Friday, September 23, 2016

On The Needles - In The Frog Pond

Since we came back from Budapest, I've been focused on one project - a deadline sweater which is due next week. I was doing really well... I thought. I'd finished the front, one sleeve, nearly finished the second sleeve and I was about 20 rows into the armhole shaping on the back, when I realised I'd made a mistake. When I was grading the sleeve cap, I thought there were a lot more rows than normal in the sleeve cap but we were about to go off to Budapest and I was in a hurry so I didn't investigate properly. 


Then last weekend alarm bells started ringing again and I looked at my spreadsheet. Somehow the measurements I'd used for the armhole depth were wrong. About 5cm too deep. So I've had to rip back both the front and back to armhole shaping and add 5cm. I'm about halfway through the armhole shaping on the back now and I've still got to finish the front and re-knit the sleeve caps. I'll get it done in time for my deadline but it was extra knitting I could have done without. Perfect car knitting for our trip to Yorkshire and Yarndale this weekend though.


I haven't done much work on my purple cashmere project since we came home because I've been focusing on the sweater. But I did start the next chart and I've added the first few beads and I'm loving it! I can't wait to get back to working on this a bit more regularly next week.


Tomorrow and Sunday is Yarndale in Yorkshire. We're already in Yorkshire and looking forward to setting up for our stall this afternoon and I hope we'll see some of you at the show.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Carlyon Bay


Carlyon Bay is a big, beautiful, cozy new shawl. It starts as a crescent shape worked in stripes in garter stitch then the shaping changes slightly for the lace section. 


I've combined three colours of Lang Merino 200 (which I'll have at Yarndale this weekend and in the YarnAddict Shop from October) for a squishy, warm shawl perfect for autumn.


Carlyon Bay takes 50g of one colour and 100g each of two other colours. Carlyon Bay is 25% off until 30 September 2016. I will have the printed pattern and yarn at this weekend's Yarndale.

I can't wait to wear this shawl. It's getting chillier in the mornings and I think it'll be cool enough for big squishy shawls soon.


 Don't you love the Tattysquawk shawl pin below? I'll have a selection at Yarndale this weekend and in the YarnAddict Shop afterwards. 


If you're new to lace knitting, there are still spaces at my Easy Lace Knitting workshop at Spin A Yarn in October. Contact the shop to book.



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Monday, September 19, 2016

Monday Mini Tip - Various yarn overs

One thing that confused me when I tried to teach myself lace knitting about 10 years ago was yarn forwards or yarn overs. I knit the continental way and the books I looked at assumed the knitter was using the English knitting style. So the instructions made no sense to me.

In the UK, we have three different ways to explain a yarn over: yarn forward (yfwd), yarn over the needle (yon), yarn round the needle (yrn). 

Basically these versions all do the same thing: they make a new stitch by taking the yarn over the right needle. The different names depends on which stitch comes before or after. So if you're making a stitch between two knit stitches, it's called yarn forward. The other two terms are used if you're making a new stitch between two purl stitches, between a knit and a purl stitch or between a purl and a knit stitch. I can never remember in which situation yrn or yon is used and I know many other knitters struggle with this too.

When you knit the continental way, these terms are even more confusing because we hold the yarn in a different way to English knitters and it's especially confusing if you use the Norwegian purl rather than the standard continental purl

Americans seem to use yarn over to cover any situation when you take the yarn over the right needle to make a new stitch and I quickly decided to adopt this approach. So I use yarn over any time I make a stitch by taking the yarn over the right needle. So instead of using yfw, yon, yrn, I use yo (for yarn over).

How you work the yarn over depends on your knitting style and which stitch comes before and after the yarn over. The yarn over is only 'taking the yarn over the right needle'. The stitch before or after is not part of the yarn over.

So let's look at a few examples. I'm assuming you're using either the English style or continental style of knitting.

Yarn over between two knit stitches:
  • Your yarn is at the back because you knitted the previous stitch. 
If you knit the English way, take the yarn between the needles to the front (just as if you're getting ready to purl) then knit the next stitch. Your yarn over is just taking the yarn to the front.

If you knit the continental way, take the yarn between the needles to the front then over the right needle to the back. You're then ready to work the next stitch.

Yarn over between two purl stitches:
  • If you knit the English style or purl the regular continental way, your yarn will be at the front after purling a stitch.
  • If you purl the Norwegian way, your yarn will be at the back after purling a stitch.
For English knitters and knitters using regular continental purl, take the yarn over the right needle to the back (that's your yarn over) then because you're purling the next stitch, you need to take your yarn between the needles to the front again, so you're ready to purl the next stitch.

If you use the Norwegian purl, then take your yarn to the front between the needles, over the right needle (that's your yarn over) and then take the right needle behind the working yarn so you're ready to purl the next stitch.

Yarn over between a kit and a purl stitch:
  • Your yarn will be at the back because you've just knitted a stitch.
If you are an English style knitter or use regular continental purl, take the yarn between the needles to the front, over the right needle (that's your yarn over) then between the needles to the front again, so you're ready to purl the next stitch.

If you use the Norwegian purl, then take your yarn to the front between the needles, over the right needle (that's your yarn over) and then take the right needle behind the working yarn so you're ready to purl the next stitch.

Yarn over between a purl and a knit stitch:
  • If you are an English style knitter or use regular continental purl, the yarn will be at the front after the purl stitch.
For English knitters and knitters using the regular continental purl, if you just leave the yarn at the front where it is, that's your yarn over. Then as you knit the next stitch, you take the yarn over the right needle.

