Saturday, January 24, 2015

New design for Artesano

It's a busy week for new patterns. Artesano has just released two patterns I designed for them last autumn. These two designs are featuring their new yarn, Nebula DK, which is an interesting tweedy dk yarn. It's very soft and lovely to knit with.

My first design is Taegan which is a very simple waterfall sleeveless top. It's very simple to knit. It's worked sideways as a rectangle with holes for the arms. No shaping. A simple lace pattern keeps the knitting interesting. 

Alexis is a long-sleeved sweater with a v-neck. It's worked from the bottom up in pieces and seamed. A wide rib flows into a lacy rib pattern which helps to give the sweater a bit of shape. 

Both Alexis and Taegan are free on Ravelry now. A big thank you to Debs and Frances for knitting these samples for me. They did a fab job as always.

Thursday, January 22, 2015


  Siesta is £1 off until end of January 2015 on Ravelry. No coupon code needed.

Remember last summer? Seems like a distant memory now. While we were in Spain in August I was knitting happily away on a new shawl in Lotus Cashmere DK. Everyday during my siesta and in the evenings I was knitting away in the shade on the balcony. So I called this shawl Siesta.

Siesta is worked sideways from upper right tip to the beaded picot cast off. The body of the shawl is in garter stitch but it has an interesting lace border which is worked alongside the main body.

Siesta takes 2 skeins of Lotus Cashmere DK (which is actually a 4ply/fingering weight yarn). There will be kits in the shop later today. The beads for the picot cast off are added using the crochet hook method. The lace pattern has chart and written instructions. 

Siesta can be purchased on Ravelry (Patternfish and Love Knitting links will be added when they go live).

The Lotus Cashmere DK is GORGEOUS! Buttery soft, warm, silky and did I mention soft? It also wears really well. I think this may be my all time favourite yarn! The 15% off sale is still on but finishes on 25 January.

Siesta is £1 off on Ravelry until end of January 2015. No coupon code needed!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tutorial Tuesday - Dropped stitch found in a finished shawl

This year I'm planning to do regular tutorials on the blog. They'll be posted on Tuesdays but it won't be every Tuesday. I'm aiming for once a month but I may do more. Any topics you'd like me to cover, please leave a comment. All my tutorials are listed here.

 Last week I finished a new shawl and when I blocked it I noticed this:

Yes that's a dropped stitch. Actually it's three stitches. I've no idea how that happened. It should have been a k2tog (knit two together which was then cast off with another stitch, right at the edge of the shawl. I think I must have dropped the stitch a couple of rows further on and it unravelled down to the 'k2tog' row. Anyway, whatever caused it, there it was: three loose stitches. 

The first thing I did was grab a 'padlock' stitch marker to secure the stitches (sorry the picture below is a big out of focus - Clover and Knit Pro both do these stitch markers):

I decided not to try to repair while the shawl was blocking because it was wet and it was late in the evening and the light was poor. So on Saturday morning I got my tools out and got to work. I had the leftover yarn from the project, a couple of spare padlock stitch markers (the yellow ones), crochet hook, scissors and a needle.

The first thing I did was place the three different stitches on a stitch marker each and got my tools ready. I had the shawl laid out flat on the table.

I removed the stitch holders and got my crochet hook. I've got a little tiny double ended crochet hook that I use for fixing dropped stitches. These three stitches should have been a k2tog then a Russian Cast Off with the stitch before, which is essentially another k2tog.  So I put the three stitches on the crochet hook.

I pulled the first stitch (the one furthest from the edge) through the middle stitch for the k2tog.

Then I pulled that stitch through the next stitch. It's not quite the same as a Russian cast off but it's close enough.

I now have one stitch. I could see that the stitch had been dropped down 2 rows so I used the crochet hook to 're-knit' those rows. This shawl is in garter stitch, so I pulled the stitch and crochet hook through to the wrong side and pulled the strand for the next row through the stitch (that's the purple strand over my hook in the photo below).

I went back to the right side and pulled the next strand (pink) through the stitch.

So I've ended up with one stitch and no hole.

I removed the crochet hook and grabbed my sewing needle and a strand of yarn. I pulled the yarn through so I had a tail hanging out.

The pink strand I used was slightly darker than the pink yarn used for that section. It's the same yarn but it's a slightly variegated pink. Below if you look very carefully, and it's not easy to see, you can just about make out the darker piece of yarn threaded through the stitch.

I took the two tails through to the wrong side and wove them in as I would normally weave in ends.

After weaving in the ends. I trimmed the ends. Here's the result on the wrong side.

Turn it over to the right side and it's more or less invisible. The repair is next to one of the beads. Can you see it? I can only see it if I turn the fabric over and look for where I wove in the ends. It's not perfect but it blends in well enough and the dropped stitch is secure. My other option would have been to rip out half the shawl and re-knit it and that wasn't going to happen.

I hope this has been helpful. I'm thinking I should have videoed it but I didn't think about that until after I finished the repair. It's awful discovering a dropped stitch when you reach the blocking stage but it happens. Or at least it happens to me! But it is repairable. The main thing is not to panic

  • Secure the stitch (keep lockable stitch markers handy or a safety pin or piece of yarn will do).
  • Think about what you want to do. 
  • Get your tools together. 
  • Take your time.
I'm hoping to publish this shawl next week. It will become part of a new e-book and I'll have more details of that later this week or next week.

