14 Feb

art deco

Art Deco - by La Visch Designs

Art Deco is a crescent-shaped shawl worked from the top-down. The stylized flowers as commonly used in France, in the early days of Art Deco, inspired the flowers in the border of this design.

The shawl starts with a garter stitch tab. The body contains special shaping, which helps to avoid the “bump” in the upper edge of the shawl, so often present in crescent shawl designs. The lace in the border is knit on both right side and wrong side rows. The instructions for the border of the shawl are provided both fully charted and written out.


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Difficulty level
The Art Deco shawl starts with a garter stitch tab. Stitches used include knit, purl, k2tog, p2tog, p2tog tbl, skp, yo and m1L and m1R increases. This pattern is suitable for the intermediate knitter.

Sizes and finished measurements
One size: Finished dimensions of the sample shawl: 191 cm (75 ¼ inches) along the upper edge and a depth of 58 cm (22 ¾ inches), measured after blocking.

Pattern details

  • Gauge: Approx. 15 sts / 18 rows = 10 cm (4 inches) over stockinette, measured after blocking. While gauge is not critical in this design, a loose gauge gives the best result.
  • Pattern languages included: English and Dutch (Dit patroon omvat zowel een Nederlandse als een Engelse versie)
  • Digital PDF has 6 pages (letter size)

Materials

  • Yarn: Brooklyn Tweed Loft (100% Targhee-Columbia; 251 m (275 yds) / 50 g) in the following colors and amounts:
    MC: 251 m (275 yds) / 50 g in Faded Quilt
    CC: 502 m (550 yds) / 100 g in Camper
  • Size 4 mm (US 6) / 80 cm (32 inches) circular needles
  • Yarn needle
  • 2 stitch markers to indicate the center stitches
  • Stitch markers for the lace section (optional)
24 Jan

tutorial: garter tab CO for top-down crescents

Garter tab CO for top-down crescents - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Many top-down shawl patterns start with a garter tab cast-on because it creates a lovely seamless start of any shawl. Most people will be familiar with this cast-on for traditional top-down triangle shawls. A tutorial on working such a garter tab cast-on can be found here. But what to do when starting a top-down crescent type shawl?

This type of shawl usually has a different increase rate when compared with traditional triangles. With the latter, the stitch count is increased by 4 on all right-side rows. With a top-down crescent though, increases are worked on both right side and wrong side rows: the stitch count is increased by 4 stitches on right-side rows and by 2 on wrong-side rows. When the wrong-side row increases are yarn overs, you get a rather decorative eyelet edge to your shawl. This makes it, however, harder to make your garter tab blend in invisibly. And this is where this tutorial on knitting garter tab CO for top-down crescents comes in!

As with all garter tabs, they can be a bit fiddly to work, especially when working with very skinny yarn. However, don’t let that deter you from knitting patterns that use this cast on: with the below step-by-step instructions and tips you are sure to master this technique.

In this example I used the following garter tab instructions, to get a 7 stitch start including 2 edge stitches on each side:

CO 2 sts and knit 6 rows. Turn work 90 degrees clockwise, yo, then pick up 1 st from the second (middle) garter stitch ridge along the long edge and twist this st 360 degrees counterclockwise, then purl it, yo. Pick up and knit 2 sts along the cast on edge. (7 sts).

Materials

Besides yarn and knitting needles I’m also using 3 removable stitch markers, one preferably in a different color or size.

Garter tab CO for top-down crescents - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

The garter tab CO for top-down crescents step by step

1. Cast-on two stitches using your preferred cast-on method. In this example, I’m using the knitted on cast-on. Place markers in each of every cast-on stitch, this will make it easier to pick them up later on. I attached them to the back legs of the stitches to keep the markers out of the way.

Garter tab CO for top-down crescents - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

2. Work 6 rows in garter stitch (knit every row). This will give you 3 ridges.

Garter tab CO for top-down crescents - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

3. Then turn your work – still on the right-hand needle – 90 degrees clockwise and yo.

Garter tab CO for top-down crescents - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

4. Next, insert the remaining stitch marker in the purl bump from the middle of the 3  garter ridges along the edge.

Garter tab CO for top-down crescents - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

5. Use the stitch marker to twist the stitch it is inserted in 360 degrees counterclockwise (2 twists).

Garter tab CO for top-down crescents - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

6. Next, insert the left-hand needle in the twisted stitch ….

Garter tab CO for top-down crescents - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

7. …. and purl this stitch. The reason I’m purling this stitch here is that it makes sure that after casting on I can continue straight away with a right side row for stockinette. If you want reverse stockinette or garter stitch, this stitch should be knit instead of purled. It looks like this after this step:

Garter tab CO for top-down crescents - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

8. Next, yo again.

Garter tab CO for top-down crescents - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

9. Turn your work 90 degrees clockwise again and pick up and knit the first marked stitch along the cast-on edge. These stitches can be a tad hard to see, but because we marked them in step 1 this really isn’t an issue.

