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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Indie Gift-A-Long Day 3

Hi!!!

Day 3 of the Gal!!!.. It has been so much fun!!!! I have my first FO.. But before I show you my FO, I’m going to talk about 4 interesting designers.

Nancy Whitman, she is US designer, and her site is WhitKnits. She have some amazing geometric shawl designs.. They are very interesting and georgeous!!! If you want to try something really different, you MUST try one of her designs.

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Gabrielle Danskknit, she is a Canadian designer. She has beautiful babies and kids patterns.. Her pictures and designs are awesome!!! If you are looking patterns for babies or kids, she is your designer.

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Elena Fedotova she is from Ukraine but now she is living in Montenegro and her site is A Cup Of Stitches. She is a crochet designer. I looove crochet an her designs are beautiful and classy. You will be tempted to try one!

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And the last one for the day is Gege à la Gomme . She is a Canadian designer and her site is Gege a la Gomme. Her designs are colorful, trendy and sophisticated.. She also have some gorgeous men designs to rock your partner world!!!

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I also want to show you my first FO of the GAL2015… I made the Silken Leaves Lace Hat from Loraine Birchall. Beautiful, easy to follow and well written pattern. I soo happy with the results!!!! I really love my FO!!!

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Don’t you think that is a really nice pattern?!!

Hope you like the designers selection of today and my gorgeous FO!!!

With love, Marce

 

 

Colorwork Hats e-book

Hi knitters!!!

Finally the last two patterns of the Colorwork Hats e-book are ready!!!

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Swirl is a two color hat  with a diagonal effect pattern. Choose contrast colors to emphasize the efect!!

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And Mountain is a cheating fair isle because  colorwork pattern was made  with a self-striped yarn. Great idea if you don’t want to deal with more than 2 yarns at one time.

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I also included in the book blank templates of each pattern so you can play with your colored pencils before knitting and try different color combinations.

Enjoy this collections and start making yur X-mas gift… Remember that X-mas is coming (and Winter too)!

With love, Marce

6 ready… 2 more to go!!

hi knitters!!!!

Is Colorwork Hats pattern reléase!!!! Today has been born.. Geometric Style and Southern Star hat.

Geometric Style pattern plays with color and texture, so get those yarn leftovers and start kniting with me!!!

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Southern star is a fair isle pattern. If you never have tried this technique, this is a great project for that!!

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Hope you like this one…

With love, Marce

New patterns for Colorwork Hats E-book

Hi knitters!!!

Today I release  two more patterns in the Colorwork Hat e-book collection.

Ace of Diamonds is unisex hat with a classic and stylish colorwork pattern, that fits in all kind of wardrobes.

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And Lucky Clover for those who need an amulet in their life! 🙂

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The next two patterns will be release next thursday!!!

Don’t forget: Colowork Hat e-book is a great deal= 8 patterns x 8 USD!!!!

With Love, Marce

News

Hi my dear knitters!!!

These time I have a bunch of news for you… First of all, I just release a new e-book, Colorwork Hats. Its a 8 patterns hat collection for play with colorwork. The first two patterns were released today and the next 6 patterns will be publish in the next 3 weeks. So you’ll have 2 patterns every week in October. Get ready your X-mas list and start knitting hats for your family!

The patterns are Cat Lover and Puerto Fuy.

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The second news is that I have a yarn kit for these two patterns in my Etsy shop. The kit includes the patterns a enough yarn to make both patterns. And the shipping is worldwide. Also I will Include a coupon code so you can download the book for free on Ravelry…

Other news is that I have a group on ravelry…Brand new group!!! so  to celebrate, I will raffle 4 buttons among people who join the group in October

.DSC01328So join the group here… Maybe you are the lucky winner!!!!

Hope you like the news… (also I’m changing the blog… but its been very hard work..). You can buy the patterns alone in my Ravelery page.

Keep knitting, Winter is coming….

With love Marce.

Buttons or not Buttons?

