More lovely things…

So, as well as the Big Pink Aran (or Blackberry Stitch and Cable Sweater as Debbie called it), there are 33 other designs in the A/W Debbie Bliss Magazine, something for just about everyone and every budget. There are a couple of new additions to the DB yarn line this autumn (so new they’re not on the website yet!), our favourite being Roma, a super-chunky wool / alpaca in gorgeous colours. It has pattern support in the form of a dedicated book, but also designs in the magazine. I love this jacket with contrasting bands:


Another yarn favourite is Angel, Debbie’s mohair and silk blend. There’s a whole section of Angel patterns many of which use two or more ends held together to produce a chunkier fabric and colour effects. Favourites here are the Ombre Sweater and also the Short Sleeved Sweater, both eminently wearable.



As if all of this wasn’t enough for Autumn knitting, Debbie’s daughter, Nell, and design assistant, Theresa, have teamed up to produce a young, fashion-forward line of patterns using Debbie’s yarns called Conway & Bliss. Their first four patterns are available to download free, here from the Designer yarns website, and they look rather fabulous. Go and have a look at them!

Posted: August 15th, 2014
Categories: designs, general wittering, knitting, yarn
Comments: 1 Comment.

The BPA*…

*The Big Pink Aran. Which is a poor name for this jumper, we have to say. As you probably know if you’ve been reading us for a while (and apologies, by the way, for the month-long silence, there has been a holiday and much pattern writing and grading getting in the way of posting here) we have a passing acquaintance with Debbie Bliss, she of the gorgeous yarn line and seriously covetable homeware collection. We weren’t going to say ‘no’ when she asked if we’d like to design something for her Autumn / Winter magazine:


That’s what the mag looks like – just to make it easier to recognise in you LYS or on the newsstand. That’s not the BPA on the front – it’s not pink, it’s lavender. THIS is the BPA:


And this is a slightly different view of it that shows the shape slightly better:


As you can see from that it’s got long, cable-y ribs on the sleeves and – yes – pouffy sleeves. After years of neat, vaguely fitted knitwear, we’re back to a more constructed and extravagant silhouette. Or, if we put that in non-designer-bollocks-terms, things are Bigger. Pouffier. There is no ‘negative ease’ here. Sleeves and also width-wise. This jumper is wide. And drapey. And, believe it or not, flattering. We say that as many people seem to think that if there’s lots of ease then a knit is going to make you look frumpy. This is knitted in the new colour in Debbie’s Cashmerino Aran range, the hot coral-y pink, on 5mm nds. So even though it’s big it’ll knit up fast.

Detail-wise, the big, double-diamond cables run out of the mini mock cables in the ribbing and are framed by twisted stitches. A couple of mock cables run all the way up the body, and (as usual) we’ve managed to shoe-horn in some of our perennial favourite, Blackberry Stitch. Debbie’s lovely team have made a super tutorial to show how to knit Blackberry Stitch, the mock cable and how to twist stitches too, so really you have no excuse not to give it a go.

We were also flattered, honoured, excited, beside ourselves (and slightly terrified) when Debbie asked if we’d like to be the ‘Where I Work’ feature. But obviously we said ‘yes’. So you can read all about us, too, and see us and see a little bit of the studio where we work in Wendy’s house (it was tidier than mine). Debbie sent along a fabulous team to interview us and photograph us, Mia Pejcinnovic and Carmel King, and look! We don’t look gormless in the photo! We look happy and quite presentable! I look taller than Wendy! (I made her sit down.)


Look out for other favourites of ours from the new magazine in the next few days!

Posted: August 14th, 2014
Categories: designs, general wittering, knitting, yarn
Comments: 8 Comments.

