Isogashi, isogashiiiii….!! 🌍

Yzzy Mitts & Cowl

Isogashi (Japanese) = busy.

New Releases

Pattern: Capel Cross

“Finally!” I hear you say! Yeah, I’m inclined to agree. It was a journey, I must say. Being such a perfectionist where my patterns are concerned means that I’m never knowingly putting out rubbish! I’m slow at this and I know it, but I’d rather be slow and be sure that I’ve produced the best work that I can. I really enjoyed knitting this – so much so that I made three! I’m looking to knit a fourth soon! ❤️

Click here Capel Cross pattern: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/capel-cross

Capel Cross Cardi
Capel Cross Cardigan in Blue and Pink

Pattern: Yzzy Mitts & Cowl

A collaboration with Ysolda, launching their new yarn base called Moss DK: BFL/Masham – a gorgeously soft and lofty yarn that has the power to retain heat and the light/airiness in weight to not overwhelm you. Perfect for fingerless mitts, cowls, scarves, shawls and definitely jumpers.

Check out Ysolda’s website for the Yzzy Mitts and Cowl Kit pack – ideal gift for any occasion: https://ysolda.com/collections/kits/products/yzzy-cowl-and-mitts-kit

Also…

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JimiKnits Special Offer:  BOGHOff! (aka. Buy One Get Half Off)

BUY YZZY MITTS PATTERN AND GET YZZY COWL HALF PRICE! Just add both patterns to your shopping cart in Ravelry.
Offer ends 31 Dec 2019.

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Yzzy Mitts & Cowl
Yzzy Mitts & Cowl. © Photo by Ysolda.

Cosy Knits Book Launch – Dublin, Ireland. October 2019

I had the opportunity to take part in a book launch for Carol Feller’s latest pattern book: “Cosy Knits” at This Is Knit in Dublin. It was exciting to finally meet a designer whom I’ve admired since I took one of her workshops back in 2011. It was that year that I decided to embark on pattern writing and she guided us through all the maths (and it was a LOT of maths!). As you know, my shawl pattern, ‘Terrain‘ is in Carol’s book, so it seemed fitting that I should turn up to support her. The purpose of the event was to talk to a small audience about the pattern and how it’s constructed and to explain my design ‘process’ (personally I call it ‘madness’, but let’s keep it PC, huh?) and also talk about the creative thinking behind it. I’m not gonna lie, I was bricking it – I’m not used to speaking in public, or to any crowd beyond 5 people! I was definitely out of my comfort zone. I think I got away with it…! It was times like that that I wished I could sing and tap dance!

It was an absolutely fab day! I met some wonderful people, drank my first pint of Guinness (oooh!), ate loads and laughed and cracked jokes until it was time for bed. If you’re in Dublin, check out This Is Knit! It’s an amazing yarn store, filled with a large range of yarns and you’ll always be welcomed with a warm, Irish “Hallo, there!”.

Coming up next…!

Waltham Abbey Wool Show
Come see me at Waltham Abbey Wool Show!

Put it in your diaries: Sunday 19th January 2020 – The Waltham Abbey Wool Show, Waltham Abbey, Essex, UK. I’ll be holding a stand and showcasing my work. There’ll be patterns, knitted samples, books and other goodies! Stocks will be limited, so come early! 😘

Buy your tickets for the show: https://www.walthamabbeywoolshow.co.uk/

See you soon! x

Gettin’ Crunked!

OK, not the best title to describe what I’m doing, but this crank knitting lark is getting me excited (yes I know, I need to get out more)!

Well, I’ve had my Addi Express knitting machines for about 6 months now and I’ve discovered a wealth of possibilities for a variety of knitted projects. This means that you don’t have to stick with making hats and scarves all the time! With a combination of hand-knitting and machine cranking, you can create a LOT of different projects.

See below for my simple pattern for an Infinity Scarf or Cowl.

