July 15, 2017

10 AttenTION! My Mega Military Jacket, A Free Pattern by Cheval Blanc

Mega Military Jacket knit by Dayana Knits, free pattern from Cheval Blanc in Noro Obi yarn


Mega Military Jacket knit by Dayana Knits, free pattern from Cheval Blanc in Noro Obi yarn


Mega Military Jacket knit by Dayana Knits, free pattern from Cheval Blanc in Noro Obi yarn


I'm a major free pattern hound. I scour the internet for freebies, and even have a very special friend who would give Sherlock Holmes a run for his money (Sue, I'm looking at you! 😘). But how could I keep them to myself? They always go right onto my Facebook page!


Visit Dayana Knits on Facebook for limited time freebies!


I think the trajectory for this jacket pattern went something like this. Ravelry >> Pinterest >> Unintelligible Russian Site >> Slightly Less Unintelligible Russian Site >> French Company with Beautiful Free Patterns: Cheval Blanc.

I lived in Montréal for 10 years and thought I knew all of the French yarn companies. Anny Blatt, Phildar, Bergere de France... but Cheval Blanc? Never!

Well, look at this free pattern I found! (Never mind a ton of other ones. If you download, remember to scroll past the French for English and other languages.)


Mega Military Jacket knit by Dayana Knits, free pattern from Cheval Blanc


This is CB13 Veste No. 18. Alluring title, no? Well, who cares. It's just so damn cute, unique and totally exaggerated. I had to make it. And rename it: Mega Military Jacket.


Mega Military Jacket knit by Dayana Knits, free pattern from Cheval Blanc in Noro Obi yarn


There are no Cheval Blanc yarn vendors in the North America yet, so it was time to stash dive. I don't hoard a lot of bulky yarns, they're usually expensive and take a ton of space. BUT I did have something nice and loud: Noro Obi from The Cashmere Goat in Camden, Maine. It's a mix of wool/silk/mohair that, of course, self-stripes.


Noro Obi, photo by Dayana Knits blog


I have a love/hate relationship with Noro. It's not because of the random pieces of straw, the unexpected changes from Bulky to Fingering weight -- not even the random KNOTS that jump the color order! Nope. My problem is an utterly OCD imperative to match the striping on each side.

I cut and spliced until I had 1 yard of yarn left to match these suckers. It was HELL!


Noro mitts knit by Dayana Knits


And I have, like, 40 mini balls of Noro from infinite splicing for this epic pullover for my husband (a free pattern, too!):


Balkan by Brandon Mably, knit by Dayana Knits


The issue with matching Noro is having enough yardage to do it. Some balls start in the wrong place, or the striping goes in the opposite direction. Sometimes those knots jump completely to a new place in the color order, so you are often working with small pieces to add to balls that don't have the color you need AT ALL.

But I only had the exact yardage I needed for a solid pullover, no extra! UH OH.

I got to thinking -- wait. I don't have to match the body of the pattern at all, because it's covered by the fronts! All that really needed to be impeccably matched were the military plackets and the sleeves.


Mega Military Jacket knit by Dayana Knits, free pattern from Cheval Blanc in Noro Obi yarn


Mega Military Jacket knit by Dayana Knits, free pattern from Cheval Blanc in Noro Obi yarn


I must say, it was rather liberating to knit that body in Noro without caring. My heart did sink though, when I ran out of colors to match at the very end of the shoulders (compare the top of both sleeves):


Mega Military Jacket knit by Dayana Knits, free pattern from Cheval Blanc in Noro Obi yarn


Can you believe that really bothered me? I'm crazy.

I do adore how this thing came out. I was even able to dive into my button stash to find a set that reminded me of shiny military patent leather shoes. Those don't actually do anything -- they're sewed down. I recommend sewing down the points, too, to prevent rolling.


Mega Military Jacket knit by Dayana Knits, free pattern from Cheval Blanc in Noro Obi yarn


My Mega (Rainbow) Military look was accomplished. All from stash!! And it really is a very quick knit.

I strongly suggest you play on the Cheval Blanc site. There are currently 506 free patterns in English, Spanish, French and German (each .pdf has every language, so KEEP SCROLLING FOR YOURS!). There are also some excellent pay patterns. Here is just the first page of recently added patterns on Ravelry:


Cheval Blanc patterns from blogger Dayana Knits


A note to those who'd like to make a pattern from Cheval Blanc. I did find a typo in the English version of my pattern that was not in the French version. If you are confused about something, go to the French pattern first and scan through the numbers or Google Translate. It's very clear that the patterns are written first in French and then translated.


