Friday, 23 January 2015

Head to Toe – Head Things – Northumberland

Northumberland hat pattern on Ravelry
As techniques go, stranded colourwork was probably the last one I conquered to date. I've yet to try steeking, but little steps, yeah?
The basic concept of stranded colourwork is fairly simple, you work in Stocking stitch* introducing colour as you progress and this creates graphic patterns on your fabric. It is pretty addictive, you can see the pattern literally popping off your needles and the progress is really obvious.
Not to be too intense I was sure to include one colourwork pattern in each section of Head to Toe and Northmberland is that one of them.

Northumberland hat pattern on Ravelry
Northumberland is knitted with Blue Sky Alpacas Melange and Blue Sky Alpacas Sport Weight, both are in fact sport weights, but while their Sport Weight comes in pure solid colours, Melange, as its name suggests is a smidge heathered. The yarn is lovely and soft and works very well in stranded knitting.

Northumberland hat pattern on Ravelry
The hat is knitted in the round using an eight stitch pattern repeat and working only two strands of yarn at a time. The pattern comes in 5 sizes from 16 to 21¼ inches that would fit a child's small to an adult head sizes.

I've a couple of things to say about twisting and floats and some general colourwork tips that need to be put together in a tutorial and I hope to get to that next week. Do give me a shout if you'd like any particular technique highlighted or you have a question about colourwork in the meantime, I'll be sure to include it.
Northumberland hat pattern on Ravelry

* for most parts! but there are also pretty neat knit and purl stitch patterns with colour work, and I'm not talking mosaic here, they are truly stranded and create most interesting visuals on fabric.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Head to Toe – Head Things – Coldstream

Coldstream hat pattern on Ravelry

Coldstream is a second to last hat pattern from the Head Things chapter. It's knitted in Cascade Superwash 220, a good staple yarn that's soft to wear and quite good to knit with. If you aren't familiar with it, Cascade 220 is a Worsted weight 100% wool yarn with a very nice twist to it that produces an excellent stitch definition; it comes in a plethora of shades covering pretty much every spot of a colour wheel.

The hat is worked in the round using a knit and purl stitch pattern that extends into its crown with chevrons adding just a touch of texture to this ribbed beanie. The pattern comes in 3 sizes and a charted stitch pattern.

Friday, 16 January 2015

How to: count cable rows

how to count cable rows - knitting technique

I love cables and often use them for texture and although cables are pretty easy once you've mastered the actual cabling there's one element of it that catches me almost every time, especially if the pattern is easy to memorise and doesn't need row-by-row following once it's set up.

Cable rows don't look as straight forward as they do in stocking stitch and it can be tricky to know how many rows you've made since the last cable cross. There is, however, a very easy way to count them using a spare needle.

Whichever kind of cable you make there is always going to be a little hollow at the bottom of that cable created by the cable cross. Insert your spare needle into this hollow, straight up through the back of your knitting, and take it out under the working needle.
how to count cable rows - knitting technique
Give your knitting a tug sideways to loosen up the stitches. You will have a number of floats sitting atop the vertical needle. Now all you need to do is count them.

how to count cable rows - knitting technique
The first float from the bottom is always going to be your cable row and the rest of the floats are the rows you've knitted after the cable row. So, here for example, I've four floats making them one cable row and three plain rows. As easy as that!

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

2014 in designs

I completely forgot to review the amount of work that's been done over the year of 2013 and I find it such a great exercise to do, to sum up a year, because although I work plenty, the wait in between actual designing and the time the pattern is published is often so long you tend to lose some of the excitement that ignited a particular idea as well as sometimes lose track of what's actually been done and published. So, I am beginning this year by reviewing the work of 2014:

The year began with the publication of two hat patterns (designed for Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts)
Cat Conference hat pattern by Katya Frankel

And Catnip
Catnip hat pattern by Katya Frankel

Then there was the Sine Socks pattern for Magpielly's Sock Club
Sine Socks pattern by Katya Frankel
Spring Musings
Spring Musings cowl pattern by Katya Frankel

