Thursday, May 19, 2016

Finished project: Royally Striped

You guys, I actually finished a garment! This only happens once or twice a year, I am sloooow when it comes to garment knitting - mostly because I have so many other things I want to knit, and if they're my own designs I prioritise them. Which is totally great! But I think I need to get back to doing purely ME-knitting on the weekends, because I'd love a couple more jerseys and cardies in my wardrobe.

This is my Royally Striped cardie, designed by Stephen West and knit in a combo of Morris and Sons Norway 8ply (the natural charcoal and brown colours) and Vintage Purls Max (the burgundy and golds). The golds are actually the leftovers from my Beeswax Set, now put to good use. :)

Isn't this mural neat? It's across the train tracks from our place, on the side of some storage units. I like the little people climbing around in the eucalyptus branches.

Royally Striped is an all-in-one-piece design, where you knit one section and then pick up stitches for the next section. It's quite magical, the way it grows and grows. I really like the i-cord bind off around all of the edges, it finishes it off really tidily. I did add a big wooden button, but I prefer the way it looks unbuttoned.

The striped short-row wedges were fun to knit - don't they look cool?

Here's a closer look at the back, with its block of colourful narrow stripes:

I do love the cuddliness of garter stitch!

Next up will be another one of these. Not as exciting (especially as I've knit one before), but it will be a great basic super-wearable jersey. And my yarn is speckled, so scratch that - it IS exciting!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

New pattern: Amarilli

I have something especially pretty to share with you today! This floaty, lacy shawl is Amarilli, part of the Wool People 10 collection and my second design published in collaboration with Brooklyn Tweed.

You can see the whole collection in the beautiful Lookbook. As well as a few more lace scarves and shawls, there are some very cosy-looking cabled jerseys (I especially love Marylebone).

Below are a couple of backyard photos of Amarilli, which we took late last year before sending it off to Brooklyn Tweed. I've been keeping this one a secret for quite a while!

Amarilli is knit in Brooklyn Tweed's new laceweight yarn, Plains. It's a laceweight with a lot of character and springiness, which gives a slightly rustic feel to the shawl. I used the colour 'Ranier', a calm blue-grey-with-a-hint-of-green that reminds me of lichen.

My starting point for this design was a 'bell lace' pattern from one of Barbara Walker's stitch dictionaries. I charted it out, tweaked it to fit a triangular shape, and added a border in keeping with the lace pattern. The design difficulty was in making the edges and border of the shape work with the stitch pattern - it took me a while to find a tidy and elegant solution!

  • all-over floral lace pattern which becomes nicely intuitive
  • knit and purl stitches only on wrong-side rows
  • top-down triangular construction with garter-tab cast on
  • requires 2 skeins of Plains by Brooklyn Tweed (or 750yds of laceweight yarn)
  • suitable for solid or semi-solid colourways
  • one size: 60" wingspan, 30" along spine
  • both charted and written instructions.

    I named this shawl Amarilli because the lace motifs look like flowering bulbs - think amaryllis, lily, or crocus - but I also had a famous early Baroque song in mind, 'Amarilli, mia bella' by Giulio Caccini (published in Le Nuove Musiche, 1602). It's a very common song for young sopranos to learn - if you know someone who has had formal singing lessons, chances are they know it!

    You can hear the song here:

    And here is a different take on it, a much more decorated version published by Johann Nauwach in 1623:

    You can purchase the pattern for the Amarilli shawl from Ravelry, or from the Brooklyn Tweed website.