Kaffe Fassett Mystery Afghan KAL – Clue 1 with pattern chart

*NEW* now with ALL colourways!

Week One Square revealed

Clue One Square revealed

As promised, here’s a little update on the progess of the Rowan Yarns & Kaffe Fassett KAL (for pattern and links check my previous post). I have finished knitting 5 of my clue one squares and am enjoying it so far.The pattern is easy enough to knit and remember, and I like the colours of the first square. Rowan are offering two versions of the square, one using M1 to increase, and one using Inc. It really is up to you which version you make, but I prefer the M1 as it makes for a neater square (Rowan Tip sheet here). The one thing I found a litte tedious though was following the written instructions – I promptly misread the instructions for my very first square, slightly mixing up the colour sequence – oops. I actually really like my little blunder though and have decided to stick with it for the rest of the KAL. Let’s hope it’ll work out when the Afghan is assembled.

To help speed up your knitting, here’s a little chart I made with colour coded lines. The original version is by my friend Sarah who is making the brown colourway and has kindly allowed me to use and edit it as my own version. Simply click on the image to open the .pdf, then click save or print. Please note: This chart is for the original Kaffe version. If you’d like to change to the IamSnowfox stripe version rows 29-30 need to be knitted with colour C. 

Kaffe_Fassett_Kal_clue_1_chart

Turquoise

Kaffe_Fassett_Clue_1_pastel

Pastel

Kaffe_fassett_clue_1_red

Red


To get Sarah’s
chart for the brown colourway, check out her post on Nottingham Knitter.

I find with the coloured lines it is SO much faster to knit – all you need to check on the chart is whether you’re on a decrease, increase or simple knit/purl row. I do recommend you knit the square from the original instructions at least once so you know where to place the incs and decs. Let me know if you find this helpful and I will continue to post the charts for each upcoming week of the KAL. Happy knitting!

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Rowan Yarns & Kaffe Fassett Mystery Afghan KAL

Kaffe Fassett is one of the big names in crafting. If you’re a knitter or a quilter, you will most likely have come across his name on various occasions. He’s famous for wild, vibrant colour combinations and intricate patters. I … Continue reading

A Crafty Day Out – Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Fair

Kirstie_Allsopp_Handmade_Fair_BannerCraft Fairs are pretty much every creative person’s ultimate heaven. Apart from DIY Stores and plant nurseries maybe. And cooking shops. And art supply shops. And, and, and – but I digress.
Fact is – I love Craft Fairs. I also love Art Fairs. And Food Fairs. And Vintage Fairs. Anything that gives me an excuse for a day out with lots of creative visual and sensual input, really.

Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Fair is the first of its kind, uniting many different crafts under one (tent) roof. Many crafters have lots of different crafting interests, for me – apart from the obvious knitting and crochet – it’s cooking and home decoration, gardening and a little bit of sewing/needlework. Whether you’re into painting, upcycling, dressmaking or ceramics – you’ll find something worth going for.

I spent the whole Saturday wandering around the many tents browsing, attending workshops and chatting to other crafters, a mix which made me forget I had gotten up at 5am that morning to fly from Germany to London in order to join the fun.
Below are just a few pictures of workshops, people and my favourite findings at the market tents that I’d like to share with you.
If you’ve been there, feel free to link to your pictures and tell me about your favourite things in the comments!

Upon arriving, I made a beeline for the Rowan Yarns / Coats Craft Library Tent. The tent was beautifully decorated, and there was always one or more designer there happy to chat and sign books (which could also be purchased in the tent). Poor Suzie Johnson had lost her voice, but brought a gang of the most adorable knitted creatures with her. I got her book ‘Janet Smith Can’t Knit‘ and simply love it. Rowan designers Sarah Hatton, Kaffe Fassett, Martin Storey and newly independent former Rowan head designer Marie Wallin were all there to sign their latest publications.

From there, my next stop was the Coats Crafts workshop tent, where they offered a selection of workshops led by various designers. I sat in at Stuart Hillard‘s No-Sew-Cushion, Jane Crowfoot‘s Crochet Class, took a crossstitching class with Mr X Stitch and tried beaded knitting for the first time. Needless to say I had a blast. All tutors were wonderful and despite the large number of paricipants (all workshops were sold out) happy to answer questions and help where help was needed.

Between workshops and catchups and book signings there was enough time to stroll through the numerous market tents. My favourite discoveries were Red Hen Originals, (potato prints of chickens and other animals ), Lauren’s Cows (paintings of cows) and the adorable stitched sheep at Pippicraft. But see for yourself.

