I am just a little bit in love with this version of the Silsden baby blanket I designed for Eden Cottage Yarns. Crocheted in Whitfell DK (a gorgeous 100% baby alpaca), this yarn crochets up into a butter soft fabric.
Laura has only been crocheting a few months and has made a fabulous job of this blanket. The pattern is worked entirely in double crochet and is very easy for a beginner. You can buy the yarn from the Eden Cottage Yarns online shop and you’ll find the Silsden blanket pattern on Ravelry. Of course, if blankets aren’t your thing, but you like the look of this beautiful yarn; you’ll find plenty of pattern inspiration on this dedicated page on the Eden Cottage Yarns website. Thanks Laura for sending me this beautiful photo – congratulations on completing your first blanket.
I am very pleased to say that I have just added one of my favourite cowl designs to Love Crochetand Ravelry online stores. The Linoleum Cowl first appeared in issue 73 of Inside Crochet and uses two of my favourite yarns from Eden Cottage Yarns. Askham and Milburn both have a silk content in combination with natural fibres (Askham has baby Alpaca and Milburn has Blue Faced Leicester), so they both have beautiful sheen and drape. The colours (and hence the name) were inspired by a photograph on Instagram of an old linoleum floor. The colours just looked so great I had to try and reproduce them in a design.
Over on Love Crochet I have suggested a few yarn alternatives as they don’t stock Eden Cottage Yarns, but you can always buy the pattern from them and then head over to Victoria’s website to buy the yarn – feel free to use the same colours I have or choose three balls from the same range – Milburn has some excellent colours to choose from – and the Blue Faced Leicester is British, so I have a particular soft spot for it. Askham’s blend of Baby Alpaca and silk makes it feel very luxurious and it is gorgeous to work with. If you’re looking for a different colour combination, I’d be tempted to choose Blossom and Air from the Askhamrange and Natural from Milburn to make a really feminine version. This is quite a speedy make, so if you’re looking for handmade gift ideas, this would be great.
I might also suggest that if you’re looking for a gift for a crocheter, then this pattern combined with three balls of Eden Cottage Yarns and a crochet hook, packaged together in one of Victoria’s beautiful project bags would be the perfect gift. (hint hint Todhunters – I’ve already mentioned a beautiful colour combo above).
Priced at £3.60 (inc VAT), the pattern is written in UK crochet terms and includes a chart for the motif used.
More exciting news this week – the new edition of Inside Crochet arrived and my latest design using Eden Cottage Yarns beautiful 4 ply is featured on the cover. The Linoleum Cowl was inspired by a photo on Instagram of an old floor, I loved the vivid yellows and oranges and thought they would be a great combination for a “mid century” inspired accessory. I used a combination of Askham and Milburn 4 ply yarns, the shades were perfect and these yarns work so well together and allow the knitter or crocheter plenty of choice in putting together their own colour palette. Askham yarn is on special offer at the moment, so this is the perfect time to spoil yourself.
To make the cowl, you’ll need three different shades. I suggest making the motifs first, sewing them together and then working the main cowl until it matches the length of your motifs, this allows for any differences in tension to be “ironed out” by working more or fewer rows of the pattern.
Look out for issue 73 in the shops, there are some lovely patterns in this issue and a great interview with fellow designer Ali Campbell (who also has a guest project in my new book) and a really pretty shawl by Helda Pangary, which I am planning to make over the Christmas holidays. This is another project which would be perfect for Askham or Milburn, so I’ll be raiding my stash to find the perfect colour combination.
Well, it seems a long time since I first wrote about Wovember way back in 2012 and it’s great to see how it has grown and become a feature of the knitters calendar. Over on Instagram I keep spotting photos tagged and shared which celebrate Wool (and for this month only, I’m talking about wool from sheep, not animal fibres in general). Back then, readers of Baking and Making might remember the ongoing conversation with the Wool Marketing Board about the labelling of British wool, I have to say things haven’t got much better and still, the best way to to be sure the wool you’re buying is 100% British wool is to ask the producer or retailer.
In some ways things have got easier, the Woolsack is still a great resource for anyone looking for stockists of British wool and there is the fabulous online retailer BritYarn, where you can check out the fibre content and provenance of some amazing yarns (and Isla is super helpful too). Some of my favourite independent dyers have also added a specific British section to their websites, making it even easier to choose British (special mention here to Eden Cottage Yarns). I would still love to see the major yarn producers show a real commitment to British wool, but at least most of them have at least one British blend or pure breed wool in their range these days.
You can read all about this years competitions, what hashtags to look out for and information on the background over on the Wovember website. There is also a dedicated Ravelry group. I am really interested in Louise’s Knit British British Breeds Swatch Along, which is a fantastic opportunity to explore British (or local) breeds and to share knowledge about single breed wools – do check out her podcast for the full details of how to take part.
