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Her Ribbons & Her Bows

Ev’rybody knows
That Baby’s got new clothes
But lately I see her ribbons and her bows
Have fallen from her curls

– from Just Like a Woman, by Bob Dylan

I love ribbons.

Organza ribbons that look like watercolours…

my favourite things

Velvet ribbons with the dark sheen and softness of night.

velvet ribbon

Satin ribbons like running water.

dark ribbon

I love the whipping sound they make in the wind.

I love feeling like a Victorian child when I walk into a haberdashery shop & see all the rolls of ribbons lined up like sweets.

I’ve used ribbons in my designs before. For this cropped cover-up


… for the Country Stockings I mentioned on Thursday

Country Stockings detail

& for the small & simple KniTwit Bracelet, which is nevertheless rather a nice opportunity to showcase a bit of pretty ribbon. I have a lot of small lengths of ribbon that I’ve snipped from clothes & tags, and keep in my oddments box. Do you do that too?

Recently, my love of ribbons reached new heights when I discovered Minty, from S/S 2010 issue of Knitty. Except for a few eyelets, you just knit around and around, which means that Minty takes all of a few hours to knit. I have had more comments on my Minty hats than any other hat I’ve knit. My boyfriend even stole asked for my first one (which was black & had icord). The second, pink one, you may have seen on Wednesday’s post, hanging out on my shelves.

pink minty

The third is grey & I worked the “pepperminty” crown shaping, just for a change. :) I switch out the ribbons to better match my outfit. When I went to Istanbul for the weekend, I even put a couple in my pocket, so simple!

minty with ribbon

Ribbons are definitely my embellishment of choice. They can be hip or elegant, simple or sophisticated, and at a pinch, you can use them to wrap up parcels. :) Of course, ribbons are nothing without bows. Do you know how to tie the perfect bow? Or maybe you’d just prefer to knit one

bow wristlet pouch

P.S. I hope you will excuse the delay in releasing the Bow Pouch pattern. This week has been such whirlwind of blogging, I thought it would be best to save it for next week.

2nd April, 2011  // Inspiration // tags: , , , , , , .

Pretty as a Painted Parasol

I’m sure you already have some yarn in your stash for this project. Since you can use either DK or lace-weight yarn, and alter the width to suit your needs, it’s a very versatile pattern.

Parasol Stole - Close Up

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I think of this as the pattern for ladies who like Impressionist paintings, strolls through parks, and a bit of peace and quiet while they sip their cup of tea. It puts me in mind, in particular, of this painting by Arthur Hacker, of a lady who’s lost her parasol to the river on a spring walk…

Arthur Hacker - Lost Parasol

The stitch pattern at either end is from Barbara Walker’s Second Treasury, and it’s called ‘Peri’s Parasol’. ‘Peri’, as well as being a neat little prefix employed in words such as peripatetic, periscope, perimeter and periphery, also means “fairy” in Turkish (from the Farsi). Quite appropriate to the light lacy version, I think.

To me the lace looks like a repetition of open and closed parasols. Or perhaps open parasols spaced with flower buds.

parasols stole

The ribbing and border lace are definitely reminiscent of the rills and eddies of a gentle stream.

Parasol Stole - Back

And when it’s worn with the edge folded like a shawl collar, the bell-shaped decreases make the ribbing look like flowers. See…

Parasol Stole - Shawl Collar

I can’t help it, I love knitting pieces that have names or references that interest me, even if it’s entirely invisible to anyone else who looks at them. I suppose it comes from being a literature major. :)

Parasol Stole - Wings

There are so so many paintings of ladies with parasols! I think painters must have particularly enjoyed painting them because they can provide a plain splash of colour to set off a pretty face from a busy background. The following two ladies are lovely in their green serenity. The second lady even has her eyes closed, enjoying the spring smells and sounds of her garden.

Frederick Frieseke - Lady with Parasol

Richard Emil Miller - The Pool

Green does seem to have been a parasol colour of choice; even Monet chose it for his lady on the windy moors.

Claude Monet - Woman with a Parasol

I love the expression on this pink lady’s face too. Look at her rosy cheeks!

Robert Lewis Reid - Lady with a Parasol

When I have time to knit another one, and if I can get my hands on some multi-hued art yarn, I’d love to knit a purple or sunny yellow one. Just look at the delicious purples of this lady’s gown!

Richard Emil Miller - Woman with Parasol

Frederick Frieseke - The Garden Parasol

And I do think a lace-weight version in grey would look very elegant when I want to dress smarter. Ahh… so much to knit, so few hands! Do please help me out. :)

Berthe Morisot - Hide and Seek

Here are some details. More can be found here and on the Ravelry pattern page.

‣ Knit flat in one piece,
‣ in DK or lace-weight yarn,
‣ with lace at either end,
‣ and a central section of
‣ bordered by lace edging.
‣ 3 balls Nako Nakolen
[100gr; 50/50 wool/acrylic;
210m / 230yds; 292 Light
Green] or approx. 700m /
765 yds of DK-weight
‣ OR 3 balls Feza Kid
Mohair [25gr; 85%
mohair / 8% nylon / 7%
polyester; 250m / 275yds;
531 Light Pink] or approx.
610m / 667yds of lace-
weight yarn.
‣ Gauge isn’t critical, but It’s
important that the fabric
isn’t too tight, so that the
lace looks open and clear
when blocked.
DK-weight stole:
‣ 12sts / 20 rows
‣ over 10cm / 4in
‣ in blocked ribbing.
1 lace repeat is 17cm x
9.5cm / 6.7in x 3.7in at
widest points after

Lace-weight stole:
‣ 20sts / 23 rows
‣ over 10cm / 4in
‣ in blocked ribbing.
1 lace repeat is 13cm x
6.5cm / 5.1in x 2.6in at
widest points after blocking.
‣ Finished size will depend
on blocking. The lace-weight
sample was approx: 39cm x
145cm / 15in x 57in.

‣ 4.5mm (US 7) straight needles for both versions,
‣ or size suitable to yarn.
‣ Finished size will depend
on blocking.
‣ The DK
sample was approx:
51cm x 155cm / 20in x
‣The lace-weight
sample was approx: 39cm x
145cm / 15in x 57in.

Hope you’re all having a delightful weekend!

Note: Some of the paintings in this post were discovered on It’s About Time.

1st March, 2011  // 5 O'Clock, Inspiration, Neckwear // tags: , , , , , , , .

Creating Digital Moodboards

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For some time now, I’ve been looking for a way to easily throw together a bunch of images and create a “moodboard” that I can print out. Sure, I can open up an image editor, but my Macbook isn’t as nippy as it used to be (understatement). I finally found a cross-platform program called ShapeCollage that does just that, and I thought I’d share. It even has an online version. Here, for example is my moodboard for “writing”:

Writing Moodboard

I find my images on we♥it. Unfortunately, most of them don’t have proper sources, but as this is only for my personal use, hopefully no one will mind.

Do you make moodboards?

10th February, 2011  // Inspiration, Writing // tags: , , , , .
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