Seaglas on the cover of Knit Now 35!

Images courtesy of Practical Publishing.

Seaglas is a sheer, crop top, with seafoam panels at hem and sleeve caps and a sheer stocking stitch ground. Seaglas is bang on trend for Summer, as it’s thistle-down light. It’s knit with gorgeous Fyberspates Scrumptious Lace, which is buttery smooth to work with. You only need 2 skeins, too, and only a scrap of the second! Actually, the total weight for the sample was less than 60g (for size Small), so one skein might even cut it, if you would prefer a monochrome version.

To knit Seaglas, start with the Seafoam lace hem. This is worked sideways on, and creates a column of YO’s on the very edge. Then, pick up from the edge and work straight up to the neckline in stocking stitch. The neckline is a simple YO pattern within a garter st ground. The back is worked in a very similar way. Last of all, the sleeve cap edging is picked up from the side of the top and worked all the way around the armhole, tapering at the start and end.

 

I was absolutely stoked when I saw Seaglas was going to be on the cover. This is my second ever cover, the first was Crystl from Issue 33. I have saved the printing proofs of these covers carefully away and I intend to get them framed for the glory wall in my “studio” – a little private space I’ve carved out for myself in the house.

Advertisements

Sombra

Main image courtesy of Pom Pom Quarterly, taken by Juju Vail.

Sombra is my latest pattern, and I am very excited that it has been included in the Summer edition of Pom Pom Quarterly. This floaty top is really easy to wear, and will quickly become a summer wardrobe staple.

I am quite proud of how Sombra turned out. The material is sheer and delicate. The Non-Twist Cotton Boucle from Habu Textiles is incredibly soft to touch and has quite a different drape to other yarns I’ve worked with. It’s a fine laceweight, but because the top is worked on 4mm needles, it still works up reasonably quickly. Plus, it’s stocking stitch throughout, the colourwork requires no twisting or stranding, and the colour pattern is easy peasy.

Sombra is worked flat, bottom up. Then the back and front are seamed together at sides and shoulders. The sleeves are picked up from the armhole edges and worked to the cuff (3/4 length). Sts for the round neckline are also picked up. Hem, neckline and cuffs are worked in garter st.

The colourwork technique is simple. There are three shades used: aqua, teal and violet. The aqua areas are worked with the main colour of yarn held singly. The darker green areas are worked with aqua and teal held together, and the darkest area including neckline is worked with all three yarns held together. When worked this way, the yarns automatically lock into position, so no stranding or twisting is necessary – just knit! From the picture below, of the back blocking, you can see just how the sheerness of the material is also changed with the number of shades used.

As an aside, this is my first design swatch for Sombra in kidsilk haze-type yarns (very cosy)! So glad my editors at Pom Pom suggested Habu! Hmm, wonder if it would work as a Winter garment too…?

Abbye Cardigan and Hat

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALast October, @edencottage tweeted that they had some free tickets for the Ally Pally Knitting and Stitching show. All I had to do was RT. I nabbed the last one, I think. Lo and behold, the day arrived and I tripped along to the show armed with business cards and golden bribes (aka honeycomb, one of my few culinary successes). I had a great time meeting the yarnies that I had been in contact with over the year; and tried to put names to the faces of people who had provided me with yarn support. I also stopped by the Eden Cottage booth to thank them for the free ticket. Victoria and David were there and we got to chatting about my designs.

sketch2

I followed up some time later with a proposal for a girl’s cardigan and Victoria very generously sent on some Bowland DK in a lovely soft colour, “Driftwood”.20140326-165625.jpg

 

I had a whole bunch of commissions for various publishers on all Winter, but I tried to work on Abbye when I could. The next trick was to find a model! Oh my goodness I don’t know what was in the water around North West London about a year and a half ago, but there were hardly any babies of the right age in my circles, or even extended circles! It actually took so long to find one that the ones I dismissed at the beginning of the project for being too small had grown into it!

So my friends loaned me their precious bundle for half an hour, and she was a dote. Not a peep out of her even though I was constantly fidgeting at the cardi and the poor mite was teething. We had a lot of tongue shots!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

I posted the patterns last night, and they got some attention. Then this morning I woke up to the hat in the top 5 and IT’S BEEN THERE ALL DAY! It’s so exciting, I’ve been sitting here for ages just hitting refresh on the hot right now home page. Well that, and writing this blog, but you know what I mean. Right now it’s at number 2. Can you believe it? And the cardigan’s at number 15! And the lovely comments are so heartening. I am reminded once again of what a lovely community knitters make.hrn2_19

Abbye Hat is free for the time being; once interest tapers off a bit I’ll charge £1.25 for it.

Abbye Cardigan is available to buy for £3.75, and the hat is included.

Apples and Pears Stole

Knit Now 31 has 2 of my patterns in it; Biennial Jumper and Apples and Pears Stole.

20140207-095322.jpg
(Photo (c) Practical Publishing by Dan Walmsley)

This is knit in an alpaca/merino mix, which means it’s lovely and warm and has great drape. The yarn is Rooster Almerino DK available from laughinghens.com.

