Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Summer Travels Inspiration Part Four - Thieves' Road Shawl

So as ever, it's been a long time since the last release in this series. I definitely have major issues with saying "no" when people offer me extra work to do which keeps my schedule full to bursting, my resolution for 2018 will definitely be to do less work and spend more time knitting!

Better late than never though, here's the story behind my latest pattern.

The Thieves' Road is a path near Aviemore, which was used in the dim and distant past by raiders who would loot and pillage in the villages nearby. We biked up the trail to Inshriach Bothy where we stayed the night, you can see route details on the Heritage Paths website. It's a strangely beautiful place - the Scot's pine and juniper bushes are twisted into pretty weird shapes around a clearing.

 I must admit I find bothies a bit creepy too - I would much rather sleep in my tent. In a very modern spooky moment at about midnight my phone went crazy - after about three days with no phone signal or internet it came to life with all my notifications, all of a sudden and in the absolute middle of nowhere. Should have brought the tent!

Trees growing very strangely here!

So the shawl was inspired a bit by the history of the place - I think the slightly faded looking red and blue paired up with the heirloom lace gives a bit of a pirate/smuggler kind of feel to them in keeping with the history of the trail, and the handdyed Malabrigo yarn works beautifully with zigzag stripes. The wider, shallower triangle makes it perfect for wrapping up in - ideal for sitting around a campfire - since it's cold enough to need a thick shawl when you're camping in Scotland, even when the fire's going and even in July! It's dk weight too, which makes it a cosier shawl, and a quicker knit, than most shawls in a lighter yarn. 

Bothy entertainment - cards and single malt

Here's the details:

The pattern for Thieves' Road Shawl is available to purchase on:

Thieves' Road Shawl by Littletheorem

Pattern Specifications:

Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Rastita DK
MC No me Olvides, CC - Jupiter (100% Merino Wool, 283 m/310 yds per 100 g)
One 100 g skein in each colourway = 566 m/620 yds.

Dimensions: Makes a triangle 162 cm/64” across and 50 cm/20” high after blocking.

Needles: 4.5 mm/US 7 40”/100 cm circular needle (for working flat) 6.5 mm/US 10.5 needles for bind off only.

Gauge: 19 sts and 28 rows = 10 cm/4” after blocking

Extras: Tapestry needle for weaving in loose ends, mat and t-pins for blocking.

Thieves' Road Shawl by Littletheorem

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Summer Sale

knitting pattern sale

We're having our annual Summer Sale! All our patterns are available at a 50% discount with coupon code Summer50.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Summer Travels Inspiration Part Three - Russula Shawl

red lace shawl knitting pattern

 So it's been a long time since Part Two of this series was released, and certainly a long time since last summer! I had planned on releasing one new pattern a month between the summer and Christmas but life got in the way a bit.

Things have been pretty much non-stop hectic here - I've started tutoring a Maths course with the Open University, which has eaten up pretty much all of my spare time and I was doing a lot of evening work as part of my day job. However, the OU course is nearly finished now and I've just started a new job which is much closer to home and should hopefully leave me with much more free time for designing. Moving one step closer to the dream of going part time in my "real" job and having more time to knit and write patterns.

Anyway, better late than never, this is the third in a series of patterns inspired by my travels last Summer. The first was Abriachan Cowl, inspired by the beautiful colours in the forest at Abriachan. The second was Fiacaill Cardigan, inspired by the Fiacaill Ridge in the Cairngorms. The third pattern is inspired by bright red Russula mushrooms, which were just starting to appear in the forests in late Summer:

Russula mushrooms in Scotland
You often find them in shady pine woods. At this time of year they look like something from a fairy tale, an eyecatching flash of colour in dark, gloomy surroundings. There's something a bit magical about mushrooms, especially unusual ones, and the Scottish climate seems to really suit them. Here's a few we've spotted through the years:

Unusual mushrooms in Scotland
This shawl was designed to have the same effect as the bright red russulas, a flash of cheery colour that will stand out against Scotland's often dull and dreary weather. Russula is a pretty, crescent shawl with a stunning diamond pattern and pointed edging. It begins with a wide crescent in garter stitch, then work a zig-zag edging of diamond lace. The lace pattern is very simple, and looks much more complex than it really is.  

lace shawl knitting pattern
Available to purchase on:

20% discount on Ravelry with coupon code SUMMERTRAVELS3 until end of December 2017

Details are as follows:

Yarn: Cloudborn Wool Fingering Twist
Colourway Scarlet Heather (100% Fine Highland Wool, 368m/402yds per 100g)
Two 100g skeins (you won’t need much of the second skein) = 384m/ 420yds

Dimensions: 150cm (60”) wide and 40cm (16”) deep at widest point.

Needles: 4.5mm/US 7 40”/100cm circular needle (for working flat) 6.5mm / US 10.5 needles for bind off only.

Gauge: 17sts and 32 rows in garter stitch after blocking.

Extras: Tapestry needle for weaving in loose ends, mat and t-pins for blocking.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

New Year Sale

knitting pattern sale

Happy New Year!

We're celebrating the new year with a pattern sale! All our patterns on Ravelry will be 50% off until Friday with coupon code "HappyNewYear".

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Summer Travels Part 2 - Fiacaill Ridge

On to part two! 

