colorwork

New Knitting Pattern: Besotted

In all the Christmas / New Year’s / hospital / family-visiting-from-the-States kerfuffle, I haven’t yet posted about my new knitting pattern! I just managed to get it out a few weeks ago and it’s available on Ravelry, at the bottom of this post and via the sidebar to the right (you do not need a Ravelry account to purchase!).

The pattern is called Besotted, because really, what else could I call a colorwork cowl covered in big, squishy hearts?! I suppose I’m a little bit biased, but it would be a perfect project to cast on right away and wear in the lead-up to Valentine’s Day next month – am I right or am I right?

Besotted is a deliciously luxurious slouchy cowl; from the very beginning, I planned this project with Shilasdair Luxury DK in mind because it really is the most gorgeous yarn on earth. It’s wonderful for colorwork because it has a lovely rustic quality and makes knitting even colorwork easy-peasy – but the angora and cashmere content make it an incredibly soft, lofty and drapey yarn. The best of both worlds!

If you are unable to get some of Shilasdair’s DK yarn (which Ravelry said is now discontinued, but the website doesn’t? I’m not sure what’s going on there, but I desperately hope not), try to chose a DK yarn that has some combination of wool (for the colorwork) and a luxury fiber like cashmere, alpaca, or silk (for the deliciousness). Of course you can use a pure wool yarn as well, but if you choose well, your Besotted cowl will puddle around your neck in lovely soft folds and be a joy to snuggle.

Besotted

Yarn:
Shilasdair Luxury DK
100g / 300m (330 yd) per skein, one skein each of main color (MC) and contrast color (CC)
Example shown in Hawthorne (red – MC) and Fleece Cloud (natural – CC)

Needles:
US #4 / 3.5 mm circular needles, 24” / 60 cm in length

Gauge:
2 hearts (19 sts in stranded colorwork) = 3” / 7.5cm wide and 1.5” / 3.75 cm tall
26 sts / 30 rows = 4” / 10 cm in stranded colorwork, blocked.

Finished Size:
28” / 71 cm in circumference
10.5” / 27 cm in height

(Thank you to the ever-talented Carina of Carina’s Craftblog and Polka & Bloom embroidery patterns fame, who was kind enough to take these beautiful photos for me!)

Introducing: Hush! New knitting pattern out today!

Hush Cowl - new pattern!

Woohoo! It’s a week all about new patterns and self-promotion, apparently! Sorry about that if you’re not interested in new embroidery or knitting patterns, but these releases are the result of a lot of behind-the-scenes work that just kind of happened to come together at the same time.

Hush Cowl - new pattern!

This is Hush: available on Ravelry here! Hush is a relatively simple colorwork cowl, a yarny nod to the lovely way that snow drifts down to the ground, creating a magical hush wherever it lands. Happy sigh. I love snow so much – is it weird that I’m sad every day that it’s cold but not cold enough to snow? I always say I’d love to live somewhere warm all the time, but I would miss snow so very very much if I ever did that.

Hush Cowl - new pattern!

Like Flurries, Hush features tiny little cables in place of standard ribbing. Actually, Flurries and Hush started as one idea that ended up separating into two patterns, so I kind of think of them as companions, in a way.

The pattern is fully written, the cabled ribbing is written and charted, and the main colorwork pattern is provided as a full-page chart. It’s written for sportweight yarn, which is awesome (if I do say so myself) because it knits up just that little bit faster than fingering-weight colorwork (great for gift-knitting!) and creates the most delicious squishy fabric! I love the way stranded knitting makes that extra yummy layer of, well, strands, and it’s even better with sportweight. I gotta tell ya, sportweight is becoming my most favoritest weight – it’s just a bit squishy, but still creates a relatively light fabric. (My next pattern uses some really special sportweight too!)

Anyway, I hope you knit it, and I hope you love it – the pattern is now available to buy via Ravelry over here, or via the sidebar right over there to your right (no need for a Ravelry account). Let me know what you think!

Oh, but wait – the guts! Because all colorwork knitters like to admire the guts, right?!

Hush Cowl - new pattern!

Flurries! (A new knitting pattern by me)

Flurries, a cowl and fingerless mitts set

When my laptop died, or passed out, I had just set up my first knitting pattern for sale on Ravelry. I’d been working on it in little bits for ages, had it tested by some generous and kind knitters, uploaded it and set a price and then a few hours later … pbbbt. Jacques (the laptop, obviously) just had enough.

