horology

We’ve a new pattern release today: Horology! This is a cardigan I designed as part of a collaboration with my friends at Laxtons, who are about to release some wonderful new yarns for hand-knitters. I’ll explain a bit.

Laxtons are a Yorkshire yarn manufacturer who develop and spin many wonderful yarns, with many different purposes. They specialise in working with British wool, and a yarn of which Laxtons are rightly very proud of developing and producing is their own Sheepsoft – a blend of local Masham and Blue Faced Leicester fleeces. It’s a very woolly wool (quite obviously sheepy) but careful blending and worsted spinning also makes the yarn surprisingly smooth and very soft. Overdyeing the grey-ish masham fleeces creates a slightly marled and beautifully muted palette which is immediately appealing. It’s lovely stuff. Laxtons spin yarn for many purposes – including fashion and furnishing – and sheepsoft has regularly been used in high-end ready-made knitwear: for example Brora featured it in a British wool sweater they recently produced. When Alan at Laxtons introduced me to this yarn back in 2018, I immediately loved it, and wanted to work with him to develop something interesting.

That something turned out to be Coracle – a pullover whose local materials, short supply chain, and foregrounding of manufacturing sustainability and traceability won the 2019 award for Business and Product innovation from FSB Scotland. As well as loving the oversized pullover we designed and produced (it is my constant cold weather staple) the coracle project (and what it stands for) is something of which I’m really proud.

When Alan mentioned that Laxtons were now developing the yarn at the heart of Coracle into their own-brand range for hand-knitters, I was really excited, because I knew this gorgeous yarn was something knitters would really enjoy working with and wearing. I thought I’d like to celebrate Laxtons new hand-knitting yarn with a pattern, and so I designed this cardigan – Horology

Horology is worked from the top down. Beginning with a few cast on stitches, panels of hour-glass cables (which give the design its name) are established first over the back and sleeves . . .

and then at the front edges

The cables are of the totally intuitive kind, making for a smooth and straightforward knit with just enough variety.

The cardigan is edged with twisted rib

And i-cord gives a clean finish to the front bands and buttonholes

This is a cardigan that feels relaxed and comfortable to wear

But which also has a neat and smart appearance

I’m really pleased with this design!

I chose the Carleton shade of Sheepsoft – which, like many shades in this palette, is a beautifully complex neutral, part of the appeal of which is that it is so difficult to define. There’s something of sand, and something of lichen about it too.

Horology is graded across an extensive range of 11 sizes (from 33 to 60 inches) and the pattern is now available on Ravelry or, for those who are unable to use Ravelry, as a direct download from the KDD shop.

Now, I have, as they say, jumped the gun somewhat with this release, as Laxtons have not even launched their new sheepsoft yarn and webshop just yet. This will happen in the next couple of weeks, so if you are interested in sampling this beautiful new British wool yarn, and knitting yourself a Sheepsoft Horology keep your eyes peeled (I’ll be sure to post a link as soon as the yarn goes live). The reason why we’ve released this pattern today is that the coming weeks promise to be very busy here at KDD: we have our own lovely new yarn to launch; a new book about to be published (People Make Glasgow) and another exciting launch of our brand new club (with weekly pattern releases running from the last week of September right through to Christmas). The planning required behind the scenes for these three launches is quite considerable, and we intend to take the KDD shop offline for a few days while we complete some necessary work. So here is your advance warning that the KDD shop will be offline and out of action from September 3rd – and that when we reapppear it will be with news of all the fun stuff that’s to come! We obviously won’t be taking orders during this time, so if you have any urgent knitting requirements that we can help you with, I suggest you get your shop orders in this weekend before we go offline.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy Horology and have a lovely weekend!

Happy knitting