Following on from the launch last week of my collection for Eden Cottage Yarns’ Milburn yarn range I promised some more detail about the inspiration behind the collection and each of the patterns in more detail.
Today I’d like to introduce you to the two crochet pieces in the collection, Tunny and Morse Code.
But firstly a quick note about why I decided to include crochet in the collection. Regular readers will know that I am pretty passionate about getting people to see that crochet can be used to make beautiful wearable pieces and luckily Eden Cottage are very supportive of crocheters and wanted to provide pattern support for them too. I do live in hope that by including some stunning crochet in this collection I might tempt one or two knitters over!
The spiked cogs of the Lorenz cipher, nicknamed (or perhaps codenamed) the Tunny, gave inspiration for the cog like colour pattern on this hat.
Ever since watching Carrie’s War (BBC adaptation of the book by Nina Bawden) as a young girl I’ve been mildly obsessed with colourwork tams (she may not even have had one but in my head she does) so I knew I wanted to include one in this collection. This crochet version has the advantage of being able to give a Fair Isle feel without having to strand the colours – each colour is worked in turn. the circular spiked pattern would be hard to achieve in knitting but the crochet stitches are simple and easily memorised.
(Because I love seeing them from other designers) I thought I’d show you the original sketch swatch and inspiration picture from the design proposal. I’m always amazed when I create something that is so like the original sketch!
If you look at the swatch you’ll see how the pattern looks in just two colours, the design can be easily adapted to use just two colours if you prefer (for aesthetic or financial reasons) just use MC when it calls for CC2.
The hat is crocheted in the round from the top down with the pattern being worked on the sides only to keep increasing simple. The brim is worked perpendicular to the crown and allows a finer degree of adjustment on the brim to get a perfect fit.
The pattern is easy, suitable for adventurous beginners upwards, for the more experienced crocheter it makes a quick satisfying make and like all colour work, is an ideal a sock yarn stash buster.
You can’t have a codebreaking collection without reference to morse code. A simple code of dots and dashes that can convey the worlds most complicated ideas and thoughts. Combine that with my love of crochet bobbles and this cardigan just had to be!
This piece took more swatching than the rest of the collection to get the colour pattern just so. I experimented with lots of different ways of building in the pattern and how it should be spaced. In the end I went for an innovative technique that involves working a row twice, once in each colour and working with the chains from the first pass held to the back or too the front to make the dashes. You’ll see from this design sketch that originally I plannned to have the pattern around the hem and cuffs too but I changed my mind when I was making it, the design felt cleaner and better without.
The shape of this piece is particularly 40s and I love the styles with patterned yokes separated by a band. I wanted to create a sleek and stylish crochet cardigan that is wearable but makes a statement. Blending the neutral blue with the pop of the mustard yarn on the pattern, cuffs, hems and button bands creates a cardigan that will turn heads.
Worked from the top down with set in sleeves this garment is a sophisticated make for an intermediate crocheter.
If you haven’t worked the short rows needed for the sleeves before they are easy and fully explained in the pattern. If you are still nervous you might want to have a go when we run our crochet and knit alongs for the collection in the new year – I’ll be on hand to help then. Watch this space.