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At last, the Aline Modular Cardigan pattern is released

I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to get around to releasing this pattern.   I do love the Aline Modular Cardigan and like my other garment patterns, it’s sized from small to plus-size with options to customize sleeve width, length etc.

Size:
Sml, Med, Lge, XL, 1XL, 2XL, 3XL, 4XL
Chest / Bust
inches:
32-34. 36-38, 40-42, 44-46, 48-50, 52-54, 56-58, 60-62.
cm:
81-86, 92-97, 102-107, 112-117, 122-127, 133-137, 142-147, 153-158

I used some Debbie Bliss BFL Aran for mine, but any heavy Worsted or Aran weight yarn should be fine as long you as you get the right tension/gauge.

The garment is worked in garter stitch, with iCord edgings and some short row side panels (for the optional Aline shaping).   It’s an easy knit and I’ve included photos of the stages and a diagram showing the joins, pick up edges and direction of knitting for each section.

As always I’d like to thank my incredible test knitters, they are:
Mirella, JHankie, CarleneRuns, CoonPrairie and GreatMinds and I hope you like their photos and Carlene’s modifications.

Carlene altered her side panels to be symmetrical, which worked well with her self striping yarn and adapted sizing to make the lower body slightly larger than the upper body.   It looks fabulous on her and I love the colours.   She also raised the neckline, I’ve added information on how you can do that if you too live in a cooler climate.

The gorgeous Mirella, modelling her Aline Modular Cardigan in a cool green.

 

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Lacestar book review, Liz Felgate for knotions.com

I was recently asked by the wonderful Jody at Knotions to review the new Lacestar book by Elizabeth Felgate, many of you on Ravelry will know her designs. I love her Gaugeless range of sweaters and cardigans designed for any yarn weight.

Liz has an amazing eye for both colour and texture and whether you’re an experienced lace knitter or a newbie, you’ll absolutely love this book. Liz is known for her attention to detail and this really shows in the book, there’s a great deal of thought gone into making it easier for the knitter and to ensure any instructions are well explained before you start. There are lots of gorgeous photos and plenty of hints, tips and advice to take you through your lace projects. It’s an absolute bargain at $19.95 (plus VAT if you’re in the EU).

If you’re unfamiliar with Knotions, they’re an online publisher of knit and crochet patterns and their website is a virtual treasure trove of goodies including articles and some fabulous tutorials.

The new Lacestar book is out this week and you can buy it here. (In the interests of transparency, this is an affiliate link and I’ll receive a small percentage from the sale of the book, it won’t affect the price you pay). 

The ebook itself has over 70 pages of instructions for knitters of all levels, how to read charts, the basics of lace knitting, simple stitches, more complex stitches.    There are clever charts and written patterns you can customize to your yarn/gauge and get the size you want.   The book is organised into sections, showing the anatomy of lace stitches with clear photos and good written instructions for each pattern shown.

I love the layout of the book, as always with Knotions, the layouts are clean, have easy to read fonts and are well formatted.

How does all of this help someone who’s never knitted a lace pattern?

For starters, Liz explains how lace stitches are formed, shows examples (homework) of patterns you can try with lace every other row and lace every row.   There is a section on using lifelines and I strongly suggest you read this and use them for larger lace projects.  Having ripped out a lace shawl made with laceweight mohair silk, I WISH I had used a lifeline at the time.

The sections on mirroring charts and more complex stitches like nupps were excellent and I certain you’ll find them really useful as you work your way through the book.   The suggestions for fixing mistakes and the magic of blocking will be some of the best tools in your knitting toolbox, read them, you’ll learn a lot.

I’m hoping to swatch one of the lace patterns over the weekend, unfortunately my day job has got in the way of things this last couple of weeks, but that’s all sorted out now.   Check back in day or two for a swatch photo 🙂

Loraine

 

 

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Interview with Mary E. Rose, Mary E Rose Designs

Today we’re chatting to Mary E. Rose of Mary E Rose Designs, aka marydear on Ravelry.com, on Instagram, on Facebook.

How did you get into knitting and who taught you?

