Wild Poppies shawl – now available!

I have something really exciting to share with you today; a new shawl pattern!

Meet Wild Poppies; the latest addition to my eBook ‘Wildflower: The Lace Collection‘.

The petal pattern reminds me of the shape of poppy petals, hence the name!

Wild Poppies by Charlotte Walford

Copyright Jesse Wild/Charlotte Walford

This one has been quite some time in the making, so I’m delighted that I finally have it ready to share with you.

To celebrate the launch, there’s 20% off this pattern (no code needed) until the end of Monday (23.59 BST on Monday 13th July 2015).

Wild Poppies features an unusual lace patterned spine and a border inspired by poppy petals; which you can bead as much or a little as you like.  I’ve beaded the spine and the border in the purple variegated version (shown above) but in the red version (shown below) I’ve just added beads to the very edge.  The pattern provides options for both versions so you can really make the shawl your own.

Wild Poppies By Charlotte Walford

Copyright Jesse Wild/Charlotte Walford

I’ve designed this shawl to be knitted in just one skein of either heavy lace (lace weight yarn with around 600m/100g skein) or 4ply weight yarn (with around 400m/100g skein) and the lace pattern works well with solid or lightly variegated yarns so you can easily pick a favourite skein from your stash and make something pretty with it (if you’re anything like me then you’ll have quite a lot of single skeins to choose from).  There’s also a handy table of estimated yarn and bead quantities in case you want to make a larger or smaller shawl.

As usual with my patterns, all lace patterns have both charts and written instructions so you can work from whichever you prefer and the charts are provided on a separate page at the end of the pattern, so there’s no wasted paper if you don’t want to use them.

Wild Poppies by Charlotte Walford

Copyright Jesse Wild/Charlotte Walford

So, why design this shawl?

I loved the original border pattern I designed for my Rockrose Wrap so much I wanted to incorporate it into a heart shaped shawl, not just by adapting it into an expanding border pattern, but also using it to add interest to the increases at spine of the shawl as well, creating a softer, more flattering shape than a traditional triangular shawl.

I’ve thought for a while that the design opportunities that the spine of a triangular shawl presents are to often ignored.  Just because you have to work increases doesn’t mean they always have to be a straight line of yarn overs!  Why not use a different increase or make a feature of it?  It certainly makes the body of the shawl more fun and interesting to work!

Wild Poppies By Charlotte Walford

Copyright Jesse Wild/Charlotte Walford

I think it’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever made, (even if I do say so myself) but I can’t claim all the credit, the beautiful yarn I used certainly helps; Posh Yarn Lorelei Sock (the purple variegated shawl) and Posh Yarn Valerie Heavy Lace (the red shawl).  Unfortunately Valerie Heavy Lace is being discontinued, but Posh Yarn are having one last update with the yarn this Sunday at 7pm.  If you miss out on that, their Diana Heavy Lace or Miranda Heavy Lace yarns would both make lovely substitutes.

Hope you like it!

Lottie x

Thanks to Jeni from Fyberspates and the amazing Jesse Wild, who took these lovely photos of me and the shawl on their photoshoot earlier this year and also to my lovely test knitters. 

 

 

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Karma Chameleon!

So, the second challenge of Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2013 (having yesterday failed to choose a house that sums me up as a knitter) is to choose a project that reflects the qualities and attributes of your house.

So I guess I need to either pick a house or invent a new one.

Darn.

*scrabbles around for a bit of paper and a pen*

*doodles*

*faffs about ineptly on Photoshop*

Ta-dah!

I hereby give you the house of the Chameleon:

House of Chameleon Crest

Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013

Chameleons like many different types of project and are likely to have a WIP to suit every mood and whim. One day they might prefer the comfort of a simple project, the next a challenging project with new techniques knitted to a perfect and exacting standard. They are indecisive, sometimes to the point of frustration. (It is a woman’s prerogative to change her mind!)

