Goldilocks and the Three* Vests

Today I'm handing over the reins of the blog to Alix Pearson. Alix is one of the moderators in our Ravelry group, and is a fount of knowledge on both stranded knitting and adjusting patterns for fit. I have long admired her beautiful stranded vests, so today she is going to share some helpful tips on making your own. Over to you, Alix!

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Knitted-on edging and the Talmadge cloche

It's the first of June, it's pattern release day, so summer must be here.

The technique for June, the first of the summer projects within A Year of Techniques, is knitted-on edging, a common feature in shawls, blankets and so on. This month's pattern is the Talmadge Cloche, designed by Rosemary (Romi) Hill.

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Bristol Ivy talks intarsia

We've been beavering away behind the scenes to get A Year of Techniques ready for the final copy editing and layout process, which is why it's been a bit quiet around here. In between all that I've been knitting like mad on my Brambling Shawl. I'm feeling a little bit sad that it's nearly done, as I've enjoyed it so much. But I'm also bursting with excitement to share May's pattern with you next week. It's a corker!

So how have you found intarsia? Was it as tricky as you thought? Or were you already a seasoned intarsia expert who had knitted a heap of picture sweaters in the 80s? I've been chatting to Bristol Ivy (the genius designer of Brambling) about her experience of intarsia, and I've pumped her for pattern inspiration for my next intarsia project. Here's what she had to say:

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May Pattern Round-Up

This last month has felt like it has been all about The Book of Haps, but we've had other things in the pipeline.

Waits is a top-down version of Bristol Ivy's popular Newsom cardigan and features interesting mitred shaping. If you already have Newsom, or would like both, use the code DUET at the checkout to get a discount. 


Shetlander Donna Smith was the patron of Shetland Wool Week in 2015 and her Baa-ble Hat, the official pattern, has been made thousands of times. She also contributed Houlland to the Book of Haps. Her Shallmillens Snood takes its name from the Shetland word for "smithereens" or lots of little pieces, and that is an apt description. Made up from a series of short colourwork sections, this is an ideal project for novice knitters, or more experienced knitters alike.


If you're looking for a fun, small project to carry around with you, Mary Jane Mucklestone's Maritime Mitts could be just the thing. There is a KAL going on in Mary Jane's group from now until the end of August with weekly prizes, as well as one at the end. 


Finally, Ella Austin's latest release from her Colour and Line collection is Essie, a lightweight sweater for summer. Popcorn stitches in the yoke mark the Morse code letter S, giving the pattern its name. Essie is available as a single download, or with the whole collection.


Keep up to date with all we're doing:
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Images © Bristol Ivy; Donna Smith; Mary Jane Mucklestone; and Emma Solley (Ella Austin) respectively.

Pattern talk: Theme and Variation

I've taken a step into the unknown, and tried my hand at video! We've been working with Jesse Wild for some time. I first met him when I worked on The Knitter, and he's been doing my pattern photography for a while. Jim and I have been discussing making some techniques tutorials for a while, so we decided to call in Jesse to do some filming with us. We've made a couple of techniques videos that I'll post over the coming weeks, but to start us off, we've done something more informal. It's basically me sitting in my studio chatting to you about my knitting. Do let us know what you think!

We filmed this video a few weeks back, and as an update, I can confirm that this pattern is EXTREMELY addictive. I've really struggled to put it down over the holidays, and I'm now on to the edging, so the end is absolutely in sight! Despite my early thoughts, the KnitPro Symfonie circulars have actually been absolutely fine with the yarn. I haven't had any difficulty with the yarn snagging at the join, or splitting with the sharp tips. It's been a great combination!

I'm so looking forward to giving this to the VERY special teacher I'm making it for. We will miss her so much next year.

Links for the video
Theme and Variation by Veera Välimäki - purchase The Book of Haps below - my project page on Ravelry: JenACKnitwear's Theme and Variation
Meadow Yarn
Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light
KnitPro circular needles
Fripperies and Bibelots stitch markers
In the video I'm wearing my Redlynch shawl (you can purchase the pattern below).

What we're working on now

The title is probably a bit misleading  since this is not about what we're doing business-wise, but what we've got on our needles.

I've stalled recently with my knitting - I just don't seem to be motivated to get anything out. So here's my sleeve and a bit of Jon from Lopi 31. It will keep me warm next winter, or maybe the one after that if I don't get a move on.

Jon - 1

In stark contrast, and despite the fact that we've been deep in editing (for what seems like months) of The Book of Haps, Jen has been madly casting on projects. 

Jen's Breezy Cardigan by Hannah Fettig, from Knitbot Essentials looks nearly finished. The neckband will take some time as it is so long. I'm sure it won't be long though. This is a project that's used some rather old Fyberspates Merino/Cashmere/Nylon in Jen's usual blue/green palette.

Breezy - 1

Before she's finished one cardigan, she's cast on another. This is Gudrun Johnston's Islay cardigan in Buachaille. If you look back to the last post, you'll find out a little more.

Islay - 1

While picking through the mound of project bags, I found this lone Pawkie from Kate Davies' Seven Skeins club. There's plenty of yarn left for the other and I'm sure this will come with us on holiday as it's a compact project.

Pawkie - 1

There is of course the inevitable sock project. This is one-and-a-bit Alfrick socks by Rachel Coopey in Lang Jawoll. These have steadily grown over the last few months and I'm sure will be ready well in advance of next autumn - particularly since Jen has fished them out for the Mason-Dixon One Sock Knitalong. Do you have a single sock lurking somewhere? Dig it out and join in.

Alfrick - 1

Finally, there's a super secret project that I can't show you. Yet. It's one of the haps from The Book of Haps that Jen couldn't help but cast on in Tosh Merino Light. Have a look at Jen's project pages once the book is published to see her progress.

Tosh Merino Light - 1

This won't be the last project from The Book of Haps that Jen wants to make. Join our Ravelry group to find out how she's getting on and to join the conversation about what's new and exciting in the knitting world.


April pattern round-up

This last month has been (nearly) all about haps. As I write, we're waiting eagerly to see the first proofs for The Book of Haps so we can iron out creases. I'd love to show off all of the amazing photos, but can't........yet. 

This is not a hap

We haven't been exclusively working on big book projects this month though. I've been working little by little on a couple of projects that won't be released until later in the year. Both of us have also had techniques articles published in magazines. Jen's most recent was in The Knitter issue 96 on pleats and tucks, her latest favourite things in the whole world and I've written about different methods for decreasing in Simply Knitting issue 146.

Gudrun Johnston has refreshed her Tirrick shawl pattern, with re-edited instructions, new charts and new photographs. It is worked in wedge sections, followed by the edging. You may recognise Ella Gordon, this year's patron of Shetland Wool Week modelling.

© Gudrun Johnston

Gudrun also has a brand new cardigan, Islay. It is sized to fit anyone from baby to adult and features the diagonal lace patterning and an i-cord bind-off at the neck. 


© Gudrun Johnston

Bristol Ivy is incredibly clever with her designs. This is Occam, no ordinary garter stitch scarf.

© Bristol Ivy

It is simply stripes, but by careful use of increases and decreases, the stripes become more and more pointed into chevrons as you work along the scarf. Basically, it's a study in gradient pointyness.

In a month of cleverly designed neckwear, Ella Austin's second instalment from her Colour and Line collection really catches the eye. Her Rachel Castle inspired Venn scarf is essentially a tube that lies flat to give the impression of overlapping circles. Because all of the ends are within the tube, it looks the same on both sides.

Ella2 104cropped
© Emma Solley

Don't forget to join our Ravelry group to keep up to date with what we're up to.