Garter tab CO for top-down crescents - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

10. Now pick up and knit the second marked stitch along the cast-on edge.

Garter tab CO for top-down crescents - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

11. There you have it: a garter tab CO for top-down crescents! There are now 7 stitches: 2 stitches on either end which will become the garter edge stitches, and 3 stitches in the middle which will become the body of your shawl. You are now ready to start the rest of your pattern!

Garter tab CO for top-down crescents - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

In the little swatch shown below, I’ve knitted some more rows in the following format:

Row 1 (RS): K2, (k1, yo, k1) in next st, k to 3 sts before end, (k1, yo, k1) in next st, k2.
Row 2 (WS): K2, yo, p to 2 sts before end, yo, k2.

Do you see how well this garter tab cast-on blends in? I can’t see where the cast-on ends and the rest of the shawl begins! And that’s how I like it.

Garter tab CO for top-down crescents - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

14 Jan

chocolate raspberry waffles

Chocolate Raspberry Waffles - a design by La Visch Designs

The Chocolate Raspberry Waffles cowl is just the pattern for those times that you want a mindless knit. Using slip-stitch patterning, it’s designed to break up the color pooling and flashing often seen with hand-dyed yarns.

This cowl is worked in the round. The pattern is suitable for the advanced beginner.


Price: € 5,00 add to basket

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Difficulty level
This cowl is worked in the round. Stitches used include knit, purl and slip stitches. This pattern is suitable for the advanced beginner.

Sizes and finished measurements
One size – finished dimensions: Height of 42 cm (16 ½ inches) and 66 cm (26 inches) circumference, measured after blocking.

Pattern details

  • Chocolate Raspberry Waffles is written for a gauge of approx. 22 sts / 35 rows = 10 cm (4 inches) over body pattern, measured after blocking. Gauge is however not critical in this design.
  • Pattern languages included: English and Dutch (Dit patroon omvat zowel een Nederlandse als een Engelse versie)
  • Digital PDF has 2 pages (letter size)

Materials

  • Yarn: 420 m (459 yds) / 100 g Sticks & Cups Socksanity (75% wool, 25% nylon; 420 m (459 yds) / 100 g). Substitute any variegated hand-dyed fingering weight yarn for a similar result.
  • Size 4 mm (US 6) / 60 cm (24 inches) circular needles
  • Yarn needle
  • 1 “end-of-round” stitch marker

03 Dec

arugula

Arugula - by La Visch Designs

Arugula is a shawl in 2 sizes, designed to use the lovely rustic tweedy yarn pictured in the sample. In this design, it is paired with a flouncy ribbed ruffle in a contrasting solid color. A relatively mindless knitting project that gives a wonderful end result.

This shawl is knitted from the top-down in one piece, starting at the neck edge with a garter tab. The instructions for the body of the shawl are provided charted and written out. The ruffled edging is written only.


Price: € 5,95 add to basket

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Difficulty level
This shawl is started with a garter stitch tab. Stitches used include knit, purl, yo and m1bl. This pattern is suitable for the beginning knitter to intermediate knitter.

Sizes and finished measurements
Size S (L) finished dimensions: Wingspan of 146 (200) cm (57 ½ (78 ¾) inches) and a depth of 68 (90) cm (26 ¾ (35 ½) inches), measured after blocking. The shawl shown is in size L.

Pattern details

  • Arugula is written for a gauge of approx. 12.7 sts / 26 rows = 10 cm (4 inches) over body pattern, measured after blocking. Gauge is however not critical in this design.
  • Pattern languages included: English and Dutch (Dit patroon omvat zowel een Nederlandse als een Engelse versie)
  • Digital PDF has 4 pages (letter size)

