Author Archives: Nadia Seaver

A Nua Kind Of Inspiration

I know so many of you are excited about Nua and have ordered it in garment quantities, so I’m here today to share my thoughts or in other words be that knitty enabler on your shoulder and recommend some patterns. I hope this inspires you to not just pet with your new yarn but to cast on and play too!

Ravi in Nua colourway Rolling Bales

Shawls

It’s funny how shawl patterns can stay in your mind, it’s almost like they are waiting for just the right type of yarn to run through your fingers. When I touched Nua for the first time, my mind went straight to these two shawls. Maenad , with is long shallow construction is easy to wear and interesting but relaxing to knit. I was thinking of combining Bare Necessities and Capall together as a bi-colour option to make that lace border really pop.

Penrose Tile

Now I know some of you have itchy lace knitting fingers and if you wanted a little more lace in your shawl construction then Penrose Tile is perfect. You can choose to knit this in one or two colours but I’m dreaming of a dramatic red Angry Monkey shawl. With short rows and lace worked in a modular construction, this shawl takes you on a beautiful construction journey from start to finish.

Garments

I have to admit when Carol let me play (cough) I mean knit with Nua, my mind instantly went to Akoya and I wanted to knit it in Bare Necessities. The beautifully fitted construction with cable and lace panels along with the sleeve detail! Oh my, I was hooked. So much so, I’m currently working on a tension square. 

Akoya

Now I realise that some of you might like the lace but want a little more length in their cardigan so I suggest having a look at Santa Rosa Plum. My vision of the Santa Rosa cardigan in Nua is a blue gradient where you start with the beautiful soft tones of Kitten Fluff before working in Unexpected Macaw and ending in the deep tones of August Storms. You can tell I thought about this for a while, can’t you? Just have a look at those colours together below:

Nua yarn in colourways Kitten Fluff, Unexpected Mccaw and August Storms.

I know there are some of you who prefer working in the round to really enjoy a new yarn and to you, I say, pop on over and have a look at Dusty Road. I think this would be a fantastic Spring sweater in the rolling bales colourway. The deep warm yellow would show off the delicate lace sleeves perfectly.

And don’t forget the little ones

Finally, to those generous souls among us, who prefer to try out a new yarn on sweaters for the little humans, I suggest Ravi Junior.  in the mosquito coast colourway. The simplicity of the Ravi cardigan is perfect to show off the blend of fibres in Nua and is also perfect as a gift knit. Baby knits are a good way to try out new construction methods without the pressure of finishing an adult sized sweater.

Ravi Junior

Carol also has some Nua up for grabs in a lovely competition and a discount code for Nua Collection Volume 1 in her latest blog post here and to top it off there is a nice project bag up for grabs too! You can also pick up all of the above mentioned Nua colourways over here. Have I inspired you? Why not tell me what garment you’re dreaming of in the lovely Nua yarn?

EYF Through the Eyes of an Exhibitor


As some of you may know, last weekend I was at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival in the Corn Exchange. I thought that it might be a interesting if you got to see the festival through the eyes of an exhibitor.
When I’m working at events I always forget to take many photos so several of the photos in this post of courtesy of my friend who always remembers the photos; Evin – thank you!

Pre EYF

Before I started I hadn’t fully anticipated the amount of preparation that would be needed to do a show in a different country. To start with there is just the logistical problem of getting all of the stock to Edinburgh. It ended up getting there through a variety of methods; some was shipped directly to the venue, Rachel Coopey (Coop Knits) really saved me and let me ship more yarn and several boxes of books to her! Finally all of the items I needed for the display came in my luggage and was hauled around planes and buses by me and my friend Sue. There were all sorts of items I only thought of at the last minute that made a huge difference; money aprons were probably the top of that list! Small things that are also tricky abroad – how do you get enough change to run a cash shop? When I get sterling cash from and Irish bank I only get notes, which isn’t very useful when you need coins!

I spent a bit of time thinking about how to display nicely but still pack it into a suitcase. A stack of Ikea foldable boxes did the job well stacked into a little pile on the table. I almost forgot a few white sheets to cover the table but they were thrown in at the last minute. My youngest trimmed an old broom handle down to use to hang the yarn. It turned out really well (and he even carved ‘NUA YARN’ into one end of it!).

