Category Archive: knitting diary

Sock in Between Work…

Thank you so much for all your wonderful warm comments on Cloudy Apples. Both Jen and I were so humbled.. Thank you!!!

So in between my “work”, I like to have a random, brain numbing knitting project on the go. I have such thing at the moment.

I have two sisters. One of them is about to have a baby soon. She lives in a Buddhist temple on top of a hill in a cold region of Japan. It is a magical place but for a her, who grew up in a city, it is freezing. So I want to knit her a pair of socks. Time is pressing!

As I have so many stash – and they are good stash – I decided to use one of my very favourite sock yarn. It’s Shoppel Wolle, Admiral Ombre. I don’t have much time nowadays so I am just going to make a long but simple stocking stitch socks. Hopefully it will keep her feet warm as the temple only has tatami and wooden floor…

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Knitting Pictures: August

Wow, time flies! I have been working on various projects both small and large in August.

pain au chocolat

As some of you already know, one thing keeping me sane is eating pain au chocolat. I have been eating so many of them and I can taste the difference between various supermarkets and shops.

Cable knitting.

A small cable project. I am using Artesano Superwash Merino. A lovely versatile yarn. I have been thoroughly enjoying working with this.

Stripe zigzag

Also using the same yarn. My cats approves of the quality.

Motif knitting.

This is another picture of my small project which I am very excited about. This one is Artesano alpaca 4ply. I love them so much that I am thinking of making different designs using this theme in future.

Mini tomatoes.

I did not knit the above tomatoes but I really want to share this picture because these are tomatoes that I grew on my patio. They are so beautiful.

Good Weather & Knitting.

What a beautiful weather we had this weekend!

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I worked on a new design using blue Sky Alpaca. It’s an innovative design and you will see it this coming winter.

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The weather was too nice to knit indoor, so I cycled around London and knitted at different cafe.

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My cats also enjoyed the nice weather. The cat grass is now fully grown so they were able to munch.

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I always wonder what the cat grass taste like. They must be quite bitter.

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Back onto the project.

Stitch & Craft Show 2012 at Olympia Report

I spent a day with The Knitter team at The Knitter & Simply Knitting stand last Sunday at Stitch & Craft Show 2012 in Olympia!

My job was to work along with The Knitter team (Rosee Woodland, Jen Storey and Miriam McDonald) as a part of expert knitter team (!) and to help visitors with any knitting queries. I have been to several shows in London but this one was the first so I was really looking forward to seeing what it would be like!

The show was bigger than expected. It wasn’t all knitting. There were areas for sewing, embroidery, quilting. One amazing thing there was the quilt display. There were hundreds of them and they were all about London Olympics!

The Knitter stand was nice. There was a large wooden table and chairs as well as sofa to chill out and knit. We all had our own knitting project. People came in and out chatting with us or asking about some techniques etc. It was pure knitting and I loved every moment!

There were many companies who had their stand. I kept going to say hi to Joanna Osborne, one of the authors of Best in Show Knit Your Own Cat – an AMAZING Book! I got the book finally as well as a kit to knit a ginger cat. The book was also signed by her :D.

Also there was Hooplayarn, who specialises in chunky fabric yarn (500g cone). They are so cool. I will blog about the company again in detail.

I was also in a mood of a yarn on the day and I got a gorgeous yarn from Artisan Yarn. Anne uses natural dyes to create lovely colourways for her luxury fibre. They were so beautiful and I had a difficulty choosing which one to get – But I chose the baby camel and silk blend :D

Martin Storey and Sarah Hatton were also doing the book signing. I was too shy to walk to them tell them how much I love them! BUT towards the end of the show, Martin walked towards us and got us some gift from Rowan. I was SO NERVOUS and SHY but had to tell him how amazing his designs are and I am a big fan (LOL!). He is such a lovely person and I am so glad that I did! Next time I will say hello to Sarah too!

So I had a wonderful time. It was so nice to spend a day and got to know The Knitter & Simply Knitting team. They are extremely knowlegeable and passionate about their work. I hope those who visited the stand was able to learn more about knitting. I also hope that I will be able to do more of the show for The Knitter. If you want to see more pictures, there are more on my facebook page.

So now what’s my plan for the week? Well, I am working of several accessory designs this week – all for Autumn and Winter collection!

Have a fab week!

Knitting in 2012

Tonsilitis. That was my first New Year event. It took a whole week for me to recover, so apology for not writing for a while. I am better now though! ;)

I get really frustrated when I am ill because I know I could be doing lots of designing, patterning and knitting! In 2012 I can tell you, there will be loads of great things regarding knitting not just within the world of Cotton & Cloud but also within the whole knitting globe.

