Posts Tagged ‘summer’

The Beauty Of Linen

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

With temperatures soaring higher and higher each summer, it only makes sense that the effects of climate change have increased the popularity of linen as a suitable yarn choice for warm weather projects.  Linen has been around for almost seven thousand years, spun from fibres collected from the stalk of the flax plant.  It has incredible durability and drape, with a lovely patina that just gets better and better over time.  Depending on the season, linen can fend off up to twenty percent of its weight in moisture, keeping the wearer dry, cool and comfortable.

Unlike wool, linen has no natural elasticity, so here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing this lovely fibre to work with-

1. Linen has a mind of its own.  Choose a style with a very relaxed look, requiring minimal shaping or structure.  Open stitches work well, rule out cables and intricate texture detail.

2. Stick with wooden needles, they have a better grip than steel or metal and will make the first-time experience of working with linen all the easier.

3. Take the time to wash and block your tension swatch.   This is a yarn that appears springy on the needles yet grows and settles into its finished size only after washing.

4. Be sure to keep point protectors on your needles when leaving your work unattended.  Stitches worked in natural linen will quite literally jump off the needles!

5. Most of all, enjoy the process.  A linen garment will last a lifetime, the beauty of this yarn is in its suppleness and drape.

 

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NEW from Katia’s Concept Collection, Lincys is a natural linen yarn with a range of nine exquisite shades, each one softened by subtle undertones.  Take a peek at these five featured designs in the latest Concept 3 Spring/Summer magazine.  Available now at your lys.

lincys katia

The cooling effects of this deep watery turquoise shade are instantaneous.  Mesh panels add an airy look and define the front borders while also creating flouncy sleeves on this kimono cardigan.  Requires 8-10 balls of Lincys.  Col. 309 (shown above).

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Cinnamon and spice and everything nice.  Keep cool this summer in Katia’s well-vented sleeveless top which is knit sideways and seamed at the centre.  Rows of elongated stitchwork make the knitting grow very quickly and let the air in.  Requires 4 balls of Lincys.  Concept 3 Collection.  Col. 300 (shown above).

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More than meets the eye at first glance, this summer top is designed with a myriad of intriguing stitch combinations and a halter style neckline that reveals an open back.  Requires 6-8 balls.  Col. 301 (shown above).

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A multi-hued delight, with flecks of rose, blue, green and gold flickering in the sunlight.  Designed for beginners, this linen tunic plays up the contrast between basic garter and stockinette stitch to create texture.  Requires 5-6 balls of Lincys. Col. 303 (shown above).

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True blue, an all-time favorite that captures the essence of summertime.  An ideal choice for this lacy jacket, which is simply knit in two mirrored pieces with a seam at the centre back.  Requires 8-11 balls of Lincys. Col. 307 (shown above).

Shimmer Shawl

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

Every once in awhile a new yarn comes along that truly embodies the feeling of the season.  This Spring, Summertime Light is sitting front and centre in our collection, a finer version of our popular Summertime, appealing to knitters and crocheters alike with its vivacious energy and fresh look.  When the light catches it in just the right way, it shimmers…..

 

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Introducing Summertime Light, a soft and shimmery yarn enhanced with subtle colour highlights spun in a linen, cotton and acrylic base.  This sport weight yarn offers a palette of ten irresistible shades and is the quintessential choice for wispy shawls, cool comfortable cardigans, and airy summer ponchos.

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Filling in the accessory gap this season, our latest design in Summertime Light, is a delicate layer to wear as a shoulder shawl or neck scarf.  Ideal for beginners, this is a quick project to knit.  Gift one to a special friend or make a few in different shades just for yourself!

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  SHIMMER SHAWL

Finished Size: 117 cm/ 46 in width x 61 cm/ 24 in length (at center spine)

Yarn: 3 balls (col. 04) Summertime Light by Diamond Luxury Collection 

Needle: 4.00 mm/ US 6 – 60 cm/ 32 inch circular

Tension: 16 sts and 36 rows = 10 cm/ 4 in in Garter St (after blocking)

Abbreviations

M1L: Make 1 left by picking up horizontal bar between two stitches from front to back, knit into back of this bar

M1R: Make 1 right by picking up horizontal bar between two stitches from back to front, knit into front of this bar

Pm: Place marker

Sm: Slip marker

Yo: Yarn over

 

Cast on 5 sts.

Row 1 (WS): K2, pm, k1, pm, k2.

Row 2 (RS): K2, yo, M1L, sm, k1, sm, M1R, yo, k2 = 9 sts.