Friday Favourite – July 11

You can always rely on Stella McCartney for an interesting piece of knitwear and this piece from her A/W 14 collection is no exception. Firstly its such a great shape, and with lots of her clothes it looks such an easy piece to wear. We are not 100% sure what it is made from but we can see the floats on the pattern have been cut to really good effect. A lovely colour combo too.
Many of her knits from this collection have matching knitted messenger bags tied around the body, which look like an extension of the garment. Not something we go for usually but in this instance they work really well. Take a look -

S Mcart _KIM1580.450x675

… and here is a close up, which shows both stitch and the matching messenger bag knot off beautifully. Nice.

S Mccartney 1 BY8P0477.450x675

Posted: July 11th, 2014
Categories: Friday Favourite
Comments: 1 Comment.

Monday mood – All White 1

We are suffering from post Wimbledon blues today (or should I say whites!).

We love the strict Wimbledon rules for only a 1cm strip of colour allowed on a player’s attire, of course the wonderfully stylish Mr Federer does it with more panache than anyone else. Anyway we have a series of white inspired boards for the next three weeks.

White 1

… OK, so this board is not strictly white, we would never get through the Wimbledon inspectors, but we love all these images together. It’s all a bit spotty/dotty/freckly and uses as a centre-piece another Nigel Peake image. The Sportmax printed spot sweater continues the theme and links nicely into a King of the Mountains thing (yes we know that’s red spots) but we couldn’t let this week go by without mentioning the Grand Depart that our country so enthusiastically hosted this past 3 days, get well soon Mark Cavendish!

Posted: July 7th, 2014
Categories: moods
Comments: No Comments.

Friday Favourite – July 4th

Following on from the response we had from featuring one of my graduate’s pieces a couple of weeks ago, we thought we should show you another one. This is such a great colour combo and clever use of stitch to alter the shape of a garment, as the ribs on the top section naturally tighten the yoke. It reminds me of the Kenzo men’s sweater we featured a few months ago, using a solitary stripe on the front of the garment to break up the colour blocking. The designer is Ge Bai and she has used, in addition to this clever colour blocking, silicon printed flower patterns on her knitted fabrics and cut edge knits which give the collection a really modern feel – take a look…


This picture was taken backstage at the show and shows the silicon flower print beautifully on the skirt. The strange eye pieces were actually created using a 3D printer and gave the impression the model’s eyes were colourful flowers – one for the catwalk only!

Here is one of her stunning coats too…


Posted: July 4th, 2014
Categories: Friday Favourite
Comments: 1 Comment.

Monday Mood – Pastels 3

The last of our 3 pastel boards is featured today. This one includes a fab sweater, very simple – in a type of waffle/honeycomb stitch in such an amazing colour combo, which is slightly off, but just on the right side of!! We have added some strange but beautiful interior pieces which kind of echo what is going on in the sweater with odd, strong colour blocking . I have also been playing with my coloured biro pens on this board too – I love them…

Pastel 3

A great board for a summer week…

Posted: June 30th, 2014
Categories: moods
Comments: 1 Comment.

Blackett cardi

A bit late as I promised this yesterday but the interwebz was misbehaving and glacially slow so I gave up trying to do anything computery. Anyway, here we have the third and final of our new designs for Town End Alpaca’s lovely yarn, the Blackett cardi:


Another single-coloured garment with simple textures in blocks makes it really rather cute. We’ve already had requests for an adult version from people who have seen the samples. Moss stitch, garter stitch and a fleck stitch combine for a classic.


Pattern and more details here on Ravelry, or if you’re at Woolfest today or tomorrow then find Kim and have a look at all three new designs in the flesh, Walker, Ransome and Blackett. Kim has printed patterns and lots of yarn for you to treat yourselves with.

Posted: June 27th, 2014
Categories: designs, general wittering, knitting, yarn
Comments: 1 Comment.

Ransome jumper…

Today we have the second of our three new designs for Town End Alpacas yarn, the Ransome jumper:


This one’s a bit more boyish than Walker, but still suitable for girls. We’ve used all three colours available in Kim’s Alpaca / Shetland yarn for this stripey, slip stitch pattern that looks more complex that it is. Probably the most complex part of the pattern is carrying the unused colours neatly up the edge of each piece as you knit it in order to miss out on sewing lots of ends in. As with most stripey designs you’ll end up with leftovers – we’re working on a hat to go with this one to use the leftovers up. (Not that leftovers are necessarily bad.)


