Indie Gift Along 2020 my WIPs, FOs and plans for December knitting and crochet.
I cast on the Ronan Cardigan by Tiona Murphy for the Gift Along, it’s going to my friends Ben and Kelly for their new baby boy who was born a few weeks ago. I used Stylecraft Special Aran with Wool in the Denim colourway and it works well with the cables. It’s also machine wash for a new and busy Mum of two.
I’m also sending them a couple of cotton burp cloths from a pattern by my good friend Emma Sadler, it’s called Muzies.
I have wanted to knit Alameda by Clarice Gomes since I saw her knitting the sample in a beautiful green colour when we met on a Saturday night Zoom knit and natter which we both go to. It’s absolutely stunning and I love it so much. I’m using Lanas Stop Bambini in the Linen colourway. You can buy that yarn here. I’ve knitted a bit more since then and will add another photo to the project page, click the image below to see more info.
This is Clarice’s sample
I did another crochet test of a pattern for Lillinette Crochet of her Ilsan pattern, you can make two of the squares and join them to make a Biscornu which is a clever construction and makes a very pretty pin cushion. I used scraps of DK sparkly yarn in silver grey, purple and magenta.
I cast on for the CareAway Shawl, I’m not sure I made the best yarn choice, but I do absolutely love the colours, it’s a creamy white, a light grey and a mustard yellow and is called Skittles. The yarn is Stylecraft Bambino DK.
I’ve been working on a couple of new designs, Diamonds and Lace Cowl pattern and also a matching hat to go with it. I used some Stylecraft Bellissima DK in Mellow Yellow for the first sample and am planning to use some Lanas Stop York Merino for the next size. The hat was knitted with Austermann Merino Silk Worsted in light grey.
Episode 100 of Knitting Across the Pennines 22/10/2020
Episode 100 of Knitting Across the Pennines aired last night, we had a lovely natter in our Facebook group and the video is now on YouTube.
I can’t believe this is our 100th live craft and natter. We chat about WIPs, FOs and Emma prepared a bundle of patterns based on parties, celebrations, 100 and anything that made her laugh. The knitting Octopus was super cute.
A quick round up of FOs and WIPs on my needles 15-10-2020. I had the chance to meet up with my knitting bestie yesterday, Jacqui, for a socially distanced coffee in town. We took our own drinks and sat on a bench people watching, knitting and nattering for a couple of hours.
Thankfully it was warm in the sun, but when the sun went it, the temperature dropped and I was glad to get in the car and warm up. It’s the first time we’ve got together since the start of lockdown in March and we had lots to catch up on.
I brought along a bag of FOs and WIPs to show Jacqui and thought I’d share some of them with you today.
FOs and WIPs on my needles 15-10-2020, Evergreen Cowl
First up is version 2 of my Evergreen Cowl pattern, I just worked one repeat of the pattern for a shorter cowl, using just 34g of DK yarn from James C Brett called Aria. I’ll be launching the pattern tomorrow and newsletter subscribers will get an exclusive 25% discount, the launch discount for everyone else will be 15% for the first 48 hours only.
FOs and WIPs on my needles 15-10-2020, Cathedral Cowl
I’ve already used this cable pattern in my Cathedral Cable Hat design and love how it resembles Gothic arches, churches and the architectural lines of the cabling. It’s a fun knit with a resting row between each set of cable crosses, worked in the round, bottom up and a nice stash buster. It’d make a great gift too. As with all our patterns, these will be added to our Ravelry and Payhip Stores so you can purchase them there. The pattern will launch next week and newsletter subscribers get a code for 25% off. Don’t miss out.
FOs and WIPs on my needles 15-10-2020, Stillwater Cardigan by Marie Green
I had originally started knitting the Stillwater cardigan for myself, not sure when, a while ago when the designer was running a Knit your cardigan in four days challenge. I did more or less finish mine in five days, which is awesome other than the front bands. It was packed into a plastic crate and put away for a while. I found it a couple of weeks ago and decided to knit the band and try it on. The upper body and sleeves are perfect but for someone with rounded hips, there is no coverage for them or my belly in the lower body. It’s now wrapped and ready to go to my Mum, who it will fit much better and will love the cable details and simplicity of the design. The tweedy yarn does all the work on this one. I used Sublime Luxurious Tweed DK in the Stone colourway and close up it has tiny, tweedy flecks of yellow and blue it. It washes and wears beautifully but has quite a bit of vegetable matter in it that had to be picked out as I knitted.
