Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Patons Shock Eleanor to the Core.

Blimey. There's a pattern in the shop that has blown my mind. It's a Patons booklet. Of all things.

I can't quite get my head around the fact that a British, printed pattern booklet might have charts, circular knitting, be worked in 4ply and have lace where the stitch count varies row to row. All in one go! I might be blind but I've been obsessive about knitting for quite a while and I've genuinely never seen it before. When I ordered the booklet, I knew it wasn't beginner's lace - in fact that's why I ordered it but I had no idea. It's left me grinning from ear to ear and a strong suspicion that I won't be able to hold off casting on much longer. I'm in love love love love love love LOVE with the Circular Wrap Jacket:

Oh what a pattern! And maybe if I knit it, I'll get hair like hers? It's worth a try surely...

Anyway, that pattern in particular caught my eye. I wouldn't pick it up in a shop, the sleeves and length are wrong for me but I've been dreaming about how to alter it to suit me and I think I've found a way. But I do think there would be many ladies that this would suit - somebody with hips in proportion to their bust, somebody slim all the way down or somebody with a larger bust than hips (basically anybody but me...). 

A note of caution - Patons don't seem to cater too well for those of us who can't resist cake and crisps - the largest size here is 42". Bit disappointing but that's life - when will they learn that knitting and biscuits go hand in hand!? The smallest size in the booklet is a 30" chest which I don't think is too bad. One lovely thing about the booklet though is the negative ease on the sizes - they've really thought about how a lot of people like to wear their clothes in summer. 

The other patterns in the book are a bit simpler I think:

The Lace sweater - comfy evening wear perhaps? Or over a swim suit to pop to the bar at the back of the beach... ahhh summer...

Singlet Top. What an uninspiring name (*cough* and colour *cough*). I shouldn't really say that, but imagine it in the lovely Sky colourway with some linen coloured trousers or the Grape colourway with a nice black skirt in the evening. Lovely. 

And finally the Lace Top. I consider this an every day kind of item - something that will take you through summer and if you knit it in a yarn with a high wool content, maybe over a long sleeved T-shirt in the winter.

Haven't we done well ey? I'm going to continue buying these Patons books - I'm dead impressed. I personally like something to get my teeth into. It's been a while since I've done something complicated, my knitting at the moment has to fit into ten minutes here and there so anything longer than a four row repeat is a no no. 

Which leads me on to my lesson on Sunday: we're hosting the Lace Knitting for Summer Workshop. The idea is, as with all of our lace lessons, you'll come out with all of the stitches you'll need to work lace including some Estonian stitches which are all the rage at the moment. We'll look at how to read written patterns and charted and we'll hopefully learn how to identify and rectify mistakes in lace knitting. The biggest difference between this lesson and the normal lace lessons is that we'll be putting this in the context of garments. It's one of the biggest problems that I see my customers having in the shop - how to shape the shoulders, or the armscyes of their garments - so we'll go through it with a bit of a practice. The workshop includes a King Cole pattern of your choice. I suppose that doesn't have to be a lace pattern but if it is then we'll try our best to read through it to see that, at least until you walk out the door, you're confident enough to tackle it. You'll also get a couple of balls of the scrumptious Bamboo Cotton DK - and you can't go far wrong with that!

So, to sum up: 

Get scared to death. 

Tomorrow, I'm going to tell you that despite me teaching complicated things like lace work, cables and finishing, apparently, I can't actually read a pattern... 

Love Eleanor. 

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