New (FREE) Pattern: Gin & Tonic Hat

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You may recall seeing this hat on the blog way back! I was working on a hat pattern for a new yarn base for Tanis Fiber Arts, which is now known as Orange Label. It’s a blend of merino, cashmere, and silk that is out of this world soft.  I wanted to design a great little one-skein hat that would be a quick knit and the perfect use of a little luxury like this, and the Olive colourway was right up my alley. I’ve been wearing this hat a lot. 

My creation
Pattern can be found here, and the Ravelry pattern page is here

Modification Monday: Pomatomus Extravaganza

Original Pattern: Pomatomus

Knitter Extraordinaire: Mia (Ravelry ID, blog)

Mods: Bigger gauge, and originally started out with the idea for a pair of legwarmers that turned into sleeves, and a stunning sweater was born. Great details can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: I love the back story on this sweater. Mia originally wanted to knit a pair of legwarmers, but felt that they would work better as sleeves. She began working on the body, and kept reknitting it until she got the fit she wanted (got to love it when perseverence pays off). All that effort was definitely worth it- just look at that gorgeous, amazing sweater. I want one now, too!

Upcycled Cardi Challenge, Part III: The Body

I thought it would be helpful to show a quick video on how I do the embroidery for the cardigan:

Upcycled Cardigan from Julie Knitted Bliss on Vimeo.

Gatsby crashes almost all of my videos- he’s such a ham for the camera.

I’m soooo close to being finished! As of last night, I only have a little bit of embroidery left to do around the front edge.

In answer to the questions left on the last Upcycled Cardi post:

1. The knitted ribbing is attached by just sewing it on along the fabric, at both the top and bottom. I didn’t trim anything off the cuffs/sleeves before attaching the knitted ribbing.

2. The embroidery is pretty simple, I’m just winging it- I use a tapestry needle to mimic the exact same direction stockinette stitches are formed.

3. I’m using  6mm (US 10) needles for the k1,p1, ribbing, and a tapestry needle for the embroidery (the same one I’d use for weaving in ends). The same yarn is used for both the knitting and embroidery- it claims to be a DK on the label, but I don’t believe it for a second- it’s definitely worsted.

4. How the knitting is attached: After measuring [so, my gauge of k1,p1 knitting is 5 stitches per inch x cardigan circumference (29 inches) = 145 stitches to cast on for around the body. Sleeves use the same formula], I cast on and knit the ribbing independently of the cardigan. When length is complete, I cast off, and sew the ribbing to the fabric of the cardigan.

5. My skin: Thanks! I don’t do anything fancy to it- I wear sunscreen (spf 30 or higher) every day regardless of the season/cloud cover, use rose hip seed oil at night (any health food store will carry it), and drink about a litre of green tea a day (seriously). Although these days, it’s naturally decaffeinated green tea (I’m drink some right now, actually).  That’s it. I don’t do toner/masks/serums/facials/etc. I don’t have a particular moisturizer that I use (except the rose hip seed oil at night). If I know that I’ll be doing FO photos, then I’ll use a skin illuminizer on my face under foundation- it’s like liquid photoshop, that stuff.

Modification Monday: Til lilleføykja Blanket

Original Pattern: Perianth

Knitter Extraordinaire: Ann (Ravelry ID, Blog)

Mods: Used the charted mitten design as a starting point for  the baby blanket, knit in the round and steeked. Project page with lots of great photos can be found here.

What Makes This Awesome: The lovely design of the mittens is very pretty, but once Ann blew it up and did an entire blanket of it,  I was blown away! The effect is like being in a snowstorm of flowers, and the contrasting border (check out the extra attention to detail of the yellow/green border she added on as well) is flawless. I’m totally in love with it!

New Design: Sencha Scarf

This is the most recent new design to debut, as part of the Tanis Fiber Arts 2012 Year in Colour Club:

sencha 3

I’m really happy with this scarf- I love the diagonal eyelet, the fringe, and the drape makes this seems so classic yet fashionable. It’s these sort of scarves that I end up wearing the most (except in the dead of winter), because they easily complete the look of an outfit, as well as look good with a spring/fall coat. The pattern is an exclusive for the Year in Colour Club, until 2013. But when it is live for non-club members, I’ll definitely blog about it!

I had a tricky time with this design at first- I
had this idea for a really textured cowl, and I was totally set on it.  I swatched many
different stitches, but in this yarn (which is an exclusive merino/silk base
for some of the Colour Club months) it just fell flat. Because this
yarn has a lot of drape in it, and it wanted to be knitted into a drapey
fabric. And I spent at least a solid week trying to force it to do
something it didn’t want to do.

sencha 1

The yarn, won in the end. The yarn always wins, because it knows what it needs to be. It had been a while since I had been reminded of that. It’s
knits like this that remind me that when you have the right yarn for
the right pattern, it all comes together. And if you’re struggling, then
you’ve got to choose- are you going to change the pattern or are you
going to change the yarn?

I’m so glad I changed the pattern. This yarn knew what it wanted to be. I just had to listen.

sencha 2
p.s.- Doesn’t Tanis look amazing in these shots?