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The pattern for my braided Top Tank/Tunic is available through the July Issue of Creative Knitting. This is a great first project for beginner who would like to venture out from knitting square. The major portion of this tank is work in a around using stockinette st in exception of the top body band and shoulder straps. The body band and shoulder straps are working in chunky braided cable and then attached to the main body piece. This will be a fun project for anyone who would like to explore cable knitting as well.

Size: S [M, L, 1X, 2X]

Finished Measurement:
Chest: 36 [40, 44, 48, 52]

Gauge: 21 sts and 28 rows = 4"/10cm in stockinette st with the piece lightly pressed.

Yarn: Summer Linen by Universal yarns [50% cotton, 50% linen; 126 yards per 50g skeins]

Summer Linen is a great summer yarn for this project. If you would like to substitutes, choose a lite dk weight yarn. I would suggest Tahki Classic Cotton Lite, Panda Silk dk by Crystal palace or cotton Bamboo by classic elite.

Happy Knitting!

If anyone follows my blog, you will know that I am currently working on the new collection of purses. I have posted one of my purse design - Rufflely on the early post with the blog titled 'Purse, Purse, Purse'.  I has just received news from Creative Knitting that the matching cardigan to the Rufflely purse will be featured in the Jan 2011 Issue of the magazine. So I would love to have actual purse sample done to go along with the cardigan publication date. I believe the magazine will come out in Nov 2010.

With my friend, Annette, being my sample knitter, I have a swatch for my 2nd design. It is going to be a felted tote... yes oh yes.. I am going back to my felting root on this one.  
Center Motif
The picture to the left provides a little preview on the main center motif for the tote... It's different tones of blue; turquoise and the deepest navy... no surprise for the color choices here... blue being one of my favourite color. I wanted to play with simple line and shape to create interesting visual effect... it's going to be bright and busy but I hope it's in a good way. With a little bit of imagination and playing with different combination of colors, this will be one fun tote to knit.

Stay tune for the actual sketch for this tote... still thinking a good name for it. It's friday, have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Just got an email from Interweave that my BabyDoll Cardi that features in this post will be included in the Interweave Weekend Issue which will be available later this year. It is a wonderful news for me because I love this cardigan and being published by Interweave definitely helps to expose my design to a large group of knitting community. 

There are a lot of benefit from being published by a popular magazine, but one important thing to me is to force myself to sit down and actually write down my design pattern. I considered myself quite detail oriented but not very organize in term of my knitting design; I would have sketch, swatch, schematic, and note about the pattern all over the place. On the process of knitting my design, I would often make correction to my design note and when I finally finished knitting my project, I would be too lazy to wrote down the final corrected pattern. So being published definitely help me organized!

There are people in my knitting group that have been asking for my Babydoll cardi pattern. I would have to tell them now to wait for the magazine publication.  Really do hope that they won't mind.

As I was reading the pattern from the Creative Knitting March 2010 Issue. I realized that the decrease from from body ribbing to main body need a little bit more explanation. It is mainly my fault for not putting a clear instruction on the pattern. In the magazine, it mentioned to decreaes 4 sts evenly for the body back and 2 sts for the body front while working on the row 1 of cable pattern. If you are more experience knitter, this is easily accomplished to work the dec when working on the pattern; however, it might get a little tricky. Hence I have put 2 other way of doing the decrease in this post. 

There is 2 ways to work the decrease from body ribbing to main body:
1) When working on the last row of the ribbing (WS) descrease 4 sts evenly for the body back ribbing and 2 each for both front ribbing. 
2) On the next RS row after ribbing, instead of working in cabled fabric pattern, work in stocknette st instead for first 2 rows and work decrease on first RS row. Start working on Row 1 of Cable Fabric pattern on 3rd row.

If anyone has any question regarding this pattern, please feel free to contact me!

A lot of my friends asked me why I don't design and make purses anymore. The truth is that,  it's the matter of time and this year, I will and I am working on a new collection of purse. I recently put my 1st collection of purses into a eBook and it is available to purchase via Ravelry.com and my Etsy store.