Materials

  • Yarn: Debbie Bliss Fine Donagal (95% wool, 5% cashmere goat; 379 m (415 yds) / 100 g) in the following colors and amounts:
    MC: 201 (379) m (220 (415 yds) / 55 (100) g in 54012 blackberry
    CC: 285 (379) m (312 (415) yds) / 75 (100) g in 54018 lilac
    Substitute any tweed fingering weight yarn for a similar result.
  • Size 4 mm (US 6) / 80 cm (32 inches) circular needles
  • Size 5 mm (US 8) / 80 cm (32 inch) circular needles (optional, for BO only).
  • Yarn needle
  • 4 stitch markers to indicate the center and edge stitches
05 Nov

tutorial: making a magic ball

Making a magic ball - by La Visch Designs

If you’re a bit like me, you’ll have loads of odds and ends of the various projects. They are of course quite ornamental when displayed in nice glass jars or vases. But how many jars of ornamental balls of yarn does one need? I mostly work in fingering weight yarn which means I’ve got a lot of ends that would combine well, ranging from a mere 2 g up to quarter skeins. Of course, the latter could be used in small projects like Fish for Amiga, but again, how many small softies does one need?

So, I thought, why not make a magic ball?!

What is a magic ball?

You may wonder what a magic ball exactly is. Well, I’ll tell you! It is a ball of yarn that is made by attaching pieces of yarn of similar weight to each other. Thus making a bigger ball out of all of the smaller yarn remains. This way a scrappy project like a blanket, cowl, scarf or shawl is made easier because there are no ends left to weave in. That’s already taken care of by combining the yarns in the magic ball!

I myself am also very much looking forward to working with my magic ball. All those memories of projects past attached to the yarns within… Below you can find what I did to make my magic ball.

How to make a magic ball step by step

1. To start, collect your bits and bobs of yarn. Make sure they’re all in the similar weight range and ideally, also of similar materials. Combining an all acrylic yarn with otherwise wool yarns will have an impact on the resulting piece if it requires blocking. And do also consider differences in drape and washing care.

In my case, they’re all fingering weight yarns with a high content of wool. Some have up to 25% of nylon, others contain a bit of silk. In general behavior, all these yarns are however quite similar.

Making a magic ball - by La Visch Designs

2. To connect the pieces of yarn with each other, there are of course various options among which the Russian join and the braided join. In this case, because the yarns all have multiple plies, I’m using the braided join. The Russian join requires a bit more attention and tools to work, but would have been my choice for connecting single ply yarns with each other.

Making a magic ball - by La Visch Designs

3. Do leave the yarn tails on! Cutting them off prematurely can contribute to the join coming undone. Just leave them be and cut any yarn ends after you’ve knitted up your magic ball and blocked the finished piece. In the below picture you can see a bit how I’m faring midway in making my magic ball.

Making a magic ball - by La Visch Designs

4. And here it is all done! Almost 100 g of yarn where there were only useless bits before. Now to think of a nice new design to use it in…

Making a magic ball - by La Visch Designs

04 Nov

tangerine tango

Tangerine Tango - by La Visch Designs

Tangerine Tango is a stylish triangular shawl knit sideways on the bias. The combination of striped garter stitch and lace makes it a perfect choice for those colors of fingering weight yarn that combine so well. With its generous size of 177 cm (69 ¾ inches) along the upper edge and a depth of 63 cm (24 ¾ inches), it is perfect to wear as an elegant scarf.

This pattern contains both fully written out as well as charted instructions for the lace section. The lace in the border is worked on both right side and wrong side rows. The shawl can be made larger by adding more repeats of the striped garter stitch section and/or by working more repeats of the lace section.


Price: € 5,95 add to basket

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Difficulty level
The lace in this pattern is worked on both RS and WS rows. Stitches used include knit, purl, yo, k2tog, p2tog, kfb and versions of these stitches knitted through the back loop. This pattern is suitable for the intermediate to advanced knitter.

Sizes and finished measurements
Finished dimensions of the sample shawl: 177 cm (69 ¾ inches) along the upper edge and a depth of 63 cm (24 ¾ inches), measured after blocking.

Pattern details

  • Tangerine Tango is written for a gauge of approx. 18 sts / 26 rows = 10 cm (4 inches) over garter stitch, measured after blocking. Gauge is however not critical in this design.
  • Pattern languages included: English and Dutch (Dit patroon omvat zowel een Nederlandse als een Engelse versie)
  • Digital PDF has 4 pages (letter size)

Materials

  • Yarn:MC: 420 m (460 yds) / 100 g Wools of Holland Kempische Sokkenwol (75% Wool, 25% Nylon; 210 m (230 yds) / 50 g) in Sky Blue.
    CC: 210 m (230 yds) / 50 g Wollträume Traumsterne Sockenwolle (75% Wool, 25% Nylon; 210 m (230 yds) / 50 g) in Orange.
    Substitute any fingering weight yarn for a similar result.
  • Size 4 mm (US 6) / 80 cm (32 inches) circular needles
  • Yarn needle
  • 2 stitch markers to indicate the 3 edge stitches on each side (optional)
  • 19 stitch markers (optional) to mark the repeats of the lace pattern
15 Oct

fish for Amiga

Fish for Amiga - a knitting pattern by La Visch Designs

My cat Amiga is crazy about Moeke Yarns Elena. And by crazy I mean the drooling and acting weird kind of crazy. I think it must be the slight sheepiness this yarn has. So, I thought I would make her day by creating something just for her made from this lovely yarn!

