Yes, yes – yesterday we were talking about desperately needing Spring to, well, spring, and today we’re on about Midwinter.
But this Midwinter is special. Last year we sent a few designs off to Quince & Co’s call for their latest scarf book, all of them inspired by Midwinter Pottery and this is the one they chose:
and this is how it looked when we’d got it all knitted up in the delightful Quince & Co Osprey:
Isn’t it beautiful? Isn’t the photography gorgeous? We love Quince & Co! They have been a delight to work with. Some more pics for you:
As you can see from those last two pics, it’s a long scarf, perfect for wrapping (although you could knit it shorter). And it has quite large pompoms as finishing touches (but that’s not really a surprise, is it?). It might look like a complicated colourwork pattern but in fact it’s worked in 2-row stripes with slip stitches, so it’s easy peasy to knit. The yarn is a dream – a dream – to knit with and comes in 49 fabulous colours. The sample was knitted up in the monotone colourway using Egret, Kumlien’s Gull and Crow but how nice would it be to add in a bright pop of colour (like Wendy’s drawing)? – you could substitute Sorbet or Nasturtium or Belize in for the Kumlien’s Gull for a few centimetres at each end.
Full details (including how to buy) here and here on Ravelry, although I think you might have to wait until America is up and working before you can actually buy. I’ll add in links to the Quince & Co website as soon as they’re up*. There are 13 other designs in the ebook from great designers, but we think ours is best! (Well, it is the only one with pompoms, so it’s a no-brainer really, isn’t it?)
OK, so here are the links to buy from Quince & Co. Here for the lookbook for the whole collection (you can see Wendy and me trying very hard to look sensible / not gormless in our designer bio there), here for the ebook of the whole collection or here to just buy our Midwinter pattern.
News for the ‘designs’ Category
Yes, yes – yesterday we were talking about desperately needing Spring to, well, spring, and today we’re on about Midwinter.
As many of you know we have been playing with needle felting techniques and this is something we designed a couple of weeks ago. It has a fresh spring-like quality to it (something we all need desperately, we think) and looks great on a cute plain stocking stitch sweater. The red spots are worked with a woollen fabric cut into circles which we’ve needle felted, then gently removed the fabric from the knitting leaving only secured fibres behind – it gives this fab, sort of ghost-like speckled effect. The yellow and blue ones spots are done our usual way with spirals of yarn worked on the wrong side and punched through to create these soft spots.
Friday Favourite 2…
Well, we are champing at the bit to show you some of our favourite sweaters. This one is a machine knit we think (Belinda is sure it is). We love the look of it – such a great shape, in a multi-coloured tuck stitch. It’s by Toast and its called the Tess Sweater and a cotton polyamide yarn. We want one!
Funny, we knitted this swatch about 18 months ago in Yeoman DK cotton and designed this sweater which we have yet to convert into a pattern. It’s not as heavy as the Toast one, but we like it.
We also have a textured wool and mohair sweater, same stitch pattern but very different look – the Garterhouse:
Justa very quick post to remind everyone again that Unravel starts next Friday and we’ll be there! We are contributing a raffle prize for the Friday night of a Canterberet pattern and the John Arbon Knit by Numbers yarn to knit it in. We have looked through all of our spare yarn and the kit will be in the same colourway as the photo below:
We also have a ticket to give away, valid for both the Saturday and Sunday. So if you’d like to come along for free, leave a comment on this post and tomorrow, Friday, we’ll pick a winner at 5pm (GMT) sharp. Then we’ll email you for an address and post your ticket off. We might even have another bit of a treat for you if you come to our stand and make yourself known to us. (We’re upstairs in the Granary, the first people you’ll see as you walk into that room.)
Just in case you need a reminder, here’s what it’s all about:
Love is in the air…
… well, it might be if you’re lucky. Depending on your mood, it’s either a cynical marketing ploy to sell flowers and restaurant tables and lots of cards, a truly romantic day or the most miserable day ever as you sit waiting for the Valentine that never comes. I am guessing that at some point in most lives it has been all of these things. Yes, it’s St. Valentine’s Day in other words. It seems we may have Chaucer to blame for giving marketing people ideas.
Anyway, in case you missed them last year, here is our answer to your problems. Knit a Valentine.
