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


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.

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....

Taking it Easy

After the rather frenetic pace of Stash Dash I feel the need to slow down a little in my knitting. Clearing some longer term projects – I’m looking at you MiteredCrosses blanket – has been very rewarding but I now need a more relaxed project. Something to savour and enjoy.

Work knitting is quite busy right now with deadlines aplenty and several designs in the pipeline and I need something for recreational knitting that I can relax with and enjoy. Something to knit for pure pleasure and luckily I have just the thing.

This skein of gorgeousness is by the very talented Eleanor of Solstice Yarns in a much admired custom-dyed colourway called Beetle. Eleanor has dyed this colourway onto a range of her bases and my skein has been sitting patiently in my stash, awaiting its turn to shine.

The SolsticeYarns group are having a relaxed KAL from August through the end of the year – a ‘Beetle-along – allowing people to share their projects and inspiration for this beautiful yarn.

Southern Shawl - © Truly Myrtle

I am going to be making the Southern Shawl by Libby of Truly Mrytle Designs. There is a lot of simple stocking stitch and texture which I think will work really well with this silky smooth yarn and the lace at the end looks particularly pretty and delicate.

Even better – the shawl is asymmetrical in construction, meaning that I can double dip with the Yarns at Yin Hoo Aymmeti-CAL – always a bonus.

The main aim with this project is to slow down a little and just to enjoy the project for it's own sake. With yarn so beautiful I want to enjoy the whole process and this shawl looks like the perfect way to do that.

Joining in with the Makealong

Those of you who are regular readers will know that I can never resist a KAL and now that my Aestlight Shawl for the Knit British Hapalong is finished my 4 mm needles were in need of a new project.

It was perfect timing then to join in with the Makealong, hosted by Sarah of Crafts from the Cwtch. Knitting or crochet - anything goes and the intention is to try a new technique or somehow challenge yourself.

I couldn't decide on a pattern so in the end I cast on for a simple heart shaped garter stitch shawl of my own devising - so I guess it does count as a challenge. I'm enjoying the squishy gartery goodness for now but the intention is to add some contrast stripes and maybe a fancy border.
How about you - if you are joining in I would love to know what you are making.

The Accidental FO

The accidental FO

How does one accidentally create an FO?

If like me, you tend to jump into things with both feet, it's quite simply really.

A chance mention by Victoria of the wonderful Eden Cottage Yarns about a forthcoming KAL made my knitterly ears prick up. The pattern in question is a wonderful shawl - Quadratic - designed by David O'Kelly. Using 1.5 skeins of sock weight yarn this is a generous garter stitch shawl which uses small scraps of leftovers or mini skeins to create fun, colourful and rather addictive stripes.

Garter stitch - check
Mini skeins - check
2 skeins of delicious ECY Titus sitting in my stash - check

Faster than you can say KNIT! I was off and away.

The work week from hell, kids homework woes (curse you, long division) and a husband working on a different continent meant that I was sorely in need of a soothing garter stitch (and red wine).
Quadratic shawl by David O'Kelly

Without giving away the "secret sauce", the pattern has you start out with a large number of stitches and then work decreases until the end. At the beginning the more closely spaced stripes spur you on to work "just one more row". And once you are past the half way point, the ever decreasing stitch count means that the project just flies off the needles.

It is rare for me to knit a shawl so quickly, especially one with 150m of yarn but this was a true pleasure. A sort of "perfect storm" of pattern, yarn and stress and I am truely delighted with the finished product.

The shawl measures a generous 55" by 25" after very gentle blocking and patting (lots of patting) and it is wonderfully wearable.
Quadratic shawl - in action

Of course there is the minor detail of the fact that I have managed to start and finish the shawl before the official start date of Dec 1st.

Drat! Oh well, I will just have to make another. It's a hard life ;)

For all the KAL details check the ECY group on Ravelry - here

See you there :)

FO Friday: Velvet Rose

A really lovely pattern to share with you today - the new design by Helen Stewart of the Curious Handmade Podcast: Velvet Rose shawl.

I was lucky enough to be able to help out with test knitting this lovely shawl, especially as it meant that I was able to use almost every last inch of some wonderful Golden Skein Yarn. I used the Dye For Yarn merino/baby camel from the last Golden Skein package - Tornado over London.

It is a fingering weight yarn with a squooshy 480m per skein and so I wanted a project that would allow me to use up almost all of the yarn, without leaving too much in my 'leftovers' bag.

I haven't knit one of Helen's patterns before but I had heard from other knitters that she writes her patterns in a really lovely, clear way and I'm pleased to confirm that this is indeed so. In particular she includes stitch counts after increase rows along with the percentage of yarn used. I really loved this aspect as it meant I had the confidence in my remaining yarn and that I didn't have to play 'yarn chicken' - as mentioned by the Knitmore Girls - as I approached the bind-off.

The yarn knit up wonderfully, the pattern was fabulous and the whole thing was just a pleasure to knit, and in little under a week, amazingly quick too.

Isn't is great when yarn and pattern combine in perfect harmony?