Mood Cardigan Knit A Long or should that be Knitalong?

KALs are something that are often dropped – like seasoning – into the chat of enthusiastic crafters. ‘Have you joined the so-and-so Knit A Long? Did you see the yarn what’s-her-face is giving away at the end of her Crochet A Long? Well for the uninitiated a KAL, MAL or CAL – Knit / Make / Crochet Along, depending on your preferred discipline – is basically an online crafting party where a group of like minded, nimble fingered makers work on the same pattern or selection of patterns, at the same time for a specified period. Sounds pretty straightforward doesn’t it? And it is. So why would you want to do one? Well it’s a good opportunity to support each other: you can inspire each other with yarn choices, swap tips when you get to any sticky bits of the pattern, post progress updates (or not, it’s your choice) and perhaps even ask the designer themselves how the pattern came to be. It’s a lovely way of keeping in touch with each other while making, something we’ll no doubt need more with Summer now officially over here in the UK, nights drawing in, the temperature dropping and the threat of another lockdown on the cards.

So I’m really REALLY excited to be hosting my first Knit Along – that’s right, MY FIRST – and oh my goodness am I starting my KAL-ing in some style. (Strictly speaking I’m not sure KAL-ing is actually a word but bear with me, I’m excited).

Together with Aimée Gille of La Bien Aimée and the gorgeous knitter and blogger extraordinaire (Bintou) Nappy Knitter I’ll be hosting a KAL for the Mood Cardigan from the Modern Daily Knitting Field Guide no 15: Open. This design has captured a lot of hearts on IG and also over on Ravelry, probably because its simple construction and generous shape make it flattering to pretty much any body shape. Oh and then there’s the fact that you can choose which way to wear it. Rib up, or rib down.

AND you can choose whether to work it as I designed it, in a light fingering weight yarn held double – in this case Aimée’s Helix in shade Yellow Brick Road – or in your favourite fingering weight yarn, used single. So very many choices to be made. Now you know how we came up with the concept of ‘open for the collection’. As if the prospect of knitting this design amongst friends isn’t enough there are giveaways too. Ah yes, thought that might catch your eye. *winks* More details of those to follow.

For now, just remember that the KAL begins September 30th and runs until December 30th 2020 so if you haven’t yet got your copy of Field Guide no 15: Open there’s still plenty of time to buy a copy from my online shop here. (Don’t forget you can also get your copy signed and gift wrapped at no extra cost)

Take care and see you soon,

J x.

A tale of two scarves

Lace knitting gives some people the heebeegeebees. There I’ve said it. Cue the collective sigh of relief. But you know what? That really needn’t be the case.

I was recently in conversation with Katy Bevan of the Heritage Crafts Association and while we talked about knitting, illness and identity she asked if knitting had any positive effects on my health after brain surgery. Well you know me, ever up for a challenge, I decided after having my craniotomy in 2016 that if I could literally muster up enough post-surgery brain power to knit a simple lace stitch, then I was still intrinsically ‘me’. Jeanette: a maker. And that meant there was still potential for me to function as a designer. Fast forward four years and my collection of 5 lace designs created for MDK Field Guide no 15 is tempting others to the technique of lace knitting.

The theme of the collection is ‘Open’ which in itself is open to interpretation: open to embrace a new technique. To choose a lace weight or Aran weight yarn. To knit a scarf lengthways or widthways. To add stripes to a stole or knit it in a single colour. To wear a cardigan rib up or rib down. All of these are decisions you can choose to make while working through the designs but of course the final decision is yours, it’s always yours. It’s what makes this collection so exciting and of course what will transform your ‘makes’ from #mdkfieldguideno15 into something truly unique.

For those you still trembling at the thought of all those ‘yos’ (yarn overs) and ‘k2togs’ (knit 2 togethers) in terms of skill level, FG15 begins with those two scarves. Rib Lace (pic below) and the Tumbling Block Scarf (in bottom two pictures).

Each is worked in a choice of two yarns weights but one worked lengthways (knitting lots of rows on relatively few stitches) while the other is worked widthways (knitting just 26 rows on a LOT of stitches). Both lace patterns then combine to become the next project in the collection. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet, we’re just beginning our lace journey, right?

Now I’m certainly NOT suggesting you go to the extreme of having brain surgery but with the theme of Field Guide no 15 being ‘Open’ it could be the perfect time to just dip your toe into the lace knitting waters and give it a try. You’ll find Field Guide no 15 in my Online Shop and if you need a few tips or pointers for lace knitting check out Jen Arnall Culliford’s Little Lessons: Limbering Up For Lace here.

Watch out for a post about the next FG15 design, and next week I’ll also be doing a detailed post about the specific yarns used throughout the guide with are all from La Bien Aimée in Paris as you’re no doubt wondering. Yes, I love my job!

In the meantime if you missed my conversation with the Heritage Crafts Association you can catch it in full on the Heritage Crafts Association Facebook page here.

Have a great weekend

J x