Archive for the ‘designs’ Category

travel plans

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

How sweet is this first sign of spring? I saw it the other day when out for a walk in the park with my photographer friend Helen and her little girl, she of the Isla Cape who you will see (girl, not cape) in my upcoming book of baby gifts, coming out April-ish 2013. There will be a cape, but a new, exciting cabled version.

Things have been a bit topsy turvy here, due to all kinds  of changes. We’ve been getting our home ready for sale, and the FAQ  “where are you going?” is answered by the two of us, in unison: “we don’t know yet!”. It’s true. We don’t.
One short term plan is already in place: at the end of October we’re heading to California, where I’m excited to say I’ll be teaching workshops at Knit Culture Studio,  a lovely knitting shop on 3rd Street  in Los Angeles.

I’m teaching stranded colorwork for the double-layered H@T  November 3rd and 10th, and “finishing Daisy Dachshund” November 4. You can see details here.

Knit Culture are hosting a Daisy knitalong in October, which will culminate in my finishing class.

We’re also planning a knitalong for Daisy on my Ravelry group, beginning mid September. Join us!




After California I’ll be off to London with my lovely daughter to see my gorgeous son. No need to tell you how excited I am about that!

In the meantime, I wanted to share these photos of the Paisley Cuffs from Knitting Everyday Finery. Rebekka, a member of my Ravelry group who lives in Germany, made them for our knitalong. I love her idea of placing the paisley shapes on a striped background, her use of colour, and of course, the matching blue nail polish. How sassy.


And now to what I’ve been knitting lately. As is my habit, I began with a certain yarn, having splurged several years ago on a few hanks of some beautiful hand spun, hand dyed cashmere/silk. I found it  at the Santa Monica Contemporary Craft Market (Hmm, I’ve just discovered in writing this that it will be held the first weekend of Novermber while I’m there….. these are dangerous tidings). It was crafted by talented Lisa Souza.
Because I’ve never known the yardage, only the weight of the hanks, I’ve had a hard time deciding what to make so there it’s been, lingering in my closet for at least 8 years. I’ve now taken the plunge and made myself  Mrs Lovechild, but without the lace edging. It’s a top down shawl and I followed the pattern for the main part but instead of binding off and adding a lace panel, I switched to garter stitch (decreasing 1 in every 10 stitches to change gauge) and worked 18 rows while still increasing. Then I bound off. The neck edging was worked as per the pattern, but without the shawl collar. I’m thrilled with it. The colour reminds me of raspberry ice cream. It’s going to be just right for wearing on my travels.  I can’t wait!

KAL for paisley cuffs

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

Hi Knitters,

I hope you’ve had an excellent week and enjoyed the Olympics opening ceremony as much as I did. My only quibble was the absence of Sir Elton. He wasn’t even in the music medley.

My Planet Purl event is up in the archives if you’d like to watch it. You’ll find it  here.

More fun: I’m hosting a knitalong over on my Ravelry group for these Paisley Cuffs from my book. Knitters are going to make them in some interesting combos, including stripes and multi-colors and they’ve inspired me to do the same. I think I’m going to use this or this with a harmonious color for the paisley shapes.

I’m excited to have finished my Sarah Lund-ish pullover. Oh, the joys of top down construction. No sewing or finishing other than weaving in the ends. I used yarn I’ve had for a proverbial seven years, doubling my pleasure. What a feeling of lightness to have diminished my considerable stash, while gaining a sweater I hope to wear often. I took some clothes to the recycle shop last week, so there is room for something new….

Have I ever mentioned the Naughty Shopper New Clothes Justification Method that I learned about via India and her high school friends? When you buy something new, credit yourself  an amount, like 50 cents or a dollar, every time you wear it. Think of it as renting it from yourself. If you end up wearing it so much that you’re in the black, the purchase was justified. You might even accumulate credit, which you can apply to some of your more reckless purchases that shout “spendthrift!” every time you open your closet door.

I use it for the tie-dyed velvet Collette Dinnigan coat I bought back in 1999 to wear to an imagined turn-of-the-millenniun party that didn’t eventuate. As always, I stayed in by the fire on New Years Eve and have never actually worn it. I will not supply you with a photo even though I have one, because I’m afraid of the raucous laughter that might ensue. It’s that bad. It has hung in my closet ever since, reminding me of my folly. It came with me on my perp walk to the recycle shop last week and guess what? They didn’t want it! No wonder I’ve never worn it. Fortunately my two beloved Commes Des Garcons cotton shirts easily make up for this carelessness because I’ve thrashed them til they’re now approaching tatty.

Here is my new Lundish pullover which I made using the Elizabeth Zimmerman proportions but diverging slightly because I like my necklines a bit lower and wider than hers. This top-down raglan style flatters everyone, even those of us who could do with a bit more exercise. I included a little shaping at the sides.

Now for a brisk walk….

xoxo Mel

live event on Planet Purl

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Hi knitters,

I’m excited (and a little nervous) about being live on Planet Purl Tuesday July 24 at 8 pm USA East Coast time. That’s Wednesday July 25, 12 noon NZ time. If the time doesn’t suit, you can watch it  afterwards, on the website.

I’ll be talking from my home in NZ, about Knitting Everyday Finery and anything else I might be asked. I’d love it if some of you could join in the fun.

Maybe I’ll get my new sweater finished and wear it!  It’s inspired by Sarah Lund of the Danish series The Killing. Am I the last person in the world to know about Lund and her sweaters? David and I rented both series 1 & 2, (30 episodes total), and I managed to knit through them all, even with subtitles. It is riveting! I’m calling my new sweater Series 2: Sweater 1, because it’s inspired by this one

which yes, I know, is red fabulous, but I had some beautiful green tweed yarn which I’ve kept for a few years, waiting for the right project. The pattern on the yoke is, I believe, made with reverse St st, giving it an appropriate hint of scar tissue, but I’ve made my own cable pattern.

Sarah wears the red sweater but briefly, before reverting to her familiar body-skimming styles from the Faeroe Islands. Here she is in the sweaters, wearing her “don’t even think about messing with me” facial expressions and body language. I love a no-nonsense top-down raglan pullover.


You have to love Sarah: she lives in jeans, boots and a sweater, has a cute, age-appropriate boyfriend with great hair, and she can make a psychopath nervous without the use of a gun.

There is an American version of this series, and we watched it also, but I have to say, the costume designer just didn’t understand the charm of the hand knit.

See you soon!