Monday, 2 May 2016

St Andrews Visit

Just spent a lovely weekend in St Andrews for my Mum's 60th (Happy Birthday, Mum!)

Lots of scenic forest walks, good food and of course a bit of knitting!

Scotland forest walk

Here's a few pictures from Kemback wood and Dunino Den. Both absolutely carpeted with bluebells and anemones, something a bit magical about the woods in Scotland at this time of year. Lots of wild garlic about too, had a delicious late dinner of wild garlic hummus and homemade pitta bread after the drive back to Glasgow last night.

And we stumbled on Scotland's best kept secret...

cute sheep pic, funny sheep pic

Clearly the Sheep Olympics training grounds!

The secret's out!

And of course, my Mum's birthday present was handknitted. Here's a few pictures of what will be the Castle Sands Shawl (hope to have the pattern released in the next month or so)

beautiful lace knitting

And if you can't wait that long, I should hopefully be releasing the pattern for Loch Katrine Shawl on Wednesday!

lace shawl knitting pattern

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Moseley in Spring

Released another new pattern this week - Moseley in Spring!

It's available on Ravelry, Etsy, Craftsy, Folksy and LoveKnitting (phew!)

striped cardigan knitting pattern

It's a fitted cardigan with a flattering drape front. Moseley in Spring is knitted from the top down with set in sleeves and neat ribbed edgings. A lightweight, and ever so slightly cropped version of our classic Moseley Cardigan in 4ply yarn with cute stripes. A perfect transitional piece for sunny Spring days. Instructions for 10 sizes are given: to fit bust 32 (34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 48, 52, 56)”.

cardigan knitting pattern stripes

Here's the knitty gritty:

Garment Measurements 
Across Back Armpit to Armpit: 16 (17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 26, 28)”. 
Armpit to hem: 12 (14, 14, 16, 16, 18, 18, 20, 20, 22)”. 
Around top of sleeve: 12.5 (13, 13.5, 14, 15.5, 16, 17, 18.5, 19, 20)”. 
Sleeve length from Underarm: 15.5 (15.5, 15.5, 15.5, 15.5, 17.5, 17.5, 17.5, 17.5, 17.5)”.
Baa Ram Ewe Titus 4ply (50% Wensleydale, 20% Bluefaced Leicester, 30% UK Alpaca; 350 yds (320m) per 100g). 
MC Bramley Baths 440 (540, 575, 680, 715, 840, 875, 1050, 1140, 1320) yds. 
CC Aire 440 (540, 575, 680, 715, 840, 875, 1050, 1140, 1320) yds. 
MC Bramley Baths 400 (485, 520, 620, 650, 760, 795, 950, 1040, 1200)m.
CC Aire 400 (485, 520, 620, 650, 760, 795, 950, 1040, 1200)m.
One 4mm / US 6 40”/100cm circular needle.
Gauge after blocking 
21sts and 28 rows = 4” in stocking st with 4mm/ US 6 needles.
Waste yarn (you’ll need about 1yd/1m), 6 detachable stitch markers, spare 40” circular needle (size 4mm/US 6 or smaller).

knitting pattern stripy cardigan

And just a wee reminder that the knit-along for Mountain Everlasting Sweater is just getting under way in my Ravelry group, plenty of time still to join in the fun:

sheer stripe sweater knitting pattern

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Mountain Everlasting Sweater

Introducing my latest pattern, Mountain Everlasting Sweater:

sweater knitting pattern, merino

A classic fitted sweater with sheer and solid stripes. We alternate between airy, lightweight mohair silk lace yarn used by itself and held together with a buttery soft 4ply blend of merino and silk. This sweater is light as a feather, like wearing a fluffy cloud, but it certainly excels at keeping the chill at bay! You can replace the 4ply yarn with any yarn of this weight, but we really would recommend using a mohair silk blend for the laceweight yarn. This sweater is seamless and knitted from the top down, and the sleeves are worked from picked up stitches around the armhole and shaped with short rows. Instructions for 10 sizes are given: to fit bust 32 (34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 48, 52, 56)”.

sweater knitting pattern, mohair

And it's available at a 50% discount on Ravelry for the next week (until April 12th) with the coupon code "Mountain50"! As well as this, the pattern will be running as a KAL in my group, with a free pattern for everyone who finishes and posts pictures, and a prize draw for a skein of handspun yarn if you finish before the end of June. Discount code “MountainKAL” for 25% off valid until end of June.

sweater knitting pattern, stripes

And here's the knitty gritty:

To fit bust: 32 (34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 48, 52, 56)”. 
0.75-1.75 inches of ease around bust dependent on size. 
Armpit to hem: 18 (18, 18, 22, 22, 22, 22, 26, 26, 26)”. 
Around top of sleeve: 13 (14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23)”. 
Sleeve length from armpit: 14.5 (14.5, 15, 15, 15.5, 15.5, 17, 17, 17.5, 17.5)”.
Laceweight: Shibui Silk Cloud, Colourway Graphite (60% kid mohair, 40% silk; 660 yds per 50g): 
850 (930, 970, 1250, 1310, 1375, 1450, 1850, 2000, 2175)m 
930 (1020, 1060, 1370, 1435, 1505, 1590, 2030, 2190, 2380)yds. 
And 4ply: Shibui Staccato, Colourway Graphite (65% superwash merino, 35% silk; 191yds per 50g): 
360 (390, 415, 540, 560, 580, 620, 800, 850, 920)m 
400 (430, 460, 595, 620, 640, 685, 880, 935, 1010)yds.
One 5mm / US 8 40”/100cm circular needle.
16 sts and 24 rows = 4” in stocking st with both yarns held together using 5mm/ US 8 needles.
Waste yarn, 6 detachable stitch markers, spare 40” circular needle (size 5mm / US 8 or smaller).

