Happy Holidays!


How are you? I love Christmas and am now in full holiday mode, but I do have a ton of exciting plans for 2017 that I can’t wait to share with you. Until then, I hope your holidays are wonderful and here is just a peek at what is coming up:


This January, Craftsy will have a new class in machine knitting! Stay tuned for announcements and special discount codes!


If you are still looking for a holiday knit, I might have just the thing for you: the Boreal Hat and Cowl patterns are now available for individual purchase!


Happy Holidays to all and to all a good knit!!



The One with Brain Fuzz


Do you get the feeling there is just a little too much going on to mentally process it? I have that at the moment. It feels like fuzz on the brain, preventing clear thinking and getting sh*t done.

When the brain fuzz strikes, I try to spend some quality time with my diary. I write out all the things I have to do (‘brain dump’ I’ve heard it called) and then find a space in the schedule for them. This may seem too obvious to mention, but it is actually helpful to remind myself there are only so many hours in the day and a limited number of things I can actually do (even fewer if I am trying to do them well). It’s like a licence to focus on just one thing at one time.  Because, as it turns out, I cannot multitask. This may be further evidence that I am an unnatural, bad woman, but I have a sneaking suspicion that most people can’t. It’s a delusion in which I occasionally indulge, but am always shown the error of my ways… eventually….

So what are all these things I seem to think I can/should be doing right now?  Well, I am working on a collection of hand knit patterns for the Autumn. This is a big deal to me, and I want to it be so good.  I am really excited about it–the inspiration close to my arty-farty heart, I have amazing yarn support and I have the time to do it justice if all goes to plan (HA!).

The first sample for the collection is practically finished…

Twilight flowers sweater sample

There are half a dozen other hand-knit design projects in various stages of completion (evidence of the multitasking failure), such as a design for the new Kettle Yarn Co. Islington DK yarn,

ELK knit stole in progress

and the Westknits pattern the Enchanted Mesa sweater is underway, though not seeming to go very quickly…

enchanted mesa handknit in progress

…my first participation in a proper KAL with the Fringe Association to knit the L’Arbre hat by Cirilia Rose

L'Arbre hand knit hat in progress

Then there is the studio. The studio is a sad tale of developers moving into the artistic heart of Hackney Wick and my own issues with the fashion industry, but that is a story for another not-so-distant-time.

my real workspace

My actual workspace right now….

It’s all about priorities, right? Just decide on the most important thing to do and do it. Then do the next thing.

What are your techniques for conquering the brain fuzz?

Happy knitting,


Something for the weekend


With impeccable timing (as ever…) I saw these Markus Lupfer hats and felt the need to share.  These would have been the ideal Easter knits, if, you know, I had managed to sort this before Easter…..

I don’t normally go in for this sort of thing.  I’m mostly a serious wearables kind of girl, but every once in a while, I have to give in to my inner 5 year old.

markus lupfer AW 15

Markus Lupfer AW 2015 Photograph courtesy of Style.com

Lupfer is British designer whose collections often display a certain wry playfulness.

markus lupfer AW 2015

Markus Lupfer AW 2015 Photograph courtesy of Style.com

There is no lack of great silly hats on Ravelry, but I especially like it when adults are the target audience.  Tiny Owl Knits is a fabulous example of an adult who embraces the inner child. The Deer with Little Antlers Hat is niche, but come on–tell me you don’t want to live in a world in which that is standard headgear.

Tiny Owl Knits Deer with Little Antlers Hat

I also enjoy the appropriation of children’s things by grown ups.  Carole Julius is a talented photographer and keen knitter who has made a great version of Heidi May’s wildly (!) popular Failynn Fox Cowl design. Heidi May is a prolific knitwear designer of super sweet children’s knitwear and can be found here.

Caroleknits Failynn Fox Cowl

Happy knitting,


Pass it on


I want to brag a little because I have been hanging out with awesome knitters lately.

I had the pleasure of teaching a class last month at local yarn shop Wild and Woolly, based on the Saguaro pattern I designed to celebrate the fact that W&W is now carrying gorgeous Malabrigo Rio yarn.

knit class with Renee Callahan

I had a lovely class of learners. My job was pretty easy, as the students were already good knitters and I was just introducing them to a few new techniques.

