EYF Educational

Hello!

My recent outing to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival was particularly exciting, not only because it was a wonderful event put on by fabulous people, but also because I had the good fortune to take a couple of classes.  I am a big fan of education in general and was quite the professional student until I took up knitting. I don’t get the opportunity to take so many classes these days, so the Edinburgh Yarn Festival was a real treat.

Saturday morning I took DIY hat design with Emily Wessel of Tin Can Knits.  I love Emily’s knitwear.  There is something really down to earth and wearable about her designs, so I was really looking forward to hearing what she had to say about her design process. (Spoiler: whatever it is, don’t over-design it.) After an inspirational presentation, we got down to the knitty gritty and everyone worked on their own hat designs.

DIY hat design with Emily Wessel

There was a nice mix of those who just wanted to have a go and those who were gearing up to take on designing as a job. Admittedly, I wasn’t terribly focused on the task at hand, and as a result I don’t have much to show for my first class, but it was enjoyable and I have a few ideas to knit up someday.

I also took a class about the Lopi sweater shaping with Helene Magnusson, aka the Icelandic Knitter. I got 2 things in particular from this class. First yarn-over short rows are awesome. Second, I really must to go Iceland someday. It sounds amazing.

Lopi Sweater Shaping The icelandic knitter

Helene modeled her nearly finished Lopi cardigan and used miniature Lopi sweaters to demonstrate different shaping methods–they were the cutest damn educational aids I have ever seen.

the icelandic knitter on lopi shaping

It’s like a bug–I am already trying to figure out how I can take some more classes soon! Suggestions for UK-based learning opportunities are welcome!!! What is the best class you have ever taken?

Happy knitting,

R.

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Something for the weekend

Hello!

I love a bit of lace, do I.

Bottega Veneta AW 15

Bottega Veneta AW 15 photo courtesy of Vogue.co.uk

You can always count on Bottega Veneta to put delicate, elegant designs on the catwalk.  I love how they have ‘dirtied’ up that vision of femininity with what appears to be rubbing/rolling dye on to the surface of the lace. The gold boots with the monochromatic garments add a certain something too.

Bottega Veneta detail AW15

Bottega Veneta detail AW15 photo courtesy of Style.com

origami by tweedysheep

Origami Leaves by Svetlana Volkova makes beautiful use of the directional lines of the lace pattern to guide the raglan shaping.

Autumns End by Alana Dakos

Autumn’s end by Alana Dakos also makes use of a lovely all-over lace pattern for a great transitional garment.

Happy knitting,

R.

Something for the weekend

Hello!

The traditional fisherman’s sweater is an enduring source of inspiration for hand knitters and designers alike.

Alexander Wang AW 2015 cables and studs

Alexander Wang AW 2015 studs and cables photo courtesy of Style.com

Alexander Wang’s take on the classic sweater features metal studs highlighting the cable patterning.

Alexander Wang AW 2015 studs and cables

Alexander Wang AW 2015 studs and cables photo courtesy of Style.com

This is a  sweater that has never really gone out of style. There are so many beautiful versions of it on Ravelry, but here are a couple that stood out to me as really remaining true to the tradition, but remaining fresh.

Catherine Sweater by Glenna C.

The Catherine sweater by Glenna C. adds a flattering feminine scoop neck to the mix, as well as a lattice-type pattern to the centre front panel.

Fisher Queen Sweater by Jennifer Dassau

The Fisher Queen by Jennifer Dassau  introduces interesting broken ribbing to the side panels, and a quick-to-knit bulky yarn to mix. The natural colour of the yarn really shows up the lovely textures.

Happy knitting,

R.

Edinburgh Yarn Festival

Hello!

>>NB: This Wednesday I am really excited to be teaching a class about 2-colour cabling at the Wild and Woolly shop–there are only a couple of places left so please join us if you are London-ish!<<

This weekend I had the joy of visiting the Edinburgh Yarn Festival as a punter, and it was awesome.

We arrived in Edinburgh on a damp and dreary afternoon, which no doubt emphasized the tall, intimidating stone architecture of the city centre.  It is beautiful, in a dark and dramatic kind of way.

Edin Yarn Fest-2015-1

The main site of the festival was the Corn Exchange, located a short distance from town.

Edin Yarn Fest-2015-2

I intended to take so many pictures of all the great vendors and beautifully arranged stands, but you know how it is, the overwhelming amount of great people and wool fumes make it hard to keep on track.

Nevertheless, I did get a couple of pictures of lovely vendors.

Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2015

The Pom Pom Quarterly girls were looking fabulous in samples of the magazine patterns.

Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2015

Julie of Tilly Flop was selling her beautifully printed cards and pictures and especially popular tea towels…

Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2015

And there was particularly star-studded stand filled with knitting patterns from Ysolda Teague and Stephen West.  They additionally hosted book signings from  Clara Parkes, which caused a kind of super-fan wave of excitement from the punters I have rarely seen before.

There was an evening do on Saturday night featuring entertainment from Felicity Ford, with Ysolda doing time as quiz master to an unreasonably difficult quiz.