I got a new credit card reader so I could take card payments in person as well as extra roaming credit from my Irish phone network.
Several weeks before the show all the orders for special show items were ordered; print copies of the Nua Collection Volume 1, print copies of patterns for kits, printing up of cloth project bags and a special order of project bags from Sara.
It was a whole lot of work but it meant I had everything I wanted to display on the day.
In fact the only item we had to go and buy on the day was some dressmaker pins as the double sided tape wasn’t working well!

Arrival

My friend Sue was with me at the show helping me out. To be honest it would have been completely impossible (as well as miserable) to do it alone. The fact that she’s a show pro was a huge bonus (her husband’s company Mountain Man do many beer festivals!), she’s probably more comfortable working in crowds than I am!
I wanted 2 things for the display; visible from a distance and light enough to pack. EYF is a very crowded festival and I wanted enough signs to hang at the top of the stand so we could be found as far away as possible. The lightweight pvc banner with the open yarn hanging from the bottom did a great job of this!

Finished set up at @edinyarnfest. Come visit us tomorrow!

A post shared by Carol Feller (@feller.carol) on


On the other side of the stand I featured my books and the samples from my newest book, Knitting With Rainbows. Having a huge gradient shawl on display did however mean that I got many, many questions about a kit….I think Half Moon Street might be completely awesome in a Nua kit….what do you think??

The Show


The show was so overwhelmingly wonderful. So many customers, friends, fellow designers and vendors that I wanted to talk to. Friday felt just too short; I had knitters come show me their beautiful versions of my patterns, thank me for my Craftsy Short Row class and fondle the new yarn. Friday was packed solid with people from 9 until 5.30. For several hours Sue and me couldn’t actually even get under the table to get extra yarn out! Mica is a complete and utter superstar, helping me to sort wifi issues and get my credit card payments working. Saturday was a little quieter but I was still reeling from Friday! As Nua is so new it was invaluable to hear everyone’s feedback and watch peoples reaction as they grabbed the yarn. The general response was ‘oh it’s SO soft’ :-) This made me so very happy to hear!
Knowing how to display the combination of yarn and books was tricky for a first show. As the yarn is just starting out there was a smaller number of samples on the stand so this meant that it caused a bit of confusion with one side of the stand having gradient samples from the book. I think on my next show once there are more Nua samples it will be easier to show the Nua with patterns and have my other books in a display on it’s own.

Friday night as we were sorting out the stand for the morning we got tossed out but fortunately we had ceilidh so we could walk around the corner and get some food and drink. Being able to unwind after a day on your feet is really lovely. It did mean that I didn’t really have any dancing energy left, but Nadia did manage to drag me out for one dance!

I got to spend a bit of time with Woolly Wormhead, Jen (it was the first time we met IRL!), Lisa and Jen from This Is Knit and across the table was Justyna Lorkowska and her husband Martin.

So many wonderful people there that night, I wanted so much more time (and energy). I didn’t even make it to 11, we needed to get ourselves to be so that we were able to stand for the next day.
What did you get up to on Friday night? Any Edinburgh adventures?


Packing up

After the show is over, it feels like a mad race to get packed up as fast as possible. Fortunately there were lots of us there so it went extremely quickly. All of the display and some loose yarn got packed in my suitcase and the remaining yarn was boxed up to go back with Rachel (and I should have it back here to go up in the shop early next week!). I would have loved to somehow jam it all into suitcases but there wasn’t any way I could have hauled them back to the airport with me!
The beer and burger that night were just perfect. A final night of relaxation after weeks of preparation and 3 frantic days of work.

Reflection

It was so worth doing this show; I’d do it again in a heartbeat :-) Thank you so much Jo and Mica for your kindness, organisation and utter professionalism.
Watching knitters pick up, feel and love on Nua was just fantastic. One of the most special things that happened was knitters returning to the stand. Most did a quick swing around the whole show, marking stands they wanted to come back to. On Saturday morning we had several knitters return before the rush to get sweater quantities of Nua. Know that your yarn was the standout for them is just fantastic!

