Friday, November 18

Busy knitting bee

I had a couple of very busy knitting weeks recently but no good weather to take any photos. My goal this weekend is to finally photograph every single shawl/scarf/hat/mittens from this huge pile! Keep your fingers crossed for a nice sunny day tomorrow!

 Not all of the finished items are on the photo - 2 scarves are still blocked and I'm almost done with another shawl. 

Thursday, November 10

Christmas Sale - 30% off on all shawls & scarves

I think it says it all - let's the Christmas crazy time begin! For all my customers I have a special Xmas gift - a huuuge discount on all items from my Etsy shop - 30%!

Sunday, October 16

Learning new tricks - Intarsia

Yesterday - inspired by a great book I got on sale, Icelandic Knitting Using Rose Patterns, I came up with an idea for a new shawl (actually, the idea was stuck in the back of my head for few weeks now). Here comes the tricky part - garter intarsia! I've never tried it before but it sounded like fun.... lot of fun with 6 small bobbins at a time and a yarn which loves to tangle :-) If you think normal intarsia is easy - try garter intarsia! 

Unfortunately, the book didn't have any clear instructions how to deal with all these colors and how to twist the strands without making holes or the whole thing breaking apart... To my surprise, you can't find much info on garter intarsia on the net or even YouTube.....

After a couple of tries (and different styles of bobbins) I finally found the solutions - my old business cards as bobbins. Now I'm working only with 3 colors but I'd love to add another two, blue and green - that's gonna be fun! I think I need another 50-70 rows to practice before I move to the shawl.

Friday, October 14

Shop Update

I have listed 2 new shawls in my Etsy shop this week - have a look!

The Rainbow Shawl 
Have to say I'm really proud of this one! The colors are great and I love the design. It's a semi-circular shawl hand knitted with pure wool yarn.

Purple Plum Shawl
This shawl is knitted with one of my favorite yarns - Zauberball. Love how the colors change creating a lovely striped pattern. This shawl is based on my own pattern as well.

Halloween for Cats

First of my Halloween themes - today I decided to find a cute outfit for Mr. Julius The Cat. I couldn't stop laughing while exploring Etsy listings! Here are some of my favorites.

Monday, October 3

Knitting a rainbow

I'm knitting my own personal rainbow! I absolutely love how all the colors blend together. This shawl will definitely become one of my favorites, the colors are so vivid and nice. I had this yarn for a few months before I decided to use it, 'cause I really liked the look of the center-pull ball. 

Friday, September 30

Today on my needles

I'm working on 2 new shawls currently - an airy and super soft mohair/silk stole and yummy purple/pink semi-circular shawl. Can't decide which one is my favorite. I absolutely love working with mohair lace yarn (but HATE unraveling it) but I like how the 2nd yarn creates beautiful striped pattern. 

I've also listed one of my last shawls - a beautiful brown triangular shawl knitted with Crazy Zauberball yarn.  You can find it in my Etsy shop.

Sunday, September 25

Madelines Lace Scarf - new Ravelry pattern

I just published on Ravelry a new pattern for this gorgeous lacy scarf .

You’ll need:
  • pair of straight needles or circular needles – 4mm (US 6)
  • lace weight yarn (the grey shawl was knitted with Cashwool by Ice Yarns, 50g/250m per skein, 2.5 skeins used)

The pattern includes:
  • written description row-by-row
  • 2 charts

Stitches & techniques:
  • knit, purl, k2tog, skk, yo, sl1-k2tog-psso
  • pick stitches up along an edge

Madelines Lace Scarf Knitting PDF Pattern

Friday, September 16

Waiting in line

I just realized I have a huge collection of shawls I've finished within last month and never listed! I need an assistant :-) Here you can see 6 new shawls, one is currently blocked and I have 20-30 rows left to knit of another.... Wow - sometimes I amaze myself!

I'm still waiting for my new mannequin to be delivered, so I think I'll use my good old hanger this week and retake the photos later using the mannequin....

What you can see behind the shawls is one of my all time favourite film poster by a great Polish artist - Wieslaw Walkuski. I'm a huge fan of his works!

Thursday, September 15

There's no such thing as too much yarn

I got these beauties yesterday - the white one is for a custom ordered wedding shawl and the other colors are for new shawls. Can't wait to start working with them!

