Last Round Up for 2014

Copyright Jay Mantri. Source www.jaymatri.com

Copyright Jay Mantri. Source http://www.jaymatri.com

The holidays are upon us and although I still have lots going on behind the scenes I am taking a little break from the blog.

I will be back in early January with a new website and lots of exciting news 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for coming along on this journey with me in 2014. It has been a fantastic year and I have met so many amazing knitty folk from all corners of the globe. I have really enjoyed watching you knit my patterns and have loved getting to know you through this space on the internet.

2015 is going to be an exciting year, there are lots of changes afoot here but some things will remain the same. I will be here blogging about all things fibre related, I will still be knitting and designing in all my spare time and Jo and I will be chatting every two weeks about my undying love of socks.

A few final bits and pieces before I sign off for the year

If you want to keep up with my holidays festivities you can follow me on Instagram (most likely to be filled with knitting and food) or on Twitter. 

I will be taking part in the TGS is one KAL. A celebration of one year of The Golden Skein where we are knitting my latest shawl pattern Kunye. If you have a single skein of fingering weight yarn and fancy a good knit-along pop over to this thread and join in. 

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If you want to buy this pattern or any of my other patterns you can take advantage of a special discount code I set up for Aplayfulday and her ‘me-along’ – use the code ‘playful’ and you will get 33% off anything in my Ravelry store until the 31st December. 

Workshops

If you want to book in for a 2015 workshop my schedules are now up on the relevant shop websites. I will be teaching in Edinburgh, Dundee and Glasgow in January and February.

January and February slots at Ginger Twist Studio, Edinburgh teaching a range of workshops.

January and February slots at Queen of Purls, Glasgow teaching a range of workshops.

7th February at Fluph, Dundee teaching Magic Loop and Finishing School.

I also have an exciting slot at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival. If you want to get to grips with socks this is the perfect opportunity to master the basics. It would also make a great christmas present for the knitter in your life.

Sock Surgery

Finally if you have some free time and want to listen to the first few episodes of the Sock Surgery segment on the Shinybees podcast this is a great time to catch up. We will be announcing the knit-along and lots of other exciting bits in the new year.

That is it from me for now folks. I hope you have a wonderful holiday break. With lots of time for knitting and relaxing.

Here’s to a fantastic 2015!

See you in a few weeks.

Happy knitting.

Clare

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Free UK Shipping on Books for Limited Period

Good morning.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend. I am looking forward to wrapping up the year and snuggling into some knitting in a few weeks over the holiday period. It has been a fantastic year but my batteries need a little recharge. I hope any preparations you are making for the holiday period are going well.

I have a special offer for the next three days. I will be offering free standard UK shipping on Head to Toe and Sock Anatomy when bought from my shop. I only have limited stock so grab one early if you are keen to get your hands on a copy of my book.

Any books bought from me between 15th and 17th December will be posted using first class recorded mail with the UK.

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Sock Anatomy is a collection of nine sock patterns each featuring a different heel technique. This is the perfect resource for learning to knit socks. The book comes with a download code for the ebook. You will also get the adult sizes for these socks as they are released. Two are already available and the rest are coming in early 2015.

Check out all the designs on my Ravelry page. 

The book retails for £15 and you get a complimentary ebook. 

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Head to Toe is a collection of five stunning accessories using Ginger’s Hand Dyed yarn. Each item has been carefully designed to celebrate Jess’ vintage inspired style. The collection transports you on a journey from high summer in Edinburgh, with Montrose and Brunswick to the colder days of winter, with warm snuggly Elgin socks.

Want to see the designs and some other knitter’s projects. Check out the Ravelry pages. 

The book retails for £12 and you get a complimentary ebook. 

If you want a copy of the book but would prefer just the digital version this can be bought through my Ravelry store. 

Hope you have a wonderful week.

Happy Knitting.

Clare

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New Toasty Knits Out This Week

Hello there,

Goodness it is cold out there folks. This southern hemisphere gal does not know what to do with herself it is so cold (for me anyway, I know it is much colder for others at this time). I hope December is going well for you, and you have lots of toasty knits to keep you warm. This week my aim is to wear as much knitwear as possible, usually all at once.

