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!

 

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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.

Rill Rill

Hello!

I recently had a pattern published in a real world, paper and ink knitting magazine, which is frankly pretty exciting.  We are all so digitized now, but you know, there is just something about the ability to flip through it and put it on the bookshelf that makes a difference. It is my first such publication, and I am pleased to introduce the Rill Rill Jumper!

Rill Rill Jumper by EastLondonKnit

Image copyright: Dan Walmsley for Practical Publishing. Used with permission.

 

Rill Rill is a seamless raglan pullover, gently over-sized, knit from the the bottom up, with lace column detail on the front yoke. The yarn I used is West Yorkshire Spinners Aire Valley Aran, which is not only a shocking bargain, but really gorgeous once washed. I called it Rill Rill for the rivulets of rain streaming down my windows while I was working on the pattern, and, I can’t lie, because I really love the Sleigh Bells song.

So many thanks to the wonderful Kate and the team at Knit Now Magazine!  Issue #41 November 2014 is available now from quality knitting magazine suppliers:)

Happy knitting,

R.

Heritage Heart sweater

Hello!

New pattern! The wonderful Amirisu Magazine has published the Heritage Heart pullover.

ELK's Heritage Heart pullover back

 

The sweater is knit in pieces, so is great for knitting on the go.  Each piece begins with a tubular cast on (a tutorial can be found here),  and then the trim is knit with a 2 colour-brioche rib (a tutorial can be found here),  and the body in a stockinette stitch.  After the sweater is put together, the heart is Swiss darned into the back (a tutorial can be found here).

Heritage Heart by EastLondonKnit

This is particularly thrilling for me as it is my first pattern published by a magazine, and a fabulous magazine at that! It was really a learning experience for me and I am pleased to say that there are several more patterns being published in magazines in the near future.

Heritage Heart pullover by EastLondonKnit 1

The name ‘Heritage Heart’ comes from both the shape of the jumper and adornment: the shape is an updated interpretation of a traditional men’s jumper, and a heart is Swiss-darned into the centre back to create a sweet focal point. This Aran-weight jumper is a quick and satisfying knit.

I used Rowan Silk twist for the main yarn, and an undyed Organic Merino Wool from Coldharbour Mill.  These 2 yarns when knit together create a hazy, soft colour palette.  Any undyed wool would work well with a dusky-pink or grey/oatmeal type of marled yarn, although there is an excellent version by miyokomeow in the projects-really great colour combo.

In other news, the Naloa KAL is still going strong and there’s still time to win super prizes!  Get Naloa here!

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.

A Tubular Cast On for Double Knitting.

Hey Kids!

I was thinking I would try an educational post today.

For reasons I am not entirely sure about, I have been doing a lot of double knitting lately.  It is a great technique, which can produce some beautiful pieces. Below is a little photo tutorial for a tubular cast on for double knitting.  Although I have shown the cast on for two colours, it works as well for a single colour cast on and for multiple other stitches, such as ribbing and brioche stitch.  If you find it useful, let me know and I will be happy to post more tutorials for other techniques.

Click on the images to see a larger version.

A Tubular Cast On for Double Knitting.

double knit cast on step 1

Step 1

double knit cast on step 2

Step 2

double knit cast on step 3

Step 3

double knit cast on step 4

Step 4

double knit cast on step 5

Step 5

double knit cast on step 6

Step 6

In the next post, I will show you how to work your first row of double knitting.

Happy knitting!