Tag Archives: knitting

Pattern release day: Bimini boomerang shawlette

Bimini shawl draped around mannequin - front view

This striking boomerang shawl is worked in a zig-zag lace pattern from pointy tip to knit-on edging. It’s perfect for that gradient with a colour that you might want to minimise, as while the shawl gets wider, the rows are longer and use up more yarn. From the pictures shown you can see that I wasn’t fully enamoured of the pink, which made up a third of this gradient, but the construction means that it isn’t the dominant colour.

Yardage: 400-420 yards of fingering/4-ply/sock/baby weight yarn.
Gauge: 11 sts and 24 rows in 4”/10cm in lace pattern.
Needles: 5.00mm/US 8 needles or whatever needed to meet gauge.
Finished max width of 45“/114cm and length of 61“/155cm.

For more pictures, click on the image above or one of the purchase links below.

For customers outside the EU, you can buy this digital download here.

For customers within the EU, please purchase using this Payhip link: Bimini boomerang shawlette on Payhip

Pattern release day: Sensu hat

sensu hat

Inspired by traditional Japanese fans, this twisted ribbed hat features some simple travelling cables which expand and contract just like a fan.

Two options of how to arrange the cables are provided, and all of the instructions are written out round-by-round as well being charted.

Instructions are also provided as to how to adapt the hat for different head sizes.

Also available are a matching cowl, and wristers/gauntlets.

Yardage: 130-150 yds/120-140m of 4 ply/sock yarn
Gauge: 24 sts and 36 rows in 4”/10cm in twisted ribbing
Needles: 3mm needles or whatever needed to meet gauge
Finished size to fit head of circumference 20-22“/50.8-55.9cm.

Click on the photo above for more images of this hat as well as the matching cowl and wristers/gauntlets.

Buy the hat pattern by clicking here.

Sensu cowl

Pattern release day: Sensu cowl

Sensu cowl

Inspired by traditional Japanese fans, this twisted ribbed cowl features some simple travelling cables which expand and contract just like a fan.

Two options of how to arrange the cables are provided (option A is shown), and all of the instructions are written out round-by-round as well being charted.

Instructions are also provided as to how to adapt the cowl to fit over different head sizes.

Available for sale here: Sensu cowl.

Also available are a matching hat, and wristers/gauntlets (coming soon).

Yardage requirements: 240-260 yds/220-240m of 4 ply/sock yarn
Gauge: 24 sts and 36 rows in 4”/10cm in twisted ribbing
Needles: 3mm needles or whatever needed to meet gauge
Finished size to fit over head of circumference 20-22“/50.8-55.9cm.

Note, this sale is for a pdf file of instructions required to hand-knit this item, and not for the finished object.

Click on the photo above for more photos.

Pattern release day: Neowise shawl

Neowise shawl

This comet-inspired lace shawl is great for wrapping up on cool summer nights whilst stargazing. Features an all-over star lace pattern, with a delicate knitted-on leaf edging.

The instructions are provided in both chart and line-by-line written formats, to suit all knitters.

Finished size is 87“/221cm wingspan, 22“/56cm straight drop from neck to edge.You can find more pictures by clicking the image above, and can buy the pattern here: Neowise shawl.

Stashdown 2017 – April progress


April was a quiet month in my stashdown challenge, and I have only just got round to having photos taken of what I did complete. Just a short-sleeved stranded pullover in handspun this month, which used up 927 yards of yarn. No yarn in though, which is just as well with Tour de Fleece starting to approach on the horizon.



Total monthly yarn out: 927 yards, 226g
Total monthly yarn in: 0 yards, 0g

Net monthly yarn decrease: 927 yards, 226g

Monthly fibre stash reduction: 0g.

Total yarn out ytd: 8,857.5 yards, 3,964g
Total yarn in ytd: 3,900 yards, 826g

Net yarn decrease ytd: 4,957.5 yards, 3,138g

Fibre stash reduction ytd: 800g.

Cold Sheep 2016 – March progress

March saw more good progress on my cold sheep stashdown challenge.

It began with turning 1,212 yards of hanspun into a long-sleeved sweater with some interesting design features which the stripes showed up well.



I then dug into my commercial yarn stash for the first time in the year to work on a new version of an old pattern, making a gauntlet version of my old diamond wristers pattern. This longer version used 231 yards of yarn.



Whilst I got that into testing I spun up 200g of white Shetland fibre into 934 yards of 2-ply fingering weight yarn.




I also made the shorter version of the revised pattern, using up another 131 yards.



Then it was back to the handspun, knitting up this tunic/dress and using up 1,334 yards of yarn



A brief pause in the knitting to spin up 338 yards of chain-plied fingering weight Manx Loaghtan fibre (a rare breed)



And also some black Jacob, 464 yards of fingering weight 2-ply



I also finished off another Shetland gradient jumper/tunic which used up 1,094 yards of yarn.



Total monthly yarn out: 4,002 yards
Total monthly yarn in:  1,736 yards

Net monthly yarn reduction: 2,266 yards

Monthly fibre stash reduction: 400g.

