Saturday, December 03, 2016

Glamorous Shawl in Let's Knit

Issue 113 of Let's Knit is in the shops in the UK now and I've got a shawl/shrug pattern in this issue. Every party needs a bit of glitz and glam and this shawl has both in abundance! It’s wonderfully elegant and would bring knitted grace to any outfit. Choose from wearing it as a regular shawl or fasten the buttons to create a beautiful shrug.

This shawl is knitted in Debonnaire Shimmer Sock and took two skeins. The shawl is easy to make larger or smaller. You can work fewer or more repeats of Chart B but you may need more yarn if you make it bigger.

The shawl has a half hexagon shape and two buttons are fastened to the bottom of the two 'spines'. Fold the front edges of the shawl over and fasten the buttons to a yarn over hole on the front edge and it transforms it into a shrug.

Shimmer Sock was lovely to knit with. It's a beautiful, luxurious sock (4ply) yarn with sparkles. Perfect for the party season. Debonnaire yarns are hand-dyed by the lovely Erica who I've met at lots of shows. She's got a huge range of hand-dyed luxury yarns and I'm so grateful to her for providing the yarn for this design.

Let's Knit issue 113 is in the shops in the UK now.

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Thursday, December 01, 2016

Will you join me on Saturday?

This Saturday, I'll be back at Sitting Knitting in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham. 

I'll bring a selection of my patterns, samples and copies of my book, Beaded Lace Knitting. My patterns will actually be cheaper to buy in print at Sitting Knitting than as pdf downloads online. (Pattern downloads have VAT added to the purchase price now so if you buy my patterns online (and live in the UK), you pay around £4.20 but retail price is £3.50).

If you buy my book on Saturday, I'll sign it for you. If you want to be guaranteed to get a copy, do let me know and I'll reserve one for you. Perfect as a Christmas present for yourself or your knitting BFF.

I'll be around all day to help you with choosing patterns and yarns and I'm happy to help with any knitting problems you have. 

There will be cake, drinks and Sitting Knitting's exclusive hand-dyed yarn (which is fabulous). I'll bring my sock WIP I'm knitting using the Sitting Knitting sock yarn as well as my Creme Brulee and Creme Caramel sock patterns which are perfect for knitters new to sock knitting. I'm happy to help you get started on your sock knitting journey.

Sounds like it's going to be a fun day! Bring your Christmas spirit and join me for a fabulous day filled with yarn and knitting.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Peaceful - New pattern & kit

This shawl reminds me of the peace and tranquility of a calm beach with small waves lapping on the shore. Relaxing garter stitch is combined with a bold lace pattern and an interesting shape, for a large shawl which is perfect for keeping you warm on a cold winter’s day. 

Peaceful is 20% off until 7 December 2016. No coupon code needed

Pre-order the Peaceful Kit now! Full price for the yarn and pattern is approx £39.50. Pre-order this kit now for £33.50. Kit includes yarn in the colours seen in the pattern (8 balls in total) as well as the pattern in print and pdf. Knitting needles are not included. Get the details and pre-order here.

The Peaceful shawl is very long but if you prefer a shorter shawl, you can work the edging any time you've completed the lace pattern.

 I used the Tattysquawk Sail shawl pin when Emily modelled Peaceful for me. Tattysquawk shawl pins are available in the YarnAddict Online Shop now!

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Monday Mini Tip Tutorial - Fixing Lace Mistakes

We all make mistakes! One of the most important things to learn when you learn to knit is to learn to fix your mistakes and to read your knitting. 

Last week I discovered I had made a mistake in my knitting. I'd missed out two rows of the stitch pattern. It was only the diamond motif in my pattern so it wasn't the complete row, only a few sections. I had a choice: I could either rip back four rows and re-knit it completely or I could just unpick each section and re-knit it. I decided the second option would be quicker and I filmed what I did.

Above is what my knitting looked like with the four rows unravelled and the stitches loose. In the video I show you how to unpick the stitches without dropping the loops like in the above picture and how to re-knit them.

You can also watch the video here.

I do recommend practicing fixing mistakes like this so when it happens and you need to fix a mistake for real, you've got the confidence to try it. Yes, there's a risk you mess up but if you do, you just unravel it all and re-knit it. It's not the end of the world!

Of course if you put regular lifelines in, you've got less to worry about because if you do mess it up, you can just unravel to the lifeline and re-knit. I've put a list of previous tutorials below which includes a tutorial on using lifeines.

I've got lots of tutorials on my Tutorials page, but these may interest you in relation to today's topic:

Please ask any questions you have in the comments below. You can see all the previous Monday Mini Tips and other tutorials on my Tutorials page. 

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Friday, November 25, 2016

Noro Silk Garden Solo

Noro, a Japanese yarn company, is known for rustic texture and fabulous self-striping colourway but they also produce some solid coloursways. Laughing Hens asked if I was interested in trying the new Silk Garden Sock Solo and of course I said yes. Earlier this year I had two designs published using Silk Garden Sock (see below) so I'm familiar with this yarn and I was curious what the solid colours would look like. I love the rich blue colour I've been trying out but the other colours in the range look gorgeous too.

Silk Garden Sock Solo is a rustic yarn with an uneven, slubby texture which I really like but if you prefer smooth, even yarns then this isn't for you. There are a few things you ought to keep in mind when choosing which project to use this yarn for. Although it's called 'Sock' it's thicker than most of the other sock yarns on the market. A 100g ball has 300m (400m is average for sock yarns). This means that it's slightly thicker than most sock yarns.

