Posts Tagged ‘cables’

As usual, Stitches West this year was great fun. I always enjoy the excitement of the show, the camaraderie of knitters, my wonderful students and friends. And I really have to say that the XRX/ Stitches staff does an excellent job putting together a show of such mass proportions! I taught 3 classes: Kitchener Like A Pro (grafting in pattern off the needles), The Right Fit (your body shape and finding/adapting knitting patterns appropriate for it) and DIY (Design it Yourself): Shawls and Stoles (tons of shawl shapes and how to achieve it). Kitchener Like a Pro and DIY Shawls & Stoles were sold out very early on in registration and I had only 3-4 spots left in The Right Fit, but by the time all the classes started, all my classes were sold out (I capped all classes at 25 students). THANK YOU STUDENTS!

"Kitchener like a pro" class at Stitches West

Students from my “Kitchener Like A Pro” class working hard and showing off their successfully grafted ribbing and cable swatches in pattern.

Mera, Revisited

Cal was in my “The Right Fit” class. She is showing off the “Mera, Revisited” pattern she made after taking a class on that pattern the year before at Stitches.

Stitches West 2013; Flame pattern

“Flame” is a crescent-shaped shawlette worked in a really cool reversible edging pattern and it was on display at the Windy Valley Muskox booth, where they sold out of about 50 patterns of Flame within the 1st hour of the 2nd market day!

Stitches West 2013

Anzula had “Fantome Hat” and “Fantome Cowl” both on display and selling as a kit with their Sebastian (merino/seacell) yarn. They also sold some soft launch test products of my gift tags.

Stitches West 2013

And my friends at Bijou Basin Ranch, had the “Mera Shrug” on display in their booth. That was one of my favorite projects because the yarn was Bijou Bliss, a yak/cormo blend.

Some of the other fun things from Stitches included running into Christina and Debbie from Alamitos Bay Yarn Co. on my flight, meeting 3 generations of knitters during the Student Banquet, petting all the pretty yarns, button-shopping, hanging out with my friends, old and new, and just being able to be part of it all. Oh and let’s not forget my first encounter with an Inu-knit (aka Lily Chin in costume)!

Stitches West 2013 Stitches West 2013 Lily Chin as an Inu-knitStitches West 2013

A note regarding my website

Folks, I also want to let you know that my website is going through a major facelift and some construction woes. You can still navigate and purchase from it, but I cannot list new stuff on it. So, for the time being, you will see a new tab at the top of this blog, “~~PATTERN & PRODUCT INFORMATION~~” That’s where I’m putting and listing all my new stuff. Thanks!!

**For up to the minute updates and news, follow me @AnneKuoLukito on Twitter and CraftyDiversions on Instagram or “Like” my Crafty Diversions page on Facebook!**

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Just because it’s Friday! Get $1 off any of the following patterns: Pfeiffer Falls, Haiku, Remy, Anacortes, Friday Harbor and Lakedale.

You don’t have to enter any codes. The discount is automatically taken when you shop from Crafty Diversions or from my Ravelry store. The sale will end on Halloween, Oct 31, 2011.

Have a safe and wonderful weekend!



For up to the minute updates and news, follow me @AnneKuoLukito on Twitter or “Like” my Crafty Diversions page on Facebook!

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After a few failed submissions, I finally made it into Twist Collective, and I couldn’t be happier! Yes folks, I had tried to submit to Twist 2-3 times prior, but unfortunately, it wasn’t in the cards for me at the time.

I finally achieved my goal with Issara, which was published recently in the Fall 2010 issue. What made this even more exciting for me is the fact that Issara is the cover for my particular storyline, Roxham Farm. I was already a fan of Twist Collective and of the artistry and designs in each issue. Now that I’ve experienced a small taste of what it’s like to be a designer in Twist, especially with the multiple layers of review that goes into each pattern, I am even more impressed.

Named after a good friend’s daughter (a Laotian name), Issara is a snuggly coat worked in bulky yarn with simple lines. The WOW factor lies within the back pleat and the oversized reversible cable collar that can be worn up, down, or somewhere in between.

The Idea & Design Process

Usually, when I design, I like to incorporate a feature element and/or versatility.  And since I’ve been on a reversible cables kick lately, I really wanted a garment with a dramatic reversible collar. Thus, Issara was conceived. While I had a clear idea of what I wanted, some of the key elements in the concept required some tweaking and experimentation during the actual pattern-writing and design process.


In order for the collar to lay nicely on the shoulders when worn down, it needed to flare a little – I really didn’t want a straight funnel collar. To make a nice flare, I knew that I would have to work increases into the actual cable pattern instead of bunching it all into the beginning or set up section of the collar. I experimented with a few types of increases into the cable pattern. Lifted increases won over other types of increases because it met 3 main criteria: (1) increases had to be as invisible as possible, (2) they had to compliment and work with the stitch pattern, and (3) they had to look good on both sides.


