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Posts Tagged ‘reversible’

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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Flame 3140

target=”_blank”>Flame is a shallow crescent shawl that has an attractive reversible lace motif. It’s worked in one piece without any picking up for the edge.

A while back, I stumbled upon an interesting but a little too fussy looking stitch pattern in one of my Japanese stitch dictionaries. While I didn’t love the fussiness, I loved the basic bones of the stitch pattern. So, I started playing around with the stitch pattern and manipulating it on the computer. One of the manipulations resulted in a beautifully textured pattern that’s also reversible, perfect for a shawl.  (Several of the other manipulations inspired a few designs that are still under wraps.)
I was a little stuck in deciding a name for this shawl, which I had worked using Windy Valley Musk Ox Luxury Blend (45% qiviut, 45% merino, 10% silk; 1oz, 218yds); Color: 2016-Autumn Crimson. A week after finishing the shawl, I went on an Alaskan cruise and I realized how much the stitch patterning resembles a whale’s fluke. Destiny led me to name this after one of the humpback whales that I saw. She is named “Flame” by the locals and naturalists in and around Juneau. I think it’s an apt name for the fiery color and spirit of this shawl.

Flame was initially debuted only to retailers (yarn shops) for wholesale orders at TNNA this past June. It has since been in storage and got a little wrinkled. Re-blocking it was the perfect excuse to use the bottle of Eucalan Wrapture wool wash send to me by my friend and designer of the scent Kristin Omdahl. At first I was a little scared of the jasmine scent since many jasmine-scented and floral-scented products are overly scented with synthetic fragrances that smell quite chemical to me. I had nothing to be afraid of. Jasmine essential oil gives Wrapture a nice romantic floral scent while the lanolin in it conditions your knits and other delicates washed with it.

I’m now releasing Flame to all of you and our knitting community. It’s available for purchase as a PDF download on Ravelry and on my website.  Do you want a chance to win a copy of Flame and a sample of Wrapture as well? I’m trying out Rafflecopter and running the giveaway through it. You can enter as many times as allowed; the more you share, the more entries you can earn! Winners will be chosen at random.

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flame giveaway

CLICK TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY. Giveaway starts Nov. 19 and ends midnight EST Nov. 30.

**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.

Collar

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.

Waistline

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

Pleat

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

Close-Ups

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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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Linky:
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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I am very happy to announce that the Fall 2009 issue of Knitscene has finally been released officially!  My local Border’s and Barnes & Noble bookstores just have to follow the rules and not put out the magazines on the shelves until the actual release date. The suck don’t they? This is especially torturous when I see people from other parts of the U.S. posting that they snagged a copy from their local bookstore and/or LYS before the release date. ::hrumph! I don’t want to admit that my local stores are right in following the release date rules.::

Remy is why I was so eager to see this new issue of Knitscene. Isn’t it cool? Remy is no ordinary scarf pattern! It is a reversible cable. Furthermore, the cables are not just reversible in the sense that it looks attractive on both sides, Remy sports an entirely different cable pattern on each side!

I took a couple of screen captures of my design from Knitscene‘s previews.  If you’d like to see the other wonderful designs in this issue, you can see them here.

Screen capture of www.Knitscene.com on July 21, 2009

Screen capture on July 21, 2009 from http://www.knitscene.com/issue/Fall-2009-Projects.asp

initial prototype of Remy in a darker yarn

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