Greek Referendum: I’m Going to Athens Tomorrow

Sorry, but this week is not much about knitting here on jriede.com. I’m leaving to Athens tomorrow morning for some spontaneous journalism. I’ll keep you posted live from Athens from tomorrow Sunday to Monday evening covering Athens on the day of the Greek Referendum.

Greeks go to the polls on Sunday to vote on whether to accept the bailout program proposed by international lenders that would restart financial aid in exchange for further austerity and economic reform.

The government is urging people to vote no, with the finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, saying it is time to end years of rolling over Greece’s bailouts and “pretending” its debts can be repaid.

But Eurozone leaders have insisted that if Greece votes no, it will be saying goodbye to the euro. Two former Greek prime ministers, Kostas Karamanlis and Antonis Samaras, both of the centre-right New Democracy party, are urging a yes vote, saying that a return to the drachma would kill the Greek economy.

I’ll pack my camera and a pair of jeans and go to Athens for a day tomorrow to document this day of the Greek referendum, which is going to make history. Stay tuned!

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How To Create a Knitting Pattern, Day 4: Design Elements: Lace, Cables, … Or Plain Stockinette?

How To Create a Knitting Pattern, Day 4

Are you a knitter dying to create your own knitting patterns but don’t have a clue where to start? Make yourself comfortable: let’s get you started on my tutorial series on how to create a knitting pattern. Feeling lost? Find the article series overview here!


Welcome to Day 2 of the Knitting Pattern How To series! Today, we are going to talk about how to select stitch patterns for your new knitting pattern.

It’s All About Texture

Remember Rule #1? Form follows function! This rule is to obey when it comes to the selection of the stitch pattern of your choice, too. Do you want to keep your knitters busy with lots of charts, or shall your knitting pattern be suitable for easy, mindless TV knitting? Are you creating garments for cold winter days or an airy summer scarf?

Your stitch pattern should reflect the items’ purpose.

  • Cables tend to result in thicker knitted fabric
  • Open lace stitch patterns make lightweight, airy fabric
  • Lace stitch patterns come in easy (suitable for TV knitting) and complicated versions, occupying lots of concentration
  • Do your recipients like charts? If not, very complicated stitch patterns might not be the first choice
  • Is the item designed to be reversible? Take that into account by selecting reversible stitch patterns in that case (a currently hyped reversible stitch pattern is the Brioche stitch)
  • Will the item get heavy wear? No intricate lace stitch patterns for those!
  • Finally: how well does your yarn selection play together with the stitch pattern? Go swatch! (No wait, swatches are our topic for tomorrow)

Where To Find Stitch Patterns

My number one resource for stitch patterns are, in this order,

  • stitch dictionaries (real books, actually) and
  • the internet, obviously.

Stitch dictionaries come in various shapes and prices. My all time favorites are volumes I-VI of Barbara Walker’s A Treasury of Knitting Patterns, followed by gems I collected over the years, like the famous Estonian stitch pattern collection Pitsilised Koekirjad by Leili Reimann, Patterns for Guernseys, Jerseys, and Arans by Gladys Thompson and Sata Kansanomaista Kuviokudinmallia by Eeva Haavisto, a comprehensive book about stitch patterns for mittens. Besides that, I own some lovely books on traditional Alpine Knitting from Austria and Germany, preventing the art & beauty of this old knitting tradition.

When it comes to online search, I tend to visit Pinterest for inspiration first. I pin interesting patterns to my Board Stitch Patterns – have a look to get you started!

Exercise: Find Suitable Stitch Patterns For Your Project

Find at least three suitable stitch patterns to use in your new knitting pattern. Post a comment with your solution here until Saturday, July 4 to enter the contest to win one of my knitting patterns of your choice!

Go and get some practice now! Creating knitting patterns in easier than you think. You can do it, too!

