Noordzee – a warm breeze by the sea

Starting off the week with a new pattern announcement!

The product of another collaboration with talented London designer Rachel Brown, the Noordzee shawl was written to use only one precious skein of my luxurious, handpainted WESTMINSTER baby camel/silk for a sumptuous quick knit.

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Delightfully simple, the shawl has a delicate beaded lace edging and changing short row intervals which give it a bit of interest along the border… and a somewhat unexpected shape!

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While short rows first draw the border up in a curve towards the shoulders, the shawl then swings outwards and down, flaring into a gentle wing-like span. What a beautiful detail!

Also gorgeous is how the span of stockinette creates the perfect canvas to showcase WESTMINSTER’s subtle, handpainted colour changes. The different hues shimmer across the body of the shawl like sunlight on waves, perfectly echoing the shawl’s Dutch name which means ‘North Sea’. (to get slightly poetic about the whole thing) ;-D

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watery colourway ‘Florence‘ shown

The piece can be blocked wide and worn as a traditional shawl or steamed gently for a smaller throat-warming scarf, as shown modelled by the North Sea itself above!

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This shawl is the perfect one-skein project for beginners or just plain satisfying lazy day knitting, blending blissfully mindless stockinette with intriguing lace to create a sensually liquid neckwarmer for spring and summer.

Additionally, Rachel is kindly offering a special 15% discount with any Kettle Yarn Co. fingering weight skein until the 15th June, so get your discount now!

Think I’ll be taking this one out to the garden for a bit of sunshine knitting and book reading, myself… As soon as the sun comes back out, that is. ;-?

 

Antiprism – first Kettle Kit exclusive!

I have been wanting to share this with all of you for ages and can finally let you all see one of the amazing projects I have been working on – Antiprism!

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Some of you got a chance to see this beauty in the flesh at Wonderwool last weekend, and may have even seen me wearing it to keep warm in the chilly hall. The wrap was like a warm hug in the damp cold!

The garter-stitch shawl/scarf/wrap is a collaboration with designer extraordinaire Renee Callahan – aka Eastlondonknit – and uses my bouncy, super-soft, 100% Superwash British Bluefaced Leicester fingering, TWIST.

Lightweight and bouncy the shawl is worked from side to side and features a frame of simple lace filled with wedges of alternating colour to show off the ombre combination of shades. A lace border is picked up and knit along the bottom of the finished shawl and then a binding is worked across the graceful undulating waves at the top of the piece.

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The finished piece is large enough to be worn as a wrap, shawl or scarf and is a perfect year round piece to add a shot of boldness to an outfit. Kettle_Yarn_Co_Antiprism4
There are 5 colourways currently in shop for the kit. The groupings will change with available hues, and may not be repeated.

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The kit includes yarn quantities needed for one shawl – 4 skeins of TWIST and a Ravelry pattern download code. Each skein is 50g = approx. 183 m | 200 y with the total yardage adding up to 732 m / 800 y.

I am having troubles deciding which colours to cast on! Which will you pick?

Waterlily unveiled

I haven’t had any time at all as I prepare for Wonderwool next weekend to take an official shot of my finished Waterlily, but had a friend take a quick phone pick at the shop the other day so you all could see it is done in time for the show!

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Waterlily by Meghan Fernandes in ISLINGTON Vestige
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It is truly beautiful, if I do say so myself. I actually sighed with joy as I slid it on the first time…it feels divine! ;-D

I am previewing a few new Islington autumn colourways at the show next week if any of you are planning to attend. Hoping you can let me know what you think.

See you there!

Praying to the Holy Lace Gods

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Things were looking so positive for finishing my Waterlily  this weekend. I’d already frogged a number of times on the lace and decided to frog back the entire back panel to get to a mistake I’d made early on when I was learning the lace chart…but the trauma was over and I was in home stretch. I was determined that I would get everything left done and dusted on Sunday and could start my next project.

Or so I thought until I steam blocked the front and back panels in order to graft the shoulders and saw this:

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WTF? Holy Lace Gods, why have you let me down again? What have I done to deserve this??? Well, apparently I missed a row on one side and somehow also managed to mess up the decreases on the left neck! Arrrgh!

Top shows what it SHOULD look like, and bottom is my madness:

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So I frogged. Again. I don’t know what it is with me and lace sometimes. It feels as though I have a complete inability to follow charts at times… and the attention span of a gnat. Sigh.

(sorry gnats – you might even be doing better than me on this front!)

 

Waterlily KAL (knit along with us!)

Waterlily KAL (knit along with us!)

I’ve been waiting for others to catch up on the Waterlily in the hopes that we can finish the knit together but have run out of patience!  The Latvian braid was much simpler and less fussy than I’d always assumed it would be, as it looks so intricate – a breeze really, and very satisfying as it is so pretty.

