Evergreen cowl pattern, coming soon, it’s knitted in the round, with entwined diamond cables and textured centres.
I am a sucker for cables, they’re interesting to knit, give texture, depth and most of all warmth to any knits. So, I cast on for a short loop cowl, worked bottom-up and in the round using circular needles. I’m using a DK yarn from Stylecraft for version 1 as it will then go with my Campside Cardi knitted with the same colour. The colourway is called Gorse and it’s a yellowy green with heathering in teal, yellow, dark green and the occasional bit of black.
The Evergreen cowl will be a shorter loop approximately 23 inches circumference, but with instructions on how to make the cowl loop longer to wrap twice or three times around the neck, or make it taller for cooler climates.
Sock Knitters, do you leftover sock yarn? Then I have the project for you!
I’ll be the first to admit I am not much of a sock knitter. But I do love to wear hand knitted socks. I do make a lot of hats, cowls, shawls and even sweaters with sock yarns and I have various bags of leftover sock yarn. I tend to store them in colour groups which makes it easy when I’m looking for small amounts to add a bit of colour to a project.
The yarns in the photo below are leftovers from a shawl project, two cardigan projects and a hat.
Then I met Vera and she changed my life
Who is this mysterious Vera? How did she change my life?
Emma Sadler, a very good friend of mine, asked me to test knit her new pattern for the Vera Sweater. I was pleased to help and as most of my personal knitting is sweaters or cardigans for myself, it made a lot of sense. I needed a lighter sweater for layering and that would be suitable for Autumn as well as the cold, Winter weather.
Vera is a Sock Yarn Sweater and perfect for Sock Knitters
The main body of this classic, v-neck raglan sweater is knitted with a solid or semi solid sock yarn. But when you get to the sleeves you can go wild and knit a festival of colour using up your old sock yarns. It’s like a party going on all the way to the cuffs.
I usually have at least half a dozen sweaters or cardigans around the house waiting for sleeves. For those who don’t knit sweaters, Sleeve Island is the usual term for this, my sweater is stuck on sleeve island.
Sleeve Island is a big thing in this house and the oldest WIP (work in progress) I’ve found is a Chic Hoodie by Bonne Marie Burns which needs one sleeve. I can’t find the yarn, but I suppose I could rip out part of the sleeve that’s done and make it short sleeved? I digress, back to Vera.
BUT with Vera, I was so excited to get to the next colour of yarn scraps, the sleeves were knitted in a weekend. If you want to sign up for Emma’s newsletter and be notified when the pattern is released, sign up here. She usually does a discount code on launch, so don’t miss it.
Stanhope Sweater, another sock yarn stash buster
Earlier in the year, Emma released her Stanhope Sweater. Fans of Vera on ITV in the UK will recognise the names of the sweaters are inspired by the detective Vera Sanhope. A no-nonsense woman who tells it how it is.
I am trying to convince Emma that her original sample in a light curry colour is too big for her. She has lost weight and is looking fabulous. Really I’m doing her a favour by taking it off her hands, but so far it hasn’t arrived in the post.
Stanhope is another classic V neck, no fancy shaping, just clean lines and the sock yarn does ALL the work by showing off it’s colours, patterns and stealing the show.
Will you be knitting Stanhope or Vera for yourself this Autumn?
Stay safe, be well and be kind. See you again soon for more crafting, chat and yarny goodness.
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Decisions need to be made, do I go for Mosaic Knitting or Stranded Colour work for my new hat and cowl design? I have a new cowl and hat design in the works and I’d really love your feedback
I had cast on for a simultaneous set-in-sleeve sweater (worked top down and without the need to pick up for sleeves) using some stash yarns from Lanas Stop, their 4ply/fingering weight superwash Prima Merino. It’s buttery soft, has great stitch definition and knits up really well. However, I wasn’t happy with the shoulder and sleeve shaping and had to start again, rip, rip, rip it.
At that point, the yarn was telling me it really wanted to be a colour work cowl and hat set. I have three shades of blue and two shades of green with work with. Who am I to argue with the yarn?
