On to part two! This is a series of five knitting patterns inspired by my travels in the Scottish Highlands this Summer. The first pattern was a cowl inspired by the colours of the hills at Abriachan - you can read more about it here! Our second pattern is inspired by a traverse of the Fiacaill Ridge, an imposing rocky traverse in the Cairngorms:
It looks more scary as you climb higher as well!
Having said that, once you're at the top of the ridge, it's very flat indeed on the Cairngorm Plateau.
Something I'm not used to at all after climbing so many West Coast munros - bit more of a jagged landscape. And we managed to spot the Cairngorm reindeer which was a real treat:
But back to the knitting: the pattern this inspired would have to be cosy - it's chilly up there! So I designed a cardigan with a warm shawl collar to wrap up in, in super-insulating alpaca and silk yarn.
Alpaca fibres are hollow, to trap extra heat (they spend a lot of time up chilly mountains too...) so it's the perfect choice for cold weather garments. The design is inspired by the rocky terrain too - with a block pattern at the back made with smocking stitches.
Gauge: 17sts and 26 rows = 4”/10cm
in stocking st with US 7/4.5mm needle after blocking.
Needles: One US 7/4.5mm
40”/100cm circular needle.
Extras: Two detachable stitch
markers; cable needle; spare 40” circular needles (size US 7/4.5mm or smaller) for
holding stitches or waste yarn in a contrast colour; tapestry needle for
weaving in loose ends.
Our Summer holiday plan is almost always the same - pack up the car for biking, hiking, camping (and of course knitting!) and go where the wind takes us! This year was no different - but it inspired a series of five knitting patterns that I'll hopefully be releasing between now and Christmas. The first is a cowl inspired by the colours of the Scottish hillsides:
This cowl is named for Abriachan - a tiny village up in the hills beside Loch Ness. It's always busy by the side of the loch, as it's such an iconic part of Scotland. But once you're up in the hills by its banks, there's a much more remote feel. Abriachan is also home to some lovely (if challenging!) mountain biking trails. I'm fairly sure they aren't well used, the forest and moor seem to be reclaiming them, which adds to the remote feel. There are lots overgrown patches and fallen trees to manoeuvre over, but the scenery is delightful. The colours of the open country are spectacular, with gorgeous patches of delicate red grass - the pictures really don't do it justice. And then there's the deep greens of the forest, really quite dark in places, with red and white mushrooms almost glowing - as well as soft heathery pinks and purples everywhere you look on the hillside. And the teals in the pattern do remind me a little of the shade of my beloved mountain bike...
The cowl pattern uses an absolutely gorgeous yarn – Malabrigo Rastita. The delicate “watercolour” variegated colourway totally reflects the natural beauty of the north of Scotland with jewel tone greens, subtle greys and heathery purples and pinks.
When designing this, I was aware that variegated yarns look lovely in the skein, but don't always look great knitted up. This cowl has slipped stitches, and gathered strands of yarn running across it to really showcase the different colours. A perfect knitting pattern for colourful, variegated yarns!
It's available now on Ravelry, Etsy and Craftsy (coming soon to Loveknitting and Patternfish!)
Here's the details: Yarn: Malabrigo Rastita Colourway “Lotus” (100% Merino Wool, 283m (309yds) per 100g) One 100g skein = 283m/309yds
Dimensions: 20cm/8” deep, 92cm/36” around.
Needles: 4.5mm/US 7 circular needle either 40”/100cm for magic loop or 30”/80cm or shorter circular needle if you do not wish to use magic loop. Gauge: 20 sts x 32 rows = 4" in 2x1 twisted slip stitch rib (repeat rounds 1 & 2 of pattern) after blocking.
Extras: Tapestry needle for weaving in loose ends, stitch marker for end of round.
Loch Katrine Shawl is a pretty little shawl with stunning zigzag edging. Short row shaping gives this shawl a delicate curve and “mini-nupps” add interest to the lace section. This shawl is quick to knit and only uses 50g of laceweight yarn – perfect gifting material!
Castle Sands Scarf is a stunning wide scarf in a pretty Estonian lace stitch pattern with a gorgeous edging, blocked into delicate points. It's worked from the centre out so that both sides are perfectly symmetrical. The yarn is an unbelievably soft and buttery heavy lace weight yarn, almost a 4ply. Its luxurious softness and fabulous handdyed colourways work so well with delicate lace.
And if you need more Summer knitting inspiration, please check out our post about our all time Top Ten Summer Knitting Patterns. There's something for everyone - simple linen tees, pretty wraps and intricate lace.
Wishing all our readers a happy, knitting filled Summer!
Thought I'd write a wee top ten post this week. My "real" job is being a Maths teacher, and with one week to go until my 7 week summer holidays, I'm on the search for fun, lightweight knitting projects to keep me busy. Thought I'd collect a few gems for anyone in a similar situation!
Summer in Scotland is a slightly chilly affair, so I love shawls and wraps to throw over my shoulders when I'm sitting outside in the evenings and this one looks just perfect. Such a pretty textured stitch pattern and lots of interest in the edging - sublime!
I always say I love a classic pattern with a twist, which this pattern takes very literally! Such a cool top - I love the different coloured striping, its flattering drape, and of course the knot detail.
A classic Summer sweater - light and loose! The yarn is 100% organic linen spun in a ribbon structure. It's got a bit of texture to it so it looks great in a simple stockinette pattern like this. And the colours are such lovely muted shades,
Such a pretty knit with a delicate lace pattern, this really is a showstopper! And it's a really wearable piece for people who love lace knitting but wouldn't wear a shetland triangle! And it's a freebie, who can resist?!
In Summer, I never really knit anything heavier than dk yarn - it's the time of year where lace knitting and fine yarns really get their chance to shine. And this is a true classic lace knitting pattern. Perfect for Summer weddings and garden parties, this is an intricate, timeless wrap.
Another lovely linen creation! This top in 4ply linen yarn will certainly be cool in warmer climates. I going through a real phase for textured knits at the moment, and absolutely adore the asymmetric, textured detailing round the neckline. Such a simple but striking top - love it!
I had to include this one! Such a fun knit - the rainbow stripes are such a joyful addition to a knitting pattern. While variegated yarns by themselves can be a bit much for me, when "diluted" like this with the grey solid colour, they add a splash of brightness that makes this a perfect summer knit.
Lace isn't just for shawls! This top with lace panels is an absolutely gorgeous way to show off your lace knitting skills. This really is something special, and shows that knitting isn't just about thick woolly jumpers!
Ok, so this one's by me (a shameless plug!) but I'll explain why it's on the list: firstly, we don't have a really cropped cardigan yet and I think they're both cute and useful for when it's hot-but-not-that-hot. And secondly, I only had one skein of this beautiful blue sock yarn at the time, so I knitted the sample for this pattern in a size 28-30. This is just a tad too small for me, so it's definitely on the list to reknit in a larger size!
I really hope you enjoyed this list and that if you're a "cold-weather" knitter then it inspires you to start knitting in the warmer months too. Please let me know what you think in the comments, and let me know if you have any summer favourites that you would have added!