FOs and WIPs on my needles 15-10-2020, Ranunculus Sweater
I thoroughly enjoyed knitting the Ranunculus Sweater, it’s using Aran weight yarn (Sirdar Romance in Khaki with gold threads) and I went up to a larger needle to get tension/gauge, 8mm needles (I just checked). It’s comfy, pretty and the yoke is a fun but relaxing knit. I will definitely knit more of this sweater. Have you made Ranunculus?
FOs and WIPs on my needles 15-10-2020, Evergreen Loop
This might become a loop cowl, but is serving two purposes, as I want to design a sweater with the Evergreen cable and this will be a great swatch for that. I’m using some Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted in a pale turquoise or aqua colour, it’s fabulous and was a gift from the lovely Joan Dyer. Joan sent me 22 skeins in various colours just before she died and I treasure this yarn. Every pattern I’ve designed with it has been a joy to knit and I can’t thank her enough for that.
FOs and WIPs on my needles 15-10-2020, Garnered Test Knit
This is a cardigan pattern test for Alicia Plummer, very pretty lace, short sleeves, cropped body and destined for my Mum as a gift. It’s wide and boxy so I folded the back in half vertically to get a photo, it has short row shoulder shaping in garter stitch and features an all over lace pattern. Knitted in Aran yarn with 6mm needles, it’ll be a fast project for gifting.
Cathedral Cowl in Hollyock Stylecraft Special Aran with Wool
This is just to test the pattern and because I already knitted myself the Cracked Pepper Cardigan by Alicia Plummer in this yarn and it will make a really lovely set to wear together this Winter.
Unnamed cardigan, suggestions welcome!
I cast on with the stone coloured Sublime Luxurious Tweed DK and am knitting a raglan cardigan, top down. I may add colourwork and you’ll see the other colours I have available in the gallery below. Do I go for stranded colourwork or mosaic knitting?
I probably have lots more on my needles but that’s enough for now, have I inspired you to knit something or pick up a project and show it some love?
Last weekend, almost by accident, I cast on for a Ranunculus Sweater. I was using some very deep stash, Sirdar Romance in colour 150 Khaki which has a fine gold thread running through it and feels almost cashmere soft. It’s a surprise as it’s a very cheap yarn bought in the sales.
Ranunculus Sweater – about the pattern
It’s by Midori Hirose and has two files for the English version one up to a 49″ finished chest and the other to cover plus sizes with the largest finished measurement being 65″ chest. Depending on the fit you want, that could fit up to a 65″ chest with no ease or a 48″ chest with a LOT of ease.
Ranunculus Sweater Neckline Options
It’s knit top down, in the round with two options for the neckline, a narrower neck and a wider neckline. I chose the wider neckline and I’m very happy with that. My first cast on, which I ripped out, was the narrower neckline but I soon realised that I needed to go up to a 7.5mm needle for the body and 8mm for sleeves. I didn’t do the front neck short rows but I did do the back neck short row shaping.
Ranunculus Sweater Sleeves
I didn’t pick up as many underarm stitches for the sleeves as I knew I was going to be very tight on yarn, other than that, I knitted the sleeves to 9 inches, changed to 5mm needles and worked 5 rows k1, p1 ribbing then cast off in rib pattern.
Ranunculus Sweater Body
I knitted the body to 14 inches from the underarm, worked 4 rows in k1, p1 ribbing using the same needles as the body, then used a stretchy bind purl bind off.
I am super pleased with it, as those of you who watch our videos on YouTube or Facebook will know, I am a Slimming World member and losing weight gradually. I tried the sweater on and it’s a good fit with very little ease, but on Victoria who is a 38″chest it’s just nice. It’ll fit me for a while and as I drop a few sizes, it’ll still be a good fit.
In the UK we call fingering weight yarn 4ply, as typically it was a finer yarn spun from 4 plies of yarn, but many 4ply yarns are now spun from only one or two plies.
4ply yarn is great for socks, shawls, gloves and other accessories such as shawls, wraps and scarves. It is lightweight but depending on the wool content can also be lovely and warm.
It is wonderful for Fair Isle and colour work projects using 100% wool to give a lighter garment despite the almost double thickness of the resulting patterned fabric.
It produces beautiful lacy knits and often blocks well to show the resulting lacework pattern.
It can be stranded double to knit a heavier garment or to achieve ombre type effects in the garment or fabric.
Superwash sock and fingering weight yarns are fantastic for baby clothing as busy Mum’s will appreciate a machine washable garment which is both easy care and hard wearing. Sock yarns often contain up to 25% nylon to add strength, think heels and toes that get a lot of wear going in and out of your shoes, to the yarn.
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.