Incantation – Colours of Skye

A couple of weeks ago I finally went to the Isle of Skye, a long dream come true. It is a very long way from where I live (11 hours drive) and October might not be the best time to choose for a visit because of the weather, but I did not care about any of this. I was smiling the whole way there, the scenery is breath taking, and I was smiling all the time during our stay. What is not to like when, as a yarn-lover, you are staying at a place where there is “access all hours” to beautiful yarn – Glenview B&b, the home of Shilasdair Yarns.

Glenview is the home of Kirsty, Simon and their two wonderful boys. This is where you can stay in comfortable, beautiful vintage inspired surroundings, have yoga sessions with Simon and sample his delicious food and most importantly, this is where Kirsty dyes up a storm in her dyeing shed and you can purchase her naturally dyed yarn. Be prepared to be dazzled by all the gorgeous shades making it difficult to choose.

During our days out on the Island I had totally fallen in love with the colours of Skye and finally settled on three shades for a shawl design I had been thinking of. Inspired by a photo I took I decided to make the shawl using Shilasdair Coara Sport/DK in shades Indigo & Madder, Madder and Birch.

What a joy it is to knit with this lofty squishy yarn! I found it hard to put down and in no time at all my vision of the design became reality and today I can introduce you to my finished Shawl.

I am calling it Incantation – a series of magic spells that the Isle of Skye bestowed onto me.

The shawl shape is reminiscent of wide open Glen’s and is achieved by working short rows, while simple eyelet detail remind of thousand droplets of the many Waterfalls on the Island. The I-cord finish keeps everything safe and in shape.

The pattern is available as an instant PDF download from my Ravelry store to which you can find a link on the right hand side of this page, or go straight there by clicking HERE. A 15% launch discount is available until midnight on Sunday 10th November (GMT) and will be automatically applied at the check-out.

I hope you like it as much as I have loved creating it.

xo.

Lily of the Valley

About five years ago I met my now dear friend Emma of The Little Grey Sheep. Bit by bit I got to know her and her beautiful yarns and during these past few years I have learned more and more about Well Manor Farm and Emma’s vision for it: Farming ethically and sustainably!

Well Manor Farm is a small family farm on the Surrey & Hampshire borders, nestled amongst the rolling countryside and dating back to Tudor times. Here the aim is to care for the landscape by farming in a nurturing and non intensive way, and by not over stocking enhancing biodiversity and  preserve the environment for generations to come.

Susie, the farms shepherdess, manages the flock and shears them at Christmas time. The fibre is then send off for washing and spinning with care before arriving back at the farm for hand dying by Emma. A British product through and through!

For the past few years Emma and I have worked on a number of design collaborations together. Using her beautiful yarns is a privilege and absolute pleasure as it stands for everything close to my heart: Farming and living ethically and sustainably, producing less waste and doing my bit to help save our beautiful planet. Hand-dyed by Emma on the farm the yarn is available in an array of stunning colours and the only difficulty is choosing which yarn and shades to use.

For Lily of the Valley I choose to work with Hampshire 4Ply, a 100% Pure Wool yarn. A little rustic, available in the most stunning shades and a joy to work with, this yarn becomes super soft after the first wash and envelopes you in a soft hug, keeping you snug and warm throughout all seasons.

The shawl is worked from the bottom up starting with the lace border, comprising of simple yarn over’s and small bobbles. The crescent shape is achieved by working short rows and the result is a long shallow shawl that is very easy to wear.

Three shades of green work in perfect harmony together and this shawl is set to become a firm favourite in no time.

Launching today, the pattern is available as part of a kit from Emma at The Little Grey Sheep (HERE) or from Monday 29 August 2019 as a single pattern via my Ravelry Store (link in menu on right).

Happy knitting! XO

waves – a summer design

Living in Wales one isn’t often inclined to knit short sleeved summer garments. Even at the height of summer the weather is pretty unpredictable and even on a sunny day a light, but long sleeved garment, is often the most sensible option.

Last year however we were all pleasantly surprised by prolonged hot sunny days and we are of course hoping for a repeat this year.

Meet Waves, a lightweight short sleeved T-Shirt style jumper, featuring a fun, yet simple and elegant large lace border. The perfect garment for spring and summer, it pairs beautifully with a summer dress, shorts or lightweight jeans. The length can easily be adjusted for a change in style and if long sleeves are more your thing, you can easily adjust the sleeves too. Just remember: Changing the length might require more yarn.

This is a speedy garment and a keen and motivated knitter , with enough knitting time at their disposal, can easily finish this in a weeks time.

