Twist (and Shout)!

Posted on | October 30, 2008 | 5 Comments

Seeing how the next issue of Twist is about to come out, I thought it was time to blog about one of my designs that I’ve been promising to write about – Victoria – from the premiere issue of the Twist Collective. The online magazine is the brainchild of four wonderful fiber folks – Kate Gilbert, Irene Vandervoot, Julia Farwell-Clay, and Mary Jackson. That’s a lot of talent there and I am so impatient to see what future issues will have in store for us. Patterns are sold individually in downloadable pdf form and the business model makes it a truly collaborative and creative endeavor between the designers and the Twist team. I’m really honored and excited to be a part of the first issue and hope that I’ll be lucky enough to make more appearances in the future.

For Victoria, I was aiming to create an ultra feminine cardigan with a casual feel. Picot edgings give it a girlish whimsy and the high necked collar makes it a little formal. Small, bead buttons (chosen by Kate) also give it a dressed up vibe. Yet, when unbuttoned, the cardigan can be very casual. Unfortunately, the Twist team was interrupted during their photo shoot and had to scrap plans to photograph it opened (they blogged about it
The deep rich, tonal color of that Shibui Merino Kid yarn is so lovely. I had a skein of it to swatch with and I just adored how the modified seed stitch picked up the subtle color variations.

I can’t wait to get this sweater. I think it’s making the rounds with the other projects from the premiere issue.


Posted on | October 19, 2008 | 6 Comments

Yesterday, I dragged my ever patient husband to knitter’s mecca – otherwise known as Rhinebeck. It was my first time going to Rhinebeck, or to any yarn festival for that matter, and I admit I was a little overwhelmed. We gave a ride to Julia and Sandra ; and once there, we met up with Stephanie, Yarnmonster

It was also a lot of fun to play name the knit since many festival-goers broke out their best handknits for the chilly autumn weather. I saw a lot of Tangled Yokes (including Jess’ and Lisa’s gorgeous versions), Wisterias, Clapotis, Central Park Hoodies, etc, etc.

I also saw my first design in the wild – the Apres Surf Hoodie that Julia of Knitterly Things made. She told me that there was someone wearing the Riding to Avalon Hoodie, but I didn’t see her :( .

We also stopped briefly at the Ravelry party which was packed with knitters and looked to be very lively. All in all a very overwhelming, but fun day!

Interweave Holiday preview is up

Posted on | October 9, 2008 | 10 Comments

…And it contains my first baby pattern.

Here is a picture from the magazine:

The model is my friends Hickory and Steven’s new baby boy. I made this cardigan for him back in July in some more manly colors of Rowan Wool Cotton.

Wool cotton is one of my favorite yarns to knit with. It’s soft and comfortable on the hands and it comes in a great array of colors.

The cardigan was a lot of fun to knit and design. I always love how satisfying baby knits are. The scarf is tubular and is a simple mosaic pattern. For ease of use, it’s attached to the neck of the cardigan. The body of the cardigan is done in one piece to minimize uncomfortable seams for baby and the sleeves are done in the round up to the modified drop shoulder sleeve cap. You can have fun with the embroidery and buttons. For the embroidery, I chose simple circles in the scarf accent colors, but get creative if you want.

I love the attached scarf shape. When I get fixated on something, I can get a little obsessed. You’ll see what I mean in a few weeks! :)

I definitely am backlogged on a few posts. I keep meaning to (and I will) write about the Riding to Avalon Hoodie, the Far Afield Vest, and Victoria.

And for those of you in the NYC area, I’ll be giving a workshop at Knitty City focusing on my designs. More information can be found on their class page. It starts Oct 23 and runs every other Thursday 3 times from 6 to 8 pm. This is my first time teaching a knitting class (though I’ve taught physics recitation sections to undergrads when I was a grad student) and the format will be mini lessons on techniques used in my patterns, driven of course by request.

Casual Elegant Knits

Posted on | September 7, 2008 | 4 Comments

Casual Elegant Knits by Faina Goberstein and Dawn Leeseman is a new book of patterns featuring wearable designs for men and women. The book is divided into three stories. The first story makes use of a limited, but classic color palette and is geared towards work and city life. The second story features more casual knits for weekend play and introduces a more colorful palette. The third story features accessories.

FG: First of all, Connie, I want to thank you for giving me a chance to visit with you this morning. I have to tell you that I am a huge admirer of your designs. I cannot wait to see your next one. I am delighted to tell your readers about some projects from our new book Casual, Elegant Knits. Do you have a project in mind that you want me to talk about?

CC: I found the Vintage Hat very interesting. What were your inspirations for it? I especially like the versatility of the long tie and the many different looks it gives the hat.

FG: This is one of my designs. It was inspired by the Art Deco period. It was the period of Coco Chanel in 1920s that gave a woman freedom from corsets. The hats became small, feminine, and relaxed. I always loved this look. I also love to wear my scarves by wrapping them around my head in different ways. Putting these two ideas together in a hat was interesting to me. The decorative cast-on was also chosen for the edge that adds to this look. This cast-on is not used very much in American design, but in Europe it is well known. I just put the video on my
CC: As a designer, I find myself designing things that I would like to wear. How do you work as a designer? Do you design for yourself mainly or for other people?

FG: Most of the time I design for my family and me. I am lucky that my daughter, my son, and my husband love to have nice and stylish clothes. When I design for a magazine or a book, I think more about the audience I am trying to target, but my fashion vision does not change that much from what I want to wear myself.

CC: Have you knit many of your design pieces for your own wardrobe? What is your favorite knitted garment?