It has been a busy few weeks around here and I wanted to share some amazing and exciting projects I have been working on. First up these warm and toasty mitts are out in Knit Now this week. Crumpet are lightening fast to knit up from a single skein of chunky yarn. Perfect for warming your hands during this cold snap.

Copyright Dan Walmsley for Practical Publishing. Used with permission.

Copyright Dan Walmsley for Practical Publishing. Used with permission.

Next up an exciting client project I have been working was released yesterday. I am immensely proud to have been involved with this project. Eden Cottage Yarns has just released their first collection. The Bletchley Collection comprises of six fabulous designs in Victoria’s stunning Milburn 4ply, by Joanne Scrace. The BlueFaced Leicester and Silk blend is amazing to work with and the colours work so well with the vintage inspired designs.

I worked on the layout of the patterns and designed the book layout. It was a great project to work on and a fantastic team of people to work with. I think I might cast on a Baudot hat when a get a moment spare over the next few weeks. I love the inspiration behind the design. Pop over the Victoria’s | Eden Cottage Yarn blog to find out more about this brilliant collection. 

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Also – don’t forget that Jess from Ginger Twist Studio and I will be in Glasgow at The Queen of Purls this Saturday. Zoe has organised a great fundraising event and Jess will have all her amazing hand dyed yarn available to squish (and buy). The samples from Head to Toe will also be available for you to try on and I will have books and patterns for sale too. Hope to see you there.

Lastly for today Rachel at Tangled Yarn sent me some brilliant Asymmetrical Needles to try knitting some socks with.

Kinki Amibari Asymmetric Circular Needle. Photo copyright Tangled Yarn, used with permission.

Kinki Amibari Asymmetric Circular Needle. Photo copyright Tangled Yarn, used with permission.

I will be road testing these over the holiday break and will update you about my thoughts in the new year. If you want to know more about choosing knitting needles for sock knitting listen to my latest segment on the Shinybees podcast. 

I have some more news coming later this week, including a round-up of next years workshops and another design (this time to warm your toes over the holidays).

Have a fantastic day.

Happy Knitting.

Clare

Celebrating One Year of The Golden Skein

A year ago I signed up for a very special yarn club. The Golden Skein is the brainchild of my close friend and fabulous podcaster Jo from Shinybees. She worked closely with her business partner Kate (of Kate’s Twirl) to develop an outstanding yarn club. The intention is to introduce you to new-to-you dyers from all corners of the glob. Each quarter a shiny gold package arrives on your doorstep contain three skeins dyed to an inspiration picture. The year of yarn has been outstanding and I feel very privileged to be part of their first birthday celebrations.

Jo asked me if I want to design a shawl to celebrate one year of The Golden Skein and presented me with a stunning skein of Eden Cottage Yarn. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work with such an amazing yarn. The brief was elegant, simple, striking beauty with beads. The result is …

Kunye (Zulu; meaning one)

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Kunye oozes elegance and simplicity. The top down, crescent shape construction results in a wide shallow shawl. Perfect for draping over your shoulders, adding a touch of style to your party outfit or wrapping around your neck for a more casual everyday option.  Because every day should be a Golden Skein day.

This is the perfect shawl for that special skein you have in your stash. It needs 400m and would suit many different fibre contents. Silk would be fantastic and allow the shawl to drape beautifully around your shoulders, as would the bamboo / merino blends around. The beads add weight to the border meaning you could also use more springy yarns such as Blue-Faced Leicester and Merino.

There is a knit-along planned in The Golden Skein group on Ravelry, starting on the 20th December and running well into 2015. This is a lovely friendly group so please do pop along and say hi if you want to join in.

Have a wonderful week.

Happy knitting,

Clare

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Earl Grey (new design) and a free pattern

Hi there,

The week is moving swiftly along and I thought I would drop past on this lovely Wednesday to share two new releases with you.