Initially, I had intended the waistline to be a true empire waist. However, as I was working with it, I realized that the weight of the yarn in the skirt of the coat (especially with the pleat) may pull the waistline in a less than desirable way if I raised it to a true empire.  So, I change the plan a little and worked the waistline roughly about 1.5″ above a natural waistline so that there is still an elongated silhouette, but without having to carry the extra weight if it was set much higher.

p2-1 Issara sketch

Issara sketch


Because the coat is worked in a bulky yarn, Twist editor Kate Gilbert and I had some concerns that the pleat might be a little too thick and cumbersome in the back with all the layers. I really wanted to keep the pleat because I think it gives a nice balance to the dramatic and slightly flared collar; thus, I was determined to make it work. I experimented a little and I figured out a way to thin out some of the bulk in the pleat folding process: I bound off every other stitch in the center panel of each side of the pleat 2 rows prior the pleat fold. The photos below show the differences (click to enlarge) between a regular pleat fold and my thinned out version.

Issara Swatch1 - front Issara Swatch3 - back


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Photos above, clockwise from top left (click photos to enlarge): (1) work-in-progress shot of the skirt shaping; (2) the finished pleat from the private side (WS); (3) collar detail from the public side (RS); (4) collar detail from the private side (WS); (5) waist line and back pleat; (6) back view of coat with collar worn down

Overall, I found the sample a relatively fast knit. Seriously. I’m not just saying that because I’m the designer or as a fast knitter. It goes much faster than one anticipates because it’s worked in a bulky yarn. The slowest part of it, IMO, was the blocking, which took forever and a day to dry.  Next post: Tips/notes on modifications, blocking, etc.

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(Images above courtesy of and copyrighted by Bijou Basin Ranch)

Right before TNNA, I had to contend with 5 top secret projects. One of them was Mera, which I designed for Bijou Basin Ranch using their Bliss yarn (50% yak down, 50% cormo). OMG, the yarn is absolutely delicious and the smell of it is absolute crack for fiberistas! Aptly named, the yarn has a buttery soft feel in your hands and it has a subtle thick+think texture that gives it a very organic feel. I really wanted to show of some of the yarn’s natural texture, so the body of the garment is worked in a lightly looser gauge (plus, the yarn is very warm; the yak down has great insulating properties).

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If you are familiar with my work and my style, you’ll know that I really like to design garments that are contemporary but yet will remain stylish over time. Furthermore, I really like to design garments with options and versatility.
With Mera, I wanted to give the wearer the option to style and shape it as she wishes. Thus, I incorporated a reversible cable in the edging and cuffs.  (I’ve been on a reversible cable kick lately.) The reversible cable is not a symmetrical one — meaning it has a different design on each side of the fabric.
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Mera can be worn with the collar up or down. You can have 3/4 sleeves or fold up the cuffs for 1/2 sleeves. You can even easily adapt the pattern and knit the sleeves to full length, then when you fold the cuffs, you’d get 3/4 sleeves.

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Additional Pattern Info
Buy PDF Pattern from BBR
Mera Pattern Page on Ravelry

Also, support your LYS and buy the patterns from them. If they don’t carry BBR or BBR patterns, tell them that they should! Of course, you should tell them they should especially carry my patterns. 😉 Info about me/where to get patterns for the LYS can be found on the About page on my site.

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Shop Knitting Patterns Now!Have you received your latest issue of Interweave Knits yet? Guess who has a pattern in it? If you haven’t, go order yours today! (And if you go through the link below, I get a small cut of your purchase as an affliliate.)

The current Summer 2010 issue features the Empyrean Tunic. It’s a design that I had originally submitted for the Spring 2010 issue (in which Rose Window Beret appears). Since people always seem to be curious to see how an idea turned into reality, below is a snapshot of my submission.

My submission swatch was worked with a sandalwood-colored 50% tussah silk and 50% wool yarn that I got a while back from a sale that a machine knitting shop was having. I still have lots of that yarn, which I think would be perfect for Empyrean. I should knit another sample since I won’t ever see the one I made for the magazine in my possession ever again. ::sigh::

The garment is worked in one piece in a raglan-construction from the top-down. Don’t worry if the neckline seems overly wide at first! It will all work itself out in the end. I promise! The neckline is tightened up with an i-cord edging, which really would not work with other garments unless it’s something airy and light like this.  I intentionally did not reduce stitches at the bottom hem and sleeve ends so that they would flare out a little — I think it just makes it seem more interesting and more fluid.

I did spot Empyrean on display at TNNA (needlearts trade show) in January 2010 at the Interweave Press booth, and of course I was stupidly giddy. The scarf that I'm wearing is Remy. (www.craftydiversions.com/patterns/remy.htm)

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Thursday, Jan. 7. 2010, was the first day of TNNA and was lucky enough to be able to take a 6 hour class on reversible cables with “Si-Fu” Lily Chin. OMG that woman is crazy! I don’t mean crazy-bad. I mean crazy-good: an encyclopedia of knowledge and creativity.  As entertaining and dynamic as she was, I have to admit that I found the first half of the class a little on the languid side. This is certainly no criticism of the content and I can’t really complain because she was starting very logically and appropriately with the basics (which I knew, hence I found it a little slow) and working up to the more difficult stuff.  Lily is a bundle of energy, a great teacher, funny and dynamic. I love the analogies she used when describing cables and she certainly kept me entertained. Let’s just say that there were lots of references to trysts, threesomes, orgies, etc.  😉

Being goofy with Lily Chin. btw, I made the turquoise jacket. I had to make 4 different revisions to the sewing pattern to accomodate my voluptous bosom for a more fitted look. (I can never fit properly in store bought jackets.)