This is one of the main questions when you decide to design a cardigan (or just knit one). Just, because implies things such as buttonband, buttonholes and choosing buttons (correct weight, correct color etc). Today, I’m going to talk about choosing buttons for a project.

There is plenty of buttons in market, different shapes, materials, colors, etc. I have a huge collection of them, but now I’m going to show you those I found in non-traditional places. I love these buttons because they tells stories and bring me back memories of travels or persons who has giving them to me.

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These buttons I found it, 15 years ago, the first time I went to Buenos Aires, Argentina, in the San Telmos’s Antiques Market, they cost me a penny (less than a dollar), and they were from an old pearl button factory, who has closed in the sixties. I use them a in a lot of project, and I regret not having bought more. I’ve been in Buenos Aires several times, and never found them again.

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The first button picture are gifts from my family and friends who has  bought to me different buttons in local craft markets, were they have been, some came from Pucón, Icalma lake, Villarica etc, and they are made with native trees wood. The second one, I bought them in a local craft market in El Bolsón and I had to smuggling them because we are not aloud to bring wood from Argentina.

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You also can make your own buttons, I have the machine, but you can go to your local craft store or to your tailor, and they can make them for you. The fun here is you can recycle some old clothes or buy some beautiful fabric (e.g. quilting fabric) and make the size of button you want.

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I found this in my LYS, a few month ago, they are ceramic buttons, but they are very light weight, so they can be used in knitted fabric. I think they are very fancy, and I love the bright colors of them.

Last week, I finished a cardigan, and I wanted buttons to stand out of the cardigan, so I remembered the ceramic buttons I has bought, but they were to big for my cardi, so I went back to my LYS to buy a similar button but small.

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I bought these beautiful heart shaped ceramic buttons, but the problem was the artist only make 2 of them and I needed 7, so I had to improvise. I really love the shape and the color was exactly what I was looking for, so I bought all heart shaped buttons who has the pink color on it.

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I use them mixed in the cardigan, I’ll not show you the complete cardigan because is not up in Ravelry yet, but Im going to show you some parts, so you can get the idea.

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They look very well together, despite the fact that they are all different designs, that is because they share color and shape.

So, when you choose buttons, be creative, it can be a plus for your knitting project. And there is lots of sources where you can find the right button to your project (vintage stores, craft markets, old clothes) and if you don’t find they right color, you can also paint them or dye them (that’s for another tutorial). Don’t get stuck because of a button! 🙂

With love, Marce

Between Designs

Sometimes, between one design an other, I need to do something else, because a get stuck with the previous design and I need to change the switch. After the publication of my last design (Wheatfield Cardi), I decided to knit a very long time request from my Nanny and my Mother. They requested Vests for Winter. I didn’t really want to create a vest pattern, I just wanted to knit a vest.

Long time ago, I bought this beautiful book, New England Knits and I didn’t have the chance to make anything from it. This book has gorgeous patterns and they are really “timeless knitwear with a modern twist”. The pictures are lovely and show all the details of the patterns.

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I remembered, it has a great vest with bulky yarn and lace, exactly what I needed… quick and beatiful!!! 🙂 So I started to knit Montague Bulky Lace Vest.

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What else can I say…. amazing pattern!!! great instructions, easy to follow, with great tips for  beginner knitters. It comes in 5 sizes ( 33.5, 38, 42, 46.5 and 51″) and with a very easy lace pattern.

Is so fast to knit, that I made 2 vest in one weekend, and I’m not a fast knitter at all.. 🙂 I made size 42 and size 51. For size 42 I used a local bulky yarn (3 skeins of reginella sport 100% lamb wool) in grey and for the size 51 I used 3 skeins of Juniper moon Willa (60%merino, 40% super kid mohair). With both yarns the lace pattern shows very well.

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My Mother and Nanny loves the vest and really  wears them!! (very important fact…. if you don’t know what I’m talking about, please read Knitted Gift). Now I’m working in a new design, so when I finish it I will knit the Chelsea skirt for my sister and I.

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Cant wait!!!!!! 😀 😀

PS: you can buy this book in amazon or interwave store just for US 9.98 as an ebook