This, my friends, is an amazing view. No, I’m not talking about the early winter landscape of Tarn Hows (beautiful though it was) but rather the sight of my son wearing a sweater I knitted with neither complaint nor the motivation of chocolate-based bribery.
The sweater began life as a bit of research really. I have an idea for a saddle shouldered sweater I wanted to make so I decided to try making a basic one using the inimitable Elizabeth Zimmermann’s instructions in Knitting Without Tears. As well as trying out this specific construction method, I was acting on the advice of a friend I chatted to at the Rocking Kitchen retreat, who thought that going back to EZ principles would help me in general with putting together children’s sweater designs (I have another that’s rather stuck at pattern writing stage). The friend was right. Although knitters used to modern writing will tend to find EZ’s style of writing something of a challenge- used as we are to row by row detail, a multitude of sizes laid out for us and a stitch count every time an increase or decrease occurs- once you take a deep breath and go for it, you get so much more of a feel and confidence for how the garment is put together. Unless, that is, you are knitting the Baby Surprise Jacket, in which case you will be mystified and disconcerted until you cast off and put it together.
Anyway, back to this particular sweater. I made it in my boy’s size just so as to have some measurements to base it on. Perhaps it was my lack of interest in whether he was going to wear it that attracted him to do just that. More likely, though, it was the yarn. It’s West Yorkshire Spinners’ Aire Valley Aran Fusions. This a 75% British Breeds wool mix yarn, available in several variegated shades- in this case ‘Coffee and Cream’. The ply is quite loose, although I didn’t find it splitty or (so far) to prone to pilling, so it feels very soft to the touch. Now, my boy is a sucker for soft things, so every time I ‘borrowed’ him to try out the length of the body or a sleeve, he lingered, stroking the sweater-in-progress, maybe even bonding with it. It certainly fits him well and its old fashioned style suits him, I think- a little bit rugged, a little bit poet/philosopher…
By the time I’d finished- fairly successfully I think, although I did have to fudge the ‘saddle’ stitch count and shaping to make sure the neck was big enough- this was not a ‘try-out’ sweater, but very much P’s new sweater. My handknit- phobic boy is (perhaps) converted. As for me- well both the WYS yarn and the EZ method were winners as far as I was concerned. I’ll be honest, if it hadn’t been for WYS being one of the generous sponsors of the Rocking Kitchen weekend I probably wouldn’t have picked this yarn to work with. I love their gorgeously soft Bluefaced Leicester DK, having used it in my Christmas collection, but usually variegated yarns aren’t my thing. However, so many people have commented on how much they like the soft striping effect this one creates that I’ve grown to appreciate it much more. It knits up like a much more expensive yarn than it is and is very nice to work with.
Just to be on the safe side, ahem, I’ve cast on yet another EZ based design- a yoked sweater this time- and I’m using WYS yarn again. This time I’m back to the BFL DK but I’ve more of their range to experiment with from my goodie-bag yet as well as maybe some to giveaway, so stay tuned!
She loves her ballet lessons more than this picture shows- she just wasn’t in a photographic model mood that day. She also loves the new ballet cardigan her Great Grandmother knitted for her. My little girl appreciates hand knits- in fact appreciates all clothes gifted to her, telling anyone who will listen the person who sewed it/knitted it/bought it.
What I love about this cardigan is that Grandma made it for her. As well as keeping me and her other 7 grandchildren in knits during our childhood, Grandma taught me to knit, some 30 years ago. I may have gone on to learn some new-fangled methods and techniques since then, but sit us side by side and you’ll see that the way I knit is the way she knits- the memory of her patient instruction one long ago summer permanently programmed into my fingers.
We may knit in that same way, but our relationship with knitting is quite different. I’m not sure how much knitting Grandma did in the war, since she served in the WRNS rather than keeping the home fires burning, but she is nonetheless part of the Make Do and Mend generation. I know that when my mother was growing up making clothes was not an indulgence or hobby, but often the most economical route- my mother and her sisters therefore had clothes made by her and by their own Grandmother. Grandma has seen this situation change as ready made clothing has become cheaper (at the cost of human lives in sweatshops) and the materials to sew or knit clothes become harder to source.
