30 December 2010

Falala 2010 Pattern #25: Aino & Sidecar Mittens

Better late than never (just like our flight back to New York, switched from Monday to Friday) are two last patterns, and I'm glad I waited! Therese Lestander's Aino mittens are an elegant pair with simple adornment - a  Latvian braid and pretty stranded pattern on the cuff. And then there is Thea Colman's Sidecar Mittens with lacey cuffs and a clever ribbed cuff in fingering weight yarn to peek through. Both mittens are worked up in DK weight yarn, so they will go quickly. Why not knit yourself a pair in January, since mittens have quickly become THE item to knit in January. [Aino: Ravelry | Sidecar Mittens: Ravelry]

26 December 2010

Falala 2010 Pattern #24: Winterland/Vinterland

(Apologies for the delay on the last two posts in my series - the holidays get a little crazy, don't they?)

These stranded mittens are perfect for Christmas Eve, especially for folks attending Midnight services. Wenche Roald's pattern, inspired by Norwegian winter nights and an embroidered wall hanging, is a beautiful star-lit scene in fingering-weight yarn. One finished project shows the year on the inside of the thumb! Pattern is written in both English and Norwegian. Wenche also has mitten patterns with a Dala horse and a quilt sampler - lovely, clever, and just a little different. [Ravelry]

23 December 2010

Falala 2010 Pattern #23: Fred+Ginger Cardigan

At this time of year I want to curl up and watch Astaire & Rogers movies (I'm watching The Gay Divorcee  right now!), so Laura Chau's lovely little cardigan seemed the perfect choice for today. With set-in, three-quarter sleeves and ruffled hems, this is a lovely little cardigan that will fit in perfectly to most any wardrobe. This sweater is knit in sport-weight yarn, and the ruffles are cashmere/silk laceweight. [Ravelry]

P.S. Kieran Foley has just issued a new, top-down version of his Emily Dickinson shawl, Emily 2. And guess who just came home with a skein of madeline tosh lace in Baltic and a couple of wee boxes of seed beads that match from Loopy Yarns? Merry Christmas to me!

Falala 2010 Pattern #22: Owen

In addition to being a crazy doll lady, I am something of a teddy bear connoisseur, and Jane Watling's Owen is a very special bear, perfect for children of all ages. Go take a look at that face! Not only does he sport classic teddy looks, but he's is worked up in the round in DK-weight yarn (try Aran-weight to make a big lovey, though he is already over a foot high) and is button-jointed. 50% of the £4 price benefits the New Lanark Trust, an historic Scottish mill now spinning organic wool. Printed copies of the pattern are available directly from New Lanark Trust for £4.50, which includes postage. [Ravelry | New Lanark Trust]

22 December 2010

Falala 2010 Pattern #21: Elphaba Pullover

Sometimes you need a little, fitted knit. Mary Anarella's Elphaba Pullover is a perfect example, and she has even included a horizontal bust dart tutorial for a perfect fit for those of us with curves up top. Written in nine sizes in two-inch increments and worked in fingering-weight yarn, it starts at the top and ends with some lovely Japanese feather lace. Be sure to check out her Inaugural Sweater, too - a jacket in Malabrigo Merino Worsted. [Ravelry]

21 December 2010

Falala 2010 Pattern #20: Billington Bag

Ready for some felting? Snowden Becker's adorable Billington Bag just might fit the bill. Neat twisted-stitch pattern and clever details (button feet!) make for a fun project in worsted-weight yarn. Comes in two sizes. [Ravelry]

19 December 2010

Falala 2010 Pattern #19: Virna

I'm on a hat kick - they're usually quick knits and are so useful for keeping you warm now that winter is upon us. Today's hat is unabashedly feminine with a little slouch and a lovely crocheted flower accent. My friend Jenn asked for a pattern suggestion today for a woman's hat with attached flower, and this was one of the many I found on Ravelry (that pattern search tool is amazing!). I have Jatta Sauko's Zetor Scarf, a beautiful triangle shawl, in my queue and just saw that she has some other great hats. Patterns are in Finnish and English. [Ravelry]

