I did the Fandango

Hello!

I knit fandango set up

This weekend past I was at the I Knit Fandango, a fibre festival held in the Royal Horticultural Hall in London. I was there as First Minion to the lovely Linda of Kettle Yarn Co., a position I have taken on with some frequency in this Year of the Sheep Festival.

I knit fandango

The light in the hall was beautiful and it was great to catch up with all the knitting people.

kettle yarn co at I knit fandango

The hot ticket at the show was certainly Wollmeise and the stand was incredibly busy. I haven’t knit with Wollmeise, perhaps because I came to the whole hand-knitting thing a little bit late and missed out on the first wave of mass hysteria, so I wasn’t sure what all the fuss was about. But there is only one way to find out!

fandango yarn and book

So this is some of my cache from the Fandango. Very restrained, I am sure you will agree.  I got some yarn to try out, and I got Sue Blacker’s book about breed specific yarn, which I have been wanting to read for ages. I also came home with a terrible headcold, so will carry on with the good knitting and drinking loads of tea.

Happy knitting,

R.

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The year that was 2014

Hello!

With less than 48 hours of 2014 left, I thought I would write a roundup post for the year, scraping in under the deadline one last time.

This year has been an exciting one. I finally pursued the type of knitting I love and I’ve learnt so much my brain very nearly imploded with the effort. Pattern writing is a tremendous skill, and now I have all kinds of appreciation for those who do it well. While I’ve really only scratched the surface, I’m confident I can continually improve.  Ditto with this blogging thing.  Ditto with all that social media stuff. Maybe that is the resolution for next year–like this year, but with added competence. (HA!) It doesn’t exactly catch the imagination with its literary flair, but, you know, it may just work.

My personal accomplishment this year was to have patterns published in some wonderful places: Knit Now, Amirisu, Twist Collective and Knitty, as well as independently publishing a pattern per month. This is the first year I have achieved New Year’s resolution completion.  Ever.  So I feel entitled to brag a little, however modest the accomplishment. So here it is, Merry Christmas, and please enjoy the lovely little fruits of my labour with me!

January’s pattern: Sea Scales Cowl

Seascales Cowl by Renee Callahan

February’s pattern: Asterisks Shawl

asterisks shawl by Renee Callahan

March’s pattern: Sea Moss Headband

EastLondonKnit Sea Moss Headband

April’s pattern: Antiprism

East London Knit's Antiprism Shawl

May’s pattern: The Veil of Leithen

EastLondonKnit Veil of Leithen

June’s pattern: Blackberries on Brioche Hat

EastLondonKnit Brioche in Blackberries 2

July’s pattern: Naloa

East_London_Knit_Naloa_3

August’s pattern: Learn to Knit Kit

EastLondonKnit How to Knit Kit

September’s pattern: Frost & Flame Shawl

ELK Frost & Flame Shawl5

October’s pattern: Christmas Eve Baubles

E.L.K. Christmas Eve Bauble with lights

November’s pattern: Rhombolution Scarf

Rhombolution by EastLondonKnit (3)

December’s pattern: Beetlebum Shawl

Beetlebum shawl by Renee Callahan

As a tiny celebration, all the patterns in my Ravelry store are buy one, get one free with the code ELKin2014 until 15 January 2015.

Happy knitting,

R.

p.s. Thanks so much to everyone who was patient with me and helped me so much.  I am really grateful Mr. B, Linda,  Dani & Deb!

 

Reflector

Hello!

I learned to knit rather late in life, maybe six or so years ago. Not from some beloved grandmother or other family relation, but I learned to knit from the wonderful world wide web.  It was a magical thing, that internet learning and Knitty was one of the first resources I found. I loved that the patterns and information were free–just the kind of entry-level drug necessary to get me and thousands of other beginners hooked and on our way to becoming intermediate knitters and craft evangelists.

When I first thought about designing, I looked to Knitty and began trying to write up those early, terrible patterns.  It took me a few goes to get an entire pattern, but I managed it in the end and I am incredibly proud to have my first pattern published in Knitty’s 50th issue: Reflector.

Reflector by EastLondonKnit

Reflector was the solution to a problem. I love to cycle, I get cold ears and I believe in ‘Safety First’! Also, I had all this amazing reflective yarn and no idea what to do with it. After much yarn play, I decided a double-faced fabric would be the most comfortable way to wear it and that knitting with 2 very different yarn thicknesses created an interesting contrast in the fabric.

It all begins with a tubular cast-on, followed by ribbing which turns into double-knit vertical stripes and is topped with a reflective pompom.

Reflector by Renee Callahan with Xmas bricks 4

Reflector by Renee Callahan tower bridge Reflector by Renee Callahan 2

Many thanks to my long-suffering models Ben and Linda!

Retroglo yarn is available at the EastLondonKnit Etsy shop here,

Rhombolution

Hello!

November’s pattern is a double-knit scarf I called Rhombolution!  The exclamation mark isn’t really part of the scarf’s name, but seemed appropriate.

Rhombolution  by EastLondonKnit (2)

I am loving the double-knitting at the moment.  It is such a nice way to do colour work without having to worry about the tension issues of stranded knitting.  And it just kinda feels clever.  Working 2 versions of the same pattern at once seems a little bit magic.

Rhombolution by EastLondonKnit 4

 

My biggest super-duper thanks to my beautiful model Linda, the wonderful indie yarn dyer of Kettle Yarn Co. yarns. I used her gorgeous Waltham yarn for the scarf, which was a pleasure to work with. For our photo shoot I went down to visit Linda at her new seaside location, and we amused the locals by artfully posing the lovely lady and scarf around all manner of picturesque scenery.

