A beautiful batch of Twisters

Hello!

I was admiring some more Brioche Twister finished objects and I am so pleased with them, I wanted to share!

drbean's Brioche Twister by Renée Callahan

I love the colour combo in drbean’s Brioche Time!

DebBramham's Brioche Twister pattern by Renée Callahan

DebBramham’s Brioche Twister is a lovely version in Blacker Yarn’s Tamar.

charlielaver's Brioche Twister pattern by Renée Callahan

charlielaver’s first attempt at Brioche has turned out beautifully!

I couldn’t be more pleased to see such a lot of gorgeous brioche stitching going on! You too can get the Brioche Twister pattern for free as a thank you for signing up to my newsletter.

EastLondonKnit newsletter sign up

Thank you so much to everyone who has signed up already! I really appreciate it and I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to see the Twisters, both finished and in the works.

Happy knitting,

Rx

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Buji Tunic

Hello!

Happy weekend to you! Throughout the last week and a bit, I have shared the inspiration behind each design in the Zen Variations collection: Takumi, Yama, Intoku, Enso and Kaizen. Today I give you the final installment of the Zen Variations series: Buji.

BUJI is the Japanese word meaning ‘all is well, no trouble’. The tunic features short sleeves, a boat neck and patch pockets that play with the colour blocking on the body.

Zen Variations Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan-3

The concept of buji is one of perfect freedom from trouble or hindrance, and while it can veer toward carelessness, in the most generous understanding, it evokes a playful freedom. The Buji tunic felt like a playful garment to me–the longer length, short sleeves and particularly the geometric colour blocking with the patch pockets all added up to a grown-up version of a smock.

Zen Variations Buji Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan-6

SIZING

79.5 (83, 89, 92.5, 96.5, 102)(110.5, 114.5, 120, 125.5, 129.5) cm or 31.25 (32.75, 35, 36.5, 38, 40.25)(43.5, 45, 47.25, 49.5, 51)”
The sweater is intended to be worn with 5cm / 2” of positive ease.

Buji schematic by Renée Callahan

YARN

The Fibre Company Acadia (60% Merino Wool, 20% Baby Alpaca, 20% Silk; 145 yds/133 m per 50 g skein) in main colour: Driftwood, 6 (6, 7, 7, 7, 8)(8, 9, 9, 9, 10) skeins, contrast colour: Cranberry, 2 (2, 2, 2, 2, 3)(3, 3, 3, 3, 3) skeins.

Acadia is a DK weight yarn. Buji uses approximately:

276 (296, 312, 327, 343, 362)(386, 401, 421, 440, 460) MC grams
79 (84, 88, 93, 97, 103)(109, 114, 119, 125, 130) CC grams

805 (860, 910, 950, 995, 1055)(1120, 1165, 1225, 1280, 1340) MC yards
230 (245, 255, 270, 285, 300)(315, 335, 345, 365, 375) CC yards

735 (785, 830, 870, 910, 965)(1025, 1065, 1120, 1170, 1225) MC meters
210 (225, 235, 245, 260, 275)(290, 305, 315, 335, 345) CC meters

Zen Variations Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan-48

The Zen Variations patterns are for sale individually for £5 and the collection of all 6 sweater patterns can be purchased for £15.

The Buji Pattern 
The Zen Variations 

Happy knitting,

Rx

Note: The Zen Variations were beautifully photographed by Tommy Martin for The Fibre Co.

Kaizen Cardigan

Good morning!

Today I would like to share the Kaizen cardigan with you. It is one of my favorites in the Zen Variations collection and I hope you like it too!

KAIZEN is a Japanese word for ‘continuous improvement’. It features a traditional cardigan shape, with 4 pockets, garter-stitch collar and pocket flaps.

Zen Variations Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan-28

kaizen in kanji

Like so many things, kaizen was big in the 80s; the concept was taken up by big American businesses based on the perceived success of their Japanese counterparts. And although the word may retain the slight taint of 1980s money-based amorality, I think the idea can of continually working toward something better is a worthy one, particularly with regard to craft and something like, say, a handmade wardrobe….