As far as reversible cables are concerned, I only knew of 2 methods. Lily taught us 4. As if that’s not impressive enough, Lily mentioned that in her upcoming book Power Cables (release June 2010, Interweave Press) she covers THIRTEEN methods!!  I am so going to get that book.

I had brought my most recent Remy (my pattern: reversible cable with 2 motifs on each side; published in July 2009 issue of Knitscene) project and I was utterly surprised flattered when she asked me to show my sample/pattern to the class as well. Remy is so basic and elementary compared skills of that woman. Also, what also made me squee was when Lily saw my little shop’s name, she said “Oh, I know Handicraft Cafe!”

One of the samples she showed us was a reversible 2 color brioche with a cable on the other side!! Holy, freakin’ cow! Unfortunately, that pattern was cut from her book due to its complexity and the publisher’s concern that most people would not even attempt. I want to try it!! I’d love to really examine the unique brains of creative thinkers and knitting revolutionaries like Lily Chin, Cat Bordhi, Elizabeth Zimmerman, Norah Gaughn…well, you get the picture.

Next Post: Update and summary of my experience as a panel member for an AKD forum last night. Panel members include a panel of esteemed and established designers with a variety of backgrounds. I’m the newbie. 🙂

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New Ads

I’ve been wanting to put some one Ravlery ads for my patterns and design for some time, but I just haven’t gotten around to it until now.  I created 2:

Ravelry approved the ads sooner than I had anticipated, so I was not able to get Pfeiffer Falls and Lillian up before the ads ran.  It was only a 2-3 day gap, so it’s not bad at all.   At least I made my goal of getting them out before Sock Summit.

New Shopping Cart

The benefit of insomnia is that I stay up to do stuff like editing photos, patterns, website and other stuff that I sometimes procrastinate on.  Last night This morning (until about 3:00am), I was trying to get my version of Pfeiffer Falls up on my site. I decided to go with e-junkie ast the host and delivery system. So far, things seem to be easy and in working order.

For now, I’ve decided that I think I’ll allow site visitors the option to purchase using either the Ravelry shopping system, or from this site via e-junkie.  I think choices are good – I was just worried that same less savvy person would get confused and the pages would get too cluttered.

Most patterns will have both options eventually. However, there will be a few that I can only sell on my website due to contractual obligations and limitations with certain publishers.  For example, I can only sell Pfeiffer Falls on my own site and not through any 3rd-party websites, including Ravelry.

New Pattern Listing & Price

I was kind of grappling with pricing Pfeiffer Falls – whether to sell it at the same price that Interweave is selling it for, or to sell it at $5.75, which is $0.25 more.  After polling some good knitterly friends, I decided to keep my pricing at $5.75 for several reasons.

First of all, the one Interweave sells is the magazine version and still has the same good quality for which they are known. (I signed a semi-exclusive contract for them to sell the pattern in their store, so I still get some royalties for any pattern sales through them.)

My version of Pfeiffer Falls has all the “bells and whistles” that can be included in self-publishing, but can be somewhat excessive in traditional publishing due to understandable space issues.  The extra pages and extra information is also why I’m pricing it at $5.75 instead of $5.50 – I do offer hardcopy patterns for people (including selling them wholesale), so there’s also a cost associated with printing 6 pages with a photo on just about each page.

The extras that I include in my self-published Crafty Diversions version of the pattern:

  • U.S. Standard and International metric measurements and calculations
  • Written out instructions for the pattern chart, for those who are not chart-inclined, or prefer text.
  • 6 photos of the project worked in different yarns, including the Optional Ruffles version.
  • A special chart to make grafting in pattern much, much easier.
  • Live embedded hyperlinks – all you have to do is to click on the logos, the email address and any underlined linked text to get to the website.

And of course, I made sure that this was tech edited.

1:51 pm Edited to Add: Early Bird discount! Help me try out the new cart and the coupon discount option.  Buy within the next 72 hours and get $0.50 off pattern. Code: PFKAL2

Actual Pattern Sample. Click for enlarged view

Actual Pattern Sample. Click for enlarged view

Another New Pattern Release

I’m also pretty much done with Lillian, which I hope to post for sale on Ravelry by the end of the day.  I just want to double check it since I rearranged some of the formatting and added an extra page to the pattern so that it’s more roomy and easier to read.

Lillian is another pattern that I designed in coordination with SWTC to highlight their wonderful Tranquility yarn. I’ll do a separate post about this pattern once I’ve listed it and created a site page for it.

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