Thursday, 3 December 2015

The Great British Pattern Pick - Winter by Jo Milmine

Welcome to the third 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!

Knit Me by Louise Zass-Bangham 
I’m not sure about you, but Autumn seems to have flown past in barely a flurry of golden leaves and we’re already on the downhill slope to Christmas! No doubt some of you will be feverishly working on gifts for loved ones or a well-deserved project for yourself. Although it’s a hectic time of year, there’s nothing quite like indulging in a new cast-on over the festive period. With that in mind, let’s dive in to some cosy knits to enjoy with a hot chocolate.

The perfect accompaniment to yarns variegated and solid, Knit Me by Louise Zass-Bangham is a great go-to pattern. An easy knit, it shows off a jazzy yarn to its best effect, yet still has enough interest for a semi-solid to shine. There’s always a use for a scarf to keep the chill off your neck when doing your Christmas shopping. Avoid that freeze/thaw feeling you get from walking in and out of baking hot shops to the outside by choosing something a little lighter weight.

Louise loves hand dyed yarns and specifically designs her patterns to show off their individual beauty and character, so for this pattern I’d go for Mobberley 4ply from Yarns From The Plain. 

Ok, so I know this is sort of cheating as I’m giving you a whole book of patterns here, but you really can’t go wrong with a range of hats when it comes to winter. They keep off the chill and keep your head dry if you’re unexpectedly caught in a quick rain shower. Making a hat statement is easy with this collection of nine designs, including a scarf and mitts pattern. 

Brighten up a gloomy season by opting for the West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply Sugar and Spice range. With a wide range of colours to choose from, you’re sure to be able to create a combination to dazzle.

If colourwork hats are not your thing, consider adding some chunky texture to your wardrobe with the Kyla hat by Katya Frankel. This slouchy beret with honeycomb cabled detail would be perfect to ward off the chill, particularly in a snuggly alpaca yarn. For this, I’d go for the UK Alpaca Baby Alpaca and Silk blend, which would add a touch of shine to proceedings from the silk content, not to mention beautiful drape. For a natural coloured alternative, the Lincoln Longwool DK would be a good choice and a great way to try a breed yarn in a smaller project.

Image used with kind permission from Katya Frankel
Sound the cute kid in knitwear alert! And what could be better than a nifty little waistcoat with minimal seaming? Although it’s modelled by a lovely wee chappie, this could easily be a unisex piece and there are lots of options for customising the design to your choice. Yarn-wise, you simply can’ go wrong with West Yorkshire Spinners Aire Valley Aran. It comes in a variety of colours, is machine washable and is at a really competitive price point.

Peop Pie by Joeli's Kitchen.
Image used with kind permission from Desire2Phorography

If you’re fretting about fitting in some last-minute gift knitting or want something truly warm to snuggle down into, why not get a ‘Big, Thick, Warm and Quick’ on the needles? Kat Goldin’s free pattern for a garter stitch cowl would even warm the White Witch of Narnia in super chunky yarn. Erika Knight Maxi Wool would be the perfect match for this (there’s even an icy blue for Jadis!) and it’s sure to be a staple accessory during the winter months

Big, Thick, Warm and Quick by Kat Goldin
Image used with kind permission from Kat Goldin
Now we couldn’t possibly finish off a pattern pick this close to Christmas without adding in a little fun. The fabulously cute ‘Wesley Bob’ by Ann Kingstone adds a tad of knitty chic to any Christmas tree. You can rattle up a load of these cost effectively and in a shade to complement any colour scheme, thanks to Jamieson and Smith’s 2ply Jumper Weight Shetland Wool. They are also a good way to try out a bit of colourwork if you’ve never done it before or make a satisfying quick knit for the more seasoned.
Wesley Bob by Ann Kingstone.
Image used with kind permission from Ann Kingston.

So there’s our festive pattern pick for winter. Hopefully you’ll be inspired to pick up the needles and cast on. I’ll be back in spring with some floaty and light patterns to welcome brighter days!



Jo Milmine is an award-winning podcaster, business owner and consultant in North West England. Through her consultancy, Jo works closely with independent dyers, designers and small producers, sharing her business and yarn expertise and supporting them to achieve their goals.
She owns The Golden Skein, the company that brings meticulously curated luxury yarn clubs showcasing the finest hand dyed yarn the world has to offer. 

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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