Cables, knitted flowers, a use for all those odd mother-of-pearl buttons you’ve been hoarding, or, if you are feeling a little bit spiky:
A pin cushion. (not that you have to use it as a pin cushion, but it does work rather well if you’re a bit peeved.)
Find more details for the Hearts of Midlothian here. And enjoy this nicely bleak, not-at-all-romantic bit of Mr. Bowie:
As promised, here are a few garment designs for the degrade mohair swatch we showed yesterday on this week’s Monday Mood.
Using extra ends while knitting subtly mixes colours and also creates more width across the knitting on very simple shapes so by adding and taking away ends the shape can be ‘A’ line or egg shape, depending on what you fancy and gives soft, interesting changes in colour without too much effort on the knitter’s part.
Brushing certain areas more than others once knitted can also create interesting shapes and blurred effects.
We have added oversized puff sleeves to the last cropped sweater which gives a classic shape a new twist.
The first sweater is a soft flared shape with elongated wide sleeves which also updates a classic.
… here is a reminder of the swatch:
nice… (even if we do say so ourselves).
Last June we produced a small (but perfectly formed) collection of baby and toddler knits to go with Town End Alpacas’ English-grown-and-spun alpaca yarn. We raved about it at the time. We still do, whenever we get the chance. We hear from Kim at TEA that she has a new yarn out soon, a Blue-Faced Leicester and Alpaca blend, which should be very interesting. We are looking forward to getting our hands on some. Meanwhile, it’s not readily available here in the US and I had a couple of Small People to knit for so I went in search of US yarns to knit a couple of cardis in.
To start with I stuck to the Alpaca vibe with Cascade Yarns Eco Alpaca:
This is $16 for 100g, so very reasonable although it takes just over 2 x 100g hanks for a cardi, so you do have a considerable amount of leftovers. But then you could knit a hat. It’s lovely stuff, not as lovely as Kim’s but nice nonetheless. I think I knitted this one in ‘Oatmeal’, which is pale grey (not a dirty cream as I would have expected). As it was for a little girl I capitulated to a TINY bit of pink (I have a thing about this whole girly pink thing and refuse to knit pink things, partly because it’s really not my favourite colour and why should I knit in a colour I dislike generally but mainly because I just loathe that whole Disney Pink Princess vibe that’s everywhere these days) and sewed the buttons on with a hot pink embroidery thread.
This one, on the other hand, is for WSN (Wicked Step Niece) who has just turned four. Even though she likes pink her Mum likes aqua, so aqua it was. This is Purl Soho’s Worsted Twist, which has become one of my very favourite yarns. It is soft and squishy, comes in fabulous colours and is a joy to knit with. Although I’m calling this aqua, it might well be ‘Desert Blue’ on the Purl website. Now, Tiggywinkle is written up to 24 months size-wise, but in DK and on 4mm needles (‘or size required for you to obtain stated tension’. Purl’s Worsted Twist is, as the name says, worsted (bit of a giveaway there), which is basically American for ‘a bit thicker than DK but perhaps not quite Aran’ (British description). So, I think (I can’t quite remember, I did cast this on a while back) I knitted the 6 month size stitch-wise and just made the sleeves and body longer and it’s come out really rather well for a four year old even though I say so myself.
Daffodil yellow buttons to round it off with in the hope that they’ll bring a bit of Spring colour into damp, dreary Bedfordshire where this is heading.
We’re off to Unravel in a few weeks and we’ll have some of Kim’s yarn with us for sale, so do come and look and have a fondle of it yourself. More about Unravel on the blog tomorrow!
Some of you may have noticed there’s been a bit of excitement on Twitter recently (where we are @TrueBritknits) about the new Fyberspates collection for Jeni’s Scrumptious yarn, the Scrumptious Collection Volume 3 (or #SCV3 as it’s being tagged on Twitter). The book was released yesterday, and here I am to talk about my little part in it.
I’ve known Jeni for several years now after working with Scrumptious DK Worsted for The Knitter – that original collaboration is now called Trott, and is available here. I’ve also worked with her on the previous two Scrumptious collections, so I was thrilled when she asked if I’d work on the third collection.
