Introducing knitwear and yarn designers
I'm knitting furiously, well not angrily, just quickly I have a deadline for the end of the month to submit two design samples to Knit Now Magazine, both using Lion Brand Yarns from Woolly Madly Deeply.
These are my first pattern submissions so I was really pleased to have them accepted and so excited to see my ideas and knitting 'in print'.
First up is a unisex hat called Cashmere Cosy. It's made with Superwash Cashmere Merino, the sample is in the Slate Grey colour and I'll make another in either Wine or Blossom for myself. It's sized to fit kids up to a large man.
Warmth and Style
Second is a hat and scarf set, inspired by Native American motifs and using Alpine Wool. I chose Barley as the main colour, with some colourwork (you can do this stranded or by swiss darning / duplicate stitch if you prefer and it looks fantastic).
Colours shown left to right Chilli, Bay Leaf (sky blue), Black, Oatmeal and Barley (a tweedy brown) see below:
I'll post some teaser photos soon and proper pics once they've been to the photoshoot.
Having been introduced to Kim Hargreaves patterns by Lob at knitting group, I couldn’t wait to cast on a few projects for Winter. However, one pattern kept catching my eye and before I knew it, I was knitting a short sleeved cotton cardigan and actually liking it. Who’d a thought it?
Lob, the ruthless enabler that she is, mentioned Jannettes Rare Yarns were selling off some Rowan Calmer in a pinky shade and a light tangerine colour. I don’t suit warm shades but thought the pink (called Carnation) might suit me. It’s beautiful stuff, super soft, lovely stretch to it which I enjoy as I’m knitting …….but it’s peachy rather than pinky. I decided to throw caution to the wind and Daisy was started.
Daisy Sleeves aka tension/gauge swatches
Kim Hargreaves book Breeze contains a wealth of summery gorgeousness but I settled up Daisy, partly because it’s fresh looking, partly because I knew I could add some length to the sleeves, ignore the pockets, ignore the contrast colour and it would still look good.
I debated about other patterns is the Breeze book, and do have most of them in my queue, but Daisy won on this occasion. Blithe, Ali and Stevie are strong contenders for the next KH project, but we’ll see….
Knitting-wise, it’s a very easy pattern to follow, a 14 row repeat and row by row instructions for the shaping. A pretty stripe of 3 rows of seed stitch breaks up stocking stitch panels and careful counting of rows ensures the stripes match at shoulders and arms
So who is Daisy?
Kim Hargreaves website describes her as A fitted short sleeved cardigan, with pocket trim, knitted in Rowan Classic Pima Cotton DK. Talk about understatement?
Knitting wise, it’s a very easy pattern to follow, a 14 row repeat and row by row instructions for the shaping. I knitted the sleeves first (to avoid a tension or gauge swatch), the fronts and finally the back. Why did I do it this way? because I get bored with sleeves, so get them out of the way and I’m happier and more likely to FINISH. The back had to be completed to avoid having loads of pieces lying around the house, so it kept me motivated. Plus, I couldn’t cheat and part seam it until I had the back finished.
It took a few weeks of occasional evening knitting and due to a house of puppies and one dirty boy, required a jolly good wash before seaming. Daisy that is, well the boy and the dogs also had a good wash but not with Daisy and NOT together
Daisy, after adding buttons
I’m still not sure about the colour, but with a bolder shade of deep Coral or crisp white shirt, I might get away with it, I’ll need some kind of drapey scarf at my neck to separate me from the peachiness, but I do actually love this cardigan.
Daisy with some buttons
It took 7 balls of Calmer to knit a hybrid L/XL version of Daisy, buttons courtesy of Kemps Wool Shop at 5p each and they match perfectly!
Lower Neckline – dropped this by 14 rows and added them back in above the neck shaping.
Shallower bottom band, I have roomy hips, I don’t need to underline them with patterns thank you, 1inch of seed stitch is enough for a curvy girl.
Sewed button band to buttonhole band up to the three top buttons to prevent the gaping many people commented about in their Ravelry projects.
Picked up 172sts on each front band, reduced to 117 during first seed st row, gives a super neat edge and no wobbling of the bands.
I used to love top down knitting, but after many conversations with Lob, and much reading, I’m coming round to the idea that some garments or items benefit from the structure seaming brings to the party. Lob also kindly taught me mattress stitch, which had previously been a dark and mystical art. That was such an epiphany, WOW.
So who now loves seams? Who happily grafts shoulders together? Er me? Surely not?
Introducing Anne Carroll Gilmour
Teampall Breacháin Gloves
I had the great pleasure to test knit a pattern several months ago for the gorgeous Anne Carroll Gilmour of Wildwest Woolies for a book “Hats, gloves & mittens from around the world” due out this Autumn. This particular pattern, together with matching hat, is representing Ireland in the book and is absolutely gorgeous!
The pattern itself is so clearly written and very easy to follow. The designer is friendly, so helpful and very approachable. Just as importantly she’s not a yarn snob. Anne clearly hopes the knitter will love knitting the item and enjoy the finished object. She happily agreed to me using a basic double knit yarn which has washed and washed and washed.
Hats and Gloves off to Anne for continuing to publish such beautiful patterns and encouraging us to learn new skills as we go along. I very much enjoyed the cabling/knotwork and found it easy to knit the fingers magic loop although instructions for using dpns (for the saints among us who don’t resort to cursing as they hit the floor and leave the knitting ARGHHH) if that’s your preferred method.
Every time I wear them, someone comments on the pretty cables and ask where I bought them? I can smile say “I knitted them” and bask in the glow of “‘Oh you are clever”, whilst smiling broadly.
The gloves and hat are both very quick knits, and yet looks so professional once finished. If I weren’t turning into a selfish knitter, I’d make them as Christmas presents for all my various relatives. But these are so good they’ll be reserved only for the ‘knitworthy‘ in my life. My Dad would love them and in a pretty red or tweedy pink they’d be fabulous for my Mum.
The book Knitting Mittens & Hats from Around the World: 38 Heirloom Patterns in a Variety of Styles and Techniques itself is due out soon I’m told, and includes some other gorgeous hats and gloves, so do check it out, you’ll want to add it to your Christmas list and I just know there is something to suit the beginner through to experienced knitter.
I love Anne’s pattern for Padraig Driving Cap and can see my Dad wearing those as he motors round the Lake District and to and from his local church. Mum would like the Boatman Cap, it’s proper name being Fhir a’ Bhàta, that’s available to buy on Ravelry and is part of what’s now called the Knothead series of patterns.
I do like Anne’s tutorials on Ravelry for things like the Channel Island Cast On which is used in her Gansey Driving Gloves and Cap, there is always a great tutorial on grafting knotwork for patterns like the Teampall gloves I made (see pic above).
One of my favourite projects from Anne’s designs is the Wondrous & Mystical Pentrapezoidal Bag. I made the version below for my Mum using Noro Kureyon in shade 52. She LOVES it and bought some gorgeous buttons from McAnarak to match the colours. This is such a quick knit, just a few evenings while watching tv and very little concentration required. The Noro Kureyon yarn has so many shades and textures it really makes the project sing.
Anne has contributed a number of patterns to various books over the years and many of you will have Sock Yarn One Skein Wonders, 101 Designer One Skein Wonders, 101 Designer One Skein Wonders. I love the Oriel scarf, but her range includes anything from kilt hose to comfort shawls, lots of gorgeous gloves, hats, socks and some really innovative garment designs.
So if you’re about to start a mountain of gift knitting and looking for inspiration, check out the marvellous and glovely Anne Carroll Gilmour and you’ll find lots to inspire you.