Saturday, March 31, 2007
Monday, March 26, 2007
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
This is not for myself, but for my DDs.
I used Elann's Esprit in Natural with 4 mm needles and knitted size S. I followed the pattern as written through Pentagon 11. For sleeves, I cast on 15 stitches to prevent extra material at underarm. Also, only one side of Pentagons 8 and 9 contribute to the bottom hem, rather than 2 sides. The sides adjacent to the sleeve pentagons were brought to the back and stitched onto the back hem, resulting in considerably smaller hem circumference. My daughters are 9 and 11 years old. I think they look rather cute in it.
For more views go here.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
This is a sewing pattern from The Sewing Workshop. They are one of my favorite independent pattern companies. I followed their additional instructions found in their gallery page and made the shirt into a jacket: fully self-faced front bodice and partially self-faced back.
Instructions were good and easy to follow. I made some changes and did not follow them exactly, however. The body was shortened by 2 3/8" for the front. The original pattern has standard 5/8" seam allowance and the hem allowance is also 5/8" everywhere. This was great for the doubled front bodice. For the back, I wanted add more substantial hem, and it was shortened by 1" only to create 2" hem, original 5/8" seam allowance plus 1 3/8". Sleeve hems were also widened to 2". The side back seams were encased by the doubled front bodice, eliminating raw edges along sides completely. The photo below shows the side seams in the center.
The blue one was intended to match St. Charles-Noro outfit. I think the beige one is the better choice, don't you?
I just love the way the button is framed. Little detail but makes a big difference. I used cross grain to make them show more.
If you are interested in more photos of the outfit, please visit
I discovered Ms. Hitomi Shida's knit work only recently, last summer to be exact. Her knit designs are very intricate and gorgeous. The above issue is the most recent one. She also published a collection of her designs from past issues of Couture Knit (Let's Knit Series).
There is a gorgeous flower shawl in the recent issue. You can take a look by clicking the second button on the right panel here.
A friend of mine is interested in this design and I am attempting a translation of the text below. For the stitch pattern, you will need the book.
The yarn used is Dia Keito Dia Couture Silk Lame. Scroll down to page 15 to see the colors and the yarn specs. The required amount is 340g or 9 balls. The knitting needles used is Japanese size 6, which is about 4 mm. Also required is a crochet hook size 5/0, or 3 mm. The gauge is 31 rows in patterned stitches per 10 cm.
Cast on 7 stitches and follow the charts. The forth cast on stitch is at the center and indicated by a darker shade in the charts. Purl all the stitches on wrong side. Rows 27 through 50 are repeated five times: for rows 51 through 74, repeat the stitches indicated by the blank start twice, for rows 75 through 98, repeat three times, for rows 99 through 122, repeat four times, and for rows 123 through 146, repeat five times. For rows 147 through 170, repeat the stitches indicated by the black star 6 times, and for rows 171 through 190, repeat the marked stitches 7 times.
Here is the Flower Shawl from the book. Sorry for the poor quality of the photo.
Sunday, March 04, 2007
This is the cover of the Magazine Tricot no. 123 issue by Bergere de France where I found beautiful tank tops. I believe it was published in 2003. I acquired the magazine in early 2004 with help of Sandrine and Michelle.
I was not much interested in knitting tank tops until I saw this photo (cover tank top) and this one (twin set) by Sandrine. Once I saw these beauties, I had to knit them.
Here is the twin set.
In early 2004, the magazine was already all sold out and out of print. Those who are interested in knitting these tanks need to contact Bergere de France directly and request reprinting. I hope they would oblige. Once you get the pattern, you need to deal with French instructions. I was lucky enough to know a fellow knitsmith, Alison, who generously offered to translate the pattern for me.
Next, which yarn to use? The gauge of the cover tank is 33 stitches and 49 rows per 4" square, between fingering and lace weight. I picked up Sandnes Mandarin Petit and began knitting. The orange one below is my first version. My gauge was quite off and I had to do a lot of adjustments. The horizontal eyelet bar was right across my bust which I thought was not appropriate. So, I did the second version with Rowan cotton 4 ply, moving the bar further down. BTW, this yarn was no better than Mandarin Petit. Too thick for the tank. I actually knitted the whole thing optimistically thinking it would be just fine. When I completed it, it was obvious, I made a giant tank. I ripped the whole thing all the way down to the leaf motif band in 30 minutes. Eventually, I got it knitted up. You can see me wearing them here. Which one looks better? Orange one, right? BdeF designer knew better.
As a headstrong knitter that I am, I had to find the right yarn: Pearl Cotton 5/2 on size 2.25 mm needles. Unfortunately, the third version remained as shown below for more than a year. Simply, it was not fun knitting at all.
Eventually, I convinced myself I cannot have it unfinished and began working on it.
This time, success!! I simply followed the pattern as is. Phew!!
Added: Here is something I just found on Bergere de France. You may want to take a look.