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.

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.