 

Rhombolution by EastLondonKnit(1)

We got this one just before the owner of the property tried to hit us with her car.

I designed Rhombolution with a 2 -colour tubular cast on and bind off, and a slipped stitch edging, but of course these elements could be left out if the knitter wanted to make the knitting as simple as possible.  I figure it’s better to put in more and let people take out what they don’t want.  Of course, I could be wrong about that–perhaps it’s better to include the most simple set of instructions.  Then the more experienced knitters could change things to suit themselves and the less-experienced knitters wouldn’t be intimidated.  Dear Reader: what do you think?  Do you have strong opinions on this subject?  I would love to hear them if so!

Rhombolution is available here for download on Ravelry, and comes with ‘How to Double Knit’ phototutorial.

Happy knitting!

R.

Double knit tutorial IV: Sewn Bind-Off

Hello!

Here is the final double knit tutorial for your viewing pleasure.  Following on from the last 3, in which you learned how to cast on, work the first row, and work the chart with a slipped stitch edge, today I’ll show you a cast off to match the tubular cast on.

But first, I must make my excuses.

You see, sometimes I have really good ideas.  But in practice, they don’t always work out as perfectly as hoped.

In this case, the first step of the cast off is to work a row on one side of the knitting only, in order to balance the row that will be created with Kitchener stitch.  With the pink yarn, I knit the pink stitches and slipped the grey purl stitches.  This is all as it should be.  Then, I should have broken the pink yarn and with the grey worked the Kitchener stitch cast off.  But I used the pink yarn, thinking it would be more visible and therefore clearer.  In retrospect, I don’t think so.  And I think it makes it confusing, sort of defeating the purpose of knitting the extra pink row.  So, yeah, sorry about that….  What you should do is work an extra row in one color and then bind off in the other color. Also-although I used a larger needle to demonstrate, generally double knitting is knit with a smaller needle, creating a firmer, more tidy fabric.  Mine may look a little, err, unblocked. But rest assured, it will look great when you do it!

Anywho, here it is: Double knit tutorial IV: EastLondonKnit

Knitting tutorial from EastLondonKnit: Tubular bind off

Kitchener stitch with grey yarn instead of pink to make a balanced bind-off.

Knitting tutorial from EastLondonKnit: Double knitting: Tubular bind off Knitting tutorial from EastLondonKnit: Tubular bind off for Double knitting Knitting tutorial from EastLondonKnit: Tubular bind off for double knitting. Knitting tutorial from EastLondonKnit: Tubular bind off for double knitting. Knitting tutorial from EastLondonKnit: Tubular bind off for double knitting. Knitting tutorial from EastLondonKnit: Tubular bind off for double knitting.

 

As ever, I hope this was helpful and if you have any requests/constructive criticisms, lemme know!

Happy knitting,

R.

Double knit tutorial III: the chart and slipped stitch edge.

Ello again,

Previously in the double knit tutorial series, we learned to cast on, and then to work the first row. To continue the double knit technique series, let’s look at working a chart, and creating a tidy slipped stitch edge as we go.

EastLondonKnit teaches double knit

Double knit chart

Aww, isn’t it sweet!  The chart is 7 stitches wide so we cast on 14 stitches in total: 7 for the front and 7 for the back. Double knitting creates a fabric twice as thick as a stockinette stitch fabric, with both sides showing the ‘right’, or knit-side of a stockinette stitch fabric.  Although completely different patterns can be worked on each side, for this example we are going to work the same pattern in reversed colours–i.e. a grey square on a pink background.  This is achieved by working the knit stitch in one colour and the following purl stitch in the other colour every time, as illustrated below.

Click the image to supersize.

EastLondonKnit Double knit tutorial

Step 1. EastLondonKnit Double knit tutorial

EastLondonKnit Double knit tutorial

Step 2

EastLondonKnit Double knit tutorial

Step 3

EastLondonKnit Double knit tutorial

Step 4

EastLondonKnit Double knit tutorial

Step 5

EastLondonKnit Double knit tutorial

Step 6

EastLondonKnit Double knit tutorial

Step 7

EastLondonKnit Double knit tutorial

Step 8

EastLondonKnit Double knit tutorial

Step 9

EastLondonKnit Double knit tutorial

Step 9, alternate view

EastLondonKnit Double knit tutorial

Step 10

EastLondonKnit Double knit tutorial

Step 11

EastLondonKnit Double knit tutorial

Step 12

EastLondonKnit Double knit tutorial

Finished chart.

Last, but not least, we will look at how to finish off the work with a tubular bind off.

Til then, Happy Knitting,

R.

Double knit tutorial II: working the first row.

Well hello there!

To continue a previous post in which I showed you how to cast on tubular style for a double-sided fabric with two colours (here if you missed it),  let’s have a look at working the first row of the double knit fabric:

Click on the image for large view.

EastLondonKnit teaches double knitting

Step 1 EastLondonKnit double knit tutorial

EastLondonKnit teaches double knitting

Step 2.

East London Knit double knit tutorial

Step 3

EastLondonKnit teaches double knitting

Step 4.

EastLondonKnit teaches double knitting

Step 5.

EastLondonKnit teaches double knitting

Step 6.

Next time I will show you how work the double knit chart and work a slipped stitch edge for a clean finish.

It is a beautiful spring morning here in London town and I am off to learn some business skills–it is a promising start to the week!

Happy knitting,

R.