Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Catnip and Cat Conference Hats

Some ten months ago I teamed up with the wonderful people behind Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts to design a couple of accessories for the new yarn line they were launching to support the Meow Foundation and quite fittingly called the Meow Collection. A portion of the proceeds of the sale donated to benefit stray and abandoned cats. In the USA donations are made to Best Friends Animal Society, in Canada and internationally donations are made to The Meow Foundation (Ancient Arts is a Canadian company). The yarn bases were all dyed with cat colours in mind, covering a very wide palette from muted greys to some bright ones like Cat's Eye Cobalt or Cat's Eye Green. Check them out over here http://ancientartsfibre.com/Meow_Yarn_Collection/ 
The two designs I worked on were the Catnip and the Cat Conference hats and were fun to work on. The twisted cable pattern pushed my designer comfort zone a little, since I prefer starting with a stitch pattern and then seeing where it takes me in terms of the crown shaping. Whilst here, it had to be thought through beginning with the crown and fitting the wandering pathways into the stitch pattern and then further into the ribbing. It's always challenging working in the opposite direction to the way you used to and it does take more time of course, but the results are often so refreshing.
Both patterns will be coming out soon all ready for your Xmas knitting.*

* you know, you can never be too early with your Xmas knitting, right?

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Rivelin scarf pattern


Rivelin [Ravelry link] is the latest addition to my scarf and shawl collection. It is named after the Rivelin Rocks, the peaky straight up rock columns in South Yorkshire (once again, thank you, Karie, for coming up with the name). 

Rivelin scarf pattern by Katya Frankel

Using soft mohair to knit geometrical shapes, the Rivelin scarf is an intuitive and ingenious project. Both ends of the scarf feature a beautiful lacy diamond pattern, whilst its body is knitted on the bias. You begin knitting the scarf with only 3 stitches that grow seamlessly into a triangle, with the stitch count increasing every other row. After reaching its full width, the scarf continues on the bias with lacy columns going parallel with its long edge. 

Rivelin scarf pattern by Katya Frankel

As with many scarves with a short row repeat its length is completely customisable allowing you to maximise yardage.
Once you are happy with the length of your scarf, all that's left to do is work the second triangle to complete it. The triangles are practically a mirror image of one another and the stitch pattern for those is both written and charted so that you can work from whatever form of instructions you are most comfortable with.

A note on yarn - The scarf is worked in mohair lace on 4 mm needles. A very fine, soft and airy fibre with the most wonderful halo that kind of fills the gaps between the stitches as it's knitted up. When you knit such fine yarn on larger size needles, the fabric that's being produced is airy and lacy by its nature with an etherial look to it that's often associated with mohair lace. The result is simply gorgeous.

If you are feeling a little wary of knitting with mohair the pattern has some mohair knitting tips to make your [knitting] life easier. But due to the customisable nature of many scarves, it can be knitted in fibres other than mohair as well. You should expect its drape to change, as well as the size if you decide to substitute the yarn to anything other than mohair, but the stitch pattern is such that it will look great in smooth yarns as well.


Rivelin scarf pattern by Katya Frankel

This particular one was knitted in Temple Juniper by the Yarn Garden that was dyed specially for the Woolfest, I believe you can get in touch with George and Louise of the Yarn Garden to order your skein (did I mention that the whole 76 inch scarf only requires one skein of their mohair lace?) or get it as a kit from their stall at any fibre event in the UK.
    • Difficulty Intermediate - knit, purl, lace knitting, simple decreases and increases, and finishing.
    • Finished Measurements 76 in / 193 cm long and 12 in / 30.5 cm wide.
    • Gauge Each diamond pattern repeat = 3 in wide and 3 ¾ in tall / 7.5 cm wide and 9.5 cm tall, after blocking. Adjust needle size if necessary to get the correct gauge.
    • Yarn Temple Juniper by Yarn Garden UK (72% kid mohair / 28% nylon; 50g / 500 yds / 457 m), in Silver Falls, 1 skein. The yarn amount may vary depending on the weight and type of the yarn you are using.
    • Needles and Notions Size 4mm (US6) needles. Adjust needle size if necessary to get the correct gauge. Split marker or safety pin, tapestry needle.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Boys' Knits on Amazon - why the price hoik


The exciting news is that Cooperative Press are in the process of switching their Amazon order shipping to Fulfillment by Amazon. Which means that both of my books will be packed and shipped directly from Amazon fulfillment centres and available on Amazon sites in Europe and not just the US. 