I’m hoping this great event will become an annual thing, I for my part would definitely go again. Coming up in October is the Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace, make sure to check back here for pictures after Wool Week 2014!

The Home of Rowan Yarns – A Visit to the Mill

Hey everyone! I have finally returned to my blog after a few turbulent months. It’s good to be back.
I’d like to tell you about the time Snowfox packed her bags and travelled all the way to picturesque Holmfirth, to visit the home of Rowan Yarns and meet 12 fellow Rowan Ambassadors and the makers and shakers of the brand.

I don’t even know where to start – it was all amazing. I travelled from London to Nottingham, where Sarah from Nottingham Knitter picked me up so we could travel the rest of the way together. We arrived at our hotel in Holmfirth, the Old Bridge Inn, just in time to join the other Ambassadors for dinner. Lots of happy faces greeting us, it was so exciting to finally meet everybody after having communicated online for over a year.

Rowan_Ambassadors

From the Rowan Yarns facebook page

From front  left to right:
Ute from Heute strick ich
Anja from IamSnowfox
Maria Niedermayer 
Violeta from A Knitting Bakery
Linda from Knitted Pink
Cindi from PurlOne
Kristen from Knitionary
Dayana from Dayana Knits
Esther from Knitting with Rowan
Anne from Life Lackadaisical 
Konrad from Knittingkonrad
Claire from Knit And Purl Garden
Sarah from Nottingham Knitter

After a delicious and satisfying dinner, we all unpacked our knitting (of course) and wound down from a long day of travelling before heading up to our separate rooms.

Holmfirth_from_Old_Bridge_Inn

Room with a view

The next morning we got whisked off to The Mill to finally meet the Rowan Yarns team.
The Green Lane Mill has been the home of Rowan Yarns since 1979. It’s a beautiful old building, lots of exposed brick walls and wooden beams that ooze character and work as a beautiful backdrop for the offices and show room.

Rowan_Mill_Entrance

At last – The Rowan Mill

We were introduced to brand manager Kate Buller and the Rowan Team, including designers – Imagine getting to meet all the people who’s designs you’ve admired and recreated over the years – I was pretty star-struck. The creativity and expertise in that room was unbelievable.

Rowan_Designers

Martin Storey, Marie Wallin, Lisa Richardson, Sarah Hatton, Gemma Atkinson, Kate Buller

Every single Rowan Magazine in existance was carefully laid out for us to look at – the early issues are hard to come by and are popular collectors items, I almost didn’t dare picking up some of the rarer magazines as I’m so clumsy and tend to break things. I couldn’t resist picking up the first ever Rowan Magazine though – and my very own first issue, Magazine 48.
IamSnowfox_Rowan_Magazines

But what would a visit to the mothership of beautiful knitted garments be without garments – there were of course several models from the A/W collection on display. Lots of oohing and aahing, and of course thorough discussion of the new season going on!

Marie_Wallin_Scaven

Scaven‘ by Marie Wallin

We even got to try things on!

Lisa_Richardson_Ulrika

Ulrika by Lisa Richardson

We spent time discussing current and future projects, amongst others the first ever Rowan Knit-A-Long, a beautiful  Mystery Afghan designed by Martin Storey and Knitted with Rowan’s Pure Wool Worsted. The pattern is free and can be downloaded from the Rowan Yarns Website here, all you need to do is sign up as a site member (which is also free).

Martin_Storey_Mystery_Afghan

Martin Storey presenting his very own Mystery Afghan

We spent a day learning about the design process at Rowan Yarns – from brief to swatching to finished garment, and even had a chance of working on our own designs with help and advice from the pros. After two full days at The Mill filled with so much creative input, some fresh air was exactly what I needed, so some of us went for a beautiful walk in the Peak District, with lots of sheep to keep us company of course.

IamSnowfox_Nottingham_Knitter_Peak_District

With Nottingham Knitter Sarah

And last – but certainly not least! – there was CAKE.

Rowan_Ambassadors_CakeI hope you enjoyed taking this little tour with me. In my next post I’ll tell you all about the new season yarns and my favourite A/W 2014/15 designs. See you then!

Moontree Pillow Pattern by IamSnowfox

Welcome back dear readers in 2014! 

It has been quiet on my blog as I’ve been so busy the past few weeks. I moved house just before Christmas, so the last weeks were spent painting, unpacking boxes and decorating. I took a little timeout between Christmas and New Year to go to Austria and recharge my batteries (and eat lots of grandma’s Christmas cookies).
My knitting needles and designs lay neglected in my suitcase as I was too busy snowboarding, walking the dog and sleeping.
Austria was covered in snow, and during one of my evening walks while looking at the bare trees glistening with frost under a full moon, the idea for the Moontree Pillow was born. 