What is Mosaic Knitting?
What is mosaic knitting? For those who haven’t heard of it, or tried Mosaic Knitting. It’s a technique where you only use one colour every two rows (when worked flat) or one colour per row/2rows if worked in the round. You slip the stitches which aren’t being worked. It’s so much easier for a newer knitter than stranded colour work, but you can get some really fabulous effects with it. You can change your contrast and main colours frequently, or use self striping yarns, it’s very adaptable with simpler mosaic patterns, but also you can create complex designs.
One of my favourite mosaic hats is from 10HoursOrLess and is called Chorus of Cats, if you click the image below it’ll take you to the Ravelry pattern page, link opens in a new window. The hat features an all over mosaic pattern of cats with a striped crown (garter stripes for texture), a pompom in a contrast colour and a simple garter brim in the grey MC. The cats are knitted in a creamy white colour. The pom pom is in the denim contrast colour.
What is Stranded Colour Work Knitting? It’s colour work knitting, usually with 2 or 3 colours per row/round of knitting. It’s called Stranded Knitting because you carry the yarn which isn’t being used at the back of the work, creating strands or yarn floats of the unused yarn. These are in the back of the work and are not seen when the garment is worn but you can create simply or complex patterning with them.
In the photo below, I’m wearing my Frosty Morning Hat, which uses two colours of Blue Faced Leicester Aran to create a colour work pattern using stranded knitting. I used Burnt Orange for the main colour and Mustard for the contrast colour. The hat has a ribbed, folded brim knitted in the main colour, then you join the contrast colour and commence stranded colour work knitting. It’s a simple pattern and an easy beginner pattern as long as you’re comfortable knitting in the round.
What do you think?
Stranded Colour Work or Mosaic? Let me know which you’d like to see for my next pattern.
Baby Knits and a design journey – what I started with and how my design ended up
It depends on the design, sometimes I doodle with the yarn, swatch and play around and the yarn tells me what it wants to be. That’s easy, it’s intuitive and pretty much always works out.
Other times, I have a vision in mind, in this case a dress with a bib/bodice top and a lace skirt. I started knitting the skirt bottom up and in the round. I wanted to keep the piece as a seamless dress, minimum finishing.
Baby Knits and a design journey – Version 1
Version 1 was knitted half a dozen times as I perfected the shaping of the bib/bodice to make it easier to knit and reduce the finishing as much as possible. There is a neckband at the front to pick up, but that’s the only time you pick up and knit any stitches.
Baby Knits and a design journey – Yarn Choices
My go to for baby projects would normally be Stylecraft Special DK where I know that the Mum is busy, hasn’t time to hand wash and won’t need to worry about the item being washable. In this case I had a bag of several colours of Patons 100% Cotton DK, no two the same and wanted to design something using a cotton yarn.
The thought being that it could be a 3 season layering piece in cotton, cotton/bamboo or acrylic/cotton blends. In a superwash wool yarn, it would be suitable for Winter worn over a long sleeved top or sweater.
I’m not a yarn snob and I truly believe that the right yarn for the project has to be suited to the recipient, how they need to care for it and fit their lifestyle. I use a lot of blended yarns, acrylics and cottons for baby knits and prefer superwash wool to non washable wool. That’s my choice. For tea cozies, I’d like a roving wool which is easy to felt and will keep my tea warm.
Baby Knits and a design journey – Version 2
Version 2 was after discussion with the Testers they preferred the idea of buttons on the fronts and straps on the back with buttonholes. A quick bit of editing and a change to narrow the neck (more stitches for the straps) and it was perfect.
Test knitting is for me, a vital part of perfecting the design but also in getting the explanations right so that knitters can follow the instructions easily. I break down the sections of the pattern so it’s clear which part you are working on, try and make any shaping as easy as possible, chart them where needed and ensure it’s really obvious what you need to do.
I narrowed the neckline to make a better fit, but kept the wider shoulders which should be an inch or so wider than the child’s shoulders. Partly for layering but also to allow for the differences in kids. I was a skinny child but my brother was a chunky kid. We’re all different and the best advice I can give is to knit the bodice/bib to fit the child and make the skirt longer or shorter to suit their shape. All the measurements are included in the pattern so to some extent you can pick and mix, but allow extra yarn if you are adding length at all.
