Archive | Hand Knitting

A knitting pattern in under 30mins? Are you crazy

So a little while ago I was asked to put together a physical workshop on how to create knitting patterns. There was a ton of positive feedback and interest….

Unfortunately the workshop never happened because the person who asked me to put it together didn’t tell anyone it was happening and of course, not every fashionknitster was in that location at the time.

After getting so much support and comments like “I wish I was in London so I could come”, I felt that there was clearly a lot of knitters who wanted to get their own creative juices going and were being held back by other courses that, quite frankly, make it so complicated that I couldn’t follow them.

Now it’s time to give the knitting power back to the people. I decided this year I would work on putting my method down on paper so to speak. So for the first time ever, I’m going to tell people how to create a pattern in less than 30 mins. I can actually do it less than 10 but I do have a lot of practice under my belt.

So I’ve gone back to my computer, recorded some info on how retail works, how to measure and of course, the pattern method itself and now I just need a few finishing touches…… If you’re still not convinced, I’m going to prove it can be done in less than 10 mins and so you know that I’m not cheating, I want you to send me your measurements and a tension swatch measurement….

Watch out for the newsletter with all of the details to get involved and test me.

So roll on 2015. This will be the year of the Fashionknitsters.

 

make your own knitting patterns. knitting course. knitting patterns for hand and machine knitting

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Knitting Charts for flowers. Yes TRENDS : FLORAL is here

Knitting chart bool for flowers Hand Knitting Chart, Machine Knitting Charl. flowers Floral PatternsKnitting chart bool for flowers Hand Knitting Chart, Machine Knitting Charl. flowers Floral PatternsOH YES IT’S FINALLY HERE! TRENDS : FLORALS

I’m so excited. The girls worked so hard on this book and there are some real complicated little bits in there. Still have the basic ones too don’t worry. Loads of 2 colour, kitsch, repeats and in this one borders in horizontal and vertical graphs. You can find out loads more in the shop and if you are interested I’m also tagging on [ for free ]  the Large Graphical Repeat graph for the machine knit dress I did back in the summer. That one is 8 pages for the back and 8 for the front by itself, so well worth picking it up now.

If you want to have a look through the inside, there are loads of pages in the shop gallery or if you bought the last book and are familiar with the layout, then you can add it to your shopping bag below.

Happy knitting everyone.

 

 

Design Book TRENDS: FLORALS
£7.99
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A Fringe Cardi to end ALL fringe cardigans

Fringe fashion knit cardigan. This one will have tasselsThat’s right you heard it here first. Over the past few months and in redesigning the site, I realised that it had been a while since I had done something really huge. A really large, knitting all day every day, epic knitting project. I saw something a few weeks ago that just inspired the hell out of me and so the Epic Tassel Cardi was born.

Now I can’t say too much until I’m further down the line, but in the interest of making it truly epic, I’ve actually redone the lacy trim about 3 times now. It doesn’t help that I’m blocking it as I go and then ripping and knitting, just to get the trim perfect. It also doesn’t help that the trim (and only the trim) is knitted in a rayon based, small rope. But I have to say that the start is very promising.

So what will it be? What can I tell you? Well. there will be some colour work. I’m thinking at this point maybe a singular image rather than a repeat, but that may change. It will have a lacy trim with tassels as per the pictures and it will be a wonderfully bohemian, comfy cardigan, but of course with a modern fashion edge.

I honestly don’t think it will be done till after Christmas, unless I just knitted continuously and didn’t eat or sleep for the next 2 weeks and to be fair, I have done that on occasion, but this time I think it’s better to take more time with it. For the first time in a while now, I feel really inspired again by knitted fashion. It’s all been a little drab on the catwalks, which are meant to inspire a designer like me with amazing details and design and for the longest time, I don’t think I’ve gasped at anything. You know that feeling when something is so beautiful it literally takes your breath away.

Ok so enough teasing…… Here is a couple of pictures of the progress so far, and to give you an idea, there will also be some colour work involved later on, but it will be so worth it in the end. I will never take it off once it’s done. So here’s how the original trim was looking so far before I restarted it last night for the last time. Hopefully the bottom cast on edge looks much better now rather than the looser effect below. It does mean that I’ve had to cast on a few extra repeats of the design as of course the tighter knit cast on means that it’s not making such a wide starting point. But hey, the more tassels the better I say!

