LK Cover 71_Layout 1 09/08/2013 15:25 Page 1
KNIT A TOP-DOWN SWEATER!
EXCLUSIVE TUTORIAL AND PATTERN INSIDE! ISSUE 71 OCT 2013
THE UK’S BESTSELLING KNIT MAG
ESSENTIAL KNITS FOR KID S
PATTERNS! CHUNKY SWEATER STYLISH THROW BABY PLAYSUIT 16
QUICK ACCESSORIES TO KNIT
MUST-HAVE SCARF STYLISH GIFTS FOR XMAS
KNIT THIS IN SIZES
SHOP ETHICAL GREAT GIFTS TO BUY
VAL PIERCE EXCLUSIVE
10 REASONS TO LOVE
MAKES FOR HALLOWE’EN! ISSUE 71 OCT 2013 £4.99
STUNNING CARDIGAN FAB LEAF MOTIF DESIGN
LK Contents_LK Project Template 09/08/2013 16:45 Page 2
Look what’s inyour PATTERNS 9
Katie Celebrate autumn with a leaf-patterned cardi
13 Harmony A gorgeous crochet blanket by Sarah Hazell 16 Sydän Heart motif armwarmers and hat 23 Elisha Siân Brown’s chunky knit jumper in Debbie Bliss Riva 26 Snuggles An amazing multicoloured scarf with a series of patterns 31 Anita Try out top-down cables with Anniken Allis’ jumper 38 Toddy Helen Ardley’s Fair Isle hot water bottle cover 44 Monroe A matching beanie and mittens set using Susan Crawford’s Excelana DK 49 Free Downloads Four additional patterns, all in British yarn! 51 Illusion Georgeanne Cauchi’s optical illusion blanket 57 Sophie Get metallic chic with a stripy jumper in Sirdar Recycled and Firefly Quick Knit
Who cares? ...We do! At Let’s Knit we understand that nothing is more annoying than errors in knitting patterns. As part of our total commitment to ensuring that your experience of our magazine is as enjoyable as possible, we’re proud to offer THE LET’S KNIT PATTERN PROMISE: • Exclusive patterns featured in Let’s Knit have been professionally checked and reproduced with the utmost care. Updates can be found at www.letsknit.co.uk • Should you encounter any problems we are more than happy to provide support and assistance. Contact us and we will endeavour to respond as soon as possible. By email: firstname.lastname@example.org By telephone: 01206 508622 (office hours only) By post: at the address on page 3 (please mark your envelope ‘Support’) (Please note we cannot offer assistance with patterns not published in Let’s Knit)
54 63 Roger Let Val Pierce’s enchanting wizard cast a spell on you!
29 Knit Picks Our favourite stories and products this October
66 Spooky Get in the Hallowe’en spirit with two fun quick knits
42 Rule Brittania! Some of the most sumptuous British yarns from independent spinners
69 Squash Dress up your little one as a pumpkin for the 31st!
79 Colour Therapy October’s trend is autumnal orange
71 Wilfred Susie John’s cute and cuddly knitted ghost
83 What's in Store News from your favourite British yarn shops
75 Irvin Sirdar’s matching flight jacket and helmet set
35 The British Revolution We investigate the changing nature of the British wool industry
25 Making a Difference A run-down of some of our favourite ethically sourced products
41 From Field to Fleece Elaine Bennett goes to the Toft Alpaca annual shearing week
This month’s fabulous 9 Katie
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October issue! 54 10 Reasons to Get Excited About Christmas LK is here to help get you prepared for the festive season 72 Awards It’s the last chance to vote for your favourite knitty products and places! 84 From the Top Adrienne Chandler shows you top-down construction techniques
20 Inspiration Station This month's news from the knitsphere 60 Tea Break Catch up with the LK community 98 My Stash Secrets Patricia Roberts lets us snoop in her stash
SUBSCRIBE TODAY! See page 80 for our latest subscription offers
IN EVERY ISSUE... 3 Welcome 7 This Month We Love 68 Bookshelf 80Subscriptions 87 Giveaways 88 Turn the Tables 89 Essential Information 93 Coming Next Month
Pattern collection! 31 Anita
This month’s free gift: Cosy wristwarmer yarn kit and pattern, plus seven additional Christmas gift projects to make
75 Irvin www.letsknit.co.uk 05
Katie_LK Project Template 12/08/2013 10:20 Page 2
LET’S KNIT EXCLUSIVE GARMENT PATTERN
is a tie-fronted cardigan with a classic leaf
Pat Menchini’s leaf cardigan is a great autumn knit, in a striking red yarn to evoke the season’s gorgeous natural colours.Wrapping the yarn around the needle twice creates an elongated stitch which is an easy way to add intricate detailing to the border pattern. Combining this method with regular and reverse stocking stitch, as well as the simple leaf motifs, creates a fantastic texture which is easy to achieve. START KNITTING ON P10
SIMPLE STYLISH DESIGN !