Does that all make sense? Instead of trying to remember exactly how to move your yarn, just think about in order to make a yarn over (which creates a hole in your knitting), you need to take the yarn over the right needle from front to back. So depending on where your yarn is after the previous stitch, just do what is necessary to take the yarn over the right needle from front to back then take the yarn to where it needs to be for you to work the next stitch. So if you're purling the next stitch, the yarn needs to be at the front and if you're knitting the next stitch, it needs to be at the back.

If you find this all a bit confusing, I've recorded a video to show you what I'm talking about. The video can also be viewed here.


In my patterns I use yarn over (yo) instead of yarn forward (yfwd), yarn over the needle (yon) or yarn round the needle (yrn) but many British based designers and British publications still use these terms instead of yarn over and that can be confusing. Every pattern should have a list of abbreviations which should explain each abbreviation. 

If a pattern or publication uses the British terms, then it's probably aimed at knitters who knit the English way, so if you knit any other way like Continental or Eastern methods, you will need to adapt the instructions to your way of knitting. This is much easier if you understand what the stitch you're attempting should look like after you've worked it. So with yarn overs, make sure you know what it looks like on the row you've worked it and after the next row. That way, if you do the yarn over the wrong way around, for example, you can easily identify the mistake and fix it.

If you have any questions, do ask me and I'll do my best to help.

You can find Monday Mini Tip tutorials and all my other tutorials on my Tutorials & Pattern Support Page.

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Portofino

I'm excited to release the second pattern in the Lace Wear Volume Two collection.


Portofino is an elegant poncho which can also be worn as a shawl. Two beautiful lace patterns are worked on the bias in two different colours (or work it all in one colour if preferred). I used Lang Merino 200 in colours 319 and 347. I will have this yarn at Yarndale next week. If you would like to order some, do e-mail me on annikenallis25@gmail.com. The yarn will be available in the YarnAddict Shop after Yarndale.

If you've already purchased the Lace Wear Volume Two collection, you will have received an e-mail enabling you to download this pattern. If you purchase the collection now, you will receive the already published patterns (Caldera and Portofino) and you will receive the remaining patterns as soon as they're published. 

The Lace Wear Volume Two collection is currently £9 (plus your local VAT rate if you live in the EU) and the price will increase when the next design is released (hopefully in October).


Portofino is also available as a single pattern and is  25% off until 23 September 2016. No coupon code needed.

Portofino is worked in one piece with two halves. Buttons are added to enable the poncho to be converted into a shawl. Alternatively, if you only wish to wear it as a poncho, you can seam it instead.


The poncho can be worn with buttons at the side or in the centre front. Portofino comes in two sizes and the largest size is modelled on Emily who is tall and slim but fits me equally well (I'm tall and plus size). For petite people, I recommend the smaller size.


Although I'm not looking forward to colder weather because I love summer, I am looking forward to being able to wear this. It's so soft, cozy and big. I wore it briefly this morning and it will definitely become an autumn favourite!


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Monday, September 12, 2016

Monday Mini Tip - What do you want?

This week there isn't a Mini Tip tutorial  because I was so busy before we left for Budapest and I just ran out of time to write/film a tutorial for this week.



So instead I thought I'd ask you what you'd like to see in the future. I have a list of tutorials I'd like to cover and knitting tips I want to share. But I write these tutorials for you so I'd like you to tell me what you'd like to see in the future. Do tell me on social media or in the comments.



If you're craving a tutorial this week, then check out all my tutorials here.

I'm about to start my busy autumn teaching schedule and the best way to learn something new is to take a class. This autumn I'll be teaching at Spin A Yarn in Devon, La Mercerie in South Wales, Sitting Knitting in Birmingham, Three Bags Full in Cornwall and the brand new Stitch Fest in Devon, so take a look at my workshops this term.


You can find Monday Mini Tip tutorials and all my other tutorials on my Tutorials & Pattern Support Page.


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Thursday, September 08, 2016

3 for 2 Pattern Offer

As its back to school time for lots of people and also the start of Knitting Season, I thought I'd do a 3 for 2 offer on patterns.


Use code: back to school. Valid until 15 September 2016 in my Ravelry Pattern Shop.


It's also a good time to purchase the Lace Wear Volume Two collection as I'm releasing pattern no 2 (see below) next week & the collection will then increase from £7 to £9 plus your local VAT rate if you live in the EU.


You'll receive pattern already published and all future patterns as they're released .


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Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Monday Mini Tip - Blocking a crescent shawl

Due to being ill this weekend, I'm posting this week's Monday Mini Tip a day late. This month, I've been running a free knitalong (KAL) for the Gondola shawl in my Ravelry Group. The idea behind this KAL was to design a shawl and for you to knit along with me while I was designing it. Over 1,000 knitters have downloaded the pattern but I doubt everyone's actually knitting it.

The Gondola shawl is currently not available but will be for sale later this month.

For those who are new to lace shawls and crescent shawls in particular, I thought it might be helpful to post a blocking video. This video is suitable for any crescent shaped shawl, not just the Gondola shawl. 

What you need:
  • a flat surface to block on - table, floor, bed.
  • something to keep your surface dry that you can stick pins into. I use Knit Pro blocking mats but you can use towels, blankets, exercise or camping mats etc.
  • pins
I also used Knit Pro Knit Blockers (Knit Pro is known as Knitters Pride in the US).

Before blocking, I soaked the shawl in lukewarm water with a little bit of wool wash for about 10 mins. Squeeze out the excess water in a towel. Be careful when lifting and handling a wet shawl that's full of water, especially if it's a big heavy shawl as it can stretch out of shape.


You can also watch the video on You Tube.

If you have any questions, please ask below. I will do blocking videos on other shapes over the coming months.

You can find Monday Mini Tip tutorials and all my other tutorials on my Tutorials & Pattern Support Page.

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