Thalia, Louisa Harding

Posted: August 25, 2010 in Uncategorized

So I did it again! I changed my mind. Which is pretty funny because I took pretty great lengths to get this yarn, all 9 balls of it. Due to the fact that it was being discontinued, I bought yarn online from three different sources to acquire enough yarn to make the pattern. The pattern and the color way in the photo were so beautiful. I bought the pattern booklet on a special family vacation. It would be so awesome to make my own souvenir!  Shh… I even put it in my Christmas stocking as a present to myself.

And then low and behold, it sat in my drawer for 12 months without busting a ball band. That lonely yarn has been calling my name and now that another Autumn season is approaching, I begin to wonder if it is time to cast on that special vacation sweater. And then when I pulled everything out, I shocked myself with my wondering what I saw in the pattern,

“Of course I can’t feel that way! I make good choices. I know my style. I know what I like. And I ventured into novelty yarn just for this pattern!” Really, the pattern needed me.

So, I cast on and got 14″ inches in and I hated every minute of it. My sticks were too short and my stitches too crowded. I kept looking at the beautiful model and wondering what on earth I’d wear with the sweater once I got it finished. I didn’t have a ‘to the ankle’ silk gown to wear under it nor an occasion to wear it to.

“This is why we have people that manufacture knitwear,” I had to admit.

And suddenly that synched it. If it wasn’t fun then what was I doing making it! I figured something else in my pattern booklet also called for this novelty yarn and I would at least have options. Ta da! Not a few pages turned and I found another pattern with all the elements in which I was drawn to my original pattern of inspiration but with a design that I felt I could pull off in my wardrobe and it somehow just seemed to fit me. I don’t think that I made a wrong decision standing in that little yarn shop on the sandy coast. But as time goes by, we sometimes change our tastes.

I cast on and I can’t believe I’m using the same yarn and needles! What a difference the right pattern, paired with the right yarn and my own sense of enjoyment makes for pleasant hand knitting.


“Star Camisole”, Vogue Summer 2009

Posted: August 22, 2010 in Cotton

I recently listened to a KnitPicks podcast talking about how sometimes your original intention for a yarn and pattern loses its appeal over time. Sometimes it’s the right thing to abandon your original concept of creativity to embrace a new use for your yarn. I totally had that experience with this project because I originally bought this yarn for a Debbie Bliss St st shell pattern. What looked like a quick summer knit in a beautiful cotton/bamboo yarn became so laborious after casting on and working 9 inches that I was about to abandon the pattern and yarn. Then I discovered this pattern from last summer’s pattern stash and I had a new burst of motivation. So I unraveled all of my previous work, sat down on a sunny afternoon and devoured the new pattern and took the plunge into casting on a new project. Since then, I have had nothing but pure knitting pleasure with the right yarn matched with the right pattern for a purely loveable knitting experience.

The Star Camisole is a very clever design where the pieces are “built on” from the center rays. Although it is graded as an advanced pattern, it’s been quite quick to knit because each piece isn’t very large and the construction is so unique it slowly grows into something distinguishably wearable before your eyes.

the inc's are part of the decorative effect

I was puzzled by the direction of the increases in the same stitch starting front and back and consequently creating a purl stitch on the St st (RS) and thought I was doing it wrong. However, this purl stitch became more obviously intentional and I saw that it was actually creating a two row moss stitch contrast to the St st that gave the rays definition and beauty.

One of the details that caught my eye in the magazine/pattern photo was the beauty of this transition from the St st ray into what is the strap. It was really fun to see how this detail was constructed through a gradual dec and introduction of the ribbing pattern that is the strap. Here it becomes a simple 14 st ribbing for the rest of the strap length.

I assume with blocking that the ribbing will become a little more even. I was a little bewildered why the ribbing looks so uneven. I don’t usually notice this in my ribbing. At this point, I discovered a hidden virtue of my yarn: it has quite a lot of spring or elasticity to it. I found this out when measuring the strap and realized that a very little pull really made a difference in the length.

Vogue in E-mail

Posted: December 10, 2009 in Online Reading

Did you know that Vogue Knitting sells over 5,000 patterns, downloadable via PDF files. Make a wish list, add to cart and fill out a simple shopping form and pay a modest $5-$6 USD for almost every pattern. Your pattern will be awaiting you in your e-mail inbox in just minutes. Visit

Posted: December 10, 2009 in Online Reading, Uncategorized

Ever wonder what’s behind the name? Find out more about the founder of Rowan yarns & designs. Want to know the designer’s process? Have an inside glimpse into Debbie Bliss’s career. Planning ahead? Look at the Spring 2011 color & texture trends. Where?Read, a unique, inside, behind-the-scenes online magazine about the knitting industry.  From yarn & book reviews to interviews with designers and manufacturing companies to fashion trends, it’s a great place for any inquisitive knitter.

Falling into Vogue

Posted: November 2, 2009 in Vogue Knitting Magazine Fall

Take a look at some of Vogue Knitting’s best garments this Fall 2009 issue.

Peplum Cardigan, Nanette Lepore

Peplum Cardigan, Nanette Lepore

In the fashionable cape style of this season, this cardigan is knitted from the neck down, lace stitching with a lot of shaping, using two yarns of an alpaca/fin merino wool/silk blend with a baby kid mohair/polyamide blend.

Leaf Motif Jacket, Melissa LaBarre

Leaf Motif Jacket, Melissa LaBarre

Using super chunky yarn wool/alpaca blend, constructed in one piece from the neckband to the waist edge, separating for the armholes and picking up stitches later to put in the sleeves, raglan shaping, and a buttonhole band sewn on at the end, with a simple sew hook and eye closure. Look for more chunky cowls and capes in the upcoming issue Vogue Holiday.

Cropped Jacket, Anne Farnham

Cropped Jacket, Anne Farnham

Military jacket details never need look too masculine, knit body, sleeves and joined together to make the yoke, a double-breasted front, lovely texture created by a bell pattern stitch and seed stitch, worked in Icelandic wool.

Duo-Tone Cardi, Amanda Crawford

Duo-Tone Cardi, Amanda Crawford

Worked in organic wool, perfect for this season’s peasant and folkish look, and constructed in five pieces (back, two fronts and two sleeves), this cardi’s finishing is quite detailed with added frontbands, pockets and belt, but overall simple stitching in a four row stitch pattern.

Look for these major trends in fashion this season:

– Chunky and super chunky knits- texture and lots of it

– Bohemian – folkish use of color & pattern, paired with a little bit of rockish leather or russian fur accents for contrast, thigh high boots, and flowing long belts

– Military style jackets & details – short jackets with paneled fronts, gold detailing and ornate trims

– Capes, caplets, cloaks & shawls – vintage is in from the 1920’s, 50’s.

– Female Dandy – highly tailored fit with some unique accents of masculine features but wholly feminine, high collars, ruffled sleeves, coat tails.

For more, visit,–Autumn-Fall-Winter-2009-2010-Fashion-Trends-1296.html#key20092010