Marcela Chang Knits

All about Knitting

Tips for Save Money or Stay in Budget when you are knitting.

Hi Knitters!!

This couples of days I’ve been reorganizing my stash and I have lots of yarns that I forgot it was there.. I have to say, I love yarn and color and I buy for impulse, sometimes. But money doesn’t grow out of trees, so I want to share with you some tips to stay in budget (or save money for more yarn!!).

  1. Plan

First of all, is totally necessary planning your knitting. A long term planning saves money, time and helps you to not buy for impulse. How to do this? Make a list of what you want to knit in the next 6 months, you have to include all your knitting (X-mas knitting, selfish knitting, etc). The list has to be realistic on your speed of knitting, for example I can knit 2 sweaters or 5 accessories in a month. That’s all. At the same time check what patterns you want to make, do you need to buy it? did you bought it? I highly recommend start with the patterns you already bought and then you can add more patterns.

Knitting plan

2. Use you Stash

All knitters have a stash, that’s a fact! So, after you decide what patterns are you going to use and before you run to your LYS for new yarn,  look at your stash first. You can also trade some of your stash yarn with your knitting friends or through Ravelry for the yarn you need.

use your stash

3. Buying Yarn

Now that you have the list of patterns and yarns you already have.. You can start checking on the yarn you need to buy. In my example,  I have one pattern ready but I don’t have any Aran weight at my stash. What I can do? Looking at my stash, I know I have tons of Fingering weight yarns, so I can change the pattern and save money. Also I have time to check some yarns sales for about a month, meanwhile I start the other projects of my list.

Where are the yarns sales? many of the LYS and online yarn stores, run seasonal sales. Summer is a great season for yarn sales, because people tend to buy less yarn. Because you have a plan, you know what yarn and the amount you need so you can start digging on the sales. Also there is lots of discounts on Instagram from indie dyers worldwide.

Where to buy pattern sales? Indie Designers and Craft editorials are constantly running sales. Follow them on Instagram to look at the news they have, check their Ravelry accounts and Ravelry ads. Many of them are running summer sales also.

Download the knitting plan and start yours!! Hope this tips helps you with your yarn budget, see you soon!!

With love, Marce

PS: I’m running a summer sale at my Ravelry store. 50% discount in selected patterns, no coupon needed!!! Follow this Link and Happy Knitting!

 

 

 

My Favorites Knitting Podcast

Hi knitters!!!

Today I want to share with you about my favorites knitting podcast in YouTube. About why I watch them and why I really love them… All this podcast are in the same level of love.. This is not a ranking..

  1. Las Knitting Amigas

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I love this podcast for several things. the first one is because is in spanish (Argentinian and Uruguayan spanish, but is spanish), all my knitting activities are in english, and it can be a little exhausting when you are not native…So this podcast is relaxing for me. Also is host by one of my favorite designers, Joji Locatelli and Veronica which is a great knitter and a very smart and happy person. This is my southamerican rockers knit stars!!! Also it came with lots of tips, new yarns, books reviews and fun… If you want to understand how we are as southamericans, you have to watch it.

If you want to practice spanish, this is a great podcast for you, if you are a spanish speaker, you CAN’T MISS IT (NO TE LO PIERDAS!!!)

2. Along the Lanes

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She is a canadian girl living in London, and her podcast is amazing, is beautiful edited, interesting topics, lots of great tips.. not only about knitting, she talks about makes your life around crafts… spinning, painting, stamp… To make things on your own, to surprise the people you love. I really appreciate that she is very spontaneous and welcome.

3. The Next Beautiful Thing

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Before I catch this podcast,  I use to follow Carolyn Macpherson on Instagram because I am a real fan of her work.. I love her lovely lace shawls and her pictures… I didn’t know she has a podcast (I’m a little absentminded sometimes). But her podcast is amazingly fun. She is spontaneous, she have tons (really tons) of yarns, great yarns reviews. Also she share her knitting books and her stitch patterns books. She is adorable… Also I love that one of her sons always is participating in her podcast, and he is very funny.. you feel like you are knitting and drinking tea in her living room… Lovely podcast.

