Monday, November 23, 2015

Off the Needles /// Cowichan-Inspired Sampler

Cowichan-Inspired Sampler /// by Jane Richmond Designs

Have you been following the Fringe and  Friends Knit Along? This year Karen Templer chose a Cowichan Style Sweater Vest for the KAL and although all of her panelists are following some version of the same pattern, knitters were welcomed to chose any Cowichan-inspired knit their heart desired. This made for a broad and incredibly inspiring Instagram feed (#fringeandfriendskal2015). Not only are the photos fun to follow but the posts from Karen's hand picked panel of experts are immensely useful and very interesting!

The KAL is frankly so contagious, that you'll want to cast-on something Cowichan immediately! At least that's what happened to me! As soon as I'd stumbled across the projects on Instagram, I couldn't wait for yarn stores to open in the morning so I rummaged through my stash for anything remotely useful to practice colourwork bands with. I found some aran weight Lopi in brown which I held double and some DK weight Diamond Alpaca which I held triple using Karen's awesome cheat (SO clever!!).

Once I'd finished this rough swatch I was hooked! The next day I ran down to the Beehive and picked up one skein each of Briggs and Little Country Roving to do some real swatching. 

{ a snapshot of the inside of one of the yokes I knit }

Because I've never knit a Cowichan Sweater before, many techniques were entirely new to me, including stranded colourwork, inset pockets, adding a zipper closure, and knitting a cowichan-style shawl collar. And because I wasn't working from a pattern, all of these different techniques needed to be swatched before making the sweater. Because the yarn was so thick it made the knitting really speedy, which meant I could sample each technique proportionally (rather than making a smaller version or a partial section), this also meant that by the time I was finished with all of my trials I'd basically have an entire sweater! So instead of making seperate swatches to sample each new technique like I normally do, I decided to make a sampler sweater! 

I had to knit the yoke 3 times to get it just the way I wanted, and the same with the collar. My cardigan is FULL of big and little mistakes, but it's good enough to pass as wearable and fits me really well which is all I really hoped for. I figured at the very worst it could be a designated camping sweater.

Cowichan-Inspired Sampler /// by Jane Richmond Designs

Cowichan-Inspired Sampler /// by Jane Richmond Designs

After experimenting with the yoke bottom up I decided to knit from the top-down -- I preferred the way the increases looked. It's also my preferred method, so it felt the most natural to me.

Cowichan-Inspired Sampler /// by Jane Richmond Designs

I knew I wanted inset pockets that opened vertically. I experimented with weights for the lining -- knitting one side with 2 strands and the other with 3. I hadn't sewn the linings in yet when these photos were taken... Elsie got a kick out of my "fake" pockets, we'd take turns putting things in them only to have them fall to the floor... it's hilarious to an 8 year old!

I opted not to knit an edging on the pocket so that the colourwork pattern remained continuous. Now that it's finished,  I may experiment with edgings, just to see how it looks. 

Cowichan-Inspired Sampler /// by Jane Richmond Designs

I knew that I wanted a zipper closure like most traditional Cowichans I've seen, which really changed the way I needed to approach the colourwork patterning -- something I learned only after I'd charted, cast-on, and knit half of the body. If you're an experienced colourwork knitter, please ignore how the pattern repeats are broken where they meet at the zipper!! 

Cowichan-Inspired Sampler /// by Jane Richmond Designs

Sewing the zipper on (one of my big fears) was actually easy peasy! The trickiest part, and one that I'll perfect on my next sweater, is lining up the colourwork on the left and right fronts to maintain continuity (the same goes for the ribbing at the hem, and the top of the zipper where it meets the collar).

I wore my sweater out for the first time this weekend. The temperature has dropped this week and it was the perfect layer to keep me toasty warm! This knit was so much fun and I loved learning so many new techniques, I'm itching to cast-on more Cowhichan-insipred sweaters! There are endless possibilities!!

...Oh and thank you Ysolda for inspiring me to dye my old blue jeans and give them new life! Aren't they fun in Bordeaux!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Off the Needles /// An Eco Arika

Ever since binding off my brightly coloured Arika Cowl I've been wanting a neutral version for myself. My goal was to have it finished for Knit City so that I could wear it at the show and still have the original sample to display. I chose Cascade Eco to show the versatility of the pattern. My gauge was spot on but the Cascade yarn is woollier than the Kenzington and results in a fuller cowl and fringe. And because I used the undyed Ecological Wool, the cowl is actually surprisingly soft, especially after blocking! An added bonus -- you can make 2 Arika Cowls from one of these massive skeins!

I managed to finish in time for the show and wore it the entire weekend (and haven't really taken it off since -- I even wear it in the house!). I received SO many compliments on it and knitters were so excited about the unique construction and how quick and simple the knitting was.

The best part is -- Hikoo has a colour in the Kenzington that's almost identical called Pavalova. I've set to work knitting up a sample to show just how much colour can make a difference in the overall look and style of a pattern. I'll share it here when I'm done!

So, what's on your needles?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

NEW Pattern /// Clarke Pullover

Clarke Pullover // by Jane Richmond

Finally, I get to share my striped pullover pattern with you!

Clarke Pullover // by Jane Richmond

Meet Clarke!

I was originally inspired to knit this pullover because of my love for the comfortable fit of Palladio. Unlike the A-line shape of that pullover, I've designed the body of this garment to fit more like a boyfriend sweater. It's worn here with 4 inches of positive ease and no waist shaping. The neckline is slightly wider than a crew to give the pullover a more casual look and feel.