The pattern is available to buy in our online shop on the website, in our Ravelry Shop or our Payhip Shop. 25% off until 31st August with code babybeautiful
There’s no coded needed in our online shop on this site, the pattern is already discounted to make it easier for you.
If you’d like me to chat more about our design process, yarn choices etc, do let me know and what patterns you’d like me to feature.
Shawl Patterns I Love August 2020 both Knit and Crochet
Today’s blog post is a round up of Shawl Patterns I Love August 2020. I have seen some amazing shawls over the last month and wanted to share some with you. They are a mix of knit and crochet so there should be something to please everyone.
If you’d like to recommend your shawl faves, email me firstname.lastname@example.org, message lor-artemis on Ravelry.com or contact me via Facebook or Instagram @woollymadlydeeply.
All the designer name links and images for the patterns link to the pattern page on Ravelry.com. If you can’t use Rav at the moment, you have the designer name to search on the Indie Pattern Portal or Payhip.com
I love the colours used in this shawl, the soft, muted rainbow works beautifully. The shawl uses short rows to create the leaf shapes and stems and is knitted from tip to tip, sideways. It uses sport weight yarn, but you could easily sub 4ply/fingering weight yarn in the right colours. You could go for a more subtle look with neutral colours or go for a high contrast option to really pop.
This is, unusually, a free pattern and I just love the colours Joji has chosen for her shawl, those rich greens really call to me. Beautiful colour blocking and it looks like a very relaxing knit. Knitted with DK weight yarn and 5mm needles for a soft drape, this is a large shawl for wrapping around and maximum comfort. Odyssey is a crescent shaped shawl in 3 colors of medium-weight yarn. Medium weight means DK, or worsted, or even Aran! The good news is that you knit it up super fast. Each color section ends with a lace band that features striking big eyelets and wavy texture.
I do love this shawl and it’s incredibly popular. It looks like a great option to bust some stash and have a lot of fun with colours. It’s slip stitch colourwork, sometimes called Mosaic, so you only work with one colour at a time. It’s triangle shaped and worked with DK/Worsted yarn.
I spotted this shawl and thought, oooh Crochet lace. How wrong was I? On closer inspection it’s skull motifs and so clever. It is crocheted with Aran yarn and a 5mm hook, so this will be quick and fun. It would make a great addition to your Halloween costumes or the perfect gift for a teen going through their Goth phase. It’s also free, did I mention that?
Is it a shawl, is it a scarf? Do we care? No, because it’s got POCKETS and we love our pockets. Crocheted with Aran weight yarn using 9mm and 10mm hooks this will be super fast and make a great gift for anyone who loves a Boho look or just likes to have pockets. For the clumsy among you, me included, I think I’d end up wrapped around the door handles within five minutes of wearing it, but I still like it.
A fabulous crochet shawl for a fade set or gradient cake of yarn. I love the lacy details and strong design lines of this. It’s crocheted with a Sheepjes Whirl and a 3.75mm hook, the gradient of the sample is lovely. There is a chart and it uses US crochet terminology.
I loved the colour of this crescent shaped shawl, it uses 4py/fingering weight yarn, gradient set or cake would be awesome. Crocheted with a 3.5mm hook and with such a pretty ruffle and lacy patterning. Love it.
A show-stopping garter stitch shawl from Stephen West. I love his wacky style and presentation, a true artist. His designs are always interesting, well explained and give you the opportunity to play with colour, texture and contast. A triumph.
Another free pattern and the peachy, warm and light colours really spoke to me. I love the bobble details and the chance to mess around with yarn and leftovers if you wanted. Meditative knit stitch is interrupted by just four rows of bobbly texture to achieve a shawl that delivers high impact flare with minimal effort. La Bien Aimee Merino DK creates lovely drape while Cosy Posy Yarn Co. Fluff adds light, fuzzy contrast.
