New C&C Design Work: Artesano Vintage Handknits – Wilma
April 20th, 2012
My new work, Wilma for Artesano Vintage Handknits patterns is now available on Ravelry! The above 2 images by courtesy of Artesano. They just released the first edition of their newsletter. Check this page because you can get a free knitting pattern from the collection.
I am just so excited about it and am so happy about the design. This project is to celebrate the release of their new colours. The above picture is made in Guyana (2133) for main colour and Wholemeal (C969) for the trim and the waist band.
This one above is made with Columbia (8440) for the main colour and Bolivia (0785) for the trimming and the waist band.
I do enjoy knitting with Artesano yarns. For this Vintage Handknits collection, I wanted the design to be something feminine that you can wear indoor when you go out somewhere. I also wanted the structure of the top to be something that keeps you warm but without becoming too hot.
Basically the cardigan has ruffles around the waist and the cuffs. These creates feminine look but also the garment “catches” the air so that wearing this top is always fresh. It has a low V-neck shaping and the waist is shaped with dainty but simple cable stitch over 3 sts.
I made the samples myself and I thoroughly enjoyed it. If I have time, I want to make one for myself
Translating Knitting Patterns from Japanese to English: A Beautiful Design by Mitsuharu Hirose
March 24th, 2012
Being a part of knitting community is wonderful because everyone is always kind and we help each other. It is very similar to my own personal experience living in the UK because without the help of so many friends and even people that I didn’t even know, I wouldn’t be here today.
I do spend majority of my time designing and patterning my own stuff, but I think being a part of society, it is important to do something for others. So today I want to talk about a project I have been working with The Knitter mag since last year. The project is about bringing Japanese designers to the West!
There are many beautiful designs created by Japanese designers but not many are published in English. There is an obvious language barrier and it’s a real shame. I think it would be really nice that more Japanese patterns, and not just my own, are accessible in English for everyone to enjoy!
So this is where I come in. I am an English and Japanese “knitting” bilingual (LOL). I do write and speak both languages pretty well. So why not use this skill for others? The Knitter team made this possible. I have been the go between person to organise the Japanese designers and have their Japanese patterns translated and graded to English. So together, we were able to publish Japanese high profile designers’ work in English.
Mitsuharu Hirose and Hitomi Shida were our very first choice. They are the Japan’s most well-known and loved professional designers. They are true knitting artist. Working with them is just amazing. Now that this project is coming to fruition, with Mitsuharu’s beautiful design called Sanmyaku being published this month, I want to talk about a little bit about the work I did for Mitsuharu, The Prince of Knitting.
Mitsuharu is a pioneer in every aspect of Japanese knitting. On top of all the beautiful designs that he creates, he has published countless books, he teaches all over Japan and appears regularly on TV. This meant that he also became a pioneer to work with me and my clumsy communications (I was so nervous!). But you know what? He was just so superbly professional throughout. He was so nice and was spot-on with the designs, never late to reply, always to the point. I admire and respect him so much!!!
So his design for issue 43 is called Sanmyaku which means mountain range in Japanese. His love of beautiful Japanese mountain views and nature is so well presented in the design. It has a decorative zig-zag motifs with delicate lace collar pattern which is shaped by differing needle sizes.When I first saw the design, I loved it and it gave me goosebumps (LOL).
When I received the pattern files from him for me to translate and grade sizes, I was even more impressed by his precise description. The gauges and measurements were bang-on and it was just a thrill and honour to work on his work.
I was eager to see how the pattern will be published. The Knitter team has really done an amazing work on the photography, technical editing (thank you Melanie!) and putting them together. I felt so happy to be a part of a great teamwork. And I think it is a real success! Thank you so much Mitsuharu for your amazing work.
It’s a great and fun pattern to knit. Do please check it out Happy weekend!
For me, Spring is a great time to knit accessories. It’s small and portable so that I can knit alfresco which is one of my favourite things to do.
Today, I wanted to let you know that Forest Glove knitting pattern, which was featured in Knit Now issue 1, is now available as a single pattern from my shop and from Ravelry.
Many years back, I was hooked on knitting gloves. I just loved working the fingers for some reason (strange I know!). Knit Now is a great magazine for accessories for all levels of knitters so I took an opportunity to create an original glove knitting patterns so that everyone will also get hooked like I was
The pattern is made for a DK yarn (4mm (UK 8/US 6). The sample glove above is made with Olympus Premio (100% wool (of which 40% Tasmanian Polwarth; 114m / 124 yds per 40g ball). It’s available in the US but not so within Europe, so we decided to stock them here in Cotton & Cloud for those who live in European countries. Instead of a single pattern, you can get a pattern and yarn set which works out better value than buying a pattern and the yarn. Do please check out because you can see the gloves in different colours!
