Something to keep me quiet…

… I’ve been a bit quiet on here recently, but for good reason.  I’m working on another new design at the moment and swatching, charting and sketching a few others in my spare moments (not many of those at right now) before I forget them.  That’s the trouble with ideas.  Sometimes one idea will turn out to be a jumping off point for several others and before you know it you have too many ideas to knit.  I always seem to get the best ideas when I don’t have the time to take them any further, but if I jot them down now, hopefully I can pick them up again when I have some time.

Before I go any further, I’d just like to thank you for your kind comments on my swirl shawl that I showed you last time 🙂 I’m so glad you liked it and I love reading your comments!

As usual, I can’t tell you anything about what I’m knitting at the moment, except that it requires yarn and several different pointy sticks!  You’ll have to be patient or use your imagination 😉

So what can I tell you about?  Well, not much really, but I can tell you about a re-release of one of my patterns from Knit Now Magazine, Glacier (if you missed it, you can read about the design process behind Glacier here):

Beaded Hat using drop stithc pattern

Glacier Hat from Knit Now Issue 16
Photograph Copyright Dan Walmsley for Practical Publishing used with kind permission

I’m lucky enough to have had Glacier chosen as one of the patterns to be featured in a ‘best of’ bookazine for Knit Now called 70 Beautiful Knits yay!  (All the patterns in the bookazine have been previously published in Knit Now Magazine.)

If you’re looking out for it this picture might help (hat not included)!

70 Beautiful Knits

I’ve even got a picture of my design on the back cover – bottom right – (whoop, whoop!):

Look!  It's on the back cover!

You can get the bookazine on the publisher’s website here and in larger newsagents in the UK.

I will, at some point self publish Glacier on Ravelry, as I now have the rights to the pattern back, as well as the sample.  I’m not quite sure when this might be though, as I need to re-make the sample in a colour that makes me look less like a corpse (I’m too pale to wear this shade of blue, much as I like it and unless you know any willing models, muggins here will have to attempt to strike a pose)!  I’m also contemplating another matching accessory pattern to go with it (a shawl/shawlette/scarf perhaps?) to sell as an eBook as well as selling the patterns individually (the eBook would be priced cheaper than buying the individual patterns) – what do you think?

I’ve not done much self publishing before, so I’d really appreciate your views!  What do you like to see in downloadable patterns?  Let me know!

Lottie x

WIP Amnesty: Part 3 – Runa

Next on my WIP list is this, Runa:

Runa (fairisle hat) in progress

Runa in progress
(Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013)

Runa is one of my designs for Artesano and  you may have seen it in one another guise as one of the patterns in the Artesano Nordic Collection 2011 and also in Let’s Knit Magazine (Issue 51) about a year ago.

Runa Fairisle Hat

(Copyright Artesano 2011 used with kind permission)

I started this one back in January last year, and it really should be finished by now, but various design commissions have had to take priority, and usually once I have finished those I either have more ideas to explore and swatch, or I want to cast on something new that I have never knitted before or something mindless which I will inevitably get bored of (i.e. acres of stocking stitch) because my brain is crying ‘Enough!  No more thinking, please!’.   So although fairisle isn’t that hard, I end up putting it off.

I could have taken Runa on holiday with me to finish, but as this version needs 4 balls of yarn, it just wasn’t practical, as I only have the crown left to do and I would have packed all the yarn I could fit in my case and then finished it and had NO KNITTING, which is obviously unthinkable.

Runa Superwash Merino Swatch

My original Runa Swatch in Artesano Superwash Merino DK
(Copyright Charlotte Walford 2011)

Anyway, back to the project itself.  The reason I wanted to make another Runa is that originally submitted two colour schemes for this design. One in Artesano Superwash Merino DK, and one in Artesano Alpaca DK.  In the end the Nordic Collection was worked in Superwash Merino DK (in two colours), but I still wanted to make a version in alpaca as I love some of the heathered shades that are available, especially in colourwork.

Runa Swatch in Artesano DK

My swatch for the alternative Runa colourway in Artesano DK
(Copyright Charlotte Walford 2011)

Runa was inspired by Viking carvings and heart shapes traditionally found in Scandinavian knitwear, so I wanted to reflect this in the two different colour schemes.

The idea with this colour scheme was to show a different side to the design.  To me, when you stripe the background in more girly colours the swirls look like little hearts, compared to the original two colour version which has a more graphic abstract look.  I like the way that with just a few changes like this colourwork patterns can take on a very different appearance.

Runa hat in progress (wrong side)

Even the wrong side has to be neat – I’m a perfectionist!
(Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013)

So as you can see, it’s not as if I have fallen out of love with Runa, we just needed some time apart.  But I want to get this finished (before summer – such as it is in Britain – arrives)!

