Tuesday 26 November 2019

The Indie Design Gift-A-Long 2019

For the past few years, a group of independent knit and crochet designers have joined forces on Ravelry for the Indie Design GAL: a great big knit and crochet along aimed at supporting and promoting the work of independent designers, as well as kickstarting your festive gift crafting. And the event is back! Starting at 20.00 (EST, for other time zones, you can use this converter) until the end of the year, the Indie Design GAL group on Ravelry will be a hive of activity.*

The GAL starts with a sale. Every designer participating in the event is offering 25% off a selection of their designs using the code giftalong2019. Simply add the patterns you want to you Ravelry cart, use the code when checking out and get a bargain! To see which patterns a designer has included, head to their designer profile (here's mine as an example) and look for the bundle labelled Gift-A-Long 2019, this bundle will feature all the patterns the designer has chosen to include in the sale. Do note that you will have to checkout separately for each designer you wish to buy from. The sale lasts until Monday 2nd December at 11:59 pm (US-EST).

The second portion of the GAL is a massive knit and crochet along. Any paid for design** by a participating designer is eligible for inclusion in the craft along, just head to the Ravelry group* and get crafting. If you finish an item before the end of the GAL (23.59 EST, Tuesday 31st December 2019), post it to the finished objects thread for the appropriate category and at the end of the GAL, you could win a prize (there are some great prizes on offer*).

As well as the sale and knit and crochet along, there are lots of activities taking place in the Ravelry group, including quizzes and games. There is also an Instagram challenge running for the duration of the GAL, with photo prompts for specific days. I'll be taking part in the Instagram challenge, so follow me over there if you would like to see what I'm posting.

I am one of the participating designers in the GAL. You can find my sale bundle on my designer page, and any of my paid for patterns can be knitted as part of the knit and crochet along portion of the event.**

A selection of my GAL sale patterns: 25% off with code giftalong2019

*Note that you will have to signed in to Ravelry for these links to work. Joining Ravelry is free and Ravelry is an excellent resource for knitters and crocheters.

**You can also join in the GAL by knitting a free design by any of the participating designers, but these will not be eligible for prizes.Patterns published in third party publications count as paid for patterns.

Thursday 21 November 2019

Festive unicorn of the sea sweater: now live on I Like Knitting!

What is cuter than a cartoon narwhal? A narwhal in a Santa hat!

My second design in the December 2019 issue of I Like Knitting is the Festive unicorn of the sea sweater,* which features just that: a narwhal in a Santa hat! This is the perfect Christmas sweater for a child who wants something just a little bit different!

The inspiration: Unicorn of the sea sweater
Copyright Vikki Bird

The design is inspired by my Unicorn of the Sea Sweater, which I designed for the February 2018 issue of I Like Knitting, and can be found in my Ravelry store.

The Festive unicorn of the sea sweater* is knitted flat from the bottom up in sections that are seamed before adding the neckline. 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 5 sizes: 2 (4, 6, 8, 10) years and is designed to fit with 2 inches of positive ease.

The sample is knitted in Debbie Bliss Rialto DK,** which is a lovely soft merino with excellent stitch definition. The yarn is also machine washable, which makes it ideal for kids' knits.

The Festive unicorn the sea pattern* is available now in the December 2019 issue of I Like Knitting magazine. I Like Knitting is an e-magazine and is available via a subscription service. For full details, head to the I Like Knitting website.*

Want to queue the pattern on Ravelry? Click here

Unless otherwise stated, all images copyright I Like Knitting magazine.


This is my second design in the December 2019 issue of I Like Knitting. Missed the other design? Click here to find out more!

*I Like Knitting magazine is an e-zine available via a subscription model. Full details can be found here. All links to I Like Knitting are affiliate links.

*Affiliate link.

Tuesday 19 November 2019

Fuchsia snowflakes cowl: new on I Like Knitting!

As is often the way, after quiet period for new designs, I have a veritable feast to share with you over the next few weeks...

The first new design to share with you is my Fuchsia snowflakes cowl,* which is available in the December 2019 issue of I Like Knitting magazine, which is available now. The issue features lots of classic festive designs from previous issues, as well as several new designs that are inspired by designs previously published in I Like Knitting.

The Fuchsia snowflakes cowl features a tessellating snowflake design based on traditional Scandinavian knitting, and is inspired by the bold Snowflake infinity scarf I designed for the February 2017 issue of I Like Knitting.*** This cowl sits perfectly around the neck and provides just the right amount of extra warmth and coziness. Knitted as a single layer tube and in the round, this fair isle beauty is guaranteed to be a favourite this season.
The original design: Snowflake infinity scarf

The sample is knitted in Malabrigo Rios** in shades Fucsia and Natural. The yarn is an absolute delight to work with, and comes in a wide array of variegated and tonal colour ways.

What is extra-exciting is that the design is on the cover!

