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Jessica Joy

Knitwear designer and writer

At this time of year I spend a lot of time curled up on the sofa knitting, sheltering from the cold with a blanket and a pot of tea. It’s my favourite! Something that has been missing from this tranquil scene is a cute basket to store my WIPs by the sofa. I’ve filled this void by designing a chunky basket that’s perfect for the job! I designed it with knitting in mind, but frankly it could store anything – kindling by the fireplace, or even fruit on the dining table!

Chunky Jersey Storage Basket: Knitting Pattern

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Short rows are an ingenious way to shape knitted fabrics. They effectively work darts, or curves, into a pattern to add shape – without increasing or decreasing the stitch count. They’re most commonly used in sweaters at the bust, waist and shoulders.

Tutorial: Wrap and Turn (w&t)

To work a ‘short row’ you only knit part way along the row before wrapping a stitch and turning to work back along the other side. The stitch at the turning point is ‘wrapped’ with the working yarn to avoid creating a hole. In garter stitch this wrap blends in, so doesn’t need any further work. In smoother fabrics, such as stocking stitch, the wrap needs to be picked up and knit together with the stitch it’s wrapping, to hide it. I’ll cover this in another tutorial, but for now, let’s look at how to wrap and turn.

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How to Make a Blocking Board

To finish off my Teardrop Shawl last week, I decided to have a go at making my own blocking board. Up until now I’ve used a towel spread out on the floor, but I knew this super intricate lace needed a much smoother, flatter surface to pin out the motifs and scalloped edges. Another option would have been foam play mats, such as these, but I fancied getting my hands dirty!

Jessica Joy: DIY Blocking Board

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This shawl and I have been on an epic journey together. I decided to knit something lacey about this time last year, and it took me until February to pick out a pattern and order the yarn. In the depths of winter I cast on dreaming of long sunny days when I could use it as a cover up. Now, here we are heading into Winter, and I’ve only just finished. Ho hum, life happens!

Teardrop Shawl

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I received this gorgeous, eye-popping yarn as a gift last Christmas and it’s amazing! So amazing I’ve not dared to knit anything with it yet – it needs the perfect pattern to show off it’s swooping colour changes. My gut feeling was to go for two-tone colour work to really let it pop, maybe a brioche, or honeycomb cable against white.

Llama Love: Araucania Yarn

These patterns on Ravelry really caught my eye, though – you’ve probably noticed I’m a sucker for bold geometric patterns.

Colourwork

  1. Chromaticity Cowl by Miriam L. Felton
  2. Crayon Hat by Midori Hirose
  3. From Norway with love by Anna & Heidi Pickles
  4. Endpaper Mitts by Eunny Jang – these by Ravelry user brokenhallelujah.

Maybe even a crazy colourful pair of socks?! I’m working a mini swatch at the moment, and it’s knitting into tight stripes so that might be fun. What would you do with this scrummy yarn?

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I found out recently that a good friend of mine is pregnant with twin girls and, obviously, my mind kicked into overdrive for cute little knitting projects that I could make them. I wanted something that could be used for a decent amount of time (it’s all about the practicality), and immediately thought of these cute squishy beanies that were on Purl Soho recently. They’re a super-chunky, stretchy rib so cling to newborn – 1 year old heads. With a cute contrast pom to boot!

Newborn Pom Pom Hats

They were ridiculously quick to make, approximately 1.5 episodes of Great British Bake Off. The main yarn is Rico Big in light grey and Katia Big Merino shade 26 – a lovely find, that one! I’m all over bright, super-chunky solids. I hope she likes them – what do you usually knit for new mamas?

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Wow! It’s been a little while since I’ve checked in here. I didn’t mean to have such a long break from blogging, but I’ve been beavering away back here (behind my proverbial internet curtain). So here are a few peeps of what I’ve been up to recently, mostly from Instagram. Are you on Instagram? Come say hi!

Yarn

Neon nails and squishy Artesano DK. I couldn’t resist!

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