10 Nov

honey & stripes

Honey & Stripes by La Visch Designs

Honey & Stripes is a simple yet stylish triangular shawl knit sideways on the bias. The combination of striped garter stitch, easy to memorize garter stitch lace, and slip stitch patterning makes it a perfect choice for those colors of fingering weight yarn that combine so well. With its generous size, Honey & Stripes is perfect to wear as an elegant scarf.

The pattern contains fully written out instructions as well as charts for the lace and slip stitch sections.


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Difficulty level
Stitches used include knit, purl, yo, k2tog and kfb. This pattern is suitable for the advanced beginner or intermediate knitter.

Sizes and finished measurements
One size (easily adjustable): Finished dimensions of the sample shawl: 181.5 cm (71 ½ inches) along the upper edge and a depth of 59 cm (23 ¼ inches), measured after blocking.

Pattern details

  • Gauge: Gauge is not critical in this design. For the sample shawl measured after blocking: 15 sts / 24 rows = 10 cm (4 inches) over garter stitch stripes.
  • 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: Lang Yarns Magic Tweed Superwash (62% virgin wool, 18% nylon, 10% viscose and 10% acrylic; 200 m (219 yds) / 50 g) in the following amounts and colors:
    C1: 200 m (219 yds) / 50 g in 4082 Gold.
    C2: 200 m (219 yds) / 50 g in 4091 Petrol.
    C3: 200 m (219 yds) / 50 g in 4083 Copper.
    Substitute any tweedy fingering weight yarn for a similar result.
  • Size 4 mm (US 6) / 80 cm (32 inches) circular needles
  • Yarn needle
  • 2 stitch markers
17 Oct

sirac

Sirac - by La Visch Designs

Sirac is a highly customizable stole in 2 colors. Make it longer, shorter, wider or narrower; it’s all possible because the pattern allows for easy modification. Sirac has both interesting and mindless knitting, therefore this really is the perfect project for me!

This stole is knitted back and forth, starting with the cabled lace panel. Next, stitches are picked up and knit on the long sides of the lace panel for the garter stitch sections. Also, the instructions for the lace are provided both charted and written out.


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Difficulty level
This pattern features a lace and cable panel, which contains patterning on both RS and WS rows. Techniques used include knitting cables with a cable needle as well as picking up and knitting stitches. Stitches used include knit, purl, k2tog, skp, double yo, and simple cables. This pattern is suitable for the intermediate knitter.

Size and finished measurements
One size – finished dimensions: 55 cm (21 ¾ inches) wide and 168 cm (66 ¼ inches) long, measured after blocking. Change the size of this stole by adjusting the number of repeats worked in the various sections. This will, of course, impact the amount of yarn needed.

Pattern details

  • Gauge: Gauge is not critical in this design. For the sample shawl: 9.5 sts / 26 rows = 10 cm (4 inches) over garter stitch, measured after blocking.
  • 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: Filature de Valgaudemar Sirac (100% wool; 125 m (137 yds) / 50 g) in the following colors and amounts: C1: 275 m (301 yds) / 110 g in “Rouge” and C2: 375 m (411 yds) / 150 g in “Titane”. Substitute any thick-and-thin single ply type wool yarn of comparable weight for a similar result.
  • Size 4.5 mm (US 7) / 80 cm (32 inches) circular needles.
  • Cable needle
  • Yarn needle
14 Oct

tutorial – pick-up & knit from garter stitch

Tutorial pick-up & knit from garter stitch - by La Visch Designs

In my Sirac stole design a center panel in a Cable & Lace pattern is worked first, after which stitches are picked up and knit on the long sides of the panel. After this, the rest of the pattern can be worked perpendicular to the Cable & Lace panel. One of my testers (hi Marilyn!) mentioned that it would be a good idea to dedicate a photo tutorial to the technique used for that. So here we are!

Of course, there are many ways to accomplish this. In this tutorial, I’m focusing on “pick-up and knit” from a garter stitch piece, worked without a chain stitch selvage. Such a selvage is pretty neat for picking-up stitches, but it also makes the selvage tighter than may be preferable. In such cases, it’s good to know how to pick-up & knit stitches from a regular garter stitch edge.