Row 3 (WS): Knit.

Row 4 (RS): K2, yo, k to next marker, M1L, sm, k1, sm, M1R, k to last 2 sts, yo, k2.

Row 5 (WS): Knit.

Rep Row 4 & 5 until 89 sts on needle.

Cont in Lace Pattern as follows-

*Next row- K2, yo, [k2tog, yo] rep to next marker, M1L, sm, k1, sm, M1R, [yo, k2tog] rep to last 2 sts, yo, k2.

Next Row- K2, p to next marker, sm, k1, sm, p to last 2 sts, k2.*

Rep *to* 8 times more = 125 sts on needle.

Rep Row 4 & 5 until 205 sts on needle.

Rep *to* 9 times  = 241 sts on needle.

Picot Cast Off (RS): Cast off 3 sts, [slip rem st onto left needle, cast on 2 sts (using knitted cast on method), cast off 5 sts] rep to end.  Fasten off.

Download pattern here.

Design by: Michele Meadows

NOTE: The green text in the lace pattern is different than what you knit before the centre point.

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Top Ten Breezy Tops 2015

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

In the middle of a heat wave, its nice to have a few alternatives to turning on the air conditioner, like going for a cruise in a friend’s convertible and feeling the evening breeze, filling a bucket with ice cold water and plunging your feet into it, running barefoot through the backyard sprinkler or spending a lazy afternoon in the shade of a nearby forest where it is at least ten degrees cooler than in the direct sunlight.  Here’s hoping that these Top Ten Breezy Tops from Katia’s current collection also make you feel cool and refreshed-

 

Katia San Remo bk81

Katia San Remo Mullet Back Top

The eighties mullet hairdo may have retired peacefully to the suburbs but its fashionable namesake, the mullet back top is one of the hottest knitting styles this season.  Longer in the back, shorter in the front, this sleeveless shell combines a wide ribbed welt with a decorative lace panel, knit in a sizzling summer sparkler, San Remo by KatiaSilver & Gold (shown above).

Katia Silk Cotton bk81

Katia Silk-Cotton Lacy Shell

About as smooth and refined as any yarn can get, Katia’s Silk-Cotton receives high praise for its even stitching and polished finish.  This lacy shell has a deep scoop neckline and a slim-fitting silhouette to pair gracefully with stretchy denim or capris.

Katia Bulky Cotton bk81

Katia Bulky Cotton Nautical Style Top

Tanned and toned arms look all the more impressive in this nautical style top featuring a ribbed yoke and dropped stitches.  Knit in Bulky Cotton, a jersey-style yarn that molds itself effortlessly around the needles.  Beige (shown above).

Katia Cotton Jeans Bk81

Katia Cotton Jeans Top

As soft and relaxed as a favorite t shirt, this is a pretty denim top that doesn’t take itself too seriously, simple in style with A-line shaping to create extra air movement on those sweltering days.  Knit in Cotton Jeans, a subtle cotton print yarn available in seven shades.

Katia Tahiti Bk3

Katia Tahiti Ribbon Top

Ribbon yarns are a beginner knitter’s best friend, they twist and twirl across the needles without any tension issues.  This simple summer top is knit with built-in borders and a refreshing mix of tropical colours.   Tahiti in Apple Green and Tahiti Beach in Col. 309 (shown above).

Katia Creta bk81

Katia Creta Tunic Top

Light and sheer with a slash hemline and boho-style fringes, this playful tunic top is knit in Creta, Katia’s version of a cobweb yarn available in fifteen trendy colours.  Golden (shown above).

Katia Blues

Katia Blues

Getting the ‘blues’ couldn’t be more uplifting than Katia’s newest summer charmer, a matte and shiny ribbon yarn that knits up quicker than you might expect and is especially stunning in this swingy little suntop style.  Look for crisp white (shown above) or one of seventeen other shades in Katia Blues.

Katia Bk3

Katia Striped Suntop

Playing with splashy colour in 100% Cotton by Katia, this striking striped suntop is a great-fitting design with garter stitch straps, and well-suited for beginner knitters.  Just pick five fun colours and create your own masterpiece.

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Katia Lido Cap Sleeve Top

Looking sensational and keeping your cool all through the summer, this cap sleeve top has airy openwork stitches and is knit in Lido, an innovative ribbon base spun with a shiny filament to give incredible lustre and tonal effect.

Katia Tahiti bk82

Katia Tahiti Sampler Top

A little variety is the spice of life, and this short n sweet boat-neck top offers up a great mix of fabulous colour plus pattern work, knit in Tahiti, a substantial cotton tape yarn dyed in twenty-eight solid shades.

