The pattern has an 8 stitch repeat with 6 stitches on either end of the row. I decided to cast on enough for 2 reps + the 6 sts at either end: 6 + 8 + 8 + 6 = 28 sts
As I'm using a finer yarn I'm going to try 4mm needles instead of the 4.5mm called for in the pattern, so that the stitch pattern doesn't end up looking overly loose.
I cast on my 28sts on 4mm needles and I started by working a couple of rows in garter stitch for a neat edge, before completing the lace pattern 3 times. There's only 11 rows in the lace pattern and it's an easy one, so those 33 rows didn't take long (I'm horribly impatient so that's a good thing). I finished with a couple more rows of garter stitch border before casting off. Strictly speaking you're not supposed to add edge stitches to a swatch because they can distort the neighbouring stitches and give a false measurement, but whatevs, I wanted it to look pretty and it's not a garment so the size isn't that crucial.
Hey let's shoot E3 at Quail Island in the ship's graveyard, said I, with thoughts of piratey drama floating about in my head. Come on Elsie it'll be great fun! Although it's just a short boat ride away, I'd never been there before but heard stories of how it used to be a leper colony which added to the intrigue.
Here's the view from the back of the boat as we're leaving Lyttleton Harbour. Love passing those massive ships, they're on such an epic scale when you're close up to them. #rustymetalporn
Arriving at Quail Island.
So when you board the boat, the driver (is that what they're called? Captain?) hands out a map of the island. Off we set on our quest for the ship's graveyard, soaking in the natural beauty, how hard can following a simple little map of a tiny island be, right?
Here's the shape of it, with some cool info on how it has been used over time.
The zombie apocalypse fangirl in me couldn't walk past this sign without taking a photo!
So the view is amazing but by this point all I can hear is my inner child saying 'are we there yet?' Srsly that innocent looking bag there is filled with knitwear - kilos and kilos of knitwear and I'm carrying the photography gear. That last minute decision not to bother bringing a rucksack was not clever.
After about an hour and a half of lugging knitwear up and down hills, feeling like (exhausted) intrepid explorers, we were passed by this elderly gentleman. #shamefullyunfit #backtoreality
So finally we see it... at the bottom of a grassy cliff
I don't think these photos really show how high and how steep that cliff face is. Elsie rushed ahead and did a bum shuffle down but this wasn't going to work for me carrying all the knitwear and photography gear, #nowaynotever #excusesexcuses
I walked on a bit and found a mildly less steep gradient to descend through these trees.
Elsie examining her injuries at the bottom #toldyaso
Here are the final shots from this location shoot. What you can't see is me standing thigh deep in water to capture this angle of Elsie on the bow of the old ship. Lucky it was a scorching hot day (or not so lucky for my lilly white English skin).
I would like to have shot the whole collection here, but we could only stay until the boat returned to pick us up.
When I got home and recounted the tale of our brave expedition, my younger daughter gleefully told me how she went to Quail Island on a school trip and all the little kids enjoyed the easy walk down to see the boats. Apparently we trekked the wrong way round the island and if we'd continued a little further on there's a walkway straight to the site.
Be quiet child and go to your room!
I am not a big lace shawl knitter but I do design the occasional piece which needs blocking to make the most of the shape, for example my Jagged Little Scarf, recently published in Latitude magazine and Ravelry. As it's knit in Vanitas DK, a 90% Alpaca yarn, I was able to make the most of the fluid qualities Alpaca brings and block this one ball project easily to a very decent sized scarf. The KnitPro Knit Blockers were absolutely perfect for this design! As each set contains 12 longer length 'combs' and 8 shorter length 'combs' I was able to pin the long straight edge of my scarf with the longer ones and the little peaks with the shorter ones.
I'm calling them combs because that is what they look like. The longer ones are 7cm with 8 pins and the others are 3.5cm with 4 pins. Each comb also has 2 holes in the sturdy plastic body to thread string through in order to use the blockers in a variety of ways to create different effects. All I can say is how wonderfully convenient they are! It's so easy to create an even straight edge and regular points with the minimum of effort - well, half the pinning has been done for you! As with a lot of good ideas the beauty in this product is the simplicity. It's the kind of idea that makes you want to say, 'ahhh, of course!'
As I said in my last post, I have messy inclinations so the packaging is all important. The Knit Blockers are neatly presented in a sturdy plastic case, with a foam base to support the sharp ends. I'm happy to recommend this product and I'd be very interested to see what the serious lace shawl knitters could do with them!
Putting together a pattern collection is a lot of hard work and we were so lucky to have the design talents of a wonderful group of international designers for Edition Two. As soon as we saw the submission for the Kalion fingerless mitts we knew they would be in the collection. We love some drama and ‘space opera’ length mitts are certainly dramatic but still very wearable. In addition to this the wonderful detail in the design makes them a winner. I particularly loved the beaded rib stitch which creates a wonderful texture.
What is your favourite part of the design process?