The difference between “pick-up” and “pick-up & knit”

It may be confusing what exactly the difference is between just “pick-up” and “pick-up & knit”. I mean, both have some picking-up action going on. The main difference is, that with just “pick-up” stitches of the piece already worked are placed on the knitting needle without introducing new yarn.

With “pick-up and knit”, new yarn is pulled through the piece already worked and the loops are placed on a knitting needle. These new loops are the new stitches from which the rest of the piece is worked.

Pick-up & knit from garter stitch step-by-step

In this example, I’m using a contrasting yarn for the pickup & knit part, to make it easier for you to see what exactly I’m doing and where.

1. We start with a piece of knitting worked completely in garter stitch, turned sideways with the RS facing. And yes, plain garter stitch does not really have a RS and WS, but it can have when there is patterning on a background of garter stitch.

Tutorial pick-up & knit from garter stitch - by La Visch Designs

2. Insert your needle (or crochet hook if you find that easier!), from front to back, between the garter stitch ridges, between the last and second-to-last columns of stitches. In other words: in between the ridges and 1 stitch in from the edge.

Tutorial pick-up & knit from garter stitch - by La Visch Designs

3. Wrap your yarn around the needle or crochet hook…

Tutorial pick-up & knit from garter stitch - by La Visch Designs

4. …and pull the loop of yarn through the work and place it on the needle.

Tutorial pick-up & knit from garter stitch - by La Visch Designs

5. Repeat steps 2-4, picking up 1 stitch per garter stitch ridge until all ridges have been worked. The result looks like this from the RS:

Tutorial pick-up & knit from garter stitch - by La Visch Designs

This is how it looks from the WS:

Tutorial pick-up & knit from garter stitch - by La Visch Designs

Next, you can start knitting according to your pattern. Take care, though, to see whether the stitches are positioned normal or twisted. The stitch mount has a potential impact on your project!

Stitch mount

Stitches have a left and right leg. The way they are positioned on the needle impacts the look of the stitches when knit. In the picture below on the left, you can see the regular orientation with the right leg in front of the needle. On the left there is a twisted stitch: the left leg of the stitch is in front of the needle. This is no problem though: Just knit (or purl) the twisted stitch through the back loop to untwist the stitch mount.

Making a crochet provisional cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

And here how it looks with some more rows worked from the RS:

Tutorial pick-up & knit from garter stitch - by La Visch Designs

And from the WS:

Tutorial pick-up & knit from garter stitch - by La Visch Designs

The white part looks a tad wider than the “body” of the piece because I used a slightly heavier weight yarn!

19 Aug

green madeira

Green Madeira - a design by La Visch Designs

Green Madeira is a semi-circle Pi shawl, designed for the gorgeous gradient yarn used. While I made my version in a mohair type yarn, any worsted weight gradient yarn would make a lovely shawl with this design!

Work this shawl from the top-down, startings with a garter stitch tab. The instructions for the lace are, of course, both charted and fully written out.


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Difficulty level
This half-circle shawl is knit from the top down and is started with a garter tab cast-on. Lace patterning is worked on both RS and WS rows. Stitches used include knit, purl, yo, m1, skp, k2tog, and p2tog. This pattern is suitable for the intermediate knitter.

Size and finished measurements
Finished dimensions of the sample shawl: span width of 172 cm (67 ¾ inches) and a depth of 63 cm (24 ¾ inches), measured after blocking.