Julia Riede Signature

 

 

<< Day 3: Yarn & Pattern Category | Day 5: Swatches (July 1) >>

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Knitting Blogs 2015: Espace Tricot, Montreal, Canada

Knitting Blogs Gems: Espace Tricot

You all love my Friday Freebies, that’s for sure. Yesterday I stumbled upon another knitting blog with regular free pattern Fridays: the blog of Espace Tricot, a yarn shop base in Montreal Canada.

Looking for information what Espace Tricot is all about, I found the following paragraph on their website:

“Casting off their previous lives in non-profit management and teaching, Melissa and Lisa opened Espace Tricot in 2010. As much a gathering place as a retail space, the shop’s inspiring atmosphere caters to fiber lovers of all ages and skill levels, attracting a loyal clientele. The store stocks a large and carefully curated selection of yarns and fibers, notions, accessories, books and patterns. Espace Tricot also offers many classes and workshops where new knitters, crocheters, and spinners can get started and more advanced customers can hone their skills.”

espace tricot knitting blog
Tanis Fiber Arts in the colorway Slate, photo courtesy of Espace Tricot, from this blog post

I discovered their website via a post on the blog of Brittany – who recently contacted me when she wrote an article about my own blog, you can read it online here.

If you’re looking for a project bag, they carry ZigZagStitches‘s lovely zippered pouches, too!

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ZigZagStitches knitting project bags, available in the store and online at Espace Tricot.

Their beautiful photography and useful knitting pattern resources made me stay for more than an hour, browsing all the beautiful free knitting patterns shared.

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The Ship to Shore Shawl by Katie Rempie, found via espacetricot.com.

My Ravelry queue exploded.

free_outline
Outline by Beata Jezek is a brilliant pattern for showcasing your coveted, hand-dyed skeins of fingering (sock) weight yarns. Use up leftovers, use all new skeins, or combine remnants with new indulgences to knit this simple but stunning wrap. As the designer says “this wrap lets your yarns shine and your mind rest. It’s a very easy, enjoyable knit, with a great knitting rhythm”. (Photos: Hedgehog Fibers)

It seems like multi-color shawls are the new must-have in the knitting universe.

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The Sail Shawl pattern is available in their store and online as a kit  together with yarn in several different color combinations. “SweetGeorgia’s gently asymmetrical Sail Shawl evokes a nautical, summertime feel. The entire shawl is worked with knit stitches only, making for an easy, relaxing project.” (Photo: SweetGeorgia)

Maybe my latest shawl pattern, Josephine, has been created in anticipation of this trend? Who knows. Anyway, Escape Tricot is one of the knitting blogs 2015 you should consider adding to your reading list.

Happy reading!

Julia Riede Signature

Image icon (diamond) credit: Icon made by Puppets from www.flaticon.com ,Licensed under CC BY 3.0

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How To Create a Knitting Pattern, Day 3: Yarn and Pattern Category Selection

How To Create A Knitting Pattern: Yarn & Pattern Category Selection

Are you a knitter dying to create your own knitting patterns but don’t have a clue where to start? Make yourself comfortable: let’s get you started on my tutorial series on how to create a knitting pattern. Feeling lost? Find the article series overview here!


Welcome to Day 3 of the Knitting Pattern How To series! Today, we are going to talk about how to select yarn and a pattern category for your new knitting pattern.

How To Choose a Pattern Category

When it comes to pattern category selection, I don’t run into much problems usually: I like to knit shawls and socks too, so I focus on creating patterns for shawls and socks. (I’m working on moving on towards sweater and cardigan patterns, too – but this is another story and shall be told another time).

What do you enjoy knitting?

Sweaters, hats, scarves, shawls, or items for your beloved pet?

If in doubt, choose the pattern category you feel most comfortable within. It does not make sense to start creating a knitting pattern involving a technique or construction method you do not feel familiar with.

You are about to learn something new: how to create a knitting pattern. This alone is a challenge! Trying to master two different hings at a time might feel overwhelming and be disappointing in the end.

How To Select Yarn For Your New Knitting Pattern

Decided on a pattern category? Awesome! Now it’s time to talk about yarn selection.