4. The Gentle Knitter

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This podcast is totally different. She speaks calm and slowly but she is amazing. Lover her Instagram account. She is a sampler knitter for great designers as Jared Flood, Bristol Ivy, etc.. she have tons of knitting tips. I really love her voice tone.. is calming and the shooting is clean and welcome… For me, is a MUST SEE…

5. Arne & Carlos

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They are a really knit stars..They have a YouTube channel full of projects and tips. I love their work and I’m grateful for all the free stuff they share on the channel. As an extra you can see their beautiful house and the flowers and plants they have… Its a lovely podcast, full of info and love…

6. Knitty Knits

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This is Podcast host by Kate Heppell, she is the editor of Knit Now Magazine. I have a special  affection for her, because she was the first editor who believe that  a completely unknown designer of the end of the world  (Chile is at the end of the world) will accomplished the mission to finish a design for her magazine… before her acceptance I was totally in pain with lots of rejections. I’m grateful to death with her.. Anyways, what I love about her podcast, is the vision as an editor… If you want to know about what you need as a knitwear designer or what an editor wants for a submission this podcast is great… also she is very welcome, so you can ask anything (about knitwear, obviously) and she will answer you.. she is a very nice person.

7. Sockmatician

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This podcast is host by Nathan Taylor, he is a UK designer and he specialise in double knitting (I’ve never tried it, but his designs makes me want to). I love men who knits… that’s great, that’s equality… also he is so interesting, the podcast is not only about knitting, is also about music and movies. He is sarcastic and lovely at the same time. Great podcast!

There is plenty of knitting podcast… you can find others.. this are the ones  I see frequently and I want to share with you… Hope you give it a chance…

With love, Marce

all the pictures belong to the podcasters

 

 

 

 

 

Make It Yours: Abloom Tee

Hi.

I recently release Abloom Tee at Ravelry and I want to show some easy modifications you can make to the pattern.

Abloom is a simply Stockinette st tee with a lace border. So, one of the first mod you can do  is make it in stripes.. I recommend you, to start the stripes after the neck shaping, when you start knitting in the round again.

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you can play with color blocking or gradients, just look at your stash!

Other mod, is make it longer and convert the tee in a mini dress, for this just add more repeats of the lace border.

 

You can also do this in just one color. For example, make a little black dress.. Remember a pattern is just a guide, you can Make It Yours with very simple modifications!!!

With love, Marce

New Pattern: Abloom Tee

Hi

Yesterday I release Abloom tee at Ravelry. Is a top-down raglan tee knitted in Stockinette st, ended with a lace border. The pattern includes waist shaping and all the instructions are written (no charts).

The idea of Abloom tee was create a light weight garment for summer to fit all kinds of body types. Long enough to wear it over your swimsuit at the beach. Also you can repeat the lace border one more time an you will have a mini dress.

The pattern is 50% off (no coupon needed) until 4th july 2016 and I’m running a FO’s contest. What is this?

I know summer can be a bad knitting friend because of the heat. So, to encourage you and your friends to knit in the hot season I will reward your effort. The prices are:

  1. two skeins of baby alpaca hand dyed in Chile (aprox 800 mt).
  2. two skeins of merino fingering hand dyed in Chile (aprox 800mt)
  3. A knitting book : 150 escadinavian motifs.

How can you participate?

You only have to post your FO at the project page of Abloom tee, the gifts will be randomly assigned between the FO’s ended by 1st September 2016.

Hope you like the design and participate at the contest!!!!

With love, Marce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FO’s & WIP´s: May 2016

This month I’ve been working lots of projects. Last year I proposed myself to buy less clothes and expand my handmade wardrobe. One of my promises about the handmade wardrobe was to not buy any commercial knitted item. So I’ve been designing some sweaters for this winter, but the winter arrived very soon this year and I realise that I needed an extra sweater really soon. Last year year I bought Home and Away book by Hannah Fettig and I really love all designs. But I didn’t have the time to make one.

bookcover_022715_small2All the designs in this book are very wearables and the instructions came seamless and with seems, yo choose the construction.. What a great idea!!!! I decided to make Lesley for me (is the pullover from the cover).