This beautiful lacy shawl uses sock yarn, approx 450yds so more than the average skein but enough to use up leftovers or let you play with colour for the various sections. Crocheted with a 3.5mm hook it’ll be light, airy and beautiful. The asymmetic shape appeals to be and makes for a fun shawl to wear and style.
I absolutely love Barbara Benson and her patterns are fabulous. I do really want to knit this shawl which uses slip stitch mosaic knitting to create gorgeous colour patterns very, very easily. It’s so easy, you’ll think it’s cheating. Worked in DK weight yarn, it’ll be a quick knit and a fun way to bust some stash.
I know, it looks like it’s knitted but honestly, it’s Tunisian crochet and I love, love, love it. DK yarn is crocheted with a 6.5mm hook to mimic knitting in all it’s glory. I am blown away by this, who knew? It uses Tunisian Knit stitch and features video tutorials to show you the other stitches which create the lace effects. Genius.
Thanks goodness it’s not Cowboys and Aliens which ranks high on the list of worst films ever. I was drawn to the colour of the shawl, which is perfect for me. But also, the lace and texture details. it is a fun knit, enough to keep you interested but not so taxing that you can’t watch a bit of TV at the same time, just avoid anything with subtitles. Knitted with DK yarn and 4.5mm needles for a nice drape but not too much. I think the trellis stitch pattern combined with garter and bobbles is a winner for me.
I love the styling of this one, the beach, the neutral colour and dreamy lace. It’s crocheted with DK yarn and a 4mm hook, it would look good in a gradient but I like the simplicity of one colour to show off the lace patterning. It’s triangle shaped, worked bottom up to maximize the size and use of your yarn, you can go big or small on this one.
I couldn’t look at shawls and not include a bit of brioche for you. This crescent shaped shawl uses four colours of yarn so perfect for a fancy set or busting some stash to get the colours that suit you. The design features stripes of lace with two colour brioche in between. It’s a large shawl but worth the time involved. 4ply/fingering weight yarn on 3.5mm needles.
A lovely honeycomb/bee themed shawl and a great way to use up stash. It uses sport weight yarn but fingering would do, 4.5mm and 5mm hooks for maximum drape and a light, airy fabric. The design is packed with fun stitches, is asymmetric, uses filet crochet, surface crochet, front post stitches, stripes and lots of texture. Gorgeous!
Greens, yellow, texture, trees and lots of fun. I really like this asymmetric shawl. Each section is inspired by trees, the pattern is charted and written. There are photo tutorials for the various stitch patterns and lots of help. It is crocheted with sport weight yarn and a 4mm hook
This little beauty takes a garter stitch knitted shawl to the next level with a knitted-on border added on. the cables and lace add interest and texture to the piece. It’s a classic. DK yarn, 4.5mm needles make for a squishy, soft shawl.
The Marina Wrap is a light and airy shawl pattern that uses only one ball of Red Heart It’s A Wrap Rainbow Yarn. The lacy stitches and gentle crescent shape of this shawl show off the yarn beautifully. UK knitters might want to try a DK weight yarn cake or something like Stylecraft Cabaret.
Using DK and Lace yarns held together, this soft, buttery shawl is sure to wrap you up warm and cozy. Grace used 4.5mm needles at a gauge/tension of 18×24 before blocking, so it will grow from that size.
I think that’s enough from me today, I hope there was something to inspire you in this little collection. Let me know your favourite.
As some of you will know, our pattern store for Loraine’s designs has always been at https://ravelry.com/loraine-birchall. There were some design changes to the Ravelry.com website earlier in the year causing issues for some users.
Many of the issues have been resolved, but the team at Ravelry are going to be working long term with an accessibility expert to deal with the problems which are still an issue for the minority, but whose needs should be met as soon as they are able.
In the meantime, we are adding Loraine’s digital patterns to the Woolly Madly Deeply web store on this website and have set up a store at https://payhip.com/woollymadlydeeply. Hopefully this will allow those who are still having problems with Rav, to access our patterns for sale. We are also in the long and rather laborious process of adding our patterns to LoveCrafts.