The Fuchsia snowflakes cowl is published in the December 2019 issue of I Like Knitting magazine,* an e-zine that is available via a subscription model. If you'd like to add the pattern to your Ravelry queue or favourites, the pattern page can be found here.


The Fuchsia snowflakes cowl is not my only pattern in the December 2019 issue of I Like Knitting. For a sneak peak at the other pattern, take a look at this link. I'll tell you more about it later this week...

*I Like Knitting is an e-zine, which is available via a subscription model. Affiliate link.

**Affiliate link.

***This pattern will be available as an individual download from my Ravelry store in December 2019.

All images copyright I Like Knitting. Reproduced with permission.

Sunday 3 November 2019

Triangulation hat and mitts set - INCLUDING INTRODUCTORY OFFER!

It is definitely autumn here in the UK right now - mornings are dark, evenings are dark, and sometimes there's not all that much daylight in between the two! Time for a bright and colourful kit to add a little cheer to those darker days... Handily for the time of year, my Triangulation hat and fingerless mitts also make perfect quick Christmas gifts!

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 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.

Both items are knitted in a lightweight aran yarn, so you could use DK, worsted or aran yarn - this project is also a great stashbuster as only small amount of each yarn is required. Get stash-diving and start playing with colours!

Both patterns are available in my Ravelry store now, and if you use the code TRIANGLES you can get 75% off until 11.59pm GMT, Monday 4th November 2019. If you've missed that window, don't worry, after Monday the code will give you 25% off until 11.59pm GMT, Saturday 9th November 2019. Happy knitting!

Triangulation hat

Triangulation fingerless mitts

All images copyright Practical Publishing; this pattern was first published in Knit Now magazine, issue 92.

Saturday 2 November 2019

Afterthought thumb tutorial

In this photo tutorial, I show you how to knit an afterthought or 'peasant' thumb.* This type of thumb is used instead of a gusset, and is great for colour work designs where you don't want to disrupt the colour work with a gusset.

Before you begin:
  • I refer to 'mitt' throughout this tutorial, but the technique also applies if you're knitting mittens.
  • You can use DPNs or the magic-loop technique to create an afterthought thumb; if you are using a long circular needle for magic-loop, just use the two tips of the circular needle in place of the DPNs when picking-up the stitches above and below the waste yarn in Steps 6 and 7.
  • In addition to the materials needed to knit your mitts, you will also require a length (or two, if you're knitting both mitts before adding in the thumbs) of smooth waste yarn in roughly the same weight as the yarn used to knit the main body of the mitts.

What to do...

Step 1: Knit the mitt according to the pattern as far as the thumb placement point.

Step 2: Using a length of waste yarn, knit the thumb stitches from the left to the right needle. Use a smooth yarn of roughly the same weight as the main yarn (you'll be unpicking these stitches later, and you want the waste yarn to be easy to remove).

Step 3: Slip the stitches you knitted using the waste yarn from the right needle back to the left needle.

Step 4: Using the main yarn, knit the waste yarn stitches in pattern.

Step 5: Continue to knit the main body of the mitt as given in the pattern.

Step 6: Using a DPN, pick-up the thumb stitches in the row below the waste yarn (pick-up one stitch per stitch knitted in waste yarn). You should be picking-up the right leg of each stitch. If you are using a long circular needle for magic-loop, pick-up the stitches from the right end to the left, as shown.

Step 7: Using a second DPN, pick-up the thumb stitchess in the row above the waste yarn (again, pick-up one stitch per stitch knitted in waste yarn). You should be picking up the right leg of each stitch. If you are using a long circular needle for magic-loop, pick-up the stitches from the left end to the right.

Step 8: Carefully unravel the waste yarn from between the two rows of picked-up stitches.

Step 9: Using DPNs and the yarn that you will be using to knit the thumb, knit the stitches from the bottom DPN.

Step 10: Continuing to use the working yarn, pick-up and knit one or two stitches in the gap between the bottom and top DPN (the pattern should tell you how many stitches to pick-up at this point; if the pattern does not mention picking any stitches up at this point, I would recommend picking-up and knitting at least one, then decreasing it away on the next round - this closes up any gaps that could appear at the base of the thumb).

Step 11: Continuing to use the working yarn, knit the stitches from the top DPN.

Step 12: Continuing to use the working yarn, pick-up and knit the same number of stitches in the gap between the top and bottom DPNs as you did on the other side.

Step 13: Work the thumb in pattern, remembering to decrease away any extra stitches you picked up between the DPNs.

Step 14: Fasten off to reveal your completed thumb.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful. You can find this type of thumb in these patterns, which are all available in my Ravelry store:

*Technically this is a 'forethought' thumb, as you use waste yarn to hold the thumb stitches while you knit the main body of the mitt/mitten, but it is still referred to as an afterthought thumb. For a true afterthought thumb, you'd skip the waste yarn placement and snip the live stitches to create the hole for the thumb.