like the Feather and Fan Cardigan, and I’m hoping to get the pattern published soon.

The second WIP is also grey. This is actually a re-design of a cardigan pattern I made a long while back. It’s a short sleeved shrug-like cardigan which I’ve never learned to wear. A week or so ago I realized I had an ugly shawl worked with the same yarn as the shrug. I frogged it, ripped out the cardigan’s sleeves, and cast on long, stripy ones! I love working with this yarn, it’s a shame Novita discontinued it.

The re-vamped cardigan is going to have a light grey bodice, stripy sleeves and maybe a stripy border. I also want it embellished with a fall of crochet flowers. This project is so much fun I think I’m going to go work on it right now!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my grey works in process.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Lovelace and Purlace

Temperatures have dropped drastically here in Finland. Leaves are starting to turn yellow, and it smells like frost outside. It’s not yet cold enough to switch to winter clothes, but chilly enough to dig out scarves and gloves. This time of year I go for blazers, warm scarves, and fingerless gloves. Today, I wanted to show you some of my favorites, and an upcoming pattern for super-pretty gloves!

I like accessories with little detail. Lace shawls aren’t really my thing, though they are beautiful to look at. Simple things with interesting texture are more to my personal taste. I created Lune last winter, and it quickly became my second favorite scarf. Lune’s easy to wear, stripy, and so basic it goes with almost any outfit. I love the pattern so much I made two!

Lune is a knitting pattern for a crescent shawl

The original Lune is black and green. My second one is made with black and purple stripes with Novita’s Nalle. It’s a Finnish wool blend that is available in any store and in any color and at an affordable price. It would be a really good deal, if the yarn didn’t love my forefinger so much. Two hours of knitting, and it’s dug its way inside no matter how much tape I hide it under. The yarn is warm, though, and somehow makes its way into Christmas presents. Right now I only have one ball stashed, and I’m hoping Nalle hasn’t found out where I live now.

Anyway, I used black and purple Nalle for a Lune last winter. I really like this scarf, and a long soak in fabric softener took away some of the hardness. I’d really like to know how Novita has managed to make it so rough and painful to work…

My black and purple Lune has a crochet shell edge to give it a more feminine vibe. The original version is unisex, but this one fits a lady’s wardrobe better. After casting off, I still had some purple yarn left. I divided to ball in two, and used to work fingerless Lovelace gloves.

The Lovelace pattern came out last spring. I had horrible timing in launching the pattern: Lovelace came out just when everyone wanted to start working on light cotton garments for the summer! The Lovelace pattern will be our featured product through next week along with its sister-pattern, Purlace, and Lune.

I worked the original Lovelace Gloves in an unusual color. I found a ball of yellow mystery yarn (it loved to burrow its way into my finger, so it must have been Nalle), and it wanted really badly to become a pair of intricate lace gloves. The Lovelace pattern took its sweet time to come out, but the gloves are beautiful.

After casting off Lovelace, I cast on another pair of lace gloves with the same general idea of lace columns continuing from wrist to hand to fingers. I worked these in black Nalle, and decided to wait until fall to launch the pattern. Now’s the time, and Purlace will come out on Friday!

I hope you’ll enjoy our Lovelace and Purlace patterns!

Until Friday!

Love,

Heather

Seed Stitch Shawl

On Friday, I promised you two outfit posts for this week. Still, I wanted to show you guys something I made!

Fall is almost here, and it’s time to dig out shawls and gloves. I took a quick peek around my winter wardrobe, and remembered I haven’t showed you my favorite shawl. I think it may be because the shawl is a very basic triangle, black, and worked in seed stitch. As lovely as it is to wear, it’s not very photogenic.

See?

I made the shawl with Novita’s Rose. It’s worked from side to side, entirely in seed stitch. Knitting this was the most boring task ever, and I watched loads of movies during the process. I’ve grown a liking toward seed stitch, but knitting it is just plain old boring. The surface seed stitch creates is lovely, and seed stitch garments are super elastic. The stitch is versatile, too. I’ve used it in so many things I can’t even count that far.

After casting off, I decided to add a little crochet border to my seed stitch shawl. I like lace, and the shawl seemed to need a little something to make it special. I just did a basic picot edge, but it did add a cute detail to the shawl.

I usually wear this around my neck during the coldest winter, but it is big enough to wear as a shawl. For outfit photos, I wore the shawl with The Bishop Wrap. That dress sure loves its shawls!

This look is cute and comfy, and the shawl adds an extra layer of warmth. I’m quite certain this outfit will get loads of wear in the winter. It’s pretty perfect to wear for our weekly quiz. The pub it’s held at is super-cold, so the seed stitch shawl will sure come in handy.

