Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Hats and a Man Scarf!

My Xmas knitting was mostly about hats this year. It was great to get around to knitting some designs that I had queued on Ravelry.
There was a Thorpe, Wurm, Ripley, Miller's Hat and a couple of Koolhaas'

(Not all pictured here obviously).

Yes I was still knitting on Xmas morning but it was worth the stiff fingers to see so many delighted recipients!

I even managed to squeeze in a new design....(the flapper style hat you see below).....I'm making a couple of changes as I knit up the next one but this should be available pretty soon.

David has been jealous of all my shawl wearing recently so I made him one of his own! This is of course Stephen West's Daybreak pattern. After a wee lesson in how to wear it I think David is enjoying the benefits as he sits in his chilly office working on Book Three of his Acacia series!

Maya also got in on the knitting action and made blobby thing.....requested by her friend you can see she is mighty pleased with it!

The crowing glory for me though was the gift of this beautiful antique cedar chest from my now yarn-conscious husband! Best gift ever! Percy is of course a little perplexed as to where all my baskets of yarn have you can see I did leave one out for decoration!

Hope you all had good times!
Here's to having many more in 2010...CHEERS!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sending festive and jolly holiday vibes to all my lovely readers!

(Image by Maya)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hap for Georgia

Well I'm back home in New England and finally able to get together a wee blog post to document the knitting I was working on in Scotland.
I"m afraid I wasn't a very prepared auntie and did not have this anywhere near finished before I arrived to see Georgia. So in between holding my little niece and other domestic bits and bobs I worked away on this Hap shawl so that I could leave having done my Shetland duty!

I went with the "in the round" construction on this shawl. I started with the central square, picked up sts around the edge and worked outwards from there. I didn't do the traditional knitted on edging however and instead went with an I cord bind off (as Jared uses in his version of the Hap).

I did use Sharon Miller's Hap Shawl book for reference but had to change a lot of numbers as I was using a heavier yarn- Rowan Scottish Tweed DK.

As you can see I went with very Scottish landscape colours....the photo below being Georgia's immediate she'll blend right in!

I had a wonderful visit with my Scottish clan but it's also lovely to be back with my kids and husband in beautiful snowy New England!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

We are family.....

...I've got one of my brothers and sister with me!

(and they were being very silly for this photoshoot)!

I'm back in Scotland where it is of course pissing down! However I keep telling everyone I didn't come for the weather.....I came to see the family (and some friends).....and to meet and spend time with my new wee niece (Georgia) and hopefully help out her mummy who is a little sore and sleep deprived right now!

I spent the weekend with my sister in Edinburgh which was so lovely and much needed on both our parts. She came from a lot further away than I as she now lives in New Zealand. We haven't seen each other for 2 years and haven't spent time alone in far longer than that.....of course we went shopping together, went for coffee, went to the pub, had nice food and wine and did lots of chatting. She's off up to Shetland this week to see my parents but we'll re-connect next week when she comes to meet this lovely little bundle of cuteness!

Plenty more pictures of her to come!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Naming of Kerrera

I am not responsible for naming this pattern....infact I was having a hard time coming up with the right thing (it was called "In Da Hoodie" for a while in my house).......then along came Sarah and sorted it all out for me.....I wasn't sure how much she would want me to go into details but she has disclosed all here!
I was shocked to discover the name of an island I'd never heard of on the West Coast of Scotland (I even lived on an island not too far away at one point). That alone was reason enough to honour it by naming the pattern after it!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Kerrera Hoodie

Well folks I'm about to make my trip across the Atlantic to meet my new niece........but I'll leave you with the newest Shetland Trader design:

Kerrera Hoodie (Rav link)

I re-knit this in Fiber Company Organik, which I'm very happy with. It has a little alpaca and silk to add to it's lusciousness!

Here are some more details:

This comfy hooded cardigan is worked bottom up in one piece and features a deep, ridged pattern at the hem, cuffs and bands. The pockets, hood and upper body are worked in reverse stockinette to add a small amount of texture. Short rows are used to shape the sleeve caps, pockets and hood. Kerrara is the name of a small island off the West Coast of Scotland.

There are 12 sizes available for this pattern.
The pattern comes as a PDF file and is 10 pages long. The pattern is written in a table format where you fill in the requisite numbers.

