louisetilbrookdesigns

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.

Ambitious? My weekend knitting plans.

I have high hopes of some serious knitting action this weekend.

As well as two designs that need to be finished - one shawl and one pair of socks - I have two other exciting projects clamouring for my attention.

Keeping busy this weekend.

Keeping busy this weekend.

The first is the new shawl design from Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade. The Talisman shawl is the first in a series of six shawls which she has called The Shawl Society. Each month sees the release of a new pattern which is kept secret until the release date. As you would expect from Helen, tons of additional information is provided in terms of yarn choice, sizes and top tips to help you achieve a great looking shawl.

I'm not sure that I will manage to keep up with all six - the KAL running over on Ravelry is super busy and full of lots of chatter - but I know that I will be able to work my way through them in my own time and end up with a series of fabulous shawls at the end.

My own personal challenge during this KAL is to use up yarn from my stash, and to use the yarn I have to showcase the fabulous range of indie dyers we have in the UK. Many of the 4ply skeins I have in my stash have come to me via The Golden Skein yarn club and are from some brilliantly talented dyers. As each shawl design is kept secret it is difficult at this stage to know which yarns I will be using but I have quite a lot to pick from so I think I should be OK.

I am knitting Talisman in one of the recommended yarns, which must be a first for me. It just so happened that I had a coveted skein/cake of the Wool Kitchen's Urban Hints yarn which was one of the ones Helen used for the samples.

Urban Hints is a wonderful gradient yarn that gradually introduces speckles of darker colour until eventually you transition fully from light to dark. Interestingly though, Helen opted to start with the dark shade on the outside of the cake and work towards the lighter centre - so I am copying her :) I think the lighter border will work really well with the long crescent shawl border.

Working clockwise we have a sock design using lovely Rusty Ferret yarns from Fluph. My tech editor is primed and ready to go with the pattern draft so I just need to get a wriggle on and get these beauties off the needles.

Next up we have a shawl design using the fabulous new Wenslydale/Shetland 4ply from the Knitting Goddess. Again this is nearly 75% done and just needs a final push to see it on to the next stage of it's journey.

And finally, we have the amazingly addictive Vivid blanket which is approaching completion. Happily the new parents have requested a small pram-sized blanket as all their larger blankets keep dragging on the ground. This means that a 4x3 square arrangement will work perfectly. Just 1 square to go and then I get to practice my mattress stitch skills and turn it into a Finished Object. One more to go towards my Stash Dash total.

Right, that's my objectives sorted. How about yours? Do feel free to leave a comment below or tag me on social media with your #weekendknitting plans.

 

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.

Indie Designer Giftalong 2015

Aaand..they're off

The 3rd annual Indie Design Giftalong has now started over on Ravelry.

335 designers from 30 countries have combined to offer a fabulous 25% discount on selected patterns. Use code giftalong2015 at checkout from Thursday, November 19th at 8:00 pm US EST - Friday, November 27, 2015 at 11:59 pm US ES.


Louise Tilbrook Designs: GAL Patterns
As well as the sale and the chance to find some new-to-you designers there are KALs, competitions and general chatter happening over on the Indie Design Giftalong group.


 As you might expect I'll be hanging out in the thread related to sock and other foot/leg patterns but I can never resist checking out all the other amazing patterns - and I do need a new hat for winter....


New pattern release: Comb Gill socks

I am pleased to say that the second pattern in my sock series - Walks in Lakeland is published today.

Comb Gill - Louise Tilbrook Designs
The Comb Gill socks were inspired by a recent family walk up the mountain of Glaramara, this design represents the second in a series of four.



After you leave the fell wall and sheep behind you, you start the failry steep ascent and Comb Gill (pronounced Coombe Gill) provides an ideal spot for a quick drink and a breather. 

A scenic stopping point where a mountain beck cascades over dark grey slate and granite.
Comb Gill, Borrowdale

The small twisted cables in this sock echo the paths taken as the water finds it own way down the mountainside, carving intricate niches and channels as it does so.

As with many of my patterns, this is offered in both cuff down and toe-up formats - although I'm hoping to win you all over to the way of the toe-up eventually :)

Until midnight on Sunday April 19th, 2015 this pattern is offered with a 25% discount applied at the checkout - no code needed.

For added fun and for those speedy knitters amongst you, knitting a pair of your very own Comb Gill socks and posting a picture to your Ravelry project page (and in the FO thread on my Ravlery group - link here) will get you a discount code for 50% off any of my other patterns.

So, grab your needles and join me..next stop is the wild and rocky summit of Glaramara




 

Year of the Sock

A belated happy New year to you all

New Years Day in Buttermere
My new year started with a wet, windy and wonderful walk around Buttermere in the Lake District, battling the elements and having fun with the family.