I used a beautifully drapey Cotton/Viscose/Linen mix yarn by Sandnes for my sample, but any soft summer yarn in your favourite colour will work.

The pattern is available from my Ravelry store now and an automatic discount of 10% will be applied until midnight Friday, 31. May 2019.

I have taken the difficult decision to offer my patterns in one size only from now as I can no longer sustain the expense of having test knitters for all different sizes. As I cannot afford to pay a Technical Editor I have to carefully work out the Maths for 7-8 different sizes and that alone is very time consuming and then there is the worry that it might not be correct. As a one-woman show I have to think hard about every penny spent and rather than increasing the price for each of my garment patterns I have decided to offer all my new patterns to fit bust sizes 38/40 only, starting with this design.

Thank you for your understanding and your continued support for my little business.

Heike xo.

a perfect day

Hello friends, how have you been? Good I hope and maybe you have missed me just a tiny teeny bit?

It’s been a long while since you have heard from me, but a lot has happened since my last post way back at the beginning of March. More on that another time.

Today I want to introduce you to my brand new design – “A perfect day”.

This shawl is my second collaboration with Fibre Artist Chrissie Day. You may remember our collaboration of the “Walk the line” shawl last year. Chrissie lives in the bleak, but oh so beautiful, North Pennines, from where she writes, designs and enjoys the amazing landscape she lives in.

Chrissie creates her own range of yarns from the marvellous Blue faced Leicester sheep roaming the fields where she lives, achieving some some stunning earthy colours by adding beautiful chocolate and peat colour from the Zwartbles breed. All the yarn is from the same flock and same clip which adds immense beauty to the fibre.

It was with great pleasure I agreed to design a new shawl for her when she asked me and it is with great joy that I introduce this new design to you today.

The shawl uses two stunning colours of Chrissie’s 100% British Moorland Yarn, powder pink denoting Summer sky pink and dusty inky blue for a stormy Pennine sky. It is worked from the bottom up starting with the lace border and the crescent shape is achieved by working short rows, with the result being a long shallow shawl that is very easy to wear.

An accessory to make every day into a perfect day for you.

The shawl is available in kit form directly from Chrissie HERE  and will include the yarn you need to make it plus the pattern.

Wishing you a lovely bank holiday weekend. Until very soon.

Happy knitting, Heike x.

three thousand miles – a new pattern

#madewithloops.co.uk #threethousandmilesshawl

It’s taken a while…but I am so happy to be able to share with you my latest design today 🙂

The ‘Three Thousand Miles Shawl’

A big old distance lies between ‘The Rainbow Room’, where this shawl was created and Magpie Fibres, home of the yarn used. Over three thousand miles in fact.

Earlier this year I started ‘talking’ with Dami, the owner of Magpie Fibresover on Instagram. I took a very big liking to all of her beautiful yarns and when she posted photos of some amazing sets of her swanky sock yarn, I instantly fell in love.

#madewithloops.co.uk #magpiefibres.com

Hand-dyed in the city of Frederick in Maryland USA, this yarn sang to me immediately and when Dami brought some hanks for me to try to Edinburgh earlier this year, I knew I had to do something special.

#madewithloops.co.uk #threethousandmilesshawl

The shawl is worked in three sections and uses just over 1000 metres of yarn. Multiply the two and you get the distance between my studio and the home of Magpie Fibres, hence the name.

You start by working the cabled section, followed by the large main section and finally the opposite long section. All of it is finished off with one of my trademark favourites, an I-cord cast off. The result is a pretty large (Width 165 cm x Depth 70 cm), super soft shawl, which, I am sure, will become a firm favourite in no time.

#madewithloops.co.uk #threethousandmilesshawl

You can of course use any yarn you like, just make sure it is soft and squishy and if you want to achieve the same size as my sample, I urge you to use a fingering/4ply yarn. Here is what you need:

Magpie Fibres Swanky Sock – 80% Superwash Merino/10% Cashmere/10% Nylon (or yarn of choice)

115g/345m – Sample uses:

1 x shade Baby got Black – Col A

2 x shade Love & Rockets – Col B

1 x shade Paint it Black – Col C

4 mm Knitting Needles (at least 100cm long circular for main body of shawl to accommodate stitches)

Cable Needle

#madewithloops.co.uk #threethousandmilesshawl

The pattern is now available as instant download from all the usual places to which you find links on the right hand side of this blog.

I hope you like it and enjoy making your very own, perfect for winter, squishy shawl.

XO.



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