Wool Tribe 2017

Hello!

How is your knitting season going? I hear that mid-January is considered the most depressing time of the year. Do you find that to be the case? For me, once I have had a tiny tantrum about Christmas being over, really over, I get excited about the New Year and new resolutions and plans and fresh starts, etc. I had the launch of my Craftsy machine knitting class to keep me on my toes, and the pleasure of seeing the latest publication from the Edinburgh Yarn Fest ladies, so I didn’t feel the blues.

wool-tribe-2017-cover

You may have seen the previews for Wool Tribe 2017 are up and the magazine is available for pre-order now!

There are 6 lovely accessory designs from indie designers, including Amanda B. Collins, Jane Crowfoot, Francesca HughesClare DevineDonna Smith and my contribution; Belsyde, an asymmetrical triangular shawl worked with Kettle Yarn Co. Baskerville in Dawn and gorgeous Islington in Siren Call teal.

belsyde-shawl-by-renee-callahan

The shawl uses 3 different types of geometric lace to create a unisex shawl with lots of interest.

To get all 6 patterns, you can pre-order your copy of Wool Tribe here!

The shawl will be available as an individual digital download in June.

I hope you are knitting the blues away!

Happy knitting,

Rx

Enso Progress

Hello!

What is more beautiful than a clear and crisp day of Autumnal sunshine? A day like today makes me wonder why I don’t own a single Aran or Guernsey sweater, as they have suddenly sprung up everywhere, like beautiful ecru wild flowers. So I am resisting the urge to cast on, even though I really, really want to. I think I have to finish at least 2 sweaters before I am allowed to cast on anything else. That is, certainly, the reasonable thing to do…

I started this Enso sweater at the beginning of September for the Zen Variations knit along, and I am onto the sleeves now. The end is in sight!

Here is the progress so far:

Tea time #ensosweater progress update: rib hem underway. 👍 #zenvariationsknitalong #eastlondonknit #sweaterknitting

A post shared by Renee EastLondonKnit (@eastlondonknit) on

Let there be knit!

A post shared by Renee EastLondonKnit (@eastlondonknit) on

I’m knitting the sleeves with the 2-at-a-time magic loop method, which is really my method of choice. I was convinced that I wanted to knit them with double-pointed needles, but when I tried it, I felt like a had no patience for constantly shifting the needles around. Maybe one of these days I will try Karen Templer’s method of knitting them flat, but for now, round and round I go!

How is your Slow Fashion October going? I am working on some more posts about it and really enjoying the conversation on Instagram and the Fringe Association blog. What do you think?

Happy knitting,

Rx

Zen Variations the Front

Hello!

Autumn is here!! Whoop!! Bring on the sweaters and cast on ALL THE THINGS!

This is my mantra and I am practicing what I preach by having 4 sweaters on the needles at the moment. My monogamous knitting is, apparently, a thing of the past.  I’m not sorry! It’s great to have the option of knitting on different projects and not worrying about running out of knitting, or sweaters for that matter. I’m probably not the only one who constantly thinks the next sweater is going to be the perfect sweater of dreams.

If your dream sweater is a top-down, seamless construction like those of the Zen Variations, then let’s talk construction! A post published few weeks ago, I discussed beginning a Zen sweater with the back. Today we are carrying on, working the fronts to the same point.

Zen Variations by Renée Callahan Left front

After knitting the back to the underarms, work the fronts individually:

7. Pick up stitches for the Left Front along the Left Shoulder.
8. Work straight for the length of the flat at the top of the sleeve head (see A below).
9. Begin Left Neck increases: this will be a different instruction for every sweater (+).
10. Work Left Front Underarm increases (+).
11. Put the Left Front sts on waste yarn and work the Right Front in the mirror image.

It should be starting to look like the top of a sweater now!

If you are interested in learning more about the process of knitting top-down seamless sweaters, please do join me you can join me at one of the Zen and the Art of Sweater construction classes coming up:

1 October (this Saturday) I will have the whole Zen Variations collection at Wild and Woolly for a trunk show and little party to celebrate sweater season!

6 October Zen and the Art of Sweater Construction at Wild and Woolly, London

8 October Zen and the Art of Sweater Construction at Ida’s House, Caterham.

16 October Zen and the Art of Sweater Construction at A Yarn Story, Bath

Also, I have just found out the Curious Handmade Country House retreat has a couple of places left. It promises to be a wonderful weekend–do join us if you can!

Happy knitting,

Rx

Constructing the Zen Variations

Hello!

I’m visiting the family in Seattle this week, but I am not neglecting the Zen Variations knit-along while I am away! As I mentioned in a previous post, my travel knitting is the Enso sweater, knit in Kettle Yarn Co. Islington DK.

It’s all the rage to knit seamless, top-down sweaters and it is a construction I really love for a few good reasons.

With top-down, you can try as you go, checking the fit at the crucial junctures, making the armhole deeper if you want to, or shorter, and of course making the sweater body and sleeves as long as you want them.

Today I want to begin a step by step tutorial for knitting a Zen Variation sweater, which starts with the upper back:

Zen Variations by Renée Callahan back

In this schematic, we are looking at the Back from the right side, and working from casting on at the top down to the underarm/bottom of the sleeve opening.