Top Ten Yarn Crafts For Kids

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

School is out for the next sixty plus days and that translates into summer bliss for kids of all ages.  Sure they are as happy as clams at high tide right now, relaxing, hanging out without a care in the world, but there will be those cloudy days when the “I’m s-o-o-o bored” expressions are heard far and wide.  Where there is a wool there is a way, and all it takes is a few moments sorting through your yarn stash to prepare a summer survival kit complete with a few other essentials to keep the kids smiling and feeling creative.

Top Ten Yarn Crafts For Kids-

Olaf Pom Pom

Olaf Pom Pom

1. Making pom poms is a rite of passage in every childhood, and this hilarious snowman character from Frozen is just too cute to resist.  Materials: White worsted weight yarn, cardboard, scissors, blunt darning needle, orange and black felt, glue, black pipe cleaner, googly eyes.  How To: Cut two 3 ins doughnut shapes out of cardboard with a 1 ins diameter opening in center.  Thread a long length of yarn onto darning needle, holding both pieces of cardboard together in one hand, insert needle through center hole and wrap tightly around cardboard.  Repeat until completely covered and center hole is full.   Hold firmly in place, insert tip of scissors between cardboard circles and cut through yarn.  Tie a separate length of yarn tightly around center core.  Remove cardboard and trim pom pom to create an even look.  Glue felt mouth and nose on as shown above.  Cut pipe cleaner in half, push both through to center of pom pom and back up to create 4 ends.  Glue eyes in place.

Little Mermaids

Little Mermaids

2. Put a spin on an everyday household item with the right mix of sparkles, colourful yarn and playful imagination.  Materials: Wooden clothes pins (old-fashioned), glue, craft paint, paintbrush, multi-coloured worsted yarn, sparkly craft foam, scissors.  How To: Paint eyes, mouth and body as shown above, cut craft foam in a tail shape to fit inside clothes pin, glue in place.  Cut 15-20 pieces of yarn in 12 ins lengths, tie in middle with a separate piece of yarn.  Glue to top of pin.

Huichol Yarn Painting

Huichol Yarn Painting

3. Inspired by folk art created by the Huichol people of Mexico as an offering to the gods, this is a great craft for kids of all ages (adults might even end up joining in the fun zone).  Materials: Peel and stick vinyl floor tile, worsted or chunky weight yarns in a variety of bright colours, scissors.  How To: Peel off backing on the reverse side of floor tile, working from the center out, press yarn ends into place to create desired image.

Kool Aid Dyeing

Kool-Aid Dyeing

4. Kool-Aid dyeing is especially appealing to budding artists and also a win-win situation (guess who gets to knit the one of a kind yarn when it is fully dry).  Cover an outdoor table with plastic, set up a few skeins of pure wool, and watch the magic happen.  Materials:  Assorted Kool-Aid flavors, water, vinegar, microwaveable glass dish, plastic squirt bottles, and a few skeins of undyed wool.  How To: View the tutorial here.

Yarn Butterflies

Yarn Butterflies

5. Sometimes the simplest of crafts can hold the greatest charms.  These pint-sized butterflies make great fridge magnets, gift toppers and birthday party decorations.  Materials: Popsicle sticks, glue, colourful worsted weight yarn, scissors, pipe cleaners, small beads and googly eyes.  How To: Glue two popsicle sticks together in a wide X.  Let dry.  Starting approx. half an inch from outside edge, wrap yarn around sticks until completely covered.  Tuck in ends.  Wrap a pipe cleaner twice around center, leaving 3 ins at beginning and end, shape with fingers and attach a bead to each end.  Glue eyes to front.

Yarn Bowl

Yarn Bowl

6. A project that will keep little hands busy until its time for a snack and what a wonderful way to upcycle all those yarn ends.  Materials: Assorted yarns, scissors, diluted white glue, plastic wrap, medium or large bowl.  How To: Turn medium or large size bowl upside down, cover with plastic wrap.  Dilute white glue in a smaller bowl, dip yarn in bowl.  Run yarn through fingers to remove excess glue, place over plastic wrap in a loose fashion.  Leave until fully dry (one or two days).

CD Weaving

CD Weaving

7. Find a purpose for unused cds and let the kids create stunning artwork at the same time.  Materials: Old cds, a variety of colourful yarns, large blunt darning needle, and scissors.  How To: View tutorial here.