Here's a photo from my photo shoot last week. I wore this shawl on Sunday on a trip to Bristol and it was lovely and warm.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Free Patterns From Artesano

Artesano is making some of their patterns available as free downloads on Ravelry. The Alpaca Silk Lace collection is free now and includes my Kassia pattern which is a beautiful stole featuring a delicate lace pattern.

My other pattern in this collection is Penelope which is a lace camisole. Start knitting it now and you'll have a delicate garment perfect for summer. Or wear it under a smart jacket for the rest of the year.

The rest of the patterns in this collection is here. I think the plan is to make other patterns available for free too. Like the Artesano Facebook page to keep up to date with future free pattern announcements.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Gentle Whisper - Errata

As we left for Norway before Christmas, the new issue of Let's Knit arrived. My design in this issue is Gentle Whisper which is a top down sweater worked all in one piece with a circular yoke. The shaping for the yoke is included in the lacy leaf pattern on the yoke. Unfortunately there is some errata which I'll get to later.

Why knit sweaters from the top down? The main advantage is that you can try the sweater on as you go and make decisions about customising the sweater to your exact fit as you go. Try the sweater on after the yoke to make sure it's the right length. If it's too long or too short, then change it before you divide for the sleeves. The sleeves and body are both worked in the round and it's a good idea to try the sweater on  before you cast off to make sure the body and sleeves are the right length. 

This sweater has 3/4 length sleeves but if you'd like longer sleeves, just keep knitting. You may want to work a few more decreases as you knit down the sleeve. Remember if you make the sweater longer you will need more yarn.

Errata is every designers worst nightmare and I do apologise for the errata in this pattern. Let's Knit will print the errata in the next issue but in the meantime if you're knitting this pattern here are the changes:

There is an issue with round 11 of the chart - see chart notes below. From round 17 I had to change things so I've copies the new correct chart below. 

The green square means - refer to chart notes (Chart notes - rounds 10, 12, 14, 28, 30, 32 and 34: K to end, k1. Start next round here. On round 16: K to last stitch. Start next round here).

There was also a correction to the back neck shaping which is listed on the Ravelry page.

If you've already started Gentle Whisper and had problems then I apologise. If you've yet to start it, print out the new chart (which I've added as a photo on the Ravelry pattern listing) and chart notes.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Pretty Lace

It's January 2015 and I can't quite believe it. Where did 2014 go? It was a crazy year and I'll do a year review post when I catch my breath and get over the fact that it's 2015!!! I must admit 2015 hasn't been that great so far. A number of things have gone wrong with the car and the house in the first week of 2015 but I'm sure it'll improve. One thing I'm very excited about this year is that my first book will be published. Beaded Lace Knitting is due out in May and I'm so excited about seeing it in print. You can pre-order it now.

But in the meantime, let me tell you about a few patterns that have become available. The Little Luxuries Club ran from September to December and the patterns for the club are now available to you all. Missed out on the Little Luxuries Club? This year I've brought back the Easy Lace Club which is perfect if you are new to lace or you would like a quick lace project. Fancy something more challenging? I've got the Beads & Lace Club for you. Get all the details on the club page. There are only 5 spaces left for the Easy Lace Club and the first parcel ships next week.

Dumere is a shallow sideways triangle featuring an elegant lace and cable pattern which I've wanted to use for a long, long time. Little picots decorate the bottom edge. Dunmere takes just one skein of Exotic Sock (400m/100gr) but can be customised to any yarn amount. Just knit until half your yarn has been used up then start the second half.

Iris is a shallow crescent worked from the top down. The first half is worked in stocking stitch to make the knitting easier while you get used to the shaping. The pattern then flows into a beaded lace pattern for a very pretty little shawlette.

Iris takes just one little skein of Lotus Forest Dew and approx 30gr seed beads. 

Florentina is worked from the top down in an 'open square'. If you worked Florentina in the round you'd get a square but as it's worked back and forth you get a wonderful shape which sits nicely around your shoulders or you can bunch it up and wear it as a scarf. An all over lace pattern flows into scalloped edging. Takes just one skein of Schoppel 6 Karat which is a wonderful, unusual merino/silk blend in a heavier lace weight (100gr/600m). Perfect if you find standard lace weight yarns a bit fine to knit with.

All the yarns are in the sale. 15% off. Spoil yourself. You know you deserve it!

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Final Post Card From Norway

Yesterday we went for a walk along the coast where I lived in the 70s. I lived here while I was at primary school and it was a fantastic place to be a child. Beaches, woodlands and few people meant we had a lot of freedom. The weather had warmed up quite a bit to just below 0C and the sun was shining. 

This was our private beach (our house belonged to the company my Dad worked for). I loved playing on that beach.

My online shop has now re-opened with 15% off most yarns & kits.

Today we're on our way back home. I've enjoyed our holiday but it'll be good to get home. I've got lots of exciting things planned for 2015 wich I'm keen to get started on. I'm feeling refreshed after a break.

As a thank you for your support in 2014 and as my final Christmas offer, there's 30% off all the patterns in my Ravelry Shop until midnight GMT on 2 Jan 2015

I've mentioned this in my newsletter but I've forgotten to mention it here but next week my pattern prices will go up to £3.50. This is my first price rise since I started designing.

Happy new year xxx