Designer of the Week – Olga Buraya Kefelian

This weekly feature will include knitwear designers that I am particularly drawn to. I will feature some of their designs, why I like them and links to their information as well. If there is a designer you think I should post about and really, really like, then please shoot me an email at fultongirl59@gmail.com.

This week I would like to introduce you to Olga Buraya Kefelian of Olga Jazzy.

Photos courtesy of Olga Buraya Kefelian

One of my favorite designs of hers is the Aranami Shawl which I have seen numerous times referenced on other blogs, Ravelry, etc. Olga blogged about it here. Aranami translates “stormy seas and raging waves” in Japanese according to Olga. The original pattern was done up in Brooklyn Tweed’s Loft yarn which comes in a whopping 32 colors! She used five tonal colors in a gradated move which is one of the things I really love about it. Also, the half-circle motifs used are genius. And you could easily change the color scheme as she recommends in her blog post even showing you different color gradations of Loft that would work. I have not knit this shawl but think it definitely needs to go on my bucket list of knits! So, let me review:

  • gradated in tonal colors
  • reversible
  • good portable project
  • visibly very pleasing to the eye
  • can be done in a variety of color gradations
  • beginner/intermediate project

You can find a very good interview with her here at Brooklyn Tweed.

BURAYA_wp7_blog_conversation_02

Photos courtesy of Jared Flood

The work she did for Jared Flood is so classic with a good touch of patterning added in inventive ways so that the design offers a timeless appeal with a twist. The cables and eyelet work are perfect added design elements. This is “Coda“, a cabled raglan and arched yoke pullover worked in the round from bottom up. While the upper yoke and sleeves are done in one piece from the top down.

In review:

  • classic design with a twist
  • great yarn choice, Shelter of Brooklyn Tweed
  • ribbing
  • three-quarter sleeve length
  • inventive use of patterning (cables and eyelet)

Check out Ravelry for more information from fellow knitters who have made this. This pattern needless to say is for the more advanced knitter. I would be willing to give it a try, how about you? I like it that much.

She fortunately has many more wonderful designs found at Brooklyn Tweed and on her website.

I hope you enjoyed my first designer feature! Let me know if you would like different information not included in this post. Thanks, and have a great day!

xoxo Shannon

Rewind and Rework!

Well I was knitting this sample for the yarn store I’m working at and knew I wasn’t really happy with the way it was turning out. Soooo, I ripped it all out (I know, painful but not too bad) and started over. The whole idea with this Ito yarn was to show off the two different textures of the mohair line, Sensai and the 100% silk line, Kinu. I was knitting and purling every five rows when instead I should have been doing a Stockinette for five rows and Reverse Stockinette for the next five rows. Needless to say, the result has been much better and does definitely give a much better representation of the two yarns. See for yourself:  

 
DSCF8488DSCF8238DSCF8485Can you tell purple is one of my favorite colors?

Are you living a creative life?

Mollie Makes has featured a designer and told her creative journey. This has been the desire of my heart for some time, to be living the creative life. Just how to go about it can sometimes be overwhelming and confusing. So let’s find out shall we?

Here’s the story of well-known Etsy seller, Louise Walker of Sincerely Louise fame.

image

I’ve always loved her creations. I think one thing obvious about Louise is that she found a way to stand out, to be unique.  I also think this requires a certain willingness to take risks, to try something new or just go with what your gut is telling you.

What is it that keeps you from pursuing this creative life? Fear? Lack of confidence? Lack of time? I once read that you just have to start doing something and see where it takes you. I like it. It’s like you are being given permission to “just do it”.

Some more “creatives” I like:

Ashley of Woolful writes a successful knitting blog and prolific podcast where she interviews a lot of fiber folk, journals about her life on a farm living the creative life, and processing yarns from her wool.

Liesl of Buckaloo View writes in a very fresh and honest way about her knitting, sewing, yarn dyeing and podcasting.

Shannon of Very Shannon out of Canada who designs knitting and sewing patterns and has published some great knitting books. It seems she is able to accomplish quite a lot and do it in a very appealing way.

Kate Davies of Kate Davies Designs who resides in Scotland of all places! Who wouldn’t be inspired living there?! Her timeless, spot-on designs always show a lot of creativity, great color and pattern work. Her Funchal Moebius is among some of my favorites of her work.

And these are just to name a few!

I encourage all of you to go for it, just do it and don’t be afraid. Until next time.

Shannon

Aaah, the magic of color!

