Wednesday, December 21, 2016

New pattern: Cinnamon Stars

Cinnamon Stars is my final new pattern release of 2016, and I must say it's one of my favourites! It's a very soft and cosy tubular cowl with a liberal dusting of colourwork stars. Knit up in the rich hand-dyed colours of Manos del Uruguay's Silk Blend Fino, it looks almost good enough to eat...

This yarn is a luxurious blend of 70% merino and 30% silk, in a single-ply construction which has enough fuzziness to it to produce a great colourwork fabric. I used one skein of 'Gilt' for the background colour and one of 'Ivory Letter Opener' for the star motifs, with plenty left over for swatching since Fino comes in generous 490-yard skeins.

I've been working on my 'travelling cowl' on and off since March - it even came to Europe with me, and kept me busy on the long train ride through the Alps. After taking it to New Zealand a few months later and then back to Australia, I finished it at last! That's what I call a well-travelled WIP. Now, with my northern-hemisphere knitting friends in the midst of winter, it's the perfect time to release a decidedly cold-weather pattern like a tubular cowl.

Doesn't it look great with my speckled Blank Canvas jersey? I think I've found my 'look' for Winter 2017. :)

  • an all-over pattern of colourwork stars
  • knit in the round beginning with a provisional cast on
  • grafted into a seamless loop to finish
  • one size, with easily adjustable circumference
  • requires two skeins of fingering-weight yarn in contrasting colours
  • solid or semi-solid-dyed yarns are ideal
  • pattern includes tips for swatching in the round, a crochet provisional cast on, and Kitchener Stitch or grafting
  • the colourwork motif is charted only. 

I have a couple of tutorial posts coming up for you, on swatching colourwork in the round, the crochet provisional cast on, and Kitchener Stitch. In the meantime, I'll leave you with these tutorials which are all excellent:
Ysolda's 'Swift swatching in the round' tutorial
Ysolda's 'Crochet provisional cast on' tutorial
Knitty's Kitchener Stitch tutorial

You can see all the details and download the Cinnamon Stars pattern via Ravelry, Loveknitting, Etsy, or Craftsy.

The biscuits were a fun little project - edible photo props are definitely the best kind. I used the Cinnamon Stars (Zimtsterne) recipe from one of my favourite baking sources, Ladies A Plate. They were actually easier than I anticipated after examining the recipe, I had no trouble rolling out the almondy meringue dough and cutting out the little stars. They taste amazing too, and the remaining ones are still crisp now, after almost two weeks. Pssst Mum - they're gluten free! ;)

Monday, December 19, 2016

A perfect pair of socks

The Gift-A-Long has been an absolute whirlwind so far, with a whopping 13,000 finished projects as of this morning! I've been busy hosting the Hand & Arm Things thread, plus giving out prizes for project photos each Thursday.

I even managed to finish a GAL project of my own, a pair of Grellow Love socks knit in leftover Vintage Purls Sock. Just to make things tricky for myself, I experimented with making a stop-motion video of my second sock, snapping a frame after each half-inch (very roughly) of knitting:

It came out pretty good for my first stop-motion attempt! I did have a bit of trouble with consistent lighting, since I recorded it over the course of a few days and at different times of day. I used the iPhone app OSnap!, which can also be used to make time-lapse videos. I can tell I'm going to have a lot of fun with this app. :)

Back to the socks, here's what the finished pair looks like - I really love the contrast toes and heels. I have plenty of odds and ends of sock yarn left, so I'm keen to make more pairs using this pattern. It's a nice easy one, especially once you've knit the first sock.

I'm not sure I'll have time to tackle another Gift-A-Long project, since I still have one-third of a giant lace shawl to knit this month. But if you fancy jumping in with a project or two, the GAL is still on until December 31st!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Deco City Revisited

My Deco City shawl pattern, originally published in Pom Pom Quarterly's gorgeous Winter 2015 issue, is now available as a single pattern download on Ravelry. There is one change to the new version of the pattern: this time it includes charts as well as the written instructions. As a chart-lover, I like to include them whenever I can! You can read all about the shawl and its inspiration in my post from last November: New pattern: Deco City.

Before I sent my shawl off to Pom Pom, we did a little photoshoot of our own in Melbourne's St Kilda, which has some interesting Art Deco buildings including the Palais Theatre. It was incredibly windy, so we used the wind to our advantage...

As you can imagine, it takes a lot of shots to get a shawl to look good in the wind, without having the lace design hidden or all of my hair in my face. :)

We also found this amazing architectural confection on the little lawn outside Luna Park:

You can find the Deco City pattern and the whole Winter 2015 issue here on Ravelry, and paper copies of the magazine are available through Pom Pom Quarterly's website and awesome yarn shops.