Obviously, this is a pencil case in progress - how could you not guess that at once? I knew the colours I wanted to use but spent hours trying out different stitch patterns to get one I liked. And what did I end up with? Garter stitch. Not that I don't love garter stitch but you'd think I would have thought of that first. The coloured stripes are the clever part (well I think they are anyway); I wanted a blended look but without having too many ends to darn in and I eventually worked out a way to combine four colours that fitted the bill.
My other new project is probably going to be a bag, made up of blocks like this one ...
This is a Log Cabin block, a traditional patchwork design where the central red square represents the hearth and the strips around it the log walls. It's a block that always makes me think of that part in Little House on the Prairie where Laura describes how Pa builds their house.
In my knitted version the two strips in each colour are knitted without cutting the yarn and there is no sewing up to do. Do you like the colours I've chosen? I'm rather pleased with them, although I wasn't too sure about that lightest pink when I bought it. It's a bit garish on its own but I think it looks fine in with the other colours. All the colours for this (and the pencil case) are Stylecraft Special DK - such a useful yarn.
So that's the new starts. Now for the finishes. I've recently published two patterns, one of which I've been working on for the best part of a year, on and off.
This one is called Helicopters and it's another design inspired by Patchwork, this time by the Inner City block. There's a lot less sewing than you'd think in my pattern as I've picked up stitches to knit shapes wherever possible.
I really like the yarn I've used here. It's Rico Creative Melange DK which comes in a nice range of shades which have enough variegation to be interesting without being overpowering. I've just bought some more in these two lovely shades which I'm hoping to turn into a double sided Tunisian Crochet pattern.
The other finish was a much quicker pattern. I started knitting it last week and published it today.
The Perfect Cowl is a very easy knit - just panels of reverse stocking stitch. I've used an odd ball of Noro Silk Garden for a colourful cowl but you could use any similar weight yarn.
The name comes from the perfect number that the pattern was designed around. A perfect number is one where all the numbers that divide into it can be added together to make the number. So, in the case of 28 (which I used for this pattern), 1+2+4+7+14 = 28. All those numbers play an important part in the design and no, I don't think that's a strange way to design a knitting pattern.
I'll leave you with a photo of one of my quality control team testing out the work in progress earlier today. He's lying on a partially knitted blanket with his head on the new cowl and yes, that is a knitting needle under his paw.