Tulips

The lovestory between me and Caterpillargreen Yarns Shawl Stripes is still going strong! Today I’ve released the next shawl in my series to explore the gorgeous yarn with non-triangular shawls.

Tulpan (Swedish for tulip) is a crescent-shaped shawl. It’s the first time I’ve designed a crescent shawl, and – oh, the possibilities! So much more to try out, so many ideas! Why haven’t I done that sooner?

I hope you like Tulpan as much as I do 🙂

I’ve used two lace patterns and a knit-on border. For the second lace pattern, which is of Estonian origin, you can work nupps, as I did for the sample, or beads.

Work both lace patterns garter stitch based, both stockinette based or mix and match – whichever look you prefer.

From now until July 10th, end of day (Switzerland time), receive the pattern for 50 % off on Ravelry. No coupon code needed, just put the pattern in your cart.

Size: 184 cm [72.5”] wingspan, 47 cm [18.5”] deep

Gauge: 15 sts = 10 cm [4”] in garter stitch after blocking
(Gauge is not vital for this project, but it will affect the size of the FO and yardage.)

Materials:
Caterpillargreen Yarns MCN Shawl Stripes (170 g [6 oz], 548 m [599 yd], 70 % superwash merino, 20 % cashmere, 10% nylon), 1 hank size XL, colorway Concrete and Tulips
Or approx. 548 m [599 yd] fingering weight yarn of your choice
(Designer’s note: I had only 1.2 g left of my skein)
3.25 mm [US 3] 80 cm (32”) circular needle, or a size that gives you a fabric you like.
(Designer’s note: I’m a loose knitter, so you may want to try bigger needles if you aren’t.)
2 stitch markers
Optional: 273 beads to use instead of the nupps (size 6/0, or take a length of yarn to your store and see if the beads fit and you like the look)
Optional: Small crochet hook or dental floss for beading (I use a 0.75 mm crochet hook)

Skills needed:
Garter tab cast on (explained in the pattern)
Simple lace knitting
Nupps (see Techniques on page 6)
Knitting on a border (explained and tutorial linked in the pattern)

 

First peacocks, now butterflies

Yes, my little collection of animals continues! After the Peacock at the Beach Shawl in April, I published Butterflies in the Sunset Shawl today 🙂

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Just like the Peacock Shawl , it is knit in Caterpillargreen Yarns Shawl Stripes – I’m still madly in love with the yarn and I love that it works just as well for shawls that are not triangular.

You can buy the tech-edited and test-knit pattern on Ravelry, and soon also on Loveknitting and Patternfish. On Ravelry, receive 25 % off from now until June 5th, end of day (Switzerland time). No coupon code needed, just put the pattern in your cart 🙂

Size: 145 cm [57”] wingspan, 67 cm [26.5”] deep

Gauge: 22 sts = 10 cm [4”] in stockinette stitch after blocking
(Gauge is not vital for this project, but it will affect the size of the FO and yardage.)

Materials:
Caterpillargreen Yarns MCN Shawl Stripes (170 g [6 oz], 548 m [599 yd], 70 % superwash merino, 20 % cashmere, 10% nylon), 1 hank size XL, colorway Ocean Sunset
Or approx. 535 m [585 yd] fingering weight yarn of your choice
4 mm [US 6] 80 cm (32”) circular needle, or a size that gives you a fabric you like.
(Designer’s note: I’m a loose knitter, so you may want to try bigger needles if you aren’t.)
4 stitch markers, 2 of Color A, 2 (preferably open or lockable) of Color B

Skills needed:
Garter tab cast on (explained in the pattern)
Increases (yo, central double increase; see Abbreviations on page 8-9 and photo tutorial for cdi on page 10)
Decreases (k2tog, ssk, k3tog, sssk, central double decrease, p2tog, ssp; see Abbreviations on page 8-9 )
A few WS rows of the Butterfly Chart are patterned.
Knitting on a border (explained and tutorial linked in the pattern)

I hope you enjoy the pattern 🙂

Peacock at the Beach

Things are really crazy here at the moment, but I managed to publish a new pattern today!