String Art

String Art

8. This quirky craft decorated countless rec rooms during the seventies and is making a serious comeback (see pinterest for oodles of impressive designs).  Materials: Colourful yarn, nails, hammer, pencil, pre-cut wooden board, scissors.  How To: Draw a simple shape or design on board with pencil.  Hammer nails approx. every inch following design outline.  Tie yarn end onto one nail to start and tightly pull across to wrap around an opposite nail.  Repeat until design is well-covered in yarn.  Tie off end and tuck in.

Yarn Bracelets

Yarn Bracelets

9. Looking for a birthday party activity that is simple enough for small fry?  Materials: Worsted weight yarn, paper roll, scissors, blunt darning needle.  How To: Precut paper rolls in half and make a side opening.  Wind yarn around as shown above.  Tuck in ends with darning needle.  Decorate as desired.

Finger Knitting

Finger Knitting

10. No tools required!  This is a super craft to entertain the kids in the backseat of the car while travelling long distances and may encourage interest in actual knitting later on.  Materials: Worsted or chunky weight yarn, scissors.  How To: View tutorial here.

Top Ten Vests For Spring 2014

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

From brisk mornings to balmy afternoons, this time of year can have that proverbial seesaw effect on all of us.  That’s why sleeveless vests have such mass appeal, when it comes to adding a cosy layer they are by far the most versatile garment pieces.  Set your sights on the season’s best designs from breezy beach wraps to casual weekend toppers, this selection of top ten vests has a style to suit all tastes and skill levels.

 

Katia Tropic Vest

Katia Tropic Vest

Look at what’s showing up in yarn shops this season from Katia’s S/S Collection, multi-toned cotton tape in a new polar weight for days spent soaking up the sun.  This stylish vest is worked without side seams and combines a border in stocking stitch with an uncomplicated mesh pattern.  Knit on 8 mm needles in TropicTahiti (shown above).

 

Katia Jaipur Wrap Vest

Katia Jaipur Wrap Vest

Catch the breeze in a swingy wrap vest, an easy to wear crocheted style worked up in a shell stitch pattern and finished off with short and sweet fringe detail.  Choose from one of eleven gelato-hues in this lightweight cotton, Jaipur from Katia.

 

Sirdar Leaflet #7089

Sirdar Leaflet #7089

Polish and panache go a long way on this dressy vest, designed to flatter with a wide waist panel that gives a gentle cinching detail.  Choose either the v neck or shawl collar option.  Knit in Soukie DK from Sirdar, a cotton blend threaded with tiny paillettes to reflect the light.  Endless Days (shown above).

 

Katia Belice Hoodie

Katia Belice Hoodie

Off for a walk around the block with the dog or a bike ride to the park with the kids?  This casual hoodie may become your new BFF.  A cosy layering piece outfitted with handy slash pockets for keeping your cell phone and keys right at your fingertips.  Knit in cool, comfortable Belice, a wash n wear mix of cotton and acrylic.  Look for Lilac (shown above) and more inspiring colourways at your lys.

 

Katia Mali Vest

Katia Mali Vest

A quieter neutral palette combined with crisp seed stitch texture makes this vest all the more tempting.  An easy breezy project for novice knitters requiring no buttonholes, just a pretty shawl stick as a closure, this design is knit in Mali, a natural cotton with an unique twist available in eighteen shades.  Beige (shown above).

 

Sirdar Leaflet #7004

Sirdar Leaflet #7004

Cables create all the drama needed on this loose-fitting v neck vest which can be knit short or long to suit your style preference.  Knit in Simply Recycled Aran, a washable cotton blend from Sirdar.

 

Katia Cotton Ribbon Vest

Katia Cotton Ribbon Vest

Looking for that pie-in-the-sky project to keep your fingers busy this spring?  Don’t be fooled by the complex look of this cotton vest, it really is much easier to knit than it looks.  The back is knit in straightforward garter stitch and the fronts are constructed by domino knitting, a technique which applies centre decreases to form a block which leads right into the next one without any seams.  Knit in Tropic, a multi-hued cotton ribbon yarn from KatiaCuracao (shown above).

 

Katia Tie Front Vest

Katia Tie Front Vest

Play up those summer whites with this Kool-Aid inspired vest from Katia’s Casual Collection.  Wear it loose and flowing or tied at the midriff for a figure-flattering fit.  Knit in Jaipur, a lace weight cotton yarn featuring eleven self-striping picks.

 

Katia Tahiti Vest

Katia Tahiti Vest

Make waves at the beach with a trendy shawl vest, knit from side-to-side in one piece mixing pretty openwork with garter stitch.  Knit in Tahiti from Katia, a cotton tape showcasing an eye-catching range of vibrant hues.  Surf (shown above).

