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Friday, May 19, 2017

Let's Knit 119


The new issue of Let's Knit Magazine is in the shops in the UK now & I've got a really fun lace top in this issue.



If you love lace but don't like knitting shawls or you're nervous about knitting a lace sweater with shaping as well as lace, then this is perfect for you as you only have to knit squares. The front and back is made up of four squares each. If you'd like an oversized top just make a larger size.

There are lots of great patterns in this issue. See a preview here. 


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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

I'm off to Jersey

I'm leaving for Jersey today and I'm taking two brand new projects with me. The first one is urgent as I realised a few days ago that I had one project left to knit for my next book which I need to finish this month. Fortunately the design was all planned out so I just quickly had to write up the pattern and cast on. I've worked on this over the weekend. As this is urgent it will be my priority project on this trip. But it's an all over lace pattern in a heavy lace yarn so I've decided I need to bring something a bit easier too. The advantage of this lace shawl is that it's very light and fits into a small project pouch so I can easily pop it in my hand bag.


This morning I cast on for a new shawl design. I've wanted to use this green Lang Merino 200 for ages and I decided it looks great with the grey. This design will be relatively easy but it will include some beaded lace knitting. I'm popping this in my suitcase for when I need a break from the fine lace shawl or if I need something easier to knit on. 


I'm going to Jersey to teach four workshops this weekend. There are still spaces on some of the workshops. You can read the details here. 

Do you take knitting with you when you travel? I usually take socks and lace shawls but I'm not bringing socks with me this time as I need to finish both of these shawls. I'm hoping to finish the teal one while I'm away which may be a bit optimistic.

I'm taking the teal shawl to knit on during my flight. Whenever anyone mentions knitting and flying among knitters a debate about whether or not knitting needles are allowed starts. According to the British government, knitting needles are allowed on flights but I suspect it'll come down to the person you deal with at security. I've taken knitting on flights with me for 10 years now without any problems. 

I shared my top tips for travel knitting in this post.  


I used to put some spare needle in my hold luggage, just in case my needle got confiscated but these days we mainly travel with hand luggage only so I put some spare tips (or even screw the tips off all my projects) in a pencil case together with some pens. I have taken knitting projects with metal double pointed needles and circular needles through security lots of times now and I've never had a problem. I try to make sure there's nothing in my hand luggage that will cause them to search me so I make sure I've got no liquids, scissors etc.

I'm looking forward to sharing some pictures from Jersey when we get back next week but if you want to see updates from my trip, follow me on Instagram or Facebook where I'll be posting daily. 

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Monday, May 15, 2017

Mini Tip Tutorial - Estonian 3 in 3 Star Stitch

The Lido shawl, which I released last Friday, has stripes of an Estonian star stitch. In the pattern, I call this the 3 in 3 star stitch and the pattern includes full written instructions. This stitch creates an interesting texture and in today's Mini Tip Tutorial I'm going to show you how to work this stitch. I did also use it in a slightly different way in the Luca shawl and I may be using it (in the same way I used it in Luca) for a new shawl I cast on for this morning.



Lido is currently 30% off until 22 May 2017. Use coupon code: lido30.



In the video below I show you how to do the 3 in 3 star stitch but I'm not doing the shaping included in the shawl pattern. I explain it all in the video.


You can also watch the tutorial here and read more about Lido here


Please ask any questions you have in the comments below. You can see all the previous Monday Mini Tips and other tutorials on my Tutorials page. 

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Friday, May 12, 2017

Introducing Lido


I'm very excited to introduce my new pattern - LidoLido looks simple and elegant but has some fun little details. Big and cozy, Lido is big enough to wrap around your neck and shoulders for cozy warmth.


Lido has sections of short rows in an eyelet patterntutorial can be found hereLido is worked as an asymmetrical sideways shape and ends in a wide lace border. This is a big shawl which is perfect to wrap around your neck as a scarf but also big enough to wear around your shoulders.


Get 30% off Lido until 22 May with coupon code: lido30




Lido has stripes of Estonian star stitches and I'll be doing a tutorial on these stitches on Monday.  The pattern does include a written explanation of this stitch which gives a beautiful textured effect.


