Oslo

The next pattern in Travel Knits for the Family is named after the beautiful city of Oslo, Norway.

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The pattern is for some very versatile mittens. They feature the same cable and rib pattern as the Bergen hat, but in mitten form. And for those who are more adventurous and need some extra warmth, the pattern has optional thrums worked into the centre of the cables. If this is your first time working thrums, there is a handy photo tutorial at the back of the book to walk you through it.

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The magic of the pattern is that it comes with lots of variations. Make them fingerless, full mittens, or flip-top. And you also have the choice to make them with thrums or not. For my family we ended up with two pairs of thrummed mittens – one flip-top and one full mitten – and two pairs without thrums – one fingerless and one full mitten.

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We visited Oslo in the Fall of 2017. We spent a day and a half in the city, exploring the abundant museums, the opera house, and the harbour area. The highlight of the trip though was the train ride from Oslo to Bergen. It’s actually billed as one of the top train journeys in the world, with good reason. It leaves from Oslo and winds its way through forests, lakes, and fields up to snow-capped mountains and rushing streams, and then back down through beautiful fjords on the way to Bergen. I tried to take lots of photos through the train windows, but in the end I decided to just enjoy the view.

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For more information about Travel Knits for the Family, get all the details here.

Bergen

Bergen is a beautiful city in Norway, and it’s also the first pattern in Travel Knits for the Family.

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The pattern is for a toque/beanie/knit hat/cap/toboggan (choose the name applicable for your region of the world), designed to fit from babies to adults. It features a simple cable pattern that creates a beautiful lattice effect, as well as a ribbed brim that can be knit to your desired length for folding over or not.

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The hat can be worked in just about any worsted or aran weight yarn, but I have to tell you how much I enjoyed working with the Gytha Worsted from Third Vault Yarns. The colours are gorgeous and it is so soft and squishy to work with. I chose semi-solid colours to work with here – Inara, and Blue Steel – but I think the hat would also look nice in a variegated colourway.

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We visited Bergen in the Fall of 2017, and what a lovely city it was! The weather was dreary, wet, and cool, but that just added to the atmosphere of the fjords. We enjoyed visiting all the little shops in the old wooden buildings of Bryggen, and walking along the harbour and sampling different sea foods at the fish market.

 

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And of course, there are loads of yarn shops in Bergen. Norway has the most fantastic  knitting culture, which seems to be embraced by the entire population. The majority of the tourist shops had racks and racks of hand knit sweaters, mitts, and hats, as well as other woolly goods. I wanted to buy everything, but settled for 3 gorgeous skeins of Rauma Prydvevgarn and a gorgeous wool blanket.

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For more information about Travel Knits for the Family, get all the details here.

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!

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.

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.