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

 

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Maybe it was the vampires……

Eek!  It’s been over a week since I last posted, and that certainly wasn’t the plan.  But why has it been so long?

Well, last week was a Bank Holiday Weekend in the UK (so we had Monday off – yay!) and I was looking forward to it.  I had ideas for swatching and sketching that I wanted to get done and I had it all planned out.

Saturday: Finish swatching.

Sunday: Do sketches for the swatches that worked.

Monday: Relax!  The work is done!  Wayhey!  Maybe write another blog post if you feel like it.

As you’ve probably guessed by now, this was not what happened.

Saturday:

Wake up!  It’s a nice sunny day and Spring or Summer or something resembling it looks to have arrived!  Be happy, you’ve been waiting for it since March (when we had six inches of snow)!

Snow in March

Snow in March
Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013

Have breakfast in a sunny kitchen.  Decide the sun is maybe not agreeing with your eyes.  Feel a bit of a headache starting.  Take paracetamol.  Ignore it.

Develop killer migraine that makes you feel not only headachy, but nauseous every time you move.  Even if you just move your head.  Like you’re on a boat (and as anyone who has ever been on a boat with me will know, I am really not a good sailor.  I get seasick on lakes.  Calm lakes.  Even when the boat hasn’t set off yet, but is just rocking slightly as other people get on.  Urgh.).  Draw the curtains and put on sunglasses because you can’t stand the light.  Wonder if you’ve become a vampire.  Feel frustrated and awful.  Get nothing done.

Sunday: See above – more of the same.  Gah!

Monday: Feel slightly better but still pretty awful.  Spend all day trying to decide how to finish a swatch, when it should only have taken an hour.  Meh.

As a result I’ve spent the rest of the week trying to make up for lost time (in between going to work) and finally got finished on Thursday.  *Sigh*  Obviously I can’t show you any of the swatches, but I can show you this, the unseen side of knitwear design:

Yarn cakes

Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013

These cakes of yarn have dangling from them on circular needles all the swatches that didn’t work out (I did these before last weekend).

This is the thing I hardly ever see written about knitwear design, the rubbish half-baked ideas that didn’t come out right.  (It’s not helped by the fact that I am so picky.  If I don’t love it, and I mean really love the idea, so much that I can’t wait to cast it on right now, then it doesn’t see the light of day.)  I’m sure everyone has them – well I hope so – but it is rarely acknowledged that one of the most important things about designing is know when something just isn’t working and knowing what to leave out.

You have the perfect vision in you head, but somehow it just doesn’t want to come out of your head and on to your needles.  What makes it onto your needles is something that isn’t quite there yet.  Something that still needs work.  Either the yarn isn’t right, or the stitch you’re trying to invent is messing with your head, or just didn’t look how your fantasy design did when you dreamt it up.

I’m not going to show you the swatches, because there is still mileage in them yet, and I’ll probably frog them (the yarn is too nice to waste) and try again.  They are really the evolution of an idea.  I think they’re getting there, but maybe the idea just needs a bit more brewing time.  When it’s had the time it needs to simmer in my head it might just become really exciting.  I’m holding out for that moment.

Hopefully this weekend will be better than the last.

I blame the vampires.

Lottie x

P.S. In an exciting development, my Moon River Shawlette was mentioned on the Noro Yarns Facebook page today!  How exciting!  You can check out the Facebook page here and Moon River is available on Ravelry here

Moon River Shawlette

Moon River Shawlette
Copyright Charlotte Walford 2012

Because I love you….

I’ve put a very special offer on my Moon River pattern until the end of August (23.59 GMT on 31st August 2012)!

Moon River Shawlette

Moon River, a little crescent shaped shawlette knitted in Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn

If you would like to make this fabulous little shawlette, you can get £1 off the pattern simply by entering the code: Lottieknits here

Enjoy! ♥

Moon River

Hello, and welcome to my brand new blog!

I start my first post in a rather over excited mood, having just released my first self published pattern:

Moon River

Moon River Shawlette

Moon River, a little crescent-shaped shawlette knitted in Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn shade #264

I’ve had patterns published before through my work with the lovely people at Artesano yarns (do pop over to their website if you can and sign up for their newsletter, which includes free patterns), but this is the first time that I’ve taken the plunge and done the whole process from idea, to knitted sample, to pattern and layout, and finally to publishing, by myself, although I did have some help from my friend and colleague Les, who very kindly test knitted and pattern checked for me, making this gorgeous version of Moon River in the process:

Moon River Shawlette

Les’ version of Moon River in Silk Garden Sock shade #301

Thank you Les!

Moon River is a little crescent-shaped shawlette with a simple crochet edging that should be manageable for even those new to crochet.  It is worked from the bottom up, then shaped with short rows and decreases into a gentle crescent shape.  I’ve also incorporated shaping into the tips like this:

Shaped tips of the shawlette

Shaping at the tips of the shawlette

The whole shawlette is then edged with a simple scalloped crochet edging.  Et viola!  One pretty little shawlette that shows off the beautiful colours in just 2 skeins of Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn.

Moon River is available to buy on Ravelry or here:

I hope you like it – I would love to see your own versions!

Thanks for taking the time to pop over and have a look, I hope that you might become a regular visitor.

Lottie x