Receive 25 % off with the coupon code “Beach” (without the quotation marks) until April 15th (end of day, Switzerland time)

When I first got my hands on the gorgeous shawl-striping yarn by Caterpillargreen Yarns, I knit it into the top-down triangular shawl that it is meant to be. But after that, my mind began to wonder – what would happen if I broke the rules and tried other shawl scapes for the yarn? Well, the yarn works just as wonderful as for triangular shawls! Peacock at the Beach is the first in a series of shawls using Caterpillargreen yarn for shawls that are not triangular. The pattern is written out as well as charted. Instructions for a shawl without the border, using just one XL skein of the Shawl stripes yarn, are given as well. Tech edited by cupani, test-knit by dancerdawnky42, Gurimall, KnitterScarlet and pinhappy.

Size: 96 cm [37.75”] in diameter

Gauge: 22 sts = 10 cm in garter stitch after blocking
(Gauge is not vital for this project, but it will affect the size of the FO and yardage)

Materials
Caterpillargreen Yarns MCN Shawl Stripes (170 g [6 oz], 548 m [599 yd], 70 % superwash merino, 20 % cashmere, 10% nylon), 1 hank size XL, colorway Peacock
Regia 4-ply (50 g [1.76 oz], 210 m [230 yd], 75 % wool, 25 % nylon), 2 balls #540, Royal
Or approx. 950 m [1040 yd] fingering weight yarn of your choice, 548 m [599 yd] for the body and 400 m [440 yd] for the border

Instructions for a shawl without the border using just one XL skein of the shawl striping yarn are given as well

Crochet hook for cast on
A set of 4 dpns 3.5 mm [US 4], or a size to give you a fabric you like
3.5 mm [US 4] 80 cm [32”] circular nedle, or a size to give you a fabric you like.
(Designer’s note: I’m a loose knitter, so you may want to try bigger needles if you aren’t.)
1 stitch marker of Color A for the beginning of the round
Optional: 23 stitch markers of Color B to use after every pattern repeat

Skills needed
Emily Ocker’s Cast On (see Techniques on page 6-7 )
k-tbl
Simple lace knitting
All stitch patterns are written out as well as charted

Spring

It’s March! It’s spring! Well, I have to ignore all the snow outside of my windows to really believe this, but I’m good at ignoring snow, as long as I’m inside 🙂 And my new socks help as well – the gorgeous colors from String Theory Colorworks gorgeous yarn remind me of the warmer days soon to come!

If you need some help dreaming about spring, too, you can receive the pattern for 25 % off on Ravelry with the coupon code “spring” (without the quotes) from now until March 6th, end of day (Switzerland time).

There’s no need to panic and grab nail polish or hairspray for the runs in these socks – they make up a beautiful design element! The stitch pattern is super easy to knit – if you can knit and purl, you can do it! Detailed instructions for the heel and toe are included. The stitch pattern is written out as well as charted.
Many thanks to my tech editor cupani and my testknitters Dreamchaser0202, Elizabeth11, Ichbinsalso, Kathinka14 and KnitterScarlet.

Size: S (M, L)
Finished sock circumference: 18 cm [7”], (20 cm [8”], 23 cm [9”])

Gauge: 30 sts and 46 rounds = 10 cm [4”] in pattern after blocking

Materials:
String Theory Colorworks Entanglement Self Striping (100 g [3.53 oz], 421 m [460 yd], 75 % merino, 25 % nylon), 1 hank Aconite
String Theory Colorworks Entanglement Heel/Toe (25 g [0.9 oz], 105 m [115 yd], 75 % superwash wool, 25 % nylon), 1 hank Avocado (optional)
2 mm [US 0] double pointed needles, or a size required to get gauge.
(Designer’s note: I’m a loose knitter, so you may want to try bigger needles if you aren’t.)
3 stitch markers

Skills needed:
Knit and purl
Working in the round
K2tog, k3tog, ssk, p2tog (s. Abbreviations on page 5 for all decreases)
yo

Supermodels

A few days ago I had a super fun photoshoot with my cats as models! The photos, especially from our Tigi, came out so great that I want to share them with you. 🙂

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Tigi was a little bit sceptical at first.

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But after a few seconds she found out that it took her only one single step to get out of that strange thing I had put on her and she remembered how much she loves being photographed.