Of course I’ll keep the updates coming as I go, but I wanted this to be a really great surprise.

 FB_IMG_13796079280534687SM

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CHART: The 3 Colour Tartan

A three colour tartan design for knitting on hand or machine. 3 Colour check graph grid design

In this guide I’ve included a full repeatable check [ actually it’s more than 2 colours so in fact it’s a non traditional tartan ]  in chart form. It’s a modern twist on the traditional tartan or [check], with a slightly off centred mini stripe.

It plays with the idea of a traditional tartan by using the background colour to make stripes as well as moving the stripes to be less evenly spaced.

Feel free to use and abuse it in whatever way you like. Just make sure, that if you like it, that you share it……. come on don’t keep secrets from your knitting friends.

Download PDF HERE: 3 colour modern tartan

 

If you like this then you should check out the other tartan and check files!

2 Colour Check

2 Colour Worn Out Check

 

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CHART: 4 Colour Tartan

 

A four colour tartan design for knitting on hand or machine. 4 Colour check graph grid designIn this guide I’ve included a full repeatable check [ actually it’s more than 2 colours so in fact it’s a non traditional tartan ]  in chart form. It’s a modern twist on the traditional tartan or [check], with a slightly off centred mini stripe in a couple of colours with a highlight stripe.

 

It plays with the idea of a traditional tartan by using a strong highlight colour to make stripes, as well as moving the stripes to be less evenly spaced. There is also some colour suggestions for different colour combination options

 

Feel free to use and abuse it in whatever way you like. Just make sure, that if you like it, that you share it……. come on don’t keep secrets from your knitting friends.

 

Download PDF HERE: 4 colour modern tartan

 

 

 

If you like this then you should check out the other tartan and check files!

 

2 Colour Check

 

2 Colour Worn Out Check

 

 

 

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CHART: 2 Colour Modern Check

2 colour check pattern for knitters. Hand or machine knitting. Pattern ChartIn this guide I’ve included a full repeatable check in chart form. It’s a modern twist on the traditional check, with a degraded, worn out feel. There is also some ideas on colour combinations too.

Feel free to use and abuse it in whatever way you like. Just make sure, that if you like it, that you share it……. come on don’t keep secrets from your knitting friends.

Download PDF HERE: 2 Colour Modern Check

 

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Glove Inspiration

Nina Ricci knit gloves AW13

Nina Ricci AW13

So I’ve been focusing on gloves for a week or so and my journey to get behind these unusual and somewhat scary accessories for knitting has turned out to be something wonderful. But I shouldn’t ignore the wealth of inspiration that made me eventually take the plunge. For AW in any year, gloves are a necessary accessory. Even in the warmest countries in the world, when the temperature drops, people get cold and the hands definitely feel it.

For some of the year I go to Hong Kong to be with my partner Tim. He got a job there a few years ago and I am lucky enough that my job can be done from any location. I completely appreciate that I am truly blessed to have that kind of freedom. The strange observation from a born and bred London girl is that when we get to winter in the UK it get’s cold. We’re talking around 3-5 degrees on average, but for the last few years we’ve had snow and lots of it, sitting between -4 -2 degrees……. it sounds like I’m moaning, but actually I love the cold and snow, especially at Christmas.

Spending a winter in Hong Kong one Christmas I was so surprised to see that the local Hong Kong Chinese were all snuggled up in ski gloves, jackets, wooly hats and scarves….. and this was at 15 degrees. How funny. There was one day it was 22 degrees out and I was in a dress and cardigan surrounded by everyone else that thought it was absolutely freezing, but then it occurred to me that actually here, which has an average of 30 degrees, that must be fairly chilly and the concept of snow exists only on cards and in films….. But in either fashion proud country the idea of the winter based accessory was clear. It needs to be warm, but it also needs to be fashionable. I love that! And with the last few years seeing a resurgence of accessories again, for any time of the year, I’m loving them more and more. Bring on lace gloves for summer, parasols, and sun hats. Bring on the scarves wooly hats, snugs and snoods for winter. Bring on the leather architectural gloves for driving…….. just bring on the accessories.

