Knitting With Rainbows presale!

Some of you may have spotted the pre-sale of my newest book, Knitting With Rainbows.
KWR COVER
This is a project that I’ve been thinking about for a long time. Several years ago I got a gradient kit from Fiber Optics…
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It looks just beautiful in the little plastic display box but I felt very intimidated. The skeins were so small, and I wasn’t sure how best to use the yarn so that it looks as beautiful in the finished knit as it did in the box. So it sat there for quite a while. However somewhere in the back of my head the idea for a book on gradients was germinating; a book that would explore the gradient types available (there are a lot!), figure out how ways that use them well and offered pattern choices and future suggestions for making the most of gradient yarns (both individual single skeins as well as mini-skein sets).
That was how this book was born. It’s grown in size from what I though it would be but it’s turned out just as I hoped. My son’s girlfriend, Eimear O’Callaghan, has created some very beautiful gradient graphics to illustrate the book, my husband has done an amazing job laying out the book and my son had done a lovely editing job with my rough videos from the photo shoot :-)

The book will be released on the 1st of September but you can now pre-order your print (with complementary digital download code from ravelry) copy before then. All books will be shipped from the 1st of September and you’ll receive your digital download code on the same day. As a pre-sale bonus use code PRERAINBOW to get free shipping before 1st of September :-)

To keep you excited I’m releasing the pattern details of a new pattern on ravelry every day until the launch.

Here are the first 3 patterns that are up:

Shanakiel
Shanakiel

Proby’s
Probys armwarmers
Half Moon Street
Half Moon Street

Thank you!

I’ve got a huge thank you for everyone that bought sample from me. I’ve donated €200 to both DAWG and West Cork Animal Welfare thanks to you all :-)

I’ll leave the remaining samples on the blog but I’ll be going on holidays next week so it will be a few weeks before they are sent out.

THANK YOU!

Charity Sale part 3

This is the final part of the charity sale so pick up a finished knit and support a worthy cause :-)

I’ve put suggested pricing on each item. If you want an item leave a comment with the sample name or number in the comments section. The prices include shipping worldwide.

I’ll send on a paypal invoice when you make an offer.

Thank you for supporting some wonderful local animal charities!

 Sample 12: €70

Anna Maria Tank & Quimper

This 2 piece set is knit from cool bamboo. Knit in the round from the bottom up with an hourglass pattern stitch running up the center. The tank top can be work alone or with the bolero jacket for when the evenings are cooler.

Sample Sizes: Small

Yarn:  Rowan RYC bamboo soft; 100% bamboo

 Sample 13: €60

Fritillary

When I saw the colors of this yarn it reminded me straight away of the species of butterfly know as ‘Fritillary’. I have always loved those colors and was excited to make a summer top in the very same color pallet. To match the wonderful colors I had the good fortune to find the very fitting Butterfly Lace pattern. Easy to memorize lace that is not too fussy. This is a top you will get plenty of wear from in the season to come.
Knitted from the top down with a front cross-over and an all-over lace pattern on the bottom section.

Sample Size: Small to fit 34″/86.5 cm bust

Yarn: Elann Sonata; 100% cotton

Sample 14: €60

Raspberry Layers

3556747704_d25a06b657(1)This cardigan is worked side-to-side from the center of the back out, with flattering short rows creating a gentle flare at the bottom. The sleeves are worked with short row shaping and the sides are bound off together for a piece that needs minimal finishing. Vertical accent rows will make this the most flattering knit you have ever made from a chunky yarn!

Sample Size: 32″ / 81.5 cm modelled with 2″ / 5 cm of negative ease

Yarn: Fyberspates Squishy Chunky; 50% Merino, 50% Baby Alpaca

Sample 15: €50

Necco Wafer Hoodie

This cute hoodie uses traditional flat construction; striped V-neck inset worked using intarsia; applied I-cord on hood and sleeves.

Size: 6 months

Yarn: Tahki Yarns Cotton Classic; 100% Mercerized Cotton

Sample 18: €50

Milo

Knit from the waist down in the round these light and comfortable shorts are perfect for busy active boys. A folded waistband encases elastic for a good fit then they are knit from the top down with hip and leg shaping. Finally they are separated for each leg and finished with a tidy folded hem. Large pockets are attached afterwards.

Sample Size: Shown on my 8 year old, they have been washed and shrank slightly so will fit a smaller child now.

Yarn: 60% Flax, 40% Merino Louet Merlin sport weight; 60% Flax, 40% Merino

 

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Charity Sample sale 2

Well today I’ve got a few more items for you to enjoy.

As before just leave an offer in the comments, telling me what sample.

I’ve put suggested prices in the listing, these are inclusive of postage.

