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 Beverly Beach Shirt

Woohoo! The first new pattern in a long time! More exclamation points!!! The process of designing and perfecting a sweater pattern is long. But it’s pretty satisfying in the end.

And here she is, Beverly…

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The Beverly Beach shirt is knit in one piece as a rectangle, starting at the bottom front edge and ending with the bottom back edge. Garter stitch button bands are knit along both sides as you go, with buttonholes along the front and buttons along the back. The buttons join the front to the back, making this a seamless knit.


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Sizes:  XS (S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL), fits bust sizes 28 (32, 36, 40, 44, 48, 52)” [71 (81, 91, 102, 112, 122, 132) cm].
This top is meant to be loose fitting and is designed with a generous amount of ease.  Sample shown is size M modeled on a 34”/86 cm bust.  Please refer to the detailed schematic in the pattern to determine your appropriate size.

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The release of this pattern also marks the debut of my new pattern layout. Check out the front page and tell me what you think!

Front Page

Featured Indie Designer – Elizabeth Green Musselman

This is an extra-special Featured Indie Designer post for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it includes an interview with the lovely Elizabeth Green Musselman of Dark Matter Knits. Secondly, it features a fantastic giveaway, which you can read about at the end of the post.

Without further ado, I’ll let Elizabeth speak for herself since she gave such great answers to my questions…

1) Tell us a little about yourself.
I’ve had a pretty itinerant life. I grew up in an Army family, so we moved about once every two years, which in some ways was tough, but I did get to live in Germany for six years in junior high and high school, and that was an amazing experience. At various times, I’ve wanted to be an architect, aeronautical engineer, and science journalist, but through some funny twists and turns ended up getting a Ph.D. in the history of science, and for 13 years I taught history at Southwestern University, a wonderful liberal arts college near my current home in Austin, Texas. I needed a change, though, and two years ago, I quit that job to pursue a career as a freelance knitting designer, editor, and teacher. I’m now the book designer for Cooperative Press, design knitting patterns with a focus on men and boys under the moniker Dark Matter Knits, do graphic design work for people in the fiber industry, and teach knitting classes. My sweet husband is a philosophy professor at another liberal arts college in town, and our nine-year-old son is one of the funniest, quirkiest people I have ever known. I pretty much adore him with every woolly fiber of my being.
2) How did you start designing?
 That started about five years ago. I had been knitting for a long time (about 25 years at that point), so I’d been fascinated to watch how the internet exploded the world of knitting design. I’d always thought of pattern design as something that only a select few professionals did, but in the mid-1990s, I started seeing younger women and men who’d been knitting for just one or two years getting their designs out there, and I thought, “Why on earth am I not doing this? It looks like so much fun!” Since I have two guys in my life whom I love to knit for, I thought I’d find a niche by focusing on designs for men and school-aged boys.
3) Which is your favorite of your designs?
That’s a tough one to answer, and I’d probably have a completely different answer tomorrow, but today I’ll choose my Modern Tartan sweater. I designed that for a pattern collection published by Hill Country Weavers, one of my LYSes and one of just a handful of stores that carries Jared Flood’s Shelter yarn. The challenge in my case was to create something for men with Shelter. I knew Flood would publish his own designs, and knew the muted, classic aesthetic he would choose, so I decided to go for something completely different: a colorful, vibrant, graphic look. I kept experimenting until I hit upon a combination of vertical and horizontal stripes that I liked. Then I structured the garment to look and fit like one of those zip-neck fleece pullovers.

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My favorite of the designs that I included in the GAL—that is, of my self-published designs—might be my Cattywampus Hat. I love unusual constructions that are simple to knit, and this hat is a perfect example of that. The hat is worked up and down, and simple short rows and decrease/increase combinations are used to shape the crown and creates the biasing effect.
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4) What has been your favorite part of the GAL so far?
I’ve been delighted by how much community has formed around it; I didn’t expect that. Not only have the designers themselves really pitched in to make this work incredibly successfully—Lindsay Lewchuk (aka ecochicknits) deserves particular credit for that—but also people who have purchased the patterns are having a wonderful time participating in all the KAL/CALs and playing the various games that the organizers have come up with. It’s been a huge success.
5) Are you doing any gift knitting this year?

A little—I tend not to plan on any, except gifts for my son’s teachers, but I get as many gifts knit or crocheted as I can. This year it’s looking like I’m not going to get very far! I’m sure none of you know the feeling….

 

I’d like to thank Elizabeth for such a great interview, it was a pleasure.

And now for the giveaway! Elizabeth was gracious enough to offer a copy of her Cattywampus Hat pattern to one of my lucky readers. Just leave a comment below telling us which of her patterns is your favorite before Dec. 21st at 11:59 pm EST.  I’ll do a random number draw and will announce the lucky winner the next day. Good luck!

Black Friday to Cyber Monday Sale!

I know, I’m not American, but one of my kids is (Atticus was born while we were living in sunny California).  In light of that fact, I’m going to do my part to add to the Thanksgiving weekend frenzy know as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. From Friday, Nov. 28 to the end of Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, you can save 25% off of all purchases from my Ravelry store  with the coupon code BF2013. And remember, you can use these purchases to participate in the Indie Design Gift-A-Long!

Final GAL collageAnd for all your Black Friday to Cyber Monday fiber-related needs, here is a list of other yarny promotions, hosted by Marly Bird.

Featured Indie Designer of the Day: Laura Aylor

I just finished up another project for the Indie Design Gift-A-Long! This one is Devonshire Cream by Laura Aylor.

Devonshire Cream on hangerThe cowl is knit as a tube that eventually is grafted together, with the finished project like an inner tube. The result is a cowl that has no “wrong side” and is extra warm and squishy. I used baby llama yarn that is so super soft, it will be a pleasure to wear around the neck. Unfortunately, this cowl is destined for someone else so I will not be experiencing the luxury.

Laura’s other patterns are also beautiful. Like my last featured designer, Laura’s designs are very elegant and have a very clean look. I’ve seen a number of her patterns come up in the Scarves and Cowls thread I’m moderating in the GAL, including the beautiful Oak Park and the extremely popular Tuck.

All of Laura’s paid-for patterns from her Ravelry Store are eligible for the Gift-A-Long. Although the discount period has already ended there’s still lots of time to participate in the GAL and win some great prizes. Patterns that have previously been purchased are eligible as are those that are purchased full-priced!