These small fish for Amiga are knit in the round. Once the body is closed, the tail is knit flat. A photo tutorial on how to close the body of the fish is included! Since only small amounts of yarn are used, this pattern is perfect for stash busting little odds and ends.


Price: € 2,75 add to basket

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Difficulty level
Techniques used include Judy’s Magic Cast On and knitting in the round. Stitches used include knit, purl, skp, k2tog and m1. This pattern is suitable for the intermediate knitter.

Sizes and finished measurements
Size S (L): Height of 3.5 (6.5) cm (1 ½ (2 ½ ) inches) and a length of 9 (14) cm (3 ½ (5 ½ ) inches).

Pattern details

  • The gauge should be such that your stitches are tight enough not to show the stuffing. For the sample fish: 11 sts / 15 rows = 5 cm (2 inches) over stockinette.
  • Pattern languages included: English and Dutch (Dit patroon omvat zowel een Nederlandse als een Engelse versie)
  • Digital PDF has 4 pages (letter size)

Materials

  • Approx. 13 (33) m (15 (36) yds) / 4 (10) g of Moeke Yarns Elena Single (100% wool; 330 m (361 yds) / 100 g) was used in the sample Fish for Amiga. Substitute a sport to DK weight yarn for a similar result.
  • Needles in your preferred style for small circumference knitting in the round. Size 3 mm (US 2 ½) needles were used for the sample fish.
  • 1 extra needle in the same size as your main needles.
  • 4 stitch markers
  • 1 differently colored “end of round” marker
  • Fiberfill
  • Yarn needle
20 Sep

duizendknoop

Duizendknoop - a shawl design by La Visch Designs

Duizendknoop: A shallow, triangle scarf, knit sideways. This design features a simple garter stitch body. The triangle edging, so reminiscent of the leaves of the Duizendknoop (Persicaria perfoliata), is knitted on at the same time. Worked at a loose gauge, Duizendknoop is a lovely and airy layering piece.

While written for a single skein of fingering weight yarn, this pattern can easily be adjusted for different amounts and weights of yarn. Instructions for the lace border are both written and charted.


Price: € 5,95 add to basket

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Difficulty level
This pattern features a garter stitch body with a lace edging worked simultaneously. Stitches used include knit, purl, k2tog, skp, kfb, m1 and yo. This pattern is suitable for the intermediate knitter.

Sizes and finished measurements
Finished dimensions of the sample shawl: 195 cm (76 ¾ inches) along the upper edge and a depth of 39 cm (15 ¼ inches), measured after blocking. Make the shawl larger by working more sections of the body pattern.

Pattern details

  • Duizendknoop is written for a gauge of approx. 18 sts / 22 rows = 10 cm (4 inches) over garter stitch, measured after blocking. Gauge is however not critical in this design.
  • Pattern languages included: English and Dutch (Dit patroon omvat zowel een Nederlandse als een Engelse versie)
  • Digital PDF has 5 pages (letter size)

Materials

  • 1 skein of Sock Marl by Dutch Wool Diva (50% Wool, 50% alpaca 400 m (437 yds) / 100 g) in “Kelp”. Substitute any fingering weight yarn in a semi-solid color for a similar result.
  • Size 4 mm (US 6) / 80 cm (32 inches) circular needles
  • Yarn needle
  • 1 stitch marker
03 Sep

tutorial: chainless starting double crochet (csdc)

Chainless starting double crochet (csdc) - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Usually, when beginning a new row or round in a crochet project, we start with a chain 2 or chain 3 to replace the first double crochet (dc) stitch. However, a chain of stitches is much skinnier than a regular double crochet, which makes it quite visible in the resulting piece. Also, it can be hard to tension the chain just so that it exactly matches the height of the dc stitches. This can make the edge of the piece (when worked flat) less neat than desired. Fortunately, there is a solution for this: the chainless starting double crochet stitch or csdc for short.