Jamieson's of Shetland Heather

For example, Jamieson’s of Shetland have introduced brand new colours for their Heather range (above). From what I know, they hadn’t introduced new colours for Heather for 5 years or so until last year. So It is a very exciting news! Cotton & Cloud, of course, will be stocking some in the coming months.

Gomitoli Yarn Angora

I, as a knitting pattern designer, will also be creating many more new patterns both here on my site as well as on various publications. You will see a pretty pattern from this Gomitoli angora yarn in few months time as well as a really lovely top from Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend in Spring.

Manos del Uruguay Yarn Silk Blend

Cotton & Cloud will also start a new project which is called Knit & Sell Scheme. You can now sell anything made from Cotton & Cloud patterns when you join this scheme. It’s so exciting because the aim of this is to empower knitters around the world to sell more hand-knitted items and allow people around the world to enjoy wearing them. At the moment, the scheme is still under review, but hopefully I will be able to introduce it officially in the coming weeks.

grow apricot from pip

Above is the apricot seeds I want to grow. I then realised how metaphoric it is to my work. I hope more people will enjoy Cotton & Cloud in the coming future! :D

Knitting & Stitching Show @ Alexandra Palace 2011 Report

For those who have visited this year’s Ally Pally, have you started casting on for the season? Last week as the knitters’ long-waited Knitting & Stitching Show in London. It’s been the 5th year for me and every year is different.

I think this year was not one of the best. Last year had more going on. There were however, quite a few new discoveries and I want to talk about it today :)

The first thing I have learnt was never to buy anything that you can buy elsewhere at the show. For example, I bought OttLite lamp so that I can see better when I knit at night. I knew I could buy the same thing on Amazon but didn’t check the price. I later checked at home and the price on amazon was £50 cheaper. I think I got conned. I will never do that again.

Now the rest is all good news: Our favourite of the day was Sit Kneel Chairs. This is a small family-run company and make kneel chairs for back and better posture. Everything is hand-made using sustainable Ash wood and you can choose the fabric. It’s fo comfortable.

Sit Kneel Charis

Sit Kneel Chairs

We have also seen a new stall. It’s called merchant & Mills. They sell sewing notions and pattern-making stuff. It’s stylish and I liked it.

Merchant & Mills

Merchant & Mills

Of course, The Knitter magazine / Simply Knitting stall. Many people subscribed on the day and it was fantastic because I do think subscription is worth it.

Lots of people subscribed on the day.

Lots of people subscribed on the day.

Many also brought knitted squares for Refugee charity knitting project :D

How fabulous are they?

How fabulous are they?

It was great to see Fyberspates too. Their yarn is gorgeous. Mary got a skein ;)

Fyberspates sparkly yarn. I so want to knit something with it.

Fyberspates sparkly yarn. I so want to knit something with it.

And Jamieson’s of Shetland. There were loads of people around the area which is good too.

New shade cards are coming out next month for Heather and Marl.

New shade cards are coming out next month for Heather and Marl.

It was also nice to see a Japanese knitting & crochet notion brand called Tulip. They were doing some demonstration on crochet on a jumbo knitting needle.

Crochet and knitting notion brand Tulip from Japan.

Crochet and knitting notion brand Tulip from Japan.

Lots of new publications but one which drew my attention was the “Stitch London” book. I thought it was really lovely. Also IKnit London was there. They had a book there which I was really interested in, but we just didn’t have time!!!!

Some more photos of the day ;)

Colourful roving for felters.

Colourful roving for felters.

Jumbo knit - a couple of stalls were there. This one had circular needles!

Jumbo knit - a couple of stalls were there. This one had circular needles!

Super cute crochet plush. Amazing that someone can actually think of a pattern for these amazing creatures.

Super cute crochet plush. Amazing that someone can actually think of a pattern for these amazing creatures.

Also soap making was new this year. I would love to try it.

Also soap making was new this year. I would love to try it.

Lots of knitting stuff going on at the moment. Make sure you keep you hands moving! ;) ;)

Suspect: Has My Design Been “Adapted” to an Extent That It Is Identical?

I saw something about 10 days ago that surprised me immensely. I think one of my knitting patterns has been copied or at least “adapted” to an extent that it is literally identical. But I won’t say it’s for definite because things like this could truly happen by chance. But thinking again and again about what I saw, it is really quite hard to believe that this happened by chance because it looks exactly the same. I can see some differences but I know why these differences were made. If (that is if) this pattern which is already published, was really an adaptation of my design, it is disappointing that no credit was given to me. Actually this is the second time by different individuals that my designs as been “adapted” to an extent that it is identical. So I decided to voice about it.

I won’t go into detail about this particular case as it is by an individual and not by a large retail giant. If this happens for the second time by the same person, I will take an action. But for now, I would like to talk about my philosophy about this whole situation.