32.75 (34.5, 36.5, 38.25, 40, 42, 44.5, 46.25, 48, 50.5, 52.5, 54.25)”/ 82 (87.5, 92.5, 97, 101.5, 106.5, 113, 117.5, 122, 128, 133.5, 138) cm.
Shown in 34.5”/87.5cm with 2 inches of positive ease.

US #9/5.5mm, 32 or 40 inch circular
US #9/5.5mm 16 inch circular
US #8/5mm 32 or 40 inch circular
US #8/5mm 16 inch circular
US #8/5mm set of dpn’s.

1250 (1350, 1400, 1450, 1500, 1600, 1700, 1750, 1800, 1900, 1950, 2000) yards of worsted weight yarn.
Suggested yarn: Fibre Company Organik (98 yrds/50g; 70%Organic Merino/15% Alpaca/15% silk) shown in Magma.

Crochet Hook US E4/3.5mm (for button loops)
3 toggle style buttons
Tapestry needle
Row Counter
Scrap Yarn

18 sts and 26 rows=4 inches in Stockinette St on US #8/5mm needles.
17 sts and 17 rows=4 inches in Double Garter St on US #9/5.5mm needles.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tanit's Jacket

The new Twist Collective is out and yes I do indeed have a new design in there!

Tanit's Jacket is a top down raglan jacket in a stitch called Tunisian Rib. This pattern produces a nice dense texture which proves rather cozy for a Fall/Winter layer. I added some cording stitch at the collar, cuffs and hem to create some contrasting horizontal lines and to help define these areas a little.

Below are some photos of the prototype which was worked up in Classic Elite Yarn's Soft Linen. As you can see I made some changes to the pattern that ended up in Twist. The first thing was the collar. I originally envisioned a fairly big folded down collar but it didn't quite come together. So on the prototype I ended up folding it to the inside and tacking it down. In the final pattern this translated into a more rounded collar worked using short rows
I then mirrored this in the hem, removing the hard corners with the use of those magical short rows again!

I noticed in Twist that Clara Parkes has a swatch story for Tanit's Jacket and she describes some of the possible ways to go with yarn choices. I like both the Valley Yarns Northfield and CE's Soft Linen, but other yarns with some linen or silk component would work well too.

For those that care Tanit was a Phoenician lunar Goddess of Carthage. I wanted to get a Tunisian connection in there!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Wast Side Shawl

Wast Side Shawl is now available to purchase!

This shawl’s construction begins with the edging. Yarn over loops are created along the top edge and then picked up along the entire strip of edging. The shawl is then worked inwards, thus reducing the number of the stitches on the needles every row! The lace patterns featured in the edging and border are both of Shetland origin. Fern Lace is an easy to memorize and distinctive pattern.
Wast Side refers to the West Side of Shetland, where my parents live.

Charted and written instructions are included in the 5 page PDF


Approximately 45 inches/114 cm (52 inches/132 cm wide) and 18 inches/45.5 cm (21 inches/53 cm) long.


20 sts and 32 rows=4 inches in Stockinette st on US#6/4mm needles.


450 (550) yards of fingering weight (4ply) or lace weight yarn. Shown here in Malabrigo lace in larger size (purple) and Cascade Heritage in smaller size (green)


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Meet Julia!

So after posting about Rhinebeck and the fact that I went with my friend Julia, it seemed a little sad that there were no photos of her! So I'm making up for it with a Julia focused post!

Julia is going to be modeling some knitwear for me and we had a test run photoshoot at her house yesterday so I thought I'd share a few of the many gorgeous photos of her.

Here she is sporting what was my Rhinebeck garment......(a new design).....hooded cardi, with no name yet. She's going to be test knitting this one along with Christy.
This prototype is in Malabrigo, which I do love, but pills so the sample will be in something else.

.....and this is the new shawl design, pattern being written right now, also being test knit by Julia (what a great friend she is)!

...I also took a lot of photos of Julia's own finished projects so she can improve her Ravelry is her stunning Counterpane Carpet bag....made from her own handspun and also dyed by her! She needs some more friends on Rav so go and check her out!
I'm so happy that I get to live near this lovely person again, she's really the one responsible for getting me into this whole knitting/designing lark in the first place!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


My first ever Rhinebeck experience was truly wonderful and most definitely overwhelming! I was anticipating feeling over stimulated by all the yarn and all the people and after wandering around for 4 hours the first day I was a total space cadet…….but very happy!