So onto AW13 specifically. Nina Ricci completely dominated the wealth of inspiration on accessories for this season, where gloves and cuffs were concerned. Here’s some inspiration for some amazing gloves and cuffs, from Nina and others that inspired me to get knitting!

Nina Ricci knit gloves AW13

Nina Ricci AW13

Nina Ricci knit gloves AW13

Nina Ricci AW13

Nina Ricci knit gloves AW13

Nina Ricci AW13

Nina Ricci knit gloves AW13

Nina Ricci AW13

Vera Wang knit gloves AW13

Vera Wang AW13

Rick Owens knit gloves AW13

Rick Owens AW13

Dsquared² knit gloves AW13

Dsquared² AW13

Marc Jacobs knit gloves AW13

Marc Jacobs AW13

Marc Jacobs knit gloves AW13

Marc Jacobs AW13

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The Glove Confusion

Marc Jacobs knit gloves AW13

Marc Jacobs AW13

So you have to start knitting gloves at some point don’t you? Well to be honest, they always made me a bit nervous. You always see people with a handful of DPNs and such little rounds with a ton of loose ends and contrast yarn all over their samples……. frightening!Well I couldn’t avoid them any more.

Gloves were such a prominent feature on the AW13 catwalks that I just had to bite the DPN bullet and get in there. To be fair, I probably should have started with something a little less ambitious but you know me…. all fashion and no fear, plus the Marc Jacobs gloves with the mesh effect were such a key trend find and something I was dying to try.

So like a knitting fiend I went off and designed and swatched. A few hours later and with some glove making research under my hat, before I jumped in,  I managed to find a great video on YouTube [where else]by VeryPink Knits. Well it seems to me that actually, the ” knitting the gloves ” bit is actually really easy. The only hard bit is knowing all of the tricks to get them looking perfect as you go along. The video was really helpful and not the only one on knitting gloves, so you can find others that you prefer, but I wanted to list a few more tricks I learnt and a few adjustments to the tips that I have found making the gloves.

Now on the video, Staci from VeryPink Knits takes you through one of her knitting patterns for basic gloves, which of course you have to buy if you want to follow the video tutorial perfectly. However as a designer this bit didn’t bother me. As you follow the step by step video, each of the 9 glove knitting steps will focus on a different element of making the gloves which is great, but there were a few elements that I came across that I would and did change for my own pattern through trial and error.

The basic glove is pretty straight forward and it’s only when you get to the fingers that all of these tips really come into work. For example, on the video, Staci suggests linking the first and second finger together by picking up 1 stitch in between. Well I was knitting on 4mm needles and 1 stitch didn’t look right or fit well. Instead. as I started to knit each finger, I cast on 2 stitches each end of the round [ the bit that will make the space between 2 fingers ]. It gave me a little flat part as I knitted in the round and sat much flatter when I was trying them on. As I moved onto finger 2 it was easy enough to pick up these stitches to again make 2 additional stitches in between the front and the back of the finger. It also fit much better with 2 stitches rather than just the one. When I tried 1 stitch, I found I was getting a lot of holes where the yarn was stretching and the fit was way too tight. I wouldn’t do this at the edges of the gloves though as it will puff out the finger and look very odd.

Another point was to slip the stitches off onto contrast waste yarn when they are not in use. This is great if you want to try the gloves on, but actually if you are knitting any kind of texture like I was or with a combination of more than 1 yarn, again like mine, the contrast yarn was getting lost when I placed the stitches back on the needle and I ended up having to frog a lot of rows, just to salvage the textured stitch. I actually use this method in a lot of other projects and designs, but for some reason with gloves, it just didn’t help. My suggestion is to use either a couple of larger holding needles/stitch holders or a few smaller ones. This will give you a very clear picture of where your stitches are at all times.

My other suggestion on this same point is that I bought 2 sets of 4mm dpns so that I could also leave the stitches not being used on them whilst I knitted each finger with the others. You have to add and remove the stitches quite a bit, so this sped up my process of knitting, but you do have to be careful they don’t fall off.

My glove journey continues but I’ll keep you updated on the progress and anymore tips I come across as I go. Here is the link to the VeryPink video if you want to knit along: http://youtu.be/L6ODA0nfIIE

 Twisted Angle knitting gloves for beginners.

