Brioche on the Beach

Hi there, today as I start my summer vacation I’m pleased to be able to share this appropriately named pattern.

Brioche on the Beach by Renée Callahan or East London Knits is one of my latest secret test knits. This is, as the name indicates, a brioche pattern. And I actually think this could be a great pattern for the beginner to intermediate brioche knitter because you get a lot of easy brioche and then towards the end when you are completely confident in your brioche skills, you get to tackle a brioche wave pattern.

This is a two color brioche and so using two contrasting colors is a good idea for maximum effect. I used fingering weight yarns; the pink color is in the colorway Sprinkles by Knit Cosmic Strings and the charcoal one is my own hand dyed in a merino and mohair blend. The colors are highly contrasting and so the result is really crisp I think.

This wrap is huge! And I could have actually made it even bigger by just knitting on for longer before starting the wave pattern but I admit I was getting impatient for something new and exciting.

This is a super squishy wrap due to the brioche texture and super soft as the yarns I chose. I used almost 2 skeins of each color so close to 4 skeins total. You can get away with less if you knit your wrap less wide.

I knit mine as per the pattern because I like large and squishy shawls/wraps.

Renée has a special offer on this wrap. If you sign up for her newsletter before August 27th you will get a 20% discount code for this pattern and so I highly recommend you do sign up. You will not get spammed but just notified when she has a new podcast out, a new pattern or if she is teaching or present at a knitting event.

And for even more discounts, when you purchase this pattern you will get a discount code for Retrosaria Mondim yarn good until August 16th – the yarn Renée used in her design.

So really you have a lot of reasons to be tempted.

Now on to the fashion/photo show. Enjoy:)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements

My two latest test knits have been published

Hi there, how are you today? I’m melting…literally. It is soooo hot here in Normandy it’s difficult to knit even.  I am not a hot weather person meaning that I do not enjoy high temperatures. I like medium hot like maybe 25°C but not much more so these days I truly suffer from the heat.

But hey this is what summer is all about so I guess I should not complain.

Thank you to all that participated in my two last giveaways. There is one last one coming up in a few days so you have that to look forward to.

I haven’t shared much of my knitting with you lately because of the giveaways and little time so I thought I should remedy that now.

Both of my bigger test knits have now been published on Ravelry.

First there is the secret test knit I did for Renée of East London Knits. It is a top down sweater with a beautiful sweetheart neck line and an easy construction. The pattern is called Witching Hour.  I have linked here to my project page on Ravelry for more pictures of my sweater.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I knit mine using fingering weight yarn from Knit Cosmic Strings in colorway Moonlight.

I really like my sweater and can see myself knitting it again. The only remark I have is regarding the sleeves that I feel are too tight for my liking but I don’t really know if that is the pattern or if I just knit at a tighter gauge.

And my second garment test knit was the Cactus cardigan by Suvi Simola which I have been able to share with you here before. Again I will link here to my project page so you can get all the details.

I really did enjoy knitting this cardigan and look forward to knitting this again. The pattern is super simple to follow and the garment a joy to wear.

IMG_1488IMG_1487

I knit mine using Holst Garn Supersoft and I think I will knit one from the same yarn but different color and maybe a third in another yarn. Really this is such a wearable item.

I am now working on just one test knit, a summer garment and again this is a secret so I can only show you the yarn. This is 100% linen yarn in fingering weight and I love the colours. I’m knitting this doubled on needles size 5mm. I’m about half done with this one. I did finish one version of this pattern/test knit in size small using my own hand dyed merino/cotton yarn as I waited for this yarn to arrive. That worked out great and I gifted the garment to my youngest. When the pattern will be published I will share pictures of both versions.

IMG_1472

Currently so I’m working on this test knit, I’m also still working on my Main Street tee shirt and I’m actually working on socks from my pile of wips!

But I think very soon I will be casting on for a new pair of socks because I have joined the Knotty Knit Wits Stitch Surfer Kal which I have mentioned in a previous post. I had chosen the following yarns

IMG_1484

The “contrast color” is my own hand dyed. But I think I have changed my mind. I need something truly contrasting for this pattern to shine so I am going to change the contrasting yarn and possibly even the self striping. Depends on what I find in my stash.

