New Pattern | The SOS Shawl

UPDATE | Pattern is now live on Ravelry. You can get it HERE and remember its FREE when you sign up to my newsletter until Midnight GMT on Tuesday 12th September 2017.

HELLO MAKERS | I’m back. I took a little vacation to recharge and of course I did a lot of knitting during that break. Its September now and here in the Northern Hemisphere its officially Autumn – so its getting colder and that means knitting season has finally arrived!

The leaves are already dropping (I love Autumn 🍂 🍃 🍂 🍃 ) and people have started to stress about their Christmas knitting plans (eek!). My local Tesco store was actually putting away the back to school essentials and bringing out the Christmas sweets and chocolates this evening! (WHY!!!!!!)

Now is definitely the time to take a little moment for you. After all you’ve worked hard this year, the kids are back to school and the dark nights are just round the corner.  So why not make September a time for some selfish knitting for yourself.  I have the perfect new shawl design for you to…

THE SOS SHAWL | Designed with mini skeins or leftovers in mind this shawl is a traditional shetland hap construction with a modern simple border of garter and stocking stitch “Stripes On Stripes”.

Play with colour and relax as you take a break from your knitting schedule to create some Simple | Stylish | Stitches

WHAT DO YOU NEED | One skein main colour of fingering weight yarn (400 metres) and seven small 20 gram minis for contrasting colours OR you can go wild and blend your own colour combinations from your leftover stash.

“…definitely a shawl that you will want to knit again and again.”

HOW DO I FIND IT | I’m releasing the pattern on Ravelry later this week and the shawl will be FREE for 24-hours after it goes live to all my newsletter subscribers who are Ravelry members.

So if you are already on my newsletter list you don’t need to do anything you are already in! Whoop! But if you are aren’t sure  if you provided your ravelry name when you subscribed to the newsletter then just fire me a message to support@minalovesdesigns.com and I will check for you.

If you aren’t on my newsletter list you can sign up here. GO DO IT NOW so you don’t miss out on getting your FREE COPY of the SOS Shawl.

If you don’t have a Ravelry account then you can join for free here

WHAT’S COMING NEXT | I have what feels like a kazillion patterns to release. I have been knitting like a maniac all summer and will be releasing them gradually between now and Christmas. So keep eye out here on the blog and on social media for more announcements soon.

Remember don’t stress because Every Row Makes a Project Grow

Simple | Stylish | Stitches
www.minalovesdesigns.com

Springtime Yarn

It’s sunny here today and even tho its still cold oputside that makes me think of springtime…and what yarns I have in my stash to knit with this Easter. So I thought I would flash some stash spring themed yarns today…

So first up I have a local hand dyer – Dye Candy – Lindsay AKA Hutch is a magician when it comes to colour combos and looking at this skein makes my heart melt. I love the greens, yellow and pinks that she has incorporated on this…so much so that I bought two different sock bases and a DK base in the same colourways lol!!

Dye Candy SW Merino Cashmere/Nylon Sock in colourway Prairie

IMG_0850Next up we have some yarn from one of my favourite yarn brands – Malabrigo! Two skeins of pink… one in Rios English Rose (left) and the other in Baby Silkpaca Lace in Fuchsia (right).

Malabrigo Yarns are a firm favourite of mine. You get really good quality for reasonable price per skein. I always recommend these yarns to new knitters as a good way to try natural fibres and move away from acrylic. I’m not a fan of acrylic myself but there is a place for it and I did start out using it as a new knitter so I can’t complain. But these days my view is everyone’s time is precious so why spend it with acrylic on the needles and not some fabulous Merino, Cashmere, Alpaca… or other natural fibre.

Now when you think of springtime the colour you will think of first is probably yellow… and probably because spring is represented by daffodils. The next yarn I’m going to flash is some fabulous lace weight from Eden Cottage Yarns. Victoria is passionate about hand dyeing and her colour palate comes from the landscapes around her. This skein is Pegasus Lace which is a beautiful baby alpaca and silk in a very bright yellow colourway called Dandelion.

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Now living in Northern Ireland when you think of springtime you also think of the green fields in the meadow. Jenny from Townhouse Yarns has expertly hand dyed this next Skein on her Chatham Lace base of Merino and silk which has sadly been discontinued so I suppose this yarn is now vintage stash!IMG_0846

Another favourite of mine is Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light. This yarn is soft and has a lovely stitch definition. This colourway is a limited colourway from the Loop called London Cosmopolitan, and a gorgeous shade of warm orange with subtle hints of pink.


