Weaving in ends – sneaky techniques with EastLondonKnit

EastLondonKnit has returned to the blog to help the speedy people already finishing up their Naloa in the ongoing KAL. Thanks Renee, and well done speedsters! 😉

(It is still not too late to start your shawl as the KAL runs till October 4th and there are many exciting prizes available for those who take part.)

I love how this technique hides the straggling threads and makes the weaving in seamless. So sneaky and clever!

Take it away, Renee…



Naloa features gently undulating stripes of colours in the lace edging.  Each colour change begins on a right-side row, thereby making an end to be woven in once the shawl is complete. (So if you’ve just completed a RS row, slide the work to the other end of the needle, and begin the next row from the RS again!)


There are many ways to weave in ends, but when working with lace, you have to be more careful to keep it tidy and invisible.

I used duplicate stitch in Naloa. It’s a handy technique for  solving many different problems.  Check out this primer.

EastLondonKnit Naloa technique 1

First, thread a sharp tapestry needle with the end, and following the end from whence it came, trace the row back through 4-6 stitches, splitting the yarn with the needle.

EastLondonKnit Naloa Technique

Although I wove in my ends before the shawl was blocked, many people prefer to do so afterward, to make sure they don’t tighten the edges of the shawl too much.

I can’t wait to see your beautifully finished Naloa Shawl!

Happy knitting!
Make sure to check out Renee’s other beautiful designs on Ravelry and find more  useful tutorials on her blog and follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

Naloa shawl inspiration from EastLondonKnit

The ELK, herself, EastLondonKnit, has been kind enough to offer to help me out for the next few weeks as I am swamped with some personal stuff! Here she is for her first post, discussing her inspiration for Naloa! Thanks Renee!
When Linda told me she had a new, exotic yarn base made of silk and yak and that she was working on a palette for this new yarn inspired by Tibetan traditions, I was so excited!  The richness of tone and hue were visually intoxicating and I was only too happy to design something to compliment the beautiful combo of yarn and colour.


After much debate, we decided the undyed Yurt and the gorgeous Turquoise Tarn were destined to be a new shawl.


Now I have never been to the Himalayas, so I have no idea how accurate Google’s depiction of the beauty of the place is, but it looks stunning.
 Tarn inpiration 1
tarn inspiration 2
I love the naturally bright blue green of the tarn against the stark, rocky mountain landscape, and took the water as my inspiration.


The summer-time weather dictated something lovely and lacy.  For this shawl, I wanted the ‘work’ to be right-side only— in other words, every WS row would be simple purling; I wanted the rivulets that radiated from the centre all the way to edges to create a distinct and easy-to-follow structure, and I wanted some variation on simple stripes. I began to swatch…
 EastLondonKnit Naloa Swatches
…and sketch….
 naloa inspriration (39 of 39)
 East London Knit Naloa sketches 2
And it wasn’t long before it came together. In the end, I think I managed a shawl that is enjoyable but not complicated to knit, which shows off a gorgeous yarn.

Naloa shawl by EastLondonKnit, image © EastLondonKnit

Happy knitting!
You can find Renee on her website or blog and follow her on Twitter or Instagram.!

Cuando los lagartijos corren

You know how once you start seeing something you then see it everywhere?

As mentioned last week, I recently re-watched the movie Frida and after that and casting on my sumptuous Camomile a few weeks ago, I have tuned in to seeing Frida Kahlo-inspired styling everywhere!

Like this over the top fun jumper below:
Screen Shot 2013-06-23 at 10.11.51
Crazy Homies collection by Cats Brothers.

And this next shrug, which is more subdued but still has a South American/Aztec feel to its geometric colourwork.Screen Shot 2013-06-23 at 10.45.17
Geo Floral Shrug Micaela Greg

Naturally, styling in the knitting world is reflecting this fashion trend -as seen in the most recent Noro Magazine:
#6 Semi-Circle Shawl by Tabetha Hedrick

And from Knitscene Accessories 2013:
San Cristóbal Shawl by Ashley Rao

Caught up in this love of all things latin, I couldn’t help queuing yet another cardigan after seeing this beautiful version by Tjaša, which ties into the feel of this trend with it’s elaborate open lacework.
Honeybee Cardigan by Laura Chau 

Now I just have to find the time to make it, so that I can wear my hair braided with it and my Camomile! Maybe in a deep, rich purple? Mmmm.

In with a whimper…out with a BANG

Well, my predictions of the Wool Week events at Somerset House didn’t let me down…the event was both educational and inspirational.
There were some lovely wool-themed rooms. My favourite was the ‘Natural Room’ by Josephine Ryan, filled with vintage and antique tools and natural wool items. Look at those gorgeous huge balls of yarn!
My first workshop was  the ‘Fairisle Master Class’ by the lovely Sandra Manson from Jaimeson & Smith.

