The latest Interweave Knits, Spring 2015 has just been released and I’ve got a shawl in it – Ribbon Tool Shawl.
(c) Harper Point
Last spring when I was in Washington DC Dragonfly Fibers gave me a gift of some Pixie yarn. It was in the color, ‘Springtime in Washington’, a delicate pink with darker brown and black tones splashed through it. Pale pink is not a color I’m normally drawn to but there was something about the delicate color with those darker undertones that really appealed to me. When the call for designs for the spring Interweave came out this yarn looked like the perfect match. This shawl was designed to make the most use of garter stitch using German Short Rows to gently slope the shawl. The shaping is created entirely with short rows and then the lace edge is knitted on sideways.
I’ve got a special treat for all of you - Dragonfly Fibers have offered a yarn giveaway for my readers of their Pixie yarn that Ribbon Tool Shawl is made in.
What do you have to do?
To be entered in the draw, go to the website to pick the color of Pixie they would use to make the shawl. Then put your pick in the comments below. I will enter all comments into a raffle and the winner will be sent the yarn! Get your comment in before 10 in the morning (GMT) on Wednesday 4th of February. I’ll do a random drawing for the winner later that morning.
Best of luck!
(c) Harper Point
I want to wish you all a very (early!) Happy New Year. I love this time of year so much, in Ireland everything shuts down for a full 2 weeks; there is much food, drinking and of course sleep! I’ve just said goodbye to my sister and her family at the airport and a handful of 17-18 year olds have filled our house. The next few nights will be filled with more games, drinks and late nights :-)
I’ll be traveling for work early on Monday morning, I’m excited and nervous about it so I hope that the anticipation doesn’t impede the holiday too much.
To thank you all for the most amazing year I’m have a New Year sale starting early (like right now) that will run until the end of the 7th of January. With code ‘NEWYEAR’ you can get 30% off your purchase as a big thank you.
This code will also apply to a redesign of an old favorite (Adrift), that has reworked in a fingering weight yarn as Titus Adrift. Titus yarn is really perfect for this, a lofty blend of wool and alpaca that’s happy being blocked more aggressively. In fingering weight it knits up a little bit faster and it’s slightly heavier for extra warmth.
Any observant knitters out there will see that my prices have changed from dollars to euros. This shouldn’t cause you any problems as all payments are processed through paypal. If you want to check the value in your currency you can take a look on my ravelry store where they do a price conversion for comparison. My standard pattern price was $6.00 and at the currency exchange on the day I made the switch this translated to just over €5.00 so there is no change in price.
This change to euro is to help me with the new EU VAT legislation which uses the place of consumption of the service (pdf) as the VAT rate that must be charged. About 30% of my customers are from the EU but I don’t want to increase EU prices so I’m going to absorbing the VAT cost with no price change to you.
Is everyone out there as busy knitting for Christmas gifts as I am? I’ve got a secret one going for a Knitmas gift exchange I’m on. It’s fun and nerve wrecking doing a secret knit for someone you only know virtually! Obviously I can’t use one of my own patterns, that would be a dead giveaway so it gives me a chance to look around at some other small pattern items I’ve been looking at through the year. As a designer I don’t often get a chance to knit other designers patterns so it’s quite a treat to get a chance to do it. That’s all I’m going to give away for now…
On an unrelated note, I will need to restructure my business by the end of the year. For the most part this won’t have a significant impact on you as the end user except it will involve a slight price increase. From January 1st my pattern prices will increase from $6 to $6.50. It’s not a huge jump but I just wanted to give you all warning! Also, from a few weeks ago I have changed the checkout on the ravelry shopping cart so that it asks you for your address. I won’t use this in any way but it’s now become a legal requirement within the EU as they are changing the way VAT works. Previously the country I ran my business from determined the VAT (value added tax) rate that I charged. From 1st of January, 2015 new regulations will come into effect which changes this to the country of purchase. This means that I’ve got to know where the patterns are going and charge the correct rate of VAT accordingly.
If you want to stock up on some patterns before the price increase comes into effect watch out for a newsletter discount sale I’ll be running very shortly. Make sure you’re on my newsletter list so you’ll hear about it on time!
Some of you out there may have spotted a new pattern from me this week – Landscape Waves.
You may have figured out by now that I really do love Blue Moon yarns. This particular yarn was fantastic to work with, it’s a brand new yarn they’re stocking called Targhee Worsted. I have not come across this breed of sheep before, but the yarn it produces is wonderful. The yarn is firm and fairly rustic but yet is soft enough to be comfortable next to the skin and it’s spun with a tight twist to make a plump firm yarn that is fantastic for knitting cables. The color I chose was ‘Spawn of Scum’ which is a vibrant green with wonderful rich undertones. In fact I kept these skeins on the corner of my desk for ages before I knit them as the color made me so happy :-)
Now to the cardigan itself. It was knit from the top down starting with the cabled collar. There is raglan shoulder shaping but you may notice that the front is a little different. The front edges are picked up and worked using short rows after the yoke is finished. The remainder of the cardigan is worked as an a-line with big chunky cables running down the sides. The version shown is the shorter version (I ran out of yarn!) but I’ve given the option in the pattern for a longer version that is the same width at the bottom but the increases are more gradual.
The cardigan itself has no fastenings as it can be worn either open or folded across. The shawl pin I’ve shown is from This Is Knit and works really well to fasten the cardigan.
In case you were wondering about the creepy backdrop to the photos, there’s a currently abandoned nursing home close to us that we took the photos outside of. So there was a great array of random debris around!
Have you seen that the 2015 installment for the Irish Yarn Club is up for sale?