. All proceeds (less shipping and paypal costs) will be divided equally between the West Cork Animal Welfare Group and the Cork Dog Action Welfare Group.

SAMPLE 8: €50

Euclid

Sample Size: 45” wide and 21” deep at edge

Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca; 50% wool, 50% alpaca

Short rows are use to create magical triangles and curves within a rectangular shawl. Worked in a heavier yarn, this shawl is idea for keeping warm in cooler weather.

SAMPLE 9: €60

Lime With a Twist

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Sample Size: 34″ / 86.5 cm

Yarn: Araucania ‘Patagonia Cotton'; 100% Cotton

I fell in love with Araucania Patagonia Cotton the moment I picked up the first hank. Soft to the touch, I wanted to find the perfect pattern to complement the yarn. I worked a stitch pattern on the diagonal to create a wonderful interplay between the diagonal stitches and the variations in the yarn color.
This piece begins with a provisional cast-on at the center of the back and then works down each arm. Finally, stitches are picked up for the remainder of the body. The two different directions in which the sweater is worked create diagonals and color changes across the shoulder and down the body.
Knit from a heavy-weight cotton yarn, such as Patagonia, makes this cardigan ideal for those in-between days.

SAMPLE 10: €20

Beaufort

Sample Size: Woman’s Medium; 22″ / 57 cm

Yarn: Kerry Woollen Mills Aran Wool; 100% wool

Knit from the top down this bucket hat has a delicate combination of lace and cables and finishes with a generous brim.

 

 

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Charity Sample Sale

Over the years I have accumulated a lot of samples. Many of these samples work hard travelling the world in sample shows at LYS or acting as examples in my classes. There comes a time however where you become swamped with too many samples!

Anyone that follows my blog (or twitter/Instagram) knows how fond I am of my 2 dogs, Kenny and Lizzie.

Both dogs came from local animal shelters. Kenny came from the West Cork Animal Welfare Group
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Lizzie came from Cork Dog Action Welfare Group.
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These groups are run by volunteers and deal with some very difficult cases of animal neglect. Their vet bills each month alone run into the thousands. I have so much admiration and respect for the work that they do that the proceeds from the sample sales will all be donated to these charities.

How it works:

Over the coming days I will post a few samples up every day here on my blog.

To make an offer leave a comment in the comment section. I will send you on a paypal invoice. The suggest amounts are inclusive of postage costs. I’m happy to post worldwide.

All proceeds will be donated to the charities less postage and paypal fees. I will split it equally between both.

SAMPLE 1: €80

Azami

Sample Size: 35 ½” / 90 cm

Yarn: Valley Yarns ‘Southwick'; 52% Cotton, 48% Bamboo

A seamless bottom up sweater with waist shaping. Lovely lace panel details are found at the cuffs, bottom of body sides, neck and hood.

SAMPLE 2

Semi-Quaver

Sample Size: Width: 44”/112 cm, Depth: 14.75”/34.5cm

Yarn: A Verb for Keeping Warm ‘Creating’ 100% Superwash Merino

Knit the perfect sized shawlette making full use of your beautiful yarn. Worked from the center with a lace center and short row garter stitch wings.

SAMPLE 3: €50

Aileron Shawl


Sample Size: 20.25″ wide and center and 44″ across wingspan

Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts ‘Socks That Rock Lightweight'; 100% Merino

This heart-shaped shawl fits perfectly around the shoulders, with a lace panel that widens as the piece grows and ends in a flourish of ruffles.

SAMPLE 4: €70

Meves




Sample Size: 33.75”/84 cm

Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas ‘Skinny Dyed Cotton’; 100% organic cotton

The subtle pattern and smooth shaping on this cardigan create a flattering fit for everyone. Worked in one piece from the bottom up the smooth faux cables are worked all the way to the shoulder.

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Santa Rosa Plum KAL progress

We’re moving right along on ravelry with the Santa Rosa Plum KAL. Many knitters are now finished the yoke (which was clue 1) and moving on to clue 2, the body.

So this is what the yoke looks like – most of it is worked in the first gradient colour, with the change coming close to the bottom of the yoke. Raglan increases are worked at both sides of the lace panels. In the pattern tip page I gave a chart that showed how the increases are distributed. For some sizes the sleeve increases slow down near the bottom of the yoke and for other sizes the full raglan increases slow down. When you see it on a full chart you can very easily make adjustments for your size. You can even add increases easily at just the front to accommodate extra bust shaping.

Now that knitters are finished with that clue the body is next:

The underarm area uses cast-on stitches to join the front and back. Traditionally a Backwards Cast-On is used. However I prefer a Cable Cast-On as it helps to reduce the gapping in the underarm. Using this cast on requires one extra step – you need to turn to the WS to work it and then turn back to the RS to continue the work. This is because you need your working yarn on the left needle to create it.