First, I knitted up a swatch in stocking stitch with a few rows of garter stitch. The texture of this yarn works perfectly with both garter stitch and stocking stitch, creating an interesting, rustic fabric. The yarn has good drape and is a blend of 40% wool 25% silk, 25% polyamide and 10% mohair. It is a single ply yarn and hand wash only. Because of this, I wouldn't personally use it for socks but it's perfect for garments, shawls and other accessories.

I also knitted a simple lace swatch. I used 4mm needles and could probably have used bigger needles to get a more open look to the lace. This yarn is suited for simple lace patterns. Lace patterns that have too much detail will get lost in the texture of the yarn. I designed two shawls in the regular Silk Garden Sock which were published earlier in the year. 

The Assymetric Lace Shawl was published in the Noro Silk Garden: The 20th Anniversary Collection which is a beautiful book. 

I also designed the Hybrid Triangular Shawl for the Noro Sping/Summer 2016, issue 8 magazine. This shawl in particular would look a lot better in the Solo colourways as the solid colours would show the lace off better. The stripes do obscure the lace pattern in the original shawl.

I've really enjoyed knitting with this yarn and I would love to use it in a project. You can purchase the yarn and see all the colourways in the range from Laughing Hens. If you're a Noro fan you'll love these new solid colours and if you're new to Noro, Silk Garden Sock Solo is a good yarn to start with.

Laughing Hens provided the yarn for this review but all the views expressed are my honest opinions and I was not paid to do this review. 

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Thursday, November 24, 2016


Earlier this year, Amy e-mailed me to ask if I would be able to design a wedding shawl for her. I've always wanted to design a wedding shawl and have it modelled by a bride. Amy is such a lovely person and fantastic knitting, so I immediately said yes. I designed the shawl but Amy knitted it herself, along with shawls for all her bridesmaids.  I'm so thankful to Amy and her photographer, Mark Zaccaria, for allowing me to use her wedding photos in the pattern.

Forever is a romantic shawl with beads for added glamour. Amy chose to knit her shawl in Rosie's Moments 100% Swiss Mountain Silk and Rosie custom-dyed the yarn for her. The drape of the silk and the delicate lace pattern are a perfect match. Although other yarn blends will also work well. I'm trying to decide which yarn to knit my Forever in. 

Forever is a rectangular shawl and the beads are added using the crochet hook method and are scattered throughout the shawl. I've got a video tutorial for adding beads using the crochet hook method.

Forever is 25% off until 4 December 2016. No coupon code is needed. Please note that your local VAT rate will be added if you live in the EU.

Amy is a beautiful bride and she and her husband, David, make a handsome couple. I'm so thankful to Amy for asking me to design a shawl for her big day. It's such a privilege.

All the photos in this post are by Mark Zaccaria and are used with permission.

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Weekend in Wales

First, I'm sorry there won't be a Monday Mini Tip Tutorial today. I was very busy last week and didn't get time to film a tutorial. I left Friday lunchtime for a weekend in Wales and got back late last night. So I thought I'd share my weekend with you instead. 

Simon & I drove up to Cardiff on Friday afternoon and stopped off in Bristol to pick Vanessa up and go to Ikea. We're re-decorating our bedroom soon and wanted to look at new wardrobes. Of course we spent ages looking at everything else too. On Saturday we headed to Barry Island in the morning. It was cold and very windy but at least the sun came out while we were there. The girls love the TV series 'Gavin & Stacey' which is set in Barry and they wanted to visit. We had a quick walk around then warmed up with hot chocolates in a coffee shop.

We spent the rest of the day shopping in Cardiff. I love shopping there. There's a huge shopping centre in the city centre and a few shops we don't get locally.

Me in action teaching. Photo taken by Jean who owns La Mercerie.

On Sunday I spent the day at La Mercerie in Cowbridge where I was teaching my St Aubin's Bay shawl. La Mercerie is a lovely shop full of beautiful yarns including a huge range of Bergere de France. Well worth a visit if you're in the area. I'll be back there in the spring.

La Mercerie stocks a big selection of The Old Piggery. Sue who's the dyer behind The Old Piggery creates beautiful yarns and project bags (I have a couple of those). Last year I got a skein of Donegal 4ply yarn and I keep pulling it out of my stash but couldn't decide what to do with it. Yesterday I decided to get another skein in a toning colourway (the pink skein at the front) and I'm planning to combine the two for a big shawl.

We drove home last night after the workshop and got home late. I'm teaching again tomorrow (Continental Knitting with Norwegian Purl at Spin A Yarn) so today I'm mainly relaxing! I'm tired after yesterday and I need to be fully recovered by tomorrow so I'm knitting, watching TV and doing a couple of small jobs today.

I'm enjoying my new project. I'm working on the next design in the Lace Wear Volume Two collection which I'd love to publish before Christmas. I'm loving how it's knitting up. I'm using Lang Merino 200 and I'm nearly ready to start the next section.  

I released the latest pattern, Diva, in the Lace Wear Volume Two collection last week. Read about Diva here and see the full collection. If you haven't purchased the collection yet, I highly recommend getting it now. Every time a new pattern is released the price for the collection increases. When you purchase the Lace Wear Volume Two collection you'll receive all the patterns already released and the remaining patterns as soon as they're released.

All patterns in my Ravelry Pattern Shop are 25% off until end of November 2016. Use the code: getknitting. You can use the discount code as many times  as you wish and please share it with your friends.

Have a lovely week and look out for a new pattern on Wednesday.

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