 Petit Pois
Petit Pois summer cardigan pattern by Katya Frankel

I had it in my heart for a couple of years now that I wanted to work directly with a local yarnie to develop patterns for their yarns and was over the moon when early in the year I met a very local yarn duo on Twitter, out of all places.
Rivelin (the first pattern designed for The Yarn Garden)
Rivelin mohair scarf pattern by Katya Frankel

 and Cove Bay (again for The Yarn Garden)
Cove Bay shawl pattern by Katya Frankel

 Lil Tamzin
Lil Tamzin girl's cardigan pattern by Katya Frankel

 A cable and mosaic Ravenna Cowl (for Knitscene Winter 2014)
Ravenna mosaic cowl pattern by Katya Frankel for Knitscene Winter 2014
photo © Knitscene/Harper Point
Early in the year Juliet Bernard, with whom I worked previously a couple of times, got in touch inviting me to join the Yarn Stories design team and sent me some of their yet to be dyed yarn samples to try and the rest is history :-)

Junko set (for Yarn Stories)
Junko colourwork hat and fingerless mitten set pattern by Katya Frankel for Yarn Stories

Amelia (for Yarn Stories)
Amelia colourwork raglan sweater pattern by Katya Frankel for Yarn Stories

Then there were a couple of patterns for Jane Austen Knits 2014
Kitty's Chemise
Kitty's Chemise raglan top pattern by Katya Frankel for Jane Austen Knits 2014.

And Catherine's Bonnet
Catherine's Bonnet pattern by Katya Frankel for Jane Austen Knits 2014

There were also three patterns for Autumn Essentials. I am hoping to have 'Autumn Essentials' as a running feature every year.
Autumn Essentials 2014 knitting patterns from Katya Frankel

There were also a couple of patterns that I did for Knit Today and The Knitter, that I don't have any photos of on hand Ack!

And finally Catch (for Yarn Stories) that needs a post of its own to note all its details. I am told this is an outtake but I love this photo so much!
Catch seamless fitted raglan top pattern by Katya Frankel for Yarn Stories

Phew! Here's to a busy new year!

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Changes to Pattern and E-book Sales for 2015 – Ravelry & LoveKnitting Integration

Hello, dear knitters!

Due to the law change set to commence on January 1, 2015 there will be a change to how customers within the EU will be able to buy my patterns. I wrote about it previously here, although things were changing so rapidly in the past two weeks I didn't want to post anything until it was certain what's happening and I knew exactly how the purchase process would be affected. It looks like the limitations that the EU customers will be subjected to may not be permanent as Raverly seems to be working on a more favourable permanent solution that'll work for everybody.

Just to clarify, the following applies to the EU customers only (bar the UK).
Since I am based in the UK and don't have to collect VAT on my UK sales there will be no change to the way you purchase patterns if you are a UK customer.
If you live anywhere else outside of the EU there will be no change to the way you purchase patterns either, although for a different reason.

For the EU customers the changes are as follows:

Regular Single Patterns
The price you will see on Ravelry will be the final price you'll pay for the pattern, inclusive of tax. This price will be higher than my base price, but it will be clearly displayed on the pattern page.
Additionally, this price may vary slightly between customer to customer, depending on their country's VAT (value added tax) rate, for example a customer in France may see one price while a customer in Germany may see a different price. Please note – as much as I'd love to keep the same price across the board, there is just no way to do this at the moment and I've no control over the way the system works.

To complete your purchase you will be redirected onto LoveKnitting website. If you don't already have a LoveKnitting account, you'll have to open one. After the purchase your pattern will be added to your Ravelry Library per usual.

As much as it pains me to say this but the way the integration is set up any Ravelry pattern discounts, sales and promotions will not be available in the EU in the foreseeable future. Although this may change and I will make sure to update this notice to let you know.

Pattern Collections
Again, the way the integration is set up LoveKnitting does not deal with pattern collections, therefore you will not be able to purchase them from Ravelry or LoveKnitting come January 1, 2015.
Please head to PatternFish if you would like to buy any one of my pattern collections.
Or MagCloud where you can purchase a printed version of those pattern collections.