Friday, 14 September 2018

New design: Little Fox Sweater

I have a new pattern for you today, the Little Fox Sweater.*



Foxes are one of my favourite creatures, and a perennial favourite children's character. The Little Fox jumper is perfect for Autumn with its cheeky fox on the front.


The Little Fox Sweater is knitted flat from the bottom up in sections that are seamed before adding the neckline in the round. The jumper is knitted in stocking stitch with 2 x 2 ribbing for the cuffs, hem and neckline; the fox motif is added using the intarsia technique. The pattern is written in 5 sizes: 2 (4, 6, 8, 10) years and is designed to fit with 2 inches of positive ease.



The sample is knitted in Stylecraft Life DK,* one of my favourite yarns for hard-wearing children's garments. Using DK weight yarn makes for a nice lightweight jumper that is perfect for layering.

Fancy knitting your own Little Fox Sweater? You can find the pattern in the October 2018 issue of I Like Knitting magazine. I Like Knitting magazine* is an e-magazine that is available via a subscription model, giving you access to a whole host of beautiful patterns. You can also favourite and queue the pattern via the Ravelry pattern page.


Want to add the pattern to your Ravelry queue or favourites? The Ravelry pattern entry can be found here.

*Affiliate link.

Images copyright I Like Knitting.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Yarn along: In with the new

The past week has been one of many firsts: first day of infant school; first day of junior school; first day back at work for my husband after paternity leave; first day of looking after a newborn on my own in rather a long time. And somehow we’ve taken it all in our stride. I’m still in that happy newborn bubble, where to do lists have been replaced by lists of achievements (some as mundane as hanging out the washing and getting it back in again before the rain), and all that really matters is that we make it through each day in once piece.

I have managed to fit in a bit of reading, and some knitting (an additional bonus of all those hours spent feeding!). My reading for the last couple of weeks has apparently been sponsored by the Fletcher family, as I’ve read Happy Mum, Happy Baby by Giovanna Fletcher, followed in quick succession by The Creakers, which is written by her husband Tom Fletcher. Happy Mum, Happy Baby was passed on to me from my sister, and could be described as a memoir of early parenting, covering Giovanna’s personal experience of her first few years of being a parent first to one then two small boys. The book was the perfect read for the first few days of having a newborn - I have the hardback, so could lie it on a surface and not have to worry about losing my page, the font was quite big and the content light and chatty. The read was enjoyable, but don’t expect anything revolutionary, this really is just one mum telling the reader about her experience of parenting. Most of her parenting choices are very similar to mine, which made the read a comforting one, but if your views are very different to hers I suspect this book would annoy you massively!


The Creakers was a Christmas present to my son, which we tried reading together earlier in the year, but he didn’t enjoy it (all the parents in a town go missing within the first couple of chapters), so we stopped reading really early on in the story. The book’s been living on my bedside table ever since, so I picked it up last week, as children's books are perfect for reading whilst feeding in the middle of the night! I’m enjoying the story so far - it’s got a good level of suspense, and the story is really engaging. The tale is a classic 'things that go bump in the night', and I'm excited to see where Fletcher takes it.


My needles have been pretty quiet since the baby arrived. I've finished a baby cardigan, which is just adorable (it's a Baby Vertebrae, but I striped the yoke). I have contemplated casting on something new and exciting (possibly a cardigan for me), but instead have continued with the socks I was knitting for the Yarndale sock line. I have absolutely missed the deadline for these (they needed to arrive in Skipton by the start of September), and at a few rounds a day they may still be on the needles when Yarndale actually happens, but that's fine, I'll donate them next year. I'm using Cascade Heritage Prints* in the colourway Lights, and it's beautiful to work with - the yarn is smooth and non-splity and the colours are really vibrant. Maybe next month I'll have something new on the needles, but don't hold your breath!



What are you reading and working on at the minute? Any book recommendations?

Linking up with Ginny for Yarn Along.


Happy knitting!

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Baby news

We have a baby!

It's been quiet round here for a few weeks while I've been on the beginnings of maternity leave. Well I finally have news for you: I gave birth to my second daughter last week!


She is amazing, and I'm enjoying lots of precious newborn cuddles. Having already had two babies, I know that the snuggly sleepy phase won't last long, so excuse me while I go and spend some more time just gazing at her.

Happy knitting (I've managed a whole two inches of baby sleeve since she arrived!).

Friday, 24 August 2018

New design: Raymond Briggs' Father Christmas sweater

"So jump up on my sleigh and we're all on our way, for another bloomin' Christmas..." Yes, it's August, and yes, I am talking about Christmas already, with a new design that I am particularly excited about.

You may recall that a few months ago I had an oddly large addition to my Yarnometer post - enough yarn to knit an adult-sized jumper? Well here it is, my first ever adult jumper design! And as you might have guessed, it's an intarsia design, featuring none other than Raymond Briggs' Father Christmas.