IamSnowfox_MoonTree_Pillow

This pillow gives the illusion of colourwork,  the tree motif is embroidered on after the knitting is finished, giving the tree a slightly raised and more defined texture than if it was knit into the the fabric. It also means you’ll only knit with one colour at a time, making it a great colourwork project for a beginner knitter.
The pattern is available for download in my Ravelry Store

I have used new Rowan Yarns Pure Wool Worsted for my pillow, it’s a wonderfully soft, superwash yarn that comes in a whopping 50 shades.
The colours are beautiful and vibrant and the colour palette is well chosen, making this new yarn an instant stash staple.
My pillow was knit using colours Moonstone and Ivory, but it would look gorgeous in any colour combination.

IamSnowfox_MoonTree_PillowI will be giving away the pattern to one lucky reader for free! Simply comment on this post and tell me what your favourite thing about winter is! Competition runs until February 2nd and the winner will be announced on the IamSnowfox facebook page  and Twitter.

Good Luck!

Pussycat Bow – Free Pattern

IamSnowfox-Pussycat-BowThis is my newest pattern, a Pussycat Bow which uses 1 ball of Rowan Yarn’s newest addition to their ever-popluar Kidsilk range, Kidsilk Amore. Now, this may just be me, but when I hear ‘Amore’, I put on a fake Italian accent in my head and instantly go for an (imaginary) stroll along the canals of Venice. Boats, Gondolieri in their little neck-ties and the general air of romance and grandeur inspired this oversized bow-tie. Ah, Amore…Pussycat-Bow-fullThe pattern is part of the Rowan Ambassadors Amore Online Collection and can be downloaded here. It’s free for Row@n members, simply sign up for their online community if you’re not a member yet (signing up is also free)!
You can also download the whole Ambassadors Collection here, every project uses no more than 1 ball of Kidsilk Amore or Kidsilk Amore Shimmer.
 Kidsilk Amore is a multi strand construction yarn, turning the delicate mohair and silk fibres into a chunkier yarn, which is very light yet warm.
It makes for either a super fluffy fabric if knitted on larger needles, or an intensely coloured dense structure if knitted on smaller needles. Both look and feel great.

Taking pictures of the Pussycat Bow turned out to be difficult, a week before the deadline for handing in my pattern it was pouring.. and it just wouldn’t stop. I postponed, and postponed, and postponed, until the very last day and it was STILL raining. So I took the plunge (literally), grabbed an umbrella and hoped for just a few rain-free minutes, a gap in the clouds.. and it paid off!
So here’s my favourite behind the scenes shot, complete with umbrella and double rainbow.
IamSnowfox-Pussycat-Bow-rainbow

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions concerning the pattern, and feel free to share your pictures over on Ravelry!

Wool Week – Day 4: Knitting is the new Rock ‘n’ Roll

As I am writing this, Wool Week 2013 draws to a close. It’s been a wonderful week full of  inspiration, shared creativity and  fun.
I tried to go to as many events and workshops as time would allow. On schedule for thursday was the Rowan Yarns workshop at John Lewis Oxford Street. The classes were all booked out, so I decided to just drop into one of their open sessions, which also allowed me to check out the progress of the wool window.
People have been hard at work all week, and by now you can view the finished room in the side streets off Oxford Street. Just as a reminder, we started out with this on monday…

Blank Canvas

Blank Canvas

By Thursday, things were looking rather different. A majority of the originally white interior is now covered in colourful stitches.. they don’t even stop at the afternoon tea.


Those who still think knitting is for old ladies only, think again. Knitting is the new Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Knitting is the new  Rock 'n' Roll

After saying Hi to the busy people in the window, I headed up the First Floor for the Rowan workshop. Upon arriving I noticed models of the snoods they were teaching to people – 3 different variations, all knit in wonderfully soft and chunky Big Wool. I borrowed a pair of needles, and one of the design consultants who work at John Lewis attempted to teach me to knit English Style (I’m normally a continental knitter). I started working on this cabled cowl and will definitely be making a few of these as Christmas presents.
 Cabled Cowl


Stuart Hillard from the Great British Sewing Bee having fun knitting a purple scarf.

