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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Love of Lace Knitting KAL

Today is the official launch of my new Facebook group - Love of Lace Knitting. The aim of my group is to encourage and help knitters improve their lace knitting skills. You don't have to consider yourself to be a lace knitting expert to knit beautiful lace garments and shawls and I'd like to help you improve your confidence and skills.

To celebrate the launch of the group I'm hosting a knitalong (KAL). The shawl may not look particularly easy but if you can knit, purl, cast on and off and you're willing to give it a go, then you can join this KAL. I'll post regular tutorials in the Facebook group to help you through every stage of the shawl from cast on to blocking.

The KAL  starts officially on Monday 31 July 2017 and I'll post tutorials in the Love of Lace Knitting group for how to cast on using the long tail cast on method, how to read the charts and how to knit lace and add beads.

The pattern is Pimlico and it won't be a mystery KAL this time. If you join the group, you'll find a discount code for 40% off the Pimlico pattern. You can buy the pattern and knit it without joining my Facebook group but I'm only giving a discount to group members this time. 

I know some people are not Facebook members and don't particularly want to join Facebook and that's fine. But lots of knitters enjoy spending time on Facebook every day and you can join Facebook and join this group without having to accept lots of friend requests and do all the other Facebook stuff. You choose how much time you spend on social media and how you spend that time. I hope you'll decide to join us in the Love of Lace Knitting group whether you're already Facebook or not.

During August I'll post regular tutorials and live streams to answer your questions and help you along. The KAL will continue to mid-September and then we'll have a prize draw for those who post a finished shawl. If it turns out that several knitters need more time we can extend that.

Now let's talk about the Pimlico shawl. Pimlico is a crescent shawl which is worked from the bottom up. You start by working a wide lace rectangle and then work short rows to shape the shawl. I'll talk you through the short rows in a tutorial too. It's much easier than you think.

I used three balls (150g) of Lang Mille Colori Baby in colourway 88.  Pimlico has beads added with the crochet hook method. I used Debbie Abrahams size 6 seed beads in colour: 337 Lavender. 

You'll also need 4mm (UK8/US6) needles. I recommend circular needles (80cm long) as you'll start with a lot of stitches but you can use straight needles if preferred. You'll need 0.75mm crochet hook (or smaller) for adding beads.

You can purchase the pattern here and you can pre-order the kits here. Pre-orders will close by midnight Sunday 30 July and I will order the kits the next day and ship them as soon as they arrive (hopefully within a week). For 40% off the pattern, join the Love of Lace Knitting Facebook group to get the coupon code (see the Pimlico KAL details here).

The kits include the yarn, beads and a pdf version of the Pimlico pattern. You can find the kits here.

Please share photos on social media as you knit Pimlico. If you're on Instagram please use the hashtag #loveoflaceknittingKAL so that we can all see your photos.

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Monday, July 24, 2017

Why I knit lace

I've just realised it's 10 years ago since I received the book that ignited my love of lace knitting. The book was Jane Sowerby's Victorian Lace Today

I had done a couple of very easy lace patterns before I got that book but the patterns and photography in Victorian Lace Today was simply stunning! I only knitted two patterns from that book: a shawl for me and a shawl for my Mum. But that was enough to give me the confidence to go on and start designing my own lace patterns.

As I said, I'd only knitted a few very simple things when I got that book. I'd done a couple of dish cloths in simple lace patterns I found in a magazine and I'd knitted a shawl from an American magazine. My first obstacle was to work out how to do a yarn over (or yarn forward). The written instructions in the magazine I was using was aimed at English style knitters and didn't make sense to a continental knitter like me. I looked in a big knitting reference book I had but I still couldn't work it out. I then discovered and found a video which demonstrated how to do a yarn over the continental way. That was it! I was off.

I was a bit daunted by the lace charts too but I realised that I'd spent years knitting from fair isle charts and that lace charts weren't any different. It was only the symbols that were different. I'm a very visual person so I must admit I prefer to knit from charts. However, I know not everyone does, so my patterns include written instructions too.

Once I started lace knitting, my confidence grew quickly as did my skill level. I challenged myself to knit more difficult patterns which in turn improved my confidence.