I’ve got small amount of Nua in the shop right now (the rest will go up early next week when the box arrives) and I’ve added the Japanese Knot project bags that came home with me. Next week I’ll also add kits for Boherboy and Finglas.

Three Beautiful Spring Knits to Inspire You

Talamh

Around now I start dreaming of Spring knits that I can reach for on cold mornings. I still need that touch of wool to get me out the door and ready for the day ahead. So, for today’s blog post I thought we could take a look at three of my favourites:

 

Talamh

Talamh is a timeless, textured cardigan from the Four Elements collection. The open lacework in the yoke creates an interesting fabric to look at and to knit. Talamh is knit from the top down in a light-weight yarn with some slight shaping for a flattering finish. This means that it is a perfect cardigan to fend off the cooler days and looks just as stunning with jeans or a dress.

 

Dark Pearl

When I knit for Spring or Summer, I like to have lace or openwork in the pattern and Dark Pearl ticks all of my boxes. The stocking stitch back and sleeves provide the comfort of relaxed knitting that will keep me warm while the elegant scalloped front adds a dramatic flair that is intriguing to knit.  The cowl neckline allows this cardigan to look elegant while closed but also falls beautifully in a waterfall while open. Knit in a fingering weight yarn I know this cardigan is light yet warm and perfect for transition seasons.

 

Adrift

As the warmer days of Summer start to roll in, I like to move to lace weights and Adrift is a beautiful cardigan that can be worn two ways. The long front panels allow this cardigan to fall elegantly to the side or to pin closed like a shawl when extra warmth is needed. This is also a pattern that allows the yarn to really shine as the stocking stitch would look beautiful in variegated/ semi-solid yarns as well as solids. The shape is perfect for pairing equally with dresses or vest tops in late Spring /Summer.  The pattern also comes with both short sleeve and ¾ length sleeve options, so you can tailor this to suit your Summer season.

I hope I’ve inspired you to think about those Spring garments that help you get the most out of your knitted wardrobe. What are your favourites? Or have you knitted one of these cardigans?  Let me know in the comments.

Introducing The Elegant Wickford Wrap

Interweave Knits, Spring 2017 issue has burst onto the scene with a beautiful collection of Spring themed knits. Nestled within these pages is the elegant Wickford Wrap.

The Wickford Wrap hand knitting pattern by Carol Feller

The Wickford Wrap

The Wickford Wrap is the perfect accessory for having in your handbag, ready to pop on when those cooler Spring breezes appear. Its unique shape allows you to wrap it around your neck or to drape over your shoulders and tie at the front.

.20160323_141936-1

Construction

The unique shape of the wrap is what makes this so intriguing to knit. You start at the bottom tip of the triangle and the cables cross and flow along each side as you are increasing at the edges. When the triangle is completed the wrap is divided into 3 sections, the right and left wings and the centre stitches.  The centre stitches are bound off and the beautiful interlocking cable motifs are worked in turn along the right and left wings. To complete the wrap a moss stitch border is added to frame the wrap and allow the cables to shine.

The Interweave Knits sample is worked in the fabulous Jo Sharp Silken Road Aran Tweed which is 85% Wool, 10% Silk, 5% Goat – Cashmere goat with a beautiful tweedy look. Which means that this wrap is beautifully soft to wear and won’t take you too long to knit on 5mm needles.

If you’re a little apprehensive about taking on these cables, Carol has some fabulous tutorial videos here along with other tutorials you might need to complete the wrap like cast on methods, bind offs, increasing and joining in those extra balls of yarn.

If you want to get started right now, you can pick up a digital copy of Interweave Knits here and you can peruse all of the Spring knits in this collection here. You can, of course, find more information on the Wickford Wrap here on Ravelry.

What are your favourite Spring Knits? Wraps, shawls, sweaters or long cardigans? Let us know in the comments. 

IYC 2017 Pattern Release – The Beautiful Chevet

This week saw the release of the first pattern in the Irish Yarn Club 2017. We have come to love the mystery and anticipation of opening our Ravelry account and finding out what treat is in store, just as much as ripping open the mystery yarn packet in the post.