We’re having lots of fun calculating yarn amounts to use all colours of our gradient yarn. Everyone is pulling out the weighing scales to figure out their yarn usage to make sure they finish each colour in the correct place :-)

The integrated I-cord edging and single row buttonhole are getting lots of love – it makes a really tidy combination. In the next few weeks I’m going to add a tutorial on this buttonhole as it’s my favourite method.

The wonderful Blue Moon Fiber Arts is offering a prize of 2 skeins of her Single Silky Targhee.

Keep on knitting you great knitters – clue 3 coming out July 16th with the grand prize picked on the 1st of August!

Working on those gradients

So last weekend we had a wonderful photo shoot for the gradient book – I think it’s going to be called ‘Knitting with Rainbows’. Very fittingly we found some fantastic graffiti downtown in Cork that makes the perfect backdrop for the book. We also found this spot behind the disused Beamish & Crawford brewery. It was across the river so we couldn’t reach it, but so beautiful!
IMG_5921I’ve been working like a crazy person for the last few weeks putting tutorials together and reviewing pattern edits. In my head up to this point I keep saying ‘it’s just going to be a small book‘, just a few patterns and tutorials. Well apparently I can’t do anything small! I’ve got 11 patterns, additional stitch patterns and tutorials and at the very minimum I think this book will be around 80 pages long. It would explain why feeling somewhat overwhelmed, a little bit panicked and exhaused. I haven’t acknowledged what a substantial project I was taking on. It is however going to be an information packed and very pretty book. My son’s girlfriend is a very talented illustrator and next week she is getting started on book illustrations and I can’t wait to see them. I’ll share some with you as she works along.

Just to give you a flavour of the book, 2 patterns have already been produced and are out in the world. The first is Probys Armwarmers which was the last pattern from the Irish Yarn Club 2016. (All patterns are also on ravlery now from that club). This pattern is a great example of how a slip stitch pattern can be used to blend a gradient kit that has big jumps between the colours.

The first version was in Townhouse Yarns:

I’ve also had a sample made using a second yarn to give an idea of what another set of colours would look like.
The second version uses Fyberspates yarn:
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The second pattern that you’ve seen before is Stave Hat. I’ve previously published the child’s sweater version of this chart and the hat has been used in my Textured Colourwork classes. This hat uses textured colourwork (purls worked into a stranded pattern) to blend the colours together. It works really well for either a gradient set that has big colour jumps or for a collection of colours you have put together yourself that you want to blend smoothly.
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(Yes, that really is a giant cockerel mural behind her….)
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So if we keep working at this pace I think the book will be ready to go by the autumn. I hope you’re all getting as excited about this as I am – it’s getting real now :-)

New pattern & KAL almost here!!

Anyone out there who has been following me on Instagram or Twitter will have spotted my newest pattern – Dusty Road!

A few months ago Anzula told me that they were releasing a brand new yarn, Ava, and would love me to design something for the TNNA fashion show. In May we got the yarn and my sample knitter knit like the wind :-) The end result, Dusty Road, is both stunning and wearable. It’s a top down raglan sweater with lace details on the sleeves. The body has a side panel of lace running down each side with gentle waist shaping.

Anyone with a sharp eye will spot that I’ve used the same lace pattern on the sleeves of Dusty Road that appears in my newest KAL, Santa Rosa Plum. Sometimes as a designer your fall for a stitch pattern and just want to see it used in a few different ways; once just isn’t enough :-) I’ve just added a new tutorial here showing how to work a yarnover between knit and purl stitches (which is used both of these patterns).

AND…are you all ready? The Santa Rosa Plum KAL is starting this Saturday! First clue will go up then and everyone is ready to go!

A week of sunshine & a giveaway!

So we’ve got a rare week of sunshine here in Ireland and it feels good!
Its making me want to knit all the summer yarns. Right up on the top of that list is linen. Linen is a fantastic fiber to wear in the summer and best of all it just improves with use.
The most recent design I did with Linen was Nouri for pom-pom quarterly. (Print & digital version here). This uses Quince & Co Kestrel which is a heavy worsted organic linen that is spun using a ribbon structure.

© Nicole Mlakar

If you want to knit a version of Nouri for yourself I’ve got a great giveaway courtesy of Quince & Co! They will give a sweater quantity of Kestrel to the winner of the giveaway.
In the comments below just let me know what color of Kestrel (there are 17!) that you will knit your version in. Only comments on my blog will go into the raffle. I will draw a prize on the morning of the 10th of June (Irish time).
Note: If you live outside of the US you will only have to pay shipping costs, yarn costs are free.