June 29th, 2014
Since my baby daughter was born, I haven’t had much time to knit. But there is one garment which I really would like to make for her to wear this winter and that is my Cable Yoke Jacket.
Baby Cable Yoke Jacket was originally designed for my baby nephew years ago. All babies need to be warm and comfortable and mums love to dress their babies in practical, but adorable, outfits!
– Horizontal cable design on yoke creates an beautifully ‘realistic’ three-dimensional pattern
– Garter stitch border on hood and hems add sweetness ðŸ˜‰
– Cute flat-top hood to protect baby’s neck from cold air currents, whether worn up or down
– Natural wooden toggle and buttonhole fastenings make it easy to button and unbutton jacket on a wriggling baby!
This Cotton & Cloud exclusive Baby Cable Yoke Jacket knitting pattern design uses Jamieson’s of Shetland Heather (100% pure, Shetland Aran wool). This is a super warm yarn that’s perfect for keeping babies warm in the cold weather.
This is how the Baby Cable Yoke Jacket is constructed:
1 ) Cable-yoke knitted first, using ‘wrap & turn’ short-row technique to create curvature (See my Step-by-Step Tutorial here)
2) Body and hood worked top down and bottom up respectively
3) Body and hood worked in flat knitting, but on circular needles to accommodate the curve of the garment and the large number of stitches.
4) Sleeves worked in the round using double-pointed needles, but you can also use the Magic Loop method if you are confident
5) Garter edging worked in the round
1. Never, ever skip the swatching!
2. Be careful not to knit the cable too tightly.
3. Block the cables separately at first, by applying gentle steam, to make it easy to block the entire garment at the end.
These are some of the Feedback extracts from the knitters and I am always so thrilled to see the newly knitted Baby Cable Yoke Jacket on Ravelry!
• Comfortable, attractive and practical, but simple enough for all skill levels
• Aran-weight yarn knits up quickly!
• Mums and grandma’s who enjoy knitting in the summer have warm jackets ready for their favourite little ones when winter arrives
• It looks adorable on every baby, (we love receiving your baby photos!) making it a very popular choice for ‘gift-knitters’
I have knitted this many times for my friends’ babies in the past and now it’s time for my own! ðŸ˜€
Brooklyn Tweed Wool People 7 – Seine: Cardigan for Every Woman
May 17th, 2014
I have been so thrilled to see my latest design, the Seine Cardigan, published in Brooklyn Tweed’s Wool People 7, just after the birth of my baby daughter. The whole collection is really lovely and I feel very proud to be part of this amazing work!
(Image by Jared Flood)
Please check out my recent interview on Jared’s blog, in which we discussed the Seine Cardigan design, including the construction and all the other fun stuff. However, I just wanted to talk a little more about why I believe the Seine Cardigan is also perfect for comfort, discretion and style during and after pregnancy.
I spent most of last year with a baby bump and now, happily, I’m nursing my new baby daughter. It made me realise that selling pregnancy and nursing fashion clothes is a huge industry. The problem is that specially designed maternity clothes have a very short ‘useful life’ in your wardrobe and yet they can take a huge chunk out of your ‘baby budget’.
And these days, very few of us can afford to spend lots of money on ‘temporary’ clothes, because we’re all trying to focus our spending on knitting projects that produce good-looking, long-lasting, essentials!
Here’s a photo of me during the late 2nd trimester. We had to ‘cut off my head’ to make sure the entire Seine Cardigan was shown – but at least there was room for my smile!
So, when I was invited to design a garment for Wool People 7, I thought it was great opportunity to create a super-versatile cardigan that real women will love wearing!
The Seine Cardigan design is perfect for all of us! It’s for all shapes and sizes, tall, short, pre-diet, post-diet and don’t want to diet (after all, it’s not compulsory!). But it’s also a fabulous solution for pregnant or nursing mums who want a warm cardigan-jacket they can just throw on and look like a million dollars ðŸ˜‰
The wide waterfall front drapes beautifully to cover your tummy when you’re pregnant or nursing and need an attractive, light-weight jacket for cold days. And with no pulling or straining at the seams, the Seine Cardigan allows you to wear a baby-sling or carry your baby close to your body in a completely comfortable and cosy way.