Perhaps because of her sense of the practical necessity of knits, Grandma finds my allegiance to wool, especially if it’s artisan (e.g. expensive) baffling. Man-made fibres are washable, durable, soft and inexpensive- qualities which I suppose she won’t always have been able to guarantee in a knitting yarn over the the years and she can’t believe how much I’m happy to spend on wool.
I, on the other hand, was brought up with a mixture of shop-bought and hand-made clothes but with the understanding that most of my friends only had shop bought. Their mothers either wouldn’t or couldn’t make clothes because they’d either shaken the dust off their feet after leaving their last home economics lesson or gone to schools where those lessons didn’t exist anymore. For me, the hand-made clothes were usually the Sunday Best and party dresses- something special and therefore more valuable- a feeling that has continued into my knitting now and probably underpins my preference for using materials with quality and integrity (to say nothing of a bigger price tag).
Despite the differences, I think deep down Grandma and I share the belief that you knit more than yarn (acrylic or otherwise) into a garment and that knitting for others is therefore an act of nurture and love. I’m just not sure that Grandma realises how much her daughters, grandchildren and great grandchildren also recognise this. She knits all the time, making bears and clothes for charities if no other projects are available, but she was holding off from offering to knit for my children because she knew that I knit all the time too. She didn’t see that for me, M having more ‘Great Grandma’ knits in M’s wardrobe has a much greater value than having more of my knits or even shop-bought stuff. They represent that thread of love that runs through and binds together the generations, the one that I hope will continue long after I’ve put down my needles and turned up my toes.
This little ballet cardigan was therefore the result of a little plotting on my part. Having sounded my mother out on the matter, I put it to Grandma that I was too busy to make M a cardigan (the three things I know that my Grandma thinks of me are that I am always busy, I knit prolifically and that I spend too much on wool. I can’t really argue with any of these points) and asked her if she could find time to make one. The swift reply was ‘yes’ and by the wonders of the internet within days she had a parcel of pink yarn and a paper pattern (this is Grandma. She texts but expecting her to download patterns from Ravelry is too much). Several texts about measurements immediately followed, the returning parcel with love from Great Grandma for our tiny dancer was not long after. Happiness all round. And before you ask, yes, the yarn was pure wool
A weekend in Yorkshire, staying in a huge old stone house with a whole bunch of very talented knitting designers for the sole purpose of knitting, talking about yarn, playing with yarn, swapping yarn…seriously, could you come up with a better idea? The people behind the first ever Rocking Kitchen Designer’s Retreat were the lovely and very talented Joeli Carparco of Joeli’s Kitchen (as well as being the tech editor usually responsible for knocking my patterns into much better shape she also designs super-gorgeous children’s clothes and regularly podcasts) and the equally lovely and very talented Ruth Garcia-Alcantud of Rock & Purl (also a super tech editor and designer, she also taught me how to grade patterns, a miracle in itself). Thanks to these guys, the idea of a few of us designers (most of whom met through designing for Knit Now) getting together for some quality time away grew into something really special. Also quite a lot bigger!
It ended up with the weekend being sponsored by a wide range of yarn and knitting related sponsors, from some of the big guns to some lovely indies, which meant we had yarn-tastings and goody bags to die for. The pic here shows just part of the booty I hauled home- my husband paled visibly as he watched me empty the car and simultaneously double (at least) the total yarn stash now residing in our home. I am trying to persuade him that it’s a form of energy saving insulation for the house and planning on sharing more about products from individual sponsors- in word and also giveaway form!- over the next few weeks, but Ruth tells you more about who’s who over on her blog.