You know it really is magical and to think I was once intimidated by it! I have always loved and been drawn to color and lots of it. That’s why knitting is so great. Not only do we get to play around with color and make beautiful patterns appear but there is texture involved which gives us such great visual and tactile qualities. And that makes everything even more interesting, right?

    
DSCF8474Here is the missing third color of the aforementioned Icelandic Sweater I told you about here as well as the pattern I am making. I chose the pullover on the left. What do you think? Bit off more than I can chew? Maybe, we’ll see!

       And sitting amongst the ajuga and lavender is my newest project on the needles: a scarf knit in Ito’s Sensai and Kinu, stranded together . The color way is Prune. Pattern consists of knitting five rows and purling five rows. Easy peasy. But since the yarn is so unique and beautiful it makes for an interesting combination. In case you aren’t familiar with these yarns, the Sensai consists of 60% mohair and 40% silk; Kinu is 100% silk. I for one, have never knit with mohair so this is a first for me. And I am glad to be doing it since this has been one of my goals: to try mohair and other different fibers. What are some unique yarns you all have worked with? I would love to hear about them.  

A few Fair Isle faves from Ravelry:

collageimage_medium2

This armwarmer pattern “Ratjetoe” (Dutch for hodgepodge) by Cello Knits would be a great first-time color project with a little ribbing thrown in on top and around the hand and thumb. Use up those color yarns in your stash as well. It is free until June 14th!

Fairisle-067_medium2

Love this three-quarter length sleeve Fair Isle Cardigan by Debbie Bliss. This would definitely be for the more advanced knitter. I am intimidated by this project but how satisfying it would be to finish, right?

FP_DOT_Fair_Isle_medium

And you can’t go wrong with a matching set such as this one! The Fair Isle Scarf, Hat & Mittens pattern by Rosemary Drysdale is also free here. The skill level is listed as “easy” and it only requires two colors. Not bad! I love it, it’s a classic.

Now go knit some color and do good.

New Beginnings

Hello all! It’s been a loooong time, and I’ve decided to give this blogging thing another try. I’m still drawn to this venue, it still intrigues me. The thought of being able to put ideas, designs, thoughts, images out there for all of you to see. To share what inspires me, and maybe you can share what inspires you. We can all benefit. So let’s give it another go, what do you say?

I don’t know if any of you have seen this video Woolful put out the first of this year. It is beautifully done, and I just had to share it with you.

I could watch it over and over, how about you? Also, check out their latest podcast interview with Shannon Cook of Very Shannon. They are so proflific, putting out weekly episodes. So much good stuff online these days. Here are a few more sites/podcasts I really like:

Cast-On – If you haven’t already heard, Brenda Daynes is podcasting again. Yay! Love her.

Never Not Knitting – Really enjoy Alana Dakos’ quirky knitting stories, knitterly offerings and of course her beautiful knitwear designs.

New Hampshire Knits – This is a new one I recently learned about and am really enjoying her knit news and great sense of humor.

The Creative Yarn Entrepreneur Show – Love this new one as well, lots of great info. for all of you crafty entrepreneurs out there.

My latest FO off the needles:

DSCF8222Cream Scarf: bulky weight, knit up in an organic merino wool using a pattern called Pillar Stitch on each end of the scarf and Moss Stitch for the body. This yarn is dreamy to the touch.

Currently, I am working on an Icelandic Sweater (I know, pretty ambitious of me!) using the wonderful Alafosslopi yarn by Lopi in a bulky weight with these color ways (minus the lovely Wollemeise I recently acquired):

DSCF8216

DSCF8345 DSCF8347 DSCF8349 DSCF8387 DSCF8390 DSCF8407 DSCF8408 DSCF8410 DSCF8412

This has been interesting and fun to knit, really not too challenging as of yet. The pattern does promise however more extensive patterning on the yoke and just above the cuffs on sleeves. I was going to show you the pattern, but iPhoto is not cooperating today!

DSCF8350 DSCF8351 DSCF8353 DSCF8400 DSCF8402

I’ve got a little swatching going on here with some new Plucky Knitter yarn (Traveler DK in color ways Chamomile and Green Goddess) I picked up at Stitches South last month in Nashville. This yarn is soooo nice to work with. It has a great hand to it, nice sheen and really good stitch definition. Sorry for the seemingly noticeable color difference between the two groups of photos. The bottom group gives a truer representation.

DSCF8421 DSCF8424 DSCF8433 DSCF8434 DSCF8438 DSCF8439 DSCF8447 DSCF8448 DSCF8450

DSCF8451 DSCF8453

And of course I just had to share what is going on in my garden. It’s spring, right? From top to bottom, the lovely Rhododendron, (they are outstanding this year), luscious Hostas, Evening Primrose, Lavender and Ajuga, and the ever pretty Petunias. How is your garden growing?

