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.

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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…?

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

I picked up my copy of Knit Now 31 today.

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

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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.

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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

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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?”

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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