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Of course I had to take photos of Lena with the cowl as well. Lena loved it! No wonder, the Malabrigo Merino Worsted is sooo soft! She began cuddling the cowl right away.

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Unfortunately, she was in a dark corner of the bathroom, but she’s my baby – so of course I still love the photo! 🙂 Many thanks go to Lindsay Lewchuk (KnitEcoChic on Ravelry) and her photoshop skills for saving the photo 🙂

The cowl in the picture is available on Ravelry in German and English. The English version will be available on Patternfish and Loveknitting as well, soon.

This cowl, using a beautiful Estonian pattern, knits up really fast in the gorgeous Merino Worsted by Malabrigo. It is a pleasure to knit and a pleasure to wear, and the stitch pattern is much easier to work than it looks! Charted and written instructions for a short as well as a long cowl are included.
Many thanks to my tech editor cupani and my test-knitters dancerdawnky42, ellyB, gilby, hydrangealover, Ildolcesuono and tamewe (Englisch version) as well as Adiantum, littlewoman49, pafor, SINessi and SusiKlein (German version).

Size:
Short: 66 cm [26”] around, 15 cm [6”] high
Long: 117 cm [46”] around, 15 cm [6”] high
(Designer’s note: The second half of the repeat is a little bit wider than the first half)

Gauge: 1 pattern repeat = 7.3 cm [2.9”] wide and 15 cm (6”) high after blocking

Materials:
Malabrigo Yarn Merino Worsted (100 g [3.53 oz], 192 m [210 yd], 100 % merino), 1 (2) hanks #21, Cactus Flower, or approx. 110 m [120 yd] (195 m [215 yd] worsted weight yarn of your choice

The yardage given includes 10 % extra from what I used. As I knit very loosely, my testers normally use less yarn than I do. One hank my be enough for the long cowl. If you don’t want to buy two hanks, consider using a contrast color for casting on and binding off.)

4.5 mm [US 7] circular needle
(Designer’s note: I’m a loose knitter, so you may want to try bigger needles if you aren’t.)
1 lockable stitch marker

Skills needed:
Knit and Purl
Increases (k1, yo, k1 into one stitch; M1FP, M1RP; 5-into-9; see Abbreviations for all on page 5)
Decreases (sssk, sssp, p2tog, p3tog, s2tog-k1-p2sso; see Abbreviations for all on page 5)

From now until February 4th, end of day (Switzerland time) use the coupon code “Tigi” (without the quotes) on Ravelry to receive this pattern for 25 % off!

 

Designer Interview: Triona Murphy

Merry Christmas everyone! Santa brought me another designer interview to share with you 🙂

Triona Murphy’s Ravelry store offers everything your heart might desire, be it for adults or children!

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How did you come to knitting?
Unlike many people who have a parent or friend who taught them to knit, I grew up without any knitters around me. When I was nineteen, I found a “Learn to Knit” kit that someone had left at my parents’ house and decided to give it a try. I wrestled with the horrible blunt needles and acrylic yarn for a few hours and was totally hooked! I learned everything else I needed to know from the internet.

How did you come to designing?
I bought a sweater that I wore a lot, but there were all these things I didn’t like about it. It was boxy with no waist shaping, had an unflattering neckline, and the cables were all out of proportion. So I decided to design my own roughly-inspired version. When I posted it to my Ravelry project page, I was very surprised when a whole bunch of people said they would purchase a pattern for that sweater. I studied every pattern I could get my hands on and then gave it a shot. That sweater (Chandail) is still my most popular pattern to date!

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What inspires your designs?
I’m always on the lookout for design inspiration. I take tons of pictures with my phone of buildings, textile patterns, nature, and just about anything else that catches my eye.

What is your design process?
For a self-published design, I usually start with a brief sketch of the item and a whole bunch of swatches to find a stitch pattern/yarn combo that I like. Then I do some preliminary math and start the sample. I’m trying to get better about doing the math for all the sizes before I start knitting, but I’m usually too impatient!

Do you have a favourite fiber?
Definitely wool! I adore the bounciness and resilience of it. I like superwash and non-superwash equally (which isn’t that common, I think). They’re both perfect for certain things.

If you could only knit/crochet one type of item, what would it be?
Probably hats! I think they’re perfect for trying out colorwork, intricate cables, and other stitch patterns. They’re so small that you’re done before you have a chance to get bored. And I wear a lot of hats, so they get a lot of use, too!

