Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Gloves to You!

The Rolling Thunder Glove pattern is available as a free ravelry download. Some of you already found it on my website as a freebie, but now the rest of the knitting world will be discovering it!



The Rolling Thunder glove is an offshoot of the Rolling Thunder sock pattern that was published in Knitty.com in the Spring 2006 issue. The gloves came about because I wanted to make a new pair to replace the samples that walked away with my mom after she visited me last fall, but I just couldn't quite make myself do the pattern as written... hehe. This familiar to any of you? No, I thought not...

There will be a class featuring these gloves at Three Bags Full knit shop in January, so be sure and sign up for that if you are here in town and you thnk you may be interested... it is a fun glove pattern with a hemmed cuff, beads, and a nicely shaped thumb.

May your holidays be peaceful and filled with joy! All wishes for a happy season of light, from snow blanketed Vancouver...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I Created a Monster

Sometimes teaching people how to make socks is like sowing seeds in the wilderness.. This picture from Susan, brought to me via another student's Blackberry, was one of the best presents I have ever received!

And here's to sockoholic bliss!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Buried Treasure, Unearthed

What is it about cables and beads that is so magical together?

Many of you have been asking about the Buried Treasure Socks pattern that appeared in Yarn Magazine last year, as the magazine is hard to find here in North America.

Good news.. the pdf pattern is now available for purchase on my website and on ravelry!

When I designed this sock, I had wanted for a long time to make intensely cabled socks, and here they are... elegant socks with cables galore, plus a “buried treasure” of glittering beads. The cables cause the leg to draw in more than usual, so the number of leg stitches has been increased to compensate. These extra stitches are then decreased in the gusset with a special technique.



The yarn I used for this pair is Sweet Georgia's Handpainted Sock, and the pattern requires approximately 226 (254) size 8/0 beads. The socks are sized for women’s medium and large. Retail price is $6.00 and download is immediate from either source.

I actually added this pattern to my projects a couple of days ago but ravelry was having a little trouble with accepting pattern uploads then... happy happy, all is fixed now...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

New Year, New Lace

Harbour Lights has some new fans over at the IcelandicLaceShawl group on Yahoo. They voted to start a KAL featuring my pattern on January 1, 2009. I have become a member of their group and they are a very enthusiastic bunch over there!

You too can join them if you have been hankering to knit this shawl...

What a great way to start the year...

Harbour Lights Shawl back view

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Rings of Harmonia

Harmonia's Rings is now available!

This newest addition, a warm and graceful cowl design, was born during the One World Moebius knit along that started right before the US election in November.

This is reflected in the name of the cowl, “Harmonia’s Rings," after the Greek goddess of contentment and harmony. The spiral shape of the center and the outlying rings of the cowl look exactly like the ripple effect that happens when a droplet falls into a pool of water…

Thanks to all for their encouraging remarks about the project so far! I love this piece which is quite sculptural and very cozy and warm. It is made in rings of telescoping pleats that arrange themselves cozily around your neck, and the cowl can also be stretched up over most of your head if desired, making it a sort of honorary wimple.






I used two yarns for these samples, Blue Moon Fiber Arts' Peru in Valkyrie (the purplish sample modeled by Christa Giles) and Berrocco Ultra Alpaca in Tanzanite mix (the tealish sample modeled by me). I believe any soft, warm worsted weight yarn would work for this design.

You may notice also that the design features a beaded picot bind off at the edge of the spiral opening. I couldn't resist adding beads, although there aren't many.. but I reserved a place of honor for them.

This is a design that will perplex your knitting (and non-knitting) friends, and I guarantee that no one will be able to figure out how the thing was constructed!!! It will be our little secret. The actual knitting is easy and suitable for beginning knitters. You will need to know Cat Bordhi's Moebius cast on. But you will be a better person for learning this... you can thank me later.

May contentment reign...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

More Mystery

It's finished!

Soon, soon, soon... the pattern will be available.

And in other news,

Some of you will have noticed that I have started to design for subscription clubs like the Year of Lace 2008. I had a very good experience with that one, and that has encouraged me to do more this year.

One such club I that will be contributing to in 2009 is the "Embrace the Lace" club from Woolgirl, who is planning a lineup of lace beauties for your knitting pleasure.

