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Introducing Norfolk Boot Toppers

It’s time for another new pattern. This is the first in a 3-pattern accessory set with a British theme, named after British places and using British yarn. (The boot toppers are named after the county of Norfolk as that’s where we were spending the weekend when I first started knitting them.) To celebrate UK Wool Week, I’m offering this first Great British Accessory Set pattern for 50% off until October 16, 2016.

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The pattern is knit in Erika Knight Vintage Wool, a 100% British wool which is great for colourwork. It’s a pleasure to knit with, and comes in lots of lovely colours.

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I know that some people are intimidated by colourwork, but you’ve got nothing to fear here. The pattern is done entirely with stripes and slipped stitches – you never work more than one colour per round. It’s a project that looks a lot harder than it actually is, so you’re bound to impress when you give these as a gift! The pattern also has photo tutorials for optional tubular cast-on and bind-off, as well as Kitchener stitch for the optional tubular bind-off, so it’s a great one for learning a new trick or two.

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You can find the pattern on my Ravelry designer page here. Or just click the “buy now” button below to go directly to the Ravelry checkout.

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Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the next two patterns in the Great British Accessory Set!

Two-Colour Cast On Tutorial

Two-Colour Cast On

I used this Two-Colour Cast On to start my Lambton Panes shawl. I chose this cast on to mimic the slipped-stitch garter stripe edging that runs along the top edge of the shawl. After the first two stitches, it is simply a cable cast on, alternating colours. It’s a pretty simple cast on to perform, with pretty results.

What you’ll need: Needles required for the pattern, two colours of yarn.

Instructions:
First, with CC, make a slip knot and place it on the left needle tip.

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Now insert the right needle tip into the slip knot knitwise, wrap with MC (leaving an end to weave in later), pull through and place on the left needle tip.

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To make the third stitch, insert the right needle tip between the first and second stitches, wrap with CC, pull through and place on the left needle tip. Note: Always grab the next strand from behind the previous strand.

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Make the subsequent stitches in this manner, inserting the needle between the first two stitches on the left needle tip, wrapping with alternating strands, and placing on the left needle tip. Do this until the required number of stitches have been cast on.

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And that’s all there is to it! You can use this to cast on as many as you need. It’s also a great one to use for the beginning of a two-colour brioche project, or perhaps some corrugated ribbing.

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It’s a 2-Pattern Kinda’ Day

This is a big day Chez Cowtown Knits. I’ve been working on two collaborations with Third Vault Yarns, and both have just been published. Lola and I chatted about working together on some kits while sitting at Knit Night a couple of months ago. She has dyed up some gorgeous yarn and I designed a couple of patterns that I hope do the yarn justice.

The first pattern is Lambton Panes. This is a top-down shawl featuring garter stitch stripes in a gradient (Cowtown colourway!!!) and a semi-solid, with slipped stitches travelling down to make a lattice pattern. The way the gradient changes through the background makes my heart sing!

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The pattern has both charted and written instructions, and a photo tutorial for the two-colour Cast On. And because I have a technical-editor-extraordinaire (aka Eleanor Dixon), the pattern is easy to follow. All of this is to say that there’s no need to be intimidated.

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The other new pattern is for the Chainlink Mitts. These are a simple, fun little fingerless mitts with a touch of stranded colourwork. These were designed to highlight Third Vault’s Gytha Worsted yarn and look great with the variegated (Drink Me) colourway as the MC or the CC. If you grab two skeins, you can easily get a couple of pairs of mitts out of it – one for you, one for someone on your gift list.

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From now until August 13th, if you purchase both patterns at the same time (both must be in your Ravelry cart at the same time) you’ll get £1.00 off the pair.

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Lambton Panes Kits, And How to Get Them

There’s something new and exciting coming soon! I’ve been working on a collaboration with Lola from Third Vault Yarns to bring you a pattern that’s going to knock your socks off. But first, a bit of backstory.

Lola and I go to the same southwest London knit night, hosted by the lovely Rachel and Allison from Yarn in the City. I’ve been attending this weekly get together as much as possible since moving, as it’s been a great way for me to meet like-minded people in the new city/country/continent. I’ve gotten to know Lola and admire her mad yarn-dyeing skills over this time.

Recently, Lola mentioned that she was going to have a stand at the upcoming Fibre East in Ampthill, Bedfordshire. We started discussing working together to come up with some new patterns and colourways to package into kits to sell at the show. After brainstorming, we came up with the idea of a shawl using two skeins of Third Vault Yarns Companion 4ply, one in a gradient and one in a complimentary neutral shade. I left that knit night with some of that buttery-soft yarn and started swatching, and Lola went to the dye pots and got to dyeing.

What we’ve come up with is the Lambton Panes shawl. It features traveling, slipped stitches over a background of garter stitch stripes, creating a diamond lattice effect.

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The sample is knit with one skein of Blue Steel as the neutral stripes and traveling stitches, and one skein of Cowtown, a custom gradient using my brand colours, for contrast stripes. I’m so excited that Lola created such a cool colourway using the shades of salmon, wheat, and aqua from my brand.

So, where are we going with this? Lola has been dyeing yarns in some gorgeous gradients and semi-solids. She’s made up some of the Cowtown gradient as well as The Poisoned Apple (left) and Hawkeye (right). I’ve seen them in person and I must say, they’re even more gorgeous in real life.

I’ve been working through the editing, testing, and printing process. I’ve already had one tester finish and it’s so pretty!

So here are the important details. The pattern will be released to the general public on Friday, July 29th, for digital download either through Ravelry, LoveKnitting.com, or here on my website. If you’re lucky enough to be attending Fibre East, you can get your hands on a kit (one gradient, one neutral, 8 stitch markers, and a print copy of the pattern) in person on July 30th or 31st, while supplies last. Or, you can visit Third Vault Yarns starting Wednesday, July 13th, and pre-order your kit for delivery after Fibre East.

That’s all the details for now. Stayed tuned here for more news on another collaboration to be unveiled at Fibre East.

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Introducing Jodi’s Sweater

Hello! Today I’d like to introduce you to Jodi’s Sweater, a cosy and fun twist on the oversized top.

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This piece was inspired by my friend Jodi and this top she had with a twist on the front. As soon as I saw that twist ideas started swirling around in my head about how to make it work as a knitting pattern. The front needed to be reversible, and it had to have some visual interest without being busy. I wanted horizontal stripes, but something that was loose and drapey. I tried lots of different textures and stitch patterns – I mean lots. About a year and a half later it struck me that 2-colour brioche might be just the trick. A few swatches later, lo and behold, that was the one!

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Once I had the fabric figured out, I needed to tackle construction. There were a few iterations and extensive trial and error, before I came up with the solution. The front is knit first, sideways, starting with a provisional CO. Then the back is worked from the bottom up, and then seamed with the front. Sleeve stitches are picked up around the armholes, and the rest is easy peasy.

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This sweater is all about the details that make it work. And although there are lots of techniques involved that might be new to you – crochet provisional cast on (to start the front), tubular cast on (to start the back), tubular bind off  (to finish the sleeves), 2-colour brioche, Latvian braid (in a sneaky little place), I-cord bind off (back neckline) – the instructions are clearly written to help you through. The pattern also includes photo tutorials for some of these special techniques.

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I really hope you like Jodi’s Sweater and find it an enjoyable project. It’s been a long time coming to fruition and I’m really proud of it.

Click here here to go to the Ravelry page, or simply hit this handy    button to go directly to check out.