Friday, 14 October 2016

Arrived from The Net Loft

This adorable collection of items arrived all the way from Cordova, Alaska, sent by the lovely Dotty Widmann from The Net Loft. Earlier this year in June/July 2016 The Net Loft hosted a fibre festival called "Fisher Folk".

I designed a fair isle style fish pattern for use with yarn made from the one Shetland sheep they have in the town. Dotty produced a knitting kit to go with the pattern and these were given to each of the 100 participants at the festival. As there was a very limited supply of the yarn I was delighted to receive a sample kit (and lots of other goodies) in the post recently.

Inspiration for the fish motif came from patterns used on fishermen sweaters. In particular those from the Moray Firth Gansey Project in Scotland. There was to be exhibition of these sweaters on loan to the festival in Cordova and I thought it would be appropriate to include a net style motif from the Scottish Ganseys. The fish knitting pattern is called Catch of the Day and is available now on Ravelry.

I  was not able to attend the event, but if you'd like to read more about it, there are two very interesting blog posts by The Net Loft and the Fringe Association which include images from the festival and interviews with participants.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Scots Pine

The Scots Pine glove pattern I originally designed for "Make Your Own Gifts" magazine published in October 2014, has been updated. It's been modified to include instructions for two colours rather than the original one colour.

This new version uses Stylecraft Batik DK in Olive / Old Gold and has an autumnal look to the combination, with the contrast gold colour used for the rib sections. But you could use any DK weight yarn, approximately 140m (150yds).

The glove is knitted flat on two needles. If you haven't quite mastered knitting in the round with double pointed needles, this is an alternative. There's a lace pine cone pattern which repeats three times down the front of the glove (which is much easier to knit than it looks), a  thumb gusset, with a sewn side seam.

Skills required to make these include:

Cast on/off
Knit/purl stitch
Make one stitch by lifting the bar/strand between the next stitch and knitting through the back of the loop (M1)
Bring yarn to the front of the work (Yf)
Pass a slipped stitch over the next stitch (Psso)
Knit two stitches together (K2tog)

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Giveaway Winner

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway and your lovely comments.

I'd like to announce that the winner is...


...if you could contact me via my email with your details and I'll have your prize in the post asap.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Batik Yarn and Giveaway

In my last blog post I spoke about my visit to Stylecraft Mill in West Yorkshire where I met with a lovely group of knitting/crochet designers and bloggers, collectively known as the Stylecraft Blogstars.

A new yarn range had just been launched called Batik and I received this as a gift sample pack in all the 16 colours.  It is a double knitting weight yarn, 20% wool, 80% premium acrylic, 50g ball, recommended needle size 4mm, UK8, US6.

While at Stylecraft Mill I met the designer Sue Pinner who has created some amazing crochet patterns for this yarn. Sue arrived carrying two lovely crochet bags (unfortunately I didn't manage to photograph them). I generally knit but occasionally crochet. Inspired by Sue's shoulder bag creations and the look of the Batik yarn, I decided on a crochet rather than a knit project.

After sampling a few of the colours in basic granny square motifs, I settled on four colours: pistachio, coral, cream and sage for a crochet bag.

Then I made 9 granny squares mixing the colours making 3 of each combination.

For the back of the bag I made one large granny square.

The strap was made with a foundation of a single chain measuring 30 inches. Followed by single crochet stitches into each chain stitch. Repeating the single crochet rows until the strap width measured about an inch.

This yarn has been a pleasure to work with and I'm very pleased with the finished result. I still have several colours left in my basket and plan to knit with this on another project...

If you would like to try this yarn for yourself I'm hosting a Stylecraft giveaway of £25.00 worth of vouchers (redeemable at UK bricks and mortar yarn stores) and some other goodies.

To enter the giveaway please leave a comment in the comments section below.

The giveaway will end at noon GMT on Monday 26th September 2016 and a winner will be chosen. 


Update 26th Sept 2016: Thank you all for the lovely comments. Comments are now closed and a winner will be announced on the blog.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Visit to Stylecraft Mill

While down in Yorkshire I made a trip to the small town of Slaithwaite near Huddersfield. I'd been invited by Stylecraft Yarns to meet up with a number of blog writers and yarn enthusiasts for the first, of hopefully many, Blogstar Meet Up's.

We were made very welcome by Annabelle, Juliet and Sophie. First and most important on the agenda was tea and biscuits with a helping of yarn to admire.
Then came an "ice breaking" session where we had the opportunity to meet the other bloggers. I had been following a number of people's blogs for sometime but never met any of them in person. It was so good to meet such an enthusiastic and talented group of yarn loving people.

They were:
Heather Leal  - The Patchwork Heart
Sandra Paul  - Cherry Heart 
Kathryn Senior - Crafternoon Treats
Helen Kurtz - Josie Kitten
Sarah Shripton - Anna Boos House
Sue Pinner -  Shropshire Scrapper Suz
Phil Saul - The Twisted Yarn
Lucy - Attic 24

After meeting everyone, Annabelle and Juliet gave a presentation introducing the Stylecraft Autumn Winter 2016 collection, along with insights about how the yarns and patterns had been inspired and developed.

Even though it was the beginning of July, plans had already been made for Christmas jumpers!

I was surprised to see this furry fellow modelling the Christmas Jumpers. My first thought was, it's "Bertie" from the Highlands of Scotland. Bertie having already been a star in the Visit Scotland Ambassordog Competition perhaps had moved on to a successful modelling career for Stylecraft.

Bertie has previously been seen showing off his Fair Isle jumper, knitted by his owner/my lovely neighbour Gail, made with yarn from my Shetland sheep.


However, it was not Bertie modelling the Christmas jumpers, but a look alike, apparently the photographer's dog had been the star in the jumpers on this occasion.

Moving on, after the presentation there was a chance to look at the latest yarns and new colour additions to the ranges...

The morning flew by looking at all the yarn, then we were treated to a delicious lunch and the opportunity to chat some more. Lucy from Attic 24 gave some interesting insights about Yarndale and how this year's event organisation is progressing.

There was a chance to take the obligatory group photo...back row Sandra, me, Helen, Sarah, front row, Kathryn, Heather, Phil, Lucy, Sue.

Image courtesy of Sophie at Stylecraft

I returned home with some yarn samples and other knitting and crochet goodies.

All the 16 colours of Batik DK were in a sample pack. Haven't yet decided what I'm going to make with these, but quite tempted to try a crochet project. Sue Pinner has been designing crochet projects to make with this yarn. Head over to Sue's blog if you would like a peek at some of the new designs.

Best of all, I left Slaithwaite inspired by the lovely people I'd met and their enthusiasm for their work and yarn.

Thank you Annabelle, Juliet and Sophie for such a well organised day.