Monday, 26 December 2011

New Pattern- Cwm

I have a new pattern out, and it's my first ever published one. I started working on this pattern when I first moved to Wales back in April, and I'm so happy I can finally share it with you.

It's called Cwm, and was designed with handspun in mind. It uses 210m of Aran weight yarn in total, but to get the best from the pattern you need 140m of slightly smooth yarn (I used a worsted spun 2-ply), and 70m of a softer fluffier yarn (I spun woollen singles using a long draw method). If you don't spin you can of course use a commercial yarn, for the samples I used Drops Alaska and Drops Nepal, but you could use any yarns that give you that change in texture, how about combining yarns, KidSilk Haze would give a lovely fluffy effect.

As to why it's called Cwm, (pronounced Coom), it means valley in Welsh, the pattern is designed to create valleys surrounded by ridges of garter stitch. Down in the valleys you use your softer fluffier yarn, up on the hills your tougher, smoother yarn. This is just how it is with sheep, where I live, up in the hills, the sheep are tough hardy things, for the most part their fleece is used for insulation and carpets (though with a bit of careful selection I managed to spin something soft enough for a hat crown). Down in the valleys however, the sheep are far more pampered, their fleece is much softer, the sort we're far more used to spinning, and seeing as yarn to knit with.

The pattern doesn't produce a large shawl, though it would be very easy to enlarge it, and produce something bigger.
You can either wear it in a traditional way with the points at the front, though you'll need a shawl pin to hold it closed, or I tend to wear my shawls of this shape like this.

Turned around the other way, with the point to the front and the ends wrapped around my neck. It keeps me warm where I want keeping warm, but without adding too much bulk round the back of my neck.
If you like it, and would like to knit it, you'll need to buy a copy of Yarnmaker magazine. Yarnmaker is a British published spinning magazine, it features articles written by all sorts of people, about things that are of interest to anyone who works with fibre in anyway. Dot(the Editor) is committed to getting real people to write the articles (and is very helpful to first time writers), and as a result there are articles about all sorts of things that wouldn't necessarily appear in a bigger, more commercial publication.
I will be making it available as a download when the rights return to me, but for now, I really recommend you get your hands on a copy of the magazine. You can buy single copies, or a subscription here.


  1. love your new pattern and where you live, it is beautiful, nici

  2. Lovely pattern - spotted it in Yarnmaker and thought, hm, must knit that.

    And then I noticed that you were Snowdonia-based... ditto (and double ditto, I'm also in YM, waxing lyrical about spinning in Caernarfon). And I've got just the fleece for that shawl...