The first is my new hat pattern, Earl Grey. Designed for a cable workshop I instantly fell in love with the cables (and pom pom opportunity) and knew I needed to release this as a new hat pattern.

Earl Grey works up quickly in squishy aran weight yarn, resulting in the perfect cabled hat. Great for gift knitting and equally good for keeping your head toasty this winter.

Earl Grey_Hat_Brigantia1 copy_with text

 The pattern is 50% off until midnight 23rd November with the code “blog50”.

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Jess made a fabulous sample in her new Super Sheep Aran base. We are calling this one ‘mint tea’ and look at that pom pom! We have so much love for the pom pom at the moment.

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We were even joined by a beautiful rainbow when I went to take pictures of Jess in her hat this morning.

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My second release is a quick and easy freebie. This pattern is used in one of the workshops I teach at Ginger Twist Studio in Edinburgh and I wanted to share it with all my lovely blog readers.

Toasty. The perfect chunky cowl. 

Download your copy of Toasty for free, here.

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Hope you have a wonderful day.

Happy knitting,

Clare

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My Top 10 “Neck Knits” #giftalong2014

In keeping with my #giftalong2014 theme I have selected some of my favourite “neck knits”. Ravelry is bursting with amazing cowls, shawls and scarves. Here are my top ten from the discounted patterns in this years Indy giftalong.

I love cables and this unusual cable style is not something I have seen around much. Shannon Cook pairs the sophisticated cable with some stunning grey yarn. Lansbury, the perfect cowl is born.

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I used to knit more shawls than socks, even though I now find myself working on socks more than shawls I still have a soft spot for a good shawl pattern.

Someday by Hanna Maciejewska uses two skeins of fingering weight. Sideways, garter stitch and the contrasting border. This looks like it would be a great knit, easy but not boring and the finished shape is simply stunning.

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Hrim by Bristol Ivy is one of my favourite shawl patterns of the moment. I love the shape, the combination of the yarn weights and textures. I am planning on knitting one of these shawls for myself. I need to choose the yarn from my stash but I am hoping to use some silk from Dye for Yarn, I just need to decide what to mix it with. The other shawls in the Frost Fair collection are also on my “to knit” list. If you had not already gathered Bristol Ivy can do no wrong in my knitting world at the moment.

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I am not always a bit beaded shawl fan. I like simple clean lines and unfussy details. The Sunburst Shawl by Helen Stewart ticks all these boxes. The shape is beautiful, a wide crescent shaped shawl is very practical and flattering at the same time. Helen has added the perfect amount of sparkle here with beaded accents that give glitz and glamour without being over the top. The yarn she has chosen is also amazing, that subtle grey in a base I know well by Kettle Yarn Co. Shawl perfection!

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Chunky shawls are not the norm and I think chunky lace is often difficult to get right. Elizabeth Felgate has nailed it here though. Three balls of fabulous New Lanark Chunky and you have a warm and cosy wrap for the winter. It is just what I need to keep me warm sitting at my desk this winter. The chunky yarn would also make a fabulously quick gift knit. 

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Garter stitch, stripes and unusual constructions. These two designs by Laura Aylor are quirky and fun. I love the concepts and squishy garter stitch always warms my heart.

Tuck wraps around your neck and ties at the back, meaning you can control the width easily and it will never mess up your hair.

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Hot Tea. Two layers of garter stitch! There is nothing more to add here. Two layers of garter stitch! (I had to repeat it because it makes me so excited). Squishy, stretchy and warm. Keep it plain and simple or go wild with stripes. Perfect for using up leftovers.

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Staying on the theme of textured stitches creating stunning cowls. I stumbled across this one by Galzanne Knits and instantly fell in love. The combination of slipped stitch rib and brioche stitch in Simply A Cowl work so well together.

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Another smorgasbord of texture in a cowl is Global Nomad, another fantastic knit by Helen Stewart. I won’t lie the grey and yellow drew me in, this is my favourite colour combination at the moment. The mixtures of textures and eyelets is a delight to the eye. Each panel works with the other while standing out on it’s own. I also love that is is worked in two colours, so many opportunities to play with colour combinations. Helen did a great podcast about Colour Theory recently, I found it really interesting.  

