Monthly Archive November 2015

Designer Spotlight Joan Dyer

I missed yesterday so I’m playing catch up.   Our Designer Spotlight is on Joan Dyer, joandyer on who is taking part in this years Indie Design Gift Along.

I won a pattern in the forums the other day and chose Madeira, my dear, by Joan Dyer, it’s a gorgeous all over lace pattern and I love the rich raspberry colour she chose for the design sample.   I’d be easy to add a bit of waist and hip shaping by just changing needle sizes, larger at the hips and smaller at the waist.    It has a nice clean neckline (no clutter and fancy shaping required) and the sleeves also feature the pretty lace.   As always with Joan’s patterns, it’s well written, clear and clever.   There are charts and written instructions with lots of hints and tips on how best to handle the lace shaping at the raglan.

If you make one sweater for work or play, this should be on your short list.   It’s worked in the round with raglan shaping, that gives the best options for trying on as you knit.    There’s an option for sweater length and tunic length, this’d make a great beach coverup or a teen dress for nights out (with appropriate layers underneath 🙂

Madeira My Dear Sweater pattern

Next up is the Sidestrokes Pullover, a childrens knit worked ‘sideways’ if you hadn’t guessed from the name 🙂 .  Sidestrokes Pullover features  a placket neck opening with a one button closure to make it both easy to pull on over the head but also for style points. It was created for Tess’ Designer Yarns.  The four sizes correspond to ages 3, 6, 12, and 18 months with 4 inches (10 cm) ease. The width is easily adjusted by adding more rows, and the length by casting on additional stitches.  The main body is knit sideways, the neckline and bottom edge picked up and knit circularly after the sides are seamed.

The sweater can be worked in lace weight yarn, 3 strands held together, which provides the opportunity to create a gradient that shifts color from one cuff to the other with the color changes controlled by replacing one strand at a time. The design is well suited to variegated yarns, or sock weight yarns knit to gauge for a lighter weight garment.  If you use machine washable sock yarn, it’ll be clean and dry in no time.   Brilliant for busy Mums and stylish for fashion conscious kids.


Our last garment for this post is called Klid, a child’s cardigan, with a stunning tree on a rev st st background.  Great for young Hobbit or LOTR fans or just kids who love nature!  The pattern has a cropped or hip length version (to keep them warm and toasty), is knitted in worsted weight yarn but there are notes on how to adapt for other yarn weights which is a great bonus.   The body is worked flat bottom-up, with waste yarn replacing sleeves until the sweater body is completed. The sleeves are worked in the round top-down with underarm gussets (continuing from waste yarn, no pickup required). The closure can be snaps or buttons. The construction is seamless.


 I couldn’t resist adding this and the sample item would match nicely to Klid (above), it’s the Ditty Bag pattern.    It’s handy for cable needles, your seaming or sewing needles to stop them dropping down the side of the chair (or is that just me?).     You can use any weight of yarn, any type of yarn and it’s a great project to learn about double knitting.


 To check out all the discounted patterns in the Indie Design Gift Along visit the group for more information.    To see our discounted patterns, go here.

the discount code is giftalong2015 for 25% of the sale patterns.  Sale ends on Friday UK time and Thursday midnight EST.




Designer Spotlight PJKaylor

Today I’ll be featuring some gorgeous designs from just one designer, Peggy Jean Kaylor or pjkaylor to her friends on

One of my favourites is Leaves of Lothlorien.   I read Lord of the Rings at 8 years old and loved it, Tolkein created an incredible world where I could escape the day to day.   The film adaptations captured the written details perfectly and Peggy’s scarf does just the same thing.  It evokes magic, mystery and an ethereal atmosphere.       The pattern is very well written with clear instructions for every stage.     It’s adaptable – you could use it to make a garland for Christmas, a scarf for a night out using some sparkly yarns and it would even make a great hatband.    A friend of mine made it several times with different yarns and loves it.  The scarf is construction using garter stitch and short rows, so it’s a fabulous practice piece.   Each leaf ‘grows’ from the central spine and can be placed where you want them.   In this case, the short rows don’t require any special skill so all you need to know are how to knit-on cast on, traditional bind off/cast off, knit, knit 2 together. The short row shaping does not require any special treatments beyond turning the work and just knitting whatever number of stitches is specified instead of completing each row.