Falala 2010 Pattern #18: Ripley

Ysolda Teague's Ripley has been my go-to hat ever since I knit it up, and not just because I worked it up in Lobster Pot Cashmere. Clever construction in Aran-weight yarn (Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted is the called-for yarn, but there are plenty of good subs, including Malabrigo Twist) makes for a quick and satisfying knit. Plus there are "boy" and "girl" versions (garter stitch and lace headbands, respectively). While you're at it, splurge on the whole booklet, Whimsical Little Knits 2, rather than just Ripley, including the beautiful Veyla mitts and a hedgehog toy! [Ravelry | Ysolda: Whimsical Little Knits 2]

17 December 2010

Falala 2010 Pattern #17: Damask

So maybe you don't feel up to knitting with "thread" but still feel like some lace. Give Kitman Figueroa's gorgeous Damask a go. All of her patterns are beautiful, but Damask is the one that's in my queue, and it is knit with Malabrigo Sock yarn (or any other fingering-weight yarn). Comes in three sizes, using one to two skeins of yarn. [Ravelry | Etsy]

16 December 2010

Falala 2010 Pattern #16: Emily Dickinson

As the year draws to a close and time to knit up any more presents for loved ones runs out, I start to think about what I want in my knitted wardrobe (and what I want to knit "for fun"). And it's time for lace. Though I've never been one for beads on my knitting, Kieran Foley has made me reconsider with his beautiful little Emily Dickinson shawl - so pretty and ethereal. Just one skein of cobweb, and he starts at the bottom, which is an unusual construction for triangle shawls these days. Those beads are like dewdrops. Time to comb through my laceweight stash and choose some yarn! [Ravelry | knit/lab]

15 December 2010

Falala 2010 Pattern #15: Brynja

I'm still in a Nordic* mood, probably because of the cold snap here in New York. Who am I kidding? I am often in a Nordic mood, spending time every summer in Door County, Wisconsin, where folks are from Sweden, Norway, Finland, etc. That's where I first saw Poetry in Stitches and bought Poems of Color, Norwegian Handknits, and Northern Knits (all lovely books I highly recommend).

And just in case you haven't yet discovered The Icelandic Knitter, go take a look at Brynja. Isn't that a pretty sweater? I love the original color combination (and the ribbon-lined placket). Kits are available, but if you are stash-diving, Lett-Lopi is an Aran weight yarn, so, mmmm, Malabrigo might be an interesting substitute, or perhaps Shelter, which is very lofty like Lopi. [Ravelry | The Icelandic Knitter]

P.S. I'm so in love with Theodóra, The Icelandic Knitter doll!

*Do you consider Iceland to be Nordic? If not, why not, and what more-general term would you use for these European countries of the Far North? Totally curious and 

Falala 2010 Pattern #14: Santa Lucia doll

I missed Santa Lucia Day (December 13th), but we can get ready for next year by making this adorable Alan Dart doll now. And Starboy comes along, too! [Ravelry | Alan Dart]

If you want to be Santa Lucia yourself, try this lovely candle crown (much safer than the real thing!), free from Sara Swärd. [Ravelry] It would also look great as a centerpiece.

13 December 2010

Falala 2010 Pattern #13: Modern Garden Cardigan

If you are a moderately speedy knitter, I bet you could knock out one of Veera Välimäki's adorable Modern Garden Cardigans before the holidays. I love her modern, minimalist sensibility, and the cardigan cleverly has all shaping in the lace motifs. Knit in bulky yarn, and coming in five sizes, this is a great pattern for gifting (or keeping for yourself - what about working it up with two strands of Dream in Color Starry for some New Year's bling?). [Ravelry]

12 December 2010

Falala 2010 Pattern #12: Elise mitten

With the rain and the wind roaring outside today, it seems a perfect time to think about stranded mittens. And Johanne Landin's Elise mittens are so pretty! I have one (1) almost-finished Selbu-style mitten almost finished, but it may have to stay in UFOland a while longer, once I choose two yarn colors. [Ravelry]

Falala 2010 Pattern #11: The Miss Flitt series

Beth Hahn has written and illustrated three of the four planned books of her Miss Flitt series, a 19th-century mystery with knitting patterns. Her watercolors are lovely, and I hope to collect them all soon (there are both PDF downloads and printed books). I love the whole shebang and am having a hard time selecting just one knit for you. For a quick project? The Annabel Lee Neck Cozy or the Amity Capelet. And for something that will keep you busy a little longer, perhaps the worsted-weight Emma Cardigan. [Ravelry | Miss Flitt]