Moreover, if you want the option of fastening the front sometimes, you can add a pretty shawl pin, a vintage or modern brooch or a button and loop – adding your own touch of individuality to the versatile Seine Cardigan.
So with its touch of French insouciance, I’m delighted to present this stylish, shape-skimming cardigan-jacket designed especially for . . . you!
Spud & Chloe ‘Lightning Shawl’ – Innovative Nursing Shawl to Knit
May 10th, 2014
Some of you may already have seen my new design on the Spud & Chloe website and Ravelry, but if you haven’t, I’m delighted to announce that my new, Lightning Shawl, is now available from Spud & Chloe and Ravelry!
(Image by Spud & Chloe)
This shawl is knitted using series of short-row technique (see: my tutorial for Wrap & Turn Short-row here). The main colour is enlivened by the contrasting yellow zigzag lightning-bolts and it’s a perfect ‘travel knit’!
Not only is this shawl lots of fun to knit, but it creates a very practical tailored-shawl that hugs the shoulders and makes the perfect nursing shawl!
As a new mother, I soon discovered how difficult breastfeeding can be! Not only because of the ‘technique’, but also because of the purely practical considerations of breastfeeding in public.
Although I have a fabric cover specifically designed for breastfeeding, it’s made with a brightly-patterned ‘busy’ fabric that draws attention and makes it obvious that I’m breastfeeding.
It’s not the least bit discreet or fashionable in design, which makes it look odd. I kept wishing I had a garment I could draw over my baby lightly when breastfeeding, which would blend in with my normal fashion clothes and avoid drawing attention.
And this stylish and versatile knitted shawl works perfectly as a nursing shawl!
One of the many practical features of this shawl is the absence of any eyelet lace patterning, as it’s knitted in stocking and garter stitch only. And this means you can breastfeed easily, without worrying that those around you can see what’s going on underneath the shawl!
The Lightning Shawl is generously proportioned, measuring 59 ins. x 20 ins. so it fully covers the baby’s body for warmth. If you are worried about the shawl slipping off while nursing, just use a small clip or safety-pin to secure it at the back of your neck or on one shoulder.
The Spud & Chloe Fine is 80% Superwash Wool 20% natural silk, making the texture very smooth and soft as you wrap it over your baby to create a snuggly, warm sensation. It’s a beautiful yarn and because of the way it is plied, it knits up very neatly.
I hope you enjoy knitting this innovative and stylish nursing shawl in anticipation of the wonderful experience of bonding with your baby through nursing and cuddling inside your lovingly hand-made Lightning Shawl!
My Beautiful Baby Has Arrived!
April 29th, 2014
I am delighted and thrilled to announce that my baby daughter, Miriam, was born at the beginning of April!
It was a very long process and I was in hospital for 5 days. But I am now almost recovered and enjoying motherhood very much! I love every moment of looking after my daughter and seeing how fast she is growing every day!
As a first-time mum, there is so much to learn and, even though I will not be able to knit as much as before, it’s all very fulfilling! So today, I want to show you some pictures of the very much appreciated, hand-knitted gifts I’ve received from my dear friends.
These sweet little bootees were knitted and presented to me by my friends at the Buffalo Wool Co. They are so very soft, warm and cute! One day, when my daughter is a little older, I would love to travel to the States to visit them and see their buffaloes, which provide this super yarn!
These lovely bootees and wonderful baby jacket were knitted for my new baby by Frances. I think her white, pink and lavender geometric EZ Surprise Jacket is one of my absolute favourite baby designs!
Miriam has already worn this beautiful jacket and the bootees for her first short promenade by buggy. I felt so proud and they’ll also be perfect to keep her warm in winter. I really couldn’t be more delighted with these very pretty baby clothes! Thank you so much, Frances!
