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.

Apples and Pears Stole

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

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(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.

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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.

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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

Catchloops Update – And it’s also post #100!

Half the reason I don’t post as often as I should is that I feel like I must have pics every time I do. That’s another of the “golden rules” of blogging. 1) Post often, 2) Have pics 3) Be interesting. 3)’s kinda optional.

Of late, I’ve been working on a secret design for Knit Now 27; getting submissions together – can’t show you any pics of them either for much the same reason, and I have two designs in testing at the mo too. One of those (le sigh) is also secret, but the other is the Kaava Shawlette that I flashed the other day.

bottom_croppedThis is my first lace shawl and I’m going to release it just as soon as it’s tech-edited and tested. Could be as close as two weeks away or as much as a month, but either way looks like it’s going to be my next released pattern.

I’m stoked to say that the response to Kaava has been overwhelmingly good. The yarn is 100% blue-faced leicester, handdyed by a friend and member of The Harrow Knitters, Shamu Makes, who has a fab eye for colour. I made it originally to go with a purple dress, but actually, it looks gorgeous with turquoise. I blocked it really hard and it has graceful, flowing drape. The main stitch patterns in it are Stocking Stitch, Shower Stitch and Lacy Rib, and the crochet bind-off reminds me of castle crenels or cogs. Something very engineering-y, anyway :)

My next projects are lots and lots of proposals – sketching, swatching and specc’ing, but I do also has some more of my own patterns in the pipeline. I find it hard to prioritise my own patterns over everything else that needs to be done – any one out there want to be my drill sergeant?

I’m looking forward to the Summer holidays – I’ll be home in Dublin for a week in August, so I’d love to catch up with the Irish yarny world, aon sceal nua for me?

Hugs, and proud to get to post #100! (It’s the little accomplishments!)

x Elanor