Whenever I’m in contact with the knitting community, whether in the virtual world (usually) or real life, I’m always struck by what a warm and supportive lot we are. Yes, of course there are the occasional spats and clashes of opinion, but in general you get the feeling that people want to share what they have in common rather than looking for differences, to see as many people as possible grow the culture and resources of the craft we love, rather than fight to be top dog. So it was on this weekend away, where advice, ideas, yarn, talk and food were freely and happily shared. The plan is that this event will lead to more in future- let’s hope this is so, and if you’re wondering whether to join in, the answer is YES!
PS Yes, I know this is the first blog in about three that I haven’t mentioned hats (whoops, now I have!) but I do need to quickly say a big ‘thank you’ for all the lovely attention/downloading my Mimi Clochette hat got for its individual pattern relaunch last week. It got to Number 2 on Ravelry’s ‘Hot Right Now’ list at one point, which was hugely exciting, and so many lovely comments about it. Hope everyone managed to get their free copy- if not, it’s still available for a small price here.
Another week, another hat release! ‘Tis the season for it, though, as we had our first frost this week and blustery, cold days are becoming more frequent. Mimi Clochette, originally released in Knit Now Issue 8, is a very good answer to those chilly days. Above you can see the original I made, in toddler size for M.
I had some beautiful cobalt blue Artesano Aran to use- which is on the generous end of aran weight- but I felt that a beanie style could be too bulky for a little head. I decided instead to construct a deep brim section to wrap around her head, then pick up stitches for the crown, forming a deep ‘cloche’ shape. To give a good structure I used a seamless cast on and knit the brim section as a tube before grafting the ends together.
The double thickness this created in the brim turned out to be the key to this design. When friends of mine who dog-walked or had outdoorsy jobs and lifestyles saw it, they loved the idea of having all that warmth around their ears, as well as a design that was flattering, feminine and wouldn’t easily blow off their heads. ‘Make it in a grown up size!’ was the plea- how could I resist?
They were right- it is a very cosy and comforting thing to wear when the weather gets wild. The Artesano Aran is ideal for this project, thanks to its generous thickness and rich colour pallette, but I’d love to see versions in hand spun, hand painted or thick and thin yarn- I think the wide brim would really show off the character of different yarns. Equally the choice of decoration for the faux closure on the brim provides quite a lot of scope- a fancy knitted or felt corsage would up the 1920s factor.
The published pattern comes in sizes for babies, toddlers, children and adults and also includes an option for cabling around the brim- you can see pics of this on my Ravelry project page here.
The pattern has been released on Ravelry today and as a special launch offer it’s FREE for the next 24 hours. Get it in your library before 11am GMT tomorrow (Friday 8th November) and it won’t cost you a thing- after that the price will be £2. Spread the word and the woolly warmth!
This little sweetie is my new design- Dolly Mixtures. It’s a hat and scarf set that comes in three sizes from baby to child (or probably a small adult head) and uses the prettiest 4ply/sock weight yarn you can find. Read on to find out more about its development and for special money-off launch offers!
Inspiration for this design came entirely care of my daughter. She was the one who carefully chose the Knitting Goddess SparkLynne yarn for the project. A smooth sock yarn, this colourway- Heatwave Corners- has splashes of vivid pink, orange and yellow as well as tiny silver sparkles running through it. These colours just made me think of the sweets of my childhood- Refreshers, Fruit Salads, Sherbert Double Dippers and of course, Dolly Mixtures. I decided to create a simple knit/purl pattern to look like little rectangular sweets. This pattern is maintained though the crown increases on the hat, but this is the only place you really have to keep an eye on row counts, making this a project well suited to a less experienced knitter.
Using sock weight yarn for a child’s hat is a really good idea, as it’s not too thick or heavy. The knit/purl pattern in this case provides an additional insulating effect, since it concertinas up to create little air pockets which retain heat- a bit like traditional tea cosies! The hat is a beanie style, with a narrow rib edge, quite a long main section for a bit of slouch and gentle gathers in the top. The scarf is quite narrow so as not to be too bulky and thanks to the stitch pattern, lies flat and is fully reversible.