See my Mega Military on Ravelry


Mega Military Jacket knit by Dayana Knits, free pattern from Cheval Blanc in Noro Obi yarn



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May 7, 2017

2 For The Unselfish Knitter -- Kar{e}tpostal Care Tags by Über den Traum

Kar{e}tpostal Care Tags by Über den Traum, reviewed by Dayana Knits



Kar{e}tpostal Care Tags by Über den Traum, reviewed by Dayana Knits


I admit it. I am a selfish knitter. I knit primarily for myself, and when I imagine that maaaaybe I could take the time to create something for someone else, it has to break all possible Barriers of Importance.

Like this epic La Dolce Vita shawl for my friend Christina's wedding:


La Dolde Vita shawl, knit by Dayana Knits


Or the Friedrich baby cardigan for my friend Eva's first sprout!




When I first started using Ravelry, I immediately joined the group Selfish Knitters and Crocheters. First, the name was highly amusing... but second, I liked that I wasn't alone in my narcissism.  The group has over 10K members!  Here is a classic snapshot of discussion topics:




But the truth is, I have always loved the act of giving gifts, and it's very possible that I've spent as much time finding the perfect item as I would knitting one. Maybe I need to bring that giving element into my knitting obsession!

What better way to celebrate a desire to be a more UNselfish knitter than to find a great gift tag for my future Very Charitable Acts?


Kar{e}tpostal Care Tags by Über den Traum, reviewed by Dayana Knits


One of the scariest things about giving knitted gifts is explaining in a simple way how to care for an item. And naturally, the most beautiful yarns tend to be the most difficult to care for. If the giftee is not a knitter, it's not always clear how to convey the right information.

Über den Traum, a store run by a mother-daughter team from Greece, has come up with a stupendous option! Kar{e}tpostal Care Tags provide an array of whimsical hand-drawn images for different fabric care instructions. All you need to do is circle or check off the right ones!

-----

15% off anything in the shop till May 15, 2017
Code: "DAYANA17"
-----

They come in 2-sided .pdf format or pre-printed on 3 types of printables:

  1. Black and white on yellow paper
  2. Rainbow gradient (see above picture)
  3. Transparent vellum sticker, shown below.






It's not only about the ones you check -- your gift recipient will love looking at the clever little icons because there are mysteries in each one:



Here are my favorites! I love the temperature symbols...

From the chilly rocky coast... (*this has got to be my home Bar Harbor, ME)



...to blustery European seas...


...on to warmer diving waters...


...and then the balmy islands!



The low temperature iron setting is fab, decorated with slowly flapping bunting implying that not much heat is reaching them...



...and then the drying settings (watch out Indiana Jones!!!)...





...and the instruction to dry flat where a cat is laying right on top of your blocking, OF COURSE.



Tiger Shrimp approves.




The other side of the tags come with several colored notecard options, with or without lines, where you can mark the name of the recipient and more info.


Photo from Über den Traum



Photo from Über den Traum


I only have a black and white printer and I found that the tags were too floppy on regular paper, but  firm card stock is only ~15 cents per sheet at the photocopy shop.  Simply print them out double-sided and the lines guide your cuts.

For those of you in North America, remember that the paper is A4 size, and you must check "shrink to fit" so that they fit on 8.5" x 11" paper!



Or, don't mess around and just get the pre-printed card stock labels! They're great quality and I love the option of a sticker.

I used this card on a gift for my husband, Balkan by Brandon Mably (blogged here). He's a lucky guy and breaks the barriers of my selfish knitting rules because he LOVES his handmade sweaters!




I've got to find another recipient though -- I would never let him wash his own sweater LOL! 😂

Even if you're not in the market for care labels, I encourage you to check out the shop for other knitterly and non-knitterly items. I got some stitch markers and a fabulous MAGNETIC Portuguese knitting pin (what the cat is trying to steal below) that I want to try out ASAP.




Visit Über den Traum!


15% off anything in the shop till May 15, 2017

Code: "DAYANA17"





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March 29, 2017

10 5 Tips for Better Intarsia: The 2017 Kaffe Afghan KAL

5 Tips for Better Intarsia Knitting, by Dayana Knits


In 2016, it came as a shock that Rowan's Kaffe Fassett KAL would not include "intarsia" -- a way of knitting with an infinite number of colors in one row. After all, wasn't that technique that made his name? The project was actually more of a nod to his quilting persona and ended up truly stripe-tastic.

This was my version:


Rowan Yarns Kaffe Fassett Afghan KAL 2016, version by Dayana Knits, from 5 Tips for Better Intarsia, March 2017.


Well, we didn't have to wait long for Captain Intarsia to arrive! The 2017 Rowan Kaffe Fassett Afghan KAL starts March 30, and it is filled with it. (Join the free KAL at the Rowan Yarns group on Ravelry)

If you thought the first one was hypnotizing and possibly seizure-inducing, this one might really get you to shake.


