Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Day 3: My Crafting Hero's

Day three of Eskimimi's Knit and Crochet Blogweek is all about
crafting-hero's. What designers inspire me, and what stories do they have to tell? 
There are tons of great designers and craft bloggers. Although you might already 
know them, let me introduce you to three of my favourite heroes!
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 The Fairy-tale:

Stephanie Dosen of 'Tiny Owl Knits'

Photo taken from TinyOwlKnits.com


Deer With Little Antlers Hat
Not only is Stephanie Dosen, more commonly known as Tiny Owl Knits or TOK, a great knitter with original designs, she's also a very fun blogger, vlogger and talented musician. She seems inspired by fairytales, nature and animals.



Her beekeepers quilt was a hit-pattern among all ravellers, even though I don't even think it's one of her best patterns. I've made the Ships and Seaside Cowl she designed, the 'bird wristees', Deer with Little Antlers hat and the Little Fox Stole My Heart.




Video: Only Getting Better - Stephanie Dosen


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The Collector-Salvager 
Susan Crawford of 'A Stitch in Time' and Exelana-yarns

Susan Crawford collects old vintage patterns, and salvages them for  future generations. Not only that, she also updates the patterns to accomodate modern techniques and custom sizing. Since traditional 3ply yarn, so popular in the early twentieth century, is now almost  completely out of production, Susan started her own yarn company specializing in exactly that type of yarn.

The Stitch in Time books are based on a book published in the seventies. This book was an attempt to save vintage patterns, but all the printed books were destroyed in a single fire, including the sources needed to reprint it. A few years ago Susan Crawford and the writer of the original Stitch in Time started the process again of finding and collecting the most beautifull patterns from the twenties, thirties and fourties. Last year 'A Stitch in Time 2' appeared, this time spanning the thirties, fourties and fifties. A must-have for every knitter that loves vintage!

Made So Quickly
Fair Isle Yoke





















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 The Knitting Historian
Kate Davies
Sheep Heid, a pattern by Kate Davies, photograph from textisles.com
 Kate Davies is a great knitwear-designer and blogger from Scotland. She used to work as a full-time historian untill she suffered from a very serious stroke. Although she had to learn everything from scratch again -even walking and, *gasp*, knitting-, she's picked up her life and resumed to design knitwear and to research the history of Scotland's knitting heritage. 

The first ever garment that I knitted was Owls, a sweater she designed. It's a perfect garment for walking through the Scottish hills in the cold spring or autumn winds... Or so I tell myself. She designs many comfortable and warm sweaters, which she photographs on long walks together with her husband or dog, Bruce.

She makes very beautifull fairisle hat's, like the one pictured above, but also shawls, sweaters and other garments that are worth the knit! She also publishes a magazine, Textisles, on knitting history. Coincidentally, above mentioned Susan Crawford has an article in the latest edition of this magazine! So, read her story on website and be sure to check out her patterns.

Owls, a pattern by Kate Davies I used for my very first garment AND cablework



I hope you'll love these three as much as I do. 
Want to see more people's heroes? Google ' 3KCBWDAY3 ' 
for Eskimimi's Knit and Crochet Blogweek!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Monday, 23 April 2012

Day 1: Colour lovers


 This is day 1 of Eskimimi's Knit & Crochet Blog Week: It's a week with crafting-themes for one blogpost each day. This might be a difficult, but mostly a fun job! So without further ado: Day One!

Day One is about colour. What colours inspire me, what colours do I knit in, and what colours would I like to knit in more? To answer this, I've made a line-up of my latest projects. These are some close-ups of some of the projects I've knitted so far, focussing on the colours I've used for them.

My most recent projects (Logo not mine, but Eskimimi 's)


Looking at this I can draw a few conclusions:
  • I really like orange and blue.
  • Lately I've used almost exclusively 'Sheep colour' (that is a colour, right?)
    Indeed, 'Sheep' is one of my favorite colours when it comes to yarn, even though I like bright colours in most every other thing in life.
  • I'm a bit surprised to find little...or no green or red on my ravelry project page as those are both colours I really like. As for the green I'm fixing this with some current projects.

Red is a bit more difficult for me. I do own and wear a lot of red pieces, but for some reason red yarn intimidates me. This has to do with my hair colour. The problem is that "Red clothes + Red hair" sometimes seems to clash. It's very important to know wether or not the shade of red is suited to my hair, and since I order yarn online, it's impossible to be sure of that.

However, I do plan to do more red in the future. Perhaps I'll make this one, with red as a main colour? Because admit it: Red Rocks!