So for a fashionable weekend to come, below is the style idea for the glove which I created using Polyvore (if you haven’t tried it, it’s so fun).
It is a simple structure but there is a twist. The lace pattern is shaped like a triangle and each motif repeat is altered as you knit to the centre back where the top of the triangle reaches. One should look nice from both front and back!
Using Manos Silk Blend was a real treat. I love the semi-solid shades and it is so gentle to your hands. it’s just so fun to knit with and the garment just grows fast!
I do love structured garment where there is a “movement” involved. This garment is shaped by a gradual increase in stitches at the front opening edges. This allows the garment to fold like an origami when worn without having to knit so many stitches.
What is good about draped tops is that you can accessorize it anyway you want. Below is an example of how you can use a simple brown belt to have a completely different look:
I have taken a couple of photos behind the scene for making the garment. It is so important that it fits the body nicely so using a mannequin is essential.
I am weighing the garment to calculate the yarn quantity for different sizes.
Finally here is the styling I have done from Polyvore – It’s inspired by sunny holiday with ferns and happy flowers like bougainvillea.
Two patterns I have contributed are Temari Kimono Jacket and Kaelyn Cardigan and Hat:
Temari Kimono Jacket
Temari is a traditional Japanese playing balls. I wanted to portray these magical and playful feel to the baby garment.The pattern is made of 3 stitch cables but you can actually work without using the cable needles (like when you work the 2-stitch cables) if you wish. The top part is worked first and is knitted horizontally. Stitches around the chest is then picked and knitted to work top-down. The outer flap is fixed with a button (make sure you use the nicest and cutest ever button for this! – I used a lovely green vintage button for the yellow version). Inside flap is fixed with a chain-stitch string.
What’s more amazing is that this Temari pattern has been one of the most popular patterns on Ravelry when it came out. So I was gobsmacked and super chuffed! Check it out!
Kaelyn Cardigan and Hat
Kaelyn cardigan and a matching hat is inspired by flowers and woods like in Alice in Wonderland. The garment is knitted bottom-up starting with a mini-scallop edges. The bobbles you can see in the photo is actually a flower head (you can see it clearly on the lighter version below, knitted by Kim – Thank you so much, it’s beautiful!) and you would work the leaves by drawing the stitches from rows below. The main body is worked with yarn-over polka dot patterns.
Christmas has come early in the world of Cotton & Cloud because my new knitting pattern has made it on the front cover of The Knitter magazine issue 39!!!!!
Red Willow, combination of traditional Fair Isle on a modern garment.
The knitting pattern is called Red Willow, and is a combination of traditional Fair Isle on a modern shape of a garment. The yarn used for this is Blue Sky Alpaca sport weight. ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS YARN. If you haven’t knitted with this yarn, it is your duty to do so! (LOL)!!! You will fall in love with it just by looking at them.
What is special about this issue is that talented Emma King has written an amazing masterclass article about re-colouring Fair Isle designs based on this pattern. Really amazing and helpful article and you can see many different colour combinations of the Fair Motif.
There are also many great patterns including gorgeous tops, socks to wear with your boots, and a very fascinating article about Guernsey jumper. I love this issue so much. As usual, the magazine is so superbly compiled. I don’t know how hard The Knitter team work! I think this is the one to keep (you can subscribe the mag from here).
You don't have to do much styling with this top as the piece will catch everyone's eyes.
Like how the model is wearing, you can combine this top with a long T-shirt. Or you could mix it with a nice cotton shirt with jeans. There are so many options because many colours are used.
Show off your knitting skills to people! Make a statement to the world!
For those who are confident knitters, do you do Fair Isle with one or two hands? I do it with two hands.
For those who is not so confident with Fair Isle, have no fear – it’s so fun! I usually knit Continental method and many years back, I just so wanted to knit a serious Fair Isle so I practiced English knitting method really hard. I am so glad that I did it.
Just for fun, I have made video tutorials to help knitting Fair Isle. Although, I think practice makes perfect but hopefully these video tutorials would give you some tips and help for you to enjoy your knit-life even more
New Cotton & Cloud Cable Aran Cardigan Pattern on Simply Knitting Magazine Issue 87
November 15th, 2011
This year is just flying by. I don’t think it is just me feeling this way. It’s time of the year as much as we are increasingly becoming busier than ever. The weather is certainly getting colder in London but this does not stop me from hibernating!