You could make several in shades of green or in autumnal shades (Fall to our US cousins) for a showstopper accessory or you could just make a short length and add it as an embellishment to a bag or garment, it’d look fabulous around the yoke of a sweater.

As for the LOTR, I try and read it once a year although I admit I skip the chapters with shelob the spider – ewwww..   Each of these gorgeous designs is 25% off so don’t miss the sale!   The coupon code is giftalong2015 without any spaces!

greenleaf4 mediumIMG 2675 medium2

IMG 2760 medium2Vine Scarf 001 medium2

Next up is the Heart Throb Scarf, a pretty project for those wanting to try something a bit lacy but not too much and fancy a go at bobbles to give texture.  Peggy has designed a cute heart motif which you could do many times on the scarf as shown, or just once at each end.    It’s very well written and every part of the pattern is clear, even for beginners.  

IMG 1835 medium2

Last, but by no means least, and made in a fabulous blue, is Melite, Nymph of Calm Seas, another very well written pattern, which has optional beading for those wanting to add a bit of glitz.    What I love about Melite is that every element is totally reversible. The beads sparkle from both sides of the fabric. The lace and solid sections are created from reversible stitch patterns. It makes the perfect wrap.   Why is that good?  It means you can’t wear it inside out, as either side looks amazing!   Great to grab as you dash out the door for a bit of added glamour and warmth

Stitches used in the pattern: k, p, yo, k2tog. While the techniques are not difficult, most knitters will need to pay regular attention to either the written instructions or the chart to successfully insert the solid zigzags into the lace ground and to place the beads correctly within the zigzags.    Beading is optional but adds a subtle sparkle. If knitted exactly as the pattern directs, Melite requires 1,213 size 6/0 glass seed beads. Placing the beads requires either Threader Floss dental floss or a small steel crochet hook that will fit through the center of the beads.    The pattern includes complete abbreviated row-by-row written instructions as well as fully charted directions.

Melite pattern sample modeled 001 medium2


I’ve finished my Campside Hat by CarolynMac and my Renilda Hat by Tracey Lee.

Do check out our designer bundle with our sale patterns, we hope you like our new releases and find lots of inspiration.

Knits for Head, Neck and Hands

Today I’ll be featuring some gorgeous designs from some amazing friends in the Indie Gift Along 2015.     They’re my personal favourites and include hats, mitts/wristers, scarves, shawls or cowls to mix or match.

First up is Knittipoliti, aka Ellen Kapusniak, and her Bezel Hat, Bezel Mittens and Bezel Cowl, a stunning set which has the smooshiest cable design and would be a really quick gift for someone knitworthy.  Or if that someone was a knitter, you could gift them the pattern(s), they will thank you.   Click on the images to see more.   Each of these gorgeous designs is 25% off so don’t miss the sale!   The coupon code is giftalong2015 without any spaces!


Our next designer Scrabblepooh, aka Helen Gipson, has the most amazing eye for detail.   I’ve picked out some of her neckwear, perfect for wrapping up on cold days or to match with your winter coat.    My first choice is Downtime, a great way to use up scraps, match your scarf to all your outfits and just because it’s smooshy, warm and soft!   My second choice was Iolaire, look at the texture of this scarf?  It’s a knitters dream, a simple pattern, great texture and works with plain or patterned yarns.   Last, but by no means least, is the totally stunning Petalous Shawl, it’s got cables, lace and texture making it a fun and fascinating knit, it also stays on the shoulders when worn and could be styled in different ways.


Lets have a look at Selana, aka Handarbeitskram on Ravelry.   Selana has some gorgeous designs in a wide range of categories.   I’ve stuck to todays theme and I’d love you to take a look at the Opposites Attact Hat, the Opposites Attract Cowl and the Muddy River Mitts and just for fun, also to keep you on your toes, Pin Eater


Last, but just as wonderful is Mistealeaf, aka Tracey Lee, I love her Makallie Hat, great colourwork and another good stashbuster for those of us who keep part balls and oddments, just in case!    Next up are the Kallan Mitts, very pretty cable and rib pattern, fits most people and will look great in pretty much any yarn.   To match this and as a real showstopper I just low the Kallan Cape, smooshy cables and great for cooler days, stylish too!


