Wednesday, February 18, 2009

New Physicsknits pattern - Kowloon Cardigan

I'm thrilled to release my third PhysicsKnits: Designs by Connie Chang Chinchio design, the Kowloon Cardigan. For this garment, One Planet Yarn and Fiber provided me with Handmaiden's Flaxen, a luxurious blend of silk and linen; which makes for a light and summery cardigan. Linen and silk take up the dye differently, leading to a delightful tweedy look while feeling cool next to the skin. Mirrored panels of lace impart a pleasing symmetry which is set off by a wide, shallow shawl neck collar and bands closed by buttons and button loops. I chose natural, wooden buttons (from my trip to M&J Trimmings with Melissa and Ysolda) to complement the richness of the ivory colorway; but a more polished and dressy look can be had with mother of pearl buttons. Kowloon, an area of Hong Kong, is the birthplace of my mother and literally translated, means nine dragons. Eight of the dragons correspond to the eight mountains in the area; with the ninth representing the emperor.

When the weather turns hot, I find myself wanting to knit with cooler, smoother fabrics like cotton, linen, or silk. A feminine lace cardigan seems particularly well suited for these drapey fibers and so with this design, I was aiming to create a cover up for those spring or summer nights when the weather turns unexpectedly cool. To balance the airiness of the lace, I used moss stitch textured wide bands and a slight shawl collar. My friend, Jess, graciously agreed to model for me again and her husband, Vitaly Fomin, did the photography.

Finished Size: 31¾ (34½, 37¼, 40, 42¾, 45½, 48¼, 51¼)”/80½ (87½, 94½, 101½, 108½, 115½, 122½, 130) cm bust circumference. Sample measures 34½”/87½ cm. Suggested ease: 0”/0 cm to 3”/7½cm positive ease.
Yarn: Handmaiden Flaxen (65% silk, 35% linen) 100 grams/274 yards (251 meters) in Ivory – 4 (4, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6) skeins
Needles: Body – Size 4 circular needles. Moss Stitch Bands – Size 3 circular needles. Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
Notions: Tapestry needle; stitch holders; stitch markers; C crochet hook.
Gauge: 23 sts and 32 rows = 4”/10 cm in lace st using larger needles.

Purchase the kit (with the pattern included) for all sizes at One Planet Yarn and Fiber. Choose among the great colors in stock at One Planet; kit price reflects a great discount on the pattern and yarn!

You can also purchase the pattern here on my blog bly clicking on the photo or the button below:

I use the Ravelry cart, but you don't need a Ravelry account to purchase the pattern. Ravelry will re-direct you to paypal and will email you a link to download the pattern.


Monday, January 05, 2009

Last FO of the year

I eeked out a final FO in the form of a pair of baby socks for my husband's childhood friend's 4 day old baby. The pattern is Ann Budd's Better than Booties Socks. I forgot to continue the chevron lace pattern down the foot, but I think they still look okay. It was kind of hard to knit with the dark blue yarn and I only had my mother in law's mother's old 8 foot inch double pointed needles to work with (since I left my double points at home), but otherwise this was an enjoyable knit.

It's my first short row heel and toe and I'm hooked. I love the way it looks!

I hope everyone had a good holiday.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

New Twist

I know I'm super late posting about this, but the winter issue of Twist is up. I have two patterns in it this time, Broderie and Garbo. I'm so excited to be a part of this new online magazine; it's such an honor to have my designs alongside the knits of the wonderful designers featured in this issue.

Broderie is a delicate lace cardigan with wide bands of leaf lace bordering the front edges and high waist. The lace band at the waist is knit first and then stitches are picked up above and below the band for the body. The rest of the cardigan is worked in an allover stitch called the wildflower knot, which I thought particularly appropriate given the leaf shapes traced out in the lace bands. I had a lot of fun knitting this. And because the body is knit in one piece and the sleeves are knit in the round up to the sleeve cap shaping, there's very little seaming and finishing to do at the end. The cardigan is closed with two buttons at the waistband. For fun and because I personally like getting a peek into the origins of a design, I'll post my original sketch for this cardigan with a few notes about the details scribbled out in the margin:

The other design, Garbo, turned out a little differently than I imagined. At first, I really wanted to make this cardigan with a lace or light fingering weight yarn. I wanted it to be in tweed, so I was thinking of Habu's Tsumugi Silk. The scarf part I intended to do in a single strand of the yarn and the body I wanted to do double (or maybe even triple) stranded. But Kate talked me down from my insanity, suggesting (very rightly) that a cardigan worked in a lace weight yarn would put off a lot of knitters. She suggested Fiddlestick's Luscious Tweed instead which is a heavy worsted/aran weight yarn. And I love the result. Luscious Tweed has a bit of silk in it and comes in gorgeous colors. It reminds me a bit of Jo Sharp's Silkroad Tweed, a yarn I love in the DK weight. The cardigan is cozy and I can't wait to get this one back after the Twist team is finished with it. The scarf is knitted directly onto the cardigan neck and is worked in the Roman stripe lace stitch, a reversible lace pattern that makes the scarf easy to wear - no worrying about keeping the "right side" facing the outside. A short repeat of the same stitch pattern borders the front edges and sleeve cuffs; and there is a bit of shaping to give the cardigan a nice fit. I'll also post my original sketch for Garbo below:

I don't know if it's obvious in the sketch or not, but another idea I had originally was to make the cardigan front border the same length as the scarf. I did knit this, but decided it looked weird. My husband, who has a more critical eye for these things, also agreed and so I ripped it out and redid the border and scarf.

By the way, thanks for those who responded to my last post. I don't usually like to bring politics into my blog, but I still can't believe California passed Prop 8. Love and functional families are already so difficult to come by, that I don't think the State should really have a say in what shape they come in. I can't believe, for example, that as recently as the 70s there were laws that prohibited interracial marriages. In another decade (and hopefully sooner), the idea that same sex marriages were banned will be as unfathomable to our children as the ban on interracial marriage seem to us today.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Shetland Triangle

Yarn: 1 skein Schaefer Anne
Pattern: Shetland Triangle from Wrap Style (Interweave Press)
Notes: A very easy triangular lace shawl. After a while, the lace pattern was pretty easy to execute without having to constantly check the chart. The yarn is great for this pattern too. All around a very pleasant lace knitting experience.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Artfibers Mystic Cardigan

Yarn: Artfibers Mystic, a DK weight silk/mohair blend
Pattern: Basic set in sleeve cardigan generated by Knitscape
Notes: Love the yarn. It's so so so soft and the colors are gorgeous. I'm just sorry I didn't load up on different colors before Artfibers discontinued this. Kira tells me that Tsuki (similar to kidsilk haze) held doubled is close to Mystic, but I'll still mourn the passing of this wonderful yarn. As for the pattern, I don't like how the shaping is too extreme at the end, but other than that, it's a nice basic shape.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Vintage Camisole

Pattern: Camisole from Vintage Knits by Sarah Dalls
Yarn: Elann Lara in Olive and Navy
Notes: This camisole looks much cuter in the book than in my execution of it. I'm not sure if it's because I used a yarn other than the recomended Rowan Cotton Glace of if it's just one of those garments that just look much better in photographs than in person. All in all, I was very disappointed with the results of this effort. And although I am in love with almost all of the patterns in this book, my experience with this one makes me hesitate to try any of the other pieces.

Long Cardigan

Pattern: Rowan Summer '02 (?)
Yarn: Originally called for Rowan All Seasons Cotton, but I used a wool/mohair/acrylic blend I bought in Italy.
Notes: Nice raglan long cardigan. Originally made in All Seasons Cotton, the intention I believe was to throw it over your bathing suit by the pool, but I turned it into a fall/winter garment with my choice of yarn. I love the raglan seams and the simple shaping at the waist. I haven't made the tie for this yet, though a friend has given me a lovely brooch to wear with this.

Baby set (pullover, hat, booties)

Pattern: Pullover and booties are from Knitting for Baby by Melanie Falick
Hat is the Jelly bean hat from Rowan Bambino
Yarn: Plymouth DreamBaby DK in blue and olive
Notes: I like the bootie pattern best. The rolled top is adorable and it's very sock-like, which is what I was aiming for with this set. The pullover is knit in one piece, resulting in minimal seaming which means less irritation for baby's sensitive skin. I added the olive trim on all three items to increase the matchy-matchiness of the set. Sized for 3-6 months. The entire set took about 10 hours to make. I love baby knits!