My 'Victoria' shawl

The first pattern I knitted from Victorian Lace Today was a shawl with a knitted on edging. It was the Victoria Shawl which I knitted for my Mum. Learning how to do the knitted on edging with it's single, double and triple joins was a challenge and I didn't have anyone I could turn to for help. I didn't know about You Tube in those days (did You Tube even exist then?) and I didn't know anyone who was more experienced in lace knitting I could ask but I persevered and I was so pleased with the result. There was a bit of ripping out and bad language involved in knitting that shawl but I got there in the end.

When I teach workshops, one of the things I notice is how little confidence many knitters have in their abilities. Most knitters are much better than they think they are. They're also capable of knitting things they think are too difficult. It's as much about your mindset and confidence as it is about your skills.

There is so much help online now and most people have access to a computer, so finding help is fairly easy. If there's a technique you don't know I bet there'll be a You Tube video explaining it. Just do an online search.

On Wednesday I'm launching a new Facebook group - Love of Lace Knitting - and a new knitalong for August. The aim of the group and the knitalong is to help you learn lace knitting or improve your lace knitting skills. Sign up to my newsletter and you'll be invited to join the group on Wednesday. More details on Wednesday.

(You can request to join the Facebook group now - click here).

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Knitter 113 - Debussy

When The Knitter arrived last week, I immediately noticed my shawl on the cover. Read about that here. I quickly flicked through the magazine to look at the photos of the shawl but I've still not found the time to sit down and read the magazine properly until earlier today when I realised I have a second design in this issue.

Debussy is a lovely summer top knitted in one of my favourite new yarns - Navia Bummull which is a gorgeous blend of cotton and wool from the Faroe Islands.

The Knitter says: RELAX IN style on warm summer days in this lightweight top from Anniken Allis. The garment is worked in the round from the top down, with a circular yoke and short sleeves, and is sized to fit busts of 34in to 50in. Anniken’s design features a beautiful lace panel around the lower edge, which gives a delicate scalloped finish to the garment. Our sample is knitted in a 4ply-weight cotton-wool blend from Navia, which comes in a range of soft neutral shades and warmer colours including sky blue, rose and cherry.

As Debussy is knitted in the round, it's a fairly quick knit with very little finishing and no sewing up! The Knitter issue 113 is in the shops in the UK now.

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Monday, July 17, 2017

The Knitter 113 - Elowen

Earlier this year, West Yorkshire Spinners launched a delicious lace weight yarn, Exquisite Lace. (I designed a shawl for this yarn which is free with purchase when you purchase this yarn from retailers). In the new issue of The Knitter, issue 113, I've designed another shawl, Elowen, using Exquisite Lace, which is on the cover.

This yarn is a truly exquisite blend of Bluefaced Leicester and silk, spun in Yorkshire and one 100g skein is enough for this shawl.

Elowen is a large crescent shawl with a knitted on edging. I will have a tutorial coming up soon for a knitted on edging (sign up to my newsletter so you don't miss it). The body of the shawl has a fairly easy lace pattern with a bigger diamond lace pattern before the knitted on edging. The edging means you don't have to cast off hundreds of stitches.

The Knitter says: 'Anniken Allis’s exquisite crescent shawl will be enthralling to knit, thanks to its mix of lace stitches, techniques such as the Turkish cast-on and Russian cast-off, and an unusual edging. The show-stopping edging is knitted on to the live stitches of the centre panel. The shawl is knitted in a wool-silk laceweight yarn from West Yorkshire Spinners.'

I have tutorials for the Russian Cast Off and the Garter Tab Cast On (using the Turkish Cast On). You may also find more of my tutorials helpful. See them all here. If you're nervous about blocking a crescent shawl, I've got a tutorial for that too.

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Friday, July 14, 2017

The Shop Is Open & Discount

The YarnAddict Shop has been updated with lots of gorgeous colourful yarn, beads and shawl pins. I only have a few Tattysquawk shawl pins left.

Schoppel Zauberball/Zauberball 100 and Laceball/Laceball 100 are really colourful balls of fun. One ball is enough for a shawl. If you choose the Laceball (100), it's enough for quite a bit shawl as it has 800m per 100g. The Zauberball (100) has 400m per 100g so is enough for a small shawl. I've got lots of suitable patterns. 