Chainless starting double crochet (csdc) - a tutorial by La Visch DesignsThis is the perfect way to make a starting stitch that more closely resembles both the height and thickness of a regular dc stitch. Please note though, that this method is best suited for continuing in the same color yarn. When changing the yarn color, using a standing double crochet stitch instead is advised. For this, I will also make a tutorial soon!

In this post, I will show you how to work the chainless starting double crochet stitch when worked flat. Notes on how to do this when working in the round can be found below the step by step instructions.

How to work a chainless starting double crochet stitch step by step

1. To start the csdc stitch, pull up the loop on your hook approx. to the height of a regular double crochet stitch.

Chainless starting double crochet (csdc) - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

2. Hold the elongated loop in place on your hook with your finger….

Chainless starting double crochet (csdc) - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

3. … and twist the hook counter clockwise down towards you, wrapping the lengthened loop around your hook. You now have the original loop around your hook as well as an extra double strand.

Chainless starting double crochet (csdc) - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

4. Now we will continue making a double crochet as we would normally do. First, yarn over…

Chainless starting double crochet (csdc) - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

5. …. and pull it through the double strand on your hook. Treat it as the first 2 loops on the hook as you would while working a regular double crochet stitch.

Chainless starting double crochet (csdc) - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

6. Again yarn over…

Chainless starting double crochet (csdc) - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

7. …. And pull it through the remaining the 2 loops on the hook to complete the stitch.

Chainless starting double crochet (csdc) - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

And that’s it! Now you’re ready to continue your pattern in the other stitches of the row or round.

Chainless starting double crochet (csdc) - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Working a chainless starting double crochet stitch in the round

Using a csdc stitch when working in the round is basically the same as when working flat. The main difference is of course that in projects worked in the round, the last stitch has to be joined with the first one of the round by using a slip stitch (sl st).

This makes the process as follows:
1. Slip stitch in the top of the first stitch of the round.
2. Work the chainless starting double crochet stitch as described above.
3. Work the rest of the round.
4. Join in the round by working a slip stitch into the top of the csdc as you would with a regular dc stitch.

Other chainless starting stitches?

Not all projects are worked in double crochet of course. Fortunately, it’s really easy to also use this technique to replace the starting chains for taller stitches like the treble crochet stitch, double treble crochet stitch etc. The main thing to keep in mind is that you need
1. To pull up a loop in step 1 as described above to match the height of the intended stitch.
2. Adjust the number of wraps (step 3 as described in the csdc step by step instructions above) to match the number of “loops on the hook” with those from the intended stitch. Each wrap hereby represents 2 loops.

This technique lends itself less well for stitches shorter than the double crochet. But then, for those is the starting chain also less of a problem in looks.

27 Aug

prinses

Prinses - a shawl design by La Visch Designs

Prinses is a simple yet stylish triangular shawl knit sideways in garter stitch on the bias. A great way to let that lovely variegated hand dyed yarn shine! With its construction in sections and flexible sizing, it’s perfect for making the most of the amount of available yarn. You can also use a different yarn for every section to stash bust some odds and ends of fingering weight yarn.

The pattern contains fully written out instructions as well as helpful notes on the amount of yarn needed for each section.


Price: € 5,95 add to basket

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Difficulty level
Stitches used include knit, k2tog, kfb and elongated versions of these stitches. This pattern is suitable for the advanced beginner.

Sizes and finished measurements
Finished dimensions of the sample shawl, using 344 m (374 yds) / 100 g of yarn: 161 cm (63 ½ inches) along the upper edge and a depth of 45 cm (17 ¾ inches), measured after blocking. Make the shawl larger by working more sections of the body pattern.

Pattern details

  • Prinses is written for a gauge of approx. 14 sts / 28 rows = 10 cm (4 inches) over garter stitch, measured after blocking. Gauge is however not critical in this design.
  • Pattern languages included: English and Dutch (Dit patroon omvat zowel een Nederlandse als een Engelse versie)
  • Digital PDF has 4 pages (letter size)

Materials

  • For the shawl as shown 1 skein of Eternity Ranch Yarns Sparkle Sock was used (92% Merino, 8% Metallic; 344 m (374 yds) / 100 g) in February Princess Cinderella. The flexible sizing of this design also makes larger shawls possible requiring up to 516 m (561 yds) / 150 g of Eternity Ranch Yarns Sparkle Sock.
  • Size 4 mm (US 6) / 80 cm (32 inches) circular needles
  • Yarn needle
  • 2 stitch markers to indicate the 3 edge stitches on each side (optional)
  • 1 locking stitch marker to indicate the RS of the work (optional)