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Wonderful Welsh Weekend

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apple tree
furry fir
red oak

Your life has all the makings of an idyll.
Have a wonderful week! :)

Grey Bank Holiday

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sixes cowl

Hello! Welcome to those of you who found me last weekend thanks to the lovely Julia. I hope I won’t disappoint! It’s Bank Holiday Monday here in the UK (a 3-day weekend, basically). I haven’t enjoyed weekends very much since I left school (whatever happened to saturday night?). For a start, I always get the urge to order yarn on Friday evening, just when I’ll have longest to wait for it. Then if I decide to go to the library, or to the supermarket, it’s always extra crowded. And then the internet is always so quiet (where do you all go? sniff). Besides, I’m not going to stop “working” just because it’s not a “workday” for most people! But well, thanks to Julia and the Twist Collective, this weekend was devoid of its usual tedium, and I was bouncing around in excitement instead. So welcome! :)

It’s another grey day here, but I hope you’re making the most of your long weekend (if you have one) to do some knitting. I felt like something quick and cosy yesterday & found this in my stash. I love Colinette so much. This is One Zero in the colourway ‘Banwy’ (I wish their website still had those charming blurbs, remember those?). I found myself driving (well, being driven) through Banwy the other day, but unfortunately we didn’t have time to stop and scout out the Colinette workshop. Anyway, I absolutely adore this colourway (though no photos can do it justice), in particular the inky blacks that look like they’ve been dripped onto a light mossy green pool. Welsh slate, mossy rocks, tenebrous woods, and (this is pure genius) the rosy glow of morning sunshine on limewash. How did they do it? How did those clever Colinette dyers manage to put all this in a yarn?

sixes cowl

You really don’t need to work hard to show it off. Sometimes the simplest thing is the best: stocking stitch (stockinette for Colinette, you might say). Wide and loose cowls seem to be in fashion this winter, but I like mine to actually keep my neck warm! And this is the perfect width for that. It’s jolly tricky taking photos of yourself with a manual focus 50mm lens, by the way.

There were so many sixes in this pattern, I decided to call it the Sixes Cowl, maybe it’ll make it easier for you to remember if you decide to knit one.

sixes cowl
sixes cowl

Simple Instructions for the Sixes Cowl

You might just be able to squeeze a cowl out of one hank of One Zero, but get a couple (or 6) just to be sure.
Gauge is also a bit tricky since One Zero is a thick & thin yarn, but mine is approx. 12 sts / 19 rows to 10cm/4in of stocking st.

Using 6mm 60cm circular needles,

Cast on 66 sts & join to work in the round.
Work in 1×1 rib for 6 rows.
Work in stocking stitch for 30cm / 12in (or however long you desire).
Work 6 rows in 1×1 rib.
Cast off in rib.
Weave in ends (my cowl is still umbilical).

sixes cowl

Easy, eh? Look at that sweet wobbly cast off! Because of the uneven nature of the yarn, your stocking stitch will have gentle waves. I recommend you enjoy it that way, rather than trying to block it flat. If you need help with circular knitting, read All About Circular Knitting. And did I mention you can wear it either way out?

colinette one zero in colourway 'banwy'sixes cowl

knitting desktop wallpaper

Just in case you haven’t got any One Zero handy though, and you can’t bear the wait, how about having a picture of it to warm up your desktop? You can download a large copy of the photo above from Flickr, which should shrink to size when you apply it to your desktop. If it doesn’t work though, let me know your screen resolution & I’ll see if I can whip up some specific sizes. :)

P.S. I was very tempted to call this ‘Cawl’ (pronounced ‘cowl’), which is a hearty Welsh soup made with leftovers. Just the thing after a long damp walk. But then I thought (cowls being addictive) that maybe I’ll knit another cowl to call Cawl, what do you think? ;)

31st August, 2009  // Inspiration, Neckwear, Yarn // tags: , , , , .

Dovetail Shawl

Dovetail ShawlHere is the latest Laylock design, taking a well-earned rest on the lawn. I wanted to design a versatile everyday shawl with DK-weight yarn, because those are the shawls I use most. Lace shawls are very pretty and enjoyable to knit, but when the chilly breezes blow (as they frequently do in Britain, winter or summer), this is the shawl I’d want around my shoulders. I loved knitting it because the garter stitch is so quick and simple that you can knit while you read and finish it in a weekend! The way the lace edging fits together reminds me of a dovetail joint, and of course I had to knit it in ‘dove grey’. The pattern will be available soon, though if you’re interested in being a test knitter, email me and you could get it sooner. Thanks, test knitters, I’ll be in touch very soon! I think the shawl would also look lovely with a wider border, or with a border of a different colour. Perhaps even striped garter stitch with a plain coloured border. Seeing as the heat wave in the UK is forecast to end tomorrow, I think I’ll be needing my Dovetail Shawl very soon.

Dovetail Shawl

Dovetail Shawl

Dovetail Shawl

Dovetail Shawl

I’ve said goodbye to Wales for a few months. On my last day I had the perfect pleasure of the first ripe strawberry of the year, and a glass (or two) of rosé. Mmm…

First Blush Only a couple of days later! Perfect.

2nd June, 2009  // Houselock, Life // tags: , , , , .
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