The brief was for a sweater or cardigan in the Scrumptious 4 Ply with a bit of texture. So here is Rosemorran:
Isn’t it green? Isn’t it a lovely green? Now, full disclosure here, I am not a green person. Green on me makes me look ill at best and like I expired several days previously at worst. Despite having greenish eyes, it is just not my colour. At. All. Which is a shame, as I do love this green. A real ‘poison’ green (I am not selling this, using words like ‘poison’, am I?). SOMEBODY I know though, is a Green person, and this green is named for her. Jen’s Green. A clear, gorgeous, strong green which as you can see, looks stunning on you if you have red hair.
Let’s talk about Rosemorran, though. Now, I know that fitted knits have been on everyone’s needles for years now but fashion is moving away from very fitted knits at the moment and we don’t want to look SO last year, now do we? Also, unless you’re VERY careful with a really fitted cardi the tendancy is for the buttons to strain somewhat if you do them up and that’s never a good look. Rosemorran is designed with gentle positive ease to be a cardi you can wear over a t-shirt / dress (as here) or shirt without spending minutes faffing about trying to sort your sleeves out properly, which – frankly – is what you want in a cardi. Well, it’s what I want in a cardi anyway. (You must know what I’m saying there. Where your sleeves get all ravelled up in each other and take ages to settle down.) Rosemorran comes in a whopping 10 sizes, so there is a size for just about everyone to look good in no matter what your shape and I say again, one should not be afraid of positive ease. It will not automatically make you look shapeless. The stitch pattern is from a Japanese stitch dictionary and is easy to remember, looks far more complicated than it is and really does look lovely and slightly vintagey. A pretty, spring knit perfect for layering up. Here’s a pic of the stitch pattern close-up:
And here’s another view of Rosemorran being worn:
Everyone else involved in the making of the book will be blogging about their part, too:
Today (22nd January) you can also visit Kelly at Celtic Cast On. Other dates and venues:
24th January: read Nic Vowles on the actual book design (I am guessing there!), Lien Ngo of Platinum Knits on her design, Hamble and Louise Zass-Bangham.
Then on the 26th January we have Carol Feller of Stolen Stitches, Leslie & Laura the Knit Girllls and Ashley Knowlton.
On the 28th the baton passes onto the lovely Jen Arnall-Culliford and Rachel Coopey. Jen will no doubt be talking about the initial commissioning of the book and how she manages to organise lots of designers (or ‘herding cats’ as it’s often known). Rachel will no doubt be elucidating on the origins of Divelish, Kenwyn and Lerryn.
The final day of the blog tour is the 28th of January, where you can read what Chrissy at Stitched Together has to say, A Playful Day and where I am sure Kyoko Nakayoshi will tell all about her design, Iwerne, over at Cotton and Cloud.
You can buy the actual, physical book hereand the e-book here. It’s a bargain at £12! I think if you buy the physical book direct from Jeni and you have a Ravelry account then she’ll also pop the e-book into your Rav library for instant gratification.
All of those gorgeous photos were taken by Jesse Wild for Fyberspates and so all rights on them belong to him.
It’s here! Today’s the day!
That, folks, is the brand new Scrumptious Collection Volume 3 – SCV3. #SCV3 on Twitter. You can go here to see all the patterns. In all their gorgeousness. You can even BUY it. For Twelve Squids. £12. A bargain. £12 for 13 patterns!
Pop back here tomorrow to read me, Belinda, wittering on abut my design in #SCV3, Rosemorran:
Tomorrow, OK? See ya.
All photos copyright the fabulous Jesse Wild.
Monday Mood – mohair 1
From checks to something altogether softer, although soft with a bit of an edge this week! Kicked off by the memories of the late 70s when Punk embraced mohair big time we started off the board with 2 images of the brilliant Jonny Rotten in mohair sweaters, which lead to us seeking out other images of men in fluff… and keeping with the rock theme found the image in the bottom left hand corner of a Kurt Cobain inspired look. I love the stripe and animal print combo which has inspired a swatch we will show later in the series.
The swatch we have featured this week is a varying gauge knit, starting in 6mm needles and moving up to 8mm, then 10mm needles and only partly brushed, so some areas are more fluffy than others. I used a Prym mohair brush on the top of the swatch under 2 rows of garter stitch. So the changes in scale and density of fluff make for a really subtle and interesting fabric. This technique would look stunning sweater scale.
We hope you like this series, I know a lot of people are not so keen on mohair but there are some great ones out there at the moment, which are much softer and wearer friendly, we sourced some by New Forest Mohair which is fab, as is the Bergere de France Pure Doucer mohair mix too.