I spent my early years in England, where knitting was still taught in school, and my mother knit.  I made my first “gift” knit when I was six or seven, a large garter stitch dish cloth for my grandmother.  (As an added bonus, my attention span was shorter than the rows of that cloth so I learned early about short rows and shaping!)

What made you want to start designing knitwear?

I think that every knitter, at some point finds that they can’t find a pattern for what they want to make and create their own. I started designing my own things in the dark ages before the internet made it so easy to find such a large variety of patterns.  As time went by I designed for my kids then more recently wrote up little patterns for them and my friends…but it was my friends that really pushed me to “publishing” designs. 

What’s you favourite part of the design process?

A lot of my designs start with a question…What if? Or How Could? Figuring out the answer is my favourite part of the process…well, that and actually sitting down with needles in hand knitting it!

Do you start with a chart or a swatch or do you have a fully formed item in mind first?

I usually know how the project ends before I know how it begins!  I’ll explain…When I am goal setting I ask “What does success look like? Where do I want to end up?” and I do the same thing with a lot of my designs.  I know how the piece will end, then work backwards to figure out what the steps are to get to that ending.  Then I chart, write and start knitting swatches.

What inspires you?

I would be hard pressed to say what doesn’t inspire me!  Everything can inspire an idea…the world outside that I see, the music that plays on the radio, colourways of yarn. I created a series of patterns playing with self striping yarns because I adore the colours, but get very bored knitting plain vanilla socks. (Although those plain socks do showcase a good self striping yarn!)

Are you a full-time or part-time designer and how does that fit into your life?

Full-time, part-time?…based on hours worked each week…Full Time.  I usually am actively working on some part of a design between 35 and 40 hours a week, but I have other jobs too! I think, as with many designers, while I would love for this to be my only job, in today’s economy that is not feasible.

Do you have a favourite thing to design and why?

I design the things I like to knit.  Shawls are one of my favorites and I wear them a lot, but I also love socks and cowls, hats and tops. (I adore knitting doilies, and have a box full of them to prove it, but haven’t ventured into actually designing one.  I do borrow from the techniques used to make them to create shawls though.)

Cowl Trick by Mary E Rose

Do you have much time to knit for yourself or for gifting?

A lot of my samples do end up getting worn or gifted, and I make a point of knitting for pleasure as well as for my designs.  There are a couple of ways that I make sure I get pleasure knitting time, one is to play along in the Indie Gift Along, another is to test knit for other designers and I have a pattern buying habit that is nearly a large as my yarn collecting habit!

If someone knitted or crocheted a gift item for you, what would you love the most?

I would adore anything that someone knitted or crocheted for me!  One of the crafters I met on Ravelry made me a collection of crocheted bookmarks that I use daily.  (Although I often say…I would really like to have a very fine weight, two by two ribbed, turtle neck pullover…but I do not have the patience to actually knit it for myself!)

Do you have a favourite yarn and why?

I am the worst kind of yarn snob.  I really believe that for every project, knitter (crocheter) and recipient there is a “right yarn”.  Sometimes that is a nice acrylic from a big box store, sometimes it is expensive hand dyed cashmere. Matching the project to the yarn really is key though.  

What’s your favourite design and what do you love about it?

Of  my own?  That’s a little like asking which one of my children is my favorite! My stock answer to that (for designs, not children) is the next one!  But of the most recent or newly upcoming…probably Aviarium, in Knotions.com,  where I played with mixing and matching shawl shapes to create a top down wedged half circle shawl with some pi- shawl shaping halfway through.  I really wasn’t sure, even having swatching a full third of it, how the pi-shaping would work out and the applied border edge (the ending that started the whole project) had to fit “just so”. You can buy Aviarium here

Avarian Shawl available at knotions.com
Avarian Shawl available at Knotions.com this week

Is there anything new you can tell us about or a recent design you’d like to chat about?

So many new things on the horizon…I have a couple of really small tutorial type projects coming this summer, a Shetland hybrid shawl later this year…and…shhhh…there might even be an eBook waiting in the wings.

What’s your favourite colour?