Pattern details

  • Gauge: Gauge is not critical in this design. For the sample shawl: 11 sts / 24 rows = 10 cm (4 inches) over stockinette, knitted on smaller needles and measured after blocking.
  • 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: 420 m (459 yds)/ 150 g Woolly Hugs Bobbel Mohair (45% Acrylic, 40% Nylon, 15% Mohair; 420 m (459 yds)/ 150 g) in “203 Green”. Substitute any worsted weight mohair-type yarn with long color changes for a similar result.
  • Size 5 mm (US 8) / 80 cm (32 inches) circular needles
  • Size 5.5 mm (US 9) knitting needle (for bind-off only).
  • Yarn needle
  • Stitch markers to use in between lace repeats (optional)
19 Aug

tutorial – knitting colorwork tips

Colorwork tips - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Knitting colorwork besides giving a gorgeous result is also a lot of fun. I must admit I haven’t gone beyond knitting colorwork with 2 colors yet, at this point in time. Doing that though, I have come across some things that make it easier to do and get a lovely result. And, of course, I love to share these colorwork tips with you!

1. Picking your colors

Perhaps you’ve already noticed it with previous projects: sometimes when colors seem to go perfectly with each other, the result is just disappointing when combined. One possible reason for this is that the colors don’t have enough contrast between them. But how to make sure there is enough contrast? Read on this tutorial!

Contrast in colorwork - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

2. Start with a small project

Handling multiple strands of yarn at the same time while following a chart can be pretty daunting if you’ve never done so before. My advice would, therefore, be to start with a smallish project and limit yourself to only 2 colors. Think for example of a hat, like the Pijl hat pictured below.  This way you can find out how to hold your yarn etc. without adding an extreme tangle to the mix that even more colors of yarn could potentially bring.

Pijl - a design by La Visch Designs

3. Managing floats

The pieces of yarn running at the inside of a colorwork project knitted in the round are called “floats”: the lengths of yarn not being knitted and simply carried along the back.  Because they run at the inside circumference of the project, there is a risk of them getting too short and tight. This, in turn, will lead to puckering in the finished item. The solution is luckily a very easy one: just turn your knitting inside-out so the floats are on the outside circumference while knitting! This will usually give enough slack in the floats to avoid puckering. This is, by the way, a pic of my Bloem hat while in progress.

Colorwork tips - by La Visch Designs

4. Gauge

Most knitters find that when knitting colorwork their gauge ends up much tighter (more stitches per 10 cm / 4 inches) than when knitting in a single color with that particular yarn/needle combination. This is because the floats lack the elasticity of regular knitting stitches. This may mean that a colorwork hat, sweater or sock turns out much smaller than expected.  It’s therefor a good idea to either start with a smallish part of the project like a sleeve (for a big project like a sweater) or swatch. Don’t forget to swatch in the round though, because this is usually different from the gauge when worked flat.

5. Fixing mistakes

Let’s face it: mistakes will probably be made. I know I do! With some, you can just tink back (= knitting backward, in other words: stitch for stitch un-knitting what you did). In that case, make sure to wind back your yarn on the separate balls to avoid it all tangling up. It’s also possible to find a bit in your colorwork that didn’t quite go according to the chart, way back or even after binding off. In that case, there are several options. You can, of course, consider it a design element. if it bothers you too much, don’t be hesitant to fix it for the eye by embroidering over it using the duplicate stitch technique. And I’ve got a tutorial for that!

duplicate stitch_4

There you have it: several colorwork tips to help you with working lovely colorwork projects!

11 Aug

lace for mom

Lace for Mom - a design by La Visch Designs

The moment I showed my mom the yarn I used in this scarf, she said: “You know this is soooo my color?!” No problem mom, this one is for you. The delicate lace is based on traditional Estonian stitch patterns, which, of course, include nupps. My mom wouldn’t have it any different! Instructions for both traditional and easy nupps are included.

This design in size S was originally published in Knotions Magazine. This pattern, however, not only contains instructions for the peaked border on one of the long sides as pictured but also for a wider symmetrical version (size L). The instructions for the shawl are provided both fully charted and written out.


Price: € 5,95 add to basket

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Difficulty level
This scarf is worked lengthwise and contains lace that is worked on the right side of the fabric only. Size L also requires grafting / Kitchener stitch. Stitches used include knit, purl, k2tog, skp, yo, a centered double decrease (sl2-k1-p2sso) and nupps. This pattern is suitable for the intermediate to advanced knitter.

