Tuesday, 25 August 2015

The Great British Pattern Pick Autumn 2015 by Jo Milmine

Welcome to the second Great British Pattern Pick at BritYarn. In this series of blog posts, we’re aiming to bring you some of the best British-based design talent out there at the moment. We’ll also give you some suggestions as to which lovely yarns you could use for the project. All of our pattern enabling is fully compliant with BritYarn’s Woolly Principles, so you can be sure you’re shopping local!

The equinox has been and gone, and although we’re still enjoying the final, fitful bursts of the British summertime, thoughts are already turning to cooler weather. As the nights draw in and the promise of (yet more) knitwear weather, the mind drifts to pumpkins, turning leaves and cosying up in front of a roaring fire. Chunky knitting weather may well not quite have arrived yet, so in this edition, we’re looking at transitional pieces for the changing seasons. 
Scollay by Karie Westermann
Unless you’re been hiding under a rock, you’ll already know about the fabulous Scollay-along that BritYarn is hosting, along with Louise of KnitBritish podcast. I’m sure you’re already taking part, but if you need a little more encouragement, let me tempt you with this combo.

Scollay by Karie Westermann is a perfect cardigan to take you into Autumn. With the pretty lace detailing and straightforward construction, it’ll be an item that is as fun to knit as it is to wear. You can layer up whilst kicking through piles of fallen leaves with your pumpkin spiced latté or ward off a chill whilst on a country walk, before heading to the pub for a hearty meal. Yarn-wise, you could opt for Blacker’s West Country Tweed, to replicate that heathered look in the original sample. I’d recommend to silky lustre of Wensleydale Longwool Sheep Shop in Ruby, a colour recently added to the BritYarn line-up.

Earl Grey by Clare Devine
What’s Autumn about if it isn’t versatile accessories with beautifully cabled details to snuggle into? Step forward Clare Devine with the Earl Grey Duo. Timeless texture is sure to be popular both with the knitwear fanatic and the fashion-forward. The big question is: to pom, or not to pom?

If you want a real treat for this project, why not try the fabulous Chilla Valley Alpacas Alpaca and Lambswool, a single-farm blend of 70% Alpaca and 30% Shetland? This special yarn would have bags of fluffy warmth. For the more budget-conscious, opt for West Yorkshire Spinners Aire Valley Aran: a great workhorse yarn in a wide range of colours.

Lamitra Copyright Woolly Wormhead
If you have a penchant for lovely, handpainted yarns, you’ll always be on the hunt for patterns that showcase these yarns to their best effect. Luckily for us, the fabulous Woolly Wormhead has created an entire collection of hats that do just that, in Painted Woolly Toppers. A current favourite is Lamitra, a slouchy beret/tam with an eye-catching, rotating eyelet and garter stitch detail. The collection was designed to celebrate handpainted yarns; that being said, this design would work equally well in a solid as it would a variegated yarn. For a lively effect, choose Yarns From The Plain Mobberly 4ply in ‘Blackpool Illuminations’, or opt for the more tonally variegated ‘Ironbridge’ for a more subtle result.

Rainbow Pipes and Linen Stitch Socks Copyright Aurélie Colas
Socks are a great project to have on the needles any time of the year and they are also an ideal way to try out new techniques on a smaller canvas. You’d have to be made of stone to not see yourself in a pair of the gorgeous Rainbow Pipes and Linen Stitch Socks by Aberdeenshire-based Aurélie Colas. Not only do they look great, but you can expand your sock knitting repertoire a little at the same time!

Luckily, there’s a plethora of mini skein sets dyed by Joy at The Knitting Goddess in Harrogate available from BritYarn, along with a good selection of main contrast colours dyed on Britsock. This yarn is 100% British, including the 20% Nylon content, added for strength. What’s not to love?

Colossus Copyright Eden Cottage Yarns
Not quite cold enough for a full DK cardigan? Get your tank on to keep your core warm whilst allowing the arms to stay free, for those days when the weather doesn’t know what it’s doing. Knitted in the lustrous and silky Eden Cottage Yarns Milburn 4ply (and part of BritYarn’s featured pattern collection for August) Colossus is an intricately cabled tank. Style it over a shirt for a more formal look, or throw it over a plain, long-sleeved tee for more casual occasions.

Milburn 4ply would be the optimal choice for this pattern, but if you need a more cost effective alternative, consider the West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply.

Fuss Free Baby Cardigan Image Copyright Louise Tilbrook
Whilst we’re keeping warm, it’s also important to keep the smaller folk in our life toasty as well. With its simple, button down detail, the Fuss Free Baby Cardigan by Louise Tilbrook is a great option for this. It’s a free pattern for a cardigan that goes up to size 3-6 months, making it a perfect baby shower or new arrival gift. Coming in at under 100g of DK, it’s fantastic for stash busting and very easy on the pocket if you do need to buy yarn.

Being a huge fan of babies in bright knitwear, the West Yorkshire Spinners Aire Valley DK range gives a huge range of colour options at a very competitive price point. For a more traditional, muted palette, with a touch of luxury, UK Alpaca Baby Alpaca and Silk DK would fit the bill nicely. Supremely soft, this yarn would also be a superb choice for an heirloom blanket for the precious bundle.

That’s the round up of Autumn patterns for you. I’ll be back in Winter with some more great British designers and yarns!


Jo Milmine is a podcaster and blogger based in Scotland. She co-owns The Golden Skein, the company that brings meticulously curated luxury yarn clubs showcasing the finest hand dyed yarn the world has to offer. 

Through her bespoke consultancy business Jo works closely with independent dyers, sharing her business and yarn expertise and supporting them to achieve their goals.

Passionate about crafting (and comedy knitting patterns), you’ll find her podcasting as Shinybees, as well as on Ravelry, Twitter and Instagram as Shinybees. 

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