1. Cast on the number of stitches required for both shoulders and back neck (the red line).
2. Place markers (m) to mark shoulders.
3. Work short rows to create shoulder slope: knit across Right Shoulder and Back Neck to Left Shoulder, wrap and turn (W&T) the next st; purl back to Right Shoulder, W&T the next st; knit back to the 1st wrapped st, k3 (wrapped st + 2 more) W&T, purl back to 2nd wrapped st., k3 (wrapped st + 2 more), W&T, etc.
4. Work straight until the back armhole is as long as necessary.
5. Work increases (+) at the underarm edge until the full back measurement (minus the stitches that will be cast on for the underarm) is reached.
6. Put Back sts on waste yarn.

I will continue the tutorial with the Fronts in a couple of weeks.

If you are interested in learning more, I will be teaching a several workshops in and around London, and further afield, leading students through understanding the construction as well as all the techniques associated with the design (working the wrapped short-rows, picking up stitches for a beautiful set-in sleeve, a perfect finish for  your new sweater) as well as choosing the right size, making modifications, and more. I’m teaching Zen and Art of Sweater Construction in several places this Autumn:

25 September  the Village Haberdashery.

1 October I will have the whole Zen Variations collection at Wild and Woolly for a trunk show and little party to celebrate sweater season!

6 October Wild and Woolly

16 October A Yarn Story. 

Mon, Oct 24 to Fri, Oct 28 I will be in Romania teaching a number of knitting classes at the Taking a Moment in Time  Weaving, spinning, knitting and photography retreat.

12 November The Yarn Dispensary

For a more complete list of classes, including Brioche Stitch Basics among others, please sign up to the newsletter here.

Happy knitting,

Rx

A whole lotta Zen

Hello!

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,

Rx

Fibre East 2016

Hello!

It is funny how the things you do affect your view of the world. I used to think of the year in terms of fashion weeks and final collection schedules. Since I began to focus on designing and teaching hand-knitting, my mental markers for the year have become fibre festivals and the immediate knitting season.

For example, Fibre East has come to define the summer season. And now that it is over, I feel like it’s time to prepare for Autumn.

If I was clever, I would have stocked up on sweater quantities of yarn in preparation for all the sweater-season knit-alongs–my own included!** However, I was kept busy in the Kettle Yarn Co. stand and didn’t manage much shopping. For me, fibre festivals are great for a couple of different reasons; I spend most of my time working alone, and the festival weekend is a chance to catch up with colleagues and our online friends and customers face to face. This is both exhausting and really wonderful. It is also a chance to fondle the fibre. I love the internet, but it makes such a difference to see and feel yarn in real life.

It's show time @fibreeast! Gorgeous @kettleyarnco yarn and #eastlondonknit patterns are here! Come on over & see me sometime😘

A post shared by Renee EastLondonKnit (@eastlondonknit) on

There were lots of exciting things going on around the grounds, and as per usual, I hardly remembered to photograph anything, with a couple of notable exceptions….

@kettleyarnco in her natural, woolly environment. #knitting

A post shared by Renee EastLondonKnit (@eastlondonknit) on


If you would like to see the event itself, Mina, the Knitting Expat, has done a vlog episode giving you a whirlwind tour of the whole festival. Extra points if you catch my own brief cameo 🙂

Just a note to say that a new cardigan pattern, Wisteria Blossoms will be out next week. I will be offering an introductory discount code, but only to subscribers to the EastLondonKnit newsletter–please do sign up to get the all the fun stuff.

Wisteria Blossoms by Renée Callahan

**The Zen Variations knit along will start the 1 September and run through until the end of the year. I have been amassing wonderful yarn and knitting prizes and I will be posting tutorials and offering support through out the knit-along to keep your needles on track. Please do join in–I am happy for you to knit any EastLondonKnit pattern, but extra stars for a Zen Variations sweater 🙂

Happy knitting!

Rx

Introducing: the Lakelet Shawl

Hello!

This week I published the Lakelet Shawl!

Lakelet knitting pattern by Renée Callahan

Last year I attended the famous Squam Art Workshops for the first time and I had an amazing time. I was so excited to be there that I was up early every day and saw some of the most spectacular sunrises I have ever witnessed sitting on the dock.

Squam lake by Renée Callahan

It was a technicolour experience, with the pinks, blues and yellows really racing across the sky.

Squam lake by Renée Callahan

The experience inspired the Lakelet shawl. Lakelet is an asymmetrical triangular shawl that begins in one corner with just a few stitches and works across the body of the shawl to end with a beautiful bubbling of lace in a colour the shade of a cloud at sunrise.

Lakelet by Renée Callahan

The smallest size of the shawl uses 110g of the main colour and 25g of the contrast colour. Kits for the shawl featuring Kettle Yarn Co. Beyul yarn will be available soon. (Watch this space!)

Lakelet kits by Renée Callahan

 

In other news, Knitlandia by Clara Parkes is now available as an audiobook and I am downloaded and ready to go! I attend a bookgroup in real life and I really love reading along with others, so I was wondering… would you enjoy a read-along? If so, join me over on the ELK Ravelry thread 🙂

Upcoming events:

I will be teaching Brioche Basics and Next Steps in Brioche Stitch on Saturdays 25th and 9th July at the Yarn Dispensary in Faversham

and I will having a trunk show for the Zen Variations sweater collection as well as teaching a workshop on the top-down construction at the Village Haberdashery on Sunday 3rd July. Please do come and join in the learning!

30-31 July I will be assisting the lovely Linda of Kettle Yarn Co. on her stand at Fibre East in Ampthill, Bedfordshire.

20th August, we will be together again at Purlescence for a trunk show and open day.

Finally, an early bird special: Lakelet is on sale for 15% off with the coupon code ELKLakelet until 16th June.

Happy knitting,

Renée