This morning I bypassed the usual onslaught of depressing morning news and took time to sit in silence for 10 precious, peaceful, mindful minutes. I then went for a 60 minute power walk along the seafront bathed in the morning sunshine with my fingers tingling from the cold, icy air. I now feel I’m truly ready for another beautiful day doing what I love.
It’s said that laughter is the best medicine. Well for me this view comes a close second.
This is the last of the new designs in Baby Alpaca / Silk 4ply (for now) and appropriately, with only 2 days to go before Unwind kicks off, it’s called Brighton.
This design is worked in single coloured rows on a circular needle which creates an interesting two tone lace effect which has a wonderfully springy texture. If you’re dreading the thought of having to use a circular needle, fear not. This technique is simple to work once you get the hang of it and is perfect for a scarf because it’s reversible so there’s no ‘wrong’ side to worry about.
The scarf is not only named in honour of my hometown here in the UK but like many of my designs it celebrates my West Indian heritage as there’s also a Brighton in Barbados where my parents were born. I chose the combination of Calypso with Caramel because they bring together the warm brown tones of the shingle beach with the bright clear blue of the sea and to add a hint of peril the scarf is finished at each end with a Shark’s Tooth lace edge.
Brighton (the scarf, not the city) only takes 2 balls of Baby Alpaca/ Silk 4ply and the like the Skinny Winnie the pattern is available from the website on the FREEPATTERNS page and you’ll also find the kit for sale in the Online Shop. So, if the combination of Calypso & Caramel doesn’t work for you, there’s the option to put your own colourway together.
This design is just a bit of fun which guarantees a major shot of colour to any outfit. This time it’s worked in crochet on a 3.75mm (US f/5) hook with 3 colour stripes of trebles and half trebles which travel vertically down the scarf. The good news? There’s only 12 rows of pattern. The bad? This means there’s a very long chain to make first, but never mind you’ll still be able to make one in a weekend and the best news of all? You can download the pattern for FREE from my Ravelry Pattern Store from 10.00 am tomorrow.
For a hot colourway I combined Olive, Spice and Lippy but you can of course choose your own colours when you order the kit which will be launched at Unwind this weekend. If you can’t make it along then simply order the kit through the website.
I’ve taken a break from my Unwind prep to post about the first of 3 new designs. Each uses my Baby Alpaca/Silk 4ply and will be available from 10.00am tomorrow 10th July, timed of course to celebrate Unwind!
Firstly there’s the Diamond Corner Shawl which is knitted in sh 879 Mist. I’ll not lie, this bat shaped design is a big knit as the width across the top is 193 cm or if you prefer 76 inches. It begins on single point needles with a panel worked in a lace pattern that undulates from picot cast on to picot cast off for 86 cm (33 3/4 in). After this you’ll need a long circular needle for the side wings which are created by both picking up and purling into the side of the central spine and casting on extra stitches. Once the lace pattern has been established decreases worked at the side edges and centre help to create the batwing shape. I found when I was swatching that this central double decrease has an intriguing effect on the regular columns of the lace pattern and it was this cornering effect that inspired the design’s name
I’m not a huge fan of picking up and knitting on edges with a design of this size so instead I’ve added a picot detail to the beginning of each row which means that once you’ve cast off the shawl is complete. In terms of skill level I would say this design is aimed at intermediate knitters and above due to the size of the shawl and the way in which it’s constructed. You can download the pattern for £3.00 from my Ravelry Pattern Store from 10.00am GMT tomorrow and you’ll find the kit available to buy on the Jeanette Sloan Design website where there’s 10% off until midnight 13th July.
The sun is out (hooray) and down here in Brighton we’re all getting excited about Unwind.
It’s a new fibre festival which takes place on the weekend of 12-13th July and is the brainchild of Dani Sunshine of Lioness Arts which brings together workshops, classes & speakers in a number of venues across Brighton. As if that lot isn’t enough there’s also a Saturday night ‘Seaside Shindig‘ and a Marketplace in the Brighton Dome Corn Exchange where I’ll be selling my yarns, kits and patterns along with a host of other lovely vendors including Textile Garden, Namolio, Eden Cottage Yarns and Yarnundyed. Tickets for the Marketplace are available from the Unwind Brighton website along with tickets for Classes tutored by the likes of Rachel Coopey & Karie Westermann.
I have to admit that although I’ve lived in the Patcham area of Brighton for 2 years now and whilst I’ve made good friends, great apple chutney and questionable homemade cider I’ve never made time to read the local free magazine ‘The Post’. It comes through the letterbox monthly and I generally look at it for as long as it takes to put it straight in the recycling box (I know, sorry!).
I was about to do just that last night when, whilst flicking through the pages, I came across a piece by Caroline Donovan entitled ‘Watching Our Flocks’. Caroline is one of a team of volunteer ‘lookerers’ who help out with the sheep brought in to conservation graze the downland managed by Brighton and Hove City Council. I know that Brighton and Hove has a reputation for being ridiculously ‘hippy’ but the practice isn’t a new one. The sheep (in this case Herdwick) are brought down from hill farms up north to graze the council managed downland and it’s their grazing and general to-ing & fro-ing (not to mention the obvious brown coloured organic benefits – I mean poo of course ) which prevents the land reverting to scrub with a loss of the various dependant wildflowers and insects. The sheep will be grazing various sites around the city until late Spring and I’ll hopefully catch a glimpse of them when we get up onto The Downs for a walk. In the meantime I’ve decided to follow their adventures on Twitter ( @BHSheep), yes they have their own account.
Conservation grazing sheep on Twitter, how very Brighton.
Although we made the move from Edinburgh to Brighton last November with the upheaval of major building work and a new job to settle into, there wasn’t much opportunity to explore Brighton’s many delights. I have put this right in the last couple of weeks, firstly by eating my way around the Foodies Festivaland then yesterday visiting the lovely Debbie at her gorgeous yarn shop Purl (Brighton). I’d heard a lot of good things about the shop from my good friend Georgie Troon who works there on Saturdays and it reminded me a lot of when I ran HKhandknit in Edinburgh. There’s a lovely welcome when you walk through the door and you can browse through the yarns and large selection of books in a beautifully relaxed atmosphere. In fact the welcome was SO warm that I lost about 2 hours of yesterday afternoon in the shop and plan to be back there very soon…keep your eyes peeled for updates. In the meantime if you’re in the Seven Dials area of Brighton pop in and see Debbie and treat yourself. The sale starts this Saturday so there’s no excuse no to….