That’s about it I think for now. I’ll probably be back this weekend with the third and last giveaway for a while. Until then take care and enjoy your knitting:)

Kettle Yarn Co and East London Knits

Hi there, lets continue the presentations of all the wonderful talents I met at the I Knit Fandango show in London this May. I didn’t have the time to post yesterday so we are a day behind “schedule” but I’m sure you’ll forgive me for that. Long weekends are not necessarily good production weekends and this one was spent with friends and family so not much knitting or writing got done:)

Now on to today’s subject. So at the I Knit Fandango show my booth was across from the talented Linda of Kettle Yarn Co and she was assisted by her friend and designer Renée Callahan of East London Knits. Both Linda and Renée were present at Unwind Brighton last summer but I did not get to know Linda until now. Renée however I did get to know last year and was pleased to get a chance to meet her again in London.

Linda founded her company Kettle Yarn Co in 2013 and her focus is on luxury yarn, quality blends of British yarns that are ethically sourced. She has a great sense of colour and the yarn bases she has chosen to work with are all gorgeous. Her booth was full not only of her beautiful yarns but also with knits made from her yarns – shawls and sweaters and those all drew people in and made people want to cast on for one of those in her yarn immediately!

Linda is an independent hand dyer like myself only she has reached a stage where she is able to focus solely on her yarn business as a full time job – something I currently dream of:) Another thing that inspires me about Linda is that she has worked hard to create colourways that she can repeat and thus dye a number of skeins in the same colour which in turns makes it possible for you to knit a large piece such as a sweater using skeins from the same dye lot or if not the same dye lot at least of an identical colour. I need to think more like Linda and take her as an example and come up with my own repeatable colourways because at the moment I’m all in the “inspiration of the moment” phase which means my yarns are more for small projects such as mittens, socks, hats, cowls, shawls and not so much for larger projects like  sweaters (unless you place a private order for X number of skeins for your project).

You can visit Linda’s website/shop/blog here

Kettle Yarn Co

Like I said above, Linda had a helper in her booth, her friend Renée Callahan which you may know as the designer behind East London Knits. Here she is in Linda’s booth (Kettle Yarn Co)

Renee Callahan in Kettle Yarn Co booth  Many of the designs displayed in the Kettle Yarn Co booth were designs by Renée knit with yarns from Kettle Yarn Co. Renée has a background in fashion studies and works as an independent knitwear designer. She self publishes her own patterns and also does patterns for third party publications. One of the things that differentiates her from many designers of hand knits, is the fact that she is also a skilled machine knitter. On her website/blog you can see some of her work as she does commission designs as well as her own projects. I don’t know if the machine knitting skill adds to her performance as a hand knit designer but I do know that it does not subtract from it:) You can buy Renées patterns on Ravelry and if you click here you’ll be taken directly to her Ravelry pattern shop.

As a fan of her designs I own a few of her patterns myself such as:

Beetlebum of East London Knit Beetlebum shawl

Frost and Flame of East London Knit Frost and Flame shawl

Rhombolution of East London Knit Rhombolution double knit scarf

The first picture is of a shawl called Beetlebum which was actually gifted to me by Renée herself! Thank you soooo much Renée 🙂

Here are some pictures from her Ravelry page:

Beetlebum of East London Knit Beetlebum by Renée Callahan of East London Knit I love the combination of patterns and how the diamond shapes are “hugged” with a “stripey” lace pattern on each side.

Renée gave me this pattern last week and I immediately went about casting on. I cast on twice, once using a lace weight yarn and once using a fingering weight yarn. The pattern calls for lace but when looking at the pictures I thought the yarn looked a bit heavier than the lace yarn I had on hand so I decided to try both fingering and lace.

Beetlebum shawl in fingering www.knittinginfrance.com Beetlebum shawl on www.knittinginfrance.com  You can clearly see the different results here. I like both. The fingering gives this a “sturdier” look and is maybe a more “everyday” look whereas the lace version is “ethereal”, delicate and lightweight. After sharing my little test knits on Instagram I decided to go for the lace version which was getting more likes than the fingering version (but I just may cast on for the fingering version anyway after this one is done). And so I undid everything and cast on FOR REAL.

Like I said before, this weekend I did not get much knitting done but I did knit a bit in the car on my way to our family event and before going to bed. After all a day with no knitting at all is just not an option 🙂 So here is where I’m at today:

Beetlebum by East London Knits Looking good so far I think.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about these two young and talented ladies and encourage you to visit their websites and support their work by sharing what you like and why not purchase a pattern/skein or two:)

That’s all for today. More fun stuff to discover tomorrow, until then take care and have a lovely day.