I chose YOTH yarns Big Sister for it's softness. If you haven't tried this yarn yet, you must! Because it's a DK weight it makes a perfect all season garment and the cashmere content means it can be worn against the skin as well as over layers.  I also chose a length that works well with both jeans and shorts, and finished the hemline with a flattering split hem.

When I was designing and knitting Clarke, I was obsessed with The 100 and spent many nights binge watching episodes on Netflix while I completed the sample. I like to think the overall feel of this pullover was inspired loosely by the comfortable, well-worn clothing and neutral colours found on set. I chose to name the pullover after my favourite female lead in the show, Clarke -- a strong, independent thinker, who isn't afraid of taking risks.   

This pullover would be equally wonderful in a solid colour. It's also a perfect introduction to stripes -- the colour combinations are endless! And the pattern includes two methods for creating jogless stripes!  

Clarke Pullover // by Jane Richmond

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Goodbye Summer....Hello Knit City 2015!

I blinked and summer was over.

On the last day of school, Elsie and I made a pact that this would be the best summer ever. And now, looking back this 2nd day of fall, I can honestly say it was. We packed it all in and squeezed every last ounce of summer fun out of the last few months. We hit the road, we camped, we hiked, we beached, she cruised (spoiled girl!). I made us matching "play-suits", took my first solo camping trip, island hopped, ran my first half marathon, neglected my garden, and discovered the ideal way to make s'mores.

Shannon and I ventured to Churchmouse Yarns and Teas on Bainbridge Island and Tolt Yarn and Wool in Carnation Washington -- it was amazing to meet so many knitters and to reconnect with ones we already knew! Shannon wrote a great recap of all the goodies she came home with here. I also sat down with Felicia Lo as a guest of the Sweet Georgia Show, it was a really fun interview with lots of thoughtful questions, have a listen here.

And now that summer is officially over, knitting season is in full swing and Knit City is just around the corner!


October 2-4
Market Place 9am-5pm, Sat & Sun
PNE Forum, Vancouver, BC


Shannon and I will have a booth again this year! We'll have all of our books -- ISLAND, JOURNEY, and SEASONLESS with us as well as the trunk shows on display so you can see the samples first hand and try them on. We'll also both have patterns and samples from our own pattern lines. And we've completely redesigned the booth with a fresh new look! I am so excited to reveal it at the show -- I hope you'll love it as much as I do.

I'll also be bringing my newest (yet to be released) pattern with me. If you follow me on Instagram you've probably been watching this one come together. I can't wait to share it with you!

Will you be at Knit City this year? I hope so!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

We're Hitting the Road -- Summer Road Trip SALE!!!

We hit the road tomorrow on our mini adventure (I'm PRETTY excited!) and in celebration of road trips and all things summer we are having a flash sale on all of our eBooks and individual patterns from our titles ISLAND, JOURNEY, and SEASONLESS.



Simply enter code summer20 during checkout on Ravelry to receive 20% off!

Sale ends Tuesday July 14th.

{ pictured above: Palladio pullover, Spate mitts, Inland cardigan, Climb socks }

from Seasonless, Journey, and Island

{ pictured below: Rathtrevor mitts, Grace cardigan, Arbutus cowl, Renfrew hat, Strathcona scarf }

Hop over to Shannon's blog to see which of her individual patterns from the books are eligible during the sale!


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Summer Events + YOTH Pullover No. 2

My second striped pullover is coming along! I'm absolutely smitten with this colour combo that Veronika helped me put together, it's so classic and modern at the same time. I'm nearly finished the first sleeve and I know the second will fly by.



Come see us when we hit the road this summer! 


July 11th /// Shannon and I are thrilled to be hitting the road in less than two weeks for our very first visit to the highly coveted, legendary yarn store, Churchmouse Yarns and Teas, on Bainbridge Island! Come and say hello, we will be visiting from 11am-3pm on Saturday, July 11th!

July 12th /// If you can't make it to Churchmouse on Saturday, we'll be revisiting one of our favourite shops, Tolt Yarn and Wool on Sunday, July 12th, from 1-3pm.

For more info on these events and more visit our events page HERE.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Off the Needles /// Striped Pullover + B-Day Sale

Off the Needles /// Striped Pullover on

Off the Needles /// Striped Pullover on

I finished my striped pullover and I'm loving it! It's my very first positive ease sweater and I have to say the casual fit of it is so incredibly comfy.

Because I knit this version using two different yarns -- YOTH's Big Sister for the main colour and Madelinetosh DK for the contrast colour, I've already cast-on another striped pullover in 100% YOTH as the official pattern sample.

In this one the colour combination is reversed and I have to say I'm loving it! I fell in love with Concord Grape at the YOTH booth at Stitches West and have been dying to work it into a pattern ever since.

Off the Needles /// Striped Pullover on

Once this second sweater is finished I will open up a call for testers. If you are interested in being a test knitter and would like to receive a notification when the announcement is made leave your Ravelry name in the comments below.

It's also my birthday today. Normally I'm pretty quiet about my birthday, not because I'm in denial about getting older, but mostly because I tend to shy away from events in my honour (I'm a bit of an introvert that way). But this year I'm really feeling the love and I need to share it with you. So for this very reason I've decided to have a spur of the moment, last minute, share the love, Birthday sale to celebrate :)



From now until midnight -- use coupon code BDAYLOVE.  


Also, the lovely ladies over at Kitterly are hosting a sale for my birthday!! See, can't you just feel the love?! Hop on over and use coupon code hbdayjane to receive 15% off this special birthday promotion on Jane Richmond pattern kits!