Rockrose – now available as a scarf!

I’m pleased to announce that the Rockrose Scarf is now available!

Copyright Charlotte Walford 2014

Copyright Charlotte Walford 2014

After making the Rockrose Wrap I wanted to see if I could make a smaller version with just one precious (100g/400m) skein of 4ply yarn, you know the sort of thing, it called to you in the shop and though you couldn’t quite resist it, you only bought one skein (two would be an extravagance).  Now you want to make something with it, but what?  Well, I made this!

Copyright Charlotte Walford 2014

Copyright Charlotte Walford 2014

On my birthday this year I decided to treat myself to a single skein of Posh Yarn Audrey Sock (made with mulberry silk and cashmere), being such an indulgent yarn, I thought I’d just stick at one skein, but I wanted to make something elegant with it and use up as much of my precious (try not to say that in a Gollum-like voice) skein as possible.

I’d been pretty pleased with the wrap version of this pattern, so I thought I could do with making a smaller version for those with less time, patience, or an aversion to lace weight yarns (I have to be in the right mood to knit with lace weight).  It also gave me chance to make sure my hastily scribbled charts made sense now that I’d redrawn them neatly on the computer!

Floral Lace Scarf_012

Copyright Charlotte Walford 2014

I was pretty pleased with the result, this yarn is really beautiful and makes the scarf incredibly soft with a really lovely drape.  Sadly Audrey Sock has been discontinued, but Posh Yarn Natasha Sock (baby camel and mulberry silk) would give a similar effect.  So scarf knitted, it went off to my lovely tech editor and testers and now finally it’s ready to share with you!

The Rockrose Scarf is the latest pattern in Wildflower: The Lace Collection eBook, available here.  There are at least five more patterns to go!  If you buy the collection the patterns will be automatically added to your Ravelry library as they are released.

Also, if you’ve already bought the Rockrose Wrap (or if you add both patterns to your cart together), you can get the scarf version free (and vice versa, if you buy the scarf pattern you will get the wrap pattern free), just add it to your cart and the price of the scarf pattern will be deducted automatically.

♥ Until midnight GMT Sunday 2nd November 2014, the price of the Rockrose Scarf and Wrap patterns has been reduced from £3.75 to £2.75!  No need for a code, the price has been altered on the pattern page and will return to the higher price at midnight on Sunday. ♥

Hope you like it,

Lottie x

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Introducing Rockrose…..

So, I’ve been dropping hints about exciting new things for the past few weeks and now, finally I am ready to show one of them to you!

Introducing Rockrose, a delicate lace weight wrap, knitted in Fyberspates Gleem Lace with an original lace patterned border using Estonian stitches…..

Rockrose Wrap by Charlotte Walford

Copyright Fyberspates 2014

Rockrose is the first pattern in my collection of floral inspired lace designs and a product of my continuing obsession with the design possibilities of Estonian lace stitches (which involve increasing rapidly into one, two or three stitches), which you can see in this close up of the border pattern.

Rockrose Wrap by Charlotte Walford

Copyright Fyberspates 2014

These stitches continue to fascinate me, because they present so many design possibilities, which I first explored in my Cleome shawl design a couple of years ago. I find that they lend themselves perfectly to floral inspired lace patterns, as you can represent blooming flowers really beautifully as well as distorting the fabric into waves and ripples to make the most of hand dyed yarns, like the yarn I chose for this design, Fyberspates Gleem Lace.

As well as hankering after designing something with Estonian stitches again, I wanted to play with transitions between different stitch patterns.  By modifying one pattern to blend into the next one you can create really interesting effects and fun juxtapositions between stitches.

So I started a (not that) little experimental swatch:

Evolving stitch patterns

Evolving stitch patterns
Swatch design and photo copyright Charlotte Walford 2014

Note the difference in width between the different stitch patterns, despite all patterns using the same needle size and number of stitches.