Harmony_LK Project Template 09/08/2013 16:54 Page 2
LET’S KNIT EXCLUSIVE CROCHET PATTERN
Harmony really showcases Sarah Hazell’s eye for colour!
Here at LK we like to encourage people to step outside the box when it comes to getting creative. Purple, orange, brown and teal probably wouldn't have been your first choice colour combo, but they go perfectly in this fabulous irregular striped blanket. The stitch pattern is made up of clusters of treble crochets and adds texture to this striking design. START CROCHETING ON P14
RETRO H OME STYLE
Elisha_LK Project Template 09/08/2013 10:34 Page 2
LET’S KNIT EXCLUSIVE GARMENT PATTERN
by Siân Brown is a chunky autumn knit thats marvellously modern Made using Debbie Bliss Riva, Elisha is a light and airy chunky knit, which is perfect for transitioning between autumn and winter with some strategic layering when needed. The variegated yarn also adds to the stitch definition of the simple rib pattern and garter stitch edging of Elisha. START KNITTING ON P24
“The use of a variegated yarn really spices up the overall look of this fashionable cropped jumper pattern.” LK EDITORIAL ASSISTANT KERRY KNIGHT MAHER
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REVOLUTION Find out why British wool is offering more than ever before!
ritish wool has come a long way in recent years – gone are the scratchy and stubbornly practical sweaters knitted in the inevitable natural cream colourway. Now, homegrown yarns are soft, colourful and versatile. We’re also seeing gorgeous fibre mixes, with wool being blended with ultra soft alpaca and fluffy mohair. More and more top knitting designers and brands are choosing to focus their attentions on British wool, showcasing just how great it can be. Read on to find out more!
Why buy British? Wool from the UK has been prized around the world for centuries and has been one of our most successful export industries. However, until recently you probably wouldn’t have found it in most knitters’ yarn
collections. In the knitting world we often prize Australian merino, Peruvian alpaca or Mongolian cashmere and humble British sheep breeds are frequently overlooked, but they can compete with these international fibres! The Bluefaced Leicester sheep (top right) has a wonderfully fine fleece that produces a soft fibre that is perfect for garments, even against children’s sensitive skin. Wensleydales, more recognisable as the sheep with dreadlocks, have a long, curly fleece with a wonderful natural sheen. The Romney breed (bottom right) has a long staple, which spins into a lovely, smooth yarn. Each of the many British breeds has something different to offer. Some sheep have a coarser fleece, which is practical and durable, and well suited to bags and outerwear. www.letsknit.co.uk 35
Illusion - Georganne Cauchi p51-53_LK Project Template 12/08/2013 09:14 Page 2
LET’S KNIT EXCLUSIVE HOMEWARES PATTERN
by Georganne Cauchi gives your eyes an optical workout ING STUNN HOMEOR MAKE F
Using a combination of stocking, garter and moss stitch, Georganne Cauchi has created an interesting pattern which gives the visual illusion of 3D cubes making up the throw. Teamed with the multi-tonal chunky yarn from Rico, Illusion is a great knit to add to your home. START KNITTING ON P52
“I'm loving the stitch pattern of this throw. Illusion has been added to my ongoing, ridiculously long, knit list.” LK EDITORIAL ASSISTANT KERRY KNIGHT MAHER
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LET’S KNIT EXCLUSIVE GARMENT PATTERN
stunning metallic jumper by Linda Parkhouse Sparkles and glitter are a great fashion trend this year. After all, who doesn’t love a bit of glamour? Sophie uses Sirdar Firefly to create metallic stripes, making a jumper that can be worn to glam up jeans in the daytime, or to keep you warm in the evening. And the Simply Recycled contrast yarn will keep your conscience clear too! START KNITTING ON P58
SIMPLE KNIT ER DESIGNK LOO www.letsknit.co.uk 57
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LET’S KNIT EXCLUSIVE TOY PATTERN
is a magical gift by
NTING ENCHA OY
A long time ago, in a faraway land, witches and wizards used to dazzle kings and queens with an array of spells, potions and creatures.Wise old Roger was one of the greatest, with a few cheeky tricks up his sleeve. Fans of Merlin, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings will all love this characterful toy, knitted in soft yarns and embellished with celestial buttons. START KNITTING ON P64
Anita_LK Project Template 12/08/2013 09:23 Page 2
LET’S KNIT EXCLUSIVE GARMENT PATTERN
British WOOL SPECIAL!
