November 20, 2017

Ready, steady, gifts a go-go!

It’s Giftalong time on Ravelry – but you knew that already, didn’t you? It’s hard to miss the excitement! KALs, games, prizes, non-stop (*really* non-stop) chatter and, oh yes, 25% off thousands of patterns from hundreds of designers… including me.

If you’ve never joined in the GAL before, stop by and see what all the fuss is about! Every year it gets bigger and better. You’ll be sure to get motivated and fill your knitting basket (not to mention your queue) with heaps of inspiring projects. It’s also a great chance to get to know indie designers better, as most of us turn up to chat in the threads, plus there’s a lot of action on social media. I will be posting interviews on my blog regularly, as well as sharing my favourite designs from this year’s bundle (and my makes from past years) on Instagram. (There is of course a GAL Instagram challenge – join in!)

October 23, 2017

Here be dragons: two one-skein cowls

Did you ever wish you could channel the strength of a dragon?

I admit it’s a lot to ask of a knitted accessory. But that’s what I was thinking of when I designed Haku and Chihiro – companion one-skein cowls using the dragonscale stitch pattern. I love the thought of casing my vulnerable neck in steely yet elegant dragonskin. And I really love how this looks.

Haku uses silky fingering yarn and beads for a glamorous, grown-up accessory with a flared base. Chihiro is a straight tube in worsted weight that makes a quick gift knit for kids or adults. You can buy the set for just €6, more than 25% off the price for each separately.

Incidentally, the names come from Miyazaki’s anime classic Spirited Away. It took me ages to find a named dragon who wasn’t scary – which probably shouldn’t have surprised me, and yet. Do you find the idea of wrapping your neck in protective but totally elegant dragonskin as appealing as I do?

September 26, 2017

Better brioche edges

In designing Wraparoche, I wasn’t happy with the usual brioche cast-on options, so I went looking for something a bit different. I found this braided two-colour cast-on to be perfect (and a good match for a two-colour brioche cast-off), and have shared the technique on my blog. It’s sturdy and decorative; it isn’t elastic, so you’ll need to take care to work loosely to match the brioche fabric, but the results are perfect.

I’ll also be publishing the cast-off tutorial shortly (both are of course included in the pattern). You can find plenty more tutorials for unusual techniques on my blog, including this one for one-pass brioche – ever wished you could do away with the hassle of repeating each row or round to work two-colour brioche? Turns out, it’s really not that hard… and makes challenging patterns like Pravigan that much faster. Of course it also works great for Wraparoche!

August 29, 2017

Introducing Wraparoche

Have you got the brioche bug yet? Wraparoche is an easy and very satisfying introduction to two-colour brioche. You can make it with two skeins of whatever you have on hand – as long as each skein is about 100g and about the same weight. The sample uses Wolff & Schafe Romulus (a really lovely, squishy Merino worsted!), but the pattern also includes instructions for fingering or sport weight, and a worksheet to figure out your numbers for any other gauge.

The pattern includes notes on how two-colour brioche is worked and how to read the instructions, plus photo tutorials on the special cast-on and cast-off techniques used.