I really enjoy grading the design into a range of sizes, even if that means needing to tweak the design to get the sizing that I want.
Do you have a favourite technique?
Yes, knitting in the round. I like to knit items that have as little finishing as possible so I can wear them hot off my needles.
When you are not working on your own designs, what kinds of projects do you like to make?
I like to knit top-down jumpers, hats and socks.
Are you a sci-fi fan or did our mood board convert you?
I have been a sci-fi fan from the moment I saw the original Star Wars movie at my local cinema in 1977.
What was the main inspiration for your Edition Two design?
The main inspiration for my design is the asymmetrical shapes combined with figure-hugging garments that represent Sci-Fi and Futuristic worlds.
Can you share anything about projects you have coming up?
I have a design that will be published in an international charity ebook in September and I have a couple of accessory patterns that I plan to have self-published by the end of the year.
It’s been a little over a year since Stitch Seekers was first conceived over a cuppa at the local coffee shop (happy belated birthday to us!). I have to say it’s been a wild ride so far! I’ve resisted blogging before now because I was worried about not having enough to say but now I’m a little concerned you’re not going to be able to shut me up…
The end of the month is usually a busy time for us as we make sure that everything is prepared for the release of the next ‘Mr’ for Men in Knitwear and the last couple of months things have gone crazy with a few extra deadlines to add to the mix.
The end of August saw us attending the Knit August Nights retreat in the beautiful North Island city of Napier and also our first teaching gig. Our class sold out within an hour of the registrations opening so I was feeling the pressure! Lucky that Rhiannon is a great (and very experienced) teacher and I could follow her lead. I had to put all vanity aside since I was the model for the “how not to take photos” section of the class, but it was fun and our surprise guest/model, Adam, was a great sport letting everyone try out some techniques learnt in class.
It’s always great to catch up with on-line friends and meet new people at events like KAN and we were especially excited to launch our new yarn line while we were there. Outlaw Yarn has been a work in progress for a while now and it’s been so difficult keeping it a secret! We’ve had wonderful feedback about Vanitas and we love seeing the project pages go up on Ravelry as people are knitting up their purchases.
Our major deadline for September was the release of Edition Two: Futurenauts vs Retrobots. It is an amazing collection from a fantastic crew of international designers. I have loved seeing the progression from the sketches we received for the submission call, to the finished garments arriving on my doorstep, to the final photos and layout ready to publish.
Right now we’re hard at work on Men in Knitwear 2015 and Edition Three, but before all that coming up next month is the launch of the next yarn for Outlaw! Keep watching this space for updates and I’ll also be posting interviews with the Edition Two designers so you can learn more about this talented bunch.
After admiring these sleek looking needles for a while I was happy to be asked to review them. I'm an avid user of interchangeable circular needles and regularly use KnitPro Symfonie, Hiya Hiya and Lantern Moon Rosewood sets. The hi-tech look of the Karbonz appeals to my geeky self and I'm not the biggest fan of metal needles as I find them too slippery and prefer the tactile qualities of wood. Karbonz, are made from carbon fibre with nickel plated brass tips, this intrigued me! I put them to the test with some deliciously silky soft Outlaw Yarn Vanitas which is a 90% Alpaca, 10% Organic Merino blend, to see how much grip the carbon fibre shaft would have. They passed with flying colours having just the right amount of hold on the stitches, not too sticky but not ridiculously slippery either. The metal tips feel just a teeny weeny bit less sharp than their Symfonie equivalents but I'm not sure if that's just my imagination, I love really sharp points! One benefit of regular metal needles is the speed and this is where the designers of Karbonz have been so clever. The nickel plated tips deliver that quick slip of stitch on to needle and the smooth carbon fibre maintains control. Oh and did I mention that the carbon fibre is warm to the touch? A hi-tech look with a friendly feel! The join between needle tip and cable is very smooth on the set I've been using, which is so important, there's nothing worse than snagging stitches. I'm loving the black cables too - not really for any other reason than they look cool, but of course if you're using lighter coloured yarn you'll get good stitch visibility.
Lastly I'd like to mention the case. I was sent the Karbonz starter set, which contains 4 sets of needle tips in 3mm, 3.5mm, 4mm and 4.5mm with 3 cable lengths and accessories. All of this comes neatly packed in a grey, zip up case. I have messy inclinations and any system for storing needles has to be easy and fast for me to stand a chance of maintaining it. Most cases I've used in the past end up with needles and cables sprawling out of them, but I'm hopeful for this one. The tips are held tightly in elastic which seems quicker and more visible than pockets and it's a zippered case which beats ties in my opinion. The cables and accessories are contained in a large, clear pocket and I'm hoping the generous size will make it more practical than other cable pocket systems I've used. I've been impressed by these needles and if their durability over time can match their performance so far I will be a very happy camper!
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All imagery, patterns, charts and text © Stitch Seekers Ltd.
All imagery, patterns, charts and text © Stitch Seekers Ltd.