My Addi machines

Handy Tools

I’ve put together a set of essential tools that I use specifically for crank knitting. Tools such as:

  • 6mm circular needles – two of these
  • 5mm, 5.5mm and 4mm crochet hooks
  • Loom hook (or use a dental hook) – ideal for retrieving a dropped stitch from the machine.
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Yarn needle
  • Stitch holders
  • Scrap yarn – about 25g or more of smooth yarn to use for the casting on and/or off. Can be re-used for many projects. Note: It is not essential to use this method as the stitches are large enough to pick up and knit directly from. But having said that, it cuts out the guessing game when it comes to identifying a live (workable) stitch.
  • Handheld counter – in case your Addi digital counter has gone bananas, like mine has!

handy tools

Yarn Choice

What I have found is that not every yarn in my possession will work with the Addi. This is a big problem for yarn stash that I would SO love to use for a cranked project. For example, I have a pure linen aran weight yarn that I bought in France. Beautiful stuff, but would the bugger play ball and work for me? No! It kept getting caught on the needles, nearly breaking them off. The same thing also happened with a cotton ribbon yarn that I have.

So, given my experience, the yarn types I’ve had to avoid so far are:

  • Linen (of any kind) – it appears that its lack of elasticity makes it impossible to loop around the needles properly.
  • Cotton in Worsted weight or heavier – for the same reason as Linen.
  • Flat (ribbon) yarns – it just gets caught! It’s infuriating!
  • Super Chunky (Super Bulky) yarns – hard to crank. Too fat, I guess.

PATTERN: Crank-it! Infinity Scarf/Cowl – a bit more interesting than a regular scarf.

Made with the Addi Professional (22-pin) only. It is made out of 3 tubes of knitting which are later sewn together side by side. The ends are seamed by knitting the live sts together (or grafting).

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Blue version: Cowl using worsted weight yarn.

Infinity scarf

Materials

For the Infinity Scarf: 180g total of any wool-based DK or Worsted weight yarn (approx. 2 skeins).
Sample shown uses Alpaca Supreme by John Arbon (alpaca/merino/silk) fingering weight, held double with Royd Moor Cashmere 4ply (100% cashmere).

For the Cowl: 115g total of any wool-based DK or Worsted weight yarn (approx. 1-2 skeins).
Sample shown uses Galenas Merino by Three Irish Girls (100% merino) worsted weight.

How to Make

(Don’t forget to check the Handy Tools list in article above)

For the first tube, with scrap yarn, cast on and work 4 rounds on the Addi 22-pin. Break off scrap yarn.

Change to your chosen yarn and crank a tube about 120cm (47″) long*. Cut off yarn.

*Depending on yarn weight, this can be anything between 150-190 rounds for the Infinity Scarf and about 85-100 rounds for the Cowl. Keep a row count record of the first tube, then duplicate this count for the other tubes.

Change to scrap yarn and cast off for about 4 rounds. Remove work from machine.

Repeat for the other 2 tubes. Once all 3 tubes are done, pull the tubes at various angles to kick the stitches into line then lay them flat, allowing a little time (say 20 minutes) for the stitches to relax back into position (press if necessary). Later on, using mattress stitch, sew the sides together along the vertical column of stitches (not including the cast on/off sts).

Mattress stitch in action
Mattress stitch in action

Undo the cast on scrap yarn stitches on all 3 tubes – you should be left with a total of 33 (3 x 11) live sts on front side (whichever side is facing you) and the same number of sts on the back of the piece.

[Transfer the 3 sets of Front sts onto a 6mm needle*, then repeat the same for the Back sts. Make sure both needles are pointing to the right ready for knitting. Similar to working a 3-needle-bind-off, using a spare needle (or the other end of a circular needle) KNIT together the front sts with the back sts. From here you will have 33 single row of sts.]

*This needle size closely matches the Addi tension, for me anyway!

Put these sts on hold for later. For the other end of the piece, undo the cast off scrap yarn, then repeat [ ] once more. Leave sts on needle.

