Dublin

Welcome to Dublin – the penultimate pattern in Travel Knits for the Family, and a city in Ireland.

TKFTF 28 web

The pattern is for a versatile cardigan to throw in your bag to keep you warm when those travel days get cold. It features a leaf lace pattern than flows from the shoulders down the sleeves and is integrated into the ribbing at the cuffs. The same ribbing and leaf lace pattern is repeated at the bottom of the body as well.

TKFTF 30 web

It’s designed with generous ease and no shaping to make it easy to layer on over anything. That being said, the body is a blank canvas to add shaping if you’d like to modify it.

TKFTF 31 web

The pattern is worked from the top down, seamlessly, beginning with the lace shoulders. After the shoulders are worked, the back is worked to the underarm, followed by each front. Then the body is joined and worked to the bottom. The lace pattern is continued down the sleeves as they are worked from the top down, with short-row sleeve caps. The collar is worked, followed finally by the button bands. The lace pattern is provided as both charted and written instructions.

TKFTF 33 web

For this pattern I was so lucky to get my hands on Travelknitter’s new DK weight Blue Faced Leicester yarn. This yarn was a dream to work with, and of course the colour is outstanding, as are all the Travelknitter colourways (really, every single one). You can check them out at the Travelknitter online shop when it’s open and stocked. But if you’re lucky enough to be heading to Woollinn Dublin this weekend, you can grab the yarn and the book at the Travelknitter booth. Larissa will have a limited number of Travel Knits for the Family books for purchase at her booth, and I believe you’ll also be able to check out a second sample of the Dublin cardigan there as well.

I wish I was going to be in Dublin for the festival this weekend as well (though that would mean missing the launch party at The Loop here in Calgary, so maybe not). We visited Dublin for a quick weekend trip at the end of the summer of 2016. We strolled around St. Stephen’s Green, learning about the Easter Uprising. We visited the National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology, as well as The Old Library and the Book of Kells at Trinity College. We took the best bus tour I’d ever been on – the driver provided the commentary, which was equal parts hilarious and educational, all while winding us through the narrow streets of Dublin. We finished off the weekend with a pub lunch along the river Liffey while listening to Irish folk tunes while it drizzled outside, which was perfection. Our main regret for that trip was that we didn’t get to see any of the rest of Ireland – so we’ll have to go back!

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(PS. I included the photo where Atticus is hanging his head to show that traveling with kids isn’t always a party. They were both really cranky that day, which happens. It can make it really hard to enjoy, but it’s rarely what we remember from a trip.)

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

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.

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.

Introducing the Mount Rundle Mittens

Hello! Long time, no see! And boy, has life been happening since I last posted. Most of the radio silence of late was a result of a move to a new continent. My husband’s office in Calgary was closed down, and he was lucky to get an offer to transfer to the office in London. Three months later, here we are.

In order to focus on the logistics of moving a whole family across an ocean, I put designing aside until we got here. I gotta tell ya, that was not easy! Ideas were festering in my brain and I so itched to get at my yarn and spreadsheets. But there was so much else going on, I knew it had to wait.

Luckily, I had a pattern that had been completed back in June that was waiting for the right season for publishing. As the days have started getting shorter and colder here, I’m feeling confident that now is the time. So, I present the Mount Rundle Mittens.

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These mittens were originally designed for an event at The Loop, my local yarn store in Calgary. They had a Craft Cruise coming through and wanted some patterns and yarns from local artists and I was fortunate that they asked me. These mittens are my homage to the tall mountains and sunny skies of Alberta.

Hero Square

The original sample was knit in my own hand-dyed yarn. I loved how it looked in the navy blue and silver. But, when moving, I decided that the yarn-dyeing operation was best left on hold. Then I was left not wanting to have a pattern only suggesting a yarn that wasn’t commercially available. So, I picked up some incredible Mrs. Crosby Trunk Case from The Salty Sheep while on vacation in Swansboro, NC. The new sample is knit up in Hollywood Cerise and African Grey – both stunning colours with such depth and subtle variation.

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The pattern is now available for purchase on Ravelry and Love Knitting. I hope you like it, happy knitting!

Naming Contest!

I am excited to let you all know that I’m going to be releasing a new pattern soon! It will be the first in a three-pattern collection centered around a cable motif. The first pattern will be for a throw that’s worked up in gorgeous super-bulky Cascade Magnum. The other two will be pillow covers made with Cascade 220 Superwash. I’m so thrilled with how the first sample came out and am excited to be working on the others.

Here’s my problem: I have absolutely no idea what to name the patterns or the collection. I sat in front of the computer last night for an hour and still came up with nothing but ridiculousness. Seriously, I had convinced myself to name the collection Charles Cable III – with the throw being called Chuck and the pillows Chaz and Charlie. I really need some help.

Here’s my solution: I’m going get someone else to do the naming.

Here’s what you need to do: If you’re a Ravelry member, head on over to the contest thread, read the details, respond to the post with your awesome suggestions. If you’re not a Ravelry member and would like to participate, you can do so by responding to this post.

Here’s what I’m looking for: 4 names – one for the whole collection, one for the throw, one each for the pillow covers.

Here’s what you’ll get: I’ll be picking 2 winners – 1 for the best set of names, 1 randomly chosen from all the entries. Both winners will receive the entire collection when it is released.

And now for some details to get your creative juices flowing:

The colourway for the throw is called Birch, and the colourway for the pillows is called Pacific.

Here’s a picture of the throw:

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So hit me with your best suggestions! Can’t wait to see what you all come up with!