House chosen/created! What a rebel 😉

So what might I choose to make? Errm…… well that’s the thing about Chameleons……. they’re not really sure which project to cast on first. One day I think I know what I want to knit and am really excited about it, and then the next day I look at what I had in mind and think it’s all a bit, well…. meh.

Because of this I tend to have a lot of different ideas about what I want to make floating about in my head while I decide if it is really what I want to make or not. But this one has been on my mind for a little while. Last year I joined the Easyknits Sushi Shawl Roll Club and I got this:

Easyknits Sushi Shawl Roll

Now these are not really my sort of colours (but there are many colours that change as you knit – like a Chameleon! Do I get extra points for that?), but that’s how the club works, it’s a mystery, so I’m fine with that. But I do want to use it for something as it’s a really soft and squishy Merino/Cashmere blend. I like the blue, but orange and yellow don’t really suit me so I need to find a way of keeping the blue near my face and the rest of the colours away from it. The best idea for this that I’ve thought of so far is a top down shawl, starting at the blue end and working down to the yellow and orange (but I will have to rewind the shawl roll to do this as the top unravelling end where you start to pull the yarn from is in the orange section).

But which pattern?

How about Lyrica Euterpe by Romi Hill? I like these sort of little shawls and wear them a lot as scarves, and this has an interesting construction, beginning with a semi-circle and then switching to a traditional central spine in the lace border. You can also add beads, although as the yarn is busy that might be a bit much!

What do you think? Should I go for it? Do you want to join the House of Chameleon? Leave a comment below to let me know 🙂

Lottie x

Finish line: Part 1

My Holden Shawlette is finished!

Finished Holden Shawlette

Finished!!

I am so pleased with how this has knitted up and the way that the colours look in the edging.

Holden Shawlette edging

Pretty edging!

I needn’t have worried about the unevenness of the stitches either, as they all evened out perfectly with blocking.

Holden Shawlette

Despite feeling bored with this project earlier, I really enjoyed finishing it off and I am really chuffed with the result 🙂

Holden Shawlette corner

Great pattern = Perfect shawl corners

The pattern is well written and includes written directions and charts (I love charts, but they don’t suit everyone, so it’s great to have both options), and the corners of the shawl are well thought out, so the edging pattern doesn’t stop abruptly when it reaches them.

Holden Shawlette corners

Did I mention how much I love the colours?

Holden Shawlette

If you fancy making a Holden Shawlette by Mindy Wilkes you can download the pattern for free on Ravelry.  There are over 5000 projects for this pattern on Ravelry, so there’s lots of inspiration for different yarns to try.  I used Jillybean Supersock in the ‘Lola’ shade which is 100% BFL and blocks out nicely, but a drapey yarn with silk in would be beautiful.

Once again thank you to Helen and Steve for the gift of this yarn 🙂 I enjoyed knitting it up!

Keeping score

So now for an update on the WIP (works in progress) count!

No. of WIPs before:

Unknown (I’m not going to excavate the whole stash just to find them!), ok so there are about seven that I can think of, but there’s probably more lurking somewhere. 

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

5 (I’ve finished another, but more of that next time)

No. of FOs (Finished objects):

2 (including the one I’ve not shown you yet!)

The WIP Amnesty continues……have you finished anything recently?

Lottie x

All photographs Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013

WIP Amnesty: Part 1 – Holden Shawlette

My name is Lottie, and I have too many WIPs (works in progress).

So, in order to encourage myself to get some of them finished (just some, not all, let’s not get too ambitious!), I thought I should share some of them with you.

My trouble is that once I’ve finished working on a design sample, I want to start something new and exciting, which I then don’t get finished before I start on another sample………..and then once I’ve finished that sample, I want to start something new and exciting…….and so on, and so on.

Obviously this cannot continue – I want finished things!  Buying new needles because the size I need are on another project has to stop.

So, WIP no.1:

Holden Shawlette in progress

Holden Shawlette in progress

This is my version of the Holden Shawlette by Mindy Wilkes, knitted in Jillybean Supersock that was given to me for my Birthday a couple of years ago by my bosses Helen and Steve (yes, I have nice bosses who give yarny gifts!) Lucky me!