Today I would like to talk about the December issue of Simply Knitting magazine because there is a new Cotton & Cloud pattern in it!
UPDATE: The updated pattern is now available directly from Cotton & Cloud. The printed pattern is also available from MagCloud (elow):
Land Girl is a cable Aran cardigan. It’s seamless and worked top down which means there is no sewing involved (except for the pockets!). If you love vintage clothes, you will love this modern twist to a classic style.For further information, please check the actual item page on Cotton & Cloud website (http://tinyurl.com/c6l9mo5)
Simply Knitting December Issue 87
The new knitting pattern featured in the magazine is a cable aran cardigan knitted with British superwash yarn Jarol.
The garment is as nice in real-life as in the picture worn by the model. If I have time, I would really want to knit the same garment with a different shade of Jarol.
Pocket and button band view.
The garment also features nice leather buttons. I used vintage buttons I had in my button-stash.
Talking about buttons, I recently devised a new method of knitting a tidy and strong buttonholes. It is one over one-row using crochet cast on method and is very useful. So I thought why not create a vide tutorial about it (I think I am getting used to hearing my own recorded voice now, LOL!).
Do you have a favourite knitting technique that you use all the time? Mine is “wrap and turn”. The reason why I am blogging about wrap & turn is because many of my patterns include this technique. So, I thought it is about time for me to do a detailed tutorial about it.
Recently one of my new patterns called Hollyberry Bonnet & Cape have been published in Interweave Holiday Gift 2011 (super hurray!). This pattern is a typical example of wrap & turn technique.The horizontally shaping of the cape and the bonnet brim shaping are all worked using short-row technique.
I was thrilled to read in the magazine that the design is expertly shaped and designed. Seeing such a wonderfully edited and stylised publication of my knitting pattern, it made me think even more that I want to make sure that my patterns are logically constructed, knitable and achievable with 100% satisfaction!
So today I would like to write a detailed knitting tutorial about “wrap & turn”.
WRAP & TURN is one of the methods in short-row knitting. Short-row knitting allows you to change the direction of knitting, creating darts, mitred corners, vertical gathers and curves. It’s used for toe-up sock (the toe bits), horizontal yoke garments and lots of other 3D knitting!
In a nutshell: wrap & turn is worked as taking the yarn to opposite side of work (so if you are on the knit stitch, bring yarn front, if you are on the purl stitch, bring yarn back), slip next stitch from left to right needle, return yarn to working side, then slip st back from right to left needle. This will wrap the base of the stitch. The remaining stitches are unworked. Turn and continue working.
If you want to master all knitting techniques including various short-row knitting methods, I highly recommend Knitter’s Handbook by M. Stanley.
The process of short-row knitting (i.e. wrap & turn) is divided by two stages: 1) The first stage is to do the actual wrap & turn, 2) The second stage is to “erase” the wraps by working together the wrap with the stitch.
STAGE 1: WRAP AND TURN
RIGHT-SIDE of the work
When you reach to the stitch where you need to wrap & turn;
1. Bring yarn to front as if to purl.
2. Slip the stitch on the left needle to the right.
3. Bring yarn back.
4. Bring the stitch from the right to the left needle.
5. Turn Work
You will see that the stitch has a wrap at the base.
WRONG-SIDE of the work
When you reach to the stitch where you need to wrap & turn;
1. Bring yarn back as if to knit.
2. Slip the first stitch on the left to the right needle.
3. Bring yarn to front.
4. Slip the stitch on the right back onto the left needle.
5. Turn work.
You will see that the stitch has a wrap at the base.
STAGE 2: ERASING THE WRAPS
This is done so as to prevent a hole being made between the rows. You can ignore this process if you like the wraps to remain for a decorative purpose.
The most important thing is to pick up the wrap from the right-side of the work. This way, all the wraps would be tucked behind the wrong side of the work after the stitches are knitted together.
You can pick up the wrap either with right or the left needles. I will show you how you can do both methods.
RIGHT-SIDE of the work
METHOD 1) Using right needle (very similar to slip, slip, knit (ssk)):
1. Pick up the wrap from below using right needle, then slip the stitch knit-wise (it’s a little like slip, slip, knit).
2. Re-insert the left needle from behind. Then knit these stitches together.
METHOD 2) Using the left needle:
1. Insert the left needle into the wrap from above.
2. Knit these stitches together.
WRONG-SIDE of the work
METHOD 1) Using right needle:
1. Insert the right needle into the wrap from below (or above). The picture shows the wrap is picked up from below.
2. Then place this wrap onto the left needle. Purl these stitches together.
METHOD 2) Using the left needle:
1. Insert the left needle into the wrap on the WS from above.
Cotton & Cloud Knitting Pattern in Simply Knitting November Issue: Men’s Cable Shawl Collar Sweater
October 18th, 2011
In November issue of Simply Knitting, you can find the lates Cotton & Cloud men’s sweater pattern!! This issue comes with John James Pebble darning needles too. Essential tool for knitting
Simply Knitting November Issue.