I drove down from Western Mass early on Saturday morning with my dear friend (and new knitwear model of mine) Julia, who is an experienced Rhinebecker. She very graciously agreed to show off some designs for me and hand out business cards accordingly. There was a bit of a biting wind on Saturday but we both soldiered through without covering up our handknits in winter coats!

I stupidly left my camera behind the first day and then it rained the second which rather stumped my photography! However Steph (aka Gleek) has let me snag a couple of her's. She took loads of wonderful shots.

This one is a gorgeous photo of Jess (of Ravelry). As you may be able to tell she is wearing my Vaila jumper (the original) from last year’s winter Twist Collective issue. I was very excited to see it walking around, and of course to meet Jess properly too!

And then there is this one ......a photo of the giant Bob head that Ysolda began when staying at my house (with many a confused look from us) and finished within a week in order to be the Rav mascot at Rhinebeck! (Pictured with her is another Jess)!

I of course also saw Casey and got Ysolda to snag a photo of the three of us bedecked in knitting!

One of the highlights for me was getting to spot my designs in the wild...most satisfying!

Looking forward to next year already!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ysolda and Connie!

I have had such fun hosting Ysolda during her stay in Western Mass the last few days.
Having a fellow designer living in my house has been very useful I must say....her first day here she solved a short row issue I was having and is in general a font of useful information and advice! She has blended right into the family and we'll all miss her when she leaves tomorrow!

She wasn't here just to see me though! She had an event at WEBS where she displayed lots of samples from her Whimsical Little Knits books. There was a great turn out and lots of admirers.......although the very first question asked was "How old are you"?!

We were joined by Connie Chang Cincino over the weekend and decided it was a great opportunity for a wee gathering of designers so we threw a pot luck with Melissa La Barre, Cirilia Rose, Cecily Glowik, Cheryl Burke (not seen here-but she was present) and my good friend Julia. It was a great (late) night of designery chat, knitting of course, talk of Rhinebeck sweaters, loads of yummy food and yarn goodies to boot from Cecily! Our kitten also provided some entertainment as seen below!

Ysolda, Connie and I took some fresh air the next day and I got to play photographer for one of Ysolda's latest designs (coming soon)!

Connie and I have corresponded for a while now but never met in person so I was so glad to get the opportunity to spend time to get to know her better......she doesn't like having her picture taken so this is a candid shot!

Time to get back to that Rhinebeck sweater.....only a few days left.....say hi if you see me there!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Maine and Mary Jane!

Just had a wonderful weekend in Maine with the colourful and adorable Mary Jane Mucklestone! We were both teaching at an event called Fiber College in Searsport Maine and in fact we also attended each other's classes! Mary Jane's was on Fair Isle and she brought so many wonderful samples with her to inspire us all to be bold with our colour choices. It was a great class and gave me a lot of confidence to plunge deeper into Fair Isle!

(Some of Mary Jane's tams)

(Mary Jane's Boyfriend Socks from the new book Joy of Sox)

This was my first official teaching gig and I felt it went well. I taught a class using my Crofter's Cowl pattern so it was a basic intro to lace, knitting in the round and grafting. Just to create a bit of atmosphere I also showed some images I'd taken in Shetland last year, played a wee bit of music from some Shetland bands and provided a little history of lace knitting.
Anyway it has definitely whet my appetite for more teaching!

Mary Jane was such a joy to hang out with. I brought David and the kids with me too and we all felt so at home in Mary Jane's house and with her cute wee Puerto Rican doggie Lee Lee (probably not the right spelling)! We briefly met her husband too (also very nice) who had recently set up their archery target so David and the kids got in some practice and ended up buying a new bow!

Mary Jane has a great taste in textiles, colour and vintage-antique decor. I was often reminded of my mum when perusing her home, perhaps that's why I felt so relaxed there. My mum would have loved meeting her too.
I'm so excited that Mary Jane will also be teaching at the UK Knit Camp in Scotland next summer and that she also plans on getting up to Shetland with me during that trip. Can't wait!