Zen Variations Kaizen Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan-27

Kaizen takes the traditional workwear staple, the demin jacket, and translates this useful garment into cardigan that will never lose its appeal. It is a sweater that will be true throughout the decades.

Zen Variations Kaizen cardigan Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan-29

 

SIZES:
79.5 (83, 89, 92.5, 96.5, 102)(110.5, 114.5, 120, 125.5, 129.5)
cm or 31.25 (32.75, 35, 36.5, 38, 40.25)(43.5, 45, 47.25, 49.5, 51)”
The sweater is intended to be worn with 5cm / 2” of positive ease.

kaizen schematic by Renée Callahan

YARN

The Fibre Company Acadia (60% Merino Wool, 20% Baby Alpaca, 20% Silk; 145 yards/133 m per 50 g skein) in main colour: Sea Lavender; 8(8, 8, 9, 9, 10)(10, 11, 11, 12, 12) skeins.

Acadia is a DK weight yarn. Kaizen uses approximately:

355 (375, 400, 420, 440, 465)(495, 510, 540, 560, 585) grams

1035 (1095, 1165, 1220, 1280, 1350)(1440, 1480, 1570, 1630, 1700) yards

945 (1000, 1065, 1115, 1170, 1235)(1315, 1355, 1435, 1490, 1555) meters

 

Zen Variations Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan-44

The Zen Variations patterns are for sale individually for £5 and the collection of all 6 sweater patterns can be purchased for £15.

The Kaizen Pattern 
The Zen Variations 

Happy knitting,

Rx

Note: The Zen Variations were beautifully photographed by Tommy Martin for The Fibre Co.

 

Yama Cardigan

Hello!

Continuing with my introductions of the Zen Variation collection, today I want to show you the Yama Cardigan.

YAMA is a Japanese word for ‘mountain’. The cardigan features a flattering cross-over style, using 2 snaps/press studs for closure, a cropped length, deep rib hem, and contrast-colour sleeves.

Zen Variations Yama Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan-

Mountains have a special place in the religious imagination of many different cultures, and in Japan reverence for the sacred mountain is strong. Mt. Fuji has inspired devotion and art for centuries.

On a personal note, I was lucky enough to go to Japan on my honeymoon, and have always had love for Japanese art and design. The beauty of the place and the craftmanship I saw there have never left me.

Japan copyright Renée Callahan

While I was working on the collection, the graphic crossing-over of the Yama cardigan suggested the distinctive brush strokes of a minimalist Sumi-e mountain painting and I emphasized this graphic aesthetic with a contrast-coloured buttonband. The deep ribbing at the hem and cropped length create a flattering shape, perfect for wearing with summer dresses.

Zen Variations Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan-42

Zen Variations Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan-39

SIZES:
79.5 (83, 89, 92.5, 96.5, 102)(110.5, 114.5, 120, 125.5, 129.5)cm or 31.25 (32.75, 35, 36.5, 38, 40.25)(43.5, 45, 47.25, 49.5, 51) ”
The sweater is intended to be worn with 0 to 2.5cm/1” of positive ease.

Yama Cardigan schematic by Renée Callahan

YARN

The Fibre Company Acadia (60% Merino Wool, 20% Baby Alpaca, 20% Silk; 145 yds/133 m per 50g skein) in main colour: Kelp 4 (4, 4, 5, 5, 5)(5, 5, 6, 6, 6)skeins, contrast colour: Granite3 (3, 4, 4, 4, 4)(4, 4, 5, 5, 5) skeins.

Acadia is a DK weight yarn. Yama uses approximately:

305 (325, 345, 365, 380, 400)(430, 445, 470, 485, 510) total grams

170 (180, 195, 205, 215, 225)(240, 250, 265, 270, 285) MC grams
135 (145, 150, 160, 165, 175)(190, 195, 205, 215, 225) CC grams

490 (525, 570, 595, 625, 655)(700, 725, 770, 785, 830) MC yards
395 (420, 435, 465, 480, 510)(550, 570, 595, 625, 655) CC yards

450 (480, 520, 545, 570, 600)(640, 665, 705, 720, 760) MC metres
360 (385, 400, 425, 440, 465)(505, 520, 545, 570, 600) CC metres

Zen Variations Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan-46

The Zen Variations patterns are for sale individually for £5 and the collection of all 6 sweater patterns can be purchased for £15.