A lovely, chilled out time was had by all with plenty of knitting and outdoor activities

A sunny day in Borrowdale
Lots of sock knitting in particular was done, despite me leaving all my beloved long circular needles at home. But even with DPNs I managed to come away with the makings of a lot more sock designs.

I am aiming to knit 15 pairs of socks in 2015 with 12 of them being my own designs. I have a cunning plan to base some of them on walks we did in the Lake District recently. With 3 or 4 socks per collection (or walk) they will guide you through some of the wonderful scenery on offer, and of course like all good country walks, will end in a sock named for a local pub :)

The first 2 pairs are on the needles and will be ready for testing soon. So dig out your walking boots and waterproofs (it isn't called the Lake District for nothing) and get ready to join me on Walks in the Lakes - Part 1.




A new pattern: Rosthwaite

And a good morning to you on this cold and frosty day.

I'm really pleased to be able to share my latest pattern with you today - the Rosthwaite socks.
Rosthwaite Socks: Cuff down with an afterthought heel


This pattern was designed as part of my Sock Design Challenge which I ran in September and invited you lovely readers and members of my Ravelry and Facebook pages to vote on key design elements.

The overwhelming vote was for top down socks with some fun stitch detail and nothing too complicated or stressful, and I really hope that you like the finished product as mych as I do.

As a bit of a change for me I have also worked these socks with an afterthought heel. The more I work this heel type the more pleased I am with it and if you have never tried it, maybe this is the project to start you off.

There are a lot of amazing resources on the web and I highly recommend the following as a good place to start.

The Knit Girllls have a fabulous tutorial: here

And excellent blog posts on the subject can be found here and here.

I really do hope you decide to give them a try. As a thank you for all your support and encouragement I'm offering a 25% discount until Nov 30th, 2014 with the code Rosthwaite.

Happy Knitting




Sock Design Challenge: A final vote

Apologies for the delay but I am pleased to be able to show you the sample for this challenge sock and also to ask you to vote one final time on a name for the pattern.



The names currently up for debate are:

1. Copper Mine
2. Bracken Wood
3. Rosthwaite
4. An other?

As you can tell, my name choices are skewed by my recent trip to the Lake District. The yarn colour really reminds me of barley sugar sweets but that name is already used :)

Seriously, please do vote and let me know what you think or feel free to suggest one of your own - in the true spirit of this challenge.

Sock design challenge: An Update

It may all have gone a little quiet but please rest assured that I am beavering away behind the scenes to bring you a snazzy and fun new cable pattern in time for some super-organised gift knitting in November and December.

I have tried to be faithful to the choices of the majority and so we have a cabled sock with a really effective but very simple repeat. We have it as a cuff down version (although you die-hard toe-uppers) could easily modify it and we have a fun alternative heel which might be something you haven't tried before.


The pattern will also include directions for a regular heel flap and gusset in case your nerves fail you at the last minute or in case you are up against a gift deadline and just want to power on through with your tried and tested method.

The pattern testing will be underway very shortly and my cunning plan is to release the pattern in early November.

Before that though, I will need to find a name for this design and so it seems only fitting that I turn to you for the final vote on this. I am putting together the shortlist and then I'll be asking you to vote once more for your favourite.


Back soon

xx

Sock Design Challenge: Work begins



Thank you all so much for your votes and participation over the last month. It's been really great to get so much feedback and I'm very much hoping that I can take all that valuable feedback and use it to create a sock pattern that you will really like and that you will want to knit.

I've cleared the needles, browsed my stitch dictionaries and chosen the yarn. So, this afternoon I sit down with a pencil and chart paper to get cracking.

Mmmmmmm....cables....my favourite :)

Back soon
xx

New month, new projects


There is something very special about this time of year. With just a nip of coolness in the morning air and mists on the fields there is a sense of seasons turning and autumn just around the corner. Time to get the chimney swept and winter logs ordered. Time for the kids to go back to school and fresh starts everywhere.

Since the start of this year I have been trying, in an effort to curb my constant cast-on enthusiasm, to limit the number of monthly projects I have. Making a concerted effort to finish that month's projects before starting the next. And should I find myself with bare needles (horror!) I can work on my Sock blankie or Mitered Crosses Blanket.

There is something very satisfying about lining up all my intended projects for the month. Although it seems that in September I will be mostly knitting Green Things. Not all of them will come to fruition but there is a great sense of anticipation as Sep 1st comes around and I can Cast On.


Clockwise from top we have:
West Yorkshire Spinners 4ply sock yarn - not quite sure yet but probably socks for DH
Rico Design Essentials soft aran - a baby blanket in my Where I Live series
Debbie Bliss Rialto DK - a Lush cardigan for my niece
Juno Fibre Arts Buffy Toughie sock yarn - a new cabled sock design.

If anyone wants me, I'll be in my favourite chair...