Advent KAL 5/24

Hope you all had a good weekend.

I have been rather slack at keeping up with my advent KAL, although I am still determined to get it finished by December.

This is 5/24, I decided to skip ahead a few as I was not enjoying the star design with all those buttons on it. I might mix it up with the patterns and choose some other bits I fancy knitting.

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Have a wonderful week.

Happy knitting.

C

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New design – Vaila

Last week I released a new pattern, Vaila, this is the first in a series of shawls designed to showcase shawl knitting and lace techniques.

Vaila.  A design by Clare Devine

Vaila.
A design by Clare Devine

Vaila is a great pattern for someone who wants to get to grips with lace and chart reading. The lace edge is knitted at the same time as the body so every second row gives you a little chance to practice your lace and chart skills, with the soothing balance of a garter stitch body.

The lace edge in inspired by traditional Shetland lace knitting, hence the name. Vaila is part of the Shetland isles. I can’t wait for the opportunity to visit that part of the country.

The sample shown in knitted in one of my favourite British yarns of the moment. Brigantia is a fabulous workhorse yarn available in so many glorious colours. This is their DK yarn.

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The design is worked on a percentage system though so can be knitted in any weight and almost any yardage. Detailed instructions are included in the pattern to help you select the best yarn and needles for your project.

This shawl is perfect for wrapping around your shoulders on a cool spring evening and depending on your yarn choice would be a perfect summer wrap.

I hope you enjoying knitting it as much as I enjoyed designing it.

If you live in, or near, Edinburgh you could come along to one of the workshops where I look at all the skills needed to knit this shawl and read lace from a chart. More details can be found on http://www.gingertwiststudios.com/workshops/

Happy knitting.

C

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How did you knit yours?

Welcome to another installment of “How did you knit yours”, today I am looking at one of my all time favourite shawl patterns. I often find myself suggesting people knit one of these shawls. It is a simple, yet interesting construction that yields a truly magical result. I love this pattern and have knitted three myself already, I am sure there will be more to come.

The pattern is Simmer Dim by Gudrun Johnston, originally from Scotland who now lives in Western Massachusetts. She has a wonderful selection of designs including many gorgeous shawls and some truly magnificent garments. If you have not come across her work I encourage you to have a look at her designs on Ravelry. 

My Simmer Dims were knitted in very different yarns and produced equally different but stunning results. I love seeing how a shawl can be transformed depending on the yarn you select for the project. My first shawl was knitted from a luxurious blend of alpaca, cashmere and silk from Old Maiden Aunt who is based in Scotland. Her yarn is amazing and I love her colour sense. I then made a second version from bamboo for my lovely mother in law, this pattern really works well with the drape of the bamboo. My last Simmer Dim was knitted from The Natural dye Studio 100% silk, a gift from my lovely (knitter) sister. It is very luxurious and drapes beautifully. In this last version I adjusted the size of the shawl to use all of my yarn and it worked very nicely. This shawl is perfect for increasing the size, it makes a wonderful wrap.

When I went in search of other knitters shawls I thought I would look for some other people who had used silk. After all, who does not love a little bit of silky luxury in their knitting from time to time. Feast your eyes on this selection of beauties.

First up a DK version using Viola Silky DK by RobbyRaccoon

Used with permission. Copyright: Robbyraccoon

Used with permission. Copyright: Robbyraccoon

Next we have a gorgeous heathered grey version by Dabhand, using Juno Fibre Arts alpaca, silk and cashmere. I am pretty sure this is the same base that I used for my first shawl, if it is, it’s just magical. Juno Fibre Arts is one of the dyers on my list to try, she has a wonderful sense of colour.

Used with permission. Copyright: Dabhand

Used with permission. Copyright: Dabhand

Another Simmer Dim in the fabulous Juno Fibre Arts, knitted in the colourway pewter. This is my kind of colour and it really shows off the shawl design too. Domesticali has done an amazing job. 

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This version by OldRaptorFarm uses Skein silk / merino. The colour is so delicate and I love how it shines in this design. A simply magnificent combination of yarn and pattern.