This is a series of five knitting patterns inspired by my travels in the Scottish Highlands this Summer. The first pattern was a cowl inspired by the colours of the hills at Abriachan - you can read more about it here!

Our second pattern is inspired by a traverse of the Fiacaill Ridge, an imposing rocky traverse in the Cairngorms:

fiacaill ridge cairngorms

It looks more scary as you climb higher as well! 

fiacaill ridge cairngorms

Having said that, once you're at the top of the ridge, it's very flat indeed on the Cairngorm Plateau.

cairngorm plateau

Something I'm not used to at all after climbing so many West Coast munros - bit more of a jagged landscape. And we managed to spot the Cairngorm reindeer which was a real treat:

cairngorm reindeer from a distance

But back to the knitting: the pattern this inspired would have to be cosy - it's chilly up there! So I designed a cardigan with a warm shawl collar to wrap up in, in super-insulating alpaca and silk yarn. 

grey alpaca cardigan knitting pattern

Alpaca fibres are hollow, to trap extra heat (they spend a lot of time up chilly mountains too...) so it's the perfect choice for cold weather garments. The design is inspired by the rocky terrain too - with a block pattern at the back made with smocking stitches. 

  Available to purchase on 

20% discount on Ravelry with coupon code SUMMERTRAVELS2 until end of December 2017

smocking stitch knitting pattern

The details for the pattern are as follows:

Yarn: Cloudborn Fibers Alpaca, Wool and Silk DK (45% Alpaca, 25% Merino, 30% Silk; 274yds/250m per 100g)

820 (950, 1095, 1250, 1420, 1580, 1750, 1930) yards.

750 (870, 1000, 1145, 1300, 1445, 1600, 1765) m 

To fit bust: 30-32 (34-36, 38-40, 42-44, 46-48, 50-52, 54-56, 58-60)”
Across back armpit to armpit: 15 (17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29)”
Armpit to hem: 16 (16.5, 17, 17.5, 18, 18.5, 19, 19.5)”
Around top of sleeve: 12 (13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19)”
Sleeve length: 17 (17, 17.5, 17.5, 18, 18.5, 19, 19)”
Gauge: 17sts and 26 rows = 4”/10cm in stocking st with US 7/4.5mm needle after blocking.
Needles: One US 7/4.5mm 40”/100cm circular needle.
Extras: Two detachable stitch markers; cable needle; spare 40” circular needles (size US 7/4.5mm or smaller) for holding stitches or waste yarn in a contrast colour; tapestry needle for weaving in loose ends.

shawl front cardigan knitting pattern

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

One Million Hits Sale!

knitting pattern sale

We've reached a milestone 1,000,000 hits on the blog and we're having a sale to celebrate. All our patterns on Ravelry will be available at a 50% discount with the coupon code "Million".

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Summer Travels Part 1 - Abriachan

Our Summer holiday plan is almost always the same - pack up the car for biking, hiking, camping (and of course knitting!) and go where the wind takes us! 

This year was no different - but it inspired a series of five knitting patterns that I'll hopefully be releasing between now and Christmas. The first is a cowl inspired by the colours of the Scottish hillsides:

Colors of Scottish Highlands
This cowl is named for Abriachan - a tiny village up in the hills beside Loch Ness. It's always busy by the side of the loch, as it's such an iconic part of Scotland. But once you're up in the hills by its banks, there's a much more remote feel. Abriachan is also home to some lovely (if challenging!) mountain biking trails. I'm fairly sure they aren't well used, the forest and moor seem to be reclaiming them, which adds to the remote feel. There are lots overgrown patches and fallen trees to manoeuvre over, but the scenery is delightful. The colours of the open country are spectacular, with gorgeous patches of delicate red grass - the pictures really don't do it justice. And then there's the deep greens of the forest, really quite dark in places, with red and white mushrooms almost glowing - as well as soft heathery pinks and purples everywhere you look on the hillside. And the teals in the pattern do remind me a little of the shade of my beloved mountain bike...

mountain biking at Abriachan

The cowl pattern uses an absolutely gorgeous yarn – Malabrigo Rastita. The delicate “watercolour” variegated colourway totally reflects the natural beauty of the north of Scotland with jewel tone greens, subtle greys and heathery purples and pinks.

knitting pattern for variegated yarn

When designing this, I was aware that variegated yarns look lovely in the skein, but don't always look great knitted up. This cowl has slipped stitches, and gathered strands of yarn running across it to really showcase the different colours. A perfect knitting pattern for colourful, variegated yarns!

Available now on 

20% discount on Ravelry with coupon code SUMMERTRAVELS1 until end of December 2017

knitting pattern for multicolor yarn

Here's the details:

Yarn: Malabrigo Rastita
Colourway “Lotus” (100% Merino Wool, 283m (309yds) per 100g)
One 100g skein = 283m/309yds

Dimensions: 20cm/8” deep, 92cm/36” around.

Needles: 4.5mm/US 7 circular needle either 40”/100cm for magic loop or 30”/80cm or shorter circular needle if you do not wish to use magic loop.

Gauge: 20 sts x 32 rows = 4" in 2x1 twisted slip stitch rib (repeat rounds 1 & 2 of pattern) after blocking.

Extras: Tapestry needle for weaving in loose ends, stitch marker for end of round.

cowl knitting pattern for multicolored yarn