Yes, I know, I didn’t block it (naughty me), but I just wanted to get an idea of some of the possibilities of different stitches (which I made up as I went along), making small alterations to each one until I had definite favourites (as well as some never-agains!).  I didn’t frog the swatch back at any point and I’m glad I didn’t, as it will be interesting to look back on it (perhaps some of the other motifs will make their way into another design?).

One swatch wasn’t enough though…. so…..

The stitch evolution continues...

The stitch evolution continues…
Swatch design and photo copyright Charlotte Walford 2014

By this point I’d got a much better idea of the stitches I wanted to combine, so this swatch refined those ideas (you can see that the flame shaped stitches didn’t make it into the final design).  Once I’d finished this swatch though, there was no time for sketching.  I already knew what the wrap was going to look like and I never intended to submit the design, so I just got out my yarn and got started!

Why the rush?  Well, my friend Jenny was getting married the next month and I needed a wrap to wear with my dress for her impending nuptials (I think this is what you call making an effort with your outfit).  The Sea Green Gleem Lace was a perfect match for the emerald green colour in the fabric of my dress, so the yarn decision was easy.  See what I mean?  Perfect!  (No point in trying to match the yellow-green shade in the print, that would only make me look sickly.)

Gleem Lace with my favourite dress

Gleem Lace with my favourite dress!

‘Do you have any pictures of the wrap with the dress?’ I hear you ask?  Erm… sorry, no, not any that I took (I was having too much fun), so this will have to do.

So, I should probably tell you more about the wrap now, right?

It begins at the centre with a provisional crochet cast on (fully explained in the pattern) and is then worked outwards in two identical halves, starting with a simple lace pattern reminiscent of leaves, which then transitions smoothly into a gently undulating pattern of petals (worked using the aforementioned Estonian stitches) and finishes with a delicate edging of blooms and a beaded picot cast off (you could leave the beads out, but it does add a pleasing weight to the ends of the wrap, helping it hang nicely).  The length of the wrap is easily altered and instructions are provided in the pattern for doing so.  This length is perfect both for wearing as a stole and for wrapping round your neck and wearing as a scarf.

Rockrose Wrap by Charlotte Walford

Copyright Fyberspates 2014

A few weeks after the wedding I took my wrap with me to the Pop Up Wool show and showed it to the lovely Jeni of Fyberspates.  She loved it and asked if she could borrow it as they were having a photoshoot for some new Fyberspates patterns the next week.  Obviously I said yes, so thank you Jeni, for letting me use your lovely photos!  It also gave me the necessary motivation to get on and get the pattern tested and tech edited ready for it’s release.

Rockrose Wrap by Charlotte Walford

Copyright Fyberspates 2014

Anyway, enough of my waffling about design stories.  (I hope you’ve found the process behind the design interesting.)

The Rockrose Wrap is available on Ravelry here, and until midnight GMT (clocks go back this weekend in the UK) Sunday 26th October you can get £1.00 GBP off the pattern!  Just add the pattern to your cart and enter the code GleemLace at the checkout and the discount will be applied (do not use the buy it now feature, or you will be taken straight to Paypal).

Wildflower The Lace Collection Sneak Peek

Wildflower: The Lace Collection Sneak Peek!
Photo and designs copyright Charlotte Walford 2014

Or you can buy the whole of the ‘Wildflower: The Lace Collection’ eBook here (making a saving on buying the patterns individually) and each pattern will be delivered to your Ravelry library on it’s release.  Eventually there will be at least six different designs available in the collection, which can be purchased individually or as an eBook.  You can find more details on what to expect from the collection here.

I really hope you like the design, self-publishing is fun, but nerve-wracking!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Lottie x

Boo! Ocean Breeze!

The parade of projects from my blog hiatus continues!