The club will run from March 2009 to March 2010, and features a total of 8 shipments, 8 well known lace designers, and 8 different handdyed yarns with custom colorways, all based upon the theme of "Seven Heavenly Virtues" of lace, which include Faith, Hope, Charity, Fortitude, Justice, Temperance, and Prudence.

Enrollment has been very good, according to Jennifer (Woolgirl's owner), and there is still a little bit of time left if you would like to sign up for the club. Enrollment is open for two more weeks so be sure to investigate the club if you think you may be interested.

I think it has been said that you can never have enough lace projects in the queue...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

New Mystery

What happens when you combine a luscious yarn, a highly textured self-pleating pattern, and a mysterious Moebius structure?

Well, this! (Shown in its current, half-completed state...)

It's a Moebius cowl/wimple/neckwarmer with a mysterious beaded spiral in the middle! I am quite pleased with how this version is coming out. (A previous, much smaller version had been distributed to students in my Moebius Knitting classes at Three Bags Full over the last few months).

Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Peru in the Valkyrie colorway. Beads: matte raku blue/purple iris 6/0 seed beads from Earth Faire.

I have been so inspired by the response to the One World Moebius KAL on ravelry. Please keep those pictures and posts coming! So wonderful to see you all in Moebius land. If you haven't looked us up, do join in if you have half a mind to do so, and happy knitting wherever you are...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

One World

Come and join the One World Moebius KAL, now in progress over on Ravelry here. All are welcome...

And here is my newest Elegant Arrows, in Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn, with a beaded picot edging. The picture was taken by my hubby as a rainy Vancouver dusk was falling outside. How nice to have a new bit of bright color in residence!

With enormous gratitude to Cat Bordhi, who brought us the gift of Moebius knitting... thank you Cat!

Monday, November 3, 2008

As the Moebius Turns...

So turns the world.

Tomorrow the US will have a chance for a new beginning, and I truly hope that the healing can then begin. Read on for a way for all knitters to join in together and help in this process! I have a little *prize* at the end for all of you as well.

I just received a wonderful message from Cat Bordhi about a way to heal ourselves and our very disturbed and torn world through the humble act of knitting a Moebius scarf or wrap... which is one of my most loved and cherished things to do, and I know many of you share this feeling.

For those of you who have always wanted to knit a Moebius but didn't know how to start, Cat has generously provided a video explaining the cast on, which you can view here.

Now I hand the *microphone* over to Cat... please read!!!

November 3, 2008

Heal the Election Wounds and Embrace Humanity with a Moebius

By Cat Bordhi

I awoke this morning realizing that publicly knitting a beautiful Moebius scarf as I begin to float (I live on an island), drive, and fly toward Stitches East on Tuesday would be a beautiful and profound public expression of my hopes and dreams for the world, as well as a symbol of the healing that our country will need after the election.

If you want to follow along, I recently made a Youtube video which will clearly teach you how to knit a Moebius whether you have my books or not. Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVnTda7F2V4

So - here is why the Moebius is a perfect expression of the best of humanity, and the healing of the fractured country and world that I trust is coming:

1. The Moebius *appears* to have two surfaces and two edges - ie, polarities such as black and white, right and wrong, good and bad, Republican and Democrat - but when you follow the surface around you will run right into your starting point without ever having changed to the other "side." For there isn't one. Everything flows into itself. Polarities are an illusion. What lies beneath the apparent polarities is oneness, beauty, and grace. In a Moebius you can see it, hold it, be awed by it. Once the frenzy dies down, hopefully those with opposing views will slowly rediscover their common humanity.

2. Like the surface that flows into itself, so too does the Moebius's single continuous edge - thus everything is recycled. In fact, I would not be the least bit surprised if the ultimate alternative energy involves a Moebius form or dynamic. By the way, the recycling symbols (2 are in common usage, one with a single twist, the other with 3) you see everywhere are actually Moebii (too hard to say Moebiuses - try it!). I think we are all hoping for significant and effective new discoveries in alternative energy - and the Moebius would be a great symbol for this global effort.