This is the first time Cotton & Cloud pattern has been featured in the magazine. I love the contents and would highly recommend you to check it out if you haven’t done so yet. The magazine is perfect for quick knits projects. It is not just ideal for beginner knitters but also great for more confident knitters if you are looking for a nice weekend project or gift knitting. The general layout is so reader-friendly. If there are any technical detail, it will explain in plain English.
Great shot! Huggable sweater I think.
The garment looks so nice on the model. I just love the look – this is exactly how I imagined the garment to be worn! yay!
Knitting for men is quite tricky – my husband is quite specific about what I knit for him. It has to be simple but not that simple. From the knitter’s point of view, there are a lot of stitches to work. So you want to make sure that the project will not be an endless one.
This cable sweater is uses 5 mm needles using circular knitting technique. This means that it knits up fast, which is, for me, a very important factor when making a man’s sweater.
The yarn is also important. It has to be something that you enjoy knitting with. For this pattern, I used Jarol – superwash British wool. it’s soft, cozy and natural. I loved knitting every stitch of it.
When I patterned this garment, I kept the structure as simple as possible. The body is knitted up straight and has drop-shoulder structure. This means that you don’t have do much shaping for the armhole at all. The collar is made of reversible honeycomb cable stitch. The sleeve stitches are then picked up from the armhole and knitted downwards using magic loop method. Basically there is no sewing up involved (except for the front shawl collar section).
My husband wanted to keep it but it had to be sent for the magazine for photography! Tough luck.
If you are not so keen on working with cables (especially for the collar), you can simply change it to ribbing. For single ribbing, make sure you have an odd number of stitches. If you use double ribbing, ensure the stitch numbers are multiple of 4 plus 2.
Since Jarol is a new yarn, I googled to see where you can get them and here are some of them:
Lastly, just a quick note. The shop will be closed for a quick maintenance between Wed to Sun. The site will function as per normal and download will occur as usual. All items purchased during this time will be dispatched on Monday 24th October. Thank you so much for your patience.
Also for those who had problem with the site with Internet Explorer, it should now be solved. If there are any more problems, please let me know. Please rest reassured, there were no dodgy bugs or anything.
Cotton & Cloud Knitting Pattern in Knitting Magazine Issue 95: Valley – Beaded Yoke Sweater
September 30th, 2011
Hope you are all enjoying the amazingly sunny weather in the UK. The world of Cotton & Cloud is mildly chaotic at the moment; preparation for Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace next week, swatching for new designs, training for 1/2 marathon next week….
With all the chaos, there is a fantastic news! You can now get a new Cotton & Cloud knitting pattern in Knitting Magazine issue 95 out this week. When I saw the cover I was over the moon because you can see the design on the front page.
Knitting Magazine Issue 95 November 2011 - My sweater can be seen on the bottom left hand corner of the cover. Check out my name splashed on the cover too! My old friend who I lost in touch saw the mag in Waitrose the other day and got in touch with me - which is also super cool.
The editor Emma has also mentioned about my pattern in her note which is so nice – Thank you Emma!
I love the cool chic styling! Be bold, show off your knits.
In this pattern, there are lots of photo instructions for beads-knitting techniques. I used the combination of both seed beads and wooden beads because I thought i would make the garment really striking and fun.
Lots of photos like this in the magazine. You will learn a whole new world of bead knitting.
The inspiration for this garment is a traditional beaded necklace. This garment is all about the neck line. I have used the Japanese Olympus Premio for this garment. Neat and squishy yarn. It knitted up so well.
Work in progress, photo took at night. It is a top-down yoke sweater.
I think it would look really pretty even if you used less vivid colour. For example, try black or grey yarn with transparent beads to make it a smart sweater. Why not use oatmeal coloured yarn with lots of wooden beads for a country look?
Embellish it with a baggy belt.
For those in the US, I will double check with Emma where you can purchase the actual printed magazine, but for now, you can get a digital version for iPhone / iPad etc from here.
So what’s on your needles now? I will be going to Ally Pally on Saturday. Have a fabulous weekend!