I had planned to post a photo of Miriam wearing my Beanie Hat design, but unfortunately we lost her hat in the hospital. As soon as Miriam was born, it was chaos as they moved me rapidly to a different ward, and the hat must have dropped onto the floor somewhere. I was very disappointed to lose something I had designed and knitted especially for Miriam, so she could wear my handiwork right from her first moments.
But it was knitted with so much love that I hope another baby will have the pleasure of wearing it, to welcome her into the world with my warm, little Beanie hat!
I can soon knit another Beanie for Miriam and perhaps I’ll design another very special Cotton & Cloud baby beanie hat!
Knitting for Baby: Saartje’s Bootees
March 26th, 2014
My second ‘baby preparation’ project is this lovely pair of baby bootees. I chose Saartje’s Bootees, because it’s a super-cute design, which I’ve previously knitted as a gift for my friend. You can see the matching hat in the previous blog.
I’m using the same yarns i.e. Koigu KPPPM (P611) for the main colour and The Uncommon Thread Tough Sock (Brassica) for the edging, to create a matching set with the Pointy Hat I made the other day.
As the original knitting pattern is in 4 ply, I didn’t change the pattern, except to convert it for circular knitting using double-pointed needles. Oh – and I changed the straps to fix them to the inside of the bootees – without buttons!
This adds extra style, makes it easier to put them on your baby’s wriggling feet and most important of all – it makes them fit more snugly, so they don’t keep sliding off!
I’ll post a picture of my baby wearing the matching hat and bootees, as soon as she’s born!
Knitting for Baby: Pointy Hat for a New-born from Purl Soho
March 20th, 2014
It’s just less than 3 weeks to my due date!
I’ve been offline recently, as I’ve been so tired and we’re having repairs done to the ceiling, so we’re in temporary accommodation in Islington. On the plus side, Islington has Loop – a fantastic knitting supplies shop packed with gorgeous coloured yarns!
Pointy Hat for Newborns from Purl Soho
My first baby project is a hat, as I really want her to wear my hand-knitted baby clothes from day one! I chose Pointy Hat for Newborns from Purl Soho, because I loved the super-cute pattern straight away.
I used Koigu KPPPM (P611) for the main colour and The Uncommon Thread Tough Sock (Brassica) for the tuft.
When using a yarn-type that’s different from the original pattern, carefully check:
• the characteristics of the yarns
My tension is 28 sts and 40 rows to 10cm over stocking stitch, using 2.75mm needles, which is different from the original knitting pattern. So, to make a hat circumference of 14 inches, you will need to re-calculate the stitch number.
My baby’s head circumference is average and, as a well-fitting knitted hat has a negative ease, I added a negative ease of just 1 cm, so it will sit gently around her head.
Unlike the recommended yarn for this pattern, Koigu KPPPM is a 100% merino yarn with a bouncy characteristic. In addition, the original pattern uses the same needle size and stitch count for garter-stitch and stocking-stitch, causing the garter-stitch to flare out.
To avoid this, I cast on approx. 5-6% fewer than the main head stitch number and worked with smaller needles, (2 mm), creating a denser garter-edge.
Head circumference 13 13.4 13.8 14.2 14.6 in
33 34 35 36 37 cm
Negative ease (-1cm) 32 33 34 35 36 cm
Cast on for garter sts (use smaller needles) 87 87 90 93 96 sts
Increase evenly over the row after garter stitch 6 6 6 6 6 sts
Main hat sts (use larger needles) 93 93 96 99 102 sts
Start dec every rnd after the foll sts 75 75 78 78 81 sts
If you’d like to knit this pattern with Koigu yarn and the same tensions as mine, the table above contains the stitch numbers from 33 cm to 37 cm, (i.e. 28 sts and 40 rows to 10cm over stocking-stitch using 2.75mm needles)
Note: I’ll post a series of Knitting Tutorials on Tension Swatching soon, showing how to calculate the different number of stitches with your own tension.
