A whole lotta Zen


The EastLondonKnit KAL starts in just a couple of days and I thought I should declare my own goals and intentions to get things started. So here it is: I am going to knit an Enso sweater for myself. I wrote about the inspiration and the original sample here, and I have been hankering after a version just for me ever since.

Zen Variations Enso Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan skirt

I was lucky to have some amazing test knitters who left me with some very inspiring ideas.

Yarn-Tan-Tethera's Enso sweater

Yarn-Tan-Tethera used her own beautiful hand-dyed yarns in the stunning interpretation above. I think the simplicity of the design is ideally suited to show off amazing yarn.

squaresandstripes' Enso sweater

I love how squaresandstripes stayed true to her aesthetic and kept the stripe game strong!

thespinnacle's Enso sweaterthespinnacle's Enso sweaterThespinnacle made a really lovely everyday sweater–the type that gets used year after year, which is exactly what I am hoping for.

For my own version I’ll be using Kettle Yarn Co.’s Islington DK yarn in the awesomely titled ‘Siren Call’ colour way. I plan to make a few adjustments: one is adding in a bit of positive ease. You can see from the photos above that the sweater is usually worn with approximately 2 inches/5 cm of positive ease. I am going to increase that by adding in some stitches at the underarm on either side when I get there and decreasing the long length of the body to create a slightly more boxy silhouette.

Wish me luck or better yet, join me! The Zen Variations knit-along runs from 1 September to the end of the year and you can make any EastLondonKnit design to participate. I have already bragged blogged about the amazing prize packages, but the real pleasure is in the making.

Happy knitting,



Wisteria Blossoms


Thursday I will publish Wisteria Blossoms! I am really pleased with how this cardigan has turned out.Wisteria Blossoms by Renée Callahan sea Wisteria Blossoms Cardigan by Renée Callahan backIt began life long ago and far away… on a Mexican beach last year….

It happened that I didn’t have a project to travel with, and, in a panic, I decided to take yarn and a sketch book and hope that I could work something out as I went.

This meant that I had to make the construction and design simple to follow because there was no clever spreadsheet to do the work for me, and I had to be able to be able to put it down and pick it up without thinking too much.

The yarn turned out to be the perfect choice; I had purchased a sweater quantity of Quince and Co. Kestrel from Tolt Yarn and knitting while visiting Seattle last year.

Kestrel linen yarn

Kestrel is worsted-weight, 100% linen yarn, chain-plied into with a flat tape. The linen was excellent for the beach—no chance of accidental felting, although as I was knitting, I was twisting the yarn and felt the need to untwist it every so often which was a drag. That said, I really like the fabric it produced, which has loads of drape and, being linen, is super breathable and perfect for a warm summer evening.

Wisteria Blossoms knitting pattern by Renée Callahan

I am offering an introductory discount on Wisteria Blossoms for subscribers to the EastLondonKnit newsletter—please do sign up for both the discount code and for the Brioche Twister knitting pattern, a free gift for subscribers.

Finally, I will be hosting a knit-along beginning 1st September in the EastLondonKnit Ravelry group, and running through the end of the year. I’ll be posting tutorials and information specifically about the Zen Variations collection, but you can knit any EastLondonKnit design you would prefer, including Wisteria Blossoms!

Happy knitting,


Something New: The Zen Variations


It’s nearly here! Tomorrow I will publish my second collection of knitting patterns: The Zen Variations.

Zen Variations Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan-3 Zen Variations Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan-16 Zen Variations Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan-28

The Zen Variations is a collection of six sweaters featuring The Fibre Company’s Acadia yarn that embraces the idea that knitting is a physical mediation. Each sweater begins in the same way with a top-down, set-in sleeve construction, and then develops with variations on the theme of Zen. Each pattern has a simple, clean design to showcase the rustic beauty of the yarn.

I will be posting more information about the collection as a whole and individual designs in the coming days. I worked really hard on the collection and I hope that you will enjoy knitting the sweaters and much as I enjoyed designing them.

Until tomorrow…. happy knitting!


Klee Knitting Pattern Collection

The Klee Collection

Today is the day!

The Klee Collection is live! WHOOP!

Angelus Novus Cardi back by Renée Callahan

Angel in the Making Pair

Twilight Flowers pair


The Collection is available here as both individual patterns and as a collection.

Each design features unique geometric lace knitting inspired by the strange and wonderful shapes that run like a language through Klee’s work, providing interest and detail on extremely wearable garments. Selfish knitting at its best, this collection is intended to be worn and loved for years to come. Ars longa….

As I mentioned previously, inspiration for the collection came from an exhibition of Paul Klee’s work at Tate Modern a few years ago. Klee (1879-1940) was a modernist artist who was involved in many of the most important movements of European art during his lifetime including the Blaue Reiter group, teaching at the Bauhaus School of Art, and publishing his notebooks on art and theory. In the coming days I will write more about each design and its inspiration and I am really pleased to be the first stop on a little blog tour celebrating the Collection’s release. Next stop: my friend Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade.

Happy knitting,


Curious Handmade Podcast!


Recently I spent a lovely afternoon with Helen Stewart, of Curious Handmade fame. I met Helen some years ago, and have watched her flourish as a knitwear designer and podcaster over the years. I joined her to chat on the podcast about handmade wardrobes for the Curious Handmade Wardrobe Challenge, inspiration and my first collection of knitwear patterns, the Klee Collection.

I finally worked up the nerve to listen to the podcast myself and after getting over the pain of hearing my recorded voice (it just makes you cringe at first, doesn’t it!? I can’t believe I sound like that), I think it went pretty well! Please do have a listen!
Curious Handmade podcast

Only 2 more days until the Klee Collection goes live! The next two days are dedicated to the fine tuning of the patterns and photography. You can’t have to too many detail shots right? It would be wonderful if, when designs are published, you could give them a little love on Ravelry with a favorite or a comment! It would help me out so much! I am planning some amazing knit alongs too:)

Finally, the Good Fortune Giveaway continues! Have a look at the original post and it would be great if you would come on over to the EastLondonKnit Ravelry group and share a story or just a positive comment. I will choose a winner from the thread on Thursday and there are some lovely incentives to play along!

Happy knitting,