is a wonderful top-down cabled sweater by
Anniken Allis In an autumnal burnt orange with a lovely cable pattern, Anita is knitted in pure British wool. It’s made from the top down, first by knitting the front and back separately, then by joining the pieces together and working in the round to the hem. This ingenious technique allows you to try on the garment as you knit it, ensuring that it fits you perfectly! START KNITTING ON P32
TRY WN TOP-DOING! KNITT
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NIT CUTE K-18 FOR 0 S MONTH
LET’S KNIT EXCLUSIVE BABY PATTERNS
is our pumpkin-themed hat and bootees set by
Zöe Halstead It is believed that the Hallowe'en ritual of carving a pumpkin originated from the Celtic festival of Samhain; an event that marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. With our modern day Hallowe'en celebrations being filled with ghosts and ghouls, we're sure the wearer will have loads of fun practising their scary faces whilst wearing the hat from our Squash set. START KNITTING ON P70
Awards_Project layout One 09/08/2013 16:33 Page 2
VOTE ONLINE @
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A mini-break worth £500
Let us know who your favourites are and you could win a £500 mini-break courtesy of Great Little Breaks! Vote in this year’s British Knitting Awards and you could win a prize worth £500! All you need to do is log on to www.letsknit.co.uk/awards and tick your favourites from the shortlists, including categories for yarns, designers, knitting shops and websites. It’s your chance to reward all those who make your knitting experience special, and your opinion really counts, so don’t delay - get voting!
The Prize Great Little Breaks, which offers short, themed breaks in the UK complete with activities and treats, is supplying £500 worth of vouchers for one lucky reader. Choose from Great Little Gourmet, Family and Pamper, to Great Little Heritage, Explorer and City Breaks (and more) – all available at fantastic value. Hotel accommodation plus added extras, such as tickets to attractions, entry into historical properties, wine on arrival, afternoon tea, walking maps and packed lunches are packaged together to create a Great Little Price Promise short break, staying at one of 600 hundred hotels across the UK. For more information visit www.greatlittlebreaks.com or call 0844 848 8488. 72 www.letsknit.co.uk
What to do Simply visit www.letsknit.co.uk/awards and tick your favourites in the boxes provided, or, if your preferred choice isn’t mentioned, add them in the space marked ‘other’. New for this year is the chance to celebrate your local independent yarn store, as this category has been divided into regions for a bigger choice of nominees. Don’t miss the chance to reward your LYS for all the hard work they do! We’re also pleased to include a brand new book category with lots of exciting titles to pick from. Once all the votes have been counted the results will be announced in the November issue of Let’s Knit, on sale Friday 18th October.
Vote online instantly at www.letsknit.co.uk/awards
CONDITIONS OF ENTRY: All entries must be received by Friday 20th September. This competition is open to readers worldwide aged 18 or over, excluding employees or agents of the associated companies and their families. Only one entry per person. The prize consists of a £500 voucher from Great Little Breaks and will be given away to the first entry drawn at random on Monday 23rd September. Entries must be on the forms provided (no purchase necessary) or online at www.letsknit.co.uk/awards. Photocopies are NOT accepted. Illegible entries and those that do not abide by the rules and regulations will be disqualified. No responsibility held for entries lost, delayed or damaged in the post, proof of posting is not proof of delivery. No correspondence will be entered into, only the winner will be notified by post. Winner’s name and county will be available by sending a SAE marked British Knitting Awards to: Marketing Dept, 21-23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8JY.
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Irvin_LK Project Template 12/08/2013 10:03 Page 2
LET’S KNIT KID’S PATTERN
Irvin flight jacket
is a cool and helmet combo for your little pilot! It was parachutist Leslie Irvin who designed the classic sheepskin flight jacket in the early twentieth century, in order to keep pilots warm as aerospace technology grew more advanced. By World War II, he was the sole supplier for the RAF, whose pilots could be flying at temperatures as low as -50°C! The jacket and helmet combination still remains a timeless look. Irvin, by Sirdar, uses Snuggly Snowflake DK to create a fleece lining effect, with Supersoft Aran for the main body. START KNITTING ON P76
KNIT FOR AGES
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What's in Store _LK Regular Template 12/08/2013 10:57 Page 3
Mins with... Sue Blacker, Blacker yarns
We started to create a range of yarns from British breed wools in 2008 and have developed the brand since then. This is built on the back of the expertise and farming links of The Natural Fibre Company. We look for high quality wool, with high welfare and health status, younger wool for the finest fibres within the fleeces, and no use of pesticides during the three months prior to shearing. We then look for things like typical fleece and staple structures, good colour and lustre if appropriate. We support British wool because British sheep are farmed to some of the highest welfare standards in the world. Britain is unique in its range of rare, minority and individual sheep breeds, greater than anywhere else in the world. There’s simply no comparison to synthetics! Some modern fibres can do some of the things wool can do, but none of them can do everything wool can do, so why compromise? We hope to see continued growth in the range we carry, with more colour, breeds, yarn specifications and patterns, while also maintaining our reputation for quality and helpfulness. If we support our customers’ creativity, we are sure they will continue to buy from us. I am a knitter and am working on a lightweight Guernsey-style tunic, plus a few other smaller ideas, mainly for colourwork or new textures. Generally I do a lot of experiments for trying out ideas, so I do not always get to do whole projects! I am also working on learning crochet… To find out more about Blacker yarns, call 01566 777635 or go to www.blackeryarns.co.uk