As my commitment to Wovember this year I’m going to focus on British wool and I’ll be sharing some of my favourites here on the blog. To start the ball rolling here’s a photo of the simple granny square scarf I designed in Wendy Ramsdale. This a 100% British wool distributed by Thomas B Ramsden (it’s marketed as “born, bred and made in Yorkshire) and you can find it online and in lots of “bricks and mortar” shops. One of the things I love about this wool is how all the colours work together, making it great for colourwork. It is also incredibly soft and easy to work with.
I’m going to try and post a new yarn at least once a week in Wovember, so look out for more beautiful wools, British breeds and new projects celebrating all that is great about wool.
My favourite Sunday afternoon walk is a stroll along Allonby beach – boy it can be windy – even in summer. So, I always have a few woollies in my rucksack to guard against the chills. My current favourite is this super smooshy cowl which is made in Eden Cottage Yarns Whitfell Chunky. The colour “Tulip”, is even more stunning in real life and the soft baby alpaca really keeps out the cold. I made this version quite large, so I could easily slip it over a bulky coat and I’ll admit to wearing it around the house too!
The button came from Bag Clasps, I spotted these at Woolfest and Julie kindly let me take one away to play with. I think you’ll agree it’s stunning and really sets off the cowl beautifully. If you’re off to Yarndale this weekend, look out for the Bag Clasps stand or visit their website (I have yet to find a website which is so well stocked with everything you need for bag making and Julie is really helpful too, always willing to advise and offer suggestions).
As I was writing this, I realised the Whitfell Chunky / Bag Clasps combo is becoming a bit of a theme in my designs. This gorgeous bag also uses Whitfell Chunky and features straps from Bag Clasps leather range. You can buy the pattern from Ravelry by clicking here
It’s no secret I love working with natural fibres, and alpaca yarns do feature high on my list of all time favourites. Lucky for me Eden Cottage Yarns are launching two new shades of Whitfell Chunky at Yarndale this weekend. I already have plans for these gorgeous shades:
If you would like to buy the pattern for this new design, you can find the Allonby Cowl on Ravelry, or on Love Crochet.
Of course, I can’t write a blog post about Eden Cottage Yarns without a shameless plug for “Drift”. This new collection features some beautiful knitting patterns by a very talented group of designers, and I’m pleased to say you’ll also find three crochet designs by me in the collection. I’ve added a whole page featuring the collection (click on the “Drift Collection” tab to read all about it or you can view the lookbook and drool over the beautiful designs here.
I am so excited today,Vicki from Eden Cottage Yarns has posted a small teaser on her blog featuring her new collection. “Drift” will be launched at Yarndale later this month and features designs from some exceptionally talented knitwear designers. I’m proud to say a few of my crochet designs are also included. You can read Vicki’s blog post, introducing the new collection here. If you’re heading off to Yarndale at the end of this month, stop by the Eden Cottage yarns stands and say hello. You might also be able to squish some samples of my new and existing designs for Eden Cottage Yarns.
As soon as I’m “allowed” I shall post photos here along with details of how you can buy the book. Until then, I’ll leave you with a couple of images from last year’s collection to whet your appetite!
Well hello there! While the British summer may have been a bit of a washout so far, I have had a lovely break (cue photo of French sunflowers!) and now it’s back to work.
Work in “the book” continues, with some exciting stuff this week, which involved a trip to Tunbridge Wells – I can’t wait to tell you more and reveal a new departure for me – you’ll have to wait until all is revealed, but I can tell you it was very exciting (for me at least) and involved some fabulous people and a rather amazing publication which I’ve been reading since childhood!!
In between designing some rather cute Christmas commissions (yes, magazine commissions work on a different “time zone” to ordinary mortals!) I have been swatching motifs, I have a blanket in mind, but I’m not sure what form it will take yet, much playing with yarn will follow until I feel I’ve got it “just right”. This swatch two beautiful shades of Eden Cottage Yarns Whitfell DK, a yarn I’ve been using a lot recently.
Meantime, I’ve been teaching myself how to design amigurumi figures. Apparently it’s “all in the proportions”, so many part finished dolls and critters swamp my desk as I write!
Also this week, the lovely team at Rooster Yarns sent me some of their gorgeous Almerino – now here’s a yarn I’ll use again. It’s so soft and the colours are stunning. A practical blend of baby alpaca and merino, it comes in dk and aran weight. I used 2 balls of dk to make this pretty cowl. It started life as a Friday night swatch, but soon turned into this little beauty – which I will admit to wearing already – like I said – summer has been a bit of a washout.
Finally, I am slowly editing all my patterns ready to re -release my single downloads in the autumn and post some brand new free patterns in preparation for your seasonal gift knitting and crochet (you see, I can’t even mention the “C” word in August – even though I’m been humming Christmas carols and knitting baubles since July!)
Whatever you’re up to this summer, I hope you find some time to put down your hooks and needles and spend some time outdoors in the sunshine.