Part of the fun of knitting this was seeing how the colour pooled as it was knitted up. In the case of the hat, the colours swirled up in a spiral, while in parts of the scarf it almost looks like a double helix. The design would work equally well with solid, semi-solid or other multi-coloured yarn, so you could let the intended recipient have the fun of choosing the yarn, like I did. The baby and toddler size will only use one 400m skein of yarn so a bit of indulgence is fairly affordable.For me, sweetie day was pocket money day so it seems appropriate to celebrate this launch with a pocket money price for the pattern. For the whole of the month of November, Dolly Mixtures will be available on Ravelry for just £1 to readers of this blog- normal price is £1.50. To claim your money off, enter the code DOLLY at the checkout.
That’s not the only treat I have for you though! Thanks to the generosity of Joy at The Knitting Goddess, during November readers of this blog can get £2 off the price of the lovely SparkLynne yarn used for this project- there are lots of different colourways to choose from but beware- you’ll find it hard to visit this lovely shop and come away with only what you meant to get! Enter the code SWEETIE at The Knitting Goddess shop to get your discount- please note that you can’t use the code in conjunction with any other offers on the site.
It may have begun with a cowl, but this week is turning out to be all about the hats.
Starting on the left, I’ve been working on writing up one of my early designs for Knit Now, the Mimi Clochette. The rights for this super-cosy hat returned to me ages ago and I’ve meant to get it ready for release as an individual pattern and just not got around to it. With the winter chill approaching it really is about time, so hopefully there’ll be news of this in the next week or so.
Next up, a bit of more or less instant gratification. Allyson, over at Holla Knits, is running a big promotion on Accessories patterns this week and today is hat day. This means you can pick up my Snowball Bonnet for half it’s usual price- so $2 instead of $4. I love this design because it’s retro and quirky, but not so many knitters have been brave enough to take the plunge with it. Come on you hipsters, get some loop stitch in your life! Look out for the discount details on the blog once the US wakes up later today.
The pink gorgeousness you see there is my completed Norie hat. I’d had the yarn- Fyberspates Scrumptious DK- in my stash since the Woolfest before last, where I bought it as an inspiration skein. While it had done its job of inspiring, it still hadn’t made it onto my needles. The Gudrun Johnston design had been in my Ravelry favourites for ages and I suddenly realised that it would be a perfect match. So it turned out to be. I had to do a little fudge with the top decreases as I used up every last inch of the skein but it’s a generously slouchy fit nonetheless. I’ve yet to get it photographed or put project details up on Rav, but it had a test run on our trip to Croft Castle yesterday (what an amazing venue for a photoshoot the gardens here would be!) and I can confirm it’s lovely to wear- soft and cosy but very light, thanks I suppose to the silk content. Plus in the gorgeous Magenta colour there’s no chance of getting lost!
Next, I’ve been pattern writing and photographing for M’s little Yarndale hat and scarf set. I’m planning to put it on sale at the end of this week but that’s not all! Joy over at Knitting Goddess, who is responsible for the pretty colours and sparkles in the Sparklynne yarn M selected for this project, has sorted out a yummy little promotion for readers of this blog to coincide with the launch. Keep an eye on these pages for more details.
As for the cup of tea- well those who know me will know I run on tea. This cuppa represents a bit of a ‘and…relax’. Partly due to it being the half term holiday, thank goodness, so I have a brief chance to breathe before the madness of the run up to Christmas in school begins. Partly because in the final weeks of the last half of term I was also trying to put together design proposals for a submissions call. The good news came through this week that I’ve had two designs commissioned for guess what…hats! I’m now at the lovely stage where I await the parcels of lovely yarn support dropping through the letter box and begin to turn ideas into reality. I like being able to see the early winter’s knitting falling into place and since I’ve also signed up for my first knit-along- Woolly Wormhead’s Mystery Hat KAL 2013- this looks like being the first hat week of many.