3. Once you complete the first ring (it takes 2 rings to make a round - watch the video) of your Moebius, you are in for smooth and happy sailing. All you have to do is to knit the stitch in front of you, then the next stitch in front of you, with not a care in the world for what came before or what has shifted into the "future". You'll look at the mysterious shape on your needles and wonder how "those stitches" can ever come to you . . . well, they will, without your needing to understand how. And they will all come in perfect sequence, resulting in a beautiful and graceful Moebius. The Moebius rewards your faith in its mystery with the easiest knitting you will ever do. And the result is always graceful - for this is the very nature of the Moebius. You can knit along while you watch the election results, while walking, while standing in line at the store, wherever you may find yourself during these days to come. You will be knitting the graceful healing and ease that I believe is flowing toward us, requiring only of us that we stay true to the powerful sense of loving kindness that resides in the center of every person. No one could ever possibly understand enough to make the healing happen, but if we all just knit the stitch before us, as they come, marveling at the innocence and sweetness of it all, with our oh so familiar continuous strand of yarn, the healing will happen. We need not understand either one fully - the Moebius or the world. They both operate with inherent grace.

4. I looked through my stash and chose a luminous yarn in deep watery colors from Blue Moon Fiber Arts - LSS (Luscious Single Silk), and did not realize until I looked at the label that the colorway is absolutely apropos: Lunasea. Tina no doubt named the colorway after the moon and the sea - and after lunacy. So let the lunacy of the election months give way to Lunasea - the grace of the moon, the sea, the Moebius, and the beautiful heart of humanity, of all people, the "us" and "them" who merge into one. I shall be winding the skein on the ferry tomorrow, then knitting all the way to Baltimore. I hope to see many, many of you there.

With love from Cat Bordhi

Note: If you alternate sets of knit and purl rounds, you will have purl ridges all around. Then your Moebius will not curl along the edges when you are done.

Now back to me...

In honor of Cat's generosity and the importance of the day, I am releasing a Moebius scarf pattern for you all to enjoy as a free download. I call it Elegant Arrows, and it features a lovely and graceful herringbone rib that showcases many yarns, from simple and elegant (like the one pictured) to colorful. I also include full instructions in the pattern for doing a beaded picot edging, which is a favorite way to bind off a Moebius as it accents the crossing point so well.

Download the pattern from my website here

or from Ravelry here.

I am now doing one in Noro's Silk Garden Sock and I am very happy with how beautiful it is to knit a Moebius and watch the colors changing en route... pictures soon.

I hope all of you decide to join Cat and me in this worthy event, starting tomorrow... Happy Moebius knitting to all!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Lace and Shakespeare

What do these two have in common, you say?

Well, more than you might ever think!

Here is a big, big hint... Design is now is progress!

Yes, that's right, another subscription lace club for 2009! This is another gem, folks, so get over and reserve your spot if you enjoy my designs, and the other stellar lace designers that are slotted for the club in 2009.

I had Great Fun deciding which Shakespearian theme was to be mine, but there was really no contest. I love Rosalind, my favorite heroine in the works of Shakespeare. The new lace shawl will have elements of the best of the story, complicated but with a neat resolution (just like the Bard's plays)...

You articulate, well-read knitters, leave me a line if you love W.S.!!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Uno Amore, Up Close and Personal

Kristine asked for a closeup of the scarf, so here it is... ask and you shall receive!

Click for bigger.. hope this fills the bill.

She also asked for information on how the beads go into the design. Here is a description of sorts.

First, the beads go across the beaded purl edging. After the edging is complete, the pattern separates into several patterns across the row, of which two are beaded: the right and left cables and the Fan pattern, which only contains 3 beads in itself but after 20 rows becomes the Beaded Center Pattern which features one centered bead every fourth row of the scarf. Most of the 500 beads go into the beaded cables, and you could still get the impact of beads by just beading the center stitch in my opinion. Hope that helps you sort out your bead priorities!

In other news, I have written a draft of the Rolling Thunder Glove pattern but still need someone to test the larger size. Is anyone up for that??? Please contact me here or at my regular email address, siviaharding AT shaw DOT ca.

In other non knitting news, I have taken up learning the ukelele! Hehe... more on that later, perhaps MUCH later...

Happy almost Canadian Thanksgiving, everyone!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Two Lovers

Now available: the Dué Amori Gloves and Scarf.

Two Lovers... Lace and beads provide sinuous lines in this poetic glove and scarf duo. Fan and Leaf lace motifs are framed by twisted ribs in the gloves and mirrored beaded waving cables in the scarf. The gloves are in two lengths, sized for women’s small, medium and large.


