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.
Have you heard of a sundog? I had not, but Wikipedia tells us this about them:
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.
I enjoyed some quality knitting time and fit in a few rows before going out in the evening.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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:
A post shared by Renée EastLondonKnit (@eastlondonknit) on
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).
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!
The sun is shining here (however temporarily) and I have a holiday on the horizon which means I need to sort out my holiday knitting!
I have a few ideas, and perhaps you are making similar plans right now. There are a few requirements for my holiday knitting: portability, large sections of easily memorised pattern or stocking stitch, and I like ’em relatively small and accessory sized.
If you are in need of a little inspiration, here are a few I make earlier:
Last year I attended the famous Squam Art Workshops for the first time and I had an amazing time. I was so excited to be there that I was up early every day and saw some of the most spectacular sunrises I have ever witnessed sitting on the dock.
It was a technicolour experience, with the pinks, blues and yellows really racing across the sky.
The experience inspired the Lakelet shawl. Lakelet is an asymmetrical triangular shawl that begins in one corner with just a few stitches and works across the body of the shawl to end with a beautiful bubbling of lace in a colour the shade of a cloud at sunrise.
The smallest size of the shawl uses 110g of the main colour and 25g of the contrast colour. Kits for the shawl featuring Kettle Yarn Co. Beyul yarn will be available soon. (Watch this space!)
In other news, Knitlandia by Clara Parkes is now available as an audiobook and I am downloaded and ready to go! I attend a bookgroup in real life and I really love reading along with others, so I was wondering… would you enjoy a read-along? If so, join me over on the ELK Ravelry thread 🙂
I am suffering from weekend withdrawals at the start of this fine week. The weekend was so sunny and lovely, getting back to work seems extra painful. I am soothing/attempting to motivate myself with a strong coffee at a cafe and I have to say, everyone is looking a little worse-for-wear this morning. I’m putting my faith in the caffeine and, of course, knitting!
What are you knitting these days? Are you getting ready for summer with lace-weight or perhaps linen? I’m going to indulge in a bit of linen obsessing now. After a sunny weekend, I want to cast on half a dozen new designs in linen.
This is because I haven’t managed to try much of the several gorgeous yarns that have been tempting me lately, including Lithuanian Linen available from Midwinter Yarns, a heavy lace weight yarn that comes in an amazing eye-popping pink among other beautiful shades
and Kalinka Linen, which is a heavy 4 ply weight available at Wild and Woolly. I have seen Kalinka knit up, and it is really so gorgeous, and also has some fabulous colours including a acid-bright lime green, and a black and white marled colour way called ‘stereo’.
And then there is Quince and Co., who have 2 lovely linens to choose from: Sparrow, a 4 ply and Kestral.
I used Kestral for this cardigan (which will be published soon!). I loved the yarn and am keen to use it again. Worsted-weight and chain plied, I admit that it was inclined to snag on the needles. I wonder if using a needle with a more rounded tip would have helped. Even so, I really love the weightiness of the fabric and the wonderful drape. I love wool, but there is something very seductive about the drape of linen.
For the last two years, one of my resolutions has been to draw everyday. The thing about being a designer is that I have entire days in which I don’t actually do anything creative. I sit in front of the computer screen, doing the things that need to be done for my business to be a business. So when I heard about Crystal Moody‘s #yearofcreativehabits challenge to herself, I was smitten. I decided to get up a little earlier and I have, with more or less frequency, made a drawing every (weekday) morning. It’s a great way for me to feel like I am doing something daily, however small, for myself and my creativity. This is not to say that the drawings are always good or even that they improve in a consistent way. Sometimes they are really terrible. Like even worse than when I began. But it still feels like a worthwhile activity, even when it is frustrating. Part of the original challenge was to post a photo of the drawing on Instagram as a way of creating accountability.
And I did for quite a while. But recently I decided to change that. It was pointed out to me that I had a knitting Instagram feed that was mostly composed of drawings. And I thought, yeah, good point. I really should spend some more time showing people my knitting work on the feed. So I have stopped posting the photos, but I haven’t stopped doing the drawings! I thought I would just share a few of the new ones here and say that I haven’t given up, the good work continues!
It is sometimes hard to remember that creativity is a discipline, and not always a romantic one. Do you have a creative anchor? What is it and how do you maintain it?