I didn’t make it plain, because I love color and I wanted some stripped pullover (always remember that a pattern is just a guide and you can make it yours).I worked it seamless and after I finished the neck and shoulders shaping I start knitting it in 3 stripes with one stripe with YO to add some texture… (just because simple Stockinette st bored me).Lesley

I’m super pleased with the result. Despite the YO stripe doesn’t match exactly in the raglan increase part (I was too lazy to do the math). I love my new Lesley.

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Another FO in this month was my socks! Finally, I finished my first PAIR of socks. (please check my last post about my sock knitting issues). The pattern used was Lace Stockings by Faina Gorbestein. They are so beautiful that I don´t want to wear them, just watch them for hours, like a paint.

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What’s in my WIP? I’m working in Chainlink Tunic by Norah Gaughan. This is request from my mother. I’m doing the size 49. I just started it, but I can say it’s an amazing pattern, not as complex as it looks and its very motivating. It’s my first time working with Brooklyn Tweed yarn and I’m just in love with it. I’m using Loft in postcard color.

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About my original patterns I can’t show you them yet, but next month come with lots of new releases!!!

Hope your May was as productive as mine, and if is not, you can be inspired by this post to start making your handmade wardrobe!!!

With Love,  Marce

 

PS: I’m still running my #memaymade sale on ravelry until 31st of May!!

 

 

 

 

Sock Knitting : Interview with The Sock Monkey

Hello to all!!!

Hope everyone is ok and have a great knitting plans for the weekend.

Today I’m going to talk about Sock Knitting. For me, sock knitting, has been a really difficult task to accomplish. I have the second sock syndrome and it’s frustranting. Its doesn’t occur when I knit mittens, only happens with socks. I also took a class on craftsy, Knit Original Toe-Up Socks by Donna Druchunas, but the second sock sydrome attacks again.

I have been watching lots of knitting podcast these days, and everybody loves to knit socks, so I think, maybe, I’m missing lots of fun. Don’t misread me, I love to knit the first sock, the second is the problem. One of my favorites podcast (Las Knitting Amigas) started a KAL on ravelry to make  2 socks at the same time. And the opportunity was there!!! This time it will be IMPOSIBLE to end with only one sock, also have some prizes so I will have the complete package !!!  I jumped into the KAL..

The design I chose was the Lace Stockings by Faina Gorbestein. I know,  you can think it is a not a beginner pattern, but I’m not a rookie in knitting, only in sock knitting (only in finishing the  second sock) and it is a long time queued pattern.. This is one of THOSE patterns who screams at you to knit it.

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I’m doing ok.. I will show you my progress at the end of this post. Since I’ve been knitting this pattern, many questions came to me,  so I decided to ask  an expert in sock knitting. The best teacher in this matter, for me, is Mr. Josiah Bain aka The Sock Monkey.. He is an 17 years old knitter designer, with awesome socks  patterns, and with a lot of great tips for beginners… Here is the interview, and I hope you find it helpful if you want to start knitting socks.

  1. You have been designing great sock patterns; when did you started sock knitting and then designing them?

I started the sock knitting process (which is much different than actually knitting socks) somewhere around 2010. The first sock that I knit was WAY too large to fit anyone, so I ripped those out. I seriously started knitting socks three years later, and then designing was the next challenge. I designed my first sock pattern in the summer of 2014, and I can say with assurance that that pattern will never be released to the public. Because it was terrible.

  1. Who is your favorite sock designer and why?

My favorite sock designer is Cookie A. She is innovative and creative and I cannot say enough good things about her. Her aesthetic is marvelous and I can sit there for sometimes hours flipping through her books.

 

  1. Which is your favorite sock book and why? Do you recommend it for beginners? If not, which book do you recommend?

My favorite sock book is Knit. Sock. Love. by Cookie A, the patterns, the photography, and the layout design is so inspiring. For beginners, I would recommend Ann Budd’s Getting Started Knitting Socks, which takes you step by step through both toe-up and top-down constructions, and gives different basic patterns for different yarns and gauges. I would also recommend The Knitter’s Book of Socks by Clara Parkes. I love reading her writing about the science of socks and sock yarn, and the patterns range from super simple to complex.

