We’re launching a gorgeous new project for you this month – the Day Dreaming Wrap knit kit.
The kit is a collaboration between us and Caroline Bawn of Gorgeous Yarns. I hand dye the luxury DK Egyptian yarn and Caroline has designed this beautiful pattern specifically for it.
“A lace wrap inspired by a cool summer afternoon sat in the garden just day dreaming; listening to the birds, gazing at the flowers and thinking of nothing much.” – Caroline, Designer
The wrap uses 300grams of the sumptuous blend of baby alpaca, linen and silk yarn. The yarn is available in 4 beautiful hand dyed colourways – or can be dyed in a different colourway if you have a specific requirement.
We caught up to discuss the design and to learn more about Caroline and her design background.
Over to you Caroline!
Tell us a little about how you began to design knitwear
I have always been a knitter, since I was about 5 and learnt to knit with my Gran. First off I knitted scarves and dolls clothes but I quickly wanted to knit bigger and more complex things.
The first garment I knitted was a 2×2 rib T shape over top. It was navy blue and I thought it was the height of fashion with my Bay City Rollers tartan patch jeans! It was the 70’s after all.
My Gran was a constant encouragement to me. I knitted all sorts when I was at University, and my Gran knitted for me. She really disliked sewing up garments so I would get things sent in the post, piece by piece as she finished each bit.
We shared and compared patterns and finished knitting; she was always positive about what I’d done and was interested in what I wanted to learn to do next. She was able to mix and match patterns to create what I wanted, and so I tried to do that too. That’s what started me designing my own patterns.
What other types of patterns have you designed?
I have designed lots of patterns, mostly for single skein projects in knit and crochet. I’m often tempted by lovely yarns at shows, (that’s how Steph and I met!) and wanted patterns to use them.
I have also designed 2 garment patterns in Frangipani Guernsey 5ply yarn. I wanted to challenge the idea that this yarn is only good for stiff, heavy Guernsey jumpers. So I designed a flared tunic and a ‘trapeze’ shaped cardi-coat with godet short row panels. I think this is my most popular pattern ever.
What was your inspiration for the Day Dreaming Wrap?
The Day Dreaming pattern came about after I had bought 3 beautiful skeins of yarn from Steph in the colourway ‘Years Gone By’ a while ago (which I always said should be called New Orleans, that’s another story!). I wanted a design which would show off the colour changes in the yarn well, but also had some lace to lighten the texture.
As a result Day Dreaming has lacy panels at either end, and simple stocking stitch along the middle length. It’s a wrap with buttons so it can cosy around your shoulders without any fuss. The stocking stitch panel in the middle takes very little thinking about and it’s ideal knitting to day dream with!
The Day Dreaming Wrap is perfect to make in Steph’s hand dyed yarns. It shows off the colours and sumptuous, luxurious textures of the yarns and is the perfect autumn project to make. Give as a gift for Christmas or make one for yourself and keep warm in the winter.
Do you have any other new projects or designs coming out soon?
New designs are on hold at the moment as I’m working on the release of my new book, The Natural Dyer’s Almanac, which should be available in September 2022.
After that, I’ll see what inspires me. I can’t just think “oh, I’ll design something today”. I need inspiration which can come from literally anywhere. It may be a texture, a colour, a shape, a fabric, anything really. Often chatting to knitting friends gives me ideas too.
I’m thinking of how to design knitwear with more shape and better fit at the moment. Then I let the ideas drift into my head, try out ideas with yarn stitches and textures and it builds from there.
I’m a natural dyer and sometimes when I’ve dyed yarns (especially with my favourite dye plants) I can’t resist making something with it for myself. I might put the neckline of one pattern, with the body shape or another, and the sleeves and cuffs from something else to make a unique just for me garment. I’m currently knitting a cardi-coat in Frangipani Guernsey 5ply which I dyed with madder to a rich orangey brick colour.
Do you have any tips for those making the Day Dreaming Wrap?
When you are choosing the colour of yarn to make the Day Dreaming Wrap, have a think about the colour of buttons you want. Do you want a match or a contrast? The buttons need to be small, around 1cm, and not too heavy or they will pull the buttonholes. I chose pearls because I like them with the peachy colours of the yarn.
Buttons that have a “shank” (that bit on the back with the hole to sew through) are easier to attach. The shank stops the knitting around the buttonhole getting squashed like flat buttons tend to do. Buttonholes need to be a snug fit around the button so they hold in place. You may find it easier to find the right buttons when you have finished your wrap and can take it with you to a sewing and haberdashery shop.
When you plan your Day Dreaming Wrap, bear in mind that it’s a long piece of knitting, so perhaps you will prefer to use a circular needle which will be lighter to use. You can use these end to end as well as in the round. When you get to the end of a row, turn your work around and work back again, simple!
My top tip for knitting the Day Dreaming Wrap would be to buy enough yarn to make 2. You’re bound to get asked to knit one for a special friend once she sees yours!
How do I order the Daydreaming Wrap knit kit?
If you can’t make it to one of the yarn shows, you can buy the kit online. If you’re in the UK, hop over to the knit kit product page in my online shop. Orders outside the UK can be placed via my Etsy shop.
Choose your favourite colourway from the options available, or choose the ‘Other’ option to request one of my other repeatable colourways. You can then decide how you’d like the yarn put up. You can choose either the yarn in skeins to wind yourself, or wound into yarn cakes ready to start knitting as soon as you open your kit!
When I receive your order I’ll dye your colourway in my next available dye schedule slot. If there’s likely to be a delay, I’ll let you know by email.
Please note – emails will be sent from firstname.lastname@example.org
If you don’t receive them please check your Junk or Spam folder as they may have been moved there without you realising.