Sizes and finished measurements
S (L) – finished dimensions: 29 (40) cm (11 ½ (15 ¾) inches) wide and 224 cm (88 ¼ inches) long, measured after blocking. Shawl pictured is size S.

Pattern details

  • Gauge: For the sample Lace for Mom shawl: 12.7 sts / 18.8 rows = 10 cm (4 inches) over body pattern knit with smaller size needles, measured after blocking. Gauge is however not critical for 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: 402 (603) m (440 (660) yds) Malabrigo Yarn Sock (100 % wool; 402 m (440 yds) per 100 g) in 806 Impressionist Sky. Substitute any wool fingering weight yarn of comparable thickness for a similar result.
  •  Size 5 mm (US 8) / 80 cm (32 inches) circular needles
  • One extra pair size 5 mm (US 8) / 80 cm (32 inches) circular needles for grafting, for size L only
  • Size 6 mm (US 10) / 80 cm (32 inches) circular needles for cast-on only
  • Yarn needle
  • 21 stitch markers to use in between lace repeats (optional)
  • Waste yarn, approx. 1 m (1.1 yds), for size L only
  • Crochet hook in a size equivalent to the small size knitting needles (optional, for easy nupps)
25 Jul

tutorial – circular cast-on

Circular cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Casting-on for knitting in the round is usually a rather fiddly business. The circular cast-on method in this tutorial, unfortunately, isn’t any different in that respect. Still, when wanting the cast-on for a project knitted flat and in the round, this method gives a very nice and invisible start.

I think it’s ideal for things like top-down hats, center-out blankets or shawls, and the like. It’s pretty similar to the idea of starting a project with a magic ring in crochet. A big plus is that the ring can be tightened to close up the starting hole, once you’re well underway and past that fiddly starting stage.

In this tutorial I used a circular needle in the magic loop way, but (of course) double pointed needles (dpn’s) can also be used for the small-circumference start.

Materials

Besides yarn and circular knitting needles (or dpn’s), it’s also a good idea to use stitch markers to denote the corner stitches. I didn’t use them in this tutorial and it shows in the end result! If using circular needles, make sure the cable is long enough to do magic loop. In my experience, 80 cm / 32 inches or longer is needed for that.

Circular cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

The circular cast-on step-by-step

1. Make an overhand knot in your yarn as shown below in the picture.

Circular cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

2. Next, position your knitting needle as shown underneath the strand of your that goes to the ball of yarn.

Circular cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

3. Now insert the needle in the circle of yarn, yarn over and pull the loop through the circle. This makes a new stitch as shown below.

Circular cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

4. Now, yarn over again…

Circular cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

5. …. and (as in step 3) again insert the needle in the circle of yarn, yarn over and pull the loop through the circle. This makes a new stitch as shown below.

Circular cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

6. Repeat steps 3 and 4 as often as needed. In this example, I repeated another 2 times to get to a total of 8 stitches on my needle.

Circular cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

7. Now you can pull on the yarn tail to tighten up the cast-on circle. Don’t worry if it loosens up, later on, you can always tighten it again.

Circular cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

8. And now you can start knitting according to your pattern! This may also be a good time to insert any stitch markers needed, for the correct placement of the increases. In this example, I didn’t, which shows in the wonky placement of the yarn overs in the picture below. Still, the cast-on itself in the center can be seen pretty well, so there it is!

Circular cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

11 Jun

beat the fug

Beat the Fug - by La Visch Designs

Beat the Fug is a crescent-shaped shawl worked from the top-down. Inspired by the “Free-Wrench” novel by Joseph R. Lallo and the yarn dyed to match by Third Vault Yarns, it perfectly catches the steampunk vibe so wonderfully described in the story.

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 Beat the Fug shawl starts with a modified garter stitch tab. Stitches used include knit, purl, k2tog, p2tog, skp, a centered double decrease, yo and m1L and m1R increases. This pattern is suitable for the intermediate knitter.