The Yama Pattern:
The Zen Variations:

Happy knitting,

Rx

Note: The Zen Variations were beautifully photographed by Tommy Martin for The Fibre Co.

Intoku Sweater

Hello!

There is Sunday morning sunshine and I am off to take Karie Westermann’s Nordic Traditions workshop at Wild and Woolly today. So far, I am having a wonderful day!  Today, I would like to introduce the Intoku sweater.

INTOKU is the Japanese word, meaning ‘good works performed in secret’. The pullover features a deep V-neck and integrated pockets finished with knit-as-you-go i-cord.

Zen Variations Intoku Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan-16

As a tenet of Buddhist practice, the idea of intoku is pretty deep; do good works, but abolish the ego by not telling anyone or displaying those deeds. Admittedly, my interpretation is much less deep: I have designed a sweater in which pockets are integrated into the knitting of the garment so as to create a secret place for keeping your good works.

After knitting the sample, I changed my mind about the pockets and re-wrote the pattern to accommodate a pouch pocket that stretches the entire width of the front to allow for a more generous pocket space.

Zen Variations Intoku Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan-17

The deep V-neck of the Intoku pattern makes it a flattering silhouette for larger busts.

Zen Variations Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan-18

SIZES:
79.5 (83, 89, 92.5, 96.5, 102)(110.5, 114.5, 120, 125.5, 129.5) cm or 31.25 (32.75, 35, 36.5, 38, 40.25)(43.5, 45, 47.25, 49.5, 51)”
The sweater is intended to be worn with 5cm / 2” of positive ease.

Intoku pattern schematic by Renée Callahan

YARN

The Fibre Company Acadia (60% Merino Wool, 20% Baby Alpaca, 20% Silk; 145 yds/133 m per 50 g skein) in main colour: Blue Heron; 7 (8, 8, 9, 9, 10)(10, 10, 11, 12, 12) skeins.

Acadia is a DK weight yarn. Intoku uses approximately:

345 (370, 390, 410, 430, 455)(485, 500, 530, 550, 575) grams

1005 (1075, 1130, 1190, 1250, 1325)(1410, 1455, 1540, 1600, 1675) yards

920 (985, 1035, 1090, 1145, 1210)(1290, 1330, 1410, 1465, 1530) metres

Zen Variations Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan-43

The Zen Variations patterns are for sale individually for £5 and the collection of all 6 sweater patterns can be purchased for £15.

The Intoku Pattern: 
The Zen Variations:

Happy knitting,

Rx

Note: The Zen Variations were beautifully photographed by Tommy Martin for The Fibre Co.

Enso Sweater

Hello!

It has been such an exciting week with the launch of the Zen Variations! Thank you to everyone who has shown your support; it means so much!

ENSO is a Japanese word for ‘circle’. The sweater features a round, scoop neck, garter panels along the sides, and a curved hem for a classic shape and a wardrobe staple.

Zen Variations Enso Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan skirt

The idea of enso in the Zen Buddhist context is a beautiful one. A single stroke of black ink on white paper is made in the space of a single breath, describing a perfect circle. The painting is a symbol of enlightenment and embracing the void.

Enso painting

An enso painting from the 2014 exhibition at the St Lawrence University

I have taken the concept of enso and applied it to the shape of the neck line and the hem: the circular shapes gently repeating in the sweater.

Zen Variations Enso Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan-25

Enso sweater is my corner stone of a handmade wardrobe: simple and easy to modify with just a few beautiful details.

Zen Variations Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan-24

SIZES

The sweaters are sized from 1-11, with finished garment bust measurements of 31.25 (32.75, 35, 36.5, 38, 40.25)(43.5, 45, 47.25, 49.5, 51) inches/79.5 (83, 89, 92.5, 96.5, 102)(110.5, 114.5, 120, 125.5, 129.5) cm.