You might remember that The Bishop Wrap is quite revealing. It has a generous neckline that might not be suitable for every occasion. To tone it down and make it a bit more modest, I wore a Spaghetti Strap Top under it. Blue lace peeks out beautifully from under the dress, and gives it not only a cute detail, but also more coverage.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my seed stitch shawl! Be sure to join us on Friday for another outfit post.

Until then!

Love,

Heather

Red Cotton Cardigan

Knitting has always been my way of relaxing. I hardly ever go without having at least two UFOs close by, and never watch TV without knitting. Right now, though, I am at a very strange place with knitting: I have nothing on the needles. The last project I finished was my “I’ll just work on this while I think about what to make next” -project, and… well, I cast off two nights ago. Today, I wanted to show you what I made!

I had a bit of yarn left after I finished my Tropical Breeze Shawl. I was quite uncertain as to what to do with it. There didn’t seem to be that much left, but a knitter’s instinct claimed it was enough for a cropped cotton cardigan. Bravely, I cast on. I chose a simple V-neck raglan style. I needed a basic cardigan that goes with everything.

I worked the collar, button lists and hem in seed stitch, and the rest of the cardigan in stockinette. I hadn’t made one with this particular technique before, and knitting felt like an adventure. I wondered whether it would fit, or whether it would look nice, or feel like me.

The cardigan turned out really nice. I had enough yarn for ¾ sleeves, and a cropped hem. It’s actually the exact shape I was aiming for! My red cotton cardigan has a really nice fit and the perfect length for my taste. I’m used to sleeves being overly long, so this ¾ length is strange to me. It feels nice and practical, so I’m guessing I’ll get used to it pretty soon.

For the photos, I wanted to create an outfit I actually plan on wearing. This will be perfect for going to our weekly pub quiz next winter. The pub is really chilly, and even though I don’t usually stay beyond an hour, I get frozen to the core. The cotton cardigan is light enough to wear under a coat, and will keep me warm inside.

I wore the cardigan over a mesh top and a basic spaghetti strap top, and The Pretty Basic Jersey Skirt. I added an elastic belt to the mix. The belt gives the outfit a more polished look, and serves as an eye-catcher. It’s always a smart idea to enhance the narrowest part of the body, especially when wearing long hems. The belt does just that, while hiding the basic elastic waist of the skirt.


The hems on the cardigan are of equal length, I just managed to pull it on wrong!

This outfit is also nice for stepping out on a cooler summer day. Lighter socks make the outfit less wintery, and the cotton cardigan is easy to remove if the weather grows warmer.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my new cotton cardigan.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Vectors

As you may remember, it was my Birthday a while back. I wasn’t really expecting presents, but I got something beautiful anyway. I have a few friends who knit. One of them also dyes yarn. She has a small Etsy-shop called Petrichor Yarns, and she brought me a lovely skein of merino-bamboo-blend. The shade is called Witch Hunt, and I thoroughly love it! This particular shade of red goes perfectly with a coat I just made. I already have plans for this yarn, but there’s something else I need to finish first.

You see, I got some more yarn, too. Two skeins of some seriously wild merino silk.

Yarn speaks to me sometimes, and these two announced their desire the moment I saw them. They claimed to want to be together forever, and become a vortex scarf.

I said OK, that’s all well and good, but you’ll have to wait until I finish my cardigan.

The yarns would have none of that, and I had to cast on three days later.

The two skeins have a matching shade of pink. I don’t usually go for crazy color-combos, but I had to make an exception with these two. The colors go together beautifully, though I was a bit hesitant about it.

I’ve been wanting to knit a vortex scarf for quite a while now. I haven’t gotten around to it, since I’ve been working on multiple projects at once, and haven’t found The Perfect Yarn for a vortex scarf. Until I saw these two, that is. As I cast on, I thought I’d get a little neck warmer out of these. There was only 800 meters of yarn with the two skeins combined. I started knitting, and the scarf grew and grew and grew. At one point, I thought I’d never run out of yarn!

Of course I finally found an end to both yarns. By then, the scarf had grown to a shawlette. It has a wing span of over 160 cm, but it is quite narrow. It’s pretty perfect to wear around the neck in this size. Since it’s worked in a vortex-shape, it’s easy to continue knitting until it reaches a full-shawl width.

As a finishing touch, I decided to work a simple crochet edge to the scarf.

I was kind of hoping to show you the fully finished scarf today, but I ran out of time. I’ll write the scarf out as a pattern soon. At this point, I call it The Pretty Basic Vortex Scarf, but the name will hopefully change into something nicer.

After finishing this one, I’ll get to start working on the Witch Hunt, and another shawl pattern!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this week’s I (almost) Made This! -post.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Red Crochet Skirt

Once upon a time, I decided to want a red crochet skirt. This happened before I made the black dress I showed you a while back. For this skirt, I used the same lace repeat. I really like this lace, it’s easy to hook, and lovely to look at. The repeat is only three rows high, so it’s also easy to memorize.

