Thursday, 8 July 2010

Designs for French Treats Holiday

I was asked to teach 2 specific workshops on the French Treats holiday, one on lace knitting and one on knitting with beads. We agreed to use the yarn from Fibre Harvest/John Arbon Textiles so I visited their stand at the Unravel Show in Farnham in February. They spin a variety of yarns including a number of Alpaca and Alpaca mix yarns.

For the workshops I felt it would be a good idea to design a couple of project that could be started on the holiday and completed at home. Lace knitting using fine lace eight yarn has become quite popular so I decided I would use the UK Alpaca Superfine 2/12nm 3ply yarn for the projects I would design. This 90% alpaca yarn from Fibre Harvest comes in a small selection of colours.

I designed the scarf first. It uses 2 lace patterns, one called diamonds and the other called pillars. The pillars pattern is an extension of the diamond pattern so they are linked. The scarf I knitted uses both patterns but you could knit it in one or other pattern throughout.

The diamond pattern

The pillars pattern.

This alpaca yarn comes in a 100gm skein so there was plenty of yarn to make the scarf and a pair of beaded mittens. The scarf I knitted took about 45gms of yarn.

The other workshop I taught was beaded knitting so I designed these mittens. I ended up making 2 versions, one using one strand of yarn and the other using 2 strands of the lace weight yarn. They are both knitted to the same pattern but the single strand mitten comes out finer and a bit smaller than the 2 strand version.
The single strand version need to be knitted on 2.5mm needles and as the knitters attending the holiday had not been told to bring such small needles I designed the 2 strand version to be knitted on 3mm needles.

The picture above is the 2 strand version of the mitten and the picture blow is the single strand version. I also used a picot cast on to make the mitten look more decorative and in the single strand version I used a picot cast off as well.

From the feedback I go both designs were very well received by those attending the holiday even though they would have to complete both projects at home.

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