Sizes and finished measurements
Size S (L) finished dimensions: Wingspan of 152 (175) cm (60 (69) inches) and a depth of 40 (50) cm (15 ¾ (19 ¾) inches), measured after blocking. The shawl shown is in size L.

Pattern details

  • Gauge: For the sample shawl measured after blocking: 19 sts / 23 rows = 10 cm (4 inches) in stockinette stitch. Gauge is not critical for this design, but a loose gauge is strongly advised.
  • 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: Third Vault Yarns Companion 4-ply (100% Sw Merino; 400 m (437 yds) / 100 g) in the following colors and amounts: C1: 140 (200) m (153 (219) yds) / 35 (50) g in The Windbreaker, and C2: 260 (400) m (284 (437) yds) / 65 (100) g in Well Fug!
  • Size 4 mm (US 6) / 80 cm (32 inches) circular needles
  • Yarn needle
  • 2 stitch markers to mark the center of the shawl
  • Stitch markers for the lace section (optional)
20 May

crops of harvest

Crops of Harvest - a design by La Visch Designs

Crops of Harvest is a stylish triangular shawl knit sideways. There is just something about the combination of striped garter stitch and lace that appeals to me. Lazy mindless knitting, together with lovely lace, makes it a perfect choice to combine a solid/tonal fingering weight yarn with a variegated one. What’s not to love?!

The pattern contains both fully written out as well as charted instructions for the lace. The lace section in the middle of the shawl is true lace knitting, worked on both wrong and right side rows.


Price: € 5,95 add to basket

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Difficulty level
The lace in the Crops of Harvest shawl pattern is worked on both RS and WS rows. Stitches used include knit, purl, yo, kfb, and both left- and right-leaning single and double decreases. This pattern is suitable for the intermediate knitter.

Sizes and finished measurements
One size (easily adjustable): Finished dimensions of the sample shawl: Span width of 210 cm (82 ¾ inches) along the upper edge and a depth of 81 cm (32 inches), measured after blocking.

Pattern details

  • Gauge: Gauge is not critical in this design. For the sample shawl measured after blocking: 16.5 sts / 27 rows = 10 cm (4 inches) over garter stitch stripes.
  • 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: A Guy With Two Needles Yarn Softy Squishy Fingering 2 (100% Merino; 399 m (436 yds) / 100 g) in the following colors and amounts: MC: 399 m (436 yds) / 100 g in “Overheated” and CC: 399 m (436 yds) / 100 g in “Bountiful wreath”. Substitute wool fingering weight yarn of comparable thickness, in a variegated (CC) and in a solid/tonal (MC) colorway for a similar result.
  • Size 4 mm (US 6) / 80 cm (32 inches) circular needles
  • Yarn needle
  • 1 stitch marker to indicate the edge stitches
22 Apr

crystal palace

Crystal Palace - a crochet design by La Visch Designs

The Crystal Palace scarf was inspired by the characteristic glass and cast iron facade of the building designed for the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London, with the same name. The pattern instructions produce a scarf in the size as pictured. However, the width and length are easy to adjust for further customization, including those following the usage of weights of yarn other than fingering-weight.

The instructions are both charted and written out, also, this pattern uses American English crochet terminology.


Price: € 5,95 add to basket

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Difficulty level
Stitches used in the Crystal Palace scarf pattern: chain, double crochet, treble crochet, triple treble crochet and slip stitches. This pattern is, therefore, suitable for the adventurous beginner.

Sizes and finished measurements
One size – measurements after blocking: 31 cm (12.2 inches) wide and 190 cm (74.8 inches) long, excluding fringe.

Pattern details

  • Gauge for the sample scarf measured after blocking:  10 sts and 4 rows in lace pattern = 6.4 cm (2.5 inches) wide and 11.8 cm (4.7 inches) tall.
  • 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: 230 m (248 yds) / 80 g Garnstudio DROPS Delight (75% wool, 25% nylon; 175 m / 191 yds per 50 g skein); in color Blue 03. Substitute any gradient fingering weight yarn for a similar result.
  • A size 3.5 mm (US E/4) crochet hook
  • Yarn needle