The yarn is nice, but as you can see from the picture it knits up a bit unevenly on 4mm needles (this needs larger needles so it will drape nicely when I’ve blocked it), but I’m sure it will block out when I’ve finished.

The big problem with this project is I’ve got a bit bored.  There is quite a lot of stocking stitch before you get to the border and although I want to enjoy knitting simple, mindless things where someone else has done all the thinking for me, I find it hard.  I want my knitting to engage me, make me wonder what is coming next and have little landmark bits, so I can say ‘I’ll just do one more pattern repeat’ or ‘I’m going to get that interesting transition to the next stitch pattern done before I stop’ these sort of things motivate me to finish something.  Stocking stitch has none of this, but it still looks better than most stitches do in hand dyed yarns, with the exception of all wavy Old Shale and Feather and Fan type patterns….. and this has both of these things, so it seemed a good choice.

Anyway, as this shawlette has been a WIP since AUGUST(!!) it’s high time I finished it…………

……….and yesterday I did!  It’s all blocked out too 🙂 so next time…….pictures!

What would you hand in to the WIP Amnesty?

Lottie x

Progress so far…….part 2!

So what else did I make from my pile of yarn from Andyfest?  Well, so far only one other item, but hopefully I will get some more done this year.

I’d been thinking that I should really make an Ishbel for a while, as it is such a pretty shawlette and I love shawlettes (in case you have been living under the knitting equivalent of a rock for the past few years, Ishbel is a shawl pattern by Ysolda Teague which has acheived cult status, and at the time of writing nearly 12,000 projects on Ravelry!).

One of the *ahem* three skeins of Fyberspates Faery Wings I got at Andyfest was a gorgeous cherry red colour, which I bought with my Mum in mind.  It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to make anything for her, so I thought it was time to sort that out.  Quite a few people have made Ishbel in Faery Wings, so it seemed like a safe bet (Faery Wings is a bit shorter than most 100g skeins of 4ply yarn, so I wanted to be sure I would have enough).

I started my Ishbel on holiday back in September after I’d finished Rosaleen and had hoped to be able to finish in time for Christmas, but with other things to do between then and now it was not to be, however I finally finished at the weekend!

Ishbel

Ishbel
(Photo copyright Charlotte Walford 2013)

Isn’t the colour of the yarn beautiful?  I confess that if this was for anyone other than my Mum, I would have had great difficulty in giving it away!

Ishbel edging

Ishbel edging – just look at the pretty points!
(Photo copyright Charlotte Walford 2013)

Faery wings has a beautiful drape (thanks to the high silk content) which is great for shawls, it blocks nicely (good for lace) and has a halo of mohair that just makes the fabric divine.  I even have a little bit left, which I might be able to use if I combine it with something else.

I made the smaller size, which is a nice size to wear as a scarf, and not so big that you get fed up before it is finished.

I enjoyed the pattern (I especially love the points at the end of the border) and even though it was a long time in between casting on and casting off, it didn’t really take that long to finish in terms of time spent actually knitting it instead of just thinking about knitting it!

If you’ve not made a top down shawl before, this would be a good place to start, as like most of Ysolda’s patterns, this pattern includes both charted and written directions for the lace (perfect for chart lovers and chart phobics alike).

Just two more skeins of Faery Wings to go!

Lottie x

Progress so far….

It’s been a little while since I went to Andyfest and came back with all that yarn *ahem*.

Unfortunately for the yarn/fortunately for designing I’ve not had much time for non-work knitting since then, so I’ve not made much, but actually having finished something(s) by now is quite good by my usual standards!

First, I made this lovely shawlette while I was on holiday all the way back in September.  The pattern is Rosaleen by Rachel Coopey with a skein of Easyknits Cloud in the ‘Petrolhead’ shade (I’m a bit of a motorsport fan, so it seemed quite appropriate):

Rosaleen Shawlette

Rosaleen Shawlette
(Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013)

I love the edging on this, the bottom edging reminds me of flowers and features beautiful twisted stitches (I love twisted stitches).

