designs

Catbells - launch of a new sock design

Catbells: a unisex cuff-down sock

Catbells: a unisex cuff-down sock

I am really pleased to be able to share the launch of my new sock design - Catbells - with you today. The first of a six part sock series which chronicles the walks done by my young boys as they have grown up in the Lake District - a very special family place for us.

Catbells is one of the first 'proper' mountain walks that we ever did with our two boys when they were really very small. The youngest, aged 3 went most of the way in the backpack but the eldest at the ripe old age of 4 and half, proudly walked the whole thing - although he did the last half-mile back to the car on Daddy's shoulders.

I am really pleased to say that there is also a KAL for this design and for the whole series. You can join in either on my Ravelry group, on Instagram or on my Facebook group - Everyday Knitter. Use the hashtag #socksandsummits and #catbellssocks so we can see all of your fabulous socks.

The Catbells design and indeed all of the designs in the series use yarn from the incomparable Rusty Ferret - you can find all of Leona's amazing hand-dyed yarn at www.fluph.co.uk

To buy the pattern - just visit my Ravelry page. f you are a newsletter subscriber you will already have received your exclusive discount code. If not there is also an early bird discount for the next 2 days (until Feb 3rd, 2017) - just use code SUMMIT20 for 20% off the full purchase price.

Thank you so much for all your interest and support with this series. I hope you enjoy knitting them as much as I have and that you enjoy 'walking the Lakes' with me and my family.

Can you PYOO?

My latest shawl design - Spreading The Love - is a half Pi, semi circular shawl featuring stripes, stocking stitch and a fun star shaped stitch.

Formed by passing a yarn over, over several stitches this stitch is given the rarely used, but quite amusing abbreviation PYOO. For those who share my slightly juvenile sense of humour I thought you might appreciate the explanation.

Essentially you work a yarn over and then knit several stitches before slipping that yarn over, over them. The end result is an atrractive 'bar' of yarn which sits neatly across the base of your worked stitches, adding texture without affecting your stitch count.

It works well with this Wenslydale and Shetland blend, but would also give a very interesting effect with a variegated yarn too.

I would be really interested to know what you think of it. So why not give it a go and have a PYOO today?

You can buy the pattern - which has a 50% discount until Friday 25th November - along with all my other patterns over on my Ravelry page: here

 

Paris and a new shawl design

As a designer I am known more for my sock patterns but recently I have found myself drawn to the way of the shawl. Specifically garter stitch shawls using gorgeous woolly, British yarns. Proper cosy, wrappable, squishy shawls. The kind that will provide a welcome layer under your winter coat or that will be great to throw over your shoulders on a chilly morning as you gently potter about at home.

Paris is Always a Good Idea

Paris is Always a Good Idea

 

My newest shawl pattern is no exception to this. Using the wonderful Tamar 4ply yarn from Blacker Yarns this shawl was originally conceived as a travel project for a planned trip to Paris with knitting friends - hence the title Paris is Always a Good Idea. In the event, life intervened and I wasn't able to go on the trip but I did have the perfect project for some sick-day recuperation as the medicinal powers of soothing garter stitch are surely well known by now?

The shawl starts with the longest edge so all you have to do is to cast on the required number of stitches, wind up your yarn and you are good to go with the perfect portable travel project. There is very little counting involved and specific yarn amounts needed are given so that you can customise as required to meet the demands of your stash.

Whether this is worked in subtle tones, bright contrasts or with a colour pop this shawl is bound to find a special place in your heart - a bit like Paris really.

You can buy the pattern here, and if you are quick before the end of the bank holiday weekend here in the UK (Monday 29th August) you can use coupon code for 20% off the purchase price.

A yarn review - Tamar Lustre by Blacker Yarns

The clever folk at Blacker Yarns have released a real beauty of a yarn this week - the Tamar Lustre Blend - and I was thrilled to have the chance to play with a skein or two of this recently.

Blacker Yarns Tamar Lustre 4ply, Colourway Tiddy Brook

Blacker Yarns Tamar Lustre 4ply, Colourway Tiddy Brook

The yarn is a worsted spun blend of Wenslydale, Teeswater, Cotswold and Black Leicester Longwool all which add a fabulous shine and lustre. To add a suitable amount of woolly 'bounce' 30% Cornish Mule has been added and the end result is really rather wonderful.

First onto my needles was the 4ply version (a dk version is also available) and as soon as I got my paws on it Iknew it would work beautfully in garter stitch.

Knitted up at a relaxed gauge on 4mm needles the 4ply yarn had great stitch definition but also good drape and sheen too - properties that you don't often find combined in a yarn.

This yarn would be absolutely perfect for a large 2 or 3 colour shawl and the fabulous range of colours is perfect inspiration. I can see this as a large, wrappable, wearable garter stitch shawl or maybe something with a Hap-style construction.

The slight stickiness of the yarn, thanks to the Cornish Mule,  would also lend itself well to fair isle and other colourwork techniques should the fancy take you. The only difficulty might be in choosing your colours, but the handy shade card can help you with this.

I love a good shade card...

I love a good shade card...

And, the even better news is that, unlike the Cornish Tin which was such a hit last year, Tamar Lustre is going to a permanent stock yarn. So you should have ample opportunity to snag some for yourself.

All in all, a real gem of a yarn and one that I will certainly be seeking out at Edinburgh Yarn festival.


Contours - and a giveaway

I am really pleased to be able to share my latest pattern with you today.

 

Contours is designed using delicious Blacker Yarns Shetland DK yarn, specifically to showcase the wonders of natural gradients.