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Last, but certainly not least. A brilliant shawl by the very talented Jennifer Dassau. Rondelay has been on my knitting needles twice. I made one for my mother in law and then had to make another for myself. Rondelay is worked using short rows and comes from a series of short row shawl that are utterly brilliant. I highly recommend a look at Jennifer’s patterns.

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Don’t forget I also have a number of patterns in the #giftalong sale. You can find my 19 discounted patterns here. 

Brunswick is not only perfect for summer weather. It would also make a fabulous addition to your festive season party outfit. I am working on a heavier weight version of this pattern to be released in the coming weeks. If you buy the 4ply version now you will automatically get the heavier weight version when it is released.

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Happy knitting,

Clare

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My Top 10 Hats #giftalong2014

During the Ravelry GAL 2014 I will be running a series of blog posts featuring my favourite patterns. As you know I love searching through Ravelry to find interesting designs to share with you. I have selected patterns for all sorts of reasons, some are quick, some are quirky and some have interesting constructions. Others are just beautiful designs that I wanted to share.

First up the hat. I do love a good hat and there are so many fantastic designs to choose from on Ravelry. These are some of my favourite in the Indy GAL (#giftalong2014).

I really love the work that Alex Tinsley does, she has a style that resonates with me and I am often drawn to her patterns, hence why there are three hats in my favourites today. I kind of cheated and included three hats but only counted them as one in my top ten. There are just so many amazing hats to choose from. 

Zam Hat, a fun colourwork hat worked in worsted weight yarn. It also has a matching cowl. You can’t go wrong with some simple colourwork and this design is perfect for bold colour combinations.

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Fooler a Faker, a brioche free version of Hertbreaker (another of her designs) this hat looks super squishy and great fun to knit. It also has a pom pom (I was instantly sold at the pom pom)

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Finally Bivouac, a beautifully simple design that I have knitted before (I was actually wearing it just this morning). I love the striking line of eyelets and the slight slouch. This hat is a firm favourite.

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Kate Bostwick hails from Calgary where I visited earlier this year. I had a great time in the Rockies and can really appreciate that you need a good hat when the winter comes. I actually think you probably need multiple hats all at once. Her hat Cedar Shakes comes in two weights (fingering and aran) meaning you can knit one for everyone in the family. I love the textured stitch. Beautiful for showing off solid or variegated yarns.

Copyright Kate Bostwick. Used with permission.

Copyright Kate Bostwick. Used with permission.

Lee Meredith is well known for her quirky designs and interesting constructions. Her bold knits are utterly fabulous and I think Barry embodies everything that I love about the way she designs.

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Hinged from Katya Frankel has clean lines and a beautiful structure. Perfect for showing off subtly tonal hand dyed yarn. Four sizes means this has lots of scope to be the perfect gift or a new hat for you.

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Lucent by Hunter Hammersen has an unusual construction and a really flattering shape. I would not normally be drawn to this style of hat but I really like this. It is always nice to see something that is a little different but wonderfully flattering.

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Cables and lace add a feminine touch to Affectionate by Melissa Schaschwary. I think this hat would be perfect in a subtle pale grey (but then I think everything would be perfect in grey).

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Bristol Ivy is a design genius. Her shawls and garments are outstanding. I have been eyeing up her hat patterns too. Rekaviður bring together so many of the elements of Bristol’s work that I admire. Clean lines, clever details and designs that work perfectly with the chosen fibre.

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Sara Peterson’s hat Tindrer makes me think of the sound of fresh snow crunching underfoot. There is no sign of snow here in Edinburgh, just soggy wet weather but if there was snow I would want to be wearing this hat.

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Last but not least two fun hats for the little ones in your life. I know I said this was my ten favourite hats, but I got to the end and could not decide between these two so I included both of them.

Sassafras by Georgie Hallam comes in a wide range of sizes and I think it would be the perfect knit for my toddler. I love that you get to show off a cute button too.