Chevet pattern by Carol Feller in Townhouse Yarns Donegal Soft

Chevet in Townhouse Donegal Soft

Chevet

The first release is Chevet, a gorgeous beanie in Townhouse yarns, Donegal Soft. The rustic yet soft nature of the yarn is paired beautifully with fluid cables to create a unique beanie. The cables cross slowly at first to form the striking motif pattern before working the crown decreases where the cables flow over each other to form 4 pairs of intertwined cables meeting at the top of the hat. This leaves you with a fabulous textured hat that is extra cosy for those blustery days.

chevet pattern by carol feller in Townhouse Yarns Donegal Soft.

Beautiful flowing cables form the crown of the Chevet beanie.

Donegal Soft

The delicate and exclusive colourway  Quixotic has been designed by Jenny of Townhouse Yarns. We all know Jenny has an amazing eye for colour, so I managed to find a few minutes in her busy schedule to ask her why she chose these specific colours for the yarn:

I have never worked with a non-superwash yarn before, so I was excited and intrigued by how it would dye up.
I tested out 3 different skeins with varying shades and amounts of dye. In the end I was drawn to the subtler tones of ‘Quixotic’ but it’s still modern look on a traditional Aran yarn.

I have to agree with Jenny that I love the modern feel this beanie has and it makes me very excited about the next release from the Irish Yarn Club!

Come join us:

All patterns from the Irish Yarn Club 2017 are exclusive to the club until July 2017. However, if you would like to join in the fun and games, you can purchase the pattern only membership to the club here. Don’t forget you can see how the other members of the club are doing over in the IYC group on Ravelry here:

Have you joined the IYC 2017? Let us know what you think of Chevet and that beautiful Donegal Soft yarn in the comments below.

Dovestone Hills – The Interview

In case you missed it, January is Dovestone Hills month here in the land of Stolen Stitches. I’m very excited to get to share a wonderful interview with the founder of baa ram ewe LYS, Dovestone & Titus yarns; the lovely Verity Britton.  Carol asked her a few choice questions so that you could meet the person behind the yarn:

 

How did baa ram ewe get started? 

We opened baa ram ewe in North Leeds, Yorkshire, back in 2009 with the main aim of being a yarn store that people felt was part of their community and celebrated Yorkshire’s rich wool heritage, whether that was through local sheep breeds, spinners or the many hand knitting companies that are still based here like Sirdar, King Cole and Thomas Ramsden. It was mind-boggling to discover Leeds did not have a yarn shop that wasn’t selling mostly acrylics, or that had modern, wearable designs. So I left my career in radio production and opened baa ram ewe! I had no business experience and it was a bit of a gamble, but from day one we’ve had such incredible support and wonderful customers, many of whom have stayed with us over the years.

What prompted you to begin your own yarn line?

It was a natural progression really. We have always had a passion for beautiful Yorkshire sheep breeds like the Masham and the Wensleydale, and we always dreamt of being able to showcase these to their full potential in our own yarn. But it was a struggle at the start finding a mill that would spin a small enough amount for us, as we only imagined we would sell a little from our shop. The response we had to our Titus when we launched it was incredible, largely down to Clara Parkes’ Knitter’s Review, which meant we sold out within days! I always remember us being amazed at getting calls from Times Square in New York with people asking to buy our yarn! It was then that we took the decision to scale up production so that we could meet demand globally. The idea that our passion for showcasing luxurious Yorkshire wool along with the superb quality of local spinners and dyers now resonates across the world still gives me a massive thrill.

Titus Mini Skeins

Titus Mini Skeins

How many different yarns are you now producing?

We have two different ‘brands’ of yarn: Our original Titus which is a 4 ply/fingering weight and a blend of Wensleydale, Bluefaced Leicester and British Alpaca. Then there’s our Dovestone range which is a blend of Masham, Wensleydale and Bluefaced Leicester. We have a DK in a lovely shade range which matches the Titus, and our new 5 shades of Dovestone Natural Aran, which celebrates the stunning- and rare- black and brown fleeces of these breeds and makes use of them when traditionally farmers would find them harder to sell.

