stranded knitting

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!)

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!