I  finished the  braid that separates the body from the lace on our break and have been trying to hold off while others catch up…but I just can’t wait to get this finished  anymore! To excited to wear it. 😉

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I tried to hold off a bit longer by knitting a sample of the lace in Light Squirrelly to check gauge differences in the stockinette and lace:

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I found that I needed to go down a touch to make gauge, but it really wouldn’t have been an issue if I’d continued along in the same needle (4mm).

I am hoping the rest of you have gotten a bit closer. Do let me know how your progressing on the KAL page! I’d love to see progress pics in the different colours!

Denim – never gets tired.

As most of you have already seen, I’ve started a Waterlily knit-a-long on the Kettle Yarn Co. group page for all of us casting on. I thought it would be fun to share our progress and see all the different versions in one place, so please come over and say hello if you are starting yours soon!

Here is mine at the moment shown in the most ideal knitting location:

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As I’ve been developing some new shades of ISLINGTON the last while, I thought I’d do a post on one of my new favs – Chambray:
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A nice light denim blu,e the colour is perfect for those staple garments that you’ll wear forever:

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Image: left J. Crew, right Chambray

The hue is the exact shade of a chambray shirt I had years ago that I love and wore until it was falling apart! It is destined to become something special for me and I am looking for just the right knit for it already.

Here are a few maybes for spring knitting that would make for amazing staples that I’d wear forever:

Anyone have some other suggestions? Please share!

A lily by any other hue

A lily by any other hue

As you all may have gathered already I have been a little obsessed with Waterlily lately and spent ages agonising over which colour to pick for mine! I wanted to pick something other than the glowing Pom green to show a different version than  the beautiful one in Pompom Quarterly.

I’d thought I’d share part of my decision making process with you if any of you are having the same dilemma! I have a bit of a habit of mocking up the garment in Photoshop and playing with the hue/saturation until something strikes me as ‘right’.

Here were my choices:

clockwise from top left: ChambrayLight Squirrelly, VestigeBlightyOld Smoke,  Barkerville – click on image in gallery for detail views – photo credit: Juju Vail and Pom Pom Quarterly, though shonky colour editing is ALL me. ;-D

I had to forcibly steer myself away from the greys and compromised by picking the lightest of the 3 – the featured image in Vestige – which has a shimmer of blue in it, as I think it will look great against olive skin in the summer!

Which one is your favourite?

Spring lilies

Spring lilies

I’ve started Waterlily and am making good progress…

I am using my ‘Vestige‘ colourway which is a light silver with subtle glints of grey/blue:

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It is such a relief to be knitting with fingering weight again and my hands are thanking me!

Pom!

The time has come and Pompom Quarterly’s beautiful Issue 8 is now for sale!

I am particularly over excited this time as this issue features my ISLINGTON fingering on the front cover! The gorgeous lace top pictured below is Waterlily by the lovely Meghan Fernandes, Pompom co-founder. I am so thrilled to see the design knit up after only having heard about it!

The new hue – Pom – is  a refreshing mint green, barely tipped over the edge of turquoise so still glinting slightly of blue in different lights!
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I love that Meghan has managed to highlight how great of an all-around-performer ISLINGTON’s BFL/Silk blend is through her design, showing off its well-balanced 4-ply structure working equally well at more complex lace stitches as with simple stockinette.
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The top takes only 2-3 skeins of yarn and looks to be a fairly quick knit. I cast on Friday and am already well into the body! It is a relief to be knitting fingering again after over a month with Aran weight!

Pom was added to the shop Sunday, along with a number of new colours in the ISLINGTON blend, and some more stock on existing colourways:

Clockwise from top left –
Vestige, Light Squirrelly (new colour), BlightyOld Smoke,  Light Median, Chambray (new colour), Gold Dust, Felix.

Enjoy!

(*a big thank you to the talented Juju Vail, who has kindly allowed me to use the photographs from Pompom!)

Boreal recapped

Just realised I never managed a blog recap of this jumper before xmas, so here it is belately. In the end I actually did get my Boreal sweater done in time for the holidays, which surprised me a bit.

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I have to be honest, it isn’t perfect…there are a few areas of colourwork that are a bit lumpier than I would have hoped for but as the problematic upper sleeves loosened up after the first wear I can’t really complain. For my first full size fair isle attempt – and one with some really long floats, I think I’ve done alright.

I am particularly pleased with the colour combo as I managed to get just the right tones of red and grey in the BANFF Aran to have the colours zing off each other a bit!

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I spent ages trying to take good selfies one afternoon and this one came out in the mix, which I really love, so including it as well:

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I love how the red looks rather Rorschach blot-ish!