Your yarn lines are very inspired by Yorkshire, what inspires you about where you live?

The unique combination of landscape and industry is what historically made Yorkshire the centre of the universe when it came to wool production, and what continues to be our inspiration today. On the doorstep of our shop in the city of Leeds are buildings that were once the largest spinning mills in the world, with huge banks of windows and chimneys which still define the skyline. But drive half an hour or so up the road from us and you are in the Yorkshire Dales, a beautiful landscape still peppered with sheep and lush green fields, which provide the fleeces we use for our yarn. All of this inspires us for our signature shade palette, whether it’s the teal green of Eccup, named after the Reservoir up the road from us here or the treacle and ginger mixture of Parkin, a delicious Yorkshire cake which I recommend everyone tries at the earliest opportunity!

The New Yarn Shades

The new yarn shades in Dovestone DK and Titus

Any more in the pipeline that you can share?

Ooo well, we are just about to launch our new products for Spring Summer 2017, so this is good timing! We have three gorgeous new shades of Dovestone DK and Titus: a mustard called Brass Band, a gentle pale lavender called Heathcliff and a perfect Raspberry rose called Rose Window, named after the circular window at York Minster. We’ve used these shades in a brand new design collection from Alison Moreton called the Titus Vintage Collection! The collection is a reworking of vintage Sirdar patterns which we found when given exclusive access to their archive. It’s such a lovely book.

We are also VERY excited about a brand new product we are launching, called Titus pick n mix: a tube of six 12 gramme Titus mini balls in 4 different shade combinations, all inspired by traditional sweets including Liquorice Allsorts, Kali (a Yorkshire word for Sherbert!), Wine Gums and Gobstoppers. Each tube comes with a free fingerless mitt pattern to make too, and they’re a brilliant way of introducing people to our yarns, using just a small amount of each shade, rather than having to buy full 100g hanks.

 

Where can knitters find your yarn?

We always offer a warm welcome to visitors who can make it to our store in Leeds, but we also have an online shop on our website, and now have over 250 retailers around the world, making one big happy baa ram ewe community! We have a store locator page on our site too where you can put in your post or zip code and find your nearest retailer. We sell all over North America, Europe and as far as Japan and Israel, so hopefully, you’ll be able to find somewhere close to you!

Thank you, Verity, for finding the time to answer these questions.


Until the 14th of February if you use code HAPPYDOVES you’ll get 15% off any of the Dovestone individual patterns or off the digital book. As an extra special bonus from baa ram ewe you’ll also get a discount code for 10% off their Dovestone DK yarn for the same time period. That code will be available when you purchase the patterns or digital book.

Carol is also blogging about each of the techniques used in the seamless construction of the garments in the collection. In case you missed it the first up was Caelius and Carol talks in-depth about it here.

So which is your favourite? Let us know in the comments and to be one of the first to know about releases, KAL’s and discounts why not sign up to the newsletter. 

Nadia

A Little bit of Luwan: A Round up Post on the Luwan KAL.

Luwan knitting pattern by Carol Feller Stolnstitches

Luwan Blue Moon Fiber Arts Single Silky Targhee.

As the fun and laughter of another garment knit along have come to a close, I thought we could have a look back on the highlights and what got us from our needles and yarn to wearing those finished sweaters.

Fun Facts

First up let’s have a look at some fun facts. You loved this KAL so much that you had a staggering 1,349 forum posts alone on Ravelry. That does not include any posts on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. That also doesn’t include forum posts outside the KAL itself. So it seems you like to talk, which is fantastic because around here we encourage it, mostly with tea and baked goods.

Wondering how many times certain words were mentioned? I got you covered. Wine was mentioned in 102 posts but mostly as a reward while help was only mentioned 67 times.

But you are a bunch of knitters with heart as topping the boards was Love at 1036 and Thanks or Thank you at 217!

Knitters Unite

Interestingly the toughest part of knitting Luwan was in clue one. Starting the dot pattern and keeping it in pattern while working the increases appeared to be tricky. But working together as a team and some helpful diagrams from Carol and you were on your way. Now I’m not one to point out things but maybe there was a connection with the number of times a certain alcoholic beverage was mentioned. See paragraph above.