Tuesday, September 13

New lace shawl in Shetland style

I really like experimenting with different styles and techniques of knitting and maybe that's why most of my shawls are one and only. I have to remember to start writing down the patterns for my shawls as most of them are designed by me.....

This one is a variation of a shawl I've found in one of my knitting books. The shawl is inspired by traditional Shetland shawls. It's worked in garter stitch from the bottom to top, with center panel. I have to say I was slightly terrified after casting over 400 stitches on and the first 20+ rows where a huge pita. I'm half done now and the works goes faster with every finished row.

As I rarely work with stitch markers, this time they were a must! Otherwise I'd have given up after first 5-10 rows.... The tiny stitch markers you can see below where made by my Plurk friend, Selana and I have to say that I absolutely love them as they are very light and perfect for lace knitting! You should definitely check her Artfire shop out!

Monday, September 12

Playing with dyes.... again

Here's a new batch of yarn I hand dyed with food colourings over the weekend. I'm still stunned with how well the yarn catches colours. I have to say that I get better results with the food colourings than with the normal, quite toxic dyes.

The first two from the right side are merino/silk yarn and I dyed them for new shawls I have in plans. The other two are nice and soft angora yarn, this time for cute stripped mittens and a matching hat, maybe there will be enough for a cowl as well.

I wish I could spare more time for knitting, dyeing and other crafts but it's quite difficult to do with my day job (which I really like). Can't wait to be retired and to have all days for my hobbies only.... but that will probably happen in 40+ years so all I can do now is to cut one more hour of sleep and spend
it on things I love.

Saturday, August 20

Busy holidays

It's the last day of my summer holidays... buuu... but it was really great! My mom and brother&sister came to Cyprus to visit me. We had lot of fun and spent most of the time on a beach. I'm 5 shades darker than I was 2 weeks ago!

Here's one of the places we visited - the Aphrodite's Beach, a place where - according to Greek myths - Aphrodite was born from a sea foam. It's beautiful, isn't it?

And that's a place really close to Aphrodite - Kourion Archaeological Site, the ruins of ancient palace and amphitheatre.

I also managed to find some time to knit in the evening - the results are great! I have finished 5 shawls, yes - FIVE! Very productive 3 weeks :-) Here's one of the shawls I've finished - a lovely Halloween coloured semi-circular shawl with decorative lace border. I really like how it ended up, I've used one skein of Crazy Zauberball yarn - my new love!

Monday, July 25

Monday Update

So I finally finished the custom shawl I've been working on last week - it looks great! I hope the nice lady who ordered it will love it as much as I do. I knitted the shawl based on one of my own knitting patterns available on Ravelry. I used hand dyed merino/angora yarn.

I've also started working on another project (I know, I'm crazy.... but I can't just sit and do nothing). It's a next shawl, this time knitted with 2 different colors - olive green and dusty blue. The yarn was also hand dyed by me and this idea for a shawl was in the back of my mind for last couple of months.

Sunday, July 24

New packaging for MadelinesWardorbe shawls

To cut on the shipping costs, I decided to change a bit the way I pack the shawls before shipping - I use standard white envelopes, a rubber stamp I made by myself some time ago and the yarn the shawl inside the envelope was knitted with.

I use various colors of ink to stamp the envelopes - I think they look quite cute :-)

Saturday, July 23

On the needles

Today, I have a lovely custom ordered shawl on my needles. I hand dyed the yarn by myself and the customer really likes it (yay!). The color is quite difficult to describe, one time it looks like rose pink, the other - like peach.

That's the yarn before:

And that how it looks on my needles:

I'm using one of my own patterns - Addi Rectangular Shawl available on Ravelry for $5.

Tuesday, July 19

A bit of brown and purple

I just finished these lovely shawls last week - had no time to publish new posts as I've been quite busy with custom orders. I'm working on 2 custom pieces - one for a bride and other one for a groom's mother. How cool is that?

The Purple One
I knitted it using one of my favourite fiber blends, 80/20 merino/alpaca, hand dyed in lovely lavender violet.
You can find it in my MadelinesWardrobe Etsy shop.

The Brown One
This one was knitted using very soft yarn, 70/30 merino/cashmere, in lovely chocolate brown shade. The design is my own. The shawl also available at MadelinesWardrobe shop

Sunday, July 10

Dyeing yarn with food coloring

I was always curious if the food coloring really can dye yarn... It definitely can!  I bought red, blue and yellow food coloring at local grocery store a couple of weeks ago and couldn't wait to try them out. 

