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.

How I came to design the Eleven Hundred Dollars Sweater in Hitch

Hello! And welcome to the Bonfire Night Stop on the Hitch Blog Tour! I live in London although I’m originally from Ireland. I’m not quite sure why the British celebrate Guy Fawkes nearly blowing up the House of Lords, but he’s the reason we English speakers use the word “guy” meaning a bloke, man or fella. In any event, tonight promises lots of bangs and explosions and sparklers and melting marshmallows with my over-excited kids.

These wee ones are the reason why I knit at all. I taught myself to knit when I first found out I was pregnant – I had previously been known to churn out the occasional bad oil painting, but oils and their associated chemicals are bad news for curious babies. Not to mention the clean-ups. So it was time to find a new hobby. Knitting is perfect because you can put it down and pick it up at a moment’s notice, there’s no mess and best of all, you can wear it to keep warm when you’re done. I made a LOT of hats that first year.

Then I joined a local group of knitters, The Harrow Knitters, and they were so supportive and sociable that I found myself trying out fabulous new yarns, newer techniques and more ambitious patterns. Around about when my eldest turned 3, it got to the point where I knew exactly what I wanted to make, but I couldn’t find the pattern for it… so I just wrote it myself. By March, I had read enough about swatching and blocking that I thought I was maybe ready to design a washcloth or something, and I tentatively started looking at the calls for submission on the Ravelry Designer’s Forum.

Which where I saw Stephannie Tallent’s post.

I was very excited by the call. I swear to high heaven, the design for “Eleven Hundred Dollars” popped straight into my head almost fully formed. Nothing like that’s happened since, so I can only take it as an explosion of pent-up creativity; and possibly a sign that knitwear design was something I should consider seriously. Was I crazy? For a first design? Well, let’s just call me naïve…

When I look at the proposal I drew up now, I cringe. This thing was 7 pages long. It had charts. It had schematics. It had a long-winded inspiration essay. I’m not sure why Stephannie picked it out, but I’m very glad she did!

Original sketch and schematic from the proposal:

pillow

Imagine my delight when Stephannie got in touch to say I was in! I danced around the dining room table and muffled the screams with a pillow so as not to wake the kids. I called my Mum and tried to explain all about it (much to her bemusement) and then I sat down with a thump as I realised now I really would have to design it!

I ran full-tilt into the world of designing and set about creating a jumper I am proud of. Eleven Hundred Dollars has a lot of details:

  1. Welted hem in 2 colours
  2. Deep mosaic chevron waistband with princess seams
  3. Cross-over top with slip-stitch edging in a contrasting colour
  4. Short-row shoulders and 3-needle cast off
  5. A simple lace pattern on the sleeves
  6. Highly shaped ¾-length sleeves, with shoulder puffs
  7. Applied I-cord cuffs with a contrasting trim
  8. Buttoned keyhole at cuffs

This is NOT a beginner’s knit. This is a treat for you or a loved one. I would LOVE to hear how you get on with it, so please get in touch!

Competition Time

Ah good, you’ve made it this far. If you’d like to be in with a chance to win a PDF copy of the book, please comment below with your favourite integer and why you like it!

E.g. I like the number 120 because it’s divisible by 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 20 and hence can be used for all sorts of knitting patterns!

Le Grand Tour

Watch out for the Fyberspates Blog Stop on the 9th! I used their scrumptious Scrumptious to make Eleven Hundred Dollars.

10/5/2013: Knitting Kninja
10/7/2013: Herrlichkeiten
10/8/2013: Knit and Travel
10/9/2013: Knit & Knag Designs
10/10/2013: Wooly Wonka Fibers
10/11/2013: Verdant Gryphon
10/15/2013: Impeccable Knits: Shifting Stitches
10/16/2013: Rewolluzza
10/21/2013: Knitwear Designs by Carolyn Noyes
10/22/2013: Peacefully Knitting
10/23/2013: Dark Matter Knits
10/24/2013: Turnknit: Dani Berg Designs
10/25/2013: SweetGeorgia Yarns
10/28/2013: doviejay knits
10/29/2013: Triona Designs
10/30/2013: Tactile Fiber Arts
11/4/2013: A Knitter’s Life
11/5/2013: Catchloops
11/6/2013: Yarn On The House
11/07/2013: Ramblings
11/12/2013: Hazel Knits
11/13/2013: Knitcircus
11/19/2013: indigodragonfly
11/9/2013: Fyberspates
11/25/2013: knittingkirigami
11/22013: A B-ewe-tiful Design

“Hitch” available for preorder next week!

Way back in March last year, I tentatively answered (for the first time) a call for submisssions. The project was a book to be “curated” by Stephannie Tallent, and the theme was “Patterns inspired by the films of Alfred Hitchcock”.

This was my initial sketch

Image

I wanted to create something sublimely feminine; echoing the graceful look of Grace Kelly as Lisa in Rear Window. This is a top that would really look sexy on a woman with curves. I used a whole bunch of tricks to enhance the hourglass look: a crossover top, ease difference between upper and lower body, deep waistband, geometric chevrons at the waist and some deep waist shaping. The sleeves are 3/4 length, coming to just below the elbow, with lots of curves to echo the body. Instead of chiffon, I made the sleeves loose, worked up with a mesh stitch so when the light’s right, you can see through them. I am VERY pleased with the result. It’s by no means an easy knit, but it’s definitely worth the effort.

Image

This photo by Nick Murway.

 

Preordering will begin on September 5.

Hitch

I’m very excited that one of my designs (my very first, actually) is going to be published in a book. Stephannie Tallent is curating “Hitch”, and seeing as she’s linked back here in her 2013 Knitting and Design Plans post, I figure it’s safe to say as much!

The latest news is that it should be in print prior to Summer 2013 TNNA (June 20-24), with the PDF coming out sooner.

The design is a lovely top using gorgeous Fyberspates Scrumptious. And I’m pushing the envelope on what I’m allowed to say now, so I’ll hush up.

I’m so stoked!

But I’ll be in print sooner than that! I’ll tell you more in May. ;)

Roxbourne

Well, it’s live! My first pattern for sale that I’ll actually earn money from! (Fingers crossed) (and toes and legs and hair and teeth)

 

 

Roxbourne Hat, now available for download!
Roxbourne Hat, now available for download!

How You Doin’?

I’ve been up to no good! I have organised some tech editing on two more patterns and I have outsourced some knitting for the first time. I’m about 3 weeks away from releasing a dinky little hat and a great bit mofo of a blanket. I’ll give you a sneak peek of the blanket schematic:

can't tell you the name cos it's a surprise
can’t tell you the name cos it’s a surprise

I guess I could have just left it as a blank rectangle, but that wouldn’t have been very nice of me.
So, I’m VERY excited about things slowly, glacially, moving forward. I have the next 6 months planned out and they’re HECTIC. Expect the following:

  • Roxbourne hat, made from yummy, scrummy Fyberspates Scrumptious
  • Can’t tell you cos it’s a surprise for a friend blanket as schematic above
  • A multicoloured, fabulous, stash-busting marvel of a cowl/shawl/collar that I’m calling  Wildacres. Due November, it’ll look great over your clothes as a winter warmer. Here’s a pic of it in progress:
Wildacres sneak peek
Wildacres sneak peek
  • Then over the course of the winter, I’m aiming to get a boob-lovin’ tank sweater, some simple socks and an elegant little cushion out of my head and onto your needles. Fingers crossed, eh?

Cue little happy dance.

Luv ya! Happy knitting!