Total yarn out year-to-date: 8,108 yards
Total yarn in year-to-date: 4,686 yards

Net yarn reduction year-to-date: 3,422 yards

Fibre stash reduction year-to-date: 1,210g.

Peruzzi Wristers

A reworking of an old pattern, now available in an additional longer length, with a better flow of cables and ribbing. Click on either photo for more images.

The cable pattern is fully charted and the wristers are fully adaptable for longer or shorter hands, narrower or wider thumbs. Written instructions accompany the cable chart, explaining how to work the cuff, top and thumb gusset.

The pattern is sized for average adult hands (circumference 6.5”/16cm, length 7”/18cm) but it can be adjusted by altering your gauge.

Yarn requirements:

  • 220-230 yards fingering weight/4-ply/sock yarn for the longer, gauntlet length
  • 120-160 yards fingering weight/4-ply/sock yarn for the shorter, wrister length

Available to buy here.

So, how does designing work?

I hang out a lot at ravelry and a question that often comes up is ‘How do I get into pattern designing/writing?’. I can only answer for myself, but this is a little about how the designing process works for me.

I got into pattern designing because there were things that I wanted to make, but there was no published pattern for me to work from. At this stage I had been knitting for a few years and was comfortable with a variety of different techniques, construction types and had worked from a range of different pattern styles.

As I worked out what I needed to do in order to make the item, I took notes (particularly helpful if you are making a pair of something such as socks or gloves and want them to look the same). This including sketching, and swatching, and ripping out and starting again over and over. After all of the work of checking gauges and trawling through stitch dictionaries it seemed a shame for that work to be lost with the completion of my project, so I typed it all up into a pattern style that I was comfortable with and so my first pattern was available for publication.

My first few patterns were all self-published for free, and no testing was undertaken prior to release. These days I utilise the various groups on ravelry in order to test patterns for accuracy and also for yardage and fit information. It’s a great way to get feedback and work out the kinks, without having to spend a lot of money on testers or tech editors. It also helps to see how other people interpret instructions which seem clear to you.

There are a range of different pattern styles, from the extreme hand-holding where every stitch and every step is described in detail (often with photos and videos as well), which can be great for beginners, right through to charts which show all of the necessary shaping with coloured borders or ‘no stitch’ squares, leaving interpretation up to the knitter.

My patterns fall somewhere in-between. They won’t tell you exactly which cast on or bind off to use (except that it might need to be stretchy), and if I don’t think it’s going to be particularly visible I might leave it up to the knitter to decide whether to mirror increases and decreases or not. But they do include a key of stitches used in the pattern (though not full instructions as to how to make each one, there are plenty of tutorials for that out there already).

I like to include two versions of the pattern instructions, so once a pattern has completed testing (which usually takes at least a month depending on the amount of knitting time required for the item) and the instructions are locked down, I make a printer-friendly version without the high-resolution images and coloured text. In this version I try to fit the instructions most economically onto the pages so that people can print the absolute minimum, saving both ink and paper. The high-res version is great for those working from computers and tablets, allowing them to really zoom into the images for any clarification.

I am still designing primarily based on things that I want to make, taking inspiration from commercial items, other knitting patterns, fabric, yarn, fibre, etc. I may look to move from self-publishing (on ravelry) to selling to magazines, but that will require working to a brief, a more rigid format both time-wise and style-wise, so we’ll see.

Maximising yarn usage: stripes

An easy way to maximise your yarn usage, if you’re trying to use up stash, is to combine two different yarns into one item. The easiest way to do this is with stripes. If you don’t quite have enough for the item with just one of your yarns, pair it with another to get the total required yardage.

Stripes work best with simple stockinette based patterns, as they really show off the colours without getting lost in lace or cables.



You can also work with garter stitch, such as this short row shawl which combined two handspun yarns that didn’t have enough yaradage on their own to make much, resulting in a good-sized crescent shawl.



If you are looking to maximise your yarn usage by using stripes, try to make sure that your two chosen colours have a good contrast between them so that the stripes really stand out well. Also make sure that your yarns are the same weight (fingering, dk, aran, etc.) and if making a garment to be worn have similar fibre contents so that they will work up together at the same gauge and won’t distort with wear (a cotton yarn may stretch more than a wool yarn, so unless you want stretched out stripes stick to just the one fibre type).



Maximising yarn usage: working top down

As part of my personal challenge to only knit from yarn already in my stash this year I am working with a lot of handspun and want to squeeze every last yard out of my yarn. A great way to maximise your yarn usage is to work top down patterns.

For example, I worked this Still Light tunic from the top down:



The sleeves were divided off and left on holders after I finished the yoke, so that once I was happy with the length of the body I could go back and, dividing the remaining yarn in half, complete the sleeves for as long as the yarn lasted. The scraps I had left after completing the sleeves were used to deepen the pockets.

Alternatively, if sleeve length is important, then you can complete the sleeves to their desired length first and then work the body until you use up all of your yarn, as I attempted with this jumper (but still had yarn leftover without turning it into a dress):