Instead of adjusting the row tension, I calculated how much every other round decrease is worked, before I began decreasing the top every round. After knitting straight for 3 inches, start decreasing every other round until there are 108 sts left and approx. 80% stitches are decreased up to this point.
For my version of the hat, I decreased every other round until there were 80% sts left and then I started to decrease every round until there were 3 sts left.
Beautiful ‘Warm Welcome’ Hat for Baby!
I’m so pleased with the how this hat has turned out! Owing to its amazing colours, Koigu yarn, especially KPPPM, is great for stocking-stitch and works very well with dense garter-stitch, too. I’ll certainly knit this little hat again and it would make a lovely gift!
Autumn Leaf Kimono – Simply Attractive Comfy Cardigan
March 17th, 2014
When the weather is unpredictable, a comfy cardigan is essential in my wardrobe – but not all comfy cardi’s are this pretty ðŸ˜‰ The Autumn Leaf Kimono is hip-length and just slightly oversize, making it a pretty garment that’s always easy to slip on!
I always love watching the changing leaf colours between seasons. Towards the end of autumn, the leaves fall onto the ground making a beautiful carpet of red, yellow and orange shades along the paths. This was the inspiration for my Autumn Leaf Kimono.
Autumn Leaf Kimono – Enjoyable Top-down Seamless Knit & Pretty Wardrobe Essential
Knitting leaf motifs is one of my favourite things to do, but for this knitting design I didn’t want it to just be knitted vertically. Instead, I put the leaf pattern to spread out gradually from the centre front, just like when you look up into a tree in autumn and the colourful leaves spread over the branches.
The pattern starts from just one leaf and continues all the way to the hem to make this knitting pattern unique and original. I also decided the rest of the knitting pattern should be worked in plain stocking stitch and you’ll be able to wear the Autumn Leaf Kimono over your favourite outfits time after time!
I wanted to make sure that the knitting pattern is fun to make as much as enjoyable to wear. The garment is knitted top-down using seamless raglan method using circular needles. The neck and front double moss edging is worked all in one go so that there is no need to sew up different pieces of the cardigan.
The cardigan has a cute distinctive crossed leaves belt loop at the back just to make the piece even more fun. ðŸ˜‰
The pattern calls for with the wonderful Buffalo Wool Co. Super Sexy. It is a double-knitting weight (6ply) (50% bison down, 50% silk; 128m [140yds] per 50g skein). I immediately knew the colour, “Spiced Up” would be perfect for my inspiration.
What is amazing about this yarn is that it knits up beautifully (you can see how consistent the stitches come out by looking at the stocking stitch section of the garment). As the yarn is a luxury blend of Buffalo-down and silk, there’s a wonderful softness to the shimmery silky fibre.
Wear with or without the belt, you can achieve both elegant and casual vintage look with the cardigan!
Autumn Leaf Kimono
Size: UK 8 (10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22)/32 (34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46) in
The model wears size 10/34in
Yarn: The Buffalo Wool Co Super Sexy (6ply; DK weight; 50% bison down, 50% silk; 128m [140yds] per 50g skein)
10 (10, 11, 11, 12, 13, 13, 14) x 50g skeins in Spice It Up
Tension: 22 sts and 32 rows to 10cm over stocking stitch using 4mm needles.
Needles & Accessories:
For the body and edging use the following needles:
1 set of 4mm (UK 8/US 6) cir needles
1 set of 3.75mm (UK 9/US 5) cir needles
For sleeves, use the following needles. If you can work the Magic Loop method with cir needles, you don’t need DPNs (Note that you do need larger DPNs for the i-cord):
1 set of 4mm (UK 8/US 6) DPNs
1 set of 3.75mm (UK 9/US 5) DPNs
4 markers | Waste yarn
Pattern price £3.50
The pdf version of the knitting pattern can be purchased from the Cotton & Cloud website as well as from Ravelry but if you prefer a printed version, please check out MagCloud.
Zigzag Path Shawl – An Essential Everyday Shawl
March 11th, 2014
What is your Spring knitting project? Mine is usually some kind of a light shawl which I can then wear throughout the season.