My last collection is all felted purse and it was about 2 years ago and the new collection that I am working on is actually more knitting then felting. I wanted to concentrate on one single element to each purse; whether is ruffles, beading detail, giant cable or maddness of color. The swatch in picture  is one of my many designs. The inspiration of this purse is actually driven by one of my cardigan/pullover sketch, the cardi features ruffles in different length on both side of the body front and I wanted to use the same ruffle concept on my purse. The purse will features 2 set of 3 uneven length ruffles with a center belt buckle. I choices a merino and silk blend tweed yarn in DK weight. The merino provide the softness that I need for the ruffles and tweed tones provide a little depth and tones down the 'girly-ness' from the ruffles. The purse will work from side to side in stockinette stitch with short row for side shaping. I am still on the process of choosing the handles and buckle and all the finishing touches of the purse. As of right now by looking at the swatch, I am liking what I am seeing.

I will keep updating my progess of my purse collection.. so keep coming in and provide any comment suggestion you might have!

I have gotten quite a bit of questions about the Positano Tote that was published in Interweave Winter 08 issue and I would like to create this FAQ post for anyone who is interested in the pattern or have already purchased the pattern or already started the project and would like to get some tips and information about the pattern and the project.

1. Where can I found the handle?
The pattern has included the url where the handles were purchased. However, the website is not that user friend to navigate and if you call the company, they would tell you that the handles is no longer available. However, if you go to the following link that I listed below, you can get the exact same handles that I used on the sample that I submitted to the magazine.

2. Can I substitute the handle? If yes, what is the best substitution?
The answer is Yes. Since the tote is lined with plastic canvas; hence, it's quite  sturdy througout. You can get a U-shape handle does not have the body rod. If you use a U-shape handle, when working on the purse tab, just work the center piece, and ignore the side 2 tabs.

3. Where can I find the buckle? Can I use a different size buckle?
The buckle I used is a buckle from an old belt that does not fit me anymore since I have gained a few pounds. If you can't find any buckle with the same size, there is a few option you might want to consider;
1. See whether you can find an cheap belt with the same size buckle, 2. Find a buckle that you like and try to modify the purse flap to work with the buckle; e.g. if the buckle is smaller than the pattern is called for, you might want to do more decrease to the flap;
3. Not to use any buckle so do have to work the tote flap. 

4. Do I have to use knit-in (attached) i-cord for the side seaming?
No. I like knit-in i-cord because it give a round edge and it gives the tote a more finish look. You can either use tapestry needle and yarn to sew the seam together or use crochet hock to work a couple rows of single crochet to combine the tote together.

5. Do I have to put plastic canvas to the tote? Do I have other option?
The answer is no BUT I would highly recommend to use plastic canvas because it will really increase the durability of the tote. Also, the way the tote is designed, it meant to be and look sturdy. Another option I would suggest is to use home decorative fabric along with heavy interfacing when lining the purse, that would provide a little more sturdy look and feel to the tote.

6. Do I have to apply plastic canvas to the tote before assembly the pieces together? Can I do it other way around?
Yes, you would but it might get a little bit tricky to do it the other way. if you assembly the pieces together before applying the plastic canvas, you will have to first turn the tote inside out, then apply the plastic canvas to the body and the bottom, the tricky part is to turn the tote outside in again since the plastic canvas made the tote very stiff; hence, it's difficult to turn. So I would suggest to assembly the tote first. I have attached a picture below about applying the plastic canvas. make sure to leave about 1/4-1/2 inch so that you can work the knit-in i-cord.

7. My tote come out way smaller than the finished measurement stated in the pattern even though I have the right gauge, what's wrong?
I did hear quite a few people told me that the actual size come out way smaller. The key is that you will really need to stretch the body pieces out when blocking because of the nature of the motif, it tend to pull the pieces in. In addition, when working on sl 1 wyf, not to pull the yarn too tight. If you are pulling it too tight while working on the stitch, it will make the over tote smaller. If you realized that the size for the tote is smaller than what it was stated on the pattern, then you will need to modified the bottom piece. You might want to consider to drop a needle size when working on the bottom (not the side) or may be even cast on a few less stitches. I would recommend to do a gauge on the garter stitch to see how many CO you need to match the widest part of the body.

I hope this post povide enough information about working on the Positano Tote. If you still have anymore question, please contact me by going to the 'Contact Me' link under 'About Kaleido' option.

Thanks you everyone that is interested in this design and I wish you Happy Knitting!

The body and bottem lining of the tote.