Tuesday, 17 July 2018

New design: Rainbow Unicorn cushion

One of the things I've been really keen to do this year is to republish some of my most popular magazine patterns, and the one I'm releasing today was absolutely at the top of my list: the Rainbow Unicorn cushion.*

Unicorns have been everywhere for the past couple of years, and this is my cheerful take on the trend. The cushion, featuring the silhouette of a unicorn's head, is knitted in a bright rainbow palette of self-striping yarn. The unicorn motif is added using a combination of intarsia and stranded colourwork in order to maintain the stripe pattern across the whole unicorn head. If you can't get hold of any rainbow striped yarn, of course you could work the unicorn head in a single colour, or devise your own stripe sequence and use several balls of yarn.

The pattern also works in a single colour

The cushion is 43 cm (17.25 in) square, designed to fit an 46 cm (18 in) square cushion pad with 3 cm negative ease. The cushion is knitted in one piece and fastened with six 18mm (0.75 in) buttons across the back on a ribbed button band. Half the back is knitted, then the front, then the second half of the back and the side seams are then stitched. 

Instructions for the intarsia section are provided both as a chart and as written instructions.
The sample was knitted in West Yorkshire Spinners Aire Valley Aran, which has unfortunately been discontinued (there is still some available from Love Knitting* if you're quick, but not in the rainbow colourway). There are quite a few self-striping yarns on the market at the minute that would also work: Caron Cakes** (which is lovely to work with), Lion Brand Lanscapes** (which comes in amazing saturated colourways), Bernat Pop** (again, lots of nice bright colourways), and Knit Picks Chroma (the Pegasus colourway would be beautiful).

Fancy picking up a copy of the pattern right away? You can find it here. From now until 11.59pm BST Thursday 26th July 2018, the pattern has 25% off, no code needed.

*This pattern was first published in Issue 4 of Essential Knits.
**Affiliate links.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Yarnometer: June 2018

We're halfway through the year already! And there might have been quite a lot of yarn coming in and out of my stash...

Projects finished

A hat and mitt set for a magazine
I am really excited to share these with you in the near future, but unfortunately they're top secret at the minute.

An adult-sized jumper
And I'm even more excited about this one. Keep your eyes peeled for something appearing around Christmas...

Hats for twins
I got to meet my shiny new twin nieces in June and they are tiny. So tiny in fact that my sister requested smaller hats for them. I made this cute little pair, which might have gone to live on their teddies!

Socks for a friend
The Marathon sock KAL is still going in my Ravelry group, and this is this month's contribution. I finished the first sock in four days, the second took three and a half weeks (at least in part because I managed to burn my finger, which took a few weeks to heal).

The ins and outs of yarn

Yarn in
  • 150g of yarn for the baby hats
  • 300g of sock yarn from Love Knitting, at least 200g of that is for pattern samples, the other one is one I could not resist!
  • 1300g of yarn for a festive commission
  • 100g of self-striping sock yarn a friend was destashing
  • 200g of sock yarn from a visit to Ringarosie
  • 200g of beautiful sock yarn that came in a Peacock-themed box from Unbelievawool
Self-striping goodness
Peacock yarn from Unbelievawool
Assorted sock yarns. I couldn't say no to the stripey one!

Yarn out
  • 129g for a hat
  • 54g for a pair of mitts
  • 403g for an adult-sized jumper
  • 26g for the hats for the twins
  • 56g for the socks

Yarn in: 2250g
Yarn out or used: 2350g
Total: –100g - yes, that's right, more yarn left the house than arrived!

Year to date (halfway through the year!)
Yarn in: 18667g
Yarn out: 6643g
Yarn used: 4384g
Total: 7640g

A much better month in terms of yarn leaving rather than entering the house. I'm hoping to have lots of FOs to show off in next month's Yarnometer, but they'll all be tiny as it's been way too hot so far in July and the concept of knitting anything heavier than socks is a bit alien... I have quite a lot of work to do if I want to get to zero by the end of the year (hint, it's not happening!).

Friday, 13 July 2018

FO Friday: Beatrice baby blanket

Last week some of my close friends had a new baby, which means I can finally properly share the baby blanket I made for them.

As soon as I found out my friends were having a baby, I knew exactly the type of thing I wanted to make for their new arrival - a crochet baby blanket that was airy enough for the summer, but snuggly enough for the autumn too, and in rainbow colours. My friends are not knitters, so I decided to make the blanket from an easy-care yarn, going for Stylecraft Special DK as it comes in lots of bright, bold colours, there are plenty of options for rainbows, and it withstands everything a small child is likely to throw at it really well.

To decide what colours to go for, I did a lot of browsing on Ravelry to see what other people had already done. There were many, many beautiful colourways that stood out, some girly, some very masculine, and some happily in the middle. I eventually found a favourite, then tweaked a couple of the colours for ones that I preferred, and ordered my yarn.

Choosing the pattern was easy: I made a Beatrice by Little Doolally for a different friend's wedding a few years ago and loved making it, so knew that I wanted to do that again. The pattern is lovely to work from, and grows quite quickly. The only slight drawback is that its open nature means it's hard to work over the ends as you go, and you end up having to darn in lots of ends at the end.

The finished blanket is beautiful, and has been well received. Even better there are enough rainbow  leftovers to make a blanket for another friend who is currently expecting a baby - I'm thinking of a Bertie Baby Blanket (also by Little Doolally) using Silver as the neutral colour.

What's your favourite baby blanket pattern?


Pattern: Beatrice Baby Blanket by Little Dolally
Yarn: Stylecraft Special DK* in Cream, Lipstick, Spice, Saffron, Lime, Aster, Violet and Emperor
Ravelry project page

*Affiliate link.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

New design: Soft Sky Baby Cardigan

Another week, another new design! This one is slightly autumnal in feel, which seems a little surreal bearing in mind the crazy warm temperatures we've been experiencing in the past few weeks!

I love preppy-style clothing on small children, and cardigans make a perfect additional layer during the transitional period from summer to autumn (cast it on now to be ready for autumn!). The Soft Sky Baby Cardigan* is a gorgeous little cabled cardigan that features classic raglan shaping combined with intricate cabled panels that run down the two fronts of the garment. The cardigan is knitted from the bottom up, with the sleeves and body joined at the base of the yoke.

The Soft Sky Baby Cardigan is designed in five sizes (to fit ages 3 months to 2 years, with finished chest sizes of 19 to 23.5 inches).

The sample is knitted in Sublime Yarns Extra Fine Merino Wool DK* (100% Extra Fine Merino; 127 yards [116 meters]/50 grams), which is, as the name suggests, a pretty luxurious option; it's wonderfully soft and has beautiful stitch definition. It also comes in a lovely array of colours, both bold and subtle, so I'm sure you'll be able to find a shade you like.

If you'd like to knit the Soft Sky Baby Cardigan, you can find the pattern in the August 2018 issue of I Like Knitting magazine.* I Like Knitting magazine is a digital magazine that can be purchased via subscription. More information can be found here.

Want to favourite or queue the pattern on Ravelry? The Ravelry listing can be found here.

*Affiliate link.

All images are copyright I Like Knitting.