Thursday, March 27, 2008

na livraria

novas sleeves e capas, disponíveis a partir do dia 1 de Abril, na livraria Centésima Página

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

the gathered (short) pullover

Here it is, my short sleeved version of the Gathered Pullover.

Lately it seems I've been shortening most of my projects' sleeves, and actually preferring them that way. I like dressing in layers, so this suits me just fine.

The yarn I'm not so happy about. It's an acrylic blend (aaack ! acrylic ? really ? I can hear you all screaming out there .. I guess I'm not a yarn snob after all) which will be perfect for warmer weather. It's not the final result I'm not happy about - it's baby yarn so actually very soft and I can use it close to the skin, plus I can machine wash it - but knitting with it was just not so nice. To compensate I've started the scarf using the Manos del Uruguay silk blend yarn, which is heavenly to knit with.

Pattern: Gathered Pullover, by Hana Jason (from Interweave Knits Winter 07)
Yarn: Rosários 4
Size: 32
Needles: 4 mm

Changes I've made: made it longer by 3 inches and added some slight waist shaping (decreased on the sides at 3 and 5'', increased at 8 and 10''); completely omitted the increases and decreases at the bustline; made short sleeves instead of long ones; and had to add a few rows to the sleeve cap or otherwise it would have been too small and wouldn't fit (design error maybe ?)

(to LauraL who asked me for some advice on the Counterpane Pullover, can you please send me an e-mail ? You didn't leave a contact so I can't get back to you)

Monday, March 24, 2008

long weekend

.. and cold, very cold. Amélie curled up in the sun whenever she could, and Maggie didn't leave her bed near the radiator. I was a busy bee preparing the next batch of wholesale orders but the three days seemed to pass by in a second. However there was time for a few things...

Some girl time, including lots of shopping and afternoon tea at the L.A. Tearoom. Lovely place, but a bit pricey and I've definitely had better tea elsewhere. But the décor, I have to admit, is very nice (and the apple cake was not so bad either)

For trying out new places this was just not our luckiest weekend, I suppose. We've been wanting to try this trendy restaurant for a while now, after reading great reviews everywhere, and I came out a bit disappointed. No doubt the food was very well prepared, and the desserts were to die for, but again I thought it was just a bit too expensive for what you get. However, I am tempted to try their "cozido à portuguesa" lunch buffet one of these sundays...

The home baking was much more successful. After sampling T.'s delicious scones the other day I decided to bake some. I used pesto + cheddar cheese and dried sun tomato paste + pesto rosso for the fillings and they were a huge hit. The first batch we took to a friend's dinner on Friday so I baked a second batch yesterday - adding some olive paste and chopped cherry tomatoes - but I don't have hopes they will be lasting very long.

A quick glimpse of the sewing that went on. Sometimes I can get a bit overwhelmed but working with fabrics is always a pleasure. I also knit quite a bit, which I'll show you later.

And some quick light reading, which is all I can handle these days. Picked it up at the bookstore last week, called by its cover. Who can resist some chic lit that features a knitting club ? Not me, that's for sure. A lot of clichés on this one, but entertaining enough and even made me drop a tear or two (and if I didn't knit already it would make me want to try).

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The scoop neck vest

This project is probably the one I had longest on my needles this winter. I started it way back in October or November, finished the front quite quickly but then just didn't feel like picking it up again until recently. Which is strange because I love wearing vests, and I particularly love this pattern. Maybe it was the yarn - I didn't particularly enjoy knitting with it, but I confess that the final result looks very pretty. After I washed it my stitches look so even and smooth, and the yarn itself turned out softer.

I didn't quite realize at the time that the yarn was subtly variegated which I don't think works very well for this, although I love the color. Which means I'll just have to knit a couple more of these, won't I ? Humm, maybe one in red and another one in dark green ... and next winter only, probably (although I could totally picture this pattern in a cotton mix too, to be used in warmer days)

Pattern: Scoop Neck Vest, by Blue Sky Alpacas
Yarn: Gedifra Fashion Trend (3.5 skeins)
Needles: 5 mm

Notes: there's a small error when dividing the front, can't remember exactly but the number of stitches didn't seem to be correct and I ended up with two different shoulder widths. Had to frog back and re-knit. And when doing it again I will probably add a couple of inches to the body length (ribbing).