This stole was a very easy knit, if large. The pattern is completely predictable and memorisable, there’s no shaping and it’s all stocking stitch except for the garter stitch border. The “stairs” divide the pattern into sections, so you can easily see how much progress you’re making. For some reason, I find that knits with clearly defined sections go much faster than knits that just say “keep going until it’s x long” – perhaps because I keep getting out the tape to measure it!

Here’s a pic of it blocking so you can see it full-length.

20140207-094544.jpg

This is a great project to practise intarsia. There are a manageable number of yarns to work on each row – up to 4. The blocks are straight-edged, so there’s no worrying about carrying yarn or stranding, and if you have yarn to use up, there’s no reason you have to stick to the colour scheme given; you can put the colours in whatever order you like. Stashbust, anyone?

Celebrating my Biennial as a Knitwear Designer (with a Giveaway!)

I picked up my copy of Knit Now 31 today.

20140206-143143.jpg

I have two designs in it this month. I’m going to talk about Biennial, the jumper today.

20140206-143720.jpg

Two years ago, I sent off my first proposal, and I have been calling myself a knitwear designer ever since; tentatively at first, but with ever-growing confidence. The last few months have been crazy busy with 6 garment designs and a number of accessories. Biennial started the run and it was my first garment for Knit Now.

Biennial was hard to design. It looks very simple, but it took a lot of brain-cranking to get it that way. The diagonal line that cuts across the arms and body had to be calculated just right for all seven sizes.

20140206-144516.jpg
To get the line to look like it was slicing straight across the arms and body involved trig and maths I haven’t attempted since college (in case you’re new to this blog, I’m a qualified engineer). Each size has a different line gradient, as I wanted the change from one colour to the other on the body to be complete by the start of armhole shaping. The larger sizes have a gentler slope. I eventually found a simple way to calculate the placement based on seam length.

The editor of Knit Now, Kate Heppell, has been very generous in her praise of Biennial. In the page 3 editorial, she writes “I am absolutely besotted with Elanor King’s Biennial jumper (page 24). Elanor and our technical editors put a lot of work into making sure the design is right, and I think the result is just stunning.”

Wow.

And then there was this conversation on twitter

20140206-150133.jpg

Jaw-on-floor WOW.

:)))) @clairelneicho (also in Kate’s list) said at the time she had a Cheshire Cat grin when she saw that tweet. Well I still have one, and it’s almost a week later!

Giveaway time!!!
The lovely, generous people at UK Alpaca gave me too much yarn for Biennial, so I have some to pass on to one lucky recipient. If you would like to win 3 balls of this springy, soft, warm, resilient, beautiful British yarn, comment below with your own answer to Karie’s question: “Who are your favourite knitting designers? And why?”

20140206-151109.jpg

Yarn giveaway restricted to UK and Ireland only (soz! postage!). Draw will take place on or after Feb 21st

Photographs either my own or (c) Practical Publishing by Dan Walmsley

Rosabella Mitts

Peekaboo!

My Rosabella Mitts pattern is finally available to download!
They feature roses and rosebuds in stranded colourwork. The flowers are mirrored, hand to hand, and the cuffs are done with corrugated ribbing. I used Rowan Fine Tweed to make them and it’s a lovely yarn. Great texture from a slightly thick-and-thin spin, and of course, those gorgeous tweed flecks.

for £3!

IMG_2266

IMG_2286

IMG_2280

IMG_2282

rosabella mitts

Due Passi Released Today!

Knit this blanket in any weight yarn!

Due Passi Released Today!

Due Passi Released Today!

This pattern was written to celebrate the marriage of two dear friends of mine. The full name is “Due Passi per la Felicità”, which is Italian for “Two Steps to Happiness”. Maybe it’s the romantic in me talking, but I think the blanket is a great metaphor for marriage. It’s worked up with only knit and purl sts, yet makes a complex, intertwined whole.

Abbreviations Used
K Knit
P Purl
RS Right Side
WS Wrong Side

Size
Approx. 122cm x 183cm (4΄ by 6΄) when using bulky yarn.

Substituting Yarn
This pattern works best with a solid or semi-solid yarn with good stitch definition.
It is not necessary to obtain gauge for this project, but please be aware that estimated yardage will differ.
Before you begin, work a tension square and weigh it to calculate whether you will have enough yarn to complete the blanket. Some estimates are given below.

Needles and Accessories
Although this pattern is worked flat, circular needles are highly recommended as then the weight of the work can rest on a table or in your lap.

Estimates for varying weight yarns
Worsted: 6 x 100g balls/skeins; 1188m/1302yds. 20sts x 27rows per 4in/10cm. Dimensions: 32.75 x 55.75in (83 x 141.5cm). E.g. Berroco Vintage

DK: 11 x 50g balls/skeins; 1320m/1441yds. 22sts x 30rows per 4in/10cm. Dimensions: 29.75 x 50.25in (75.5 x 127.5cm). E.g. Patons Diploma Gold

4 ply/Sport: 4 x 100g balls/skeins; 1460m/1596yds. 28sts x 36rows per 4in/10cm. Dimensions: 23.5 x 41.75in (59.5 x 106cm). E.g. Fyberspates Scrumptious

Lace: 2 x 50g balls/skeins; 780m/852yds. 33sts x 50rows per 4in/10cm. Dimensions: 20 x 30in (51 x 76cm). E.g. Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace

Buy it now for £4