Want to read more posts about colour made for the Knit and Crochet Blogweek? Search the hashtag ' 3KCBWDAY1 '.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Finished project: Orchid Thief


This is possibly the most beautiful thing I've knitted so far.I finished it about two weeks ago and I'm really happy with the result, the colour is beautiful. But then again I've always really liked blue ;) There are some issues with the pattern though. Not necessarily mistakes (apart from what's allready published in the errata) but there are a few thing unclear in the instructions that seem to give problems to a lot of people. 


Pattern: Orchid Thief
Designer: Ysolda Teague
Book: Brave new Knits
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock 
Soundtrack for this project:  Laura Marling - Ghosts
 

Like i said this is not the easiest knit I've ever done, not necessarily because the lace was to hard, but at some points the instructions should have been more clear. There's a lot said about this pattern in the Ysolda group on ravelry and I strongly recommend everyone who wants to make this pattern to read this thread before you start. It gives you an idea of the things that might be unclear in the pattern and probably saves you some ripping.

Also there are errata avaible for the chart, make sure you download it and work from that pattern!

Close-up!
 I myself only had problems with one row, 86. According to the group everyone seems to have problems with that row and in the thread there are different solutions worked out by people on the forum...all different so I've no idea how they work out. I personally was helped most not by working the row from the chart but by the written discription. This written discription is not provided by Ysolda but by someone on ravelry who figured it out, and since then has helped a lot of people. It saved me a headache ;) You can find the written discription here.


The pattern states that Ysolda herself barely made it with one skein of malabrigo and I've read quite some comments of people who had to buy another skein to finish the bind of so keep that in mind when you start this shawl. I made it with one skein with just a tiny, tiny bit left. Lucky me! Further the yarn was as always a joy to work with.  

Yarn I had left.
In the end the pattern may give you some work to understand at some points but the result is worth it. There's a lot of pattern support in the Ysolda's ravelry group and the riddle of the orchid thief thread has covered almost everything that might be unclear to you. So don't let my "warnings" stop you from making this shawl. This shawl is worth the effort.

 Hope you had a nice weekend.
xxx

Thursday, 12 April 2012

That kind of week


My phone is broken. Don't ever put your phone in the washing machine...seriously the result is not pretty! Also don't try to do the laundry when your down with a fever, things like this are bound to happen that way.

The first thing BF said when he saw my phone making flip-flops in the washing machine was: Lucky it's not the cat. Luckily not!! I was saving money for something...I guess it's good I didn't spend it yet because I'm in the market for a new phone now.

Oh and over the weekend there was something with these guys...


Sigh...a few days ago my cats ruined my shoes, I've been super ill this weekend and today my phone broke... it's been that kind of week apparently. I have to make sure I do absolutely nothing to tempt the universe to throw more stuff at me tomorrow... (Aargh! Friday the 13th!)

Anyway an exciting package arrived this week. It was not intended as a cheer up package but has turned out to be one. I have no pictures of what's inside, not sure if I will make them since outfit posts with clothing I did not make myself are way out of my comfort zone.

Weeee exciting!!
Does anyone else have that problem? I love seeing people style clothing certain ways, especially vintage clothing and I follow tons of blogs that do exactly that. After craft blogs I think those are the blogs I read most. But it's not something I could see myself do. When it comes to showing things I've made myself, making pictures, putting them on the blog; sure, I can do that. But with things I did not make...I just feel weird. Do you guys experience the same feeling? Anyway, end of rant.

Will be back later this week with a finished project post.
Later! ♥

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

A handknit romance review


A while ago I wrote this post about (then) upcoming book 'A handknit romance'. Well, the book has been published and a week or so ago I received this book. I've seen some mixed reactions on it and I thought it be good to write my own opinion about the book here on my blog.

Designer: Jennie Atkinson
Published by: Interweave press

I love vintage and vintage inspired patterns. No surprise there. You should only buy this book if you're interested in these kind of patterns. Now this may seem clear to most of you, as it is clearly advertised as a vintage inspired book but I've actually seen this as a complaint somewhere. Now maybe this person just has received this book as a gift, or maybe there some knitters out there who just buy a lot of newly published books without looking at the description. But to me this complaint seems rather odd, given the cover picture & discription.

Cover!

