Knitting magazine issue 227 is out and it's all about texture.
I've a couple of patterns and tutorial in it but today I'm just showing you Anika.
This short-sleeved 4-ply top is worked bottom-up in the round on the body and sleeves which then join for the yoke (don't ask about working out yoke shaping for 10 sizes!).
It features a slip-stitch texture pattern which is easy to work but very effective. I used Cascade Yarns Heritage for this which means a vast range of colour combinations - and as mention above the pattern offers 10 sizes. But any nice plain 4-plys would work for this - or perhaps a variegated for the contrast.
I'll share the other design later in the week.
There's a new issue of Knitting magazine is out.
It's where you can find Diamond my new shrug design in King Cole Superfine Alpaca Chunky.
I've been playing with construction again. This starts from the centre of the diamond lace panel on the back and then is worked outwards for the sleeves and rib band. Most of the time it is worked in the round with some short row shaping, so it is an interesting make without seaming.
The pattern is a very relaxed fit coming in two sizes with advice of adjusting it to your preferences.
This is the first time I've worked with this yarn but I will be using it again. It is beautifully soft and great value.
Meanwhile the shrug sample is back with me and I must remember to take some pictures before I am tempted to snuggle up in it.
Have you noticed that I like detail? I don't tend to make plain items but that doesn't mean all over pattern.
The Hemingford sweater has a plain stocking stitch body with loose lacy sleeves which add a little glamour.
It is knitted in Cascade Yarns Heritage 4-ply which is one of my go-to fine sweater yarns and the pattern can be found in The Knitter issue 167 out now. The sample is in a very on trend Coral shade but the yarn comes in a wide range of colours so I am looking forward to seeing what people choose.
It's definitely woolly sock weather and the good news is that the Pitter Patter Pinkies sock pattern is now available for download.
These socks feature a raindrop lace pattern and a short row rib heel. The stitch pattern uses rib, decreases and yarn overs in a simple four stitch, eight row repeat.
As you can see, it works with a striped yarn - West Yorkshire Spinners
Signature 4-ply in the Pink Flamingo colourway - but would work for a solid or semisolid yarn too.
Signature 4-ply in the Pink Flamingo colourway - but would work for a solid or semisolid yarn too.
The pattern is written for three adult foot sizes:
- Leg circumference 18 20:22cm (7 7¾:8½in)
- Leg length: 1616:18cm (6¼ 6¼:7in
- Foot length is fully adjustable
I have recently republished a number of shawls originally designed for magazines in my first Beautifully Blocked collection.
I used to work in theatre production and in theatre “blocking” refers to working out the movement of a performance. These days, for me, my designs are my performance so we had a theatrical photoshoot to put these eight designs in the spotlight.
The patterns are available individually on Ravelry and Lovecrafts plus on Ravelry you can buy any three for the price of two or select all eight patterns for the special price of £30 (add all of them to your basket and use code BB30).
The eight shawls (clockwise from top left) are:
Inspired by semi-precious gemstones and designed to show off a luxurious laceweight yarn, the Facet shawl is made up of three triangular panels featuring a small and then large diamond pattern.
The shawl is worked from the centre top, increasing outwards thanks to yarnover increases and the edge of each panel.
Don’t be alarmed by the lace in this shawl - it is all created using simple decreases and yarn overs. Just take it one stitch at a time and you will have a beautiful wrap.
Inspired by hand dyed yarns, this shawl is shaped using wedges of stocking stitch and lace created with short row shaping. This is actually quite simple and fully explained in the pattern. It is designed to show off a yarn with strong flashes of contrast colour in a yarn that is at least 50% a solid main colour.
Colourway used for the sample is Cosmic Girl on BFL Bamboo 4ply Fingering by The Wool Kitchen.
Who says a rectangular stole has to be knitted from end to end? This wrap is worked from corner to corner, using increases and decreases to create the wrap shape. This creates a bias fabric with lovely drape with the lace running in diagonal stripes. This is fun and adaptable way of making wraps and makes for an interesting knit.