10 December 2010

Falala 2010 Pattern #10: Izzy Wellington

I have a thing for knitted toys (see Matryoshka Japonais) and for dressing up dolls. Thank goodness I have two girls! And Anita Wheeless's Izzy Wellington is just such a doll. At 18" high, with dress and dancing slippers (all felted), she is ready to be admired and played with - just like dolls are meant to be. [Ravelry | blog]

Falala 2010 Pattern #9: Kimono Wrap Cardigan

I'm not sure when I started reading Hilary Smith Callis's blog, The Yarniad, but I've been reading it long enough to know that when the Giants won the World Series, she would be over the moon. And I'm pretty sure I've been reading it long enough to have seen her simple, elegant Kimono Wrap Cardigan when it was something she just knit up. These days she is designing lovely knits for KnitPicks's Independent Designer Program and Tess Designer Yarn, as well as the lovely (and popular) Citron on Knitty (another great knit you should add to your queue). Sized from XS-3XL and worked in a Worsted weight yarn, you might be able to squeak this one through before Christmas.[Ravelry | KnitPicks | blog]

Falala 2010 Pattern #8: Brigade

Something for the guys, you say? How about Brigade by the talented Todd Gocken*. Knit up in Cascade 220 (sooo many color possibilities!), this would be a handsome sweater for any man in your life. And what about that handsome model? [Ravelry | blog]

*I had the pleasure of attending Franklin Habit's Photographing Your Knitting class with Todd some time ago.

Falala 2010 Pattern #7: Last-minute Stockings

Ysolda is such a wonder: talented and adorable, she creates knits everyone wants. Why not knit up some of her last-minute stockings so Santa has some place to put all that yarn? [Ravelry | blog]

Falala 2010 Pattern #6: Cascade (children's sweater)

Do you have a little person in your life? Check out the sweet little sweater (sized 3 months to age 6) published in the online magazine Petite Purls. Designed by Raya Budrevich, Cascade (a cascade of lacy leaves down the placket of the cardigan) uses madeline tosh Vintage (one of my favorite yarns). [Ravelry | Petite Purls]
P.S. Apologies for the delay - I've been prepping for the kids' school craft fair, and the last few days have been crazy as a result. Catching up now...

05 December 2010

Falala 2010 Pattern #5: Lady Jane Gloves

I guess it's the Anglophile in me that just swoons over these fingerless gloves with their puffs and bows by Beth Wolden. The Lady Jane gloves would look great layered over plain gloves for a little extra warmth and outfit oomph this winter. [Ravelry | Knit Picks | Cotton Gin and Tonic]

Falala 2010 Pattern #4: Egg Nog

From one of my favorite knitting peeps comes this great little cardi to throw on over just about anything. Egg Nog is written for sizes small to extra-large and works up quickly (short sleeves = no sleeve island to get trapped on) in Berocco's Ultra Alpaca, a dreamy and well-priced yarn, though I bet it would look great in just about any worsted-weight yarn. [Ravelry]

03 December 2010

Falala 2010 Pattern #3: Chanukah Dreidel

How about a lovely felted dreidel as the festival of lights gets under way? Amanda Kaffka has one that is uuick to knit in super bulky yarn. She also has some cute Christmas stockings on her designer page. [Ravelry]

02 December 2010

Falala 2010 Pattern #2: Where the Wild Things Are pullover

Ms. Tiny Owl Knits has such a wonderful (and literary) imagination! Last year I recommended her Amy March slippers, and this year I've discovered her Where the Wild Things Are pullover, complete with hood and crown. Let the wild rumpus begin with this quick-to-knit-in-bulky-yarn pullover! [Ravelry]

01 December 2010

Falala 2010 Pattern #1: Snowbird

It's that time of year again! I'm not going to limit myself to free patterns this year (in fact, I hope to emphasize independent knitwear designers but don't want to hamper my searches), so for the next 25 days you will find suggestions of fun patterns to knit/queue. Some will be quickies that you could make for a holiday gift and some will be longer-term projects. Happy holidays!

First up, Heidi Kirrmaier's (PipiBird on Ravelry) Snowbird, a perfectly named, cozy, drapey cardigan. I must confess that I own this pattern, though have yet to knit it up. And I have the yarn (Jo Sharp/Kathmandu Tweed) in my stash! Perhaps I'll get to it once the holidays are over, since this is one I'm sure I would wear a lot. All Heidi's patterns have a simple elegance to them without their being boring. Snowbird is $6.50 and is sized from XS to 3XL. [Ravelry]