Leighton House Handwarmers

My new design is Leighton House Handwarmers. Available to purchase as a pattern download from Ravelry, or as a kit from Etsy.

PicMonkey Collage3

My husband was very patient as I kept making him take more and more photos! It’s tricky being the model myself too. I kept uploading the photos and saying, ‘nope, we have to try again, I don’t like that angle’, ‘too much double chin in this batch’ etc. But after four mini photo shoots in the garden we got some lovely pictures.

There’s so much to tell you about this new design!

The Inspiration 

The inspiration was initially from the damask or brocade style of heavy curtain fabrics that might belong in lavish traditionally decorated mansions. Initially I wanted the main pattern to be gold on the oyster coloured background, but the subtle effect that works so well in woven fabric did not work in knitted fabric. Sometimes swatching can be very enlightening! I kept trying different colours until I came up with these two combinations. I can’t decide which combination I like best, I think that both work well in different ways. I knit the Rose and Water colour combo and my mum knit the Teal and Gold. The Teal and Gold version made me think of the name for the design. Leighton House was the home and studio of one of my favourite artists, Lord Frederick Leighton. I’ve visited the museum in Kensington a couple of times, it’s gorgeous! He built a lovely room with a fountain displaying his collection of tiles. You can see it all with this brilliant virtual tour http://www.rbkc.gov.uk/leightonarabhall/tour/virtual_tour.html

The Yarn

The yarn I used is Fyberspates Scrumptious lace. It’s beautiful yarn made of silk and merino. Using lace weight yarn for stranded colour work handwarmers is quite an unusual choice. but I wanted these handwarmers to be really very light weight. I wanted a hand warming accessory for in-between weather, spring, cool summer evenings, autumn, any time when you feel like saying, ‘I’ve had enough of wrapping up in all these winter layers’ but you still want to keep warm!

The Kits

The kits are very nearly ready to send out. I was too impatient to hold back the pattern release date so the kits will be ready to send and posted out by Monday 10th. The kits are available in both colours and will include the printed pattern, and the Fyberspates Scrumptious yarn in three colours in a cotton drawstring bag with a little printed label. Perfect for gift giving or a treat for yourself.

The KAL

I’m very excited about this: my first KAL!

I was pleased and flattered when several members of my local knitting group said that they would like to do a KAL with the Leighton House Handwarmers. You’re all invited to join in, we’re a lovely inclusive group. The KAL thread is here. This is my very first time so please bear with me as I figure it all out. This is how I see it working:

  • The KAL will start from Wednesday 19th June (Wednesdays are our knit nights!) This should give us all time to get yarn and patterns sorted. You can start and join in any time after this.
  • To join the KAL, please post a hello in the KAL thread.
  • You don’t need to buy a kit to join in but you will need a copy of the pattern.
  • When you’ve finished your handwarmers please place a photo in the FO thread for us all to admire! I’ll set up a finished objects thread when things are progressing.
  • If you’ve finished by 1st September I’ll enter you into a prize draw to win your choice of any one of my kits, including my brand new kit. It’s top secret at the moment but you’ll see it soon!

Sound good? Come join in!

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