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

Love knitting

Hello!

How’s things?

I have been planting seeds of the knitting variety in anticipation of an Autumnal harvest. Work on the newest collection is coming along every so slowly. I keep getting side tracked by shiny new projects and beautiful yarns, but the designs are always there, reminding me to get a move on…

One of the shiny, exciting things that has my attention just now is a new KAL!

The wonderful Helen of Curious Handmade is hosting a knit-along for the Angelus Novus cardigan in the Curious Handmade Ravelry group. Please do join us on over there to take part in the knitting, cheer each other on and enjoy the making.

Angelus Novus Cardi back by Renée Callahan-2

 

I also recently did a little interview with LoveKnitting.com, in which I express my wish for knitting Oompa Loompas. Enjoy.

Happy knitting,

R.

Angelus Novus in Lace

Hello!

I recently updated the Angelus Novus Shawl pattern with a new version in lace-weight yarn:

Angelus Novus Lace shawl by Renée Callahan

Linda knit the shawl in her new Kettle Yarn Co. Beyul Lace base, which has turned out beautifully!

Angelus Novus Lace weight by Renée Callahan

I really did try to steal the shawl, but she was having none of it. Angelus Novus Lace weight by Renée Callahn 1

The pattern now comes with added instructions for the lace-weight version and the original worsted/DK weight.

Happy knitting!

R.

How are those resolutions coming along?

Hello!

I may have mentioned this once or twice (or at every opportunity); last year’s New Year’s resolutions were uniquely successful, and I was super keen when the time came to set this year’s resolutions. My key resolution for this year was all about participating more. Finding my people is a particularly important aspect for not only for my business, but also for my mental well-being. It is all too easy for me to sit on the sidelines–just read the conversations without taking part and just admire the photos without letting people know I appreciate them.

To that end, I made an active effort to take part in Ravelry forums and on Instagram, which has apparently become my social media of choice. Although I still feel awkward, I do think it has been working–I do feel as if I am more connected to both people I have never met, and those I have, but don’t see as often as I would like.

There were specific bits of participation I wanted to embrace, such as my first KAL: The Fringe Co.’s Hat Along, giving me the rare excuse to knit someone else’s design: Cirilia Rose’s L’Arbre hat, which I love.

 L'Arbre Hat by Cirilia Rose

And then there was my slightly less successful attempt to multitask: I tried to take part in 3 make-alongs at once:the Curious Handmade Wardrobe Challenge, Truly Myrtle’s Selfish Make Along and the Double Knit Podcast Cardi Party. The result was that I did actually finish my Endless Summer Tunic by A Verb for Making Warm, which definitely wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been trying to play along.

endless summer tunic

My cardigan-based offering didn’t quite work out though, as I mentioned last week...
summer tunic dress

The Ravelry boards and blog post comments were really lively, and although it was difficult to keep up, it was really rewarding to see the other participants chatting and encouraging each other.

Participation is more than the virtual contact to me. Maybe I am just a throw back to the pre-internet dark ages, but I need to meet people in a face to face kind of way. I did get a chance to do that thanks to Linda of Kettle Yarn Co. who let me hang around her stand at various and wonderful fibre festivals, such as the I Knit Fandango…

I knit fandango

And I taught some workshops, which is perhaps the most rewarding and the most stressful kind of connection I can make.

ELK teaches knit techniques

In the end, I think it was a successful resolution. I am really pleased I made the effort, and am already thinking about how I can expand on the participation for next year. I have a few ideas, but making more connections with my knitting community and reinforcing the old ones are absolutely the ways forward.

Speaking of participation, the Klee Collection KAL is warming up. Please do join us over on the forum to knit along, get help and win lovely prizes!

Happy holidays and I will see you in the New Year!

R.

Let the KAL begin!

Hello!

Today the Klee Collection knit along begins and I am really pleased to discuss the first of the sponsors, who, not coincidentally, were also the wonderful sources of yarn for my collection:

ELK KAL prizes

Blacker YarnsWalkCollection and The Uncommon Thread have all generously contributed to the prize pots, as have I with some gorgeous yarn from the ‘give away’ stash and surprises to be announced. There will be prizes for finished garments and finished accessories, both randomly selected, as well as a social media participation prize and a prize for my favourite finished object.

The rules:

  • Join us over at the EastLondonKnit Ravelry Group.
  • Cast on any of the Klee Collection designs. (Those cast on before 1 Dec are also allowed)
  • Bind off on or before 1 February 2016.
  • Post a beautiful of your finished object in the Finished Object Thread of Joy.
  • Tag your project with ‘KleeCollectionKAL‘ on Ravelry or #KleeCollectionKAL on Instgram or Twitter.

Exciting times, eh?

This weekend the Klee Collection received a lovely review on A Playful Day’s podcast!

a playful day podcast

I began listening to Kate’s podcast many years ago, and was super pleased to hear my work mentioned in her dulcet tones! Please do have a listen🙂

I will be guest posting on her blog as well as partaking in a give away! Watch this space….

Happy knitting,

R.

The Beauty of Blacker

Hello!

One of the best bits about designing a collection was deciding which yarns to use. I was incredibly privileged to have been able to use beautiful yarns from The Uncommon Thread and WalkCollection, two indie dyers who create amazing subtle colors and rightly have an almost cult-like following. The third yarn I used also has a devoted following, and in the course of working with the yarn for the Angelus Novus cardigan and shawl designs, it has become a fast favorite of mine. Blacker Swan is a gorgeous DK yarn from Blacker Yarns, and I was so enamored with the yarn that I asked the lovely Sonja from Blacker Yarns if she would share a little about the yarns and her work at Blacker with us.

