I love the Waterlily pattern by Meghan Fernandes which was published in the Spring 2014 issue of PomPom magazine. The combination of knitting in the round, Latvian braids and lacework are so appealing.
I knit my first Waterlily in 2015, starting on 11th June and finishing on 28th Aug, using beautiful Splendor 4-ply yarn in Little Cat Feet from GingerTwistStudio. Initially apprehensive about the Latvian braid, Meghan’s wonderful tutorial walked me through the construction. I generally struggle with lacework, but the simple repeat pattern soon clicked into my memory. I was happy with the result, and for its debut, wore it to the Edinburgh International Festival for my birthday treat.
A second Waterlily followed. Again I used a wonderful yarn from GTS, Luscious 4-ply in Gorblimey. Both braid and lacework flew off my needles this time, and once again I was pleased with how easy the pattern was to knit. And, this version debuted on a recent wonderful weekend away!
During the wonderful Indieburgh Yarn Crawl in Edinburgh this June, I attended a class to learn to knit using Magic Loop. The class, taught by the talented Clare Devine, was so fantastic that I soon picked up the technique.
The next step was to knit a sock! Using Clare’s beautifully illustrated pattern book, “Sock Anatomy”, I started my first proper sock. The Flexor pattern was quick and very easy to follow: a pair of hiking socks flew off my needles followed by a nearly completed “Mind The Gap” pair.
Having thought that I would never be a sock knitter, I’m now a bit of an addict and my yarn stash seems to have expanded surreptitiously with a variety of sock yarns awaiting their turn!
Clare’s Website – Yarn and Pointy Sticks
Mind The Gap sock yarn Website – Trailing Clouds
I have finished my Navia jumper! The beautiful Faroese wool that can be purchased from The Island Wool Company is wonderful: soft, warm and easy to knit. I used a pattern by Malan Steinholm published in Navia Book No. 17. The sleeves needed adapting slightly to shorten them, and the length of the body also required altering. I made a few modifications to the zigzag pattern too, to ensure it “matched up” on the sleeves. I just need to wait for the weather to cool to wear, which probably won’t be long, knowing our Scottish summers!
Having seen the wonderful Owls jumper by Kate Davies Designs, knitted up by the Ginger Twist Studio yarn shop in Edinburgh, I decided I had to knit it for myself. So, when I spotted the Rainbow Heirloom stand at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival (EYF), I knew I had found the perfect yarn for my jumper: chunky alpaca in OOAK Golden. There was one problem, though, there were only 4 skeins left! So, on the spur of the moment, I bought them all and decided to knit a sleeveless jumper instead!
Using KDD’s Owl jumper pattern and Vedis Jonsdottir’s wonderful free vest pattern from the Istex website, I cast on with my 6.5mm needles. The yarn knit up beautifully as my hybrid pattern evolved. I substituted the rib bands with moss stitch rounds. And, having attended Helene Magnusson‘s fantastic course in shaping Icelandic Lopi sweaters at the EYF, I added a number of extra rows to the back section after I had cast-off for the armholes and was knitting the front and back sections separately. At the top of the Owl cable pattern, I added a round of purl stitches between the Owls’ ears, and a complete round in purl to finish off the cable motif. Finally, having increased the length of the back earlier in the knit, I could omit the short rows.
The finished result took a while to block as the garment is really thick! Deciding on the buttons for the eyes took ages. But, I eventually selected small shiny shell buttons with just two holes for thread, and sewed them vertically to look more “eye-like”. I’m delighted that the end result is a wearable, warm, yellow, sleeveless jumper!
Having been very tentative about trying to knit a shawl, I decided to attend Veera Valimaki’s class on “Shawls and Shapes” at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival in March. She was amazing and during her class she broke down different shawl shapes into very simple 4-row patterns!
With newly found confidence, I decided to start a v-shaped shawl using her basic pattern; this shape being perfect to wear with yoked jumpers and cardigans, and as a cycling scarf to keep the back of my neck warm! I added a mix of stocking stitch and garter stitch blocks to the basic pattern to create a slightly more interesting texture. I decided to knit the shawl using a skein of 4-ply Titus Goddess in Filey. The result has been well worn and is much needed with the unpredictable spring weather! In fact, the result was so well used that I decided to knit a second v-shaped shawl in some leftover Blacker Yarns Gotland DK wool. Not having enough of one colour for a whole shawl, I added a paler band to the edge. Again, the shawl has been well worn!
So, now for the big challenge: a Shetland hap. As I’d loved Veera’s class, I decided to knit her 3/4 Hap for the KnitBritish Hapalong that started on Friday 10th April. Again, I decided to use 4-ply Titus, in Coal, Crucible and White Rose. I’m ridiculously pleased with result, and cannot wait for the right occasion to wear it!
I finally finished my Cockatoo Brae cardigan, just in time for the Edinburgh Yarn Festival. Kate Davies’ design was wonderful and Jamieson & Smith’s 2-ply jumper weight wool very easy to knit.
The most difficult thing in knitting the cardi was to decide on the colours. Whilst I knew I didn’t want the main colour to be grey, I didn’t know what colours I did want! Luckily, my tutor, Katy Birchall at the Edinburgh Contemporary Crafts machine knitting class at Abbeymount Techbase introduced me to keeping an art/design book at the beginning of the year.
Taking inspiration from Scottish seascapes and from the annual January exhibition of JMW Turner’s watercolours at the National Galleries Scotland in Edinburgh, I decided upon a teal blue body, with a paler blue yoke background and graded grey to mustard yellow to lemon yellow to off white fair isle pattern.
Luckily, this time I remembered to knit the yoke in a larger needle size to the main body. This has allowed the fair isle colour work to sit neatly beside the teal body.
Finally, I didn’t quite manage to knit the “short rows” as well as I would have liked. I tried to follow the pattern’s instructions but I failed! Luckily, it’s barely noticeable though this is definitely an area to improve upon!
I have at last finished Kate Davies Designs wonderful Epistrophy cardigan. The pattern can be found in her recent book of patterns, “Yokes”. The pattern suggested using Toft Ulysses DK, a luxurious British wool but I wanted to use a “stickier” i.e. a hairier, coarser wool which would be easier to steek. So, I chose Blacker Yarns gorgeous Gotland DK. It’s a beautiful, soft wool from the Gotland sheep but has enough coarseness to be easy to steek.
After knitting a tension swatch, I decided on 3.75mm needles for the body work, and 3.5mm for the ribs. I’ve selected a few photos showing the steeking process. The first photo shows me crocheting a leg of the middle stitch to its neighbouring leg. After a double chain up each side of the middle stitch, I cut up the centre to form a cardigan from a jumper. Not for the faint hearted! Finally, the two front bands were knitted and buttons attached.
Reviewing the project, I would firstly say that I probably knitted too large a size: overestimated how much I’d eaten over Christmas! Secondly, I should have increased a needle size when knitting the colourwork yoke section. If I knitted the cardi again, I would increase my needles to a size 4mm for just the patterned section. But, otherwise, a very satisfying knit using a great pattern and beautiful Gotland wool.