The Zigzag Path Shawl from my latest Fresh Inspiration Knitting Vol. 2 is a modern and timeless knitting design, something you always want to keep in your handbag. An asymmetrical distribution of the zigzag bobble motif is combined with a simple finish. If you are looking for a perfect travel-knitting project, something you can relax with and become absorbed in knitting wherever you are, this is the perfect knitting pattern for you!
This comfy and luxurious shawl knitting pattern is inspired by the freeness you feel when you come out of a leafy, shaded tunnel into the open sunlight again.
The dainty, bobble zigzag lace motifs gradually move away from each other towards the end of the shawl. So when you wrap the shawl, one side looks different from the other.
Zigzag Path Shawl – Shawl with Seamless Edging
This shawl is knitted with Jamieson’s of Shetland Ultra yarn (lace weight; 50% lambswool, 50% Shetland wool, spun on the Shetland Isles; 194m [212yds] per 25g ball). I have used the same yarn for Teardrop Shawl.
It is one of my very favourite yarns to knit into shawls, because it creates a very warm shawl that’s also soft and light, because of the 50% lamb’s wool in the yarn.
It is so enjoyable to knit every single stitch with it – you will never be bored. Jamieson’s have recently introduced several brand new, beautifully bright colours, so I highly recommend you take a look at them!
The edging of the shawl is knitted seamlessly. It’s casted on provisionally and the main part is knitted first. Then the top and bottom stitches are worked together with the edge motif, so there is no sewing involved.
Try knitting with different colours or even with a completely different yarn – such as kidsilk mohair. Rowan has lots of great Kidshilk Mohair range but if you are looking for yarns from British independent companies, there are beautiful ranges from Bessie May and Fyberspates.
You could also add tassels at the end of the shawl. Or even better, make the bobbles with a contrasting yarn colours to emphasise the diverging zigzag patterns
Zigzag Path Shawl
Size: 50cm x 145cm
Yarn: Jamieson’s of Shetland Ultra (lace weight; 50% lambswool, 50% Shetland wool, spun on the Shetland Isles; 194m [212yds] per 25g ball)
6 x 25g ball in Titanic (171)
Tension: 24 sts and 34 rows to 10cm over stocking stitch using 3.25mm needles when blocked. Please adjust needle sizes to obtain correct tension if necessary.
Needles & Accessories: 1 set of 3.25mm (UK10/US 3) circular (cir) needles (80-100cm length) | Yarn needle to weave in ends | 6 x markers (m)
Pattern price £2.50
The pdf version of the knitting pattern can be purchased from the Cotton & Cloud website as well as from Ravelry but if you prefer a printed version, please check out MagCloud.
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Pebble Snood – The Snood You Will Love
February 26th, 2014
Every now and then I get the urge to wear a nice, warm scarf that’s packed full of beautiful colours and textures to brighten up the gloomy, cold days!
The Snood You’ll Love!
In my latest Fresh Inspiration Knitting Vol.2, there’s my crochet pattern called, Pebble Snood (image above). Thank you so much to wonderful Nicky the talented crochet designer who helped me to make this snood! This crochet snood was inspired by the hazy colours of a winter garden, where different colours of moss grow on the stones covered in frost. It is made of 12 different colours combined in the attractive crochet motifs that are guaranteed to brighten up the dark, cold season as much as the snood will keep your neck nice and cosy. I am sure you will get lots of compliments and be so proud of wearing it!
Each hexagon has pair of bobbles on the 6 corners making this snood design particularly interesting and elegant. The pattern calls for Green Mountain Spinnery’s Mountain Mohair (worsted weight; 100% North American Fibre, 30% Yearling Mohair, 70% Wool; 128m [140yds] per 58g [2oz] skein).
It is a single-ply yarn and works superbly well in crochet. It’s lofty, hazy and soft – one of the best mohair yarns I knitted with. And to make it even better, there are so many colours available!
