Friday, 24 July 2020

Big, bold and cotton – knitwear trends for this summer

We’ve been taking a little time out to browse the fashion blogs for inspiration and it seems this is a good year to grab some cotton yarn DK, aran or even chunky and create oversized pullovers, colourful lace tops and bright striped sweaters and dresses.

Flicking through recently published patterns for cotton yarns, we’ve fallen for these and think they make great summer inspiration.

Lacy tops

This green top, Copenhagen, in cottonaran from Lang Yarns features a lace texture pattern and could be pulled over a dress or strappy top.

The bold lace pattern in Druridge Bay by Jo Storie* which featured in The Knitter magazine is right on trend. Worked on large needles this would be a fun and quick make.


Rainbow stripes are definitely one of this year’s key images and they are put to great use on the yoke of Todo irábien by Agus González*. You could also choose a gradient of stripes of shades of one colour. 

The Milk & Honey tee by Makenzie Alvarez* uses a traditional stranded motif in its clever use of colour blocking. The bold colour contrast makes for a striking finish.

You could combine big lace with colour work as in Top in Colorblock-Optik by OZ Verlag Design Team*. 

Knitted and crocheted dresses

Left is Evening Out from Drops Design. This simple design takes full advantage of the stripes trend and it is one where you could be very bold in your colours changes. 

We love this Garnet Dress from ConceptCreative and its a bold use of lacy crochet.

But if you really want to go bold try the Colorful Coachella (right) Dress by The Posh Crochet* which manages to be both straight of the catwalk and a stashbuster.


A crochet bag with a difference

This classic shopping bag is crocheted in King Cole Raffia, a cellulose rayon yarn. You could stick with the traditional basket look or go bold in one of the other  nine shades or create a striped or colour block version. This is a great way to embrace the colour trend if you aren’t happy wearing stripes. The pattern is King Cole 4337.

*Indicates where Ravelry links are used – if you are using classical Ravelry, search by pattern and designer name.

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Knitters' slang

There are plenty of abbreviations around in knitting and some of them aren’t to do with the stitches in your pattern. Theses and some puns have become a kind of knitters’ slang which is a handy shorthand when you know it but can be mystifying for new knitters.

Here is our guide to some of the common terms

DPNs – double pointed needles

FO – finished object. An unfinished object (project) is a UFO

Frog – to pull out several rows of knitting. The term comes from “rip it, rip it” which sounds like a the croak of a frog.

KAL/CAL – a knit or crochetalong. A (usually online) event where a group of people work on the same project at the same time. These are sometimes new patterns, released part-by-part, but can be a group just choosing a pattern to do together.

LYS – local yarn shop

PHD – project half done.

Stash – your collection of yarn

SABLE – stash acquisition beyond life expectancy, ie a lot of yarn

Tink – “knit” backwards, ie working back stitch by stitch to fix a problem.

WIP – work in progress

Yarn barf – when your centre pull ball of yarn collapses in a tangly mess, with a lump spilling out.

Do you have a favourite piece of knitters’ slang?

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Adding a life line to your knitting

Adding a life line is a great technique when you are working on a complicated lace or colourwork pattern and really useful to give you a little extra confidence when you are trying a new technique for the first time.

A lifeline is a way of protecting the knitting that your have already done and are happy with.
All you need for a life line is a blunt darning needle and a spool of sewing cotton.

In the picture above you can see a life line running across the work between the stocking stitch section and the lace. If I was to drop a stitch now or need to rip back, the life line would stop stitches in the stocking stitch coming out.

In this swatch, I know the lace is correct so far so I am going to add another life line to protect that work. 

Thread the darning needle with a long length of sewing cotton and thread it through each stitch on your needle.

If you are working with a lot of stitches, leave the cotton attached to your spool until you have fed it through every stitch to the end.

Be careful to run your thread through each stitch and not the yarn, and avoid threading it through any stitch markers. Secure the thread at each end with a loose back stitch.

Once the life line is secure you can simple continue with your knitting.

If you make a mistake in your pattern – here I started with the wrong row – you can simply remove your needles and rip back to the life line. In other words a place where you are confident your work is correct.

The life line will prevent you going any further than that row.

Then you can simply return your work to your needles and continue.