Pattern Release: Hearts & Flowers Shawl ~ First Love Collection ~

Hearts & Flowers..

Pattern Page on Ravelry

Last year, I planned a collection of knitwear garments with a theme revolving around The Fifty Shades of Grey. I read the trilogy with curiosity and I had mixed feelings about it. I didn’t do any research before reading, but I instantly felt like it was written like a fan fiction. When I was younger, I spent a lot of time reading fan fiction online based on the K-pop stars. So I was familiar with the type of writing. It didn’t matter what the language it was written in. Fan fiction in general are written more based on nostalgia and admiration for the characters so they just lack structure and other literary charms. But! I have to say, I loved the characters. A

nd the characters were the inspiration for this piece.

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The two main characters were both fragile and flawed, but together they became better people. In one scene, Anastasia and Christian are arguing about the kind of relationship they need and despite Christian’s hesitance, Anastasia declares that she needs everything that a normal relationship offers–all the “hearts and flowers.”

I thought this was an important turning point for them, especially Anastasia, since before then, her character was immature, naive, and had very little experience in romantic relationships. To declare what she needs and wants from Christian showed her growth as a person.

Her multi-dimensional character really inspired this shawl, that can be worn in multiple ways, with multiple effects.

 

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Name: Hearts & Flowers Shawl
Yarn: Berroco Vintage in “Elderberry” 5 skeins
Needle: US 8 (5.0 mm)
Pattern: Hearts and Flowers Shawl by Jean Chung

 

 

NEW: Snowflake Shawl

 

 

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As promised yesterday, I just released this new shawl/cape pattern on Ravelry and Craftsy.

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Last year, I really wanted to design a cool cape design that still embodies the inspiration I got from Downton Abbey. Plus, California was uncharacteristically cold and wet; perhaps I was up earlier than most people going to work at 3 am.

I sketched and drafted this pattern on the metrolink, while commuting to work. I knitted a prototype/test sample in aran weight yarn but was not happy with the yarn choice or the finished product. I knew I wanted the general design to be still feminine and romantic but wanted the fabric to be slightly more dense and heavier.

Up close and personal:

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C’mon. I know that you have this yarn somewhere in your stash!

It’s none other than Bernat Natural Alpaca Blend in Natural. I know, an acrylic blend? I knew that if I wore this outside, I would get it dirty somehow. I also wanted it to be easily washed in the washing machine. Then I added a laceweight mohair/acrylic blend yarn from Universal Yarns, and held the two yarns together for this marled effect.

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I also re-did the collar 3 times in the first prototype to get it right. At first, I wanted it to be asymmetric and with a button closure. It didn’t fit right.

So I frogged and did it in 1×1 rib but it didn’t look right either. It was kind of soft and drapey, which didn’t look right with the look I was going for in my head.

I made the collar in double thickness, so that it will stand right and hold the overall heavy/dense look.

Now, I didn’t really know what to call this. I had a choice between a CAPE and a Shawl, and went with a Shawl since I wanted it to be something you just grab and throw on for a quick walk with your doggies or a lunch date. SHAWL with a COLLAR. =)

So there you go people. I published this pattern on Ravelry as well as Craftsy.

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Craftsy, take me to Snowflake Shawl page.

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Ravelry, take me to Snowflake Shawl page.

Preview: Snowflake Shawl

I just finished the draft of my first pattern of 2014!

I’m very excited, and this is something I designed a year ago but finding the right yarns and gauge took some time. Then it got too warm to publish it so just this month, I finally finished the draft of the pattern.

I’ll be publishing it on Monday morning, but here is a PREVIEW.

Snowflake Shawl

Snowflake Shawl

 

 

[SPAKAL] Part 2 – Plying

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Now the plying is done done done! A word comes to my mind: Glorious. It’s a perfect Morning Glory color. So bright. So cheerful. So purple.

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I skeined it and before washing, I had to take a picture. So please excuse all the kinks and pigtails. gah, still can’t get rid of them completely, although there are less. I’m still not complaining though; this is an immense improvement since the first spin to knit project. The twists are tighter, maybe too tight but it’s still better than loose twists. And the combed top that was dyed in different colors! It was more fun spinning this than other “natural” colored fiber.

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With the niddy noddy, I measured about 325 yards and it’s 120 gram skein. So I’m guessing this to be a sportweight yarn. It’s only 2-ply though. I’m not sure if I want to knit socks still or go for something less risky, like shawls. I think I want knit socks, it’s been a while since I knit a pair, but the yarn isn’t even enough. You can tell that while it’s mostly sportweight, there’s definitely thinner spots and thicker parts, even after plying.

Ah, decisions.. decisions…..

[FO] handspun, handdyed, handknit shawl!

So in preparation of my belated participation in the SPAKAL challenge (spin-to-knit), I first experimented with some undyed/natural wool I got that came with my wheel.

 

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It was spun into 2-ply yarn and dyed it with some blue, green and red food colors. I just love dyeing with food coloring! I’m happy with the result, it looks so vintage.

Then I chose the pattern. It’s “And So Are You” by Rose Beck.

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I modified it so that the body is St st and the ruffle is only 9 rows long. I was running out of yarn and unlike other commercial yarn, I can’t just go out and buy more yarn! :P But because the yarn is a bit thicker than fingering weight, the row gauge was bigger than the pattern and even though I only did 205 sts wide, it still looks like a good size.