Monday, 7 January 2019

Polkagris Kerchief

The Polkagris Kerchief is a lovely, quick and simple knit by the designer Kate Davies

I used a set of two mini skeins of sport weight, spun from Shetland sheep fleece. One a natural white and the other naturally dyed over marl grey in shade "Ocean".

Now, this was no ordinary Shetland yarn, it was a blend of wool from Shetland sheep originating from 4 farms near my croft in Scotland. When I dispersed my flock of Shetland sheep a couple of years ago the ewes went to live at one of those 4 farms. So, when I discovered that Julie from Black Isle Yarns had acquired fleeces from sheep which used to belong to me, I was keen to buy some yarn and see how it had turned out. 

Here's an image from 2012 with some of my Shetland ewes.

These are the mini skeins from Black Isle Yarns, 40g each. I love the green shade dyed over the grey giving the marl look. The are both very soft and have a rustic look. 

I used a 4mm small circular needle for this knit project. The garter stitch mini shawl is cast on at the centre back. Then increases are made to create an elongated triangle. 

To make the shawl slightly larger I knit some extra rows in grey and mustard in Buachaille yarn

I'm really pleased how this project turned out especially as I had in mind to gift it to a friend for her birthday.

Of course, I just had to take a picture of this kerchief with the view, over looking the fields where my sheep used to graze. 

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Transitions Shawl

The words "Life Changes" could bring to mind so many meanings. For this shawl it's a new variegated DK weight yarn from Stylecraft. There are 8 shades in the range and for this shawl project I chose three, Roses, Berries and Ashes. The yarn is a mix of 25% wool and 75% acrylic, 100g balls, 298m /326 yds long.

The shawl is a triangular shape knitted in garter stitch (knit each row). The shaping is very easy to achieve with an increase and decrease on every other row. Small stripes occur when a new colour is added. The main interest is provided by the colour variations with in each shade. I particularly like the Berries shade which incorporates a purple plum colour through to cherry red. The final edge is finished off with an eyelet and picot cast off detail. 

Projects pegged to the fence with a scenic background are becoming a regular feature. A sunny morning (before the rain started again) resulted in this light and not too breezy shot.

I've enjoyed working with this yarn very much. It feels very soft to handle and I love the way the colour variations have developed along the length of the shawl. The colour changes and stripes were the inspiration for the name 'Transitions Shawl' and the pattern can be found on Ravelry.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Knitting Kits at Lucy Locket Land

Recently I teamed up with the lovely Lucy, from Locket Land and I'm delighted to announce two new knitting kits have been produced from my knitting patterns. These were launched last week at Yarndale in Skipton, North Yorkshire.

First is the Counting Sheep kit, this includes yarn made with fleece from my shetland sheep. Several natural colours are in the kits and there's enough to make a mini flock of at least five sheep. 

The image below shows some of the skeins in preparation ranging in colour from white, fawn, grey, brown and black.

The sheep kit includes the printed pattern, shetland wool yarn and natural wool filling in a neat presentation box. These are available online from Lucy's website and from her bricks and mortar shop (more about her shop later). 

Image courtesy Lucy Locket Land

Next, it's the Mini Red Roof Croft House pattern which has been so popular. 

For the Wee Croft House Knitting kits Lucy hand dyed shetland wool in pretty primary colours for the doors and roofs. There's enough yarn to make all three of these cute little houses.

Image courtesy Lucy Locket Land

The house kits include the printed pattern, the yarn and natural wool filling in cardboard presentation boxes. As with the sheep the house kits are available from Lucy's website and her shop.

Image courtesy Lucy Locket Land

The knitting kit production line...

Image courtesy Lucy Locket Land

Now, a little bit about Lucy's bricks and mortar shop. It is an exciting creative hub located near Sunderland in the north east of England. The shop stocks stunning yarns, unique work by local artisans, there are craft workshops (not just knitting) as well as knitting groups. 

Here's a little look around... 

Image courtesy Lucy Locket Land

Image courtesy Lucy Locket Land

Image courtesy Lucy Locket Land

Hope you enjoyed that quick visit.  Check out the opening times and keep up to date with news via Lucy's Instagram and website.

Monday, 8 October 2018

Stylecraft Blog Tour - Scallop Scarf and Mittens

I'm delighted to be participating again in Stylecraft's annual Blogtour. For this tour I chose the Autumn Leaves yarn pack which includes 5 shades of the newly released Bellissima. It's a DK weight yarn in 100% acrylic. The image below shows the 5 shades I've been working with (there are 14 shades in the new range).

Left to right: mellow yellow, sugar snap, clotted cream, ash rose, rio rose.

One of the many qualities I like about Bellissima is the good stitch definition.  I had the idea to make a long scarf, using an all over lacy pattern called "scallop" with bands of colour separated by the neutral cream. The bold colours increase in length from one end to the other.

Knitted on straight needles, the lacy bands of colour increase gradually in length along the scarf beginning with 3 pattern repeats and ending with six repeats. The generous length allows for a wrap around the neck and plenty for an extra tie in a knot, if required.

When I decided the scarf was long enough, there was about half the yarn left over in each colour. 

After debating what to do with the surplus yarn, a pair of scallop cuff mittens were developed. These mittens are knitted flat on straight needles. I started off making a pair in mellow yellow. 

But given I like the  other colours too! It's always useful to have a spare pair or two...

The Scallop Scarf pattern is free to download until 15th October 2018.

Image courtesy of Stylecraft

Thank you everyone who entered the giveaway.
The giveaway is now closed.
You could win a yarn pack of Autumn Leaves by clicking on the link below

Autumn Leaves Yarn Pack Giveaway

Begins 10am BST Monday 8th October 2018
and ends  
10am BST Tuesday 9th October 2018

Thank you to the wonderful Catherine's Crochet Corner for yesterday's stop off. Tomorrow the tour visits Sarah from Annaboo's Housecheck out her fabulous crochet blog. To round off, here's a list of all the blogs on this years tour...

Monday, 24 September 2018

Head Over Heels All Stars

New yarns in Head over Heels All Stars have arrived from Stylecraft. All 6 shades have been  chosen by Stylecraft Blogstars and inspired by the artist David HockneyEarlier this year knitters and crocheter's voted in their thousands for their favourite combinations of colours to add to the yarn range. There's a post about the competition on the Stylecraft blog. I was amazed and thrilled to find out my combination was one of the winners.

Influenced by this picture on the cover of the book by Chris Stephens about the artist I chose muted shades of blue, green and a splash of pink. The picture is called 'Pool with two figures'.

Six shades from the special dk range went into my yarn combination.

Here are some details about the yarn:
75% super wash wool
25% nylon
100g ball weight
needle size 2.25mm
machine washable at 30 degrees

This is how the final 'Pool' yarn looks close up. The wool blend is durable for socks but light enough for making knitted or crochet shawls.

Below is the shawl I designed specially for Head Over Heels All Stars 'Pool'. The pattern is available from Stylecraft bricks and mortar stockists and is free with the yarn purchases.

The 6 new All Star colour combinations and designers are from top left 

Saltaire by The Twisted Yarn,  Ossie by Cherry Heart, Woldgate by Josie Kitten

bottom row from the left:

Pool by (yours truly) Hand Knitted Things, Splash by Zooty Owl, Red Pots by Attic 24.