July 23, 2017

70 GIVEAWAY: Modernize Your Colorwork with the Alterknit Stitch Dictionary!

Alterknit Stitch Dictionary by Andrea Rangel, reviewed by blogger Dayana Knits


Alterknit Stitch Dictionary by Andrea Rangel, reviewed by blogger Dayana Knits


Alterknit Stitch Dictionary by Andrea Rangel, reviewed by blogger Dayana Knits


As I've been exploring colorwork and learning to combine strange random yarns into colorful scrapbusting projects, I've been craving some mind-blowing stitch patterns.

Andrea Rangel to the rescue! Andrea is a knitwear designer based out of British Columbia, and you might know her from her book Rugged Knits. How I know her? The ONLY way to dress up your family in matching sweaters: Big Lebowski-esque cardis!!


A Knitter's Dude and Little Dude patterns by Andrea Rangler, from blogger Dayana Knits


(The little one is called Little Dude and the big one is called The Knitter's Dude.)  You know I love Cowichan-style sweaters, especially for little ones. Here's my take on one from Phildar.


Cowichan baby cardigan from Phildar, knit by blogger Dayana Knits


You'll seriously need some Post-Its while you peruse Andrea's new stranded/fair-isle stitch dictionary Alterknit.


Alterknit Stitch Dictionary by Andrea Rangel, reviewed by blogger Dayana Knits


I guarantee you've never have seen most of the 200 patterns she has in there. They range from Turkish to Tudor to Trippy to... Tongue in Cheek. 😏


Alterknit Stitch Dictionary by Andrea Rangel, reviewed by blogger Dayana Knits


The book starts with some really helpful information on creating stranded colorwork:

  1. Choosing colors
  2. How to hold the yarns in one or two hands
  3. How many stitches to leave between floats
  4. How to catch floats while holding yarn in 1 or 2 hands
  5. VERY INFORMATIVE: How to catch floats to control color dominance


Alterknit Stitch Dictionary by Andrea Rangel, reviewed by blogger Dayana Knits


Then come the swatches!


Alterknit Stitch Dictionary by Andrea Rangel, reviewed by blogger Dayana Knits


Here are just some of the ones that got me -- but I'm curious to see other reviews of this book because I'm sure no two people would ever pick the same ones.


Alterknit Stitch Dictionary by Andrea Rangel, reviewed by blogger Dayana Knits

Alterknit Stitch Dictionary by Andrea Rangel, reviewed by blogger Dayana Knits
This simpler one ended up being my favorite actually!

Alterknit Stitch Dictionary by Andrea Rangel, reviewed by blogger Dayana Knits
Love the complexity here, needs a small gauge though.

Alterknit Stitch Dictionary by Andrea Rangel, reviewed by blogger Dayana Knits
A knitted meme.


Alterknit Stitch Dictionary by Andrea Rangel, reviewed by blogger Dayana Knits


Alterknit Stitch Dictionary by Andrea Rangel, reviewed by blogger Dayana Knits
Such thin lines, love it!

Alterknit Stitch Dictionary by Andrea Rangel, reviewed by blogger Dayana Knits
My second favorite, Imperfect is symmetrical yet off somehow.


Alterknit Stitch Dictionary by Andrea Rangel, reviewed by blogger Dayana Knits
For shroomy fun!


Alterknit Stitch Dictionary by Andrea Rangel, reviewed by blogger Dayana Knits
Carve is amazing.


Alterknit Stitch Dictionary by Andrea Rangel, reviewed by blogger Dayana Knits
Would be gorgeous with a self-striping yarn.


Alterknit Stitch Dictionary by Andrea Rangel, reviewed by blogger Dayana Knits


For those of you who love the patterns but would have no idea how to use them -- DO NOT FEAR. If you use her yarn weights and gauge, many of those 200 stitch patterns can be integrated into 5 patterns she includes at the end of the book. A cardigan, a yoke sweater, a cowl, mittens and a hat.


Alterknit Stitch Dictionary by Andrea Rangel, reviewed by blogger Dayana Knits


Alterknit Stitch Dictionary by Andrea Rangel, reviewed by blogger Dayana Knits


The drawback of this is gauge. I think that many of us would not knit colorwork at such a small gauge (these are 30 sts by 29 rows). This might be a herculean task for the designer, but at least one of the patterns would have been more helpful if written for a variety of yarn weights and gauges.

How cool would these patterns look in a super-bulky?!


Alterknit Stitch Dictionary by Andrea Rangel, reviewed by blogger Dayana Knits


If you do want to integrate these stitch patterns into other garment patterns you like, just remember that stranded gauges are SQUARE, while stockinette gauges are RECTANGULAR. In other words: don't replace a stockinette sweater with these stitch patterns, replace colorwork only.

I have to say I was thoroughly impressed with this book and the gigantic amount of work that must have went into it! The book is available from Interweave Press.


Alterknit Stitch Dictionary by Andrea Rangel, reviewed by blogger Dayana Knits


Interweave was kind enough to send me this book to review -- and LUCKY YOU, they are giving away one copy to anyone in the US or Canada!


ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!


To enter, please leave a comment below with your Ravelry, Facebook or Instagram username. You'll get more entries if you:

  1. Facebook: Like this post and MAKE SURE you've liked the page Dayana Knits (you will be sorted differently if you have not, so please please check)
  2. Instagram: Follow @dayanaknits and leave a comment on my post. Extra entries for every friend you tag!
  3. Instagram: Repost by tagging me (not just mentioning me, I don't want to miss it) 


🍀🍀🍀🍀





July 15, 2017

11 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



Leave a comment, I love comments!

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May 7, 2017

3 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"
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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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