Ransome is perfect for experimenting with colour combinations (should you decided not to go with Kim’s gorgeous, naturally-coloured yarn). A graphic navy, red and white / cream in, say, Debbie Bliss’ Cotton DK would make a fabulous nautical summer jumper. Even though the DB Cotton DK is DK (albeit a little thicker than standard DK), we’re willing to bet that in this slip stitch pattern it would look great knitted slightly looser, ‘out of gauge’ (as you say if you’re machine knitting). Or you could go really girly with a pink, lilac and cream combo, or super-pastel-y with pink, lilac and pistachio ice-cream / sugared almond colours.

Either way, a very wearable piece, we think. WSN may well be getting one very soon…

More details and the pattern here on Ravelry and remember that Kim will have the sample and patterns for sale at Woolfest on Friday.

Posted: June 25th, 2014
Categories: designs, general wittering, knitting, yarn
Comments: No Comments.

Walker cardi…

As many of you will know, we designed a mini-collection for babies and toddlers last year especially for Town End Alpacas beautiful 100% Alpaca, DK yarn. Well, this year we’ve added to it with another 3 designs, this time for their Alpaca / Shetland (90% Alpaca, 10% Shetland) Aran weight yarn. As we’ve used a chunkier, slightly more robust yarn we’ve made these designs for slightly older children – instead of 3 months – 2 years we’re going for 2 – 6 years. As Town End Alpacas will be showing these designs at Woolfest at the end of this week (their ‘home’ show), we’re showing one a day today, tomorrow and Thursday before Woolfest. First up, the Walker Cardi:


Generally we like to show our garments on people – that’s what they’re for, after all. As you can see, this picture is not on a child. When these 3 designs were all finished and ready to be photographed before being sent off to Kim we had a bit of a mini-heatwave in London and as they’re aran weight alpaca they are, um, very warm. Even we, hard-hearted creatures that we are, couldn’t face squeezing squirming toddlers into super-warm garments and (probably more truthfully) couldn’t face the tantrums that would likely come once they were in them. So we photographed them flat for the time being but fear not, as soon as it gets a bit cooler again and the samples aren’t at a show or a shop somewhere we will put them on children.

Walker is probably the most girly of the three designs. Moss stitch trims and a simple, leafy ‘lace’ (it’s not really lace, just a few eyelets artfully placed) decorate the fronts, and the same leaf / swirl motif is echoed on the sleeves, this time with small bobbles in the middle.


Pattern up here on TBk soon, meanwhile find it and further details about yarn quantities, tension etc. over on Ravelry here.

Posted: June 24th, 2014
Categories: designs, knitting, yarn
Comments: 1 Comment.

Monday Mood – Pastels 2

As we are just passed midsummer eve here in the UK we are still in a sunny mood (even though England have been sadly knocked out of the World Cup!*) so we have the second of our summery pastel series.

This week we feature a fab sweater in the right hand corner from Miu Miu which we have already shown as a Friday Favourite but it is so lovely it deserves a second mention. We are really wanting more colour so I am off to work on some little colour stories inspired by these boards which are really slightly bright pastels – not too sugary.

Pastel 2

The other pic in the bottom left is a fab outfit by one of our ex RCA students Xiao Li who has worked in chunky cotton pastel fisherman’s rib with silicone trims which we featured a detail of on last week’s Monday Mood. This week it’s the whole outfit which is fabulous! (It is also my daughter’s last GCSE exam today – Hurrah!!!) Happy Sunny Summery Monday!!

*Belinda says: ‘sadly? SADLY? Understatement of the year!’

Posted: June 23rd, 2014
Categories: moods
Comments: No Comments.