Rowan Yarns Kaffe Fassett Afghan KAL 2017 starts March 30! From 5 Tips for Better Intarsia by Dayana Knits
Order kits at Fiberwild for 25% off


DON'T BE AFRAID! You can do this!

👉 And, with less crazy colors.

I looked at their shopping list, threw out ALL the color and bought 30 balls of the Rowan Pure Wool Superwash Worsted shades that make up the "tumbling blocks" squares. That's 10 balls each of Soft Cream, Moonstone and Charcoal Grey, if you want to carbon copy my future afghan.


Rowan Yarns Pure Wool Superwash Worsted for Kaffe Fassett Afghan KAL 2017 starts March 30! From 5 Tips for Better Intarsia by Dayana Knits


Rowan Yarns Pure Wool Superwash Worsted for Kaffe Fassett Afghan KAL 2017 starts March 30! From 5 Tips for Better Intarsia by Dayana Knits


Now, I imagine that those of you interested have done a little intarsia in the past. I'm not going to talk about HOW to do intarsia, but I do want to give you 5 tips on how to do it better.


1. Use bobbins


You may be tempted to use the balls themselves while knitting, or maybe even hand-made yarn "butterflies" that don't require equipment, but bobbins are better. (Actually, using the full yarn balls will just make you just want to die and never knit again, so don't even think about it.)

The advantage to bobbins is their weight (to keep tension at color joins) and how easy you can release more yarn to knit with. There are some bad ones and some good ones -- if you do a lot of intarsia, you should try a bunch and see what you like.

My favorites have these elements, but these particular ones are from Susan Bates.


5 Tips for Better Intarsia Knitting, by Dayana Knits. 1. Use bobbins



2. Tug your old bobbin after 2 stitches 


Not zero, 1 or 3. TWO! Sounds picky I know, but I've done a LOT of intarsia.


5 Tips for Better Intarsia Knitting, by Dayana Knits. 2. Tug your old bobbin after 2 stitches


Tugging right away or after just 1 stitch only moves the yarn uselessly around the needles. You simply need two whole stitches worth of loops to have something to tug effectively.

After 3 stitches, it's just too annoyingly far to reach.


3. Don't purl


Huh?

Listen, there is nothing more irritating in intarsia than turning your work and watching every bobbin twist into a intricate cat's cradle. INFURIATING, actually!

The point here is to never turn your work and purl by knitting FROM LEFT TO RIGHT. This technique is not only useful in intarsia, but also when you need to turn frequently, like sock short rows or i-cord.

I can only show you with the English method, yarn held in right hand -- 'you continentals' may want to look around for a good tutorial for yourselves, it's worth it.




PICTURE INSTRUCTIONS

1. When you get to the end of a row, insert your needle into the BACK of the stitch you just knitted.


5 Tips for Better Intarsia Knitting, by Dayana Knits. 3. Never Purl


2. Loop yarn over the needle towards you.


5 Tips for Better Intarsia Knitting, by Dayana Knits. 3. Never Purl


3. Pull the loop through the stitch.


5 Tips for Better Intarsia Knitting, by Dayana Knits. 3. Never Purl


4. Move stitch onto left needle.


5 Tips for Better Intarsia Knitting, by Dayana Knits. 3. Never Purl


4. Weave in ends along color joins only


When you join a new bobbin you are going to get a big wonking hole. You're going to hate that hole while you knit -- but don't worry, the loose end is going to close it up real nice!

JUST DON'T BE TEMPTED to weave in the end into the block of color. Intarsia is unlike stranded knitting, it's only one layer and you can see through it. Not only might you see the totally different color behind it, but you WILL see the change in tension where you wove.


5 Tips for Better Intarsia Knitting, by Dayana Knits. 4. Weave in along color changes


5. Leave a longer cut end than usual


In my opinion, the more color changes in intarsia, the more fun. I'm STILL working on this stained glass madness!


Stained Glass Madness intarsia cardigan, pattern by Brandon Mably from Rowan Magazine, knit by Dayana Knits


You won't have as many ends as I have here, but you'll have a bunch. YOU DO NOT WANT THOSE TO GET OUT, OMG! Just leave the ends a tad longer than usual. I know this is an afghan and I know the back side is showing... but safety first, yo.


5 Tips for Better Intarsia Knitting, by Dayana Knits. 5. Leave a longer cut end


Hell, it will tell everyone YOU made your masterpiece -- not some machine for Urban Outfitters!

If you're joining in the KAL fun or just want to watch the progress, join us over in the Rowan Yarns group on Ravelry. I'm sure I'll think of some other tips, too.


See my Captain Kaffghan on Ravelry


Rowan Yarns Kaffe Fassett Afghan KAL 2017 starts March 30! From 5 Tips for Better Intarsia by Dayana Knits



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