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Friday, May 26, 2017

New Pattern - Oasis

Oasis is an elegant stole featuring two interesting lace patterns. Worked on the diagonal, Oasis features easy garter stripes with a simple lace pattern also worked in stripes and a beaded lace pattern.

Oasis comes in two lengths - tall and petite. I've shown the tall here. The two versions take the same amount of yarn. The tall measures 270cm long and the petite 222cm.

I used Lang Merino 200 Bebe in two colours - 0320 Ice Blue (C1 - 4 balls) and 0379 Turquoise (C2 - 3 balls). It took seven 50g balls in total.

I added two beaded lace sections. The beads are added using the crochet hook method. Here's a video tutorial on how to add beads. I also have several other tutorials which you may find helpful. You can see them all here.

I love wearing this shawl and I loved knitting it. I especially love the beaded lace pattern and I'll definitely be using that lace pattern in the future on other shawls.

Oasis is 30% off until 4 June 2017 from my Ravelry Shop. Use coupon code: oasis30. Please note that if you live in the EU, your local VAT rate will be added to your purchase.



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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Fabulous Jersey

I've just got back from a fabulous trip to Jersey. For those who don't know, Jersey is a small island in the English Channel, just off the coast of France. We stayed in the small sea-side village of St Aubin. We arrived in Jersey early last Wednesday and we had the whole day to explore. It was a bit wet and murky so we caught the bus across to the north of the island, then back to St Hellier which is the main town. We looked around a few shops before we went to the Jersey Museum which was really interesting.

St Aubin

The next day it was dry and we hired bikes for the day. First we cycled out to the Corbiere light house (below). When the tide is out, you can walk out to the light house. 

Unfortunately the tide was in when we got there so we cycled back to St Aubin, then continued along the coast to St Hellier (see the photo below). 

St Aubin's Bay is a wide bay between St Aubin and St Hellier

After a beak in St Hellier, we continued along the south coast of Jersey before turning and cycling back to St Aubin.

The harbour area in St Hellier

One of the beaches we cycled along

We started every day in the Harbour Gallery in St Aubin with a breakfast with a view (see below). This was also where I taught workshops on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Before my first workshop on Friday, I visited Imogen from Fig Tree Yarns. I got to look around her beautiful music/yarn studio and meet a few of the knitters from her knitting group.

Fig Tree Yarns stock North American yarns and has a beautiful selection of luxurious yarns on offer. I love how Imogen's piano is used as a ball winding station.

A selection of Fig Tree's yarns

I recently designed the Portelet shawl for Fig Tree Yarns which will be released soon. I loved seeing it displayed on the staircase in the studio.

I brought a few goodies home with me. The pink skein at the top is Anzula and the mini skein pack is from Lornas Laces. I also got some Hiya Hiya Sharps circular needles to try. I've only knitted with them for a few minutes so far and I quite like them. Imogen gave me a copy of Selvedge magazine which is a beautiful textile magazine and a pair of Hiya Hiya snips.

My workshops went really well and were organised by Hazel of Entrelac Yarns at the Harbour Gallery. Hazel has a cozy little yarn shop at the gallery and has a good selection of quality but affordable yarns.

Entrelac Yarns at the Harbour Gallery in St Aubin (above and below)

Of course I was tempted by a few beautiful things. I got some pink string which came on an old wooden bobbin with a pair of bonsai scissors tucked in the top. I also got some Fripperies and Bibelots stitch markers and some Soak wool wash. If I'd had more luggage space I would have bought more.

I taught four half day workshops which included Continental Knitting, Knitting in the round, Fair Isle Knitting and Steeking.

The ladies who attended were all lovely and the steeking ladies agreed that cutting your knitting is not as scary as it sounds.

On Monday we only had to leave for the airport after lunch so we spent the morning looking around the shops in St Hellier for a couple of hours then had a beach cafe lunch in St Aubin.

I feel so fortunate that my knitting career takes me to so many beautiful places and Jersey was magical. It rained the first day, was overcast the second day and after that we had glorious sunshine.

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Friday, May 19, 2017

Let's Knit 119

The new issue of Let's Knit Magazine is in the shops in the UK now & I've got a really fun lace top in this issue.

If you love lace but don't like knitting shawls or you're nervous about knitting a lace sweater with shaping as well as lace, then this is perfect for you as you only have to knit squares. The front and back is made up of four squares each. If you'd like an oversized top just make a larger size.

There are lots of great patterns in this issue. See a preview here. 

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

I'm off to Jersey

I'm leaving for Jersey today and I'm taking two brand new projects with me. The first one is urgent as I realised a few days ago that I had one project left to knit for my next book which I need to finish this month. Fortunately the design was all planned out so I just quickly had to write up the pattern and cast on. I've worked on this over the weekend. As this is urgent it will be my priority project on this trip. But it's an all over lace pattern in a heavy lace yarn so I've decided I need to bring something a bit easier too. The advantage of this lace shawl is that it's very light and fits into a small project pouch so I can easily pop it in my hand bag.