Knit entirely in garter stitch with yarn-over increases, this fun, crescent shaped shawl lets you relax and enjoy the play of natural wool shades, An i-cord bind off - attached as you work - provides a perfect finish to this relaxed and fun knit.

Although beautiful as a natural gradient, this pattern would also work well in modern brights or by pairing a colourful single skein with a more neutral background.

The pattern is for sale via Ravelry - here - but if you would like to win a free copy of the pattern head over to my Instagram account for a chance to win.

Wyrt Socks

The first pattern launch of 2016 is a bit of a cheat really. The Wyrt Socks were originally released in November as a 4-part Mystery KAL on the Ravelry Solid Socks group. It was my first time writing a pattern for a mystery KAL and it was so much fun. Lots of folks in the group were new to toe-up socks and were really keen to try a new technique. There was lots of chatter and support and, I'm pleased to say lots of new and beautiful socks as a result.

Wyrt Socks and the tree roots that inspired them.

The pattern was inspired by winding tree roots on one of our favourite family walks in the Lake District. We spent a happy autumn day there not too long ago, finding and trying to identify fungi, picking up leaves and generally having a fun family potter about.

The socks themselves were knit using one of my favourite sock yarns - Pendle 4ply by Eden Cottage Yarns. As a Lancashire girl who grew up in sight of Pendle Hill, the name alone would be enough to entice me but Victoria's genius with colours and the firmly plied yarn with just a hint of halo makes this a perfect yarn choice.

The socks feature two bold, textured cables which wind along the front of the sock, offset by garter stitch panels. Garter stitch is surprisingly underused in sock patterns - and speaking personally - I love the added squish factor that it gives. So much so that I decided to depart from my usual heel treatment and opt for a garter stitch short row heel. Fun and quick to work I really like how the garter stitch gives an added stretch to what can, traditionally be a difficult heel type for some people.

To see the pattern on Ravelry and to check out some of the inspirational projects - please click here.

The Drift Collection



I have news of another pattern release this week, and it is all the more exciting for being under wraps for so long.

I was approached by Victoria of Eden Cottage yarns to work with her and a number of very talented designers on a new collaborative collection featuring her amazingly smooshy Whitfell alpaca dk yarn.

by kind permission of Victoria Magnus


The Drift collection was published at the weekend and it has been wonderfully well received. The photography and styling is beautiful and Victoria does a wonderful job of modelling many of the pieces.

She has put together a look book which you can see here and all the patterns are available on Ravelry, either individually or as an e-book. As if that weren't enough pre-orders are also being taken for the printed version too which comes with a dinky download code to pop the patterns into your Ravelry library.

I was really pleased to work such a talented bunch of people and the whole collection is really well worth a look. 
Drift Collection ebook on Ravelry


The alpaca yarn was wonderful to work with and one thing that struck me whilst swatching with it is it's versatility. The Hardcastle Mitts were worked at a fairly firm gauge on 3mm needles to give a harder wearing fabric, but it was equally at home worked on 4mm or 5mm needles for a more lofty fabric. As you would expect from Victoria there are some amazing shades to choose from and to tempt you.

Do leave a comment below and let me know what you think - I'd love to hear what you are planning to make.

Sock design challenge: Week 4



So, it looks as though you would like a little bit more adventure in the heel department. The 'something different' option won by quite a margin.

We are looking at a unisex sock with a simple, easy to memorise cable repeat and something a little out of the ordinary for the heel. It's a good job I have been doing my homework and have a few tricks up my sleeve.

I have left the most difficult question until last.

Most of my designs I like to offer in both toe-up and cuff down formats but due to the time constraints of this project only one option will be on offer.

So, over to you...

1. Toe-up

2. Cuff down.

Leave a comment below or head on over to the Ravelry group to cast your vote.

FO Friday: Sty Head Tarn socks

I'm very pleased to be able to whizz by this morning and show off my latest pattern.
The Sty Head Tarn socks were inspired by one of our favourite picnic spots when we are holidaying in the English Lake District. We have been there in snow, ice, sun and gales. Each time it is beautiful in a different way.
As with many of my patterns this can be worked toe-up up or cuff down - go on - I dare you to try a different way this time!
I am also experimenting with a different pricing structure on my Ravelry shop. Add any 4 of my patterns to your cart and receive an automatic 20% discount.
As the temperature reaches 32 F here, what better way to celebrate than with woolly socks.

Beltane


What better way to kick off my new website than with a brand new pattern for spring.

Beltane is a collaboration with the wonderful Eleanor of Solstice Yarns who loves to hand-dye yarn in fabulous nature-inspired colours. Her yarns are really a joy to behold and my limited photographic skills certainly don't do them justice.

The colourway for these socks is Feathered Nest - inspired by duck egg blue bird's eggs nestling in a cute twiggy nest.

These socks feature an unusual twisted cable which is fun but surprisingly simple to work and a little elegant ribbing to keep the look unisex and ensure a good fit.


As usual, the pattern is offered in both toe-up and cuff down formats - as I know that not everyone shares my enthusiasm for the toe-up way. Also, the sample as shown features the Fish Lips Kiss Heel - my new favourite. The pattern when purchased will have my usual heel flap construction but if you would like to try a new heel which works with both toe-up and cuff down then I highly recommend giving the Fish Lips Kiss Heel a try. At just $1 (approx 60p) the pattern is superb value for money and gives a wealth of information which I'm sure will be of value in your sock knitting journey.



So, if you'd like to welcome the arrival of spring with a bit of sock knitting how about joining us for a KAL, over on the Solstice Yarns group. There are no rules, other than having fun and chatting and all are welcome.

As an added incentive, use the code Beltane at checkout to get a 25% discount on the purchase price (usually £2.50)