Next time……… a finished hat!!  🙂

Lottie x

WIP Amnesty Part 2: Finished again!

The Marathon finishing spree continues with something that hasn’t been on the needles quite as long as the last project was.

This is Wagtail by Louisa Harding from her recent book of accessories Mr Magpie which I was lucky enough to get signed by Louisa when she visited Stash last September as part of her Himalayan Hiking Hats fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support (do spare a moment to look at these pages if you can).

Wagtail Hat crown

I’ve only had this on the needles since about October or November, so by my standards not so long!  This was one of those projects that I started and then had to leave in order to knit new designs, so I didn’t stop this because I was bored.

Wagtail Hat welt

I really enjoyed knitting this.  As with all of Louisa’s patterns it was fun to knit, and the stitch patterns flow into each other in a very pleasing way, right from the mock cable rib, through the lace pattern, to the mock cables at the crown.  You can tell that this design has had a lot of thought put into it.

Wagtail Hat pattern transition

Oh and the yarn is beautiful.  The colour!  The beads!  The sheen!  The silky texture!  The colour!  (Can you tell I love the colour?)

It’s knitted in Louisa Harding Grace Silk Wool and Grace Hand Beaded in a beautiful sapphire blue (Grace shade #11 and Grace Hand Beaded shade#013).

Wagtail Hat lace

I love the combination of the Grace and Grace hand beaded in the same colour.  There are just enough beads to give a little sparkle, but not so much that it distracts from the lace pattern and with the coordinating colour of non-beaded Grace, you can space the beads out more.

I really enjoyed making this, and I loved using these yarns so much that I am already planning another project in these yarns.  I really like Louisa’s unashamedly feminine style and I have a few of her books, so watch this space.

One more WIP to finish and then I will allow myself to start one new project 🙂

Keeping score

No. of WIPs now (assuming I really did have 7 to begin with): 5

No. of FOs (Finished objects): 2

Next time…….fairisle!

Lottie x

All photographs Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013

Glacier Hat

Once again it’s been mad – one day I will have some time to blog consistenly/rest/socialise/knit something I get to keep/do Christmas shopping in something other than a blind panic (ie yesterday afternoon)!  However the considerable upside of all this is that I’ve got a couple of exciting things that I will be able to tell you about next year.  Yay!  But not yet.

Until then, I’ve got a newly published design in Knit Now Issue 16 to tell you about 🙂

If you know me, then you also probably know that I have a weakness for hats.  I also am a bit of a magpie, especialy where beads are concerned, so what better way to combine the two than in a beaded hat?

I had a skein of pale icy blue Manos Silk Blend (shade #7338 Aquarius – not usually my sort of colour, but perfect for this design) in my stash, which I bought with the idea of swatching it with pale sparkly beads, keeping to the icy theme, and an idea for an unusual way of encorporating beads into one of my favourite stitch patterns.

So after a bit of swacthing and a sketch, I sent it off to the lovely Kate at Knit Now, and it got accepted – yay!

Design sketch of Glacier Hat

My sketch!
Image Copyright Charlotte Walford 2012

So here it is – and what else would I call it but Glacier?

Beaded Hat using drop stithc pattern

Glacier Hat from Knit Now Issue 16
Photograph Copyright Dan Walmsley for Practical Publishing (used with kind permission)

Beads are knitted into alternate panels of the drop stitch pattern replacing the ladders that you usually get (knitting them into every panel would have made that hat a bit too heavy), and in between the drop stitches, there are tiny mock cables which continue from the welt into the main pattern……

Stitch details (little cables and beads

Stitch pattern detail – I love these little mock cables – so satisfying to knit!
Image Copyright Charlotte Walford 2012

…..and the pattern comes together satisfyingly at the crown.

Back detail of Glacier Hat

Back detail – I love the convergence of the pattern!
Photograph Copyright Dan Walmsley for Practical Publishing (used with kind permission)

If you fancy giving Glacier a go, remember to choose a yarn with a high wool content.  Manos Silk Blend may have silk in it, but it is 70% wool – really important for this pattern, as you need the hat to keep its shape under the weight of the beads (the hat is also seamed to help keep it from stretching, and all this means that it keeps its shape perfectly).  Talking of beads, I got mine from Debbie Abrahams Beads, (size 6 clear beads) I chose clear silver lined beads, but there are lots of other colours to choose from.  I’m really tempted to make another version in brighter colours – maybe with more than one colour of beads….hmmm………no one minds if they don’t get a Christmas card or gift do they?!

If you want to get your hands on this pattern, and lots of other lovely patterns, Knit Now Issue 16 is in the shops now, and you can also find it here at Stash!

Merry Christmas!

Lottie x

P.S. Yes, I am also on page 3 of Knit Now – my answer to the designer question got picked 🙂 yay! (and no it isn’t that sort of page 3 – thank goodness)!