It’s (almost) knitting season: Let’s knit together!

Hello!

Regardless of the temperature, September brings out the student in me, and I’m nostalgic for those crisp Autumn mornings at the beginning of the school year. This year, I’m embracing the nostalgia with a knit along to kick start the knitting and learning season. I’ll focus on the Zen Variations because although each sweater is quite simple and clean in terms of design, there are several techniques that might not be obvious to inexperienced sweater-knitters. I will make some tutorials and explanatory blog posts which I hope will encourage knitters to make sweaters they will wear forever.

Zen Variations Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan

The knit along will run from 1 September to 31 December in the EastLondonKnit Ravelry group. Cast on any EastLondonKnit design on 1st September and post a photo of the finished object in the thread before the 31st December (bonus points if it is modelled on a person:) and I will pick a number of winners in the early hours of 2017.

To sweeten the pot, I have put together a few fantastic prize packages to tempt you into joining the fun!

Llovely Llama prize from EastLondonKnitThe first prize is a Llovely Llama ‘un courtesy of Kettle Yarn Co. Linda who has generously gifted one of her popular LlamaLlamaLlamaLlama bags to the prize pot. I am pairing it with 3 gorgeous skeins of the Fibre Company’s Acadia yarn for some lucky soul… 

I have also organised A Very Tweedy Prize of a woollenflower notions bag with 3 matching skeins of Acadia by The Fibre Co., because everyone knows you should coordinate your notions bags and yarn…
EastLondonKnit tweed prize

My final offering is a Woodland Zen prize: a cute foxy notions pouch and three more skeins of yarn among other presents: a beautiful skein of Acadia, a hand-dyed beauty from Dirty Water Dye Works and a lovely, crunchy skein of indigo blue Skudde Wool from Natures Luxury.

EastLondonKnit prizes: woodland zen

I hope to see you in the EastLondonKnit Ravelry group for encouragement, help and a chance to win some wonderful prizes!

You can browse the Zen Variations and all the other EastLondonKnit patterns here.

Happy knitting!

Rx

Wisteria Blossoms

Hello!

Thursday I will publish Wisteria Blossoms! I am really pleased with how this cardigan has turned out.Wisteria Blossoms by Renée Callahan sea Wisteria Blossoms Cardigan by Renée Callahan backIt began life long ago and far away… on a Mexican beach last year….

It happened that I didn’t have a project to travel with, and, in a panic, I decided to take yarn and a sketch book and hope that I could work something out as I went.

This meant that I had to make the construction and design simple to follow because there was no clever spreadsheet to do the work for me, and I had to be able to be able to put it down and pick it up without thinking too much.

The yarn turned out to be the perfect choice; I had purchased a sweater quantity of Quince and Co. Kestrel from Tolt Yarn and knitting while visiting Seattle last year.

Kestrel linen yarn

Kestrel is worsted-weight, 100% linen yarn, chain-plied into with a flat tape. The linen was excellent for the beach—no chance of accidental felting, although as I was knitting, I was twisting the yarn and felt the need to untwist it every so often which was a drag. That said, I really like the fabric it produced, which has loads of drape and, being linen, is super breathable and perfect for a warm summer evening.

Wisteria Blossoms knitting pattern by Renée Callahan

I am offering an introductory discount on Wisteria Blossoms for subscribers to the EastLondonKnit newsletter—please do sign up for both the discount code and for the Brioche Twister knitting pattern, a free gift for subscribers.

Finally, I will be hosting a knit-along beginning 1st September in the EastLondonKnit Ravelry group, and running through the end of the year. I’ll be posting tutorials and information specifically about the Zen Variations collection, but you can knit any EastLondonKnit design you would prefer, including Wisteria Blossoms!

Happy knitting,

Rx

Fibre East 2016

Hello!

It is funny how the things you do affect your view of the world. I used to think of the year in terms of fashion weeks and final collection schedules. Since I began to focus on designing and teaching hand-knitting, my mental markers for the year have become fibre festivals and the immediate knitting season.

For example, Fibre East has come to define the summer season. And now that it is over, I feel like it’s time to prepare for Autumn.

If I was clever, I would have stocked up on sweater quantities of yarn in preparation for all the sweater-season knit-alongs–my own included!** However, I was kept busy in the Kettle Yarn Co. stand and didn’t manage much shopping. For me, fibre festivals are great for a couple of different reasons; I spend most of my time working alone, and the festival weekend is a chance to catch up with colleagues and our online friends and customers face to face. This is both exhausting and really wonderful. It is also a chance to fondle the fibre. I love the internet, but it makes such a difference to see and feel yarn in real life.

It's show time @fibreeast! Gorgeous @kettleyarnco yarn and #eastlondonknit patterns are here! Come on over & see me sometime😘

A photo posted by Renee EastLondonKnit (@eastlondonknit) on

There were lots of exciting things going on around the grounds, and as per usual, I hardly remembered to photograph anything, with a couple of notable exceptions….

@kettleyarnco in her natural, woolly environment. #knitting

A photo posted by Renee EastLondonKnit (@eastlondonknit) on

More good stuff from #fibreeast2016 : @thirdvaultyarns with Shaunbon & Nightshade. #shaunbonbunny

A photo posted by Renee EastLondonKnit (@eastlondonknit) on


If you would like to see the event itself, Mina, the Knitting Expat, has done a vlog episode giving you a whirlwind tour of the whole festival. Extra points if you catch my own brief cameo🙂

Just a note to say that a new cardigan pattern, Wisteria Blossoms will be out next week. I will be offering an introductory discount code, but only to subscribers to the EastLondonKnit newsletter–please do sign up to get the all the fun stuff.