Copyright Georgie Hallam. Used with permission.

Copyright Georgie Hallam. Used with permission.

The Elfbaby hat by Robynn Weldon is a cute hat (suitable for babies, children and adults with a wide range of sizes available) the various border options and a pixie style crown are a winner in my book. I love it!

Copyright Lorna Lynch| Robynn Weldon. Used with permission.

Copyright Robynn Weldon. Used with permission.

There you have it folks, my #giftalong2014 hat round up. There are many more fantastic designs out there. Remember these designs are all 25% off for the sale period. Pop along to the group for more info

I also have nineteen patterns available in the Ravelry #giftalong2014 including the wonderful Montrose Hat. You can find all my patterns that are discounted here. 

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Happy Knitting,

Clare

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The Ravelry GAL2014

It is that time of year again, the days are shortening, the cold is creeping in and the festive season is slowing marching towards us. I will hold my hands up and admit to not being a big gift knitter. I do love knitting though, and a big knit-a-long is a great place to make new friends and discover amazing news designs.

This year the IndieGAL2014 (#giftalong2014) caught my eye and I really wanted to be involved. It has been brilliantly organised and while it is a great place for me to find new fans of my designs it is also a wonderful community of knitters coming together to share their passion for the craft. I have been so excited watching it all unfold.

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What is the IndieGAL? 

A group of designers, 293 to be exact, have joined together to host the biggest KAL of the year. Each designer has selected a number of patterns to be eligible for a 25% discount and all their paid for patterns are eligible for entries into the KAL prize draw if you decide to take part.

When is it? 

The Indie Design Gift-A-Long 2014 will run from Thursday, November 13 at 8pm (US-EST) through Wednesday, December 31 at midnight (US-EST)

The sale period for the GAL promotion will be Thursday, November 13th 8pm (US-EST) through Friday, November 21 at 11:59 pm (US-EST)

Who is taking part? 

Pop over to this forum thread on Ravelry for details of all the designers taking part

Want to join in with the knit-a-long?

Join the Indie GAL-2014 group on Ravelry, click her to find out more. 

Feeling a little overwhelmed by the planning process and want some help on getting your holiday knitting sorted. Helen Stewart from Curious Handmade recently released a brilliant Free Holiday Gift Knitting Planner. It is really fun and beautifully presented. If you have not already listened to Helen’s podcast I highly recommend it. It always brightens my weekend.

There are lots of my patterns included in the GAL event. Click here to see the bundle containing all patterns that will be discounted during the sale event. 

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In the spirit of enabling and because I love finding amazing patterns to share with you I will be doing a couple of pattern round ups in the next week or so to inspire your gift knitting, or just inspire your knitting!

Hope you have a wonderful day.

Happy Knitting,

Clare

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New Pattern: Lapsang

pssst …. scroll down for a fab introductory offer on this new pattern

Brrrrrr – it’s cold out there folks. It is time for some serious knitwear. When I picked up this skein of Eden Cottage Maya at Yarndale I knew I wanted to quick, easy knit that was going to wrap me in warmth and show off the gorgeous colourway, Dark Stone. I designed this hat just for me, but I loved it so much I thought I would share it with you all too.

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Please welcome Lapsang!

The perfect chunky hat. It works up in a flash and is fabulous in drapey Alpaca or springy Merino. Best of all it is reversible, completely reversible! One side is a little more feminine that the other. I think this is a truly unisex hat though, it all just depends on what yarn you pick. Jess from Ginger Twist Studio has worked up two samples in her fabulous yarn.

Ginger’s Hand Dyed Chunky Baby, in a soft muted grey, Dove. With the addition of the most amazing pom pom I have ever seen. I LOVE this example of Lapsang.

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She also whipped up a bright and cheerful version in Ginger’s Hand Dyed Flumps Chunky, a bouncy Merino. This one really shows off how reversible the hat is.

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As a special introductory offer I have set up a discount code.

You will get 33% off the usual price of £3 until midnight 16th November GMT. Use the code “blog33” at the Ravelry check out.

Happy knitting.

Clare

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