An Abundance of Inspiration ... August's Boost Your Knitting KAL, so far!

This month, we’ve been having a ball over in the Ravelry group with August’s Boost Your Knitting technique, choosing colours for stranded colourwork knitting! Several knitters have already finishing their Skystone Armwarmers, this month’s featured pattern by Felicity (Felix) Ford, and many more have stunning ones in progress! It’s been so fun to see people’s inspiration sources and the ways they interpret them …

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Choosing Colours for Stranded Colourwork + the Skystone Armwarmers

Ready for something a little different? August’s Boost Your Knitting technique is here, and I couldn’t be more excited about it! This month, we’ll be developing our skills in choosing colours for stranded colourwork with help from absolute colourwork whiz Felicity (Felix) Ford and knitting her stunning design, the Skystone Armwarmers!

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Mittens in May

Elizabeth Zimmerman’s call to knit mittens in May — taking time to enjoy the knitting, rather than rushing to prevent cold hands — couldn’t be more fitting for the fun we’ve been having over in our Boost Your Knitting KAL this month. We’ve been exploring the joys of the tidy tubular cast on and working up Sarah Hatton’s terrifically textured Totally Tubular Mittens.

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Tubular cast on in the round and the Totally Tubular Mittens

Buckle up folks! This month’s technique is one that I absolutely ADORE. I’m sure that I’ve bored you all to tears with this story already, but when I first learned about the tubular cast-on method I was so blown away by it that my excitement kept me awake that night. And not only was I feeling excited about it, but I also woke Jim up to tell him how excited I was by this new-to-me cast-on method. I think it’s safe to say that he didn’t share my enthusiasm at the time.

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HapsarehappeningKAL Weekly Progress

All over Knitlandia, knitters are making haps in all sorts of shapes in all sorts of yarn. This week, I've picked up some pictures of the haps that weren't featured last week.

Working backwards, first up is a finished object: Lucy Hague's Uncia, made by Danielle (KnittingNixon)

Uncia_9_medium2

I am constantly impressed with the way that Lucy managed to reproduce the architectural lines of great cathedrals of Europe and this and all of the other Uncias out there are permanent monuments to Lucy's skill as a designer.

While some of the haps are relatively quick to knit, there are a few enormous designs that take some doing. Moder Dy by Kate Davies and Hapisk by Hélène Magnússon are two of these.

Moder

Georgie (GeorgieVinsun) has got further than this photo suggests, but you can see the wave motif that gives the pattern its name very clearly.

Hapisk

Pip (RamsayBaggins) is charging through Hapisk. I find the colour combination almost mesmerising, and although it wasn't the inspiration, I am strongly reminded of photos of Saturn when I look at the stripes.  

Of the smaller haps, Montbretia by Carole Feller and Theme and Variation by Veera Välimäki have proven to be popular.

Montbretia

Beverley (0bev0) has chosen colours inspired by wildflower meadows to make her Montbretia and they work fantastically well together.

T&V

Trish (Trish88) has gone for an attractive blue and grey palette for her Theme and Variation.

One of the ongoing discussions within the KAL has around choosing a favourite bird, and then matching yarn to plumage to customise the Nut-Hap. There will be birds from all over the world represented.

Nuthap

This example, that was recently completed by fluffspangle, takes its colours from the greenfinch. You can see how tucks are incorporated into the design, and to find out how to do this, Jen made a tutorial on adding tucks to your knitting last week. 

The randomly selected winners of prizes, provided by Donna Smith and Jen, are: Nell9carolynintheuk,  nibble knitter, and elithea

It's still not too late to get involved as the KAL will run into August: simply tag your Ravelry project with the tag hapsarehappeningKAL to join in. You can see all projects at a glance here, and see all the Instagram photos posted of projects here. Come back next week to see more beautiful creations. 

Keep up to date with all we're doing:
Arnall-Culliford Knitwear on Facebook | Arnall-Culliford Knitwear on YouTube | Arnall-Culliford Knitwear on Ravelry | JenACKnitwear and VeufTricot on Twitter | JenACKnitwear and VeufTricot on Instagram | And sign up in the sidebar to get our blog posts delivered to you by email.

All photos © of the respective knitters.

Hapsarehappening KAL!

Goodness me, it's been non-stop around here over the last couple of weeks! I had a great trip up to Edinburgh to hang out with these lovely ladies at Kathy's Knits:

Book signing - 3

Left to right are: Me, Lucy Hague, Kate Davies and Gudrun Johnston. What a treat it was to be in the same room, and be able to chat and catch up. It has left me very inspired for future projects...