Finally another Irish hand-dyer. This skein has been in my stash for a few years now and I still haven’t decided what it will become (suggestions please!) but it is so pretty to look at and whats not to love about Alpaca, Silk & Cashmere right? Coolree Yarns are based in Wexford and you definitely want to get your hands on a skein or two! This skein has been dyed in a lovely spring blue colourway called ‘Cornflower’.

So what yarns are you lusting over this spring? Please leave me a comment and let me know…

 

Dálki

 

BLOG POST UPDATE: There was over 8,500 downloads on ravelry for this hat pattern when I offered it as a free download when it was first released.

It’s now a paid pattern again but lots of people have fed back to me that they LOVE it because it is such simple construction – so great for budding beginners who want to make a hat for the Autumn/Winter (yes folks it’s not that far away now!!).

For some yarn inspiration you can see the current list of projects on ravelry here


You may have already seen my recent published Dálki Hat. I released it on Ravelry a few weeks ago, initially free for the month of February. But given its popularity and the numerous messages I have gotten to say “I missed it…can I have a copy?” I have decided to offer a discount this week in celebration of EYF.

Continue reading “Dálki”

Friday FO: Marilyn

Well hello again folks..and very Happy New Year to you all!! Did you make any new years resolutions? If you did have you been sticking to them? Or perhaps not?

Did you know by now (mid January) most people have got out of the habit and drifted back into their old ways. So this year I’ve not bothered with the pain of resolutions. Not that I ever actually really did them anyways but you will remember back in 2014 I decided to cold sheep for 6 months – I did 5 months in the end but it only made me go crazy buying when I came off the sheep. So I’ve learnt that this sort of resolution shit doesn’t work for me.

So this year I’m doing goal setting, small baby steps to help me move towards my bigger goals. But by now you are probably thinking why am I telling you all this…

Well in the background for the last year or so I have been doodling designs, making samples, writing patterns, and even going as far as getting some test knit…but sadly I’ve lacked the confidence to actually publish the darn things.

So this year is about pushing that fear (as Susan Jeffer’s said “…feel the fear and do it anyway!”) and throwing it in the skip and just doing it. So I have…I’ve only gone and bloody published my first pattern folks!!

Let me introduce Marilyn

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Marilyn is a wide scarf that is knit in one piece from edge to edge; that is also large enough to use as a wrap draped around your shoulder on colder days.  The pattern sample was knit using Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal yarn in a really gorgeous colourway called “Autumn Gold“.  I’m a huge fan of Debbie’s yarn and this one doesn’t disappoint. Not only is the colour range fabulous (it comes in 24 different shades) but I think the yardage per ball is pretty generous at 380 metres.

The inspiration for this pattern came from one of my favourite classic films “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes“. I love the oldies, the Carry Grants, the Dories Days, the Audrey Hepburns. I was flicking through one of my stitchionary books and came across a diamond panel I liked. That was the beginning of the design and the reason for the pattern name.

The pictures were taken my myself at the local harbour in Carrickfergus. I have been developing my photography skills over the last year and its has become one of my favourite places to dander around. Its actually very relaxing just wondering about clicking away with the camera. These pictures were taken on my bridge camera but I have just invested in a Nikon DSLR so I’m hoping that I will get better with the manual mode function going forward. The only problem I’m sure most people have is finding a willing model. (I’m actually looking for someone to model some mitts and hats – if your interested give me a shout plz!!)

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So as I hit the publish button last Sunday my anxiety hit the roof. The chatterbox went into overdrive. But my dear knitting friends cheered me on. I love them all dearly, they are such a great bunch of gals. I even got a pengiun cheering me on with pompoms… thanks Laura!! And thanks to the rest of you for all your kind wishes on twitter and facebook.

pengiun-pompoms

To make you will need 3.25mm needles and 415 yards of fingering weight yarn.  You could use a heavier weight yarn if you wish, or likewise a lace weight but you will need to factor that the yardage will differ from the pattern.  I’d actually love to see Marilyn knit up in a variety of yarn weights, especially a heavier yarn like Aran/Worsted. Though obviously you may need to reduce the yarn repeats otherwise you might end up with a blanket…unless that’s what you want lol.

The pattern is available to purchase on ravelry here and until midnight on Sunday 17th January 2016 you can grab this pattern for 30% off with the code MARILYN1ST – happy knitting!

So the pressure is off a little. Now I’ve managed to publish one and ticked my ‘one a month’ goal for January I feel great! I’d love to hear your thoughts about Marilyn. Would you knit it and if so what yarn would you use?

In the meantime I’m already working on my next design, which will be out soon. What’s on your needles?