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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

On The Needles

Things are crazy busy right now. I'm teaching a LOT this month and I'm desperately trying to finish my second book. And I've got a bunch of magazine deadlines coming up. Next week, I'll be teaching Shetland Lace Knitting at The Wool Merchant in Devon (there are still spaces - contact The Wool Merchant for full details and to book) and on Wednesday I leave for Jersey where I'll also be teaching three days of four half day classes but I'm also having a few days off and Simon is coming too. We had a fabulous time in Jersey three years ago so I've got high hopes for this trip. If you're interested in my Jersey workshops, you can find the details here.

There's been lots of knitting going on. I've finished a new design which will be published in a magazine in a few months' time. I've really enjoyed this project as the yarn, which was new to me - Navia Bummull which I plan to use for more projects in the future - was gorgeous.


Once I finished the Navia top, I got back to working on my Lang Mille Colori shawl. I really want to finish this shawl this weekend so I've got time to cast on for a new design or two before I leave for Jersey. 


I'm going to miss this colourful shawl though. It's been a fun knit and a new shape for me. This year I'd like to experiment more with shawl shapes. It's easy to get stuck in a rut and keep doing the same thing. For Jersey I need an easy project which I can knit on the go. I've got a project I'm launching in July/August which I need to get started on so I'm thinking about making that my travel project. This secret project actually involves two designs - one easy and one more complicated - and I think I'll take the easy one to Jersey with me. My mind is exploding with ideas right now.


I'm planning to release a new pattern either on Friday or Monday. It will come with a Mini Tip Tutorial which will come out on Monday but I may release the pattern a few days early on Friday. I'll see how much I get done tomorrow. I've got another project ready to be released too but I think I'll wait till I get back from Jersey. Once a pattern is ready for release, I struggle to wait but I want to space out my pattern releases this year and plan ahead a bit more.

Make sure you've signed up to my newsletter so you get 30% off the next two pattern releases.

Friday, May 05, 2017

Yarn Shop Day

Tomorrow, Saturday 6 May, is Yarn Shop Day which is an annual day organised by Let's Knit Magazine. Local yarn shops are being encouraged to put on special events and knitters are encouraged to visit their local yarn shops.


In the last few months I've hard of two yarn shops closing which is very sad. I know internet shopping is here to stay but we still need local shops. Nothing can beat actually seeing and being able to touch the yarn you want to knit with. Many yarn shops have knitting groups and workshops and as knitting is usually a solitary activity it is great to be able to spend time with other knitters sharing our passion.

My workshop at Truro Wool in Cornwall last Sunday.

In 2014, for the first Yarn Shop Day, I wrote about how important having a local yarn shop is and how Spin A Yarn opening started my teaching career. You can read it here.  

Unfortunately I can't be involved in this year's Yarn Shop Day due to personal commitments but I still support Yarn Shop Day 100%. Yarn shops are essential to the continued revival of knitting in this country. Online shops and communities such as Ravelry are a fabulous way of meeting knitters but nothing beats joining a knitting group in your local yarn shop, seeing and touching yarns you want to knit with, getting advice and help form your yarn shop staff. 

A workshop a Spin A Yarn in Devon

If you don't have any plans tomorrow why don't you check out your nearest yarn shop? Of if you're busy this weekend, pop in next week to see what they offer. 

I'm lucky to spend a lot of time in yarn shops these days and since I started teaching workshops several more yarn shops have opened up within an hour's drive from me but one closed earlier this year which was very sad. Yarn shops need our support if we want them to be there for workshops, help and advice. Please consider supporting your local yarn shop this month!


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Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Mini Tip Tutorial - Adding Beads


I love adding beads to my knitting and my favourite method is to use a crochet hook. In today's Mini Tip Tutorial I show you how I add beads using a crochet hook and I also show you how to add beads to a triple yarn over which is one of the features of the edging on Ma Belle.


You can also watch the video here.


Ma Belle is a delicate, luxurious shawl with beads adding a touch of sparkle. Large eyelets with a bead detail adorn the edging.  Ma Belle looks like a lacy master piece but is easier to knit than it looks. There are several tutorials on my website which will help you along.


Ma Belle was first released on Love Knitting last week and is still available from Love Knitting where you can also get The Yarn Collective Portland Lace but the pattern is also now available from Ravelry.  Get 30% off using the coupon code: mabelle30 which is valid until 17 May 2017. The discount is only valid on Ravelry.


Please ask any questions you have in the comments below. You can see all the previous Monday Mini Tips and other tutorials on my Tutorials page. 

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