So I never got to tell you about it! It’s been so long, I kind of can’t even remember where the inspiration came from initially, but I do know I’ve always loved thrummed mittens. I love the tiny little hearts of color polka dotting the surface and the endless adorable color combinations you could knit. However, I have never lived anywhere even remotely cold enough for thrums. I’d be sweating through them in minutes here in the southern-ish UK, and Holland was no different.

Re-creating the cuteness of thrums with stranded colorwork was a no-brainer: easy knitting and adorable?! Awesome. Reluctance to use a regular old ribbing pattern for edging led me to wee tiny cables, adding a little delicate detail to an otherwise very simple-and-quick knit. All together, it reminded me of the gentle quiet of the first snow of the winter: Flurries.

Flurries, a cowl and fingerless mitts set

This pattern includes instructions for a cowl and matching fingerless gloves set. You’ll need to know how to knit stranded colorwork and cables, but both are just about the simplest of either you could ask for, so this set would be a great project for beginners of either (or both) skill. The cabled edging and colorwork stitch patterns are charted only but, again, because the stitch patterns are fairly simple and intuitive once you get started, this might be a good project to learn that on too.

Yarn:
Rowan Pure Wool 4 Ply 50g/160yd per skein
3 skeins main color (MC), 1 skein contrast color (CC)
This amount will make full set of cowl and mitts.

Approximate amounts per item:
Cowl: 75g MC, 15g CC
Mitts: 50g MC, 10g CC

Needles:
Cowl: 2.25mm & 3.0mm circular needles, 16”/40cm
length
Mitts: 2.25mm & 3.0mm preferred needle type for knitting
small diameters in the round
Or sizes needed to obtain gauge

Finished Size:
Cowl: 10.5” tall and 21” circumference
Mitts: to fit hand circumference (measured around
knuckles) of 7.5”

Use the button above (you do not need to be a Ravelry member to purchase the pattern) to get your own Flurries pattern and knit away. Of course, if you do knit it, pretty please add photos to Ravelry or come back here to show them off. I’d love to see how your Flurries turn out!

Classic Colorwork Cowl: my first knitting pattern (Feelin’ like a proud mama)

Hey, lookit! My first knitting pattern!!! And, geez, it took long enough – this was started way back in November or so – but it’s finally here!

Classic Colorwork Cowl
Classic Colorwork Cowl

This project basically started just as an intellectual exercise – I really just wanted the experience of designing something knitted and creating a pattern from it. At about the same time, I started seeing fair isle absolutely everywhere. And in that way that trends brainwash us, I wanted me some fair isle so badly. It seemed like those two wishes could go together quite well.

In one of those John Lewis winter sales, I picked up a few balls of the oh-so-lovely (but now sadly discontinued) Rowan 4 Ply Soft that happened to go together beautifully. It was not at all intentional, just a happy accident.

Classic Colorwork Cowl

So I threw in some creamy goodness in the form of a ball of Rowan 4 Ply Cashsoft and I had a readymade fair isle palette. A couple of days flipping through Sheila McGregor’s fabulous Traditional Fair Isle Knitting and Traditional Scandinavian Knitting gave me a selection of motifs that were exactly what I was looking for – so traditional that it almost borders on cheesy, but is still cute: snowflakes, hearts, and the most perfect reindeer. Though some people insist that they’re moose. The more I look at them, the more unsure I am either way, so I say the knitter is free to choose.

Classic Colorwork Cowl

I kept it basically simple, to allow the colorwork to speak for itself and not get too cluttered, though I did throw in a little detail with a slightly fancier-than-normal ribbing. The project stats are all included in the PDF (link down at the bottom of the post), but here’s the basics:

Yarn: 4-ply wool yarn in four colors (pattern will work best with a neutral + three shades of one color); 50g of each will be more than enough, this would be a good use for leftovers and partial balls

Needles: 16” circular needles, 2.25mm and 3.0mm

Gauge: 34 st and 35 rounds = 4” in stranded colorwork, blocked

Finished Size: 11.5” height x 21.5” circumference

I learned so much from working on even this simple design. There’s so much more to consider than I expected, both in the design and the creation of an actual pattern. But I really really enjoyed it. I really hope some people knit it (that would be amazing to see!), but I’d still be pretty dang proud of myself just for getting something this far. And now that I know what to expect from the design and pattern-writing process a little better, I hope to step it up a little for whatever ends up being my next design project!

(Disclaimer: this pattern has not been test-knitted! If you find any problems or mistakes, pretty please let me know at: julie [at] button-button [dot] co [dot] uk.)

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