Ca-Baa-ret at Edin Yarn Fest 2015

It was nearly a full house, but that Stephen West practically glows in the dark–it was hard not to photograph him.

Ca-Baa-ret at Edin Yarn Fest 2015

My quiz team started to take the quiz seriously, but sadly that didn’t seem to help with our score…

Ca-Baa-ret at Edin Yarn Fest 2015

An element of the quiz was to ‘build a sheep’. Team member Veera was bizarrely proud of her sheep. Unfortunately the competition was too much for us:

Ca-Baa-ret at Edin Yarn Fest 2015

Ca-Baa-ret at Edin Yarn Fest 2015

Clara Parkes was on hand to judge the sheep and award an impressive array of prizes.

In conclusion, I met people, I learned things, I fondled yarn. Mica and Jo, the organisers, did a really wonderful job and I am so pleased that it was such a success for them.

Next time I’ll brag about the classes I took and the one I taught.

Til then,

Happy knitting,

R.

Something for the weekend

Hello!

The second law of thermodynamics is a good’un. It explains the concept of entropy as the natural and inevitable dissapation of matter and energy.  It is no doubt because I lack any scientific knowledge that this concept seems particularly visual to me. Sometimes ignorance is good. Well, ok, maybe not good, but occasionally useful. A productive misunderstanding.

And indeed, entropy seems to be having a fashion moment.

ADEAM AW 15

ADEAM AW 15 Photo courtesy of style.com

I have seen many examples of this on the catwalk, but I especially like the ADEAM example here, in which chunky knit rib ‘dissipates’ into satin.

pixilated pullover

The Pixelated Pullover by Jennifer Beaumont fits into this category perfectly. It is rightly a popular pattern with over 100 projects on Ravelry, and I love the original sample’s eye-searing colour-pop.

random fairisle sweater by Boadicea Binnerts

A quieter and also very lovely example is the random fair isle sweater by Boadicea Binnerts, which looks like it features intarsia as well as fair isle stranding and plays well with some beautiful hand-dyed yarn from the Walk Collection.

Happy knitting,

R.

Cyclamen

Hello!

I’ve independently  published my first sweater pattern!

Cyclamen Cardi pattern by EastLondonKnit

Cyclamen is a top-down, raglan cardigan with garter-stitch trim worked in worsted- or aran-weight yarn. It is designed to be a great first cardigan for the beginner or a blank slate for more experienced knitters to alter. I wanted a pattern for a very straight-forward, customisable cardigan that could used as a basis for a ‘knit your first cardigan’ class (coming soon…).

cyclamen cardigan buttonband
The cardigan features a knit-as-you-go button band so there is no need to pick up stitches later and add the band. I sewed large snap fasteners onto the band after it was finished, but it could be secured with a beautiful shawl pin or left open. I am more and more convinced that all button bands need sewn-in reinforcing, preferably with some vintage lacy trim.  Really, I can’t get enough of the stuff!

cyclamen cardigan pocket detailI knit this sample in Quince & Co. Owl yarn, which I hadn’t used before. I like the yarn–it is a 50% Wool, 50% Alpaca mix and is woollen spun, which means that the fibres are slightly jumbled up before it is spun unlike ‘worsted spun’ yarn, in which all the fibres are combed to lie parallel to one another before being spun, to make a smoother, denser yarn. The woollen spun process creates a lofty, textured yarn that with space between jumbled fibres to trap air and warmth. Sue Blacker wrote a great piece for Wovember a couple of years ago you can read here.

I tried to give a wide range of sizes for this one: chest sizes 29.5 (33.5, 37.5, 41, 45)(49.5, 53.5, 57, 61) inches/75 (85, 95, 105, 115)(126, 136, 145, 155) cm. The cardigan is designed to be worn with 10-15 cm of positive ease. The sample shown is 10 cm larger than the actual bust.
Yarn requirements: 840 (960, 1080, 1200, 1320)(1440, 1560, 1680, 1800) yds/770 (880, 990, 1100, 1210)(1320, 1430, 1540, 1650) m of worsted or aran weight yarn.

Cyclamen cardigan with pockets

You can get the Cyclamen knitting pattern here!

Happy knitting,

R.

Something for the weekend

Hello!

The thing about styling is it both enhances and detracts attention from the clothing.

This weeks fashion example is a bold jumper with styling to match:

Carven A/W 2015 collection.

Carven A/W 2015 collection. Photo courtesy of Vogue.com

Whereas this week’s hand knit is an easy to wear, softly styled short-sleeve sweater: Opine by yellowcosmo.  There are certainly differences; the Carven sweater is a textured stitch and the patterning on Opine is achieved with stranded colour work, but I think there is a similar joy in each sweater in bold patterning and contrasting dark and light. The sweaters could be reversed and still work well: the Carven sweater worn with tall boots and jeans and Opine could be worn with bold & bright clashing colours.

Opine by yellowcosmo I am a big fan of Opine’s designer yellowcosmo.  I think she brings a lovely, quiet aesthetic to her knitwear and really hope she will not be horrified to see me comparing it to the loud Carven style!

Happy knitting,

R.