 

Katia Iris Vest

Katia Iris Vest

Without a doubt, linen is the shining star of sultry weather.  It has a carefree vibe and offers plenty of air circulation on hot, sticky days.  This openwork vest is ideal over sleeveless tops and knits up in the blink of an eye with double wrapped stitches.  Knit in Iris by Katia, a lightweight blend of linen enhanced with a metallic sheen.  Lavender (shown above).

 

Top Ten Cardigans For Spring 2014

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

No matter where you live, a handknit cardigan is indispensable especially when it comes to navigating through the transitional days of early spring.  Wafting in like fresh air through an open window, this season the styles are far more relaxed, with an emphasis on open fronts or simple one-button closures.  Current silhouettes vary from long and lean, to short and cropped, with sleeves that barely sweep the wrist or fall just below the elbow in a demure Grace Kelly kind of way.  Edgings shift away from tradition to show off pretty curves, decorative scallops, and soft draping.  This week we have put together a selection of inspiring designs to knit in our most pleasing array of cotton, linen, silk and easy care blends.

Top Ten Cardigans For Spring 2014-

Katia San Remo

Katia San Remo

Whether it is walking the dog or commuting to the office, this comfy cardigan will get a real wardrobe workout.  Casual yet polished with a wide garter stitch border and roll back collar, plus just enough lacework added to keep it light and airy, this design is knit in San Remo by Katia, a worsted weight yarn gushing with metallic sheen.  Blue Grey (shown above).

 

Sirdar Leaflet #7005

Sirdar Leaflet #7005

This perfectly proportioned cardigan is ready to ring in spring, knit in a warm poppy shade, featuring rounded edges, a turnback collar punctuated with chic button detail and elbow length sleeves.  Knit in Sirdar’s Simply Recycled Aran, a cotton blend particularly appealing to anyone on the lookout for speedy projects.

 

Katia Brisa

Katia Brisa

Sometimes it is the simplest of pattern stitches that can create the most impact as it is with this fabulous openwork cardigan, capturing the feeling of spring with a flowy edging.  Knit in Brisa, one of our favorite crisp and cool yarns from Katia’s impressive range, a mercerized cotton and viscose boasting a palette of more than thirty shades to choose from.

 

Sirdar Leaflet #7001

Sirdar Leaflet #7001

Surf’s up with this flattering longer length cardigan featuring a deep v and tie front detail.  Knit in Raffaela from Sirdar, a nubby cotton blend highlighted with a pearly sheen.  Amalfi and Lido (shown above).

 

Noro Taiyo Sock Cardigan

Noro Taiyo Sock Cardigan

Refreshing last year’s outfits is a breeze with this colour-banded cardigan from Noro Favourites by European designer, Claudia Wersing.  Knit in Taiyo Sock, a fingering weight blend of cotton, wool, silk and nylon available this season in thirty-three colourways.

 

Sirdar Leaflet #7086

Sirdar Leaflet #7086

For the winter weary, this boost of colour may just be what the doctor ordered, knit in Sirdar’s newest arrival, Cotton DK, a contemporary cardigan composed of lattice and lace with optional three quarter or cap sleeves.  Look for the popular range of eighteen colours.  Sailor Blue (shown above).

 

Sirdar Leaflet #7013

Sirdar Leaflet #7013

Flower buds underscore the lower half of this v neck cardigan styled with three-quarter or alternate full length raglan sleeves, a smart well-fitting design in Sirdar’s classic Calico DK, washer and dryer friendly in a combo of cotton and acrylic fibres.  Bay Blue (shown above).

 

Katia Iris

Katia Iris

For a look that is both timeless and elegant go for natural shades of linen, cream and white.  This wispy cardigan has a modern vibe and adds the coolest, lightest layer possible.  Knit in the slinky new Iris by Katia, an innovative blend of linen and metallic polyester in seven shimmery sun-kissed hues.  Stardust (shown above).

 

Debbie Bliss Juliet

Debbie Bliss Juliet

The Chanel Jacket, an iconic style revamped this season by Debbie Bliss in a her latest softly-toned cotton tweed, Juliet.  Look for all twelve shades in stores now including Hyacinth (shown above).

 

Sirdar Leaflet #7002

Sirdar Leaflet #7002

Conveying a sense of ease, this ‘take anywhere’ cardigan is gentle on the eyes in spring’s must-have lilac shade.  Knit in Raffaela by Sirdar, a textured cotton blend with a subtle twist.  Capri (shown above).