HazelS you were worried about posting too much in the threads. Let me put your fears aside, you have a grand total of 156 posts and there can never be too much posting in the threads.

Finished Luwan Sweaters

There are some fancy FO’s floating around and this post wouldn’t be worth its weight in salt without an FO show:

Dyeshavei's Luwan in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Single Silky Targhee (Thraven)

Dyeshavei’s Luwan in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Single Silky Targhee (Thraven)

Vivcrest's handknit Luwan

Vivcrest’s Luwan in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Single Silky Targhee (Cranberry Bogged)

 kikukat's Luwan in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Single Silky Targhee (blue moonstone)

Kikukat’s Luwan in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Single Silky Targhee (blue moonstone)

Davenlori98's Luwan in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Single Silky Targhee (Winter Solstice)

Davenlori98’s Luwan in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Single Silky Targhee (Winter Solstice)

Aren’t they just fabulous! A huge thank you to all of you who took part and kept the forums a fun and friendly place filled with banter. I’ve already been asked about the next KAL and don’t worry Carol always has something up her sleeve!

If you want to be one of the first to find out about the next KAL taking place in the group then just add your email address to the newsletter. Along with being a VIK (Very Important Knitter), you also get exclusive discount codes on pattern releases, prizes and extra treats.

What do you think of the finished Luwans?  Stay in touch by using the #stolenstitches on your posts on all social media and drop a comment below because we would love to hear from you!

The Great Gingerbread Hunt

 

way

Today’s blog post comes with a lovely note from Carol :

‘So I wanted to spread a little Christmas cheer this year so I decided to do a little scavenger hunt for clues! For 4 days (December 19th to 22nd) I will scatter 3 pattern photos with codes in the photo on my ravelry patterns. Every day I’ll put them up around 5 hours before the codes goes live and I’ll take them down that evening. New codes will be put up in different locations on each of the 4 days. This is just a little pre-Christmas gift for you all!’

Are you all excited! To make it fair the release times for the codes will be spread throughout the day so that no one timezone has an advantage.

So what are the prizes?

First Prize (one only): €24 coupon

Second Prize (one only): €12 coupon

Third Prize (60 available): €6 coupon

Every prize is a single use coupon only, so you can’t go back and use one again if you have already won a prize. Also, it has to be used in a single purchase so if you have unused credit in the coupon you can’t go back and use it a second time.

Want some ‘hints’ come check out the ravelry thread!

Timing:

Monday 19th: Live 5pm Irish time
Tuesday 20th: Live 10 pm Irish time
Wednesday 21st: Live 5pm Irish time
Thursday 22nd: Live 10 pm Irish time
For anyone outside the Irish time zone find your local equivalent here.

find-me-1

How does it work:

  1. Find the code hidden in the pattern pages.
  2. Fill your Ravelry shopping cart.
  3. Fill in your coupon code in the ‘use coupon code’ of your Ravelry shopping cart.
  4. Enjoy your pattern!

 

Note: The coupon won’t be valid until the ‘live’ time for that day. Do be warned the first 2 prize codes will probably be used very quickly!!

Are you ready for some fun? If you don’t have a Ravelry account don’t worry it’s free and you can sign up here. Don’t forget to show Carol what you chose with your coupon and you can share the excitement on all social media with the #gingerbreadhunt. 

 

Save

Save

Gift Knits for Men

It’s that time of year where we accomplish major knitting feats as Christmas creeps ever closer. I don’t know about you but knitting for male relatives is always a problem for me, mostly when it comes to inspiration. So to help you all out, here are some of Carol’s beautiful knitting patterns for men that would make excellent gift knits.

Hats

Mason's Hat pattern by Carol Feller in Studio Donegal Soft tweed.