Stuart Hillard Knitting

After a good two hours during which I more or less successfully attempted fair isle knitting with one colour in each hand, it was time for another class. This one was fully booked, and even reality TV star Oliver Proudlock joined the group to learn how to knit. Since the pop-up store was getting really crowded, I packed what I had made into my already too-full bag and headed over to Liberty’s, where the Awards ceremony for the winner of Wool Week 2013 Hand Knit & Crochet Award was taking place.
The Awards are a collaboration between Rowan Yarns, The Campaign for Wool, Liberty’s and The Royal College of Arts. To learn more about the awards, head over to the Campaign for Wool’s website. I got a chance to talk to the winners and Rowan brand manager Kate Buller and designer Marie Wallin, who are both very passionate about the competition, and who knows – they might even be recruiting some of those fresh talents to work with on future collections. Marie Wallin (wearing her own design Anatolia from Rowan Mag 54) then presented the awards and prizes to the winners and told the audience a little more about the designs and the creative minds behind them.


I am a bit sad that Wool Week 2013 is now nearly over, but am sure that Wool Week 2014 is already being planned as we speak, and will have many more inspiring exhibitions and events in store for all of us. I’m signing off now to work on my knitting :)

Knitting and Stitching Show 2013

I-Love-knitting-1912

British Wool Week has started and living just on the outskirts of London, I am lucky enough to be able to attend some of the events taking place in different locations in the city every day.

The Knitting and Stitching Show is the biggest show for any yarn and fibre related craft in the UK, attending is mandatory for anybody passionate about crafts. It was only my second time at the show, but I had an absolute blast. I went on saturday, which was probably the busiest day of all. By noon Alexandra Palace was packed with people, and it was so crowded it was actually starting to become difficult to see any of the stalls and talk to people.

Having been a Rowan Ambassador for several months now, my highlight of the day was meeting some of the Rowan Yarns Staff and being introduced to some of their designers. Many key pieces and yarns from their A/W collections were on display at the Coats Crafts Stall which was one of the largest stalls in the exhibition.

rowan-wool-rack-1932

You can see some of their beautiful yarns on display, as well as the most recent publications including my favourite, Pioneer by Martin Storey and Kim Hargreaves’ Storm which has only been released last week. My favourite yarns this season include Rowan’s Alpaca Colour, Thick’n’Thin and the new Fine Art colours. Sadly there were no samples of the highly anticipated Fine Art Aran, but hopefully the Knitting and Stitching Show at Harrogate in November will have some samples.

mannekin-display-1934

Caris and Annis from Kim Hargreaves’ Storm. Caris is definitely one of my favourite designs this season, it looks modern and classy at the same time and is knit with Rowan Kidsilk Haze and Fine Lace.

Rowan mannekin-display-1933

Just look at the beautiful styling of the mannequins.. It was all about the knitwear, but I somehow can’t help wanting one of those amazing skirts which are hand-sewn by the in-house design team.

Rowan peacock jumper 1938Another of one of my favourite pieces this season – Almanac from Martin Storey’s Pioneer. I would probably make it in more peacock-y colours however. Navy with green and gold accents perhaps instead of pink and red tones.

make-it-mannekin-1939

Some samples from Jem Weston’s book Cute Little Knits – Isn’t ther Lovebird Cushion adorable? And I don’t need to tell you how much I love Fantastic Fox!

rachel-martin-anja-1930

I had the great pleasure of meeting Designers Martin Storey and Rachel Coopey, who were both signing copies of their newest books Pioneer and A Knitted Sock Society.

Another of my favourite British Yarn retailers, Toft were well worth a visit. Their stall was buzzing with customers, it must have been a very successful event for them.
toft-end-of-an-era-1929They are  famous for their signature bulbous Button Bag. The bags are sold as kits to make at home, but if you can’t knit you can also hire a knitter to make one for you! These beautiful bags are sadly being discontinued, so if you have been wanting to make one, now is your last chance!

toft-monkey-1928

Their newest pattern book, Edward’s Menagerie, which features many cute crocheted animals, was available at the Knitting and Stitching Show as a Limited Printed Edition. It was sadly sold out by the time I got to visit their stall, but you can get a digital copy here.

knit-1-taxi-1949

On the way out I managed to get some pictures of KNIT 1, a black cab which has been yarnbombed and covered entirely in knitted objects!

I had a wonderful time and have already marked the dates of The Knitting and Stitching Show 2014 in my calendar (and who knows, I may even go to the Harrogate one in November, that’s how much fun it was!).
Next up will be Wool Week and Knit Nation. I am participating in a live yarn bombing of a window display in John Lewis Oxford Street.. stay tuned for  footage of our progress and other fun events and workshops!