This is the shawl that I imagine Bathsheba Everdene, Grace Melbury or Tess Durbeyfield
wrapping themselves in. Made with soft but robust West Country wool and richly coloured, it
features a Victorian stitch pattern for the knit on edge.
The half hexagon shawl has three triangular panels and is worked out from a garter stitch tab
and provisional cast on. It is worked in rows on a circular needle.
Graduated mini skeins and garter stitch stripes create the gentle colour change in this asymmetric shawlette which ends in a ripple pattern.
It is inspired by the Donegal sea views of my childhood where the shades of the water would subtly change as the waves came into the beach.
175g 4-ply in total
The combination of silk and seacell (seaweed sourced fibre) creates a lovely light, draping fabric that is perfect for a glamorous wrap. The stole is begun with a provisional cast-on and knit in two directions outwards. The lace pattern is presented both in charts and in written form.
This long draping stole is made is fine Shetland wool in a natural shade that will work with any colour.
The stitch patterns are adapted from traditional Shetland lace patterns. Drape it over your shoulders to combat a breeze on a summer evening or wrap it round your neck as we move into autumn.
The stole is made in two parts and grafted at the centre for symmetry.
As light as a snowflake, this shawl features wide band of zigzag lace pattern. The shawl is worked in segments, using short-row shaping with wraps and turns to show the gradient of the yarn to best effect. Each wrong side row of the segment is shorter than the previous one, to create the wedge shapes.
Off Kilter is a free shawlette pattern that I recently added to Ravelry.
It is written for 100g/400m of striping 4ply - the sort of thing many people will have picked up at a yarn show and have to hand in their stash during lockdown. Although I don't have picture - the shawl is on lockdown with someone else - it is a great option if you have some Zauberball Crazy.
After I put the pattern up, I was sorting my stash and noticed that I had a cake of Stylecraft Batik Swirl DK in the Coral Reef colourway and decided on an experiment - doing a version of Off Kilter in DK.
The Batik Swirl cake is 200g/550m and I used a 4mm needle. Otherwise I did the pattern as written using most of the cake.
The shawl ended up with a wingspan of 164cm and is 60cm deep at the widest point compared with 140cm and 50cm for the 4-ply version.
But if you have something in your stash that you'd like to try this pattern in that doesn't fit these quantities, don't worry, this is a very easy pattern to adapt.
- If you have at least 100g of 4ply or 150g of DK you will come up with a wearable shawl - maybe try 200g of aran or experiment with chunky.
- If you are using a thicker yarn, choose a needle size that will give your stocking stitch a little drape.
- Work the pattern repeat until you have around enough yarn for one more repeat - you may need to weigh your remain yarn at the beginning and end of a repeat near the end to estimate this. Finish the body of the shawl after row 10 of the repeat.
- The edging will work for any size as long as you have finished the body with a complete repeat.
The only other instruction is to enjoy going Off Kilter and to post pictures of your finished object by creating a project on the pattern's Ravelry page or if you are on Instagram tag me in your post @bromiskelly_lapurplepenguin
The theme for the new issue of Knitting magazine (no 192) is British Yarn and British Landscape. Because of the way my mind works this cardigan developed from seemingly disparate sources. The construction of the two part fronts to create a waistcoat effect is an idea I have been playing with since looking at the clever ways AlexanderMcQueen played with traditional tailoring.
The landscape theme made me think of the famous Gainsborough picture of a couple surveying their land. So the "Mrs Andrews" cardigan has a textured "waistcoat section joined the the over jacket with the join embellished by small buttons to recall C18th style.
Mr and Mrs Andrews
I hope that you agree that it is both unusual and wearable - there are back darts to help shaping.
The yarns are 100% wool DK and Wool/Silk DK from New Lanark so there are plenty of possible colour combinations plus it is very affordable.