This time it’s a rather pretty shawl:

Posh Ocean Breeze

This is my version of Ocean Breeze by Boo Knits, knitted in some rather indulgent Posh Yarn Robynn Sock (100% silk) and Posh Yarn Tabitha Sock (silk and mohair) in a beautiful deep pink shade called ‘May Day Is Lei Day In Hawaii’, with size 5/0 Miyuki triangle beads in Cranberry/Crystal from Crystals and Ice (their service is really good, I can’t praise them highly enough).

Posh Ocean Breeze

If you’re not familiar with Posh Yarn, it’s divine, hand dyed yarn, available in one off, non-repeatable colours (hence the unusual names).  Buying Posh Yarn does require a bit of dedication and possibly ninja skills or fighter pilot standard reactions!  Their shop is updated every Sunday evening at 7pm (details of the upcoming updates can be found on their website as well as their fun and friendly Ravelry group) and with all the yarn being dyed in beautiful one off shades (and no more than 10 skeins of each one available) it sells out within minutes.  I was lucky enough to snag this yarn in a destash, it was one of just a few sets of matching yarn dyed especially for the Boo Knits Midsummer Ocean Breeze KAL.

Posh Ocean Breeze in progress

This in progress photo shows the colour a little better (it’s really difficult to capture it accurately, it’s a bit pinker and less red than most of these photos, but perhaps not quite as pink as the picture above).

Posh Ocean Breeze

This is the second knit-a-long I’ve done this year, and while I did enjoy it, I think I enjoyed the Ysolda Follow Your Arrow KAL more.  The pattern parts were released every few days as well, so not much time between clues, which meant I had absolutely no chance of keeping up!  (Though I did start a week late, as I had something else to finish first for a deadline.)  Also most parts of the pattern were fairly similar to the last part, so while it was a mystery, none of it was that surprising (not that that is necessarily a bad thing, the pattern flows nicely and isn’t disjointed like some patterns which were designed for knit-a-longs).

Posh Ocean Breeze

I think that while I like the crescent shape of the shawl, I’m not keen on the bump at the top of the shawl (which you can see at the top of this photo), despite my best efforts to block it out.  I think it would be better to work a longer garter stitch tab and pick up more stitches from the sides of it to eliminate the bump.  Alternatively, I think it would be less noticeable if the main body of the shawl was worked in garter stitch, as the rows aren’t as tall.  If I made another one, I would definitely fiddle about with the pattern to improve this as it really does get on my nerves!  (I’m fussy I know!)

But on the whole I’m pleased with it.  The lace is very pretty and delicate, it’s a lovely big shawl and drapes beautifully (helped by the beads and the silk based yarns), but I’m not sure I’d make another.  It’s perhaps a little big for my petite 5’3″ frame (thought I could fix that by using smaller needles) and I would prefer a slightly denser fabric (most of the shawl is knitted on 4mm and 4.5mm needles, which I think makes the fabric a little loose and not as neat as it could be, especially under the weight of almost 800 beads).  I do like some of the other Boo Knits designs though, so I’m not ruling out trying another design, but I’d definitely alter the start to eliminate this annoying bump.

Next time, I’ll show you the project that kept me busy before this!  I’m pretty excited about it 🙂

Lottie x

Finally… Hadlow Cowl!

So, here it comes, the first of those exciting new things I’ve been telling you about…..

…. drumroll please…. may I present my new pattern, the Hadlow Cowl!

Hadlow Cowl

Photo copyright Charlotte Walford 2013

….. and my new Ravelry group:

Lottieknits Ravelry group

Oh yes, it’s all kicking off today!

To launch my new pattern (hopefully the first of many) and Ravelry group, I’ll be holding a KAL for this speedy cowl in the group.

To help you join in, you can get the pattern free until midnight BST (British Summer Time) Saturday 11th October 2014 by adding the pattern to your cart and entering the code HadlowKAL at the checkout. 