Father Christmas was a staple of my childhood, with my siblings and I watching the beautifully hand-drawn cartoon television version every Christmas Eve. I loved the unconventional depiction of Father Christmas as a grumpy old man who referred to Christmas as "bloomin'" rather than "Merry" and wanted nothing more than to get it out of the way. I was of course, honoured when Kate Heppell from Knit Now contacted me earlier in the year to ask whether I would design a jumper featuring this festive icon.

The jumper is knitted in pieces and has set-in sleeves, with the Father Christmas design knitted into the front using the intarsia technique. I've kept embroidery to a minimum on this design, as the blocks of colour worked perfectly without the need for extra outlining. The pattern is written for sizes XS to 5X, with unisex sizing, so you could knit one for everyone you know!


The design is knitted in Rico Essentials Soft Merino Aran,* which is a beautiful aran weight yarn that is a delight to knit with.


If you'd like to knit your own Father Christmas jumper, you'll need to get your hands on a copy of Knit Now Issue 92, which is available in the UK now, or you can order a copy online via the More Mags website. Please note that this pattern is not included in international editions of the magazine, or in digital versions.

*Affiliate link.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

New design: Triangulation hat and mitts set

Is summer over already? As I stare out of the window at the falling rain I'm starting to think it might be! Even if it's not, August is a good time to start thinking about winter knits, and my latest pattern: Triangulation hat and mitts might be just what you're looking for.


I've always been a fan of simple geometric patterns, and spent hours colouring books full of them when I was little. Now I like to knit them, and find their repetitive nature meditative to knit. Add a bright contrast pop and you have a real stand-out item of knitwear!


The hat is knitted in the round from the bottom up, starting with a section of ribbing that is folded back on itself (perfect for keeping your ears cosy when the cold weather arrives). The main body of the hat is knitted using stranded colourwork, and the colourwork pattern is continued right into the crown decreases. The hat pattern is written for 3 adult sizes, and is designed to fit as a beanie with 2.5 cm negative ease.


The pattern contains instructions for both the hat and mitts. The mitts are knitted in the round from the cuff up, starting with a deep ribbed section, then the main mitt is knitted in the same colourwork pattern as the hat. The thumbs are added using the afterthought method with waste yarn added during the knitting of the mitt. The mitt is finished with a ribbed cuff that can be folded back on itself or worn unfolded for extra warmth. The mitts is written for 4 adult sizes, each with 1 cm negative ease.

One of the things I enjoyed most about this project was the yarn. The hat and mitts are both knitted using Find Me Knitting Mary, a beautiful light aran alpaca/wool blend in deep saturated colours. I had originally planned to knit the set using the green for the ribbing and the pink as the second colour for the colourwork, but after a couple of swatches had changed my mind as the yarn seemed to request to be the other way round. All the items in the set can be knitted quite quickly, making them great for gift knitting (I'm planning on knitting a hat for a friend for Christmas). 



Want to get your hands on the pattern? They can be found in Issue 92 of Knit Now magazine, which is available in the UK today, or can be ordered online via the More Mags website


All images copyright Practical Publishing.

Friday, 17 August 2018

Not goodbye...

Hello! I hope this finds you well. Some of you may know that I am really not far off having a baby, so for the foreseeable future I will be on maternity leave and things are going to be a little quieter than usual around here.


I'll continue to update my blog with my Yarnometer and FO Friday posts, and I might even manage to write the odd Yarn Along post if I ever manage to read anything again... There are also some third party publications that I have coming up in the next few months, and they're going to have their own blog posts as usual. I won't be closing my Ravelry and Love Knitting stores while I'm absent, so you'll still be able to pick up patterns if you'd like.*


I'll be back some time in the new year with new designs. Until then, happy knitting!

*Remember, if you buy 4 individual patterns from my Ravelry store, you'll get the cheapest one free. Just add the patterns to your basket and the discount will be applied when you check out.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Available now: Unicorn of the sea jumper

Narwhals are my favourite of the 'mythical' beasts, mostly because they are real - I love that they are so implausible! My celebration of the narwhal, the Unicorn of the Sea Sweater, which features a cheeky-looking narwhal, was released via I Like Knitting magazine, and is now available as an individual pattern from my Ravelry store.




The Unicorn of the Sea Sweater is knitted flat from the bottom up in sections that are seamed before adding the neckline in the round. The jumper is knitted in stocking stitch with 2 x 2 ribbing for the cuffs, hem and neckline and the narwhal motif is added using the intarsia technique. The pattern is written in 6 sizes: 2 (4, 6, 8, 10, 12) years and is designed to fit with 5 cm [2 inches] of positive ease.**




The jumper is knitted in Stylecraft Life DK,* which is one of my favourite basic yarns. The yarn is 75% acrylic and 25% wool, and is machine washable, so you don't need to be precious about the jumper getting washed and worn over and over again.


The Unicorn of the sea jumper pattern is available now from my Ravelry store, and from now until 11.59pm BST, Saturday 25th August 2018 you can have 25% off the pattern, no code needed.

*Affiliate link. 

**Yes, I have added an extra size compared to the magazine pattern, perfect for slightly larger narwhal lovers!