  1. For you, what is the perfect heel method?

I love a basic heel flap and turn, but afterthought heels fit my feet amazingly. It just depends on what type of sock I’m knitting, I think.

  1. For beginners, do you recommend knitting socks cuff-down or toe-up?

That varies. Sometimes beginners have trouble doing top-down, so for them, toe-up is the way to go. Generally, though, I would say that cuff-down socks are the better choice for beginners.

  1. What is the perfect sock yarn?

It really depends on the design. Most socks are great with a 100% wool yarn or a wool/nylon yarn. Recently, I have become enamored with Andre Sue Knits Cloud 9, which is a 75% superwash Merino wool, 25% nylon yarn. I am trying not to buy superwash yarn right now because of the harmful practices used by manufacturers, but it is so hard when the colors are so remarkable. I also love Quince and Co. Finch, a 100% wool fingering-weight yarn. It’s so springy and incredible.

I think I could go on about almost every yarn I’ve ever used for socks and say that it’s my favorite yarn, but I should stop.

  1. For me, getting the right gauge has been a problem with sock knitting; what is the best method to get the gauge?

As with everything in knitting, swatching is paramount for the success of a project. Because socks are knit in the round, to get an accurate measurement, swatching in the round is necessary. If you cannot get the right gauge, try changing what needles you knit with. Circular needles and double pointed needles sometimes give you different gauges; Metal and wooden needles definitely. You may also want to experiment with other yarns; there is so much variation in different yarns labeled as fingering weight.

  1. Which needles (DPNs or magic loop, etc.) do you prefer and why? Is there a difference between bamboo needles or metal ones?

I like my DPNs, just because they’re what I’ve been using since I began knitting socks. I sometimes use two circular needles, and only when I’m in a pinch do I use the magic loop method. Not because any of those methods are bad, just because I’m picky.

There is a marked difference between wooden and metal needles. Wooden needles “grip” the yarn, but the stitches on metal needles slide along much more readily. I use metal needles, because my gauge is too loose when I use wooden needles, and I cannot knit as fast with them as I can with metal.

  1. Do you have any other tips you want to share?

The obvious tip is check your gauge, but we’ve already covered that. The other thing that got me successfully knitting socks was learning about negative ease. Your sock should at least be 10% smaller in both circumference and foot length than the actual measurement of your foot is. This will ensure that your sock doesn’t slide every which way and helps add protection against your socks sprouting holes.

  1. For you, which is the perfect sock pattern for a beginner?

I really liked knitting Petty Harbour by my friend Rayna Curtis. If you don’t want to start with fingering-weight socks, I love the Rye pattern by tincanknits which is in DK. And, if you don’t want a basic, knit/purl pattern, I’d recommend Monkey socks by Cookie A.

  1. If I want to knit some of your sock patterns, with which one should I start with?

Whichever one you’d like to knit the most! I believe that if you want the finished project bad enough, you can knit just about anything, no matter what your skill level is. If you’re just starting to knit socks, I would not recommend starting with any of my cabled patterns like Meduseld or Tauriel or even Daydreamer. (I wouldn’t recommend knitting Daydreamer anyway; it was my first pattern released and one that I badly need to revise.) If you are comfortable with lace knitting, I’d start with Taj if I were you. I’m working on doing a really basic toe-up pattern for beginners, which will be out sometime in the (hopefully near!) future.

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Taj socks by The Sock Monkey

  1. Recently, you released Herlighet, a beautiful shawl with some awesome pictures. Congrats! Tell me about that designing process and the inspiration.

The stitch pattern was actually the first thing to be fabricated; I came up with it while experimenting with all-garter stitch patterns that could actually be detailed and interesting. After considering what I was going to put it in, I decided on a shawl.

I wanted to do a couple of patterns named after both of my great-grandmothers, and I decided that this stich pattern would be perfect for one of those. Thus, it is named after my great-grandmother, Gloria.

Herlighet was interesting for me to design; it begins at a lace border, and then short rows are worked in garter stitch to create an appealing crescent shape. And it was exciting to release; there is an actual kit with the pattern and the yarn at Toil and Trouble, which is a first for me. There are also no purl stitches whatsoever in this shawl, which I love.