Rosaleen edging

Rosaleen edging

The top edging is a twisted stitch rib that ties in with the bottom edge nicely.  Did I mention how much I love these twisted stitches?

Although I finished the knitting on holiday, it is a little bit difficult to block shawls in a hotel room, and I didn’t fancy trying to take pins on a plane just for that, so it did languish unblocked for a while before I got round to that bit, hence the lack of photos until now.

It’s a great pattern and it made a good holiday knit, being in DK weight yarn it was fairly quick to do.

The yarn is gorgeous and works well with the twisted stitches and the lace, although I was cutting it a bit fine with the yardage, as the recommended yarn is quite a bit longer per skein.  I had several moments of doubt about whether I would have enough, and spent a lot of time nearer the end of the shawlette working out how I could shorten the edging if necessary, as well as nervously measuring out the remaining yarn.  So if you’re planning on making this in the same yarn I would get an extra skein, especially as I knit fairly tightly, so I tend to use a bit less yarn.

Happily though I had just about enough to finish it as per the pattern, with a tiny ball of yarn the size of a cherry tomato left over!

Come back tomorrow for the second finished item!

Happy New Year!

Lottie x

Bluefaced Open Weekend (or ‘Andyfest’!)

Last weekend I was lucky enough to go to a very exciting event with some of my friends from Stash, the Bluefaced Open Weekend,  (or ‘Andyfest’ as it has become known on Ravelry!).

Now I know some of you will be thinking ‘More yarn and knitting things?  What a busman’s holiday!’ and while I suppose you may have a point (and I did see and chat to lots of lovely Stash customers – it was lovely to see you all!) I did thoroughly enjoy myself, and of course, I may have sucumbed to temptation/been weak willed bought a small cough amount of yarn, purely for ahem, research purposes, you understand.

One of the many things that were really nice about Andyfest was the relaxed atmosphere.  There were stands from Easyknits, Posh Yarn, The Natural Dye Studio, Fyberspates, The Knitting Goddess, Nicsknots, Babylonglegs, Felt Studio, Ann Kingstone and Laughing Hens but nothing was too crowded and there was plently of space to sit and chat with a cup of tea and a piece of cake in between stroking yarns!

I didn’t get many photos as I was too busy having a great time and buying lovely yarn, but in case you missed out on all the fun, here’s why you really must come if it happens again (I’ve got my fingers crossed that it does!)

The Natural Dye Studio stand

Beautiful yarns and stunning crocheted blankets on The Natural Dye Studio stand

These stunning blankets from the Natural Dye Studio are in Amanda’s new book ‘Into the West’.  My favourite one was the rainbow graduated one next to the yarns, Rita.

Fyberspates and Felt Studio stands

Gorgeous yarns at Fyberspates and amazing handspun at Felt Studio

There were some gorgeous yarns on the Fyberspates stand, and I may have had a moment of weakness/madness and bought 3 skeins of absolutely divine Fyberspates Faery wings, which is to die for.

And at the end of all this I came home with a lovely pile of gorgeous yarns!

Gorgeous yarns from 'Andyfest'

Gorgeous yarns!

Fyberspates Faery wings, Posh Yarn Natasha and Sylvia 4ply ‘orphans’, Easyknits Twinkle DK and 4ply, Cloud and Biffle-Boo, a pack of Mini skeins in Flower Power from The Knitting Goddess, and a skein of Precious 4ply from the Natural Dye Studio…….

Nicsknots project bag

Fabulous Nicsknots project bag – big enough to hold even a sweater WIP!

….and a bag from Nicsknots to put it all in (well, maybe not all at once!).

Did any of you go to ‘Andyfest’?  What did you get?

Lottie x

P.S. The offer on Moon River has been extended……

Get ready for Autumn!

Get £1 (GBP) off Moon River until 00:00 GMT on 1st October 2012!

Discount is automatically applied at the checkout. Enjoy! ♥