Friday, 28 August 2015

Allotment knits

Knit Now magazine issue 51 has hit the shelves, so I'm pleased to introduce the Artichoke Beret and the Trellis and Vine Jumper, two designs from the Allotment Knits collection. It's my first foray into curation for the magazine, in which I set the theme and was part of the team that chose the designs.

Artichoke Beret by Anni Howard
Photo © Practical Publishing

The Artichoke Beret is knitted in Kettle Yarn Co Islington DK with a contrast pompom in KYC Twist 4ply. It is knitted in the round, with k2, p2 ribs and a clever lace design that grows progressively smaller as it nears the crown, just like the petals of an artichoke in fact. I love this yarn - the 55% Superwash BFL and 45% silk construction results in a smooth, soft yarn with a gorgeous sheen. It takes just one skein of the Islington DK (£19 per 100g skein from here). I used a finer weight yarn for the pompom as I feel it gives a more professional effect and the Twist 4ply was ideal. You could use yarn from your stash for the pompom instead, just choose a contrasting bright shade.


Trellis and Vine by Anni Howard
Photo © Practical Publishing

The Trellis and Vine Jumper is knitted in Rowan Softknit Cotton - it's soft and drapey but with good stitch definition, so produces the texture of the front panel beautifully while also giving a smooth stocking stitch.

The idea behind the front panel is that dichotomy within all gardens - we attempt to control nature with grids and beds and trellis, but nature grows where it likes and won't be contained. So here the vine panels sit outside of the trellis panel. The sides of the jumper are shaped for a flattering fit, and I designed the sleeves as 3/4 length, because no-one wants their lovingly crafted knitwear to trail in the mud when weeding.

Choosing a varied range of designs for the collection was an interesting experience, not least of which was the bumper crop of wonderful carroty designs, including one by me. As we couldn't include them all, which should we leave out? In the end this design ended up on the compost heap, but I'm intending to one day reuse the stitch pattern in a new design - if I ever have the time!

Parsnips and Carrots
original design 
© Anni Howard


I was really excited to be asked by Kate at Knit Now to curate this collection. Read more about the process in the magazine - in stores now, or to buy a digital edition, visit pocketmags.comAnd you can see the inspiration on my Allotment Pinterest board here.

And finally, for your delectation and a bit of non-knitty, this-is-not-an-allotment surrealism, and just because ... here's an allotment inspired Bento box ... :D

Bento box and photos © Anni Howard


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