Wisteria Blossoms by Renée Callahan

**The Zen Variations knit along will start the 1 September and run through until the end of the year. I have been amassing wonderful yarn and knitting prizes and I will be posting tutorials and offering support through out the knit-along to keep your needles on track. Please do join in–I am happy for you to knit any EastLondonKnit pattern, but extra stars for a Zen Variations sweater🙂

Happy knitting!

Rx

Sundogs and seasides

Hello!

Last week I had the incredible luck to take a holiday by the seaside that coincided with a mini heat wave here in the UK. I was prepared with my holiday knitting: a new sweater design using brioche stitch. I made a reasonable amount of progress on it, but I can’t show it off January (!!) which feels like such a long time because I am so excited about it now. I also took my trusty camera, and thought I would share some holiday inspiration with you today.

Sundog at Swanage by Renée Callahan

Have you heard of a sundog? I had not, but Wikipedia tells us this about them:

Sun dogs (or sundogs), mock suns or phantom suns, scientific name parhelia (singular parhelion), are an atmospheric phenomenon that consists of a pair of bright spots on either horizontal side on the Sun, often co-occurring with a luminous ring known as a 22° halo.

We saw an astonishingly vivid sundog while out and about one evening. My camera wasn’t quite able to cope with taking in the entire scene, but there was a sundog either side of the setting sun, and halo was just visible.

Swanage 2016-12

I enjoyed some quality knitting time and fit in a few rows before going out in the evening.

Swanage 2016-13

There was a fantastic full moon. I read some things online about how this was a special full moon, but have to admit I can’t remember any of those special things, which in no way dims my enjoyment of it!

And finally, we did took some photos for a sneak peek of new a cardigan design to be released later this month.

Wisteria Blossoms by Renée Callahan 5

About which, more soon…

Happy knitting!

Rx

An Angelus Novus or Four…

Hello!

I am so pleased to have a some new Angelus Novus cardigans to show you. Curious Handmade Helen hosted a fantastic knit-along in her Ravelry group and the resulting finished objects have been awesome!

Little Bobbins Angelus Novus Cardigan

I was honored to have designed the cardigan that Dani, aka littlebobbins knit herself as a birthday present. She even mentioned it on her podcast, which was a bit of a thrill for me!
Tinkhickman's Angelus Novus Cardigan

Deb, aka Tinkhickman created a wonderful version and captured the entire making process from balls of yarn to gorgeous finished object on her Instagram feed and project page. Vincakent's Angelus Novus Cardigan

As I was looking through the finished objects for the Curious Handmade Klee KAL, I realised I hadn’t shared any of the previous finished objects, and I must as they have turned out so beautifully! Above is Vincakent’s cardi which I love in a fabulous shade of deep orange.

Chopkins Angelus Novus

When I first saw Chopkindknits interpretation in ombre shades, I nearly lost my mind–what a fantastic idea! I love it!

The amazing Josh Moll has knit up a wonderfully tiny version  of the Angelus Novus cardigan that makes my heart burst just a little. She has sent me notes, and I’ll grade the pattern and republish it for several children’s and baby sizes. This is so very exciting! This will be the first EastLondonKnit pattern for children and I can’t wait to share it with you!

Watch this space😉

Happy knitting,

Rx

Yarniacs and Yamas…

Hello!

Although I aspire to knit all the things, realistically I have to constantly work on design projects or I’d never publish anything. I have a huge number of designs that I am dying to see in real life and so the queue for my needles is always pretty long. But everyone needs a break sometimes, and as I was catching up on podcasts, I heard about The Yarniacs Colors of Fall KAL. As I am almost always knitting on a design I can’t share right away, I normally can’t really participate in KALs, but I would like to make some of the Zen Variations designs with added, well, variations, so I decided I could justify knitting the the Yama cardigan in a single colour for the ultimate wardrobe basic. I’m using Galway Sport from Plymouth Yarn that I got in the amazing sale at Stitch House Dorchester in Boston. The ball band may say that it is color 702, but I am calling it ‘sharkskin’, and Gayle and Sharlene are kind enough to let me get away with it.

Instagram has been great for documenting the progress so far:

I would love to work up some of the other designs with variations as well, maybe Kaizen with cable panels running up the front instead of pockets, or Enzo with stripes of eyelets or some simple lace pattern…. I need so many more arms…

Happy knitting,

Rx

New to me

Hello!

I am pretty sure that travel is good for me. It is just healthy to occasionally get out of the routine, right?

My trip to the Squam Art Workshops in June was wonderful for so many reasons; because I travelled to a beautiful part of the world and spent time with my people, but also because I had the chance to meet new people who are doing exciting things on the other side of the pond, a few of these I would like to share with you today.

In addition to the full day workshops that attendees sign up for, there are several shorter, drop-in activities going on, including Tierney Barden‘s Fairy Tales and Paper Cutting, which was incredibly fun! My efforts from that afternoon:

I also had the pleasure of meeting Marce, aka BrownBerry, who documented her time in Squam with this sweet podcast:

Marce was accompanied by Nancy, who I met at Squam last year. I’ve been following Nancy Instagram posts of her yoga practice and fitness regime which I find really inspiring; have a look if you enjoy watching superfit people get more fit.

Finally, I was incredibly lucky to have the wonderful Amor from Crave Yarn as my roommate, who allowed me to run off with this gorgeous skein of her Thoreau yarn, a fingering/4 ply yarn of 50% yak, 50% silk in the Stolen Seas colourway (the photo really doesn’t give an accurate impression of the subtlety of the blue).

Crave yarn Thoreau

It is so soft and luxurious that I don’t even want to wind it into a cake. I am more than happy to admire it in the skein until I have time to pay some proper attention to it!

Happy knitting,

Rx