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Finally in the silk feast we have this version by LuneH in Skein lace weight alpaca, silk and cashmere. Showing just how versatile this pattern really is.

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In addition to the luxurious silk versions of this shawl I was amazed by the vast array of colours used to showcase beautiful yarns and this amazing design.

Here are some of my favourites.

This rich shade of Hedgehog Fibres yarn used by TumblingBlocks is a brilliant choice for this design, the little pops of colour are pure magic.

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I am a sucker for grey yarn. I know this is not news to most of you. I love grey, every shade of grey. What I love more than grey, is a fabulous pattern crafted by a talented knitter in a gorgeous shade of grey. This project by lalaquifeequoi ticks all the right boxes. She used Lioness Arts Smooth Merino Fingering in the colourway, Crooked Rain. This is another UK indy dyer on my list of yarn to try.

Used with permission. Copyright: lalaquifeequoi

Used with permission. Copyright: lalaquifeequoi

She has created this brighter version in Shibui Sock. While I love grey with all my heart, I am a little partial to a pop of colour, and this fits the bill.

I also love this grellow version by Firebrunette. The colourway really packs a punch. It is vibrant and it’s just wonderful.

Used with permission. Copyright: Firebrunette

Used with permission. Copyright: Firebrunette

I am not great with yellow, it does not always suit me. However, I often find myself drawn to yellow yarn and love knitting a few stitches of sunshine into my life whenever I can.

This example by bizbis is the ray of sunshine I love to see on Ravelry, and the fact it is hand spun makes it even more magical.

Used with permission. Copyright: Bizbis

Used with permission. Copyright: Bizbis

A slightly muted yellow but still a gorgeous colour, this example from Bossyfemme makes my heart sing. I also love the photography. 

Have you knitted the Simmer Dim? I would love to see pictures of your finished projects. After looking at all of these photos while compiling this post I feel the itch to cast on another one.

Have a wonderful week.

C

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Update and exciting news

Hello,

It has been far too long since I popped past and wrote to you all. The last month has been a whirl wind of chaos, some good and some a little trying, but nothing terrible. It certainly has been busy though and I have lots of things on the horizon that I will be sharing with you soon. Some exciting collaborations and new designs. I promise I will not keep you in suspense too much longer.

In general news, I now have a job. Not that I have not been working very hard over the last 14 months. Looking after a little soul (or at least trying) and working on my designing and knitting related writing has kept me on my toes. So to add to the mix of things that is my life I have a “job, job” style job – one where I have to leave the house, and I can’t work in my pjs while drinking tea, type job. I won’t bore you with all the details as it has nothing to do with knitting, all I will say is that I am very happy about said job. It is keeping me busy but I am working in a field I feel passionate about, so life is good.

I certainly do not intend to stop the blog, designing or knitting related work, it might just be a little slower on that front as I find a balance between work and life again.

To add to the new job, we have a new flat (another new flat) so the last month has involved packing, lifting, carrying and then unpacking. Followed by endless phone calls to utilities companies and other boring things. On the new abode front, I am happy to inform you I have secured a prime location for my stash in the cupboard next to my bed. You know, in case I feel the need to rummage through the stash and find new yarn in the middle of the nightof course.

In between moving and getting a job I have done some writing for ….. drum roll please……

The Knitter!

The Knitter - Issue 70

The Knitter – Issue 70

I am so excited to have an article published in this amazing magazine, it makes me feel really proud. So if you fancy learning more about how to get the most from your sock heels grab yourself a copy of the latest issue of The Knitter, Issue 70. You can find me on page 74. The magazine also has, as always, a fabulous selection of patterns and brilliant articles. I can’t wait for toddler bedtime so I can put my feet up and read this issue cover to cover.

If that was not enough excitement for one day, I also feature in the latest episode of Knit British by Louise Scollay. If you have not started listening to this podcast already I suggest you drop everything, this second, and dash off to download the first few episodes. She is AMAZING!

More from me later on in the week.

Happy knitting.

Clare

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