Combine Stitches

There are 2 ways you can combine both ends of live sts:
1) 3-needle bind off: With WS (wrong side) facing and right sides together, knit the 2 rows of sts together and bind off at the same time. Result: This will leave a visible seam line. The seam edges will be set inside the scarf/cowl and not visible on the outside.

or

2) Grafting (Kitchener Stitch): Thread a needle with yarn about 3 times the width of the piece. With RS (right side) facing and wrong sides together, graft the front set of sts together with the back set. Result: This will leave a seamless fabric.

Weave in ends, block if necessary…. and tadaa! Wear with pride!

Please share your projects pictures or tips. I’d love to see them! 🙂

Aye! ’tis a Bonnie Wee Shoorp! (as the Scots might say?!)

We went to Scotland for the Easter break and what a beautiful country it is, with its picturesque countryside and amazing historical architecture in the cities!

Expecting ‘Scottish weather’, the whole family packed enough woollens to make another sheep! But in the end, the weather was so mild we ended up being roasted in our shoes! The Scots too were wondering if we had somehow expected arctic conditions (which we did of course!) that they were not aware of. In any case, while we were busy being boiled alive, we enjoyed the delights of Edinburgh City, St. Andrews, Dundee and St. Monans.

Edinburgh City
Edinburgh City

When on holiday, it is customary for me to seek out local yarn shops or wool mills in the area, so my particular request was to check out Ginger Twist Studio. And what a gem it was!

Situated north-east of Edinburgh’s Royal Terrace Gardens, in the centre of a busy intersection of London Road and Easter Road, this wee little shop… (and I mean wee) stands out brightly between the row of regular shops in the street.

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Inside, is a charming little store packed full with beautiful colour yarn skeins, yarn balls, knitted samples and fun accessories. Suddenly, and expertly camouflaged I must say, did a bounce of wild ginger hair bob straight up and greeted me with a big smile and a “Hello!” – I nearly jumped out of my skin!

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Jessica James, the owner of this cute store was pretty and charming. After I teased her about her name and got that out of my system, we chatted in yarn. Now, ‘Yarn’ is another language according to my Husband and daughter, who looked on quizzically as Jessie and I chatted fluent yarn the whole time. Paul cannot speak yarn yet but he understands a great deal of it, while Madison is not interested in speaking yarn at all!

Jessica

Surprisingly, this tiny shop can not only hold stock, but it also has tea making facilities, a skein winding service and a pattern book library. I half expected there to be a secret panel that opens up to reveal a pool room or something!

Among my purchases, I bought: 1 skein of Ginger’s Hand Dyed Sheepish DK in “Gorblimey” – an electric yellow/green in Bluefaced Leicester; and 1 skein of Masham Mayhem DK in “On The Prowl” – a mix of blue/navy/purple in 50/50 BFL & Masham. Immediately, I knew what these babies were going to be. So this is what I made with them:

Aggregate

Aggregate

Pattern: Aggregate – my project title: “Aggie Lime with a Ginger Twist”. The yarns are so soft and fluffy and the colours are amazing! I really love the result.

Check out Ginger Twist Studio website: www.gingertwiststudio.com

In Reference to Architecture

In the Designer’s Challenge forum for January, our task was to design full mittens based on the theme of architecture. I just love challenges like that, but I can’t help but stray from ANY, if not all rules of the game!

The result of this challenge became my soon-to-be-released pattern called, “Chrysler Fingerless Mitts“. I think the title and the architectural influence speak for themselves. But it is a lovely way to have lacy gloves that offer extra warmth!

The most interesting thing about this project is that I might have stumbled upon a novel way of incorporating a lace overlay (or second layer) within the knitting. So much so that I had to make an 8-minute YouTube video to demonstrate the technique. I was pretty disturbed to hear the sound of my voice on playback…. I didn’t realise that I squeaked so much!

Chrysler Fingerless Mitts