Do I have to pick just one?  That’s hard…I am not fond of orange and my more conservative jobs have me wearing a lot of neutral, so for daily wear I have a lot of beige, navy blue and black but, I love all the shades of blues, greens and teals (for me). That said, my children love red, green and purple, so I knit with a lot of colors!

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Shawlstar by Elizabeth Felgate

I was recently asked by the wonderful Jody at Knotions to review the new Shawlstar book by Elizabeth Felgate, many of you on Ravelry will know her designs. I love her Gaugeless range of sweaters and cardigans designed for any yarn weight.

Liz has an amazing eye for both colour and texture and whether you’re an experienced shawl knitter or a newbie, you’ll absolutely love this book. Liz is known for her attention to detail and this really shows in the book, there’s a great deal of thought gone into making it easier for the knitter and to ensure any instructions are well explained before you start. There are lots of gorgeous photos and plenty of hints, tips and advice to take you through your shawl project. There are more than 40 patterns in the book and I think it’s an absolute bargain at $19.95 (plus VAT if you’re in the EU). That’s less than $0.50 per pattern.

If you’re unfamiliar with Knotions, they’re an online publisher of knit and crochet patterns and their website is a virtual treasure trove of goodies including articles and some fabulous tutorials.

The book is being updated to add some gorgeous new shawl shapes on 23rd March and you can buy it here. (In the interests of transparency, this is an affiliate link and I’ll receive a small percentage from the sale of the book, it won’t affect the price you pay).

The ebook itself has over 60 pages of shawl design recipes you can customize to your yarn/gauge and get the size you want. There are over 40 shawl shapes for you to try and they’re clearly explained with examples so you understand easily how each one works. I love the new shapes which are being added on 23rd March and swatched a couple of them so you could have a quick preview. One of the things I liked is that each shawl shape included in the book has a list of pros and cons for that shape, I found that really helpful.

I love the layout of the book, nice and clean, easy to read fonts and well formatted. Of the new shawl shapes, Rainbow has a little bit of maths to do before you start, but they’ve included a brilliant spreadsheet to do the work for you (easily accessed online). How utterly cool is that?

How does all of this help someone who’s never knitted a shawl? Well, it means you can use any weight of yarn, you just type in the stitches and rows per inch, the intended size of your finished shawl and the calculator does the rest for you.

Flourish and Harpoon have a fill in the blanks option so you can easily record the number of rows, sts or repeats (depending on the design) and print them out whenever you need them. No need for scribbled notes all over your printed pattern every time you use it.

The shawl shapes included in the book are:

  • Triangles
  • Rectangles and Squares
  • Circles and Half Circles
  • Crescents
  • Hybrids
  • Unusual and new shapes added in this update
Rainbow Shawl shape from Shawlstar By Elizabeth Felgate, edited by Knotions.com
Rainbow Shawl shape from Shawlstar By Elizabeth Felgate, edited by Knotions.com

I picked up some 5mm needles and some aran weight Creative & Filz yarn in the Rainbow colourway for this shawl as I just couldn’t resist adding some bright, rich colours to this pretty shape. The shawl recipe in the book includes options for this version which is four segments, you could use six so the shawl crosses over at the front or eight segments for a circular version. The spreadsheet calculator worked perfectly and made it so easy to change the depth/height of the shawl and the width, very clever!

I quickly blocked the increases to nice points but you can leave yours with a straight edge or add a pretty lace border. If I had to be really picky, and this is my personal preference, I’d have added 1 more stitch – a K1 before the final YO increase on the increase row so that the right and left edges were identical, obviously for a circular version that extra stitch wouldn’t be needed. The shawl gives a comfortable neck shape and makes me want to fill those segments with a lace pattern 🙂

Next up is Flourish, this is such a beautiful, sweeping shape and the asymmetry called to me. Again I used the same yarn and needles and soon had this beauty. I can’t wait to play around with this shape and see how it works with a variety of yarns. Self striping yarns like this one, or stripes to bust some stash would really help show off the unusual shaping.