The sweater is intended to be worn with 2 inches/5 cm of positive ease.

Enso Sweater by Renée Callahan schematic

 

YARN

The Fibre Company Acadia (60% Merino Wool, 20% Baby Alpaca, 20% Silk; 145 yards/133 m per 50 g skein) in main colour: Driftwood: 8 (8, 9, 9, 9, 10)(10, 11, 11, 12, 12) skeins.

Acadia is a DK weight yarn. Enso uses approximately:

355 (375, 400, 415, 435, 460)(490, 510, 535, 560, 585) grams

1035 (1095, 1165, 1210, 1265, 1340)(1425, 1480, 1560, 1630, 1700) yards

945 (1000, 1065, 1105, 1155, 1225)(1305, 1355, 1425, 1490, 1555) metres

GAUGE/TENSION:
21 sts x 31 rows = 10cm (4”) in St st blocked with 3.75mm (US 5) or size needed to get gauge.

Zen Variations Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan

The Zen Variations patterns are for sale individually for £5 and the collection of all 6 sweater patterns can be purchased for £15.

The Enso Pattern: 

The Zen Variations:

Happy knitting,

Rx

Note: The Zen Variations were beautifully photographed by Tommy Martin for The Fibre Co.

 

Takumi Sweater

Hello!

Finally, I released the Zen Variations into the wild.  For the next week or so, I will post about the designs individually.

TAKUMI is the Japanese word for ‘artisan’. The cardigan features a flattering wrap-style, with a longer length, ¾ sleeves, and is finished with i-cord trim worked simultaneously with the sweater.

Takumi Cardigan knitting pattern by Renée CallahanThe cardigan is inspired by the samue, a garment traditionally worn by Zen monks while working, Japanese artisans and manual labourers. The samue is the ultimate in workwear, meant to be the most practical of garments.

Kinfolk Cover

Image copyright of Kinfolk, featured on the cover of Vol 8.

This Kinfolk cover image was one of the first up on my moodboard and was a touchstone for the collection. I love the Mona-Lisa smile and the whole feel of the image.

Zen buddhist monk photographed by John Lander

Photograph copyright: John Lander

This picture by photographer John Lander of a monk at work wearing a samue really sums up the collection for me: mindful work done with a quiet heart. 
Takumi Cardigan knitting pattern by Renée Callahan1

Takumi is my interpretation of the garment retains some of key elements, such as the cross over fronts, which form a v-neck, a longer length and tie closures. Takumi Cardigan knitting pattern by Renée Callahan

SIZES:
(83, 89, 92.5, 96.5, 102)(110.5, 114.5, 120, 125.5, 129.5)cm or
31.25 (32.75, 35, 36.5, 38, 40.25)(43.5, 45, 47.25, 49.5, 51) ”
The sweater is intended to be worn with 5cm / 2” of positive ease.

Takumi wrap schematic plain
YARN:
The Fibre Co. Acadia (60% merino wool, 20% baby alpaca, 20% silk; 133m (145yds) per 50g hank); shown in Blueberry 9 (9, 10, 10, 11, 11)(12, 12, 13, 14, 14) hanks.

Acadia is a DK weight yarn. Takumi uses approximately:

415 (445, 470, 490, 515, 545)(580, 600, 635, 660, 690) grams

1210 (1295, 1365, 1425, 1500, 1585)(1690, 1745, 1850, 1920, 2005) yards

1105 (1185, 1250, 1305, 1370, 1450)(1545, 1595, 1690, 1755, 1835) metres

GAUGE/TENSION:
21 sts x 31 rows = 10cm (4”) in St st blocked with 3.75mm (US 5) or size needed to get gauge.

Zen Variations Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan-45

The Zen Variations patterns are for sale individually for £5 and the collection of all 6 sweater patterns can be purchased for £15.

The Takumi Pattern: 

The Zen Variations:

Happy knitting,

Rx

Note: The Zen Variations were beautifully photographed by Tommy Martin for The Fibre Co.