Saturday, October 25, 2014

New Hats

My hat addiction successfully continues and these babies found their way to my Etsy shop:

1. Pinky Swear

2. Cafe Melange Hat & Cowl set

For these two hats I used super soft alpaca blend yarns and my Simplest Slouchy Hat pattern.

3. Maera Hat 

I am especially proud of this design and once the test has been completed I will tell the more detailed story of it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

These two adorable hats already listed in my shop:

Deja Vu and Red Wine 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Free pattern: Simplest Slouchy Hat

I found these two babies a few days ago and immediately decided to knit a couple of hats with them. 

But, the thing is I almost haven't knit hats before. Actually, there were two: one for me and one for my husband. Long time ago. 
So I wanted to start with a really simple design. More than that, beautiful kettle-dyed yarn like Malabrigo Worsted looks the best in stockinette stitch. Or reverse stockinette! 
In two days I had two slouchy hats. One more slouchy than the other. Both of them can fit average adult head.

If you new to hats or feel a little rusty (or both, like me), here is the simplest design ever.

For one hat you will need:

1 skein of Malabrigo Worsted
1 pair of size US 8 (5mm) circular needles 16'' long.
1 pair of size US 6 (4mm) circular needles 16'' long.
1 set of double-point needles size US 8 (5mm)
1 marker
1 tapestry needle

Gauge: 18 sts x 30 r  = 4'' in stockinette stitch on larger needles.


With smaller circ. needles cast on 88 sts with long-tail method. Join in round. Place marker for beginning of the round.
Work in K2 P2 rib for 2''. Change to larger needles and work in stockinette stitch for 5'' for shorter version or 7'' for longer.

Decreasing rounds:
Change to double-point needles when the stitches become too tight for circular needles.

Round 1: *K9, K2tog*; rep from * to * to end of round.
Round 2: Knit
Round 3: *K8, K2tog*; rep from * to * to end of round.
Round 4: Knit
Round 5: *K7, K2tog*; rep from * to * to end of round.
Round 6: Knit
Round 7: *K6, K2tog*; rep from * to * to end of round.
Round 8: Knit
Round 9: *K5, K2tog*; rep from * to * to end of round.
Round 10: Knit
Round 11: *K4, K2tog*; rep from * to * to end of round.
Round 12: *K3, K2tog*; rep from * to * to end of round.
Round 13: *K2, K2tog*; rep from * to * to end of round.
Round 14: *K1, K2tog*; rep from * to * to end of round.

Cut yarn, leaving appr. 6'' tail and pull through remaining live stitches and tie off. Weave in ends. 
Oh, and you will have enough yarn left to make a pompom, if you wish.

It is pretty easy knitting and hats are very versatile, you can wear them on both sides. In fact, I prefer the wrong side! 

Friday, September 26, 2014


I am happy to present my new design: Blanca Sweater.

Everything started with yarn, Knit Picks' Capra. Once I touched this beautiful, soft, cream colored ball I knew it's going to be cables.
In my head words "luxury" and "cream cashmere cabled sweater" are kept on the same shelf, so it was a quick decision
Combination of raglan and cables always looks very flattering, because raglan shape helps to avoid bulkiness at the shoulder area and soften the silhouette. 

Also I liked the idea of traveling cables, drawing nice frame and slimmering the look of somewhat boxy shape. 
As for sleeves I decided to place medallion cable along with two simple six-stitch ones on the textured canvas of reverse stockinette to emphasize the volume of arans. 
Doubled neck band always looks neat, especially in worsted weight yarn, so I added it as a final touch to this pullover.

Pattern is available for download on Ravelry, Craftsy and Etsy.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

San Diego Yarn Crawl (part 2)

Ok guys, here is my precious SD Yarn Crawl catch:

1. Frog Tree's Meriboo (70% merino, 30% bamboo). I had used  Frog Tree's sock yarn and was pretty impressed with quality, but not the yardage. 275 yards for 3.5 ounces were too little for my sock project. I had about 2'' piece of yarn left, which almost gave me a heart attack.