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  1. What is next?

I have a free pattern coming out May 16th, called Gyre, for Wei Siew’s Sustain the Sea initiative. I love this design, and I’m happy that it is finally getting published, as I have had it on hold for a year. I’m also working on a few big projects that I cannot say too much about yet, but will definitely keep you posted on.

Stay tunned at The Sock Monkey blog for Gyre news!!!

I  hope you find this interview helpful and start knitting your socks.. For me, this info is priceless and I’m very grateful. Now is time to show my progress in my sock knitting Project. I’m almost ready to start the heel.. The deadline for the KAL of the Las Knitting Amigas podscast is on 31st of may, so I have half of a month to finish (just one day before my B-day!!!). Wish me luck!

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Have an Awesome weekend!!!!

Don’t forget, I have 30% discount in selected patterns, no coupon code needed, until 31st of May. Please check them here.

With Love, Marce

 

 

 

 

 

 

#MeMadeMay

Hi!

As some people know, #MeMadeMay starts. For those who doesn’t know what this is, this is a social media challenge to encourage you to make, mending or upcyclig your own clothes and also to wear them more. But, be careful, this is not a competition or something to encourage you to make lots of clothes.. you can show upciclyng clothes, or something you make long time ago…

Why to participate?

As a knitter, this kind of challenge helps me to see the wholes in my wardrobe and bring me inspiration to create designs to cover them. Also brings me a deadline to focus and the oportunity to show to more people my work.

But, what happens if you’re not a knitter designer? This challenge will help you to look your wardrobe with other eyes and save some money. You can see what clothes you can mend or upcycling, what garmets do you need to add. Maybe you can learn to sew or knitting, that is up to you!

I will run a 30% discount until may 31st, so you can join the party!!!!

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Click the picture to know what designs are on sale!!!!

Happy Knitting, and see you in Instagram!

With love, Marce

Go with the Flow

Hi

Has been a while since a wrote my last post.. That’s because a I took a loooooong summer vacation and when I came back, I have lots of undone jobs, so I needed to get back to work ASAP!

Today, I want to talk about my last design, Go with the Flow, that is published in Knit Now Magazine issue 59. This pattern is part of the collection A Slow Moment, curated by Kate from a Playful day podcast and Kate Heppell, editor of Knit Now Magazine. The collection is Awesome… I love all the patterns and you can wear them all together. They really did an amazing job and I feel so happy they chose my design to be part of this.

 

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Picture from Knit Now Magazine

I design Go with the Flow jumper to be an effortless pattern to make, so you can enjoy knitting and watch netflix and relax. It’s a raglan jumper in moss stitch (seed stitch) with color block panels. The yarn, Debbie Bliss Luxury Tweed Aran,  is really a luxury. Is soft, airy, light, and after you blocked became more soft, feels like a cloud.

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Picture from Knit Now Magazine

I can assure you, you will make this sweater and it will become you favorite!! Hope you like this pattern and keep knitting!!!!

With Love, Marce

The Uniscarf

Hi

Today issue 56 of Knit Now Magazine is on sale!!!! Finally I can show you my Project for this issue: The Uniscarf!!!!

Issue 56 of Knit Now is all about great low budget patterns.  The issue is full of amazing patterns with beautiful low cost yarns..

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Some of my favorites are the Lighthorne Jumper by Amanda Collins, the Mullion Skirt by Claire Slade and The Uniscarf by me !!!!

You will love this issue!!!!

With Love, Marce

 

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all the pictures belong to practical publishing

 

KOI NO YOKAN PULLOVER

Happy 2016!!!

New Year, New Pattern Release!!!

Koi No Yokan (japanesse) means  the sense upon first meeting a person that the two of you are going to fall into love. This is what I felt when I started to work with yarn.. Like a love at first sight for knitting and yarn..

Koi No Yokan is a very simple pullover with a lace panel insertion at the front. Is quick to make, effortless, close fitted and seamless top down raglan pullover. Just in time for Koi No Yokan with someone in Valentine’s Day!!!

Intro promo: enter the coupon code KOINOYOKAN to get a 50% of discount until january 10th at 0:00 Santiago de Chile

With love, Marce