Those who follow me on social media may notice that I continue to be excited whenever one of my designs appears in a knitting magazine. I came to designing - well designing in a public and business way - later in life than many and as a designer I feel I am a mere infant. As a result every time someone understands and appreciates what I am trying to achieve, it is another milestone.
In part this is what makes a design of mine appearing on a cover special. But it is more than that. For a long time I was a magazine editor. Not in the knitting arena but when it comes to covers that doesn't matter. Any editor working on any magazine - whether that be news stand, subscription or arriving due to your profession on any subject, engineering, healthcare, photography, fashion or craft to name a few - will tell you how important the cover is.
Your cover is what makes people take your magazine off the shelf in the newsagent or open it when it lands on their desk. If your cover doesn't work, it may mean that all the other content you've worked so hard on goes unseen.
Every cover involves thought and collaboration. The editor, designer and others may come up with several versions before the right one emerges. Illustrations and photo shoots are planned with suggestions of what might work on the cover. It also requires a knowledge of your audience and what attracts them.
So when this happens...
... and three of my pieces are on covers simultaneously I feel particularly grateful.
This means that my idea and execution, the styling, the photographer's and editor's vision and so much more have come together to create something the magazine team will really resonate with their readers.
And for completeness the pink and cream striped vintage jumper in Simply Knitting is in Yarn Stories Fine Merino 4-ply, Aza, the raspberry sleeveless top from Knitting, uses The Knitting Goddess's One Farm Yarn and the light green Cobwebs in the Rain wrap on The Knitter is in Jamieson and Smith's 2ply lace.Without the right yarn none of it would work.
It is always exciting when I can finally share a design. For magazines I work so far ahead that I can have finished something for a few months before I can show it off. But then you get wonderful images like this in the magazines.
The brief was Bitish yarns and British literature, and so I came up with a shawl using Victorian stitch patterns that could have graced any of Thomas Hardy's female protagonists from Tess to Bathsheba.
It uses a yarn from pretty much Hardy country, Devonia from John Arbon Textiles in the Bleeding Heart colourway (also perfect for the theme) - this is the 4-ply version of this recently launched yarn (there is a DK as well) and as with all the Arbon yarns I really enjoyed working with this soft blend of Exmoor Bluefaced, Bluefaced Leciester and Wensleydale wools.
The shawl is made of three triangular panels with a knit on edge and is one of those lace patterns that looks more complex than it really is to knit. The main body has a short lace repeat and once you get started with the edging it flows along.
The shape is easy to wear and drape.
I always look forward to seeing the final pictures of a pattern commission. It is often some time after I supply the sample garment when I see the eventual images from a shoot, perhaps when a magazine is published.
It is of course interesting to see how a garment has been styled but I also look at how the garment sits and particularly around the armhole and shoulder because this is something I work a great deal on and have quite strong views about.
So I was particularly gratified to see these detail shots for the Lily Twinset in Knitting issue 173 (from GMC publications)
They really show how the sleeves fit the two garments and a neat shoulder seam.
In my own designs I tend to write shoulders that are shaped using short-rows rather than cast off to create a slope and then join the shoulder seam using a three needle cast off. That's where the stitches from the front of the shoulder are on one needle and the ones from the back on another, as you cast off each stitch is worked through one stitch from each needle together (photo tutorial here). I like the neat flat shoulder join you get.
For the sleeve top I like quite a tall steep curve. Other designers prefer a flatter sleeve head but I personally like the way the taller sleeve top sits round the upper arm and shoulder. I also spend a lot of time using geometry to calculate the length of the curve so it will sit in the armhole without difficult bulges. On some garments I also use decreases and increases in the upper back to have a curved rather than a straight armhole.
This may sound very geeky and obsessive but it pays off when the sleeve sits as well as in the centre pic above and I can know that my pattern will produce a good garment for each of you.