I crocheted the skirt with Novita’s long-gone Kotiväki. It’s a pretty basic mercerized cotton suitable for hook sizes 2,5mm to 3,5mm. I like working with larger hooks, so I liked the yarn. The consistency pleased me as well. I like natural fibers, and cotton works nice with lace. It also gives crochet projects really pretty stitch definition.

Finding a substitute for Kotiväki has proven surprisingly difficult. Fingering weight blends are numerous, but cotton is harder to come by. I guess I’ll have to settle for blends in the future.

Red Crochet Skirt Detail

I wanted my skirt to be tight, but not too tight to walk in. I wanted it long and narrow and fitted at the hip.

Achieving this was easier than I thought. I started at the waist with a 2,5mm hook and worked my way down upping hook size twice. This made the skirt widen without increases. When the skirt reached my knees, I changed to hook size 4mm, and worked the rest of the hem.

I like the way the skirt turned out. It doesn’t have a lining because I want to wear it with both short and long underskirts. Versatility is important to me, and this skirt provides it.

Crochet Skirt over Bodycon Dress

Crochet garments, especially lacey ones, are light and see-through. Petticoats are in order when wearing a lace skirt. For this outfit, I paired the red crochet skirt with The Pretty Basic Jersey Dress. Worn under the skirt, the dress provides coverage. It also doubles as a top.

To cover up the waist of the skirt, I wore The Embroidered Waist Corselet. This light-weight corselet is made with elastic material, and features buttons at the front, and light embroidery on the sides. Contrast coloured bone channels continue the red hem a bit higher, and make it blend into the top without a clear line. I like to do this when wearing colours. Combining two colours that are quite far from each other, it feels nice to bind them together with another garment. A hard break of colour in any outfit can seem a bit harsh.

Wearing a dress under a skirt comes with one more bonus feature: you won’t have a shirt tail to worry about.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my red crochet skirt!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Stripy Wrist Warmers

In the world of crafting, left-over yarn is a rule. It’s always around, and sometimes, it’s difficult to find a use for little balls and skeins. As I was given an opportunity to write a guest post for Craftic, I chose to create these cute, stripy wrist warmers to share. The wrist warmers require basic skills in both knitting and crocheting. Stitches used are very simple, so I would label this as a beginner level project. 

stripy wrist warmers worked in black and purple

Materials

  • sport weight yarn in two tones. The amount of yarn needed depends on how long you wish to make the wrist warmers. For the black and purple ones, I worked 10 contrast colored stripes and used 50 grams (142 yards) of yarn in total.

  • double-pointed needles size 3,5mm/US 4

  • crochet hook size 3,5mm/US 4 and 4mm/US 6

  • tapestry needle for weaving in ends

Notes

The wristwarmers come in three sizes, S (M), and L. Size S suits an arm of 20 cm/ 7.8 inches in diameter, size M 22 cm/ 8.6 inches, and size L 24 cm/ 9.45 inches. Gauge (taken from a wristwarmer while it’s worn) is 18 stitches and 24 rows in a 5 cm x 5 cm / 2” x 2” square.

Abbreviations

K – knit

P – purl

DC – double crochet

* * – repeat

Pattern

Cast on 40 (44) 48 stitches on DPNs with black yarn, divide them eavenly, and join to knit in the round. The wristwarmers are worked in *K2, P2* -rib up until the crochet cuff.

Counting in the foundation row, work four rows of rib with black yarn. Switch to purple, and work two rows. Alternating the stripe pattern of *four rows in black, two rows in purple*, work in the round until the wristwarmer is approx 15cm/ 6 inches long. Finish with a black stripe.

Switch to the smaller crochet hook. From the beginning of the first row, pick up two stitches onto your hook. Crochet them together with a slip stitch, and chain four. In between of the two stitches you just crocheted together, double crochet.

DC the next two stitches together, chain two, and DC in between the two stitches crocheted together. Continue like this through the row.

Switch to hook size 4mm/ US 6.

Row 1: Into each arch formed by two chain stitches, DC three times.

Row 2-5: Using slip stitches, move to the middle DC of the first group. Chain two, and DC twice. *DC three times into the middle stitch of the next group.* Slip stitch to close the round.

Row 6: Using slip stitches, move to the middle DC of the first group. Chain two, and DC four times. Single crochet in between groups. *DC five times into the middle stitch of the next group, single crochet in between groups.* Slip stitch to close the round.

Cast off, and weave in ends.

stripy wrist warmers worked in double rib and crochet lace

 I hope you’ll enjoy The Stripy Wrist Warmers Knit/Crochet Pattern!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather