Siskin

I’ve got another design to tell you about today, but first I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who followed, commented, liked or tweeted about my last-post-but-one, Barmouth.  I was really overwhelmed by your heartwarming responses and I never expected such a big reaction, thank you!

Now I suppose I should tell you about that design, Siskin:

Siskin

Siskin, photographed at Gorton Monastery
(Copyright Dan Walmsley for Practical Publishing 2014, used with kind permission)

Siskin is published in the latest issue of Knit Now Magazine (out today!) as part of a collection inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement (you can see the rest of the collection and the mood board that inspired it on Pinterest here).

My original inspiration for Siskin was the work of William Morris.  I really love the use of flora and fauna in his patterns, such as the famous ‘Strawberry Thief’ print and I wanted to create my own original colour work pattern, using some of the key elements and characteristics of designs from the Arts and Crafts movement.

The more you study various Arts and Crafts style repeating patterns and prints for wallpaper, fabrics, tiles etc, the more you begin to notice recurring themes, such as the use of motifs from the natural world (birds and flowering plants especially), mirroring and hourglass shapes.

After absorbing all these different inspirations and leaving them to ‘brew’ for a bit in my head, I got to work with Stitch Mastery, charting out a repeating pattern through trial and error.  I really enjoy this stage of designing stranded colour work patterns, when you’re really inspired by something it just flows and is very satisfying, just like the endless drawing I used to do as a child.

Eventually, after faffing about with various subtly different ways of representing birds, I came up with a design I was happy with. Then, on to swatching:

Siskin swatch

Siskin swatch
(Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013)

This swatch was knitted in Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply in Tweed Imps (for the background) and Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply in Oyster (for the birds pattern).  I wanted to use a subtly variegated yarn for the background to allow me to use all the rich colours popular in Arts and Crafts designs, without introducing too many different yarns and give the pattern depth.

But what to do with the colour work pattern?  My original idea had been to use it for a small crescent-shaped shawl, but that would be a bit of a faff working to a tight deadline, so I settled on a tablet/e-Reader cosy, just the right size for a Kindle or iPad Mini.

Arts and Crafts tablet case sketch

Arts and Crafts sketch
(Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013)

Of course it didn’t end up as a tablet case did it?  Kate from Knit now emailed me to tell me that she would like my design to be in the magazine, but that they had rather a lot of tablet cosy designs…. could I make it into a hat perhaps?

I panicked for a weekend while I worked out what to do.

The pattern repeat was big, I knew the shaping would probably end up interrupting the pattern messily and that grading it for three adult sizes would be impossible.  But I really wanted to accept the commission, because I was excited about the design.  What to do?

Being a glutton for punishment and not good at saying no to offers of work I decided to offer a couple of alternatives.  A cushion, or a little crescent shawl (my original, rather ambitious plan) perhaps?  Kate replied that either would be fine so I could choose.  So I chose the crescent shawl, because I really wanted to make it!

In due course, the yarn was chosen and sent out to me, (Manos Del Uruguay Silk Blend Fino in Lava #6921 for the background and Topaz #2220 for the birds pattern) and I got to work.  I had a panic about the amount of work I had to do in the time available (with Christmas slap bang in the middle) and got started! After a lot of late nights and only Christmas Day off from the long rows of fairisle, I finished knitting the shawl!  Yay!

Siskin finished!

Siskin finished!
(Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013)

…..it’s just as neat on the back too (I always stranded the background colour above the birds pattern colour – this makes the stitches for the birds pattern very slightly longer and gives it more impact – doing this consistently throughout the whole piece keeps the knitting neat on the right and wrong sides of the work) making the wrong side look almost like a tapestry.

Wrong side vs right side

Wrong side vs right side
(Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013)

So, all the hard work was worth it in the end, just look at the gorgeous photos taken on the photo shoot that Kate arranged at Gorton Monastery:

Siskin

Siskin, photographed at Gorton Monastery
(Copyright Dan Walmsley for Practical Publishing 2014, used with kind permission)

Hope you like it!

Lottie x

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Tian – A rather unusual design story!

Yesterday, I showed you my latest design, Tian, a pair of fairisle mittens that (to my great excitement, as this is a first for me) made the front cover of Let’s Knit! magazine:

Let's Knit Issue 76 February 2014

Copyright Let’s Knit! 2014

At the end of the post I mentioned that Marvin might be involved in the rather daft design story behind these mittens.  Perplexed?  Well, prepare to be less perplexed (and quite possibly think I’m completely mad).

Marvin, for those of you who might be new to this blog, is a rather dapper little meerkat:

Marvin the Meerkat!

Meet Marvin the Meerkat!
(Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013)

I made him about a year ago, after my brother bought me a particularly amusing knitting book for Christmas called ‘Knitted Meerkats’ by Sue Stratford (if you click that link and look at the projects on Ravelry you’ll see that Marvin has many little knitted cousins around the world).  Anyway, meerkats are desert creatures, used to warmer climes than chilly, wet and generally dismal Britain in winter, so Marvin was clearly going to need something to wear.

The book has a section of different meerkats that you can make, each with it’s own outfit, some of with are separate and some sewn on.  One of these is the skiing meerkat who wears a sweater and bobble hat along with his knitted skis.  In the book, the sweater is a fairly simple affair, striped with a small band of fairisle dots in white mohair yarn against a pale blue background, but I had a different picture in my head of the sweater I wanted to make.  To be a true skier, Marvin needed a proper, Nordic style fairisle sweater:

Marvin's Nordic sweater

Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013

I wanted to put a snowflake on the front, but the area to play with was too small, so I charted out the size of the original sweater and fiddled about with the stitches until I had something I liked.  I had to alter the shape of the sweater quite a lot to make it fit, as the stranded pattern changed the tension compared to the original.

It’s so cosy, Marvin even went out in the snow last March:

Marvin's Nordic sweater

Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013

After I’d finished the sweater, my Mum mentioned that she liked the motif, and did I think it would work as an all over pattern?  Never one to refuse a challenge, I started charting, and after a few alterations I knitted a swatch:

Tian Swatch

Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013

Once I’d knitted this, especially after adding the folded picot hem at the top and the corrugated ribbing at the bottom edge, it was clear to me that the swatch wanted to be mittens.  So it was time to sketch:

Tian Mittens Swatch

Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013

I sent it off to Sarah at Let’s Knit and she liked it!  Before I knew it my first choice of yarn (and a personal favourite), Manos Del Uruguay Fino (70% wool, 30% silk) in #2440 Lapis and #2800 Cream had arrived, so last summer I got started and knitted them up!

Tian Mittens

Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013

The pattern goes right the way round the mittens, even on the palms, and the thumbs have their own smaller complementary pattern (I love the thumbs on these!):

Tian Mittens

Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013

(You can tell this was in August from the flowers in the background!)  Then, yesterday, the best bit, seeing them in print:

Tian Mitts

Copyright Let’s Knit! 2014

…. and on the front cover of the magazine, something I certainly never dreamed of when I set out to make Marvin the meerkat a silly, overcomplicated fairisle sweater and wrote this:

Marvin has a sweater, but as I decided to make up a fairisle pattern for it, as the sweater in the book was too simple (i.e. perfectly adequate for anyone without a burning and unnecesary desire for fairisle) – and Marvin deserves only the best ;)

Basically I made a small stuffed meerkat an overcomplicated fairisle sweater (sanity anyone?), which turned into an idea for an overall repeating pattern (which I am swatching), I can’t show it to you, because it might become a design.  *sigh*

Yay!

Let's Knit! Issue 76 cover

Copyright Let’s Knit! 2014

Yes, I am still doing a happy dance.

No you can’t see.

It’s not very dignified.

Happy Knitting lovely blog followers!

Lottie xx

(P.S. Is it wrong for me to be just a little bit chuffed at being in the same magazine as Pauline McLynn, who played Mrs Doyle in Father Ted?  She knits too!)

First front cover!

Exciting news!

I’ve got a design on the front cover of a magazine! Look, these are my blue and white fairisle mittens!

20140116-223341.jpg

This is the latest issue of Let’s Knit! Magazine (Issue 76) out tomorrow (I can’t wait to go and get a copy!) and there is a rather interesting (if slightly daft) design story behind them, but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for that! The mittens are called Tian and you can see them on Ravelry here. I can’t believe my mittens are the cover picture, I’ve had small pictures of my designs on magazine covers before, which is always pretty exciting, but never as the main picture and I love the photos (more pics tomorrow). If I had more energy this evening I’d be bouncing off the walls!

Sorry for the lack of posts recently, I am still here, I’ve not dropped off the face of the earth, just been really, really busy (up until half two in the morning knitting big fairisle sample/lace and cable sample/trying to get a pattern tested/doing tax return kind of busy). And by the weekend I will be again! Don’t get me wrong, busy is good, but busy is also tiring and lacking in social contact (both in person and online) and it makes you feel guilty for not working (even on Christmas Day – I am my own worst boss), so I’m sorry I’ve been off the radar for over a month!

I hope you all had a good holiday season and I’m looking forward to catching up on all your blogs!

More tomorrow (Marvin my be involved in the daft design story – if you can guess how, you can have a little prize from my stash 😉 )!

Lottie xx

Echo Mitts

Exciting news!  I have a pattern in the latest issue of Let’s Knit, out today (Friday 15th November)!

Echo Mitts

Copyright Let’s Knit Magazine 2013 (used with kind permission)

These are my Echo mitts knitted in Manos Del Uruguay Fino (my favourite, I’ve used it so many times and I really love knitting with it) and Rowan Kidsilk Haze (another yarn I keep coming back to).

Like many good ideas, these mitts came from another idea that didn’t work as well as I’d hoped.  I’d had the Manos Fino left over from Cleome and I’d bought one ball of Kidsilk Haze with the intention of combining it with another yarn.

I had intended to swatch for some ruched mittens and picked these yarns out simply because they happened to be near to each other in a rather disorganised section of my stash and I noticed how well they co-ordinated with each other (unusual for two yarns from different manufacturers, as each brand tends to have it’s own colour palette – Debbie Bliss yarns for example often include a duck egg blue in their colour range and Rowan tend to have fewer very bright colours than other brands, Louisa Harding yarns also tend to have a very distinctive palette which crops up across her whole range).

The ruched idea didn’t really work and just looked a mess, but I liked the contrast between the textures of the yarns, so I undid the swatch and started again, working broad stripes (without ruching this time) and a pretty lacy scalloped edging.

Then I added a garter stitch edge on one side and some buttons:

Echo Mitts swatch

Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013

… and a cosy lined hem:

Echo Mitts swatch

Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013

I didn’t really plan the design before swatching, instead just going with whichever design elements I liked best.  Sometimes I think this is when you design best, when the ideas just flow on to your needles without thinking too hard or overanalysing what works and what doesn’t.  Sometimes you just know if you’re happy with it or not.

Then it was time for a sketch:

Echo Mitts sketch

Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013

Once they had been commissioned all that was left was to knit them up (while watching Father Ted on 4od, which kept me sane as I didn’t have very long to make them – but then it’s easy to look sane compared to most of the characters) and write up the pattern – not much if you say it quickly!

It’s been a little while since I made these, but it’s really nice to see them professionally photographed 🙂 I can’t wait to get the sample back, so I can wear them.  They’re really comfy to wear, incredibly light but really warm because the mohair in the Kidsilk Haze traps the heat despite it’s sheer appearance.

Echo Mitts

Copyright Let’s Knit 2013 (used with kind permission)

If you fancy making a pair they don’t take very much yarn, I used less than half a skein of each, so you could easily make two pairs from a skein of each yarn, or use left overs of plain 4ply yarn and laceweight in either coordinating or contrasting colours.  They’d look great in black and white – or how about using Rowan Kidsilk Haze Eclipse or Debbie Bliss Party Angel (both of which have a bit of sparkle) instead of Rowan Kidsilk Haze for a more glamourous look?

Alternatively, if you wanted you could use two 4ply yarns and use up your stash!  I made the sample in a week, so you’ve got plenty of time to make some for Christmas gifts if you’re feeling generous 🙂

Hope you like them!

Lottie x

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

Swirl

Last week I showed you Swirl and promised you a post all about it, so I’m keeping to my word!

In case you’re not a regular reader of my blog (Welcome!  Make yourself at home!) or you have a particularly short memory, this is Swirl, my latest shawl design featured in the current issue of Let’s Knit! Magazine (Issue 69, August 2013):

Swirl Shawl

Copyright Let’s Knit 2013, used with kind permission

I really love the styling in this photo!  But enough of that.  You want to know the design ‘story’ behind the shawl.

I wanted to create a shawl that would work really well with all those pretty variegated yarns that really call to you in the skein, but once you get them home are difficult to find a pattern for.  Obviously you could knit variegated yarn up to any pattern you like, but an intricate lace pattern or detailed cabling would be lost in a highly variegated yarn and all your hard work in knitting something complex would be for nothing.

Just one teeny problem.  I love variegated yarns, and have many in my stash.

I also like more complex interesting patterns.

They say that all designs start with a problem that needs a solution (although I’m sure there would be a more eloquent way of phrasing that) and that was my problem.  Most of the stitch patterns that I swatch in variegated yarn just give me that little niggle in the back of my head that says ‘it’s ok, but it would look better in a solid colour’.  It’s rare that I think a stitch pattern looks just as good in a variegated yarn as it does in a plain one.  So I really needed to find the exception to prove the rule!

Gorgeous yarns from 'Andyfest'

Copyright Charlotte Walford 2012 – 2013

So I had a look through my stash to find the most variegated yarn I had, one with lots of contrast, the sort of yarn that screams ‘If it works in this, it will work with ANY variegated yarn!’ and I came up with a gorgeous skein of Easyknits Biffle-Boo that I bought at Andyfest/Bluefaced Open Weekend last year (such a lovely day out, and such a lot of nice yarn – I did of course buy far too much!).

Then I thought about the usual shawl shapes, and whether there was something a little different I could do.  There are so many beautiful shawl patterns out there, mostly triangular or crescent shaped, but as my stitch pattern would have to be quite simple I thought it needed a shape that would add extra interest.  After all, as long as you have the right number of increases every row, you can put them wherever you want!

With all that in mind, after letting all these thoughts simmer in my head for a bit, I came up with this:

Swirl Swatch

Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013

Large eyelets, for lots of contrast with the stocking stitch sections and an asymmetrical swirl shape for something more unusual!  Plus the swirl shape is easy to wear around your shoulders without it slipping off.

The swatch was fun to knit and I got a bit carried away!  But eventually I cast off with a scalloped edging that flowed nicely out of the eyelet pattern:

Swirl Shawl Swatch

Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013

Now it was sketching time:

Swirl Sketch

Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013

Once the shawl had been accepted I had to choose a more widely available yarn for my design.  This wasn’t difficult – I have a bit of a weakness for Manos Fino (a 4ply version of their popular Silk Blend yarn) and that comes in some pretty variegated colours, so we chose #6881/Jewel, a pretty mix of blue, turquoise, pink and purple.

And here is the finished article 😀 I’m so pleased with how it turned out!

Swirl Shawl

Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013

Rubbish model though!  I enjoyed making it so much I’ve already made another to keep for myself, but more about that when I get some decent photos (I’m waiting for the weather to pick up a bit).

Hope you like it!

Lottie x

I’m so excited!

…. and I just can’t hide it!  *sings and dances badly*

It’s been a bit of a mad week!  I’ve had a really tight deadline to meet on something top secret…….. all I can show you is this:

No peeking!

Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013

But it’s done now!  Yay!  And yesterday I had some very exciting news when I checked Ravelry!

Two of my new designs have been added to the database ready for their release 😀

First, Swirl, a shawl with an unusual construction, in Let’s Knit Magazine Issue 69, August 2013 (out today!):

Swirl Shawl

Copyright Let’s Knit 2013, used with kind permission

This was so fun to make I’ve already made another to keep for myself – it’s just the right mix of interesting and uncomplicated.

Secondly, something I have been keeping quiet for quite a while – one of my designs in going to be featured in a Debbie Bliss book!

