Saturday, 31 January 2015

Eleanor's Pattern of the Weeeeeeek

Here we have a new weekly feature. I'm going to try and post them up every Saturday. Just me, having a chat about a pattern and the yarn to do it and any difficulties you might face. Plus a video:

This week we're talking about 4189. A brand new pattern brought out with the King Cole Opium Palette and it also includes the Opium and the beautiful Cosmos. The needles are mainly 5mm and 4mm but for some you'll need 3.25mm and a 5mm circular for the Twirly Scarf because it's got so many stitches. Also, there's a little cable version in there so don't forget your cable needle.

Now, I wanted to talk about this pattern because of the sheer amount of inspiration you get. Ten different ideas! TEN! In one pattern. That's madness. Essentially, there are six different patterns but each one is shown in different yarns/colours/combinations and that adds up to ten. I was a bit blown away when the rep showed it to me.

 I'm going to talk you through my three favourites. I've got to show you this one first - inspiringly called 'Wrap 1 (Mesh)' (thanks for that King Cole...).

 Why do I have to talk about this one first? Because it's the one that made me pick up the yarn and knit the bloody thing, that's why. It was a toss up between this one and the next but I'll explain my reasoning on that in a second. This is a really simple lace repeat. Four rows and two of those and purl. The other two are so simple it hurts and do you know what? In this yarn, it works! I was a little worried when starting that I'd be bored soon and never finish it but I can't see myself finishing this - in fact it's about half done already and given that I've knitted a shawl and beaded a necklace and half an earring in between (aswell and running the shop, yogaing, tidying and blogging like I've never blogged before apparently) that's pretty good going. I am thrilled with it. Thrilled.

 That is, in fact, the photo that I showed you t'other day (on the blog introducing the Opium Palette) because, in the interests of all honesty, it looks the same all the way through so there's no point me taking any more photos - it's a good ten inches longer now though! Anyway, this would be a really good introduction to lace. I do say this about a lot of King Cole's lace patterns and it's simply because they work. The repeats are never the monstrous 40 row things you sometimes get, nor are the charted (which I adore but scare a lot of newbie lacers) and they're made to appeal to the masses. This does mean that if you're a bit more experienced it's probably not the pattern for you unless, like me, you need something simple, repetitive and rewarding right at this very minute. Luckily - if you're not in that mood - we've got something else for you:

This beaut! This is the one I nearly did and the reason I didn't is because I was desperate to use the Carib Blue (a.k.a. the Mermaid) both because I love it and because the rep gave me a free bag of it. There is a version of this wrap (inspiringly named 'Wrap 2 (Lace)'....) in the Opium Palette and it does look good but the plain colours of the original Opium really allow the stitch pattern to shine don't they? Don't let me turn you off if you've got a need for the Palette and this Wrap 2 (Lace) though - what do I know...?

Now, don't get me wrong, this isn't a horrifically difficult lace pattern. It's 20 rows long but actually it's 10 rows long because it's the same repeat just shunted along a bit. Hang on, I'm gonna try and draw that for you...

I really am a true artist.

But can you see that the green and red diamonds are just the same thing but you start the green ones further along the row (and perhaps knit either a half a diamond or a bit of plain knitting until you get to where you start the full diamond). The key to a pattern like this (here's your top tip for today) is to find where the motif starts. Mostly these things start with one stitch and you increase in or around that stitch until you get to the proper width and then you decrease either at each side or in the middle of the leaf until you get back to the one stitch. Whilst you're increasing on that leaf you're decreasing on the leaves beside it and whilst you're decreasing you'll be increasing the stitches on either side leaf. Yeah? So the key is to find that initial stitch - you might keep that stitch going throughout the pattern or you might decrease it completely out and have to reform it on the first row of the pattern repeat but there will always be that one little stitch in a pattern like this. Does that help at all?

Anyway, the next one I wanted to talk about is this little beaut:

Which is a cabled scarf! Guess what they called it...

 'Scarf 3 (Cabled)'. 

Well done King Cole... 

So, I wanted to talk about this because I'm always like 'you can't do anything much with Opium, just let the texture, colour and good times rooooooooll' but what King Cole have proved to me in this pattern (and this one) is that cables CAN work! Simple ones. Not the ones that veer all over the place with moss stitch inside and fancy hearts and diamonds but a good bog standard cable looks BEAUTIFUL! How did I not know?!!?! I'm gonna call it that if you haven't ever cabled before, this pattern with this yarn is probably not the way to go. It takes people some time to get their head around the thick and thin bobbly nature of the yarn in the first place and then adding cables and working out knits and purls is probably a bit much but if you've cabled before and fancy something simple and repetitive in a beautiful, soft and squidgy yarn then this is the one for you!

We're coming to the end of this in depth look into the pattern and I wanted to let you know that these don't necessarily have to knit these patterns in the Opium or the Opium Palette. They're clever little things that would be amazing in any yarn - probably a DK and probably the beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeyootiful Cottonsoft! Oooooooooooooweeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Love Eleanor. xxxxxx

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