6 Karat is the perfect yarn for shawls. Its luxurious and has beautiful drape but it's not too thin so knits up quicker. I used 6 Karat for several shawl patterns including Caprice and Luca. 

At Woolfest last month, I launched a new yarn - Lang Mille Colori Baby - which I love! I used this yarn for Grand Bazaar and I have another very exciting pattern coming soon using this yarn (hint! if you have read today's newsletter this is the yarn I used for the August knitalong pattern). I'll be releasing details next week of a very special pattern, knitalong and kit. Make sure you've signed up to my newsletter so you don't miss out!

There's also beads, crochet hooks for adding beads and a few Clover row counters and lots of Lang Merino 200.


Until the end of July, I'm offering you 10% off any YarnAddict order (exclusing kits). Use discount code: summerlove

Happy shopping x 

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Let's Knit 121

 Another issue of Let's Knit is in the shops in the UK now. If you fancy a quick knit for summer, I've got an easy and quick sleeveless top. It's knitted in Debbie Bliss Cotton Denim DK. The top is knitted in the round with an easy chevron lace pattern around the bottom of the body. It's all knitted in one piece which leaves minimal finishing.

Let's Knit always include a freebie and I designed a shawl to go with this month's free lace yarn. I must admit, the shawl will look better in less variegated yarn as the colour variation is a bit too busy for a shawl. The shawl is fairly easy with an asymmetrical shape. Lots of garter stitch and a bit of easy lace. Choose any lace weight yarn. You'll approx 66g of yarn. The free yarn doesn't give a yardage but if you go for a 100g skein of yarn that has 800m per 100g you should have plenty. You can also knit the shawl in sock/4ply/fingering weight yarn if you prefer.

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Monday, July 10, 2017

Well that was a busy few weeks!

The last two months, and the last month especially, have been so busy. For the last four weeks I've been away on three trips with only a few days at home between each trip. On top of that I've had workshops and deadlines.

I must admit last week I felt exhausted and last week was all about recovering. I'm very behind with admin, e-mails and blogging. 

July and August are much quieter. I do have a couple of workshops, deadlines and I need to do the last bit of work on my book manuscript but I'm also looking forward to getting into a normal routine and spending more time at home. 
I have been doing a lot of knitting and the Mille Colori shawl I shared in my last blog, is finished and the pattern is with my tech editor. My main project for the last week is the pink fluffy thing above. It's a mohair blend yarn and although I love the colour, I'm not a fan of mohair yarns. This one at least didn't shed much. I'll share more about this design when it's released later in the year. I'm really excited about it as it's a new to me publication. It's all blocked and lying on the desk next to me, waiting to be packed up and sent to the publisher.
I'm waiting for some yarn to arrive and once it does, I'll be casting on for a new design but I thought I'd use the waiting time to make some progress on other wips. I've got two projects that's been on the needles for a while. The green/grey shawl has had some length added to it. I'm slightly worried about the shape. Not sure it's turning out quite as I'd planned but I'm enjoying knitting on it. The lace is interesting and the garter rows are quick and easy.
The Lace Ball stole above was started last Christmas when we were in Norway. I knitted quite a bit on it but after we got home it got put on hold and when I picked it up again, I decided it was too narrow so I ripped a big section out and made it wider. I've knitted the odd row now and then over the last few months but it's not seen any dedicated effort for a while now but this weekend, I got into working on it again. I added several repeats yesterday. It's not a very photogenic project. At the moment I'm working on a very dark section and I must admit I'm looking forward to getting back to the pink.

The lace is fairly easy but not too easy. It has two rows of beads in every 22 row pattern repeat and it's in garter stitch so every other row is just a plain knit row. Best of all, it's small so can fit in my hand-bag easily.

I'm planning to get back into more regular blogging this month and start posting Monday Mini Tip Tutorials again. It's been a while since my last one. The next Monday Mini Tip Tutorial will be next Monday. I've also got a very exciting project planned for August, which I'll be working on a lot over the next two weeks. It'll involve a lace design, lots of tutorials and something new to me. More details soon! Make sure you sign up to my newsletter below so you don't miss out!

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