Starflower Sweater

Because you are great, I have a 30% discount on my new sweater pattern for you!

starflower-sweater-pattern-by-renee-callahanHello!

Spring is sprung, at least according to the flowering cherry trees around my way. There is light in the sky when I get up and I feel the promise of warmth in the (still rare) sunshine.

So I think to myself, what better time to release a pattern for a chunky sweater! haHA!

In my defense, I wear sweaters all year round and will wear this sweater well into the spring, trading my coat for the breathable warmth of the sweater when the spring really kicks in.

The Starflower Sweater is a modified raglan pullover knit in beautiful chunky wool for a cosy hug of a sweater. Designed to be a beginner-friendly knit, Starflower is worked from the top down, so you can try it on as you go to get a perfect fit.

Starflower knitting pattern by Renee Callahan

I used  Hill View Farm Yarns Pleasingly Plumb wool for the sweater and I love the squishiness of the Bluefaced Leicester fibre.

I was honoured to be the recipient of the very first batch of yarn from Hill View Farm. It is a lovely yarn and I know that Natasha, the owner, has some amazing plans for crafty retreats, workshops, and yarn-based goodness.

You can buy the Starflower pattern here, and if you sign up to the EastLondonKnit newsletter, you will get a code for a 30% discount on the pattern with your confirmation email.

Happy knitting,

Rx

p.s. I have some podcast (!) based plans in the works, and I would love to know if you listen to/watch podcasts. If so, what do you really like or dislike about them? More on this next week, but it would great to hear your opinions!

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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

Machine Knitting: Sweater Basics, live!!

Hello!

It is live!! Machine knitting:Sweater Basics is up and ready for casting on!

machine-knitting-sweater-basics-by-renee-callahan

photo credit: Craftsy

I am really pleased to be able to offer you a whopping 50% discount on the purchase of the class! Just follow the link above or go to my website for more information and a link for 25% off any other Craftsy class you may like to take!

In Machine Knitting; Sweater Basics, you will learn everything you need to know to knit a sweater on the machine: from basic machine maintenance, how to cast on, making fabric you love, to seaming, blocking and everything in between. The class includes my Sweater Blank–a worksheet that will lead you through making your sweater in any gauge or fabric you want and making it easy to customize. I will post more about the Sweater Blank later, but I have to say I am pretty pleased about it and I hope you will be too.

Although it was excruciating for me to watch this the first time, here is the trailer, for your amusement!

Happy knitting,

Rx

A new Craftsy class: machine knitting; sweater basics!

Hello!

machine-knitting-with-renee-callahan-on-craftsy

It is nearly time!! My Craftsy class is in the final stages of preparation and I am really excited to share it with you!

I know not all of you are machine knitters, but if you are at all interested in machine knitting, I think this class will give you a lot of information and help, not to mention a great pattern for a simple sweater.

A Sweater Blank Sweater by Renee Callahan

A Sweater Blank Sweater by Renee Callahan

A Sweater Blank Sweater by Renee Callahan

Photos courtesy of Craftsy

Although I am really proud of the whole class, I am particularly proud of this sweater pattern which will enable the knitter to knit this drop shoulder sweater in any gauge with any yarn and any stitch pattern. I will post more about this later, but I hope it will be an incredibly useful pattern for the beginner or intermediate knitter.

You can enter to win this Craftsy class by simply clicking the link below. The winner will be chosen at random when the class goes live.

Win a free class! Enter by clicking here.

Happy knitting!

Rx

Happy New Year!

Hello!

Welcome to 2017! How’s it treating you so far? I am off to a flying start. I have made lists by the shed-load and the post-it notes have proliferated, but I am happy with that. This feeling is probably something to do with having had a good, lazy holiday break with lots of movie-watching and naps. I did have a tiny tantrum yesterday just before I accepted that Christmas was really over and Ben really was going to go back to work and I had to get up at 6am AGAIN!?>! but then I set the alarm and got on with it.

Which brings me to the first order of service for the new year: last year’s EastLondonKnit knit-along. It is officially over, but just in case you have knit an EastLondonKnit design and would like a chance to win one of the fabulous prize packages…



If you would like to win of these lovely packages, please post your finished EastLondonKnit project over on the thread in the ELK Ravelry group. I will choose 2 prize winners at the end of this week.

So, let’s talk about resolutions!

If you know me, you know that I love a New Year’s Resolution. Honestly, I am not restricted to New Years to make my resolutions–I make them regularly throughout the year with unnecessary zeal, but I have a real soft spot for the beginning of January. This year, in addition to the usual promises to self: more exercise, less sugar, no booze this January, I also wanted to add some different things: find somewhere to regularly volunteer, don’t be angry about the world, do things to make it better, and something completely unrelated: learn to play the guitar, because, well, why not?

I know that I should have started with the musical things a lifetime ago, but I’m one of those people who thinks it is never too late. If I start now, in 10 years I might be pretty good. If I don’t start now, in 10 years, I’ll just be 10 years older and still not playing any instruments.

And until I figure out where to volunteer (suggestions welcome!!), I am going to knit some hats and things for KnitAid. If you haven’t heard of KnitAid, please do have a look. They are making a big collection on 20th January if you would like to participate too!!

Do you make resolutions? If so, do you keep them?

Happy knitting!

Rx

 

Zen Variations: the Sleeve

Hello!

Zen Variations Kaizen cardigan Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan-29

I think one of the challenges of working a set-in sleeve is that it isn’t obvious what is going on as it’s being worked, and one of the challenges of explaining the set-in sleeve is that the work is no longer flat, but 3-D, making the illustrating of the technique also less than obvious. Today I’ll attempt it anyway.

For a Zen Variations sweater, the Front and Back have been worked separately and then the body has been worked in the round, with stitches added on at the underarm (12). This leaves us with an empty armhole to fill with a sleeve as follows:

Diagram of sleeve on Zen Variations by Renée Callahan

13. Pick up Sleeve sts from around the armhole.
14. Knit across the flat of the sleeve head (A), and work the sleeve head with short rows: working back and forth between sides B and C; W&T each st along the armhole sides until the sts cast on for the underarm (12) are reached. Then work sleeve in the round to cuff.

For a different perspective on a similar fit, it may help to have a look at this diagram of a sweater by the Knitting Fiend, which is worked flat but may help to give a larger overview of how the elements are fitting together.

And that is it! The next step in working your Zen Variation sweater is to weave in ends, block it and wear it forevermore.

So, I would love to hear from you–what is your favourite sleeve? To knit and to wear, are they the same?

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