I’ve cast on my Campside Hat from yesterdays blog update and my Renilda Hat by Tracey Lee.

Do check out our designer bundle with our sale patterns, we hope you like our new releases and find lots of inspiration.

Hats, Hats and more Hats

The Indie Design Gift Along for 2015 starts tonight, it’ll be about 1am for us Brits so I’ll be sleeping like a baby.     I’ll catch up with all the excitement when I get up on Friday.

I’ve been perusing the list of participating designers and am just blown away by the fabulous designs, range of techniques, basics, classics and fun items they’ve included in the sale.   You can see the full list here with pictures, or here for an alphabetical list.     The featured patterns are all part of the sale event and will be 25% off for the next week (ish).

Today’s feature is all about hats.   I have a few I want to make, so anyone that knows me, please don’t tell my family or they won’t have suprises on Christmas Day!  

I’m planning to cast on Campside, I haven’t chosen a yarn yet, must stash dive but perhaps some Austermann Merino Silk as it’s beautifully soft.     I love the lace and texture of this beanie fit hat, the decreases for the crown give a wonderful 3D effect.   It should be warm enough for cool days and travelling, but also cute enough to wear at meetings where the room isn’t as warm as I’d like it to be 🙂       I also really love her Early Harvest Cap but that’ll feature on another day as it has some matching mitts I’d love you to see!


Next is going to be Southern Star which features some really neat colourwork and would be brilliant for those using up scraps, oddments and leftover balls of yarn.  It’s a great opportuntity to practise stranded knitting and will look amazing.   I love this design, there is such clever use of traditional motifs with modern colour and fit.

Next on my list of cast on items is Nickes Hat, it’s really cute, great texture from the cabling and is worked in beanie and slouchy sizes.   It featurs a pretty lace and cable pattern to keep you interested but is also really easy to remember.     It’s made with dk weight yarn so I’m thinking Lanas Stop Alpaca as the softness and warmth will work really well.

Last but not least, for this post that is, is the gorgeous Twisted Fall Hat, I love the twisted stitches, texture and travelling elements of this pattern, it works so well.   But those who know me, also know I can’t resist a purple shade, so I’m sold on this one right from the first glance 🙂    We have some Austermann Merino Silk in a lilac or a baby blue shade that would be fabulous for this.

I’m off now to gather yarn and get ready for the big cast on event, I do hope you’ll join us and will love viewing all the fabulous patterns on offer.  It’ll be a great start to your gift knitting and you can win prizes in the Knit along/Crochet along threads for each type of project.    

Do check out our designer bundle with our sale patterns, we hope you like our new releases and find lots of inspiration.



Indie Design Gift Along 2015

After having such a wonderful and fun time last year in the Indie Design Gift Along, we are pleased announce that we are participating in the Indie Designers’ Gift Along this year!

There are even more designers taking part, over 330 at the last count, and that means lots and lots of patterns for sale.     If you’re buying patterns on Ravelry you can also gift them but gift patterns won’t work with the discount code.      During the GAL, if you win a coupon code for a free pattern, you can use that any time before March 1016.

The sale and the gift along officially kicks off THURSDAY NIGHT at 8PM EST which is about 1am for the UK so I’ll be catching up with everything on Friday morning.    A selected range of 20 of our pattern range are 25% off using the gift along coupon code giftalong2015. The sale lasts for one week only. Designers can include up to 20 of their patterns for sale.    There will be searchable boards on Pinterest for those that use it and also a Team Bundle on Ravelry so you can see all of the designers patterns.

You can participate in the gift along by knitting or crocheting any paid patterns (meaning not free) by any of the designers taking part. You can use patterns you’ve already purchased or patterns that aren’t on sale…as long as the pattern is not free, you can knit it (or crochet it!) and your project will be eligible for prizes if it’s finished during the Gift Along period, more info here.

Prizes! Lots and lots and lots of prizes! From downloadable patterns (each designer gave at least 5 coupon codes for free patterns, we donated 10 codes) to tangible, real life items…such as YARN.     I won some Capra yarn in last year’s gift along and it’s fabulous!

Here is a sneak peak at some of patterns for sale in the gift along. Click the picture to go to my Ravelry designer page:



















New out for Christmas knitting are the Evergreen Hat, Wheatsheaf Hat and the Frosty Morning Hat, we do hope you like them.