The Dué Amori Gloves and Scarf Set is designed for fingering weight yarn and requires 400 yards of yarn for the scarf and 180 (300) yards for the shorter (longer) gloves. I used a US 2-3 (3 mm) needle for the scarf and US 2 (2.5 mm) needles for the gloves, which are knit in the round. The gloves are sized in two lengths for women's small, medium and large.

The set shown above is worked in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Seduction (50% merino, 50% tencel, 400 yds/100 g) in the Quilla colorway. The set required two skeins. The pattern features beads as a prominent part of the design. The scarf requires approximately 500 size 6/0 beads; the shorter gloves, 114 (122, 130) beads. The longer gloves require 134 (142, 150) beads. For the samples, I used off-white pearl finish seed beads.

Below, the longer gloves are worked in Seduction in the Tanzanite colorway with silver lined amethyst beads. The longer pair requires one skein of yarn.





Thank you, Jamie and Francesca, for the modeling, camera clicking and pinch hitting all around!

And especially a huge, huge thank you to my test knitters, Carin and Kat, who are my saving angels and I bow at their feet...

The pattern is available for sale (so far) on ravelry, my website, Patternfish, and the Knitting Zone as a pdf download. More soon I hope!

Happy knitting to all... enjoy.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

An Unexpected Pleasure

I just spent most of the weekend in the company of one of the knitting world's most treasured teachers, Susanna Hanssen. And what a pleasure it was.

The West Coast Knitters' Guild sponsored the weekend, and it was superbly organized by their president, the lovely Holli Yeoh and her staff, and well housed in a setting with plenty of natural light and great food.

But the main attraction was, of course, Susanna. She is a great teacher. Now I know what my friends who go to Madrona are going on about when they rave about her. Friday evening was an overview of Norwegian knitting, which has always intrigued and fascinated me. I am considerably more informed now than I was before Susanna's talk, and came away with a wonderful flavor of the past and present traditions. Susanna is a very entertaining speaker, and we were treated to many anecdotes and stories along the way.


Yesterday was the true prize though... a whole day's workshop on the Bohus Stickning company and the legacy it left, crowned by the opportunity to actually view and touch (with white cotton gloves, natch) about ten of the original vintage Bohus garments and accessories. We even got to knit a little wristlet in yarn and colors that are certified to match the *real* Blue Shimmer. Be still, my heart.

Susanna, in her wisdom, allowed us to get right into the knitting first, knowing that as knitters we would be figety unless we could be doing something with our hands. We over ambitiously, as she put it, dove into the tiny skeins and wound them into tiny balls. I looked over and Mel, my workshop mate, had wound hers into the most perfect little balls I had ever seen, so I had to take a picture:


As pleasurable as the knitting was (and it was VERY pleasurable), it was ecstasy to fondle the Bohus garments. Susanna encouraged us to mentally take the sweaters apart and figure out how they were constructed, which wasn't always easy. Those Bohus knitters did things in ways that were designed to be haute couture, not knitterly. But mostly, it was so much fun to imagine the hands that knit the sweaters and other items, and the people who had purchased and worn them. Some of them had been altered by their owners, or replaced parts of them when they were worn out. It was evident that they had been very loved.









I know... sigh. It was heaven.

What's left to do but knit one? I will saving up for a while to do this myself, but you can go here to order your own beautiful Bohus sweater kits containing the same gorgeous merino/angora yarn that we had for our little wristlets, handdyed to exacting specifications in Sweden by Solveig Gustaffson. We also found out that Susanna volunteers her time to translate the English patterns from their original Swedish. If you would like to "pay it forward" in honor of her dedication and selflessness, you are asked to give a donation to Knitters without Borders.

We also learned that there will be a magnificent museum exhibition about the Bohus tradition next year (2009) in Minneapolis. Do go if you can.

The parting feeling for me was awe in this wonderful company, which schooled knitters in their techniques and left us with an enduring legacy of beautiful, artfully designed and executed garments. A tradition which I can only hope to continue in my own way...

Oh and by the way? I finished the first opera length Due Amori glove...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sock Summit

You are all now officially invited to the Sock Summit!