Flourish Shawl Shape recipe from Shawlstar by Elizabeth Felgate and edited by Knotions.com
Flourish Shawl Shape recipe from Shawlstar by Elizabeth Felgate and edited by Knotions.com

Those of you who know me, will know I’m not usually one to gush or rave about something. But, I do love the Shawlstar book, it’s full of clever ideas, inspirational shawl shapes and lots of helpful advice. Shawlstar makes me want to sneak off work and spend the rest of the year knitting shawls.

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Be as Water – New Shawl Pattern Release

I’m a big fan of Mindy Dykman, aka Ravenknits and love her intricate patterns, often inspired by nature or the works of JRR Tolkein. Her latest release is being published today (Pi day for those in the know) and is called Be as Water, which is part of a collection of patterns called Elements of Memory. The ebook of six patterns does represent a HUGE saving, but if you prefer there is a discount code for 20% off the individual pattern.

Save 20% off the price of Be As Water using the code BeAsWater in your Ravelry shopping cart.  Offer good until 11:59pm EST Tuesday March 19th.

I love the beading and lace details and knitted with fine yarn, it’ll be as light as a feather.

I asked Raven about her design inspiration, here’s what she had to say

“Growing up in the Fraser Delta of British Columbia, with parents who attended UBC, I remember spending many days in the Nitobe Memorial Gardens. These gardens on the UBC campus are considered to be amongst the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan itself. The deliberate plantings and symbolic statuary of the gardens are a huge part of the artistic sensibilities I have carried with me since childhood, and I wanted in some way to honour that debt of influence. It is for this reason that, when I started contemplating the shape with which to represent the traditional elements as a shawl series, I turned to the structure of the gorinto. Built in towers of five defining shapes, the gorinto represents elements of stability and of change, of permanence and impermanence, of the known and of the unknowable.

The spherical second level of the gorinto represents Water. Be As Water is a lace weight circular pi shawl worked from the center out. It is worked in concentric circles with a stocking stitch ring between each ring of lace motifs. The first two lace rings use the traditional Old Shale motif. The third and fifth lace rings use a stitch that represents the word “rain,” the return of water from sea to land. The fourth lace ring uses a Japanese stitch which is an interesting variation of the same concepts found in Old Shale, suggesting that like water, the ideas that are expressible within knitting stitches are similar around the world.”

Let’s have another look at this stunning shawl

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Indie Design Gift Along – Beginner Patterns Part 2 – Crochet

I’m sorry I’ve not blogged for a few days, it’s a busy time of year for my day job and I’ve also been helping out with the Gift Along (as I do every year).     I’ll catch up a bit today with two posts crammed with goodies and ideas and a few discounts and offers I saw along the way.    I’ll also show you a super little gift I bought for myself and one for a very good friend and I think is awesome.   I’m not affiliated with the company and I don’t get commission, I just loved the product and wanted to share it.

Today I wanted to focus on some beginner patterns in the Indie Design Gift Along, a pattern where a total newbie can have a go and create a finished item pretty easily or where a more experienced knitter can learn a technique or skill that’s new to them.     Part 1 is Knit and Part 2 is crochet.

Quick and Easy Headband Plus Loop Dee Loop Scrunchie Pattern

Cute and easy little set, you could make quickly to gift or keep for yourself.

Squeeee-easy crochet cowl

a very easy crochet cowl with instructions on how to adapt to different yarns, make longer (wrap twice) or deeper.

Hexaghan

A great intro to crochet hexagons and some new techniques.   If you follow the pattern, you’ll learn as you go along and Julie is really helpful

Bouncing Bubbles

a quick to make baby bit, with cute details and full, very clear instructions.

Benedict the Bunny

Lots of step by step instructions and photos to take you through this gorgeous little Bunny pattern.  Give it a go, you’ll love it so much you won’t want to gift it 🙂

Nighty Night Baby Blanket, lapghan or throw adjustable sizing EASY

A nice, relaxing and easy pattern to follow with lots of help on sizing to suit you.

