London Launch Party for Knit Play Colour and Yarn Tamer KAL Kicks Off

Hello! Hello! Things have slowly but surely getting back to normal here and it seems like the franking machine and I may have made friends at last. The next batch of orders of Knit Play Colour went to the post office today so they should be with you soon!

Anna Feldman and Wild & Woolly

Anna is ready to welcome you at Wild & Woolly!

If you’ve been waiting for the chance to get your copy of the book from a yarn shop local to you, or to see the samples in person then I’ve got another chance for you to do so. I’m very happy to announce that Anna from Wild & Woolly will not only be carrying Knit Play Colour but hosting a launch party for it as well. And the party is this Saturday, 10th October! Continue reading

Siren Song

Siren Song

Siren Song

This elegant shawl develops in beautiful Art Deco waves. Yes, Siren Song is the long-awaited shawl version of Song of the Sea cowl. Continue reading

Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply

Spiced Plum

Vivacious 4ply Spiced Plum (image copyright Fyberspates, used with permission)

Today is the first in what will be a regular feature on the Inspiration Knits blog: yarn reviews. I am delighted to welcome our APlayfulDay, our first guest reviewer:

I’m thrilled to be the first guest to share my thoughts on some of the yarns that Louise features in her designs. When Louise and I first discussed the idea of yarn reviews and looked at the many lush and varied yarns she’s worked with, she suggested I take the lead with Fyberspates as I’m lucky enough to have worked with my fair share. First up on this list is Vivacious 4ply and one of my favourites in the Fyberspates range. Continue reading

Safe Haven

This ebook is all about keeping warm in your own Safe Haven. For me, that meant a double layer of alpaca. However, I know that might be too much for you, so there are also pieces made with just a single layer. This collection became all about options for keeping warm, at just the right level for you.

Harbour Lights double layer cowl
It all started with Harbour Lights cowl; the warm lights of home on a cold night. Turn down the top for a flash of stripes, or wear it inside out and reverse your options. I found the perfect yarn in the most spectacular colours in Blue Sky Alpacas Sportweight and Melange.

I love cowls, but my lovely sample knitter doesn’t feel the same way as me. And she also doesn’t feel the same way about deep teal paired with reddish oranges either, much as I adore that combination!

Seawall

So I knew there had to be an equally soft scarf, and in softer colours. I like to design with real people in mind. Yes, designing is often about what I want to knit since I’m the knitter I know best, but it’s also about what others would like to knit. And not a hypothetical knitter either, but a real knitter whom I actually know. With the cool colours of a winter beach, I knew Mel would love Seawall.

Storm Warning

Luckily, we also disagreed (yes, disagreed) about the perfect hat – a double layer for me, and just a single layer for Mel. So it’s no accident that the Storm Warning hat goes with the Harbour Lights cowl; I made those samples to be super-snuggly and in colours with which I’m obsessed. I can’t wait to wear that hat in a biting East wind; it’ll be perfect!

Leeward single layer hat

And yes, Mel made the single layer Leeward hat in her favourite selection of shades from Seawall. One layer of alpaca on one’s head is quite enough for some knitters, and I understand that. Now we were both happy with our perfect pairs of winter accessories.

Port and starboard wristeesThe wristees were an obvious addition, quite apart from a certain sample knitter’s need for complete sets that include head, neck and hands in the warmness! I am always conscious of how I’d feel about buying the yarn for a design, so I wanted something that took care of the leftovers from colourwork.

Port and Starboard are my solution. In fact, they’re great for all kinds of leftovers. With this in mind, if you just want one of the other pieces as a single pattern, you can add the Port & Starboard wristees to your basket for free.

tide tables cowl

Lastly, I wanted a neck-warmer for less bracing weather, but that would go with the single layer cowl and wristees; a lighter-weight set. That’s how Tide Tables cowl came about. It also gave me a chance to show a different colour combination, with an option to see in Autumnal shades to suit the lighter-weight knit.

Now it felt like a cohesive little collection, with options for our different climates, different times of the year and different internal thermostats. The colours say Safe Haven in different ways, with either the warming lights of home or in calm tranquility.

So which is your favourite piece (or pieces) and which colours are for you?

Launch discount: Safe Haven ebook 20% off! Add coupon code blogsea to your Ravelry basket, valid until 15 November 2013.

Foolproof Stripes

I’ve been blown away by the beautiful colour combinations, yarn choices and stripe ideas that the Foolproof mystery knitalong has sparked. I’m thrilled to see such fantastic projects made when the construction was a mystery. I know there are a few days left for the MKAL to officially run, but there’s too much to share already.

I didn’t want to single out individual projects, since there are so many great ones. But what I do want to do is think about what kinds of combinations work so well for this pattern and show some great examples. So if your project isn’t here, please don’t be offended – I can only a show a few and I loved them all! This MKAL has been a real masterclass in stripe combinations, produced by you, the knitters.
Ravelry: Jenastra's Cinnamon & Grey
copyright Jenastra 2013

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Instant Cowl

DSC_0258Wish you could finish projects faster? Stash getting out of control? Solve your problems with the Instant Cowl.

Highly versatile, the Instant Cowl can be made in any weight of yarn you like – from summer cotton to winter wool. Wear it draped singly, or doubled up around your neck to keep chills at bay.

Suitable for any ability, knitters from beginners to advanced will enjoy making this pattern. Although this is a technically a knitting pattern, you will find that it is easily adapted for crochet. In fact, I’m so sure that you could make one in a day that I’m offering the chance to win prizes!

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Foolproof: Mystery Knitalong

IK_rav foolproof badgeI know a cowl mystery knit-along is rare. This is rarer; it has no casting on and no binding off.

It’s made in rows but ends up all in one piece. There’s no knitting in the round, no sewing, no grafting, no provisional cast-on, no picking up stitches. Promise.

You can make it to your custom size without having to make a tension square. No kidding.

No purling, no knitting. Oh, wait, just joking about that last bit. There is knitting – it’s in garter stitch – with funky stripes and some easy intermediate increasing and decreasing required. It’s an intriguing construction; a real mystery.

Continue reading