Hot Right Now – their shawls and my yarns!

If you are a member of Ravelry you are probably familiar with the Hot Right Now pattern list. I decided it would be fun to look at some of the patterns in that list and see if I could pair them with some suggested yarns from my shop. For this blog post I am looking at shawl patterns.

Frosting by April Reis looks to be a wonderful pattern for variegated yarns. Its garter stitch construction and reversible cable edging would mean that you could pick any multi colour yarn and enjoy the knit and the look of the colours all progressing. And that tassel has to be great for fiddling with, right?!

Les Amis Shawlette by Nona Davenport is right up my alley for the sort of shawl I enjoy wearing. It calls for just one skein of 4ply/fingering weight yarn (perfect!) and is almost a cowl in that, as far as I can see, it is worked in the round for a certain amount of time and the designer mentions pulling it over your head for ease of wearing. So no shawl ends disappearing off at the first gust of wind!

The designer recommends solids or speckles. How about one of these from my shop?

Artesian by Romi Hill is another gorgeous pattern. This has been out for a few years now but is still popular on Ravelry so you might have come across it before. I think I’d enjoy knitting this from a gradient or a yarn with long colour changes. I love the geometric lace panels too.

Reyna by Noora Laivola would be another good choice to show off some variegated yarn. With the alternating mesh lace and solid panels it is enough of a pattern to keep your interest whilst showing off your multicoloured yarns! I would knit this in a bright yarn I think, but then you might have guessed I’m not much of a one for neutrals!

Finally, Bark Lines from the very talented Joji Locatelli would look good in a whole variety of yarns. My personal preference for this would be a tonal colourway. And probably purple because I gravitate towards purples every time! Do you have a dominating colour in your yarn collection?

So, that was my first collection of patterns and yarns which I hope has inspired you! Next week I will be publishing a post about garments which call for 4ply/fingering weight yarns and doing some yarn matching there too.

All photos are copyright of the designer unless otherwise specified. Please go and buy one or all of these patterns to support terrific indie designers!

Spanglish Socks are coming!

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My new sock pattern will be released this week! Now that I have uploaded all my new yarn colourways into the shop I can focus on something else for a little while. This sock pattern has been tech edited and test knitted, and I’m so very grateful to all my wonderful test knitters! It was lovely to see such a range of yarn colours knitting up my pattern.

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Socks knitted by (from l to r) Lilangelsg2, Cailleach412 and annele76 (Ravelry names)

Spanglish Socks will be released on Friday 25th May and for the first week of release you can buy the pattern with a 50% discount, no code needed at the Ravelry checkout. Going forward the pattern will also be available in my own Etsy shop and on LoveKnitting.com but the initial discount will only be available in Ravelry.

All of the lovely yarn!

If you are on my newsletter list or follow me on Instagram you will have seen that I had a bumper shop update last Friday. Seriously, it was huge! I hadn’t put yarn in the shop for aaaages, and so I had so many new colourways to upload it was a little overwhelming!

Anyway, the shop update went well and the first bundle of packages went out yesterday. This week I’ve been thinking about which of my yarns would work well in popular patterns. I’ll be writing a special blog post about my thoughts very soon.

My next shop update will be full of project bags and (if I have enough time for all the photos and writing!) stitch markers. I have oodles of new bags and marker sets which I made for Wonderwool and Wool@J13, so there will be plenty to tempt everyone in that update!

In knitting news I’m still plugging away on my Angelus Novus Cardigan. I think I’m about half way through the triangle which will form most of the back and part of the front of the cardigan. It’s such an interesting construction, I’m really looking forward to the next part just to see how it works! I’m using my own DK yarn in a whoopsie colourway – it was supposed to be my “Erin” colourway except the purple came out far too dark and so I decided that it needed to live with me forever! Oh darn! I’m really glad that we’re doing this Renee Callahan knitalong in our Knit-Tea Retreat group because I don’t think I would have made myself find time to knit this otherwise, and I’m loving it so far.

In non-knitting news, I’m determined to conquer the garden this year. I have sadly neglected it for the last couple of years due to a combination of bad weather and being very busy elsewhere, but I would love to have a colourful oasis to retreat into when the weather is good enough. So, I’ve decided to go out and work on it, just for half an hour each day to start, to try to regain some sort of order in the chaos. I battled some brambles on Sunday and as a consequence I currently look like a feral cat has attacked my arms. However, it’ll all be worth it in the end!

Episode 37 – Wool@j13 Prep

Something a little different for you in this episode of the podcast. I recorded segments in the time leading up to Wool@j13 so that you could see some of the preparations involved for me as a vendor at a show. I hope you enjoy it!

Patterns mentioned include Rainbow Relay by Jane Murison and Angelus Novus by Renée Callahan, both available on Ravelry.

Zoe recorded her customary vlogs whilst we were on our trip to Wool@j13. She interviewed Jo from Jo Knit Sew and provided her usual hilarious commentary on our weekend! You can find her vlogs at http://www.youtube.com/pinsandneedles.

Episode 36 – Sun, Sea and Black Sand!

