The London Craft Guide

London Craft Guide

Although it has been available for pre-order for a little while, the London Craft Guide from Yarn in the City was officially launched at Unravel last week, and I’m delighted to say that I contributed a pattern to the guide – may I introduce the South Bank Shawl!

The South Bank of the River Thames is a popular and busy tourist destination. With the London Aquarium, the British Film Institute and the iconic London Eye stretched along the riverbank towards the Millenium Footbridge.This lovely lace shawl is an ode to the London Eye, a giant Ferris wheel originally constructed for the Millenium. The tallest Ferris wheel in Europe, the Eye is a popular destination for tourists and locals, as it offers a stunning view of the city from 135 metres up. Worked in a luxurious silk-blend fingering weight yarn, this pattern includes half circle and full circle versions, with optional bead accents. (From the Ravelry Page)

The lovely yarn is Uncommon Thread’s Merino / Silk blend in the ‘Breath’ colour way, and the beads are silver-lined translucent crystal beads.

There is more information on the guide over at the Yarn in the City website. And there are reviews from Crafts from the Cwtch (which mentions my shawl!), Inspiration Knits and Knitted Bliss.


And the London Craft Guide will be at Edinburgh Yarn Festival. One half of Yarn in the City will be at the event vending as PorpoiseFur, and will have copies of the guide plus the samples to look at!

All images in this post (C) Juju Vail and Yarn in the City


Exploration Station Shawl

Off the Needles | Exploration Station

Exploration Station Shawl

This is not a very recent FO, but I did just get it blocked yesterday. I still need to finish off the ends but couldn’t resist sharing.

I’m looking forward to getting this finished off and in a wearable state. I loved some of the colour combinations on other finished projects on Ravelry but decided on a slightly different approach. I’d just finished an afghan using a rainbow of sock yarn scraps and had a bag of neutrals left over. I’d also had this pattern in my library for a while too. Seemed like the perfect combination. I could have done it in browns and creams – which I may still do, now I come to think about it. But I had plenty of oddments in various shades of grey, and in various textures / fibres. I only actually used 1 whole skein (the Fyberspates); everything else was leftovers from other projects.

It is enormous, far larger than I expected when I got it blocked. However, I do like an oversize shawl so that is perfect.

When I started I did wonder about the double yarnovers, but with hindsight I’m glad I knitted them as written. A single yarnover would not have worked as well in my view.

Exploration Station Shawl

Yarn: A wide assortment! Fyberspates Scrumptious 4 Ply, Garnstudio DROPS Kid-Silk, Jamieson & Smith 2 Ply Jumperweight, Lotus (Trendsetter) Mimi,  Snaeldan Nappað tógv 2tr, Uncommon Thread Merino / Silk 4 Ply and Rowan Pure Cashmere DK.

Needles: 4 mm

Pattern: Exploration Station by Stephen West

Mods: None, other than my own colour substitutions

Tesserae Shawl: Pre-Order Offer

After quite a bit of interest, I have decided to add the Tesserae Shawl pattern to Ravelry for pre-order. And as a reward for those who want to purchase early, the pattern has been discounted to £3.50 GBP until midnight GMT on October 14th, 2014! After that the price will revert to £4.50.

The final pattern will include full written instructions for both the half-circle (pictured below) and full-circle versions. On purchasing the pattern at the moment, the downloadable file includes complete notes on dimensions, yarn / yardage requirements, tools and gauge.

The pattern can be found on Ravelry here. (Please feel free to repost this offer!)


July – August FOs

Not many to show, I haven’t been knitting a vast amount over the summer… apart from WIPs, which seem to never end. So just three to mention.

First up, Baby Bean Cardigan, using the very popular (and free) Little Coffee Bean Cardigan pattern on Ravelry. Yarn was Cascade 220 Superwash in the Oatmeal and Marionberry colourways. This was a new baby gift for one of the BFs work colleagues. And by random chance (since I didn’t know about this until after it had been gifted) the colours are in fact the colours of said colleague’s home town.

Next, we have the Sock Yarn Blue socks – using some Old Maiden Aunt Superwash Merino 4 Ply which I got to dye myself at her studio. These are for the BF, and I’m delighted with how they turned out. Not least because I was knitting the first one while I was away for work with no real idea of how big the foot should be. I resorted to phoning the BF, asking how long his foot was, and then using my project bag (which was around 26 cm long) as a ruler. First rule of knitting, always remember a tape measure.

And last but not least is the Tesserae shawl. This is a design in progress, it is currently undergoing test-knitting and should be ready for release in October. This sample is in a heavy laceweight – Lotus Mimi in fact – which is a postively decadent (and humanely farmed) 100% mink yarn. It uses three colours (this used light grey, grey and grape). A full-circular version of this shawl is also in progress.

WIP Wednesday (August 6, 2014)

Oops! Being busy with other work is not conducive to keeping the blog updated, will have to try and remedy that!