ELK teaches knit techniques

Plied with tea and homemade sweet treats, it was an excellent evening of learning 2-colour cabling and cabling without a cable needle.

Plutoniummuffins knitsI am so pleased that the class went well and everyone came away with something new, which has lead to some great finished objects.

plutoniummuffins saguaro cowl

Allidecks saguaro hat

Stitchyalli’s Saguaro hat in a lovely combo of Fibre Company Terra yarns.

alittlebitoflucy Saguaro cowl

AlittlebitofLucy’s cowl is a triumph of moody Malabrigo purples.

I am pleased as punch to announce I’ll be teaching a ‘knit your first cardi’ class at Wild and Woolly. More details to come, but I would just like to say now that it’s gonna be a whole lot of awesomeness going on from 20 May-22 July. Boom.

Happy knitting,




My closest local yarn store is Wild and Woolly, run by the lovely Anna. I met Anna some time before she opened the shop and it is probably because I have seen some of the hard work (angst, even?) that goes into opening a shop that I am really rooting for her to succeed.  So I was pretty excited when we started to chat about me designing a pattern in her latest addition to the shop–several gorgeous shades of Malabrigo Rios.

Knitting Yarn: Malabrigo Rios

What I wanted to design was a cowl that worked with two colours, one of which was an especially beautiful variegated yarn.  I always find these yarns very appealing in the skein, but when it comes time to knitting it up, I was never quite sure what to do with it. So I designed something to show off the colourwork, giving each yarn it’s own space to shine, but remains simple and enjoyable to knit.

I have worked 2-colour cables before with the Duelling Cables headband, and the technique is ohh so satisfying. There is just something flashy about 2-colour cables, a tiny bit of showing off, but in a nice, knitty way. The result was Saguaro–named for the distinctive cactus the cables resemble.

Cosy Saguaro Hat and Cowl

The hat and cowl combination together use exactly 2 skeins of Malabrigo Rios.  Each begins and ends with striped ribbing and then goes on to the Saguaro cable pattern.

Saguaro Hat by Renée Callahan

The Rios is a lovely, bouncy Merino with intense colour and a joy to work with. The variegated Candombe colourway was really interesting-it continually evolves, changing to incorporate more yellow, then more purple, then browny-green hues.

Saguaro Hat and Cowl by Renée Callahan 1

To celebrate this lovely yarn and my new pattern, we are having knit-along at Wild and Woolly Ravelry group starting 16th March and ending 6th April. For anyone in the London area, I will be teaching a class on the 2-colour cabling technique Wednesday 18 March at Wild and Woolly, from 6:30-8:30 pm.  It would be great if you could join us! Please contact the shop to reserve a space.

The Saguaro pattern is available for download here!

Happy knitting,


EastLondonKnit does Autumn

Coming up


I know it is only August, but there is a crisp back-to-school feel in the air here in London.  Folks in my hometown of Seattle are complaining about a heatwave, but summer is already over in my mind and I am  planning my knitting season!*

So what is the plan?  Well, I have 4 more patterns to release as part of my knitting resolutions–aka The Most Successful New Year’s Resolution of All Time.  I have 3 of those planned, if not exactly completed, including a shawl, a double knit scarf & a cardigan.   That 4th pattern, though. Hmmm.  Ideas?  Requests?  Suggestions?  Input welcome!!!

And this Autumn will see some classes in the studio starting with an introduction to machine knitting.

Somewhere in this mix I have a bit of selfish knitting.  I am dying to finish Olga Jazzy’s Effervescence Cardigan.  Works in progress that languish really drive me crazy.   And this one has some long-term languish about it now.   I visit the motherland later this year, and am debating about taking it as my travel knitting.

ELK's Effevescence cardi-1

ELK's Effevescence cardi-1

The ever-unfinished Olga Jazzy Cardi.

Also, just a quick note to say that the Sea Scales cowl is now available in Portuguese!  Thank you so much to Lilian for translating.

EastLondonKnit's Sea Scales Cowl

Also, also, please do join Kettle Yarn Co. and myself for the Naloa KAL, which officially starts 31st August!

EastLondonKnit Naloa Shawl


Happy Knitting!


*Of course this all goes to pot when the hurricane responsible for our recent weather moves on and heat returns.  I actually love sunny hot weather, but I love knitting more.