In other knitting news, I am excited to be starting a new job at my LYS in Louisville, KY called A Yarn Crossing. If you are ever in the area, please stop by for a visit and a chat! We will soon be getting in a new shipment of Madenlintosh!!

Go knit. Do good.

IFO: Identified Finished Object – Ingenue

DSCF7948

Pattern: Ingenue from Custom Knits by Wendy Bernard

Yarn: Alpaca With A Twist, Hawthorne Pink

Needle Size:  US 8; 5.0 mm

Yay, Ingenue is done! Imagine me doing a little victory dance right now, round and round. Well, what do you think? Do you like it, do you, do you? Okay. I will calm down now. Such a feeling of accomplishment, right? I would have shown you the back but since no one was around to help me with pictures (hence, the selfie). It looks exactly like the front, so you get the idea. This top-down raglan sweater by Wendy Bernard was so easy! I would highly recommend this project for any wanna-be, first-time sweater knitters out there. There are things I would have done differently with this project, (isn’t that always the case after you have finished something?!) such as lengthen the sleeves a tad bit and definitely the body of the sweater by about 4-6 inches. As long as I don’t bend over too much and get a cool breeze blowing down my bottoms, it’s okay. It’s wearable, and I have had several compliments already! There’s nothing like compliments to make a knitter girl like me one happy camper.

collageThe yarn was a pretty good choice. Alpaca With a Twist was a dream to work with, although it is a tad bit itchy to wear. When it starts getting colder, I plan on wearing something under it. The pattern was very easy to follow with only one error in it which was changing one word! So a little tip if you don’t already know, always check the errata on a pattern before beginning.

DSCF7952

The stitch pattern you see is a Ridge Stitch and is not hard to produce. It just consisted of rounds of knitting, P2tog, K1-f/b, and knitting and that is it. As you can see it was repeated on the sleeve cuffs and neckline. And speaking of the neckline, which was a first for me, it is done in this pattern then folded over in half to the WS and sewn to the top of the Yoke. So simple but with such a stunning effect.

DSCF7954Have a happy weekend!

xoxo Shannon

“the knitting circle”, books, and knitting podcasts

DSCF7930

I just finished this great book, “The Knitting Circle” by Ann Hood, and I wanted to share it with you. It is a very touching story about love, lost love,  knitting and its therapeutic benefits and friendships. This was a fast read and so enjoyable. I cried several times through it so consider that a fair warning; have hankies at the ready. It is so well written and gives you courage when you think you can’t put one foot in front of the other.

This is Ann Hood’s only knitting novel that I know of. Of course there is her fairly new book, “Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting” which I have also read and thoroughly enjoyed. Other books by her:

  1. Somewhere Off the Coast of Maine
  2. Waiting to Vanish
  3. Three Legged Horse
  4. Something Blue
  5. Places to Stay the Night
  6. The Properties of Water
  7. Ruby
  8. Do Not Go Gentle
  9. An Ornithologist’s Guide to Life: Stories
  10. An Italian Wife
  11. The Obituary Writer: A Novel
  12. The Red Thread: A Novel
  13. Comfort: A Journey Through Grief

Two of my favorite things: knitting and reading. How many of you listen to audio books? I haven’t gotten into this much yet, I still enjoy holding the actual thing and flipping the pages. Call me old fashioned, but it just seems more authentic and enjoyable. Of course, you can’t knit at the same time you are holding a book but then there is always finding a way to prop it up, right? I do love to listen to knitting podcasts while I knit (Stitcher is a great venue for this). Here is my list of favorites:

  1. Cast On by Brenda Dane (even though she has stopped recording new programs, her long list of archived shows are wonderful).
  2. Electric Sheep (Hoxton Handmade) (she also has seemingly ceased to record new shows, but again listen to her archives).
  3. imake by Martine, a Guernsey girl who talks about all of her craft exploits.
  4. Craft Lit by Heather Ordover – a great place to hear narration of classic novels as well as Heather talk about various subjects including knitting.
  5. Never Not Knitting by Alana Dakos who gives us her knitting updates, projects she is working on, tips, etc. as well as offering guest speakers from time to time.
  6. A Playful Day by a London girl, very enjoyable, lots of knitting talk and love that British accent!

Any other podcasts out there I should know about? Do let me know, I would appreciate it! Happy Tuesday!

xoxo Shannon