The other evening I finally got to the end of a scarf I was knitting (Scarves. The downside is the long dull straightness. The upside is only a couple of ends to weave in) and found myself at a bit of a loose end. I’d sent off the proposals for a subs call a couple of days before, was too tired to swatch a bit of colourwork I wanted to play with and was waiting on a new circular needle to arrive in the post to cast on my next, more involved, project. Empty needles? It just wouldn’t do.
I decided that something quick and easy was required and it doesn’t get much quicker than superchunky yarn on 12mm needles. I had some Erika Knight Maxi Wool leftover from my recent sweater design for Crafty magazine. The colour is the lovely olive-y green called ‘Artisan’ and I reckoned I’d have just enough to make a little snood for my little yarnista- who is not only more than willing to wear hand-knits (unlike her brother) but feels the cold just like her mummy.
It was honestly about an hour later when I cast off this squidgy, cosy little number. I didn’t block it as I liked the way the stocking stitch/reverse stocking stitch stripes had a bit of ‘sproing’ to them ( it’s similar to my Coniston Sweater, but in that case you do want to block the ‘sproing’ out).
Here’s a rough and ready how to for a cowl that will comfortably warm the neck of anyone of toddler age upwards.
You’ll need 40m-ish of super chunky yarn. I used 12mm circular needles, working at a gauge of 8st and 12 rows to 10cm/4″.
Cast on 32 stitches, join for working in the round and place marker for the start of the round.
Work 4 rounds knit, then 4 rounds purl. Repeat these 8 rounds twice more.
Knit a further 4 rounds. Cast off using a stretchy bind off- this is quite necessary or you may not get it over the intended head.
That’s it! You could easily add more stitches to make a larger size (this one comes out with a circumference of 40cm/16″) or more repeats of the four row stripes to make it deeper. The wearer also insisted that we show in our pictures how it can also be worn as a jumbo headband…
Details on Ravelry (should you want to link a project) are here. Happy Knitting!
I’m delighted to be posting today as part of the Blog Tour for Ann Kingstone’s Stranded Knits. Ann is one of the reasons why we shouldn’t see social media as an evil of the modern world as she is one of quite a number more experienced designers and yarny types whom I’ve got to know in online setting long before I’ve been able to meet them face to face. Always a positive source of advice, inspiration and humour they prove that not everyone is out there to swindle and corrupt the virtual community.
Thanks to this online friendship, some time ago I was privileged to get a sneaky peek at some of the pattern shot’s for Ann’s new book Stranded Knits and I was immediately sold. Okay, you could read the title and know it would be a fairly easy sell for someone with an acknowledged love of fairisle. In addition, Ann also lets her love for her British, more specifically Yorkshire, roots shine through her designs and yarn choices (her Swaledale clogs from the Born and Bred collection are very much on my must do/really need list) and this is very much up my street. Even so, I challenge you to look at the vibrancy of my favourite design from Stranded Knits, Hedgerow (below) and not be tempted. It’s not just me and my colourwork passion is it? I could see that working as well with jeans and boots as with a retro skirt or teadress. It’s a fancy knit, but at the same time it wouldn’t ‘wear you’.
Hedgerow is one of 16 patterns in the book, ranging from women’s and men’s garments to designs for children and accessories. It’s a clever way to make this a book which could appeal to knitters with a broad range of abilities and stranded colourwork experience. For someone who’s made their fair share of stranded pieces, something like Field Study (below) might appeal. To me it manages to to look modern and traditional at the same time and again, it’s very wearable.
Meanwhile, those who were just setting out on their stranded colourwork journey could find quick satisfaction with the Enid headband…
…or the Mary Rose mug cosy:
Okay, you might be thinking, there are some nice stranded patterns here, but surely there are lots of places I can find nice stranded patterns. Well, that’s true, but when I got hold of a copy of this book I realised that of equal, if not greater, value to me will be the front section. Nearly 50 pages of clearly illustrated instructions take you through every technique you could need for completing the projects in the book and many others besides. I particularly enjoyed the pages dealing with colour choices, which made me want to go and find out more and get experimenting- I think the Pleiades Hat and Mitts (below) would be a great place to start with trying out two-colour combinations.
