Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sunshine Yellow Twirly Skirt

I just recently finished this one, so my little one could wear it to school before it ended (school, I mean). She really loves it! Of course that makes me feel really good, especially since there are plenty of garments that I had made for her and she never wears (even though she likes them, or so she says).

The skirt is knitted in the round, I started it on top, and increased every other row at regular intervals - I chose 7 stitches to start with - no particular reason other that it just felt right at the moment... it would probably work with any amount of stitches in between increases, depending on how big you want the skirt to be... my daughter likes her skirts very wide at the bottom...

Towards the end I got quite bored with the simple pattern and decided to add something extra, so I added a basic little lace pattern: "k2tog" 3 times then "k, yo", 3 times. After a few rows of lace I added a bit of lavender yarn, continuing the lace pattern. I ended it with a couple of purl rows, so it wouldn't turn out...

I am working on a matching top in lavender, and I'll add a bit of yellow to that one...

It will be done some day... hopefully before she grows out of this skirt....

although, of course the beauty of knitting in the round, top down is that I can always add more rows to make it longer....

Pattern for it:
Cast on provisionally, with different color yarn, 110 sts.
Work about 5 rows in rib sts, then switch to yellow.
Work 14 rows.
Fold to get the first yellow row together with the next one.
Row 15 will be worked from the first yellow row and row 15 together: *Knit one sts from first yellow row, and one sts from row 15 together*, repeat to end. Now carefully cut off the provisional cast-on, so you have double knitted ribbing where you can later put elastic in.
Join to work in the round.
Divide work for increase as follows:
*K7, PM, P1*, repeat to end of row.
Increase by K1,P1 in the same stitch in every other row at the stitch marker, just before the P stitch.
Work in this fashion until you almost reach the desired lenght.
Bottom: Stop decreasing. Start lace pattern:
*K3tog three times, then K1, YO three times*. repeat to end of row.
next row knit to the end, then repeat lace pattern every other row about 6 times, or as much as desired. Switch to lavender.
Repeat lace pattern with lavender for 6 rows.
To end:
Knit one row, then purl two more row.
Bind off by purl stitches.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"Anyuka" purse

I made this purse for my mom (Anyuka)....

It ended up looking much better than I even expected.... I forgot the name of the yarn I used, it was something that just wanted me to knit it into a purse of some kind. Knitting the body was the esiest part, I just played a bit with cables and the pattern showed itself.

Sewing the inside for it was much harder, especially since I wanted to add a pocket, and it needed to be stiff enough. The first cloth I used didn't work... it was too thin, didn't hold a shape...

My brother was here visiting at the time (he is an artist) and we had bought canvas for him to paint a picture.

I found that the leftover canvas worked best, it made the purse stiff enough... Tibike got the links in also, since I just simply don't have strong enough hands to do that. The beads were an afterthought, we basically looked at what I had that could work with it, and placed them according to my brother's suggestions.

We finished it around midnight on the last day of his visit.

The next day he was on a plane going back to the old country...

Of course my mom loves the purse (I hope)... it was basically a team effort of two of her kids - what mom wouldn't? I know I would....

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I'm reading some Elizabeth Zimmerman books... and what she says makes perfect sense to me, I feel the same way!

I really think she is right when she says that our hands somehow remember what to do with yarn and knitting needle as soon as we pick them up. You just have to let go of preconceptions about patterns, about how things are "supposed to be" done.. your fingers will know what to do.

I love her word "unvent" and its definition. While knitting, we don't invent things, even though it may seem that way to us. It is more unventing, like unearthing something ancient, maybe long forgotten, but still there, somewhere in our subconscious, patterns that our hands remember, even if our mind doesn't. That is what knitting feels like to me.

When I pick up some yarn, I may have a vague idea about what I might want to do with it, maybe it is my daughter's favorite color, so I know that it should be something for her, or maybe it feels right for some specific garment... As I start casting on, some shape starts materializing in my head. Usually it is still somewhat vague at this time, but it helps me figure out how many stitches to cast on. Usually by the second or third row I have a pretty good idea of what I am making (on a lucky day).

The pattern itself just shows up as I go along. It really seems that my fingers just take over and remember some long forgotten pattern that my ancestors used, or something I have seen my grandma make when I was very little. Yes, when I am knitting I am going back to my roots, sometimes to the most ancient ones.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


This doll started out because I wanted to learn how to knit socks.
I found a pretty basic sock design, made it in miniature, just to see how it worked. It worked just fine, but now I ended up with a tiny sock... so I knitted another one, and decided to make a doll for my little girl.
From the two socks (they were started at the toe) I continued in a different color yarn for legs, then connected them into a bigger circle for the body. The head was a bit more challenging, I rounded it up a bit by increasing then decreasing - basically like a hat... I made the arms separately and had sewn them on later. Her eyes and mouth were sewn on from different colored yarn.
I did intend to sew hair on top of its head, but my daughter started playing with "her", and named her "Banana", I guess because of the shape... she didn't want her banana to have hair. It is kind of cute the way it is... but let me know what you think.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Cabled Hat pattern

This was the first pattern I actually wrote down... I had it available for free for a year, I am happy that so many of you have enjoyed it. Thank you for all the feedback, thanks to you all I was able to edit it and design it for more sizes.
The new and edited version of this pattern is available for purchase through Réka Knits or Ravelry.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


I was reading about yarn... well, a lot of things are starting to make sense now. Like why the yarn "talks to me" (as my friend put it once), or why my old knitted baby shirts are still looking like new after 42 years, five kids, and storage...
My grandma used linen for those baby shirts, and from what I read about linen now, they probably got better with age. Living in Phoenix, I realize now that I want to use linen again. Here is the difference though: my grandma used linen because it was the cheapest, most readily available thing at the time and place she lived in - for summer clothes at least. Now, here in the States, I didn't even see linen yarn in a mainstream store like Joann's for example, and I'm sure when I find it, it won't be cheap.
Wool is another example: everyone in the old country used it for all their winter knitting projects. I used it a lot, and yes, we did have a variety, we could have it spun thick or thin, soft or not so soft, but the colors were basically the same, either white, brown or grey, all natural. I used it so much and have seen it so much, I got sick of it, and acrylic seemed way better than anything - it had more color.
Now I feel like I am turning into my grandma... I am searching for (softer varieties, true) the same yarns that she had used. I realize that it will last longer and always look better.... and of course, it's all natural, what more could you wish for?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Learning Another New Language

Although I've been designing my own knitwear basically since I learned to knit at the age of eight, I have just recently tried to write down my designs. Well, it is way harder than I anticipated. Since I never really followed a pattern, or even looked at a written one, I have a hard time understanding it. It is a whole different language, be it written in English or in my native tongue, Hungarian. It's hard for me to master it, even though I am a translator and writer and I speak quite a few other languages. I am lucky enough to have a friend who knows this language very well. She can correct me when I call cables "eights", or I try to say "cast off" instead of bind off.... Until I can write down some patterns, I'll be back with more stories of my learning the knitting language.