Angelus Novus uses Blacker Swan DK. Please tell us a little about the origin story of Blacker Swan yarn?

Of course! Blacker Swan is a joint venture between Sue and Andrez and Ali Short who farm at Swan Inlet Farm on the Falkland Islands. Andrez and Ali shear their specialist Merino sheep, sort and grade the fleeces and then send them by ship to the UK, where we transform the fine white fleeces into luxurious yarn. As far as we know, this makes Swan the only 100% British farm assured Merino yarn in the world.

Andrez's Swan Inlet Flock_Copyright Blacker Yarns

Andrez’s Swan Inlet Flock. Copyright Blacker Yarns.

Blacker Swan is one of our most luxurious yarns. Swan is worsted spun, which enhances the natural drape and lustre of the Merino wool. This yarn is soft and sleek with beautiful stitch definition.

Cone Winder at NFC_Copyright Blacker Yarns

Cone Winder at NFC. Copyright Blacker Yarns.

Amusingly, despite their established partnership, Sue and Andrez have never met face to face. Swan was conceived (and continues) thanks to the miracle of Skype.

When designing, I chose the Stone colourway. Please tell us a little about this colourway:

The ‘Stone’ colourway is one of our natural shades. Merino is a matt white fibre, so we blend Andrez’s fibre with a small percentage of Black Blue-Face Leicester and Brown (Moorit) Shetland. This adds a richness and subtlety to the colours, which I find particularly exciting. ‘Stone’ is our darkest natural blend, the current batch uses Black BFL from Sue’s very own Cornish flock.

Carding at The Natural Fibre Company Mill_Copyright Blacker Yarns (2)

Carding at The Natural Fibre Company Mill. Copyright Blacker Yarns.

All the colours in our Swan range are named after the rich wildlife of the Falkland Islands and most are dyed over these heathered natural shades. Dyeing the pinks, golds and purples over a fawn helps to bring out the warmth whereas dyeing the blues and greens over a grey helps to increase their depth of tone.

What inspires the Blacker colourways?

We try to find a different inspiration for each yarn range whilst ensuring we select shades which work well with the specific fibres. The Blacker Swan shades are all very bright and playful. Merino yarn has very little lustre, so we thought it would be great to play with some brighter shades over this calmer base. The 50% linen content in our Lyonesse range creates very subtle, soft shades. So we decided to opt for a range of airy spring pastels. We are just about to re-design the colour pallet of our Classic range, to be a little more traditional with some lovely muted, more gender neutral tones.

I love creating palates, so we’re always tinkering around with new ideas to keep things fresh. The limitless possibilities when playing with colour is probably what first attracted me to knitting, so it is incredible having the opportunity to experiment working for Blacker.

Blacker Swan_copyright Blacker Yarns

Blacker Swan Yarns. Copyright Blacker Yarns.

What is your favourite hand knit?

I don’t think I could ever choose! I’ve been making a lot of sweaters recently, but my selection of thick woolly slipper socks are invaluable during the winter months. I love (almost) all the things I make, but generally I prefer the process over the finished objects. I’m knitting the Chainlink Tunic by Norah Gaughan at the moment and it is so exciting watching the unusual construction take shape, I don’t seem to be able to put it down! I’m knitting using our Cornish Tin 10th anniversary yarn and this may be part of the reason. The yarn is almost velvety – it has a wonderful soft halo but also a really rigidity and body at the same time. Swan has a similar quality, I think it is something which can only be achieved with non superwashed yarn.

Future plans for Blacker Yarns, any upcoming events/excitement?

Well we’ve got a new on the way! Tamar, will be a permanent addition to the collection and available in both a DK and a 4-ply. It will be a lustre blend yarn made using Wensleydale, Teeswater, Black Leicester Longwool and local Cornish Mule fibre – a gorgeously drapey and lustrous blend. The yarn will launch in January, so keep an eye on our social media for more information. It is being spun at the moment and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

Thanks so much Sonja! I am really pleased that Blacker is a sponsor of the Klee KAL beginning 1 December and going through until 1 February 2016, and will be providing a few balls of Swan DK as a prize! Please join us on the EastLondonKnit Ravelry group to join in the fun.

Happy knitting,

R.

Angeli Novi

Hello!

Winter has made an appearance and it is finally a multi-knitwearing temperatures, appropriate to the season. I am excited to be going along on the Yarn in the City Bath Christmas Craft Crawl to get into the spirit! Bath is a beautiful city with a great Christmas Market–if you haven’t been it is definitely worth the trip. My first port of call upon arrival to the UK was Bath, where I spent a blissful year as an exchange student many years ago. It will be great to see it again, this time with added yarn gorgeousness courtesy of A Yarn Story!

I would like to thank all my amazing test knitters for the Angelus Novus cardigan. They provided great feedback and I am really pleased to share with you some of their beautiful finished objects:

Test knit Angelus Amsa2000 Angelus knit cardigan mskgb ros61knit angelus cardigan Adiantum test knit cardigan angelus novus wool4willow test knit cardigan angelus knit cardigan test thewoolkitchen's angelus

In order of appearance: amsa2000mskgbros61Adiantumwool4willow, and Thewoolkitchen

Finally, I choose the winner of my final Instagram give away in just a couple of hours. Thanks so much to everyone who played along!

Happy knitting,

R.