Linden (Rowan)

Pattern: Linden from Rowan Classic Alpaca DK book
Yarn: 11 skeins Le Fibril Nobili Super Taj Mahal - a Merino/Cashmere/Silk blend
Notes: This is an elegant sweater with great details like the deep ribbing on the sleeves and hem. I love the combination of cables (a traditionally heavier element) and lace (a lighter element). My husband couldn't stop talking about how "professional" it looks. The yarn feels great next to the skin. I think I prefer this yarn over the yarn that is intended for this pattern.

Daisies Cardigan (Rowan)

Pattern: Daisies from Rowan Bambino
Yarn: 3 skeins of Rowan Cashsoft DK in light blue
1 skein each of Rowan Cashsoft DK in crimson and dark pink
Notes: Love this sweet cardigan with its simple mandarin collar. Again, great use of seed stitch details and I love the embroidery. The colors make this appropriate for a boy even though there are flowers stitched on. The Rowan Cashsoft DK is so incredibly soft. It's supposed to be machine washable too, although I'm not sure I would trust the machine with this sweater.

Classic Elite Simple Cardigan

Pattern: Simple Cardigan from the Fall 06 Classic Elite Tweed Book
Yarn: 10 skeins Classic Elite Marl - 100% Alpaca
Notes: Very elegant cardigan with clean lines. The yarn is beautifully tweedy, but it sheds *a lot*. It got very annoying after a while. So much so that it pushed me to finish this cardigan in under 2 weeks (fast for me).


Pattern: Mariner from Irrestible Knits by Kristin Cowan
Yarn: 9 skeins of Rowan Wool Cotton in beet red
Notes: This is one of the first sweaters I've knit. The wool cotton is very soft and supple and I love the deep red color. The pattern is so cute - I love the use of seed stitch as trim and the kangaroo pocket in the center. The sweater is a bit long - this was before I learned to modify length to suit my height (or lack of it :) ).

Silk Wrap - Blue Sky Alpacas

Pattern: Silk Wrap from Blue Sky Alpaca
Yarn: 8 skeins of Blue Sky Alpaca & Silk in Kiwi
Notes: A very simple knit. Love the final result, though the pattern as written is rather large for me even though I knit the S/M size. Yarn is soft, but like all alpaca yarn, is a bit scratchy and warm for my tastes.

Artfibers Oodle Cardigan

Pattern: Basic raglan cardigan pattern generated by Knitscape with a sailor collar added by me. The collar, cuffs, and hems are embellised with a cabled rib.
Yarn: Artfibers Oodle, a fingering weight handdyed cotton ribbon.
Notes: I wanted a close fitting cardigan in a comfortable fiber and the Oodle seemed to fit the bill. The yarn has great drape which made the button band a little too floppy. I sewed on a grossgrain ribbon facing in an effort to firm the band up. I still need to sew in hook and eye closures on this cardi. I love the colors in this yarn - a deep blend of violet, browns, reds, and a few flecks of white.

Baby booties

Pattern: 50 Baby Booties to Knit
Yarn: 1 skein of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in dusty pink
Ribbon: coordinating silk ribbon from Pins & Needles in Princeton, NJ
Notes: Simple booties pattern, but very sweet. I added the ribbon "bow" to match the cardigan.

Baby Yoke Cardigan

Pattern: Free yoke cardigan knit in one piece.
Yarn: 2 skeins of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in dusty pink
Ribbon: Silk ribbon from Pins & Needles in Princeton, NJ
Notes: I love this free pattern. I changed the waves at the yoke into eyelets and threaded a silk ribbon through the bottom row in lieu of button closures. The Cashmerino is wonderfully soft to knit with.

Green Gable

Pattern: Green Gable from ZephyrStyle
Yarn: 2 skeins Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Olivette
Notes: I like this top a lot, but the yarn feels a bit heavy. If I were to do this again, I think I would go with a lighter weight yarn - perhaps a cotton/acrylic blend - to make it more summer suitable. Like many out there, I made some changes with the shaping and with the arm depth. Cute top overall.

Aerial Tank (Rowan 29)

Pattern: Aerial Tank from Rowan 29
Yarn: 2 skeins Rowan 4 ply cotton in allure
1 skein of leftover 4 ply cotton in lime
Notes: I love this top, but the pattern as written is a bit, ahem, small. It's strapless and bares the bellybutton. My conservative self demanded that it be lengthened and that straps be added. I loved this top so much that I made another version in lime green with ribbon straps.