The temporary snag is that they are disabled for sale on Amazon at the moment, read third party sellers' mark-up on seemingly unavailable books, the Boys' Knits was around $2000 last week, and you can see it's getting out of control as time goes on. The normalcy should return soon.

You can still buy both books at their regular price directly from my publisher.



as well as through many of your favourite online pattern stores.

Monday, 16 June 2014

New pattern: Cove Bay Shawl

Cove Bay [Ravelry link] is the name of the new shawl pattern, many thanks to Karie Westermann for coming up with such a fitting one. I had to go and google it, Cove Bay is a suburb to Aberdeen and is noted for its grey granite and seemed particularly fitting with the silky marbled yarn that I used for it.

Cove Bay shawl pattern by Katya Frankel

The shawl is knitted from the top down beginning with only a few stitches and a 'wandering' centre spine that flows into the lace edging. Aside from the centre lace part, the body is worked in Stocking stitch and the pattern is quite rhythmic and very easy to memorise as you get into the repeat flow. 
Cove Bay shawl pattern by Katya Frankel

The lace edging is designed to continue from the body lace seamlessly and further into the mesh at the very edge of the shawl. It is knitted using Yarn Garden Burr Oak in Nitida Eucalyptus. which is a silk and BFL blend yarn with 400 m / 437 yds to a 50 g skein. The wingspan measures about 47 inches / 119.5 cm and it is 17 inches / 43 cm deep at its widest point with very light blocking. If you wanted to make the shawl a little bigger, the mesh pattern can be continued until you run out of yarn and is rather easy to carry on as set by the pattern.
The lace edging stitch pattern is both charted and written out in a row by row instructions for your convenience. I do prefer to work lace following a chart, personally, but I know that some people like it spelled out and I always try to accommodate both schools if it makes sense.
Cove Bay lace shawl pattern by Katya Frankel
  • Skills - knit, purl, lace knitting, simple decreases and increases, and finishing.
  • Finished Measurements Wingspan 47 in / 119.5 cm and 17 in / 43 cm deep at its widest point.
  • Gauge 18 sts and 30 rows = 4in / 10cm in Stocking stitch worked using 3.75mm (US5) needles measured after light blocking. Adjust needle size if necessary to get the correct gauge.
  • Yarn 437 yds / 400 m of 4-ply or sock weight yarn. The sample was made using 1 skein of Yarn Garden UK Manna Ash Sock (50% Superwash Merino 50% silk, 100g / 437 yds / 400 m) in Nitida Eucalyptus. The yarn amount may vary depending on the weight and type of the yarn you are using.
  • Needles and Notions Size 3.75mm (US5) long circular needle. Adjust needle size if necessary to get the correct gauge. Three stitch markers, tapestry needle, blocking pins and/or wires.

Monday, 9 June 2014

And the temple juniper mohair

The second pattern that's coming out this month is this airy scarf worked in Temple Juniper mohair. It's knitted in a semi-solid colourway on a bias, creating those wide lacy columns you see at the top.
Scarf pattern from Katya Frankel
This one was particularly interesting to work on because mohair is not something I've worked with a lot, it moves differently compared to my go-to wool or silk blend yarns. Mohair lace is a very fine fibre that if worked at a loose enough gauge will create an appearance of lace even when worked in Stocking stitch and so, I tried to balance the yarn overs with some solid ground in between to make sure that the pattern shows the yarn beautifully. 
The lace needed to be worked at a loose gauge to showcase the haziness, I'm am so pleased with the way it turned out.

mohair scarf pattern from Katya Frankel

mohair scarf pattern from Katya Frankel

mohair scarf pattern from Katya Frankel

mohair scarf pattern from Katya Frankel

mohair scarf pattern from Katya Frankel