Mason’s Hat from Interweave Knits

Mason’s Hat  is one of Carol’s latest patterns and you can find it in the holiday issue of Interweave Knits. I think it’s hard to find hat patterns for men and this is available in a wide number of sizes up to a 24″ brim. The pattern is also reversible and stretchy which is fantastic in a gift knit. You can pair this up with the scarf for a matching set if you have the time. If you managed to get these off the needles in a jiffy and your looking for other hat patterns, you can also check out Clypea, Stave hat, Tempano and the Coriander hat.

Socks

Claro Sock knitting pattern by Carol Feller in Susquehanna Knitting Company Susquehanna Sock

Claro Socks

Socks are another great gift and these Claro socks are worked from the cuff down and I think they allow the yarn to really shine. You could chose a plain yarn like the ones above or really go to town with a beautiful self striping yarn like the Zaurroball  pair below. I also like patterns that allow you to learn something new along the way and the short row heel and toe construction here really piqued my interest! If your looking for a cabled sock pattern Casadh has beautiful cables that organically twist in and out of each other to hug your feet!

 

Calro in Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball®

Calro in Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball®

Sweaters

Knockmore sweater in Black Water Abbey 2 Ply Worsted

Knockmore sweater in Black Water Abbey 2 Ply Worsted

I know there are some of you out there who could definitely knit a sweater between now and December 25th and then there are knitters like myself that end up gifting wips on the needles and happily continue to knit away during the xmas break. Knockmore is a beautiful bottom up sweater with saddle shoulders where the sleeves are worked separately and joined to the body at the yoke.  The jumper pictured above is loved so much that it is worn almost every cold winter’s day. If you are looking for something with a little more cables then Straboy could be for you while Terry’s pullover lies nicely between the two.

For the little ones

Lianthite knitting pattern by Carol Feller in Berroco Vintage™ Chunky

Lianthite Jr in Berroco Vintage™ Chunky

I won’t forget the younger men this season and  Liathite Jnr is a favourite around here. This zippered hoodie is worked with chunky yarn and just flies off the needles. The sizing runs from 12 months to 10 years old and is kept interesting with those beautiful cable panels on the front.  If your looking for something for the newest little ones among us, then the Iceling set is a perfect quick knit in aran weight yarn.

Carol has put together this Men’s Collection bundle and is generously offering  25% off both the patterns in the bundle and any of her print books found here. Just use the code MENSKNITS and make sure you grab it before the 10th of December.

What’s your favourite men’s gift? Do you have a favourite pattern from Carol that isn’t mentioned above? Let us know in the comments.

 

Save

If I had one Question…………

Last week I opened a thread on Ravelry and asked on social media if you had any questions that you would like to ask Carol. Today’s blog post has the answers that you seek; from design questions to how she likes to unwind to her favourite pattern. Read on and enjoy:

If Carol had to go to a desert island and take only one pattern of hers to make which one would it be!?

I’m very bad at redoing things, in fact I almost never re-knit patterns that I’ve done. If I had to pick a favourite pattern, it would probably be Ravi BUT if I was actually on a desert island I’d think just keep knitting new stuff and designing even if it was just for me!

Ravi

Ravi in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock

How has your travels/being an expat in the past influenced your knitting?

I’ve spent most of my life in Ireland and only lived for a few years in Florida. However I think having an American husband in Ireland gives me a slightly outsider view.

Growing up in Ireland I never really appreciated all things Irish. In fact at 16-18 all I wanted to do was leave! Originally I wanted to go to Australia. I met my husband at 19 and we got married and went to Florida a few years later. There’s nothing like living outside your country to help you appreciate its uniqueness. It began to dawn on me how special it actually is to be Irish with such a strong culture and traditions. When our first-born was 16 months we moved back to Ireland and it felt really good to be back here. I don’t think I’d have ever appreciated it I hadn’t left for a few years.

In terms of influencing my knitting – I don’t really know? I think it probably makes me more open to multiple influences, drawing inspiration from everywhere. Also the global internet community does that also as much as travel.

How did Carol make the transition from designer on the side to full-time notable designer extraordinaire?

Accidentally! I’m not good at standing still; I don’t like managing businesses just growing them. This means that my head is already planning the next project before I’m even finished the one I’m working on.