Knitting community is a great pool of people where they are all courteous and give credit to one’s design if a person adapts it – even to an extent that you cannot really see any resemblance to the original design! :D Knitters are all creative and I love being a part of this community.

Getting an inspiration from other designers, brands, etc is natural. I have my own favourite designers that I admire and I am always inspired by fabulous knitting designs that I see on Ravelry and elsewhere. If you are designing a new pattern, you may adapt a certain shape, a certain stitches on a completely different type of garment. I think that’s fine. But when it becomes, the same style of garment, the very similar detail of designs, very similar stitches on a same style garment – then that is a bit too much.

When you suspect that someone has adapted your design to an extent that it is literally identical, it is a difficult feeling. But one thing I can say is not to let this stop you. It’s a cliche to say that “imitation is the highest form of flattery”. May be it is, but you know, the bottom line is all about THE NEXT NEW DESIGNS. There is no point publishing what has been seen before.

It taks a LONG time for me to create a garment from start to finish. I go into a lot of details (scenery, photos, words, colours, texutres etc), swatches, analysing the ideal fibres. So when someone adapts my design I would expect someone to give some credit for the hard work I did.

Although I won't be able to tell you which one it is, these are some of the images I went through to design a garment.

Although I won't be able to tell you which one it is, these are some of the images I went through to design a garment.

I don't just go through inspirational images. It really does take a long time, but that is the beauty of knitting - TIME.

I don't just go through inspirational images. I knit countless number of swatches. It really does take a long time, but that is the beauty of knitting - TIME.

I would like to “turn lemon into lemonade”. So next time I create my own design (which is going to be soon), I will blog about every step that takes from the beginning to the end of creating the final garment. I want to share my method of how I do it, and may be there is something that we can both learn from each other. Life goes on. I have a loving family and kitties with amazing knitting friends. All I need to concentrate is to create knitting patterns that we can all enjoy. :D

Knit Nation London 2011 Report

Hello! Hope you all had a great weekend. I went to Knit Nation with Mary this weekend. The weather in London was very strange (sudden burst or rain and then sunny) but the event was so inspiring that it didn’t matter at all.

Lots of knitting-related photos today. I loved all the stands there. Also it was so nice to meet and make new knitting friends! There were many great stands and designers including Loop London (OMG they had amazing yarns BTW) and Ysolda. I spoke to Alice who is the organiser for this event. She said that Knit Nation might not happen next year mainly due to Olympics but will resume from 2013. So I was very lucky to be able to attend to the even this year.

There were so many amazing stands and I could not put all of them. So here are selected fun-knit-images. All images can be clicked and you will go to their website. :D

Gorgeous shades and quality of yarn. I loved their contry-chic display. Gorgeous shades and quality of yarn. I loved their contry-chic display.

Helen from Crossway Patch showed me how to dye a skein of yarn. I learnt so much from her on Saturday.Helen from Crossway Patch showed me how to dye a skein of yarn. I learnt so much from her on Saturday. She wrote a book called Dye One Knit One which shows you exactly how to dye a yarn so that it would knit up the way you want.

Helen wrote a book called "Dye one Knit one" which shows you exactly how to dye a yarn so that it would knit up the way you want.

Such amazing colours!

Walking further down, there was Jeanette Sloan Designs. Lovely knitting patterns and yarns!Walking further down, there was Jeanette Sloan Designs. Lovely knitting patterns and yarns!

Sweet selection of shades. It felt like I was in the magical English garden. Juno Fibre Arts. Sweet selection of shades. It felt like I was in the magical English garden. Juno Fibre Arts.

Naturally dyed yarn from Reinassance Dying. They had this really cute kit with mini skeins to make crochet or knitted shawl. Naturally dyed yarn from Reinassance Dying. They had this really cute kit with mini skeins to make crochet or knitted shawl.

Original knitting needles from The Little Knitting Company. I am waiting for them to re-stock Namaste knitting bags.Beautiful original knitting needles from The Little Knitting Company. I am waiting for them to re-stock Namaste knitting bags.

So pretty! Liberty tapes from Selvage.So pretty! Liberty tapes from Selvage.

Fabulous Natural Dye Stuio. They dye all their yarn in the most environmentally-friendly manner. It's very difficult to get the beautiful colours with natural dyes but Amanda has conquered this challenge and her yarn is gorgeous! Fabulous Natural Dye Stuio. They dye all their yarn in the most environmentally-friendly manner. It’s very difficult to get the beautiful colours with natural dyes but Amanda has conquered this challenge and her yarns are gorgeous!

Fabulous colouration. All from Natural Dye Studio.Lovely colourway. All from Natural Dye Studio.