The way my knitting workload is these days, I don’t actually invest in buying patterns so much anymore (the last couple of weeks have been an exception in this way). Stitch dictionaries and other sources for techniques are what I gravitate towards these days and what’s fascinating with knitting is that you can always, always learn something new. Even if, like me, you don’t stick to one type of knitting and dot from cabling to colourwork to lace to socks, top-down, bottom-up, in the round and knitted flat, you can always find a new way to do things. For example, within a few days of having this book I realised that the way I trapped ‘floating’ yarn when working with two colours was incredibly awkward, slow and inefficient compared to the way it described. It so happened that at the time I was racing through making several colourwork samples so the new method I learned was a godsend. I would say that now I have a reasonably efficient and effective technique when it comes to stranding, but for me it’s taken a number of years of trial and error, picking up a technique here and there. If you started off with the technique pages of Stranded Knits you’d be likely to get there a lot quicker than I did! Even without the designs, that would be reason enough for it to remain a prominent fixture on my bookshelf.
All the patterns from Stranded Knits are listed here on Ravelry, while more information about Ann, her designs and where to buy the book can be found on her website. Do follow the rest of the blog tour- I know some more of my esteemed woolly online friends are involved, so there will be lots of good stuff to read and enjoy!
Sometimes life just seems to fly by in a whirl of ‘must do’. It’s seemed like a bit of a slog round here recently in that respect, so although it meant that the rate of getting through the ‘must do’ list slowed, last weekend was all about winning time back for the good stuff. This included a 3 and a half mile walk up Latterbarrow. This is the fourth ‘Wainwright’ that even the littlest legs in the family have achieved this year. We’re working our way through Wainwright Family Walks Volume One: The Southern Fells at the moment. It was great walking weather- overcast but not raining, breezy but not too cold and with some stunning moments when the sun broke the clouds and bathed sections of the distant fells in golden light.
M took this as an opportunity to give her new hat (made using the Knitting Goddess yarn she chose at Yarndale) an off-road test. She is very pleased and eagerly awaiting the matching scarf (she needs to motivate Mummy- 4ply scarves are tedious to finish, no?).
Back at home, the weekend win-back also ran to a post-walk roast chicken dinner and preparing dough for my first shot at making brioche:
It came out pretty well and was a great way to use up all our excess eggs- our chickens have taken no account of the recent lack of cooking facilities and carried on laying regardless.
Finally, I started a knitting project just for me. It’s Norie by Gudrun Johnson and I’m using a skein of brilliantly fuschia coloured Fyberspates Scrumptious DK I picked up at the Woolfest before last. I always allow myself one ‘inspiration skein’ when I go to Woolfest- chosen just because it catches my eye, not because I have anything planned for it. The sheen of the silk content really made me want to have a lace element in what it became- I like the way the texture catches the light and contrasts with the eyelets. The inspiration of the skein led to my Pemberley Beret and Handwarmer set in Knit Now but I never got around to making the beret for myself as intended for last winter. With the sample making its way back to me soon, there was no point in having two so I scanned through my Ravelry favourites and rediscovered Norie. Once again it has the lace elements I wanted and I’m a sucker for a slouch beanie.
The pattern is perfect for what I need at the moment- rounds are just the right length for interspersing with marking books (I allow myself one round per 3 books to motivate myself!) and easy straight sections are interspersed with the more interesting lace. As for the colour (105 Magenta)- oh, you could dive in and eat it, it’s so lovely. Pics obviously don’t do it justice, but if you get to see it in real life, you’ll understand.
Of course, the weekend had its fair share of drudge and working too late as well, but generally, I declare it a victory.