Which of your patterns make for really great gift knitting?
I’m really fond of one of my newer patterns, the Land Under Wave hat. I think it looks very impressive for non-knitters, but it’s fairly easy and interesting for the knitter to work, which is always a bonus.

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Do you have any new patterns coming out during the GAL that you want to talk about?
I just released a new baby/child pullover pattern, Hoist the Sails. My son did the modeling for me—he’s so patient with me! I really like the simplicity of this pattern. I ended up knitting two samples and didn’t mind at all. It makes for great TV knitting.

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Designer Interview: Robynn Weldon

Today’s designer interview is with Robynn Weldon. No matter if you’re looking for cute and practical things for children or for adults – you’ll find something in her Ravelry shop! Shown below is her Elfbaby Hat.
LL_pixi
(c) Lorna Lynch
1. How did you come to knitting / crocheting?
My whole family are into needlecrafts, so it feels inevitable that I joined them. I picked up basic knitting and crochet skills as a small child, but it was in my teens, in boarding school, that I really got hooked. Boarding school was really boring and it took me a while to make friends; I loved being able to sink deep into my own creative projects and ignore everyone else. (Probably didn’t really help on the making friends front. Oops.)
2. How did you come to designing?
In my family, designing (or improvising) was just part of the craft. Nobody ever followed a pattern. So I always designed my own projects; and for a long time I dreamed of sharing patterns for them. But I was scared of submitting to the magazines, and I kept putting things off. Eventually I had my first pattern – the cabled cardigan Twist & Shout – published in Knitty, which was hugely exciting, but right after that I had my first baby. And she turned out to be really demanding. So I didn’t make much headway with my design ambitions for a few years after that. I still struggle to carve out designing time and brain capacity from my childcare responsibilities, but with a 6yo and an almost 3yo, it’s finally getting easier.
3. What inspires your designs?
I have a folder full of “inspired” ideas, prompted by maybe a fashion silhouette, or a textural idea from tree bark, but honestly, the things I actually make are usually motivated, more than inspired. They solve a problem, be it “what can I do with this yarn?” or “how can I keep my toddler’s neck warm?”. I think in my head I’m a very different kind of designer to the one shown in my actual portfolio, because I think of my design sensibilities in terms of all those creative ideas, not the patterns I’ve actually made real so far!
4. What is your design process?

It starts in one of two quite different places. Either I decide to make X item in Y yarn, and I spent some quality time swatching different stitch patterns to determine the look of the thing – this was, for instance, the process behind Am Meer – before plotting the whole thing out and finally knitting it. Or I get tickled by a particular concept: a construction trick, say, or a stitch idea – like Wiggly Warmers’ keyhole cables, or the reversible lace I designed for the Konstanz scarf – and I work the whole thing out in my head before trying it out, and quite possibly finding that it doesn’t work at all the way I want. Then I tinker until it does (or until I hate myself). Either way, I try to write (or at least grade) the full pattern before I knit it up, but I don’t think I’ve quite achieved that yet. At some point the knitting overtakes the writing. But I’m improving. These days there’s a lot more planning, and better notes, than when I started.

(c) Armin Rüede

5. Do you have a favourite fiber?

I’m pretty smitten with alpaca, but I’d have to say wool, overall. It’s so versatile, and so forgiving of imperfect stitches. Loosely woollen-spun Bluefaced Leicester, all lustrous and soft and drapey and bouncy – that’s probably my hot favourite.
6. If you could only knit/crochet one type of item, what would it be?
Sweaters. I haven’t been making nearly enough sweaters, but I think I’m a sweater knitter first and foremost. It was YEARS before it ever occurred to me to knit an accessory. (I obviously didn’t live in a cold climate.)
7. Which of your patterns make for really great gift knitting?
I think my whole portfolio, which is almost entirely accessories, is very giftable! The Elfbaby hat is a perfect gift for new babies – it includes three border options, so a lot of knitters have knit it more than once. The Runaround mitts were pretty popular in last year’s Giftalong; they’re very fast to knit in DK yarn, with a simple but effective (and unisex) stitch pattern. I’m particularly proud, though, of the Wraparound mitts and matching cowl. Same fast-moving stitch pattern as Runaround, but in sock yarn and with a very cute shaping trick. And you can get a matching set out of one skein of sock yarn. All of those patterns are sized from toddler to adult, so you can take care of your whole family!