Joining Colourful Textured Crochet Motif As You Make It
The Pebble Snood is made of crocheted hexagon motifs. They are joined as you crochet, so you can see the snood grow, which I find more satisfying. Different combinations of coloured discs are made first, then the last 2 rows, which are worked in light grey, are crocheted.
Here is a YouTube tutorial I made previously on how to join crochet squares as you crochet.
There are various ways in which you can make your Pebble Snood a one of a kind design for yourself. Puff stitch, to make the textured bobbles, can be elaborated by adding a couple more yarn-overs to make the bobble even more raised.
Or you could reverse the allocation of the colours and use grey as the disc and different colours for the outer side of the hexagon. If you only have a limited amount of yarns, why not just make a shorter version?
Size: 174cm circumference x 31cm width at the widest point (24cm at the narrowest point)
Yarns: Green Mountain Spinnery Mountain Mohair (worsted weight; 100% North American Fibre, 30% Yearling Mohair, 70% Wool; 128m [140yds] per 58g [2oz] skein)
1 x 2oz skein in Rhubarb (7570) as yarn A
1 x 2oz skein in Moss (7509) as yarn B
1 x Oz skein in Alpenglo (6777) as yarn C
4 x 2oz skein in Grey Birth (7608) as yarn D
Tension: A regular hexagon with side length: 7cm – unblocked
Needles & Accessories: 4mm (UK 8/US G6) crochet hook | Yarn needle to weave in ends
Pattern price £3.50
The pdf version of the knitting pattern can be purchased from the Cotton & Cloud website as well as Ravelry but if you prefer a printed version, please check out MagCloud.
Trailing Ivy Cardigan: An Asymmetrical Modern Cardigan
February 18th, 2014
The cardigan you can see on the front cover of my latest Fresh Inspiration Knitting Vol. 2 is called the Trailing Ivy Cardigan. It’s perfect for those who love an elegant and modern look, but adding a hint of handmade, rustic-charm to your style.
The knitting pattern is inspired by the way trailing ivy follows the light from the sun. The shape is asymmetrical and features curved, chunky cables that wrap around the neck. The fabulous combination of silk and merino in Fyberspates’ Scrumptious Aran yarn gives this distinct cable design a beautiful shimmer!
Trailing Ivy Cardigan – Asymmetric, top-down and seamless – the perfect brain-teaser!
I am fond of creating visually interesting knitting designs (not always easy though!). One of my favourite features of this design is the gradually-changing size of the cable motif on the sleeve, to give the visual illusion of a slightly-flared sleeve.
The overall stocking stitch section of the sleeves is unchanged, but stitches are added within the cable motif. As the chunkier cable pulls the fabric together, the overall circumference of the sleeve is kept more or less constant.
The Trailing Ivy Cardigan is another top-down seamless knitting pattern. You start with the horizontal cable from the centre back and work your way down. The short row technique, incorporated within the cable motif, is used to achieve a change in the direction – which creates the attractive curved shape (for a tutorial on short-row knitting, please refer to this blog post).
There are lots of things happening simultaneously while you’re working the upper half of the garment, so concentration is required. However, once this section is done, the rest is pretty straightforward and when you’ve finished the knitting, there’s no sewing up!
It’s a perfect, ‘brain-teaser’ project that will reward you with a beautiful cardigan to enhance your whole wardrobe!
Trailing Ivy Cardigan Knitting Pattern
• UK 8 (10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22) / 32 (34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46) in
• To fit chest sizes – 82 (87, 93, 96, 104, 109, 116, 118) cm
• The model is wearing Size 10/34 in
Fyberspates Scrumptious Aran (Aran weight; 45% Silk, 55% Merino, 165m [180yds] per 100g)
6 (7, 7, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10) 100g skeins in Teal Green (409)
Pattern price £3.50
The pdf version of the knitting pattern can be purchased from the Cotton & Cloud website and Ravelry but if you prefer a printed version, please check out MagCloud.
The pattern is also available as a part of Fresh Inspiration Knitting Vol. 2.