 

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HELP: Grade your knitting patterns

Have you ever wondered how to grade a knitting pattern? I'll give you the rules from the fashion industry to help you grade your knitting pattern for both hand and machine knittingDo you want to grade your knitting patterns? Are you a bit confused by the rules? Well over a very long time in the fashion industry, I’ve had to write knitwear specs, go to fit meetings, speak to the manufacturers and make knitwear designs for the highstreet. This involves a lot of grading, measurements and calculations. So I think I have a pretty good grasp of providing you grade rules :)

Well over the years I don’t think that I’ve met someone with a ‘normal’ or ‘average’ body. We are all different, including my 5’2′ curvy frame. But what do we do? Retailers have to use some kind of rule to make garments bigger and smaller for their customers, so that’s where the grade rules come in.

As well as giving you the ‘average’ measurements, I explain how it all works and some points to think about for customising your own set of grade rules.

So firstly it’s really key to note that woven and jersey/knit specifications and grade rules are different. This guide will not work for woven garments. Jersey or knit garments have much smaller measurements than woven items.

Download PDF HERE: Gradient Rules

 

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HELP: Fix a Purl stitch

Do you need some help on how to fix your stitches? If you've dropped a stitch on a knitting machine or on your on your knitting needles, then here is how to fix themWe’ve all been there. Dropped a stitch on a knitting machine or 10 rows ago on our knitting needles and have no idea how to fix them other than ripping the rows back.

Well that is time consuming and completely pointless. If you hand or machine knit, the method is the same. If you are using a latch tool or a crochet hook, you can fix those stitches just by picking up the ladders and slipping them in a particular way to create a knit stitch.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to fix a dropped stitch and it’s so easy, I had to share the How To guide. I’ve put together a pdf for both knit and purl stitches. This one is for purl stitches. You can download that guide below.

Download PDF HERE: Dropped_Stitches_purl

 

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HELP: Fix a Knit stitch

Do you need some help on how to fix your stitches? If you've dropped a stitch on a knitting machine or on your on your knitting needles, then here is how to fix themWe’ve all been there. Dropped a stitch on a knitting machine or 10 rows ago on our knitting needles and have no idea how to fix them other than ripping the rows back.

Well that is time consuming and completely pointless. If you hand or machine knit, the method is the same. If you are using a latch tool or a crochet hook, you can fix those stitches just by picking up the ladders and slipping them in a particular way to create a knit stitch.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to fix a dropped stitch and it’s so easy, I had to share the How To guide. I’ve put together a pdf for both knit and purl stitches. This one is for knit stitches. You can download that guide below.

Download PDF HERE: Dropped_Stitches_knit

 

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HK HELP: SSK [Slip Slip Knit]

What is SSK? It means Slip Slip Knit and is a method of decreasing knitting stitches. Come and get your free guideIf you’re not sure what SSK means, it refers to a method of decreasing stitches in a knitting pattern. A K2tog will do the same thing, but the in the opposite direction.

So when you have 2 stitches and you K2tog, you’ll notice that the top stitch, that shows when you are looking at the right side of the knitting, is angled to the right. A SSK which stands for Slip Slip Knit, does exactly the same thing but it moves the stitches before you knit them together so that the top stitch angles to the left.

It’s a really easy technique that is essential for designing your own knits and especially if you want to angle or move the stitches in a particular direction. Download our free SSK guide below for a step by step guide on how to do it.

Download PDF HERE: SSK

 

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HK STITCH: YO rib and Lace Panel

I love a cale and a cable with lace is the best kind. Here is the easiet cable lace column I have ever knitted. Get your download for free hereI really like this stitch. It’s called many things but the yarn over and background of purl stitches stays constant.

This stitch really has everything. It’s really easy to knit. It’s only 5 sts wide. It has a little element of lac with the yarn over’s. It only requires you to be able to knit a Knit stitch, K2tog and SSK stitches as well as make a YO. It can be included with lace or it can sit just as well with cable designs. It fits with cables but isn’t a cable so it doesn’t need extra tools…… and it can have a little bit of customisation to stretch out the YO’s or bring them closer together.

I love stitches that are really versatile. Because it’s small, it can fit anywhere if you want to mix it in with cables, maybe as a frame, or with a repeat of the columns, it makes a really great rib with an interesting detail.

