It seems like a long time since summer and the projects I was working on back then. Getting design work usually means that I can’t really share much of what’s in my workbasket at the time, but have to wait until patterns launch. The waiting is over with these though- so I’m proud to present my designs for the new Manos Silk Blend Fino: the Eloise head wrap and Genevieve mitts.
As I mentioned in my ‘Work in Progress’ post, this lovely silk/wool blend yarn is, as a 4ply, quite a bit finer than I’d usually work with. However, if anything was going to convert me, it would be Fino. Like most silk blends it has a gorgeous sheen that works really well with textured designs- hence my choice of lace patterns for these designs (gosh, I paid for that choice at tech-editing stage with the shaping on the mitts, though!). As far as working with it, I had no complaints as it feels so smooth and soft both during and after knitting and I had no problems with splitting, which can be an issue with single ply yarns.Then of course there are the colours- ooooooh, the colours! The range, which is newly launched this autumn, includes solid and variegated shades and the five that I’ve seen in real life have all been rich and lustrous.
Both my designs- which form part of the Manos Silk Blend Fino Book 1 by Artesano- can be made from a single skein of the yarn. They use pretty but fairly easy to master lace designs and both being knitted flat, they’re fairly accessible even for relatively inexperienced knitters.
Eloise continues my interest in the head-wrap/ head band concept. I first experimented with this idea when I made my Spirograph head band, which was originally conceived as a hat without a lid, enabling me to wear my hair in a top-knot without the ‘baked bean head’ effect when I wore a hat over it. Eloise differs in that it’s knitted flat, with a ‘keyhole’ at one end so that the wearer can loop the end back through and button it. This both ensures a good fit and forms a decorative effect as the wrap fans out through the keyhole.
For me, the Genevieve mitts are all about the buttons. The mitts are shaped around the thumb and the buttons hold them together along the inside of the wrists and above the thumb. Rather than buttonholes I opted for an applied i-cord edging incorporating button-loops, a little homage to my fave designer, Kate Davies, and her Manu cardigan. Delicate but warm in this yarn, I think that the choice of colour and buttons would lend itself to a lot of variation, depending on the way they were to be worn. I made a version in a variegated pink/red with silver swirly patterned buttons and another in a plain olive green with plainer copper buttons and the effect was really different from one pair to the other.
More of my summer projects are in the pipeline as I write- with a certain Holla Knits imminent- so watch this space!