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Fall means new designs! (and test knits!)

Well - I have been "gone" a long time - but I haven't been doing nothing. Asides from holidays and general summertime relaxation and activities (with kids there never really is much real relaxation!), I have been beavering away with new designs and collaborations and there is A LOT to update everyone with. I will break things up into to different post over the coming days and weeks to keep it all manageable.

I have a number of design projects in the works - and most of what is on my needles I cannot show you. SO ... I wanted to introduce you to two of my new designs which are only awaiting testing before being released. Both are lovely pieces, perfect fall accessories, which are engaging knits with interesting lines AND which make excellent use of variagated yarns. This makes them FAB stash busters for using your lovely prized hand-dyed skeins.

Update: tests are full - if you are interested in testing for me in the future you can email me your Ravelry ID via the contact form, or send me a message on Ravelry.

The first is the Antonia Shawl which made stunning use of a softly variegated skein of MCN fingering weight yarn I had purchased from Knitting in France - I cannot recommend her yarn highly enough and you should check her out if you haven't already!

The shawl used one 100g skein of her Cash'sock which is an 80/10/10 merino/cashmere/nylon and it is so so so so very soft and lovely, without feeling like it is too "fuzzy" or delicate. I am fortunate enough to have gotten hold of two skeins - and you can see that above in the picture! This colourway was called "Soft Trio".

The asymmetric triangular shape with the lace work and eyelet details, interspersed with garter stitch, makes really fun use of a skein of fingering weight yarn and I cannot wait to knit another one - not least as I think I will be gifting this one! The scalloped edge is the icing on the cake, finishing with a flourish!

The shawl is named after Antonia, one of my very best friends. When I was knitting this, the playful design coupled with the colour palette kept her in my mind and so I didn't really have a choice over the name!

Second is the Erica Cowl which is a super quick and luxurious knit that really makes the most of the beautifully variagated yarn I chose. It used less than one 50 g skein of Malabrigo Silky DK in the colourway "Queguay", a seriously scrummy single-ply yarn with 51% silk and 49% merino! It really is a treat for your neck!

The name Erica has nothing to do with a person but rather the meaning of Erica in Italian. Erica is the Italian word for heather and the colours in this yarn and the way they were showcased in this pattern made me think of the stunning heather-coated Scottish moors. The wonderful yarn has the advantage of simultaneously not having a sharp definition, lending to the softness of the design and an almost rustic look in some lights, while at the same time being truly sumptuous and not feeling rustic for a second!

The design is delightfully simple, worked in the round, and involves only knit, purl and yarn over sts - no other increases are needed and no decreases are worked....its like magic! I knit mine in under a week of knitting on it as my "simple project" and it makes a great GIFT - mine has already gone to its new home .... but I ALSO have another skein of this yarn, so it won't be long before I can make another one (not allowed new cast ons right now)!

I will be announcing the pattern releases in early October if all goes well.

And make sure you come back - my next post on this blog will have my first ever giveaway!

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