Monday, March 17, 2008

wip weekend

A. flew on Saturday to Brazil for a conference, which means I had more spare time for crafting this weekend. I didn't finish anything but got a lot of things started instead...

winded up this beautiful yarn - Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend - so soft and in the most amazing colorway (from Paula's shop). It's begging to be turned into a scarf, and I already picked a pattern.

started and frogged a Chérie Amour. I had specifically purchased the right yarn for this project ( Merino Bulky in Wine Red), but after a couple of repeats into the body lace and I realized this would not be a garment I would use very often. So I decided to make a Buttony sweater instead, inspired by this lovely version

the Gathered Pullover is almost done ! The cabling turned out beautiful and I almost decided to leave this as a vest, but will be making a short sleeved version instead (although I think I will make another one as a vest later on)

something I rarely do (bad knitter, I know ...). I swatched for a future project, only because I've heard that Katia merino yarns tend to grow a bit after they're washed. Indeed it grew, enough to make me use a smaller needle size.

traced several sewing patterns for spring. Dresses and tops, mostly.

and on my desk right now .. a wip for the next batch of bookcovers. Not sure when the next shop update will be, since I have several wholesale orders I must get done in the next following weeks, but hopefully it will be soon. Sometimes I really wish the days were more than 24 hours long.

actually I did get something finished :) Baked these apple muffins and realized that silicone molds are so much more practical than normal ones (the gingerbread ones were a gift from M. sometime ago. Very cute, right ?)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

the burda dress

Last week's dress was finally finished, so here it is... It's a very simple design but I love it. I've come to the conclusion that I love this kind of pleated dresses, I just do. Remember this red dress from last summer ? It's one of my favorites, and although it's not clear from the photos it's also pleated at the waist.

The pattern is of the cover dress from Burda Tendances nr. 94 (Oct 07). There are actually a few variations on this pattern inside the magazine, my favorite being this one.I followed it precisely except I made it sleeveless. I did cut out the sleeves, but decided not to put them on just at the end (I did save the pieces, in case I change my mind later on). I used a very soft and somewhat thick jersey fabric, which I think also helped the perfect fit of this immensely.

I can now start thinking about some summer patterns for these fabrics. Last night I've borrowed a bunch of pattern magazines from my friend I. (the macaroons tasted as delicious as they look, by the way) so I think I know what will be keeping me busy this next weekend (that and start working on a new batch of bookcovers, which for those who have been asking will be the next shop update).

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

shop update

A couple of new fairytale pocket bags are available at the shop now, plus the first of the new pocket bags for the spring season (in linen)

I love these new bags, but Maggie doesn't seem too impressed by them ...

(thanks for all the nice comments about the Tilted Duster yesterday, they made my day. It is such a great pattern and I'm quite glad I inspired a few of you to make your own :)

Monday, March 10, 2008

tilted duster

Hello, how was your weekend ? The concert on saturday was amazing, 3 and something hours of very good music by the Cure, and I was jumping and dancing like crazy the whole time. I don't go to that many big concerts these days so this one was especially worth it.

I did finish a lot of things this weekend, and the first I want to show you is the Tilted Duster. I'm totally in love with this piece, everything about it is perfect, the fit, the yarn, the color ... Talking about color, this was extremely difficult to photograph, and I'm not entirely sure that the color is shown accurately here, but that didn't stop me from taking a lot of photos, as you can see...

Pattern: Tilted Duster, by Nora Gaughan, from Interweave Knits Fall 07
Yarn: Katia Fine Top, used double stranded (9 skeins)
Needles: 4.5 mm
size: 32

About the pattern and some technical details ... it is a very snug fit but I had to make very little changes to suit me. I used some discontinued stash yarn I had and was terribly afraid to run out of it before the end, so I decided to knit the whole body first before doing the sleeves just in case. I figured it would be better to have 3/4 sleeves than a shorter skirt (of course, in the end I did have some leftover yarn so all that anxiety was for nothing). Anyway, I made it to the 4th row of the 10th repeat on the skirt and decided the length was fine this way. Also, I made the collar about one inch shorter. And finally the sleeves were done as in the pattern except I added 4 extra rows before starting the final bind off otherwise I think they would've been too small.

For this garment the blocking did wonders. My curled up edges disappeared almost completely, and the skirt drape improved a lot. I did redo the seaming of the sleeve caps twice (my first try was quite pitiful), and the placement of the buttons about a zillion times but now I'm just very happy with the final result. I do have a feeling I'm going to wear this a lot, so I'm hoping this yarn stands the test of time (and frequent usage).