Jacqui’s Easy Coasters

It’s rare for me to include one of my own patterns but this really is an easy set of coasters, great for using up stash and you have the option of a photo tutorial or line by line written instructions.
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Indie Design Gift Along – Beginner Patterns Part 1 – Knit

I’m sorry I’ve not blogged for a few days, it’s a busy time of year for my day job and I’ve also been helping out with the Gift Along (as I do every year).     I’ll catch up a bit today with two posts crammed with goodies and ideas and a few discounts and offers I saw along the way.    I’ll also show you a super little gift I bought for myself and one for a very good friend and I think is awesome.   I’m not affiliated with the company and I don’t get commission, I just loved the product and wanted to share it.

Today I wanted to focus on some beginner patterns in the Indie Design Gift Along, a pattern where a total newbie can have a go and create a finished item pretty easily or where a more experienced knitter can learn a technique or skill that’s new to them.     Part 1 is Knit and Part 2 is crochet.

First Up is an offer I saw when browsing beginner patterns in the Giant Bundle of Gift Along Patterns.

If you buy this one and add the Bead Drop Scarf and the Garter Eyes Cowl to your cart at the same time, you’ll only pay for Ma Cherie.     I’m not on commission, I just thought it was a great deal for anyone wanting to try beads on a knitted project and learn a little bit of lace knitting while getting two patterns for free.

Beginners Socks Tutorial Pattern

A good introduction to sock knitting using thicker yarn and larger needles to get you started and give an understanding of sock anatomy and all the common terms used in sock patterns.   Handknit socks are the best and you can learn quickly to customise for fit and comfort.

torto beginner’s cowl

A lovely introduction to cables, working a piece flat and changing to working in the round, it’s soft, warm and super smooshy.     A really great starter pattern if you’ve never worked in the round before.   It’s not scary and it’ll open up a whole new world of knitting to you.

Snowy Evening Boot Cuffs

Worked in the round, a little bit of simple embroidery for the stars but what a gorgeous pair of boot cuffs you’ll have at the end.

Beginner’s Cabled Fingerless Mittens

by Lynette Meek

Easy Ninja Socks

This one encourages you to make the teeny size, ideal for a Christmas decoration or on a key ring, a great intro to socks for everyone.

Easy A

An easy, boxy sweater with some nice finishing touches, so you can learn icord finishing, afterthought pockets – all optional and have a sweater that’s a relaxing, fun knit.

Mount Rainier Hat

A simple and classic hat, with ribbing, an easy introduction to shaping a hat and one that both you and your super fussy MAN will wear.

Easy Crescent Shaped Shawl

There is a youtube video tutorial to go along with this beginner shawl pattern, absolutely brilliant for someone starting to knit and who wants to make a pretty shawl for themselves or a gift.

Easy Looped Scarf

A great beginner pattern suitable for a range of yarn weights/thicknesses.

Star Garland

The star starts as a pentagon worked in the round for the center. Then each of the five points is worked individually back and forth.

Easy Tweedy Cowl

This simple cowl pattern can be knitted at virtually any gauge, with any yarn. The stitch pattern is an easy mix of knits and purls, nearly identical on right and wrong sides, which produces a textured fabric that is suitable for both men and women.      It is knitted in the round, in one piece with no seaming.

Faberge Mittens

A cute slip stitch pattern creates a fabulous and complex looking mitten with beads, when actually it’s all simple techniques, well explained with a photo tutorial and you get to take all the credit for it 🙂

Easy Two-Color Purse Pouch

Great little stash buster using tiny amounts of yarn and makes a great gift or stocking filler for kids.

Checkerboard Scarflet

Simple knit and purl combination creates a great checkboard effect suitable for men and women.  A very easy knit and the chance to add some buttons from your vintage stash is an added bonus.
Last of all, I wanted to show you this product, from Fobbles, it’s called Stash n’ Store and I’ve been sticking my scissors, tapestry needles, cable needles, crochet hooks and stitch markers in mine since it arrived.   I’ve never been so organised.    Bev is closed until the New Year, so this’d be an ideal New Year treat for yourself.
Part 2 will be along later today with Beginner and New to You Crochet Patterns.