FG: If you mean designs from the book, I made both skirts, all the hats and scarves for myself. My favorites are the Little Flirt Skirt and the Red Waves Beret. I made many projects from our book for my family. Dawn’s Polo Shirt is a favorite of my husband.

CC: How did you and your co-author split up the work for the book? Did you each take on a particular “story” or did both of you design some pieces for each story?

FG: This is a great question. We worked very closely together at the beginning of the project. That part was involving coming up with the vision, breaking it into parts, thinking through what these two people would want to wear on different occasions, what color scheme to choose, what particular pieces of clothing they will have on, etc. After all that was set-up, we decided who would design this or that piece. Some things were naturally going into my or Dawn’s basket. All felted item had to be Dawn’s. I do not do felting. All hats and scarves were more up my alley as well as skirts. The rest was split between us. I took women’s sweaters; Dawn took men’s sweaters. We worked separately for a while, but were consulting with each other. When all the garments and patterns were done, we got together every day and worked on formatting and editing of the patterns and all other writings and paperwork that needs to be done. We did not think about letting our readers know whose design it is because it was such a close collaboration, but now we wish we did. We are both on Ravelry, so that is the only place where we divided our designs. We still feel attached to all of them in some way.

FG: I wanted to ask about your recent publications. It seems to me that every magazine I pick up, your design is there and it is wonderful. What should we expect to see in the near future?

CC: Thanks for the compliment! Well, I have a few things coming up in various Interweave publications, a few things in the new online magazine, The Twist Collective and hopefully a few more self published patterns.

FG: Connie, thank you so much for this interesting conversation. I hope people will be making many projects from our book and use my video on my blog. I did not add any sound there. I think people will let me know if I need to do it.

Tomorrow we will be talking with Marie Grace Smith of Marie Grace Designs about the four brioche stitches that we used in this book. I hope your readers will be there.

CC: Thank you for stopping by, Faina! And congratulations to you and Dawn on the publication of your book.

Long Time No Post

Posted on | August 21, 2008 | 10 Comments

Sorry I’ve been MIA for a while there. I’ve been meaning to revamp the layout of the blog, but aside from adding a sidebar for patterns you can get online, I haven’t yet worked out how I’d like to rearrange the look.

In the meantime, I have been knitting furiously. Some of it will be coming out in the next several months and I hope you like them.

I will write posts on some of the designs I’ve had released since I last posted, including my inclusion in the debut of a really exciting new online magazine.

But for now, to avoid a completely photoless post, I’ll leave you with the hat and booties set I made for

For Sale: Versailles Shell

Posted on | June 30, 2008 | 16 Comments

It’s finally here – 2 weeks to the day of my initial preview! I had hoped to release it sooner, but making sure I got a good, error-free product out took a little more time than I realized. I had the shell tech edited by SavannahChik. She came highly recommended, but as if that weren’t enough, this post convinced me that she was a girl after my own heart – and she certainly did not disappoint.

The next phase involved my brother, a graphic design artist who is not a knitter. This point made for some comical errors being introduced in the pattern. I had to check and recheck his work, but I love the pattern layout and logo he came up with and I hope you do too.

Here are the specs:
Finished Size : 30 (32, 35.25, 38, 41.25, 45.25, 48.75, 52)” bust measurement. Recommended Ease: 0″ to 2″ positive ease.

Yarn : Louet Euroflax Sport Weight Linen (100% wet spun linen; 270 yards/100 g): Grey (MC), 3 (3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5, 6) skeins. Beige (CC), 1 skein. This yarn also comes in 50 gram skeins, be sure to purchase the correct put-up.

Needles : Body – Size 3 circular needles. Neck Band – Size 2 circular needles. Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.

Notions : Tapestry needle; stitch holders; stitch markers; buttons (5); Size B Crochet hook; Size C Crochet hook.

Gauge : 24 sts/33 rows over 4″ in St st using larger needles.

More pictures on Ravelry.

Click “Buy Now” to pay for the Versailles Shell with Paypal and you will be emailed a link to download the pattern.

Or, if you prefer, purchase the pattern through e-junkie by clicking the button below and you will be emailed a link to download the pattern.

Buy Now


Preview Monday

Posted on | June 16, 2008 | 25 Comments

Just in time for the hot summer weather, I’m almost ready to release my first self published pattern. Here’s an advance peek so you know it’s not just a figment of my imagination. Modeled by the lovely Jess, Ms. Yarnmonster herself, the design is being tech edited and I hope to have it available for sale in a week or two.

Blog Tour Stop – Knit So Fine

Posted on | June 9, 2008 | 5 Comments

Today I have the pleasure of hosting Laura Grutzeck who, along with her co-authors Lisa Myers and

Babies and Drawstring Raglan Progress

Posted on | June 4, 2008 | 14 Comments

Last weekend the Spiders welcomed another new arrival to the ranks – Cassie, Kaitlyn’s adorable little girl. As befitting a knitting obsessed group, we showered the little one with knitted gifts and other warm cuddlies to welcome her into the world. Kaitlyn has good pictures of our efforts on her

Sigh…more errata for Sensual Knits

Posted on | May 27, 2008 | 1 Comment

Another eagle eyed knitter caught more errata in my Lace Panel Cardigan for Sensual Knits.

For the sleeve cap shaping the third paragraph should read:

Dec 1 st at each end of sleeve every other row 4 [4, 5, 5, 6, 6, 7] times – 38 [40, 40, 44, 42, 44, 42] sts rem.
Dec 1 st at each end of sleeve EVERY row 4 [4, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5] times – 30 [32, 30, 34, 32, 34, 32] sts rem.

In the book, both sets of decreases were misprinted to read every other row.

Thanks to Mariko Hara for calling this to my attention.

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