|Image courtesy of Knit Now|
As readers of this blog know, the UK knitting industry has a wealth of talent, with independent designers and yarn spinners bringing much originality and creativity to the fore.
My pattern highlights of the Best of British special are the soaring swallows cowl and the thousand tides tunic.
The background of the cowl is knitted with Artesano British Wool Blue Faced Blend DK in a jade green colour called Beryl (a good omen as it's my mother's name). The swallows are cream. It is knitted on two circular needles and is cast on and off in the tubular method. That's a new one to me but there are comprehensive instructions with the pattern.
The tunic is designed by the magazine's editor, Kate Heppell, and she says it's inspired by the ripple pattern of waves on the shore. The tunic is dark blue with a yellow 'wave' stripes around the yoke. Knitted in the round, it's a challenge for knitters who usually use two needles, but is worth it for the lack of sewing up that's needed. It is knitted in Susan Crawford's Excelena yarn and has a row of six small buttons from the neck down. I'll probably shorten this to make it a t-shirt rather than a tunic, as tunics tend to swap my short frame.
The Yorkshire designer Ann Kingstone is interviewed in the issue, with a focus on her latest book Stranded Knits. She explains why she likes working with British wool and talks about her favourite British yarns. In my very long 'to knit' list is the hooded jumper Hild from her Born & Bred pattern book, knitted with pink Aran British yarn I bought a few years ago from Woolyknit after seeing them at the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show.
The best of new British yarns are featured in the 'Spring has Sprung' feature. I've not seen the Brigantia Luxury Aran skein before - it's one to check out. Over the page real knitters text six different British yarn. Four of them score 100% on the 'would buy' test.
My one complaint about the issue is that as I turned the magazine's front cover over I saw a full page advert for Bergere de France!