If you are looking for rustic and environmentally friendly yarn directly from a farm, check out Well Manor Farm. A great British wool that is fun to knit with.If you are looking for rustic and environmentally friendly yarn directly from a farm, check out Well Manor Farm. A great British wool that is fun to knit with.

For a serious fashion inspiration for knitted garment, you have to check out Tiwsted Angle. Annyal subscription is £9 a year and you get a really great information about the knitting industry. I read three issues which I picked up on the day and they are all very good.

Two more things (but I did not take photos!). If you are a CAT LOVER (which I am), you would be soooooo happy and amazed to see a new book called Best in Show: Knit Your Own Cat. So far, I could not find any great knitting pattern book to knit realistic and cool cats. But this is THE ONE to have. I am so stupid because I forgot to pre-order it at the show… :(

Also, if you pattern your own knitting designs like I do, check out Cathy Scott’s Stitch Mastery. It’s so clever and useful. Next month there will be a Mac version so I am totally getting it :D

Phew, so much knitting, so much fun!

Fyberspates’ “The Scrumptious Collection” Launch Party & Book Review

Have you knitted with Fyberspates’ Scrumptious yarn yet? You won’t regret it! ;) Last Saturday, Mary and I attended Fyberspates’ Scrumptious Collection Launch party.

The Scrumptious Collection Vol.1

The Scrumptious Collection Vol.1

The party was held at Dancing Hen’s Studio. When we arrived, there were already many people there. There were people from The Knitter magazine and many accomplished knitters who I so wanted to meet for a long time! It was truly an amazing day for me.

Jeni, the person behind Fyberspates.

Jeni, the person behind Fyberspates.

It was lovely to meet Jeni. She is so nice and is the kind of person who is really fun to chat with. And of course she is passionate about her yarn.

Challow - designed by Jen Hewlett

Challow - designed by Jen Hewlett

This pair of gloes are so well-thought design. I tried it on at the party and it felt so nice.

Hinksey - designed by Lily France

There are 20 patterns in the book; 4 patterns each for lace, 4ply, dk, aran and chunky weight. Usually if I find a couple of patterns that I like in a book, that is considered as a good book (a bit like a music album). I was so impressed to find many designs that I would definitely knit in this pattern. I guarantee you would love the book.

Arncott - designed by Jen Arnall-Culliford

Arncott - designed by Jen Arnall-Culliford

The designs are feminine, yet not too girly. I could see they were all carefully chosen and designed for knit-ability, wear-ability and practicality.

Alvescot - designed by Jen Hewlett

Alvescot - designed by Jen Hewlett

I love the fact that the book is created by people who are all passionate about knitting. The patterns are all well written and Technical Editing was carried out by Jen Arnall Culliford (JenACKnitwear) who also designed some of the garment and is a pro.

I tried some of the garments and fell in love with them.

Hethe - designed by Judy Furlong

Hethe - designed by Judy Furlong

Tirrold - designed by Jen Arnall-Culliford

Tirrold - designed by Jen Arnall-Culliford

So inspirational and thank you for such a wonderful day!! Happy knit week! ;)

FO: Cable Knitted Dress

Last week, I told myself that I will sleep before 11pm and wake up at 6am. It’s been hard but I think I am getting used to it. I feel great because I get majority of things done way before I usually do :)

I am so happy to show you that I have finally finished knitting for myself the women’s version of Ocean. This was one of my new year’s resolution and the pattern is now available from my shop.

FO: Knitted Dress for Women - Ocean

FO: Knitted Dress for Women - Ocean

I casted on last December, hoping to finish if before for the end-of-year-party I was attending.. but I could not finish it!. The New Year came and I was determined to complete knitting. The good thing is that because this garment is short-sleeved I knew I would be able to wear it well into spring.

This was taken the end of the year. I took this to knit when my flat was still being refurbished.

WIP...

There are few other patterns that I am working on (including adult version of Cable Yoke Jacket) but this one was something that I wanted to do first, mainly because I wanted to knit it for myself!

So cool to wear what you have made and walk around the town :D

So cool to wear what you have made and walk around the town :D

I have modified the original girl’s version slightly to suit grown-ups by making the neckline shallow and giving it a high-neck instead of a crew-neck. When I was talking to Jamieson’s last year during the Knitting & Stitching show, they were saying how it would be nice to wear this with a nice pair of boots.

I do love high neck jumber. It always add a touch of retro-ness to the garment.

I do love a high neck jumber. It always adds a touch of retro-ness to the garment.

I haven’t yet managed to take a photo of myself wearing it but I will promise to do that soon.

Pattern: Cable Knitted Dress for women from Cotton & Cloud
Yarn: Jamieson’s of Shetland Heather (charcoal 126)
Needles: 5 mm (US 8) and 4.5 mm (US 7)