It’s a bit like harvest time for me at the moment. I spent the summer and early autumn knitting and pattern writing like a demon for various commissions. Now I’m in a bit of a lull but all that work is seeing the light of day in print at last. I’ve already mentioned the Wyandotte beret and mitts set in this month’s Knit Now magazine, but also in this issue is my first ever collection. It feels pretty special to be asked to put together a whole collection of patterns and this one was right up my street- Christmas knits in traditional colours and British yarns.
I know, I know, it feels very early to be thinking about Christmas and I groan along with the rest of you when the first ‘Seasonal’ ads come on the telly when it feels like we’ve barely packed the flipflops away from summer. However, anyone who has ever aimed for a knitted Christmas will know that you have to start early in order to sail into December with a drawer full of Yuletide delights all ready to go, rather than curse your way through Christmas Eve as you try to avoid wrapping that handmade gift with the needles still in it.
The collection includes a number of gift ideas and also some decorations. Although the July heatwave wasn’t the best time to appreciate them, the yarns I used were a wonderful tour of some of the best yarns these isles have to offer. Soft, squishy and gratifyingly quick to knit up were Erika Knight’s Maxi Wool and Fur Wool, used for the children’s Elf Hat, and Artesano’s British Wool, which I’ve been hankering after designing with since it’s launch last year. I used the latter for another hat, Snowdrift, which was probably the item I least wanted to send away to be photographed. It has bands of moss stitch (I love moss stitch) and is an easy evening’s knitting. Both these hats end up chunky and cosy but not too heavy.
From those very modern British yarns I moved onto two with a much longer heritage- Jamieson & Smith Shetland Aran for the plaited wreath shown above and Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift for the Trees and Bows Garland. I’ve raved enough before about the integrity and magical blocking qualities of Shetland yarn, but suffice to say I’m really looking forward to decorating my home with these for many Christmases to come. They take a little more time to make, but the elements of the garland are good little portable projects to build up over time while the tubes for the wreath are perfect for mindless, telly-watching knitting.
Also included in the collection are the super-cute (in my opinion) jam jar tealight covers in West Yorkshire Spinners DK. Really quick to knit, using either stranded colourwork or swiss darning for the lettering, they look so pretty with a candle lit inside. Finally for a bit of indulgence, I designed these slouch socks using yarn from another of my favourites, Eden Cottage Yarns. These use the Silky DK in a beautiful forest green colour. Simply made, without heel shaping to worry about, they are meant for slobbing out in front of a Christmas film, feasting on selection box chocolates and leftovers.
Meanwhile, further along the magazine stand…squeal! I’ve fulfilled an ambition to be part of Crafty magazine. I have to admit it, I’m a bit of a sucker for blogger style photography, matt card covers and a geek chic aesthetic, so Crafty had me at hello. Obviously, I love making my regular contributions to Knit Now, but this was a different sort of assignment. The waffle stitch ‘boyfriend’ sweater I was asked to design for them is much simpler than many of my other patterns, since this is a magazine for all sorts of crafts rather than a dedicated knitting title. Using Erika Knight’s Maxi wool means it really would knit up very quickly, even in inexperienced hands. When I was making the sample, so many people commented on how lovely the ‘Artisan’ green yarn used for the lower section was- pics probably don’t do it justice but if you like a true olive green (think those big fat Greek ones) it’s probably worth the investment in this rather luxurious yarn.
As for what I’m up to just now, well I have several designs that I need to bring to publication myself on Ravelry if I can find some quality brain time in amongst all the other stuff. I’m mulling some ideas for submissions and need to do some swatching. What’s actually on my needles is this little scarf for M. The Knitting Goddess yarn she selected at Yarndale has already yielded the requested beanie and it turns out there should be enough for a matching scarf too. She’s quite the little taskmaster, bringing my knitting to me whenever I sit down for a second and demanding updates on when it will be ready. It reminds me of when I was little and my mum would sew at night time. Each morning I’d run downstairs to see what progress had been made on my new dress or doll. I rather like the way that pattern is repeating itself.
I think that’s about all there is to catch up with here- what’s new with you?