Monday, 26 April 2010

FO: Citron

Knitting laceweight yarn always scared me a bit. I had a bad experience when I just started knitting. I saw a beautiful shawl in a Knit.1 issue, and I thought that it would be a perfect gift for my mother-in-law. So I went, full of enthousiasm, to my LYS. I choose a yarn with the help of the sales person, I bought needles... I was more than ready! Well ... It was a complete disaster! The center stitch wasn't hem... really strait, I had forgotten way more than 1 yo... Long story short, my yarn slept in my stash for over a year.

But then, I was ready. I knitted easy stuff and complicated stuff, and I felt like I could knit with laceweight again. And this pattern, Citron by Hillary Smith Callis (ravelry link), was soooo lovely that I HAD to knit it! (and it fits with my late resolution of knitting only with stash yarn!)

The yarn, Alpaca with a Twist Fino, is like a dream. Soft, soothing color, incredible feel, wonderful drape... Alpaca is definitively one of my favorite fiber!

I consider this shawl a revolution, or a testimony of the modernization of knitting: innovative construction, modern feel, très wearable, fun detailing and texture, youngish vibe... It's not a surprise if 2700 yarnaholics have knitted this gem!

With this shawl, I conquered my fear of laceweight yarn. I would recommend it to anyone who's afraid of tiny tiny yarn and needles! At first, it doesn't look like anything (like any other shawl...) but when you get use to the tiniest of the yarn, you get amazed at the upcoming result : it's light, flowy, soft and incredibly satisfying!

I will shamelessly say that Citron is one of my favorite knitted project so far. I absolutely love it! And right in time for summer!

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week - Day 1 : Starting out!

I'm so excited to participate to the KCBW! Today, the topic is : Starting out... how did this whole passion about knitting started?

I think that my story is relatively classic. I mean that, my mother taught me when I was younger. I knitted a scarf or a dishcloth, and that's it. I played music and painted and drew a lot when I was younger, but knitting wasn't a part of my creative development.

I just remember as I'm writting that I was absolutely fascinated by a crocheted granny squared blanket my grandmother made. It was big enough to fit on a queen size bed! The cream, brown and redish colors reminded my of the 60's. I used to dream that one day, I was going to be able to make a blanket and give it to my grandchild.

I also remember my mother, making small baby booties for my little nieces... and I just couldn't imagine how she could manage to make the knitting "turn" a 90 degres angle, or make it smaller or wider. I thought it looked sooo complicated!

So, deep inside, even if I wasn't knitting or crocheting, I was already attracted to fiber work.

Several years later, and after 2 or 3 moves inside Montréal, I found, in a cardboard box, some old acrylic yarn and a pair of 6mm needles. I remember that I wanted my mother to make me a scarf with this yarn, but she screwed up the pattern, frogged it and gave it to me.

At that point, I couldn't remember how to cast on, or knit or purl! I decided to give it a try, but I had forgotten everything. So I sat at my desk, turned on my computer and browsed the web. In a matter of minutes, everything came back to me. I knew how to cast on and knit!

With that old acrylic yarn, I made my boyfriend a 1x1 rib scarf (that he doesn't wear). I was really proud of myself, but I wanted more. I learn to make yarnovers, k2tog and k3tog (!!!), I made several scarves for my friends and collegue, I learned to do cables, hats, mittens, and then sweaters, lace... I just kept on knitting. I bought needles, yarn, I looked for harder and harder patterns... I discovered that acrylic isn't the only knittable fiber and that I absolutely LOVE alpaca. I remember the first "pricy" yarn I bought : some soft lime green Alpaca from Misti Alpaca. I made myself a earflap hat out of it, and I still wear it a lot!

Today, I couldn't imagine myself without knitting. It gave me so much! It really keeps me sane, even if I have 540 sts with laceweight yarn on my needles. I just can't stop knitting! It's been a 3 years passionated relationship, and I can't see the end of it. And it was a enjoyable experience to bring back to life the beginning!

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week - April 26th to May 2nd

I don't have that much time on my hands, but I just couldn't resist. I love blogging, and sometimes finding good topics can be hard. I thought that joining The Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, hosted by Eskimini Knits, was a great opportunity to blog more and to post about something that I love : knitting!

The concept is really easy : each day of the week, bloggers will post simultaneously on the same topics, like yarns that we love, techniques, our personal goals... It's a great opportunity to share a little bit of yourself and your knowledge to the knitting community!

So stay tuned for tomorrow's post, because the KCBW starts tomorrow! First topic -> Starting out...

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Gaining confidence!

As the days go by, and as I'm improving my sewing skills, I've noticed I have gained some confidence in sharing with others what I make.

New clutch available in my Etsy shop!

I don't know if you've ever felt this way, but sometimes I have a hard time showing what I make to my friends or my collegues. Not because I think that my work and my creations are not worth to be known, but because it means I'm willing to put myself out there. It means that my vision, or at the extreme, my dream of selling the things that I make is now concrete. I feel like it's a big step, and it's leading towards the unknown. And who's not afraid of the unknown?

Anyway, I'm willing to take the risk. And I'm willing to really commit to what I love to make, that is knitting garment and sewed accessories. So willing that my friend Léonie Drouin, a very talented graphic designer is creating my logo and all the resulting design! I'm soooo happy that she accepted. She is a very good friend of mine and she does amazing things. I can't wait to share my new logo with you guys!

I'll try to post more often. I love to blog, but right now I'm in the middle of the end-of-semester rush exams! In two weeks everything should be back to normal!

Friday, 16 April 2010

Dandy Neckerchief

Here is a reedition of one of my most popular knitting pattern, the Dandy Neckerchief! Enjoy!