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Pattern Writing

It's the February long weekend for schools in Glasgow, so I've got the next two days off and I've got big plans! I've got two sweater patterns that need writing and I'm going to try to blitz them over the next two days. Hopefully I should be able to get them to a stage where I can send them to be tech-edited and with a bit of luck release the final patterns in the next few weeks.

Both are lovely Spring sweaters, not too heavy but just enough to keep the chill off!

Moseley in Spring is a lightweight version of my Moseley Cardigan, with cute stripes.

stripy drape cardigan knitting pattern

I love drape front cardigans, they're so flattering. (I'm actually wearing my Moseley Cardigan as I write this, it's one of my absolute favourites.) They're surprisingly quick to knit too, even in 4 ply yarn!

waterfall front handknit cardigan

The yarn is Titus 4ply from Baa Ram Ewe, a British yarn that's a gorgeous blend of Wensleydale, Bluefaced Leicester and Alpaca yarn. Really lovely stuff!

The second pattern (carrying on with the stripy theme!) is my Mountain Everlasting sweater. This one really is lovely, and I've already got a lot of wear out of it!

sheer stripes handknit jumper

It's a classic fitted sweater knitted with stripes of mohair silk laceweight yarn, and the laceweight yarn held together with merino and silk 4 ply yarn. 

sheer stripes knitting pattern sweater

The yarns are Shibui Silk Cloud and Shibui Staccato - they're designed to go together and come in the most gorgeous colourways. And they're so, so soft. This sweater really is like wearing a lovely fluffy cloud. Loving it!

So fingers crossed that both patterns will be released soon, so you can knit these two up in time for Spring! 

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Folksy Giveaway

We've just re-opened our Folksy shop, and it's now fully restocked with all our favourite patterns. To celebrate, we're having a giveaway! First prize is five patterns of your choice, second is three patterns and third is a single pattern. I'll also be sending out twenty 50% discount coupons.

 Lots of ways to enter, you can:
Like our facebook page, share the competition post there or leave a comment on it and I'll add you to the prize draw! 
You can also enter by following us on twitter (@littletheorem), or retweeting our giveaway tweet.

Small print: please remember that if your privacy settings on Facebook mean I can't see if you've shared a post, then you won't be entered. You can comment on my post instead though!

Winners will be contacted by DM on facebook or twitter on Sunday evening (7th Feb).

Here's a wee screenshot of how the shop is looking now:

folksy shop, knitting pattern shop

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Back on Folksy

Last week I published my New Year's Resolution - to give my knitting design all I've got this year, hopefully so I can go part time at my "real" job. So I've re-opened my Folksy shop, for non-brits, Folksy is the UK's version of Etsy. I stopped posting in my Folksy shop a few years ago since it wasn't really bringing in that many sales, but this year I'm going to try to turn that around. Here's how it's looking now:

folksy, craft, online shop, knitting patterns

I've got 15 patterns and an ebook listed so far, which is about half my "pay-for" patterns. I should hopefully get all the rest uploaded this week. Here's a link to the shop if you want to have a wee peek, I would absolutely appreciate any "likes" until it all gets up and running properly! 

I've also resolved to start submitting patterns to magazines, rather than just publishing everything myself. I can be a bit of a hermit, and I reckon this is a good way to get the word out about my work. Here's a few pictures of swatches for the patterns I've been submitting:

cable knitting pattern swatch

It's a cabled hat pattern with short row shaping the make the brim cover your ears properly. I've been out mountain biking lately and while the cold wind was whipping about my ears this seemed like a particularly good idea!

Sunday, 10 January 2016

2016 Ambitions

I have decided, 2016 is going to be the year when I become an adult. I've hit 30 now and it really is time I started cleaning my room and organising my life. And I'm serious, I've tidied out my yarn stash and my emails, my workspace is looking shockingly organised, and I've purchased a shower cleaning spray that promises I'll never have to scrub it again.

Here's why: I have a seriously stressful full time job on top of my knitting design work and it is starting to take its toll on my health. I teach Maths in one of the most deprived areas in the country, and whilst I absolutely love the time I spend with the kids and love seeing the difference a devoted teacher can make, the amount of rubbish that comes with teaching these days is almost unbearable. I love teaching, absolutely love it, but I've spent the last six weeks with a virus and am getting dizzy spells from stress. Enough is enough. I need more balance in my life. 

So my plan is to sort out the knitting business properly, to the extent where I can go part time with the teaching - best of both worlds! My business model so far has been largely based on knitting what I want and writing up patterns for around half of what I knit. I'm a real Maths nerd and love the challenge of grading a pattern, working out colourwork and lace patterns for different sizes, and making the image of a garment in my head into a reality. It's a happy-go-lucky business model, publishing this and that as I go. For 2016 I'm going to need to be more serious and organised about it if I want to make it a real success. 

So I've been reading all the "New Year, New You" articles that abound at this time of year a bit more seriously and I've come up with some aims:

  1. Get more patterns published by third parties. All my patterns so far have been self published, but I feel it's time to get my name out there a bit more, and (maybe, just maybe) make a bit more cash in the process!
  2. Be more proactive on social media. I can be a bit of a social media hermit, and only post when I've got a new pattern out or a sale on. I'm really going to try to be a bit more consistent with the blogging, tweeting etc.
  3. Start up a Ravelry group. I really should have done this by now, but better late than never! I'm going to try running a few knit-alongs and run my test knitting from there too.
So fingers crossed this will all work out and I won't be posting the exact same thing this time next year!