My Reversible Mobius Cowl (<—click there to see a much more professional photo) is going to be featured in the upcoming book ‘Creative Cables: 25 Innovative Designs in Debbie Bliss Rialto Yarns’, which is due out in July in America and I think September in the UK (but don’t hold me to that)!

Reversible Cable Mobius

Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013

I’ll tell you more about both these designs in more detail soon, but I think they each deserve a post of their own!

In my fit of excitement last night, having just finished my top secret project and seen my two new designs up on Ravelry (and done my happy dance!) I decided to join Twitter…. eek!  Not really sure if this is a good idea or not, but I’ve done it now, so if you want to follow me or see what I’m up to I’m @Lottieknits :).

Please come and say hello!

Lottie x

Shades of Summer

Strange as it may seem, for once we are having what might be referred to as (whisper it) summer!

If you live in the UK you’ll know why I say this with caution.  If you don’t, you’re probably thinking about just how much I’m playing to the stereotypical image of the British, who only ever talk about the weather and are obsessed with it.

I’d like to be able to dispel this as a myth, but I’m afraid that it is probably fairly accurate.  Most of us have a conversation of some sort (even if it is only brief) about the weather every day.  We have dreadful summers so frequently (last year we had one unseasonably warm week in March and then it rained most of the time, apart from during the majority of the international-athletic-sporting-event-beginning-with-O-that-must-not-be-named) so we do get excited at the prospect of warm and sunny weather and we all feel that we must make the most of it.

Enough conforming to stereotypes!  Back to knitting 🙂

So what has the weather got to do with this post?

Well, inspired by the nice weather, I decided to have a look at what was in bloom in the garden.

Our new Clematis has got flowers… and they’re huge!

Clematis (Pink Champagne)

Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013

I found some pretty Lily of the Valley hiding under some other plants……

Lily of the Valley?

Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013

I love the colour of this Azalea flower, a beautiful rich red with slight pink tones:

Azalea

Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013

Although it was on it’s last legs, this yellow Poppy caught my eye with it’s tiny seeds dancing in the breeze around the remains of the flower and the last, still vivid yellow petal which had not yet faded.

Yellow Poppy

Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013

Though it may not have the prettiest of flowers, I love the colour of the blooms on this Rosemary, a beautiful blue-purple with lavender tones.

Rosemary

Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013

The rest of the red ‘flames’ on the Flame of the Forest had gone, but one solitary ‘flame’ remained and though it is certainly not the most exciting photo ever, I just had to capture the wonderful summery coral shade of the leaves.

Flame of the Forest

Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013

And finally (although not plant related) I took this picture:

Ex-snail

Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013

This snail is no more, it has ceased to be…………. it is an ex-snail and, I suspect, has become a bird’s dinner!

When I got back inside and examined my photos every colour reminded me of something in my stash!  (Well apart from the ex-snail.)

A bouquet of yarns!

Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013

I love these happy floral shades!  Very inspiring 🙂

Clockwise from top left: Manos Fino in #2106/Poppy, Fyberspates Faery Wings in Spring Greens, Manos Fino in #2630/Aster, Rowan Kidsilk Haze in #659/Ultra, Artesano Alpaca DK in #C704/Violet left over from Runa, Fyberspates Vivacious DK in #811/Mixed Magentas and #804/Sunshine, Araucania Botany Lace (this didn’t have a colour number and isn’t usually available in the UK, but the coral colour is fabulous), Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply in #305/Purple and in the centre, a skein of Natural Dye Studio Precious 4ply in Coombe Martin and a tiny left over scrap of Easyknits Biffle-Boo in Simmering Summer Nights.

What are your favourite shades?  Does your garden inspire you to knit with more floral summery colours at this time of year?

Lottie x

Avocetta

Avocetta Capelet

Avocetta
Photograph Copyright Dam Walmsley for Practical Publishing 2013 (used with permission)

I’m lucky enough to have a design in the latest issue of Knit Now Magazine (Issue 21, which is out today)!  I love the photos!  They are styled exactly as I imagined when I designed the capelet.