This morning I cast on for a new shawl design. I've wanted to use this green Lang Merino 200 for ages and I decided it looks great with the grey. This design will be relatively easy but it will include some beaded lace knitting. I'm popping this in my suitcase for when I need a break from the fine lace shawl or if I need something easier to knit on. 

I'm going to Jersey to teach four workshops this weekend. There are still spaces on some of the workshops. You can read the details here. 

Do you take knitting with you when you travel? I usually take socks and lace shawls but I'm not bringing socks with me this time as I need to finish both of these shawls. I'm hoping to finish the teal one while I'm away which may be a bit optimistic.

I'm taking the teal shawl to knit on during my flight. Whenever anyone mentions knitting and flying among knitters a debate about whether or not knitting needles are allowed starts. According to the British government, knitting needles are allowed on flights but I suspect it'll come down to the person you deal with at security. I've taken knitting on flights with me for 10 years now without any problems. 

I shared my top tips for travel knitting in this post.  

I used to put some spare needle in my hold luggage, just in case my needle got confiscated but these days we mainly travel with hand luggage only so I put some spare tips (or even screw the tips off all my projects) in a pencil case together with some pens. I have taken knitting projects with metal double pointed needles and circular needles through security lots of times now and I've never had a problem. I try to make sure there's nothing in my hand luggage that will cause them to search me so I make sure I've got no liquids, scissors etc.

I'm looking forward to sharing some pictures from Jersey when we get back next week but if you want to see updates from my trip, follow me on Instagram or Facebook where I'll be posting daily. 

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Monday, May 15, 2017

Mini Tip Tutorial - Estonian 3 in 3 Star Stitch

The Lido shawl, which I released last Friday, has stripes of an Estonian star stitch. In the pattern, I call this the 3 in 3 star stitch and the pattern includes full written instructions. This stitch creates an interesting texture and in today's Mini Tip Tutorial I'm going to show you how to work this stitch. I did also use it in a slightly different way in the Luca shawl and I may be using it (in the same way I used it in Luca) for a new shawl I cast on for this morning.

Lido is currently 30% off until 22 May 2017. Use coupon code: lido30.

In the video below I show you how to do the 3 in 3 star stitch but I'm not doing the shaping included in the shawl pattern. I explain it all in the video.

You can also watch the tutorial here and read more about Lido here

Please ask any questions you have in the comments below. You can see all the previous Monday Mini Tips and other tutorials on my Tutorials page. 

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Friday, May 12, 2017

Introducing Lido

I'm very excited to introduce my new pattern - LidoLido looks simple and elegant but has some fun little details. Big and cozy, Lido is big enough to wrap around your neck and shoulders for cozy warmth.

Lido has sections of short rows in an eyelet patterntutorial can be found hereLido is worked as an asymmetrical sideways shape and ends in a wide lace border. This is a big shawl which is perfect to wrap around your neck as a scarf but also big enough to wear around your shoulders.

Get 30% off Lido until 22 May with coupon code: lido30

Lido has stripes of Estonian star stitches and I'll be doing a tutorial on these stitches on Monday.  The pattern does include a written explanation of this stitch which gives a beautiful textured effect.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

On The Needles

Things are crazy busy right now. I'm teaching a LOT this month and I'm desperately trying to finish my second book. And I've got a bunch of magazine deadlines coming up. Next week, I'll be teaching Shetland Lace Knitting at The Wool Merchant in Devon (there are still spaces - contact The Wool Merchant for full details and to book) and on Wednesday I leave for Jersey where I'll also be teaching three days of four half day classes but I'm also having a few days off and Simon is coming too. We had a fabulous time in Jersey three years ago so I've got high hopes for this trip. If you're interested in my Jersey workshops, you can find the details here.

There's been lots of knitting going on. I've finished a new design which will be published in a magazine in a few months' time. I've really enjoyed this project as the yarn, which was new to me - Navia Bummull which I plan to use for more projects in the future - was gorgeous.

Once I finished the Navia top, I got back to working on my Lang Mille Colori shawl. I really want to finish this shawl this weekend so I've got time to cast on for a new design or two before I leave for Jersey. 

I'm going to miss this colourful shawl though. It's been a fun knit and a new shape for me. This year I'd like to experiment more with shawl shapes. It's easy to get stuck in a rut and keep doing the same thing. For Jersey I need an easy project which I can knit on the go. I've got a project I'm launching in July/August which I need to get started on so I'm thinking about making that my travel project. This secret project actually involves two designs - one easy and one more complicated - and I think I'll take the easy one to Jersey with me. My mind is exploding with ideas right now.

I'm planning to release a new pattern either on Friday or Monday. It will come with a Mini Tip Tutorial which will come out on Monday but I may release the pattern a few days early on Friday. I'll see how much I get done tomorrow. I've got another project ready to be released too but I think I'll wait till I get back from Jersey. Once a pattern is ready for release, I struggle to wait but I want to space out my pattern releases this year and plan ahead a bit more.

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