Friday 29 January 2016

You wait ages for a new design, then three come along at once!

For someone who is currently taking a hiatus from designing knitted items, this is a pretty busy blog post. But as anyone who has ever had anything to do with publishing knows, these designs were finished months ago, and I’ve had to keep them a secret.

First up we have two designs in a new-to-me magazine: I Like Knitting, an e-zine based in the States. It’s a subscription model, so if you want to knit up these patterns you’ll have to head to their website,

Bobbled Chevron Cowl, image copyright

Bobbled Chevron Cowl is designed as a quick knit – it’s knitted in Rico Essentials Big, which is a lovely round yarn with excellent stitch definition – and can be knitted in a couple of hours. It features a pattern entirely made up of simple knits and purls, and is inspired by the Gansey jerseys worn by fisherman, which have the associated myth that each fishing village along the coast had its own design, so that sailors lost at sea could be identified easily and returned to their home port.

Scalloped edge cowl, image copyright

Scalloped edge cowl is wonderfully luxurious. It’s made from two skeins of Fyberspates Scrumptious DK, which is made up of 55% soft merino and 45% silk. The yarn has a beautiful sheen, and feels really decadent to work with – big thanks to my sister in law for buying if for me a couple of years ago as a Christmas gift! I’ve tried my hardest to make the scalloped cast on and cast off edges look the same, this required inventing a whole new stitch pattern, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

Painting the Roses Red, image copyright Practical Publishing

And for seconds (or thirds), Knit Now magazine have published my first ever shawl design, Painting the Roses Red.* Knitting a lace shawl was on my 32 things list, and I thought I’d go the whole hog and design my own! The shawl is a deep crescent shape, with a plain stocking stitch body and a simple lace border featuring delicate heart details. It was my first lace shawl, and would be a good choice for anyone else wishing to knit their first ever lace shawl. The sample is knitted in Artesano Alpaca 4 Ply, which is as soft as a kitten, and a bargain at only £5.25 a skein** [you’ll need two for the small size of this shawl (shown) and four for the larger size] when bought direct from Artesano. And if you want to know where the name came from, it’s inspired by the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, as the heart motif reminded me of a fancy dress costume I wore when I was about 7!

*This pattern is in Issue 56 of Knit Now magazine, which comes off sale on Wednesday 3rd February 2016, so if you want this pattern you’ll have to be quick, or order a back issue or digital copy direct from Knit Now.
**Price correct at time of publication.

Sunday 3 January 2016

A month in yarn: December 2015

Happy New Year!

December vanished in a whirlwind, and apparently I completely failed to write down what I had bought, recieved, or knitted. I did manage to make a few Christmas gifts: some socks for my brother and a pair for Amy, a hat for myself, some mitts for my mum and a pair of socks for me.

I also recieved a lot of yarn for Christmas (I am not complaining; I love yarn!). Unfortunately the sock yarn no longer fits in its designated box, so I've made a cunning plan and gift-wrapped twelve balls/skeins/blanks of sock yarn from my stash to make a lucky dip of yarn to last me the year. I get a lovely yarny surprise every month without having to spend any money, yay! And I have assigned my son as present chooser and unwrapper, so he will be happy to.

Lovely yarny goodness
Post-Chrismas paper recycling
All the best for 2016!

Friday 1 January 2016

32 things: #23: Finish my PhD

No, I haven't finished my PhD yet. It's due at the end of February. So, no New Year's Resolutions this year, I just need to get this thing finished!

Don't expect to hear much from me in the next couple of months. If you want me, I'll be buried under some paper somewhere. See you all on the other side.

Happy New Year! All the best for 2016 and whatever adventures it may bring.