This is the second year that I’m doing this collaboration with This Is Knit. It’s a match made in heaven really; I get to design and knit with delicious yarn from Irish hand dyers and at the same time work with a yarn store that has superb customer service that has supported me right from the start.
This club works in 2 ways, full club or pattern only. If you opt for the full club you will get 3 installments of yarn (every 2 months, starting in February) and a link to a pattern pdf that uses that yarn. For the pattern only club, pretty much as it says on the tin, you get a link to the pattern pdf when the pattern is released, every 2 months with 3 patterns in total.
Last year there were 3 fingering weight yarns from Hedgehog Fibres, Coolree and Dublin Dye Company. This year it’s slightly different, we’ll have 3 different yarn weights; sports weight, fingering and lace from Dublin Dye Company, Townhouse Yarns and Hedgehog Fibres. Every one of the colors used are custom dyed especially for the club so they’re extra special. I’m currently working on some pattern ideas for the yarn, I’m still experimenting as I want to make sure that each pattern complements the yarn perfectly. There will be a variety of projects, last year (you can see the patterns here) there was a hat, shawl and socks.
So come and join us this year! What small project will you be hoping to see in the club?
PS: First clue from the Capall Dubh KAL was released today!
On Sunday evening I launched the pre-sale for my autumn KAL – Capall Dubh. This started out over the summer when my friend Sue was thinking of knitting a new cardigan. I offered to do the designing and she was going to knit a version of it. I’ve got several beautiful piles of Blue Moon Fibers yarn here so it seemed the perfect yarn for the project.
I knew I wanted a simple enough cardigan that it could be used for everyday wear. BUT I wanted to have enough detail that it was fun to knit. The basic shape of the cardigan is simple, top down body with set-in sleeves from the top down. But I was playing around with pattern stitches and loved the Cherry tree one. I began by using it as the first panel across the top of the shoulder and then I liked it so much it got added to the back as well!
You can see in this photo the stitch panel at the shoulder, I also worked ‘welts’ at each side of the stitch pattern so it really stood out as a focal point for the cardigan. They can of course be omitted if you wanted a more subtle effect.
The front is a gentle scooped neckline that is finished afterwards with ribbing and the buttonbands use small delicate buttons.
I knit the version shown above in Silky Victoria. This is a light dk/sportsweight yarn that is knit with larger needles to give it a lighter more open feel. This plays well with the lacy cable stitch at the back panel.
The version that Sue is knitting uses Gaea Sport. This is quite a heavy sport weight yarn and as the yardage is a little less you’ll need slightly more yarn (weight wise). You can see it in progress here in Smoke on the Water colorway:
As everyone is picking yarns, choosing colors and starting to swatch there’s quite a buzz going on the ravelry board! Come on over and join us.
Just to tease you all I’m only going to give you glimpse of the cardigan :-0
I’ve just finished this cardigan that was knit with the most wonderful new yarn from Blue Moon Fiber Arts – Silky Victoria. It’s got delicate cabled lace, top down construction with short row set-in sleeves. Plus there is currently a second version being knit in Gaea – Sport if you prefer your yarn to be of the 100% wool variety!
Watch out for a newsletter update next week, with more photos, a pre-order link and a yarn discount!
Last year I met Verity, the owner of Baa Ram Ewe at TNNA in Columbus. She was bubbly, energetic and very, very Yorkshire! She had just launched a brand new Yorkshire yarn, Titus. This yarn is made from a blend of local fibres (50% Wensleydale, 20% Bluefaced Leicester, 30% UK Alpaca) and it is dyed in colours that reflect the Yorkshire countryside.
Originally she was selling several of my patterns that knit up well in Titus yarn in their original pattern format. However several of the samples have been reknit in Titus and we’re putting special Titus patterns together for Baa Ram Ewe. I’ve got a few of the photos to share from last week when we did the first photoshoot.
First up is Autumn Whispers.
Next one is Akoya.
Watch out over the coming months for the next few patterns, we may even have a few surprises for you!
Last September I designed a shawl called Penrose Tile for the second issue of Ply magazine (blog post here). This is a spinning magazine so the shawl was knit using hand spun yarn. It was my first time knitting with hand spun and I loved it. They created a variegated yarn with a complementary solid color that I used to create a garter stitch/lace shawl that used the two yarns in a series of garter stitch short row stripes with lace panels.
The shawl was very popular and that issue of the magazine quickly sold out with the result that I’ve had a lot of request for this shawl pattern over the last few months. I’ve been preparing for the re-release by knitting the shawl again in hand dyed yarn. Yvonne from Dublin Dye Company kindly custom dyed two colors for me, Ripple and Mustard (good think it’s not for eating!) that work really nicely together in her new Swing Sock yarn.
The updated shawl pattern has just been released and there is a bonus coupon for a 15% discount included for Dublin Dye Company. They have just updated their etsy store to include some lovely swing sock color combinations that would be just prefect for Penrose Tile.
We’ve been throwing some color combination ideas around on twitter if you’re looking for some inspiration!
This summer Jenny from This Is Knit started hand dyeing yarn under the label ‘Townhouse Yarns’. They sent some on for me to try in a very pretty olive green colour. The yarn was soft and light, perfect shawl material.
I decided to use it for a new shawl pattern that uses a slip stitch pattern that I’ve experimented with before. I love the geometric lines through the garter, with a ruffle that finishes with a flourish. The shawl starts with a standard garter stitch tab and then from there you can see how it evolves into a series of st st and garter panels. The end result is called Georgian Heights.
Georgian Heights is for sale at a discounted price until the 4th of August. Plus as an added bonus all pattern sales before that are entered into a draw for a skein of Townhouse Yarn in the same colour that I used for the pattern!