This stylish, soft and light neckerchief will keep you warm during Spring and Fall! With its simple triangle construction, garter stitch border and ultra easy lace pattern, this cute little shawlette will fit the most television addicted knitter. Every weight yarn will do : a worsted yarn for the a warmer finish, a sock yarn for a more sophisticated look and a bulky weight for the artic countries! It's also perfect for a first-time-lace project!


  • 100g worsted weight yarn (here with Fibranatura Heaven, 50% merino 50% silk, 2 skeins of 50g, 125 yards per skein)
  • one pair of 4,5 mm (US 7) circular needles
  • one yarn needle

Gauge :

  • The gauge here doesn't really matter. Do as many repetition as you want to get the desired lenght.

Terms :

  • sts : stitches
  • k : knit
  • p : purl
  • K2tog : knit 2 sts together
  • sK2togP : Slip 1 st as purling, k2tog, pass slip st over k2tog.
  • ssK : Slip to sts as purling, pass the left needle in the 2 stitches on the right needle in the front loop. Knit those 2 stitches together.
  • yo : yarn over
  • Garter Stitche : Knit every row

Instructions :

1 - Cast on 5 sts.

  • Row 1 : k2, yo, k1, yo, k2 (7 sts)
  • Row 2 and every even rows : k2, purl every sts till last 2 sts, k2
  • Row 3 : k2, yo, k3, yo, k2 (9 sts)
  • Row 5 : k2, yo, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, yo, k2 (11 sts)
  • Row 7 : K2, yo, k2tog, k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, ssk, yo, k2 (13 sts)
  • Row 9 : K2, yo, K2tog, k2, yo, k1, yo, k2, ssk, yo, k2 (15 sts)
  • Row 11 : K2, yo, k2tog, k3, yo, k1, yo, k3, ssk, yo, k2 (17 sts)
  • Row 13 ; K2, yo, knit until last 2 sts, yo, k2 (19 sts)
  • Row 14: K2, purl until last 2 sts, k2

Beginning of the lace chart :

  • Knit the first row of the lace chart as it is. Don't do any repetition of the repeat pattern. Do the 7 first rows.
  • Rows 8, 9 and 10 are all knitted and purled, except the garter stitch border. For row 9, don't forget to do a yo after and before the garter stitch border. Those 3 rows are making stitches for you have enough sts for the next repetitions of the lace chart.
  • Once you have done the first 10 rows of the lace chart, started back at row 1 of the chart, but do the repeat pattern twice and end with the pattern after the repeat pattern. Do rows 1 to 10 of the chart.
  • Started back at row 1, but add another repeat of the repeat pattern, and sofort as you go back to the row 1 of the chart. (Click on the chart to full size)

When the neckerchief has the desired lenght, do 3 rows of garter stitch and binf off as knit. Weave in ends. Block and lay flat to dry. The neckerchief will strech quite a bit when blocked. Mine mesure 1 meter x 57 cm (blocked mesurements). Don't be surprised if, as you knit, you found the piece really long (height). It is constructed as a triangle, not as a shawl. It is made to be smaller than a shawl.

Tadam! Now you have a wonderful neckerchief that will keep you warm! If there's any errors in the pattern, please let me know, I'll correct them right away!

©Copyright CARON-LACOSTE, Ariane, Dandy Neckerchief, Falling Stitches. April 2010. Please do not use this pattern for personal gains or for selling

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Trials and errors

Opening an Etsy boutique (and being serious about it) requires some commitment. You have to invest a lot of your time in filling your boutique with gorgeous stuff. Creating takes time.

Opening my very own boutique motivated me to create the things I dreamed of creating. I'm always filled with ideas and concepts, colors and pattern. So much that I have a hard time to sleep at night! Before, I never had time (more accurately TOOK the time) to write down all my ideas. And now, I feel like I have the occasion, (no, almost the obligation) to create new, cute and fun stuff!

Of course it's time consuming and somehow uncertain. You can spend hours knitting or sewing something, just to realize afterwards that it's not coming out the way you wanted. The cut, the pleats, the colors, the textures... sometimes there is just something wrong!

A hasbeen cardigan turned in a wanna be lace shawl. Not happening...

But then, you create something beautiful. Something you are so proud of creating that you just can stop smiling! After hours of hard work and perseverance, you finally achieve the artwork you had in mind. And you just can't wait to show it to everybody! Even if you're not planning on selling it in your boutique, the self satisfaction is there.

After finishing the perfect rough draft of my first ever sewing pattern, I ran to the fabric store for the next step : the real thing! I found, with the help of a sympathic sales woman, some beautiful yellow - gold silky fabric and pretty colorful polyester lining. I can't wait to see the end result. And maybe I'll make another one for myself...

Opening an Etsy boutique gave me the opportunity to experiment and improve my sewing and knitting skills. And if I keep making trials and errors and persevere, not only I will improve as a creator, but I will, I think, improve as a person. Because practice makes perfect!

Friday, 9 April 2010

Undiscovered treasure

Today at the church next to my appartement, was the bi-annual flea market to the benefit of the parish. I'm always excited about this flea market. Actually, every flea markets excite me. You never know if you are going to find some treasures from the past. An old coffee table that would wonderfully fit in your living room, a cute vintage fabric, a old and precious kitchen set...
And most of the time it's amazingly cheap!

First post!

Hi everyone, and welcome to my blog. This blog is related to my Etsy boutique, Falling Stitches, that just open today! I am super excited, as I am filled with inspiration and great ideas.

As this is the first post, I want to keep it light and simple. I'll leave you with some inspiring pictures that I took today.

Have a great day!

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