Episode 2: Woolly Wormhead and a bit of Zen

Hello!

Episode 2 of the East London Podcast is out and I was lucky enough to chat to Woolly Wormhead about her new Circled collection.

I also chat about the new printed version of the Zen Variations (and the printed Klee Collection too), for which there is a 20% discount with the code ‘SPRINGZEN’ in the EastLondonKnit Etsy shop. Also, there is an awesome giveaway from Woolly and Skeinny Dipping yarns, so please do have a peruse of the podcast for all the goodies!

Show notes in the EastLondonKnit Ravelry group Episode 2 thread ūüôā

Last but not least, Kettle Yarn Co. is helping me celebrate the launch of the printed Zen Variations with a discount on the yarn we used for several of the new Variations: Islington DK. You can get 10% off with the code ‘ZenLOVE’.

 

Happy knitting!!

Rx

Happy Holidays!

Hello!!

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:

machine-knitting-on-craftsy

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

boreal-forest-cowl-by-renee-callahan

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!

boreal-forest-hat-by-renee-callahan

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

Rx

The One with Brain Fuzz

Hello!

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,

R.

5 KALs for Your Spring fever.

Hello!

One of my new year’s resolutions was about being more active¬†in the world-wide knitting community in general, and participation in a knit-along or two in particular. I have gotten off to a slow start with this one. In fact, I haven’t managed to join in a single KAL. Until now. I have finally found one. Well, in fact five; the one I am joining in, and the others I would love to do if I had the time….

So without further ado, here are 5 great KALs happening (mostly) right now:

1 The Knit British Hapalong

knit british hap-along

Knit British is a podcast by the lovely Louise, a Shetland-based knitter and British yarn enthusiast.

From the Knit British blog:

A hap is a square or triangular (half) shawl from Shetland, which has what is described as traditional Shetland construction, in that the centre is commonly knit first and the stitches are picked up to knit a lace border. Once an item of everyday wear in Shetland the shawl has had a bit of a resurgence thanks to designs by Kate Davies, Gudrun Johnson and Brooklyn Tweed. IF you search on Ravelry, there are a number of patterns to choose from ‚Äď some with the old shale border and some with different lace incorporated into the border.

The Hapalong is now in full swing and looking great. You can hear about it on the Knit British podcast, read about it in the blog and join in the Ravelry group.

2 Yarn in the City Not a KAL KAL

yarn in the city

Yarn in the City is the dynamic duo of Allison and Rachel, aka Stitchyalli and Porpoise; podcasters, yarny events organisers and general fibre fixers.

From the YitC Ravelry forum:

Hey folks –

If you‚Äôve been listening to the podcast you‚Äôll know that both Porpoise and I have been ‚Äúcold sheeping‚ÄĚ and are trying to knit from stash as much as possible this year.

We’d also both like to knit with some of the pretties we acquired at the first ever GLYC (and the second one, and the Bath Road Trip…) before the next one happens in September and wondered if any of you would like to do the same?

We‚Äôll keep it loose and extremely informal but would love the company if any of you want to join us! I‚Äôm sure we can rustle up some fun prizes too. ūüėČ

Take some time to dig your yarns out, flash your stash and figure out what you want to knit and we will (informally!) cast on February 1st and figure out the rest of the timing from there. ūüôā

The Not a KAL KAL is still going strong if you would like to join the fun.

3 Woolful monthly KAL

woolful

woolful knit along

Woolful is a podcast and blog by homesteader-in-the-making Ashley. ¬†I am totally¬†digging her podcast right now. ¬†Her enthusiasm for the fibre community shines from¬†under her laid-back delivery. It is all shiny and new–the podcast, the blog and the KALs, but it feels to me like something with the promise of a bright future. The KALs reflect a designer, yarn or subject that has been part of the podcast, and I like that it changes every month. This month it is Beau the Bunny, a pattern by Ashley herself. March’s pattern was the Moto Vest¬† by Shelli Westcott. I am already looking forward to May’s offering.

4 The Fringe Association’s Hatalong

Fringe Association knit and let knit

The Fringe Association is the blog belonging to¬†Karen of the Fringe Supply Co., an online shop for gorgeous notions. I don’t know how I managed to miss this for so long. I recently came across it and immediately decided to give up blogging so that I could just read and reblog the Fringe Association. It’s a work of art. I have since revised my ideas and realised that when my blog grows up, it aspires to be as cool and crafty as Fringe Association. Fan-girl geeking aside, Karen is hosting a series of hat knit alongs and I am playing too.

fringe association Audrey Hat

The first in the Hatalong series was Audrey by Jessie Roselyn, and the next well be announced shortly. I have done a little stash diving and come up with some hot pink aran yarn that is just the business.

5 And one for the road: the Knit Along Fanatics group on Ravelry.

KAL fanatics Raverly group

It has been said many times before, and should be said many times again, Ravelry is awesome.  And if you are looking for a KAL for May, have a look at this group; the KAL Fanatics have great forum threads full of knit- and crochet-alongs lead by specific designs and Ravelry groups.

Go forth and craft along with your people.

Happy knitting & participating,

R.

Something for the weekend

Hello!

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,

R.

Pass it on

Hello!

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,

R.

Saguaro

Hello!

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,

R.