If you knit socks or have ever wanted to, this will be THE thing to do next year, hosted by the amazing trio of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, Cat Bordhi and Tina Newton of Blue Moon Fiber Arts. The unholy trinity of Knitting Out of The Box. Need I say more????

And get a load of this:

Hehe.. more on this as the news breaks!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Progress and More Progress

So... just to catch up, since I have been back from the retreat, most of my time has been spent visiting with my Mom (she went back home a little over a week ago), answering emails and such, and working at the shop.

But a few things have been getting knitted too.. and here is a little progress report on those.

First, the Dué Amori items now include a pair of long gloves in the works as well as a pair of shorter (gauntlet length) gloves, and the scarf is close to being finished.

The scarf, like the shorter gloves, is being done is Blue Moon Fiber Arts Seduction in the Quilla colorway, with 6/0 pearl beads. More pictures promised when finished... it promises to be one of the nicest eye candy lace pieces yet, if I do say so myself. Here it is shown about one-half blocked, one half unblocked, and still on the needles for the rest.

The longer gloves are in progress too, and they are lovely in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Seduction in the Tanzanite colorway with silver lined matte amethyst beads that Nancy gave me during the retreat... thank you my dear! They are perfect for this yarn! Here you see the Fan Pattern that begins all of the gloves, and then the beaded lace pattern that continues up most of the length of the glove to culminate in the leaf pattern on the hand, which I promise to show when it's done!

This shows the decreases on the back of the long, opera length glove. I think this view is quite elegant actually...

And here is actually something JUST FOR ME! Yes, I DO knit for myself sometimes, strangely enough! I picked up this beautiful Rowan Felted Tweed yarn at the Beehive when we passed through Victoria on the way to the retreat, and I truly love working with it. The Leaf Yoke Pullover pattern is from a Classic Elite Summer booklet but it will be very fall-like by the time I am done. I love the in-the-round top-down construction and it is a perfect foil for the detailed knitting I am doing otherwise. I am making several mods of course, starting with the leaf cable, which if you can tell is a bit fatter and rounder than in the pattern. What can I say... it's probably pathological the way I just can't do a pattern as written... ahem.

And here is something I had to start, with a great new yarn we are carrying at Three Bags Full, Malabrigo Sock. Hehe... my mom literally walked away with my only samples of my Rolling Thunder sock pattern so I just had to start another pair... right? This one is working up beautifully (if I do say so myself) in the Tiziano Red colorway with some amazing Toho triangle beads. I am really enjoying the knit, even though the most interesting part is done and now it is just ribbing and regular top down sock stuff, which makes it my designated car and bus project for the next little while. Here is a pic of the sock top so far:

I guess I am getting the Fall Knitting Bug...

The Retreat!

Here is the report on the Retreat over the weekend of September 5, long long overdue...

First, a few words about the enchanted and magical spot where the retreat was held. The house of Sage and Linden is situated right on the ocean, in a little community called Cobble Hill, between Victoria and Duncan on Vancouver Island. I hope I am describing this accurately, as I am the worst in the world at directions, maps, etc. Anyway, here is a view from the porch, which Sage and Linden get to see from their bedroom window... Note the treetop level view and the ocean peeking through the trees. I saw eagles and ravens circling BELOW, which was amazing.


The house itself is graciously proportioned and perfect for a retreat. Here is our workshop room:


and another view of the lovely, spacious room:


We had three days of fun, which included a visit to a nearby Alpaca farm. One alpaca really wanted to check me out, and it looks like she was whispering in my ear. They were such lovely, sweet animals.


The farm owners allowed us to feed them and even wander around in the girls' pen, which was great, and some of us got a bit mobbed.




That is Sage in the midst of an alpaca mob. Sage has a special relationship with one of the babies too:


I think she makes a lovely alpaca mommy.

You all probably know by now that the subject of the retreat was the new pattern, Dué Amori, which is a glove and scarf set. Some chose to start the glove and some the scarf, and I hope all had a great time and learned some things too.

I must say that I think I learned the most from getting to know these talented and ingenious knitters. I certainly enjoyed them all! Hi to everybody!!!!

And now I am ready to do another one, as long as Sage and Linden don't mind another swarm of knitters at their eagle's nest of a setting...

You can see the whole pictures set on Flickr here. Enjoy...