(c) Armin Rüede

8. Do you have any new patterns coming out during the GAL that you want to talk about?

I’ve been working on another toddler accessory, a combo hat/scarf item. If I can get it out quickly it would be great Christmas knitting, but I’m not sure it’ll be out in time. I’m just recovering from a few weeks of illness, which has obviously set me back on everything, so we’ll see.
 

 

Designer Interview: Inês Sousa

Todays interview is with Inês Sousa, designer of gorgeous shawls! Check out her patterns here or her blog here.

  1. How did you come to knitting / crocheting?

My mom taught to me how to knit as a child, at least the basics – I knew how to purl (that’s the dominant stitch in Portuguese style of knitting) and the single cast-on.

I learned everything else (many years later) through books, videos, tutorials, etc… so I consider myself a self-taught knitter. I also learned to crochet as a child and I think I was fairly good at it but it didn’t stick.

2. What inspires your designs?

My work is many times inspired by nature, pattern stitches, yarn, poems, music and everything else that surround me.

  1. What is your design process?

I try to translate my somehow chaotic inner world into stitches, so sketching is very important to me and so is making swatches. If it works, I proceed with the pattern, if it doesn’t; I adjust it by correcting the ratio of increases/decreases, changing the pattern stitch, working the transitions in a different manner, switching the yarn, and so on…

  1. Do you have a favourite fiber?

I particularly enjoy wool, it is warm, durable and very enjoyable to work with. I even like its odour. Plus, it blocks beautifully.

  1. If you could only knit/crochet one type of item, what would it be?

That’s easy, shawls! I can’t quite explain why I find shawls so satisfactory to knit but I really enjoy knitting them. I tried so many different techniques, pattern stitches and types of construction. I’ve knitted top-down shawls, bottom-up, sideways, on the bias, on the bias and spiral. I’ve combined different textures – delicate lace, ingenious slipped stitches, cute ruffles with squishy garter, it never ends! The possibilities are infinite and the outcome can be so different from each other.

  1. Which of your patterns make for really great gift knitting?

I’d say Espiral, it’s mindless knitting, it has a great texture and a cute detail in the inner edge being both easy and fun to knit and wear. It starts with only a few stitches enlarging size gradually due to strategic increases and bind-offs. I specially enjoy the versions worked with long color transitions showcasing shawl’s diagonal lines.

Espiral

Do you have any new patterns coming out during the GAL that you want to talk about?

I expect to release Tulipa Espiral shortly, it’s a sweet shawlette, totally seamless, knitted on the bias with a pretty pattern that combines a lace detail on the outer edge (little tulips) with garter stitch. It has a cool spiral and asymmetrical shape, being a fun pattern that plays with colours, short-rows, increases and is finished with a lovely picot bind-off.

TulipaEspiral

(c) for all photos: Inês Sousa

Designer Interview: Ashwini Jambhekar

The fourth designer interview this year is with Ashwini Jambhekar, check out her gorgeous sweaters on Ravelry!

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1. How did you come to knitting / crocheting?

I started knitting at age 4. My mom used to knit, and when I displayed interest, she taught me. My first project was an acrylic worsted-weight scarf in garter stitch for my grandmother, who lived in the heat and humidity of Mumbai, India! By second or third grade, I made a vest for myself using a Leisure Arts pattern (and a lot of help from my mom). I learned to crochet around the same time, and also embroider, sew by hand, and macrame (there were lots of 1970s craft books in our house!). I knit a couple of sweaters in high school, but I really started up again in grad school, when I discovered the LYS Artfibers in San Francisco (now sadly closed), which displayed a lot of knit garments in styles that were attractive to younger customers.

2. How did you come to designing?

I started designing gradually. My first “designs” simply involved substituting one lace panel in a sweater for another one. Around the same time, I was passed along a big box of acrylic yarn (from the 60’s to 80’s) from one of my mom’s coworkers. I decided these yarns wasn’t worthy of pattern investment (and few patterns existed for such yarns), so I practiced my design skills by creating my own garments. The yarns and samples at Artfibers were inspirational, and the store manager was very generous with describing how the FOs were made and helping to customize projects; so I got a lot of my early design education there.