The first thing to be considered when it comes to yarn selection for your knitting pattern to be created is whether a chosen yarn can be used with the selected pattern category at all. Are we talking about a summer scarf? Or a sweater for these cold mid-winter days to keep you warm?

Rule #1: Form Follows Function

There’s a rule, actually THE rule, in design generally: form follows function.

This should be your number one objective when it comes to creating knitting patterns, too. Always select yarn base and weight for your patterns according to this rule first. I cannot emphasize this enough.

Choosing that lovely shiny pure silk yarn for your pattern project might be tempting, but there’s no way of using it in cold weather garments. Always obey Rule #1.

Rule #2: Availability

After deciding on yarn weight and fiber content, detailed yarn choices are to be made. Is the yarn you plan to use readily available? People tend to become confused when knitting patterns call for discontinued yarns, or yarns only available locally.

If in doubt, use yarns which are available to YOUR target audience. It makes a difference if you are publishing French patterns for French knitters – in this case, you could of course choose to use a French yarn company selling their yarns in France only. If you aim for a broader audience, choosing a yarn that is available either at local yarn stores or easily to be ordered via the internet might be the better choice.

Rule #3: Price

When it comes to knitting yarns, we all know how that our hobby is not on the cheap side of the spectrum at all. Being able to use expensive yarns is a nice thing, but there might be people out there who cannot afford them.

Addressing yarn substitutes is an option if you really want to show off that special single skein of yarn you were happy to find at our local yarn shop, for like $50 per 50 yards.

Let’s sum up

  • Form follows function!
  • Prefer yarns readily available for a broad range of people over local, not easily available yarns.
  • Select yarns that are affordable. Alternatively, provide yarn substitutes.

Take Action: Complete The Following Exercise to Win a Free Pattern of Your Choice

Now, go on and take the exercise: choose on a pattern category and select at least three yarn options for it.

Do this now, and then write a comment on this post stating your solution to exercise #1. Each entry between today and Friday, July 3rd, enters a contest to win one of my patterns of your choice.

Go and get some practice now! Creating knitting patterns in easier than you think. You can do it, too!

Julia Riede Signature

 

 

<< Day 2: All About Inspiration | Day 4: Design Elements: Lace, Cables, … Or Plain Stockinette? >>

 

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Upcoming New Shawl Patterns (Eye Candy, Anyone?)

New shawl patterns by Julia Riede

I’m happy to share some of my upcoming new shawl patterns with you today: Josephine, Greenwing and Adjustable Greenie.

Pictures of Josephine in the making have been shared here previously in my WIP Wednesday post two weeks ago, and the finished shawl is even prettier than the work in progress pictures promised.

The shawl pattern shape is a triangle worked sideways, turning the pattern into an ideal stash busting project. Got some odd skeins stashed in a pretty color combination? Use them now.

Greenwing is another new shawl pattern going to be included in the second edition of Shawl Design in Plain English. Shaped like a winged triangle, it serves as example pattern for this shawl shape.

The Greenwing shawl is started at center neck and has a center panel construction additionally to the wings.

 

Greenwing, a new shawl pattern by Julia Riede, published in July 2015
Greenwing, a new shawl pattern by Julia Riede, published in July 2015

Adjustable Greenie has been on my needles for ages and featured in WIP Wednesday posts already, too. Took a while to take decent pictures of it, but here they are, finally. This pattern is going to be included in the second edition of Shawl Design in Plain English, too.

Stashy Josephine, a new shawl pattern by Julia Riede, published in July 2015
Stashy Josephine, a new shawl pattern by Julia Riede, published in July 2015

 

Adjustable Greenie, a new shawl pattern by Julia Riede, published in July 2015
Adjustable Greenie, a new shawl pattern by Julia Riede, published in July 2015

More eye candy? Here you are.

New shawl pattern by Julia Riede, published in July 2015

New shawl pattern by Julia Riede, published in July 2015

Did you start any shawl knitting projects recently?

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