This post is a paid partnership with Stitch & Story.
All patterns are available via the Stitch & Story website.
Earlier this Autumn I designed a 5 piece collection for Stitch & Story, and today I can finally share the photos! 3 garments and 2 accessories kept my needles (and keyboard) very busy for a few weeks. I hope you like the patterns.
Stitch & Story focus primarily on beginner knits, and sell beautiful kits with everything you need to learn the basics. The idea behind this collection was to provide the next step. Patterns for the ‘adventurous beginner’ was the brief; these designs are intended for those who have mastered the basics of knitting and would like a challenge, but don’t want to be overwhelmed with too many techniques at once. The knitter who has a couple of finished items under their belt and is ready to try something new. Or the knitter who just enjoys a simple project every now and then – I’m counting myself in there! For this reason 2 of the 3 garments are worked in pieces with a boxy drop shoulder silhouette, and the accessories only require one length of needle (no fiddly changing from circulars to DPNs or anything like that).
Designing to a brief is totally different to designing for your own store, and I really enjoyed the challenge of creating wearable, interesting garments without including too many techniques. The new yarn – Secret Garden DK – is a 60% cotton / 40% acyrlic blend that’s ideal for year round wear, so I wanted the designs to reflect that, hence the sweaters that will work with jeans or shorts in Spring, and hair accessories that brighten a winter outfit. Read on to hear my inspiration and thought process behind each design – I thought this may be more interesting than a simple description of each item!
Designing an item for each technique wasn’t part of the brief, but I thought it’d be a nice way to introduce new techniques in a non-intimidating way. Starting with a Taste of Lace, which features a basic eyelet pattern bordered by garter stitch. Slash necklines and wide straight sleeves make a big impact, but are super simple to create with barely any shaping. Both sweater patterns feature German short rows; I strongly believe short rows are one of (if not the) most useful knitting techniques, so a good one to practise early. And not as scary as they sound, I promise! This sweater can be easily modified to be cropped or hip length, with 3/4 or full length sleeves.
My sample of the Taste of Lace sweater used Secret Garden DK in shade Syringa Lilac. Size 32-34″ used 5 balls.
Cables are usually used for decorative purposes, but I love the structural impact they have on fabric too. Stacking tightly twisted cables side by side at a tight gauge really nips in the fabric, producing a detail that was crying out to be used on a cuff. You know me and my sleeves. It means all the cabling is over and done with relatively quickly, but has a bold impact. The rest of the design developed from those cuff cables, with the detail echoed at the sides of the body and garter stitch edges throughout.
My sample of the Taste of Lace sweater used Secret Garden DK in shade Dahlia Beige. Size 32-34″ used 5 balls.
I’m really loving sweater vests right now (along with half of Instagram) and wanted to include a classic version in this collection. The Taste of Stripes vest is also a taste of working in the round, so I kept all other details to a minimum so the knitter can focus on those skills. Secret Garden DK comes in a beautiful colour palette, 2 shades that some would consider clashing and some would say complement each other. Clashing but in a good way, I’d say! This vest works just as well layered over shirts and under coats for winter, but also looks fresh and Spring-like worn alone.
A ‘sampler pack of techniques’ was my starting point for this set of hair accessories. For knitters who want to progress beyond the basics and try out new skills, but without committing to large projects just yet. Useful swatches, if you will! The scrunchies provide the chance to try out bobbles, lace, stripes, and crochet edgings on a really small scale, and the headband has just a nice amount of texture to keep you from getting bored. I’m really into knitted headbands ATM – they’re perfect for keeping your ears toasty when your hair’s in a ponytail. All 3 scrunchies and the headband are in 1 PDF, which includes diagrams for sewing the twist at the front.
A chunkier knit than the other designs, the Marlstone Cowl uses 2 strands of Secret Garden DK held together. I originally thought about using just two shades but couldn’t decide which 2, so I swatched a few variations. In the end I actually really liked how all 3 combinations looked together, so here we are! Moss stitch makes for a squishy fabric with plenty of substance; there’s nothing more useless than a cowl that crumples down into a glorified necklace, right? It’s a simple enough stitch to let the colour blending be the focus, and allow the knitter to get to grips with using 2 strands at once.
Hope you like this collection – it was a joy to work on and I’m excited to finally see the designs out in the world!
Lily Kate x