I spent a fair bit of the lead up to the class fondling all the lovely samples which they brought down from the Shetlands with them.
Look at all those gorgeous colour combos, and particularly the colours in the one below. In real life the purple is a bit more saturated, so it really popped with the yellow. Saving this combo for later!jamieson smith swatch
Here is the sample table where Sandra and Co. had laid out more examples of beautiful colourwork garments in their Shetland yarn:
js fairisle
I was most impressed, and a little giddy, with that little jumper right at the front in yellows and reds…here’s why…

Apparently Jamiesons & Smith have developed a worsted spun yarn –‘wursit’ in the Shetland accent – which this little number is made from. The worsted yarn has less ends poking out, so unlike the woolen spun yarns, which I love the look of but can’t wear next to my skin, this new yarn –  Shetland Heritage- is sleeker and I can  have it right up on my neck with no pokies! Very thrilling. So you get traditional, crunchy yarns perfect for colourwork, but with a softer handle. Brilliant.
Here is a bit of the info from their site:

 ‘The yarn is replicated from that found in knitted Fair Isle garments in the collection of Shetland Museum and Archives.

Wool experts, specialist dyers, curators and knitters have worked together to develop and trial Shetland Heritage yarn, which is worsted spun from Jamieson & Smith’s combed tops to give a soft feel, and a smooth finish. The yarn is slightly finer than the four ply we use today to knit stranded colourwork and Fair Isle. Instead, it gives a definition and complexity of colour and pattern that goes right back to the nineteenth century.’

Very cool.
j&s heritage
They haven’t yet come out with the same range of colours in the Heritage as in their other ranges – which is understandable as it is HUGE- but I am hoping they will add some nice natural colours at some point. This is the current range, the colours used in the jumper above:
image  Jamieson and Smith 

Below is a photo from the session from the J&S blog. I am on the very far right, looking like a mental with my illicit coffee in hand, mid-sentence. I am not doing a very good job of hiding my cup, apparently!

image  Jamieson and Smith 

This whole venture was very generous and everything was free! The pikey in me rejoiced.

We were given J&S yarn, needles and patterns for a little fairisle project and Sandra helped us along with any questions. It was very intense in that we all just got down to work and proceeded to power through for the full hour and a half of the workshop…and beyond! This was after it had officially ended, but people were still squirrel-ing away.

I learned how to knit fairisle with both colours on my right hand (as I throw) and I found this much easier to control tension on than the two handed method I used previously for my hat.

I will leave the rest of my adventures for subsequent posts as this one has turned into a monster! I am also heading back down there today for the Rowan yarn workshop! Yay!

More soon!


Having recently finished my first stranded colourwork project I naturally have a renewed appreciation for all things stranded. But is it strange that the thing that most impresses me about the process is the floats? I find the back of the work so pretty…sometimes much prettier than the front!

I have been noticing these ‘back to front’ stranded pieces for months now and look forward to the day I can do even enough stranding to show it as the ‘right’ side.

Look at these beauties:
Screen Shot 2013-06-23 at 10.00.39 Screen Shot 2013-06-23 at 10.01.09

Screen Shot 2013-02-17 at 01.37.15
sweaters above from Wilfred Free

I have been seeing this image below for ages now. Love it.

from Parc Boutique

Look at the amazing texture of these long floats! (I’d wager they would probably be a pain in the ass, though, catching on everything.)Screen Shot 2013-02-17 at 01.14.44
No. 21

Screen Shot 2013-02-23 at 16.30.56
Mango ‘killer’ pullover

One day.

Scandinavia, here I come!

My first colourwork project has been keeping my head warm for the last windy week and I am so very, truly pleased with it. (though you can’t tell in the photo. Who knew it was so hard to photograph your own head?? Concentrating…..cooooncentrating….)
I am shocked at how much easier the process is than I’d expected. Much like cables, it is just one of those things you DO…and… it works. Fabulous.

Admittedly, some of the floats are a little tight and those little contrast white crosses that I worked so hard to put in – no you can’t see them, because even though I know they are there, I can barely see them!
3 colours is so much more complicated than two strands on the same row, so some of the small white stitches are being sucked into the grey instead of floating at the ‘same height’…but you know what? I still love it!!! (I just might hate those hidden crosses of pain). Shown frighteningly pre-block and puckered above.

Here it is again from the side, trying to hold in my mass of annoyingly sheep-like hair. Baaa.

I even love the lop-sided, imperfect pom-pom that I am STILL schnipping away at in compulsive moments. Bad pom-pom that it is!
Can’t WAIT to start my next colourwork project. Thinking I will do Jared Flood’s Stasis, as it is just so simply perfect…though I might be cautious and take on a smaller mitten project first for more tension practice.

I have enough stashed fingering yarn to start the sweater asap, though…I just need to decide on and dye the contrast colour! Beige with black or navy? Or maybe even bright cadmium? Planning is the best bit!