All you need  do dye your yarn are food coloring (liquid or paste), vinegar, water & a large pot. You can use any pot you normally use for cooking because the food colorings are not toxic.

The food coloring + vinegar mixture will dye almost all animal fibers.

You need your yarn to be in a loosely tied skein. Fill a large bowl with a lukewarm water and put the skein inside, making sure it's fully covered by water (you can put a small plate on top of it so it'll press the yarn down). Leave it soaking for 30 minutes.

Prepare dyes:
To prepare your food dye, you need hot water, a large cup an food coloring in a color you want. You can always mix different colors (color theory - yellow + blue = green, yellow + red = orange, red + blue = purple etc......).

Remember to wear gloves and an apron or old t-shirt. The food coloring can dye your fingers as well :-)

Fill the cup with hot water and add the food coloring a (you don't have to add much) - you can test the color by dipping a piece of paper towel in the mix.

The fun begins!
Fill the pot with a lukewarm water and add the dye mixture. Take the yarn out of the bowl and slightly squeeze to remove exceed water. Now, put the skein in the pot and gently stir it with a plastic/metal spoon to be sure it's fully soaked with the dye solution.

Now bring the content of the pot to shimmer for 15 minutes, don't allow it to boil. Try to move the yarn as little as possible - if you rub or move it too much it could felt. 

After 15 minutes of shimmering, it's time to add vinegar - it "opens" the yarn and helps it absorb the color making it solid. You will need approx. half of a cup of vinegar - add it to the pot trying not to pour it directly at the yarn. Delicately stir the solution and move the yarn around.

Bring almost to boil and then back to shimmer, let it shimmer for 30 minutes. You will notice that the water gets clearer with every minute. 

After 30 minutes, put the pot aside and let its content to cool to room temperature. When it's done, rinse the yarn with lukewarm water, gently squeeze and hang it in to dry, making sure it's not in the direct sun.

And VOILA! You have your yarn dyed the color you wanted!

Saturday, July 9

Coffee + knitting = perfect lazy Saturday morning

I woke up quite early today and decided to start Saturday the most lazies and nicest way - sipping delicious hazelnut coffee and working on my new shawl.... Mohair is such a nice yarn to work with (unless you have to unravel 5 rows of your project, 350 stitches a row.......) and when it's 75/25 mohair/silk - I'm in heaven!

I've started the shawl yesterday morning before going to work (yay for waking up at 6am....) and it looked like this:

I'm using KidSilk Aura yarn in beautiful dusty blue shade. I just hope that the 5 skeins I bought will be enough to finish the shawl!

And here are my latest addition to the stash - oh my, it's growing fast! I'm still waiting for some yarn I ordered last week. I just wish I could have 8 hands and knit faster :-)

Friday, July 8

Work in Progress 2: lovely mittens and lavender shawl

Last weekend I decided to play a bit with a new type of project - fingerless mittens in a lovely shade of grey. Still haven't decided if I want to keep them for myself or list them in my shop.

And here comes another of my WIPs - a lovely lavender shawl, half done.

Thursday, July 7

New shawl is added to my shop

Here it is! A new shawl just added to my Etsy shop. A large and amazingly soft shawl knitted sideways, with a ruffled edge. It was the first shawl I knitted using this method but I'm already in love with it - just have to think about a clever way to combine knitting sideways, short rows ruffle and more lace!

This shawl is available at MadelinesWardrobe Etsy Shop for $79

Tuesday, June 28

Work in Progress: A no-lace shawl with ruffles

No lace this time! I'm trying a new method of knitting shawls out - from one side to another with short rows to create the ruffles. I have to say I really like it! I'm using my favourite yarn - DK Riots by King Cole, it fits perfectly the simple pattern of the shawl.

Friday, June 24

Work-in-Progress: Believe it or not but it's not a shawl

I decided to take 1-project-break from shawls and ended up knitting this lovely vest/camisole/top. I couldn't find a nice pattern for such a thin mohair yarn so I'm improvising :D

I'm using the same soft and luxurious mohair yarn I used for this shawl. I had 2 skeins left so not enough for a shawl :-) I still haven't decided if I want to keep this camisole for myself or put in on sale.