This issue we’re celebrating all things British from your favourite knitting shops and brands
Blue Moon Based in Lavenham, once a central hub of the British knitting industry, Café Knit offers a relaxing environment for the knitting community to come together, including a café. As well as stocking a range of designer yarns, the shop also sells its own Lavenham Blue British yarn, by Stoneweaving. The yarn is made from 100% local wool and dyed with East Anglian woad, a tradition which dates back to the days of Boudica. The store also offers a range of exclusive knit kits. 01787 249865, www.cafeknit.com
Kathy’s Knits is an independent yarn shop in Edinburgh, which stocks exclusively British yarns from all over the UK, particularly focusing on Scotland. The fleeces are sourced from Shetland, Bluefaced Leicester, Romney, Wensleydale and Zwartbles sheep, as well as mohair and alpaca. Exclusive to the store is a gorgeous Hebridean/Mohair blend 4ply yarn which costs £7.50 per 50g ball. For more information, call 01315 564837 or visit www.kathys knits.co.uk
Best of Beshley Newly opened in Bristol this June, Beshley’s Wool Shop aims to showcase the wide variety of British wool by stocking a range of homegrown yarns. The store is also stocked with fantastic toys and other knitted products, as well as a growing vintage section with buttons, fabrics and other accessories. Call 0117 973 0678 or visit their website at www.beshleyswoolshop.com.
Mill it over Woolyknit is a fantastic wool shop which stocks a wide range of British wool, including its own brands of 4ply, DK, aran and chunky yarn. It also sells its exclusive patterns and ready-made garments. The shop is based at Warth Mill, an old woollen mill near Oldham in Yorkshire, and holds workshops, and a knit and natter group. The newly-opened café also supplies homemade local food, so you’ve got no excuse not to get down there! Turn to page 42 for more information on Big Brit Super Chunky, Woolyknit’s latest yarn release. 0844 335 8991, www.woolyknit.com
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From the Top LET’S KNIT TUTORIAL SERIES
Adrienne Chandler introduces you to top-down knitting
here are three main ways of knitting garments, from the bottom up, from the top down or from side to side. The first and most common method is where you start at the lower edge and work your way up to the neck and shoulders. When working side to side you begin with the sleeves and cast on stitches for the body. This is normally used when there is little body shaping. The final method is to start at the neck; this is called top-down knitting and is usually worked in the round. In this guide, we break down all the elements to show you how to knit a garment from the top down. Once you've read this tutorial, turn back to page 31 for Anniken Allis's Anita sweater which is constructed in a similar way.
WHY KNIT FROM TOP DOWN? Most of us would have made our first garment using the bottom up method on straight needles. We would then have made a valiant attempt at stitching the pieces together as neatly as we could manage, until we got impatient and rushed through the rest. One of the big sells of working from the top-down is that there is hardly any sewing up. Another benefit is that you can try it on as you knit and make any necessary adjustments – if it's too snug across the shoulders or chest, you can work in some extra shaping as you go. If you need more length between the chest and waist, you can easily add it in. Also, if you're low on yarn you can just make your garment shorter.
Free top-down raglan baby dress pattern at www.letsknit.co.uk
LAINED P X E N IO T C U R T S CON waste yarn – this is more flexible than a Most top-down sweaters begin with casting on in the round for the neck. You then need to increase to shape your knitting over the shoulders. Where you position these increases will depend on the style of your sleeves. The sleeve stitches are then left on
stitch holder – and the front and back sections are joined in the round to create the body. You will now start to decrease for the waist. Finally, you will increase for the hips before casting off at the bottom edge. The next step is to pick up stitches around the armhole
and work the sleeves, also from the top down. On some top-down garments, like in our Anita sweater (p31), the front and back are worked separately from the neck to the underarms and then joined in the round, but we have based this tutorial on the more typical construction.
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Next issue in Let’s Knit
ROBBIE ROBIN YARN KIT +
48-PAGE 'FESTIVE KNITS COLLECTION' 22 gifts and decorations to knit!
VAL PIERCE'S SNOWMAN
GET IN THE MOOD WITH VICKI BROWN'S SNOWFLAKE SWEATER! CHARMAINE FLETCHER'S TREE DECS
Patterns subject to change
Cosy winter knits Crocheted bunting ● Quick Xmas makes ● Giveaways spectacular! ●
Christmas Special issue of Let’s Knit on sale Friday 20th September 2013 www.letsknit.co.uk 93