2. Curly cloud of Plymouth Yarn's Rainshadow.

3. I don't know why haven't paid attention to the Malabrigo Yarn before. Probably because I wasn't such a big fan of hand dyed yarn en masse. Well, now I am totally converted. This two babies exist just only on the picture - I already knitted a couple of hats out of them.

4. Tahki's Lana - Italian organic merino. Nice body and beautiful subtle hue of beige.

5. Berroco's Folio - alpaca/rayon blend. Marked as sport, but feels more like fingering to me. Irresistible denim color and generous yardage.

6. Nice and heavy Araucania's Toconao (100% merino) should look incredible in cable knits.

7. Chunky alpaca/bamboo in airy chainette: Plymouth Yarn's Chalet.

8. And this is incredible Baah Yarn's La Jolla. It was almost impossible to choose one skein but I did it!

9. Another Berroco's yarn - Lustra. I wanted to try this one on for some time and now I'm going to.

10. Scrumptious Spud & Chloe wool/cotton mix. Lovely natural colors and great stitch definition.

11. Another alpaca! Plymouth Yarn's Alpaca Prima – soft and squishy.

12. Alpaca/wool/silk blend. I definitely stepped out of my comfort zone with this color. 

13. The Simpler Time Alpaca Farm finds. Left tweedy one is luxurious baby alpaca/angora blend.

14. I bought a bunch of short (16'') circular needles. Needed some time to get used to them, but by the time I finished the first hat I loved them with all my hart. Speed is definitely improving.

15. Freebies!

And there is my lovely stash in all it's beauty:

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

San Diego Yarn Crawl 2014 (part 1)

Last weekend I finally had a perfect excuse to visit all the yarn shops in San Diego county - Yarn Crawl. This is self-guided tour of 9 SD yarn stores, two alpaca farms and one Yarn Truck. Between Pub Crawl and Yarn Crawl I will definitely choose the last one). I'm a yarn junkie, what can I do?

I printed out my passport and we drove to our first destination: the Simpler Times Alpaca Farm&Mill. 

Last mile to this farm was kind of scary. Really winding and narrow. But alpacas are so cute! They mooing and humming all the time rather tender. 

I didn't know that they being sheared only once a year, around springtime and all animals in on day! It should be very busy day, I suppose). The softest hair grows on alpaca's backs and shoulders called blanket and roughest one on legs and neck. There is always room for self-education!

Owner was kind enough to give us a tour and show her small yarn manufacture.

Then we went to La Mesa's Yarn&Thread Expressions. Shop was crowded with happy yarn lovers and their patient spouses.  

That day nearby Yarn&Thread Expressions another Crawl attraction was parked – Yarnover Truck. Just like food truck, but with yarn! This is great idea, but yarn selection is quite narrow, so I stamped my passport and moved on. 

Next destination – located in Chula Vista Yarn Store at Border Leathers. I do like them - a lot of yarn, a lot of leather and great customer service. And they had some food and cold drinks which was very thoughtful.

We had lunch in some Los Pollos Hermanos twin and hit the road.
San Diego has it's own South Park, where The Groove located – emporium for souvenirs, gifts, needlecraft, cookware and kitchen tools. They have just a humble yarn corner, but selection is good.

I found Spud&Chloe yarn, which I wanted to try for some time.

A bit of yarn bombing:

In Needlecraft Cottage I saw the most beautiful yarn, called "Baah yarn". It is a hand dyed yarn designed by local artist, who used to work in my favorite LYS. I couldn't leave without a skein of La Jolla. 

At the end of the day I got really overwhelmed and tired, but very happy.  

At friday first of all we went to Yarning for You - my favorite LYS with great selection of yarn and notions, but above all - with greatest people working there. I love them.

Then was a recently moved Common Thread, which owner graduated from famous Parsons New School for Design and beside running the store she's teaching fashion design in college. Store is so big that they're providing customers with a map!

The last destination is  The Black Sheep, located in beautiful downtown Encinitas and it's in business for over 30 years.

I really like their idea of yarn testing, when you can try different yarn and needles and make your own card.

And they had peanuts!

Overall it was a great experience. Of course, I spent more money then I had to, but I bought a lot of beautiful yarn and can't wait to knit with it :)