If you want to see it in a cable environment, this stitch is used in the Yarn Over Rib Summer Jumper. If you want to check out the pictures or event to buy the pattern, you can click here

Download PDF HERE: YO rib and lace

 

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HK STITCH: Smocking Stitch

Create a smocking stitch effect with this really simple guide. Super effective and a great alternative to cablesLast year I created this jumper, the one pictured. I wanted to do something that was like a cable but with something different.

Smocking, is such a great compromise that is really easy to do but with a great texture and a really effective look. I have to say this jumper is one of my most favourite patterns I’ve ever made for Twisted Angle.

It’s warm, cozy and soft, just wat you need for winter, but feminine with a little puff sleeve and it really looks complex. Well I’ll let you into the secret that all of the above is true, except the complex bit. Creating a smocking stitch is really easy and it has such a great effect I just couldn’t keep it to myself.

Have a look at our step by step guide to Smocking Stitch which is completely free to download.

Download PDF HERE: Smocking Cable

 

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HK STITCH: Mossy Cable

We love cables! Come and find a range of cable designs and download the guides for theses cable stitches for freeI do love cable stitches. If you hand or machine knit, they just look special. They also look really complicated and some people think they take an age to knit. Well I’m not going to lie, you will have to do a couple of extra stages in comparison to let’s say a stockinette stitch, but honestly, they are one of the simplest way to add some detail and interest to our knits.

Cables are full of texture, but we can forget the background that the cable sits on too. It can stand on purl stitches or even a set of ladders like our jumper opposite. cables stand out, they can be small and repetitive, huge and what about changing the stitches so they are one unique moving cable? Who says they have to be standard and just repeat….

Well here is another addition to our expanding cable library that can be as big and imposing as your yarn.

Download PDF HERE: mossy cave cable

 

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HK STITCH: Ladder Stitch

Here's a great guide on how to create the perfect ladder stitch with hand knittingThe ladder stitch is really versatile. It can be a trim, a great little detail with a background of stockinette stitch or a really solid addition to lace.

The ladder stitch is sometimes a little bit disregarded as a design detail because it’s really simple, but it has a really great impact. Ladders can be such a great little addition to any garment. Use them to frame other stitches, as an all over stitch, instead of a rib, instead of a shoulder strap…….. the list goes on.

Some people may refer to it as a faggoting stitch or YO column stitch, but whatever you want to call it, it’s such a simple way to add a little detail.

Download PDF HERE: ladders HK

 

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HK STITCH: Fringe Stitch

Have you ever wondered how to create a fringe stitch in knitting? Well here it is. Come and download it for freeIn Issue #1 of Twisted Angle, I made a fur coat, all completely knitted. It was one of our most popular and talked about designs for our hand knit patterns. (And one of my favourites)

Well here is the key to the design. The fringe stitch is here. Free for you to download and apply to any project you have coming up.

The length of the fringe (or fur) is completely customisable and this guide goes through the fringe stitch step by step. Simply download the file below.

If you are interested in the full coat pattern, you can find it in the shop here

 

Download PDF HERE: fringe stitch

 

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HK STITCH: Criss Cross Cable

Criss-CrossThis cable and pattern was one of the TA favourites when it came out a couple of seasons ago. The key to it’s success was both the shape, but more importantly the cable.

To be fair, it is pretty good isn’t it. I love the way that the cable moves and crosses over in a couple of places. I love this cable so much that I wanted to share it with you, completely for free.

Here is the download to add this cable to your own knits and designs. It’s a hand knit pattern, but there is no reason you couldn’t do this on a machine too.

Enjoy!

Download PDF HERE: double criss cross cable

 

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HK STITCH: The Braid Cable

Braid-CableI love cables. There are so many to choose from and so many designs and sizes.

What about a nice little braid that can frame all of your main stitches? Here is a really nice cable braid that is super easy to knit but looks complex with a maximum impact. This looks amazing as an all over effect or a single column of stitches.

This is our free How To guide on how to form this stitch.

Download PDF HERE: small braid cable

 

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HK STITCH: 5 Stitch Bobble

5-bobbleWith bobbles, sometimes it’s difficult to get them right, especially when you want larger scale bobbles. So here is our free guide to creating a 5 stitch bobble for your own work or encorporationg them into a design.

These look amazing with cables, lace and all types of colour.

Download PDF HERE: 5st Bobble

 

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