I have had a fair bit of startitis recently, so there are a few new projects to mention.

On the Needles
Both Sombra and the secret project for GSoY are still on the needles and haven’t really progressed at all. Well the GSoY one is now officially over the halfway point so that is something. I’ve also loaned out the nice straight needles I was knitting Sombra on to my Mum, so will have to wait for them to restart the back.

There is a new pair of socks too, this time a pair of my own design, Orchardton. With textured stitches, cables and a wee bit of lace, I should hopefully get the second sock finished soon. I need to write up the pattern from my rather unintelligible notes for testing and release in the not-so-distant future.

However, this not the only own-design thing on the needles. There are another two to mention (told you I had startitis). Buttons will be a pair of colourwork fingerless mittens, using my favourite Jamieson & Smith Jumperweight (what else?). The first mitt is done, the charts are in draft, and like the aforementioned socks, testing and release will be happening soon.

The other new design in progress is the first in a two-parter. I am currently nearly 400 yards into a circular shawl (picture above) using Ginger’s Hand-dyed by Edinburgh’s own Gingertwist Studio. I’m using the ‘Gorblimey’ and ‘Girl on Fire’ shades, along with some undyed. I’m addicted to knitting this at the moment, but am going to run out of my undyed yarn very soon and will have to wait for the next delivery before I can continue with it. However, all is not lost as I am planning a half-circle version (using Lotus Mimi, a mink yarn!) so I’m sure I can cope.

On the Wheel
Still on the silk at the moment, I haven’t actually spun for at least a week and need to get restarted… When I find the time!

March-April-May-June FOs

Since I haven’t updated this for a while, there are quite a few finished objects. And normally I run a post like this after the month has finished, but since I haven’t done it for a while I got carried away and included a couple of things that were finished in June. I should have some other stuff done by the end of the month (probably another pair of socks) which I post then.



All the socks follow my usual basic sock recipe, I’ve found that this pattern works well for me and I don’t have to think about what I’m doing. At some point I will write this pattern up!

  • Rye I and Rye II – the free sock pattern ‘Rye‘ by Tincanknits. The first pair is in Abstract Cat Sportweight Merino in the ‘Harvest’ colourway, the second uses Wollmeise Pure 100% Merino in a ‘We’re Different’ version of ‘Giandula’ – I held the yarn double for this pair which turned out too large for me but fitted the BF perfectly. He’s already asking for more socks.
  • Hermione – using the very popular ‘Hermione’s Everyday Socks‘ , just used the stitch pattern and some Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock Multi in the ‘Mt. Creek’ colourway. Really liked knitting these, they seemed to get knitted up awfully quickly.
  • Sherbet Socks – just my basic socks using Deeply Wicked in the ‘Dib Dab’ colourway. Actually had the first sock done for quite a while. I cast on the second sock on the bus on a Monday morning, by Monday night I had the entire foot and heel done. I didn’t knit on them Tuesday and finished it off Wednesday – one very fast second sock! Loved the colourway but the second sock pooled a lot more than the first, the first striped, whereas the second was pooling on the foot. Thankfully the leg returned to normal so I’m happy with that.


  • Voar II – a pair for me (the first were a shop sample for Ginger Twist Studio) using some leftover Cascade Superwash 220 and Drops Nepal.


  • Hoxne – I’ve wanted to knit this since I first purchased Doggerland: Knits from a Lost Landscape, I originally planned for it to be knitted up in some Snaeldan 2ply I picked up in Reykjavik earlier this year, but one of the later released patterns uses this yarn and I had to find a substitute – so a well matured skein of The Yarn Yard Crannog in various shades of purple was used instead. I need to reblock the shawl but am delighted with it, I think it will be a perfect lightweight summer shawl.


  • 3-in-1 – a jumper in fingering weight… which I love so much I’m already planning a second. Uses some Old Maiden Aunt Alpaca/Silk/Cashmere 4 Ply in two colourways which I dyed myself at the workshop I took last year, plus some cream sock yarn and one of the Small Skein Society colourways from The Yarn Yard. I need to get better pictures of the FO rather than just the progress pictures! The next one will use orange shades I think.


  • I Talk With The Moon Tea Cosy – more on this in an upcoming post. My own design, which uses Rowan Purelife British Sheep Breeds B.F.L. in the Cream and Brown B.F.L. shades.
  • Oink! – A mini version of the free pattern ‘Big Pink Pig‘ by Purl SoHo, using my own handspun (Hilltop Cloud Merino/BFL/Seacell/Llama).
  • A mystery project/design which I cannot tell you anything about – come back in September for information on this one!

February FOs

Just a quick picture update, which isn’t …um… all that different to my Ravellenics post.

These are the 3 FOs which I have pictures of.

Look familiar?


There is a Windschief (the second I have knitted this year), for J again, this time in black. Which I don’t have a picture of him wearing. Actually I don’t have a picture of the hat, let alone anything else.