Manly Honeycomb Mittens Knitting Pattern

Manly Honeycomb Mittens Pattern

Mr Fox has been complaining about cold hands all winter last year, and who am I to not take mercy? I thought long and hard about what kind of mittens to make for him, since he tends to be rather picky and doesn’t necessarily go for colour combinations I would choose. I toyed with the idea of making just plain old solid-coloured mittens, as they tend to be quick and easy, and wouldn’t make me grumble if he lost them, but then my knitting pride took over and I wanted them to be at least a little bit fancy. The instructions will make a pair of adult men’s size mittens. I will include alterations for a women’s sized pair at the end of the pattern as well. Check out my Ravelry project page!

I settled on a knitted honeycomb mitten pattern and Rowan Yarns Creative Focus Worsted, a mix of 75% Wool and 25% Alpaca in shades Natural and New Fern. I already had single balls of each colour in my stash and thought they looked rather nice together. The mittens are lovely and soft, and the pattern makes them wonderfully thick and squishy. Wearing these, Mr Fox’s paws will be toasty all winter! And after knitting a pair I had enough yarn left over to make another pair for myself.

Pattern:Manly Honeycomb Mitts inside

You will need:
1 skein of worsted weight colour A (Main colour)
1 skein of worsted weight colour B (Contrasting colour)
1 set of 3,5mm dpns (I use sets of 5)
1 set of 4mm dpns (I use sets of 5)
Safety pin or stitch holder
Tapestry needle to weave in ends
Stitch Marker (optional)

Cast on 40 sts with colour A on 3,5mm needles, distribute evenly across needles and join. Place stitch marker (optional).

Cuff:
*K2, P2, rep from * until end. Repeat this row 24 more times for a total of 25 rows (or adjust to whichever length you prefer).
Change to 4mm needles.*Inc, P4, rep from * until end (48sts).
Purl one row.

Honeycomb Pattern:
Part 1:
Row 1: *K4 with colour B, Sl 2 purlwise of colour A, rep from * to end of row.
Repeat this row 4 more times for a total of 5 rows.
Tip: Make sure colour A is at the back when starting each row. For neat colour changes, carry up colour A in the back (Great tutorial here).
Row 6: Purl
Row 7: Purl
Now alternate pattern as follows:
Part 2:
Row 8: *K1 with colour B, Sl 2 purlwise of colour A, K3 with colour B. Rep from * to end of row.
Repeat this row 4 more times for a  total of 5 rows.
Row 13: Purl
Row 14: Purl

Thumb*:
For a man’s pair of mittens, repeat pattern 2,5 times (5 rows of honeycombs, or 3 reps of Part 1, only 2 reps of Part 2).
When you are about to purl the last two rows, insert thumb as follows: P2, put 7 sts on stitch holder. Cast on 7 stitches, purl to end of row. Purl one row.
*When you have finished your mitten, knit thumb with colour A by picking up the 7 stitches from holder plus additional stitches for a total of 14 sts. Knit all rows until thumb is long enough. Finish by K2tog around.

Knit the pattern 6,5 times (13 rows of honeycombs, or 7 reps of Part 1, 6 reps of Part 2), or adjust until the mittens are long enough.

Finish the tip with Colour A:Manly Honeycomb Mittens Closeup

Row 1: Knit
Row 2: *K2tog, K4, rep from * to end of row (40sts)
Row 3-4: Knit
Row 5: *K2tog, K3, rep from * to end of row (32 sts)
Row 6-7: Knit
Row 8: *K2tog, K2, rep from * to end of row (24sts)
Row 9-10: Knit
Row 11: *K2tog, rep to end

Thread yarn through remaining stitches and pull tight, weave in ends. Tah dah!

For the Ladies:

How to adjust the size of the mittens:
If you’re knitting for an average woman’s sized hands, insert the thumb after 2 pattern repeats (4 rows of honeycombs), or after 1,5 pattern repeats (3 rows of honeycombs) for small hands. I find 48sts a good width for both men’s and women’s mittens, but you can adjust this if you’d like them wider or more snug. The pattern is worked over multiples of 6 sts, so simply add or deduct multiples of 6 sts from the total of stitches to make them wider or smaller. For my hands a total of 5,5 reps of the pattern is long enough (11 rows of honeycombs), simply adjust by adding more or less pattern repeats.

My first interview!

I have been interviewed by my friend and fellow Rowan Ambassador Cindi Brumpton of PurlOne! Cindi has been doing interviews of all the Rowan Ambassadors on her blog, and I think she’s done a marvellous job. Read all about how I became an ambassador and my love for little mushroom people here.

She’s a passionate writer and knitter herself, and I just wanted to show off her fabulous tea cozy design, Winter Wonderland, because IamSnowfox loves all things snow, and what could be better to keep you warm after a walk through the snowy winter world than a nice cup of tea?

Winter Wonderland by Cindi Brumpton