What sets this book apart from other knitting books, or even vintage/vintage inspired books, is its focus on 1900-1930 inspired clothing, whereas other vintage-books usually focus on the later decades. This is what drew my attention and fired my enthusiasm about this book in the first place. Most of the pieces seem really inspired by the 20's, thought there are some earlier and later inpired pieces in the book. I truly love this about this book, since most vintage knitting books are inspired by the more popular 40's and 50's.  I happen to love those as well, so you don't hear me complaining, but some earlier inspired books are a very welcome variation.

pretty!
Most books I buy strongly rely on garment knitting. Since that's what I do most. This book is a little different. It has 22 patterns, it has 8 tops/blouses/shrugs , 2 dresses, 1 skirt, and 11 accessories. Normally I'm not very into knitting accessories but with this book I think Jennie Atkinson designed some great pieces, which I might want to knit. Also I think she did a great job with keeping the accessories vintage inspired as well, which I think some books have some trouble with.

The styling of the book is simply beautiful, I'm not only refering to the styling of the knitted pieces but the styling of the book as well. Go take a look at Jennie's site and you get an idea of the styling you can find in this book. Every pattern in the book has a little box with an illustration on the inspiration of the piece and throughough the book there are little pieces and how-to's on changing the pattern or adding things which are not in the original pattern. As a vintage fashion fan and a do-it-yourself fanatica I just love these little things and to me this gives an extra dimension to a book/pattern.



Some things you might want to take note of : (aka Not all that glitters is gold)

Needle sizes/yarn weights: 
 The designer has used some very fine weight yarns for some of her designs, fine as cobweb and even thread yarns. She explains that she did this in order to realise some of the effects for those garments. Now I'm used to knitting with fine yarns (though I've never knitted with thread yarns), so even thought I knew this I still bought the book. But I know not everyone looks forward to knitting with crochet cotton, so therefore I think this is very important to know before you buy the book. The designer has written a little piece in the book on substituting yarns and yarn weights, so even if you do buy the book, but don't want to knit with crochet cotton you might want to look into that.

Personally I think I'll go and use the cobweb yarns, though it may be more of an time investment then using thicker yarns. I just don't think you'll get the same effect when you use thicker yarn. Think of it as hand sewing in couture clothing, yes a machine might go faster but you just can't get the same look no matter how carefull you are with the machine. Also most yarn used back in the day (think +/- 1900) were indeed that fine...so I keep telling myself If they can do it... ;)

Back.
Few sizes:
Second, the sizes. The size range is bad. For the garments all sizes go from 32 inch bust to 42. Now this is not a problem for me, but I know this is a problem for a lot of people. I do understand a designer just can't take all shapes and sizes of every women in the world in considaration, I think stopping at a bust size in 42 is still just pretty small. It might be stupid, but when a designer includes a wide range of sizings for their designs, this greatly increases my sympathy for the designer.

Yarn availability:
This designer is UK based, and so are most of the yarns she has used. Now this is a nice change for a Europe based knitter, since I've a hard time getting most of the yarns availble in the USA, but apperently she has used some yarns that are not only not avaible in US...the whole yarn weight calculation is different there. She has written a piece on her website on which yarn Americans can use instead. 

Phew so far for my first proper book review! What did you guys think? 

xxx


Monday, 2 April 2012

Weekend round-up: Finna, Hooping and Game of Thrones


I started a new knitting project:

The green will be the main colour, the different shades
of blue will be used for the colourwork.

So it's not exactly spring knitting, but the weather has been cold anyway(don't let the sunny picture deceive you!) and more importantly I could not resist the rowan tweed any longer ;)

I choose Finna from the Nordic tweed collection. I love it! It is as if I'm knitting a sweater with moss for cute little pixies. Except...well its not moss I'm knitting with and it's not a little sweater, I'm making it for myself and not for cute little pixies, sorry guys!!

I went on walks, took finished project photo's (will come later) and got a wee cold. Boooo! :( But look, a pretty walk picture!



I started hooping again! It's probably the fact that  spring has arrived in most places and people are taking their hoops outside and make incredible hooping video's. With the hooping bug, the whole juggling art bug has come back. It's there al year, but there's just something about doing it outside, in the sun on a field of grass that makes it more fun and attractive to do.

My hoop in close-up.
 Maybe I'll do more post or maybe a video in the future about the hoop/ juggling art if anyone is interested?

This weekend was the premiere of the second season of Game of Thrones. Now I don't know this from being a fan myself...frankly I have never seen more then a few minutes of it...but BF is a fan...A huge fan. I swear he almost cried at the last episode of season 1! Now I've heard some really good reviews of the series, but it is a fantasy series which usually isn't my cup of tea. I'm more into historic drama's and detectives(...and anything Laurence Fox appears in). So my question is, has anyone of you seen Game of Thrones? Should I bother watching it?

See you guys later!
xxx