Avocetta Capelet

Avocetta
Photograph Copyright Dam Walmsley for Practical Publishing 2013 (used with permission)

Avocetta is a pretty little capelet featuring twisted stitches, lace with integrated shaping, pleats and i-cord ties incorporated into an i-cord cast off.  It’s sized to fit UK size 8 – 26 and only uses 100g of Manos Del Uruguay Fino for all sizes (I loved using this yarn for Cleome, so I was excited to have a second opportunity to use it).

But enough of all that – you want to know how it was designed!

The theme for this particular issue was Tea Dance, which immediately got me thinking of pretty, feminine things, lace, full-skirted dresses and things to wear with them.

With this in mind I got to thinking about capelets.  I wanted something with an edge that wasn’t straight, but I still wanted it to look delicate.  I didn’t want the edge itself to be too lacy though, as I wanted it to hold its shape.  I kept thinking about all these things until they crystallised a little more.  Then I started thinking about birds and their feathers.

Eventually all these things combined in a swatch:

Avocetta swatch

Swatchy swatchy!
(Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013)

I chose twisted stitches for the edge of the capelet and then a succession of feather shaped lace patterns gradually decreasing towards the top of the swatch.  Thinking about the shaping of those full-skirted dresses, I added pleats at the top of the swatch.  I wanted to add an i-cord to tie it around your shoulders, but I thought a neater solution was required.  Why not run the i-cord ties into an i-cord cast off?  That would make the top edge nice and neat, with no fiddly ribbons to lose and best of all….. no finishing!!

Swatch knitted, it was time to sketch, making sure I got across the feel of the design and the sort of styling I imagined:

Avocetta Sketch

Avocetta Sketch
(Copyright Charlotte Walford 2012-2013)

Now you can see why I’m so pleased with the styling and photos – it really is just as I imagined!

If you want to see more Avocetta goodness, you can check it out on Ravelry here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/avocetta and if you want to see me looking tired and wearing the sample 😮 you can look at my project page here

Hope you all like it 🙂

Lottie x

Cleome

Cleome Shawlette

Cleome Shawlette
(Image Copyright Artesano 2012, used with kind permission)

I’ve not had many designs to share with you lately (a few to come, but I can’t tell you anything about those yet), so I thought I really should get round to telling you about Cleome that was published by Artesano last year as part of a collection of designs for the delicious new Manos Del Uruguay Fino yarn (a 4ply weight version of their popular Silk Blend yarn).

Cleome Shawl

Cleome Shawl
(Image Copyright Artesano 2012, used with kind permission)

I wanted to design a top down shawl with an intricate border that incorporated increases into the pattern, avoiding the need to keep increasing down the spine and edges of the shawl when concentrating on a detailed lace pattern.  Something that would be interesting to knit, but is actually much simpler than it looks.

Cleome Shawl

Cleome Shawl
(Image Copyright Artesano 2012, used with kind permission)

I also wanted to experiment with different ways of increasing to create buds of different sizes within a lace pattern……

Cleome Shawlette

Cleome Shawlette
(Image Copyright Artesano 2012, used with kind permission)

…… eventually blossoming into beautiful flowers reminiscent of Cleome (the Latin name of the Spider flower), hence the name I chose………

Cleome Shawl and Shawlette

Cleome features a beautifully intricate lace border with picot edge
(Image Copyright Charlotte Walford 2012)

…..and finished with a pretty picot cast off.  Even the spine of the shawl is a little different, featuring a lacy mock cable that flows into the main pattern, and there are written instructions for the lace as well as charts, so you can use whichever you prefer.

The pattern is available in two sizes, a shawlette (shown here in purple) which is perfect to wear as a scarf or a little cover up for your shoulders….

Cleome Shawlette

Cleome Shawlette
(Image Copyright Charlotte Walford 2012)

…… and a larger shawl (shown here in red), which would make a gorgeous versatile accessory to wear to any occasion.

Cleome Shawlette

Cleome Shawlette
(Image Copyright Charlotte Walford 2012)

I hope you like it!  I think it is the design I am most proud of so far :), particularly because of the lace!

Lottie x