A very straightforward pattern, this cowl is designed as a stashbuster and the pattern includes instructions for a wide range of yarn weights, from light DK/sport weight right up to chunky (as shown in the cowl above, knitted in the very snuggly Debbie Bliss Paloma).  I made this cowl in an evening, so it’s perfect for quick festive gifts, for those of you who prefer to make them.

The cowl is worked in the round using a clever technique called helical stripes, which eliminates the annoying ‘jogs’ you get at the beginning of each round.  Not tried helical stripes before?  No problem!  The pattern walks you through it, and if you need more help, you can join the KAL and I’ll help you out.

Hadlow Cowl

Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013

There are two versions, a short version, shown above (designed to use two 50g skeins of the same or similar yarns in contrasting colours), and a long version (which you can wrap twice round your neck), shown below (designed to use two 100g skeins), so you can dig out those pretty skeins in your stash that called to you in the shop but you’ve not yet found a pattern for, as well as those odd leftover balls that you just had to keep.  If you’re anything like me, you probably tend to buy the same colours most of the time, so you might find that some of those leftovers go perfectly together!

It even works well in self striping yarns (this one is knitted in Noro Kogarashi):

Hadlow Cowl

Photo Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013

I’m so glad this pattern has finally been released, it’s been along time coming!  I made the cowls last year, when wondering what to do with some of the odd skeins of pretty yarn in my stash, managed to get it tested before Christmas, and was then completely overwhelmed by deadlines for magazine designs, so it went on the back burner.  Then the weather was warming up, so I thought I’d better wait until autumn!  Never mind, having found a lovely tech editor, the pattern is finally ready, so I got there in the end.

Enjoy!

Lottie x

 

Foxy Loxy!

The parade of projects I’ve made while absent from my blog continues!  I’d planned to post this last week, but working on exciting new things has rather got in the way….. but more about the first of those things tomorrow (I know, making you all wait, I’m such a tease).

A few months ago, Knit Now magazine dropped through my letterbox, with a fun little surprise…. a knitting kit!

Now, I’m not usually one for making stuff that comes free with magazines, because usually (wild generalisation alert) the yarn is not especially nice and I don’t particularly want to knit or wear anything made of acrylic when I have a stash of much nicer yarn, just waiting to be knitted up and more ideas than I have time to make (there’s no pleasing some people).

But this kit was different.

For a start the yarn was wool blend and actually quite nice!  and then there was the pattern (Finlay Fox by Barbara Prime), which was more cute than I could handle.  Also, I had some spare safety eyes and toy stuffing in my stash from making a pair of PG Tips/ITV digital monkeys way back when.  I’d just finished a big knitting project too (more about that next week) and wanted to make something quick and slightly silly so it was just meant to be!

First there was a body (knitted flat, with an intarsia patch for his pale tummy):

Finlay the fox kit

Then a bushy foxy tail, some cute pointy ears and little arms……

Fred-in-progress

I decided to sew each piece up as I went along, because although I don’t hate sewing up, or fear it at all, there’s always quite a bit of making up involved in toy patterns, so it doesn’t seem quite such a slog or a test of endurance if you space it out a little.

……. And before I knew it, he was done!

Finished Fred!

I’m particularly pleased with his expression.  Normally I spend ages sewing facial features on to toys, only for them to look weird, so I have to start again.  This process is repeated until either a) I’m happy with it, or b) I’m so sick of the sight of it that I don’t care any more.  I think it’s only been the latter once before, but I do tend to persevere, even if I’m pretty fed up with it, because I’m a perfectionist.  On this occasion I got it right first time!  Yay!

Then, inevitably, I had to name him.  Or, to be more precise, somebody did.  The task fell to my brother (the prospective owner), who decided on Fred, because alliteration is the best strategy for naming such things!

I even took Fred to work, so everyone could have a good gawp at him.  Here he is enjoying some lovely colourful yarn!

Fred at Stash

Isn’t he cute?  You can see Fred on Ravelry here.

Tomorrow, exciting new things…. all together now…. wooooooo!

Lottie x