Welcome to the latest podcast episode, mainly recorded whilst we were on holiday in Puerto De La Cruz in Tenerife! Shownotes may be a bit brief this time, but better than none I suppose! Please get in touch if I’ve forgotten to note something down which interested you.

You can find me on most social media sites as @owlaboutyarn and you can reach me by leaving comments or emailing hello@owlaboutyarn.com. I have a Ravelry group and I’d love it if you would join! I also have a newsletter – please sign up here. Find my shop on Etsy at http://owlaboutyarn.etsy.com.

Zoe can be found on Instagram and Ravelry as @Pinsandneedlesuk. Her patterns are available on Ravelry in her designer shop, Zoe Carter Designs. If you don’t already, go and watch her podcasts on Youtube.

Shows I will be at as an exhibitor:

Wonderwool Wales, 28/29 April

Wool@j13, 12/13 May

Leeds Wool Festival, June 2nd

Yarningham, 14/15 July

I was working on socks in a design of my own imagining, a Leftie by Martina Behm (available on Ravelry) and a shawl project again from my own imagination. I sewed a tunic top from a pattern given to me by Lesley of Duckpool Lane. I also made Erin some shorts but completely forgot to show you those, my brain is the size of a pea!

Music is Flamencología by Gnawledge, I found it at freemusicarchive.org

My next show is…Craft4Crafters at Exeter Westpoint

In a few short weeks, from the 15th to 17th February I will be exhibiting at Craft4Crafters in the Westpoint Arena in Exeter. I’m excited and nervous as I’ve not been to any multi-craft shows as a trader, so I’m not sure whether that means that the customers will want different things compared to the ‘normal’ yarn shows I vend at. Plus, this is a three day show and I’ve only ever done one or two day shows before.

I have some tickets up for grabs, very kindly provided by the organisers of Craft4Crafters so, if you’d be interested in getting your hands on a pair, keep your eyes and ears open. I’m most likely to announce that on my podcast first, although I’m sure I’d make a note on Ravelry and Instagram as well.

I’m right in the middle of my preparations at the moment. Lists have been made, stock has been taken (as in I’ve done a stock take, not suffered a burglary, touch wood!) and a tentative show prep diary has been laid out. I have oodles of gorgeous fibre to dye, and bundles of yarns clamouring for colour. Zoe and I are planning on opening pre-orders for a new kit at about the same time as the show and so I’ll need to prepare my samples ready to have on show. Plus I have to make all the other fun things that I make like the microskein earrings, stitch markers, progress keepers, project bags, miniskeins etc. Suffice to say, I’ll have plenty to keep me busy over the next four or five weeks!

One thing that I will need to do is draw up a rough stall plan sometime soon. My stall doesn’t vary hugely from show to show but there are always slight differences in the space I’m allowed to inhabit, and it will make set up so much faster if I can have a layout in mind before we get there. It saves me sitting on the floor in a flat spin trying to work out how to organise my display furniture!

Year of WIPs

I’ve decided that this year I will defeat my WIP* pile. I can think of nine without even trying, which is making my brain feel itchy! So, slowly but surely I will dial back those unfinished items and, as a pleasant side effect, reclaim many sets of knitting needles. I think that by the time I’ve finished I’ll be amazed by how many knitting needles I actually own!

First up for the year are my Monkey Socks. These started out as socks for me, but unfortunately my skin won’t tolerate the yarn and so my husband becomes the lucky recipient! When I was looking through my project bags for knitting needles to use for my Christmas Eve Cast On (another WIP, but so recent that it doesn’t make me feel guilty yet) I discovered a nearly finished sock and felt inspired to knit on. Weirdly, when I was first knitting the sock (over a year ago – this was a true hibernation) I couldn’t get the very simple pattern to stick in my brain. I think that’s why it took so long, and why I walked away from it for all that time. But within a very short length of time after picking it up again, the pattern was memorised and the other sock and a half have flown off the needles! I will show these socks off on my next podcast, and now I need to move on to another WIP.

I’ve got several part-finished jumpers. At least one will need complete frogging and restarting, or maybe a new pattern choosing to go with the yarn. One other was actually finished but doesn’t fit well and so needs me to rip back to the armholes and reknit the yoke (sob!). I’m fairly sure that my Tonks Togs jumper (started nearly 3 years ago, the shame!) only needs half a sleeve and a fairly quick yoke, so I think that might be high up on my to-finish list.

Blankets. Ah. Two sock yarn blankets, one intended to use as a wall hanging display at yarn festivals, about 75% done I’d estimate. Another which will be just for me is not even close to a quarter. I need to put my own sock yarn blanket where I can see it regularly so that I remember to add squares more often. Maybe I should set myself a target of a square every other day? I also have many part-made modular blankets. For these I think the best outcome would be if I made a couple of Franken-blankets out of all the assorted knitted squares that I have sitting lonely in bags all over the place. And finally I have a half finished fairisle blanket with an elephant parade motif. This was intended for the baby of a friend; she is currently expecting the next baby along! Oh dear!

Please someone tell me I’m not alone in this ridiculous amount of half finished knitted items? And please offer encouragement (carrot or stick, whatever works!) to get me through my attempt to whittle down the WIP mountain into something a little more manageable!

 

*Works In Progress