We were there to sign copies of our new book, The Book of Haps, which has been landing on doormats across the UK, and will soon arrive throughout the world. It has been somewhat overwhelming to hear everyone's lovely words about this project, but the enthusiasm has been infectious, and an epidemic of startitis has erupted! I've got Theme and Variation on my needles already, but I feel that a second project from the book is imminent. So what better way to celebrate this, then to run a knitalong?!

Book signing - 6

Over in our Ravelry group (Arnall-Culliford Knitwear - have you joined yet?) you can participate in the HapsarehappeningKAL.

It's very straightforward:
The official kick-off is this Friday (17th June 2016), but no penalties if you can't wait that long! And it runs until Monday 8th August. 

Please join the Arnall-Culliford Knitwear group

Any pattern from The Book of Haps is eligible. 

There will be weekly work in progress (WIP) prizes of single pattern downloads from the book’s contributors, as well as the following finished object (FO) prizes at the end of the KAL: 
5 single pattern download codes 
A yarn prize for a finished hap 
A special bird-related prize for a finished Nut-Hap inspired by a specific bird

You are welcome to “double dip” in any other KAL running at the same time (other KAL rules may vary!). Louise Scollay is running a Bookofhaps-along in the KnitBritish group that is open to double dipping - so you can knit one hap an enter both KALs.

To be eligible for WIP prizes, please post an in progress photo in the WIP thread (chatter welcome), and in order to be eligible for an FO prize, please post in the relevant FO thread (Nut-Haps; General - no chatter please).

Details of the prizes will follow! 
Please tag your projects here on Ravelry, and hashtag across social media, with #hapsarehappeningKAL

You can see Ravelry projects tagged hapsarehappeningKAL here: http://bit.ly/1YmKayg
And Instagram images tagged #hapsarehappeningKAL here: Instagram haps

I'm planning to finish off my Theme and Variation - just 2 more edging stripes to go! And then I need to dig in my stash to decide what my next project will be. I am thinking of either Harewood by Bristol Ivy, Uncia by Lucy Hague or Shore Hap by Martina Behm. Too many lovely possibilities! There are already 90 projects from The Book of Haps loaded on Ravelry, so it won't be long before I start falling in love with other options, I'm sure...

Keep up to date with all we're doing:
Arnall-Culliford Knitwear on Facebook | Arnall-Culliford Knitwear on YouTube | Arnall-Culliford Knitwear on Ravelry | JenACKnitwear and VeufTricot on Twitter | JenACKnitwear and VeufTricot on Instagram | And sign up in the sidebar to get our blog posts delivered to you by email.

Images © Jen Arnall-Culliford

FO: Stopover Sweater

Whoosh! And it was done!

2016-02-16 14.51.12-2

In a shade over 2 weeks I have officially banged out this sweater. And now I'm not taking it off. No, really, I'm not! It is light and snuggly and warm, and it is giving me that warm glow of satisfaction in the creation of something beautiful and useful. I'm trying hard not to immediately cast on another one...

Just in case you've missed any of my excitement over the last fortnight, this is a Stopover, designed by the delightful Mary Jane Mucklestone. Jim and I edited up some extra sizes for the pattern, to help with the excitement that Kay and Ann have generated with their Bang Out A Sweater KAL. They are world class enablers. Resistance truly is FUTILE! You can browse the beautiful finished sweaters on Instagram with the bangfinisher hashtag.

2016-02-17 08.15.26

There's been a bit of chatter over on Ravelry about adding short rows to the back neck, in order to raise the back/drop the front neck. So I thought I'd share my blocking photo here... This is how I shaped my neckline while it was damp, and then left it to dry. I've not added any short rows. It's entirely shaped as per the original instructions in the pattern. I followed Mary Jane's excellent advice to block it firmly to the shape I wanted, and then I marked the back neck by weaving in some of the orange contrast, to remind myself which side was which. I'm not sure that adding short rows would have improved on this particularly! So trust in Mary Jane, and just shape it while damp. :)

2016-02-17 08.16.18

I will do almost anything to avoid knitting with 3 colours in a round, so the contrast pops of orange and teal at the neck were added by duplicate stitch (Swiss darning) at the very end. I then went round and patted and prodded the stitches in the colourwork and darning while it was damp, to ensure that everything was looking its absolute best. I'm constantly amazed by the power of a bit of poking at this stage in a garment. It's transformative!

2016-02-17 11.17.59

If you're inspired to make your own Stopover, I'm de-stashing my leftovers... You can find all the details on my Ravelry trade or sell pages: Leftover Lopi

There is still plenty of time to knock one out before the weather warms up!