3. What inspires your designs?

I draw a lot of inspiration from sewing patterns/ sewn garments. For example, I had been sewing garments with princess seams in the past year, and I tried to recreate that look in my Demeter Tank using cables to follow the lines of where the seams would fall.

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The central panel of “A Little Lace V-neck” is inspired by the central pleat in the Sorbetto tank from Colette patterns.

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4.What is your design process?

I usually start off by figuring out what style of garment I want to make– length, sleeve type, neckline. Then I decide which element(s) I want to feature, and how. Finally, I decide on the types of stitch patterns I want to use for each featured element (e.g. large lace, small lace, cables), followed by a lot of swatching!

5. Do you have a favourite fiber?

Definitely anything with a high wool content. I find wool to be reliable– it has great memory, and doesn’t change dramatically after blocking. I hate being surprised by my yarn! There’s also some flexibility with blocking wool, so you have some room for adjustment while blocking if the gauge is not exact.

6. If you could only knit/crochet one type of item, what would it be?

Probably pullover sweaters. First of all, it’s cold here and I need all the sweaters I can get to make it through the winter. Secondly, I find pullovers are great for experimenting with different shapes, styles, and placement of interesting features.

7. Which of your patterns make for really great gift knitting?

My “Fountains and Cables” scarf is a quick and easy knit, and is written with options for different yarn weights and scarf widths. It’s also an easy scarf for the recipient to care for, as it doesn’t require extensive re-blocking after washing to keep its shape. All my other patterns are garments, so they’re much more suited for selfish knitting!

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8. Do you have any new patterns coming out during the GAL that you want to talk about?

I decided to enjoy the GAL this year and not scramble to get any additional pattern published. However, I’ll be working on a ballet-inspired collection in the new year, so stay tuned for that!

(c) for all photos: Ashwini Jambhekar

Designer Interview:Justyna Kacprzak

It’s time for another designer interview! Justyna Kacprzak makes the most beautiful amigurumi!

hoofing around

1. How did you come to knitting / crocheting?

I first learned to knit – it was very early, when I was still a little girl 🙂 I was amazed at how mum is skillful with her needles and wanted to give it a try too. I learned to crochte much later, when I was in high school and that was after a few fails! There was a point at which I thought I’d never be able to crochet, but hey, here I am and I think it’s both thatnk to my determination and my wonderful teacher – my aunt.

2. How did you come to designing?

Oh, that was totally unplanned! I wanted to sell handmade bears, but since copyrights vary from country to country and not all designers are ok with people selling projects made from their patterns, I decided to make a pattern for a simple bear, so that I could sell them without any risk. Since it was all ready, I decided to put it on sale in my Etsy store and it actually sold really well, so I started creating patterns and it got so interesting that I can’t stop!

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3. What inspires your designs?

That’s always the hardest question! I guess it can be anything! Sometimes a dog crossing the street, someone’s T-shirt or even my previous designs.

4. What is your design process?

I rarely sketch – so I mostly just take a hook and start crocheting. And tehn I frog. And crochet some more 🙂 And it goes like this until I’m happy with the result.

5. Do you have a favourite fiber?

For my amigurumi I love a good quality acrylic and cotton blend, for clothes and accessories for myself or my family my number one is either merino or alpaca.

6. If you could only knit/crochet one type of item, what would it be?

Will my fans be disappointed if I said hats? 😉 I just loooove making them – no sewing, almost no end weaving, quick and useful. Does it get any better than this?

7. Which of your patterns make for really great gift knitting?

I think the best would be my “I Promise You Pineapples” shawl – it’s pretty, quick to make and useful.But so are my bookmarks or tape measure covers. I think everything depends on who we want to make a gift for 🙂

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8. Do you have any new patterns coming out during the GAL that you want to talk about?

Oh, I wish I’ll manage to finish, test and publish the crochet version of my Swinging Kitty Ornament. I got a great feedback when it went live last year and was asked for the crochet version, so I hope I can make it this year!

swinging kitty

(c) for all photos: Justyna Kacprzak