 

 

 

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Indie Design Gift Along 2018 Blanket Favourites

Today, I thought we’d have a look at some of the awesome Slipper Patterns available in the Indie Design Gift Along this year.    I’ve picked designs that caught my eye, had interesting stitch patterns, techniques, were quick or just simply too cute that I had to include them.

Fisherman’s Fabric by 10 hours or less

I’m actually making these for myself, I’m using some Stylecraft Special Aran in silver grey and cloud blue for the sole/trim.     They are super warm and I’m half way through the right slipper, having made the left one.

Shape Your Booties

I’ve made an exception with this pair of adorable slippers to show you two photos, why?  Well, the bottom image shows a tiny version made with 4ply/fingering weight yarn and it makes a perfect baby size bootie OR the most adorable Christmas Decoration!

Colorblock Slippers

Bulky yarn and a super quick knit, go for it, your feet will thank you.

Fair Isle Oslo Boots

Time for some crochet and crochet fair isle so you can play with colour and have toasty warm feet.

Mine

I’ve made these, originally for myself but within hours of being finished, my Mum had tried them on, claimed they fit her better than me and disappeared into the sunset with my new slippers.   They’re made with super bulky yarn and very quick, I think the smallest size took me around 45 mins a slipper.

Jumbo no bother boot slippers

Another super bulky knit, quick, warm and a good stash buster if you strand yarns together to make a one-off super bulky yarn.

Yeti Slipper Socks

Yeti Slipper Socks are a quick knit in super bulky yarn. The colour pattern is achieved with a simple slipped stitch technique so that only one colour is used at a time.   Great for using up odds and ends of stash.

Funfetti Sloots – Adult

Awesome slipper boots, or Sloots, with pom poms and super warm

Toe Bean Slippers

I have this pattern and I can tell you it’s a super quick knit, very easy and looks both elegant and cute all at the same time.

No Place Like Home

What girl doesn’t want a pair of Ruby Slippers?   A quick and easy knit, great or using up small amounts of yarn or those variegated skeins you have kicking about.

Bosnian Slippers

Knitted in one piece, top down in either Aran or Worsted weight yarn.  I have some Rios in my stash that’d be perfect for these.

Betty

I couldn’t resist adding this cute pair of knitted slippers, partly because I love the name Betty and also because the cable and garter pattern on these will be a) cozy and b) stylish.   They’ll make an awesome gift.

 

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Indie Gift Along 2018 –

Today, I thought we’d have a look at some of the amazing Poncho patterns available in the Indie Design Gift Along this year.

University Poncho

I love the smooshy cables and ribbed pattern on this poncho, knitted in Aran weight yarn it’s a very quick and simple knit.

Sort Of Silent

I know the designer of this marvellous and mad-as-a-box-frogs pattern, it’s edgy, urban and modern.  All words suited for someone younger than I, but I do love it.   it’s a quick knit, thick, warm cables and several ways to wear it, your Teen or Twenty Somethings will love it.

Aystra

A bit of crochet, circles and a lacy effect create a beautiful, modern design that I would wear a lot.

Seacliff Beach Poncho

Great for using up sock or 3ply yarns and showing off a kettle dyed or semi solid with it’s pretty lace details and edging.

Painted Desert

Awesome example of playing with colour, some Fair Isle stranding and a texture collar, this really is a stunner.  Kits are available in a variety of colour options.

Girdle of Melian Poncho

Stunning lace, two colours and an awesome shape to this poncho make it a must-have on my list

Andor

I love Linda’s cables and this poncho really does make the most of cables, textures and warm wool

My Cup of Tea Shawl

A simple but stylish crochet poncho with lots of opportunities to add stripes, play with colour or just make it in a single colour to contrast with your winter coat.

Arya’s Poncho

I can imagine Arya wearing this simple poncho while practicing her sword skills.  No fussy details or frills for warrior women.

Amaliya Capelet

Beautiful textures and you could knit yourself the whole set, after all, a girl needs a hat and mitts to go with her poncho.

nyilt

Last one for today and it’s another modern, edgy and urban piece with an awesome shape and texture.   I can see my Teen Ogre nieces loving this and wanting one in every colour.