When I started I was so obsessed with just designing that I didn’t really worry about how I was viewed. I can only impact what I produce; creating the best knitting and patterns I’m capable of at that time. Whether people like my work and patterns or hate them is something I have no control over. I focus on what I can control; the patterns and giving the best customer support I’m able to. I want to open possibilities up for people. We spend so much time knocking ourselves down that I want to focus on building and believing and having fun! Designer and knitters can often be their own worst critics, often shutting themselves down before they even start – just stop! Focus on what you do well and figure out what you need to do to improve. There’s enough people in the world who’ll knock you so don’t do it to yourself as well!

Which yarn is your favourite to work with and why?  

I don’t have a favourite yarn but I do like most natural fibres.

I like wool and merino, with a preference for non-superwash. In summer I love linen for it’s drape quality. My favourite yarn weight would be sports weight as it’s light enough for shawls and accessories but still knits up quickly enough for a good weight garment.

Killybegs

Killybegs in Studio Donegal Aran Tweed

What pattern are you most proud of?

When I can solve a design problem, a pattern makes me happy. The first time I had to work over and over on a yoke and eventually got it just right was Killybegs. So this will probably sit in my memory as a special one. The way the decreases work into the cabled yoke for this still makes me happy :-)

What is your favourite part of your job?

Variety! I’d never be happy doing a job where it was the same thing every day. I love that I can jump from spreadsheet work, to blog post writing to sketching and knitting. And as an added bonus I get to travel and teach! I find teaching very hard work and exhausting but the feedback and understanding I get from classes that can be built into my patterns is fantastic.

How did you decide to become a knitwear designer?

I never really decided, it happened by accident. After the birth of my fourth son I had sold a business and was going to be a full-time mother. I get bored (even with the insanity of a baby) easily and wanted to try something new so I started knitting again thanks to This Is Knit in Dublin. I couldn’t stop knitting obsessively and that very quickly lead to designing. It made me so happy to design and write patterns that it wasn’t a choice at that point, I was just miserable when I wasn’t knitting.

In fact, it even made me step away from a PhD that I was thinking of starting! I was back in college doing tutorials with civil engineering students and had plans to do a PhD in a combination of engineering and architecture. After a few months teaching I resented every night I had to prepare practice questions for the students instead of knitting. This meant that I went in to my supervisor to tell him that I wasn’t going to pursue it as I was going to do knitting instead. His expression at that moment was priceless!!

Where do you draw your inspiration from? 

Everything! Usually it’s something I want to wear that I can’t find. I’ll get a picture of a knit I want and then I’ll create it. Other times I get a new yarn and experimenting with stitch dictionaries and you’ll start to see how it works best. Every yarn has different strong and weak points but you don’t discover them until you kit with it.

Autumn is my favourite time of year in shops; I’ll just wander getting a feel for current colour trends, shapes, and what kind styles are popular this year. While I knit all kinds of items, cardigans and sweaters are always my favourite.

Trousseau

Trousseau Shawl in Sundara Yarn

If you could work in any other occupation what would it be and why? 

I occasionally get an engineering pang when I pass a building site. I liked being out on site. However the thought of retraining and not knitting holds no appeal!

What’s your favourite ice-cream?

I’m not a huge ice-cream fan and can only eat it in small amounts. I do however still dream about a homemade ice-cream that we found in Sarasota, Florida when I was pregnant. It was a dark chocolate peanut butter mix from an Italian store that was just amazing!

What music do you like to listen too?

I don’t listen to a lot of music, except in the car, as I can’t work with music on. That’s not popular when you’re in a bigger office! I tend to be fairly old school and like some of the classics, Joni Mitchell and Cat Stevens always make me happy with a bit of Violent Femmes, Florence and The Machine and Taj Mahal on the side. (Perhaps a little of the White Stripes for good measure).

How does she unwind? 

Knitting and a glass of wine – ideally under a warm blanket in front of the fire with my puppy curled up next to me. Perfection!

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Carol a little better. If you want to join in the conversation you can find Carol on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. At the moment the biggest conversations are on Ravelry in the Luwan KAL group and the Wrap Up Winter KAL thread. You can of course leave questions or your thoughts on today’s blog post in the comments below.

 

 

Save